As was stated by Matt Mullenweg in his State Of The Word 2013 at WordCamp San Francisco, one of the goals for WordPress was to perform automatic updates similar to the Chrome browser. That is, perform automatic updates without breaking anything to the point where you don’t even know the software has updated. On the Make WordPress Core blog, we find out how this will possibly become a reality with WordPress 3.7. A plugin created by Pento called Automatic Updater will be used as the framework to provide this functionality. The first step is for the automation of minor releases. For example 3.7 to 3.7.1 would happen automatically. Andrew Nacin outlines a number of tickets that need to be addressed surrounding this functionality.
One of the first comments on that blog post is from Joshua Strebel, CEO of Page.ly which is a large managed WordPress hosting service.
Please consider an opt-out constant/mechanism simply for those of us that run multi-tenancy and manage the entire core package from the top down.
Andrew followed up by noting there will be a mechanism to opt out which will not be accessible from the user interface. Instead, it will most likely be a filter or a constant to not only opt-out of upgrades, but also to enable upgrading to major releases as well in case you wanted full-blown automation. However, they are looking for more feedback from hosting companies and are encouraging them to follow the development of this feature.
Back around September of 2011, I asked whether Automatic upgrades for WordPress should be opt-in? Out of 210 votes, 67% or 141 said yes while 69 voted no. At the time, I felt like WordPress wanted to hold my hand too much when it came to managing my install. However, I am completely fine with automatic upgrades to minor releases leaving me to upgrade to major versions when I feel comfortable doing so. The conversation in the comments following the poll are worth a read, even if the conversation was two years ago. It would be interesting to hear from those who participated in that conversation to see if their views have changed, especially since we now know that the default upgrade functionality will be for minor releases.
I’m just thinking you might want to consider more than the most obvious point of view about upgrades. When was the last time you upgraded Chrome? Did you know it upgraded itself, about twice a week? Did you notice? Did you care? That’s the kind of thing I think we should shoot for. You shouldn’t notice upgrades, they should just happen. And not fail, of course. – Otto
Hmm, Otto mentioned the way Chrome upgrades in 2011, Matt talks about it as the model for WordPress in 2013 and that’s the way we’re headed. Perhaps Otto has a future telling crystal skull?