PHP Meeting Recap – April 23, 2018

This recap is a summary of our previous PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 or higher 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.

You can find this meeting’s chat log here.

Chat Summary

The main focus of our recent meeting was reviewing the latest work around the upcoming php info widgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user..  A reminder that this work is being tracked here.

  • @schlessera presented the latest iteration of the widget for feedback which is this:
php widget screenshot 1

collapsed version:

php widget screenshot 2

Notable features of this iteration:

  • It is accessible.
  • It is more in line with the other widgets.
  • It makes the widget more noticeable when collapsed.
  • It makes use of a dash-icon instead of a notice border for drawing attention

General consensus seemed to favor this latest iteration.  However @johnjamesjacoby brought up some concerns about the verbiage and  language still in the widget.

  • Unnecessary “Click the button” type guidance
  • Running an insecure version of PHP doesn’t mean that a quicker website is a quick update away. (Note, this feedback was also left as a comment in the previous meeting summary post.)
  • Unusual for WordPress coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. verbiage to have “this is how we do it” type phraseology.

Responses were:

  • Let’s get this feedback on the tracTrac An open source project by Edgewall Software that serves as a bug tracker and project management tool for WordPress. ticketticket Created for both bug reports and feature development on the bug tracker..
  • While most of us don’t completely like what we have now, it’s been through multiple iterations including incorporating suggestions from design and editorial teams.  So its “good enough” for now and we can iterate.

In the latter part of the meeting we focused on the following design comments:

  • Use the color red only if insecure version, otherwise use yellow/orange.
  • Collapse the nag by default.

Although it was brought up that it’s unlikely yellow/orange would ever be displayed because most scenarios will result in an insecure version of PHP prompting the widget to show, we agreed that its trivial to do conditional colors so it will be implemented.

However, the nag being collapsed by default is not a trivial change to make.  There’s no prior art for that with the dashboard widgets.  We decided to defer further discussion on this until the next meeting.

After Hours

Since the meeting @johnjamesjacoby provided additional feedback in the trac ticket and @flixos90 took some of what he suggested and proposed another iteration for the widget:

PHP widget - latest iteration.

Changes made in this iteration:

  • Fix incorrect statement “WordPress has detected that your site is running on an insecure version of PHP, which means that a faster website is just a quick update away.” by removing the second part of that sentence. That furthermore makes it a more clear statement, and the aspect of speed is mentioned in the second paragraph anyway.
  • Remove the whole last section that essentially just revolves around the user needing to click the button. It helps further shortening the copy, as requested by the design team, and was redundant.
  • Left-align button and make it regular-size, as requested by the design team and in 41191.11.2.diff@johnjamesjacoby We cannot shorten the button text itself, as “Learn more” makes it too unclear this link helps with updating PHP.
  • If the PHP version is not insecure, but only out-of-date, show the icon with yellow color, as requested by the design team. This change is to be future-proof, but note that at this point, it will never be rendered this way because we show the notice only on 5.2 which is insecure.

Next meeting:

Next meeting will take place on Monday April 30, 15:00 UTC in #core-php


  • Followup on the latest iteration of the php widget.
  • Decide on whether the widget will default to collapsed.

A reminder that if you have suggestions about the dashboard widget but cannot make the meeting, please leave a comment on this post (and/or comment in the trac ticket).

#php, #summary