Declaring your plugin’s compatibility with Pressbooks

Last summer, WooCommerce introduced a new feature in version 3.2 of their core plugin: compatibility alerts for installed add-on plugins when new versions of WooCommerce became available. By adding a line to the plugin headers of a WooCommerce add-on, developers could let users know the most recent version of WooCommerce with which they’d tested their plugin.

We really liked this idea, so Dac built a similar feature into Pressbooks 5. Now, when future updates to Pressbooks show up on the plugins page of a Pressbooks, users will see whether or not their Pressbooks-specific add-ons have been tested with the latest version:

Plugin compatibility notice

If you develop plugins that extend Pressbooks functionality (we check for pressbooks in the plugin slug, name, and description), you can add Pressbooks tested up to: 5.0.0 (or whatever version string is relevant) to your plugin headers, and Pressbooks will reflect your plugin’s compatibility in the update notice. We hope this feature will give network administrators a better understanding at a glance of whether they can safely update to the latest version of Pressbooks. Of course, we still encourage thorough testing in a development or staging environment before installing a major update.

Sprint Preview: March 5-16

Our sprint running March 5-16 will focus on:

    • Bug fixes for Pressbooks 5.0, Aldine 1.0 & McLuhan 2.0 (formerly known as Book 2.0)
      We are pleased and relieved to have completed our big releases in the previous sprint, and are now planning to spend some time following up on bug reports and polishing a few edges. We will be releasing patches for Pressbooks, Aldine and McLuhan early in the sprint.
    • Buckram Additions
      We will also be continuing our theme development work, implementing several improvements to Buckram that we have identified in-house.
    • Interactive Content
      We expect to release the work we have been doing on interactive content in the second week of the sprint, with updates to Pressbooks and McLuhan which will enable this feature for all themes. This feature offers support for video, audio, whitelisted iFrame and H5P content (if the plugin is installed) across all formats, with fallbacks in place where interactive content is not supported.

Are you working on related goals? Let us know in the Pressbooks Forum!

Introducing pressbooks/ideas 💡

I’m always looking for better ways to keep track of feature suggestions from members of the Pressbooks Open Source community, which within our small and very active team can often get lost in the shuffle. Messages in Slack can fly by before we make note of them, and often threads in the forum include a number of ideas which should be evaluated as standalone feature suggestions but get lost in a broader discussion.

So, borrowing from the WP-CLI project where I first saw this implemented, I’ve created a GitHub repo for ideas from Pressbooks users. If you have an idea for Pressbooks that you’d like to suggest to our team, you can open an issue. We will evaluate your ideas on a regular basis for inclusion in our sprints and longer-term roadmap. You can check on the status of your idea by visiting the idea board.

I’m looking forward to seeing what emerges! As always we welcome feedback and discussion in the forum.

Sprint Preview: Feb 19 – Mar 2

This year will be a busy one for the Pressbooks team, so we’ve decided to share publicly what we’re working towards in our two-week sprints. We hope this will give you a better sense of what’s going behind the scenes, and help you plan your own development schedule!

Our sprint running February 19 – March 2 will focus on:

    • Interactive content styling
      We have completed our first pass implementation of interactive content support, and will be finalizing the styling of the messages injected in place of unsupported content in exports. This work is slated for release in 5.1 and is supported by eCampus Ontario.
    • Plugin Compatibility Checker
      This feature will identify plugins that are (in)compatible with available updates based on their plugin headers. A warning will inform Pressbooks administrators about extensions that haven’t been updated for compatibility with new releases.
    • Theme Development
      We will also be continuing our theme development work, using the theme conversion process to identify improvements and potential new SCSS components in Buckram.
    • Pressbooks 5, Aldine 1.0 & Book 2.0 (including McLuhan) release
      We plan to release the above early in the second week of this sprint, and to deploy to our hosted networks soon after.

Are you working on related goals? Let us know in the Pressbooks Forum!

Pressbooks 4.5.1

We tagged Pressbooks 4.5.1 on GitHub on January 25th — apologies for the late release notes! This is a minor maintenance release in preparation for Pressbooks 5, and provides some forward-compatibility for those who will not be ready to upgrade to Pressbooks 5 right away.

Pressbooks 4.5.1 requires WordPress 4.9.2.

  • [FIX]: Disallow dangerous file types from upload via the Import form (9bcebf1)
  • [FIX]: Handle author objects containing multiple authors during clone operations for forward-compatibility with Pressbooks 5 (9231ffa, b0e03c4, 035c1b9)

Sprint Preview: Feb 5–16

This year will be a busy one for the Pressbooks team, so we’ve decided to share publicly what we’re working towards in our two-week sprints. We hope this will give you a better sense of what’s going behind the scenes, and help you plan your own development schedule!

Our sprint running February 5 – 16 will focus on:

    • Release testing of Pressbooks 5, Aldine 1.0 & Book 2.0 (including McLuhan)
      Our team will be working through the final testing before release, slated for Feb 14th (pending anything unexpected).
    • First pass implementation of interactive content support
      Building off a product specification finalized in the previous sprint, we’ll be working on the first iteration of interactive content support across all formats. This development is supported by eCampus Ontario.
    • Jacobs 1.0
      We’ll be letting our new team member Daniel loose on finalizing Jacobs, one of two new Open Source themes ideal for Open Textbook creation (supported by eCampus Ontario). Daniel has joined the Pressbooks team for three months to help us transition our themes to the new structure.

Are you working on related goals? Let us know in the Pressbooks Forum!

GitHub Housekeeping

A quick note from the dev team: we are working to improve our GitHub issue management. With this in mind, we’re closing stale issues which have not seen any activity in the last 60 days. This does not mean that they will not be revisited — many of them are on our roadmap, in fact! We just want to reflect what we are actually working on.