[theme-reviewers] WP_DEBUG notices with the_widget()

Justin Tadlock justin at justintadlock.com
Wed Feb 22 20:07:18 UTC 2012

One thing I recently noticed with my themes that have widgets is that I 
get some undefined index/variable notices when using the_widget() 
function to output a widget created by my theme.  This wouldn't show up 
unless someone actually used the_widget() function.  Using it as a 
regular widget in a dynamic sidebar is fine because the variables always 
get set on widget save.

This issue arises when you're building a widget with options.  
Typically, you'd grab these options from the $instance parameter for the 
widget() method.  When calling the_widget( 'My_Widget_Class' ); in my 
theme, WP_DEBUG goes crazy.  The problem is simply that there's no 
checks if $instance['some_option'] has been set.

I'm going through all my widgets right now to update them for this use 
case.  I don't think it's overly important because it's a pretty rare 
scenario and definitely one you wouldn't notice in a typical review, but 
I thought I'd post it here for you all.
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