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WordPress 4.8 will be the first “major” releaseRelease A release is the distribution of the final version of an application. A software release may be either public or private and generally constitutes the initial or new generation of a new or upgraded application. A release is preceded by the distribution of alpha and then beta versions of the software. of 2017 and generally aims to refine existing features and set the foundation for the Gutenberg, the next-generation editor. Additional specific goals include the TinyMCE inline element / link boundaries, new media widgets, WYSIWYGWhat You See Is What You Get What You See Is What You Get. Most commonly used in relation to editors, where changes made in edit mode reflect exactly as they will translate to the published page. in text widgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user., and the WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. / meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. dashboard upgrade to the “news” section. Matt Mullenweg is the Release LeadRelease Lead The community member ultimately responsible for the Release. for 4.8.

Of note, WordCamp Europe will be from June 15-17. This tends to involve travel for a number of people and reduced activity; therefore, we should proceed as if there will only be the initial 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).. The feature project merge deadline listed is a final deadline; all features and larger efforts should be continuously evaluated for readiness.

Release Schedule

December 7, 2016 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. is open for business. (Post-4.7)
May 3, 2017 4.8 Kickoff meeting.
May 10, 2017 (+1w) Last chance to merge feature projects.
May 12, 2017 (+2d) 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.
From this point on, no more commits for any new enhancements or feature requests in this release cycle, only 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 and inline documentation. Work can continue on enhancements/feature requests not completed and committed by this point, and can be picked up for commit again at the start of WordPress 4.9.
May 19, 2017
May 22, 2017 (+10d)
Beta 2.
May 25, 2017 (+6d) Release candidate and soft string freeze.
June 1, 2017 (+1w) Final release candidate if needed and hard string freeze.
June 7, 2017 (+6d) Dry run for release of WordPress 4.8 and 24 hour code freeze.
June 8, 2017 (+1d) Target date for release of WordPress 4.8.

Contributing

To get involved in WordPress coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. development, head on over to TracTrac An open source project by Edgewall Software that serves as a bug tracker and project management tool for WordPress. and pick a 4.8 ticket. Need help? Check out the Core Contributor Handbook. Get your patches done and submitted as soon as possible, then drum up people to test the patches and leave feedback on the ticketticket Created for both bug reports and feature development on the bug tracker.. Patches for enhancements won’t be committed after the posted dates, so that we can all focus on squashing bugs and hopefully deliver the most bug-free WordPress to date. If you want to dive deeper into 4.8, development is discussed at a weekly meeting in the #core SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. channel and occurs next at Wednesday at 20:00 UTC. Wish us luck!