@aaroncampbell is now the new lead of security triage and resolution for the WordPress project, also known as the Security Czar. Many thanks to Nikolay Bachiyski for kicking this role off and getting a lot of the infrastructure we use in place. This is also a good time to thank the dozens of volunteers who participate in the security group, and the researchers and reporters who bring issues to our attention.
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There are three main focuses this year: the REST API, the editor, and the customizer.
For the REST API we’re going to work on getting first party wp-admin usage of the new endpoints, and hopefully replace all of the core places where we still use admin-ajax.
The editor will endeavour to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.
The customizer will help out the editor at first, then shift to bring those fundamental building blocks into something that could allow customization “outside of the box” of post_content, including sidebars and possibly even an entire theme.
Each focus will have a tech lead, and a design lead, and I’ll be working closely with each to make sure we’re aligned and moving diligently in the right direction even though we don’t have the normal release hooks. These starting leads will be:
REST API: Ryan McCue and KAdam White.
Editor: Matias Ventura and Joen Asmussen.
Customizer: Weston Ruter and Mel Choyce.
Given there is no set timeline for releases that would normally set a term, these leads are free to bow out at any time they feel they can’t contribute fully and we’ll find a replacement.
You might be wondering what each lead is responsible for. The REST team gave some thought to this for their focus, and this is the list they came up with:
Tech Lead responsibilities:
- identify and ensure implementation of first-class REST API usage within WP-Admin,
- replacing/refactoring admin-ajax use.
- overall REST API architecture
- infrastructure and endpoint performance
- security at an infrastructure and endpoint (data-exposure) level
- improving authentication options and documentation
- working with the Design Lead to build new, or expand on existing, endpoints
- working with the Design Lead to address usability feedback for the infrastructure and endpoints
Design Lead responsibilities:
- usability of endpoints for internal or external clients
- usability of the infrastructure from the perspective of a API client
- working with the Editor and Customizer focus teams to collect requirements and gather feedback
- identifying ways to improve the overall experience for folks building clients or consuming endpoints (like documentation)
wp-cli is a command-line interface that is deployed and relied upon by almost every major user of WordPress out there. As we head into 2017, I wanted to make sure that its future is certain for everyone who builds on it, and that the major contributors to the project, chiefly Daniel Bachhuber, are able to work on it even more in the coming year.
To that end there are two big announcements:
1. The website of wp-cli.org, the code / GitHub, Twitter, and such are all coming in under the WordPress.org umbrella and there will be a CLI Make site with a P2 and all of the resources that used to be under wp-cli.org. There is already #cli on Slack and that will continue. (Will live at https://make.wordpress.org/cli.)
2. I’m going to be bringing together a number of companies in the WordPress ecosystem to solidify their financial support of runcommand so that Daniel and others can devote more time to making wp-cli better and better through 2017. This is a continuation of the fundraising started a few weeks ago.
This will all happen the first part of January, and I’m looking to a full and exciting year for wp-cli. Also big thanks to everyone who has chipped in, whether time or money, to support the project in the past. It has been one of the highest impact developments for WP in many years.
Many of the logistics are yet to be determined. Feel free to weigh in with questions, feedback, etc. in the comments, or join #cli on Slack. We’ll do our best to keep everyone in the loop as things develop.
Due to some unexpected constraints on my time this year, I’m going to be stepping down as the 4.7 lead, and I’m happy to announce that Helen Hou-Sandí is stepping up to lead the release in my stead. I’ll still be behind the scenes providing whatever support is necessary, and I’m really looking forward to the release . You might remember Helen for her famous work on WordPress 4.0.
Since some people read this and not the news blog, 3.8 is out. 🙂
tl; dr: Still on track for release next Thursday. We’re extending the window for code changes by 3 days, through the 8th. RC2 package on the 9th will be what ships on the 12th.
December 5th, our targeted but controversial freeze date, is drawing to a close. First the bad news: there are two blockers and we could not ship the package we have tonight, despite a lot of great effort. The good news is we are close, there are good priorities on the remaining issues, the new features appear resilient and are live on WP.com which has generated a ton of testing, and we’re far enough out from our target (the 12th) that I’m confident we can ship that morning and still have had a 4-day freeze.
As a side-effect of the longer freeze and predictable date, I also think the best WP hosts will push it to their customers same-day and we’ll continue or improve our record of having localized versions ready to go.
What could break it? If an unknown unknown blocker pops up on Tuesday or Wednesday, we’re going to have to delay the release until the following week. Discovering that issue sooner, so it wouldn’t cause a delay, is a function of testing — the more we can test and cover now the better. We want to shake out big issues now, not next week. The more people that can run the RC or trunk at this point, the healthier the release will be.
What’s open right now? Our most substantial blocker, no-JS fallback for THX #25964, was raised a few weeks ago and we could have flagged its priority and developed a solution then, rather than the flurry of activity its had over the last two days. Our other blocker, the about.php page, is similar: I should have kicked off that page (#26387) when we nailed down exactly what headline features would be in the release, which was much earlier. Often user-focused non-code deliverables wind up as the last thing we do, but they’re so visible they deserve time to bake just like a complex backend change would. Of the the other 15-ish open issues there is nothing intractable, but there’s also nothing trivial, and for some issues we need to make a non-obvious decision to move it forward. We made the decision to punt or revert a number of things that weren’t fully ready yet, like the new author widget and RSSJS.
The things we missed are not a matter of having enough time, they’re a matter of priority. I think properly triaging issues as soon as they come in and being disciplined about working from highest to lowest will allow future release to avoid these problems. Even though that’s not hard to understand intellectually, sometimes you have to make the mistake to really grok it. I’m extremely proud of everyone who has been involved so far and in the amount of learning and growth I’ve observed even in our accelerated cycle.
Excellent 3.8 brainstorm session today. People talked about a number of interesting ideas and started to form some groups around them. Not everyone is in IRC, so wanted to give an opportunity for people to post a comment with a given area here, and if you’re interested in contributing to that area reply to that comment. This allows people to connect asynchronously. As people comment please connect with them directly in IRC, email, whatever, and discuss.
Next week groups will bring more fleshed out proposals for forming a Plugin Project team, including a lead, mockups, user tests, existing plugins…
An upcoming free Stanford HCI (human computer interaction) course coming up:
(Hat tip: @DanielBachhuber.)
You might notice that this P2 has gotten a big head. All of the Make P2s have actually, and like the rug in the Big Lebowski we think it really ties the room together.
The Get Involved tab has been added, docs have been moved under support, home has been hidden. This isn’t ideal — we’d eventually like to move to more of a verb-oriented navigation system — but it is better than everything under Make being its own island and not really linked to or from the main WP.org side, or to each other. Hopefully it will also let more folks know about how to get involved (I added a link to the Make Core Handbook to the top sidebar widget.)
The Core Contributor Handbook is live here, and has a lot of great content from a number of contributors already:
What we’re looking for is someone to “own” the CCH and be responsible for:
- Expanding and editing it, getting feedback from devs.
- Walking people through it to get ideas on how to improve it (and get people involved with WP!).
- Soliciting other contributors (don’t want a one-person show) and keeping an eye on all the changes.
- Figure out a cool way to package and print the handbook.
Let me know if you’re interested in taking on this role, a comment on this post is fine.
This also reminds me — it would be great to be able to see a feed of changes on a site, like edits to a page. Anyone have a favorite plugin there?