For this particular release, we tried very hard to leverage the community. The majority of new features present in 1.7.0 are from community proposals, or were primarily driven by community contributors. For me, this represents a milestone: ZF is now at a stage where fewer and fewer core components are necessary, and the community is able to build off it and add extra value to the project.
On that note, this release also marks the first release containing the Extras library — a repository of community driven components that will not be officially supported by Zend, but which must also pass ZF's strict guidelines for submission (> 80% test coverage, fully documented, and reviewed by the internal team). We hope that this repository continues to expand and show off the diverse interests of our contributors.
In particular, I'm quite proud of the jQuery support. From the moment we first announced our partnership with Dojo, we messaged that we while we would officially support Dojo in the framework, we would also allow community contributions for integration with other frameworks. Benjamin Eberlei drove this component from proposal to implementation, and communicated often with me to ensure that it would provide a story consistent with our Dojo integration. I think jQuery users will be pleased with the results.
Besides providing a wealth of new components for the release, the community also stepped up to help resolve bugs in the framework. We held a general bug hunt week the week of 3 November 2008, in which we resolved approximately 100 issues. Additionally, phpGG and PHPBelgium banded together to start the Bug Hunt Day initiative, and held their first event on 8 November 2008 — dedicated to fixing Zend Framework bugs. While we had but a dozen issues closed during that event, I anticipate that such initiatives in the future will bring more people to the project, and help increase the overall quality of all projects they target. My hearty thanks to all participants involved!
My primary involvement in this release was coordinating the bug hunts, as well as working on performance benchmarking and profiling. I'll blog on this topic more in the future, but I found some areas where ZF can be tuned very efficiently and concisely to bring some significant performance gains to your applications. I have begun writing a Performance Guide appendix to the manual, and you can look for updates to that in upcoming releases.
So, grab 1.7.0 today, and start enjoying the new features!