WordPress 6.5 Release Retrospective

Congratulations to all who helped make WordPress 6.5! Now that it has launched, I invite you to reflect and share your thoughts on the release process and squad to learn, iterate, and improve for future releases. 

Whether you led, contributed, tested, followed along—whatever your role, even if you didn’t have one—you are welcome to participate in this retrospective. So please take a moment to complete the form or leave public feedback in the comments below.

Please note: the survey is not anonymous. That’s in case a relevant person wants to reach you for further clarification. But your email address will not be shared publicly, and nobody is going to use it for any other purpose.

The form and comments will be open until April 26th, 2024. Shortly thereafter, you’ll see a follow-up post with collected, anonymized results.

Again, thank you for your contributions to 6.5 “Regina,” and for taking the time to help make future releases even better!


Props to @akshayar and @marybaum for the peer review

#6-5 #retrospective

#core, #release-process

WordPress 6.5 release delayed 1 week

Based on community feedback on the Unblocking WP6.5 – Font Library and Synced Pattern Overrides and Font Library follow up posts, there has been a change to the WordPress 6.5 release schedule and a final change to the Font Library. 

The release of WordPress 6.5 will be delayed one week and is now scheduled for release on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024.

The delay is to accommodate the following:

  • The directory for font storage will be changed to wp-content/uploads/fonts.
  • The Editor team will work on including fixes for a select few high impact bugs that have been identified with the Font Library feature in the upcoming 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/ 18.0.0 release. This ensures they will receive some testing before being considered for merge into trunk prior to WordPress 6.5 RC4.
  • An unplanned WordPress 6.5 RC4 is now scheduled for release on 28 March 2024 at 16:00 UTC with the updated font storage location and any other related bugs deemed critical to the release. This will be a normal 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)., with the announcement being published on the WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ News blogblog (versus network, site) for extra reach.
  • The 1 week delay allows for ample time for testing, acknowledging that Thursday-Monday is a major holiday for parts of the globe.

Why the change?

This approach ensures that the greatest number of sites possible can benefit from the new Font Library feature without the need to install or configure anything.

While attempting to implement the originally suggested compromise, the sentiment from the trusted contributors involved was that a solution could not be shipped with a level of confidence that meets the standards that core contributorsCore Contributors Core contributors are those who have worked on a release of WordPress, by creating the functions or finding and patching bugs. These contributions are done through Trac. https://core.trac.wordpress.org. hold themselves to in the remaining time before the originally scheduled release.

After evaluating the potential options and discussing the proposed solution, the most risk averse option was determined to be storing fonts in the wp-content/uploads/fonts directory.

Shipping a feature that requires additional configuration or technical knowledge isn’t in line with the guiding philosophies that have helped the project mature into the successful project that exists today. Part of the original post was a call to return back to those project philosophies, and something this change attempts to adhere to.

The Dry run post will be updated to reflect the schedule for the new release date of 2 April.

Post release

Following the 6.5 release, these items detailed in the original post should still be explored:

  • A roadmap will be published outlining where the project components are headed in relation to establishing new first-class concepts outside of previously established paradigms within the software (like breaking down themes into fonts, patterns, templates, etc.). Why was this such an important and impactful decision? What is the goal we are trying to accomplish? And how might it present itself again in the future?
  • A means to move the canonical location of the fonts directory. Should the wp-content directory become writable for a site, a safe path forward should be offered for its owners.
  • Explore whether additional checks should be added to Site Health.

Props to @desrosj, @davidbaumwald,@hellofromtonya, @chanthaboune, @peterwilsoncc, @priethor, @jorbin, @annezazu, @akshayar, & @courane01 for pre-publish review.

#6-5, #core, #release-process

WordPress 6.5 Release Day Process

UPDATE: Following Font Library-related discussion the release party has been rescheduled to April 2nd, 2024.

Preparation for the WordPress 6.5 release is underway.

This post shares the release process, including the timeline and how you can help.

Release Timeline Overview


Dry Run

The Dry Run is a key event as a final walk-through for the final release. As noted above, this is scheduled on April 1, 2024 in the #core Slack channel.

What happens usually during the dry run?

  • Bug reports are reviewed to determine if any are critical to warrant another RCrelease 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). (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).).
  • Checks and any necessary updates are made in the src/wp-adminadmin (and super admin)/includes/update-core.php file.
  • Pre-release scripts are run to ensure test suites, coding standards, and other automated checks pass.

If the results are acceptable, the release will go into a 24-hour code freeze period.

24-Hour Code Freeze 

After the dry run and before the release party starts, a mandatory 24-hour code freeze goes into effect.

What does this mean? No source code for 6.5.0 (i.e., in the 6.5 branchbranch A directory in Subversion. WordPress uses branches to store the latest development code for each major release (3.9, 4.0, etc.). Branches are then updated with code for any minor releases of that branch. Sometimes, a major version of WordPress and its minor versions are collectively referred to as a "branch", such as "the 4.0 branch".) can be changed during these 24 hours.

What happens if a critical 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. is reported during this period? The release squad will meet with committers and maintainers to determine if the issue is a blockerblocker A bug which is so severe that it blocks a release..

  • If yes, another RC release happens, and the release process restarts (meaning the dry run is repeated, and then the 24-hour code freeze clock restarts).
  • If not, then the bug is targeted for 6.5.1.

The Release Party 📅

The WordPress 6.5 Release Party will start on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 at 18:00 UTC in the  #core Slack channel.

The release party walks through the steps in the Major Version Release process for anyone who wants to follow along.

Please note releasing a major version requires more time than releasing a 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. or release candidate. There are more steps in the process. If any last-minute issues need addressing, more time will be needed.

How You Can Help

A key part of the release process is checking that the ZIP packages work on all the available server configurations. If you have some of the less commonly used servers available for testing (IIS, in particular), that would be super helpful. Servers running older versions of PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 or higher and MySQLMySQL MySQL is a relational database management system. A database is a structured collection of data where content, configuration and other options are stored. https://www.mysql.com/. will also need testing.

You can start this early by running the WordPress 6.5 RC4 packages, which are built using the same method as the final packages.

During the release party, options will be provided on how to help test the release package.

Tips on What to Test

In particular, testing the following types of installs and updates would be much appreciated:

  • Does a new WordPress install work correctly? This includes running through the manual install process, as well as WP-CLIWP-CLI WP-CLI is the Command Line Interface for WordPress, used to do administrative and development tasks in a programmatic way. The project page is http://wp-cli.org/ https://make.wordpress.org/cli/ or one-click installers.
  • Test upgrading from 4.0.38, 4.9.22, 5.8.6, 5.9.5, 6.0.3, 6.2.2, 6.3.0, 6.4.0, 6.4.1, 6.4.2 and 6.5 RC3, as well as any other versions possible.
  • Remove the wp-config.php file and test a fresh install.
  • Test single site and multisitemultisite Used to describe a WordPress installation with a network of multiple blogs, grouped by sites. This installation type has shared users tables, and creates separate database tables for each blog (wp_posts becomes wp_0_posts). See also network, blog, site/networknetwork (versus site, blog) (both subdirectory and subdomain) installations.
  • Does it upgrade correctly? Are the files listed in $_old_files removed when you upgrade?
  • Does multisite upgrade properly?

Testing the following user flows on both desktop and mobile would be great to validate each function as expected:

  • Publish a post, including a variety of different blocks.
  • Comment on the post.
  • Install a new 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 WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party/theme, or upgrade an existing one.
  • Change the site language.
  • If you’re a plugin developer, or if there are complex plugins you depend upon, test that they’re working correctly.

For a more in-depth list of what features to test, make sure to check the Help Test WordPress 6.5 post.


Thanks to @davidbaumwald, @priethor for the peer review.

#6-5, #core, #release-process

WordPress 6.4 Release Day Process

Preparation for the WordPress 6.4 release is completed. This post shares the release process, including the timeline and how you can help.

Release Timeline Overview

  • The Dry Run completed on Monday, November 6, 2023. ✅
  • The 24-hour code freeze started on Monday, November 6, 2023, at 18:00 UTC  ✅
  • The release party is planned for . 📅

Dry Run ✅

The Dry Run is a key event as a final walk-through for the final release. As noted above, this was hosted on November 6 in the #core Slack channel.

What happens usually during the dry run?

  • Bug reports are reviewed to determine if any are critical to warrant another RCrelease 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). (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).).
  • Checks and any necessary updates are made in the src/wp-adminadmin (and super admin)/includes/update-core.php file.
  • Pre-release scripts are run to ensure test suites, coding standards, and other automated checks pass.

Since the results were acceptable, the release went into a 24-hour code freeze period.

24-Hour Code Freeze ✅

After the dry run and before the release party starts, a mandatory 24-hour code freeze goes into effect.

What does this mean? No source code for 6.4.0 (i.e., in the 6.4 branchbranch A directory in Subversion. WordPress uses branches to store the latest development code for each major release (3.9, 4.0, etc.). Branches are then updated with code for any minor releases of that branch. Sometimes, a major version of WordPress and its minor versions are collectively referred to as a "branch", such as "the 4.0 branch".) can be changed during these 24 hours.

What happens if a critical 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. is reported during this period? The release squad will meet with committers and maintainers to determine if the issue is a blockerblocker A bug which is so severe that it blocks a release..

  • If yes, another RC release happens, and the release process restarts (meaning the dry run is repeated, and then the 24-hour code freeze clock restarts).
  • If not, then the bug is targeted for 6.4.1.

The Release Party 📅

The WordPress 6.4 Release Party will start on Tuesday, November 7 at 18:00 UTC in the #core Slack channel.

The release party walks through the steps in the Major Version Release process for anyone who wants to follow along.

Please note releasing a major version requires more time than releasing a 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. or release candidate. There are more steps in the process. If any last-minute issues need addressing, more time will be needed.

How You Can Help

A key part of the release process is checking that the ZIP packages work on all the available server configurations. If you have some of the less commonly used servers available for testing (IIS, in particular), that would be super helpful. Servers running older versions of PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 or higher and MySQLMySQL MySQL is a relational database management system. A database is a structured collection of data where content, configuration and other options are stored. https://www.mysql.com/. will also need testing.

You can start this early by running the WordPress 6.4 RC4 packages, which are built using the same method as the final packages.

During the release party, options will be provided on how to help test the release package.

Tips on What to Test

In particular, testing the following types of installs and updates would be much appreciated:

  • Does a new WordPress install work correctly? This includes running through the manual install process, as well as WP-CLIWP-CLI WP-CLI is the Command Line Interface for WordPress, used to do administrative and development tasks in a programmatic way. The project page is http://wp-cli.org/ https://make.wordpress.org/cli/ or one-click installers.
  • Test upgrading from 4.0.38, 4.9.22, 5.8.6, 5.9.5, 6.0.3, 6.1.3, 6.2.2, 6.3.0, 6.3.1, 6.3.2 and 6.4 RC3, as well as any other versions possible.
  • Remove the wp-config.php file and test a fresh install.
  • Test single site and multisitemultisite Used to describe a WordPress installation with a network of multiple blogs, grouped by sites. This installation type has shared users tables, and creates separate database tables for each blog (wp_posts becomes wp_0_posts). See also network, blog, site/networknetwork (versus site, blog) (both subdirectory and subdomain) installations.
  • Does it upgrade correctly? Are the files listed in $_old_files removed when you upgrade?
  • Does multisite upgrade properly?

Testing the following user flows on both desktop and mobile would be great to validate each function as expected:

  • Publish a post, including a variety of different blocks.
  • Comment on the post.
  • Install a new 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 WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party/theme, or upgrade an existing one.
  • Change the site language.
  • If you’re a plugin developer, or if there are complex plugins you depend upon, test that they’re working correctly.

For a more in-depth list of what features to test, make sure to check the Help Test WordPress 6.4 post.


Thanks to @meher, @rmartinezduque, @hellofromtonya and @akshayar for the peer review

#6-4, #core, #release-process

WordPress 6.3 Release Day Process

Preparation for WordPress 6.3 final release is underway. This post shares the release process, including the timeline and how you can help. The post will be kept up to date as the release process evolves.

Release Timeline Overview

The current plan is as follows:


Dry Run ✅

The Dry Run is a key event as a final walk-through for the final release. As noted above, the current plan is to start it on 2023-08-07 16:00. You are invited to observe and/or participate. It’ll happen in the #core Slack channel.

What happens during the dry run?

  • Review 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. reports to determine if any are critical to warrant another RCrelease 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). (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).).
  • Checks and any necessary updates are made in the src/wp-admin/includes/update-core.php file.
  • Pre-release scripts are run to ensure test suites, coding standards, and other automated checks pass.

If the results are acceptable, the release goes into a 24-hour code freeze period.

24-Hour Code Freeze ✅

After the dry run and before the release party starts, a mandatory 24-hour code freeze goes into effect.

What does this mean? No source code for 6.3.0 (i.e., in the 6.3 branchbranch A directory in Subversion. WordPress uses branches to store the latest development code for each major release (3.9, 4.0, etc.). Branches are then updated with code for any minor releases of that branch. Sometimes, a major version of WordPress and its minor versions are collectively referred to as a "branch", such as "the 4.0 branch".) can be changed during these 24 hours.

What happens if a critical bug is reported during this period? The release squad will meet with committers and maintainers to determine if the issue is a blockerblocker A bug which is so severe that it blocks a release..

  • If yes, another RC release happens, and the release process restarts (meaning the dry run is repeated, and then the 24-hour code freeze clock restarts).
  • If not, then the bug is targeted for 6.3.1.

The Release Party 📅

EDIT: The Release Party will finally start on 2023-08-08 19:00 UTC

The release party on August 8th will start no sooner than 24h after the code freeze starts, with the exact time to be determined accordingly. You are invited to observe and/or participate. It’ll happen in the #core Slack channel.

The release party walks through the steps in the Major Version Release process for anyone who wants to follow along.

Please note releasing a major version requires more time than releasing a 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. or release candidate. There are more steps in the process. If any last-minute issues need addressing, more time will be needed.

How You Can Help

A key part of the release process is checking that the ZIP packages work on all the available server configurations. If you have some of the less commonly used servers available for testing (IIS, in particular), that would be super helpful. Servers running older versions of PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 or higher and MySQLMySQL MySQL is a relational database management system. A database is a structured collection of data where content, configuration and other options are stored. https://www.mysql.com/. will also need testing.

You can start this early by running the WordPress 6.3 RC3 packages, which are built using the same method as the final packages.

During the release party, options will be provided on how to help test the release package.

Tips on What to Test

In particular, testing the following types of installs and updates would be much appreciated:

  • Does a new WordPress install work correctly? This includes running through the manual install process, as well as WP-CLIWP-CLI WP-CLI is the Command Line Interface for WordPress, used to do administrative and development tasks in a programmatic way. The project page is http://wp-cli.org/ https://make.wordpress.org/cli/ or one-click installers.
  • Test upgrading from 4.0.38, 4.9.22, 5.8.6, 5.9.5, 6.0.3, 6.1.3, 6.2.2, and 6.3 RC3, as well as any other versions possible.
  • Remove the wp-config.php file and test a fresh install.
  • Test single site and multisitemultisite Used to describe a WordPress installation with a network of multiple blogs, grouped by sites. This installation type has shared users tables, and creates separate database tables for each blog (wp_posts becomes wp_0_posts). See also network, blog, site/networknetwork (versus site, blog) (both subdirectory and subdomain) installations.
  • Does it upgrade correctly? Are the files listed in $_old_files removed when you upgrade?
  • Does multisite upgrade properly?

Testing the following user flows on both desktop and mobile would be great to validate each function as expected:

  • Publish a post, including a variety of different blocks.
  • Comment on the post.
  • Install a new 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 WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party/theme, or upgrade an existing one.
  • Change the site language.
  • If you’re a plugin developer, or if there are complex plugins you depend upon, test that they’re working correctly.

For a more in-depth list of what features to test, make sure to check the Help Test WordPress 6.3 post.


Thanks to @chanthaboune for the peer review

#6-3, #core, #release-process

Proposal: improve the editor tech workflow for major releases

Following on from this conversation, let’s look at how this process can be run more smoothly!

The Problem

Updating coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. with the latest features from the 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/ 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 WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party almost always causes problems and delays at release time. Historically, it has been done in a large batch just before 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, and the volume of changes means there is a high probability of something going wrong in the process.

A brief look through the “retrospective“ tag shows this has been a major releasemajor release A release, identified by the first two numbers (3.6), which is the focus of a full release cycle and feature development. WordPress uses decimaling count for major release versions, so 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, and 3.1 are sequential and comparable in scope. pain point for a while.

The idea of syncing Gutenberg code to core earlier in the release cycle has often been mentioned as a way to fix or at least ease the pain of this process: by merging new features into core as they are developed, it’s possible to fix any bugs identified during the process as they are caught, the new features get a little extra testing in 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., and most importantly, the risk of things going wrong on the eve of major release milestones is substantially reduced, with much less stress for all involved.

So, let’s get doing this! But… why has this idea been recurrently mentioned as a good solution, and still not implemented?

The answer lies mostly in the Gutenberg development process, and its differences from the rest of core.

Iterative code

Developing features in Gutenberg often starts as a quick, messy experimental process, before stabilising into mature, tested, shippable code. And there are multiple features simultaneously in development, which means that at any given point, there is some amount of unstable code in the plugin, which is undesirable to have in core. 

The good news is that there are mechanisms already available to avoid merging unstable code into core: using the IS_GUTENBERG_PLUGIN flag means that code won’t run in core. The historical __unstable and __experimental prefixes previously used in functions are being replaced with a private APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways. system that makes experimental code inaccessible to extenders.

These mechanisms are not uniformly enforced during development though, and this is where there is some room for improvement. Whereas it’s possible to measure things like code coverage, there is no good way to automate checking whether code is otherwise stable or not, so implementation is largely up to individual contributors. Here is where documentation of expectations for the development process might be useful, so folks are aware that these rules exist and why.

Package ecosystem problems

Given that core largely consumes Gutenberg code in the shape of npm packages, there are occasional hiccups due to breaking changes in dependencies that are only noticed in core. This is because the package install process pulls the latest versions of all nested dependencies that might have not yet been updated in Gutenberg. This is the sort of problem that would hugely benefit from being detected early on, so that Gutenberg code can be updated to support the breaking changes.

One thing that could help here is regenerating the package-lock file in Gutenberg and committing it back to the repo when packages are published, so that any updated dependencies can be tested as part of the plugin release process.

Fixing dependency-related breakage also needs to be prioritised, and often during the Alpha part of the cycle developers are busy building out features so it’s easy for these bugs to slip between the cracks.

One thing that could mitigate this issue is nominating the release team (or at least the editor tech part of the team) for the next release before the current release ships. The overlap would allow for handover, so the new team is aware of any pending issues that didn’t get solved during the previous cycle, and able to coordinate fixing them, or at least not be tripped up by unexpected bugs. This means there will always be someone with ownership of the process to follow up with these issues.

Release cycle timing

Another point to consider is that the core workflow of committing changes to trunk before backporting them to the release branchbranch A directory in Subversion. WordPress uses branches to store the latest development code for each major release (3.9, 4.0, etc.). Branches are then updated with code for any minor releases of that branch. Sometimes, a major version of WordPress and its minor versions are collectively referred to as a "branch", such as "the 4.0 branch"., is an impediment to updating packages in trunk with the latest changes from Gutenberg until after the stable release ships. This is because the package updates for the release during Beta/RCrelease 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). will be committed to trunk, and those package versions have only the 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 necessary for the release. 

This may not be a huge problem though, as starting the sync process only after the stable release still leaves plenty of time for testing and solving any issues.

To summarise: what needs to be done in order to successfully start syncing core and Gutenberg earlier in the release cycle?

  • On the Gutenberg side, make sure all experimental/unstable code is made private and/or put behind a feature flag;
  • On the release organisation side, have some overlap between release teams so handover is easier and ownership of ongoing issues isn’t dropped.

Further suggestions, problems, feedback and ideas are very welcome!

Thanks to @andrewserong, @ramonopoly and @mamaduka for reviewing this post and @0mirka00 and @noahtallen for the package-lock suggestion 🙂

#block-editor, #gutenberg, #release-process

WordPress 6.2 Release Day Process

Preparation for WordPress 6.2 final release is underway. This post shares the release process, including the timeline and how you can help. The post will be kept up to date as the release process evolves.

Release Timeline Overview

The current plan is as follows:


Dry Run

The Dry Run is a key event as a final walk-through for the final release. As noted above, the current plan is to start it on 2023-03-27 16:00. You are invited to observe and/or participate. It’ll happen in the #core Slack channel.

What happens during the dry run?

  • Review 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. reports to determine if any are critical to warrant another RCrelease 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). (release candidate).
  • Checks and any necessary updates are made in the src/wp-admin/includes/update-core.php file.
  • Pre-release scripts are run to ensure test suites, coding standards, and other automated checks pass.

If the results are acceptable, the release goes into a 24-hour code freeze period.

24-Hour Code Freeze ⌛

After the dry run and before the release party starts, a mandatory 24-hour code freeze goes into effect.

What does this mean? No source code for 6.2.0 (i.e., in the 6.2 branchbranch A directory in Subversion. WordPress uses branches to store the latest development code for each major release (3.9, 4.0, etc.). Branches are then updated with code for any minor releases of that branch. Sometimes, a major version of WordPress and its minor versions are collectively referred to as a "branch", such as "the 4.0 branch".) can be changed during these 24 hours.

What happens if a critical bug is reported during this period? The release squad will meet with committers and maintainers to determine if the issue is a blockerblocker A bug which is so severe that it blocks a release..

  • If yes, another RC release happens, and the release process restarts (meaning the dry run is repeated, and then the 24-hour code freeze clock restarts).
  • If not, then the bug is targeted for 6.2.1.

The Release Party 📅

UPDATE: Following a regression fixed during code freeze and the restart of the code freeze clock, the release party has been rescheduled to 2023-03-29 17:00 UTC

The release party on March 28th 29th will start no sooner than 24h after the code freeze starts, with the exact time to be determined accordingly. You are invited to observe and/or participate. It’ll happen in the #core Slack channel.

The release party walks through the steps in the Major Version Release process for anyone who wants to follow along.

Please note releasing a major version requires more time than releasing a 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. or release candidate. There are more steps in the process. If any last-minute issues need addressing, more time will be needed.

How You Can Help

A key part of the release process is checking that the ZIP packages work on all the available server configurations. If you have some of the less commonly used servers available for testing (IIS, in particular), that would be super helpful. Servers running older versions of PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 or higher and MySQLMySQL MySQL is a relational database management system. A database is a structured collection of data where content, configuration and other options are stored. https://www.mysql.com/. will also need testing.

You can start this early by running the WordPress 6.2 RC3 packages, which are built using the same method as the final packages.

During the release party, options will be provided on how to help test the release package.

Tips on What to Test

In particular, testing the following types of installs and updates would be much appreciated:

  • Does a new WordPress install work correctly? This includes running through the manual install process, as well as WP-CLIWP-CLI WP-CLI is the Command Line Interface for WordPress, used to do administrative and development tasks in a programmatic way. The project page is http://wp-cli.org/ https://make.wordpress.org/cli/ or one-click installers.
  • Test upgrading from 4.0.38, 4.9.22, 5.8.6, 5.9.5, 6.0.3, 6.1.1, and 6.2 RC4, as well as any other versions possible.
  • Remove the wp-config.php file and test a fresh install.
  • Test single site and multisitemultisite Used to describe a WordPress installation with a network of multiple blogs, grouped by sites. This installation type has shared users tables, and creates separate database tables for each blog (wp_posts becomes wp_0_posts). See also network, blog, site/networknetwork (versus site, blog) (both subdirectory and subdomain) installations.
  • Does it upgrade correctly? Are the files listed in $_old_files removed when you upgrade?
  • Does multisite upgrade properly?

Testing the following user flows on both desktop and mobile would be great to validate each function as expected:

  • Publish a post, including a variety of different blocks.
  • Comment on the post.
  • Install a new 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 WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party/theme, or upgrade an existing one.
  • Change the site language.
  • If you’re a plugin developer, or if there are complex plugins you depend upon, test that they’re working correctly.

Thanks to @cbringmann and @hellofromtonya for the peer review

#6-2, #core, #release-process

Proposal: Updates to the WordPress Release Cycle

What is Feature Freeze

In the WordPress release cycle, feature freeze happens when the first 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. version is released. “Feature freeze” means that development of new features and enhancements ends, and work continues on testing them and fixing bugs. They have to be ready for testing and committed to coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. before the freeze, before Beta 1 is released.

Exceptions to Feature Freeze

Changing tickets from “enhancementenhancement Enhancements are simple improvements to WordPress, such as the addition of a hook, a new feature, or an improvement to an existing feature.” to “task” right before Beta 1 is an exception that has been used for many years. It was strictly for new features and substantial enhancements that weren’t ready in time for beta, and needed a few more days to get completed and committed (thus delaying their testing to Beta 2). The intent was to allow another two or three days, not a week or two. This exception used to happen quite rarely, perhaps a few times per year.

However lately this exception has become part of the standard release workflow. In recent years, it’s become common for 15 to 20 tickets for code coming from 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/ to be changed to tasks each release. The reason they are changed is not to give the developers a few more days to complete them. It is mostly to signify that they are going to be committed later.

Why Gutenberg Merges Are Different

The new features and enhancements coming from Gutenberg have already been tested. I think everybody would agree that testing in Gutenberg releases is quite better and more efficient than testing in core 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. beta releases:

  • The Gutenberg plugin is used on over 300,000 sites, including some huge sites like WordPress.com.
  • According to recent stats at least 60% of these sites are rapidly updated to the newest version of the 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 WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party.

So the new features and enhancements that are in a Gutenberg release are being tested on at least 180,000 sites, and by well over 180,000 users, mostly in a production environment. For comparison, there are usually only a few thousand installs for beta releases.

It seems the WordPress release workflow should adapt to these changes in the development process: synchronizing code between two repositories, new Gutenberg releases every two weeks, etc. Using the old “change enhancements to tasks” exception shouldn’t be necessary for code that has already been released and tested in Gutenberg. However, it still makes sense for feature development that happens on TracTrac An open source project by Edgewall Software that serves as a bug tracker and project management tool for WordPress..

New Ticketticket Created for both bug reports and feature development on the bug tracker. Type: Gutenberg merge

I’d like to propose to stop changing tickets from “enhancement” to “task” before beta when the code has been sufficiently tested in Gutenberg.

Based on the above plugin installation stats it seems that a sufficient time for testing in a Gutenberg release would be one week. Ideally, all code coming from Gutenberg would meet this criteria, regardless of the WordPress release cycle stage (alpha, beta, or RCrelease 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).). An exception would be when committing 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 that can be tested simultaneously in Gutenberg and core beta/RC releases.

To easily distinguish these tickets maybe a new ticket type can be introduced. Perhaps “Gutenberg merge” or “Gutenberg sync”? Alternatively, the existing gutenberg-merge keyword could be used, although it would be somewhat less noticeable.

For example:

Feedback

I realize that this proposal affects only a small part of the community, primarily frequent core contributorsCore Contributors Core contributors are those who have worked on a release of WordPress, by creating the functions or finding and patching bugs. These contributions are done through Trac. https://core.trac.wordpress.org., committers, and release leads. But I still think it is best to propose it here in the interest of openness, and for documentation purposes.

If you have thoughts about how new Gutenberg features are handled with regard to “feature freeze” during the beta stage of the release cycle, please share them in the comments below.

Thanks @peterwilsoncc, and @ironprogrammer for the review and suggestions.

#proposal, #release-process

WordPress 6.1 Release Day Process

Preparation for WordPress 6.1 final release is underway. This post shares the release process, including the timeline and how you can help. The post will be kept up to date as the release process evolves.

Release Timeline Overview

The current plan is:

Edit History

  • October 27th: Dry Run was rescheduled to start earlier, as proposed in #6-1-release-leads.
  • October 31st: Provided RC6 launch, 24-hour code freeze start time, and release party start time.

Dry Run ✅

The Dry Run is a key event as a final walk-through for the final release. As noted above, the current plan is to start it on 2022-10-31 14:00. You are invited to observe and/or participate. It’ll happen in the #core Slack channel.

What happens during the dry run?

  • Review 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. reports to determine if any are critical to warrant another RCrelease 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). (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).).
  • Checks and any necessary updates are made in the src/wp-admin/includes/update-core.php file.
  • Pre-release scripts are run to ensure test suites, coding standards, and other automated checks pass.

If the results are acceptable, the release goes into a 24-hour code freeze period.

24-Hour Code Freeze⏳

After the dry run and before the release party starts, a mandatory 24-hour code freeze goes into effect. This locking period started on 2022-10-31 23:29.

What does this mean? No source code for 6.1.0 (i.e., in the 6.1 branchbranch A directory in Subversion. WordPress uses branches to store the latest development code for each major release (3.9, 4.0, etc.). Branches are then updated with code for any minor releases of that branch. Sometimes, a major version of WordPress and its minor versions are collectively referred to as a "branch", such as "the 4.0 branch".) can be changed during these 24 hours.

What happens if a critical bug is reported during this period? The release squad will meet with committers and maintainers to determine if the issue is a blocker.

  • If yes, another RC release happens, and the release process restarts (meaning the dry run is repeated, and then the 24-hour code freeze clock restarts).
  • If not, then the bug is targeted for 6.1.1.

The Stable Release Party 📅

The final release will occur on 2022-11-01 23:30 in #core.

The release party on November 1st will start no sooner than 24h after the code freeze starts, with the exact time to be determined accordingly. You are invited to observe and/or participate. It’ll happen in the #core Slack channel.

The release party walks through the steps in the Major Version Release process for anyone who wants to follow along.

Please note releasing a major version requires more time than releasing a 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. or release candidate. There are more steps in the process. If any last-minute issues need addressing, more time will be needed.

How You Can Help

A key part of the release process is checking that the ZIP packages work on all the different server configurations available. If you have some of the less commonly used servers available for testing (IIS, in particular), that would be super helpful. Servers running older versions of PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 or higher and MySQLMySQL MySQL is a relational database management system. A database is a structured collection of data where content, configuration and other options are stored. https://www.mysql.com/. will also need testing.

You can even start this early by running the WordPress 6.1 RC3 packages, which are built using the same method as the final packages.

During the release party, options will be provided on how to help test the release package.

Tips on What to Test

In particular, testing the following types of installs and updates would be much appreciated:

  • Does a new WordPress install work correctly? This includes running through the manual install process, as well as WP-CLIWP-CLI WP-CLI is the Command Line Interface for WordPress, used to do administrative and development tasks in a programmatic way. The project page is http://wp-cli.org/ https://make.wordpress.org/cli/ or one-click installers.
  • Test upgrading from 4.0.37, 4.9.22, 5.8.6, 5.9.5, 6.0.3, and 6.1 RC3, as well as any other versions possible.
  • Remove the wp-config.php file and test a fresh install.
  • Test single site and multisitemultisite Used to describe a WordPress installation with a network of multiple blogs, grouped by sites. This installation type has shared users tables, and creates separate database tables for each blog (wp_posts becomes wp_0_posts). See also network, blog, site/networknetwork (versus site, blog) (both subdirectory and subdomain) installations.
  • Does it upgrade correctly? Are the files listed in $_old_files removed when you upgrade?
  • Does multisite upgrade properly?

Testing the following user flows on both desktop and mobile would be great to validate each function as expected:

  • Publish a post, including a variety of different blocks.
  • Comment on the post.
  • Install a new 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 WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party/theme, or upgrade an existing one.
  • Change the site language.
  • If you’re a plugin developer, or if there are complex plugins you depend upon, test that they’re working correctly.

Props to @desrosj and @zoonini for peer review.

#6-1, #core, #release-process