The 5.6 release has many enhancements, features, and bug fixes for users and developers. (See the WordPress 5.6 field guide for more details.) There's also the new Twenty Twenty-One default theme. The official guide to Twenty Twenty-One is a good resource if you want to catch up with the direction front-end development is heading in WordPress. 👩🎨
Timothy Jacobs has a nice summary of the REST API changes in this release.
If you are aware of the recent jQuery changes in WordPress releases, then this post is worth a read. It covers how 5.6 includes a temporary downgrade path to run legacy jQuery on a site when needed. The juicy bit:
“[T]he first time a site visitor encounters an error caused by a now broken jQuery implementation, the plugin will facilitate an automated downgrade to a legacy jQuery version, and sends an email to the site administrator informing them of what has happened.”
🚣♂️ I also want to point out Helen Hou-Sandí‘s comment on Twitter:
“You know what’s funny about this release? The biggest impact I think I made (with help ofc) was not actually in the core software, but in the way themes are previewed on WordPress.org. Check out the latest default theme — no more boat!”