Where can I track the development of WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source project. You can track the development of it on the Make WordPress Core blog, and see the latest tickets in trac. In addition, there are weekly developer chats that are open to the public.
What version of WordPress does WordPress.com VIP run?
WordPress.com VIP runs on WordPress.com. WordPress.com is always running as close to the latest version of WordPress as possible, often incorporating code from beta releases.
WordPress.com is a single multisite running millions of sites. It has 200+ extra features built on top of core WordPress to help with everything from performance, to SEO, to security. Many of these features are available via the Jetpack plugin. In addition, WordPress.com VIP users have access to more than a hundred vetted-and-approved plugins.
What direction do code releases go?
Generally speaking, WordPress.com incorporates the latest code from the WordPress open-source project. However, Automattic is one of the largest contributors to WordPress, so often times improvements made on WordPress.com are contributed back to core. In addition, feedback from WordPress.com VIP helps improve development on WordPress.com and in WordPress core.
What are the names of the releases? What’s the terminology?
WordPress follows a very specific naming convention, which you can see in the release archive. Each release is named after a jazz musician. For every release, there’s a cycle: Beta (1,2,3), Release Candidate (1,2), and finally, the Release. You can see this cycle in action on an official release timeline.
Typically, WordPress.com starts incorporating code from the latest release at around the Beta 1 stage.
How do I test for an upcoming release?
The easiest way to test is a local development environment. It automatically sets you up with an SVN checkout of trunk (and auto-updates every time you run vip-init.sh or .bat). You can also use the Beta Tester plugin to easily update beta releases and test.
What about VIP plugins? How do updates affect those?
The WordPress.com VIP team maintains and updates the plugin repository. If you have any questions or spot any bugs, you can report it to the VIP team.