We've spent all day working on timeouts and failures in web services that we're testing against so we're not going to have time to get beta1 out the door before people have to leave work today. New estimate for beta1 is Monday of next week.
If we get it out the door then, we should be able to avoid slipping the rest of the release schedule (we're at two weeks of bugfixing with backports from devel to the stable-2.8 branch at this point in the schedule). The only things that we'll be missing by having to slip until Monday is (1) testing over the weekend by people who use the beta1 tarball and (2) having all the backports against stable-2.8 merged into the tree. (there's currently 3 backports to stable-2.8 in the queue).
If more unexpected delays occur, then we'll re-evaluate whether we should change the schedule to allow more testing to occur.