After more than 1,000 pull requests coming from 250 unique contributors, I'm very pleased to release the first beta version of Symfony 2.1.

Before you got too excited, you must know that this is a beta release, meaning that not everything is stable yet. As a matter of fact, we are aware of some bugs that will be ironed out in the coming weeks.

Releasing a beta version now will allow anyone to try out this new version, to try upgrading their existing websites, and more importantly for us, to gather feedback about the upgrade process. And the good news is that many third-party bundles have already been updated for 2.1. So, if you upgrade to 2.1, and if something is not clear enough from the various changelog and upgrade files, open a ticket so that we can make the migration process as smooth as possible.

Besides the numerous changes in the code, one of the major changes in Symfony 2.1 is the usage of Composer for dependency management. If you know nothing about Composer yet, I highly encourage everyone to read about it and to install it globally on their machines:

curl -s http://getcomposer.org/installer | php

If you want to try out Symfony 2.1, the easiest way (or perhaps the coolest way) is to use Composer:

composer.phar create-project symfony/framework-standard-edition path/to/install

That's all there is to it. Composer will download the Symfony Standard Edition, install all its the dependencies, and pre-generate the cache files. Neat!

Of course, you can still download the Standard Edition as an archive.

The whole Symfony core team (everyone actually) should now be focused on making 2.1 stable before starting working on 2.2, for which we already have quite a few very nice features waiting in the pull request queue (that's also why I will only create the 2.1 branch when releasing the first release candidate).

Happy coding.