About the Vanilla 2.1 release cycle
This discussion is to gather bits of info I've been dropping about 2.1.
We incremented the version number on the public repository to 2.1b1 (beta 1) last week. What that means is we've taken the first step toward release by saying "OK, we're not going to do anything TOO crazy at this point." It is not a code freeze, feature freeze, or even a light frost. It means we're not going to rewrite major systems or start anymore week-long+ projects.
We're going to do a long beta process. How long? Dunno yet, we'll find out as we go. Don't expect a final release before the end of the year, tho.
I am not releasing a beta 1 package; I'll probably wait til beta 2. There are a number of bugs, changes, and mini-features I want to get into the branch before we do an official beta release. I don't recommend upgrading to the beta release branch. If you want to try out 2.1, use the latest master branch on GitHub instead.
Upgrading: If you do decide to try out some flavor of 2.1, please take extra care upgrading. Proper backups are key. I recommend deleting /themes/mobile and /applications/dashboard/views/default.master.php before copying over your new files. If you don't run utility/update, your site is going to be broken.
Themes: If you have a heavily customized theme, it's critical to test it against 2.1 before upgrading your live site. We changed a LOT of markup. If you took the unhealthy path of redoing the entire style.css file in your theme (rather than adding a custom.css file) you're probably in for a lot of pain. Even if you used custom.css, you'll likely found some CSS rules are now broken, so take care.
Danger: We have not done much testing for installations not in the web root, which is a key point I want to address before releasing an official beta. Use beta 1 in a subfolder at your own considerable risk.
I will be doing a changelog, proper upgrade instructions, and a "What's New?" summary for the official beta release. Until then, explore and have fun if you dare.