wooden toy blocks stacked on one another

The WordPress Community Deserves the Why on the Timeline of v5.0

wooden toy blocks stacked on one another
Gutenberg is going to be a heck of a block party. Might as well do it right.

The leadership of the WordPress project must be transparent with the “why” of the release date of WordPress version 5.0 and the new editor.

Initially, Matt Mullenweg said “April” during the last State of the Word address. There was an audible laugh from my side of the room, but more importantly, there was no “why” to that date. Just a fuzzy date that seemed completely unreasonable.

Then a few weeks ago, long past April, a release schedule was proposed.

Again, no “why.” Just a much less fuzzy date.

We raised legitimate accessibility concerns, and were met with essentially “we are not going to audit it for accessibility because at this point it would not affect the timeline.”

Again, you guessed it… no “why.” Just an even-more disconcerting silence. The lack of “why” was starting to feel troubling.

We replied to the release timeline with “Hey, why are we releasing on a major US holiday week?” and the team announced a push of a week to Giving Tuesday. That post has the first “why” so far.

After listening to a lot of feedback — as well as looking at current issues, ongoing pull requests, and general progress — we’re going to take an extra week to make sure everything is fully dialed in…

Not so much a “why” as a “why we’re not.” There’s still a hollow silence around “why the rush?”

When we asked (everywhere we could find to ask it) why Giving Tuesday wasn’t avoided, we got a steady chorus of “every day is a holiday somewhere” from folks on this particular point.

In addition to being flippant, unhelpful, borderline absurd (Giving Tuesday is arguably the most critical day of the year for any organization that seeks to “democratize” anything ), this still does not address a reason “why” we are seemingly hell-bent on releasing this thing.

Finally, a few clarifications:

The open source nature of WordPress confuses some in the community into thinking that we all deserve a vote on when the next version will be released. That’s not how it works, that’s not what I am suggesting, and to characterize it as such means you’ve misunderstood what I am saying.

Also, some in the community take any hesitation at all about Gutenberg and the 5.0 release as an indictment on the core team or an insinuation that they have not worked hard enough on it. That’s also not what I am suggesting, and is a non-sequitur that doesn’t help.

What I am saying is that we deserve to be let in on exactly who is making this decision (because representation matters and is a different blog post altogether), and “why” they are making it.

The WordPress community deserves to know WHY #Gutenberg is being rushed out on Giving Tuesday. Click To Tweet

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