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SMF WP Digest #14

Welcome to the fourteenth installment of the SMF WP Digest. This is the blog version of our internal bi-weekly email which we use to inform, enlighten, and titillate our minds on some of the latest happenings in WordPress-land.

Release News

  • WP REST API core inclusion has been delayed and we will not see the core endpoints in WP 4.5. I’m holding my analysis for the WP Drama section below because it’s #juicy.
  • Meanwhile, development continues on REST API V2 plugin with the Beta 12 release.
  • A visual guide to setting up your local environment to test core patches was posted up in the Make WordPress Flow blog. It’s a great guide if you’ve been wanting to test patches in an efficient way.
  • Efforts are being made to standardize unit testing and providing a comprehensive guide to conduct them.

Extending WordPress

  • In an effort the make WP updates more seamless, the Shiny Updates team has been exploring functionality to update everything (core, plugins, themes) with one button, a natural progression of the Shiny Updates project, which aims at making WordPress updates quicker and more efficient. It’ll be a welcome feature improvement and will certainly be another thing that won’t work on Jason Bleck’s local environment.
  • Automattic launched Components, a “library of shareable, reusable patterns for WordPress themes”. Looks cool, but I’ll probably just continue to pillage my previous projects for theme parts when I need them.
  • People still try to look smart in meetings by asking inane questions like “can WordPress scale?” Usually followed by a self-satisfied smile that illuminates the speaker’s inner dialog: “that’s why they pay me the big bucks.” The answer, of course, is yes, WordPress does scale and now there is a resource dedicated to just that: WordPress at Scale.
  • BuddyPress 2.5 is going to include a custom email API for customizing all emails BP sends out to users. The Beta 1 release is out now.

WP Drama

The dirty side of dev.

  • Contributors to the REST API have hit a roadblock. Voices within the project and in the greater WP community have been split on whether the API should merge into core as an MVP with additional features rolling out over time, or hold off entirely until the API can do everything (including all WP Admin functionality, like the file editor). On the side of waiting for full functionality, Matt Mullenweg recognized that it was the “minority opinion”, but even in a mostly flat-hierarchy like the WordPress community being the boss has its perks, as the 2 hour meeting concluded with Mullenweg deciding, “No partial endpoints in core. Let’s design a complete API, not half-do it and foist it on millions of sites.” For more info, WPTavern has a good rundown of the back and forth and another article on some of the resulting conversations.
  • In more REST API news, adoption of the API for theme and plugin dev is in a “chicken and egg” situation, as developers are reluctant to build on it until it’s been put through the paces and bugs have been ironed out. This is an issue for project contributors, since they need people to use it so to identify these issues. Currently the API is in use in less than 30 plugins in the WordPress.org plugin directory.
  • I’ve had a bit of an issue with how the “learn javascript deeply” statement by Matt Mullenweg was received by the WordPress community. As such, it was super refreshing to read “Javascript: Is Deep the Right Goal?” over on Torque. Author Josh Pollock makes a lot of valid counterpoints to the recent popular upsurgence of “javascript is the future, all hail javascript” following Mullenweg’s statements.

Misc

I don’t know where to file this crap.

  • Bluehost recently discovered that 80% of the WordPress sites hosted on their service were out of date. They created a script to backup, update, and test WordPress sites, leveraging the WP-CLI. The script ran and updated more than 2.5 million websites, the result of which was fewer than 0.007% of customers reporting issues and WordPress-related technical support requests reduced by 18%…mainly because less outdated sites were getting hacked. They have since open sourced the scripts they used and made them available on GitHub.

That’s all for now. Check back in two weeks for another rundown.