As announced back on the 16th of Februrary, 2012: Bukkit is now following a new release system that enables us to better cater to the countless various types of Server Admins out there. This new system allows us to provide those of you who want quicker updates with new Beta releases, while still providing those of you who would like peace of mind when updating your server with well tested Recommended Build releases. As a result, we ask that plugin developers, game server providers and everyone else please move to supporting the various cycles of our new release system so that we may fully utilise the usefulness and potential this new system provides us with. What is the difference between a Beta Build and a Recommended Build? A Beta Build: Has not been thoroughly tested, so may contain minor bugs. May have incomplete features. May have incomplete API. With the exception of the first Beta Build promoted after a Minecraft update is released, Beta Builds are generally stable enough to run a production server on. While we try our best to address all major issues we're aware of before promoting a Beta Build, there is no way we can be aware of all issues before they are discovered. Is promoted more often than a Recommended Build. Will be promoted if we find issues in a previous Beta Build. A Beta Build has not gone through our usual extensive testing, may have incomplete features and API and is mostly provided for those individuals who just want to update to the latest Minecraft and don't need plugins that utilise anything new the Minecraft update provides. Beta Builds are generally quite stable, and thus can be run on a production server, but may have minor issues due to our not putting them through our extreme testing regimen. Unfortunately, there is no way for us to be completely aware of every single bug before they are discovered, so we can't completely ensure that any build we release is free of issues, but we do try our best. If we discover any unaddressed issues in the beta, we may end up promoting another one. Betas also are naturally promoted more frequently than Recommended Builds, based on the speed of development. Furthermore, when a Minecraft update comes out, we will promote a beta build as soon as we have a compatible build that compiles for those of you who want to help us test. We highly recommended against using this first Beta Build to run a production server. A Recommended Build: Has been extensively and thoroughly tested, so should not contain any major or minor bugs. However, we can't provide any guarantees as there is no possible way for us to be aware of all issues before they are discovered. Has complete features. Has complete API. However, may not have all the API or features to cover what is added by a Minecraft update. Is naturally promoted after several Beta Builds have been promoted. Will be promoted if we find issues in a previous Recommended Build. A Recommended Build has gone through extensive testing and should not have any known issues. These builds are for Server Admins who want peace of mind when updating their server to the latest Minecraft update. We'll do our best to ensure that Recommended Builds only have completed features and completed API before being promoted, though we cannot ensure that a Recommended Build will have all the API needed to fully utilise newly added features in a Minecraft update. Although we go through great pains to ensure that these builds will not cause any issues, we highly advise you test them on a test server before deploying to production. Recommended Builds are naturally promoted after several Beta Builds have been promoted, and thus are promoted less frequently than Beta Builds. If you are a plugin developer, we advise you to keep on top of Beta builds at the very least, if you are not already keeping on top of development builds. Though Betas and Recommended Builds are somewhat separated, it is highly unlikely that the API will change between them unless we deem it absolutely necessary. As such, you can safely develop against Beta Builds and still be preparing for Recommended Builds at the same time. If you are a game server provider, we ask that you provide support for both the Beta and Recommended Builds we provide as they are usually both stable enough to run on production, with the exception of the first Beta Build we promote as that is primarily just a compatibility build for people to help test and find bugs. This new system was designed and implemented to better serve the Minecraft community and provide plugin developers and game server providers with a more predictable, stable schedule to work with.