At the PGCon 2012 Developer Meeting, we discussed the schedule for PostgreSQL 9.3 development. Here's what we agreed:
CommitFest #1: June 15, 2012 - July 15, 2012
CommitFest #2: September 15, 2012 - October 15, 2012
CommitFest #3: November 15, 2012 - December 15, 2012
Planning Week: December 8, 2012 - December 15, 2012
CommitFest #4: January 15, 2013 - February 15, 2013
Final Triage: February 1, 2013 - February 7, 2013
This is basically the same schedule we used for the PostgreSQL 9.2 development cycle, but we've added a "planning week" and a "final triage". The idea of the planning week, and also of the final triage week, is to identify which large patches still have a hope of getting done in time to be committed to PostgreSQL 9.3. In that way, if a patch has no chance of being ready for commit, people can stop working on it and focus their efforts on those that do. Hopefully, this will make the final CommitFest go a little more smoothly than it did this time, with less burn-out and a quicker denouement.
We also agreed on one significant change to the review process: if you submit a patch, you must also volunteer to review a patch. In earlier development cycles, we have been able to rely on volunteer reviewers to do much of the reviewing work, but that didn't work as well during the 9.2 cycle. Although I'm hopeful that this will ease some of the reviewing crunch, I'd also like to underscore the importance of volunteer reviewers. Reviewing is a great way to get involved in the development process without spending too much time on it, and often leads to significant improvements in design and usability as well as code quality. It also helps to ensure a variety of opinions about important patches, which usually leads to a stronger product overall, and, at least in my experience, it is also a great way to learn more about PostgreSQL.