Testing patches is one way that both developers and non-developers can contribute to WordPress without writing any code. It’s a valuable service that keeps things moving along in tickets and helps patches make their way into core.
The most challenging part of testing patches is getting your testing environment set up properly. The WordPress core handbook has instructions for using Grunt to test patches, but they’re not easy to follow if you happen to be a more visual learner.
Yesterday Ryan Boren published a tutorial for testing patches with VVV on Mac OS, complete with screenshots at every step. The bulk of the instructions cover establishing a test environment with VVV, which requires you to install Vagrant, install Virtualbox, initialize Vagrant, install Git, and finally install VVV. Applying a patch and reverting it after testing is probably the easiest part of the entire process.
Boren’s tutorial is one of the clearest and easiest to follow, because it helps you visualize what success looks like at every step. If you want to add mobile testing into the mix while testing patches, check out his post on using VVV and xip.io. Boren explained how he goes through tickets with patches that change UI and adds mobile and desktop screenshots of his testing.
“These screenshots hasten UI feedback and usually reveal visual glitches on mobile that are then patched up, making our mobile experience that little bit better,” he said. “Until that blue sky someday when I can apply patches to a patch server with a tap, I’ve found VVV and xip.io to be the easiest way to do localhost testing of patches from mobile devices.”
The process of setting up a test environment is the most time-consuming aspect of testing patches, but once you have it in place, it’s easy to apply them. Have you found an easier way to test patches with support for mobile devices? Let us know in the comments.