BuddyPress 1.2, the last major point release of BuddyPress, was released on February 16, 2010. After 17 months without a major release, the next major release has been deemed 1.5 (skipping over 1.3 and 1.4) and the first beta release is now available.
BuddyPress developer John James Jacoby (who you likely remember from his work with bbPress) explained the jump in version number as a way to best follow the path WordPress itself has taken:
We do our best to mirror the WordPress development cycles as closely as possible – maybe a little too closely. Back in 2004, WordPress went through a growth spurt of its own, going 9 months between major releases (also between versions 1.2 and 1.5) so we are doing the same, and skipping ahead to 1.5 ourselves.
The absence of a major point release the last year and a half doesn’t mean the BuddyPress dev team hasn’t been hard at work. Since that 1.2 release almost 792 tickets were closed, nearly 494 confirmed bug fixes, and 2,161 total code changes.
Along with being faster, more efficient, and more secure, the new version of BuddyPress comes with a new version of the BP Default theme. It’s currently running on testbp.org, if you’d like a taste.
So have a look at the beta on Trac if you’re a developer or a brave user (which means don’t use it on a live site yet) and report any bugs you might find. The plan is for the beta to last a few weeks with the final coming out by the end of August. While you’re at it give the BuddyPress team a round of applause for their hard work.