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.
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.
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)
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 WordPress.org 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.