20 Feb 2020 Meeting Notes

WordPress 5.2

BetaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. 2 is out as of yesterday.

See the details at https://wordpress.org/news/2020/02/wordpress-5-4-beta-2/.

The Beta Tester pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party has had an update to make beta testing easier and more obvious. RCRelease Candidate A beta version of software with the potential to be a final product, which is ready to release unless significant bugs emerge. (Release CandidateRelease Candidate A beta version of software with the potential to be a final product, which is ready to release unless significant bugs emerge.) is scheduled for March 3rd. Marius (@Clorith) requests that support volunteers continue testing and making notes for any stumbling blocks that users might hit to be added to the “Master List” when the release is out.

The Site Health feature will include a new dashboard widgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user., so be aware that users might find it and be confused as to its significance. Also to be aware of is the Calendar widget markup is changing. Tara (@t-p) asked about apply_shortcode and what the difference is, if any, to the old do_shortcode. While it is currently simply an alias, we should be encouraging the usage of the newer apply_shortcode going forward to match documentation and best practices to prepare the ground for the eventual deprecation of do_shortcode.

The discussion wandered off into the weeds at this point, so @Clorith brought us back to the path with the next agenda item:

International Liaisons

Each week we check in with the international teams. All reports that came back indicate no major issues, although the Swedish forum has seen at least one user with a completely wiped site, and Yui ゆい (@fierevere) of the Russian forums noted they have also seen a spike in hacked sites. There have also been cases reported in the English forums. Marius mentioned there have been a couple of high-profile plugins with security vulnerabilities in the past few days, which could be related. Watch out for ongoing issues with these.

Open Floor

There’s been a lot of activity around some plugins. While sharing information about ongoing issues is good, we need to make sure we remain neutral and keep things professional.

Joy (@joyously) wanted to share this link as a good read: https://www.welcometothejungle.com/en/articles/btc-discussion-open-source-maintenance

Tara asked about ThemeGrill as to whether the problems are fixed. Version 1.6.2 includes the relevant changes required to mitigate the issues. Yui ゆい reports that Duplicator has also been fixed for similar related issues. Joy asked about whether the WP Importer was impacted; Marius stated that there are no known issues there. James (@macmanx) points out that we’ll be seeing threads about these issues for some time yet, considering the number of sites impacted.

There was a good, albeit wandering into the weeds again, discussion about automatic updates and users updating manually or not. Also mentioned was backups and their importance. There was a suggestion that the Site Health feature could highlight the importance of updating WordPress and installed plugins and themes.