Betas

Preparing for LifterLMS 5.0.0

LifterLMS 5.0.0 is scheduled for release in mid-June, 2021. In addition to various bug fixes and improvements, this major release focuses primarily on improving the management and construction of student checkout, enrollment, and registration forms.

As a major release, some backwards incompatible changes have been made to the code base. These changes have been noted in the changelogs and compiled in the Breaking Changes section below.

# Release Schedule

The following is our target release schedule for LifterLMS version 5.0.0. The dates of these prerelease builds may be adjusted and additional versions may be added. The date of General Public Release may be delayed but will not be released early.

Wednesday May 19, 2021Beta.1
Tuesday May 25, 2021 +6dBeta.2
Tuesday June 1, 2021 +1wBeta.3
Tuesday June 8, 2021 +1wRC.1
Tuesday June 15, 2021 +1wRC.2
Monday, June 21, 2021 +6d5.0.0 General Public Release

# Breaking Changes

We strive, wherever possible, to remain backwards compatible. Doing so ensures that themes and integration do not have to worry about their code bases being negatively impacted by changes in LifterLMS. However, this also results in a larger code base full of many unused and deprecated functions, classes, and files.

All breaking changes have been noted in the alpha version changelogs and are summarized here:

The locations of some included libraries have been moved. Direct references to any files in these libraries will have to be updated.

  • Core libraries (lifterlms-blocks and lifterlms-rest) are now loaded from the libraries/ directory in favor of the vendor/ directory.
  • The WP Background Processing library is now being loaded as a composer dependency and will be located in the vendor/deliciousbrains/wp-background-processing directory.

The following items have been removed from the codebase:

  • The vendor script dependency topModal.js has been removed.
  • Previously deprecated class method LLMS_Quiz::get_lessons() has been removed.
  • Previously deprecated class method LLMS_Controller_Quizzes::take_quiz() has been removed.
  • Previously deprecated class LLMS_Processor_Table_To_Csv has been removed.
  • Private method LLMS_Processors::includes() has been removed.
  • Private methods LLMS_Person_Handler::fill_fields() and LLMS_Person_Handler::insert_data() were removed.

The following deprecations have been made and will be removed in a future major update.

  • Class Method: LLMS_Person_Handler::get_available_fields() is deprecated in favor of LLMS_Forms::get_form_fields().
  • Class Method: LLMS_Person_Handler::register() is deprecated, in favor of llms_register_user().
  • Class Method: LLMS_Person_Handler::sanitize_field() (private method) is deprecated with no replacement.
  • Class Method: LLMS_Person_Handler::update() is deprecated, in favor of llms_update_user().
  • Class Method: LLMS_Person_Handler::validate_fields() is deprecated with no replacement.
  • Class Method: LLMS_Person_Handler::voucher_toggle_script() is deprecated with no replacement.
  • Filter: lifterlms_get_user_custom_fields in favor of llms_admin_profile_fields
  • Filter: llms_usernames_blacklist is deprecated, use llms_usernames_blocklist instead.
  • Function: llms_get_minimum_password_strength() is deprecated with no replacement.
  • Option: lifterlms_registration_generate_username is deprecated in favor of the new method LLMS_Forms::are_usernames_enabled().

What Happens to 4.x?

LifterLMS does not (and will not) maintain multiple forks. We support and maintain a single stable release.

Upon the public release of LifterLMS 5.0.0, all users are encouraged to update to this version. All future updates to LifterLMS will be updates to version 5.0.0.

Contributing as a Beta Tester

The prereleases are available publicly to anyone interested in helping the core team root out bugs and issues.

Beta testing is not always fun or easy. The prereleases are considered generally stable but you should still use caution and expect to find some issues.

If you find any issues, please let us know by filing a new bug report or submitting a support request.

If you have general comments or feedback on the beta let us know in the comments below or post a reply in GitHub on our 5.0.0 general feedback issue.

# How to Install a LifterLMS Pre-release

There are three ways to install a prerelease version for evaluation and testing. Please do not install prereleases on production websites!

  1. You can subscribe to the beta release channel using the LifterLMS Helper and to start receiving automatic updates for beta releases through the WordPress admin panel.
  2. You can download the latest releases directly from the LifterLMS GitHub repository and install the zip file as a plugin on the WordPress admin panel.
  3. You can get a free temporary testing site hosted on LifterLMS servers.

What Should a Beta Tester Look For?

The changes in this release primarily revolve around building and managing the forms (checkout, enrollment, registration, and user information) that your students see on the front-end of the website, so, start with your forms.

If you nave any 3rd-party integrations or themes installed on your site, you should check if developer has tested compatibility with LifterLMS 5.0.0 and, if they haven’t, ask them to do so as soon as possible to ensure there’s no issues when 5.0.0 is released to the stable channel.

If you have any custom code on your site that is meant to programmatically add custom fields or modify your site’s forms, you should test to ensure this code continues to work as expected. LifterLMS 5.0.0 will still allow for programmatic modification of user forms but the new functionality aims to render code like this useless since much of what you may have wanted to modify can now be done in the block editor without any code.

If you encounter any problems you should let your developer know and if you get stuck, file a new bug report or submit a support request and we’ll point you in the right direction.

A Call to 3rd-Party Integration and Theme Developers

If you maintain a LifterLMS theme, plugin, or integration we need your help!

Please install the latest prerelease version and test your code against ours. If you find any issues along the way let us know by reporting an issue in GitHub.

After testing your integration please let us know by commenting on our 5.0.0 feedback issue.

A Call to LifterLMS Experts

If you’re a member of the LifterLMS Experts program please collaborate with us during this beta period and help us ensure the transition to version 5.0.0 is as smooth as possible for your clients.

We’d like you to, at the very least, install and test the beta in your own testing environment.

As an expert we expect that you have a few LifterLMS clients, possibly with custom templates and feature plugins. If your clients (and contracts) allow, please test (or help your clients test) the beta in a safe testing or staging environment.

If you encounter any issues or run tests and find that everything goes well, please let us know by posting in GitHub or by directly emailing your contact at LifterLMS.

Preparing for LifterLMS 4.0.0

Today marks the start of the beta testing process for the first major core release since 2016, LifterLMS 4.0.0!

What’s a Major Release?

Before proceeding, we wish to convey that this release is a major release, but it does not include any major features.

LifterLMS aims to adhere to semantic versioning (although we’ll confess that we’ve made some mistakes along the way).

While many WordPress users are accustomed to a major release denoting large new features and enhancements, this is not necessarily true when following semantic versioning. In semantic versioning, a major release indicates that backwards incompatible (or breaking) changes have been introduced.

We strive, wherever possible, to remain backwards compatible. Doing so ensures that themes and integration do not have to worry about their codebases being negatively impacted by changes in LifterLMS. However, this also results in a larger codebase full of many unused and deprecated functions, classes, and files.

This makes maintenance more complicated and causes the codebase to be harder to read for new developers and contributors.

Therefore, LifterLMS 4.0.0 is primarily a release intended to clean house.

Breaking Changes in 4.0.0

We’re removing several hundred previously deprecated classes, methods, functions, files, variables, and assets.

In doing this we’ve shrunk the overall footprint of the LifterLMS plugin codebase, improved the overall code quality, and fixed numerous bugs and issues.

All breaking changes have been documented in the changelog.

LifterLMS 4.0.0 Timeline

The release cycle for LifterLMS 4.0.0 starts today, Monday, June 1, 2020 with the release of 4.0.0-beta.1.

We do not have a predetermined release date scheduled. Instead, we have some internal and public testing and quality assurance targets.

Once our targets have been met and we have determined that the beta is stable, we will ship a Release Candidate. One week following the publication of the Release Candidate we aim to move 4.0.0 to the stable public channel where it will be publicly accessible and become the primary supported version of LifterLMS.

Over the coming weeks expect to see several additional beta releases as bugs and issues are reported and resolved.

What Happens to 3.x?

LifterLMS does not (and will not) maintain multiple forks. We support and maintain a single stable release.

Upon the public release of LifterLMS 4.0.0 all users will encouraged to update to LifterLMS 4.0.0 and all future updates to LifterLMS will be updates to 4.0.0.

Contributing as a Beta Tester

The beta releases are available publicly to anyone interested in helping the core team root out bugs and issues.

You can subscribe to the beta channel using the LifterLMS Helper in order to start receiving automatic updates for beta releases through the WordPress admin panel. Alternatively, you can download the latest releases directly from the LifterLMS GitHub repository.

Beta testing is not always fun or easy. At this stage the beta is considered generally stable but you should still use caution and expect to find some issues. Do not install the beta in production.

If you find any issues, please let us know by filing a new bug report or submitting a support request.

If you have general comments or feedback on the beta let us know in the comments below or post a reply in GitHub on our 4.0.0 general feedback issue.

What Should a Beta Tester Look For?

The changes in this beta release are going to be mostly unnoticeable for most users and, therefore, most will not have any issues. Installing the beta will likely be uneventful and that’s good!

If you nave any 3rd-party integrations or themes installed on your site, you should check if developer has reported compatibility and, if they haven’t, reach out to them as soon as possible to ensure there’s no issues when 4.0.0 is released to the stable channel.

If you have any custom code on your site that uses LifterLMS actions, functions, classes, or custom templates, we urge you to test your site as soon as possible.

If you encounter any problems you should let your developer know and if you get stuck, file a new bug report or submit a support request and we’ll point you in the right direction.

A Call to 3rd-Party Integration and Theme Developers

If you maintain a LifterLMS theme, plugin, or integration we need your help!

Please install the latest beta version and test your code against ours. If you find any issues along the way let us know by reporting an issue in GitHub.

We do not expect that you’ll encounter any issues. Almost all of the breaking changes being made are removals of previously deprecated functions and methods. We’re assuming that these deprecated methods are not being utilized publicly but we need your help to ensure that this is true!

After testing your integration please let us know by commenting on our 3rd-party compatibility issue in GitHub.

A Call to LifterLMS Experts

If you’re a member of the LifterLMS Experts program please collaborate with us during this beta period and help us ensure the transition to 4.0.0 is as smooth as possibly for all of our users but especially your clients!

We’d like you to, at the very least, install and test the beta in your own testing environment.

As an expert we expect that you have a few LifterLMS clients, possibly with custom templates and feature plugins. If your clients (and contracts) allow, please test (or help your clients test) the beta in a safe testing or staging environment.

If you encounter any issues or run tests and find that everything goes well, please let us know by posting in GitHub or emailing your contact at LifterLMS.