Matt Mullenweg has announced a WordPress 5.0 Release Plan with an estimate for the release candidate to ship in November 2018
In A Plan for 5.0 on the Make WordPress Core blog Matt Mullenweg estimates that the RC of WordPress 5.0 will be ready in November 2018.
With known knowns and known unknowns, I believe we will be at RC in about a month. However, I’ll be keeping a close eye on feedback during the beta process and adjust as needed and keep the community fully up-to-date with our best estimate, Mullenweg says.
According to Gutenstats.blog the beta plugin has reached 490,000 active installations.
Matt Mullenweg says that it “far exceeds pre-release testing of anything that has ever come into core.”
The Classic Editor plugin also has more than 400,000 installations.
This indicates that nearly half a million site owners have already prepared to preserve their existing workflows.
If we keep the 5.0 release to strictly 4.9.8 + Gutenberg, we will have a release that is both major and a non-event in terms of new code.
It’s all battle-tested. In some ways 5.0 is already de facto out in the wild, with some forward-looking hosts already installing and activating Gutenberg for new installs, according to Matt Mullenweg.
Mullenweg is leading the release but has designated 11 other leads to head up various focuses.
A new default Twenty Nineteen theme to ship with 5.0
Designer Allan Cole will be leading that project, which involves adapting an existing Gutenberg theme for use as WordPress’ next default theme.
Last week’s developer chat left many attendees wondering about the status of WordPress 4.9.9.
Contributors discussed the possibility of making it a quick PHP 7.3 compatibility release but it now appears to be all hands on deck as the focus shifts to 5.0.
Based on Mullenweg’s announcement, it seems very likely that WordPress 5.0 will land before the end of 2018, barring any major impediments.
The timeline for this major release falls during a busy time of year for many who will be responsible for preparing their products and client sites.