WordPress Digest #68: 2018 Holiday Edition (aka: shorter)

This bi-weekly serves to inform and enlighten our minds on latest happenings in the sprawling countryside we call WordPress Land. This is a somewhat shorter edition – slow news cycle given the holidays.

Release News

  • Since my last digest, WP 5.0.1 and 5.0.2 have both been released. These maintenance releases heavily focused on bug fixes and performance improvements for the block editor as well as a security patch. The 5.0.1 security update has some unfortunate, but necessary, backwards compatibility breaks. 5.0.2 boasts performance gains of 330% which seems like an absurd number to just throw out there.
  • One of the next goals for this new Gutenberg World Order is to convert all widgets into blocks. Curious about the progress? Look no further.
  • By the end of 2019, the minimum supported version of PHP will be 7.0 for WordPress (or at least that’s the goal). This is huge. It’s still 5.2.4 currently. The security and performance boosts aside, this will also speed up development time for WP core features, plugins, themes, etc because developers will no longer need to thing so far backwards.

Extending WordPress

  • The Regenerate Thumbnails plugin, a staple on WP sites, especially during development or when switching to a new theme, has a security vulnerability that as of this writing has not been fixed. The vulnerability allows WP users with access level of at least Author to delete files on the server hosting WP. The WP 5.0.1 security update patches the vulnerability on the WP side.

Grab Bag

  • As I mentioned previously, I did not attend WordCamp US this year, but the most important part, Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word, has been summed up nicely over on WP Tavern, including an analysis of what went wrong with the release cycle and release dates.
  • WordCamp 2019 will take place in November (1-3) next year, rather than December and will be held in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • In the last digest I discussed WPCampus’ crowdfunding campaign to raise $30k towards a thorough accessibility audit of Gutenberg. Since then, Automattic has pledged to make sure the WPCampus effort is fully funded.

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” -T.S. Eliot