Matt Mullenweg announces Gutenberg Roadmap

Last weekend the WordCamp Europe 2018 took place in Belgrade, Serbia. Gutenberg was of course a big topic. In his keynote speech, Matt Mullenweg, Co-Founder of WordPress and CEO of Automattic, presented the Gutenberg Roadmap for the next 3 months.

Unfortunately, I wasn't there myself, but was provided with a lot of information through my Twitter timeline. It felt like the entire WordPress community was present except me. But pictures and videos of the keynote were quickly available so that I can report on them as well.

Mullenweg announced the Gutenberg Roadmap with three slides for June, July and August.

Gutenberg Roadmap: June 2018

Gutenberg Roadmap for June
Image source: Tweet by David Bisset

In the meantime, the new block editor covers all options that were also possible with the old TinyMCE editor. According to Matt Mullenweg, the new editor has become even more powerful and better in some areas.

A feature freeze for the new Gutenberg Editor is therefore expected to occur in June. From this point on, no new functions will be added, only bugs will be fixed and usability and accessibility will be worked on. New ideas and suggestions as well as incomplete features will then be postponed to phase 2 by Gutenberg .

The new editor should be made available to a larger number of users for trying out and testing as soon as possible. So far this has only been possible with the installation of the Gutenberg Feature Plugin , which is currently active on around 10,000 websites.

Automattic will activate the new Gutenberg Editor for blogs on WordPress.com. With an opt-in, WordPress.com users get access to Gutenberg with one click. Gutenberg's user testing will likely be expanded to include thousands of websites in one fell swoop.

Gutenberg Roadmap: July 2018

Gutenberg Roadmap for June
Image source: Tweet by David Bisset

According to WordPress.com, users of a self-hosted WordPress installation should also receive an invitation to the new Gutenberg Editor. The next WordPress core update to version 4.9.7 or 4.9.8 will add a teaser in the WordPress dashboard, which invites users to install the Gutenberg plugin.

In addition to the offer to test and use the Gutenberg Editor at an early stage, there should also be an option for an opt-out from Gutenberg. The Classic Editor plugin is then installed, which restores the old editor as soon as WordPress 5.0 is published.

The content and appearance of the Gutenberg Callout has been worked on for months in the WordPress Core Trac Ticket # 41316 . The invitation for Gutenberg could look something like this, but it will certainly change slightly until the release of 4.9.x:

Gutenberg callout
Image source: WordPress.org

As the test phase extends to potentially hundreds of thousands of websites, the developers hope to receive valuable feedback. Critical bugs and incompatibilities with plugins should now be completely eliminated.

August 2018 and after

Gutenberg Roadmap for June
Image source: Tweet by David Bisset

When all bugs and issues have been resolved, the WordPress 5.0 release cycle should begin. This phase will take place in August at the earliest , more on that later.

In addition, Mullenweg would like to see the beta test of the Gutenberg Editor extended to at least 100,000 websites and over 250,000 published articles as a prerequisite for a core merge, so that all possible bugs are discovered.

A merge proposal for Gutenberg is then to be made in the WordPress core. Ultimately, that means nothing other than that the new editor should be incorporated into the WordPress Core code base.

The release cycle of WordPress 5.0 starts with it. After a few beta releases, two to three release candidates and completion of the language files, the release cycle will end with the release of WordPress 5.0.

Keynote by Matt Mullenweg

The complete keynote and the Q&A session with Matt Mullenweg is now available on WordPress.tv . The roadmap will be presented at 10:50.

Click on the button below to load the content of wordpress.tv.

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And now to the most important question 🙂

When will WordPress 5.0 be released?

Short answer: when Gutenberg is done. There is still no fixed release date.

Long answer:
Even if the first voices speculate as early as August after the very optimistic keynote, a release of WordPress 5.0 in two months is certainly not feasible.

After presenting the roadmap, Matt admits that it is still unclear which bugs will appear and how long it will take to get the new Gutenberg Editor to a finished stage. The phase leading up to the merge proposal can therefore take much longer than desired.

The non-deterministic nature of fixing bugs means that I don't know exactly of issues that could raise - whether they're going to be small tweaks or rather they might be sort of huge things that are going to require a few weeks of development . That is why I can't promise you a date but we've done a lot of testing this far so the nature of bugs that we find - there's no black swans in there. I do think that 5.0 is gonna be ready within a relatively short time frame.

Matt Mullenweg, WordCamp Europe 2018

Personally, I don't expect the WordPress 5.0 release until the last quarter between October and December, but I wouldn't place any bets on it. We'll all see when the time comes. Until then, we just have to be patient.