Magento Community Edition 1.9.1 landed on Monday, just 4 days before Black Friday and as expected Twitter had something to say about it. The biggest reactions include wanting it at the same time as EE; wanting a pre-release for extension developers; and wanting it after Black Friday.
At Bit79, I am still very hands on with the code and still pay very close attention to these releases. When it comes to the controversy I straight up I agree with Phil's approach of just letting Magento do their thing—but I'm not letting them off the hook that easily. I'll start with my hangups so we can get that out the way.
Ok, the timing is actually terrible, but not for any of the reasons I have seen mentioned on Twitter thus far. Like most responsible eCommerce integrators, our code freeze was last month and we're not going to change that for 1.9.1. Nevertheless we are stuck in a tenuous situation because this release includes some security patches which we cannot apply to live stores taking orders right now. Specifically there are a couple lines buried in the release notes which are going to cause some sleepless nights. It is going to be an interesting few days monitoring logs just in case some enterprising miscreant decides to jump on it. So this is where Magento screwed up in my opinion: a public diff of a vulnerability fix could have waited an extra week or two. If that fix really needed to go out, maybe even release a patch fixing vulnerabilities without new features?
Magento 1.x CE and EE releases have some architectural, build and testing differences which is why they are not released at the same time. That's fine and really it doesn't matter that much. Anyone who is worried that Magento is turning it's back on Open Source isn't looking at the code drops for Magento 2 every Friday on Github. We are really glad they are taking the effort to test CE releases as much as their EE releases. Two thumbs up for proper testing.
Responsible Magento professionals are not going to upgrade this week for the new features. So I am sure no one is rushing out to upgrade just to get swatches and responsive emails. If those were critical to your business, we hope you'd have them implemented before this week.
A pre-release schedule for just extension developers can breed exclusivity and will constrain the diversity of the open source community, so I am glad that didn't happen. However if pre-releases are being done for CE, I hope they are done across the board for everyone.
All in all the new version of CE looks great and we will be putting it onto new clients as soon as time allows. The transactional emails were missed and are a welcome addition, along with having them queued up and dispatched on cron for merchants not using an external solution.