Some folks noticed that as of Wednesday's release, we went from 7.4 -> 7.7 and are a bit confused about what's going on, as well as why these releases happened in such rapid succession, so soon after the 7.4 release. Here's the skinny:
- As of Drupal 7.1/Drupal 6.21, Drupal core does monthly releases. This was a new policy the core team discussed and implemented back in May, which lays out a schedule of the last Wednesday of the month for new core releases.
This policy change has helped tremendously to provide predicability for Drupal site maintainers so they don't need to fret every Wednesday about "what if" a new core release comes out, it's helped to ensure timely fixing of security issues, and also has encouraged a general "swarming" around bug fixes in a timely manner to ensure they make the next release deadline.
The monthly rate will likely slow down as D7 continues to mature, but for now it's really helping to provide focus on working through some of the backlog and getting contributed module blockers unstuck.
- When security releases are required, we create two releases. One which has only the security patches, and one that has the security patches, plus all the bug fixes to date.
Why do such a silly thing, you might ask? Because it's *really* important that security fixes get rolled out pronto, whereas the bug fix releases might conceivably need more testing to make sure they don't create any adverse effects in your environment. So we offer Drupal 7.5 for those who want only the quick fix, and Drupal 7.6 for the whole shebang.
This graphic by Gábor Hojtsy, included on all release announcements, lays it out rather simply in flowchart form.
- Drupal 7.6 was accidentally rolled incorrectly, hence 7.7. The only difference between 7.7 and 7.6 is literally a one line fix to the VERSION number in bootstrap.inc (ok, fine, technically 3 lines because of CHANGELOG.txt ;P). I blame being holed up sick in a hotel room with a stomach flu for missing the
git tag. Sorry about that. :(
Thankfully, some helpful friends are helping to work on some automation tools for the process so that doesn't happen again. :)
Hope that helps clarify things!