WordPress 4.2 includes both new and improved features. It also includes changes under the hood. While I’m sure you’ve been testing your themes, plugins, and sites in preparation for the release, you may have missed the announcements of all the changes. Here is a quick rundown of developer related things you should know:
wp.a11y.speak() API is available. When a change on the page happens, you can make sure that screen reader users are notified with this helper.
- The default admin color scheme has been tweaked. Minor, but if you use the WordPress colors directly in your code, you should update the code.
- When possible, WordPress now will use utf8mb4 as the database character set. This change has to the ability to store Emoji, which has lead to a couple of changes to help display emoji on all 💻 and📱.
- Work along the Taxonomy Roadmap continued with terms being split when one of the terms is updated. If you are storing term IDs in places such as post meta, user meta, or options, then it’s likely you’ll need to update your code to prevent problems when a shared term gets split.
- The default output of
comments_popup_link now uses the
.screen-reader-text class. The accessibility team has put together a post on hiding text for screen readers that includes sample code to use in your themes.
meta_query now have a syntax that makes complex queries for
- The experimental TinyMCE views API has continued to evolve. As this is an experimental API, use in production is not recommended unless you closely follow the development as breaking changes are possible.
- Two UI components used by core, spinners and admin notices, have been improved. The change to spinners is a change to how they are added and the change to admin notices is the ability to optionally make them dismissible.
Additionally, the bundled version of jQuery UI has been upgraded from 1.11.2 to 1.11.4 and jQuery to 1.11.2. The team also fixed 231 defects reported againgst previous versions of WordPress. Please continue testing in preparation for the imminent 4.2.0. WordPress wouldn’t be where it is without you.
UPDATE: Add information on spinners and admin notices.