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WordPress 5.6 Release Candidate

Posted November 17, 2020 by Josepha. Filed under Development, Releases.

The first release candidate for WordPress 5.6 is now available!

This is an important milestone in the community’s progress toward the final release of WordPress 5.6.

“Release Candidate” means that the new version is ready for release, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible something was missed. WordPress 5.6 is slated for release on December 8, 2020, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.6 yet, now is the time!

You can test the WordPress 5.6 release candidate in two ways:

Thank you to all of the contributors who tested the Beta releases and gave feedback. Testing for bugs is a critical part of polishing every release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.

What’s in WordPress 5.6?

The final release of 2020 continues the annual tradition of a new default theme that is custom built to showcase the new features and functionality of the software. Continued progress on the block editor is especially clear in this release, which brings more blocks to more places, and fewer clicks to implement your layouts.

WordPress 5.6 also has lots of refinements to polish the developer experience. To learn more, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developer notes tag for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.6 and update the Tested up to version in the readme file to 5.6. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums, so those can be figured out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.6 Field Guide, due very shortly, will give you a more detailed dive into the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! This release also marks the hard string freeze point of the 5.6 release schedule.

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

WordPress 5.6 Beta 4

Posted November 12, 2020 by Josepha. Filed under Development, Releases.

WordPress 5.6 Beta 4 is now available for testing!

This software is still in development, so we recommend that you run this version on a test site.

You can test the WordPress 5.6 beta in two ways:

The current target for the final release is December 8, 2020. This is just over three weeks away, so your help is needed to ensure this release is tested properly.

Thank you to all of the contributors that tested the beta 3 development release and provided feedback. Testing for bugs is an important part of polishing each release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.

Some Highlights

Since beta 3, 42 bugs have been fixed. Here is a summary of a few changes included in beta 4:

To see all of the features for each Gutenberg release in detail, check out the release posts: 8.68.78.88.99.09.19.2, and 9.3.

Developer notes

WordPress 5.6 has lots of refinements to the developer experience. To keep up, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developers’ notes for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.

How to Help

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you!

If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

Props to @tonyamork, @audrasjb for technical notes and @angelasjin, @yvettesonneveld@cguntur, @cbringmann for final review.

WordPress 5.6 Beta 3

Posted November 2, 2020 by Chloe Bringmann. Filed under Development, Releases.

WordPress 5.6 Beta 3 is now available for testing!

This software is still in development, so we recommend that you run this version on a test site.

You can test the WordPress 5.6 beta in two ways:

The current target for the final release is December 8, 2020. This is just five weeks away, so your help is needed to ensure this release is tested properly.

Thank you to all of the contributors that tested the beta 2 development release and provided feedback. Testing for bugs is an important part of polishing each release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.

Some Highlights

Since beta 2, 20 bugs have been fixed. Here is a summary of a few changes included in beta 3:

  • Added block patterns for Twenty Twenty (see #51098) and Twenty Nineteen (see #51099) themes.
  • Added theme support for navigation-widgets (see #51445).
  • Fixed incorrect slashes in the URL if the parent is empty for REST API (see #44745).
  • Added a test to Site Health to verify that the Authorization header is working as expected for Application Passwords (see #51638).
  • 10 additional bugs fixed in the block editor (see #26588).

To see all of the features for each Gutenberg release in detail, check out the release posts: 8.68.78.88.99.09.1, 9.2, and 9.3.

Developer notes

WordPress 5.6 has lots of refinements to the developer experience as well. To keep up, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developers’ notes for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.

How to Help

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you!

If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

Props to @hellofromtonya for help and @chanthaboune  for final review.

The Month in WordPress: October 2020

Posted by Hari Shanker R. Filed under Month in WordPress.

October 2020 was a notable month for WordPress lovers, thanks to the release of several products and updates. Read on to keep up with all the latest news!


The 2020 WordPress Annual Survey is out

The team published the 2020 WordPress Annual survey —  to help those who build WordPress to understand more about our software usage and our contributors’ experience. The Annual Survey will be open for at least 6 weeks and is available in French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. The survey results (once complete) will be posted on wporg.ibadboy.net/news. The 2019 survey results have also been released and can now be viewed as slides or downloaded in PDF format

WordPress Translation celebrations spanned four weeks

The last week of September and most of October were focused on recruiting and encouraging polyglot contributors to the WordPress translation project. What was originally envisioned as a single-day event lasted 24 days! The Polyglots and Marketing Teams are exploring how future mini-events can be supported to continue building the momentum. Recordings of the live talks and interviews with contributors are available on YouTube. Write-ups from the different events are on the WPTranslationDay website

Want to help WordPress speak your own language? Follow the Polyglots team blog and join the #polyglots channel in the Making WordPress Slack group

WordPress maintenance and beta releases

The Core team released WordPress 5.5.3 on Oct. 31, following the release of Version 5.5.2 on Oct. 29. Both releases fix several bugs and security issues with WordPress. You can update to the latest version directly from your WordPress dashboard or download it now from wporg.ibadboy.net.  The team also released WordPress 5.6 Beta 1 on Oct. 20, followed by Beta 2 on Oct. 27. When ready, the final release will include improvements to the editor, auto-updates for major releases, PHP 8 support, and the Twenty Twenty One theme. You can test the Beta versions by downloading them from wporg.ibadboy.net or using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin.

Want to be involved in the next release? Follow WordPress 5.6 updates on the development cycle and sign-up for the code review/commit office hours. You can help build WordPress Core by following the Core team blog and joining the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. If you would like to help out with WordPress 5.6 outreach, contact the WordPress Marketing team on the #marketing channel.

Gutenberg 9.2 is released

Version 9.2 of the Gutenberg plugin came out on Oct. 21. This release offers support for video subtitles, the ability to transform selected blocks into the columns block, background patterns in cover blocks, along with several exciting features such as improvements to the widget screen, as well as bug fixes. You can find out more about the Gutenberg roadmap in the What’s next in Gutenberg blog post.

Want to get involved in building Gutenberg? Follow the Core team blog, contribute to Gutenberg on GitHub, and join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Learn WordPress is gearing up for launch

The Learn WordPress initiative, which offers WordPress video workshops followed by interactive discussions, is aiming to put out two courses by the end of the year as part of its full launch. The team is working on creating courses and is requesting feedback from community members on the planned list of courses.

Want to contribute to Learn WordPress? You can now submit a workshop application (submissions in non-English languages are welcome), apply to become a discussion group leader, organize discussions for your local WordPress meetup group, or update screenshots on existing lesson plans.


Further Reading:

Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it here.

See Also:

Want to follow the code? There’s a development P2 blog and you can track active development in the Trac timeline that often has 20–30 updates per day.

Want to find an event near you? Check out the WordCamp schedule and find your local Meetup group!

For more WordPress news, check out the WordPress Planet or subscribe to the WP Briefing podcast.

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