1.6.8 release for backported fixes?

At one point there was the suggestion that the JRuby dev team might
accept community help in continuing maintenance releases of the JRuby
1.6.x series. I noticed that the jruby-1_6 branch already has several
un-released fixes applied. On top of this I have been able to backport
many additional fixes from master, for a total of 47 bugs fixed since Would the JRuby team consider an official 1.6.8 release that
is something like this, perhaps reduced if any of these fixes aren’t
conservative enough? Might I be able to help further, such that this
wouldn’t be a significant distraction from the great work you are doing
on 1.7?

Are there JRuby users besides myself that would welcome such a release
and be likely to deploy it, prior to a final/stable 1.7.0 release?

Github pull request with the cherry-picks:

There are 12 fixes already applied to the 1.6.8.dev versioned jruby-1_6
branch, shown here in order applied, with jira bug titles:

JRUBY-6497 Unable to convert varargs into String on JRuby 1.9 mode
JRUBY-6518 Array#combination returns unexpected value when argument
number too big.
JRUBY-6522 ThreadLocal RubyEncoding.UTF8_CODER leaks class loader
JRUBY-6541 DRb::DRbIdConv difference between 1.8 and 1.9
JRUBY-6344 Embedded \r should not be treated as end of comment line
JRUBY-6544 Introduce ability to provide a file system abstraction for
each Jruby session.
JRUBY-4502 Wrong gzip data crashes JRuby
JRUBY-6580 performance drop with threadsafe autoloading for JRuby 1.6.6.
JRUBY-6612 some problems with JRuby seeming to not detect Java Long
arithmetic overflows
JRUBY-6661 strftime should behave the same for datetime and time
JRUBY-6619 NoMethodError ‘upcase’ on Java string
JRUBY-6607 TCPSocket connect failure inside Timeout leaves orphaned

To this I was able to cherry-pick the following 35 fixes from master
with zero conflicts and with all tests passing for each addition:

JRUBY-6489 FileLock.release() throwing
JRUBY-6538 ‘obj !~ thing’ is not the same as obj.send(:!~, thing)
JRUBY-6560 File.expand_path for path starting with “jar:file:” fails
JRUBY-6496 Kernel#Hash
JRUBY-6559 ZLib buggy handling in 1.6.7
JRUBY-6570 autoload :Time, ‘time’ doesn’t work
JRUBY-5863 Named captures cause crash when there is no match
JRUBY-6576 Using a shared listener socket causes
java.nio.channels.IllegalBlockingModeException exceptions to be raised
JRUBY-6571 StackOverflow when calling java.util.regex.Matcher#end
JRUBY-4843 COPYING file is (partially) incorrect and outdated
JRUBY-6624 File#exists? cannot find file in JAR
JRUBY-6626 [Ruboto] ThreadContext throws NPE in finalizer
JRUBY-6634 String.new(string) does not seem to clone the input
JRUBY-6611 LoadServiceResource Opens But Never Closes InputStreams When
Constructed With a URL
JRUBY-6641 Java Exceptions Can Only Be Rescued if First in Exception
List When Running in Interpreted Mode
JRUBY-6633 gcc 4.7 compilation fails
JRUBY-6464 Use ‘mvn versions:set -DnewVersion=’ instead of our
Ruby rake code for updating poms
JRUBY-6642 RubyException.printBacktrace omits the first line
JRUBY-6517 StringIO#ungetc issue on JRuby 1.6.6 and 1.6.7 in 1.8.7 mode
JRUBY-6248 thread leak
JRUBY-6708 NullPointerException instead of proper exceptions output
JRUBY-6703 Remove Enumerable#join from 1.9 mode
JRUBY-6677 open(“|something”, “w”) does not open in write mode
JRUBY-6706 Collections.shuffle works incorreclty on Ruby arrays
JRUBY-6728 Rails Mailer fails on
JRUBY-6745 ClassCastException calling Fixnum#== with a Java Integer
JRUBY-6725 NameError: uninitialized constant RubyVM
JRUBY-6724 NO_FILE_CLASS Profile does disables File but not FileStats
that depends on File
JRUBY-6722 Can’t instantiate ThreadGroup subclass with arguments
JRUBY-6753 class_eval should inherit name from the caller
JRUBY-6775 RubyRandom is not thread-safe
JRUBY-6785 NoMethodError calling callMethod on instance of reopened Java
JRUBY-6731 Can’t load class files in WARs compiled by warbler using
jruby 1.7.0.preview1
JRUBY-6395 Coerce Fixnum to Number
JRUBY-6514 java.lang.NullPointerException when using ScriptingCotainer
from an Appletjava.lang.NullPointerException