Roadmap to 6.1: Core Companion

This post is meant to supplement the broader 6.1 roadmap and focuses on features that are now planned in addition to the ones previously worked on that now have clarity and momentum. Please take both posts into consideration when thinking about the upcoming release cycle and where you might be able to get involved. Keep in mind that for much of what’s mentioned in this post, work will continue beyond 6.1 and into future releases, providing ample opportunity to contribute. 

For more information about current feature projects, check out the Feature Projects overview page

Theme Improvements

This year’s default theme is further embracing 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 by offering various opinionated style variations from community members. This will give more folks a chance to enjoy the latest and greatest. Read the latest update here announcing the 10 style variations planned for Twenty Twenty-Three. 

Outside of the default theme, the following improvements are also underway and help set the tone for additional changes: 

Performance initiatives 

Various performance initiatives are underway including, but not limited to the following: 

You can also explore other ongoing efforts being explored in the Performance Lab plugin to test the modules to get their benefits before they become available in WordPress CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.. Join #core-performance to get involved. 

PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 or higher 8.2 compatibility 

The work is continuing to improve compatibility with PHP 8.0 and 8.1 while also preparing for PHP 8.2 due out at the end of November. While 6.1 won’t be PHP 8.2 compatible, efforts are still needed today to get us there in future releases. To get involved with this work, please review the overarching tracking issue, the current open issues, and join #core-php.

Rollback and PluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party Dependencies 

In an effort to offer a more robust rollback and dependencies experience when a problem is encountered during an update, work is underway to test the current experience in hopes of being incorporated into Core. 

Specifically, hosting feedback is needed but all contributions are welcomed. You can find the Plugin Dependencies feature plugin here. Please put comments, feedback, bugs, etc. as new issues in the Plugin Dependencies repo and join #core-auto-updates.

Keep in mind that the rollback work is for plugins and themes whereas the dependencies is just for plugins currently. 

Site Health Improvements

To help guide more folks to upgrade their versions of PHP and offer more relevant warnings about high urgency issues, messaging improvements are in progress; please follow along in this trac issue and join #core-site-health.

Introducing and refining hooksHooks In WordPress theme and development, hooks are functions that can be applied to an action or a Filter in WordPress. Actions are functions performed when a certain event occurs in WordPress. Filters allow you to modify certain functions. Arguments used to hook both filters and actions look the same.

Since Hooks continue to make up the foundation for how plugins and themes interact with WordPress Core, work continues to expand and refine what’s offered both to allow Core to accomplish more and for extenders to do the same. For 6.1, this includes the following:

REST APIREST API The REST API is an acronym for the RESTful Application Program Interface (API) that uses HTTP requests to GET, PUT, POST and DELETE data. It is how the front end of an application (think “phone app” or “website”) can communicate with the data store (think “database” or “file system”) Improvements

Since the REST API is the foundation of the WordPress block editor and provides a way for you to create your own interface, work continues to expand what’s possible when interacting with your site’s data:

For more information about the REST API, please review this developer documentation and join #core-restapi.

Miscellaneous improvements and bugbug A bug is an error or unexpected result. Performance improvements, code optimization, and are considered enhancements, not defects. After feature freeze, only bugs are dealt with, with regressions (adverse changes from the previous version) being the highest priority. fixes

While some work fits nicely into general categories, there’s plenty more work underway that cuts across many different parts of the WordPress ecosystem. This includes everything from database component items to internationalization to Cron API and more. For a full list of what’s planned for 6.1, please review this trac query.

If any efforts were not mentioned here that should be, please leave a comment below so we can all be made aware. 

Thanks to @cbringmann @annezazu @sergeybiryukov for helping craft and review this post.