WordPress 5.9 Beta 1 Released with Detailed Testing Guide – WP Tavern

Sarah Gooding
WordPress 5.9 beta 1 is now available for testing. With just eight weeks remaining until the official release lands, the team is focusing on testing, an important part of the development process that will keep 5.9 on track.
Due to the great many interconnected parts of full-site editing (FSE) that will make their debut in 5.9, contributors are organizing a more coordinated testing effort and have prepared a detailed guide. It includes testing instructions for all the major features in the next release, including the template editor workflow, new theme blocks (focusing on the new Navigation Block), list view, expanded block design tools, the Gallery block refactor, Block Pattern explorer, and more general core updates.
If this is the first time you’re dipping your toes in the the new FSE features, you may be wondering what it’s supposed to look like. Anne McCarthy, who is co-leading testing for the release, has published several videos demonstrating the new features over the past few months. The video below is all about the new Navigation Block and another recent one explores block theme flows, styling, the patterns explorer, and more. Sometimes it’s easier to get started testing if you see it working in a video first.
Version 5.9 will also introduce WordPress’ first block-based default theme, Twenty Twenty-Two. Testing the theme is as easy as activating it from the Themes screen after installing 5.9 beta 1, as outlined in the testing guide:
You can test the theme by installing the Beta and activating Twenty Twenty-Two from Appearance > Themes. To report issues with the theme, you can do so here.
Just a handful of pending issues and blockers remain for 5.9, but the release already contains 580 enhancements and nearly 450 bug fixes. More beta releases are planned for December, followed by RC 1 on January 4, 2022. WordPress 5.9 is still on track to be released on January 25.
Thanks so much for doing this write up about all the ways one can help test this release (and for featuring the latest navigation block video). For anyone on the fence about whether to dive into the testing world, please remember that by finding bugs now, you are saving TONS of people from running across the same problem. It’s incredibly high impact and a wonderful way to give back to the WordPress community. Plus, sometimes you find some really fun and wacky ones 😀 If you’re feeling stuck in any way, I welcome pings in slack (@annezazu). Hope you’ll join me.
The biggest problems will be
1: anyone in a commercial environment is generally too busy to spend the required time to raise issues.
2: people who have the time are generally in non-commercial or academic positions.
That’s a recipe for selection bias.
I can say this because modern WP has lots of broken functionality which is vital in a commercial setting, but merely uninteresting to those coding for plaudits.
I raised an issue today that YouTube embedding was broken in the case of using a certain filter and was directed to an issue open for a year with the typical cooling and death of the issue.
My point being: when this filter was altered in WP 5.8 (embed dependency kills youtube embed) a bunch of sites started to fail, no YouTube video would embed. The Gutenberg devs could not care less about that. It’s not shiny enough, it’s not JS so it’s dull.
Is there a fix in JS ?No, there’s a workaround. So why does the PHP filter even exist? It’s broken and seemingly abandoned, untested, reported and ignored – yet it was introduced in WP 5.6 , updated in 5.8 .. and left broken
This is the reason that extending for page-builders will continue to prosper over FSE in a commercial environment because I am absolutely sure that if I build for FSE then the Gutenberg team will deprecate something a month later and I’ll be fending off annoyed clients and fixing sites again.
The team are nice people, lovely people but they have a narrow view. They are designing FSE for small personal blogs occasionally tinkered with by IT academics.
Sometimes I go and visit the home page of the people who say “Closed issue” on GIThub. Hoping to see evidence of a prior life delivering property websites, or a hellish time in an agency, or a big project from a conglomerate. But no, it’s always a perky 2 page blog running the latest WP official theme “welcome to my blog, I hope to update it soon – August 2018”, link to GH, university, & socials.
Again, I’m not saying the core/gutenberg devs are “bad”, because quite the opposite Many of them seem absolutely lovely people, but there seems no concept of what commercial website developers need. I mean, there seems an active disinterest or distaste for commercial site development.
And that will be the problem with FSE engagement
Selection Bias.
WordPress is my all-time favorite and I am using it since 2015. It improves itself from every new update. At first, I didn’t like the block editor but now I really like it. Hope the new version will have more great features. Thanks for sharing
It’s good to see extensive testing for something as popular as WP. In my opinion, not enough of testing is done these days in general, and particularly in the gaming industry, where you have a buggy mess on release (Battlefield 2042, Cyberpunk 2077 just to mention a few more recent games). As someone who is both a junior tester of web platforms and video games as well as a WP user, I appreciate companies taking more time to test stuff. I can’t imagine paying a hundred $ for a game or piece of software that’s near unusable on launch, but sadly increasingly often this is the case.
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