WordPress 4.8 “Evans”

This release caught me by surprise, and I’ve spent the last few days updating many, many sites.

Okay, first additions:

  • New widgets - there are new widgets shipping in core, to make it easier to add various A/V media without using HTML. That is sure to make lots of folks happy; it is certainly a common complaint I have with clients, and it makes sense. Why should they need to copy and paste the image path into HTML to link to it in the sidebar?
  • Link boundaries - this is an enhancement for the WYSIWYG editor, which I don’t use so I didn’t realize it was an issue. Basically, it shows what is linked, which would seem like a deal-breaker before now, but at least it works now…
  • Nearby WordPress events dashboard widget - I will speak more about this below, but basically it is a list of nearby WordPress events. I do not like this.
  • Multisite enhancements - mostly dev biz here, but they are making the permissions in multisite more practical.
  • Accessible headings in dashboard - better support for assistive technologies, so awesome.
  • Customizer responsive width - this is possibly one of the bigger changes, as it is creating a better front-end editing experience for users, and that is the direction WordPress is heading; I envision that most WordPress users will update content, comment and design their sites without leaving the page that is affected by those changes. Soon.

As for removals… WMA and WMV support! Overdue, of course.

Another automatic opt-in and tracking, not cool

I don’t know how the nearby events widget works, and I missed the announcement it would be included in core. The code for plugin that preceded the widget is public, so more research will be required.

But this is another bit of information the WordPress project is collecting from 25% of the web without asking. I am not comfortable gathering up users’ location data in one place, in this case the logs of the API server.

They would have been better off including it as part of Jetpack, since the overlap between folks looking for WordPress events to attend and users of Jetpack largely overlap; my reasoning is that people willing to search for the various components that make up Jetpack, rather than accepting it from one source, are more likely to initiate searches for nearby meetings.

But that is neither here nor there, because my point remains, the WordPress project scraps a lot of ambient data from installations by default, and is a bad practice. Keep that in mind, WordPress users.

Oh, oh that is not cool. :frowning: