WordPress 5.3 Planning Roundup

In CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. chat, I shared three potential target dates if we wanted to have one last release in 2019. There were pros and cons to each*, but after a lot of discussion and outreach it seems that the November date is the most comfortable option.

Proposed WordPress 5.3 Schedule

To give everyone a concept of what those target dates along the way will be, I’d like to suggest these (and open the comments for discussion):

  • BetaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. 1: 23 September, 2019
  • Release Candidaterelease candidate One of the final stages in the version release cycle, this version signals the potential to be a final release to the public. Also see alpha (beta).: 15 October, 2019
  • General Release: 12 November, 2019

For some context, the dates I’m trying to avoid in November are the week of the 4th (for post-WCUS recovery), and the week of the 25th (US Thanksgiving). The 11th of November is also an observed holiday in some countries. Let me know if I missed anything.

Proposed WordPress 5.3 Scope

I’ve asked most component maintainers for an idea of what could be included in a release during this timeframe. Most of these updates are focused on polishing current interactions and making the UIs more user friendly. Some highlights are:

  • Grouping: support for dividing your page into sections
  • Motion: support for visual motion when moving/arranging blocks
  • Column patterns and widths: support for fixed column widths, and predefined layouts
  • Big images: support for saving progress after a big image fails to upload
  • Media accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility): some fixes and a lot of polish as a result of the a11yAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) audit
  • PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 7.4: support for the new version coming late in November
  • And also: Build/Test updates, better administration of emails, and a lot of under the hood improvements!

Proposed WordPress 5.3 Leads

This section is still pending some answers. I will fill it in as I get Yeses and Noes from people. 🙂

  • Editor Tech:
  • Editor Design:
  • Core Tech:
  • Theme:
  • Docs coordinator:
  • Marketing/Release Comms:
  • Triagetriage The act of evaluating and sorting bug reports, in order to decide priority, severity, and other factors. PM:
  • Release coordinator:

*The Pro and Con Summary

  • The October target feels too soon, especially with summer holidays, pre-WCUS traveling/prep/etc, and multiple events that would take contributors time. But it does let us get in all the fresh updates that have happened in the past 10 GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ releases.
  • The November target is after WCUS, but should land squarely before the holiday gauntlet. It is later than October and those updates are piling up, but it also gets us ready for PHP 7.4 coming at the end of November.
  • The December target is very far away, and we would want a minor before then (discussions of that minor have been colored by concerns with complexity). We could probably keep this target as a backup in case November goes sour. 🙂

#5-3 #planning