Last thursday was the begin of the feature freeze phase. Well its not really a hard feature freeze in the sense that we still have plans for a few new features and tweaks, but it means the end of the "maintainers freedom" that usually rules PHP development more or less. As a result developers will now need to get explicit consent from Johannes and myself if they want to add new features. We have already given a number of changes our blessing between alpha1 and alpha2, which are for the most part changes that are very self contained areas (mostly inside existing extensions). There are also a few changes that we still hope to be committed this weekend. At any rate expect alpha1 to be released around July 31st.
The focus is now shifting a bit more towards bug fixing. So let me try something crazy. If you feel you have a very high quality bug report, that is important to be addressed in 5.3 fill in the URL to the bug in a comment to this blog post and I will try to follow it up. I have already identified a few bugs I feel are important to get resolved. When I say high quality I mean a bug report with a solid yet short description (all meta data should also be accurate in terms of what platforms this affects), a reproducible test script (ideally run by several different people from different organizations on a recent PHP 5.3 snapshot) and that has not been marked as bogus from a core developer (even if you might disagree with it being marked as bogus, it means chances are high that I will have a harder time to find someone willing to look into this bug).
As such this is also a call for people to go over the open PHP 5.3 and 5.2 bugs to help verify reports, improve the quality of the reports etc. Make it easy for the core developers to help you the end user get a more high quality release. While we are at it, make sure that you try out your applications with PHP 5.3 snapshots are at the very least with each of our alpha/beta/RC releases. If you notice BC (backwards compatibility) breaks, check if they are listed on the wiki. If they are not make sure we know about this by reporting a bug report. If they are notify us if the explanation needs tweaking.
nitpickers corner: eminent is something far different from imminent :)
Guess I was trying to make my point that english is not my native language. Thanks for pointing out the screw up :)
Looking forward to this. Finally having a start down the road to releasing 5.3 is exciting for developers like me who are already using the snapshots in development for features like namespaces.