Some of you have pointed out that you have a hard time knowing what is going on with the development of the core framework. This is hardly surprising considering that the only official communication on the matter aside from release announcements is a high level roadmap that is silently updated every now and then. To remedy this, we are starting a series of (roughly) monthly status updates from the team developing Vaadin Framework and our other open source products.
What has happened
After releasing Vaadin 7.0.0 beta11 and enjoying the holiday season, the team is now back on track towards an RC1 release. Aside from doing whatever it takes to fix the last critical bugs, this also means that we have directed our attention towards stuff that would be expected from a stable release even though it didn’t prevent us from developing new features.
One such change is that we have started chewing on the backlog of fixes for Vaadin 6.8 that are also relevant for 7.0. While we might not get every old fix included in 7.0.0, we are at least cherry picking those that we think would be most important. The rest of the fixes will get included in 7.0.1 or subsequent maintenance releases. Another area where we have let ourselves slip behind is a bunch of automatic visual tests that have been left in a failing state, usually because we were still expecting other changes that would again require adjustments to make the tests reflect the new specifications. We are now going through those because there shouldn’t be any expected changes to the specifications any more.
Out of all the various fixes going into the RC1, most are related to the theming of individual components or how different layouts behave. One particularly interesting issue is the battle against extra white space appearing under empty inline elements when using the HTML5 doctype that might finally have a satisfactory fix. Finding a solution that works in all browsers without requiring any special attention when developing new widgets has been a struggle going on for several months and that particular issue has been a contributing factor to the delay in the release schedule of 7.0.0
Once we release RC1, we will do our best to avoid touching the Vaadin 7 codebase for a couple of weeks until a stable 7.0.0 can be released (unless we need another release candidate *knock on wood*). Once that has been taken care of, we will start rolling out fixes in 7.0.x maintenance releases. At the same time, part of the team should start working on new features for Vaadin 7.1. The current plan includes a new theme and the long awaited push functionality, although nothing has been written in stone yet.
While waiting for reports on critical issues in RC1 that would require a fix before a stable release, we have plenty of documentation to finalize, as well as some interesting bugs in the 6.8 codebase that should also be addressed. Finally there’s also the 10% of our paid time that we may direct towards anything that benefits the community, e.g. developing own add-ons, writing blog posts about interesting topics or taking part in the discussions in the forum. Personally, I have been closer to 1% since summer so there’s plenty of crazy ideas brewing in my mind, just waiting to be unleashed.
As this is the first installation of a planned series, feedback about the concept is particularly welcome. Please add your comments below or initiate an involving discussion in the forum!