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WordPress 5.3 Beta 2

Posted September 30, 2019 by Francesca Marano. Filed under Development, Releases.

WordPress 5.3 Beta 2 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend running it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

You can test the WordPress 5.3 beta in two ways:

WordPress 5.3 is slated for release on November 12, 2019, and we need your help to get there.

Thanks to the testing and feedback from everyone who tested beta 1, over 45 tickets have been closed since then.

Some highlights

  • Work continues on the block editor.
  • Bugs fixed on Twenty Twenty.
  • Accessibility bugs fixes and enhancements on the interface changes introduced with 5.3 beta 1:
    • Iterate on the admin interface
    • Reduce potential backward compatibility issues
    • Improve consistency between admin screens and the block editor
    • Better text zoom management
  • Support rel="ugc" attribute value in comments (#48022) – this particular ticket shows the WordPress project ability to integrate quick solutions to things that are changing unexpectedly – like Google new features.

Developer notes

WordPress 5.3 has lots of refinements to polish the developer experience. To keep up, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developers notes for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac where you can also find a list of known bugs.

WordPress 5.3 Beta 1

Posted September 23, 2019 by Francesca Marano. Filed under Development, Releases.

WordPress 5.3 Beta 1 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend running it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

You can test the WordPress 5.3 beta in two ways:

WordPress 5.3 is slated for release on November 12, 2019, and we need your help to get there. Here are some of the big items to test, so we can find and resolve as many bugs as possible in the coming weeks.

Block Editor: features and improvements

Twelve releases of the Gutenberg plugin are going to be merged into 5.3 which means there’s a long list of exciting new features. 

Here are just a few of them:

  • Group block and grouping interactions
  • Columns block improvements (width support + patterns)
  • Table block improvements (text alignment support, header/footer support, colors)
  • Gallery block improvements (reordering inline, caption support)
  • Separator block improvements (color support)
  • Latest Posts block improvements (support excerpt, content)
  • List block improvements (indent/outdent shortcuts, start value and reverse order support)
  • Button block improvements (support target, border radius)
  • Animations and micro interactions (moving blocks, dropdowns, and a number of small animations to improve the UX)
  • Accessibility Navigation Mode which will allow you to navigate with the keyboard between blocks without going into their content.
  • Block Style Variations API

Plus a number of other improvements, amongst them:

  • Data Module API improvements (useSelect/useEffect)
  • Inserter Help Panel
  • Extensibility: DocumentSettingsPanel
  • Snackbar notices
  • Typewriter Experience
  • Fix a number of Accessibility report issues

If you want to see all the features for each release, here are direct links to the release posts: 6.5, 6.4, 6.3, 6.2, 6.1, 6.0, 5.9, 5.8, 5.7, 5.6, 5.5, and 5.4.

Continuous effort on performance

The team working on the block editor managed to shave off 1.5 seconds of loading time for a particularly sizeable post (~ 36,000 words, ~ 1,000 blocks) since WordPress 5.2.

A new default theme: welcome Twenty Twenty

WordPress 5.3 introduces Twenty Twenty, the latest default theme in our project history. 

This elegant new theme is based on the WordPress theme Chaplin which was released on the wporg.ibadboy.net theme directory earlier this summer. 

It includes full support for the block editor, empowering users to find the right design for their message.

Wait! There is more

5.3 is going to be a rich release with the inclusion of numerous enhancements to interactions and the interface.

Admin interface enhancements

Design and Accessibility teams worked together to port some parts of Gutenberg styles into the whole wp-admin interface. Both teams are going to iterate on these changes during the 5.3 beta cycle. These improved styles fix many accessibility issues, improve color contrasts on form fields and buttons, add consistency between editor and admin interfaces, modernize the WordPress color scheme, add better zoom management, and more.

Big Images are coming to WordPress

Uploading non-optimized, high-resolution pictures from your smartphone isn’t a problem anymore. WordPress now supports resuming uploads when they fail as well as larger default image sizes. That way pictures you add from the block editor look their best no matter how people get to your site.

Automatic image rotation during upload

Your images will be correctly rotated upon upload according to the EXIF orientation. This feature was first proposed nine years ago. Never give up on your dreams to see your fixes land in WordPress!

Site Health Checks

The improvements introduced in 5.3 make it easier to identify and understand areas that may need troubleshooting on your site from the Tools -> Health Check screen.

Admin Email Verification

You’ll now be periodically asked to check that your admin email address is up to date when you log in as an administrator. This reduces the chance that you’ll get locked out of your site if you change your email address.

For Developers

Time/Date component fixes

Developers can now work with dates and timezones in a more reliable way. Date and time functionality has received a number of new API functions for unified timezone retrieval and PHP interoperability, as well as many bug fixes.

PHP 7.4 Compatibility

The WordPress core team is actively preparing to support PHP 7.4 when it is released later this year. WordPress 5.3 contains multiple changes to remove deprecated functionality and ensure compatibility. Please test this beta release with PHP 7.4 to ensure all functionality continues to work as expected and does not raise any new warnings.

Other Changes for Developers

Keep your eyes on the Make WordPress Core blog for more 5.3 related developer notes in the coming weeks detailing other changes that you should be aware of.

What’s next

There have been over 400 tickets fixed in WordPress 5.3 so far with numerous bug fixes and improvements to help smooth your WordPress experience.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac where you can also find a list of known bugs.

People of WordPress: Abdullah Ramzan

Posted September 6, 2019 by Yvette Sonneveld. Filed under Community, heropress, Interviews.

You’ve probably heard that WordPress is open-source software, and may know that it’s created and run by volunteers. WordPress enthusiasts share many examples of how WordPress changed people’s lives for the better. This monthly series shares some of those lesser-known, amazing stories.

Meet Abdullah Ramzan, from Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.

Abdullah Ramzan was born and brought up in the under-developed city of ​Layyah​, which is situated in Southern Punjab, Pakistan and surrounded by desert and the river ​Sindh​.

He graduated from college in his home town and started using a computer in ​2010​ when he joined ​Government College University Faisalabad​. Abdullah’s introduction to WordPress happened while he was finishing the last semester of his degree. His final project was based in WordPress.

Ramzan’s late mother was the real hero in his life, helping him with his Kindergarten homework and seeing him off to school every day. 

Before her heart surgery, Ramzan visited her in the hospital ICU, where she hugged him and said: ​“Don’t worry, everything will be good.” Sadly, his mother died during her surgery. However, her influence on Ramzan’s life continues.

Start of Ramzan’s Career:

After graduation, Ramzan struggled to get his first job. He first joined PressTigers as a Software Engineer and met Khawaja Fahad Shakeel, his first mentor. Shakeel provided Ramzan with endless support. Something had always felt missing in his life, but he felt like he was on the right track for the first time in his life when he joined the WordPress community. 

Community – WordCamps and Meetups:

Although Ramzan had used WordPress since ​2015​, attending WordPress meetups and open source contributions turned out to be a game-changer for him. He learned a lot from the WordPress community and platform, and developed strong relationships with several individuals. One of them is Nidhi Jain​ from Udaipur India who he works with on WordPress development. The second is Jonathan Desrosiers​ who he continues to learn a lot from.

In addition, Usman Khalid, the lead organizer of WC Karachi, mentored Ramzan, helping him to develop his community skills. 

With the mentorship of these contributors, Ramzan is confident supporting local WordPress groups and helped to organize ​WordCamp Karachi​, where he spoke for the first time at an international level event. He believes that WordPress has contributed much to his personal identity. 

Abdullah Ramzan among a group of community members at WordCamp Karachi 2018
Abdullah Ramzan at WordCamp Karachi 2018

WordPress and the Future:

As a ​co-organizer of WordPress Meetup Lahore,​ he would love to involve more people in the community leadership team, to provide a platform for people to gather under one roof, to learn and share something with each other.

But he has loftier ambitions. Impressed by Walk to WordCamp Europe, Abdullah is seriously considering walking to WordCamp Asia. He also one day hopes for the opportunity to serve his country as a senator of Pakistan and intends to enter the next senate election.

Words of Encouragement

Abdullah Ramzan knows there is no shortcut to success. “You have to work hard to achieve your goals,” explained Ramzan. He still has much he wishes to accomplish and hopes to be remembered for his impact on the project.

Abdullah believes WordPress can never die as long as people don’t stop innovating to meet new demands. The beauty of WordPress is that it is made for everyone.

Ramzan encouraged, “If you seriously want to do something for yourself, do something for others first. Go for open source, you’ll surely learn how to code. You’ll learn how to work in a team. Join local meetups, meet with the folks: help them, learn from them, and share ideas.”


This #ContributorStory post is based on an article originally published on HeroPress.com, a community initiative created by Topher DeRosia. HeroPress highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers and whose stories would otherwise go unheard.

Meet more WordPress community members over at HeroPress.com!

WordPress 5.2.3 Security and Maintenance Release

Posted September 5, 2019 by Jake Spurlock. Filed under Releases, Security.

WordPress 5.2.3 is now available!

This security and maintenance release features 29 fixes and enhancements. Plus, it adds a number of security fixes—see the list below.

These bugs affect WordPress versions 5.2.2 and earlier; version 5.2.3 fixes them, so you’ll want to upgrade.

If you haven’t yet updated to 5.2, there are also updated versions of 5.1 and earlier that fix the bugs for you.

Security Updates

  • Props to Simon Scannell of RIPS Technologies for finding and disclosing two issues. The first, a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability found in post previews by contributors. The second was a cross-site scripting vulnerability in stored comments. 
  • Props to Tim Coen for disclosing an issue where validation and sanitization of a URL could lead to an open redirect. 
  • Props to Anshul Jain for disclosing reflected cross-site scripting during media uploads.
  • Props to Zhouyuan Yang of Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs who disclosed a vulnerability for cross-site scripting (XSS) in shortcode previews.
  • Props to Ian Dunn of the Core Security Team for finding and disclosing a case where reflected cross-site scripting could be found in the dashboard.
  • Props to Soroush Dalili (@irsdl) from NCC Group for disclosing an issue with URL sanitization that can lead to cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.
  • In addition to the above changes, we are also updating jQuery on older versions of WordPress. This change was added in 5.2.1 and is now being brought to older versions. 

You can browse the full list of changes on Trac.

For more info, browse the full list of changes on Trac or check out the Version 5.2.3 documentation page.

WordPress 5.2.3 is a short-cycle maintenance release. The next major release will be version 5.3.

You can download WordPress 5.2.3 from the button at the top of this page, or visit your Dashboard → Updates and click Update Now.

If you have sites that support automatic background updates, they’ve already started the update process.

Thanks and props!

This release brings together contributions from more than 62 other people. Thank you to everyone who made this release possible!

Adam SilversteinAlex ConchaAlex GollerAndrea FerciaAndrew DuthieAndrew OzzAndy Fragen, Ashish ShuklaAslam Shekhbackermann1978Catalin DogaruChetan PrajapatiChris ApreaChristoph Herrdan@micamedia.comDaniel LlewellyndonmhicoElla van DurpeepiquerasFencer04flaviozavanGarrett HyderGary Pendergastgqevu6bsizHardik ThakkarIan BelangerIan DunnJake SpurlockJb AudrasJeffrey PauljikamensJohn BlackbournJonathan Desrosiers, Jorge Costa, karlgrovesKjell ReigstadlaurelfulfordMaje Media LLCMartin SpatovaliyskiMary BaumMonika RaoMukesh Panchalnayana123Ned ZimmermanNick Daugherty, Nilambar SharmanmenescardiPaul Vincent BeigangPedro MendonçaPeter WilsonSergey BiryukovSergey PredvoditelevSharaz ShahidStanimir StoyanovStefano MinoiaTammie ListertellthemachinestmatsuurVaishali PanchalvortfuWill West, and yarnboy.

The Month in WordPress: August 2019

Posted September 2, 2019 by Hugh Lashbrooke. Filed under Month in WordPress.

This has been a particularly busy month, with a number of interesting and ambitious proposals for the WordPress project along with active progress across the entire community.


Core Development and Schedule

The upcoming minor release of WordPress, v5.2.3, is currently in the release candidate phase and available for testing.

Following that, the next major release is v5.3 and the Core team has laid out a schedule and scope for development. In addition, a bug scrub schedule and an accessibility-focused schedule have been set out to provide dedicated times for contributors to work on ironing out the bugs in the release.

Want to get involved in building WordPress Core? Follow the Core team blog, and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Proposal for User Privacy Improvements

The Core Privacy Team has proposed a feature plugin to build a consent and logging mechanism for user privacy. This project will focus on improving the user privacy controls in WordPress Core in order to protect site owners and users alike.

The proposal includes some useful information about building effective controls for users, how other projects have worked on similar efforts, and what kind of time and resources the project will need in order to be developed.

Want to get involved in this feature project? Follow the Core team blog, and join the #core-privacy channel in the Making WordPress Slack group where there are open office hours every Wednesday at 19:00 UTC.

Core Notification System Proposal

A proposal has been made for a new feature project to build a robust notification system for WordPress Core. The aim of the project is to build a system to handle notifications for site owners that can be extended by plugin and theme developers.

This proposal comes on the back of a Trac ticket opened 18 months ago. With weekly meetings to discuss the project, the team behind WP Notify are in the planning phase while they establish exactly how to develop the feature.

Want to get involved in this feature project? Follow the Core team blog, and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group – meetings for this project happen every Monday at 14:00 and 22:00 UTC.

Local WordPress Development Environment

Members of the Core Team have put together a local development environment for WordPress that runs on Docker. This environment provides an easy way for developers to get involved with WordPress core development. 

The work on this was inspired by the environment used for local Gutenberg development, which has since been improved based on the new work that has been done here.

The announcement post explains how to use the Docker environment. If you have any feedback or bug reports, please comment on the post directly.

Updates for Older Versions of WordPress

On July 30, the Security Team shared that security updates need to undergo the same testing and release process for every major version of WordPress. This means they have to provide long-term support for over fifteen major versions of WordPress. This requires a lot of time and effort, and the team has sought feedback on potential solutions for this challenge

Following this discussion, a proposal was made to auto-update old versions of WordPress to v4.7. This proposal garnered many responses and has since been updated to incorporate feedback from comments. The current recommendation is to secure the six latest versions and to eventually auto-update all older versions of WordPress to 4.7. Since this proposal was made, it has been discussed at Hosting Team meetings and Dev Chat meetings, and the conversation is still ongoing.

Want to provide feedback on this proposal? Comment on the original post with your thoughts.


Further Reading:

Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it here.

See Also:

Want to follow the code? There’s a development P2 blog and you can track active development in the Trac timeline that often has 20–30 updates per day.

Want to find an event near you? Check out the WordCamp schedule and find your local Meetup group!

For more WordPress news, check out the WordPress Planet or subscribe to the WP Briefing podcast.

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