"Backport small changes to stable releases"
I’ve found the recent thread on distribution support very interesting.
An I’m especially excited by the prospects hinted at here
For those who haven’t read it, http://buytaert.net/8-steps-for-drupal-8 is worth a read. In it, step 6 is “Backport small changes to stable releases”. Drupal 7 is the first release we’ve been able to entertain the idea, since we have a testing framework with 25K tests and a version-specific dependency system. What the boundaries are of such changes isn’t quite defined yet, because Dries and I have kept pretty busy with, you know, getting Drupal 7 out the door. :P~
For a long time I’ve felt that Drupal could get a great deal more engagement from contractors, freelances and other somewhat mercenary entities (myself included) if contributions could have an impact on a smaller timescale.
By allowing changes to core within major releases it potentially becomes possible to contribute patches that get released within months rather than years.
On this timescale it becomes much easier to justify the time spent to a client as there is a reasonable change of it benefiting their project.
I submitted a patch that’s actually in Drupal 7 - I may get to use in within 2 years of writing it - but that’s several clients on.
I think it’s especially an opportunity to flesh out the API and add missing functions