Contributions in WordPress 4.7 and 4.8

At the end of every announcement of a new WordPress version is a list of all the people who made meaningful contributions to the release. I’ve always wanted to be on that list since it would mean I had done something in a piece of software used by millions of sites!

Finally, in the last two versions of WordPress, I’ve made that dream a reality!

4.7: So Long Underline!

I didn’t even know this was possible, but some of the names on the list of contributors in each version didn’t actually write code for the update but still participated meaningfully. That was the case for my first “props” that got me onto the list.

I was one of the main people pushing for a change to the WordPress editor that removed the underline and “full justify” options. (If you want to know why, read my WordPress formatting manifesto.) I had wanted this to happen for years, had made a plugin to do it in the mean time, and pushed for it in the 3-year-long discussion about removing buttons from the editor.

This shows that persistent, calm, well-reasoned arguments in favor of features can make things happen…eventually…sometimes.

But I still wanted to actually write code that would be in WordPress…

4.8: Plugin Titles, Come Back!

I’ve been a Chrome user for quite some time ((Though as an aside I’ve been using Opera for the last few weeks, including writing this post.)) and was confused when plugin titles in WordPress suddenly disappeared.

A WordPress plugin title incorrectly appears as "..."
Well that’s not good!

It turned out, this wasn’t a WordPress bug but an unreported Chrome bug. While the problem was technically with the browser, the way it was coded in WordPress was unusual and didn’t make much sense. By recoding it to use a more common technique, the code quality was improved and the bug was avoided. After some helpful feedback from other users, the code “patch” was included in version 4.8 that came out just now!

What’s more, while I was working on this, I managed to create a simplified test case showing how the bug worked and reported the bug to Chrome. The bug still isn’t fixed, but Chrome users will get their plugin titles back when they update.

There it is!

These are small contributions in the scheme of things and they pale in comparison to hundreds of other people. Yet it’s still a proud moment to see my name at the end of a WordPress release post, knowing it’s there because I argued for improvements and, finally, wrote some code that will be downloaded by millions of people in the coming days.

List of names as links, Mark Root-Wiley is highlighted

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