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WordPress 3.9 has been given a release date of April 15th (tax day in the US).

And there’s a lot to do before the release which was the focus of this weeks WordPress core dev meeting on Freenode.

If you’re a WordPress developer and haven’t queued into one of these meetings then I would highly recommend you do so.

There’s no expectation that you need to contribute to the meeting, just sit back and take in what’s being discussed.  It will give you a great insight into what’s happening in core.

What Could Be New In WordPress 3.9?

Nothing is set in stone of course but there was a lot of discussion about which feature plugins may make it into 3.9.

Widget Customiser

The Widgets UI Refresh team is working on a Widget Customiser which allows you to edit and preview widgets in a similar way that the Theme Customiser works.

Shaun Andrews who heads up the team believed that the feature plugin would be ready for inclusion into 3.9 core.

It’s already being used on WordPress.com which is usually a good indication that a feature will soon be included in core.

If you login to your WordPress.com account you can play around with the feautre or simple download and install it on one of your test sites.

Better Widgets

There was also talk that the Better Widgets feature (again by Shaun Andrews) may be ready to make it into 3.9.

This feature plugin flips the widget area around moving the sidebar area to the main screen and the list of widgets to the LHS giving more focus on the sidebar areas.

For sites with a large number of sidebar areas this feature is going to be awesome.  I’m really keen to see this in core.

UI Enhancements

As well as new features, lead core developer Andrew Nacin mentioned that a few newly introduced features such as audio/video, theme browsing and theme installation are all “iterative” and could benefit from being further refined and enhanced.

Beyond WordPress 3.9

Tentative dates for the 4.0 and 4.1 releases were also mooted around mid-August and December 2014.

What new features would you like implemented in the WordPress core?