This release coincides with my father’s 76th birthday, who continues to be a big inspiration to me. He’s a mechanical engineer who after retirement focused his technical insights, experience and never-ending inquisitiveness on fountain pen design and prototyping, inventing a new bulkfiller mechanism in the process. Search the web for Fountainbel to find out more about him (or read this older blogpost I wrote in Dutch). Love you pops!
Quick public service announcement; Autoptimize 2.9 is almost ready to be released but given the planned release of WordPress 5.8 (July 20th) and the risk of support requests mixing up WordPress core update related issues with the Autoptimize update related issues, Autoptimize 2.9 will probably be released one week after WordPress 5.8, so on or around Tuesday 27th.
This morning I finally pushed Autoptimize 2.8.2 out of the gates which was a relatively minor release with misc. small improvements/ bugfixes. Only it proved not that minor as it broke some sites after the update, so here’s a quick postmortem.
7h33 CEST: I pushed out 2.8.2
7h56 CEST: first forum post about a Fatal PHP error due to wp-content/plugins/autoptimize/classes/external/php/ao-minify-html.php missing
7h58 CEST: second forum post confirming issue
8h01 CEST: responded to both forum posts asking if file was indeed missing on filesystem
8h04 CEST: I changed the “stable version” back to 2.8.1 to stop 2.8.2 from being pushed out.
8h07 CEST: forum post replies confirming the file was indeed missing from the filesystem
8h15 CEST: I pushed out 2.8.3 with the fix
8h22 CEST: confirmed fixed by first user
8h26 CEST: confirmed fixed by second user
Root cause analysis
One of the improvements was changing the classname of the HTML minifier to avoid W3 Total Cache’s HTML minifier being used. For this purpose not only small changes were made to the HTML minifier code, but the file was also renamed from minify-html.php into ao-minify-html.php. The file itself was present on my local filesystem, but I did *not* svn add it, so it was never propagated to the wordpress.org SVN server, resulting in it not being in the 2.8.2 zip-file causing the PHP Fatal “require(): Failed opening required” errors.
Every svn ci has be proceeded by an svn stat, always. I’ve updated my “go live” procedure to reflect that.
Additionally; I strongly advise against automatic updates for Autoptimize (and I don’t auto-update any plugin myself), not only for major f-ups like mine today, but also because any change to how (auto-)optimization works needs to be tested for regressions. And if you have a site that generates money somehow, you really should have a staging site (which can auto-update) to test updates on before applying on production.
My advice; try HTML Forms if you have rather standard contactform-like forms and you’re not looking for something fancy (which CF7 is not either), try Formidable if you need drag & drop form building or if you (will) need more flexibility/ integrations.