WordPress 5.9 Planning Roundup

Happy September no matter where you are in the world! Since we’re halfway through the alpha period for the next big release of WordPress, it’s time to gather all the pieces of planning into one place. This post will include all the best guesses and targets for dates, features, and squads.

This release will follow the same general cadence as the other releases this year, with a long alpha period (132 days) and a short 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. period (14 days) before the 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). phase.

Proposed WordPress 5.9 Schedule

These are my best guesses at the milestones:

MilestoneDateDays from
Alpha (trunktrunk A directory in Subversion containing the latest development code in preparation for the next major release cycle. If you are running "trunk", then you are on the latest revision. open for 5.9 release)June 30, 2021
Go/no go DateOctober 12, 2021
October 14, 2021
104 days after Alpha
Feature freeze/Bug FixesNovember 9, 202142 days after go/no go
Beta 1November 16, 20217 days after Feature Freeze
Release Candidate 1November 30, 202114 days after Beta 1
General releaseDecember 14, 202114 days after RC1
WP5.9 Schedule

This schedule puts Beta 1 the week of a major US holiday and a few major commerce dates worldwide. It does avoid putting RC1 during that week.

Proposed WordPress 5.9 Scope

The main goal for 2021 is getting full site editing to all WordPress users. For WP5.9 the following features are in the suggested roadmap:

  • Blocks + intrinsic web design
  • Navigation menus
  • Interface for theme.jsonJSON JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a minimal, readable format for structuring data. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML.
  • Refining editing flows for blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. themes
  • New default theme
  • Additional design tools

There are also a few roadmap hopefuls out there.

  • Pattern insertion + creation
  • Unzip/Rollback Failsafes
  • PHPUnit Tests
  • Improved compatibility with PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 or higher 8.0 and 8.1

Proposed WordPress 5.9 Leads

  • Release LeadRelease Lead The community member ultimately responsible for the Release.: Matt Mullenweg
  • Release Coordinators:
  • Triagetriage The act of evaluating and sorting bug reports, in order to decide priority, severity, and other factors. Lead:
  • Editor Tech:
  • Editor Design:
  • CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. Tech:
  • Theme Lead:
  • Technical Writer: Jonathan Bossenger
  • Docs Lead:
  • Marketing & Comms: Josepha Haden
  • 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) Lead:
  • Test Lead:

How to help!

I think we will need a slightly larger release squad for this final release of the year, so I’m opening calls for volunteers. As we approach the go/no go date and get a better idea of what features will really land in the release, we’ll get more squad leads assigned.

However, there are a couple of roles we really could use some volunteers for right now:

  1. Triage Lead
  2. Release Coordinators

If you’re interested in lending a hand, please share your interest in the comments!

Props to @francina for early versions of this post, and @jeffpaul + @desrosj for wrestling calendars with me.

#5-9, #planning