WordPress 4.3 development kicked off this week with release lead Konstantin Obenland at the helm. The main focus of this release will be to improve the experience of using WordPress on touch and small-screen devices. Contributors will also be renewing efforts to improve the Admin UI and the Network Admin UI, particularly as it relates to the experience on narrow screens and responsive list tables.
Customizer Design and Architectural Improvements
The customizer will also be getting some attention. Weston Ruter published a summary of the three areas he proposes tackling:
- Customizer Partial Refresh: This feature plugin aims to refresh parts of a Customizer preview instead of reloading the entire page when a setting changed without transport=postMessage.
- Customizer Transactions: This proposal is dependent on the Partial Refresh and involves re-architecting the customizer to make way for the possibility of feature plugins like scheduled settings, setting revisions, and drafted/pending settings.
- Customizer Concurrency/Locking: This proposal would add concurrency/locking support to prevent multiple users from overwriting each other’s changes while working in the customizer.
Nick Halsey also has a few ideas he is proposing for iterating on customizer development that was completed in 4.2.
“I would like to aim for adding theme install in 4.3, which would require a shiny install process, and shiny updates could work into that well too,” he said. Halsey is aiming to have a functional and tested proposal ready before the scheduled time to decide on which features to merge in to 4.3.
He’s also hoping to renew work on Customizer UI design changes, which would separate navigation from the options UI by removing accordion behavior for a better experience. It will be interesting to see how these changes, if selected to merge into 4.3, affect theme developer’s adoption of the customizer.
Better Passwords Coming to WordPress 4.3
Mark Jaquith will be spearheading an effort to improve password creation in WordPress 4.3 and discussion will take place in the #core-passwords channel on Slack. The first leg of his proposal would make “user chooses own password” non-default so that a user can choose his own password or opt to allow WordPress to generate one.
Jaquith is also proposing that the password strength meter, added in WordPress 3.7, offer feedback on why a user’s selected password might be measured as weak.
“Simple feedback like ‘too short — add more characters!’, ‘Try adding some numbers and symbols!’,” he suggested. “Not only that, we could actually make the addition for them, show them their password attempt with some additions that would make it better.”
Also, Jaquith proposes adding an option to make the password entry visible, eliminating the need for entering it twice. The fourth and final leg of his password improvement proposal is a major and long-overdue step toward improving the security of WordPress.
“Let’s not send passwords via e-mail anymore; it’s insecure,” he said “We’re not getting around ‘full access to e-mail means you can reset,’ but we can stop passwords from sitting around in e-mail accounts forever.”
Contributors are aiming to release WordPress 4.3 on Tuesday, August 18th. Follow the project schedule for approximate dates for feature merge, betas, and release candidate(s).