[theme-reviewers] WP_DEBUG notices with the_widget()

Justin Tadlock justin at justintadlock.com
Wed Feb 22 20:59:40 UTC 2012

It's a pretty rare occurrence because no one's ever mentioned it, but it 
something that should definitely be cleaned up.

I could see this being problematic with any theme that creates custom 
widgets.  Outside of WP_DEBUG issues, it doesn't sound like a great user 
experience if the widget options aren't being saved.

On 2/22/2012 2:22 PM, Sayontan Sinha wrote:
> Justin,
> I did notice this problem with your theme earlier, and IIRC it can be 
> replicated even in a dynamic sidebar. Here is how I could replicate it:
>  1. Assume I am running version x of your theme. I have some widgets
>     that I have added to the sidebar.
>  2. I then switch to another theme. Obviously your widgets don't exist
>     there, so I add this new theme's widgets.
>  3. Now, you release version x+1 of your theme. When I activate it, I
>     see the old Hybrid widgets I had added in the "Inactive Widgets" area.
>  4. So I drag those widgets from my "Inactive Widgets" to the
>     sidebars. This means I don't have to save anything on the sidebar:
>     not even the old widgets. Following this if I refresh the
>     front-end I get a bunch of notices.
> I haven't tried this recently, so I am not sure if the problem can be 
> replicated in this manner.
> Sayontan.
> On Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 12:07 PM, Justin Tadlock 
> <justin at justintadlock.com <mailto:justin at justintadlock.com>> wrote:
>     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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> -- 
> Sayontan Sinha
> http://mynethome.net | http://mynethome.net/blog
> --
> Beating Australia in Cricket is like killing a celebrity. The death 
> gets more coverage than the crime.
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