I am not sure if we formally defined the terms "alpha" and "beta" for
Hadoop 2, but my understanding of them agrees with the general definitions
on the web.


   - Early version for testing - integration with downstream, deployment
   - Not feature complete
   - No compatibility guarantees yet


   - Feature complete
   - API compatibility guaranteed
   - Need clear definition for other kinds of compatibility (wire,
   client-dependencies, server-dependencies etc.)
   - Not ready for production deployments


   - Ready for production
   - All the usual compatibility guarantees apply.

If there is general agreement, I can work towards getting this into our

Branching at beta time seems reasonable.

Overall, are there any incompatible changes on trunk that we wouldn't be
comfortable shipping in 3.0.0. If yes, do we feel comfortable shipping
those bits ever?