The official release of WordPress Version 3.6 has been moved back to April 29th according to the WordPress.org Project Schedule. Development for the new version began on January 9th (once team leads were secured), but some of the intended new features have not yet been completed; so the launch schedule has been adjusted accordingly.
The current version of WordPress (3.5 Elvin) has been downloaded more than 13.8 million times since its release late last year. The new Version 3.6 will most likely focus on features such as post formats along with the Admin User Interface (UI), which have both been the subject of overhaul rumors. Lead Developer Mark Jaquith recently stated that he’d “personally like the focus of the release to be about content editing (revisions, autosave, workflow, editing modes, etc).”
When referring to the autosave and post locking features that are expected in the new version. Jaquith added, “We should never lose posts due to expired cookies, loss of connection, inadvertent navigation (even if AYS’d), plugin or core errors on save, browser crashes, OS crashes, cats walking on keyboards, children drooling in keyboards.”
New WordPress 3.6 Production Schedule
To put it plainly, the WordPress 3.6 team has placed a hard freeze on feature development in order to focus on testing and compatibility (supported platforms, browsers, RTL, accessibility, etc). This likely means that if features have not yet been inserted into WordPress 3.6’s functionality, then they are going to be punted to Version 3.7.
On the project schedule page, a statement was published earlier this week that notified those awaiting the first Beta that “from this point on, no more commits for any new enhancements or feature requests in this release cycle, only bug fixes. Any enhancements/feature requests not completed and committed by this point will be punted to future. Please don’t get angry and complain when this happens; it’s necessary to get us to an on-time release. You can keep working on your pet ticket and have it ready for early 3.7.”
This means that the first Beta for WordPress 3.6 has been pushed back to Wednesday, March 27th. The second and third Betas have been programmed to become available on April 3rd and April 10th respectively, with an initial release candidate set for April 17th; at which point a string freeze will be implemented with all work focused on regressions and blockers only.
The second release candidate is due out on April 24th, and the official launching of WordPress Version 3.6 has now been moved to April 29th. Mark Jaquith’s post on March 13th, pointed out that the new version is not yet feature complete (if you would like to see a full rundown of programmed enhancements, click here).
An article published last month by WebDesignerDepot.com went into specifics about what WordPress users can expect once Version 3.6 has been launched. “As always with a new version of WordPress, there will be some under-the-hood updates in the 3.6 release. Most of them are going to deal with caching and performance issues; which is logical as WordPress becomes more complex and resource-hungry,” wrote Anna Ladoshkina.
“The mysql_ functions are deprecated in PHP so WordPress 3.6 starts moving towards support of PDO extension for serving database connections. For developers, it primarily means that if for any reason you’re not using the native wpdb class to operate with a database in your plugin, you’d better start right now — apart from benefiting from its robust feature list you’ll also avoid incompatibility with future PHP versions.”
To become involved in the WordPress development process, read through the Core Contributor Handbook or visit the Trac and pick a 3.6 ticket. We will continue to update our readers on any changes into the WordPress 3.6 development schedule as well as provide an announcement once the first Beta has been released.