The date for the WordPress 3.9 release has now been set for April 15th, which coincides with tax day in the US. American developers may want to do their taxes early, because the 3.9 release schedule will be keeping everyone busy. Tentative dates for the 4.0 and 4.1 releases are mid-August and early December, respectively.
The second order of business during the regularly scheduled WordPress dev meeting this week was to discuss feature plugins that might be in the mix for 3.9.
Possible Feature Plugins for 3.9
Shaun Andrews mentioned that the Widgets UI Refresh team is working on the Widget Customizer and believes it will be ready for 3.9. The Widget Customizer plugin offers live previews of widgets while you edit them and is available on WordPress.org if you’d like to help test it.
Shaun Andrews’ Better Widgets plugin may also have enough momentum to make it into the 3.9 merge. These two widget-related plugins were the only ones mentioned in the meeting that might be ready for the feature review and merge process in 3.9, which should happen at the end of January into early February. The plugins are not guaranteed to be in 3.9 but they do have strong possibilities.
Iterative Enhancements for Existing Features
In addition to feature plugins, Nacin also identified a few areas where WordPress 3.9 could stand to iterate on previous releases: “Things like audio/video, even the theme browsing experience to the theme installer, are iterative and could totally take place in 3.9.” This is important because we can’t always focus on building shiny new features without looping back around to improve the ones we already have.
The development meeting concluded with a brainstorming session on how to make it easier for people to contribute to WordPress. All of the recent improvements to trac, especially the new reports and keyword designations, should help contributors to isolate and find tickets that they can jump in on.