The following is a summary of the weekly Media component meeting that occurred on Thursday, November 3, 2020 at 15:00 UTC. Weekly media meetings are held every Thursday at 15:00 UTC. A full transcript can be found here in the #core-media room in the Make WordPress Slack.
Attendees: @antpb, @sergeybiryukov, @joedolson, @hellofromtonya, @joel-yoder, @mista-flo, @aristath, @alexdeborba
Media Focus for 5.7
The focus for 5.7 was discussed and it was mentioned that there were many outstanding accessibility 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) issues that should be considered. It was agreed these should be moved into the scope of the release.
#50105: Remove infinite scrolling behavior from the Media grid
#50273: Media modal uses incorrect ‘checkbox’ role for list items
#47120: Media modals: Upload errors and field information are not associated with their control
#39004: Alt attributes should be searchable in media library
There has been a bit of buzz in the Media Slack 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 around a desire for more modern media formats to be considered as a focus. @azaozz recommended prior to the meeting that the following is considered when modern image formats are considered for 5.7.
A Media Focus Lead for 5.7 would be good if everybody here thinks we’ll manage to add support for (at least) .webp . Currently this is still at the “exploratory” stage. Main questions that needs solid answers:
How to resize WebP images?
How to detect browsers that don’t support WebP and serve fallback images?
Would WP expect the users to upload WebP images or would it convert JPEGs, PNGs and GIFs to WebP?
Seems that ideally WP will convert uploaded images to WebP and serve them when the site visitor’s browser supports them. The originally uploaded images would serve as fallback. Determining browser support would be best by “Server-side content negotiation via Accept headers”. Replacing <img> with <picture> on the fly would bring a lot of side effects/compat problems. Frankly not sure if that would be ready by the cut-off time of early to mid February, even if work starts right now On the other hand, this needs to be done, 5.7 or not.@azaozz
After a bit of discussion from attendees, it was generally agreed that for modern media formats there is still discovery work that needs to happen, a proposal to scope the work, and an outline of risks and blockers. The questions asked by @azaozz above are a good starting point in thinking this through.
@joedolson asked “Is there any reason modern image types can’t be staged across multiple releases? E.g., add support for uploading & inserting modern image types, and expand usage later? There’s nothing about adding WebP and SVG that requires them to be globally used; just made available. The bigger problems seem to be in what happens if you start auto-switching existing images between img/picture, etc.”
We’ll leave these these notes on 5.7 with an invitation to comment below about further considerations.
Time of Meeting
For frequent attendees it was determined that the current time of 15:00 UTC is currently working for most people’s schedules. If there are any thoughts on this time, feel free to comment below!
Props @antpb for proofreading and final review.