One of the most anticipated features of WordPress 3.6 was the new Post Formats UI which would have exposed the feature to users who may not have known of its existence. Unfortunately, near the tail end of development for 3.6, Mark Jaquith made the announcement that the feature would be exiting core and that the work involved would most likely end up as a plugin. This generated a lot of mixed reviews from developers. In the midst of all the discussion, Mark Jaquith stated that he would publish a postmortem to explain the lessons learned.
WordPress 3.7 is around the corner and we have yet to see the postmortem post, or a post formats UI plugin for that matter. I managed to get in touch with Mark Jaquith, who is an incredibly busy man, to find out what the status was on the post as well as the plugin. Mark tells me that he is working on the blog post that will explain the WordPress 3.6 development cycle, the lessons learned, and the struggles the team had during this time. The post will also cover the new approach to feature development that WordPress is now embracing with features being developed as plugins first. For those that will be attending WordCamp London on November 23 and 24th, Mark will be giving a presentation that shares the lessons learned in 3.6.
The reason for the delay in getting this information out to the public is that Mark is not an employee that gets to work on WordPress full-time. He was the lead developer for 3.6 and while trying to ensure the project stayed on time, he also had to make a living through his consultancy business. Some of his projects were even pushed back to make room for 3.6 development. To put it mildly, the 3.6 development process took a lot out of the man and he’s been playing catch up ever since.
Mark concluded the email with his main takeaway of the post formats UI.
With regards to post formats UI, the main takeaway I had was that the approach we took was the wrong approach and I didn’t really see that until very late in the process. So if or when the post formats UI feature gets taken back up in plugin form (in 3.9 or later), it will be a fresh effort, not one based on the work we did in 3.6. I am also watching the content creation experience efforts to see how that might play in.
We’ll be keeping an eye out for the post and will link to it once it’s published. Thanks to Mark Jaquith for not only providing me with this update, but for all the hard work he did to lead the team to get 3.6 out the door.
I’d been keeping an eye out for that postmortem as well; thanks for doing the digging and getting this information public.