👋 It's been a while since the last post so here's an update for you. The main piece of news is that VersionPress 4.0 now has a release plan:
- 4.0-beta is coming in June
- 4.0 final in September
Besides that, we're adding a “Developer Preview” label to the whole project, please read on.
4.0 alpha, beta, final
As a recap, 4.0-alpha1 shipped last year with:
- Support for WP plugins (and later, themes) via plugin definitions. This is still a clear no. 1 feature for VersionPress 4.0.
- Search improvements, history visualization, initial Composer support and other improvements as you can see in the announcement blog post.
The focus of 4.0-beta will be to:
- Finish plugin support. A couple of real-world definitions will be written, most likely Jetpack and some basic WooCommerce.
- Make some other updates to the internal data structures, for example, we'd like to split meta entities into separate files.
- Fix compatibility issues with WordPress 4.7.
- Publish some work that has been done since the alpha already.
You can track the progress in this GitHub project.
Other than that, there are quite a few smaller issues to resolve or improve, e.g., various search improvements and similar, but those are relatively low-priority.
By the way, all the issues are now assigned to GitHub project boards which are now just about usable enough to be helpful (we used and loved overv.io in the past but that service is no longer actively developed).
With every major release, you rightfully ask about the status of the project when it comes to production-readiness. The answer is “your mileage may vary” but we feel we should better indicate that it's only really intended for developers, currently. Therefore, we'll be adding the 'Developer Preview' label for the project as a whole. (Note that each release still undergoes the standard alpha -> beta -> stable release cycle.)
I made this chart:
- Versions 1–3 were totally in the yellow area as they didn't (and couldn't) support WordPress plugins in a WP installation.
- Version 4.0 has the infrastructure to support plugins but not many plugin definitions will likely exist by the release time so still, certainly yellow.
Version 5.0 (late 2017 / early 2018) will be just about at the green / yellow border. Many of the remaining core items will be done and the definitions for most popular plugins will likely exist.
- This version will start rolling on the upcoming versionpress.com platform.
- VersionPress 6.0 (about a year from now): yes, I'm really looking forward to that one.
Good time to contribute
VersionPress is actually simpler in v4 than it used to be before. If the problem of database merging / WP version control interests you, hit us on Gitter, any help is always appreciated and it's a lot of interesting work.
If you're not a developer, you can still take a look at Plugin-Support.md and let us know what you think (anything from document structure, clarity, to technical details). Plugin definitions should be simple to write so feedback at this point is crucial.
Thanks, till next time,