Dev Chat summary – March 25, 2020

@francina facilitated the chat on this agenda.

Full meeting transcript on Slack

This devchat marked week 11 of the 5.4 release cycle.


WordPress 5.4 Release Candidate 4 was released on Tuesday March 24, 2020 and everything went smoothly.

@audrasjb shared an update on WP Auto-updates Feature Plugin: it was moved from his personal GitHub account to WordPress/wp-autoupdates which is the new official GitHub repository of this project. The #core-auto-updates team will try to ship version 0.4 before WP 5.4 is released. This new version aims to handle auto-updates for themes.

@afragen asked for a review of some Trac tickets which are all associated with Theme compatibility checks and will likely have interaction with the auto-updates feature. The idea is to ship them early in WordPress 5.5.

@whyisjake pointed out that he really like the work that is going on in #core-auto-updates Slack channel and think that trying to land in the next few releases would be excellent. Related, He’d love to see #core-passwords (two-factors authentification – 2FA) land in core too. In his opinion, the plugin is so mature at this point that having it left out almost seems like an omission. @whyisjake is going to work on a merge proposal.

@clorith raised that it would be necessary to make sure that the 2FA proposal also highlights the concerns with how to address users locking them selves out (which was the major holdback previously).

@azaozz announced that the patch for image lazy-loading attribute is ready for testing.

Upcoming Releases

The current major is 5.4, scheduled to go out on March 31st 2020; please keep testing for all the bugs!

There are two ways do it:

Trunk has been branched to 5.5 on the beginning of March. That means 5.5 is officially in Alpha.

@francina announced that work for 5.6 –which is going to be an all-women release– has kicked off with an initial round of messages going out to the women that expressed interest. @angelasjin @francina and Chloé Bringmann are contacting them to hear if they are still interested, what skills they have and what expectations.

Components Check-in

@francina shared a proposal to change the Components Check-in. This is always done towards the end of the chat and feels rushed. There is never really time to dig into the topics they might bring up. Francesca shared two ideas:

  1. Schedule a weekly post where they can leave their status update, like the one for Community deputies.
  2. Adopt a Slack Bot that once a week will ask the maintainers for a status update: maybe in a new component-maintainers Slack channel. Core is getting very busy with Trac and Travis bots, and RSS.

@johnbillion added that trying a weekly post could be a good idea. Maybe every Tuesday so it’s ready for the dev chat on Wednesdays in case anything comes up.

@francina proposed to talk to #meta to set this up and test drive it for 8 weeks.

Open floor

@isabel_brison proposed to create a set of guidelines for Internet Explorer support. The CSS team kind of decided on starting to deprecate it, and “graceful degradation” seems a good way to go forward, meaning Core can use unsupported technology to make non-essential enhancements. Isabel wants to agree on what’s “essential” here, and created a Trac ticket to start the discussion: #49696

@paaljoachim suggested to punt default full screen mode to 5.5 as there is a pull request on Gutenberg project GitHub repository to provide an alternative approach.

@audrasjb pointed out that the proposal in this pull request would be a way better than the current implementation.

@whyisjake added that this is not a realistic change for WP 5.4, it’s a proof of concept, and not a fully tested feature.

@francina confirmed that @matt took the decision to ship WordPress 5.4 with this feature. Matt also commented in the Accessibility Team statement post.

@joyously stated it’s hard to contribute when concerns are ignored. @chanthaboune answered she can understand how they can feel ignored. A lot of that research gets done solo, and it’s often hard to remember to recap your own research. For full site editing to be a reality by the end of the year, the work can start bringing incremental changes. This change is feeling very jarring, but there is more worry about not have any mid-point between here and Full Site Editing.

@peterwilsoncc, @clorith and @audrasjb agreed that since RC4 was released, it’s not realistic to revert this change. The discussion can continue in a post-mortem post on Make/Core.

#5-4, #5-5, #5-6, #dev-chat, #feature-autoupdates, #feature-lazyloading, #two-factor

Auto-updates feature meeting summary: March 17th, 2020

These are the weekly notes for the WP Auto-updates team meeting that happened on Tuesday March 17th, 2020. You can read the full transcript on the core-auto-updates Slack channel.

As a reminder, the Feature Plugin is developed on GitHub and is available for testing on plugins repository.

Current status of the project – version 0.3 🦉

Version 0.3.0 was released on Monday 16th. This release addresses a number of issues and introduces Email Notifications.


  • Add functions to handle plugins updates notification emails – PR 54
  • Remove update time text after manual update – PR 43
  • Ensure “Automatic Updates” column is not added if no content would be output in the column – PR 57
  • Specific messages for delayed or disabled cron events – PR 58
  • Prevent mis-match between count in Auto-updates Enabled view and the number of plugins displayed for that view by applying ‘all_plugins’ filter before computing that count. – PR 59

Thanks @pbiron for his invaluable help on version 0.3.

@audrasjb shared a screenshot with an example of email notification:

Please feel free to propose string changes to this first implementation of email notifications.

Version 0.4.0 will focus on backporting every auto-updates features to Themes. @audrasjb to merge this pull request as a first step for the work on themes support. Then, the idea is to open pull requests for each function/feature to be backported, so it’s easier to track progress on themes support.

@bookdude13 asked whether it’s better to open up issues to break up the work on the themes port, or to directly address them with pull requests.

@audrasjb will open an issue to list all the functions/feature that need proper backport and to track the team’s progression.

There is also a few background tasks opened by @jeffpaul concerning the GitHub repository.

Concerning Email notifications, @joostdevalk proposed to add links to the plugins changelog in those emails. @pbiron answered that it might be hard for plugins/themes not in the repo. @joostdevalk proposed to make it filterable. @audrasjb proposed to make the notification entirely filterable. @joostdevalk felt concerned about plugins that would override the email even when multiple plugins are updated at once.

@afragen proposed to use a filter that could be specific for each, like for example:
apply_filters( 'wp_autoupdates_email', $text, $slug )

This item will be discussed again during the next team meeting.

@pbiron wanted to discuss a specific pull request. It proposes to add filters to control whether the Enable/Disable buttons appear in the UI for a given plugin. @pbiron and @audrasjb agreed that having a filter that is specific to the UI is not the way to go and it is to be filterable then the existing auto_update_plugin hook should be used. For now, the pull request will stay open for further discussion.

Next meeting is planned on Tuesday March 24, 2020 at 18:00 UTC and will take place on #core-auto-updates Slack channel.

#auto-update, #feature-plugins, #feature-projects, #feature-autoupdates

Auto-updates feature meeting summary: March 10th, 2020 (kick-off meeting)

These are the weekly notes for the WP Auto-updates team meeting that happened on Tuesday March 10th, 2020. You can read the full transcript on the core-auto-updates Slack channel and find the meeting’s agenda here.

It was the first meeting for the Plugins & Themes Auto-updates feature, and this kick-off meeting was really efficient and worthwhile for the project 🚀

WP Auto-updates feature general scope

Here is the current general scope of the Feature Plugin:

  • Ability for website administrators to opt-in to automatic updates for plugins and themes in the related WP-Admin screens
    • ✅ Done for plugins
    • 🔲 Themes: needs to be ported. Slated for milestone 0.4.
  • Ability to enable/disable auto-updates on a plugin-by-plugin and theme-by-theme basis
    • ✅ Done for plugins
    • 🔲 Themes: needs to be ported. Slated for milestone 0.4.
  • Email notifications to send regular auto-update summaries to website administrators
    • 🔲 Plugins: Slated for milestone 0.3.
    • 🔲 Themes: Slated for milestone 0.4.
  • Hooks and constants to help developers disable or programmatically define auto-update settings
    • ✅ Done for plugins
    • 🔲 Themes: needs to be ported. Slated for milestone 0.4.

For the moment, the team started with plugins autoupdates, then all this work will have to be ported to Themes screen.

As a reminder, the Feature Plugin is developed on GitHub and is available for testing on plugins repository.

Current status of the project – version 0.2 🐝

Last week, version 0.2.0 was released with a lot of enhancements and bugfixes. Here is the complete changelog:

  • Remove auto-updates column from must-use and drop-ins screens – PR #39
  • Ensure the the enable/disable bulk actions appear in the dropdown and are handled in multisite – PR #38
  • Remove dashicon from “Enable” text in plugins auto-updates column – PR #36
  • Replace “Automatic Updates” with “Auto-updates” in filters – PR #35
  • Display only filters with at least one available plugin – PR #33
  • Remove setting from site option when deleting plugin – PR #32
  • Populate site health with plugins auto-updates informations – PR #24
  • In multisite, only add the “Automatic Updates” column on the plugins-network screen – PR #21
  • Add auto-update-enabled and auto-update-disabled views on the plugins screen – PR #18

@pbiron noticed some PHP notices on version 0.2.0 and made a pull request to fix them. It is milestoned for version 0.2.1, later this week.

@audrasjb shared some screenshots of the current design of WordPress Admin screens:

Click images to open them in full size (it will opens in a new tab).

@mclancy3 will open GitHub issues to provide some feedback on the Plugins screen’s user interface.

Work in progress

@pbiron raised an issue with a premium plugin that assumes there is no extra column on the plugins list table and add its own column with a colspan attribute. As mentioned by @clorith, this is not a bug in WP Auto-update feature plugin but rather a bug in this particular plugin. @jeffpaul proposed to add this to a Known Issues/Caveats section in readme files.

@jeffpaul also proposed to port the Features/to-do list section from into GitHub issues. @audrasjb already ported Email notifications and Themes auto-updates into issues, and @jeffpaul will take care of the remaining ones.

@jeffpaul pointed out that 10up uses two GitHub Actions to help deploy plugins to as well as readme/asset updates. He proposed to submit a PR to add those here and help streamline deploys to For the moment, @audrasjb generates releases from the GitHub repository and deploy them manually on the plugin repository, using SVN. If it’s not a top priority, it would be nice to improve this workflow.

As proposed earlier in core-sitemaps meeting, @pbiron suggested to add a label to issues when something different will have to be done to the plugin code when it gets merged into core. @audrasjb stated that it would be nice to introduce this kin of labels and also to use DocsBlocks comments to point out things that will need specific implementation on WP Core. @jeffpaul proposed to use a GitHub pull request template for that.

About next development steps, @audrasjb is currently implementing email notifications. It shouldn’t be a problem given there is an useful automatic_updates_complete action to hook on.

Porting auto-updates features from Plugins to Themes will probably be a way more difficult, as there is not so much hooks in the Themes screen template. Themes in multisite is fairly straightforward, since a list table is used there, but for single sites there is no list table so what we’ve done for plugins won’t really apply. We’ll probably end up with JavaScript hacks to include the interface opt-in buttons and informations. @jeffpaul proposed to expand the focus of 5.4.x to include those hooks in the themes screen, which sounds like a perfect option right now.

Current GitHub issues

Issue 31: Automatically rollback to previous version if fatal errors detected after update

@audrasjb thinks this issue is out of the feature plugin’s scope. @clorith added that if auto-updates are off by default, yes this would be out of scope for the first release, but definitely something to look into in the future. If they are on by default, this would be a blocker. @audrasjb answered that Plugins, Themes and Core (major) auto-updates are all meant to be opt-in, in the 2020 general roadmap. The team agreed to keep this issue open for the moment.

Issue 13: Automatically delay/postpone updates

@audrasjb said Postponing updates is a great feature, but it’s not on this feature plugin scope, and not sure it’s even in Core scope. @clorith pointed out that the core solution should facilitate by providing filters and such, but not add all those options. The team agreed to keep this issue open for the moment.

Next steps

  • @audrasjb will focus on email notifications development and grant GitHub commit access to @pbiron.
  • A call for testing will be published on Make/Test once 0.2.1 is released with the PHP notices fixes.
  • @jeffpaul will work on improving the GitHub repository organization.

Next meeting is scheduled on Tuesday March 17, 2020 at 18:00 UTC and will take place on #core-auto-updates Slack channel.

#auto-update, #feature-plugins, #feature-projects, #feature-autoupdates

Auto-updates kick-off Meeting Announcement

Last week, WP Auto-updates Feature Plugin was introduced with a post on Make/Core to give everyone an idea of where it is heading.

Now, the idea is to gather more contributors around the feature plugin and get your feedback on the project.

For this, let’s kick-off regular meetings in the brand new #core-auto-updates Slack channel.

The first meeting will be held on Tuesday March 10th, 2020 at 18:00 UTC and will serve as an introduction to the project and as an opportunity to discuss the next steps.

Proposed agenda:

  • WP Auto-updates feature general scope
  • Current status
  • Next steps
  • Openfloor / issues and pull requests reviews

If you have anything specific that you’d like to propose being discussed in this meeting, feel free to leave a comment below.

This meeting is held in the #core-auto-updates Slack channel , to join the meeting, you’ll need an account on the Making WordPress Slack.

#auto-update, #feature-plugins, #feature-projects, #feature-autoupdates

Feature Plugin: WP Auto-updates

In 2018, @matt posted 9 projects for Core to focus on in 2019. This roadmap was updated for 2020. Plugins and Themes automatic updates is one of those 9 projects. WordPress contributors did a lot of work on the two related tickets during WP 5.4 development cycle, but decided to give it more time for testing as it’s an important feature. This project is now planned for WordPress 5.5 and the feature is going to be tested in a Feature Plugin.

For reference, see the two related Trac tickets:

A lot of interesting points were discussed in the tickets above, including the scope of the feature and the user interface/design. Many thanks to everyone who already contributed to this exciting new feature ♥️

Now, the development that happened in the related tickets are moved into WP-Auto-updates Feature Plugin which is available for testing and feedback. Contributions from the WordPress community are welcome on the plugin’s GitHub repository.

Project overview

As a quick reminder of what this project is trying to achieve, here are the main features that are being worked on:

  • Ability for website administrators to opt-in to automatic updates for plugins and themes in the related WP-Admin screens.
  • Ability to enable/disable auto-updates on a plugin-by-plugin and theme-by-theme basis.
  • Email notifications to send regular auto-update summaries to website administrators.
  • Hooks and constants to help developers disable or programmatically define auto-update settings.

Design considerations

The current design of the feature plugin reflects the last ideas that were discussed in #48850. This is still a work in progress and the implementation will probably evolve, as WordPress contributors discuss the feature on GitHub.

Latest Plugin screen mockup in #48850
WP Autoupdates screenshot
Current implementation in WP Auto-updates Feature Plugin – version 0.1.2

Here is the proposed roadmap:

  • ✅ Create feature plugin
  • ✅ Submit feature plugin to repository
  • ✅ Get the plugin featured as beta plugin on
  • 🔲 Move the repository to GitHub account
  • ✅ Publish the feature plugin proposal
  • ✅ Open a dedicated Slack channel on Make WordPress
  • ✅ Organize weekly meetings
  • ✅ Handle plugins auto-updates
  • 🔲 Handle themes auto-updates
  • ✅ Handle plugins auto-updates in a multisite context
  • 🔲 Handle themes auto-updates in a multisite context
  • ✅ Add hooks and constants for plugins
  • 🔲 Add hooks and constants for themes
  • ✅ Add email notifications for plugins
  • 🔲 Add email notifications for themes
  • ✅ Add auto-updates information in update-core screen
  • 🔲 Validate design for plugins screen
  • 🔲 Validate design for themes screen
  • 🔲 Validate design for update-core screen
  • 🔲 Full documentation for new functions, hooks and constants
  • 🔲 Copy review
  • 🔲 Accessibility review
  • 🔲 Security review
  • 🔲 Coding standards review
  • 🔲 Inline Docs review

Last update: March 21, 2020

Next steps

The release of the WP-Auto-updates feature plugin is an early step in the process of having this functionality included in WordPress Core. Now, your help is needed to test, validate, and improve the current feature to ensure that it meets the needs of the WordPress community. Plugin and theme authors, hosting companies, WordPress developers and users are welcome to share their thoughts about this feature.

#5-5, #feature-plugins, #feature-autoupdates