Announcement for weekly PHP meetings

As you may have noticed, there is a new SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. channel named #core-php around. This channel is a result of several conversations at WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Europe and a response to the #core-js channel for those who are more focused on PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 development.

While JavaScriptJavaScript JavaScript or JS is an object-oriented computer programming language commonly used to create interactive effects within web browsers. WordPress makes extensive use of JS for a better user experience. While PHP is executed on the server, JS executes within a user’s browser. https://www.javascript.com/. is a hot topic in the WordPress space and requires a lot of attention given recent focuses such as GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ or the CustomizerCustomizer Tool built into WordPress core that hooks into most modern themes. You can use it to preview and modify many of your site’s appearance settings., there have also been long-time concerns about PHP-related topics in WordPress coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. scope, which still lay the foundation for how WordPress works. The new channel aims to provide a space to discuss those topics to makemake A collection of P2 blogs at make.wordpress.org, which are the home to a number of contributor groups, including core development (make/core, formerly "wpdevel"), the UI working group (make/ui), translators (make/polyglots), the theme reviewers (make/themes), resources for plugin authors (make/plugins), and the accessibility working group (make/accessibility). the WordPress PHP codebase more sustainable in the long run.

Weekly meetings

There will be weekly meetings in the #core-php channel, happening every Monday at 18:00 UTC. The initial meeting will take place next week, on Monday 18:00 UTC. The agenda for the initial meetings will revolve around determining the objectives for the channel and which areas to work on. Before looking at code though, the first meeting in particular will focus on the ongoing efforts to increase the number of sites that run on a supported PHP version and to get sites away from the ancient PHP 5.2 so that we get closer to the point where we can raise the minimum required version.

Since we are dedicated to backward-compatibility as much as possible, we need to carefully examine all our steps which will take time. Therefore progress will likely be slower than what is currently happening in #core-js, which at the same time will make the outcome of all efforts as solid and seamless as possible.

Objectives

While it only took about six hours after the channel was created to find a proposal to rewrite the entire WordPress codebase, our steps and decisions should be small and sophisticated, of course considering longevity as well. As stated before, the actual objectives of the channel and weekly meetings will be determined during the initial chats. The following list is a small collection of ideas that have come up already:

  • A major purpose of the #core-php channel could be to look at existing code and figure out how to integrate improved patterns into it. Most core components handle their code changes individually, causing many inconsistencies in the codebase, and one goal of the weekly discussions could be to come up with realistic best practices that could then be documented and enforced for the future and, if possible, also for the code already present.
  • There are also thoughts about a more drastic refactor of specific parts of the codebase, which could use an abstraction layer to maintain backward-compatibility with the way things currently worked. While such efforts would take a longer time and even more solid reasoning to push through, the results may be worth the energy and time investment.
  • Moving to a more modern PHP version is, as mentioned before, another goal. We should continuously investigate possibilities to put pressure on hosts (and reasonably on users as well) so that the number of sites on outdated PHP versions will lower. We can already work on long-term plans in the mean time as our code-focussed enhancements, especially modern coding standards, should preferably take shape before we raise the minimum requirement.

Ideas in addition to the above are always welcome, and we will discuss those one by one. Once there is a consensus about something, we will spread the word to gather further opinions, for example during the weekly core dev chat or in another blogblog (versus network, site) post.

Once we have determined the objectives, we will furthermore need to figure out how to efficiently collaborate on these projects, possibly in smaller working groups.

If you’re interested in making PHP great again, please join us on Monday 18:00 UTC in #core-php. If you cannot make the meeting but have further ideas, you can also leave a comment on this post prior to the meeting.

#agenda, #core-php, #php