WordPress Announces Real-Time Collaboration & Enhanced Revisions and Media Library

WordPress Phase 3 Plans: Real-Time Collaboration, Workflows, Revisions, and Media Library

In a recent series of posts, Gutenberg lead architect Matías Ventura has outlined the plans for Phase 3 of the WordPress project. This phase will focus on real-time collaboration, workflows, revisions, and improvements to the media library. With WordPress 6.3 set to be the final major release of Phase 2, which focused on customization, Phase 3 aims to bring seamless collaboration to WordPress.

Real-time collaboration is a key goal of Phase 3. The aim is to build functionality into the block editors that allows for concurrent collaboration, shared edits, and online presence of peers. This will not only enable multiple users to work on a post simultaneously but also lift restrictions that have been present in WordPress for a long time, such as locking a post when two people try to edit at the same time. The challenge lies in making this functionality available to all WordPress users, including those on economical hosting environments.

The Workflows document outlines collaborative features that will be part of Phase 3. These features include the ability to add comments, suggest edits, and tag other users for peer review. These enhancements will apply to both content creation and design changes on block themes. Some interesting projects within this section include a publishing checklist, sharing draft links with permission controls, and exploring hook points for version control systems to take over internal revision systems if desired.

Revisions will also receive major improvements as part of the Collaboration phase. The goal is to go beyond document-level history and allow users to browse through single block changes and restore them individually. For global styles, the revisions panel will be evolved to allow side-by-side comparison of two revisions. Synced patterns will also have an improved edit history browsing experience with side-by-side and overlay comparison tools.

The Media Library is another area that will see significant enhancements in Phase 3. The main goals are to expand the media management capabilities, unify the block edit and single media interfaces, and improve major media flows. This includes improvements in categorization and tagging, better handling of attached media, and design improvements to the library view. The image editing interface may also undergo a revamp to align it more with the current block editor tools.

Contributors are also exploring the possibility of contributing to the commons directly from a user’s WordPress install. This expansion of Openverse’s presence and touch points could allow users to contribute to the commons without leaving their WordPress dashboard. Additionally, improvements to handling and presentation of other media types such as audio, video, and files are being considered, along with the development of a native Playlist block powered by the Interactivity API.

The outlined vision and scope for the Collaboration phase have been met with positive reactions from users and contributors. The real-time collaboration features have the potential to speed up content creation and editing for groups working on the same website. WordPress developer Rich Holman commented that he is looking forward to this phase as it will enable larger teams to work on posts more easily and allow for experimental edits without affecting the front-end.

Phase 3 of the WordPress project is set to bring significant improvements to collaboration, workflows, revisions, and the media library. With a focus on real-time collaboration and enhanced features for content creation and editing, WordPress users can expect a more seamless and efficient experience. For more details on the features being considered for this phase, check out the Phase 3 overview post and Matías Ventura’s recent write-ups on Real-Time Collaboration, Workflows, Revisions, and the Media Library.

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