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Development on WordPress 4.0 has officially been announced this week with Helen Hou-Sandi installed as release lead.

Release leads are responsible for determining all important parameters for a release, like schedule, deadlines, which feature plugins are merged, and more generally, scope and goals.

So what should you expect of WordPress 4.0?

According to lead developer Andrew Nacin, it’ll be more of the same..

version 4.0 sounds like a “big” version number but it’s just another major release for us, like 3.9 and 4.1

To start the process, Samuel Sidler put out a call to the community for feature ideas to be included in core.

The new approach to developing core features is called features as plugins.  This allows ideas to be seen by and contributed to by a wider audience – a great approach.

Some of the ideas mentioned are just at the concept stage while others are plugins which you can install and play with, or contribute to on GitHub.

Let’s look at a those which are strong contenders for being ready for inclusion in WordPress 4.0.

 Admin Help

This feature’s aim is to change the way that help is offered in the Dashboard area.

Currently, Help sits on the drop-down top menu within the Dashboard and is context sensitive to the admin page you are viewing.

It looks like the feature will introduce tooltips all over the Dashboard interface and will be toggleable in the user profile area.

Media Grid

This feature targets the Media Library, specifically the displaying of images which are currently only thumbnails.

Big and bold; this feature will overhaul the Media Library and the wasted space to show images at a higher resolution and in a grid style.

Personally I would love to see this feature introduced to the WordPress core.

JSON Rest API

This is one that will make application developers salivate.

WordPress has a great API and hundreds of functions which are, of course, only accessible within the WordPress foundation.

Adding a JSON restful API will open up WordPress and set it along the path of a framework.

If you’re not sure about the differences between a foundation and a framework, read Tom McFarlin’s post series Using WordPress for Web Application Development and in particular the Rethinking Architecture post.

The feature plugin is managed on GitHub, so if you’re a developer make sure you drop by and check out the documentation.

Summary

So here we are.  Another WordPress version to look forward to in a few months and time for you, whether developer or user, to get involved in contributing to your favourite CMS.

Want to learn more about WordPress?  Lime Canvas help run WordPress meetups in Dublin and Sydney so pop along and say hello.