49 Comments

  1. Jesse

    Despite various criticism of Matt, one must admit his legal prowess; insulating the WP Foundation from, say, the drunk after-parties at a WordCamp event in India (etc) only makes sense.

    Perhaps what doesn’t make sense is obsessing over the current “page builder” phenomenon that has overtaken WordPress as they compare themselves to the likes of Shopify, Medium, or Wix.

    One of the most common sentiments I hear from business owners who have ditched i.e. Shopify for WooCommerce is “wow, it’s so much easier to customize things how we want them.” And of course the way they are customizing things is with a developer(s) who inputs the perfectly optimized PHP, JS, CSS (etc) code to achieve the desired functionality. In a world with ludicrous investor-backed projects like “The Grid… AI-powered web design” whose homepage is a whopping 32MB of auto-generated code… there is a reason why WordPress continues to grow, WITHOUT a “forced” Calypso…

    https://tools.pingdom.com/#!/eemQKP/https://thegrid.io/

    I’m no authority on the matter, and by all means perhaps Calypso is the future of WordPress, but it would behoove the community to remember why this reliable CMS is king in the first place.

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  2. Weston Ruter

    I think we should work to eliminate the distinction between wp-admin/Calypso and the customizer. Live preview & staging of changes should be everywhere. For that matter, let’s also eliminate the separation between the frontend and the customizer. Let customize.php fade away.

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  3. Stephen Cronin

    “Even though we’ve had lots of releases, certain parts of WordPress have stagnated and haven’t made the leaps that they could.”

    Quite a few people have been saying for some time that the project appears to be lacking in overall direction: that we only plan release by release; that there is no broader published roadmap; that we only build stuff that the people who turn up want which may not be what the project actually needs.

    So it no surprise that parts of WordPress have stagnated. That’s a direct result of the model we’ve been using.

    I’m therefore very encouraged by the fact we’ll be experimenting with how development is lead, especially if Matt does put on the Product Lead hat and become involved in the overview of where things are going.

    Not that I’m particularly happy or unhappy that it’s Matt. That’d be great, but it could be anyone (I’d be happy for it to be Helen actually). The key point is that there is someone with oversight of everything (more than a single release) looking at the bigger picture.

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    • Robby

      Very well put. The development cycle announcement was the major bomb drop imo. It has the potential to make a huge impact and I was/am really excited to see the community’s interpretation and speculation. This is spot on.

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  4. Luke Cavanagh

    A hybrid between Calypso and the Customizer would be interesting.

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  5. Eugene Kopich

    What do I need to learn deeply this time? :D

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  6. Timothy Jacobs

    Really love the new release cycle. Excited to see where it takes Core. Particularly with regards to the editor.

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  7. Cavalary

    *sigh* Changing things, fixing what’s not broken, mobile-centric. Well crap. Again.
    I still just want something kept secure, lightweight and stable (which, again as I keep saying, may well be a WordPress Lite or Basic or Still or however you’d want to name it, so the main build could still go at the pace desired by others). And by stable I mean both no bugs, crashes, conflicts, and not changing the stuff I use. For my purposes the last useful change was autosaving, however many years ago (9?) that was. Been dreading major updates since 2.7 if I remember right.

    The one good thing I see here is helping with the push towards HTTPS everywhere though.

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  8. David Peralty

    Does that mean 4.7 will basically be a LTS release then?

    More specifically, will there be 4.7 security/bug releases during the potentially extended development cycle in 2017?

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    • Knut Sparhell

      All releases from 3.7 and up have had security fixes released and, by default, automatically applied.

      Anything new now that indicates this will not continue, at least for 4.7 and the nearest releases before this one?

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      • mark k.

        You have very wierd definition of LTS. By this definition windows XP was an LTS release up to about a years ago.

        LTS is about more than having security patches somewhere, it is also about the ease of installing them, and in the case of wordpress it is just hard and you probably have to do it manually. More then that LTS releases in linux world have also a repository from which you can download programs that will work with your release, something that is not even a pipe dream in the case of wordpress.

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    • Ryan Hellyer

      Based on what was said, I don’t think it needs to be an LTS. It can just use the same system as WordPress uses now. When 4.8 comes out, 4.7 would be deprecated.

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  9. Ritchie Pettauer

    Thanks for the interesting write-up. I’m not sure at all if pushing Calypso so hard is that great an idea – but I guess action will largely depend on the “new” JS credo adoption by plugin programmers.

    Block-based editing has definitely become quite huge. And an update for the editor is long overdue. Feels like the most ancient part of WP these days.

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  10. Joseph M

    “…… WordPress’ new YouTube channel…..” ???

    Just really curious why do they need YouTube channel since they have https://wordpress.tv/

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  11. Chuck

    I’ve been working for a year on a plugin which auto-creates entire websites in a multisite environment. Part of this is a 100% wrapper around existing admin. No core code touched and very little jQuery DOM element suppression…and it works very well, giving the user a seamless experience between front-end and back-end.

    Does Calypso mean that my efforts are now already obsolete (and will be deprecated) ?

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    • Ryan Hellyer

      That sort of thing was always bound to fail eventually.

      A better approach IMO, would be to try to rebuild the admin interface entirely, like how Calypso did. Otherwise you end up with a serious risk of your plugin failing spectacularly when WordPress core is updated.

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      • Chuck

        Ryan, that’s sad to hear. I used 100% “end user” function calls or hooks to do this, with just a few DOM manipulations (which I agree, I own if WP changes). If I had to redo the Admin entirely then I might as well have started this project without WP. If filter calls like:

        add_action( ‘admin_init’, array( &$this, ‘register_settings’ ) );

        end up going away then I think Matt is going to have a lot of forked (or frozen) versions of WP out there, eventually…

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      • Ryan Hellyer

        Hooks like you mentioned above can be migrated to a new system, so I don’t think that particular example would matter much.

        I may have misunderstood what you wrote yesterday though. You mentioned DOM manipulation, so I thought you meant you did a bunch of modifications via JavaScript. But if it’s all done smartly via action hooks, then I’d guess that much of it would keep working even after migration to a new system.

        The main problems I see with migration to alternative admin system, are that we often rely on query vars and PHP file names to work out where in the admin we are. Those would all break in a new system, unless it replicated all of those (which I don’t think it should, since they’re mostly shitty legacy things).

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  12. Tyler

    I’m super excited about the php 7 and performance improvements. Moving everything to ssl will also help with http/2.

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  13. Luke Cavanagh
    • mark k.

      no plugin or theme developer is going to do anything with that before it will be possible to charge 200$ per license.

      The user is going to get stuck with somethings that are possible only on web admin and some workflows that are possible only with calypso. Fun times ahead.

      Calypso is just a distraction, an attempt to avoid fixing the core problems by trying to cover them with nice UI and buzzwords

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  14. Hugh Campbell

    I’m really not comfortable with Calypso until it can be detached from Jetpack. The beauty of WordPress lies in the fact that it runs standalone. The dependency that Calypso creates, on Jetpack and wordpress.com, a for-profit entity, does not enthuse me, in the least.

    The join between the two looks completely arbitrary to me – it exists only to make users of WordPress, into wordpress.com users. The first is free and open source, the latter a commercial entity.

    If your connection with wordpress.com goes t*ts up, or your account there gets hosed, or your account there gets compromised, Calypso management of your site(s) will cease to work. Sure, you can fall back on the ‘old way’ of doing things via wp-admin, but it appears that the long-game here is to make this a second-class citizen.

    Surely you should be able to join your sites to an admin server that you run, without needing an account on a 3rd party service. Doesn’t seem to be any sort of priority tho.

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  15. Stagger Lee

    So, I read between lines Shortcake Shortcode UI is finally making its way to the core.

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  16. Pete

    The json API might a game changer but why is there so much love for the custmiser?

    It’s just another interface guys, it is cool for sure but so what!!

    If the time spent on customiser was spent on new apis, eg a post relationship model (similar to the posts 2 posts) plugin or a queue system to replace wp cron, or fixing the post status API, or proper oop code in core WordPress could actually be a proper cms.

    Instead of trying to make wp easier the core guys should just make it better and empower developers to make it awesome for everyone.

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    • Weston Ruter

      The customizer is not just another interface. Fundamentally the customize API is a framework for live previewing and staging changes. That makes it a very powerful foundation to build admin experiences that are devoid of the “Save & Surprise” experience that users largely get when making changes via the current wp-admin.

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  17. Ice

    No matter what, as long as the interface smooth and make more convenient, I would ?

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  18. Weston Ruter

    Since no one is currently building anything like Calypso and targeting core, it looks like the technology behind WordPress.com will be driving the evolution of WordPress in 2017.

    I’d argue that this is is what we have in mind for the customizer, or at least a future iteration of the customizer.

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    • Nick Halsey

      Agreed; especially since 4.1 the customizer is really a JS-driven framework in terms of UI and can accordingly provide the fast single-page-app experience that users are coming to expect. The customizer is also natively built around the concept of comprehensive extensibility, which Calypso seems to lack currently.

      The bigger benefit of the customize API is that live preview is built in and it’s (increasingly) a frontend-based interface. Calypso is missing contextual live previews and isn’t particularly exciting to me as an end user as a result.

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  19. Radoslav Sharapanov

    WordPress wishlist

    1. CDN
    2. Caching
    3. Multilingual
    4. Grid

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  20. Jon Brown

    Calypso is interesting, but I won’t find it compelling until it drops it’s dependence on JetPack’s API in favor of the WP API.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love JetPack, but I don’t want it on a LOT of sites.

    There is a long way still to go for that but until then I can’t imagine investing the energy in supporting it directly in plugins or themes.

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  21. Gary Taylor

    Does this mean we’ll finally get an easy way to re-order Pages? There used to be a twee note on one of the Admin screens saying that it wasn’t very elegant and would be worked on (I’m paraphrasing) but the note was removed and nothing done…

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  22. JB

    As someone who runs a WordPress-powered non-blog site outside of the wordpress.com cloud, here is my experience of the JS and release cycle issues:

    In the old/current release model, disruptive (or even harmful) changes are arbitrarily bundled with bug-fix releases, the moment e.g. 4.6 came out, no further bugfixes were made for 4.5-based sites. As cleaning up and adapting to disruptive changes takes time, this prevents timely deployment of bugfixes. I would much rather see something like the Linux kernel model, where some “LTS” major releases get a steady stream of bugfixes long after later majors are released, with a healthy overlap between the release of a new LTS and the end of bugfixes for the previous LTS (during which time, sites and plugins can migrate to the new LTS at their own pace).

    As for JS, JSON, XML-RPC and other APIs for app-based editors, I find those to be among the disruptive/dangerous/harmful elements that I strip out. Security-wise, I don’t want to expose unused and unknown APIs to random attackers. And privacy-wise, I don’t want to expose my users to logging or other stuff from random 3rd parties such as wp.org, gravatar.com, so each element from such sites needs to be removed or replaced by a local copy. Neither of these security measures are made particularly easy by the current WordPress code and release cycle, as I often have to trawl through the pages and files to find and fix these one by one. Like having to add extra PHP code to remove the new emoji-mapping scripts that load images from an external site in 4.6 . Restricting wp-admin and equivalent access to specific ways of accessing the web server required even more invasive work, and seems especially badly affected by the constant adding of new features.

    In short, every new or old feature needs an effective and easy off-switch. Anything that is loaded implicitly from 3rd party sites needs an easy way to switch it to local hosting.

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