Wagtail 4.1 release notes

November 1, 2022

Wagtail 4.1 is designated a Long Term Support (LTS) release. Long Term Support releases will continue to receive maintenance updates as necessary to address security and data-loss related issues, up until the next LTS release (typically a period of 12 months).

What’s new

“What’s New” dashboard banner and “Help” menu

To help with onboarding new users, Wagtail now displays a banner on the dashboard, pointing users to our Editor Guide. The sidebar also contains a new “Help” menu item with a prominent indicator to call attention to the new content: a “What’s new” page showcasing new features, and a link to the Editor Guide.

Users can dismiss the new banner and the sidebar items’ indicators by interacting with the corresponding UI element. We store the state in the user’s profile so we only call attention to the content once.

To turn off the new banner, set WAGTAIL_ENABLE_WHATS_NEW_BANNER to False in your settings. The new menu items can be removed and customised with the following hooks:

Page editor minimap

When navigating long page editing interfaces, it can be tedious to pinpoint a specific section, or find all validation errors. To help with those tasks, the page editor now has a new “minimap” side panel, with a table of contents of all sections on the form. Clicking a section’s label scrolls straight to this part of the page, and an indicator bar represents which sections are currently visible on the page. When validation errors are present, each section shows a count of the number of errors. This feature was implemented by Thibaud Colas based on a prototype by LB (Ben) Johnston.

New UI for scheduled publishing

Scheduled publishing settings can now be found within the Status side panel of the page editing view. This change aims to improve clarity over who is able to set schedules, and when they take effect. This feature was developed by Sage Abdullah.

Customisable snippet admin views

The register_snippet function now accepts a SnippetViewSet class, allowing various aspects of the snippet’s admin views to be customised. See Customising snippets admin views. This feature was developed by Sage Abdullah.

Scheduled publishing for snippets

Snippet models that inherit from DraftStateMixin can now be assigned go-live and expiry dates. This feature was developed by Sage Abdullah.

Object usage reporting

Images, documents and snippets now provide a usage report, listing the places where references to those objects appear. This report is powered by a new ReferenceIndex model which records cross-references between objects whenever those objects to save; this allows it to work more efficiently than the old report available through the WAGTAIL_USAGE_COUNT_ENABLED setting, as well as handling references within StreamField and rich text fields.

Note that on first upgrading to Wagtail 4.1, you will need to run the rebuild_references_index management command to populate the references table and ensure that reference counts are displayed accurately.

This feature was developed by Karl Hobley and Matt Westcott.

Documentation improvements

There are multiple improvements to the documentation theme this release, here are some highlights.

  • Code snippets now have a quick copy to clipboard button (Mohammad Areeb)

  • Improve the dark mode theme adoption, avoid flashing the wrong theme on first load, reduce the need for scrollbars in page TOC, link underline fixes in Safari (LB (Ben) Johnston, Kartik Kankurte)

  • Better accessibility support with a skip to content link (LB (Ben) Johnston)

Other features

  • Formalised support for Python 3.11 (Matt Westcott)

  • Add basic keyboard control and screen reader support for page listing re-ordering (Paarth Agarwal, Thomas van der Hoeven)

  • Add PageQuerySet.private method as an alias of not_public (Mehrdad Moradizadeh)

  • Most images in the admin will now only load once they are visible on screen (Jake Howard)

  • Allow setting default attributes on image tags Adding default attributes to all images (Jake Howard)

  • Optimise the performance of the Wagtail userbar to remove duplicated queries, improving page loads when viewing live pages while signed in (Jake Howard)

  • Remove legacy styling classes for buttons and refactor button styles to be more maintainable (Paarth Agarwal, LB (Ben Johnston))

  • Add button variations to the pattern library (Paarth Agarwal)

  • Provide a more accessible page title where the unique information is shown first and the CMS name is shown last (Mehrdad Moradizadeh)

  • Pull out behaviour from AbstractFormField to FormMixin and AbstractEmailForm to EmailFormMixin to allow use with subclasses of Page Using FormMixin or EmailFormMixin to use with other Page subclasses (Mehrdad Moradizadeh, Kurt Wall)

  • Add a docs.wagtail.org/.well-known/security.txt so that the security policy is available as per the specification on https://securitytxt.org/ (Jake Howard)

  • Add unit tests for the classnames Wagtail admin template tag (Mehrdad Moradizadeh)

  • Show an inverse locked indicator when the page has been locked by the current user in reports and dashboard listings (Vaibhav Shukla, LB (Ben Johnston))

  • Add clarity to the development documentation that admonition should not be used and titles for note are not supported, including clean up of some existing incorrect usage (LB (Ben Johnston))

  • Unify the styling of delete/destructive button styles across the admin interface (Paarth Agarwal)

  • Adopt new designs and unify the styling styles for .button-secondary buttons across the admin interface (Paarth Agarwal)

  • Refine designs for disabled buttons throughout the admin interface (Paarth Agarwal)

  • Update expanding formset add buttons to use button not link for behaviour and remove support for disabled as a class (LB (Ben) Johnston)

  • Add robust unit testing for authentication scenarios across the user management admin pages (Mehrdad Moradizadeh)

  • Avoid assuming an integer PK named ‘id’ on multiple upload views (Matt Westcott)

  • Add a toggle to collapse/expand all page panels at once (Helen Chapman)

  • Improve the GitHub Workflows (CI) security (Alex (sashashura))

  • Use search type input in documentation search (LB (Ben) Johnston)

  • Render help_text when set on FieldPanel, MultiFieldPanel, FieldRowPanel, and other panel APIs where it previously worked without official support (Matt Westcott)

  • Consolidate usage of Excel libraries to a single library openpyxl, removing usage of XlsxWriter, tablib, xlrd and xlwt (Jaap Roes)

  • Adopt generic class based views for the create User create view, User edit view, user delete view and Users index listing / search results (Mehrdad Moradizadeh)

  • Add button-secondary bicolor variants to the pattern library and styleguide (Adinapunyo Banerjee)

  • Add better support for non-integer / non-id primary keys into Wagtail’s generic views, including for custom Snippets and User models (Mehrdad Moradizadeh)

  • Upgrade jQuery UI to version 1.13.2 (LB (Ben) Johnston)

  • Update pattern library background & text examples (Albina Starykova)

  • Switch StreamField blocks to use a <section> element so screen reader users can bypass them more easily (Thibaud Colas)

  • Add anchor links to StreamField blocks so users can navigate straight to a given block (Thibaud Colas)

  • Support “Ctrl + f” in-page search within collapsed StreamField blocks (Thibaud Colas)

  • Remember the last opened side panel in the page editor, activating it on page load (Sage Abdullah)

  • Ensure that the update_index command can run without console output if called with --verbosity 0 (Ben Sturmfels, Oliver Parker)

  • Improve side panels’ resizing in page editor and listings (Steven Steinwand)

  • Adjust breadcrumb text alignment and size in page listings & page editor (Steven Steinwand)

  • Improvements to getting started tutorial aimed at developers who are very new to Python and have no Django experience (Damilola Oladele)

  • The image_url template tag, when using the serve view to redirect rather than serve directly, will now use temporary redirects with a cache header instead of permanent redirects (Jake Howard)

  • Add new test assertions to WagtailPageTestCase - assertPageIsRoutable, assertPageIsRenderable, assertPageIsEditable, assertPageIsPreviewable (Andy Babic)

  • Add documentation to the performance section about how to better create image URLs when not used directly on the page (Jake Howard)

  • Add ability to provide a required permission to PanelGroup, used by TabbedInterface, ObjectList, FieldRowPanel and MultiFieldPanel (Oliver Parker)

  • Update documentation screenshots of the admin interface to align with changes in this release (Thibaud Colas)

Bug fixes

  • Prevent PageQuerySet.not_public from returning all pages when no page restrictions exist (Mehrdad Moradizadeh)

  • Ensure that duplicate block ids are unique when duplicating stream blocks in the page editor (Joshua Munn)

  • Revise colour usage so that privacy & locked indicators can be seen in Windows High Contrast mode (LB (Ben Johnston))

  • Ensure that disabled buttons have a consistent presentation on hover to indicate no interaction is available (Paarth Agarwal)

  • Update the ‘Locked pages’ report menu title so that it is consistent with other pages reports and its own title on viewing (Nicholas Johnson)

  • Support formfield_callback handling on ModelForm.Meta for future Django 4.2 release (Matt Westcott)

  • Ensure that ModelAdmin correctly supports filters in combination with subsequent searches without clearing the applied filters (Stefan Hammer)

  • Add missing translated values to site settings’ headers plus models presented in listings and audit report filtering labels (Stefan Hammer)

  • Remove capitalize() calls to avoid issues with other languages or incorrectly presented model names for reporting and parts of site settings (Stefan Hammer)

  • Add back rendering of help_text for InlinePanel (Matt Westcott)

  • Ensure for_user argument is passed to the form class when previewing pages (Matt Westcott)

  • Ensure the capitalisation of the timesince_simple tag is consistently added in the template based on usage in context (Stefan Hammer)

  • Add missing translation usage for the timesince_last_update and ensure the translated labels can be easier to work with in Transifex (Stefan Hammer)

  • Add additional checks for duplicate form field clean_name values in the Form Builder validation and increase performance of checks (Dan Bentley)

  • Use correct color for labels of radio and checkbox fields (Steven Steinwand)

  • Adjust spacing of fields’ error messages and position in tables (Steven Steinwand)

  • Update dead or redirected links throughout the documentation (LB (Ben) Johnston)

  • Use different icons for workflow timeline component, so the steps can be distinguished with other means than color (Sam Moran)

  • Use the correct custom font for the Wagtail userbar (Umar Farouk Yunusa)

  • StreamField blocks are now collapsible with the keyboard (Thibaud Colas)

  • StreamField block headings now have a label for screen reader users (Thibaud Colas)

  • Display the “*” required field indicator for StreamField blocks (Thibaud Colas)

  • Resolve inconsistency in action button positions in InlinePanel (Thibaud Colas)

  • Use h3 elements with a counter in InlinePanel so screen reader users can navigate by heading (Thibaud Colas)

  • Ensure that buttons on custom chooser widgets are correctly shown on hover (Thibaud Colas)

  • Add missing asterisk to title field placeholder (Seremba Patrick, Stefan Hammer)

  • Avoid creating an extra rich text block when inserting a new block at the end of the content (Matt Westcott)

  • Removed the extra dot in the Wagtail version shown within the admin settings menu item (Loveth Omokaro)

  • Fully remove the obsolete wagtailsearch_editorspick table that prevents flushing the database (Matt Westcott)

  • Update latest version message on Dashboard to accept dev build version format used on nlightly builds (Sam Moran)

  • Ensure ChooserBlock.extract_references uses the model class, not the model string (Alex Tomkins)

  • Regression in field width for authentication pages (log in / password reset) (Chisom Okeoma)

  • Ensure the new minimap correctly pluralises error counts for aria-labels (Matt Westcott)

Upgrade considerations

rebuild_references_index management command

After upgrading, you will need to run ./manage.py rebuild_references_index in order to populate the references table and ensure that usage counts for images, documents and snippets are displayed accurately.

Recommend WagtailPageTestCase in place of WagtailPageTests

  • WagtailPageTestCase is the base testing class and is now recommended over using WagtailPageTests Testing your Wagtail site.

  • WagtailPageTests will continue to work and does log in the user on test setUp but may be deprecated in the future.

# class MyPageTests(WagtailPageTests): # old
class MyPageTests(WagtailPageTestCase): # new
    def setUp(self):
        # WagtailPageTestCase will not log in during setUp - so add if needed
        super().setUp()
        self.login()

    def test_can_create_a_page(self):
      # ...

Button styling class changes

The button-secondary class is no longer compatible with either the .serious or .no classes, this partially worked previously but is no longer officially supported.

When adding custom buttons using the ModelAdmin ButtonHelper class, custom buttons will no longer include the button-secondary class by default in index listings.

If using the hook register_user_listing_buttons to register buttons along with the undocumented UserListingButton class, the button-secondary class will no longer be included by default.

Avoid using disabled as a class on button elements, instead use the disabled attribute as support for this as a class may be removed in a future version of Wagtail and is not accessible.

If using custom expanding-formset the add button will no longer support the disabled class but instead must require the disabled attribute to be set.

The following button classes have been removed, none of which were being used within the admin but may have been used by custom code or packages:

  • button-neutral

  • button-strokeonhover

  • hover-no

  • unbutton

  • yes

Dropped support for importing .xls Spreadsheet files into Redirects

  • .xls legacy Microsoft Excel 97-2003 spreadsheets will no longer be supported for importing into the contrib Redirects listing.

  • .xlsx, .csv, .tsv formats are still supported.