WordPress 3.2, the plan: faster, lighter

Timelines and assignments will be decided next week, but in the meantime, here’s what WordPress 3.2 is looking like:

  • Faster release cycle than 3.1 — more focused release. I’ll be taking point on this release, making sure people stay on target and making sure we don’t try to slip “one more thing” in. Don’t make me get mean. 🙂
  • The theme is “faster, lighter.” We’re dropping support for outdated technologies. We’re looking at making things faster, and we’re looking at making the writing experience more lightweight and calming.
  • List Tables APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways. improvements (Westi and Koop) — finalize the API for third party use and more flexibility.
  • List Table XHR loading — to be investigated only after List Table API has stabilized. Make sure it’s worth it before we burn time on it.
  • PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 5.2 (5.2.4, specifically) to be required. Drop compat. But don’t go adding a bunch of PHP5 stuff. This release is about dropping the old, not adding the new. More red than green.
  • MySQLMySQL MySQL is a relational database management system. A database is a structured collection of data where content, configuration and other options are stored. https://www.mysql.com/. 5 to be required. This quite literally involves no work beyond changing the requirements. Do not change queries.
  • IE6 EOL for the adminadmin (and super admin). If BrowseHappy is updated in time, we can consider adding a “use a real browser” nag for IE6 users. We probably can’t drop much CSSCSS Cascading Style Sheets., as IE7 shares a lot of the issues. This is mostly symbolic, and reduces the platform combos we need to test. This also means any security issues that are shown to only affect IE6 only can be lowered in priority.
  • Distraction Free Writing. This is our headline “ooh, shiny” user feature. Replace our current fullscreen implementation with something more beautiful, more useful (in terms of line-length and font size), and simpler (only limited RTE functionality). Look at WriteRoom, OmmWriter, http://www.quietwrite.com/ for inspiration. Koop is investigating this, and may crank out a quick plugin to jump-start development efforts
  • Upgrade improvements. Changed-files-only upgrades can be done with zero changes to coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.. For the first effort, let’s just do updates to the latest point-point from within the same major version. So, 3.2 to 3.2.2 and 3.2.1 to 3.2.2. Optionally consider scanning for changed core files and offering them a full upgrade to overwrite those changed files. Skip the wp-contents directory when upgrading (no more upgrading the default theme or bundled plugins).
  • Speed improvements. There are a bunch of little things we can do to make WordPress load or at least “feel” faster. Nacin is looking at PHP lazy loading. He also is working on a patchpatch A special text file that describes changes to code, by identifying the files and lines which are added, removed, and altered. It may also be referred to as a diff. A patch can be applied to a codebase for testing. to make the admin menu load faster by doing the expansion in PHP. We can make the dashboard faster by not doing async requests for panes if the cache is hot. Dion has some FTPFTP FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol which is a way of moving computer files from one computer to another via the Internet. You can use software, known as a FTP client, to upload files to a server for a WordPress website. https://codex.wordpress.org/FTP_Clients. improvements that should make upgrades a lot faster for people using a certain FTP server. Everyone can get involved here. Pick sometime small and manageable that will make WordPress a little faster. Together, they’ll add up to a bullet point in the release post.

#3-2