Last week Gutenberg contributors were engaged in a spirited debate regarding a proposal to rename the new Command Center to Wayfinder. The feature, designed to be an extensible quick search and command execution tool, will land in WordPress 6.3.
The majority of participants in the discussion were strongly against calling it Wayfinder, as the term doesn’t translate well, nor does it make the feature’s benefits easy to understand. Wayfinder was proposed as a unique name that “has the potential to evoke a sense of curiosity, exploration, and discovery.” There were several attempts to wrap up the discussion with notes on alternatives even when it was apparent that the general consensus was unequivocally not in favor of the term Wayfinder.
Automattic-sponsored Gutenberg contributor Anne McCarthy commented on the issue with the decision, which she said was reached after consulting project leadership and reading through the comments:
Let’s move forward with Command Palette.
Reasoning: easier to translate, consistent across other tooling outside of WordPress, matches current functionality, eases discoverability/understanding of value, and leans generic which matches the concerns raised here.
Ultimately, we can always discuss renaming if the feature reaches a point of evolution outside of this initial name. As raised above, that would be more worth risking a unique name for than something that exists in other products and that ultimately we want people to quickly understand/find value in. Plus if we hold off on that name for the future, it can create a nice marketing push for something truly unique when/if the time comes. If folks have additional specific concerns around this naming, please speak up sooner rather than later.
McCarthy also requested other contributors ensure the re-naming is updated throughout the interface for the upcoming release.
This was an important decision that needed to be made ahead of WordPress 6.3 Beta 1, which was supposed to be released today but was delayed to Wednesday, June 28, due to an unrelated issue. The Command Palette will likely be introduced in blog posts, the 6.3 About page, and countless third-party resources so the proposal urgently needed a conclusion.
It’s also to the team’s credit that they didn’t force a fancy marketing name and instead landed on the side of the majority of contributors who were in favor of using clear language. The API for the Command Palette is now public and ready for developers to create their own custom commands. Using a term that is easy to understand and translate will engender more global community buy-in, as 52% of WordPress users run the software in a language other than English.