Last week, the FreeCAD administrators, maintainers, and developers met to discuss the next release of the software. The decision was made to start the process of creating the next release, taking into account that almost a year has passed since version 0.20 was released on June 13, 2022 and many new features have been added in the interim. Additionally, work is currently underway towards integrating Realthunder’s toponaming solution, which has reached a point where the next portion of code to be merged will start to negatively affect FreeCAD’s performance. To avoid potential performance issues, it was decided to release an intermediate version before the merge takes place, which will be tagged as version 0.21 instead of the expected 1.0 release.
A rough timeline for the release process includes a release announcement to notify all contributors of an imminent feature freeze, a review of all pull requests, a hard freeze period with only bug fix PRs being merged, preparation of a release candidate to encourage testing and bug reporting, and finally resolving all critical bugs before tagging and releasing the final version. In addition to these milestones, the FreeCAD team also has a number of important tasks to complete, including translation and documentation updates for all workbenches, producing installers for various platforms, selecting a splash screen, and documenting the release process in the developer handbook to facilitate future releases.