After 3.1 releases alpha:
- A release manager would remain in charge of 3.1.x
- Another release manager would work on features for the 3.x branch
- Another release manager would be appointed to work on 4.0.x
phpBB 3.2, in vague accordance with this suggestion, a number of small features (nothing like a hooks system and the mini travel sized kitchen sink, just maybe changes like changing registration, adding a CAPTCHA and maybe 1 biggish feature(like a new BBcode engine)). This would be quite small and only involve tiny features and therefore it would not impact heavily on the development of 4.0
The remaining team members would work on phpBB 4.0 working to get it written.
But that suggestion doesn't fit with the topic title
It does though. It means all feature development effort (that has been going into 3.1) would go into 4.0. But it would not mean that there wouldn't be any feature releases in 3-4 years or however long it takes to develop phpBB 4.0.
Who develops features for 3.2?
As the features are small, it would not require massive amounts of time to work on.
The features would be mainly developed by the community but any features from the development team would be from the bug-fixers and therefore the development of 4.0 would not be affected.
Rhea developers becoming distracted
This is almost certainly going to happen which is why it needs to be distinct who is working on what. To get 4.0 out in the next 3-4 years it would require the people working on it to be really focused on it and not popping in to develop a feature for 3.2 or a bug fix for 3.1. Obviously phpBB 3 developers could contribute but it would only be a one way street.
Personally, this is the only way I can see being Rhea progressing while not having complaints because of a lack of feature releases to Ascraeus and Arsia during the development of Rhea.