Dev Chat Summary: January 31st (4.9.3 week 3)

This post summarizes the dev chat meeting from January 31st (agenda, Slack archive).

4.9.3 update

Updates from focus leads and component maintainers

Servehappy

  • Question from @azaozz in latest meeting: What if the PHP education page (codename "servehappy") was not on any .org-related website, but inside of core?
  • We'd like to ask for feedback on this, what are all your initial feelings on that? Note that this is separate from the prompt for the user to switch the PHP version in their hosting account.
  • Some considerations:
    • The main condition for this to happen is to have the entire content powered by the .org API. The content will be highly dynamic and may need adjustments regularly, so we must not be dependent on core releases to change it.
    • A new API endpoint would need to be built for that purpose that should send the content of all sections of the page, to some degree targeted to the current request. Parameters like the PHP version active, plugin slug (in case the user is sent to the page because a plugin requires a higher PHP version), data about the host (if available), would be part of the request. This would allow the content to target the user's problem as well as possible.
    • All content that endpoint returns should not be hard-coded, but easily manageable through a backend (maybe a special section in make.wordpress.org/core/?).
    • How is it possible to change the .org API? Who has access? We'd need to figure out how the process of working on that could be streamlined.
    • Summary of thoughts from PHP meeting recap
  • Next step is for the Servehappy team (including @azaozz) to discuss this during the next PHP meeting (on Monday 16:00 UTC) and come back with a recommendation

General announcements

  • @afercia uncertain about what can go in a minor release, specifically about fixes or small enhancements that require a dev note given that minor releases auto-update
    • Changes that require a dev note in a minor release, with such a short notice, don’t give plugin and theme authors the time to update.
    • As further changes to the minor release policy, best to have recommendation prepared for upcoming devchat

Next meeting

The next meeting will take place on February 7, 2018 at 21:00 UTC / February 7, 2018 at 21:00 UTC in the #core Slack channel. Please feel free to drop in with any updates or questions. If you have items to discuss but cannot make the meeting, please leave a comment on this post so that we can take them into account.

#4-9-3, #core, #core-editor, #core-php, #dev-chat, #documentation, #js, #minor-releases, #servehappy, #summary

Continuing inline docs improvements adjacent to 4.8

As we’re now into the full throes of the 4.8 cycle, the uncertainty that comes with not releasing “until it’s ready” inevitably creates a lull in areas other than the three focuses. Areas like maintaining our inline documentation, which populates the official Code Reference.

In the past, the freshness of core’s inline documentation relied almost entirely on a regular, major release schedule. And due to a preference for keeping the number of changed files low, inclusion of docs fixes in minor releases has previously been a rare occurrence.

Until now.

I’ve spoken with @matt, and the decision has been made to go ahead and prioritize some inline docs fixes for inclusion in minor releases going forward.

As with any decision, there are certainly pros and cons. Here are some of them:

Pros:

  • Ability to continue our ongoing inline docs maintenance adjacent to the 4.8 major release
  • Ability to address some glaring docs errors that we’ve been fixing manually in the Code Reference
  • Continue forward progress in documenting core JavaScript
  • Prioritize docs improvements for existing functionality in the three focus areas ahead of the 4.8 release, freeing up resources for documenting new functionality

Cons:

  • Number of changes and changed files in minor releases will increase (within reason)
  • All changes pushed to trunk will also need to be backported to the 4.7 (or current stable) branch

It’s worth noting that the reason the number of changed files has traditionally been kept low is to reduce the number of automatic update failures. The hope is that since we’ve been pushing automatic updates for 10 major versions now, reliability is less of a factor now than it has been previously.

It’s also worth noting that we shouldn’t expect a downtick in activity for core team resources focused on the three areas following this decision. As always, inline docs contributors will be focused on major release priorities before minor release ones.

This decision simply maintains the inline docs team’s ability to ensure the usefulness of core’s source documentation for the thousands of users and developers who rely on it every day.

#inline-docs, #minor-releases, #release-process