A week with us: Commitment matters

Our team has been focusing on many great projects, from improving documentation to making the themes directory better. But also improving plugin & theme updates and ensuring there are no problems with the next PHP versions. All these things take time and commitment, and we sometimes need to put our heads down and focus on the task at hand. The past week we did a lot of intense work on some long-term projects that are important to us all.

Our weekly team updates


This week I was laser-focused on the same things as last week. The update-the-updater project is a huge task, and we’re making good progress there. I continued working on improving the stability of updates (#1492), as well as a proof of concept for plugin dependencies (#1547).

I have been doing some work on a WebFonts API proof of concept but it’s not ready to be presented to the wider community yet. So I’ll keep working on this task this week and hopefully have something more solid on that front next week.



This week I have done regression testing of Yoast SEO 17.1 and its add-ons. I’ve also done testing of the next minor release of WordPress; 5.8.1.


I have continued with the Theme Check plugin, specifically the readme file validator and copyright check. To elaborate, I started looking into how to use PHPUnit for the checks in Theme Check but ran into problems with CLI commands not working on Windows. This made me realize that I need to learn more about PHPUnit before continuing with alternatives.


This week lots of people I normally interact with are coming back to work, so I expect things in WordPress to pick up again soon. However, as discussed in one of our previous posts, it’s not like the team sat with nothing to do 😉. We did use the quiet weeks of August to power through some projects that we are getting close to the finish line!

Fix/update unzip rollbacks

Whilst Ari and Sergey have been hard at work to polish the code, I have been working on outreach. WordPress has millions of installations, with all sorts of configurations. When committing changes to Core, we need to be judicious above all. Some users are frustrated that WordPress doesn’t “move faster and break things” but we really can not break 40% of the web, can we?

So even changes that do benefit WordPress as a whole, need to be carefully tested before being committed. This patch needs to be tested more so I will continue reaching out to folks to make sure we are providing a solution in Core and not just a headache.

Testing Documentation Audit

The inability to meet in person combined with the low morale caused by over a year of COVID is not ideal for onboarding new contributors and getting traction from existing contributors. Historically, the WordPress project has relied on in-person events to pump up (the number of) contributors. Documentation is always important, but especially now that everything happens online.

Handbooks grow through the years. A blessing and a curse. Yes, there is tons of information. But also, there is tons of unorganized, out-of-date information. And we have to start somewhere. So I started with a call for volunteers for testing. This is potentially an entry point for a lot of new contributors, from new users to experienced QA engineers. The project needs to hear from all of them.

Many contributors from other teams helped out, so we were able to finish the audit in record time! Now on to figuring out:

  • What to do with content that is not relevant anymore or out-of-date?
  • How to reorganize the content so people can find easily the instructions they are looking for?

Stay tuned to find out!


I’m currently in my last sprint with the special projects team, with which I’ve been working for some time on automated tests for an internal project at Yoast. As time goes on, the test suite I’m working on and maintaining gets bigger and bigger; and with that come the challenges. It’s been a great experience so far, and I’m looking forward to using what I’ve learned in the WordPress project.


WordPress 5.9

I made twenty-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).

Last week I continued looking into some early tickets for WordPress 5.9, as part of my duties as a Core Committer. Based on a discussion with my colleague Taco, I also created a ticket for displaying a notice for incompatible plugins on the Plugins screen.

WordPress Unit Test Suite

In a recent live working session with Tonya Mork, Juliette Reinders Folmer, and other contributors, the PHPUnit documentation for the WordPress unit test suite was overhauled. If you’re interested, give it a read to see if the instructions are clear enough or could use some further improvement. Feedback is always welcome!

PHP 8.1

I also continued looking into various compatibility fixes for PHP 8.1. See ticket #53635 for more details.

Read more: Last week: Safe updates, plugin dependencies, themes, PHP 8.1, and more! »