April 6th, 2016
The first release candidate for the upcoming Drupal 8.1.0 release is now available for testing. With Drupal 8, we made major changes in our release process, adopting semantic versioning and scheduled releases. This allows us to make significant improvements to Drupal 8 in a timely fashion while still providing backwards compatibility. Drupal 8.1.0 will be the first such update, expected to be released April 20.
8.1.x includes an experimental user interface for migrating from Drupal 6 and 7, the BigPipe module for increasing perceived site performance, and more. You can read a detailed list of improvements in the announcements of beta1 and beta2.
What does this mean to me?
For Drupal 8 site owners
The final bugfix release of 8.0.x has been released. 8.0.x will receive no further releases following 8.1.0, and sites should prepare to update from 8.0.x to 8.1.x in order to continue getting bug and security fixes. Use
update.php to update your 8.0.x sites to the 8.1.x series, just as you would to update from (e.g.) 8.0.4 to 8.0.5. You can use this release candidate to test the update. (Always back up your data before updating sites, and do not test updates in production.)
For module and theme authors
Drupal 8.1.x is backwards-compatible with 8.0.x. However, it does include internal API changes and API changes to experimental modules, so some minor updates may be required. Review the change records for 8.1.x, and test modules and themes with the release candidate now.
Some text changes were made since Drupal 8.0.0. Localize.drupal.org automatically offers these new and modified strings for translation. Strings are frozen with the release candidate, so translators can now update translations.
For core developers
All outstanding issues filed against 8.0.x are automatically migrated to 8.1.x after the final 8.0.x patch release. Future bug reports should be targeted against the 8.1.x branch. 8.2.x will remain open for new development during the 8.1.x release candidate phase. For more information, see the release candidate phase announcement.
Your bug reports help make Drupal better!
Release candidates are a chance to identify bugs for the upcoming release, so help us by searching the issue queue for any bugs you find, and filing a new issue if your bug has not been reported yet.
Note that there are known issues with the experimental Migrate module suite, especially the incomplete Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 migration path. If the bug you find is not covered by one of these issues, your detailed bug report with steps to reproduce is a big help!