A new patch release of Apache Camel, version 2.8.1 was released last week. I didn't announce releases in a while. Why write about camel-2.8.1 then?
The reason is that the Apache Camel community didn't produce patch releases in the past (we only did it for the 1.6.x version before discontinuing support for the 1.x versions). We actually started producing patch releases back in April for camel-2.7.x. At the time, I wasn't sure if and how this will continue because you need enough support within the community and some had the view that at Apache we should only focus on innovation.
The untold truth about that though has to do with the business models of open source. ZDNet had an excellent article a while ago, which makes for interesting reading. The author left out another business model, let's name it FUD ware, that relies on bundling known, successful open source projects and claim that only your distribution is production ready and offers what the market needs. That works better if you have some influence over the community that produces the original open source project. It is not enough, that's for sure, but combined with other business models (such as 1. Support Ware or 4. Project Ware) it may make the needed difference.
A few of us however, want the original ASF distribution to be stable, secure and production ready. After a bit of a struggle I am happy we managed to get the Apache Camel community used to the idea of producing patch releases more frequently. Between Dan Kulp and myself we issued since mid April three patch releases on camel-2.7.x, camel-2.8.1 last week and camel-2.8.2 is only a few weeks away.
This way you, our users, won't have to wait at least a quarter to have your issues resolved. At the end of the day, you the users, are the Apache Camel community.