WordPress 6.4 Release Squad Decides to Delay Font Library Feature
The WordPress 6.4 release squad has made the decision to punt the planned Font Library feature to version 6.5. This decision comes after core maintainers discovered major gaps in the Font APIs that cannot be resolved in time for the upcoming release.
Concerns About the Font Library Feature
WordPress REST API co-maintainer Jonny Harris expressed his worries about the current state of the Font APIs. He stated that the code does not follow the WP core code style and doesn’t feel like WordPress. Harris listed several problems he found with the feature, including limited developer API, lack of filters or actions, no way to unregister font collections, confusing API structure, and more.
With limited time available for this release, Harris believes that addressing these concerns would be too difficult to achieve. He suggests that the feature needs more time to develop and improve.
The Importance of Well-Designed APIs
Punting a flagship feature is not an easy decision, but it is better than shipping poorly designed APIs that don’t allow users to modify and disable the feature to fit their needs. Once a feature is merged into core for release, it becomes something that needs to be maintained for extenders forever. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the feature is well-designed and meets the requirements of users.
Late Addition to the Release Cycle
The Font Library feature was introduced late in the release cycle, landing in Gutenberg 16.7 with very little time for testing. While features have been added after beta 1 in the past, contributors felt that it would be better to delay the feature due to outstanding feedback and limited testing.
Punting to WordPress 6.5
Contributors briefly considered delaying the release date to allow more time for the feature, but ultimately decided to punt it to version 6.5. This decision aligns with WordPress’ philosophy that deadlines are not arbitrary. Changing a scheduled release date to accommodate a feature should not be considered.
The decision to delay the Font Library feature was based on contributor feedback and the desire to ensure the feature is ready for a major WordPress release. While disappointing, this delay demonstrates the care and quality that contributors want to ensure in WordPress releases. In the meantime, valuable user feedback can still be gathered through the Gutenberg plugin.
Impact on Other Key Features
The removal of the Font Library does not affect other key features anticipated to be included in the WordPress 6.4 release. The default theme for 6.4, Twenty Twenty-Four, will ship with preselected fonts that are loaded from the theme assets, similar to previous default themes.
The decision to delay the Font Library feature in WordPress 6.4 demonstrates the commitment to delivering high-quality features that meet user needs. By addressing the concerns and improving the APIs, WordPress aims to provide a better experience for developers and users alike. While the delay may be disappointing, it ensures that the feature will be ready for release in version 6.5.