Feature Plugin: WP Auto-updates

In 2018, @matt posted 9 projects for CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. to focus on in 2019. This roadmap was updated for 2020. Plugins and Themes automatic updates is one of those 9 projects. WordPress contributors did a lot of work on the two related tickets during WP 5.4 development cycle, but decided to give it more time for testing as it’s an important feature. This project is now planned for WordPress 5.5 and the feature is going to be tested in a Feature PluginFeature Plugin A plugin that was created with the intention of eventually being proposed for inclusion in WordPress Core. See Features as Plugins..

For reference, see the two related TracTrac An open source project by Edgewall Software that serves as a bug tracker and project management tool for WordPress. tickets:

A lot of interesting points were discussed in the tickets above, including the scope of the feature and the user interface/design. Many thanks to everyone who already contributed to this exciting new feature ♥️

Now, the development that happened in the related tickets are moved into WP-Auto-updates Feature Plugin which is available for testing and feedback. Contributions from the WordPress community are welcome on the plugin’s GitHub repository.

Project overview

As a quick reminder of what this project is trying to achieve, here are the main features that are being worked on:

  • Ability for website administrators to opt-in to automatic updates for plugins and themes in the related WP-Adminadmin (and super admin) screens.
  • Ability to enable/disable auto-updates on a pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party-by-plugin and theme-by-theme basis.
  • Email notifications to send regular auto-update summaries to website administrators.
  • HooksHooks In WordPress theme and development, hooks are functions that can be applied to an action or a Filter in WordPress. Actions are functions performed when a certain event occurs in WordPress. Filters allow you to modify certain functions. Arguments used to hook both filters and actions look the same. and constants to help developers disable or programmatically define auto-update settings.

Design considerations

The current design of the feature plugin reflects the last ideas that were discussed in #48850. This is still a work in progress and the implementation will probably evolve, as WordPress contributors discuss the feature on GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/.

Latest Plugin screen mockup in #48850
WP Autoupdates screenshot
Current implementation in WP Auto-updates Feature Plugin – version 0.1.2

Here is the proposed roadmap:

  • ✅ Create feature plugin
  • ✅ Submit feature plugin to WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ repository
  • ✅ Get the plugin featured as betaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. plugin on WordPress.org
  • 🔲 Move the repository to WordPress.org GitHub account
  • ✅ Publish the feature plugin proposal
  • ✅ Open a dedicated 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 on Make WordPress
  • ✅ Organize weekly meetings
  • ✅ Handle plugins auto-updates
  • 🔲 Handle themes auto-updates
  • ✅ Handle plugins auto-updates in a multisitemultisite Used to describe a WordPress installation with a network of multiple blogs, grouped by sites. This installation type has shared users tables, and creates separate database tables for each blog (wp_posts becomes wp_0_posts). See also network, blog, site context
  • 🔲 Handle themes auto-updates in a multisite context
  • ✅ Add hooks and constants for plugins
  • 🔲 Add hooks and constants for themes
  • ✅ Add email notifications for plugins
  • 🔲 Add email notifications for themes
  • ✅ Add auto-updates information in update-core screen
  • 🔲 Validate design for plugins screen
  • 🔲 Validate design for themes screen
  • 🔲 Validate design for update-core screen
  • 🔲 Full documentation for new functions, hooks and constants
  • 🔲 Copy review
  • 🔲 AccessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) review
  • 🔲 Security review
  • 🔲 Coding standards review
  • 🔲 Inline Docsinline docs (phpdoc, docblock, xref) review

Last update: March 21, 2020

Next steps

The release of the WP-Auto-updates feature plugin is an early step in the process of having this functionality included in WordPress Core. Now, your help is needed to test, validate, and improve the current feature to ensure that it meets the needs of the WordPress community. Plugin and theme authors, hosting companies, WordPress developers and users are welcome to share their thoughts about this feature.

#5-5, #feature-plugins, #feature-autoupdates