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Last updated April 18, 2016.
Drupal core is officially supported for two major releases, so when Drupal 8 is released Drupal 6 will no longer be supported. It is requested that contrib projects are supported with a similar plan, i.e. that Drupal 6 modules & themes be supported at least until Drupal 8 is released.
That said, it can be a bit of a struggle to maintain themes, modules and distributions for two major releases of Drupal core. As development of the next major release of core picks up momentum it is common for contributors of contrib projects to get involved in core or otherwise reduce the amount of time spent maintaining their projects for older Drupal releases.
So, what is the best practice for dealing with the older projects?
If you don't want to maintain a branch, the requested way to handle it is to:
- Add a note to the project page clearly saying that the branch & releases for the older Drupal version are no longer supported by the current maintainer(s), and that new co-maintainer(s) are being sought to help manage them.
- Switch the project's Maintenance status to Seeking co-maintainer(s).
- Change the Recommended major version for that branch to None.
- Ignore issues for the deprecated branch and unsupported releases.
- Note: please do not mass close issues on the unsupported versions as it makes it harder for anyone who wants to take over maintaining the old versions.
- Releases should ideally be moved from supported to unsupported on Wednesdays to give site admins time to react during the work week. Unsupporting a release may have security implications, so it is best to change support status in coordination with security release timing.
- For bonus points, wrap up a new release for anything that is safe and marked RTBC.