Noteworthy Changes Coming in WordPress 4.9.5

WordPress 4.9.5 Beta 1 is available for testing and brings with it 23 bug fixes and improvements. A release candidate is scheduled for release on March 20th and a final release on April 3rd. Here are some notable changes you can expect in the release.

"Cheatin’ uh?" Error Message is Replaced

The "Cheatin’ uh?" error message has existed in WordPress for years and for some, is insulting. The error doesn't explain what went wrong and accuses the user of trying to cheat the system.

Cheatin' Uh Error Message

Eric Meyer highlighted the error in his keynote at WordCamp North East Ohio in 2016, when talking about Designing for Real Life. He also contributed to the ticket with suggestions on how to improve the wording.

In WordPress 4.9.5, the error has been changed to more meaningful messages depending on the error that occurs.

Recommended PHP Version Increased to 7.2

Inside of the readme file in WordPress, the current recommended PHP version is 7.0. This version of PHP reached end of life last December. In 4.9.5, the recommend version is PHP 7.2. This is the same version that is recommended on WordPress.org.

Offensive Lyrics Removed From Hello Dolly

As we covered earlier this week, some of the lines displayed in the dashboard from the Hello Dolly plugin are inappropriate without context. In 4.9.5, the plugin will no longer display those lines.

There's a possibility that in the future, there will be a musical note icon or symbol placed next to the line to indicate it's from a song. In addition, the lyrics are more in line with Louis Armstrong's recording.

To see a full list of changes in WordPress 4.9.5, you can view a full list of closed tickets on Trac.


48 Comments


  1. Re: “The ‘Cheatin’ uh?’ error message has existed in WordPress for years and for some, is insulting.”

    Another example of WordPress’s arrogance and inexcusable slow pace for even simple fixes.

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    1. And this is how originality and humor dies… with people complaining that it takes too long.

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      1. Error messages should be informative, not insulting or “clever.”

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      2. “And this is how originality and humor dies… with people complaining about quirky jokes inserted by volunteer contributors to an OSS project.”

        Fixed it for you, but agreed.

        Soon the dark WP Admin theme will offend users with Glaucoma and a PHP comment that says “Silence is golden” is going to cause panic attacks.

        Actually, it may be too late already…

        https://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php/416558-Wordpress-hacked-infected-with-Silence-is-golden-code

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    2. It’s open source. You could have refactored these error messages at any time yourself.

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      1. Yes, and then try to keep up whenever a new version is released. Or convince someone to merge it

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      2. @Louis Reingold

        Then why did Jeff Chandler write that “Eric Meyer highlighted the error in his keynote at WordCamp North East Ohio in 2016 … He also contributed to the ticket with suggestions on how to improve the wording.”?

        And that,

        “In WordPress 4.9.5, the error has been changed to more meaningful messages depending on the error that occurs.”?

        Better yet, if using WordPress is so easy, then why does YOUR website oxygenapp.com say that:

        “We’re reinventing web design for WordPress.…After building WordPress websites for almost 10 years, I knew there had to be a better way. I was completely fed up with editing CSS, tweaking theme PHP files, and the never ending cycle of uploading and refreshing.”?

        Your website also says that “Everyone is switching to Oxygen.” Which is obviously not even close to being an honest claim.

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      3. @Scott, I find your constant negative comments to be pretty toxic to discussion at the best of times but to turn on somebody who disagrees with you and dredge through their own site to find something to throw at them, pretty outrageous.

        I won’t be the first (or last) to say this to you, but why are you even here when you seemingly hate WordPress so much?

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      4. @David Artiss “@Scott, I find your constant negative comments to be pretty toxic”

        I believe my comments and opinions about WordPress are not only accurate, they are also shared by lots of other people. But most don’t publicly criticize WordPress because it could hurt their business and/or they don’t want to deal with fanboys/girls attacking them for daring to post harsh feedback about WordPress.

        I also think you agree that although WordPress has a LOT going for it, it’s also in danger of being replaced by more modern and user-friendly options (and that Gutenberg is too little, too late, and too problematic).

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      5. @Scott I actually agree with David. I find your comments very toxic. I come often to WPTavern to find out what is going on in the WordPress world, which is quite a lot, but somehow you are always able to take away all good stuff from the article, even when it actually had good news. You are doing a huge disfavor to both this website and the overall community, I believe nobody deserves your constant negativity.

        Please notice that I’m not here to attack you. This is a free world, and you are free to not agree and have a different opinion, nobody is asking you to agree with everything. And WordPress is huge, so it is expected that not everyone will agree.

        However, encountering your negative comments just takes away the joy of reading the article. Seriously, do you need to voice out your negative point of view each single time? What for? What do you gain from it? I see nobody winning, just people losing. If you want to rant, you can do it, but wouldn’t it be better if you do it on your own blog? Then, whoever agrees with you, they can just read your opinions there, and nobody will be affected.

        I’m going to ask you to tone it down, as a sign of respect to the community.

        If you decide to keep up with your negative comments, I would then suggest the WPTavern team to implement an up/downvote system for the comments, to show how much support every comment has. Right now they have only likes, which do not fully represent the support from the community. Your comment may have had 3 likes, and you can claim that you represent many other people. Yet, I have the impression that if a downvote button were present, way many more people would vote your comments down, expressing that your views are exceptional, and not representative of people out there. I would certainly downvote your comments, non-constructive as they are right now.

        But I hope there is no need for that, to show who is right and who is wrong. So I’ll just ask you to tone it down, and stop your negative comments just for the sake of them. And once again, I’m not here to make trouble to you. But I want to enjoy reading the tavern, I think it is only fair.

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      6. @Leonardo Losoviz

        My apologies. I will try to “tone it down” for you. But unlike WP Tavern, it looks like you do not welcome different perspectives and viewpoints about WordPress. Which is important for people who want WordPress to keep up with the growing list of innovative and much easier to use competitors (e.g. IBM used to dominate the computer industry).

        If you disagree with my comments, specifically explain why. Have I posted comments that were inaccurate, unreasonable or vulgar? I don’t believe so, but if so, it wasn’t intentional.

        Your idea of an up/down vote system for comments could be useful. But in context of your comments, it comes across as an attempt to bully and silence people you disagree with.

        Considering that your website says that you “Break the information monopoly,” your desire to silence others also comes across as hypocritical.

        Your website also says that you’re “Making WordPress Sexy Again” (WordPress used to be “sexy”?). Which also makes you come across as hypocritical since you apparently believe that WordPress has lost its “mojo” and needs your expert help. You also take the time to go after someone who thinks WordPress should be much better, while simultaneously promoting yourself as an expert who is making WordPress better (or in your words, “sexier”).

        On a positive note(?), all this makes me think that you and I probably agree on at least one major thing, that the majority of recent advances for WordPress have come from 3rd parties, not from WordPress core developers. Is that how open source applications are supposed to be? Maybe. But can you name another well-known open source application that is so reliant on the labor and creative talent of others, or takes as much time, money, and help from others to learn and maintain?

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      7. I have similar experience as Leonardo. I understand voicing your opinion, but posting negativity on every article is too much.

        If you’re so unhappy with WP, do something about it!

        I remember one of the gaming communities had a rule that if someone was behaving negatively without any constructive intention, that user would be banned. I think that was good rule for the whole community.

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      8. @Tomas M.

        Hi Tomas, first of all, you misrepresented that I post negative comments about every article. My life and self-worth is not dependent on what’s going on with WordPress. I do periodically post critical (and accurate) commentary, but I’m not obsessed with WordPress.

        You apparently believe that anyone who dares criticize WordPress, should be judged (or even banned) by whether or not they work for free(!) to solve WordPress’s problems. Is your self-worth really that tied to WordPress that you want to silence and ban criticism of WordPress? Do you also want criticism of your Chicago politicians and sports teams to be banned and silenced?

        Plus, since you demand I should “do something about it!,” how many hours per work do you work, for free(!), on WordPress’s problems? Besides, isn’t taking the time to bring attention and suggestions to WordPress’s problems doing “something about it!”?

        So instead of spending so much of your time and energy attacking someone who points out WordPress’s frustrating problems, why don’t you spend your time and talents addressing solutions to the issues I discuss? Or are you afraid your income would go down if WordPress was as inexpensive and easy to use for building proper business websites as its (mis)marketed to be to individuals and business owners?

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      9. I’m sorry, Scott but my comment is not about “suppressing other opinions”, I just want to say that this kind of comments, like:

        Re: “The ‘Cheatin’ uh?’ error message has existed in WordPress for years and for some, is insulting.”

        Another example of WordPress’s arrogance and inexcusable slow pace for even simple fixes.

        is not constructive, do not lead anywhere and do not “bring attention and suggestions to WordPress’s problems”.

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    3. Have YOU offered a solution to fix it or submitted a patch to fix it?

      You bitching about it, does not fix the problem.

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      1. Hi Miroslav,

        Do you fix other company’s problems whenever you have a gripe about their products or services? Can you name other open source applications that try to guilt users into donating their time and labor as much as WordPress? For example, LibreOffice , GIMP, VLC Media Player, Audacity, or Mozilla Firefox? Or if someone complains about your company or services, do you respond by asking them what they’ve done to fix your company’s problems?

        Do you also get upset if business owners post critical comments about companies such as Verizon, Comcast, Microsoft, or Facebook? Or do you only find it upsetting if someone criticizes WordPress, and if so, why? It’s odd that WordPress experts get upset if you criticize WordPress. It’s like you’ve insulted their religion or mum. But it’s just an application that has no idea who you are.

        Do you disagree that WordPress has gotten far beyond it’s original blogging-only mission, and that it’s become overly reliant on third-party themes and plug-ins, and that oftentimes leads to lock-in? Or that improvements/fixes take far longer then they should? I bet many new website builders and CMSes take less time to create from scratch then WordPress’s new too little, too late editor Gutenberg will ultimately take.

        If it upsets you to hear from WordPress content creators, then why not start your own blog and only allow flattering comments about WordPress from non-content creators?

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      2. I frequently disagree with Scott. He seems to want to turn WP into some sort of clone of MS Word, which everyone thinks they know how to use but really don’t, and which produces documents that are just awful to read.

        But he does make some good points. And telling him to “fix the problem” is, frankly, ridiculous.

        Here’s an example. I just wrote a post that used five images. Normally, because I don’t like WP’s writing interface, I’d use LyX instead and inject the content into my test WP site for final polishing before copying and pasting to the live site. But this post needed little text, so I thought I’d skip Lyx this time and head straight for the my test site’s editing interface.

        Easy, you might think. Well, I could easily click the Add Media button to add each image to the post. But here’s the thing. WP expects a rasterized image, like a JPG or PNG file. Yet these don’t re-size without loss of integrity, so WP core (perhaps modified by themes) then creates several copies of each image at different sizes. Not only does this clog up the media library, it also wastes a ton of disk space. So then you need a plugin to compress them all. And a regular rasterized image doesn’t look good on retina and other HD screens. So then you need a plugin to get that all working well too!

        Now the real solution here is not to use rasterized images at all, but vector images, i.e. SVG files. But WP does not, by default, allow the upload of SVG images! Several people have opened tickets to get that changed, but they have always been shut down as “won’t fix.” So Scott couldn’t fix this even if he tried. And neither, apparently, can anyone else. You have to use a plugin and hope that the developer of that plugin knows what s/he’s doing.

        And by the way, there’s nothing in Gutenberg to improve matters. Nero keeps on fiddling while Rome burns.

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      3. @Tim Kaye

        That was a very illustrative example of why it’s so ridiculous and harmful to WordPress, when WordPress fanboys/girls, rudely fire back with absurd comments like “why don’t you fix the problem?!”

        I’ve also apparently mistakenly made you think I want to “turn WP into some sort of clone of MS Word.” No, no. I also think MS Word is a powerful, but bloated and overly complicated mess.

        I’m mainly just pushing back against people who misrepresent that WordPress is a DIY solution to business websites (I’m an advocate for small businesses and entrepreneurs; see my Twitter comments @BizStarzPR). And it seems that Matt Mullenweg’s strategy is to make WordPress so dominant, that it will become the MS Word of web applications (and it may be already!).

        This would unfortunately provide WordPress with even less pressure to be innovative, or responsive to long known problems like the one you brought up with SVG images. WordPress could become essentially a monopoly like MS Word where you’re basically forced to use it, at least if you want to do business with others.

        That’s why Matt gets so gleeful when discussing WordPress’s increasing marketshare, and less gleeful when discussing what’s being done to keep up with the competition and address problems like the one with SVG images.

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  2. I hope WordPress will remove Hello Dolly and Akismet from the default install :)

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      1. A lot of plugins are better than Akismet. Akismet is not a free plugin for most purposes and Automattic benefits from it, so including it in the core is more or less unethical. Akismet sends information to Automattic servers for one, and a lot of other solutions work great (or better) without sending your data to third-party servers.

        WordPress Core should not have any plugins in it, and it needs one default theme.

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    1. I agree. It’s easy enough for users to click Plugins > Add New and choose what they want. Akismet is the first plugin listed there anyway.

      @Ciprian – I prefer Antispam Bee, but there are others.

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    2. I’d throw my weight behind this too. If core devs are getting paid to prune lines from Hello Dolly, this completely vestigal plugin and bad attempt at humor, because someone might get a weird feeling, that might just be a very poor use of time and money just from a business case.

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  3. Just like the “Holly Dolly” plugin, the “Cheatin’ uh?” messages are one of the many attempts at “humor” from the core crew.

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  4. While we are on it, I am always confused by the error message “Are you sure you want to do this?”. Where I think “Yes” and reload the page, and nothing happens.

    This error can be improved as well, by telling you the Nonce validation failed (or any more easy message) and a link to take you back to where you came from to try again.

    I guess there is no ticket. I guess there is some work here laying…

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  5. Can we colloquially call this the SJW patch?

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  6. One small correction: PHP 7.0 ended active support in December 2017, but will still be receiving security updates through December 2018 (as will PHP 5.6).

    http://php.net/supported-versions.php

    It’s worth mentioning that anything below PHP 5.6 has already long since stopped receiving even security updates, and should be considered an urgent security risk.

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    1. It’s also worth pointing out that this is only the PHP team’s support. Many Linux distributions support specific versions of PHP for much longer.

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      1. That’s nice if the distribution authors support different versions, but to be honest that’s a patchwork of version support. It should be standardized to what PHP themselves are supporting since that is the lowest common denominator.

        Supporting PHP 5.x is starting to look analogous to supporting IE 6.

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  7. Lol I tend to always underestimate the stupidity of other people. Did that hello dolly discussion was for real, and assuming someone can actually get offended, why the F**K is it not simply removed instead of adding bloat to core code (remember kids when in the WP security 101 class you have been told not to keep around plugins and themes you do not use?, guess core developers skipped that class, or do they know something about the usage of “hello dolly” that we do not know?)

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  8. Removing lines from the Hello Dolly plugin I can understand at a push. Removing the “Cheatin’ uh?” message because it offends a small number of humourless wimps is too much.

    In attempt to pander to the sensitivities of those few who are offended by anything and everything you are alienating the right-minded among us who do understand humour and who are not so thin skinned we are cut open by blunt instruments.

    I agree the message is not very descriptive. It does need to be replaced with a set of more useful messages. But replacing it under the pretext of ‘It makes some people cry real tears, man!’ is stupid. Get a grip.

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    1. Wow, they replaced it with “something went wrong”. This is actually less meaningful error message than “cheating…” I want to cry.

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    2. The removal of “Cheatin’ uh?” isn’t because “offends a small number of humourless wimps is too much.”, it’s because it’s not a good error message. It’s not actionable in any way which means it doesn’t empower users, it just stops them in their tracks.

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      1. Did you look at the ticket in Trac? There is a long discussion about how the message insults some people. Let me help you with this one. Here is an excerpt from the ticket:

        [Cheating] is regarded as dishonest. Calling someone a cheat is hurtful if the accusation is not true.

        I develop with WordPress on my local machine. When I’m working on a WordPress problem I leave all my server and browser sessions open for hours at a time (and overnight), so that I can pick up where I left off.

        Once a day, I get the message “Cheating, are we?” (in en-GB; in en-US it’s “Cheatin’ uh?”), as WordPress automatically logs me out.

        It never ceases to annoy me to be unjustly accused of something I am not doing.

        The discussion is at https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/38332

        The evidence is against you. ‘Look before you leap’ comes to mind. Are you one of those who finds the message offensive? It seems you might be.

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      2. Good humor is awesome, but has its place and time. “Cheatin’ uh?” message is unfunny, unhelpful, and unprofessional. It also shows that WordPress core developers are out of touch when it comes to understanding or caring about WordPress users.

        Would WordPress core developers find it funny if they and their family were stuck on the side of the road at 1am trying to figure out why their car stopped working, and their car’s engineers used “error” messages like “Know a good mechanic?”?

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      3. @jorbin, since the message is emitted when user tries to access resource he has no permission to access, the message should never be displayed to any actual user, only to developers, unless the user actually tries to hack the site. But I guess milenial developers can not handle “your code is idiotic” type of message and it needs to be sugar coated for them.

        I guess the right way is to just remove the message. 403 status exists to indicate exactly that, and since we are talking about security there is no reason to go into details about the why you got a 403.

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      4. “Cheatin’ uh?” message is unfunny, unhelpful, and unprofessional.

        That’s why it was supplemented with a more helpful error message 3 years ago, it just didn’t get a highlight back then.

        the message is emitted when user tries to access resource he has no permission to access

        That’s one of the scenarios, but not the only one. It can be seen in other situations, from expired nonces to a plugin or theme doing something wrong. I received some emails over the years from users who thought it was either an inappropriate translation or a core bug.

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      5. The removal of “Cheatin’ uh?” isn’t because “offends a small number of humourless wimps is too much.”, it’s because it’s not a good error message.

        And “something went wrong” is better is it?

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    3. “Removing lines from the Hello Dolly plugin I can understand at a push. Removing the “Cheatin’ uh?” message because it offends a small number of humourless wimps is too much.”

      Yes, but the second is the natural consequence of the first. Whenever we give in to the feelings of a few offended over one thing that’s not intended to be offensive, and/or is subjectively offensive, it’s very hard to honestly argue against extending the same ‘courtesy’ to others.

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  9. I have never gotten that cheatin’ message. Could be that I am the admin, the all mighty and powerful overlord of my site.

    But yes, I agree that there should be a more specific site, not everyone is an expert on php, wordpress, etc…

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  10. From the security’s prospective, error messages displayed to the user should be as less informative as possible. Remember Google’s error message “Something went wrong”?

    Of course, the core team can add a feature in the core that when an error happens, an email with detail error message will be sent to the administrator if they opt in to receive this type of error messages, but for the front-end, don’t display informative error messages.

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    1. Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say it’s “A whole lot of talk about a whole lot of nothing…you care about”?

      Please stop trying to demean people who take their valuable and limited time to add their voices to the discussion, simply because you don’t care about them or whatever WordPress issue(s) they’re talking about.

      Thanks.

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  11. The only thing that ever bothered me was the ignorant-looking “uh”. Nobody asks a question by saying “Cheatin'” and then making an odd grunting sound.

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