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White Screen of Death protection feature

January 11, 2019 · 22:58 · Nyssa the Hobbit
+4 more
Fabian Wolf

That certainly is nice PR for WP 5.x .. one has to point out though, that the so-called "White Screen of Death" can arise from multiple issues, including issues baked in the core.

One well-known classic is having the PHP memory_limit still set to a basic level, eg. the one from Debian package default setup, which is 40 Megabytes, and which is going to lead to issues as soon as one is adding more plugins OR adding a different language, eg. German. So if you install WP in German - as soon as WP tries to load the whole German gettext file, there is .. nothing to see. Sometimes you get lucky, because settings are different and one at least gets a (fatal) PHP error message, but usually it leads to a blank page.

IMHO I think this is snake oil.

cu, w0lf.

ps: Supporting this nevertheless, because it might reduce isses esp. for WP / CP beginners. Oh, and maybe one could even turn ANY kind of "WSOD" into a mere fatal PHP error event.

Tim Kaye

It's a great idea, but its implementation in WP is a bit buggy at the moment. It might even be that some code in the REST API will need to be modified.

mark kaplun

The whole feature smells like another attempt to keep site owners in the dark about how to properly maintain their sites. People need to understand that they need a staging area (and probably some automated testing) when running PHP upgrades (which is what the feature is aimed at), as if you upgraded the PHP and the site fails, it does you no good to be able to log in. Assuming you do not have plugins which are there for fun, your site will be broken until you will find someone to fix it and that would be the very worst time to start looking for someone capable of doing that as you will have to compromise on someone which is available instead using someone good, because you know that every day the site is broken you are losing money.

Viktor Nagornyy

I think this feature is overrated. WordPress Core already prevents plugins from activating when they cause fatal errors. And if a theme is suddenly causing a fatal error, this feature would not help anyways, from my understanding.

This, combined with potential security issues, and code bloat, and the fact that proper server error logs are an important part of debugging instead of trying to have the CMS do absolutely everything, make me not the biggest fan of hurrying to implement this type of feature...

Besides, there are so many errors and code conflicts that can still make a *Press site inaccessible or "white" or "blank" that are not fatal.