For the past two years or so, Hotfix has been one of those essential WordPress plugins that many users have added immediately upon installation. This plugin was created by Mark Jaquith in early 2011 to provide early, automatic fixes for WordPress based on the version you’re using. He created it during a time when WordPress was cranking out a bunch of point-point releases in a short period of time. Update fatigue was becoming a problem.
The Hotfix plugin was meant to address bugs not severe enough or common enough to warrant a separate release. At that time, performing WordPress updates on a large number of sites was very time-consuming and annoying. The Hotfix plugin provided a convenient solution that was far superior to packing hot fixes into an Akismet update.
Is the Hotfix Plugin Unnecessary With WordPress 3.7?
Now that WordPress 3.7 has arrived with automatic background capabilities, where does Hotfix fit in? It seems to be much less useful for sites with automatic updates enabled. I checked with Andrew Nacin, who is one of the contributors to Hotfix, to see if this plugin would be fading away. He said that only time will tell. “But it’s less useful, not due to background updates directly, but because they eliminated update fatigue, making us inclined to quickly release.”
I asked him if they will continue to selectively push hot fixes through the plugin. He confirmed that they might if they need to. While it appears that it hasn’t been updated in nearly a year, Nacin says that “there wasn’t anything in 3.6 or 3.7 that A) could have been fixed using it and B) only affected a small number of people.” So if any of you have the Hotfix plugin in place, don’t rule this one out just yet. There’s no reason to go out of your way to deactivate it, as it may be used again in the future to push out hot fixes for installations that need them.