5.2.3 Release Planning

You may have noticed discussions in devchat the last month or so* around timeframes for 5.3 later this year as well as working to release a 5.2.3 sooner than that due to resolved defects waiting to be released. This proposal provides an opportunity for us to release 5.2.3 in the nearer term while others begin to shift their focus to 5.3. Read on to see the proposed focus and timeline for 5.2.3!

Proposed focus

Along with the items already milestoned for 5.2.3, we can look into including items related to the PHP version bump coming in 5.3, backporting some block editor features, as well as improving accessibility and RTL issues. Issues noted below are linked to Trac and include their summary and related keywords for quick review.

The following relate to the PHP version bump:

  • #47160: Backport blocking of plugin updates if required PHP version is not supported [defect] [2nd-opinion] [needs-patch]
  • #47699: Remove redundant JSON polyfills for PHP native functionality [enhancement] [has-patch] [has-unit-tests] [needs-dev-note]
  • #47797: Provide compatible core update for users not on PHP >= 5.6 [enhancement] [has-patch] [needs-testing]

The following, along with any backported Gutenberg items, relate to improvements in the block editor:

  • #45739: Block Editor: $editor_styles bug. [closed] [defect]
  • #45935: A URL in do_block_editor_incompatible_meta_box function does not have classic-editor__forget parameter [closed] [defect]
  • #47079: Incorrect version for excerpt_allowed_blocks filter [closed] [defect]
  • #47216: Block Editor crashes on custom post types without title support [closed] [defect]
  • #47489: Emoji are substituted in preformatted blocks [closed] [defect]

The following relate to improvements across the accessibility and RTL focuses:

  • #30506: RTL: Hours and minutes fields order reversed in post editing [closed] [defect]
  • #46757: Media Trash: The Bulk Media options when in the Trash shouldn’t provide two primary buttons [closed] [defect]
  • #46758: Media Trash: Primary button(s) should be on the left [closed] [defect]
  • #46899: Ensure that tables generated by the Settings API have no semantics [closed] [defect]
  • #46978: Remove title attributes from the Meta widget [closed] [defect]
  • #47113: Media views: dismiss notice button is invisible [closed] [defect]
  • #47122: Media views: fix unlabelled controls [closed] [defect]
  • #47141: Radio and checkbox labels rely on implicit association [closed] [defect]
  • #47145: Feature Image dialog does not follow the dialog pattern [closed] [defect]
  • #47386: Fix headings hierarchy in the legacy Custom Background and Custom Header pages [closed] [defect]
  • #47390: Improve accessibility of forms elements within some “form-table” forms [closed] [defect]
  • #47458: Fix tab sequence order in the Media attachment browser [closed] [defect]
  • #47502: Media modal bottom toolbar cuts-off content in Internet Explorer 11 [closed] [defect]
  • #47603: My account toggle on admin bar not visible at high zoom levels [closed] [defect]
  • #47688: Color hex code in color picker displayed in RTL instead of LTR on RTL install (take 2) [closed] [defect]
  • #47693: customizer Color picker should get closed when click on color picker area. [closed] [defect]
  • #47758: Font sizes on installation screen are too small [closed] [defect]

While we haven’t historically handled default theme-related changes in a minor release, the following are also potentially viable and related to Block Editor and Accessibility improvements as well:

  • #47190: Twenty Seventeen: Native audio and video embeds have no focus state. [closed] [defect]
  • #47340: Twenty Nineteen: Revise Latest Posts block styles to support post content options. [closed] [defect]
  • #47414: Twenty Seventeen: Button block preview has extra spacing within button [closed] [defect]
  • #47543: Twenty Seventeen: buttons don’t change color on hover and focus [closed] [defect]

Proposed timeline

Proposed timeline for this minor release is as follows:

I recognize that the release is the week of the US Labor Day holiday, but hopefully we can keep roughly to this timeframe so that we don’t drag on too long into September and further disrupt plans on 5.3.

Actions needed

We’ll want to confirm this focus, timeline, and release lead(s) for 5.2.3 in devchat. So please comment on this post or come to devchat prepared to discuss, thanks!

Update on 15 August 2019

Note that from yesterday’s devchat that we’ve agreed to exclude the two “remove” related tickets from the proposed list of items in 5.2.3. I’ve gone ahead and used strikethrough on those in the listing above.

We’re working to capture release lead(s) nominations, so please add those to this post, yesterday’s devchat summary post, or come to next week’s devchat to nominate a lead. You’re welcome to nominate yourself or someone else. We plan to confirm release lead(s) in next week’s devchat and then work to confirm the 5.2.3 timeline.

Update on 27 August 2019

Note that during today’s bugscrub that we decided to skip RC2 as there are no new commits since RC1 and no regressions reported against RC1. We will continue with the remaining timeline and planned release on September 4, 2019 at 17:00 UTC.

* see: June 26th, July 3rd, July 10th, July 17th, July 31st, and August 7th.

#5-2-3, #planning

WordPress 5.3 Planning Roundup

In Core 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):

  • Beta 1: 23 September, 2019
  • Release Candidate: 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 accessibility: some fixes and a lot of polish as a result of the a11y audit
  • PHP 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:
  • Triage 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 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

WordPress 3.6 Planning Session

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays! We’re back to our regularly scheduled IRC meetings tomorrow, and are going to start by scoping and planning out the 3.6 cycle. Wednesday, Jan 2, 21:00 UTC. Please make every effort to attend! The theme I’m proposing for 3.6 is “Content Editing”, so especially start thinking about editing, editorial workflows, revisions, autosave, DFW, etc. Also be thinking about what you’d like to work on and how much time you can commit this cycle.

#3-6, #irc, #planning

Core Team Meetup Recap – Part I

As most people know, the core team (leads, primary committers, Matt) is having its annual meetup this week, packed into a house in Tybee Island, GA with an hour by hour schedule to try to get through as many things as we can. We’ll try to do recaps of everything we talk about to keep everyone in the loop (feel free to ask questions in the comments).


Matt, Mark Jaquith, Westi and I arrived (well, they arrived; I live here) on Monday and had a day to plan out the agenda topics and work out how we wanted to schedule the week. Â Rather than plot out a unique schedule every day, we put together a repeatable pattern for morning and afternoon that looked like this:

Schedule chart

For the record, “Break” means “Check email, catch up on Trac tickets, etc,” not, “Hang out on the couch watching Hulu.”

On Tuesday we also took a field trip to buy a cable modem capable of handling the bandwidth increase we’d ordered. That night, everyone else arrived: Nacin, Koop, Dion (dd32), Andrew (azaozz), and Jon (duck_). We had dinner at the Crab Shack and planned an early start on Wednesday.


Wednesday was our first day as a full group. We followed the schedule fairly well, though as always with us, some things took longer than expected. 🙂

Breakfast: We went to eat at the Breakfast Club, where a bunch of the guys had Blackhawk burritos in honor of our absent member, Ryan Boren.

Our first main topic was a 3.3 debrief to discuss for about 45 minutes how the 3.3 development cycle went. (Going to split out the notes from these sessions into separate posts, or this post will be a mile long.)

After that we had breakout sessions, where the intention was for smaller groups to brainstorm/discuss an issue, then come up with a proposal/recommendation to present to the group. The two topics were QA and Updates (specifically the road to auto-updating and how we could get there). Mark assigned people to each session and half the group went upstairs. Coincidentally, that was the UPdates group. (sorry) Afterward, we regrouped and caught each other up on our proposals.

Lunch: Blackhawk burritos keep you full for days, so people just made sandwiches.

Round 2 started bringing in @ryan via Skype video from his home in Texas. The main discussion centered on our development cycle/release process/scoping/timelines. We discussed a number of things we could try to keep the cycles more consistent, reduce bottlenecks, and improve accountability.

Dinner: It was my birthday, so we all went to the Tybee Island Social Club for “Winesday” and continued our talks about everything from the wordpress.org site to growing local developer and user communities. There may be a picture of Koop and/or Nacin wearing a child’s birthday hat. Mark Jaquith has the footage.


Breakfast: Miscellaneous breakfast stuff at the house. Pretty sure there was a bunch of bacon involved.

Morning session: Plugins, plugins, plugins. You name it, we talked about it. Findability in the directory, improving the repo and developer experience, plugin review, encouraging collaboration, 3rd party repos, communication with authors, and more.

Both breakout sessions were plugin-centric. In addition to general recommendations, each subteam was required to identify two discrete action items to help us move forward in their assigned area. One subteam (Me, Westi, Jon Cave, Andrew Ozz) was focused on planning upcoming wordpress.org sites in the Make and Learn areas, while the other (Matt, Nacin, Koop, Dion, Mark) focused on improving the directory.

This day we did an actual fun outing to get us out of our chairs and away from the laptops for a bit, and went out on a boat for an hour so the guys could get a tour of the river/marsh and hit the ocean as we looped past the Cockspur Lighthouse.

Core team, on a boat

Dion (dd32) and Matt

Mark and his lens


Matt and Cockspur Lighthouse, Tybee Island

After the boat, we went to lunch at North Beach Grill. There were conversations about infrastructure, performance, automated testing, and crawfish poppers. Before going back to the house, we did a 5-minute walk down to the water.

Westi on the beach

In the afternoon, rather than doing another block of heavy discussions, everyone worked on their computers. Some of you may have had some issues accessing svn etc last night, and so did we. So that took a while. After that it was general hackery and miscellaneous discussions about functions, bugs, and the usual things wp devs talk about when they are together. This lasted into the evening, so instead of going out to dinner we ordered pizza from Huc-a-Poo’s and kept working.


Today we’re having a modified schedule because Westi leaves to go home this evening, so we’re trying to get certain things finished before he leaves. We’ll be working this afternoon from a coworking space in downtown Savannah, and will be recording video responses to some of the questions on the forum thread I posted last week. If bandwidth supports it, we’ll livestream this while we record, and could possibly take more questions from people in #wordpress-dev. If we do it, we’ll use the Ustream “WordPress” user channel, and it will be mid-afternoon eastern time (maybe around 3pm?). Once we get there after lunch and can tell if the livestreaming will work, I’ll post on this blog with the verdict.

Off to Friday’s sessions! We’ll start posting the session writeups as time allows, but will get them all up there no later than the end of next week (there are a lot of notes).

#wptybee, #meetup, #planning