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WordPress Core Development Updates August 2014 Edition

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It's that lovely time again where we sit down and chat about everything that's going on in the world of Core development.

As the release of WordPress 4.0 quickly approaches, the team has been working hard to implement a variety of changes and tweaks to get everything ready for release. Some of these changes were actually quite dramatic and change the way you interact with WordPress on a day-to-day basis. There is a lot to cover so I won't waste any more time here.

Thanks for reading, as always. Now let's dive into what happened for August.

Live preview menus

Nick Halsey has finished implementing the preview in the Menu Customizer plugin.

The entire menu editing process has been contained in a Menus panel in the Customizer, and you can now preview your work with your menus as you make changes. Finally, it will be easy to access the menus with the rest of the site appearance management tools in the Customizer.

If you want to help test the menu customizer (and the live preview feature), you can get the plugin here. It currently requires PHP 5.3+, if you can't wait to get your hands on it.

GSoC update

Janneke Van Dorpe and his team have done a lot of work on the editor, which can be divided into three parts:

  1. Work on the kernel for editor views and scrolling.

  2. Work on the Editor Experiments plugin.

  3. A complete rewrite of the Front-end editor, which includes both kernel and plugin work.

The goal was to make it easier for plugins to add views in the editor.

There are many options for an editing interface - WordPress should provide them, but the goal is to make the experience customizable, ideally with the ability to edit views directly from the editor. For example, in a gallery view, you should be able to edit captions inline and rearrange images.

A shortcode that could display a Google map, for example, ended up looking like this in the editor:

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When you search by address or just move the card, the shortcode will automatically update for you.

There are a few other cases needed to understand an API, as well as a lot of improvements needed for the view plugin for TinyMCE. Currently, it is not possible to have editable text fields inside the view, or to drag views. However, the core team is working to fix them.

Another of his goals was to experiment with the concept of content blocks and online publishing. To this end, he created a TinyMCE plugin which adds a toolbar with formatting tools when you select something in the editor, and which can be extended like the default toolbar.

As it is, you can create your own buttons and add them to the toolbar. In the future, you will be able to change the buttons according to the selection.

Finally, we come to the complete rewrite of the front-end editor, in which the following improvements can be implemented:

  • An online toolbar for text, images and views

  • An "add a block" toolbar to insert content.

  • The view implementation is now completely replaced by the view implementation in version 3.9, with all improvements made for version 4.0.

  • An instant-load editor, with no page refresh required for loading or saving. You just turn it on and off.

Quite impressively, the team rewrote the front-end editor from scratch to add all of these new features.

Plug-in icons in the plug-in installer

Texture mosaic

WordPress 4.0 will ship with a redesigned plugin installer. And now, as Andrew Nacin wrote, the team has added plugin icons to the project.

The icons are 128 × 128px, with the option to add a HiDPI icon at 256 × 256. Like banners they enter your /assets directory in PNG or JPG format. The name of the file must be assets / icon-128 × 128. (png | jpg) or assets / icon-256 × 256. (png | jpg)

You can also use an SVG file, as scalable vectors can be used for any icon size. For an SVG file, the file name will simply be assets / icon.svg, and of course, you only need one of them. However, there is a good chance that SVG-to-images workarounds will be implemented for browsers that cannot display SVGs, so if you decide to use one, it is advisable to include a version as well. PNG of your image.

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Some tips for designing icons for use with this plugin: keep it simple, avoid text, optimize your images using a purpose built web app, and don't use WordPress logos.

Icons can also be generated automatically using the GeoPattern library. Or, if you have a banner image, it is automatically sampled to determine the color of the pattern.

ORDER BY gets a boost in WordPress 4.0

Scott Taylor a remanié la fonction “orderby”.

“orderby” est l’argument passé à QP_Query qui lui permet de savoir sur quelle colonne trier lors de la création de la clause ORDER BY pour son SQL. La valeur par défaut pour orderby est post_date.

L’ordre ne peut être qu’une des deux valeurs, ASC ou DESC. L’ordre de tri par défaut pour une colonne MySQL est “ASC” ou “ascendant”. La valeur par défaut de l’argument « ordre » dans WP_Query est « DESC » ou « décroissant ».

“orderby” accepte une chaîne, représentant une colonne sur laquelle l’histoire.

Prior to version 4.0, the value of "order" was applied only to the last value you passed in this space-delimited list.

Since the default sort order for a column in MySWL is ASC, such queries often produced unwanted results.

In 4.0, when you pass a set of values ​​delimited by spaces, your single value for "order" will be applied to all your values ​​which are parsed for "orderby". This has been corrected. Developers, rejoice!

You can also now pass an array to WP_Query as the value for orderby. This allows you to control the generation of the "ORDER BY" clause more specifically. Prior to this release, you should have used filters on the SQL statement or a specific clause.

This, as contributor Leo Baiano said, makes it "possible to sort results across multiple columns in a very elegant way."


August has been a monumental month for core development - it looks like a lot of major changes have been made in preparation for WordPress 4.0. And it seems all this preparation was for a good cause. WordPress 4.0 has been deployed and I'm still having fun digging into its features.

This month, the changes have been major and will have a significant impact on the functionality of WordPress 4.0. We now have icons, a new way of sorting results into columns, and a complete overhaul of the front-end editor.

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What are you most passionate about when it comes to WordPress development news? What would you like to see part of Core? As always, feel free to let me know in the comments section below. I always appreciate your contribution!

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