October 29: Community Chat #15

Our next Community Chat is going to take place on Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 18:00 UTC in the #core channel of the WooCommerce Community Slack. If you don’t already have access to the group, you can request an invite here. Our agenda for this chat includes:

  • Developer Resources
  • WooCommerce Core
  • WooCommerce Admin
  • WooCommerce Blocks

If you have any questions or topics you would like to chat about during the Community Chat, add them to this post.

Update: What was shared at this chat
Developer Resources
  • We published a tutorial for working with the Inbox in WooCommerce Admin. The Inbox and Admin Notes are available starting in WooCommerce 4.3 and as of 4.6 are the default experience for merchants. In future versions of WooCommerce, there are some updates to class names related to the Inbox that affect the way you use Admin Notes.  We’ll be sure to keep materials updated as those changes land in WooCommerce core though.
  • We’re currently working on similar walkthroughs and tutorials.  We’ve been putting one together for how to take advantage of the React/modern JS tooling that comes with WooCommerce Admin in an existing extension.  It should ship to the developer blog in the next few weeks.
  • Take a look at the work being done to migrate the documentation for WooCommerce Admin components over to the Storybook format. This work should make it easier to experiment with and learn about WooCommerce React components more easily.
WooCommerce Core
  • WooCommerce 4.7 will get released on November 10, because of the proximity to festive dates this release is quite small, including basically fixes and small improvements, note that this release also includes WooCommerce Admin 1.6.3 and WooCommerce Blocks 3.5 & 3.6. ou can review the complete changelog for this release here.
  • We have released 4.7 RC 1. If you want to follow along with the release process for this version, take a look at these blog posts:
  • We have also been working on developer experience and tooling. Recently, we released NPM packages for end-to-end testing. The documentation for implementing tests is available here, and the packages are linked below. Over the coming months we will be expanding the number of tests, adding to the utilities, etc. But plan to make future changes backward compatible with the current published versions. We hope these packages will help community developers with automated testing as versions of Woo core are released.
  • Note: The api package is still in development and will eventually be a replacement for the existing WC API client for Node.js with a new architecture and better extensibility.
WooCommerce Admin
  • As of version 4.6 the WooCommerce Home Screen is now the page that is linked form the main WooCommerce menu item in wp-admin. The team is currently working on more enhancements to the Home Screen, which will have a new “Task List” functionality for areas of the store that require attention like:
    • Orders to fulfill
    • Inventory
    • The ability to surface setup tasks needed for newly installed extensions
  • These things are currently in the “Activity Panel” area in the header area – the plan is to migrate those features to the Home Screen over time.
  • One other highlighted change from 4.6 was our migration from our old data layer in the JS side of things to new data stores built on top of wp.data. All of these data stores are available for use by developers in a new NPM package (@woocommerce/data). That will be a great resource for anyone looking to kickstart some JS-based projects around Woo.
  • As for changes slated for the 4.7 release, we don’t have anything big planned there, but we should have some more news and details about the WooCommerce Navigation project in the next Community Chat.
WooCommerce Blocks
  • WooCommerce 4.7 will include Woo Blocks 3.5.0 and 3.6.0 versions in the release. However, there’s nothing really user facing for stores on WooCommerce 4.7.0 because the changes in those versions of blocks are mostly Cart and Checkout block improvements which still aren’t surfaced to WC core only users.
  • In the upcoming version of Blocks 3.7.0 a significant feature exposed to users of the feature plugin (and with WC 4.7.0 active) will be an account creation flow for the checkout block.
  • Currently our team is focusing on integrating key Woo extensions with the Blocks and we’re currently working on WC Subscriptions support. The bonus of this work is that we’ll be building extensibility points that other extensions will be able to use. As we build out extensibility for these extensions, we will be publishing how other extensions can use those same extension points.
  • We’re also focusing on WordPress 5.6 and Twenty Twenty One compatibility (along with PHP 8 compatibility). The next release of Storefront (2.9.0) will mostly be WordPress 5.6 and PHP 8 compatibility fixes as well.

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