WordPress 5.0 Beta 3 Released, RC 1 Expected November 12

WordPress 5.0 Beta 3 was released this morning. This beta incorporates all the changes from Gutenberg 4.2 RC1, which was released last week. It fixes a bug with the display of the custom fields meta box and also improves REST API requests.

Gutenberg has undergone a few UI tweaks and introduces a Formatting API for adding new RichText components. The inserter between blocks was updated to provide a more consistent experience that matches the other “add block” buttons. Version 4.2 also adds support for displaying icons in new block categories to better organize groups of blocks. The example pictured in the release post shows the Jetpack icon. The Jetpack team has been working on a number of blocks for existing features and is expected to release those soon.

WordPress 5.0 Beta 3 brings in updates from Twenty Nineteen’s GitHub repository, including support for selective refresh widgets in the customizer, support for responsive embeds, and tweaks to improve the experience on mobile devices.

Updates to WordPress 5.0 Schedule: More Beta Releases and a Shortened RC Period

WordPress 5.0 is now two weeks away from its projected release date of November 19. Last week Gary Pendergast announced some updates to the 5.0 release schedule that build in extra time for betas. After pushing out Beta 3 Pendergast said he expects to release Beta 4 later this week. He also offered an explanation for why RC1 is scheduled for release on November 12, allowing for just one week of last-minute testing following RC.

“The block editor has been available for over a year,” Pendergast said. “It’s already had a longer testing period, with 30 times the number of sites using it, than any previous WordPress release. The primary purpose of the beta and release candidate periods is to ensure that it’s been correctly merged into Core.”

Initial feedback on the schedule changes indicate that some user would appreciate a longer RC period, since the code being tested has changed so often.

“The API freeze just happened in version 4.2, so saying the editor has been available for over a year in anywhere near its current state doesn’t make sense for a 7-day RC period on such a major change,” WordPress trainer and developer Brian Hogg said.

“As an example, just in the last version or two the hover-over menu to remove a block has been taken out and tucked away at the top menu (which was available as shown in https://youtu.be/yjqW_IS6Q7w?t=80), with little time for anyone to provide usability feedback on changes like this.”

Those who are creating training materials and videos have been waiting for a bit of a reprieve in Gutenberg development to make sure their materials are accurate and ready for 5.0.

“Knowing it’s an RC means we can assume a level of ‘this is how it will be’ that just isn’t necessarily with pre-RC versions,” Modern Tribe developer George Gecewicz commented on the post. “That relative certainty is useful for testing aggressively, finalizing design/UI stuff, and revealing post-merge bugs.”

Gutenberg 4.1 was supposed to be the “UI freeze” milestone, but that hasn’t happened yet with several changes introduced in 4.2.

There should be short window of time before 5.0 is released where training materials can be finalized. However, the Gutenberg team plans to continue on from there with its same pace of development.

“Over the past six months, there has been a release every two weeks,” Pendergast said. “We’ll plan to continue that over the first few WordPress 5.0.x releases, to ensure that bug fixes are available as quickly as possible. How soon should we expect WordPress 5.0.1? Approximately two weeks after WordPress 5.0, unless we see bug reports that indicate a need for a faster release.”

WordPress 5.0 is on schedule for its original release date, but there is still a possibility for the the release to be delayed. Matt Mullenweg, commenting on responses to the accessibility team’s assessment of Gutenberg, said that delaying the release has “definitely been considered” and that it may still happen. His response also indicates that WordPress users can expect the pace of core development to continue along the path Gutenberg has carved.

“Despite some differences that still need be resolved, there’s general consensus that the long-term way to create the best WP experience for all types of users is not something you can tack on with 5-6 weeks at the end, but will be the result of continuing the continuous iteration we’ve had with the 42 public releases of Gutenberg so far,” Mullenweg said. “It means we can get improvements into the hands of users within weeks following a release, not months (or years) as was the old model with WordPress.”

13 Comments


  1. It’s quite clear to see that version 5.0 has been an absolute mess from start to finish. Usually I’d be quite sympathetic but the sheer amount of problems people are having with it thus far and considering it’s supposed to released as ‘stable’ in a couple of weeks is beyond worrying.

    I used to be a ‘Gutenberg supporter’ but at this point it’s clear to see that the motive for rushing the release is because of Automattic/Matt here. There’s always been a large favouring towards WordPress.com but with Gutenberg’s imminent inclusion it’s even more obvious there’s an agenda at play here.

    I’m happy to see Gutenberg merged in. It’s going to happen anyway, but it can’t be merged in this quickly as it’s causing so many problems. I find it insulting that Gutenberg gets fast tracked yet Dark Mode, the feature plugin I made which adds a new CSS file to the dashboard get rejected because it didn’t follow and pass all merge proposal checks… at least it had a merge proposal written.

    The Gutenberg team straight up lied about having a public merge proposal done for it. It’s things like this that are driving high profile contributors away from the project (I’m definitely not one of them by any means, But Rian from the A11y team and John from the Core team are to name but two people).

    Matt, Gary; don’t forget about the community you helped build here. It’s not helping anyone.

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    1. Couldn’t agree more, Daniel!

      It is so frustrating over the last 12 months how engagement and feedback of the community gets ignored. Or that things get measured differently, for feature plugins like yours for example. I saw your proposal for Dark Mode and I can feel the frustration also as outside watcher – I did find that fair how you were threated – in comparison as how Gutenberg gets handled.

      It so saddens me.

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  2. I’ve operated on the assumption that the Nov 19 deadline is like many Gutenberg projected release dates in the past: a target, and something that adds urgency for both the Gutenberg team and third party theme/plugin developers. But ultimately not realistic and bound to be deferred.

    To the powers that be: if you’re seriously considering a Nov 19, please, please do not.

    Gutenberg is no where near ready. There are bugs, even for obvious, vanilla use cases, not to mention edge cases. Theme and plugin developers are not caught up or ready. Even for plugin developers who are working hard to be ready, the api still changes and breaks things frequently in recent releases.

    Gutenberg is not a normal release – it profoundly alters the core UI on 30% of the internet, often in ways that are not backwards compatible. For a release of this magnitude, the product itself should be fully 100% ready, first (which it is not), and then it should site out there for 3-6 months while the ecosystem prepares for it.

    And the idea that it’s been widely tested is such a strange thing to say – because it’s the testing itself that still shows it’s not ready. Just being tested a long time is not the goal – the goal of testing to ensure it’s 100% stable, well-liked, and won’t break third party integrations. Testing to date still shows the opposite.

    I’m fond of Gutenberg. But a premature release would be a disaster of epic proportions for the entire WordPress ecosystem. And Nov 19 is clearly, definitely premature.

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  3. If Gary, Matt and the rest of the team working on 5.0 think it’s nearly ready they are living in a fantasy land.

    It’s like WordPress is the Microsoft of the open source world, where it’s such a big player that buggy software can be shipped and people just have to deal with it.

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  4. Absolutely fantastic :-(
    WP will be quite instable for the near future due to GB.

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  5. “Over the past six months, there has been a release every two weeks,” Pendergast said. “We’ll plan to continue that over the first few WordPress 5.0.x releases, to ensure that bug fixes are available as quickly as possible. How soon should we expect WordPress 5.0.1? Approximately two weeks after WordPress 5.0, unless we see bug reports that indicate a need for a faster release.”

    This part concerns me. The Block Editor (nee “Gutenberg”) is a fundamental change to everything users know about WordPress, and for the majority of WordPress users, 5.0 will be their first introduction. Whatever the intent, the quote reads as “beta test in production” which is an uncomfortable notion considering the sheer scale of WordPress. Yes, software developers expect bugs at release, but this sounds more like the modern game developer ethos of releasing unfinished work and using real users as beta testers. It is a known issue in game development and not something we should be adopting. In my opinion.

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    1. @Morten: Just read one of your tweets from today. Maybe i would wait till 18th with re-recording those videos. Otherwise chances are high, that you will have to re-re-re-record those sessions.

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    2. Every time there is change, people will wine, they eventually learn the new changes and move on with their lives. I should sell the WP Community some cheese.

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  6. During the last months, we participated in testing Gutenberg with our plugins – WPML and Toolset. We found bugs in GB, created tickets and MRs, but they’re being overlooked. We are getting very slow and strict replies to our fix requests, while the project runs forward, ignoring many problems.

    Then, we’re going to get slapped on the hand because our plugins have “compatibility problems” with Gutenberg. That’s really great, encouraging, inclusive and democratic.

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    1. It’s a grossly frustrating situation to be in and I for one sympathise with any developer that has to spend hours firefighting the mess that Gutenberg is when they good be putting their time to better use.

      Even on themes that purport to be built for Gutenberg, it doesn’t function properly

      Therefore I suggest that theme developers slap add_filter( ‘use_block_editor_for_post_type’, ‘__return_false’, 100 ); into the functions.php file to clobber Gutenberg as a form of protest till it conforms to a properly functioning piece of software.

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  7. Pooh, that’s scary when you read all the developer comments. I hope Matt and co keep an eye on it and show consideration.

    I’ve reported an important bug so far and I’m getting answers. I hope the Gberg-guys don’t get tired….

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