From February 1st, 2017, when the brand new "Community Engineering" team was founded, until today (April 20th), we have merged more than 300 Pull Requests submitted by community members into the Magento 2 develop branch (in nearest future next minor/major release 2.2.0).
But what about the 2.1.x release? It is the current release and it would be great to have the ability to accept Pull Requests directly into patches, especially since the majority of issues logged in GitHub are related to 2.1.x versions. Together with Sustaining Engineering and the Operations team we were working on opening our "hidden development patch branch" and establishing release procedures to allow accepting Pull Requests.
We are now happy to share with the Community that we have started accepting Pull Requests into the 2.1-develop branch, which eventually will be included in upcoming 2.1.x patch releases.
Important rule: Any Pull Requests into 2.1-develop must also have a similar Pull Request into the develop branch. Pull Requests must include the link to the Pull Request in the other branch.
Exception to the above rule: If the issue is applicable to 2.1-develop, but it is *not* reproducible in develop, or the improvement is not required for develop (due to other changes), then the develop Pull Request is not required. In this case, an appropriate comment must be added in the Pull Request.