WordPress 4.8 kicked off in this week’s core developer meeting and the schedule for the upcoming release is now published. Beta 1 is scheduled for May 12 and the official release is targeted for June 8. This will be the first major release in 2017 and is focused on laying the foundation for the new Gutenberg editor. The schedule identifies the features that contributors are aiming to ship in 4.8:
- TinyMCE inline element / link boundaries
- New media widgets
- WYSIWYG in text widget
- WordCamp / meetup dashboard upgrade to the “news” section
Several contributors expressed concern during the meeting about the compressed timeline, as both the beta and RC testing times have roughly half the time they have been given in the past. Also, the release’s close proximity to WordCamp Europe, which officially begins activities the following week, presented additional concerns about the added workload of a release within the May/June timeframe.
“I think people are thinking of this as a normal release, a train leaving the station that a bunch of stuff (multisite! meta!) has to get on to make it in,” 4.8 release lead Matt Mullenweg said. “I agree that needs a much longer timeframe.
“What is really going on is that we have a few simple, already working as plugin enhancements that add a few files, and we want to get those in the hands of users sooner rather than later. We already update TinyMCE all the time. Potential breakage or compatibility should be limited to things that interact with the text widget or the news dashboard module.”
After a brief discussion on the dev meeting notes, the proposed schedule was confirmed. The feature project merge deadline is coming up on May 10, followed by Beta 1 two days later. Any enhancements that are not ready to proceed on this timeline will be put on hold for a future release.
As a theme developer that creates custom buttons to the TinyMCE editor to generate and insert shortcodes, I’m petrified that this update will break many things. Does anyone know that existing themes and plugins won’t break with this update?