: I'm new to this list, so please excuse me if I'm asking in the wrong
you're definitely in the right place.
: - Are there any planned Solr releases for this year?
: - What are the planned release dates/contents, etc.?
releases aren't really planned .. they happen when the software is in a
state that the development community feels like it should be released.
: - Are there any "beta" releases to work with in the meantime?
there are automated builds of the "trunk" that happen nightly, you can
always use these to test out new features that have been added since the
most recent release, but features (and APIs) can and do change on the
trunk so don't assume that once something exists in a nightly build that
it will definitely be in the next release.