A Plan for 5.0

Usually during major releases of WordPress, the dedicated release lead chooses a few folks to help them through the time-consuming work of managing an excellent release cycle. We are blessed with such a wide and talented team working on this release in the form of Gutenberg (and 4.9.x) for so long I’m going to expand the team for this cycle.

The adoption of the Gutenberg plugin, at 490 thousand active sites and counting, far exceeds pre-release testing of anything that has ever come into core. If we keep the 5.0 release to strictly 4.9.8 + Gutenberg, we will have a release that is both major and a non-event in terms of new code. It’s all battle-tested. In some ways 5.0 is already de facto out in the wild, with some forward-looking hosts already installing and activating Gutenberg for new installs.

I have asked several members of the WordPress community to help lead the critical focuses required for a smooth and successful release.

Triage: @matveb has the most context, history, and technical acumen in the entire Gutenberg project and is best suited to help triage open and remaining issues.

Design: While the majority of the design work in the block editor is already complete, there will be many aspects of the merge that will require design decisions. @karmatosed will continue her role as the design lead of the Gutenberg project.

Default Themes: From Twenty Ten through to Twenty Seventeen, @laurelfulford will lead updating all of the default themes to work seamlessly with Gutenberg.

Twenty Nineteen: @allancole has already been involved with a number of beautiful Gutenberg themes and will be responsible for adapting the one we’ll dub Twenty Nineteen.

Accessibility: @lonelyvegan is a member of the Gutenberg core team and has worked on many of the accessibility improvements in the Gutenberg plugin. (We’ve gotten feedback it’s already surpassed the classic editor in many ways.) 

JavaScript Packages: @omarreiss will be responsible for integrating the packages published on NPM, a new approach Gutenberg has taken that ties us much more to the wider Javascript community and has even inspired other CMSes such as Drupal to explore Gutenberg integration.

Media: @antpb will shift from 4.9.9 to focusing on all elements of the media component, including backwards compatibility.

Merge: @pento, known for his care and discretion in making changes and a long history with core, will generally shepherd the merge.

Project Management: @chanthaboune has been a close collaborator on the WordCamp and Foundation side and will be lending those talents here.

REST API: @danielbachhuber returns to a starring role with the REST API improvements we learned from building Gutenberg, and didn’t get into a 4.9.x release already, into core.

Upgrade Process: @mcsf will lead the user experience of how the core upgrade will interact with the Gutenberg and Classic Editor plugins that will have over a million active sites by the time of release.

With known knowns and known unknowns, I believe we will be at RC in about a month. However, I’ll be keeping a close eye on feedback during the beta process and adjust as needed and keep the community fully up-to-date with our best estimate.

This post was written using Gutenberg, natch, and it was such a pleasure. I can’t wait for this to be in the hands of a wider audience of users and developers.

See also: Technical Oversight of the Gutenberg Integration.