Meeting today: Road to WordPress 3.7 Beta 1

For the meeting today (starts in ~20 minutes), we need to work on getting to 3.7 Beta 1. I think if all goes well, we can release Beta 1 tonight or tomorrow morning. @dd32 has been doing some incredible work on automatic updates. If you haven’t read his post on them, please do!

So, there are a few things we need to discuss and make decisions on:

1. Search results ordered by relevance, #7394. Do we take a chance on this?

2. Should we begin to require that users supply their current password in order to change their password? #20140.

3. Should we consider a slightly more conservative different approach to transient garbage collection? We do not want updates to be blamed for breaking sites. #20316. What would this approach look like?

4. How should individuals be notified via email when it comes to automatic background updates? #10787.

5. How should individuals be notified their own dashboard that their site will be safe if there is a security release?

Proposal for points 4 and 5: A green checkmark on about.php and update-core.php will let them know their install is OK and good to go for automatic background updates for security releases. (We can easily verify this without prompting the user.)

If for some reason we attempt an automatic background update and it fails to complete, then we need to email get_site_option( 'admin_email' ). We need text for this email.

If they don’t have a green checkmark, we should wait five days, after which we email them reminding them a security release is available. A timestamp five days from the point of release will be pushed via the API. Once that time is crossed, an email will be sent. (For a particularly critical situation, we could shorten the timeframe. For a non-security minor release, we might avoid having an email sent all together). We also need text for this email (which will be a fairly nice email).

This does not accomplish all of #10787 (“Email administrators that an update is available for core, plugins, and themes”) but it seems to be a good security balance.

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My target is Beta 2 early next week, and Release Candidate 1 as early as next Friday. Here is our current progress on tickets:

  • There are no more enhancements or feature requests open on the 3.7 milestone.
  • There are under 20 tasks remaining for 3.7. Many of these are near completion. These need to be cleared by Beta 2.
  • There are 150 bugs open on the 3.7 milestone. We need to reduce this number to about 75 by Friday, and to zero by the end of next week. As in, these need to be cleared by RC1.

We’ll likely branch 3.7 at the WordCamp Europe contributor day on October 7, which means anything that is punted out of 3.7 can still make it into 3.8 starting in just two short weeks from now. A reminder, this is a very short release cycle, and 3.8 is just a few months away and begins in earnest very soon. Here is what our philosophies document says about fast, agile release cycles with crisp deadlines:

The more frequent and regular releases are, the less important it is for any particular feature to be in this release. If it doesn’t make it for this one, it’ll just be a few months before the next one. When releases become unpredictable or few and far between, there’s more pressure to try and squeeze in that one more thing because it’s going to be so long before the next one. Delay begets delay.

If we’re not confident that three weeks is long enough for something to properly soak in trunk, let’s not be afraid to wait until 3.8.