Matt Mullenweg Release Lead, and Francesca Marano Release Coordinator announced the second beta release of WordPress 5.4 Beta 2 on February 18 2020.

WordPress 5.4 Beta 1 version has has been centered on the block editor. However, at the moment, contributors have closed another 258 tickets for the 5.4 milestone. WordPress 5.4 will be the first major release of 2020 and aims create a block for navigation menus and update Gutenberg to the latest release version as we continue to focus in 2020 on full site editing via Gutenberg.

WordPress 5.4 is slated for release on March 31, 2020, and we need your help to get there!

All release decisions will ultimately be theirs to make and communicate while gathering input from the community .Only bug fixes and inline documentation are planned for the remainder of the cycle.That means, WordPress 5.4 is will have no new enhancements or feature requests will be considered.

Testing for bugs is an important part of polishing the release during the beta stage and a great way to contribute. So, developers are recommended to follow the beta testing handbook page in order to test their plugins and themes. Users who want to try out the upcoming release can do so via the WordPress Beta Tester plugin.

Block Editor: features and improvements

WordPress 5.4 will merge 10 major releases of the Gutenberg plugin, which is the development project behind the block editor. This means there’s a long list of exciting new features.

Though, Block Editor may not be ready for everyone. For end-users, who are still using the classic editor the user experience continues to get better with each release,and it will be an opportunity to review the major bug fixes being fixed.

  • Welcome Guide modal for Newbies
  • Major new Blocks: Social links and buttons
  • More color options for Button, Cover, Group and Column blocks .
  • Tools for adding featured images in the Latest Posts block.
  • Easier navigation in the block breadcrumbs.

Some additional changes to make note of:

  • On mobile, the toolbar stays on top, so you can’t lose it.
  • Easier image sizing in the Gallery block.
  • Drag-and-drop images into the featured-image box.
  • Several new APIs.
  • Friendlier offline error messages on REST API request failures.
  • Table block captions.
  • You can now color just parts of the text in any RichText block.

Accessibility improvements

  • Easier multi-block selection.
  • Support for changing an image’s title attribute within the Image block.
  • Easier tabbing. This had been one of the editor’s biggest accessibility problems, but now tabbing works with the block’s sidebar.
  • Visual switch between Edit and Navigation modes and enable screen reader announcements.

Wait! There’s more

Site Health

When a project powers 34% of the world’s websites, there must be a focus on security. This is why contributors continue working so hard on the Site Health Project.

WordPress 5.4 adds a widget on the dashboard that warns administrators of potential issues that could affect their site’s performance or security. A call-to-action button directs them to the Site Health screen for details and suggested fixes.

Accessibility improvements

WordPress strives to improve accessibility with every release, and this release is no different. Version 5.4 will contain the following accessibility enhancements:

  • Better focus management in Menu, Customizer and Site Health screens, to fix some existing keyboard navigation issues.
  • Easier keyboard navigation for better semantics in the Media modal.
  • An easier-to-read Privacy Policy Guide.

For Developers

5.4 also contains a bunch of developer focused changes.

Calendar Widget

The HTML 5.1 specification mandates that a <tfoot> tag must follow <tbody> tag (which was not the case in the calendar widget). WordPress 5.4 moves the navigation links to a <nav> HTML element immediately following the <table> element in order to produce valid HTML.

apply_shortcodes() as an alias for do_shortcode()

Instead of using do_shortcode()apply_shortcodes() should be utilized instead. While do_shortcode() is not being deprecated, the new function delivers better semantics.

Better favicon handling

Now favicon requests can be managed with more flexibility. Administrators can choose a favicon in the Customizer, or upload a /favicon.ico file. The WordPress logo will always load as a fallback.

Other changes for developers

  • Clearer information about errors in wp_login_failed.
  • Site ID has been added to the newblog_notify_siteadmin filter for multisite installs.
  • Support has been added for the required WordPress and PHP version headers in themes.
  • Embed support has been added for TikTok.

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums.

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Ashok Kuikel is WordPress & Mobile Application Developer, Cloud Architect, Entrepreneur working on Socio Economic Development implementing Technology. Mr. Kuikel is Founder of Onesourcecode Technology , as a platform for contributing for the society through Information Technology. With his interest in Socio Economic Development he has earned Microsoft Student Partner 2015/2016 .He has been actively contributing as Joint Secretary of Federation of Computer Association of Nepal Kavre Chapter .Beside that,he is an official Global Peace Ambassador for Global Peace Chain ,Nepal Chapter and Member of Internet Society,Nepal Chapter.

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