Uncategorized WordPress

WordPress 4.2 Field Notes 

WordPress 4.2 includes both new and improved features. It also includes changes under the hood.  While I’m sure you’ve been testing your themes, plugins, and sites in preparation for the release, you may have missed the announcements of all the changes. Here is a quick rundown of developer related things you should know:

Source: WordPress › WordPress 4.2 Field Notes « Make WordPress Core

For the second release in a row, I put together some Field Notes to help developers for the Make WordPress Core blog.  The most fun thing I found is that in 4.2 231 bugs reported vs previous versions of WordPress were fixed. This is up from 174 in 4.1.  Every release WordPress improves.

Uncategorized WordPress

Don’t on Emoji in WordPress 4.2

WordPress 4.2 is almost here.  Yesterday marked the release of Beta 4 and if everything goes as planned, the first RC will be available next week. One of the
“features” that people are talking about in both positive and negative terms in emoji support. I put feature in quotation marks because really, emoji support is a bug fix.

The mission of WordPress is to democratize publishing.  WordPress aims to be usable by anyone, anywhere.  Part of this means to be usable in any language.  To help accomplish this, WordPress 4.2 is changing it’s tables to use utf8mb4 by default. Gary Pendergast summed up why this change was needed

In Unicode terms, utf8 can only store characters in the Basic Multilingual Plane, while utf8mb4 can store any Unicode character. This greatly expands the language usability of WordPress, especially in countries that use Han character sets. Unicode isn’t without its problems, but it’s the best option available.

In addition to supporting more character sets, utf8mb4 also supports emoji.  The problem is that browsers don’t always support emoji correctly. In another post on the Make WordPress Core blog, Gary describes these problems:

  • Some browsers don’t know how to render emoji , or they have bugs in their implementation . Notably, Chrome either doesn’t work or has bugs, older versions of IE don’t work, and Firefox has bugs.
  • Not all sites will be able to upgrade to utf8mb4, which means they’ll be unable to save emoji characters that they enter.

Not being able to use emoji makes everyone a sad panda (), so we need to fix this.

Fixing WordPress to work in more languages exposes emoji. Since emoji support isn’t great yet, WordPress needs to shim it. Most users won’t understand why their site works in some browsers but not others. Some people find emoji annoying. Others find them fun. But as of WordPress 4.2, we all can at least find them.