WordPress Compatibility Policy Update

I’ve recently been thinking about the need to standardize WordPoints’s WordPress compatibility policy and release cycle for the benefit of module development. I’ve sort of tried to standardize WordPoints’s release cycle before, but it never really happened. However, the development of many new modules will mean that there will need to be a definite beta period for each WordPoints release, to provide time for modules to be tested for compatibility with the new version.

Along those same lines, WordPoints and each module also need to be checked for compatibility with each new version of WordPress that comes out. As the number of modules grows, this will become a bigger and bigger task, and so minimizing the work involved is important, so that I can spend time developing new features and not just testing the existing ones. One easy way to do that is to align WordPoints’s development cycle with WordPress’s development cycle. That way, the new versions of WordPoints and WordPress will be released at about the same time, and so modules can be tested against both of them at once. This will cut my work checking module compatibility in half.

So starting with WordPoints 2.2.0, each version of WordPoints is going to be released about the same time as a new version of WordPress (in this case, WordPress 4.7, and around the beginning of December). The final month or so of each release cycle will be a beta period, during which no major changes will be added to the release, and which will provide time for testing.

In addition, I’ve decided to standardize how many versions of WordPress WordPoints will support. Up to now I’ve been making this decision on a case-by-case basis, based on how hard it is for WordPoints to maintain compatibility with a particular version of WordPress. But now I need to start considering the difficulty that modules will have maintaining compatibility across multiple versions of WordPress as well. For simplicity, I want modules to maintain compatibility with all WordPress versions that WordPoints supports. But even though modules generally support only the latest version of WordPoints, this still means that they have to be tested against the current and development versions of WordPoints, and all of the WordPress versions that each of those supports. This can become a burden when WordPoints supports many different versions of WordPress. So I’ve decided that WordPoints will always support only the latest 2 versions of WordPress at the time of its release. So WordPoints would be released supporting the just-released (or just-to-be-released, if WordPoints is released before WordPress) WordPress version, and the one that was just superseded.

This means that WordPoints 2.2.0 will support WordPress 4.6 and 4.7. WordPoints 2.3.0 will be released along with WordPress 4.8, and will support 4.8 and 4.7. And so on.

Hopefully this will still give everybody some time to get their sites updated so they can use the latest version of WordPoints, while also reducing the burden on developers and beta testers. If you have any questions or feedback, I’d be happy to answer your concerns in the comments.

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