PHP Meeting Recap – November 6th

This recap is a summary of this week’s PHP meeting. It highlights the ideas and decisions which came up during that meeting, both as a means of documenting and to provide a quick overview for those who were unable to attend.

The meeting’s chat log.

Attendees: @bpayton @flixos90 @jdgrimes @mte90 @nerrad @overclokk @psykro @schlessera @vizkr

Chat Summary

The agenda for this week was to review the suggestions @flixos90 has worked on for the “Before Upgrading PHP” section that is available in the Google document, taking the past weeks’ discussions into account.

As other important topics had come up after the agenda had been laid out though, the discussion ended up revolving around different topics, only taking a short peak at the document towards the end of the meeting. Here is the discussion summary:

  • @flixos90 shared some great news about the tool that the XWP team has been working on, which had been mentioned a few times before in other meetings: The tool automatically scans all plugins in the plugin repository for their usage of the WordPress coding standards and, more important for the PHP team, their compatibility with different PHP versions from 5.2 to 7.x. The project is going to be an official part of the repository, and all of this will be handled through an external API. The results of the scans will be displayed on the respective plugin page, and the PHP compatibility checker could leverage that data as well. The API will even be able to scan plugins and themes which are not part of the repository, by temporarily uploading them. This will allow to test even paid or custom developed plugins and themes. That part will not be exposed through any UI in the initial release, but it will be possible through the API.
  • @nerrad commented that this will likely require some changes on the Servehappy page copy that exists so far. These changes will likely be minor though and most importantly take away some points of uncertainty that with that tool at hand won’t matter anymore.
  • It would make sense for the PHP Compatibility Checker to leverage that API, so it needs to be discussed with the responsible people at WP Engine what steps should be taken here. The new API could either be used in addition for more accurate results, but it may possibly even be better to replace the current mechanism with it entirely, as it would improve speed significantly because it could in many cases use data that has already been gathered before rather than running the expensive checks on the server.
  • The above two topics should be discussed in detail once the API has been officially released to the public.
  • @psykro asked whether it would be possible to change the meeting time or host a second meeting. Everyone who responded was open to a change, however it should preferably remain close to when it’s currently scheduled (every Monday at 19:00 UTC). If you are interested, please leave your vote(s) on this Slack post.
  • @mte90 asked about the new plugin headers for a minimum required PHP version and specifically about when the integration with core for it should be developed. While core should not include any PHP-related notices or warnings until the Servehappy page is published, it makes sense to start work on it before. This will not be a major topic for the PHP meetings for now, but should mainly happen in its Trac ticket #40934, unless a rather complex topic comes up which would benefit from a discussion in a meeting. @psykro, @schlessera and @mte90 expressed their interest in working on this. Mockups for the visual side of things should be created early, and the #design team should be asked for help with this. Since the project will likely involve quite a bit of code and it’s not optimal managing this solely through Trac, it was suggested to go either with a plugin-first approach or use a GitHub fork of the WordPress development repository.
  • After that, attendees started reviewing the sections in the Google document and added some comments and suggestions. @nerrad highlighted that the last section about contacting a developer should only be targeted at those site owners that already have an ongoing relationship with one, or at least already know one. People who have never hired a developer are unlikely to do so for a “random” PHP upgrade. More in-depth review and discussion on the Google document was postponed to next week’s meeting.

Next week’s meeting

The next meeting will take place on November 13th, 2017, 19:00 UTC as always in #core-php, and its agenda will be to actually review the initial suggested copy for the “Before Upgrading PHP” section so that it can be passed on to the marketing team afterwards. If you have suggestions about this but cannot make the meeting, please leave a comment on this post so that we can take them into account. See you next week!

#core-php, #php, #summary