WordPress 3.8.3 Released, Fixes Quick Draft Bug

WordPress 3.8.3 was released today and fixes a pesky bug introduced in WordPress 3.8.2. As we reported a few days ago, one of the security fixes in 3.8.2 caused the Quick Draft dashboard widget to break. Auto-drafts created through the widget were not being promoted to draft status. When a title and content were added to the widget, clicking the save draft button gave the appearance that it was discarded. A Quick Drafted post didn’t show up within the drafts list even though it existed within the database.

WordPress 3.8.3 Fixed The Quick Draft Dashboard Widget
WordPress 3.8.3 Fixed The Quick Draft Dashboard Widget

According to the announcement post on the official WordPress developments blog, not only does the update fix the bug but it also attempts to retrieve the last created auto-draft.

It’s possible that the quick draft you lost last week is still in the database, and just hidden from view. As an added complication, these “discarded drafts” normally get deleted after seven days, and it’s already been six days since the release. If we were able to rescue your draft, you’ll see it on the “All Posts” screen after you update to 3.8.3.

The team also pushed out 3.8.3 as a background update so there’s a chance you may see a draft appear. WordPress 3.7.2 was affected by the bug as well. You can upgrade to 3.7.3 to fix the issue but you’re encouraged to upgrade to the latest version which is 3.8.3.

The Significance of WordPress 3.8.3

This release is significant for a few reasons. The first is that a security and maintenance release (3.8.2) broke core functionality. When we wrote about automatic updates in WordPress not having an options panel to configure their behavior, I pointed out minor and security updates rarely break anything dealing with the core of WordPress.

We now have an example of where a security update broke core functionality. Unfortunately, those that argue minor upgrades can break their site now have fuel for their argument. These types of mistakes happen and the core team has apologized.

We recognize how much trust you place in us to safeguard your content, and we take this responsibility very seriously. We’re sorry we let you down.

Second, the WordPress philosophy doesn’t mention anything about preventing content from being lost. While we have post revisions, auto-saves, and auto-drafts, they weren’t enough to prevent some content from being lost. Whether using the Quick Draft dashboard widget is an edge case or not, it’s reassuring to see the core team consider any loss of content, unacceptable.

Minor and Security Releases Can Break Things

Although there was a problem with 3.8.2 and using the Quick Draft widget, the team put together a fix and released it within a few days. Minor and security updates can break things but it happens far less frequently than the successful ones.

On a brighter note, WordPress 3.9 is expected to ship later this week.

20 Comments


  1. Minor updates hardly break sites and 3.8.2 did not. One kind of security updates is hardening. A hardening may break functionality in some cases. Fixing a regression fast and smoothly as also one of the reasons auto updates is beneficial.

    One of the arguments for not wanting auto updates is that when doing a manual update you can test your site and eventually and immediately revert or fix any breakage. Not many would immediately discover that Quick Draft was broken. This would only be discovered when someone actually tried to use it. In the mean time you would have manually updated all your sites, this being an important security update. Only allowing manual updates would not have made a real difference.

    The decision not to include a UI for turning off automatic minor updates is still wise. Finding a plugin for exposing this option, or a code snippet to disable it blindly, is easy.

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    1. 1) Automatic updates is for lazy admins

      2) If my site gets updated while I am sleeping or whatever and it breaks my site then I won’t be able to fix it.

      Now if I were to BE THERE when updates are done, then I can fix things if they break, right away.

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      1. I prefer to use the word “efficient” for this, rather than “lazy”.

        I’m working on the assumption that nothing will break. I’ve done automatic updates every four hours for years now, and nothing has broken yet. It would take a very odd update or strange site setup to break something IMO.

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      2. What if there’s a huge security bug in the current release that you’re using & you’re completely unaware of it, which can take your site down….but WordPress pushes a security update over night, which saved your website and everyone lived happily ever after.

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      3. On the flip side of that … what if WordPress.org itself gets hacked and deploys a hack via the automatic update system.

        WordPress.org hosted a malicious download many moons ago. It could happen again, and with automatic updates in place, the consequences could be somewhat severe.

        For the record, I am very much for automatic updates, but the potential for catastrophe is there.

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  2. Well, 3.8.3 automatically updated at 9:03 PM and 1 hour later, All of my sites went over SQL usage and now all three of my sites are down. I will spend HOURS sorting this out. Auto updating SUCKS. Leave us the choice so we can update ONE site…if it crashes, we know NOT to update the others until we resolve the problem. Stupid way to release an update for WordPress.

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    1. You do have a choice. If you are maintaining a lot of sites I’m sure you know how. I use the Advanced Automatic updates plugin, all options on, on all sites. Never had a site broken.

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    2. I suggest installing a plugin that allows you to control the automatic update behavior so it only updates the site when you want it do.

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  3. “On a brighter note, WordPress 3.9 is expected to ship later this week.”
    Maybe the Quick Draft fix could have waited until then?

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    1. I don’t think there’s any point in waiting, now that automatic updates are built into core.

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      1. Plus, some non-tech people will stick with 3.8 release, so pushing it as a background update was a better idea.

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    2. Waiting was a concern I had. I thought the update would have been pushed through over the weekend and when it wasn’t, I started to wonder if it would be held back until the release of 3.9. If it would have been held back, I would have been upset.

      Being able to push out an update that fixes a problem resulting in content being lost should be immediate no matter if it’s an edge case or not. I’m glad that it was not held back for the sake of two releases being so close to each other or some other reason.

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  4. On two of my sites the auto update to 3.8.3 went fine. But on one the auto did not work THIS time. It did with no problems for 3.8.2. When I did.the upgrade myself, I got several errors which I could NOT capture. The upgrade was “successful” although I’m getting errors for “upgrade.php” when I update plugins. Three plugins installed successfully despite these errors:

    Warning: An unexpected error occurred. Something may be wrong with WordPress.org or this server’s configuration. If you continue to have problems, please try the support forums. (WordPress could not establish a secure connection to WordPress.org. Please contact your server administrator.) in /……………../update.php on line 120

    Warning: An unexpected error occurred. Something may be wrong with WordPress.org or this server’s configuration. If you continue to have problems, please try the support forums. (WordPress could not establish a secure connection to WordPress.org. Please contact your server administrator.) in /……………../update.php on line 272

    Warning: An unexpected error occurred. Something may be wrong with WordPress.org or this server’s configuration. If you continue to have problems, please try the support forums. (WordPress could not establish a secure connection to WordPress.org. Please contact your server administrator.) in /……………../update.php on line 417

    Yes — I’m turning this into my host for this site — but never seen anything like this before.

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    1. Thanks for the report. Only thing I can recommend is to get in touch with your webhost via a support ticket and show them the errors you’re receiving.

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      1. Done. I was wrong about one thing above — only one site auto updated with no problems. The other one did not. I’ve turned in a support ticket.

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  5. I just discovered it broke one of my sites. I can get to dashboard but any other selection in admin panel just stalls out. I have no idea at this moment exactly how many sites are screwed up but if I have to go to the server to fix each one…this will take me DAYS! Autoupdate was a stupid idea.

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