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WordPress 6.5 launch postponed due to new feature bugs

WordPress 6.5's release has been delayed to iron out issues with font management, ensuring a smoother and more GDPR-compliant experience.

In an unexpected twist, the eagerly anticipated release of 6.5 has been delayed. The core issue? A novel feature intended to streamline font management and enhance GDPR compliance led to a significant standoff within the WordPress community, necessitating a rethink of the deployment strategy.

The font directory dilemma

Introducing a Font Library feature, a tool designed to simplify font management while ensuring GDPR compliance is at the heart of the delay. This was achieved by allowing users to download Google Fonts directly to their sites, thereby circumventing the need to access fonts from Google's servers and ensuring visitor IP addresses remain private.

Initially, fonts were to be housed in a new directory: /wp-content/fonts/. However, it quickly became apparent that this approach was fraught with challenges, primarily because some file systems struggled to accommodate fonts in this new location. The proposed solution? A plugin named Fonts to Uploads is intended to bridge this gap for sites impacted by the issue. Yet, this fix didn't sit well with many in the WordPress sphere, clashing with the platform's ethos of offering a seamless, out-of-the-box experience.

The backlash was swift and decisive, with numerous community members voicing their concerns. One notable comment highlighted that the decision to move fonts outside of the traditional upload folder deviated from WordPress's core principles and introduced unnecessary complexity, undermining the very foundation of the planned update.

Reverting to a familiar path

The collective feedback led to a significant pivot: fonts would now be stored in the previously used and broadly compatible location of /wp-content/uploads/fonts/. This seemingly minor adjustment marked a crucial step in addressing community concerns, ultimately contributing to the decision to postpone the 6.5 release by a week to ensure a smoother rollout.

Looking ahead with WordPress 6.5

Despite these hiccups, the WordPress team remains committed to enhancing the platform's functionality while staying true to its user-friendly roots. The forthcoming release, now scheduled for Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024, promises to introduce the Font Library feature without necessitating additional configurations or plugins, aligning with WordPress's longstanding philosophy of accessibility and ease of use.

While the decision to store fonts in the /uploads/ directory has sparked some debate over semantics—given that Google fonts are technically downloaded rather than uploaded—the broader WordPress community appears ready to embrace the update, hopeful for the benefits it will bring to both site operators and visitors alike.

As WordPress 6.5 edges closer to its new launch date, the incident serves as a reminder of the platform's responsive and community-driven approach, which values feedback and prioritises the user experience above all.

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Gabriela Gavrailova
Gabriela Gavrailova
Gabriela is a freelance news editor at Tech Edition, where she writes about technology and often does listicles and product reviews. Based in Austria, Gabriela is a person with many and diverse hobbies. If you don't find her reading a book at home or baking something, she will probably be out hiking or taking some classes to learn a new skill.

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