Dev Chat summary – February 12, 2020 (5.4 week 9)

@davidbaumwald facilitated the chat on this agenda.

Full meeting transcript on Slack

This devchat marked week 9 of the 5.4 release cycle.

Announcements

WordPress 5.4 Release Candidate 2 was released on Tuesday March 11th as expected 🎉

Feedback from hosts is needed on Make/Hosting regarding SimpleXML PHP extension usage.

@joemcgill shared that XML Sitemaps Feature Plugin version 0.2.0 was released this week and could continue to use feedback from folks testing.

@audrasjb shared that Plugins & Themes Auto-updates Feature Plugin version 0.2.1 was released this week. This feature now have a dedicated Slack channel, created right after the last devchat: #core-auto-updates. There will be weekly meetings on Tuesdays at 18:00 UTC. The kick-off meeting recap is available on Make/Core.

@chanthaboune shared the roadmap to get an All-women Release Squad by the end of 2020.

Upcoming releases

WordPress 5.4 Release Candidate 3 is scheduled for Tuesday March 18th, 2020.

trunk is open for 5.5, but the priority is on 5.4 Release Candidate cycle. Polyglots Team already started to work on translation packages.

Components Check-In

@imath worked on Ticket #49236 and needs some feedback. @jeffpaul advised him to slate it to 5.5 with early keyword so it could be handled at the early stage of the development cycle.

@garrett-eclipse found a list of the components and sub-components without maintainers:

There’s the potential to merge some of the less active sub-components like Charset and Emoji into it’s parent Formatting component. But that would needs further discussion.

Open floor

The main discussion of the open-floor was the Block Editor’s Full Screen Mode enabled by default since WP 5.4 Release Candidate 1.

Here is a quick transcript of the discussion. Please note that no decision has been taken during this chat.

@peterwilsoncc wanted to know when was this committed to the WordPress repository. @jorgefilipecosta answered it was introduced during Beta 3, before WP 5.4 RC 1 was released.

@peterwilsoncc: “same for the release in which it was moved from experimental to stable (for want of a better word) Gutenberg?”. @jorgefilipecosta answered that Full screen mode was not experimental, it was stabilized and working for a long time, it was just not enabled by default (although some hosts were doing it), and the Gutenberg team just had a small PR that enabled the mode by default.

@peterwilsoncc noted that in the discussion on the Make/Core blog, @matt mentions some user testing. @peterwilsoncc asked how much was done.

@joostdevalk proposed to revert and take another look for 5.5, given the negative feedback about this change.

@clorith pointed out that it is still being worked on, and even had a design change between RC1 and RC2. It feels like it’s not ready, and needs more UX work before it goes in.

@chanthaboune asked how the feedback has been in support forums. @ipstenu answered that it’s hard to get feedback in support forums at this stage, since only people beta testing would see it and they tend to be a little more technical savvy than mainstream users.

@youknowriad wanted to clarify some of these questions:
– “I believe we should just the merits of the full screen on its own not whether it can be disabled or not. For instance the customizer is in full screen and it can’t be disabled.
– The UX work after RC1 was a bug fix for RTL languages.
– The feedback is balanced. There were good comments about it. Most negative feedback is about the fact that it becomes default.
– This feature has been on the Gutenberg plugin for more than a year now, It’s in before 5.0.”

@pbiron asked if it was enabled by default in the plugin before being merged into core.

@youknowriad answered that was a request from @matt as release lead prior to the RC.

@joostdevalk added that it’s sounds good to say that @matt has every right to make that call. But he disagrees that this is a good idea in its current form, and he think it will be necessary to guide changes like this more. The Block Editor is changing its default behavior without explaining that in the interface.

For @peterwilsoncc, at this point the question is whether it should be enabled by default rather than whether the feature should exist.

@joemcgill’s main concern is that the reaction to this change will be for people to install code that permanently overrides the feature preference, which makes it harder to move to a fullscreen mode default in the future.

@nilovelez noted that it may seem daunting for existing users, as some part of the UI will apparently be gone, but existing users are the ones that won’t even notice the change. Some attendees disagreed on that as the current behavior for existing users is saved with LocalStorage so it won’t stay for users that use different devices to connect to WordPress Admin.

@clorith also mentioned that Apple clears LocalStorage at set intervals, so users would lose their “don’t use fullscreen” option.

@johnbillion feels concerned that how to switch back to non full screen mode is not obvious.

@youknowriad answered the argument can be turned to the opposite direction for people preferring the full screen mode if it’s disabled. That’s why he think the core team should discuss whether it’s good not whether it can be disabled. For @clorith, given that it’s been off by default, then this is an unexpected change, and thus should not be used as the basis.

@joostdevalk proposed to show how to get out of full screen mode and how to set personal preference in the interface, and save preferences as a user meta and not on the user’s browser.

@jorgefilipecosta pointed out that a new welcome modal is shown to new users. He asked if it would make sense to introduce full screen mode there. @joyously stated that most of the users wouldn’t see it. @jorgefilipecosta, answered that users that won’t see the new modal won’t switch to default FullScreen mode, their preferences will be kept unchanged.

@audrasjb added that users don’t necessarily come to the editor from the posts list. With fullscreen mode and the WP logo button, they can only go back to the Posts list instead of having the full Admin menu. This is the only Admin action/link directly available after editing/publishing a post.

@jorgefilipecosta raised that the development of database persisting mechanism is in progress and that should happen soon. @ipstenu added it really should be a requirement for this feature to land in WordPress Core. @jorgefilipecosta mentioned database persisting for user’s preferences is expected to land in WP 5.5.

In terms of actions, @peterwilsoncc suggested:

  • Setting full screen to off by default
  • Adding some onboarding for when the switch is made
  • Enable once the user’s preference is saved in the database
  • Clarifying exiting full-screen mode (currently active, stated for completeness)

@johnbillion pointed out Matt mentioned that some hosts enabled full screen mode. He asked what is the feedback been regarding not getting lost, switching modes, etc.

@chanthaboune tried to summarize the concerns raised by the attendees:

  • Consistency/persistency of the visual experience
  • More thoughtful user flows
  • Clearer introduction to the full screen functionality

#5-4, #block-editor, #feature-plugins