Back in November 2019, Josepha Haden, the Executive Director of WordPress.org tweeted about having an all-women release squad sometime in 2020.
WordPress 5.6 Simone is the last major release of 2020 and it ships with a new default theme – Twenty Twenty-One. All the release leads were women and non-binary folks.
The diversity of the release squad in terms of cultural backgrounds and geography seems to have grown and this is great news as such movements keep the contributor cohort of WordPress growing 💪.
Apart from the release squad, there were a total of 605 contributors and they collaborated over 350 trac tickets and 1000 odd pull requests over GitHub.
WordPress 5.6 Features
The new WordPress release has made a lot of progress towards full site editing. With more layout flexibility, block patterns will be something that allows a lot of options out of the box.
Authors can now add subtitles or captions in the block editor itself and make videos more accessible.
Twenty Twenty-One is “a blank canvas for your ideas” and the block editor the “best brush”; it’s a great theme to check out the new layout flexibility.
Auto-updates can now be enabled for major releases as well. For new sites, this feature will be enabled by default. For existing installations, admins will have to manually opt-in to the feature from the Dashboard.