As many maintainers of Istio know, the Istio project has been busy working on a next-generation installation technology originally targeted for 1.2. The TOC has indicated the next-gen installation tech is not ready for 1.2 and I concur. It is more important as a project that we ship quality, correct code then ship fast.
https://github.com/istio/installer will continue to be developed fast and furiously with a goal of entering production ready state for 1.3. For now, our objectives as a workgroup are to get the next gen installer to alpha state for 1.2.
The existing installer will continue to be maintained in 1.2. For contributors that have been sending PRs to installer.next but not the existing installer, please submit PRs to the main Istio repository covering your work if you think it is mandatory for 1.2.
The hard freeze on installation changes that has been in effect for several months is lifted for mandatory installation capabilities. If the master installer is broken in some way please submit a PR to fix it, it will be reviewed and merged as per our normal processes.
For folks in the installer OWNERS file, please spend time reviewing installation PRs to master. Please familiarize yourself with the automatic backport functionality, as it will make life much easier to track and manage the backports from master to 1.2.