I have decided to move the release of Zhou forward two weeks. This decision was taken for mainly two reasons: to give us time to focus on exams, and because the nature of Stoffi's release system encourages it.
To start with, the exams for this period actually occured a few weeks before the first half of the semester is over. I had anticipated that the exams would be held a few weeks later and thus coincide with the beta period of Zhou, effectively giving us time to decrease our time and focus on Stoffi and let us move on to our other courses.
But this didn't happen. Instead we now have to study for exams at the same time that we need to put in the final code for the features of Zhou before it hits feature freeze. Not a very ideal situation. By moving Zhou forward two weeks I am giving everyone extra, unplanned time during which they can either recover from lost time (if they fell behind their Stoffi schedule because they focused on other courses) or take a break from Stoffi in order to pass their exams.
Secondly, the very nature of how Stoffi's releases are organized encourages parallell development. That is, Stoffi loves it when there's one version in beta, being tested and translated, while another version is in alpha, being under heavy development.
Our old schedule had Qin enter alpha right after Zhou entered Stable. Instead, the two versions will now overlap. At the same time I added one extra week to Qin alpha, so the two versions will overlap with a total of three weeks.
So, I hope everyone will enjoy their extra time. And hopefully we will all be able to both pass all our respective courses while delivering code of high quality to the Zhou version.
Good luck on the exams!