WordPress 6.2 RC 2 was released today on schedule. The new Navigation section in the Site Editor was dropped from the upcoming release in a somewhat unusual turn of events this late in the release cycle. The feature will remain in the Gutenberg plugin and will be iterated on for a future core release. Users will still be able to manage their menus within the block settings of the Navigation block.
The Navigation section was added in Gutenberg 15.1, the last release to be rolled into 6.2, and the one with the least amount of time to be tested.
“After being added and as the beta cycle continued, various bugs and refinements started adding up,” Editor Triage Co-Lead Anne McCarthy said. “In particular, the top pain points revolved around which menu appears (and how to change it), needing a better description of what this newer section did, and improving the general experience of adding links from that section.”
McCarthy published a video showing what has been removed:
The conversation leading to this decision was spread across many PRs, issues, and Slack conversations, so it became difficult to track. McCarthy cited a dozen of the related issues and PR’s, including page links being buried in the inserter, confusion around which menu is pulled into the panel, and many other loose ends that do not provide a good experience for users.
“Even with trying to lock the experience further down, bugs continued to pop up and the experience isn’t polished enough to move forward with,” she said. “This led to a decision amongst Core Editor Tech, Core Editor Triage, and the Design lead ahead of WordPress 6.2 RC 2 to remove that was then shared with the wider release squad.”
The PR to remove the feature was merged 13 hours ago and now the navigation panel will only be visible if using the Gutenberg plugin. Anyone who is creating documentation or educational resources for WordPress should be aware that those related to the navigation panel may need to be udpated.
WordPress 6.2 is now just two weeks away from being released on March 28, 2023. Testing and translation are still needed to ensure the official release will be ready for the world of WordPress users.
As a user, I would prefer a slower release cycle with more time to ensure that things are less buggy; there is no need to keep pushing out revisions at a rapid-fire pace. It would feel more stable, not like I am always trying to catch up.