On December 7/2018, the Eclipse Foundation's Board of Directors approved a new edition of the Eclipse Development Process (EDP). We rolled this new edition out on December 14/2018.
The big change introduced in this new edition is the introduction of Progress Reviews and the recast of Release Reviews as a type of Progress Review. Progress Reviews are essentially the same as Release Reviews with the exception that they can occur at any point in the project lifecycle (while the EDP doesn't explicitly make any specific requirements, Release Reviews are generally accepted to be timed near the end of a release cycle). The basic idea is that a project team can opt to time a Progress Review at their convenience.
An Eclipse project team can declare as many official releases as they'd like for an entire year following a successful Progress Review or Release Review.
Note that this does not impact our intellectual property management: Eclipse project teams will continue to engage in the Eclipse IP Due Diligence Process on an ongoing basis, and only intellectual property that has been approved (or license certified) by the Eclipse IP Team will be included in a release.
This change comes as part of our ongoing effort to balance “just enough process" to ensure that Eclipse Projects are successful. With this change, we reduce the process burden for Eclipse open source projects that need to engage in frequent releases, while maintaining the overall rigor and associated quality that comes from our governance process.