Voting starts in March for the Drupal Association Board election.
Following three beta releases, and with tons of bugs fixed and user interface improvements added, we are proud to present to you the first release candidate of Drupal 7.0. Although there are still a few known issues that we are working on fixing, we are confident that our code is stable enough for wider testing by the community. Since the last beta version was released two weeks ago, we have improved styling in the default "Bartik" theme, numerous bug fixes and improvements to the Update Manager and Search module, revisions to both user interface text and developer documentation to be more understandable and accurate, and we've made final clean-ups to some of the architecture improvements added during the release cycle. The deprecated Profile module is now hidden on new sites and we've substituted it with the ability to put user fields added through Field UI on the registration form.
The first alpha announcement provided a comprehensive list of high level improvements made since Drupal 6.x, so in this announcement we'll concentrate on how you can help ensure that Drupal 7 is released as soon as possible and is as rock solid as the previous Drupal releases that you've grown to love!
There are a number of modules already ported to Drupal 7 for your testing pleasure. You can keep tabs on whether or not your site is ready for Drupal 7 by using the Upgrade Status module. If you are a translator, now is the time to start working on your translations. If you are a module or theme maintainer, now is the time to start working on the update to Drupal 7! Read on for more details.
How do I help test the release candidate?
Start by either installing a new Drupal site or upgrading an existing one running on Drupal 6.x (see INSTALL.txt or UPGRADE.txt in the package for some important instructions). When setting up a new site, you can use the development module to generate some test data (content, users, etc) to help you start testing quickly. As with everything still in development, we do not recommend running release candidates on a live site. Also, always be sure to make a backup of your data before performing any upgrade or starting testing.
Module and theme developers
If you have not done so already, now is the time to ensure that your modules and themes will work with the new version of Drupal. The updating your modules and updating your themes pages have plenty of information to help you with the migration to Drupal 7, and the Coder Upgrade module can help automate many of the most tedious changes. Consider signing up for the #D7CX pledge, to have a stable release of your module available when 7.0 ships!
Please help ensure that your users will have a smooth and well tested upgrade path in the not to distant future! Be sure to file any core bugs that you may find while updating your module or theme.
Drupal interface translators
The interface strings of Drupal 7.0 are officially frozen now. Only critical fixes, and corrections may be made to the interface text from this point forward. Read more about how localize.drupal.org works and how can you contribute in the drupal.org handbooks.
Are you gifted with the "Poison Finger"? Does seemingly normal code collapse into a flying mess of errors as soon as you get hold of the mouse? If so, why not have a run at breaking Drupal? When you discover a bug, check the issue queue to see if someone else has already found it. If your suspected bug hasn't been reported yet, please submit a bug report (remember to search first)! The more bugs we can find and fix before the final release, the better.
When will Drupal 7 get released?
Drupal 7.0 final will be released after (a) there are no more critical bugs and (b) we've had at least one release candidate without adding any more to the list. When will that be? Well, it depends entirely on you! The more you chip in and help out, the faster we can find and fix bugs, and the faster 7.0 gets released. The faster 7.0 gets released, the faster we can all start adding fancy new features to Drupal 8.0! So please help out where you can, and let's make this the best and most solid release of Drupal yet!