WordPress 4.6 is in Beta, and it’s time to test

WordPress 4.6 is rolling on, currently in Beta 2. The release includes a handful of new minor features, and you'll certainly want to test your products and important sites prior to the full release. Now is the time to do so!

The Make WordPress Core posts have started to show up, as is common around this point in the release, that go over the component-specific changes. I'll list a few you should check out:

  • Multisite changes: Jeremy Felt describes WP_Site_Query and WP_Network_Query, and goes over a few new functions and filters.
  • Jeremy also wrote about the changes coming to register_meta(). This is a big one for the WordPress REST API. The third and fourth arguments, currently for sanitization and authorization callbacks, will be replaced with just one third argument which is an array that includes sanitization and authorization callbacks, as well as a variety of other useful data that can be utilized by the REST API, the Fields API, the Customizer, and more. This is an important change that enables a lot of future stuff.
  • You may have seen GitHub's change to native fonts. Or if you're running 4.6 in development, you've seen native fonts replace Open Sans in the admin too. Matt Miklic explains the switch from Open Sans to native system fonts in the WordPress admin. By the way, the declaration of fonts has a good bit of science behind it, and may be useful for those of you who wish to do something similar for your site body copy.
  • Pascal Birchler describes the Shiny Updates v2 changes under the hood items (and links to the merge proposal that describes the UX).
  • Pascal also writes about WordPress's support for a new W3C spec for providing browsers resource hints.
  • Yet another one from Pascal, he describes changes to i18n, where WordPress will now default to the translations from .org itself, then pull from your theme or plugin. This allows for “just-in-time” translation loading, though you'll still largely follow the same internationalization procedures you always have.
  • Aaron Jorbin describes some of the lower level WordPress loading priorities and defaults. He also describes how WP CLI and core have reconciled their differences in wp-settings.php, which makes back compat for WP CLI possible now.
  • Boone Gorges describes the introduction of WP_Term_Query. He's the term whisperer.
  • The Customize API continues to evolve and improve, and Nick Halsey walks through new developer-focused features and changes to the API for WordPress 4.6.
  • Another feature that's not on Make, that I know of, but is awesome, is that the editor will now notify you of broken links as you type them.

Many people have called for iterative “cleanup” releases in the past, and for the most part, that's what 4.6 will be. There isn't really a hugely visible new feature, the closest being shiny updates, but a lot is happening this release and there are a number of changes that should make many developers happy.