A month with the WordPress Core team – April 2024

In April, WordPress released version 6.5 and 6.5.2. The team also attended Yoast Contributor Day online. In our monthly update, Andrea talks about the Roma WordPress Meetup, and Sergey describes how we are working together to improve unit tests.

Our monthly updates

Sergey

WordPress 6.5

On April 2, after five months of development, WordPress 6.5 “Regina” was released. Thanks to the work of more than 700 contributors from over 50 countries, it includes hundreds of enhancements and bug fixes, including better accessibility and many performance improvements. Congrats everyone! 🎉

On the day of the release, some of the Core and Meta tasks I helped with included:

If you’d like to learn more about the release process, these steps are documented in the WordPress Core handbook: Releasing Major Versions.

WordPress 6.5.2

On April 15, I participated in the release party for WordPress 6.5.2. This is a maintenance and security release that features 2 bug fixes on Core, 12 bug fixes for the Block Editor, and 1 security fix.

If you’d like to learn more about the release process, the steps are documented in the WordPress Core handbook: Releasing Minor Versions.

WordPress 6.6

I made fifty-two commits to WordPress core, mostly various bug fixes and enhancements. I also triaged new tickets incoming into Trac (the bug tracking system that WordPress uses).

In our weekly mob coding sessions with Carolina and Andrea, with valuable guidance from Juliette, we started looking into reorganizing the WordPress core unit test suite for compatibility with newer PHPUnit versions, specifically existing test classes into multiple files and removing method-level @covers tags in favor of class-level @covers tags to allow for supporting PHPUnit 11 attributes instead of annotations. See ticket #53010 for more details.

Some other notable changes include:

  • Continuing with various coding standards fixes in core. See ticket #60700 for more details.
  • Upgrading WPCS to version 3.1.0. See ticket #60840 for more details.
  • Investigating an issue with some external HTTP tests and backporting the fixes to all supported branches. See ticket #60865 for more details.

Andrea

In the last month, I kept focusing mostly on the WordPress editor to fix accessibility issues and improve the user interface consistency. Some important features in the editor still have room for improvements and, sometimes, they are still unpolished and not working as expected. The ContrastChecker feature, for example, is supposed to warn users when a certain color combination of text and background color is not accessible but it’s still largely buggy. In the same way, another important feature like keyboard shortcuts for changing the heading levels is still only partially implemented for only some blocks. As usual, I created a series of issues for my findings and submitted a few pull requests to solve some issues.

My other tasks as Roma WordPress Meetup co-organizer and facilitator of the Accessibility team Office Hours proceed steadily. Participation to the local meetup is increasing and the attendees are proactive when it comes to interaction and networking. In the next meetup, we will experiment a new way to host the speaker remotely by setting up a videocall for the speaker presentation and connect with che WordPress community from Costa Rica.

Carolina

Core and Gutenberg

I have continued to work on the bundled theme tickets and on my open Gutenberg pull requests. I am trying to pick up some new Gutenberg issues that are much smaller and easier for me to solve. I have also reported new Gutenberg issues and helped moved bug reports from Trac to the Gutenberg GitHub repository.

Yoast Contributor day

On the contributor day, I had planned for the themes table to do a Trac ticket triage. I briefly introduced Trac, and we went through the list of tickets and picked a ticket to test together. I received feedback from the attendees that it is too difficult to set up a local copy of WordPress and download a patch to test it. I wanted us to work on the Trac ticket list because there are many open tickets: But I don’t think this format works well for a contributor day. I also think that the documentation needs to be improved. I wish I had made it clearer to all attendees that they were encouraged to speak up and ask questions if they got stuck, and not wait until the end of the day.

After lunch, the table discussed how to set up local WordPress installations to test a theme patch across multiple WordPress versions. Alain Schlesser helped by showing how to use wp-cli to download different versions of WordPress and then set up symlinks to a shared wp-content/themes folder.

We discussed how the Default Theme task force can work together to reduce the number of open Trac tickets. There are several issues that affect more than one theme, for example bugs with font sizes and colors. To document how to solve these issues consistently, we asked the WordPress Meta team to open a new GitHub repository that we can use as an issue tracker.