WordPress Dev Chat For 1-14-10

wordpresslogoI have a feeling that until WordPress 3.0 is released, these meetings will continue to be chocked full of items to discuss. This one was no different.

Project Schedule for WordPress 3.0
Per the recent developer chats, there is now a development schedule for WordPress 3.0 that can be viewed here. The schedule takes into account beta testing time, RC testing time, etc. Anyone wanting to get their hands dirty in improving the core of WordPress, especially for 3.0 now knows where to focus their efforts. We need to keep in mind that the schedule is not set in stone but something to strive towards.

If it appears that the features or merge takes longer than expected, the release schedule will not be squeezed which would shorten the timer period for beta/RC testing.

Meetup Schedule Change
In order to accommodate the newest member of the core commit team, it was decided to move the meeting time from 20:00 UTC to 20:30 UTC. This means the meeting will be at 4:30 PM EST. This new time splits the difference for Peter Westwood and Dion Hulse.

Progress On The Merge
Ryan Boren gave an update on the merge process. WPMU 2.9.1 was slowing things down a bit but the last sets of file merges should now be in place. The main things left are schema, object cache, and network option bits. As for people wanting to test the merged codebase, it won’t be available for testing until sometime next week. Currently, Trac for WPMU has about 37 open tickets. These tickets will be gone through to see if any can be closed. Trac will then be set to read-only to allow tickets to be copied over into WordPress Trac.

The Default Theme
Ian Stewart should be pretty happy considering his theme Kirby impressed both Matt Thomas and Matt Mullenweg but it was decided the theme is not a 1:1 for WordPress to be a default theme. However, they will most likely take cues from Kirby for the default theme. The features Matt is looking at adding to the theme are as follows:

Custom headers with override on a per post/page level with a post thumbnail so you could have an about page with a custom header.The layout of the header will probably be similar to Kirby and Cutline. Cutline is one of Matts favorite themes for its layout.

Horizontal menus with CSS dropdowns for sub-pages. Matt said this doesn’t need anything new but a menu manage would make it slicker. In a related piece of news, one of the highlighted features for 3.0 was going to be a menu management system. So, it’s quite possible the menu management will make it into 3.0 and then the default theme will make use of it.

Custom backgrounds. This idea was inspired by Twitter and Matt feels that a good background image can do a lot to customize a site. He’s looking into having a way to upload something and have it set as a background. The main difference will be that Twitter does not allow centering while this approach most likely will. Tiled or centered.

Matt said at the very least, the theme will be new, they’ll like it and may inspire new techniques in the community. Also important to note that there will be a new default theme in 2011 called, 2011. Someone mentioned that 2012 could be the last default theme as the world comes to an end.

The 2010 theme is aimed at being fixed-width. Fixed width, right sidebar, horizontal navigation. As for the aesthetics, the target is people named Matt who work on WordPress. I’m sure Matt had a chuckle when he mentioned that. Some folks will not be crazy about it but it won’t be offensive. If we don’t like the default theme, we can always wait till next year to see the new one.

It’s also interesting to note that the new default theme is the one feature in WordPress 3.0 that will effect the least number of users. No one upgrading will see it unless they explicitly switch to it. However, the theme will be activated by default on new installs of WordPress.

Jeffro – what happens to the themes that come with wordpress already ala kubrick and classic. With yearly default themes are they replaced or are they added on to the software package as part of the download.
MarkJaquith – Jeffro: existing themes stay for now. Don’t have to deal with what happens to 2010 theme until 2011 :-)

Menu plugins report
Menu management will be based on the existing widget code. The code within ticket 11817 already generates a working admin page. Next up for the code is to add a button for populating a menu with the existing pages/categories/links as well as making the 4 default widgets work. It’s still a bit early for testing but feedback at this time is welcomed. Also keep an eye out as Scribu will be creating a screencast without audio that shows off the menu management in action.

Custom Post Types
The latest development on Custom post types can be found here. Ryan recently put in a huge patch which gets this feature closer to completing the first pass. Then it’s tweaks, fixes, cleanup and testing. Ryan also mention this feature would be getting a screencast with no audio to give people a glimpse of custom post types in action.

wp-admin/edit.php, post.php, and post-new.php now handle all post types, including pages. It handles both hierarchical and flat types. Arbitrary taxonomy for any type is close to done, still needs a little more work.

At the end of the meeting, I asked about what we can expect with regards to custom post type UI as that has been a big question among those interesting in this feature.

Ryan said Custom post types will have the same UI Posts do now and will have control over meta boxes. This conversation between Carl and Ryan may also be of interest to you.

carlhancock – rboren: so the intention is for the UI to be just like posts now rather than being more custom? ie. predefined custom fields for that post type, etc.?
carlhancock – rboren: will there be a UI for adding custom post types, which would then add the necessary menus in the WordPress dashboard? (ix. a custom post type called Employee would add a menu called Employee with Add New and Edit sub-nav items)
rboren – No UI for adding custom post types. It’s up plugins to register the type. Then that type will automatically get Edit, Add New, and any taxonomies.
rboren – All of which support custom post types.
rboren – Or can pick and choose from core meta boxes.
rboren – The edit form will have the basics and the plugin can add any custom meta boxes it needs.
carlhancock – rboren: so by registering a custom post type does that add the necessary navigation items or will a plugin still have to do that (see my Employee post type example)
rboren – The plugin can set a flag when it registers that says gimme all of the default UI. This includes a top-level, and add, edit, and taxonomy submenus.
carlhancock – rboren: nice. or the plugin could create it’s own navigation ui if it needs to do anything more. good setup. looking forward to it.
carlhancock – rboren: how are theme files going to be handled, by default will it use a theme file that has the same name as the custom post type? or what exactly…
rboren – Falling back to post.php for flat post types and page.php for hierarchical post types, most lkely.
rboren – carlhancock: Right now there’s nothing for theming, but we will probably add checks to the template loader to see if there are $post_type.php files.

Core Plugin Update
The health check plugin is coming along nicely thanks to the contributions of DDebernardy. Post by email will kick off soon now that the core plugin mailing lists are in place. If your interested in jumping on board with any of the core plugins, be sure to sign up to the mailing list to receive more information as it becomes available.

I asked who was responsible for the PodPress core plugin as that was one of the ones mentioned by Matt as being part of this experiment. Right now, no one is responsible for it.

Jeffro – Do we know yet on whether Akismet and Hello dolly will be shipped with 3.0?
rboren – Jeffro: We’d like to remove the external for akismet, but that will make it disappear for people who svn up.

Jeffro – Also I guess Westi is gone but will 3.0 see the post by email feature removed?
westi – Jeffro: in all likelyhood yes… as the plugin will be so superior and actually work more than not work, but we will consider the upgrade experience

Core Plugin Infrastructure
AaronCampbell – Well, we have a list of recommendations for what tools would be useful for core plugin teams. The idea was to give them the same kind of tools that current core developers have. Trac, SVN, mailing lists, and support forums. There are a couple issues that still need to be addressed. Mostly it looks like we need a Trac Plugin or two in order to make Trac do what’s needed. We need something to paginate /browser/ because there are so many plugins – relevant Trac ticket: http://trac.edgewall.org/ticket/6101 Other than that, the SVN is going to be set up to interact with Trac just as the core SVN does, etc. Hopefully teams will be good to go.

WP Devel
This is going to be a happening place the next few weeks/months. Make sure you subscribe to the sites RSS feed or check on it daily.

How To Participate:

If you want to suggest a topic to be discussed at the next meeting, you can by visiting the WordPress development updates blog. If you would like to participate in the chat next week, install IRC or an IRC compatible client and connect to the following IRC server.

chat.freenode.net or any random server on the Freenode network and then join this channel at 3:30PM Eastern time or 20:30 UTC Thursdays. #wordpress-dev.

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