18. PHP Preloading

A proposal has been made to preload parts of the WordPress core to optimize its speed and functionality, thereby enhancing the performance of all websites.

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Program transcript

Hello, I鈥檓 Javier Casares, and you鈥檙e listening to WordPress Podcast, bringing the weekly news from the WordPress Community.

You鈥檒l find updates from January 29th to February 4th, 2024.

It’s been 8 years since a ticket was first submitted proposing the preloading of certain PHP parts of WordPress. Now, a new proposal has been developed over the past few months.

This new implementation aims to improve performance by reducing load times and memory usage by only loading the necessary files, which is essentially the goal of this preloading system.

The approach has been kept simple, focusing only on core classes and, for now, excluding an API for plugins or themes, or the use of Composer, though it’s not ruled out that these could be incorporated in the future.

This modernization represents a significant step in optimizing WordPress and offers benefits for both core developers and the overall performance of websites.

With WordPress 6.4.3, we have a maintenance and security update that includes 5 bug fixes in the core, 16 fixes in the block editor, and 2 minor security updates.

It’s recommended to update sites immediately, and the update is also available for earlier versions starting from 4.1.

Another update is Gutenberg 17.6, notable for allowing block developers to control which blocks can be included within their own.

A major change will be the unification of features found in both editors. For example, in page editing, we’ll see that all the functionalities available in the Content Editor will also be available in the Site Editor, allowing work with all options in both places.

The Core team has introduced new requirements for commit messages in Git, focusing on ensuring that all contributors receive proper recognition.

This includes a specific format using 鈥淐o-authored-by鈥 to credit collaborators without needing their personal emails.

Additionally, a tool called “Props Bot” has been launched on GitHub to automate the compilation of contributor lists in pull requests, thus promoting more efficient and comprehensive recognition of all forms of contribution to the project.

Furthermore, a proposal has been made to evolve the WordPress outreach program six months after transitioning from version 6.4.

The suggestion is to rename the Slack channel #fse-outreach-experiment to #outreach, encompassing more than Full Site Editing and moving beyond an experimental phase, to discuss future functionalities, facilitate contributions, and connect WordPress site creators with core developers.

The Performance team remains focused on their main projects. One, likely to be included in WordPress 6.5, aims to optimize the reading of translation files, significantly reducing load times for non-American English sites. In tests on WordPress.org, load times were reduced by 20%.

The Developer Blog has posted an article on different ways to hide blocks. The simplest method is to disable them from the panel, but what if you’re an agency looking to disable some blocks in the content editor, but not in the site editor? Yes, you can create a small plugin that hides these blocks for your clients using PHP or JavaScript.

But it’s not just about hiding blocks… if you’re creating a block theme and want to offer users a few patterns to ease their work, the post on adding patterns to block themes provides an easy and quick way to do so.

The Hosting team has outlined its goals for 2024, focusing heavily on improving testing tools for future WordPress versions across all possible providers. Several Office Hours sessions have been scheduled in February to enhance these tools at the Cloudfest Hackathon.

The Design team has proposed some improvements, such as lightbox options, where you can choose which images can be expanded.

Another change will be seen in the Cover block, which will allow aspect ratios, and the top toolbar, which will improve which elements are displayed, especially on smaller screens.

The Marketing team has announced that the WordPress Foundation has been approved to receive a Google Ads grant aimed at increasing awareness and coverage of the foundation and its mission-related topics.

The campaign, launching in March 2024, will focus on creating text ads to promote the Foundation’s mission, scholarship programs, WordCamp events, open-source software, and educational materials.

The campaign’s success will be measured through performance indicators and the potential increase in donations to the Foundation.

The Community team has evaluated the “Next-Generation WordPress Events” pilot project, initiated in May 2023, with the goal of testing event formats beyond the usual WordCamp and Meetup.

Following positive results, it’s suggested to permanently include a wider variety of more creative formats in WordPress events.

These events should be replicable, appealing, sustainable, and scalable, and plans are underway to launch new tools and guides to support this initiative.

Finally, this podcast is distributed under the EUPL license. For more information and links, please visit WordPress Podcast .org or follow the content, also, in Catalan, Spanish, and French.

Thanks for listening, and until the next episode!


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