New committers for 4.3!

Please join me in welcoming three new guest committers for WordPress 4.3 — Ella Van Dorpe (@iseulde), Konstantin Obenland (@obenland), and Weston Ruter (@westonruter)!

Ella has been one of our very top contributors of late. She started with a front-end editor plugin, which parlayed into substantial core editor contributions, including inline image editing in 3.9, inline oEmbed previews and improved editor scrolling (“focus”) in 4.0, distraction-free writing (“focus v2”) in 4.1, and a few dozen other things I am sure I am missing (like this). She’s a powerhouse.

Obenland, well, is also wearing the release lead hat for 4.3. I said plenty of nice things about him there. 😄 While there’s no requirement for a release lead to be a committer, a) it does help with housekeeping, and b) Konstantin has unquestionably earned this in his own right, regardless of his other role.

Weston has been essentially leading the customizer component since his work last year on bringing widgets into the customizer. His body of work there is nothing short of incredible and we’re lucky to have had him spearheading this important work.

The lead developers review and appoint new committers to serve each release cycle, often to work on a particular component or feature. This guest commit access comes up for review after each release and can be renewed — Aaron Jorbin and Jeremy Felt have both been renewed for 4.3.

We (well, I) neglected to announce that John Blackbourn (@johnbillion), Boone B. Gorges (@boonebgorges) and Gary Pendergast (@pento) were made full, permanent committers at the start of 4.2. John, Boone, and Gary all destroyed it in 4.1 (which is perhaps more obvious now that some of Gary’s work has been trickling out into the open).

Congrats all! 🎉

#4-3, #commit

Release leads for WordPress 4.3 and 4.4

Since WordPress 3.5, we’ve had a rotating release lead. Because of the ever-present demands of the current release’s development cycle, we’ve found it tough to make these appointments well in advance. We’ve always wanted to give leads opportunity to prepare, so they can hit the ground running. (Long term, we’d love for release development to overlap pretty significantly, aided primarily by feature plugin development, but also by branching.)

A release lead determines all important parameters for a release, like schedule, deadlines, which feature plugins are merged; and more generally, scope, goals, vision, and process. They take point when it comes to holding meetings, shepherding contributions, and writing announcement posts and updates. A release lead is a connector and facilitator, identifying bottlenecks and friction wherever they may be. They’re in frequent communication with the developers and plugin teams that are aiming to have something in a given release. The release lead follows what’s being committed, and sets the tone for prioritizing and gardening tickets. Given the constraint of time in hitting deadlines, help with prioritization and ensuring good communication lines are two of the most valuable things a lead can contribute.

Today, I’m excited to announce release leads for both WordPress 4.3 and 4.4.

Konstantin Obenland will lead WordPress 4.3, currently planned for August. Many of you may know @obenland (twitter) from his early work on default themes, but his contributions span across WordPress core. More recently, he shipped the new WordPress.org theme directory. Obenland is a native of Germany and lives in southern California. He’s a code wrangler at Automattic, which donates all of his time to WordPress core and WordPress.org.

 

Scott Taylor will lead WordPress 4.4, due at the end of the year. A committer since 3.7, @wonderboymusic (twitter) has been plowing through major changes to media and pretty much everything else he can get his hands on. Scott is a Tennessee native and lives in New York City. He’s a senior software engineer on the interactive news team at The New York Times.

 

You’ll hear from both of them in the coming days and weeks as they start to plan out their releases, including potential features, deputies, and strategies. Congratulations 🎉 and best of luck to both!

Not an April Fools’ joke.

#4-3, #4-4, #release-lead

New chapters for Ryan and Westi

WordPress lead developers Ryan Boren (@ryan) and Peter Westwood (@westi) started contributing to WordPress more than a decade ago. Ryan and Peter, along with Mark and Matt, served as the foundation for much of the early years.

For some time now, Ryan and Peter have avoided weighing in on technical matters. Very simply, when you aren’t able to be active in development, you know you’re not up to speed, and you realize your words shouldn’t carry the weight that they do. Being able to make this judgment is one of the things that makes both of them such great leaders.

We’ve all been there, at least for particular features or releases. It’s worth noting, for example, that my own time on core has been cyclical for years, as sometimes I end up working full time on the security team, maintenance releases, the WordPress.org site, or related projects.

The great thing is, there are a lot of fantastic developers who have stepped up over the last few years to seamlessly fill in the huge holes they’ve left. Some of that culminated in promoting Helen and Dion to lead developer yesterday, and my own promotion three years ago.

When I started contributing, I received a lot of advice and learned a lot from both of them. Peter reviewed a lot of my code and was the guy who would revert my code when I broke something. 🙂 Ryan became my mentor and pushed me to become the engineer I am today.

And so, it is with mixed emotion I share that Ryan and Peter have stepped down as lead developers.

Peter will be moving into a dormant/inactive/emeritus status. We hope to have him back when his life and work allows. In the meantime, you may see him committing a bug fix here and there, as he is wont to do.

Ryan has been focusing all of his energy on improving UX for more than a year, especially for mobile and touch devices, and especially for workflows like media management. So I’m pleased to say he’ll continue to do that: Ryan will be spearheading UX for WordPress in 2015. It’s been a while since we’ve had someone truly focusing on just UX, so this is really exciting.

Along with yesterday’s announcement, the active lead developers are @markjaquith, me, @azaozz, @helen, and @dd32.

Please join me in congratulating Ryan and Peter on an epic run. 🙂

New lead developers: Helen and Dion

I’m pleased to announce that Dion Hulse (@dd32) and Helen Hou-Sandí (@helen) are now lead developers of the WordPress project.

The two are already highly respected leaders in the community. Dion has architected some of the most important code in WordPress over the years. He started by building the plugin updater way back in 2007, helped lay the foundations of custom post types and taxonomies, and more recently, designed and implemented automatic updates. He has essentially been one of core’s main architects for years, all while providing advice, code review to newcomers (myself included, long ago).

Helen’s tremendous impact on the project is surely known to all of you. She champions the project’s philosophies, she’s been a key leader on dozens of features large and small, including the media UI, CSS architecture, and the jam-packed WordPress 4.0 release. Her strong engineering skills are backed by her natural leadership, sound judgement for user experience design, and the mentorship of countless contributors.

Please join me in congratulating Helen and Dion!

Drew Jaynes is the 4.2 Release Lead

I’m pleased to share Drew Jaynes (@drewapicture) is the release lead for WordPress 4.2.

Drew will be kicking off 4.2 today in about 7 minutes in #core on Slack (the regular weekly meeting). This is a follow up to yesterday’s excellent chat that I led on feature plugin development, which has highlighted a few things:

  • Menus in the customizer need additional development and user testing, and may or may not be a 4.2 candidate. Extra time here is not a bad thing.
  • Theme switching in the customizer needs user testing. It is a possible 4.2 candidate.
  • Press This has been in the wild for some time and is a possible 4.2 candidate.
  • Update improvements initially discussed for 4.1 is gonna get started in 4.2.

As you may know, Drew led the massive year-long effort to document every hook in WordPress. This showed off his impressive management and organizational skills that we know will translate nicely to running a release. Also, don’t be fooled — while his focus has been inline docs, he’s an engineer at 10up.

Additionally, Scott Taylor (@wonderboymusic) will be taking point as a core feature lead for a lot of media and image efforts underway, including two feature plugins (image flow and also responsive and HiDPI images), media on mobile, and such. This effort spans not only 4.2 but also 4.3 and really 2015. There will be more on all of this in the coming days.

#4-2, #release-lead

Let’s cancel today’s weekly meeting since the holidays…

Let’s cancel today’s weekly meeting, since the holidays are starting for some of us (and ending for some others).

It can be open office hours* if anyone is around (I doubt I will be), but everyone (@johnbillion especially!) deserves a nice break for a great WordPress 4.1 release. It’s already been downloaded 2.5 million times, there’s been a lot of great feedback, and I also haven’t seen anything major reported. I just triaged about 40 recent tickets to be sure. Check out the 4.1.1 ticket report.

Please check that report when you have time to see if there’s a ticket you should be giving feedback on. For example, I see stuff for @azaozz and @avryl (#30696), @helen (#30813), and @obenland (#30831). Again, nothing important, so enjoy any break you may be taking. Happy holidays!

I suspect next week (New Year’s Eve) will be an informal meeting, as it’ll be only the afternoon for those in the U.S.

* Keep in mind people are in the #core channel on Slack all the time, so it’s really 167 hours of office hours per week, plus one meeting.

#4-1, #agenda

If you’ve written a child theme for Twenty…

If you’ve written a child theme for Twenty Fifteen, please note that some of the new pagination functions have been renamed for a bit of clarity:

  • the_pagination() is now the_posts_pagination()
  • get_the_pagination() is now get_the_posts_pagination()
  • These two functions now emit a “posts-navigation” HTML class, instead of “paging-navigation”

@obenland‘s original post on new template tags in WordPress 4.1 has been updated with these changes.

#4-1, #bundled-theme, #dev-notes, #twentyfifteen

There’s a community summit next week after WordCamp…

There’s a community summit next week after WordCamp SF for those who don’t know. During this day we break into small meetings to discuss big picture items. These topics touch the entire community. In this case I’m specifically looking at adding more core development topics to the list, because it’s pretty barren right now.

Here’s some thoughts we covered two years ago at the last official summit. The timing of this, for reference, was about three months after 3.4 came out, and two months before 3.5 came out. I pulled this off the schedule:

I think most of these could benefit from a revisit in some way. A lot of specific and big improvements have been made in a number of areas (e.g. bug tracker, updates, i18n, JavaScript, multisite), but even then there’s a lot to cover and a lot has changed in two years.

Here’s some potential topics that have been proposed:

Some other ones that I’m now proposing:

  • After PHP 5.2
  • i18n/multilingual roadmap
  • multisite roadmap, 2.0
  • next steps for updates (or: how can we auto update everything)

And now I toss it to you: what else should be on this list? Quick, you have a few hours before the initial schedule is built.

I’m reading through all of the relevant documents from the summit in 2012, and attendees for this year’s summit, you should too. I linked all of them above in the first set of bullets.

#summit, #wcsf

Ideas for plugin/theme install/update UIs

In the last few releases, the theme and plugin installers received new UI. But the actual procedure of installing a plugin or theme is still old-school: a JavaScript alert confirms you actually did want to install something, then you get taken an ugly screen that prints out sentences of “Downloading package,” etc. If there is an error, everything stops. If it succeeds, you can activate what you just installed or go back to where you came from.

To say this is not the best experience is an understatement. We can streamline this entire flow while also adding some new functionality. Here’s the goal: Installing or updating a plugin or theme should not block you from continuing what you were doing. Secondarily: unnecessary and sub-par user interfaces should be eliminated.

Some ideas:

  • You should be able to install a plugin/theme without leaving the installer screens.
  • You should be able to continue searching and browsing for other plugins (or themes).
  • Multiple plugins/themes should be able to be queued for installation at once.
  • Progress is shown directly inside the installer. Details are only shown if there is an error.

How are we going to do this?

  • Once an install starts for an item, we can “lock” that item to the top left of the results, even if the user keeps browsing or searching for other things.
  • The plugin installer is not yet dynamic, so we’ll need to add infinite scroll and such to allow for continuous browsing (something we avoided doing in 4.0 due to time constraints).
  • We’ll need to come up with a UI for installing a plugin, such as a card-flip, a subtle progress bar, or button changes (“Install” “Installing…” “Installed!”).
  • Updating plugins, themes, and core (from the Dashboard → Updates, Plugins, and Themes screens) should be seamless and happen inline, which will be a completely different UI from installing.
  • We must make sure a user abort (leaving the page) is prevented and/or doesn’t stop the update. We must probably make sure that updates are queued (only one actually happening at once), as we have to take into account maintenance mode, conflicts, I/O operations, and such.
  • If the user is forced to enter FTP credentials, we can request it once in a modal, then send it with each Ajax request — much nicer experience.

The tracking ticket is #29820. Thoughts, ideas, challenges, suggestions, questions welcome.

#plugins, #themes, #upgrade-install

John Blackbourn is leading WordPress 4.1 (and announcing new committers!)

I’m pleased to share John Blackbourn (@johnbillion) is the release lead for WordPress 4.1. But please hold your applause until the end, I have a few announcements to get through!

WordPress 4.1 will be kicking off at WordCamp Europe this weekend. As noted yesterday, the first meeting will be at 1400 UTC on Monday, September 29.

You’ve probably seen John in action over the years (his first contribution was more than seven years ago). I’ll also add it’s pretty awesome that @simonwheatley and @s1m0nd of Code for the People (a six-person shop) jumped at the chance to donate a large chunk of John’s time through the end of the year back to the WordPress project. (See also this post for more on the release lead role.)

New committers for WordPress 4.1

As many of you know, the lead developers review and appoint new committers to serve each release cycle, often to work on a particular component or feature. This guest commit access comes up for review after each release and can be renewed. I in particular work closely with every guest committer, providing feedback.

I’m pleased to announce our largest guest committer class ever: Gary Pendergast (@pento), Boone B. Gorges (@boonebgorges), Konstantin Kovshenin (@kovshenin), Aaron Jorbin (@jorbin), and Jeremy Felt (@jeremyfelt).

Konstantin and Gary both enjoy diving into internals and getting their hands dirty with tough bugs and regressions. Jeremy will be continuing to push multisite forward. Jorbin will be focusing on testing and tooling. Boone has been working on a set of great improvements to tax, date, and meta queries, with test coverage to come with it.

These five should be strangers to no one — they’ve all been around the community for years, and not only are they top-notch contributors who embody the project, but they’re generally just really good people.

This will also be John Blackbourn’s third release as a guest committer. I’d also like to welcome back Ian Stewart (@iandstewart), who previously was a committer during the development of Twenty Eleven, and will be back to take the commit reins for the next default theme, Twenty Fifteen.

Scott Taylor (@wonderboymusic) was on fire during 4.0, especially if this terrific post is any testament, continuing a great run. Scott’s WP origin story is pretty great — right as he was getting ready to leave the WordCamp San Francisco 2011 after-party, @koop convinced him to stick around a little longer. We were introduced, and not long after (from the party) his first patch got committed. A thousand contributions later that have made an indelible impact, Scott is now a permanent WordPress committer. We hope to have him around for a long time.

About a year ago Drew Jaynes (@DrewAPicture) was given commit access to lead the hook documentation effort. This was hugely successful. After the effort was complete, Drew’s role evolved into maintaining all inline docs, which has just been wonderful. We appreciate his attention to detail and his dedication to this never-ending effort. Drew is now a permanent committer.

Congratulations to John, Drew, Scott, Gary, Konstantin, Jeremy, Jorbin, Ian, and Boone!

#4-1, #commit, #release-lead