WordPress 4.6 is officially underway, and release lead Dominik Schilling announced in the weekly chat that the goal of this release is to fix as many longstanding bugs as possible, and to refine existing features, rather than to focus on a lot of brand new features.
Folks have been clamoring for a release like this for a long time, so at least some of you should be quite happy to hear this update. Dominik also said that, “Other goals are to try improving collaboration between teams of features/components, communication to the outside via make/core and to give user testing and UX a bigger focus.”
If you have an interest in maintaining a WordPress component, you can check them out and get involved from the Make Core page for component maintainers — and the core team would love help on that front. The Feature Projects page is also under development right now, which is the result of the evolution beyond Features as Plugins I wrote about recently.
Garth Mortenson (who has a wonderful handle: Voldemortensen) has been named the Deputy Release Lead for WordPress 4.6.
August 16th is the planned release date, which is consistent with the release schedule of the last several years. The “feature plugin merge window” closes about two months from now, just before the anticipation of Beta 1. Now is a great time to get involved if you want to do some WordPress core work this cycle.
While WordPress 4.6 is just beginning, WordPress 4.5.1 is coming very soon, and an RC-1 is now out. Two small but annoying little bugs are causing a slightly quicker release for 4.5.1 than perhaps there otherwise would have been. One is a “singular” class that has unexpected styling behavior with the Twenty Eleven theme (and perhaps some others, but that's the most popular), and the other is a fringe Chrome issue that prevents normal TinyMCE behavior.