RFC: Usage analytics and WP-CLI v2.0.0

There are two issues in the backlog we’d love your input on:

  • Capture and report anonymized usage statistics (scheduled for v1.3.0) – In addition to the data points listed, what others might be worthwhile to capture? And, are there other aspects to the project we should consider?
  • WP-CLI 2.0.0 (scheduled for late 2017) – What breaking changes should we consider and why?

Feel free to weigh in as you see fit.

 

New support venue: WordPress.org support forum

Have a question about something related to WP-CLI? There are now two places you can go for general help:

  • Join the #cli channel in the WordPress.org Slack to chat with whomever might be available at the time. This option is best for quick questions.
  • Post a new thread in the WordPress.org support forum and tag it with ‘WP-CLI‘ so it’s seen by the community.

Want to help others with their use of WP-CLI? Click “Subscribe to this topic tag” to receive email notifications of new forum discussion:

GitHub issues are meant for tracking enhancements to and bugs of existing commands, not general support. Use the wp-cli/ideas repository to up vote existing ideas or share your own.

Planning for Community Summit 2017

In preparation for the 2017 WordPress Community Summit (“CS”) on June 13th-14th before WordCamp Europe in Paris, France we’ve been asked to provide the following (in summary):

  1. A list of topics for the CS
  2. A list of representatives to attend the CS
  3. One or two contributors who are willing to help with the organization of the CS

This post serves as a request for input for the above three areas. Note that these three requests are detailed further with some clarifying notes on Make/Summit.

Feel free to ping me privately in Slack if you prefer. I will send a summary of the responses with the Community Summit team on Wednesday, March 1st (as I’ll be offline on Thursday and Friday).

Two new commands: doctor and profile

Excited to experiment with a couple new WP-CLI commands? wp doctor and wp profile are now available for everyone to install.

wp doctor lets you diagnose problems within WordPress by running a series of checks for symptoms. It includes an API for defining your own diagnosis, as well as writing custom checks.

$ wp @daniel doctor check --all
Running checks  100% [============================================================================================] 0:02 / 0:09
+----------------------------+---------+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
| name                       | status  | message                                                            |
+----------------------------+---------+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
| core-verify-checksums      | success | WordPress verifies against its checksums.                          |
| file-eval                  | success | All 'php' files passed check for 'eval\(.*base64_decode\(.*'.      |
| autoload-options-size      | success | Autoloaded options size (16.25kb) is less than threshold (900kb).  |
| constant-savequeries-falsy | success | Constant 'SAVEQUERIES' is undefined.                               |
| constant-wp-debug-falsy    | success | Constant 'WP_DEBUG' is defined falsy.                              |
| core-update                | success | WordPress is at the latest version.                                |
| cron-count                 | success | Total number of cron jobs is within normal operating expectations. |
| cron-duplicates            | success | All cron job counts are within normal operating expectations.      |
| option-blog-public         | success | Site is public as expected.                                        |
| plugin-active-count        | success | Number of active plugins (2) is less than threshold (80).          |
| plugin-deactivated         | success | Less than 40 percent of plugins are deactivated.                   |
| plugin-update              | success | Plugins are up to date.                                            |
| theme-update               | warning | 1 theme has an update available.                                   |
+----------------------------+---------+--------------------------------------------------------------------+

wp profile quickly identifies what’s slow with WordPress, by giving you visibility into key I/O indicators.

$ wp @daniel profile stage --fields=stage,time,cache_ratio
+------------+---------+-------------+
| stage      | time    | cache_ratio |
+------------+---------+-------------+
| bootstrap  | 0.2643s | 80%         |
| main_query | 0.0186s | 85.71%      |
| template   | 0.0489s | 93.71%      |
+------------+---------+-------------+
| total (3)  | 0.3318s | 86.47%      |
+------------+---------+-------------+

Both packages are in early stages of development — feedback welcome!

Version 1.1.0 released

Happy release day!

Today, I’m excited to bring you WP-CLI v1.1.0, chock full of enhancements and bug fixes.

Want to get props in the next release? There are a few projects we’ll be working on:

And, in case you missed it: I’m looking for help maintaining WP-CLI (paid opportunity, commitment of 5-10 hours/week). Know someone who might fit? Email daniel@handbuilt.co or ping ‘danielbachhuber’ on the WordPress Slack.

Everything in 1.1.0

Command improvements:

  • wp cache *:
    • Explicitly sets default cache group as ‘default’ to replicate WordPress’ behavior [#3714]
  • wp cache type:
    • Detects W3 Total Cache object cache [#3637]
  • wp (comment|post|user) list:
    • Magically parses CSV values for any argument with double underscore [#3726, #3744]
  • wp core config:
    • Introduces --force parameter for overwriting existing wp-config.php file [#3706]
  • wp core is-installed:
    • Prevents error notice from wp_guess_url() when core isn’t installed [#3711]
  • wp core language install:
    • Passes $wp_version through to translations_api() so that WordPress reports the correct language download file [#3748]
  • wp core update:
    • Supports --version=(nightly|trunk), which will download the latest nightly build [#3645]
  • wp core update-db:
    • Updates wpmu_upgrade_site option for all networks, not just current, to ensure the admin notice is dismissed [#3659]
  • wp db *:
    • Runs help at the same point as the command, to enable wp help db import to be run when WordPress has been downloaded, a wp-config.php has been created, but WordPress hasn’t yet been installed [#3780]
  • wp db cli:
    • Makes it possible to pass arguments through to the mysql executable [#3745]
  • wp db export:
    • Appends a random hash to generated SQL file to help mitigate database files from being accessible at predictable URLs [#3765]
  • wp media regenerate:
    • Support generating thumbnails for ‘application/pdf’ for WordPress 4.7+ [#3768]
  • wp plugin install:
    • Correctly installs ZIPs uploaded to the GitHub release page for a project [#3776]
    • Displays error message when a plugin cannot be installed due to write permissions [#3764]
  • wp scaffold plugin:
    • Ignores multisite.xml.dist in scaffolded .distignore [#3677]
  • wp scaffold plugin-tests:
    • Opts-in to container-based infrastructure on Travis [#3739]
    • Supports PHP 7.1 and PHPUnit 5.7 when scaffolding .travis.yml [#3758]
    • Updates GitLab template to run WPCS tests [#3772]
  • wp scaffold (plugin-tests|theme-tests):
    • Validates plugin/theme slug to prevent you from scaffolding tests into an unexpected directory [#3666]
  • wp scaffold _s:
    • Validates theme slug earlier to provide a more understandable error [#3724]
  • wp search-replace:
    • Supports passing regex modifiers [#3639]
    • Only skips replacement when array is a reference to an existing array [#3708, #3713]
  • wp server:
    • Sets the path global parameter as docroot [#3700]
  • wp site create:
    • Replicates core logic for creating $newdomain and $path to form proper path then global $base isn’t ‘/’ [#3688]
  • wp site option list:
    • Adds --site_id=<id> filter [#3769]
  • wp theme install:
    • Uses http cacher when automatically installing a parent theme [#3689]
  • wp theme mod get:
    • Introduces --field=<field> argument for fetching a particular field [#3644]

Framework enhancements:

  • Updates Composer-based dependencies to latest [#3638, #3676#3678, #3698, #3720, #3786]
  • Ensures passed positionals take precedent over defaults defined in wp-cli.yml [#3648]
  • WP_CLI::runcommand() correctly persists current process’ environment variables [#3683, #3730]
  • Removes backslashes from display of path when destination folder already exists [#3691]
  • Globalizes wp-config.php variables to local scope too, enabling WordPress to properly change $table_prefix in multisite [#3695]
  • Adds global parameters to bash completion [#3697]
  • Permits dots to be used in aliases [#3705]
  • Introduce a Behat step for replacing a string in a file [#3712]

Contributors to this release (pull requests, documentation, and package authors): amqbgeihsgt, danielbachhuberedpittol, ernilambargreatislanderinderpreet99, louisremilwhmetodiew, migueldemoura, miya0001mmcev106, nikschavan, ntwbnylenocean90ramoonusrosswintleszepeviktortrepmalwestonruter

You can browse the full list of resolved issues on Github.

New home for WP-CLI docs

WP-CLI’s long-form documentation has a new shiny home: make.wordpress.org/cli/handbook

2017-01-26 at 3.47 PM

Want to suggest an edit?

Click on the “Edit” next to the title to submit your changes via pull request workflow. The documents are tracked in a GitHub repo for easy collaboration. Just like with code changes, documentation contributors receive credit in every WP-CLI release.

Have five minutes to make the documentation better?

Read through the handbook and open an issue with ideas on how we can improve or expand upon our documentation.

Happy scripting!

What do you wish you had a WP-CLI command for?

At the heart of it, WP-CLI commands enable you to do anything you want with WordPress, faster. Performing some task at the command line almost always yields some (often huge) amount of efficiency gain over the alternative.

For instance, consider the following (from #2523):

Using the theme list command without url parameter shows if a theme is enabled for the network and active in the default site.

If you pass the url of a site of the network, this command shows if a theme is active in that site.

But i can’t find a way to list which themes are inactive in every site of the network so i can safely disable and delete them, and i’d love to have this feature

Without WP-CLI, you’d need to:

  1. Find an intern.
  2. Prepare a spreadsheet of all sites and themes.
  3. Have the intern go through each site to log the active theme on your spreadsheet.
  4. Evaluate the spreadsheet to determine with themes can safely be deleted.

With WP-CLI, you can simply run wp find-unused-themes. Pretty much infinity time savings.


So, what do you wish you had a WP-CLI command for?

Now you have a place to request them. Head over to the new wp-cli/ideas GitHub repo and file issues to your heart’s content.

There’s no such thing as a bad idea. We’ll implement the best, and maintain them as canonical WP-CLI community packages.

But wait, how will you pick which ideas to build?

That’s a great question — I’d love your input on how to decide.

The end goal for the WP-CLI package index is to be a directory of well-maintained, canonical features. Packages will be considered community projects shepherded by one or more maintainers, instead of the domain of a specific author. There’s a two-fold benefit in taking this approach:

  • You (as a WP-CLI package author) will feel less burdened in maintaining your package, because you have supporting resources to help you out.
  • You (as a WP-CLI user) will have greater confidence in using the packages in the package index because you know there’s a small community of maintainers around each of them.

But, we need to work out how we get from 0 to 1 (idea to initial implementation), and then 1 to n (ongoing development and maintenance).

But wait, who’s “we”?

That’s a great question too.

I’m now actively looking for someone to help me run with this vision. They’ll focus on facilitating great community packages: soliciting and vetting ideas, establishing best practices and standards, and supporting package maintainers. The best candidate sweats the little details, and commitment is already a part of their track record.

In the near future, we’ll be looking for people to maintain packages in the directory. Our goal is for maintainership to be a rewarding, enjoyable experience — and for maintainers to extend the same to contributors.

Know anyone who might fit either of these roles? I’d love to hear from you. Email daniel@handbuilt.co or ping ‘danielbachhuber’ on the WordPress Slack.

Let’s do this!

As announced last week, WP-CLI is now an official WordPress.org project. I consider this the best possible outcome of my efforts trying to identify sustainability for the project over the last year. Frankly, it’s hard to communicate how relieved I am.

But wait, what does that actually mean?

Most of the details are still to be worked out. On a high-level, these are the big changes:

  • The website will be migrated to some part of wordpress.org, shape and form TBD.
  • Development will continue on Github, and could possibly move to github.com/wordpress/wp-cli (see below).
  • At the end of the day, I am no longer solely responsible for the project. If I were to be hit by a bus, there’s a more recognizable continuation plan for someone else to step in. Eventually, I hope to onboard a couple more maintainers who regularly invest significant time in the project.

The decision to make WP-CLI an official WordPress project also means there’s a clear path forward for me to invest more of my own time into the WP-CLI roadmap. Concurrent with the transition process over the next couple of months, I want to move forward the conversation of how we realize a future where WP-CLI is the fastest way to do anything with WordPress. If that’s something you’re interested in, stay tuned!

Migrating the website

In order to successfully and completely migrate the wp-cli.org website to wordpress.org (and WordPress), it’s important to understand its current form:

  • wp-cli.org is a Jekyll-based website hosted on Github / Github Pages.
  • Much of the reference documentation is generated by a series of WP-CLI commands from the WP-CLI codebase. These commands take structured data about the codebase and transform it into a series of Markdown files served by Jekyll. This documentation is typically regenerated for every major release.
  • The rest of the documentation is a series of user-editable files. It would be nice to be able to replicate the pull request workflow for editing the docs, because it’s a good source of contributions.
  • The WP-CLI package index (wp-cli.org/package-index) is built from a separate Github repository. It uses Satis to build the HTML and JSON representations of the package index. Satis is running on one of my personal servers.

These are the core functions needing to be replicated on WordPress.org. Ideally, the work done would be the foundation of where I’d love to see the WP-CLI website go in the future:

  • Produce command pages for the packages listed in the package index.
  • Proxy Github API requests for new WP-CLI versions (from 3426).
  • Display download / installation counts for each package.
  • Display number of Github stars for each package.
  • Highlight packages in the index that are regularly updated, have multiple maintainers, or reflect some other quality we hold to be important.
  • Create distribution releases for packages in the package index to speed up installation (from 2566).
  • Run test suite for each package on a weekly basis (from 3197).
  • Validate packages submitted to the package index (from 3177).

Migrating the Github repo

Fortunately, Github makes it easy to transfer repositories between organizations. Before we make the switch, we need to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on these core functions:

  • Travis is used to run the test suite. Travis also commits a build artifact to the builds repo.
  • WP-CLI’s update check uses the Github releases API. If Github doesn’t transform the request URI for migrated repos, then users will experience a cryptic error. Now that I write this, this dependency might be a large-ish problem.
  • Similarly, some users have build systems dependent on a consistent URL pattern for the release Phar file. See the releases page for examples.

It’s also worth noting there will be more WP-CLI repositories in the future. Each new feature will be developed as an independent package. In fact, existing features (e.g. search-replace) are going to be split out into separate packages too. We’ll need an organizational structure that can accommodate this growth (let it be github.com/wordpress/wp-search-replace-command or github.com/wp-cli-packages/search-replace-command).

Anything I’ve missed? Have a question about something I didn’t cover? Hit me up with a comment!

cc @pento

Hello world!

Supporting the Future of wp-cli

How much is WP-CLI worth to you?

Update 3 12/28: WP-CLI is now an official WordPress project. Fundraising will continue into 2017.

Update 2 12/15: Undecided on how much WP-CLI is worth to you? The experiment ends Dec 28th — please make a decision by then 🙂

Update 1 (12/13): Up to 17 subscribers so far. If we can get to 50, I’ll launch a members-only forum.

Last week, I tweeted:

At a decision point with @wpcli: it’s too large for me to voluntarily maintain. Have an opinion on its future? I’d love to chat.

Last February, I started a business, runcommand, as an indirect way of being able to invest my time into WP-CLI. The business is doing alright, not great but not horrible. What I’ve come to realize, though, is that my time is zero-sum. I’m incentivized to spend time on runcommand, when I’d rather spend it on WP-CLI.

Ultimately, the challenge I’m running into is opportunity cost. I’d love to be able to invest more into WP-CLI, but doing so comes at the cost of other business pursuits. Because WP-CLI is such a large project, the several hours I volunteer each week are basically enough to fight entropy — not make headway on larger initiatives.

The response to my tweet has been overwhelmingly supportive. One future I’m considering is directly commercializing WP-CLI, through patreon-esque membership, advertising on the website, and other ideas to be determined.

So, dear reader, a question: how much is WP-CLI worth to you?

Or, phrased another way, how much time does WP-CLI save you?

If the experiment goes well, then we’re in business! Your purchase will support ongoing maintenance of WP-CLI, as well as development of new commands like wp doctor and wp profile, improvements to the website and package index, and so on.

If the experiment doesn’t go well, then at least I can say I tried 🙂 To avoid any risk with the investment above, a full refund will be made available to you should the campaign not reach its goal, before we look at other approaches to help with maintaining the project.

Happy to take any questions you might have: daniel@runcommand.io. I’ll keep the list below updated as new questions come in.


Have you tried crowdfunding?

Yep! See the post I wrote, “Using Kickstarter to fund open source“. Nadia Eghbal has a series of great articles on open source sustainability as well.

How much money do you want to see to consider this a success?

I have a number, but I’m not going to share it. I want to see if this is a viable approach for funding a for-profit business.

What if I want to pay a different amount?

Email me, and I’ll create a purchase link for you.

Do I get anything special for paying the amount I paid?

Potentially, but nothing to announce at this point.

I do have some ideas in mind for offerings at different levels (e.g. members-only support forum, feature prioritization, etc.).

Do I need to keep paying after I pay the first time?

Well, if everyone cancels, then the business will tank 🙂

All levels are billed annually unless you disable automatic renewal.

What if I’m an existing runcommand customer?

If the experiment goes well, then wp doctor and wp profile will become completely open source. I’ll reach out about the other aspects of your purchase.

What about scribu and Andreas?

I’ve been talking with them a bit. We’re all very interested to see how this plays out.