4.9.8 Bug Scrub Summary: July 26

This post summarizes the 4.9.8 bug scrub meeting from July 26th (Slack archive).

TL;DR

  1. 4.9.8 RC2 has been released.
  2. We are on target for final 4.9.8 release on Tuesday July 31st as originally scheduled that includes the Try Gutenberg callout, and we have a number of fallback plans should that not happen.

Agenda

  • Identify and discuss any new issues or problems that may have surfaced as a result of testing the 4.9.8 betas and RC1. If no issues occur, we’ll move to a RC2 after the meeting, if yes we’ll work through them during the meeting and then decide next actions.
  • Update on the Try Gutenberg callout / Gutenberg readiness
  • Quick straw emoji poll on moving forward with release next week.

4.8.9 Betas and RC1 Testing

During the meeting several people shared that they conducted significant testing and did not discover any problems.

One person reported that in RC1 the Try Gutenberg callout was not completely dismissable: if a user dismissed it, the next time that user went to the Dashboard the callout appeared again.  This problem had already been identified and a fix for it had already been committed for inclusion in RC2.

Since no other problems were reported, it was decided to go ahead with the release of RC2, which happened right after the bug scrub.

Update on the Try Gutenberg callout / Gutenberg readiness

@danielbachhuber, a member of the Gutenberg team, joined us to give an update on Gutenberg readiness from his perspective.

He shared that the Gutenberg team has been working through a number of issues that have been identified as “Try Gutenberg blockers”, which are defined as:

The issue causes some amount of data transformation that would be non-trivial to recover from at scale (particularly if revisions are disabled).

The most recent list of such blockers is at https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/issues/7147 and the Gutenberg team has been working from a Try Callout milestone.

Daniel then reported that

It’s looking likely that we’ll have a Gutenberg v3.4 release at some point in the next few days.

That Gutenberg release will address the blockers referenced above.

He also reported that the Gutenberg team is prepared to quickly release Gutenberg v3.4.1 and v3.4.2, etc, as new problems are reported resulting from the increased usage of Gutenberg because of the callout.

Big props to @danielbachhuber for that update and his input on other questions raised during the scrub!

Quick straw emoji poll on moving forward with release next week

Before the straw poll, there was a discussion of what should happen IF it was decided to punt the callout to 4.9.9: specifically, whether an RC3 that did not contain the callout would be needed and how long that RC3 should be available before releasing 4.9.8 Final without the callout.

There was some support for doing an RC3, to ensure that the revert of the callout was clean.  As to how long RC3, if it were needed, should be out before final was released, two alternatives were suggested:

  1. Have RC3 available for testing for 1 week, which would delay the final release of 4.9.8 by 1 week.
  2. Allow RC3 testing for 1-2 days, which would allow final to be released within the same week as originally scheduled.

No decision was made on those alternatives, but the release co-leads will announce which alternative is most ideal should the need for RC3 arise (see @pento‘s suggestion below).

We then moved on to the following straw poll:

Straw poll: How do you feel about having the Try Gutenberg callout in 4.9.8 release on Tuesday? I’ll add 3 emojis, feel free to vote accordingly on each one. (Please note, this doesn’t denote a decision, just seeing where folks are landing)
👍 👎 ❓

The final result of the poll (as of the writing of this post) was:

13 👍
6 👎
1 ❓

Note: the straw poll is still open and the community is encouraged to cast your votes.

Those voting 👎 were asked to share their reasoning and what it would take to turn their vote into 👍.

The main reasons fell into 2 categories:

  1. Agencies (or others that manage large numbers of sites) not yet being ready to roll out Gutenberg
  2. Hosting companies needing more time to prepare for a Gutenberg rollout

During the ensuing discussion, it was clarified that the inclusion of the callout does not force users, nor agencies nor hosting companies, to roll out Gutenberg with 4.9.8 (which changed a few, but not all, votes to 👍).

While it didn’t come up during the discussion, it should be noted that the changes to the callout between RC1 and RC2 provide a hook to give hosting companies (and agencies) more control over the callout.

Update: discussion after the scrub

After the scrub, @pento shared his thoughts on the topics covered during the scrub (he was unable to join the scrub, a worldwide team definitely lends itself to async communication).

The most important (IMHO) of those thoughts are:

As we’re about to put Gutenberg in front of a lot of sites with existing content, it’s a reasonable assumption that folks will try out the block editor, find that it doesn’t quite work for them yet, and switch back to the classic editor. It’s not a bad thing if this happens, these folks will be able to give us insight into the myriad of WordPress configurations that exist out there, and how they interact with the block editor.

At this stage, Gutenberg will be ready for the current 4.9.8 release schedule. The remaining issues in the Try milestone are either nearing completion, relatively simple (or non-invasive) to implement, or stretch goals. However, it’s good to have a plan for if this changes.

Should something happen to delay clearing the Try milestone, someone from the Gutenberg crew (probably me) will keep the release leads informed on what’s happening, how much time is needed, and what our recommendations are. Again, it would ultimately be up to the release leads to decide their course of action.

In response to a follow-up question, @pento said:

If Gutenberg was not quite ready come Tuesday, I would be inclined to delay a little. We have the option of delaying 1-2 days, or delaying a week: both of those options have merits and drawbacks. My primary concern is that we’ve announced, then pulled, the Try callout twice, I don’t think there’s any benefit (and there’s significant drawback) of doing it a third time.

If we did need to pull the callout, however, I don’t think we’d need an RC3, we didn’t do an extra RC the last two times. The callout is quite self contained, it’s pretty simple to revert.

We really appreciate the work everyone has done to help bring this release together. It’s been a tremendous opportunity to support and help make sure all the pieces can fall into place at the right time. Thanks to everyone who has been helping get this release ready!

#4-9-8