It's no secret that MODX3 development has taken way longer than anyone imagined. After spending the last few months working through the most important blocking tasks, we've now reached a stage where the main focus is on stabilising and getting the darn release out there already.
With that in mind, last week the following release schedule was proposed and embraced by key contributors and parties involved in the process. Here are the key dates:
- 3.0.0-alpha3 on October 27th - out now!
- November 4th: feature freeze
- 3.0.0-beta1 on November 8th
- 3.0.0-beta2 on November 22nd
- 3.0.0-rc1 on January 6th, 2022
- 3.0.0-rc2 on January 17th
- 3.0.0-pl on January 31st
- If deemed necessary at the time, we'll do an extra release candidate on January 31st, and delay 3.0.0-pl by two weeks until February 14th.
If you're unfamiliar with these release names, alpha is considered a development build suitable for testing mostly. Beta is a preview release, and is aimed at developers to ensure their extras are ready and good to go. A release candidate (rc) is meant for the wider community and focused exclusively on ensuring stability in different environments, and a pl release ("patch level") is stable, ready for production.
On (or around) November 4th we'll start the feature freeze after which no new features or (major) improvements will be accepted into 3.0. It's tempting, especially when a release has been in the works for this long, to keep adding more improvements, but at some point we have to draw a line in the sand and defer new features and improvements to the next feature release, in this case 3.1.
There have been timelines set and missed before, so some sceptisism is to be expected and valid.
What's different this time is that we're finally at a point where there are no outstanding blocking features or refactoring to be completed. We're not speculating on future development, just on getting enough help from the community to label the release as stable by the end of January.
Of course there are always more uncompleted ideas and wishes, especially with wild promises having been made in the past, but for now MODX3 is considered "good enough", so we can shift the development focus to stability and compatibility. After 3.0 is out the door, we can recharge and start looking beyond that for more ambitious goals.
It's still a pretty aggressive timeline we're working with here, especially for MODX standards, and we do rely on the community to help us meet it.
You can help!
Now, more than ever, we need help from the wider community. Especially from people with different skill sets and from across the ecosystem, who look at the release from a different point of view than seasoned core developers.
The most important thing right now is to test, test, test & test. Install the latest nightly release here (also available on MODX Cloud and as upgrade target in SiteDash), and test your site. If you find any unexpected issues or incompatible extras, report them.
SiteDash has a list of known 3.0 compatible extras here, and the updating to 3.0 section in the docs is a great resource to find out about the major changes that may make upgrades harder.
When can I run this in production?
It's obviously not the best idea to update a site running in production to an alpha or nightly build.
As a rough guideline, we'd suggest using the alpha and beta on isolated development or staging environments only, and to start with the release candidates when building a new site planned for launch no sooner than the end of January.
After 3.0.0-pl is released, it's a good idea to upgrade existing sites on a staging environment first, especially those with more than a handful of extras or custom code, due to the breaking changes in 3.0.
Run an agency? Take the challenge!
If you're in charge of a team that builds sites with MODX, modmore has a challenge for you to step up and get involved with the final sprint.
Make a pledge for your team to spend just one afternoon each week working on MODX 3 instead of client projects. Put dedicated time in the planner and start by cloning a client site or two on an isolated environment to test new MODX3 builds, report issues and broken extras, and also spend time on contributing fixes to the core and extras. Once technical issues and compatibilities are resolved, get your content editors or marketeers involved, or move on to a more complex site for testing.
Understandably client projects are important and keep the lights on, but making the MODX3 launch as smooth as possible will also greatly benefit your clients. Clients will love the new design and features, but MODX3 does need more testing sooner, rather than later.
For agencies that meet the challenge for at least 6 weeks between today and the 3.0.0-pl release, modmore is offering a one-time 30% discount on premium extras or 3 free months of a SiteDash subscription. Details here.
Now available: 3.0.0-alpha3
Alpha3 has been released today, so you can start testing right away. Learn more about this release here.