In what has been a “difficult decision” for WordPress 3.6 Lead Developer Mark Jaquith has communicated to the WordPress community that Post Formats will not be included in the upcoming commercial release of Version 3.6. The announcement comes after multiple setbacks that have delayed the new version’s launch as the Development Team has looked to integrate the UI in any way possible. Despite the removal, Post Formats will become a plugin that can be activated to enhance the platform at the end user’s discretion.
In a May 29th post on WordPress.org, Jaquith (pictured) stated, “This is a hard decision. I’ve been talking to a lot of WordPress core developers and contributors, and the overwhelming consensus is that Post Formats UI is not ready for WordPress core, and that it would be a mistake to ship it as it currently exists. We’re going to pull it out, and let it continue development as a plugin, much like MP6. I fought hard for it, and a lot of people put a lot of effort into it. But the result just isn’t compelling, or obvious, or any of the things that it should be. It’s not just a matter of polish, it seems to be a fundamental issue with the concept. The release can’t be held up any longer for this. It needs to come out. I should have made this decision earlier. That’s on me. But letting it ride would be the worse mistake.”
Post Formats allow webmasters to choose from a pre-selected list of layouts when publishing content; resulting in a customized view for each type of post without having to work with any back end code. This ability to assist website owners in adding variety to posts by default, and the User Interface is aimed at facilitating this process. The types of Post Formats are Standard, Aside, Image, Gallery, Link, Quote, Video, Status, Audio and Chat. For those who are already familiar with this concept, the specific type of post can be chosen during its creation from a radio button list within the main WordPress menu (right hand side). It is not required that all choices are used, and the plugin’s functionality will include the ability to select which formats appear on the list itself.
Unfortunately, some of the premium theme companies will also find it necessary to delay public releases of downloads due to this most recent announcement. Elegant Themes Founder and CEO Nick Roach had planned on launching the all new “Fable” theme soon, which was built around the Post Formats concept that was scheduled to be included in WordPress 3.6. With its removal, Roach told his customers Wednesday that “the release of Fable has been delayed along with the delay of WordPress 3.6, and since Fable takes advantage of the new post formats UI, we will be waiting until 3.6 is released before we release the theme.”
A large number of WordPress users have replied to Jaquith’s most recent post; mostly expressing their opinions on Post Formats and/or offering support to the Development Team. One user who goes by the name of Mel said that ten total post formats seems like too many. Jaquith replied, “One of the things I’m proposing we walk back is enabling all formats for all themes. But yeah, I agree that we have too many in general. I have a few ideas there, but they’re beyond the scope of this post.”
To keep up with the latest news surrounding the launch of WordPress 3.6 along with information on its development, you can visit make.wordpress.org/core and read up on how the platform is progressing while also viewing communication between interested parties.