Astute testers may have noticed a new feature in WordPress 4.7 beta 1 that enabled users to search, preview, and install themes from within the customizer. This feature was part of five feature projects related to the customizer that were approved for merge last month. Its goal is to unify the theme browsing and customizing experience.
- Displaying on mobile devices is broken.
- Inability to close the feature/filter accordion.
- Checkmarks are overlayed on top of the search form.
- The full-screen plus reload experience isn’t polished.
According to Hou-Sandí, there is not enough time left in the development cycle to polish the design and make it sufficient for WordPress 4.7. Nick Halsey, who helps maintain the Customizer component, expressed displeasure with the decision.
“Abruptly deciding to pull something without allowing any opportunity to improve things or even bring it up in a weekly dev chat is ridiculous,” Halsey said.
“Had I been asked to provide patches for outstanding bugs (one of which never even received a ticket), I would have gladly done so sooner – this was my highest priority for core for the past 4 months.”
Halsey goes on to say that the revert is disrespectful and insulting to him and that he is unlikely to further contribute to the project until it is back in trunk. Samuel Sidler, Apollo Team Lead at Automattic, responded to Halsey supporting Hou-Sandí’s decision.
“Making a decision to pull a highly visible feature is hard, but, as you know, it’s ultimately one that the release lead should make as it’s their release and they have the best overall view,” Sidler said.
Weston Ruter, who also helps maintain the Customizer component, asked if the revert could be reversed if patches to outstanding issues were created.
“No – if this were a matter of problems that have defined solutions already then the course of action would not have been a revert,” Hou-Sandí responded. “I know that it would feel better to have something more than ‘my gut and the guts of others say no’, but if there was more definition to the problems then we may not have been in a position where reverting from this release was the only sane thing to do.”
The feature has been punted and the milestone was changed from WordPress 4.7 to a Future Release.
A Window Into How WordPress Development Works
The quotes I published above are only part of the story. I highly encourage you to start with this post and read every response in full. It’s a great opportunity to see a WordPress release lead in action and how and why certain decisions in WordPress development are made. Those interested in the feature’s progress can follow along by monitoring this ticket.