WordPress Dev Chat For 12-03-09

wordpresslogoPlugin Development Information Post Idea

If you host a plugin on the WordPress plugin repository, you should have received an email letting you know about what is coming in WordPress 2.9 that might break your plugin. The idea was to have 2-3 of these per major release and eventually for point releases if they are likely to break plugins. However, the information contained in these emails will also be published to the WordPress development blog to cover all bases. Andrew is supposed to be publishing the first email on the dev blog either today or within the next few days. Hopefully, this approach solves the complaints of plugin authors saying they don’t have enough time or enough knowledge to know whether their plugin will work on the next version of WordPress.

Google Gears: Leave It In Or Remove It.

The recent news of Google slowly letting support for Google Gears slip by the wayside as they move towards the advancements of HTML5 Cache means that WordPress will either have to remove Gears support or replace it with an equivalent. According to Andrew Ozz, the HTML 5.0 specs are only designed for taking a web app completely offline and cannot be used (for now) the same way as Gears. While the conversation then went into details on reasons for removal, Matt said he was fine with taking it out but that they made *such a big deal* out of putting it in, they need to have a timeline for a replacement unless they no longer believe that the performance increase is valid or worth it. In the end, the decision was to leave it in for now with a view to removing in 3.0 along with a statement about what replaces it – something better or nothing because there is no need / replacement.

Minimum intervals between first beta and final release and between first RC and final

This topic was brought up by Demetris who was inspired by Ubuntu. E.g. Do not go from RC1 to final in less than 14 days, so that people have time to test/translate/upgrade plugins. However, Ryan Boren mentions that the main thing is testing audience. Longer betas don’t get new audience so its the same old people doing the same old things.

Demetris makes the case that if string-freeze were to happen with RC1 that it would give translators enough time to work on the translations. Ryan then makes the announcement that WordPress 2.9 is currently in string freeze which was also mentioned on the Polyglots mailing list today. Matt has been talking about a new i18n strategy where new versions just go live with old strings if they don’t update within X days of release. Ryan usually judges by the amount of i18n tickets that are around when to call string-freeze. However, he agrees that they need to announce string freeze at least a couple of weeks before the anticipated release.

WordPress.org Features Page

I’ve mentioned this in previous Dev chat cliff notes but Demetris was also working on creating a new features page that would replace the one currently on WordPress.org. Matt says he’ll make those new changes live and thanked him for putting it together.

Jane expressed some concerns about the new default first post: http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/11008

Since WordPress 2.9 is in string freeze, the current implementation of the First Post will remain. The discussion then turned to improving the Help tab that is seen throughout the backend of WordPress. One idea that was mentioned by beaulebens gained some traction:

beaulebens – personally i think it would make sense that the entire dashboard was a “welcome screen” the first time (or until you dismissed it) you visited wp-admin, but that’s more work than just the sample post approach. Where “welcome screen” was some sort of “getting started” list of things you should/might want to do/take note of.

I mentioned that I thought the handbook was supposed to supplement the Help tab in the dashboard but that it doesn’t seem to be happening this time around. Then beaulebens had another great idea. beaulebens – it would be awesome if the handbook was available via API, and could be pulled in at relevant places in the Help tab. Quite a few people cheered for that idea.

If you’re interested in reading more in-depth into the discussions including ideas and such that were not mentioned here, view the Chat archive and scroll up. Meetings begin with and end with

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 4PM Eastern time or 9PM UTC Thursdays. #wordpress-dev.


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