Renaming the Command Center: What’s in a Name?
WordPress is set to release its latest version, WordPress 6.3, which will include a new feature called the Command Center. This feature is designed to be an extensible quick search and command execution tool that allows users to quickly search, navigate, and switch between different types of content, run commands to perform tasks or actions, and extend and customize the tool via third-party plugins. However, there is a lively discussion happening on the Gutenberg repository about renaming the Command Center before its release.
The discussion was initiated by Automattic-sponsored contributor Reyes Martínez, who identified three main purposes the feature is meant to serve. Martínez suggested that the name “Command Center” may not fully convey its potential and different use cases. She contended that “Wayfinder” as a name “better captures its different use cases” and “reflects benefits, and appeals to a less technical audience.”
However, nearly every other participant has highlighted concerns about using Wayfinder and suggested other names that more clearly describe the feature. The term does not have a direct translation in many languages and leans heavily towards navigation, leaving out the other purposes the feature is meant to serve, such as running commands and actions, as well as AI and other third-party integrations.
WP Engine developer Ross Wintle suggests WordPress adopt the term “command palette” based on its well-documented use throughout the industry for similar features in apps like Sublime Text, VS Code, GitHub, Jira, and others. He argues that this is by far the most common term in use to describe this kind of thing and sees no need to stray from popular convention.
WordPress developer Aurooba Ahmed cited apps using “Command Palette,” including Miro, Reflect, and Obsidian. Another common name for this feature is “Command Menu,” used by Todoist and Cron. She also cited ClickUp as using “Command Center” and Missive using “Command Bar,” among other apps with similar terms.
Automattic-sponsored contributor Nicholas Garofalo noted that the name itself will not be prominently featured in the interface, based on recent mockups. He suggests treating this feature like “Gutenberg” or “plugin,” where the name is used primarily for marketing and documentation purposes.
Other suggestions from speakers of different languages include Actions hub, Finder, Quick commands, Quick actions, and Quick finder. Even if Gutenberg contributors are determined to emphasize the navigation aspect of the feature at the expense of its other capabilities, a term like Quick finder is more easily understood for the 52% of WordPress users who use the software in a language other than English.
The issue for renaming the Command Center is still open on the Gutenberg repository, and discussion is ongoing. The general consensus of participants is to use clear language over a term that evokes curiosity (and likely confusion since it doesn’t translate well). A decision has not yet been made but should be forthcoming as WordPress 6.3 Beta 1 is expected on June 27, ahead of the general release on August 8.
In conclusion, while the Command Center is a valuable addition to WordPress, its name has sparked a lively debate among contributors. The consensus seems to be that clear language is preferred over a term that evokes curiosity but may not clearly convey the feature’s purpose. It remains to be seen what name will ultimately be chosen for this feature, but it is clear that contributors are taking this decision seriously and are committed to finding a name that accurately reflects the feature’s capabilities.