DevChat meeting summary, December 15, 2021

Meeting led by @marybaum, Notes by @webcommsat

Start of meeting on the Make WordPress SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. channel


The WordPress 5.9 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. 3 has landed, after a lot of very hard work by a lot of very dedicated contributors. Please download and test! Note: This beta focused on the bugs that showed …

WordPress 5.9 Beta 3 announcement 

Relevant posts

Since Beta 214 bugs have been reported by contributors and need testing. If you can help, please report your findings on the announcement post.
Editor chat summary: 15 December, 2021 highlights improvements made by the team.
What’s new in Gutenberg 12.1?
A Week in Core.
And remember that the release schedule has been revised.
WordPress 5.9 Beta 2
A Week in Core – December 13, 2021

5.9 release update

From @hellofromtonya:

  • There will be a 5.9 Beta 4 next week, Dec 21st.
  • 5.9 RC1 is on Jan 4th. That’s the code freeze. There are open issues both in Core TracTrac An open source project by Edgewall Software that serves as a bug tracker and project management tool for WordPress. and 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.’s Must-Have project board. The fixes for those issues will need a beta.
  • Appreciate folks testing, reporting issues, investigating, helping to fix, etc. Thank you! 
  • Beta 4 post – @marybaum, @estelaris, @webcommsat confirmed they would be available to work on the post.

Soft string freeze

A soft string freeze or “soft freeze” is announced when all the strings of an upcoming WordPress release are frozen, except for the strings of the About page

@sergeybiryukov: minimal string changes can still be allowed in “soft freeze” on a case-by-case basis if necessary, there’s an i18n-change keyword for that. 

@jeffpaul: RC1 is hard string freeze and not to interpret “code freeze” as no more changes so much as fixes for regressions found in Beta testing. @hellofortonya: And fixes can happen for regressions and bugs found during the RCrelease candidate One of the final stages in the version release cycle, this version signals the potential to be a final release to the public. Also see alpha (beta). cycle.The hope though is that all known bugs are fixed during beta before getting to RC.

@ryelle : #54489 also an exception to the soft string freeze? it has new strings, and still needs copy feedback (can come back to this during open floor if needed). It is an exception to the string freeze as it is connected to the About page area of work.
#54489: Update the Dashboard welcome banner for 5.9

@ryelle: Technically it’s not “the about page”, so I wasn’t sure if it all applied it just references the design. It’s a new iteration on the Welcome panel on the dashboard.

@hellofromtonya: I think folks intended for that Welcome panel to go past string freeze. or at least that was my understanding.

@marybaum: I don’t recall seeing art like this on a dashboard, other than as the 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. art of the four pages About, Credits, Freedoms and Privacy.

@ryelle: On the dashboard (like basic /wp-admin/), there’s the Welcome panel – “Welcome to WordPress! We’ve assembled some links to get you started…” – this ticketticket Created for both bug reports and feature development on the bug tracker. totally redesigns it to introduce new art mirroring the About page, and updated copy and links.

About page 5.9 and associated resources/ marcomms:

  • @marybaum: estimated that layout, art and copy will be finalized for the About page by Monday, to allow time for @ryelle time to work on the code.
  • @webcommsat: we continue to request dev and extenders input into benefits they are expecting from 5.9 for social media messaging and to link in with training. More on this in last week’s devchat summary under the Component Maintainers/ About page heading.

Component maintainers updates

Components reports are being skipped until after 5.9.

Open Floor

@schlessera: raised two concerns that require workarounds with WP-CLIWP-CLI WP-CLI is the Command Line Interface for WordPress, used to do administrative and development tasks in a programmatic way. The project page is currently.

Trac Ticket 54634
We already had several similar bugs, where a check for wp_installing() was missing to wrap DB operations. I already provided an initial patchpatch A special text file that describes changes to code, by identifying the files and lines which are added, removed, and altered. It may also be referred to as a diff. A patch can be applied to a codebase for testing. to fix this one. Without that patch, you get a fatal if you try to install a new 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 networknetwork (versus site, blog).

I found it with a functional test that installed a new network using Behat. However, I think this is not as easy to test with the “unit”-tests of WP Core. I’m happy to add a test if someone can provide pointers into how this is typically done for Core.

@sergeybiryukov: Unit tests start by running the WordPress installation first in the bootstrap file, so wouldn’t be able to catch issues like this.

@schlessera: These tend to crop up from time to time due to the procedural nature of WP, where everything is sort of tied together based on order of executing. It only breaks on trunk, but not on current stable for me. Might be due to some other, seemingly unrelated change. In general, all DB operations like that should be safeguarded, as WP itself is being executed to prepare the DB for WP. Is this something we can still fix for 5.9? Seems like a simple bugfix. @sergeybiryukov agreed, as in line with similar fixes in the past.

@schlessera: I noticed it during the tests of wp core install --network. These tests have been passing for all the previous stable versions of WP, and have started failing at some point with the latest trunk version, so I assume yes. The bugbug A bug is an error or unexpected result. Performance improvements, code optimization, and are considered enhancements, not defects. After feature freeze, only bugs are dealt with, with regressions (adverse changes from the previous version) being the highest priority. was probably always there, but some re-ordering of something unrelated has created the conditions for it to be triggered.

The new default theme has hard dependencies on WP 5.9 code. This seems to make sense given it requires at least 5.9 to work. However, if that theme is active and you try to downgrade WP, you can get an immediate fatal error. What’s more, the theme states it requires WP 5.3, so this currently cannot even be detected.

@sergeybiryukov: I think historically bundled themes aim to be comparable with at least one or two previous major versions.

@schlessera: Can we have the theme be built in such a way that it doesn’t flat-out fatal when downgrading even to the very last version before an upgrade? @audrasjb thought this was feasible. @sergeybiryukov said core should have safeguards in place to check with an appropriate message, and there is some prior art in older themes. Looking at the inc/back-compat.php file in older themes might be helpful for reference, they have similar checks.
@schlessera: It doesn’t have to produce any meaningful output on the frontend, it can still produce errors, but it should do so gracefully without taking the entire server down. 

@schlessera: I haven’t created a ticket yet, as I wanted to first check what the consensus is about this.

More on this discussion can be found on the core slack at this timestamp.

#5-9, #core, #dev-chat, #summary