WordPress 5.6 Field Guide


Update on November 24, 2020: Added the newly published “Core major versions auto-updates UI changes in WordPress 5.6 – Correctiondev notedev note Each important change in WordPress Core is documented in a developers note, (usually called dev note). Good dev notes generally include: a description of the change; the decision that led to this change a description of how developers are supposed to work with that change. Dev notes are published on Make/Core blog during the beta phase of WordPress release cycle. Publishing dev notes is particularly important when plugin/theme authors and WordPress developers need to be aware of those changes.In general, all dev notes are compiled into a Field Guide at the beginning of the release candidate phase. the the Auto-updates (Security) section as an embed. – @audrasjb

Update on November 23, 2020: Added the newly published “WordPress & PHP 8” dev note to the PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 8 section as an embed. – @desrosj


WordPress 5.6 brings you the best features and enhancements to help end 2020 on a positive note! An all-women and non-binary release squad lead the development of new features and resolved defects that benefit users and developers alike. 👩🏻‍💻👩🏼‍💻👩‍💻👩🏽‍💻👩🏾‍💻👩🏿‍💻

As a user, you’ll see automatic updates for major coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. releases (opt-in), external authentication to the REST APIREST API The REST API is an acronym for the RESTful Application Program Interface (API) that uses HTTP requests to GET, PUT, POST and DELETE data. It is how the front end of an application (think “phone app” or “website”) can communicate with the data store (think “database” or “file system”) https://developer.wordpress.org/rest-api/. via newly introduced Application Passwords, PHP 8 support, the latest and greatest features in the blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. editor, and a new AAA-ready default theme. As a developer, you’ll see 85 enhancements and feature requests, 201 bug fixes, and more! Of course, all those improvements mean code changes, which could in turn require you to make updates to your site, 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, or theme.

Note that as of the publishing of this Field GuideField guide The field guide is a type of blogpost published on Make/Core during the release candidate phase of the WordPress release cycle. The field guide generally lists all the dev notes published during the beta cycle. This guide is linked in the about page of the corresponding version of WordPress, in the release post and in the HelpHub version page. there are still two pending Dev Notesdev note Each important change in WordPress Core is documented in a developers note, (usually called dev note). Good dev notes generally include: a description of the change; the decision that led to this change a description of how developers are supposed to work with that change. Dev notes are published on Make/Core blog during the beta phase of WordPress release cycle. Publishing dev notes is particularly important when plugin/theme authors and WordPress developers need to be aware of those changes.In general, all dev notes are compiled into a Field Guide at the beginning of the release candidate phase. that will be published in the coming week. We will update this Field Guide with that content once it becomes available and will place a clear UPDATE note announcing the new content at the top of this Field Guide.

In this Field Guide, you’ll notice what’s relevant to you and your users among the many improvements coming in 5.6.

Application Passwords

Of the eight updates to the Login and Registration component, take notice of WordPress APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways. improvements in the detailed integration guide. You can now make authenticated requests to various WordPress APIs via the newly-introduced, user-specific, application passwords.

The integration guide includes the application password format, the application password data store, how to generate credentials manually or programmatically through the REST API, and how to use those credentials with the REST API or XML-RPC API. Additionally, you’ll notice highlights on future developments for the REST API.

Auto-updates (Security)

The #core-auto-updates team introduces a new UIUI User interface allowing website administrators to opt-in to major version automatic updates. Read on to learn more about the new user interface to opt-in to automatic updates for major versions looks, how the user interface works, and how you can extend the core major versions auto-updates feature.

Block Editor

The block editor continues its rapid iteration. GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ version 9.2 is bundled with WordPress 5.6; that’s seven Gutenberg releases (versions 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, 8.9, 9.0, 9.1, and 9.2) all bundled into this release (and as noted in the related Gutenberg handbook page)! Bug fixes and performance improvements from Gutenberg versions 9.3 and 9.4 are also part of 5.6.

The WordPress 5.6 Beta 1 post highlights many new features and improvements. There is improved support for video positioning in cover blocks, enhancements to Block Patterns including translatable strings, character counts in the information panel, improved keyboard navigation, and improved UI for drag and drop functionality.

Included below are details on a new Block API version that enables blocks to render their own block wrapper element, and a new createBlocksFromInnerBlocksTemplate Block API to create blocks from the InnerBlocks template. You’ll notice new block supports and abilities for dynamic blocks to use the new block supports, 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) and small screen user experience enhancements to editor styling, extraction of reusable blocks from @wordpress/editor to @wordpress/reusable-blocks so they are available in other editors, and changes to Toolbar components.

jQuery

WordPress 5.6 includes part 2 of the 3-step plan for upgrading the version of jQuery bundled with core. The 3-step plan updates the bundled jQuery version to 3.5.1 and jQuery Migrate to 3.3.1. The dev note below includes details on part 2 of the plan, and more. Part 3 of the plan removes jQuery Migrate. That’s because jQuery Migrate is tentatively planned to be removed in WordPress 5.7 or later depending on testing. As 5.6 includes a major upgrade to the jQuery library, please ensure you test your plugins and themes as thoroughly as possible before the release of WordPress 5.6 to avoid any preventable breakage.

PHP 8

The next major version release of PHP, 8.0.0, is scheduled a few days prior to WordPress 5.6. The WordPress project has a long history of being compatible with new versions of PHP as soon as possible, and this release is no different. Because PHP 8 is a major version release, changes that break backward compatibility or compatibility for various APIs are allowed. While all of the detectable issues in WordPress can be fixed, you will need to verify that all of your plugins and themes are also compatible with PHP 8 prior to upgrading. Read on for more detailed information about what to look for.

REST API

Of the 28 REST API updates, pay attention to the new framework for making a series of REST API calls in one request to the server and the new wp_after_insert_post action that allows theme and plugin developers to run custom code after a post, its terms, metaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. data has been updated. Read the respective dev notes below to learn more about these two new additions to the WordPress REST API.

Site Health

There are 11 Site Health updates in 5.6. You’ll want to particularly notice enhancements to the way the Site Health component handles and validates health checks. The dev note below includes details on changes to the Site Health component.

Themes

This release continues a tradition of including a new default theme, this year with the AAA-ready Twenty Twenty-One theme. The post below includes background on Twenty Twenty-One and the design decisions made in its planning. You’ll also notice the benefit in consulting our community of a11yAccessibility 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) experts from the beginning, the joy in testing the AAA-ready default theme, and the pleasure of activating and using the new theme.

Other Developer Updates

There are even more goodies in 5.6! Read through the dev note below to see details on additional changes coming in 5.6 within the Administration, Build/Test Tools, Database, Media, Networks and Sites, Pings/Trackbacks, Quick/Bulk Edit, Site Health, TaxonomyTaxonomy A taxonomy is a way to group things together. In WordPress, some common taxonomies are category, link, tag, or post format. https://codex.wordpress.org/Taxonomies#Default_Taxonomies., Users, Upgrade/Install, and Widgets components and with PHP, JSONJSON JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a minimal, readable format for structuring data. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML., and error handling.

But Wait, There is More!

5.6 offers so much more! Over 197 bugs, 85 enhancements and feature requests, and 39 blessed tasks have been marked as fixed in WordPress 5.6.

Here are a few that haven’t been highlighted:

  • Bundled Theme: Added block patterns for Twenty Twenty (#51098) and Twenty Nineteen (#51099) themes.
  • Bundled Theme: Added theme support for navigation-widgets (see #51445).
  • Build/Test Tools: Update akismet from 4.1.6 to 4.1.7 (#51610).
  • Build/Test Tools: Composer 2.0 Support (#51624).
  • Emoji: Update twemoji from 13.0.0 to 13.0.1 (#51356).
  • External Libraries: Update lodash from 4.17.15 to 4.17.19 (#51505).
  • External Libraries: Update react and react-dom from 16.9.0 to 16.13.1 (#51505).
  • Media: Added indicator to image details for images attached to a site option (#42063).
  • REST API: Fixed incorrect slashes in the URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL www.wordpress.org if the parent is empty for REST API (see #44745).
  • Site Health: Added better handling of unexpected values in Site Health (#50145).
  • Site Health: Added a test to Site Health to verify that the Authorization headerHeader The header of your site is typically the first thing people will experience. The masthead or header art located across the top of your page is part of the look and feel of your website. It can influence a visitor’s opinion about your content and you/ your organization’s brand. It may also look different on different screen sizes. is working as expected for Application Passwords (see #51638).
  • And much, much more!

Please, test your code. Fixing issues helps you and millions of WordPress sites.

Props to @jeffpaul, @desrosj, @planningwrite, @isabel_brison, @audrasjb, @annezazu, @cbringmann, and @chanthaboune for contributing to this guide.

#5-6, #field-guide