Web Development News Update - November 2023 - ld icon 42

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WordPress update 6.4.1

As the first story in our web development news update, the beginning of November saw the release of the latest version of WordPress, version 6.4, which introduced numerous updates to the content management system. First, in keeping with the annual tradition for the last major release of the year, a new default theme, Twenty Twenty-four, was introduced, which maintains the design philosophy of the previous default theme. A powerful yet minimalist theme, it is packed with features to showcase the new functionality added by the latest version of WordPress.

Font Library

The most recent edition of WordPress facilitates the administration of typography settings for various elements across the website, including the capacity to add or remove fonts altogether. The Font Library enables users to connect directly to Google Fonts and download fonts from Google’s library to be served locally from their own server, resulting in quicker access to fonts.

Block Hooks

The latest version of WordPress introduces enhanced block functionality for developers with the addition of Block Hooks. This allows for interaction and extension of blocks without directly touching them. For example, a membership plugin can now be configured to automatically add a login button to the navigation menu without directly altering the code of the surrounding block. The Block panel will allow users to see what plugins have been added and toggle them on or off.

Group Blocks Background Images

Grouping Blocks is the most straightforward way to create sections of a layout, either in full site editing or within a post. However, up until now, the options for Group backgrounds have been limited to a single colour. The most recent update will allow you to set a background image for your block.

Enhanced Pattern management

Previously, Reusable Blocks were merged with Patterns, and further improvements have been made to pattern management in the site editor. When creating a new pattern, you can now add pattern categories, allowing the Site Editor to display your site’s patterns sorted into various categories.

Performance wins

WordPress 6.4 includes over 100 performance-related updates, resulting in a faster and more efficient experience. These updates include improvements to template loading performance for themes, the usage of script loading strategies in core, blocks, and themes, and the optimisation of autoloaded options.

Stripe shows off Black Friday Sales with an impressive dashboard built with Tailwind CSS

During the recent Black Friday sales event, the payment processor Stripe decided to demonstrate the performance of their systems, which were processing record numbers of sales, by creating a live dashboard built using the powerful CSS framework Tailwind. While the statistics are impressive, with $18 billion in sales made over the Black Friday- Cyber Monday weekend and 31,323 businesses experiencing their best day ever, the dashboard style is also notable.

Modelled after a classic IBM computer, the dashboard features live updates that struggled to keep up with the mounting sales information throughout the weekend. The text on the computer screen has a slight glow and is presented in a classic blocky font. Clicking and moving the mouse on the screen reveals that the computer is a fully 3D model that can be rotated to reveal the sides of the screen and the tower, mouse, and keyboard of the old-school computer. For more details on Tailwind CSS, see my previous blog post on CSS Frameworks.

PHP 8.3 released

PHP version 8.3 was officially released on November 23, 2023, and it brings with it several new updates to the PHP language.

What’s New

  • A new function called json_validate has been added to allow for the validation of a JSON string without having to decode the entire string and check for errors. This will allow quicker and easier checking of JSON strings before sending them in response to API calls or similar functionality.
  • The Random extension has been updated to include a new getFloat function that can generate a random floating-point number between two specified values. The function can also generate a random floating-point number that is either inclusive or exclusive of the specified values.
  • The handling of negative key values for arrays has been improved. This may cause issues with older code, but it will allow negative values to be set for arrays and result in correctly formed arrays.

PHP 8.0 End of Life

With the release of PHP 8.3, PHP 8.0 has reached the end of its life and will no longer receive security updates. Any websites built around PHP should update to a more recent version of PHP as soon as possible, with a minimum version of PHP 8.1. Link Digital’s support plans offer a safe way to ensure that your website continues to operate through large updates such as this change in PHP. Contact us now for more details.

Web Development News Update - November 2023 - shape img cta1

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