The Month in WordPress: August 2019
This has been a particularly busy month, with a number of interesting and ambitious proposals for the WordPress project along with active progress across the entire community.
Core Development and Schedule
The upcoming minor release of WordPress, v5.2.3, is currently in the release candidate phase and available for testing.
Following that, the next major release is v5.3 and the Core team has laid out a schedule and scope for development. In addition, a bug scrub schedule and an accessibility-focused schedule have been set out to provide dedicated times for contributors to work on ironing out the bugs in the release.
Proposal for User Privacy Improvements
The Core Privacy Team has proposed a feature plugin to build a consent and logging mechanism for user privacy. This project will focus on improving the user privacy controls in WordPress Core in order to protect site owners and users alike.
The proposal includes some useful information about building effective controls for users, how other projects have worked on similar efforts, and what kind of time and resources the project will need in order to be developed.
Want to get involved in this feature project? Follow the Core team blog, and join the #core-privacy channel in the Making WordPress Slack group where there are open office hours every Wednesday at 19:00 UTC.
Core Notification System Proposal
A proposal has been made for a new feature project to build a robust notification system for WordPress Core. The aim of the project is to build a system to handle notifications for site owners that can be extended by plugin and theme developers.
This proposal comes on the back of a Trac ticket opened 18 months ago. With weekly meetings to discuss the project, the team behind WP Notify are in the planning phase while they establish exactly how to develop the feature.
Want to get involved in this feature project? Follow the Core team blog, and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group – meetings for this project happen every Monday at 14:00 and 22:00 UTC.
Local WordPress Development Environment
Members of the Core Team have put together a local development environment for WordPress that runs on Docker. This environment provides an easy way for developers to get involved with WordPress core development.
The work on this was inspired by the environment used for local Gutenberg development, which has since been improved based on the new work that has been done here.
The announcement post explains how to use the Docker environment. If you have any feedback or bug reports, please comment on the post directly.
Updates for Older Versions of WordPress
On July 30, the Security Team shared that security updates need to undergo the same testing and release process for every major version of WordPress. This means they have to provide long-term support for over fifteen major versions of WordPress. This requires a lot of time and effort, and the team has sought feedback on potential solutions for this challenge.
Following this discussion, a proposal was made to auto-update old versions of WordPress to v4.7. This proposal garnered many responses and has since been updated to incorporate feedback from comments. The current recommendation is to secure the six latest versions and to eventually auto-update all older versions of WordPress to 4.7. Since this proposal was made, it has been discussed at Hosting Team meetings and Dev Chat meetings, and the conversation is still ongoing.
Want to provide feedback on this proposal? Comment on the original post with your thoughts.
- The recommended minimum PHP version for WordPress Core has been increased to 7.0.
- Gutenberg development continues at a rapid pace with new updates coming out every month.
- The Core Team is kicking off bug scrub and triage sessions at APAC-friendly times.
- WordCamp US announced the event schedule to take place on November 1-3.
- The Plugin Team reminded developers that they need to stick to the Plugin Directory forum guidelines if they choose to use them for support.
- WordPress project leadership is looking at how to respond to political sanctions in light of the open-source nature of the project.
- The Community Team has proposed a WordCamp speaker feedback tool that will allow more reliable and consistent feedback for WordCamps speakers all over the world.
- The Five for the Future project now has more complete mockups and a plan to move forward.
- The Theme Review Team decided to terminate the Trusted Authors program for a number of reasons outlined in the announcement post.
- The Design Team is taking a look at how they can improve the About page in future WordPress releases.
- This month saw the release of v2.3 of WP-CLI, including a number of new commands and improvements.
- WordCamp websites can now make use of custom blocks in the block editor for crafting their content.
- The Mobile Team are looking for testers for the v13.2 release of the Android and iOS apps.
- The WordCamp Asia team published an interesting look at the journey they took to design the event logo.
- A working group of volunteers is being formed to work out the details for the Global Sponsorship Program in 2020.
- In an effort to increase the accessibility of available WordPress themes, the Theme Review Team now requires that all themes include keyboard navigation.
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