Release-1.3 branch date approaching: Aug. 15

Hello all,

We are targeting Aug. 15 as the feature freeze / branch date for 1.3. This is roughly 4 months after the branch date for 1.2, in keeping with our usual release schedule. If you have any PRs or such that are close to done, this is the time to try to push them over the finish line. If you are unsure about the status of an issue or PR or want to raise its priority, tag it for triage.

I know some people are understandably confused by the concurrent discussion of 1.2, 1.3-alpha, and 1.3 feature freeze. Stefan has a good explanation here: Compatibility across Julia 1+ versions
What’s going on is that with time-based releases, the timing-imposed deadline can only refer to the branch date, since that’s the only thing we can reliably control. We can’t control how long it will take to stabilize the release. So echoing Stefan, I see development generally happening in two parallel tracks where we are adding new stuff for version N+1 while also stabilizing version N. If we’re unlucky, both of those processes might take about the same amount of time, which is what happened with 1.3 and 1.2.

Also note that while 1.3-alpha sounds release-ish, the terminology is a bit misleading since it’s actually far, far away from a true release. The general process goes a bit like this, in chronological order (note that alphas are not always done; only the other steps are routine):

1.3-dev: 1.2 has been branched, 1.3 work begins
1.3-alpha: an early preview, not feature-complete and not stabilized
1.3-pre: 1.3 feature freeze and branch
1.3-rc1: known regressions fixed, announced for broader testing
1.3-rc2: … repeat until converged
1.3.0: final

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