The Month in WordPress: March 2021
This way of iterating improves WordPress and ties back to one of my favorite open-source principles. The idea that with many eyes, all bugs are shallow. To me, that means that with enough people looking at a problem, someone is bound to be able to see the solution.
These words from Josepha Haden Chomphosy on the How WordPress Improves episode of the WP Briefing Podcast point to the factors that differentiate building software in an open-source environment. Our updates this month are closely tied to the philosophy behind those core principles of open source software.
WordPress 5.7 released
WordPress version 5.7 “Esperanza,” came out on March 9. The release offers fresher admin colors, several improvements to the block editor, single-click HTTP to HTTPS migration, and a new Robots API. Read more about it in the release post, the field guide, and the talking points post for meetup groups. The Core Team has also started work on WordPress 5.8 pre-planning.
Gutenberg Version 10.1 and 10.2 are out
Version 10.1 showcases significant improvements to reusable blocks, a clearer image toolbar, and spatial options for the social media block. Version 10.2 offers block pattern options to display contents from the query block and removes writing prompts from empty paragraphs in the editor. It also adds width adjustment for spacer blocks in horizontal parent blocks and the ability to transform media and text blocks into columns.
Want to get involved in building Gutenberg? Follow the Core Team blog, contribute to Gutenberg on GitHub, and join the #core-editor channel in the Make WordPress Slack. The “What’s next in Gutenberg” post offers more details on the latest updates. Don’t miss the monthly Gutenberg tutorial on How to make block patterns!
Full Site Editing updates
March saw a plethora of updates to the Full Site Editing project!
- @chanthaboune published a Full Site Editing pre-merge overview. She shares the project’s current status, go/no-go dates for core merge, communication plans, and challenges.
- March saw two calls for testing as part of the Full Site Editing outreach program. The first test of the month — creating a custom 404 page, wrapped up successfully. Participate in the latest testing initiative — build a restaurant-themed website header to help improve the future of WordPress! Deadline: April 8.
- You can also find high-level feedback on the FSE Program in this March 2021 post.
Proposal launched for a WordPress contributor handbook
A proposal has been kicked off on building a project-wide WordPress contributor handbook. The handbook will have content around the WordPress project’s underlying philosophies and commitments, along with shared expectations on working together and building products. It will also contain modern open source best practices for WordPress.
- You can now schedule office hours with Matt Mullenweg and Josepha Haden as part of their Q2 Quarterly listening hours initiative. This quarter’s listening session is scheduled for April 7th, 2021, from 22:00–24:00 UTC. Slots are still available — sign up now!
- The Themes Team is working on automating the theme review process. The team has shared a detailed post on these changes and is requesting feedback.
- The Core Team has kicked-off plans on dual licensing Gutenberg under GPL and MPL.
- Version 7.2.1 of BuddyPress (security release) is out! Update all your BuddyPresses!
- The Docs Team shipped the WordPress documentation style guide as part of its Google Season of Docs 2020 effort. The team has also kicked off work on applying for Google Season of Docs 2021!
- The Polyglots Team is making significant progress on building their contributor training program. The team is also requesting feedback on building their dashboard.
- @chanthaboune shared an experiment to coordinate sponsored contributors by adding them to a private Slack channel to offer them better support.
- The Community Team announced its revamped 2021 Global Sponsorship Program. The team also published a financial update for WP Communities in 2021.
- The Core Team is moving ahead to drop support for Internet Explorer 11 for upcoming versions of WordPress.
- The Design Team shared initial designs for the Block pattern directory.
- The Make WordPress Slack workspace briefly went down on March 30 due to a Slack ToS issue, which was subsequently resolved. More details on this explainer post.
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