Freezy Breezy not only over Europe but as well within the project. Today WordPress 3.0 12:00 UTC/GMT went feature freeze (Announcement).
Please see the updated Reports as well: WordPress 3.0 Released to be shipped early next Week (June 12) and WordPress 3.0 Release Schedule Changes (April 23).
There was a slight shift in the development timeline last weeks that resulted in a hop from Feb 15th to March 1st. The other dates were shifted accordingly making May 1st as the new planned release date of WordPress 3.0. I think that date is promising and sportive at once, the roadmap still needs to get updated in the moment I write this.
As you may know WordPress 3.0 is to be shipping with a multi-site feature that was previously available as the WPMU fork. The fork was merged into the core trunk which leaded to a lot more code that is not always new because both projects were next to each other for quite a long time and only loosely connected. In the end the MU fork did not get that much development attention that it was announced to merge both projects in end of May 2009. Big sites like wordpress.com are running on the WPMU flavor according to the projects website.
So if this will be May 2010 for release, then within the period of one year that might have become reality!
From the new release wordpress.com-like as well as buddypress-based sites will benefit. For the core project this means a lot of more work. Comparing the original plans from December last / January this year I would assume that this bears more than estimated (so I won’t swear on May 1st as release as of today) and it might be likely that things will break in 3.0 for existing WP or MU installations. If you’re a plugin developer, take care and jump in while the Beta-Testing is running. It will start in about two weeks if things work out well.
The period between Freeze and Beta is needed to get some UI/Commit/Workflow related issues sorted, the ticket related to the MU merge is #11644.
Next to the 3.0 release cycle and the Merge another important date should not get passed unnoticed in the wordpress-timeline. On January 22th, 2010, the WordPress Foundation was officially established which might create more stability in the development for the org and com side of the project as well as for sister-projects like Buddypress and all the plugins (canonical or not) that are interconnected in the wordpress domain.