Proposal: the current core development cycle is releasing a stable (for example Drupal 5), opening up HEAD, hacking for N months and then releasing the next stable (Drupal 6) meanwhile 5.1, 5.2 etc gets released for bugfix. I propose that during the hacking period we do developer releases from time to time, maybe every two weeks, once there is something new that somewhat works. So there will be occassionally Drupal 6.x bugfix releases and more often Drupal 7.x unstable releases.
A few scenarios that might happen:
- Someone grabs a contrib module and try to update it. Currently it seems like a waste and impossible because HEAD is always changing. It still will be a waste somewhat because surely Drupal 8 (stable) and Drupal 7.3 (developer release) will be different API wise but not all effort is wasted and if some API does not work out for you, here is the chance to voice your concerns. The next "multistep node form" problem maybe won't need three releases to make easy...
- A consultant might want to do this because then she has a competitive edge -- honestly can tell her clients that she is already getting ready for Drupal 8. Currently noone can say that unless she is actually patching HEAD.