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September 21, 2018

WPTavern: New commonWP Plugin Enables WordPress Sites to Use the Free jsDelivr CDN

Milan Dinić, a WordPress developer based in Serbia, has released his commonWP plugin that enables WordPress sites to use the free, public jsDelivr CDN. Last year jsDelivr was revamped to allow any file from GitHub and npm to be served by the CDN. WordPress’ mirror on GitHub made it possible for Dinić to create a plugin that works with the CDN.

commonWP aims to speed up performance by offloading JavaScript and CSS files to jsDelivr, including the following:

  • All files from WordPress core (unless development version of WordPress is in use)
  • All files from plugins hosted by WordPress.org Plugins Repository (unless author of specific plugin doesn’t use SVN tags for releasing)
  • All files from themes hosted by WordPress.org Themes Repository
  • All files from plugins and themes hosted on GitHub that support GitHub Updater
  • All files marked as available on npm in any type of theme, plugin, or MU plugin

Dinić said he designed commonWP with a emphasis on keeping it lightweight, easy-to-use, and secure. He claims the approach he used in the plugin is safer than any other plugin that employs a CDN for WordPress files:

First, commonWP will only rewrite file to point to one on jsDelivr if that remote file is identical to local one. Second, during comparison, it generates subresource identity hash of remote jsDelivr file and includes that hash in page’s source code so browser won’t load remote file if it doesn’t have exactly the same hash.

Dinić recommends the plugin for users who are not already using a CDN, have limited budgets, or live in less developed countries.

“Using a CDN is generally recommended, and with this one they might get even more speed because some files might be already cached by their visitors,” he said. “Imagine if jquery.js, jquery-migrate.min.js (most common files) are always served from one place. You wouldn’t need to get them from each WordPress site you visit. You would get them once and they would be in your browser’s cache, and initial page load would be faster.”

Dinić referenced a Trac ticket where using a CDN is proposed for serving assets like jQuery, but no action has been taken on the proposal yet. One benefit he cites for WordPress’ global user base is that a CDN like jsDelivr allows visitors to get files from their own content, country, or even the same city. jsDelivr has a large multi-CDN network with infrastructure built on top of other networks, including StackPath, Cloudflare, Fastly, and Quantil. It also has custom servers in locations like China where other public CDNs have little or no presence.

commonWP doesn’t have any settings for users to configure. The plugin fills up its cache in the background after it is activated. Developers can fine tune it for their needs and Dinić has published some code examples to GitHub.

In his release post, Dinić referenced a Serbian site getting a 1-second loading improvement and has done other tests but said he’s still looking for a good way to present the data. The plugin’s FAQ outlines which factors influence whether or not commonWP can bring performance improvements:

  • How many of your files are available on jsDelivr and can be rewritten – the more files on jsDelivr, the more speed; the more files used by the page are rewritten to jsDelivr, the more speed.
  • The further your site’s visitors are from the server your site is hosted on, the more speed you can get.
  • The slower your server is, the more speed it can get.
  • If your visitors already visited WordPress site(s) with commonWP activated, there is more chance that some of the files you use on your site are already cached by them so they can get more speed.

Not every site will see drastic improvements for site owners testing performance, but visitors from other parts of the world may be able to load certain files faster. Dinić recommends users test their sites using webpagetest.org and select a higher number of tests to get an average. He also recommends testing with different locations and different connection speeds. Test with the plugin activated and deactivated and when the site has a full cache. In general, the further the location is from the server and the larger number of files sent to jsDelivr, the bigger the performance improvement will be.

by Sarah Gooding at September 21, 2018 08:19 PM under performance

WPTavern: Gutenstats Blog Is Live, Tracking Gutenberg Beta Testing Data

Matt Mullenweg tweeted out a link to Gutenstats.blog this evening, a new site dedicated to tracking Gutenberg beta testing data. The site shows there are currently more than 420,000 active installations of Gutenberg, a slightly more precise number than reported on the WordPress.org plugin page (400K+).

Gutenstats also tracked 213,000 posts written with the new editor and 8,142 posts written yesterday. These numbers were collected from posts made on WordPress.com and Jetpack sites since late August 2018 and a note on the site says the actual number is higher.

In June, Mullenweg unveiled a roadmap for Gutenberg to land in WordPress 5.0. At that time the plugin was active on just 14,000 sites. He proposed 100K+ sites having made 250K+ posts using Gutenberg as a threshold for adequate pre-5.0 testing.

Gutenstats tracking shows testing has far exceeded the original goal for active installations and should reach the posts written goal in just a few days. Mullenweg said they plan to add some block stats to the tracking page in the future.

by Sarah Gooding at September 21, 2018 04:21 AM under gutenstats

September 20, 2018

WPTavern: ACF 5.0 Released with Updated UI and Gutenberg Compatibility

ACF version 5.0 landed on WordPress.org this week with Gutenberg compatibility now available for more than one million sites where the plugin is active. The release is a welcome update for developers who were concerned about what would happen in real world usage of Gutenberg on sites with ACF-powered customizations. ACF’s Gutenberg compatibility is arriving well ahead of WordPress 5.0’s TBD schedule for merging the new editor, giving developers time to get their clients’ sites ready.

“You can expect to see lots of Gutenberg related items in our changelogs over the coming months as we edge nearer to WordPress version 5.0,” the ACF announcement stated. “You’ll also want to take note that ACF 5 is the only version that will provide Gutenberg support. Previous versions will not be compatible.”

The version numbers across ACF Pro and the free version on WordPress.org are somewhat confusing. This particular release is significant in that it brings several years of development from the Pro version into the plugin hosted on WordPress.org. Now both products are technically on v5.7.6.

ACF 5.0 introduces a redesigned UI, performance improvements, and the plugin’s new Local JSON feature, which saves field group and field settings as .json files within the user’s theme. This reduces database calls and allows for version control of field settings.

image credit: ACF

Version 5.0 adds six new fields, including a link, group, accordion, oEmbed, date time picker, and clone fields (an ACF pro feature). It also introduce a new Tools page where users can export and import field groups as JSON.

For more information on items related to upgrading ACF and add-on compatibility, check out the official 5.0 release post.

by Sarah Gooding at September 20, 2018 05:54 PM under gutenberg

WPTavern: WPForms Acquires Pirate Forms, Plugin to be Retired

photo credit: Reiterlied Plundering San Francisco Bay(license)

WPForms has acquired Pirate Forms, a popular WordPress contact form and SMTP plugin originally created by ThemeIsle in 2015. The announcement coincides with International Talk Like a Pirate Day but the pirate branding of the plugin is set to be retired and its users will be given the option to migrate to WPForms.

Pirate Forms was purchased in what WPForms co-founder and CEO Syed Balkhi describes as “an all-cash deal.” Although the plugin currently has more than 300,000 users on WordPress.org, its features and capabilities are inferior to the more modern WPForms and its creators lacked the resources to bring it up to speed.

Pirate Forms had gained popularity in its earlier days by providing a simple forms plugin (without all the builder functions) for sites that required just one contact form.

“Where most of the other plugins aim at ‘mega functionality’ with tons of customizations, add-ons and whatnots, Pirate Forms has made a bet on simplicity,” ThemeIsle representative Karol K said in the plugin’s farewell post.

“In other words, it just works(ed) right after the installation, with no particular setup required (other than adding your form to a contact page). This was a nice refreshment compared to the usual ‘get through tons of onboarding wizard screens before you can use the plugin’ -approach.”

Pirate Forms could no longer deliver what users expect from a forms plugin in 2018 and ThemeIsle opted to find a buyer in order to free up resources to focus on releasing the Hestia 2.0 theme.

“This acquisition further strengthens WPForms’ position in the WordPress ecosystem,” Balkhi said. The expectation is that a large number of users will migrate their forms to WPForms as the result of Pirate Forms discontinuing active development.

A migration path to WPForms is built into the latest version of Pirate Forms and Balkhi describes the process as a seamless transition. Users are also free to select another forms plugin but they will not have the benefit of the migration tool, which also imports the notification email and confirmation settings from users’ existing forms. Those who have purchased Pirate Forms Pro will receive a free one-year license to WPForms Pro.

WPForms has more than 1 million active installs and currently maintains a 4.9 out of 5 star average rating on WordPress.org. The drag-and-drop WordPress form builder is much more advanced than Pirate Forms and the free version allows users to create contact forms, subscription forms, payment forms, offline forms, multi-page forms, and many other types of customized feedback mechanisms. It is also compatible with all of ThemeIsle’s themes.

by Sarah Gooding at September 20, 2018 02:50 AM under wpforms lite

September 19, 2018

WPTavern: Big Bite Creative to Launch New Amnesty International Website based on Gutenberg

The team at Big Bite Creative has developed a new website for Amnesty International using Gutenberg, soon to be launched at amnesty.eu. The agency worked in partnership with WordPress.com VIP to provide the London-based human rights organization with the tools to create multiple sites that could be uniquely customized for their editorial needs.

After successfully using Gutenberg to launch a site for an international bank, Big Bite CTO Jason Agnew said his team gained confidence to use the new editor for the Amnesty site. The client approached Bite Bite around the time of WordCamp Europe when Matt Mullenweg unveiled a roadmap for getting a stable Gutenberg release before the end of the year.

“On top of this the Amnesty project suited Gutenberg,” Agnew said. “Their brief mentioned 14 components which could be used to build out multiple sites. I honestly think it would have been difficult to build something that required this level of flexibility with a field manager like Fieldmanager, CMB2 or ACF. Perhaps it would have been possible with page builders like Visual Composer, but these platforms are still figuring out how they will work with the WordPress 5.0.”

Through the use of a combination of prompts, custom blocks, nested blocks, and predefined styles, Big Bite made it possible for even non-technical editorial staff to create and arrange content to build out websites for various outreach locations.

“It’s been fascinating to give the client full control over the site structure compared to the more traditional development of templates,” Agnew said. “We are still in the early stages of launching sites with the new platform, but the client has built up the EU site on their own without much support, which should be going live early October. Now they are in the process building out websites for Mali and Iran, with the goal to launch around 20 sites initially. We’ve had the editorial team describe the experience as fun – that’s from a team who have used WordPress with ACF in the past, which does offer an intuitive UI but still requires a level of training of what fields relate to what pieces of content on the front-end.”

As many others have reported, one of the most challenging things Big Bite encountered in extending Gutenberg was the project’s incomplete documentation.

“We’ve had our challenges, and particularly the Gutenberg documentation is not up to standard, which leads to a lot of time being wasted,” Agnew said. “But I have to say once our team get over the first block or two it wasn’t an issue. It’s important to say that the Gutenberg team Slack have been a great help when we did run into problems. We did discover IE11 support is still a work in progress, for example, copy & paste didn’t work, meta boxes wouldn’t render causing saving issues with posts.”

Agnew said for most issues there isn’t a lot one can do to resolve them apart from waiting for each update as the plugin improves, but it’s something agencies need to account for when working with clients. The Big Bite team also found that Gutenberg compatibility is still an issue for many of the plugins that they looked at using for the project.

“Apart from using Yoast we’ve mainly custom built the theme due to many plugins still requiring UI changes to work well with Gutenberg,” Agnew said. “Probably the most significant feature we wrote was language syndication system.”

Big Bite plans to open source Amnesty International’s full theme, which includes all of the custom blocks. Prior to that they are going to remove all the branding to avoid lots of new sites popping looking like the Amnesty brand. The agency is aiming for publishing the code the same day as WordPress 5.0 is released or earlier if the release is delayed beyond January.

For a closer look at the Amnesty International project, check out Big Bite’s announcement post. The video below was created in partnership with WordPress.com VIP and offers a tour of some of the custom Gutenberg blocks they created for Amnesty.

by Sarah Gooding at September 19, 2018 07:12 PM under gutenberg

HeroPress: The “India is cheap” Stereotype

Pull quote: Measure success in terms of the impact your work is making.

In the early days of HeroPress there were quite a few Indian contributors, for a variety of reasons. India has long been a technology powerhouse, but the WordPress community was just beginning to get traction. I got to meet many Indians and even traveled there for WordCamp Pune. The stereotype that “India is cheap” is a difficult one for Indians to deal with. What does it mean? How should it be responded to?

In October of 2015 Rahul Bansal, the owner of a world class WordPress agency named rtCamp, did a HeroPress essay where he talks about what it means to run an agency in India, charge properly, and turn our work that rivals any from anywhere else in the world.  Check out Rahul’s thoughts:

WordPress Continues to Inspire

The post The “India is cheap” Stereotype appeared first on HeroPress.

September 19, 2018 02:59 PM under Replay

September 18, 2018

WPTavern: Gutenberg Cloud: A Cross-Platform Community Library for Custom Gutenberg Blocks

During their presentation at Drupal Europe, the Frontkom team behind the Drupal Gutenberg project announced that they are working on a block management system called Gutenberg Cloud, a collective library of blocks online.

The library will offer a content repository for custom Gutenberg blocks, such as forms, a call-to-action section, product grid, or even a web component. Since the blocks are JavaScript-only, they would work across both Drupal and WordPress alike, so developers can build for both platforms simultaneously. The Gutenberg Cloud creators are aiming to facilitate a new level of cross-platform sharing that few envisioned when the Gutenberg project began.

“Gutenberg to us is much more than just another module,” Frontkom CIO Per André Rønsen said during their presentation at Drupal Europe. “We think of it as a platform for brand new features. We are very excited about the sharing/community aspect and the possibilities here. We want to make it easy to share and reuse custom blocks across pages, across projects, across companies, and even across publishing platforms. Drupal has always been great at sharing backend style of code. Now let’s make it great at sharing frontend code as well. This is why we’re working on a block managing system.”

Gutenberg Cloud would provide a plugin for WordPress and a module for Drupal (and eventually other applications) that would enable users to browse, filter, and discover blocks within the admin and download the ones they select. Early mockups I previewed show an interface similar to the theme and plugin browsers inside the WordPress admin.

A cloud-based block service solves a few problems that Gutenberg early adopters are already experiencing when hunting for blocks. WordPress theme and plugin shops have have been releasing their own block collections bundled into a plugin, but it’s not easy to discover or browse the individual blocks. Having blocks available on Gutenberg Cloud would prevent developers from having to create a new module or plugin for each individual block. It also prevents users from having to download an entire collection of blocks in a plugin when they really only need one or two of them.

Gutenberg Cloud Will Launch as a Community Project, Developers Contribute by Publishing Packages to NPM

Rønsen said they plan to launch Gutenberg Cloud as a community project. Any developer can contribute blocks by creating an NPM package and tagging it with “gutenberg-cloud.” The description on the cloud service outlines their intentions: “Code once, use everywhere: As Gutenberg blocks are CMS-agnostic, we want to provide an ecosystem all systems can connect to.”

An example Hero section block published to NPM

“We imagine everything from freelancers to big agencies and even community minded non-profits to contribute,” Rønsen said. “When people benefit from a better user experience, they tend to want to pay it forward. We have already talked to people in both communities wanting to contribute with code, so that is a great start for the platform.”

I asked if his team envisions block creators being able to sell access to their blocks in the future. He said his team is open to finding a payment solution for commercial blocks but only if the community demands it.

“Personally, I would be skeptical about committing to a community project that had a very commercial edge,” Rønsen said. “I think it’s important that the project stays focused on open source contributions, with a sharing-is-caring attitude. It’s the only language we know in Drupal. However, there is nothing wrong in providing high quality content and getting paid to do it. That’s why it’s on our roadmap to facilitate a payment solution for premium blocks – if the community wants it. It’s not central to the success of the platform, but I imagine it could be a great way to make some money for a skilled designer.”

Rønsen said his team plans to launch Gutenberg Cloud sometime later this year after completing internal testing and an invitation-only closed beta with a different companies. One of the most challenging aspect of the project is creating a system that can handle updates.

“By default users will get the latest stable release for the block from the author,” Rønsen said. “There will be a way to lock into a specific version and to version control that in Git, however. The plugin update system is a good analogy, but the infrastructure is completely outside of WordPress core. There are also some issues we haven’t solved yet regarding updates; it’s hard to make a system that doesn’t require a high maintenance effort for block developers.”

The Gutenberg Cloud project is contingent upon Gutenberg development continuing on a path towards being a library that is decoupled from WordPress. Last week Rønsen told the Tavern that his team hopes “that Gutenberg core devs will catch onto the vision of Gutenberg as the ‘editor for the open web’ — not just for WordPress.”

Gutenberg team member Gary Pendergast indirectly acknowledged this in a recent blog post that affirmed the Drupal Gutenberg project and reiterated WordPress’ mission to democratize publishing.

“One of the primary philosophies of Gutenberg’s technical architecture is platform agnosticism, and we can see the practical effects of this practice coming to fruition across a variety of projects,” Pendergast said.

“From early experiments in running the block editor as a standalone application, to being able to compile it into a native mobile component, and now seeing it running on Drupal, Gutenberg’s technical goals have always included a radical level of platform agnosticism.”

If the Drupal community ends up adopting Gutenberg for its core editor, the shared library presents an unprecedented opportunity for deeper collaboration across the two publishing platforms. As an agency that has done client work for publishers on both CMSs, Frontkom saw the potential before many others and took it upon themselves to fork Gutenberg for Drupal. This is the beauty of open source software in action.

“WordPress has many advantages that make it so popular, but hoarding those to ourselves doesn’t help the open web, it just creates more silos,” Pendergast said. “The open web is the only platform on which publishing can be democratized, so it makes sense for Gutenberg to work anywhere on the open web, not just inside WordPress. Drupal isn’t a competitor here, we’re all working towards the same goal, the different paths we’ve taken have made the open web stronger as a whole.”

Rønsen said he could see other applications and e-commerce platforms like Magento benefitting from better page-building tools. His company has a special interest in publishers and plans to release a set of open source tools for building news front pages later in 2018. Rønsen said he is hopeful the Drupal Gutenberg project can evolve alongside WordPress as it enters into the site building and customization phase of the project.

“I’m hopeful that the Gutenberg project will stay decoupled from WP one way or another,” Rønsen said. “This will leave room for Drupal to innovate on top of it. It could even be the case that the page building tools and customizer integration in WP will play nicely into the current architecture. In any case, I believe the basics of the editor and block concept will continue to be a good fit for Drupal. There is already some consensus out there on how to use Gutenberg for page building. A great example, is Big Bite’s work with Amnesty. If the continued experience is anything like that, I think we have a perfect match.

by Sarah Gooding at September 18, 2018 10:38 PM under gutenberg

Matt: CEOs and the Real World

The downside of Zuckerberg’s exalted status within his company is that it is difficult for him to get genuine, unexpurgated feedback. He has tried, at times, to puncture his own bubble. In 2013, as a New Year’s resolution, he pledged to meet someone new, outside Facebook, every day. In 2017, he travelled to more than thirty states on a “listening tour” that he hoped would better acquaint him with the outside world. David Plouffe, President Obama’s former campaign manager, who is now the head of policy and advocacy at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the family’s philanthropic investment company, attended some events on the tour. He told me, “When a politician goes to one of those, it’s an hour, and they’re talking for fifty of those minutes. He would talk for, like, five, and just ask questions.”

But the exercise came off as stilted and tone-deaf. Zuckerberg travelled with a professional photographer, who documented him feeding a calf in Wisconsin, ordering barbecue, and working on an assembly line at a Ford plant in Michigan. Online, people joked that the photos made him look like an extraterrestrial exploring the human race for the first time. A former Facebook executive who was involved in the tour told a friend, “No one wanted to tell Mark, and no one did tell Mark, that this really looks just dumb.”

There seem to be three communication gaps outlined here in Evan Osnos’s revealing profile of Mark Zuckerberg: one is getting unvarnished feedback from your employees. Speaking as a fellow CEO and founder, it’s certainly hard to pop that bubble — see “the bear is sticky with honey.” There are a few techniques like skip-level 1:1 meetings, anonymous feedback forms, interviewing new hires, and 360 reviews you can do to try to counter this, but there’s no panacea and this one requires constant work as you scale.

The second gap is getting the unvarnished truth from your users — much easier, as they’re quite happy to tell you what’s what. I’ve recently started cold-calling (yes, on the phone!) some of our Jetpack customers just to understand what they love and don’t love about the experience and about how we can help them solve their business challenges. There’s a casual intimacy to phone conversations that just can’t be replicated in other user feedback forums. Pair this with good instrumentation throughout your product so you see what people do and not just what they say and you’re golden.

The third and last communication gap is the connection to the world as most people experience it. If your status, wealth, or celebrity reach a point that they are shutting you out from “real” experiences, take some risks and get outside of your comfort zone. As it turns out, this new GQ profile of Paul McCartney offered a tip on that:

McCartney tells me a further such story of a time he took the Hampton Jitney, the slightly upmarket bus service that runs from the Hamptons into Manhattan, because he was deep into Charles Dickens’s Nicholas Nickleby and he wanted to finish it, and how he then took a local bus uptown, and when a woman blurted from across the bus, “Hey! Are you Paul McCartney?” he invited her to sit next to him and chatted all the way uptown. “It’s a way of not worrying about your fame,” he says. “It’s a way of not turning into the reclusive rock star. I often say to Nancy: I get in their faces before they get a chance to get in mine.”

Makes me wonder if Jack Dorsey still rides the bus to work every day. I think this is what Zuckerberg was attempting with his 30-state tour, and hopefully it was helpful even if the optics didn’t appeal to everyone — the daily habit of his 2013 resolution to meet someone new every day feels more powerful than the touristic 30-state one. But for an entity as large as Facebook maybe it’s moot, as Casey Newton pointed out in his newsletter last week it can be quite hard to pin the answers to Facebook’s real problems, and our democracy’s real challenges in the face of targeted online propaganda, to just one person.

by Matt at September 18, 2018 09:35 PM under Facebook

WPTavern: Hybrid Core 5.0 Offers a More Modern, Modular Approach to WordPress Theme Development

image credit: Shopify

Version 5.0 of Hybrid Core, one of the longest-running WordPress theme frameworks, is now available. Justin Tadlock celebrated 10 years with his Theme Hybrid community last month and released his new Mythic starter theme into beta. Mythic was built on top of Hybrid Core and developed in tandem with version 5.0.

The framework has been rewritten almost entirely from scratch to be a leaner, more modern starting place for theme development. Tadlock describes it as “a fundamentally different framework, rewritten from the ground up, that supports more modern PHP practices.”

“I started 5.0 with a goal of bringing the framework up to date with more modern PHP practices and code,” he said. “The first iteration of the framework was built in 2008, so it was time to get us ready for the next era of theme building.”

In nearly a decade of supporting the framework, Tadlock found that users didn’t always know how to get started building something from scratch. Many copied one of his existing themes and would add and remove things from it based on their own needs.

Version 5.0 doesn’t necessarily make it easier to build on top of Hybrid Core with its new, more complicated method of bootstrapping, new view system for templating, and requirement for using Composer. This is why Tadlock is officially recommending Mythic as the path for building a theme with Hybrid Core in the future. Most of the documentation and tutorials he plans to create in the future will be centered around the Mythic starter theme, which is nearing a 1.0 release.

For many theme developers, Mythic’s use of the BEM (Block-Element-Modifier) CSS class-naming system is their first introduction to a system of non-hierarchal, component-based CSS. Because BEM doesn’t rely on nested selectors, it’s easier for users to overwrite CSS that they want to change. Tadlock explains the benefit for child themes in a recent post about why Mythic uses BEM.

A handful of the Hybrid add-ons are now available as Composer packages, including one for breadcrumbs, customizer controls and settings, Google fonts, and a featured image script. Tadlock plans to split more parts of the framework off into packages in the future for an increasingly modular core.

Hybrid Core 5.0 requires PHP 5.6+ (with 7.0+ recommended) and WordPress 4.9.6+. Tadlock will support Hybrid Core’s 4.x series for at least another year to give theme authors time to adapt.

by Sarah Gooding at September 18, 2018 04:07 AM under hybrid core

September 17, 2018

WPTavern: Yoast SEO 8.2 Adds How-To and FAQ Gutenberg Blocks with Structured Data

Yoast SEO 8.2 was released last week with the plugin’s first tools designed specifically for Gutenberg. It includes two new How-To and FAQ structured data content blocks for early adopters of the new editor.

Structured data is content that can be marked up with a shared vocabulary, such as the one provided by Schema.org. Content like products, books, reviews, podcasts, events, and recipes lend themselves well to this specific type of organization. Structured data helps search engines index the site more effectively and communicate results in more compelling ways, such as rich snippets, rich cards, or voice search.

Structured data is not easy for most WordPress users to implement without the help of a plugin. Now that more content is being created in Gutenberg, users who want their content to display as enhanced search results will need to seek out plugins that make that an automatic part of the content creation process.

The plugin outlines all the necessary data the users needs to add in order for the How-To and FAQ content blocks to appear as valid pieces of structured data.

Alongside this release, Yoast’s Local SEO and the WooCommerce SEO plugins have also added two new structured data Gutenberg blocks: an address block and a Google Maps block.

image credit: Yoast.com

In the future the Yoast team plans to create many more structured data blocks.

“We’ll work first on blocks which we can dogfood on Yoast.com, like Job posting and Event,” Yoast CTO Omar Reiss said. “After that, we’ll just go for the popular ones, like Recipe.”

by Sarah Gooding at September 17, 2018 05:43 PM under yoast

September 16, 2018

Gary: The Mission: Democratise Publishing

It’s exciting to see the Drupal Gutenberg project getting under way, it makes me proud of the work we’ve done ensuring the flexibility of the underlying Gutenberg architecture. One of the primary philosophies of Gutenberg’s technical architecture is platform agnosticism, and we can see the practical effects of this practice coming to fruition across a variety of projects.

Yoast are creating new features for the block editor, as well as porting existing features, which they’re able to reuse in the classic editor.

Outside of WordPress Core, the Automattic teams who work on Calypso have been busy adding Gutenberg support, in order to make the block editor interface available on WordPress.com. Gutenberg and Calypso are large JavaScript applications, built with strong opinions on design direction and technical architecture, and having significant component overlap. That these two projects can function together at all is something of an obscure engineering feat that’s both difficult and overwhelming to appreciate.

If we reached the limit of Gutenberg’s platform agnosticism here, it would still be a successful project.

But that’s not where the ultimate goals of the Gutenberg project stand. From early experiments in running the block editor as a standalone application, to being able to compile it into a native mobile component, and now seeing it running on Drupal, Gutenberg’s technical goals have always included a radical level of platform agnosticism.

Better Together

Inside the WordPress world, significant effort and focus has been on ensuring backwards compatibility with existing WordPress sites, plugins, and practices. Given that WordPress is such a hugely popular platform, it’s exceedingly important to ensure this is done right. With Gutenberg expanding outside of the WordPress world, however, we’re seeing different focuses and priorities arise.

The Gutenberg Cloud service is a fascinating extension being built as part of the Drupal Gutenberg project, for example. It provides a method for new blocks to be shared and discovered, the sample hero block sets a clear tone of providing practical components that can be rapidly put together into a full site. While we’ve certainly seen similar services appear for the various site builder plugins, this is the first one (that I’m aware of, at least) build specifically for Gutenberg.

By making the Gutenberg experience available for everyone, regardless of their technical proficiency, experience, or even preferred platform, we pave the way for a better future for all.

Democratising Publishing

You might be able to guess where this is going. 😉

WordPress’ mission is to “democratise publishing”. It isn’t to “be the most popular CMS”, or to “run on old versions of PHP”, though it’s easy to think that might be the case on the surface. That these statements are true is simply a side effect of the broader principle: All people, regardless of who they are or where they come from, should be able to publish their content as part of a free and open web.

The WordPress mission is not to “democratise publishing with WordPress”.

WordPress has many advantages that make it so popular, but hoarding those to ourselves doesn’t help the open web, it just creates more silos. The open web is the only platform on which publishing can be democratised, so it makes sense for Gutenberg to work anywhere on the open web, not just inside WordPress. Drupal isn’t a competitor here, we’re all working towards the same goal, the different paths we’ve taken have made the open web stronger as a whole.

Much as the block editor has been the first practical implementation of the Gutenberg architecture, WordPress is simply the first practical integration of the block editor into a CMS. The Gutenberg project will expand into site customisation and theming next, and while there’s no requirement that Drupal make use of these, I’d be very interested to see what they came up with if they did. Bringing together our many years of experience in tackling these complex problems can only make the end result better.

I know I’m looking forward to all of us working together for the betterment of the open web.

by Gary at September 16, 2018 04:48 AM under Gutenberg

September 15, 2018

WPTavern: Gutenberg 3.8 Released, Adds Full Screen Mode

Gutenberg 3.8 is available for download. This release features a full screen mode that hides both the admin bar and the menu. Unlike previous versions of Distraction-Free-Writing mode where things would fade in and out of view, these two items stay hidden until full-screen mode is disabled.

User Interface elements have been added to manage reusable blocks in bulk. Theme authors are now able to register editor styles for blocks by targeting the blocks themselves. This avoids combating CSS specificity and doesn’t require knowledge of the internal DOM structure for the editor. 

The block settings icon has been moved from the right side of blocks to the toolbar. This change sets the foundation for refactoring the toolbar and it reduces clutter by keeping the icons together.

Block Settings Moved to The Right Side of The Toolbar

Gutenberg 3.8 also contains a significant increase in performance thanks to a new hand-coded default block parser.

Having a formal specification of the Gutenberg block grammar has allowed us both to maintain a stable core during the almost 40 releases of the plugin and lately to allow competing parser implementation to evolve and be compared in terms of performance and correctness.

In concrete terms, we are shipping a new default implementation that is hundreds of times faster than the spec and has been stress tested with really long posts (including Moby Dick). These tests are also available for anyone to run against. Memory consumption has also gone down dramatically for server side operations. I’d like to specially thank Dennis Snell and Ivan Enderlin for their great work improving this area.

Matias Ventura

To see a complete list of changes along with links to their corresponding pull requests, check out the release post.

by Jeff Chandler at September 15, 2018 12:08 AM under gutenberg

September 14, 2018

WPTavern: Gutenberg is Slowly Rolling Out to WordPress.com Users

As part of the roadmap unveiled at WordCamp EU earlier this year, WordPress.com has started rolling out Gutenberg to a subset of users.

Try Gutenberg Call-out on WordPress.com

According to a WordPress.com Happiness Engineer, the team is testing the implementation to determine the best way and time to enable it. Users will not be able to use Gutenberg unless their theme is updated to support blocks and the various alignment options.

Theme Wranglers are already in the process of adding support to WordPress.com’s nearly 100 free themes.

A quick search of the WordPress.com support forums for Gutenberg provides some insight into what users think about the new editor. For example, this user provided feedback on the use of so many icons without displaying their textual equivalent.

For now, Gutenberg is opt-in but eventually will be opt-out. Once Gutenberg is made available to a wider audience, support documents and official blog posts will be published to inform users about the new editor.

by Jeff Chandler at September 14, 2018 11:24 PM under wordpress.com

WPTavern: Drupal Gutenberg Project Receives Enthusiastic Reception at Drupal Europe

The Drupal Gutenberg project is gaining momentum after Per André Rønsen and Marco Fernandes gave a presentation at Drupal Europe this week titled “Introducing the Gutenberg content editor for Drupal 8.” Rønsen and Fernandes are representatives of Frontkom, a digital services agency based in Norway that has ported WordPress’ Gutenberg editor over to Drupal for use with client projects. They also created the Drupal Gutenberg project, which aims to bring this new publishing experience to Drupal core.

The Frontkom team gave a live demo of the Gutenberg module added to the page content type and showed how a few of the core blocks work. They concluded the presentation by hailing Gutenberg as an exciting new tool that will bring companies new business, make happier clients, and inspire more code reuse and sharing among developers.

“The reception has been amazing,” Rønsen said. “A lot of different speakers have referred to Gutenberg both before and after the session. Bigger organizations and companies have expressed interest in implementation and contributing. I was told the session was one of the most well visited (after the keynotes) in the whole conference.”

Overall, the Drupal community gave the Gutenberg editor a positive reception. However, Rønsen said he received feedback from some who are concerned about how it stores data. He said the general consensus was that “the UI is awesome,” but that the Drupal Gutenberg project would need to make sure data is stored in way that is as structured and portable as possible.

“Some developers are skeptical about storing too much data unstructured like Gutenberg does,” Rønsen said. “This also means we might integrate Gutenberg closer to some key Drupal modules used for structured page building today. Gutenberg can serve as a UI for embedding existing structured content, and that is something we are looking into.”

Rønsen said the next steps are centered around getting a stable release that will handle the core Gutenberg blocks and the core D8 blocks in a way that is future proof. In order to do this, they are waiting for the project to be merged into WordPress core.

“We will delay a stable release until Gutenberg is in WP core,” Rønsen said. “Things are moving very fast still with Gutenberg – and that’s a good thing. As soon as we have a stable release, we will introduce tools we have built in top of Gutenberg for publishers. These will be available to WordPress, too.”

Gutenberg as the “editor for the open web” — not just for WordPress

One of the most exciting aspects of the Frontkom team’s presentation was the idea of sharing a project across publishing platforms.

“It is key for us that Gutenberg stays decoupled from both CMSs as a library, and our hope is that Gutenberg core devs will catch onto the vision of Gutenberg as the ‘editor for the open web’ — not just for WordPress,” Rønsen said.

“Drupal core developers are however planning a React-based revamp of the Drupal admin UI, too. It will take at least two years to release it, and even then, I’m of the opinion that the content edit UI and page building features should be done last, and rather leave room for third party solutions like Gutenberg. This is an open question, but at least the key decisions makers for the new UI will consider how Gutenberg works and learn from it.”

Drupal decision makers are also taking interest in Gutenberg and seem open to considering it as viable option for improving the CMS’s editing experience.

“When the Drupal project owner was asked directly in a Q&A what he thought about solutions like Gutenberg coming into Drupal, he said he liked it, and that it’s a good thing for Drupal,” Rønsen said. “Dries is very open minded and not afraid of the concept of ‘Proudly built elsewhere.'”

Rønsen and Fernandes have published the slides for those who want to view them, although most of the session was devoted to the live demo. The official recording has not yet been posted but should be available shortly.

Update: The official recording has been published:

by Sarah Gooding at September 14, 2018 10:31 PM under gutenberg

BuddyPress: BuddyPress 3.2.0 Maintenance Release

BuddyPress 3.2.0 is now available. This is a maintenance release that fixes 25 bugs and is a recommended upgrade for all BuddyPress installations.

Update to BuddyPress 3.2.0 today in your WordPress Dashboard, or by downloading from the wordpress.org plugin repository. For details on the changes, read the 3.2.0 release notes.

by Paul Gibbs at September 14, 2018 03:14 PM under Community

September 13, 2018

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 330 – WPShout, Community, and Burnout

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Fred Meyer, David Hayes, and Alex Denning of WPShout to learn about WPShout’s Pro Community. This community aims to bring people together to learn from each other and provide one-to-one mentorship opportunities with David and Fred.

Later in the show, John and I discuss why it’s a matter of when and not if, Dark Mode will be added to WordPress. We round out the show by discussing burnout and some other personal things.

Stories Discussed:

Dark Mode is Possibly Coming to a WordPress Dashboard Near You

WordPress Coding Standards 1.1.0 Released

Meetup Group Organizers Can Now Earn A WordPress.org User Profile Badge

Marcel Bootsman is Walking 700km to WordCamp Europe to Raise Funds for DonateWC

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, September 26th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Itunes

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Listen To Episode #330:

by Jeff Chandler at September 13, 2018 10:24 PM under wpshout

WPTavern: WordPress 4.9.9 Release Focus Items Include Site Health Project and Gutenberg Preparation

The WordPress 4.9.9 release leads published a roadmap for the release this week. The minor release will be led by Anthony Burchell and Alain Schlesser. It is targeted for November 5 with the first beta arriving near the end of October.

The leads identified four key focus areas for the upcoming release: accessibility, internationalization, the Site Health Project, and Gutenberg preparation. The internationalization focus is aimed at improving translations and RTL support, as well as ensuring that date/time values work. The roadmap doesn’t identify any specific accessibility items but Burchell said the leads see lots of ways they can “drastically improve the experience for a lot of people with minimal effort.”

Contributors to the Site Health Project, previously known by the “Servehappy” code name, will be working on resolving issues that will allow users to stay on WordPress 4.9.9 while they prepare for 5.0 and still have access to the important information about how to update their PHP versions.

“It will be crucial to get the Servehappy components included: WSOD protection, update dashboard notice, plugin version requirements,” Burchell said. “The reason for this focus is because, when 5.0 ships, users who decide not to upgrade will be on 4.9.9 for a potentially extended time period. If we don’t have these Servehappy components included in 4.9.9, getting rid of old PHP versions will only happen after 5.0.”

Another major part of WordPress 4.9.9 will be landing items that lay the groundwork for anything necessary for Gutenberg’s merge into 5.0. Two items identified include user locale support in REST API endpoints and endpoints to lock/unlock and release posts.

With an unusually quick turnaround, WordPress 5.0 could arrive before the end of 2018. Development will kick off in mid-November, one week ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.

UPDATE 9/13/2018 – 8:13PM: The wording on the roadmap document has been updated to more accurately reflect the intentions of contributors regarding the work outlined for the Site Health Project. The roadmap now reads:

“We will investigate the work remaining for the Servehappy project and determine how to get it in people’s hands as soon as possible. WSOD protection, update dashboard notice, plugin version requirements are the hot items pending.”

by Sarah Gooding at September 13, 2018 05:58 PM under WordPress

HeroPress: Diversity of Thought

Pull Quote: I became completely inspired by the mission of WordPress. I had become a part of something bigger than myself.

About a year ago, Christie Chirinos wrote the essay “What I Do Does Not Define Who I Am“. It felt like a big deal at the time, and it was, but like most big deals, it slowly faded from memory. That’s one of the reasons I do these replays, for the benefit of my own memory as much as anything else.

As I’ve mentioned, part of the goal of HeroPress is to speak to those with less privilege and show how WordPress can help overcome that. That message shouldn’t come from me, a white American male. I simply don’t have the experience. I can read about it, but I’ll never actually have the experiences.

The story really needs to come from someone with experience. Christie has some of that experience, and she does a wonderful job talking about how WordPress helped a little bit. I hope her story helps.

What I Do Does Not Define Who I Am

The post Diversity of Thought appeared first on HeroPress.

September 13, 2018 04:21 PM under Replay

WPTavern: Official WooCommerce Android App Now in Beta

The first official WooCommerce Android app is now in open beta. The companion mobile app allows users to manage their WooCommerce stores on the go. Store owners who want to test the unreleased version of the mobile app can sign up with the Google Play Store. The WooCommerce app requires Jetpack to connect stores to the app.

The beta introduces a basic set of features for managing orders, viewing store stats, and receiving sales notifications, including the following:

  • Check basic orders and revenue statistics with time period selection.
  • View orders list in chronological order, with status and total value.
  • Review individual orders with all the standard details, and contact customers.
  • Perform basic order fulfillment.
  • Get notifications about orders and reviews, and the ability to moderate them.
  • View a list of the top-selling products on your store.

The app’s real-time order alerts even include an optional “cha-ching” sounds for new orders.

Over the past few years, the WooCommerce community has demonstrated a demand for mobile apps on both platforms. A suggestion for an Android app received 533 upvotes on the WooCommerce ideas board. There is also a motley assortment of unofficial WooCommerce store management apps available on the Google Play Store. Some of the more popular ones include StorePep WooCommerce App, WooCommerce Mobile Admin, Admin app for WooCommerce, and Dashly – WooCommerce Dashboard.

None of the third-party mobile apps seem to be very highly rated, nor are they consistent with the WooCommerce branding. A cursory glance at the reviews for these apps shows that most of them are slow, buggy, and not very well supported. However, they have temporarily fulfilled a need in the absence of an official app from WooCommerce.

Considering the options currently available, an official WooCommerce app will be a welcome addition to the tools available for store owners. An iOS app is also in the works. At the end of July, the WooCommerce development team put out a call for testing the first iOS Beta. Anyone interested to test the apps can check out the Woo Halo site and register to be part of the testing group.

by Sarah Gooding at September 13, 2018 04:19 PM under WooCommerce mobile app

September 12, 2018

Post Status: WordPress and Blockchain

WordPress is one of the driving forces and great success stories of the open web to date. As an open source platform, it’s become a dominant CMS used by 30% of the web to publish content — on websites large and small.

WordPress has grown up in an era of evolving challenges: ushering in web standards, adapting for publishing and viewing on all device sizes; building for accessibility by all; establishing its place in the era of expansive and centralized social media platforms; and more.

Today, we’re faced with a new generation of technologies coming down the pipe, ready to disrupt the current ecosystem. These technologies include blockchain, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, the internet of things, and more I’m sure. It’s the first of these that is the focus of this post and the following conversation.

I was approached by David Lockie of Pragmatic to discuss how WordPress and blockchain technology may fit together, and how they may not. David and I have both been interested in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space over the past couple of years, and have over time encountered a lot of projects that aim to disrupt or enhance various elements of the web: from DNS to CMS.

David gathered a group of people for an initial online, open, honest conversation about how WordPress could be impacted, disrupted or take advantage of distributed ledger and blockchain technologies.

Examples include:

  • Blockchain platforms impacting people’s choice to use WordPress e.g. Steemit
  • Blockchain projects impacting people already using WordPress e.g. Basic Attention Token or Po.et, Civil
  • Cryptocurrencies’ impact on eCommerce and the wider ecosystem, e.g. the Coinbase Commerce merchant gateway
  • What we can learn from blockchain projects’ governance systems and lessons learned
  • Ideas for improving security, integrations, etc
  • Various identity-based projects
  • New environments which may be used to run WordPress, such as decentralized web technologies e.g. Substratum  or MaidSafe.
  • Impact on the talent pool for WordPress professionals
  • General threats and opportunities
  • Discussion of anything new, interesting and relevant in the blockchain/cryptocurrency space
  • All of the above as it relates to open source and the web generally, outside of WordPress

Our aim for the initial conversation, as well as future conversations, is not to advocate specifically for any existing project or to necessarily endorse blockchain as appropriate for WordPress to somehow integrate in any way. It’s to explore what’s out there now, how it could impact WordPress today and in the future, and down the road perhaps how WordPress may take advantage of potential opportunities. We are approaching this like a discovery phase — not to get overly excited, but to be informed. And we welcome participants in this conversation.

This first conversation included the following participants:

I attempted to reiterate it in the call, but I believe it’s important to address this topic with a skeptic’s hat on. By no means do any of us think that it’s a great idea to just go head first in trying to integrate blockchain technology to WordPress. The jury is still very much out in terms of where, how, and even if blockchain brings significant advantages to web applications.

If you are interested in future discussions, we welcome you! There is currently a channel (#blockchain) in Post Status Slack where people can discuss, and we’ll also announce future video-conference discussions. We may make a more independent place to discuss, blog, etc, in the future depending on how these early conversations go.

We don’t know exactly where this conversation will go. It may fizzle out, or it could evolve into a much broader community effort. The first thing to do, if you are interested to continue this conversation, is just follow along with future conversations, which will be posted here. If you would like to be on the next video call, please contact David or me.

by Brian Krogsgard at September 12, 2018 10:58 PM under Planet

WPTavern: WordCamp Wilmington Cancelled Due to Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence is forecast to make landfall as a major hurricane near Wilmington, North Carolina bringing potentially catastrophic flooding and strong winds to the region.

Hurricane Florence Forecast Track From the National Hurricane Center

Because of the hurricane, WordCamp Wilmington which was scheduled to take place September 22nd and 23rd has been cancelled.

“We wish all of our WordCamp Wilmington enthusiasts a minimum of impact from Hurricane Florence,” Helen Rittersporn, one of the event’s organizers said.

“On behalf of my fellow Organizers for 2018 WordCamp Wilmington, we are looking forward to seeing everyone in 2019!”

Safety of Attendees, Speakers, and Sponsors Takes Priority

Peter La Fond, one of the event’s lead organizers, says the decision to cancel the event has been mentally taxing to him and the team.

“From the beginning, the decision making was really hard,” he said. “How we made the decision about this was very fluid. The entire team has been texting back and forth every several hours on various decisions over many days.

“We ended up having to set thresholds in advance for canceling. Then on Monday morning, we started to get inquiries and cancellations of attendees, vendors and speakers so we had to make a call.”

Although a lot hours were spent by volunteers to organize the event, speaker, attendee, and sponsor safety took priority.

“The organizing team is totally bummed about canceling the event considering the amount of effort we put into organizing it,” La Fond said. “However, we’re more concerned about the safety and security of our family and friends. Especially those who chose to stay.”

Those who purchased tickets are eligible for a refund. But due to evacuations and the length of time the storm is expected wreak havoc in the area, organizers will not be able to fulfill refund requests until after the storm has passed.

This is the second time a tropical weather system has postponed or cancelled a WordCamp in the US. In 2016, WordCamp Orlando was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew.

by Jeff Chandler at September 12, 2018 10:05 PM under worcamp wilmington

WPTavern: MetaSlider Plugin Adds Gutenberg Block for Inserting Sliders

If you search for “slider” in the WordPress plugins directory, MetaSlider is the first result that comes up. The plugin, created by the team at UpdraftPlus, is active on more than 900,000 sites, more than any other free slider plugin, and averages a 4.7-star review. It includes four different types of sliders: Flex 2, Nivo Slider, Responsive Slides, and Coin Slider.

An update released today introduces Gutenberg support with a block for inserting sliders. Users can access their sliders via the block insertion tool.

Clicking on the MetaSlider block allows users to select from among the sliders that they have already created in the admin.

After the user selects a slider, a preview will appear instantly in the Gutenberg editor.

Previously, the process of inserting a slider into content involved copying and pasting a shortcode. Joe Miles, director of Business Strategy at UpdraftPlus, said the team sees the Gutenberg editor as a major improvement especially for those who are new to WordPress.

“I think Gutenberg makes it much easier for novices to web design to make changes and insert sliders,” Miles said. “I know people who’d be comfortable using a Gutenberg block but not comfortable using a shortcode as it looks scary.”

Miles said the company is currently working on adding the ability for users to create and edit sliders within Gutenberg and hope to include it in the plugin before WordPress 5.0 lands. The UpdraftPlus team includes 13 developers who are devoted to the company’s WP-Optimize and MetaSlider products. Miles said adapting to Gutenberg was fairly simple relative to some of the other projects the team is working on.

UpdraftPlus plans to continue to maintain and improve the shortcode-based slider insertion method, as demonstrated in the changelog. Users who opt to stick with the Classic Editor will still be able to keep their same workflow. Meanwhile, the product’s development team will be working on integrating all of the pro version’s front-end features with Gutenberg.

In addition to Gutenberg support, the team is also going to be adding the concept of themes to sliders so users can build a slider and change its theme in a couple of clicks. They plan to release free and commercial themes and all will be built to be compatible with Gutenberg.

Smart Slider 3, MetaSlider’s next closest competitor with 300,000 installs, is also compatible with Gutenberg with a similar workflow for inserting sliders. Both slider plugins are not yet capable of providing the slider creation and editing process inside the Gutenberg interface but the capabilities should evolve as WordPress gets closer to the 5.0 release.

“I personally love the idea of Gutenberg since Matt Mullenweg announced it at WordCamp EU 2017,” Miles said. “I understand why experienced developers don’t want the change, but too many people are going for inferior website solutions like WIX because they’re used to WYSIWYG. So adapting MetaSlider was a no-brainer.”

by Sarah Gooding at September 12, 2018 08:59 PM under slider

September 11, 2018

WPTavern: Marcel Bootsman is Walking 700km to WordCamp Europe to Raise Funds for DonateWC

In May 2019, Marcel Bootsman will be lacing up a pair of hiking boots and walking 700km (435 miles) from his home in Rotterdam to WordCamp Europe in Berlin. Bootsman, a WordPress consultant and WordCamp organizer, is walking to raise funds and awareness for the DonateWC organization.

The DonateWC initiative provides a global fund for helping people in need of financial assistance to attend a big WordCamp. Donations go towards individually-tailored sponsorships that help selected attendees purchase a WordCamp ticket, door-to-door transportation, food and drink, and internet access.

“Imagine for a moment that you are not backed by a company that will pay for you to go to a community event,” DonateWC founder Ines van Essen said. “You work hard at being a valuable community member but are never able to actually meet the others in your team. This means you are less likely to get a job, less likely to get recognized as a worthwhile member, you’re unlikely to be at the front-end of changes that impact your work significantly.”

DonateWC aims to keep the larger WordCamps from being unintentionally exclusive of those with lesser financial means. Bootsman said he believes in the organization because it is community-driven and enables the greater WordPress community to do something for their fellow community members.

So far, Bootsman’s walking journey has raised €116.57. He set up a walktowc.eu website to track his progress and the donation page displays a live update of donated funds. Contributors have the option to designate their donations for DonateWC or for Bootsman’s personal needs on the trek. He plans to deliver all of the funds raised for the organization when he arrives in Berlin. In the coming weeks he will also open up sponsor packages to better motivate companies to donate.

Bootsman does not plan to work during his trek. He will be on the road for approximately 30 days and plans to walk 30km per day. He is traveling light with just a backpack and is looking for places where he can sleep along the way. Bootsman will update the Route page on his website with the places where people volunteer a bed for him to spend the night.

If you want to keep track of his progress, follow the hashtag #walktwceu on Twitter. Bootsman has published his first vlog about his training sessions (see video below) where you can hear in his own words why his making the long journey on foot. When I asked him if he’ll be walking home after WordCamp Europe, he said, “You’re kidding, right?”

by Sarah Gooding at September 11, 2018 10:25 PM under WordCamp Europe

Matt: WP Dev on Chromebook

Dan Walmsley has an interesting walkthrough on getting set up for WordPress and Calypso development on the new Linux mode on a Chromebook.

by Matt at September 11, 2018 06:29 PM under Asides

WPTavern: Hemingway Theme Adds Gutenberg Support

Anders Norén has added Gutenberg support to his popular Hemingway theme in the latest update, version 1.66. The theme has a simple, timeless design that appeals to both bloggers and business owners alike. It is active on more than 30,000 websites and some of those site administrators are using Gutenberg.

What does Gutenberg support look like for Hemingway? Norén styled the editor to match the front-end design, with the same colors and fonts. He also added support for specific Gutenberg blocks, such as cover images, full-width elements, and pull quotes.

image credit: Anders Norén

Norén said he knew since Gutenberg was announced that he would need to add support to all 17 of his themes in a substantial update at some point but had put it off because developing for the new editor felt “like aiming for a moving target.”

“I don’t think it was any single thing that made me realize that I needed to get going with Gutenberg, but rather that the Gutenberg volume knob in the community has been turned up at a steady pace,” Norén said. “After the ‘Try Gutenberg’ prompt in 4.9.8, I also started to receive a lot more support requests regarding Gutenberg. When regular WordPress users – not developers – started to ask when they can expect Gutenberg support in my themes, I knew that I couldn’t push it ahead of me much further.”

Hemingway is the first of his themes to support the new editor and Norén is aiming to have his entire collection Gutenberg-ready by the time WordPress 5.0 is released. (This does not include the Hemingway Rewritten version, which was created by Automattic and is available on WordPress.com.)

Norén sees the new editor as a significant improvement over the current editor and said he thinks it is the right way forward for WordPress.

“It’s always easy to speculate about the road not travelled, but the Visual Editor needs replacement, and Gutenberg will be a good replacement for it,” he said. “It’s better at everything the old editor can do (except editing raw HTML, perhaps), and it also brings with it new possibilities for WordPress developers and users. There are a lot of issues in Gutenberg still to be worked out, but when they are, I think Gutenberg will be a big step forward for the WordPress community.”

Norén said his chief concern is not about the editor itself but about how WordPress will handle the transition period for users, especially for those who would benefit from continuing on with the Classic Editor.

“I hope that the upgrade notice for 5.0 will be accompanied by clear messaging around the changes included in 5.0, along with the option to install the Classic Editor in Gutenberg’s stead,” Norén said. “Similar to the ‘Try Gutenberg’ prompt, but presented more clearly as an either-or option before the user actually updates to 5.0. It was encouraging to see Matt Mullenweg say that the Classic Editor will be maintained for many years to come.”

Norén’s 17 free WordPress.org-hosted themes have an estimated 100,000 active installs. Those using his products can be confident that the author behind the themes has Gutenberg-support among his immediate priorities for updates. Users who opt to move forward using the Classic Editor should not notice a difference in how the themes work.

“I hope that Gutenberg is received with excitement and widespread support when 5.0 is finally released,” Noren said. “I also hope that the WordPress team does whatever it can to make sure that end-users don’t feel ambushed by the new editing experience.”

by Sarah Gooding at September 11, 2018 06:04 PM under gutenberg

WPTavern: Meetup Group Organizers Can Now Earn A WordPress.org User Profile Badge

The WordPress Community team has unveiled a new tool called Meetup Tracker. This tool replaces the Meetup Status Document and will enable Global Community Team members to more easily track all Meetup.com groups.

There’s also a new application form available for organizers looking to join the WordPress Meetup Chapter Program. Groups that are part of the program have their Meetup.com fees paid for by WordPress Community Support PBC.

Thanks to the new system that is hosted on the backend of WordCamp Central, the community team is able to award badges to meetup organizers which will be displayed on their WordPress.org user profiles.

Example of Contribution Badges Displayed on WordPress.org User Profiles

In order to receive a badge and to fill the new system with updated information, organizers with meetups that are part of the chapter program are required to add the following information to this Google Document.

  • WordPress.org username for main contact
  • WordPress.org usernames of all organizers
  • Whether or not the contact’s WordPress.org email address is still valid

Badges were added to WordPress.org user profiles as part of a redesign in 2014 and are a quick way to gauge a person’s activity and or interests across the WordPress project.

The meetup organizer’s badge design has yet to be determined. For more information or if you have questions, please leave a comment on the announcement post.

by Jeff Chandler at September 11, 2018 02:52 AM under meetups

WPTavern: WordPress Coding Standards 1.1.0 Released

The WordPress Coding Standards version 1.1.0 has been released on GitHub. This release includes more stringent function call formatting checks which are explained in the handbook. There’s also stricter checks for overrides of WordPress global variables.

To see a full list of what was changed, fixed, and added, check out the changelog.

by Jeff Chandler at September 11, 2018 01:16 AM under releases

September 10, 2018

Matt: Seth Godin on Customer Service

This morning I’m enjoying Seth Godin’s classic on Customer Service. Hat tip: Andrew Spittle.

by Matt at September 10, 2018 04:39 PM under Asides

September 09, 2018

Matt: Responsibility of Technology

There’s fascinating and terrifying feature article about Facebook, Duterte, and the drug war in the Philippines, written by Davey Alba. My first trip there was actually to Davao, and having been to the country several times and met so many bloggers there it’s hard to imagine what’s described. There are definitely echoes of the Wired feature on Facebook and ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Both are good reminders that as technologists the tools we create can be used and leveraged in ways we wouldn’t imagine in our worst nightmares.

by Matt at September 09, 2018 05:46 PM under Asides

September 08, 2018

WPTavern: Biratnagar, Nepal to Host Its First WordCamp – December 22, 2018

Biratnagar, one of the oldest cities in Nepal, is gearing up to host its first WordCamp on December 22, 2018. The local community organized its first meetup in 2011 with 40 participants. Since that time the community has grown and recently hosted 250 members for a two-day meetup in January 2018.

“WordPress Biratnagar has a remarkably large number of enthusiastic participants in local WordPress meetups, more than any other meetups in Nepal,” lead organizer Ganga Kafle said. Kafle is a developer and WordPress.org theme reviewer. He said his local community is full of energetic youth who are excited to make the WordCamp happen.

“From an 8th grade student in a government school to a 56-year-old passionate retired army soldier, all are members of the WordPress Biratnagar community. This community is diverse, open, and has the ability to have fun together. They help each other out a lot, sharing tips and tricks, and solve problems together.”

Kafle said the topics of most interest to the local community include WordPress SEO, blogging, and WordPress theme development, as the majority of community members are students, developers, freelancers, and designers. He expects the WordCamp will attract attendees from different cities inside Nepal and from nearby countries, including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and other South Asian countries. Sessions will be conducted in both English and Nepali.

WordCamp Biratnagar will be the seventh WordCamp held in Nepal, following WordCamp Pokhara which is scheduled one month earlier on November 24. Pokhara is 11 hours away by car so the two WordPress communities are quite a distance away from each other. WordCamp Biratnagar is the last camp on the global WordCamp calendar for 2018.

Kafle said he hopes the event will bring the Biratnagar WordPress community opportunities that will lead to more entrepreneurship and contribution to the greater tech community in the region. The event has 200 tickets available and the capacity to expand if there is a greater demand. Early Bird Tickets are now on sale at Rs 1000. Once those are sold, Regular Tickets will be available for Rs 1500.

by Sarah Gooding at September 08, 2018 01:40 AM under wordcamp

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Last updated:

September 22, 2018 08:00 AM
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