There will be no alpha release of Evergreen 2.9. With the beta release scheduled to coincide with the monthly maintenance releases next week on Wednesday, August 19, there is little point in doing an alpha release right now.
This message is also meant to serve as a reminder of the beta release and to encourage everyone to have a look at the bugs targeted for the beta. You can find the list of them here:
The beta is the cut off point for new features. These are bugs with a "Wishlist" importance in Launchpad, though some of the "Undecided" bugs may fall into that category as well. Any new features not merged by the time the beta is cut will need to wait until the next major release.