WordPress 5.2 “Jaco”

Keeping Sites Safer

Version 5.2 of WordPress, named “Jaco” in honor of renowned and revolutionary jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. New features in this update make it easier than ever to fix your site if something goes wrong.

There are even more robust tools for identifying and fixing configuration issues and fatal errors. Whether you are a developer helping clients or you manage your site solo, these tools can help get you the right information when you need it.


Site Health Check

Building on the Site Health features introduced in 5.1, this release adds two new pages to help debug common configuration issues. It also adds space where developers can include debugging information for site maintainers.

PHP Error Protection

This administrator-focused update will let you safely fix or manage fatal errors without requiring developer time. It features better handling of the so-called “white screen of death,” and a way to enter recovery mode,  which pauses error-causing plugins or themes.


Improvements for Everyone

Accessibility Updates

A number of changes work together to improve contextual awareness and keyboard navigation flow for those using screen readers and other assistive technologies.

New Dashboard Icons

Thirteen new icons including Instagram, a suite of icons for BuddyPress, and rotated Earth icons for global inclusion. Find them in the Dashboard and have some fun!

Plugin Compatibility Checks

WordPress will now automatically determine if your site’s version of PHP is compatible with installed plugins. If the plugin requires a higher version of PHP than your site currently uses, WordPress will not allow you to activate it, preventing potential compatibility errors.


Developer Happiness

PHP Version Bump

The minimum supported PHP version is now 5.6.20. As of WordPress 5.2*, themes and plugins can safely take advantage of namespaces, anonymous functions, and more!

Privacy Updates

A new theme page template, a conditional function, and two CSS classes make designing and customizing the Privacy Policy page easier.

New Body Hook

5.2 introduces a wp_body_open hook, which lets themes support injecting code right at the beginning of the <body> element.

Building JavaScript

With the addition of webpack and Babel configurations in the wordpress/scripts package, developers won’t have to worry about setting up complex build tools to write modern JavaScript.

*If you are running an old version of PHP (less than 5.6.20), update your PHP before installing 5.2.


The Squad

This release was led by Matt Mullenweg, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and Gary Pendergast. They were graciously supported by 327 generous volunteer contributors. Load a Jaco Pastorius playlist on your favorite music service and check out some of their profiles:

aandrewdixon, Aaron D. Campbell, Aaron Jorbin, Adam Silverstein, Adam Soucie, Adil Öztaşer, Ajit Bohra, Alain Schlesser, aldavigdis, Alex Denning, Alex Kirk, Alex Mills, Alex Shiels, Alexis, Alexis Lloyd, allancole, Allen Snook, André, Andrés, andraganescu, Andrea Fercia, Andrea Middleton, Andrei Lupu, Andrew Duthie, Andrew Nacin, Andrew Ozz, Andrey “Rarst” Savchenko, Andy Fragen, Andy Meerwaldt, Aniket Patel, Anton Timmermans, Anton Vanyukov, Antonio Villegas, antonypuckey, Aristeides Stathopoulos, Aslam Shekh, axaak, Bego Mario Garde, Ben Dunkle, Ben Ritner – Kadence Themes, Benjamin Intal, Bill Erickson, Birgir Erlendsson, Bodo (Hugo) Barwich, bonger, Boone Gorges, Bradley Taylor, Brandon Kraft, Brent Swisher, bulletdigital, Burhan Nasir, Cathi Bosco, Chetan Prajapati, Chiara Magnani, Chouby, Chris Van Patten, D.S. Webster, Damon Cook, Daniel Bachhuber, Daniel James, Daniel Llewellyn, Daniel Richards, Daniele Scasciafratte, Darren Ethier (nerrad), Dave Whitley, DaveFX, davetgreen, David Binovec, David Binovec, David Herrera, David Roddick, David Smith, davidb, Davide ‘Folletto’ Casali, dekervit, Denis de Bernardy, Dennis Snell, Derek Herman, Derrick Hammer, designsimply, Dhanukanuwan, Dharmesh Patel, Diane, diegoreymendez, Dilip Bheda, Dima, Dion Hulse, Dixita Dusara, Dmitry Mayorov, Dominik Schilling, Drew Jaynes, dsifford, Ella van Durpe, etoledom, fabiankaegy, Faisal Alvi, Farhad Sakhaei, Felix Arntz, Franklin Tse, Fuegas, Garrett Hyder, Gary Jones, Gennady Kovshenin, Grzegorz (Greg) Ziółkowski, Guido Scialfa, GutenDev ✍㊙, Hannah Malcolm, Hardik Amipara, Hardik Thakkar, Hendrik Luehrsen, Henry, Henry Wright, Hoover, Ian Belanger, Ian Dunn, ice9js, Igor Zinovyev, imath, Ixium, J.D. Grimes, jakeparis, James, janak Kaneriya, Jarred Kennedy, Javier Villanueva, Jay Upadhyay, Jaydip Rami, Jayman Pandya, jdeeburke, Jean-Baptiste Audras, Jeff Paul, Jeffrey de Wit, Jenny, Jeremy Felt, Jeremy Green, Jeremy Herve, jitendrabanjara1991, JJJ, Joe Dolson, Joe McGill, Joen Asmussen, Johan Falk, Johanna de Vos, John Blackbourn, Jonathan Desrosiers, Jonathandejong, Jonny Harris, jonnybojangles, Joost de Valk, jordesign, Jorge Bernal, Jorge Costa, Jory Hogeveen, Jose Castaneda, josephwa, Josh Feck, JoshuaWold, Joy, jplo, JR Tashjian, jrf, Juhi Patel, juliarrr, K. Adam White, KamataRyo, Karine Do, Katyatina, Kelin Chauhan, Kelly Dwan, Khokan Sardar, killua99, Kite, Kjell Reigstad, Knut Sparhell, Koji Kuno, Konstantin Obenland, Konstantinos Xenos, Kʜᴀɴ (ಠ_ಠ), laurelfulford, lkraav, Luke Carbis, Luke Gedeon, Luke Pettway, Maedah Batool, Maja Benke, Malae, Manzoor Wani, Marcin, Marcin Pietrzak, Marco Peralta, marcofernandes, Marcus Kazmierczak, marekhrabe, Marius Jensen, Mariyan Belchev, Mark Uraine, markcallen, Markus Echterhoff, Marty Helmick, marybaum, mattnyeus, mdwolinski, Meet Makadia, Mel Choyce, mheikkila, Micah Wood, michelleweber, Miguel Fonseca, Miguel Torres, Mikael Korpela, Mike Auteri, Mike Schinkel [WPLib Box project lead], Mike Schroder, Mike Selander, MikeNGarrett, Milan Dinić, mirka, Mobin Ghasempoor, Mohadese Ghasemi, Mohammed Saimon, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, Morteza Geransayeh, Muhammad Muhsin, Mukesh Panchal, Mustafa Uysal, mzorz, Nahid F. Mohit, Naoki Ohashi, Nate Allen, Ned Zimmerman, Neokazis Charalampos, Nick Cernis, Nick Diego, Nick Halsey, Nidhi Jain, Niels Lange, nielsdeblaauw, Nikolay Nikolov, Nilambar Sharma, ninio, notnownikki, pandelisz, paragoninitiativeenterprises, Pascal Birchler, Paul Bearne, Paul Biron, Pedro Mendonça, Peter Booker, Peter Wilson, pfiled, pilou69, Pranali Patel, Pratik K. Yadav, Presskopp, psealock, Rachel Cherry, Rahmon, Ramanan, Rami Yushuvaev, Ramiz Manked, ramonopoly, Riad Benguella, Rinat Khaziev, Robert Anderson, Rudy Susanto, Ryan Boren, Ryan Welcher, Saeed Fard, Sal Ferrarello, Samaneh Mirrajabi, Sami Keijonen, Samuel Elh, Santiago Garza, Sara Cope, saracup, sarah semark, Sebastian Pisula, Sekineh Ebrahimzadeh, Sergey Biryukov, SergioEstevao, sgastard, sharifkiberu, shazdeh, Shital Marakana, sky_76, Soren Wrede, Stephen Edgar, Steven Word, Subrata Sarkar, Sudar Muthu, Sudhir Yadav, szepe.viktor, Takayuki Miyauchi, Tammie Lister, Themonic, thomstark, Thorsten Frommen, Thrijith Thankachan, Tim Hedgefield, Tim Wright, Timothy Jacobs, timph, tmatsuur, tmdesigned, tmdesigned, Tobias Zimpel, TomHarrigan, Tor-Bjorn Fjellner, Toro_Unit (Hiroshi Urabe), torres126, Torsten Landsiedel, Towhidul Islam, Tracy Levesque, Umang Bhanvadia, Vaishali Panchal, WebFactory, Weston Ruter, William ‘Bahia’ Bay, William Earnhardt, williampatton, Willscrlt, Wolly aka Paolo Valenti, wrwrwr0, Yoav Farhi, Yui, and zebulan.

Also, many thanks to all of the community volunteers who contribute in the support forums. They answer questions from people across the world, whether they are using WordPress for the first time or since the first release. These releases are more successful for their efforts!

If you want learn more about volunteering with WordPress, check out Make WordPress or the core development blog.

Thanks for choosing WordPress!

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WordPress 5.2 Beta 2

WordPress 5.2 Beta 2 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

There are two ways to test the WordPress 5.2 beta: try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want to select the “bleeding edge nightlies” option), or you can download the beta here (zip).

WordPress 5.2 is slated for release on April 30, and we need your help to get there! Thanks to the testing and feedback from everyone who tried beta 1, nearly 100 tickets have been closed since then. Here are the major changes and bug fixes:

  • We’ve added support for Emoji 12! 🪂
  • A brand-new wp_body_open() template tag (and corresponding wp_body_open action) will let themes (and plugins!) add content right after the <body> is opened (#12563).
  • Superfluous paragraph tags will no longer incorrectly appear in dynamic block content (#45495).
  • The Site Health screens have received several bug fixes, tweaks, and performance improvements.
  • Crash Protection no longer interrupts plugin editing (#46045).
  • Custom error handlers now load correctly (#46069).

Minimum PHP Version Update

As of WordPress 5.2 beta 2, the minimum PHP version that WordPress will require is 5.6.20. If you’re running an older version of PHP, we highly recommend updating it now, before WordPress 5.2 is officially released.

Developer Notes

WordPress 5.2 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.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.


The wonderful thing
about betas, is betas
are wonderful things.
🐯

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WordPress 5.2 Beta 1

WordPress 5.2 Beta 1 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

You can test the WordPress 5.2 Beta two ways:

WordPress 5.2 is slated for release on April 30, and we need your help to get there. Here are some of the big items to test so we can find as many bugs as possible in the coming weeks.

Block Editor

The block editor has received significant performance improvements since WordPress 5.1, shaving 35% off the load time for massive posts, and cutting the keypress time (how responsive it feels when you’re typing) in half!

Accessibility continues to improve, too. The block editor now supports your browser’s reduced motion settings. The post URL slug has better labelling and help text. The focus styling for keyboard navigating through landmarks is clearer and more consistent. There are a variety of new speak messages, and existing messages have been tweaked for more useful screen-reader behaviour.

We’ve added several new blocks:

  • An RSS block
  • An Amazon Kindle embed block
  • A Search block
  • A Calendar block
  • A Tag Cloud block

To help you keep track of these blocks, and only show the ones you need, there’s a new block management tool to switch blocks on and off.

Block Management Modal

We’re constantly working on existing blocks, too. There are hundreds of bug fixes and improvements in the block editor, you can read more about them in the Gutenberg plugin releases: 4.9, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3.

The WordPress Mobile Apps

The block editor isn’t just for websites, either. The WordPress mobile apps now include an experimental version of a built-in block editor. This is still under development, but you can try it out now!

Site Health Check

Site Health Check is an ongoing project aimed at improving the stability and performance of the entire WordPress ecosystem.

The first phase of this project (originally scoped for WordPress 5.1) is now included in WordPress 5.2. For the first time, WordPress will catch and pause the problem code, so you can log in to your Dashboard and see what the problem is (#44458). Before, you’d have to FTP in to your files or get in touch with your host.

In addition, we’re adding a new Health Check tool to your Dashboard. Visit the Tools menu and click on Health Check to get information that can help improve the speed and security of your site.

PHP Version Bump

With this release, WordPress will increase its minimum supported PHP version to 5.6. To help you check if you’re prepared for this change, WordPress 5.2 will show you a warning and help you upgrade your version of PHP, if necessary.

For Developers

  • Plugins can now specify the minimum version of PHP that they support, so you can safely modernise your development practices without risking breaking your users’ sites. (#40934)
  • We’ve added the sodium_compat library, which provides backwards compatibility for the Sodium-based cryptography library added in PHP 7.2. (#45806)
  • There’s a new release of Dashicons, the WordPress Dashboard icon font. There are 25 new icons for you to use! (#41074)
  • You can now pass a label to get_search_form(), improving accessibility. (#42057)

There have been 130 tickets closed in WordPress 5.2 so far, with numerous small bug fixes and improvements to help smooth your WordPress experience.

Keep your eyes on the Make WordPress Core blog for developer notes (which are assigned the dev-notes tag) in the coming weeks detailing other changes in 5.2 that you should be aware of.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.


With each new release,
bearing multiple betas;
We fix, then we fly.

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