The initial steps towards the release of WordPress 6.5 are underway, along with the major updates it will incorporate.
Hello, I’m Javier Casares, and you’re listening to WordPress Podcast, bringing the weekly news from the WordPress Community.
You’ll find updates from December 4 to 10, 2023.
Starting with WordPress 6.4.2, a security and maintenance update of WordPress that primarily fixes a potential vulnerability and mainly affects the combination of plugins and WordPress Multisite. This update only applies to WordPress 6.4, not to previous versions.
Regarding the release of WordPress 6.4, we now have a retrospective summary, highlighting suggestions for future versions, such as maintaining the community’s wish list, forming launch teams during the previous cycle for better coordination, and posting blog updates for each new feature or major change.
It’s also proposed to add minor releases between major ones, focusing equally on fixing old bugs and on new features, and dedicating Core sessions to testing releases.
Participants expressed that following the development cycle as new contributors is challenging. WordPress contributor mentorship programs are planned to coincide with major releases, providing documentation and support. The shorter development cycle felt rushed for feature development and testing, hence an extended roadmap for 2024 is proposed.
Looking ahead, Gutenberg 17.2 has already landed, bringing some interesting features, like the ability to drag an entire block or template into the document header or footer, or an improvement in the toolbar appearance in distraction-free mode.
And watch out for emails, because, as always in the computers’ world, when a tool becomes popular, cyber scams begin. In this case, it’s happening with emails supposedly coming from the WordPress security team.
Remember that all messages sent should be digitally signed, and you can find all the messages on the WordPress team blogs.
But without a doubt, the most interesting announcement is the WordPress 6.5 roadmap, with the release planned for March 26, 2024.
What can we expect from this new version? The list is not short:
- Complete typography management from the Font Library.
- Support in classic themes for Appearance Tools.
- A much more detailed and visual Change History, including template and template part revisions.
- The Interactivity API.
- The Custom Field API.
- PHP compatibility will be a major issue.
- And Rollback for plugins and themes will help in case of update errors.
The Core team has announced that the minimum MySQL version will move from 5.0 to 5.5 with the arrival of WordPress 6.5.
But that’s not the only announcement. A proposal that has been discussed since the launch of the Twenty Twenty-Four theme is to create a working team for the default WordPress themes.
Maintaining all the themes, from Twenty Ten to Twenty Twenty-Four, requires a lot of time, dedication, and compatibility to work with all WordPress versions. There are more than 400 tickets related to the themes, with small or significant improvements that can’t be carried out due to the focus on advancing WordPress’s own development.
On the Developers Blog, a tutorial has been published explaining how to create a block theme from scratch, similar to how it was done with Underscores for classic themes.
The Create Block Theme plugin is based on the same principle, and it is frequently updated to include new WordPress and Gutenberg functionalities.
Thanks to this, without coding knowledge, you can clone a theme, add styles, rewrite global styles, or create a child or empty theme.
The Design team has presented some proposals, like improving image dragging into the Editor; this was already possible, but now it allows dragging to a specific part of a block, adding images within the header as an icon, for example.
Another change is in the lightboxes, which could allow for captions; improvement of social icons; simplification of the navigation menu and breadcrumbs; or establishing a single button size in the toolbar.
A change already in progress is the listing of data, for example, posts, pages, or media, which is worked on in grid mode and not list, focusing on the highlighted visual element.
The Meta team has announced the possibility of activating Plugin previews from the Advanced Panel and using the blueprint.json file.
The Training Team has announced the start of using YouTube as a video provider instead of WordPress TV, although the videos will be on both platforms.
This will allow videos to be embedded directly from YouTube, enabling better video accessibility, automatic subtitles, better analytics data, and possibly greater visibility of training courses.
It seems that BuddyPress will finally launch version 12 on December 11, a week later than planned, to finish some details related to compatibility with Twenty Twenty-Four and a bug detected in the Activity system.
And the call for speakers for WordCamp Europe 2024 is now open. With 45-minute long talks, 10-minute flash talks, or 1-hour workshops, and on virtually any topic, anyone can apply and has time until the end of 2023, because the deadline is December 31.
Thanks for listening, and until the next episode!