WordPress 4.8 Field Guide

WordPress 4.8 is officially the best WordPress 2017 has seen!  Users will receive new and refined features focused on Editing and Customizing their sites while developers will be able to take advantage of 109 enhancements and features added.  Let’s look at the many improvements coming in 4.8…

 

Media Widgets

Not one, not two, but three new media widgets make their way into core. It’s like the AV crew just showed up and now the party can really begin. You get an audio widget. You get an image widget. You get a video widget. Check under your seat, media widgets for everyone!

Media Widgets for Images, Video, and Audio

 

Fabulously Rich Text Widget

Robin Hood has come to town and is handing out rich text editing to all the text widgets. No more having to manually type out your HTML in text widgets like it’s 2016.

Addition of TinyMCE to the Text Widget

 

Simpler Link Editing, Streamlined Browser Support, and Editor Instantiation via JS

Editing just got a lot easier, you can thank us later. But trust us that adding and managing links within the editor is now easier than ever. If you don’t trust us, then just try navigating in and out of links with your arrow keys. Pretty cool, huh? That’s the new TinyMCE inline element / link boundaries. As for the reduced browser support, let’s just say IE 8, 9, and 10 have been thanked for their service but can feel free to enjoy their retirement. Also, if bootstrapping the TinyMCE content editor dynamically via JS is your thing, then boy are you going to be excited!

Editor changes in 4.8

Editor API changes in 4.8

 

WMV and WMA get retirement packages

Remember Silverlight? Many browsers these days don’t. So the file formats which require the presence of the Silverlight plugin are being removed from core support. Files will still display as a download link, but will no longer be embedded automatically.

Removal of core embedding support for WMV and WMA file formats

 

Resizing the Customizer sidebar

If you have used the Customizer on a high-resolution screen, then you may have noticed that the Customizer sidebar is… suboptimally narrow. The sidebar is now variable width based on screen size to help you receive the best editing experience possible.

Customizer sidebar width is now variable

 

WordCamps and meetups all up in your admin dashboard

One of the best things about WordPress is its community. You can now read about WordCamps and meetups in your area right within your dashboard. No more excuses for missing the speaker or volunteer deadlines now!

Nearby WordPress Events

Showing upcoming local events in wp-admin

 

Mu will really love these multisite changes

We know you love superheroes but is_super_admin() needs to go. So while we’re replacing that with appropriate capabilities, we’re also treating you to some new hooks and a new $network_id parameter that gets wide usage across several functions.

Multisite Focused Changes in 4.8

 

Accessibility: saving the best for last

As a part of ongoing efforts to improve accessibility in WordPress, 4.8 includes some changes to headings within admin screens. This is a continuation of the work started in 4.3 on restoring the H1 (heading level 1) to the admin screens and continued in 4.4 with the introduction of a better headings hierarchy. Also improved is the Tag Cloud widget, now swapping out the title attributes in favor of aria-label attributes.

Cleaner headings in the admin screens

Tag Cloud widget changes in 4.8

 

But Wait, There is More!

Roughly 217 bugs, 108 enhancements, 1 feature request, and 16 blessed tasks have been marked as closed in WordPress 4.8. Some additional ones to highlight include:

  • REST API: orderby normalization (#38693)
  • REST API: Add supports object to /types response (#39033)
  • New filter to disable auto-focus on the login screen (#40301)
  • Screencast.com was added as an oEmbed provider (#38367)
  • HHVM removed from the test matrix on Travis (#40548)
  • Bundled Themes now support the new media and updated text widgets (#40745)
  • Popular plugins feed has been removed from the dashboard (#40702)
  • Support added for Bosnian locale (bs_BA) in remove_accents() (#39658)
  • Easily enqueue WP_Editor JavaScript files using the new wp_enqueue_editor() (#35760)

New Action Hooks

  • deleted_blog (#25584)
  • print_default_editor_scripts (#35760)

New Filter Hooks

  • file_mod_allowed replaces disallow_file_mods (#38673)
  • minimum_site_name_length (#39676)
  • nav_menu_submenu_css_class (#36163)
  • page_menu_link_attributes (#40359)
  • post_date_column_status (#39545)
  • signup_site_meta (#39223)
  • signup_user_meta (#39223)
  • wp_doing_cron (#39591)
  • widget_text_content (#40772)
  • rest_oembed_ttl (#40450)
  • widget_{$this->id_base}_instance (#32417)

Modified Filter Hooks

  • widget_text_content (#40772)
  • {$type}_template (#39525)
  • display_media_states (#39628)
  • media_library_show_audio_playlist (#31071)
  • media_library_show_video_playlist (#31071)
  • rest_pre_insert_comment (#39578)
  • wp_is_large_network (#40489)

External Library Updates

  • TinyMCE was updated from version 4.5.6 to version 4.6.2 (see: #40859).
  • Twemoji was updated from version 2.2.2 to version 2.3.0 (see: #40858).
  • zxcvbn was updated from version 1.0 to version 4.4.1 (see: #31647).

Please, test your code. That bears repeating: Please, test your code. Fixing issues now, before 4.8 is released, helps you and helps millions of WordPress sites. Please. Test. Your. Code.

#4-8, #dev-notes, #field-guide

WordPress 4.7 Field Guide

WordPress 4.7 is shaping up to be the best WordPress yet!  Users will receive new and refined features that make it easier to “Make your site, YOUR site”, and developers will be able to take advantage of 173 enhancements and feature requests added.  Let’s look at the many improvements coming in 4.7…

RESTing, RESTing: 1, 2, 3

The foundation for RESTful APIs has been in core since 4.4, and 4.7 sees the addition of Content Endpoints after a healthy discussion. We’ve defined four success metrics as part of the merge discussion and you can help by building themes and plugins on top of the API, using the API in custom development projects, and utilizing the API for a feature project, core features, or patches. So, dive in, start playing around, and let us know what you build!

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/10/08/rest-api-merge-proposal-part-2-content-api/

 

It don’t mean a thing, if you ain’t got a theme

No matter if you are building themes for public consumption, as a bespoke project for a major public company, or anything in between WordPress 4.7 has something to help you.

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/11/29/theming-with-twenty-seventeen/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/11/26/video-headers-in-4-7/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/?p=20650

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/11/10/visible-edit-shortcuts-in-the-customizer-preview/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/11/07/whitespace-changes-in-navigation-for-4-7/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/11/03/post-type-templates-in-4-7/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/11/03/new-post-type-labels-in-4-7/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/09/09/new-functions-hooks-and-behaviour-for-theme-developers-in-wordpress-4-7/

The Voyages of USS Media

Two notable changes, enhanced PDF support in the media library and changes to the default fallbacks for image alt attributes, are explained in separate posts.

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/11/15/enhanced-pdf-support-4-7/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/11/11/improving-accessibility-of-image-alternative-text-in-4-7/

Media also received other exciting enhancements and bug fixes you should check out.

Around the World

The way users understand the words on WordPress are important and now users will be able to select their personal preferred language.

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/11/07/user-admin-languages-and-locale-switching-in-4-7/

 

For Whom Customization Tolls

The customize component will now support the ability to create pages within live preview during site setup; will have a faster, smoother, and more accessible navigation; will automatically persist your changes in the background while you browse your site and switch themes; and will let you fine-tune your site with custom CSS.

https://make.wordpress.org/core/?p=20534

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/10/12/customize-changesets-technical-design-decisions/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/09/28/changes-to-customizer-sliding-panelssections-in-wordpress-4-7/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/11/26/extending-the-custom-css-editor/

 

Reading, Writing and Teriffic

Whether you’re creating content in the WordPress Admin or concerned about comment moderation, we’ve got updates that will be sure to please you.

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/10/28/editor-changes-in-4-7/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/10/11/comment-allowed-checks-in-wordpress-4-7/

 

The Foundation of WordPress

For those who like to get “under the hood” of WordPress, we’ve got some improvements that will hopefully make your life easier.

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/11/07/changed-loading-order-for-current-user-in-4-7/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/11/04/multisite-focused-changes-in-4-7/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/11/03/attributes-for-resource-hints-in-4-7/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/11/02/wp_list_sort-and-wp_list_util-in-4-7/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/10/29/wp_taxonomy-in-4-7/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/10/28/fine-grained-capabilities-for-taxonomy-terms-in-4-7/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/09/08/wp_hook-next-generation-actions-and-filters/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/10/26/registering-your-settings-in-wordpress-4-7/

 

But Wait, There is More!

Over 447 bugs, 165 enhancements, 8 feature requests, and 15 blessed tasks have been marked as fixed in WordPress 4.7. Some additional ones to highlight include:

  • Make media library searchable by file name (#22744)
  • Improved Custom Background Properties UI (#22058)
  • Hue-only Color Picker (#38263)
  • Fix Sections that .cannot-expand (#37980)
  • Allow Plugins to do Comprehensive Late Validation of Settings (#37638)

Please, test your code. Fixing issues now, before 4.7 is released, helps you and helps millions of WordPress sites.

#4-7, #dev-notes, #field-guide

WordPress 4.6 Field Guide

Many of the changes in the forthcoming WordPress 4.6 are developer-focused changes that take place under the hood. Please remember to test your plugins, themes, and sites with WordPress 4.6 before the release. An hour of testing today can save you days of anguish later.

Enhanced Meta Registration

register_meta() is getting some updates to enable greater flexibility and features in the future (such as inclusion in the Rest API). Until now, register_meta() took four arguments. In WordPress 4.6, this will decrease to 3, with the third one being an array of arguments. When register_meta() is used with the old signature in WordPress 4.6, it will continue to function but will now return false. Please read the initial post outlining why register_meta() has been updated and the followup detailing further enhancements.

Persistent Comment Cache

Since WordPress 2.6, the comments API has purposefully not used a persistent cache. Over the past 20 releases, changes have been made to purge the problems from the comments API that caused this. If you have a plugin which modifies comment data directly please change them to make use of the various comment API functions or use clean_comment_cache(). You can hit this changes announcement for more info.

New Object: WP_Post_Type

Rather than a standard object, there is now a WP_Post_Type for each registered post type. Three functions and three actions have been changed to use this new object. WP_Post_Type provides methods to handle post type supports, rewrite rules, meta boxes, hooks, and taxonomies.

🛫 Open Sans, 🛬 Native Fonts

With the continued evolution of system fonts allowing for all devices to have a beautiful looking admin, WordPress 4.6 updates the font stack. To keep your custom admin pages looking consistent with the rest of the WordPress admin, you are encouraged to audit your CSS. The new font stack is:

font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "Segoe UI", Roboto, Oxygen-Sans, Ubuntu, Cantarell, "Helvetica Neue", sans-serif;

When using this font stack, it must be called using the font-family property, and not the font shorthand. This works around an issue in Microsoft Edge. Additionally, the only font weights used in core now are 400 for general text and 600 for heavier text.

Shiny Updates

One of the user-facing features in 4.6 is an update to Shiny Updates, first introduced in 4.2. For developers, the change to pay attention to is that the JavaScript under the updates handle has been refactored and updated to support plugins and themes. If you are dependent on that handle, make sure to read about the shiny updates changes.

Resource Hints in 4.6

Resource Hints is a rather new W3C specification that “defines the dns-prefetch, preconnect, prefetch, and prerender relationships of the HTML Link Element (<link>)”. These can be used to assist the browser in the decision process of which origins it should connect to, and which resources it should fetch and preprocess to improve page performance.

In 4.6, WordPress adds an API to register and use resource hints. The relevant ticket is #34292.

Developers can use the wp_resource_hints filter to add custom domains and URLs for dns-prefetchpreconnect, prefetch or prerender. One needs to be careful to not add too many resource hints as they could quite easily negatively impact performance, especially on mobile.

WP_Term_Query

WordPress 4.6 will introduce WP_Term_Query. This new class brings parity between taxonomy term queries and WP’s other content type queries: WP_Query, WP_Comment_Query, and WP_User_Query. And – as in the case of posts, comments, and users – the get_terms() function has been converted to a wrapper for the new WP_Term_Query.

Internationalization

Everyone should be able to use WordPress in the language they want. WordPress 4.6 makes a number of changes to assist with internationalization and localization. Some of the highlights include:

  • Just-in-time loading for translations. You do not have to call load_plugin_textdomain() or load_theme_textdomain() anymore (if you distribute your theme/plugin via wordpress.org).
  • Community translations are now favored over translations which are included in your theme/plugin.
  • Localized jQuery UI datepicker.
  • Support for comment number declension in get_comments_number_text(). See #13651.
  • Fallback for TextDomain header field in get_plugin_data(). See #36706.
  • Updated list of continents and cities for the timezone selector. See #37554.
  • Support for the German (Switzerland) locale in remove_accents(). See #37076.
  • Improved support for month name declension. See #36790.

Pre-instantiated Widget Registration in 4.6

Since WP_Widget was introduced in 2.8 the register_widget() and unregister_widget() functions required the class name (string) of a WP_Widget subclass to be supplied. As of 4.6 these functions also accept a class instance (object) of a WP_Widget subclass as well. See #28216.

Two key benefits of allowing objects to be instantiated are:

  1. Widgets can now be instantiated and registered with constructor dependency injection.
  2. New widget types can now be added dynamically, such as adding a Recent Posts widget for each post type, per #35990.

New and Improved Customizer APIs

The customizer has four major changes in WordPress 4.6. The most prominent is a new collection of APIs for validation of setting values. Included in this new notifications API for the customizer.

Additional changes include some CSS cleanup. Custom controls that use part of the core UI and subclass WP_Customize_Media_Control no longer need to create their own CSS styles that duplicate core rules. Because the markup and styling have changed significantly, please test any custom controls, CSS, or JavaScript that is related to media controls in the customizer.

If your code uses the customizer, you are encouraged to review the changes.

Bootstrap/Load Updates in 4.6

Alert: A late change was made to <a href=”https://make.wordpress.org/core/2016/08/13/global-overloading-in-advanced-cache-php/”>remove protection for overloading Plugin API related global variables</a> in <code>advanced-cache.php</code>

Every time WordPress is loaded, it goes through the bootstrap or loading process. In WordPress 4.6, there will be a few changes to the process focused on making pieces available earlier. Many of these changes will have no effect whatsoever on the vast majority of WordPress sites. However, if you are the type that maintains your own advanced-cache.php drop-in, host/run large profile sites, or work on tools that bootstrap WordPress is odd ways, you need to know about the following changes:

  • Load plugin.php earlier in wp-settings.php
  • is_ssl() is now located in wp-includes/load.php
  • ABSPATH can now be safely defined before WordPress is loaded

Multisite Focused Changes

This release, work continues on multisite with a focus on improved APIs and performance. Some highlights include:

  • New WP_Site_Query and WP_Network_Query classes to query sites and networks in a standardized way.
  • Enhancements to WP_Site and WP_Network objects including lazy-loading for site details.
  • A new helper function get_current_network_id() to find the current network’s ID.
  • wp_get_sites() has been deprecated. get_site(), get_sites(), get_network(), and get_networks() are the future.

External Library Updates

  • Masonry was updated to version 3.3.2 from version 3.1.4.
  • imagesLoaded was updated to version 3.2.0 from version 3.1.4.
  • imagesLoaded can now be enqueued without Masonry being enqueued. For backward compatibility reasons, imagesLoaded remains a dependency for Masonry.
  • MediaElement.js was updated to version 2.22.0 from version 2.18.1.
  • TinyMCE was updated to version 4.4.1 from version 4.3.10.
  • Backbone.js was updated to version 1.3.3 from 1.2.3.

Summaries for each of these updates and links to full changelogs are available.

But Wait! There’s More!

Over 280 bugs, 125 enhancements, 7 feature requests, and 18 blessed tasks have been marked as fixed in WordPress 4.6. Some additional ones include:

Please, test your code. Fixing issues now, before the release, helps you and helps millions of WordPress sites.

#4-6, #dev-notes, #field-guide

WordPress 4.5 Field Guide

WordPress 4.5 is the next major version of WordPress and with it come some bang bang changes. This guide will describe many of the developer-focused changes to help you test your themes, plugins, and sites. So grab a ☕️ ,🍷,🍵, or 🍺 and get ready for what’s coming soon.

JavaScript! and CSS!

Multiple external libraries have been updated with the two that require your attention being Backbone and Underscore. There were some‼️ breaking changes ‼️ with these two libraries, so make sure to test your code if you use either of these.  jQuery and jQuery Migrate have also been updated, please test with the unminified versions in order to ensure future compatibility with WordPress.

The script loader has been updated with three big changes. The build process no longer creates wp-admin.min.css, wp_add_inline_script() joins the family of functions, and better support for multigenerational dependencies is included.

Term Edit Page! –‼️ Backward Incompatible change‼️

The term edit screen has been separated out from the term list screen. This brings greater consistency to how the admin generates screens for terms and posts but at the cost of the need to change how you register scripts and how you detect that you are on a term edit screen.

Live Preview: Faster, Extensible, More Features!

Live Preview (also known as “The Customizer”) once again has received attention this release with the addition of new controls, some performance improvements that require your attention to implement, and a two new user-facing features.

Setting-less Controls, Device Previews, and Selective Refresh are the three biggest changes you’ll find. Setting-less controls make it easier for you to implement complex interfaces. Device Preview is a user facing feature that allows users to adjust the preview to match the screens on various devices.  This feature includes filters to change the devices users can choose. Selective Refresh allows for changes to appear quicker inside the preview, and you can do so with less code than before. Theme authors need to make changes to take advantage of selective refresh. Luckily, the change will generally result in fewer lines of code needed overall ( more 🍎 than 🍏 ).

One area that selective refresh helps live preview function faster is with widgets.

‼️ If you offer sidebars or a widget in your theme or plugin, please update your code to implement selective refreshBoth themes and widgets need to indicate support, so please update your code accordingly.

The final change to Live Preview involves a control for a new theme feature, and that is Custom Theme Logos.

Custom Theme Logos!

Themes can now offer support for custom logos. Custom Logos add an additional way for users to customize their site and theme developers can customize how custom logos are displayed.

Image Performance!

Following up on the introduction of responsive images in WordPress 4.4, WordPress 4.5 is making changes to improve image performance including improved compression settings and smarter handling of image metadata.

Embed Templates! (and other iterations)

Iterating on embeds has led to the ability to better customize embeds by adding new templates to the template hierarchy for embeds. Embeds have also had some performance improvements for autodiscovery, the ability to embed the front page of a site, and changes to the iframe of embedded content.

Comments Component!

The comments component has a few user-facing changes to make comments easier to moderate. For developers, the most notable change is the ability to adjust field lengths for your custom database schema. Additionally, the rel=nofollow attribute and value pair will no longer be added to relative or same domain links within comment_content.

Multisite!

Multisite once again has seen changes with the addition of new filters around site and user creation, and a WP_Site object.

And more!

Overall, 372 bugs have been marked as fixed in WordPress 4.5 (so far). There are also dozens of new hooks and dozens of hooks that have received additional parameters. It’s entirely possible that one or more has caused a regression, so please make sure to test your code deeply and report any issues you find.

#4-5, #dev-notes, #field-guide

WordPress 4.4: Field Guide

WordPress 4.4 is the next major release of WordPress and is shaping up to be an amazing release. While you have likely discovered many of the changes from testing your plugins, themes, and sites (you have been testing, right?), this post highlights some of the exciting 🎉changes developers can look forward to. 💥

Externally Embeddable

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2015/10/28/new-embeds-feature-in-wordpress-4-4/

Using a handful of filters, you can customize how your site looks when it’s embedded elsewhere. As a part of the work around embeds, there are also a couple of new functions for retrieving and displaying embeddable content. The post above also links to a plugin which will remove the ability to embed your site elsewhere.

REST API Infrastructure Introduction

The infrastructure to create a REST API has landed in WordPress core.  Adding your own endpoints (or using the latest version of the REST API plugin) is now even easier.  The new embed feature mentioned above uses this new infrastructure.
Note: If you are using v1 of the API plugin, it is incompatible with 4.4, however an update is planned before 4.4 ships. The update will not use the new REST API infrastructure, so you’ll want to update your REST API usage eventually. If you are using v2 of the API plugin, be sure you’re on beta 5 or later; previous versions do not support WordPress 4.4.

Responsive Image Insertion

Through the use of a display filter, image tags in WordPress now include srcset and sizes.  These two attributes to the <img> tag allow browsers to choose the most appropriate image size and download it, ignoring the others. This can save bandwidth and speed up page load times. There are new functions, filters, and an additional default image size available to help with the creation of responsive images.

wp_title Deprecation Decision

Since WordPress 4.1, add_theme_support( 'title-tag' ); has been the recommended way of outputing a title tag for themes.  Now, a year later the wp_title function has been officially deprecated. Take a look at this post if you want to see all the great new filters you can use to modify title tags.

UPDATE 12 November – wp_title has been reinstated for the time being. It is a zombie function.  add_theme_support( 'title-tag' ); remains the recommended way to insert a title tag into your theme, however there were use cases for wp_title that were not accounted for in the original deprecation decison

Term Taxonomy Tranquility

WordPress 4.4 is the latest in a string of releases to feature major updates to the taxonomy system. This release introduces of term meta, a new WP_Term class, and a host of other under the hood changes.

Comment Component Cultivation

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2015/10/28/comment-object-and-query-features-in-4-4/

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2015/09/25/changes-to-fields-output-by-comment_form-in-wordpress-4-4/

Comments received love both on the front end of sites and on the backend. On the front-end, the comment field will always appear first, before the name and email fields. This fixes a longstanding bug where the behavior was different for logged in and logged out users.

Under the hood, comments are now represented by a WP_Comment class and comment queries are now considerably more powerful.

Multisite Momentum

Like taxonomy and comments, the multisite features gains a new class, WP_Network. Additionally, there are now *_network_option functions which make it easier to use multiple networks. The linked post also highlights new hooks, some notable bug fixes, and two newly-deprecated functions. If you use WordPress in a multisite environment, this is a must-read.

Heading Hierarchy Happiness

Headings on the admin screens are now more semantic. Be sure to update your custom admin screens to follow the proper heading structure. These changes help users of assistive technologies, such as screen readers.

Twenty Sixteen

Each year, WordPress releases a new default theme and this year is no exception. Twenty Sixteen is a brand new theme, bundled with WordPress 4.4. Default themes are incredibly popular; be sure to test your plugins to ensure they function well with Twenty Sixteen.

Other Notes

So far, this release has had over two thousand commits. There are many additional changes not outlined above including: the removal of support for my-hacks.php(Update Nov 20th: My Hacks support was added back), giving add_rewrite_rule support for an easier-to-read syntax, support for single-{post_type}-{post_name} in the template hierarchy, pretty permalinks for unattached media, and stronger enforcement of the show_ui argument in custom post types. As with every major update, it is very important to test every feature in your plugins and themes to ensure there are no regressions in their behavior.

Closing

If you haven’t been testing your themes, plugins, and sites with WordPress 4.4, now is a great time to start. You can grab a copy from svn (or git), download the nightly builds, or install it using the Beta Tester Plugin.

WordPress 4.4 is not recommended for use on production servers until the final release has been announced on the WordPress News blog. The release is currently targeted for December 8, 2015. Get testing today!

#4-4, #dev-notes, #field-guide

WordPress 4.2 Field Notes

WordPress 4.2 includes both new and improved features. It also includes changes under the hood.  While I’m sure you’ve been testing your themes, plugins, and sites in preparation for the release, you may have missed the announcements of all the changes. Here is a quick rundown of developer related things you should know:

Additionally, the bundled version of jQuery UI has been upgraded from 1.11.2 to 1.11.4 and jQuery to 1.11.2.  The team also fixed 231 defects reported againgst previous versions of WordPress.  Please continue testing in preparation for the imminent 4.2.0.   WordPress wouldn’t be where it is without you.

UPDATE: Add information on spinners and admin notices.

#4-2, #dev-notes, #field-guide

WordPress 4.1 Field Notes

The release of WordPress 4.1 is imminent. By now, you should have already been testing and preparing your plugins and themes. I wanted to highlight a couple of posts here over the last few months on changes in WordPress 4.1.  This is by no means a complete summary of everything that has changed, but will give you a sense of what you have coming to you in the next few days.

This version of WordPress features some new template tags in a continued attempt to improve core’s Theme APIs.

Taxonomy, Date, Meta and Comment queries all have been updated and improved.

As a part of the taxonomy roadmap, When a term is created with a matching slug as an existing term, we now create a new entry in wp_terms.

Distraction-free writing has received a full revamp.

Themes now can have better support for the <title> tag

There have been several improvements to the Customizer API, including contextual panels and sections, and JavaScript templates for controls.

Please continue testing your sites, plugins and themes. WordPress wouldn’t be where it is without you.

#4-1, #dev-notes, #field-guide

WordPress 3.4 Field Guide for Developers

WordPress 3.4 Release Candidate 2 due to drop any moment, and we’re aim to do a final release of 3.4 early next week. Developers, this is your last pre-release opportunity to test your plugins and themes.

For 3.3, I wrote up a field guide of things developers need to know. For 3.4, I get to crowd-source it:

Custom Headers and Backgrounds. Chip Bennett posted a great summary of the API changes on the make/themes blog. Amy Hendrix posted about flexible custom headers. If you are a theme developer, I would strongly suggest you follow the make/themes P2.

Live Previews (The Customizer). You’ll want to read Otto’s definitive post on the subject, How to leverage the Theme Customizer in your own themes.

New WordPress XML-RPC API. If you’re interested in the new APIs for custom content types and taxonomies, check out the Codex page, put together by Max Cutler. Max also recapped the bug fixes, test coverage, and other changes on his blog.

Internationalization/Localization Changes. There’s a document on the translators P2 that outlines the numerous changes here.

That’s all we have for now! If there’s something we missed that deserves a writeup for developers, leave a comment and I’d be happy to make sure it gets written up here (under the field guide tag).

#3-4, #field-guide