WordPress Planet

December 10, 2018

Post Status: Matt Mullenweg’s State of The Word, 2018

Matt started by “reintroducing WordPress” and the four freedoms, stressing that “WordPress isn’t a physical thing or code, it’s an idea.” Additionally, a “robust commercial ecosystem” supports WordPress, and Matt noted that current estimates indicate WordPress generates about $10 Billion (USD) annually.

After two years of development and just after WordPress 5.0 officially launched, it’s not surprising the focus of Matt’s talk was on Gutenberg. “We’ve gotten a lot of questions about why we are doing certain things… why we are working on Gutenberg. And it’s good to return to users to find that,” Matt acknowledged.

Enhancing editor usability

A video of new WordPress users testing the classic editor (WordPress 4.9) was shown projected on the big screens over the stage. These clips primarily showed people having difficulties with relatively simple tasks in the editor.

Matt’s point was that we’ve become accustomed to the custom editor’s quirks, but blocks offer a better experience — from copying and pasting from Microsoft Word and Google Docs into WordPress to quickly creating a responsive website.

Community Gutenberg adoption

Matt continued with a summary of how Gutenberg has performed in Phase 1 of its release. Before the WordPress 5.0 release, 1.2 million active installs and 1.2 million posts were published, with about 39,000 posts written daily. Phase 1 had 8,684 commits and over 340 contributors. The ‘Gutenberg’ tag is already available for plugins in the WordPress repo, and it will be “coming soon” for themes.

Notably, over 100 Gutenberg themes are already present in the WordPress repo — including the new Twenty Nineteen theme. Matt highlighted two websites — The Indigo Mill and Lumina Solar — as examples where Gutenberg blocks have been used well to create effective layouts. Matt riffed on the “Learn JavaScript Deeply” mantra by repeating “Learn Blocks Deeply.” Blocks are the DNA of the new editor. Currently, 70 native blocks and over 100 third-party blocks exist for Gutenberg.

Community Gutenberg development

He highlighted some of the third party blocks in the wild:

Matt mentioned several block libraries and frameworks that have appeared:

Mobile Apps

Matt gave the audience an update regarding the WordPress native mobile apps: In the past month, app users published 1.3M posts and uploaded 3.1M photos and videos. Gutenberg will be going into the mobile apps, with a beta release expected in February 2019; I heard February 22nd is the current target date for a beta release.

The Next Phases of Gutenberg

Matt highlighted the next phases of Gutenberg’s evolution, which included new information about Phases Three and Four:

Phase One

Fundamental blocks for writing and editing in the backend editor. These are complete now, although Matt later said that work on the editor would continue.

Phase Two

Customizing outside of the page/post content will be the next point of emphasis. It may include widgets, menus, and miscellaneous content. Matt notes that menus “will need a bit more experimentation”. “2019”.

Phase Three

Collaboration, multi-user editing in Gutenberg, and workflows. The target for this to phase to be complete is “2020+.”

Phase Four

“An official way” for WordPress to support multilingual sites. Also slated for “2020+.”

Other Announcements

There were several non-Gutenberg tidbits of note:

Auto updates on major versions of WordPress

On a list of items to work on in 2019, Matt said he wanted to make it a goal to add optional auto-updates for plugins, themes, and major versions of WordPress.

Updated minimum PHP versions

A proposal written by Gary Pendergast makes a case for WordPress to start updating its minimum PHP versions. The proposed plan is to move to PHP 5.6 by April 2019 and to PHP 7.0 by “as early as” December 2019. Notably, security support for PHP 5.6 expires in a few days, and the “end of life” for PHP 7.0 just passed.

After Matt mentioned this proposal, it received an enormous amount of applause — far more applause than most of the Gutenberg news that came earlier, and Matt noticed. It is definitely welcome news!

WordPress release adoption

During the life of the WordPress 4.9 branch, there were over 173 million downloads with 68.4% of all known WordPress installs running 4.9.

Matt notes that the early adoption numbers for WordPress 5.0 were very similar to WordPress 4.7, which was also a December release back in 2016.

Lessons learned in 2018

Matt took time to summarize the lessons he learned in 2018, starting with the need for teams to improve how they work together: “There should be no reason for accessibility, testing, and other teams not to be working together since these features should be a feature of everything we develop from the very beginning.” No doubt this came as a response to the concerns about accessibility in Gutenberg that surfaced before WordPress 5.0 was released.

Community Update

Matt offered some community-related data as well:

  • WordCamps: In 2018 there were 145 WordCamps in 48 countries, with over 45,000 tickets sold. A total of 1,300 organizers (a 33% increase!), 2,651 speakers, and 1,175 sponsors made it all possible.
  • Meetups: This year saw 50% member growth in meetup attendance, with over 687 meetup groups and 5,400 meetup events.

And with that, he began Q&A.

You can view the State of the Word on YouTube in full, and it should become available on WordPress TV very soon.

Photos by Brian Richards, for Post Status.

by David Bisset at December 10, 2018 03:45 PM under WordPress Core

December 07, 2018

WPTavern: AMP Plugin for WordPress Version 1.0 Introduces Gutenberg-Integrated AMP Validation

Version 1.0 of the official AMP plugin for WordPress was released on the eve of WordCamp US, after two years in development by contributors from Automattic, XWP, and Google. This first stable version has a massive changelog with 30 people credited for their contributions. The plugin is now considered ready for production and is active on more than 300,000 sites.

Version 1.0 interfaces with the new editor that landed in WordPress 5.0. It will display warnings for AMP-invalid markup on a per-block basis, so users don’t have to guess what content is generating an issue.

This release also introduces a compatibility tool that offers detailed information on AMP validation errors. It functions like a debugging page where users can see which URLs are generating errors, along with the site component (plugin, theme, or core) where the markup originates.

Version 1.0 includes granular controls for selecting which templates will be served as AMP. This allows for a more gradual adoption across a site. Users can also opt for Native mode to have the entire site served as AMP.

The plugin has been updated to support four of WordPress’ default themes, including Twenty Fifteen, Twenty Sixteen, Twenty Seventeen, and Twenty Nineteen. The documentation for how AMP was added to these bundled themes serves as an example for how theme developers can make their own themes AMP-compatible.

WordPress users who opt to use AMP on their sites will have a more successful experience with this version, thanks to the improved UI for handling AMP validation errors and the new interface for limiting AMP-support to certain templates.

The AMP for WordPress project is also sporting a new website that features a collection of AMP-ready plugins and themes and a showcase of sites using AMP. It also has extensive documentation for implementors, site owners, and developers. The site provides a central place for news and resources related to the project and its expanding ecosystem of compatible extensions.

by Sarah Gooding at December 07, 2018 06:51 AM under amp

December 06, 2018

WPTavern: WordPress 5.0 “Bebo” Released, Lays A Foundation for the Platform’s Future

In 2016 at WordCamp US in Philadelphia, PA, Matt Mullenweg announced to the world that a new post and page editor would be coming to WordPress. “The editor does not represent the core of WordPress publishing,” Mullenweg said.

His vision of the editor was geared towards a more block-based approach that unifies widgets, shortcodes, and other areas of WordPress. Today, that vision has become a reality with the release of WordPress 5.0 featuring project Gutenberg.

The New Editor in WordPress 5.0

Instead of a large blank canvas, content is broken up into a series of individual blocks that are independent from the content as a whole. For example, you can edit the HTML of one block without it affecting other blocks.

The editor comes with more than 16 blocks to add content. You can add more blocks by installing and activating plugins.

Some of the Blocks That Are Available in WordPress 5.0

Each block typically has two areas where you can manipulate its content. The Toolbar, which displays when hovering over a block, and the Inspector located in the right-hand sidebar. The Inspector houses less-often used settings that require more screen space.

Between the top toolbar, block toolbar, inspector, block mover, and hidden elements that don’t appear unless hovered over, there are a lot of user interface buttons. I suggest spending time crafting a test post to get familiar with what each button does.

To see the new editor in action, check out the following demo video.

A Short Demo of The New Editor in Action

If you’re not ready for the new editor or discover incompatibilities with themes or plugins, you can install the Classic Editor plugin. This plugin will disable the new editor and replace it with the one in WordPress 4.9.8 and below. The WordPress development team has committed to supporting the plugin until December 31st, 2021.

Those who use assistive technology and experience accessibility issues with the new editor are encouraged to install the Classic Editor plugin until the issues are fixed.

Twenty Nineteen: A Fully Compatible Default Theme

WordPress 5.0 comes with a new default theme called Twenty Nineteen that is fully compatible with the new editor. It includes front-end and back-end styles to provide a What You See Is What You Get experience. It also supports the Wide and Full image alignment options.

Twenty Nineteen Front-End on the Left, Back-End on the Right

You can see the theme in action on Matt Mullenweg’s site.

What Happens to Existing Content?

Content not created in the new editor is placed into a Classic block. This block mimics the old editor and provides users a choice to migrate it into blocks. However, migrating content into blocks is not required. Most content shouldn’t be affected by updating to WordPress 5.0.

Where to Get Help Using the New Editor

For new users, the editor might be an intuitive experience but for many WordPress veterans, it introduces a steep learning curve. After all, the previous editor has existed for more than 10 years.

At the moment, there is a Gutenberg handbook for Developers and Contributors but not for Users. Work is underway by the Docs team and other volunteer contributors to put together an initial document to release in 2019.

Until the official handbook is published, you’ll need to seek help and education elsewhere.

WordPress 5.0 Essential Training

Morten Rand-Hendriksen, an educator for LinkedIn Learning has published a course that walks users through the new editor. It’s available to view for free for the next three weeks.

Gutenberg Times

Birgit Pauli-Haack has been keeping tabs on Gutenberg’s development for more than a year. Gutenberg Times contains relevant information about the editor for users and developers.

WordPress Support Forums

Volunteers are standing by ready to answer your questions. If you think you’ve discovered a bug, incompatibility, or are experiencing trouble with the new editor, please post it in the support forums.

WordPress 5.0 Field Guide

The WordPress 5.0 field guide provides important links and information for developers and users related to this release.

WordPress 5.0 Is the Beginning of A New Journey

While WordPress 5.0 introduces a new editor, it also lays the foundation for what’s to come. The first phase of project Gutenberg was the editor. The second phase is the Customizer with a focus on full-site layouts. The third and fourth phases will be shared and discussed by Mullenweg at this year’s WordCamp US.

The new editor is part of a long process to reinvent WordPress. Matías Ventura, Co-lead of the Gutenberg project succinctly explains why the need for Gutenberg exists.

WordPress has always been about the user experience, and that needs to continue to evolve under newer demands. Gutenberg is an attempt at fundamentally addressing those needs, based on the idea of content blocks. It’s an attempt to improve how users interact with their content in a fundamentally visual way, while at the same time giving developers the tools to create more fulfilling experiences for the people they are helping.

How can such a vision happen without dismantling, rebuilding, fragmenting, or breaking the WordPress ship that for over a decade has been carrying the thoughts, joys, and livelihoods of millions of people and more than a quarter of the web?

The ship, like Theseus’, needs to continue sailing while we upgrade the materials that make it. It needs to adapt to welcome new people, those that find it too rough to climb on board, too slippery a surface, too unwelcoming a sight, while retaining its essence of liberty. This is not an easy challenge—not in the slightest.

Indeed, we called it Gutenberg for a reason, for both its challenges and opportunities, for what it can represent in terms of continuity and change. It is an ambitious project and it needs the whole WordPress community to succeed.

Matías Ventura, Co-lead of the Gutenberg project.

As the new editor makes its way across the world, it will be interesting to see what the reactions are from users who experience it for the first time. It will also be interesting to see what the developer community builds that takes the editor to new heights.

WordPress 5.0 is the beginning of a new journey for the project. One that will have bumpy roads, new discoveries, and plenty of opportunities to learn. So saddle up and keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle until it makes a complete stop.

WordPress 5.0 is named after Bebo Valdés who was a Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger. The release was led by Matt Mullenweg with Allan Cole, Anthony Burchell, Gary Pendergast, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, Laurel Fulford, Omar Reiss, Daniel Bachhuber, Matías Ventura, Miguel Fonseca, Tammie Lister, Matthew Riley MacPherson as co-leads. At least 423 people contributed to the release.

by Jeff Chandler at December 06, 2018 09:38 PM under WordPress 5.0

Dev Blog: WordPress 5.0 “Bebo”

Say Hello to the New Editor

We’ve made some big upgrades to the editor. Our new block-based editor is the first step toward an exciting new future with a streamlined editing experience across your site. You’ll have more flexibility with how content is displayed, whether you are building your first site, revamping your blog, or write code for a living.

Building with Blocks

The new block-based editor won’t change the way any of your content looks to your visitors. What it will do is let you insert any type of multimedia in a snap and rearrange to your heart’s content. Each piece of content will be in its own block; a distinct wrapper for easy maneuvering. If you’re more of an HTML and CSS sort of person, then the blocks won’t stand in your way. WordPress is here to simplify the process, not the outcome.

We have tons of blocks available by default, and more get added by the community every day. Here are a few of the blocks to help you get started:

Freedom to Build, Freedom to Write

This new editing experience provides a more consistent treatment of design as well as content. If you’re building client sites, you can create reusable blocks. This lets your clients add new content anytime, while still maintaining a consistent look and feel.

A Stunning New Default Theme

Introducing Twenty Nineteen, a new default theme that shows off the power of the new editor.

Designed for the block editor

Twenty Nineteen features custom styles for the blocks available by default in 5.0. It makes extensive use of editor styles throughout the theme. That way, what you create in your content editor is what you see on the front of your site.

Simple, type-driven layout

Featuring ample whitespace, and modern sans-serif headlines paired with classic serif body text, Twenty Nineteen is built to be beautiful on the go. It uses system fonts to increase loading speed. No more long waits on slow networks!

Versatile design for all sites

Twenty Nineteen is designed to work for a wide variety of use cases. Whether you’re running a photo blog, launching a new business, or supporting a non-profit, Twenty Nineteen is flexible enough to fit your needs.

Developer Happiness


Blocks provide a comfortable way for users to change content directly, while also ensuring the content structure cannot be easily disturbed by accidental code edits. This allows the developer to control the output, building polished and semantic markup that is preserved through edits and not easily broken.


Take advantage of a wide collection of APIs and interface components to easily create blocks with intuitive controls for your clients. Utilizing these components not only speeds up development work but also provide a more consistent, usable, and accessible interface to all users.


The new block paradigm opens up a path of exploration and imagination when it comes to solving user needs. With the unified block insertion flow, it’s easier for your clients and customers to find and use blocks for all types of content. Developers can focus on executing their vision and providing rich editing experiences, rather than fussing with difficult APIs.

Keep it Classic

Prefer to stick with the familiar Classic Editor? No problem! Support for the Classic Editor plugin will remain in WordPress through 2021.

The Classic Editor plugin restores the previous WordPress editor and the Edit Post screen. It lets you keep using plugins that extend it, add old-style meta boxes, or otherwise depend on the previous editor. To install, visit your plugins page and click the “Install Now” button next to “Classic Editor”. After the plugin finishes installing, click “Activate”. That’s it!

Note to users of assistive technology: if you experience usability issues with the block editor, we recommend you continue to use the Classic Editor.

This release is named in homage to the pioneering Cuban jazz musician Bebo Valdés.

The Squad

This release was led by Matt Mullenweg, along with co-leads Allan Cole, Anthony Burchell, Gary Pendergast, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, Laurel Fulford, Omar Reiss, Daniel Bachhuber, Matías Ventura, Miguel Fonseca, Tammie Lister, Matthew Riley MacPherson. They were ably assisted by the following fabulous folks. There were 423 contributors with props in this release. Pull up some Bebo Valdés on your music service of choice, and check out some of their profiles:

Aaron Jorbin, Abdul Wahab, Abdullah Ramzan, abhijitrakas, Adam Silverstein, afraithe, Ahmad Awais, ahmadawais, Airat Halitov, Ajit Bohra, Alain Schlesser, albertomedina, aldavigdis, Alex Sanford, alexis, Alexis Lloyd, Amanda Rush, amedina, Andrea Fercia, Andrea Middleton, Andrei Lupu, andreiglingeanu, Andrew Duthie, Andrew Munro, Andrew Nevins, Andrew Ozz, Andrew Roberts, Andrew Taylor, andrewserong, Andy Peatling, Angie Meeker, Anna Harrison, Anton Timmermans, ArnaudBan, Arshid, Arya Prakasa, Asad, Ashar Irfan, asvinballoo, Atanas Angelov, Bappi, bcolumbia, belcherj, Benjamin Eyzaguirre, Benjamin Zekavica, benlk, Bernhard Kau, Bernhard Reiter, betsela, Bhargav Mehta, Birgir Erlendsson (birgire), Birgit Pauli-Haack, blowery, bobbingwide, boblinthorst, Boone Gorges, Brady Vercher, Brandon Kraft, Brandon Payton, Brent Swisher, Brianna Privett, briannaorg, Bronson Quick, Brooke., Burhan Nasir, CantoThemes, cathibosco, Chetan Prajapati, chetansatasiya, chetansatasiya, Chouby, Chris Runnells, Chris Van Patten, chriskmnds, chrisl27, Christian Sabo, Christoph Herr, circlecube, Claudio Sanches, coderkevin, Copons, courtney0burton, Csaba (LittleBigThings), csabotta, Daniel James, Daniel Richards, danielhw, daniloercoli, DannyCooper, Darren Ethier (nerrad), davemoran118, David Cavins, David Herrera, David Kennedy, David Ryan, David Sword, Davide 'Folletto' Casali, davidherrera, Davis, dciso, Dennis Snell, Derek Smart, designsimply, Devin Walker, Devio Digital, dfangstrom, Dhanendran, Diego de Oliveira, diegoreymendez, dingo-d, Dion Hulse, Dixita Dusara, Dixita Gohil, Dominik Schilling, Donna Peplinskie, Drew Jaynes, dsawardekar, dsifford, Duane Storey, Edwin Cromley, ehg, ElectricFeet, Elio Rivero, Elisabeth Pointal, Ella Iseulde Van Dorpe, elrae, enodekciw, ephoxjames, ephoxmogran, Eric Amundson, ericnmurphy, etoledom, fabiankaegy, fabs_pim, faishal, Felix Arntz, Florian Simeth, foobar4u, foreverpinetree, Frank Klein, fuyuko, Gabriel Maldonado, Garrett Hyder, Gary Jones, Gary Thayer, garyjones, Gennady Kovshenin, George Olaru, George Stephanis, georgeh, gnif, goldsounds, Grappler, Grzegorz Ziółkowski, Gustavo Bordoni, gwwar, Hardeep Asrani, hblackett, Helen Hou-Sandi, Hendrik Luehrsen, herbmiller, Herre Groen, Hugo Baeta, hypest, Ian Dunn, ianstewart, ibelanger, iCaleb, idpokute, Igor, imath, Imran Khalid, intronic, Ipstenu (Mika Epstein), Irene Strikkers, Ismail El Korchi, israelshmueli, J.D. Grimes, J.D. Grimes, Jacob Peattie, jagnew, jahvi, James Nylen, jamestryon, jamiehalvorson, Jan Dembowski, janalwin, Jason Caldwell, Jason Stallings, Jason Yingling, Javier Villanueva, Jay Hoffmann, Jb Audras, Jeff Bowen, Jeffrey Paul, Jeremy Felt, Jip Moors, JJJ, Joe Bailey-Roberts, Joe Dolson, Joe Hoyle, Joe McGill, joemaller, Joen Asmussen, Johan Falk, John Blackbourn, John Godley, johndyer, JohnPixle, johnwatkins0, jomurgel, Jonathan Desrosiers, Jonny Harris, jonsurrell, Joost de Valk, Jorge Bernal, Jorge Costa, Jose Fremaint, Josh Pollock, Josh Visick, Joshua Wold, Joy, jrf, jryancard, jsnajdr, JulienMelissas, Justin Kopepasah, K.Adam White, Kallehauge, KalpShit Akabari, Kat Hagan, Kelly Dwan, Kevin Hoffman, khleomix, Kite, Kjell Reigstad, kluny, Konstantin Obenland, Konstantinos Xenos, krutidugade, Lance Willett, Lara Schenck, leahkoerper, lloyd, Loic, Lucas Stark, LucasRolff, luigipulcini, Luke Cavanagh, Luke Kowalski, Luke Pettway, Luminus, lynneux, m-e-h, macbookandrew, Maedah Batool, Mahdi Yazdani, mahmoudsaeed, Maja Benke, Marcus Kazmierczak, Marin Atanasov, marina_wp, Marius L. J., mariusvw, Mark Jaquith, Mark Uraine, martinlugton, mathiu, Matt Cromwell, Matt Mullenweg, MattGeri, Matthew Boynes, Matthew Haines-Young, maurobringolf, Maxime BERNARD-JACQUET, Mayo Moriyama, meetjey, Mel Choyce, mendezcode, Micah Wood, Michael Adams (mdawaffe), Michael Hull, Michael Nelson, Michele Mizejewski, Migrated to @jeffpaul, Miina Sikk, Mikael Korpela, Mike Crantea, Mike Haydon, Mike Schroder, mikehaydon, Mikey Arce, Milan Dinić, Milana Cap, Milen Petrinski - Gonzo, milesdelliott, mimo84, mirka, mitogh, mmtr86, Monique Dubbelman, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, Mostafa Soufi, motleydev, mpheasant, mrmadhat, mrwweb, msdesign21, mtias, Muhammad Irfan, Mukesh Panchal, munirkamal, Muntasir Mahmud, mzorz, nagayama, Nahid F. Mohit, Naoko Takano, napy84, nateconley, Native Inside, Ned Zimmerman, Neil Murray, nic.bertino, Nicola Heald, Niels Lange, Nikhil Chavan, Nikolay Bachiyski, nitrajka, njpanderson, nosolosw, nshki, Okamoto Hidetaka, oskosk, Paresh Radadiya, Pascal Birchler, Paul Bearne, Paul Dechov, Paul Stonier, Paul Wilde, Pedro Mendonça, Peter Wilson, pglewis, Philipp Bammes, piersb, Pieter Daalder, pilou69, Piotr Delawski, poena, postphotos, potbot, Prateek Saxena, pratikthink, Presskopp, psealock, ptasker, Rachel, Rachel Baker, Rahmohn, Rahmon, Rahul Prajapati, rakshans1, ramonopoly, Rastislav Lamos, revgeorge, Riad Benguella, Rian Rietveld, richsalvucci, Riddhi Mehta, Riley Brook, Robert Anderson, Robert O'Rourke, robertsky, Rocio Valdivia, Rohit Motwani, Ross Wintle, Ryan McCue, Ryan Welcher, ryo511, Sagar Prajapati, Sami Keijonen, Samuel Wood (Otto), Sang-Min Yoon, sarah semark, Scott Weaver, Sergey Biryukov, SergioEstevao, Shahjehan Ali, Shailee Sheth, Sharaz Shahid, Shaun sc, shaunandrews, Shawn Hooper, shenkj, sikander, Simon Prosser, siriokun, sirjonathan, sirreal, Sisanu, skorasaurus, Slushman, Sofia Sousa, SOMTIJDS, Soren Wrede, spocke, Stagger Lee, Stanimir Stoyanov, Stephen Edgar, Steve Henty, Store Locator Plus, strategio, stuartfeldt, tacrapo, Tammie Lister, ThemeRoots, Thorsten Frommen, Thrijith Thankachan, Tim Hengeveld, timgardner, Timmy Crawford, Timothy Jacobs, Tom J Nowell, Toni Laakso, Tor-Bjorn Fjellner, Toro_Unit (Hiroshi Urabe), Toshihiro Kanai, Towhidul Islam, Travis Lopes, truongwp, Tunji Ayoola, twoelevenjay, Ulrich, vindl, Vishal Kakadiya, Vitor Paladini, Walter Ebert, warmarks, WebMan Design | Oliver Juhas, websupporter, Weston Ruter, William Earnhardt, williampatton, Willy Bahuaud, wpscholar, xyfi, Yahil Madakiya, yingles, Yoav Farhi, Yusuke Takahashi, zebulan, and Ziyaddin Sadigov.

Finally, thanks to all the community translators who worked on WordPress 5.0. Their efforts bring WordPress 5.0 fully translated to 37 languages at release time, with more on the way.

If you want to follow along or help out, check out Make WordPress and our core development blog.

Thanks for choosing WordPress!

by Matt Mullenweg at December 06, 2018 07:28 PM under Releases

Post Status: WordPress 5.0 marks a new era for the world’s most popular CMS

WordPress 5.0, “Bebo,” is a shift of the highest order for the platform. Block-based editing, under the name of “Gutenberg,” is an entirely new way to publish content. It adds a world of flexibility when writing, and it opens the gates for transforming much of the broader WordPress experience moving forward.

TinyMCE has been the core of the WordPress writing experience for, well, forever. Users will be able to continue using TinyMCE with the Classic Editor plugin, which will be especially useful for those web applications with significant amounts of structured content that will take time and reprogramming to fit the new editing experience.

The need for a new editor has been a wide-held concern in the WordPress community for a long time. Gutenberg has been more than two years in the making, and it involved dozens of full-time or near full-time contributors at times. Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and other popular WordPress products, has invested a great deal in Gutenberg’s development, as have many other companies and individuals — but the bulk of development and decision-making has been by Automattic employees.

There have been critiques that the process for decision making has been too closed off and rushed toward the end of the development cycle for the purpose of delivery by WordCamp US despite ongoing concerns, particularly around accessibility.

5.0 had to ship eventually, and the process has been a long one. It was a complete shift from the traditional development cycles, which I discussed with Matt Mullenweg at WordCamp US two years ago.

I have personally held the view that now is as good a time as any to release 5.0, though the exact timing is a burden on folks traveling to WCUS, particularly considering that it was just a few days notice; it is putting a kink in the plans of many.

Timing aside, Gutenberg is, I believe, an important step and a big test for WordPress. It is imperative that the platform evolves to be both more powerful and easier to use — an enormously difficult dual challenge that I have advocated as an important feat to accomplish for several years now.

WordPress is the easiest full-featured content management system to use. But it is more difficult than many alternative publishing platforms — particularly hosted ones. Drastic changes, like Gutenberg, are necessary to continue being a preferred platform for end users. Being easy to use and customize got WordPress to the dominant position it is in today, and I believe it is extremely important to continue in that trajectory to maintain that position.

At the same time, as WordPress is being used in ever more advanced applications, developers need powerful, scalable solutions. WordPress has made great strides over the years to accommodate this use case, from various APIs to assist in new data structure creation, to the REST API. Gutenberg offers much promise to continue this trend, as it is quite extendable and also flexible for deployment on the web, in native apps, and on both front-ends and backends.

I believe 5.0 is a huge step forward for the platform. The journey is not without its issues, and there is much work to do, but WordPress needed and continues to need big changes and advancements to maintain its position at the top of the content management food chain.

People are using WordPress for all sorts of things, whether traditional publishing, eCommerce, application frameworks, and much more. I’m excited to see what Gutenberg brings to further these applications. Strictly as an editor, it’s far from perfect, but it’s an important step in the right direction.

Get familiar with WordPress 5.0

Here are some links to places to learn more about the new editing experience and WordPress 5.0.

by Brian Krogsgard at December 06, 2018 05:31 PM under Everyone

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 340 – Twas the Night Before 5.0

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Matt Mullenweg, co-creator of the WordPress project. We discussed a number of topics that have been making the rounds across the community such as:

  • The WordPress 5.0 release strategy and how it will evolve once it’s released.
  • Whether or not Gutenberg is ready and what ready means.
  • Having Automatticians in project leadership roles and what roles WordPress core contributors can or will have going forward.
  • ClassicPress, Publicious, and other forks.
  • Gutenberg and Accessibility.
  • Communication, feedback mechanisms, and trying to make sure everybody can participate in the conversation.

We also talked about the long-term vision of Gutenberg. Near the end of the interview, Matt described some of the innovative things he’s seen built with the new editor.

To round out the show, we sent shoutouts to Alex Mills who recently discovered that he will need to battle through leukemia again.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Thursday, December 13th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Itunes

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Listen To Episode #340:

by Jeff Chandler at December 06, 2018 03:32 AM under WordPress 5.0

December 05, 2018

BuddyPress: BuddyPress 4.1.0 maintenance release

Immediately available is BuddyPress 4.1.0. This maintenance release fixes 3 bugs related to last week’s 4.0.0 release, and is a recommended upgrade for all BuddyPress installations.

For complete details on the release, visit the 4.1.0 changelog.

by Boone Gorges at December 05, 2018 04:18 PM under 4.1.0

Matt: Interview on Gutenberg and Future of WordPress

Yesterday I was able to have a great conversation with Adam from WP Crafter, a popular Youtube channel with over five million views. Adam said it was his first interview but you can’t tell, we had an excellent conversation that covered Gutenberg, the 5.0 release, why WordPress has done well so far, and what’s coming in the future. If you’d like more context than text or tweets can give for what’s happening in WordPress today, check it out.

Of course Friday and Saturday are WordCamp US, which returns to Nashville this year. Everything will be live-streamed for free, including my State of the Word presentation on Saturday, you just need to pick up a free streaming ticket.

by Matt at December 05, 2018 02:16 PM under Asides

WPTavern: WordPress 5.0 Targeted for December 6, Prompting Widespread Outcry Ahead of WordCamp US

During last week’s core dev chat, Matt Mullenweg urged developers to consider WordPress 5.0 as “coming as soon as possible.” Nevertheless, his decision to set Thursday, December 6, for the new release date has taken many by surprise.

Official feedback channels and social media erupted with largely negative feedback on the decision, as the new release date has 5.0 landing the day before WordCamp US begins. This is a travel day for many attending the conference. It also means both of the planned follow-up releases will be expected during the upcoming weeks when many have scheduled time off for major world holidays.

Yoast CEO Joost de Valk, one of the most vocal critics of the 5.0 timelime, posted a public message of dissent that resonated with many on Twitter:

We vehemently disagree with the decision to release WordPress 5.0 on December 6th, and think it’s irresponsible and disrespectful towards the community.

However, we’re now going to try and support the community as well as possible and we hope to show everyone that Gutenberg is indeed a huge step forward.

Although Gutenberg as a project has strong support from many large companies in the WordPress ecosystem, much of the current uproar is rooted in a communication published in early October that indicated 5.0 would be pushed to January if it missed the first set of planned release dates:

We know there is a chance that 5.0 will need additional time, so these dates can slip by up to 8 days if needed. If additional time beyond that is required, we will instead aim for the following dates:

Secondary RC 1: January 8, 2019

Secondary Release: January 22, 2019

Should we need to switch to the secondary dates, this will be communicated as soon as we’re aware.

Companies made plans based on this schedule, but after those dates passed Mullenweg was unwilling to commit to honoring the previous communication. The plan from the outset may have been to “play it by ear” and incorporate new information as it became available, but the developer community had been counting on the published deadlines to be definitive.

“This decision was made in disregard to earlier specific timelines and promises, and does not take the realities on the ground into account,” Morten Rand-Hendricksen said. “I agree with @yoast it is both irresponsible and disrespectful.”

Although reactions on Twitter run the gamut from unbridled optimism to full on outrage, many of those commenting on the schedule have fallen into resignation, convinced that community feedback never really mattered when it came to scheduling the release.

Mullenweg’s rationale behind announcing the release date with three days notice is that Gutenberg and/or the Classic Editor are already active on more than 1.3 million sites. Users do not have to upgrade to WordPress 5.0 until they are ready. If they opt for the Classic Editor, the editing experience “will be indistinguishable from 4.9.8.”

Users who are informed enough to make this choice will be well-prepared when they see that 5.0 update in their dashboards. However, one of the chief concerns is that millions of WordPress users will update without testing. Plugin developers are scrambling to ship compatibility updates and support staff will need to be on hand to help users navigate any incompatibilities or bugs in the new editing experience. Hundreds of WordPress professionals will be traveling to WordCamp US when 5.0 is expected to ship, which poses challenges for supporting users who experience problems with the update.

“I do not think the attendees of WCUS are more important than much larger portion of the WordPress community who does not (and cannot) attend, and there are numerous ways to deal with 5.0 before or after the 6th if that particular day is inconvenient for someone, regardless of the reason,” Mullenweg said in response to comments regarding the date conflicting with travel plans.

The release date announcement has well over 100 comments from frustrated contributors and developers expressing concerns, and Mullenweg has been responsive in the comments. He has recently ramped up communication ahead of the release, regularly attending core dev chats, adding dedicated office hours to connect with the community one-on-one, and answering some of the most pressing Gutenberg questions on his blog in a lengthy but inspiring FAQ post.

Despite these communication efforts, contributors who are not employed by Automattic have said they feel this release has been plagued by a lack of transparency regarding decision-making. Many WordPress core committers, core contributors, and former release leads have pushed back on releasing before January to no avail. Their concerns and disappointments during the process hang like a dark cloud over what should be an exciting time for the future of WordPress.

“No matter how bad the process around WordPress 5.0 might have been, finally setting a release date was the only right step following the RCs,” WordPress core developer Dominik Schilling said. “Let’s see if it’s also the beginning for doing it better to get back on releases which everyone will love.”

John Teague, who runs an 11-person operation, managing 210 enterprise hosting clients, summarized how many are feeling ahead of WordPress 5.0 shipping out this week.

“I so want to be supportive of this release,” Teague said. “But between the top down, heavily Automattic managed process, poor release communication, super short RC2, RC3, punting on accessibility, and now this two-day notice to 5.0 release – it reminds me of an old Air Force saying when instructors sent barely trained pilots up for their first solo:

‘Send em up and let God grade em.'”

by Sarah Gooding at December 05, 2018 07:37 AM under WordPress 5.0

HeroPress: WordPress made me walk 700km to Berlin

Pull Quote: Nothing happens in your comfort zone. Go beyond and find the magic.

Since the year 2000 I was employed at a big IT hardware/software/services firm. After about 9 years I was not feeling quite happy about how things went. Let’s say that the plans the company had with me did not really line up with the monthly reward. So, I quit and started my own company, nostromo.nl in June 2009 (Tweetproof). The goal was to serve customers by designing/developing and maintaining websites.

A new beginning

Now the challenge begins. Where do I start, who do I call? “Hello, do you need a new website? I just started my company and I can help you”. Why would I be the right person to help this company with their new website? The first thing I learned was to be sure of myself. I know what I can do and the customer needs help, probably because they are not so skillful in building websites.

After a month I was talking with a potential customer, my first one (!), and I got the quotation signed. I was going to build my own CMS, and I soon realized (the hard way) that was not the way to go. I had to do a CMS comparison and WordPress won.

Here comes WordPress

The ease of use and the extensive documentation for developers convinced me. After having built numerous websites, and offering maintenance services to customers, I wanted  to know who the people were that built WordPress. Why? Well, because I was using free software and I was making money with it. That didn’t feel right, I wanted to give something back.

Browsing support forums and IRC (that’s something like Slack, but without the GIFs) I quickly became aware of the WordPress community and felt I wanted to get to know these great people.

WordCamp – how it changed me

It was 2010 when I learned about a thing called WordCamp in The Netherlands. The entrance ticket was cheap and I could attend talks by inspiring people. On November 6th 2010, I was waiting in line at the registration desk. It was my turn, and someone from behind the desk said; “Hey, nostromo!”. It was Remkus de Vries, he recognized me from my avatar on Twitter and those two words made me feel welcome immediately. This moment I remember very vividly and it marks the point where my enthusiasm for the WordPress community was sparked to life.

I volunteer – a lot

Giving back to the community got defined. Translating, helping out in the Dutch official WordPress support forum, organizing meetups/WordCamps (The Netherlands, the first WordCamp Europe, and WordCamp Rotterdam) and helping others join and be active in the WordPress community. These were some of the things I did, and yes, I had to push the brake on voluntary jobs sometimes, because I also needed to be productive and profitable in my business. Since that first WordCamp I have met amazing, inspiring and skillful people (in random order). I haven’t met new people, I met new friends.

Volunteering – taking it to the next level

It was June 4th 2018 when I got a weird idea. Yeah, that sometimes happens. Impulsive as I am, I tweeted it:

Little did I know, there was a body part that had a big objection. While planning to go to Belgrade for WordCamp Europe 2018 this happened:

And yes, I had to cancel our trip (my wife was going to join) and ended up laying in bed for about a week with an inflamed knee. I received antibiotics from the doctor and gladly the pain and inflammation disappeared. That aside, at the end of WCEU 2018 it was announced that WCEU 2019 was going to be in Berlin. I was happy, since that’s really close (about 700 km) to where I live.

Currently I am training, I’ve planned my route and I am looking for places to sleep in Germany. Please see this website walktowc.eu for more information. Since this hike is probably going to gain some attention in the community, I had another idea. Why not use this as a means to raise money, for a good cause. Walking 700 km in about 30 days is a challenge, and if I can get enough attention, raising money might work out. Now I just had to find a good cause to raise money for…

Raising funds for DonateWC

I have known Ines van Essen for a few years now and in September 2017 she started a thing called DonateWC. After a successful initial funding campaign they sent their first recipient to WordCamp Capetown in October 2017. Seeing this made me believe this is another sign of how friendly and supporting the WordPress community is, to make sure that people are able to attend WordCamps, while they do not have the financial means to do so. The community supports community members, and that’s the reason why I chose DonateWC as the cause I’m going to raise funds for. And as a side effect also raise awareness of the existence of DonateWC.

My message to you

Don’t feel obliged to do things you don’t like.

Do things you like.

Start volunteering.

Build your network.

Enjoy the community.

Step (or walk) out of your comfort zone.

The post WordPress made me walk 700km to Berlin appeared first on HeroPress.

by Marcel Bootsman at December 05, 2018 07:00 AM

December 04, 2018

Dev Blog: WordPress 5.0 RC3

The third release candidate for WordPress 5.0 is now available!

WordPress 5.0 will be released on December 6, 2018. This is a big release and needs your help—if you haven’t tried 5.0 yet, now is the time!

To test WordPress 5.0, you can use the WordPress Beta Tester plugin or you can download the release candidate here (zip).

For details about what to expect in WordPress 5.0, please see the first release candidate post.

This release candidate includes a fix for some scripts not loading on subdirectory installs (#45469), and user locale settings not being loaded in the block editor (#45465). Twenty Nineteen has also had a couple of minor tweaks.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.0 and update the Tested up to version in the readme to 5.0. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release. An in-depth field guide to developer-focused changes is coming soon on the core development blog. In the meantime, you can review the developer notes for 5.0.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! 

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

WordPress Five Point Oh
Is just a few days away!
Nearly party time!

by Gary Pendergast at December 04, 2018 07:07 AM under 5.0

December 03, 2018

WPTavern: New Block Gallery Plugin Offers a Suite of Photo Gallery Blocks for Gutenberg

The new Gutenberg editor has basic support for galleries with a few nice features, such as the ability to set the number of columns and automatically crop thumbnails for a more uniform appearance. If you need more control over your galleries, Rich Tabor’s Block Gallery plugin is currently the best option made specifically for use with Gutenberg and WordPress 5.0+. It offers a suite of photo gallery blocks with minimal, tasteful styling that fits unobtrusively into virtually any site design.

Block Gallery currently offers three different blocks, including masonry, fullscreen stacked, and a carousel slider. Each block has its own settings that offer more customization for the specific gallery type.

The plugin also makes use of Gutenberg’s block transform utility to allow users to seamlessly transform galleries from one style to another with one click, as demonstrated in the video below.

A demo of the new Block Gallery WordPress Plugin

“I built the Block Gallery plugin originally as a proving ground for exploring how my portfolio WordPress themes at ThemeBeans will interface with Gutenberg,” ThemeBeans founder Rich Tabor said. “I do not particularly like the idea of disabling the block editor on portfolio custom post types, so I wanted to find a clever way for folks to use different sorts of galleries to showcase their art, illustrations, photos, etc. Block Gallery was born out of that exploration.”

Tabor said that although the core gallery block is much more robust than the classic editor’s gallery system, he wanted to give users more flexibility in how they display media. His favorite feature of the project is the ability to morph gallery blocks into different types.

“That means every image, settings, display option, and color selection are each migrated instantly — if a user swaps out a selected gallery for a different type,” Tabor said. “For instance, folks can morph from a masonry gallery to a carousel slider in a single click, without having to re-upload/assign images or select any options. It’s all done behind the scenes, automagically.”

Tabor’s Block Gallery plugin is a major leap forward for galleries in terms of usability. It offers a beautiful implementation of features that would have been difficult to imagine before the block editor. Block Gallery currently has more than 400 active installs after a little more than month in the official directory. Watch for that number to jump as more people begin using the new editor when WordPress 5.0 is released.

by Sarah Gooding at December 03, 2018 10:29 PM under gutenberg

Dev Blog: The Month in WordPress: November 2018

WordPress 5.0 is almost ready for release, including an all-new content editing experience. Volunteers all across the project are gearing up for the launch and making sure everything is ready. Read on to find out what’s been happening and how you can get involved.

WordPress 5.0 Close to Launch

The release date for WordPress 5.0 has not yet been set, but the second release candidate (RC) is now available. The final release date will be determined based on feedback and testing of this RC. The Core development team has been posting daily updates on the progress of their work on v5.0, with the number of open issues for this release decreasing every day.

The primary feature of this release is the new editor that will become the default WordPress experience going forward. A number of people have been seeking more direct feedback from the release leads about the progress of this release, which @matt has facilitated by hosting one-to-one discussions with anyone in the community who wanted to talk with him about it. He has also published an extended FAQ covering many of the questions people have been asking.

Alongside the development of the new editor, the Mobile team has been working hard to bring the WordPress mobile apps up to speed. They plan to make a beta version available in February 2019.

Want to get involved in developing WordPress Core in 5.0 and beyond? Follow the Core team blog and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

New WordPress Support Platform Goes Live

WordPress user documentation has long been hosted on the WordPress Codex, but for the past couple of years an ambitious project has been underway to move that content to a freshly-built WordPress-based platform. This project, named “HelpHub,” is now live and the official home of WordPress Support.

There is still plenty of content that needs to be migrated from the Codex to HelpHub, but the initial move is done and the platform is ready to have all WordPress’ user documentation moved across. HelpHub will be the first place for support, encouraging users to find solutions for themselves before posting in the forums.

Want to get involved in populating HelpHub with content, or with its future development? Follow the Documentation team blog and join the #docs channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Spanish WordPress Community Pushes Translations Forward

The WordPress community in Spain has been hard at work making sure as much of the WordPress project as possible is available in Spanish. They have recently translated more of the project than ever — including WordPress Core, WordPress.org, the mobile apps and the top 120 plugins in the Directory.

This achievement has largely been possible due to the fact that the Spanish translation team has over 2,500 individuals contributing to it, making it the largest translation team across the whole project.

Want to get involved in translating WordPress into your local language? You can jump straight into translations, follow the Polyglots team blog and join the #polyglots channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Further Reading:

If you have a story we should consider including in the next “Month in WordPress” post, please submit it here.

by Hugh Lashbrooke at December 03, 2018 05:43 PM under Month in WordPress

WPTavern: WordCamp Europe Opens the Call for Host City 2020

WordCamp Europe has opened the call for a host city for 2020. Previous editions of the event have been held in Leiden, Sofia, Seville, Vienna, Paris, and Belgrade, and the next on deck is Berlin in 2019. Organizers are always working ahead for an event this size. In fact, the team plans together for the better part of a year before attendees arrive for the three-day event. The upcoming WCEU is currently being planned by a team of 66 organizers from 15 countries.

Teams applying to host WordCamp Europe are required to have organized at least one or more successful WordCamps in a European city, with at least one recent one held in 2017 or 2018. The core organizing team will work with all applicants in the open to help them prepare the best applications possible, as detailed in the announcement:

To guarantee total transparency during the process, all applicants receive the same help in the appropriate public channel of the WCEU Slack workspace. No question is considered or answered in a private message.

Three weekends in June 2020 are available to applicants as potential dates. Teams interested to apply are encouraged to begin filling out the 7-page survey (which can be started and completed as information becomes available). It includes questions about the local community, previous WordCamps, possible venue(s), cost of living in the city, and other data that will be important to the selection committee.

A preliminary online AMA session will be held December 13, 2018, to assist teams in answering questions about the application process. The deadline to apply to host the event is February 28, 2019. Applicants will receive a decision by March 15, 2019, and the final selection will be announced during the closing remarks in Berlin next June. Check out the call for host cities announcement for more information.

by Sarah Gooding at December 03, 2018 04:45 PM under WordCamp Europe

December 01, 2018

WPTavern: Mullenweg Ramps Up Communication Ahead of WordPress 5.0 Release, RC2 Now Available

WordPress 5.0 RC2 was released today with 15 notable updates, including improvements to block preview styling, browser-specific bug fixes, and other changes. RC2 was released simultaneously with Gutenberg version 4.6.

The official release date for WordPress 5.0 has not yet been announced, because it depends on feedback from RC2 testing. Contributors’ uneasiness with not having an official release date seemed to reach a critical tipping point during this week’s WordPress dev chat, as many participants pressured Matt Mullenweg, who is leading the release, to give more information on when they can expect 5.0.

“It is very important that we have a release date to aim for,” ACF founder Elliot Condon said. “I’m finding the current ‘waiting game’ quite stressful, and I suspect a few other developers will share the same feeling.”

Tensions were high as contributors cited various reasons for wanting a date, including companies needing support staff on hand, upcoming holidays, documentation planning, and the importance of user trust.

“We’re determining the release date based on the open issues,” Mullenweg said. “Please consider it as coming as soon as possible, when everything is resolved.”

“I hope it’s clear we’re trying to get this out as soon as possible, but don’t yet have enough data to announce an official date. As mentioned last week we have done a number of December releases in the past, and may this time, but don’t have enough data to announce a new date yet.”

Mullenweg also urged dev chat attendees to keep in mind that any site administrators can install the Classic Editor plugin to keep the current editing experience, regardless of the 5.0 release date. He said the date will be announced via a P2 post, not during a dev chat.

“If you want to know what to plan on, please don’t hold anything back based on expected dates, please test or deploy the RCs, that’s what they’re for,” Mullenweg said.

In the meantime, Mullenweg is spending the weekend taking questions from the community during 24 office hours slots. He also published a lengthy post titled “WordPress 5.0: A Gutenberg FAQ,” which reaffirms WordPress’ mission in the context of Gutenberg. It answers questions like “Why do we need Gutenberg at all?” and “Why blocks?”

“I knew we would be taking a big leap,” Mullenweg said. “But it’s a leap we need to take, and I think the end result is going to open up many new opportunities for everyone in the ecosystem, and for those being introduced to WordPress for the first time. It brings us closer to our mission of democratizing publishing for everyone.”

The stats Mullenweg cited about previously having 9 major WordPress releases in December (34% of all releases in the last decade) indicate that a December release may still be on the table. His post addresses the perceived urgency behind getting Gutenberg out the door and into the hands of users. In evaluating WordPress 5.0’s readiness, he said it’s important to differentiate between the code being ready and the community being ready.

“In the recent debate over Gutenberg readiness, I think it’s important to understand the difference between Gutenberg being ready code-wise (it is now), and whether the entire community is ready for Gutenberg,” Mullenweg said.

“It will take some time — we’ve had 15 years to polish and perfect core, after all — but the global WordPress community has some of the world’s most talented contributors and we can make it as good as we want to make it.”

The post also offers a preview of where Gutenberg is going in the next site customization phase and how it will change the way users build their sites.

“The Editor is just the start,” he said. “In upcoming phases blocks will become a fundamental part of entire site templates and designs. It’s currently a struggle to use the Customizer and figure out how to edit sections like menus, headers, and footers. With blocks, people will be able to edit and manipulate everything on their site without having to understand where WordPress hides everything behind the scenes.”

Mullenweg said he plans to talk more about the next phases following site customization during the State of the Word address at WordCamp US. If you have questions about Gutenberg and where it’s headed, the comments are open on his post.

by Sarah Gooding at December 01, 2018 03:15 AM under WordPress 5.0

WPTavern: Let Us Know If You’re Hosting a WordCamp US Watch Party

WordCamp US is next weekend and if you’re unable to attend, you can watch from home via the free livestream. However, some WordPress meetup groups host watch parties. These parties generally include food, beverages, and a large projection screen.

If you’re hosting one of these parties, please let us know about it in the comments. Tell us the location and what attendees can expect.

by Jeff Chandler at December 01, 2018 01:11 AM under wcus

November 30, 2018

Dev Blog: WordPress 5.0 RC2

The second release candidate for WordPress 5.0 is now available!

This is an important milestone, as we near the release of WordPress 5.0. A final release date will be announced soon, based on feedback from this release candidate. Things are appearing very stable and we hope to announce a date soon. This is a big release and needs your help—if you haven’t tried 5.0 yet, now is the time! 

To test WordPress 5.0, you can use the WordPress Beta Tester plugin or you can download the release candidate here (zip).

For details about what to expect in WordPress 5.0, please see the previous release candidate post.

Significant changes

  • We stopped rendering AdminNotices compatibility component, as this previous attempt at backward compatibility was bringing in numerous incompatible banners and notices from plugins.
  • An update to the parser to better deal with malformed HTML that could cause a loop. We’re only aware of this in the wild being triggered once in the over a million posts made with Gutenberg, but it caused a loop so we wanted to fix for RC2.

Cosmetic and minor changes in RC2

  • Accessibility: Simplify sidebar tabs aria-labels.
  • Make the Image Link URL field readonly.
  • Internationalization: Merge similar text strings that differed only in capitalization.
  • CSS: Improve block preview styling.
  • CSS: Fix visual issues with Button block text wrap.
  • Fix getSelectedBlockClientId selector.
  • Fix Classic block not showing galleries on a grid.
  • Fix an issue where the block toolbar would cause an image to jump downwards when the wide or full alignments were activated.
  • Move editor specific styles from style.scss to editor.scss in Cover block.
  • Fix modals in Microsoft Edge browser.
  • Fix Microsoft IE11 focus loss after TinyMCE init. Add IE check.
  • Fix Microsoft IE11 input when mounting TinyMCE.
  • Change @package names to WordPress.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! 

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

RC bittersweet.
We welcome in Gutenberg,
Vale Gutenbeard.

by Gary Pendergast at November 30, 2018 11:16 PM under 5.0

WPTavern: Gutenberg Times to Host Live Q&A with Gutenberg Leads on Friday, November 30

Birgit Pauli-Haack, curator of the Gutenberg Times website, is hosting a Q&A session with Gutenberg’s phase 1 design and development leads on Friday, November 30, at 2pm ET (19:00 UTC). Matias Ventura, Tammie Lister, and Joen Asmussen will join Pauli-Haack to discuss their journey “Creating Gutenberg” over the past two years.

If you have any pressing questions about Gutenberg’s architecture, design, or the future of the project, this event is a good opportunity to speak to members of the team who have been building it full-time. The Q&A is free to watch but attendees who want to participate with questions will need to register. There are 100 seats available. Pauli-Haack will also be live-streaming the session to the Gutenberg Times YouTube channel.

by Sarah Gooding at November 30, 2018 12:48 AM under gutenberg

November 29, 2018

Matt: WordPress 5.0: A Gutenberg FAQ

Update: On December 6th we released WordPress 5.0. It was definitely the most controversial release in a while, but the usage and adoption metrics are looking similar to previous releases. I’m looking forward to continuing to iterate on the new block editor!

We are nearing the release date for WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg, one of the most important and exciting projects I’ve worked on in my 15 years with this community.

I knew we would be taking a big leap. But it’s a leap we need to take, and I think the end result is going to open up many new opportunities for everyone in the ecosystem, and for those being introduced to WordPress for the first time. It brings us closer to our mission of democratizing publishing for everyone.

I recently visited WordCamp Portland to talk about Gutenberg and WordPress 5.0, which will also include the new default theme Twenty Nineteen, which you’re seeing me test out on this very site. There were some great questions and testimonials about Gutenberg, so I’d urge you to watch the full video and read the WP Tavern recap. I’ve also visited meetups, responded to review threads, kept an eye on support, and I’m in the middle of office hours with the core community.

As we head toward the release date and WordCamp US, I’ve put many questions and answers into a Gutenberg FAQ below. For those who have other questions, I will be checking the comments here.

It’s an exciting time, and I’m thrilled to be working with y’all on this project.

Not the ship of Theseus

What is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg, for those who aren’t actively following along, is a brand new Editor for WordPress — contributors have been working on it since January 2017 and it’s one of the most significant changes to WordPress in years. It’s built on the idea of using “blocks” to write and design posts and pages.

This will serve as the foundation for future improvements to WordPress, including blocks as a way not just to design posts and pages, but also entire sites.

The overall goal is to simplify the first-time user experience of WordPress — for those who are writing, editing, publishing, and designing web pages. The editing experience is intended to give users a better visual representation of what their post or page will look like when they hit publish. As I wrote in my post last year, “Users will finally be able to build the sites they see in their imaginations.”

Matías Ventura, team lead for Gutenberg, wrote an excellent post about the vision for Gutenberg, saying, “It’s an attempt to improve how users interact with their content in a fundamentally visual way, while at the same time giving developers the tools to create more fulfilling experiences for the people they are helping.”

Why do we need Gutenberg at all?

For many of us already in the WordPress community, it can be easy to forget the learning curve that exists for people being introduced to WordPress for the first time. Customizing themes, adding shortcodes, editing widgets and menus — there’s an entire language that one must learn behind the scenes in order to make a site or a post look like you want it to look.

Over the past several years, JavaScript-based applications have created opportunities to simplify the user experience in consumer apps and software. Users’ expectations have changed, and the bar has been raised for simplicity. It is my deep belief that WordPress must evolve to improve and simplify its own user experience for first-time users.

Why blocks?

The idea with blocks was to create a new common language across WordPress, a new way to connect users to plugins, and replace a number of older content types — things like shortcodes and widgets — that one had to be well-versed in the idiosyncrasies of WordPress to understand.

The block paradigm is not a new one — in fact many great plugins have already shown the promise of blocks with page design in WordPress. Elementor, one of the pioneers in this space, has now introduced a new collection of Gutenberg blocks to showcase what’s possible:

Why change the Editor?

The Editor is where most of the action happens in WordPress’s daily use, and it was a place where we could polish and perfect the block experience in a contained environment.

Additionally, the classic Editor was built primarily for text — articles have become increasingly multimedia, with social media embeds, maps, contact forms, photo collages, videos, and GIFs. It was time for a design paradigm that allowed us to move past the messy patchwork of shortcodes and text.

The Editor is just the start. In upcoming phases blocks will become a fundamental part of entire site templates and designs. It’s currently a struggle to use the Customizer and figure out how to edit sections like menus, headers, and footers. With blocks, people will be able to edit and manipulate everything on their site without having to understand where WordPress hides everything behind the scenes.

What does Automattic get out of this?

There have been posts recently asking questions about Automattic’s involvement in Gutenberg compared to other contributors and companies. There is no secret conspiracy here — as project lead I was able to enlist the help of dozens of my colleagues to contribute to this project, and I knew that a project of this size would require it. Automattic aims to have 5% of its people dedicated to WordPress community projects, which at its current size would be about 42 people full-time. The company is a bit behind that now (~35 full-time), and the company is growing a lot next year, so look for 10-15 additional people working on core and community projects. 

In the end, Gutenberg is similar to many other open source projects — Automattic will benefit from it, but so will everyone else in the WordPress community (and even the Drupal community). It’s available for everyone under the GPL. If the goal was purely to benefit Automattic it would have been faster, easier, and created an advantage for Automattic to have Gutenberg just on WP.com. That wasn’t, and isn’t, the point.

Is Gutenberg ready?

Absolutely. Our original goal with Gutenberg was to get it on 100,000 sites to begin testing — it’s now already on more than 1 million sites, and it’s the fastest-growing plugin in WordPress history. There is a lot of user demand.

The goal was to both test Gutenberg on as many sites as possible before the 5.0 release, and also to encourage plugin developers to make sure their plugins and services will be ready. With everyone pitching in, we can make this the most anti-climactic release in WordPress history.  

In the recent debate over Gutenberg readiness, I think it’s important to understand the difference between Gutenberg being ready code-wise (it is now), and whether the entire community is ready for Gutenberg.

It will take some time — we’ve had 15 years to polish and perfect core, after all — but the global WordPress community has some of the world’s most talented contributors and we can make it as good as we want to make it.

There is also a new opportunity to dramatically expand the WordPress contributor community to include more designers and JavaScript engineers. With JavaScript apps there are also new opportunities for designing documentation and support right on the page, so that help arrives right where you need it.

Someone described Gutenberg to me as “WordPress in 3D.” I like the sound of that. Blocks are like layers you can zoom in and out of. The question now is: What are we going to build with this new dimension?

Do I have to switch to Gutenberg when WordPress 5.0 is released?

Not at all. When it’s released, you get to choose what happens. You can install the Classic Editor plugin today and when 5.0 is released, nothing will change. We’ve commited to supporting and updating Classic Editor until 2022. If you’d like to install Gutenberg early, you can do that now too. The Classic Editor plugin has been available for 13 months now, and Gutenberg has been available for 18 months. Both have been heavily promoted since August 2018, and more than 1.3 million .org sites have opted-in already to either experience, so nothing will change for them when they update to 5.0.

How can I make sure I’m ready?

Before updating to 5.0, try out the Gutenberg plugin with your site to ensure it works with your existing plugins, and also to get comfortable with the new experience. Developers across the entire ecosystem are working hard to update their plugins, but your mileage and plugins may vary. And you can always use the Classic Editor to address any gaps.

As with every new thing, things might feel strange and new for a bit, but I’m confident once you start using it you’ll get comfy quickly and you won’t want to go back.

The release candidate of 5.0 is stable and fine to develop against and test.

When will 5.0 be released?

We have had a stable RC1, which stands for first release candidate, and about to do our second one. There is only currently one known blocker and it’s cosmetic. The stability and open issues in the release candidates thus far makes me optimistic we can release soon, but as before the primary driver will be the stability and quality of the underlying software. We made the mistake prior of announcing dates when lots of code was still changing, and had to delay because of regressions and bugs. Now that things aren’t changing, we’re approaching a time we can commit to a date soon.

Is it terrible to do a release in December?

Some people think so, some don’t. There have been 9 major WordPress releases in previous Decembers. December releases actually comprise 34% of our major releases in the past decade.

Can I set it up so only certain users get to use Gutenberg?

Yes, and soon. We’re going to be doing another update to the Classic Editor before the 5.0 release to give it a bit more fine-grained user control — we’ve heard requests for options that allow certain users or certain roles and post types to have Gutenberg while others have Classic Editor.

What happens after 5.0?

We’ve been doing a release of Gutenberg every two weeks, and 5.0 isn’t going to stop that. We’ll do minor release to 5.0 (5.0.1, 5.0.2) fortnightly, with occasional breaks, so if there’s feedback that comes in, we can address it quickly. Many of the previous bugs in updates were from juggling between updates in the plugin and core, now that Gutenberg is in core it’s much easier and safer to incrementally update.

What about Gutenberg and accessibility?

We’ve had some important discussions about accessibility over the past few weeks and I am grateful for those who have helped raise these questions in the community.

Accessibility has been core to WordPress from the very beginning. It’s part of why we started – the adoption of web standards and accessibility.

But where I think we fell down was with project management — specifically, we had a team of volunteers that felt like they were disconnected from the rapid development that was happening with Gutenberg. We need to improve that. In the future I don’t know if it makes sense to have accessibility as a separate kind of process from the core development. It needs to be integrated at every single stage.

Still, we’ve accomplished a lot, as Matías has written about. There have been more than 200 closed issues related to accessibility since the very beginning.

We’re also taking the opportunity to fix some things that have had poor accessibility in WordPress from the beginning. CodeMirror, which is a code editor for templates, is not accessible, so we have some parts of WordPress that we really need to work on to make better.

Speaking of which, CodeMirror was seeking funding for their next version — Automattic has now sponsored that funding and in return it will be made available under the GPL, and that the next version of CodeMirror will be fully accessible.

Finally, Automattic will be funding an accessibility study of WordPress, Gutenberg, and an evaluation of best practices across the web, to ensure WordPress is fully accessible and setting new standards for the web overall.

After WordPress 5.0, is the Gutenberg name going to stick around?

Sometimes code names can take on a life of their own. I think Gutenberg is still what we’ll call this project — it’s called that on GitHub, and you’re also seeing it adopted by other CMSes beyond WordPress — but for those outside the community I can see it simply being known as “the new WordPress editor.”

With the adoption of React for Gutenberg, what do you see as the future for React and WordPress?

In 2015 I said “Learn JavaScript deeply” — then in 2016 we brought the REST API into Core. Gutenberg is the first major feature built entirely on the REST API, so if you are learning things today, learn JavaScript, and I can imagine a future wp-admin that’s 100% JavaScript talking to APIs. I’m excited to see that happen.

Now, switching to a pure JavaScript interface could break some backward compatibility, but a nice thing about Gutenberg is that it provides an avenue for all plugins to work through — it gives them a way to plug in to that. It can eliminate the need for what’s currently done in custom admin screens.  

The other beautiful thing is that because Gutenberg essentially allows for translation into many different formats — it can publish to your web page, it can publish your RSS feed, AMP, it can publish blocks that can be translated into email for newsletters — there’s so much in the structured nature of Gutenberg and the semantic HTML that it creates and the grammar that’s used to parse it, can enable for other applications.

It becomes a little bit like a lingua franca that even crosses CMSes. There’s now these new cross-CMS Gutenberg blocks that will be possible. It’s not just WordPress anymore — it might be a JavaScript block that was written for Drupal that you install on your WordPress site. How would that have ever happened before? That’s why we took two years off — it’s why we’ve had everyone in the world working on this thing. It’s because we want it to be #WorthIt.

And WordPress 5.0 is just the starting line. We want to get it to that place where it’s not just better than what we have today, but a world-class, web-defining experience. It’s what we want to create and what everyone deserves.

Was this post published with Gutenberg?

Of course. 😄 No bugs, but I do see lots of areas we can continue to improve and I’m excited to get to work on future iterations.

by Matt at November 29, 2018 11:56 PM under gutenberg

WPTavern: WPCampus Seeks to Raise $30K for Gutenberg Accessibility Audit

WPCampus is seeking funding to conduct an accessibility audit of WordPress’ Gutenberg editor. The non-profit organization is dedicated to helping web professionals, educators, and others who work with WordPress in higher education. Educational institutions often have stricter legal obligations that require software to be WCAG 2.0 level AA compliant and many European institutions set the bar even higher at WCAG 2.1.

WPCampus moved to spearhead an audit after Automattic decided to forego Matt MacPherson’s proposal for Gutenberg to undergo an accessibility audit. Results of the audit will help WPCampus determine any potential legal risk for institutions upgrading to WordPress 5.0 and will also identify specific challenges that Gutenberg introduces for assistive technology users and others with accessibility needs.

“A professional accessibility audit is a large expense for a small nonprofit like WPCampus,” WPCampus director Rachel Cherry said. “Accessibility is important to all of us in the WordPress community. We’re asking for your help to fund the audit and ensure this important research is completed.”

WPCampus is still evaluating proposals from vendors and will announce its selection soon, along with an updated timeline for completing the audit. The organization has set its funding goal at $30,000, an amount that falls in the mid-range of the proposals the selection committee has received. If the campaign raises more than the amount required, WPCampus plans to designate the funds for other accessibility-related efforts, such as future audits and live captioning at conferences.

Two days after launching the campaign, WPCampus has received $3,692 (12%) towards its funding goal. The organization plans to share the results of the audit and any supporting documents on its website.

The comments published on the donations page demonstrate how strongly supporters feel about getting an audit and using that information to make Gutenberg a tool that anyone can use. The topic of accessibility is close to the heart for many donating to the campaign.

“When I was navigating stores with three small children, stores which helped me with automatic doors, wide aisles, and shopping carts for a crowd often made the decision for me as to whether I could shop at all,” WordPress developer Robin Cornett said. “As we create content and build tools for the internet, we should be doing all we can to ensure the best online experience we can for everyone.”

WordPress co-founder Mike Little also donated to the campaign, with comments on how important accessibility is to fulfilling the project’s mission.

“As the platform that democratizes publishing, we can’t allow new features in WordPress to take that away from users with accessibility needs,” Little said.

“Accessibility matters to everyone — injured, encumbered, distracted, disabled, everyone,” WordPress consultant Adrian Roselli said. Accessibility in WordPress matters to my clients because some of their people require it in order to use the tool and therefore stay gainfully employed.”

The audit proposed months ago has evolved to become a community effort funded by passionate supporters working in various capacities throughout the WordPress ecosystem. If WPCampus is successful in funding its campaign, this particular approach has the benefit of making it a more cooperative effort with more people invested in the process than if it were funded by a single company. WPCampus aims to release the audit report to the community by January 17, 2019 but the dates will depend on the arrangement with the vendor.

by Sarah Gooding at November 29, 2018 10:03 PM under gutenberg

WPTavern: Drupal 8.7 to Introduce Layout Builder, Contributors Face Accessibility Challenges

WordPress 5.0 will soon replace the editor with the new Gutenberg editor as part of a multi-phase project to improve the experience of authoring rich content. Phase 2 will shift focus to tackle site customization, bringing more complex layout and page builder capabilities to Gutenberg.

As this phase kicks off soon, it’s valuable to see what other platforms are doing on this front. Drupal has traditionally appealed to a more technical audience, and probably wouldn’t count Squarespace, Wix, and Tumblr among their competitors, but the project is getting more friendly towards site builders and content editors. Drupal has brought improvements to its usability, media, and layout experiences over the past few years in support of users who have demanded a more modern, simplified admin UI. The project is currently testing a visual design tool for building layouts.

Two weeks ago, Drupal founder and project lead Dries Buytaert previewed the new Layout Builder, an experimental feature that is stabilizing and expected to land in Drupal 8.7 in May 2019. Layout Builder offers layouts for templated content, customizations to templated layouts, and custom pages. These uses are especially important when building sites with large amounts of content that occasionally require template overrides and one-off landing pages.

Buytaert described how Layout Builder approaches the creation of one-off dynamic pages, which he said is similar to the capabilities found in services such as Squarespace and projects like Gutenberg for WordPress and Drupal:

A content author can start with a blank page, design a layout, and start adding blocks. These blocks can contain videos, maps, text, a hero image, or custom-built widgets (e.g. a Drupal View showing a list of the ten most popular gift baskets). Blocks can expose configuration options to the content author. For instance, a hero block with an image and text may offer a setting to align the text left, right, or center. These settings can be configured directly from a sidebar.

Buytaert’s demo video shows the Layout Builder in action. Its capabilities are similar to many of WordPress’ third-party page builders, such as Elementor and Beaver Builder.

Layout Builder Poses Accessibility Challenges

Layout Builder is anchored on one of Drupal’s stronger features – the ability to create structured content, but it faces some of the same accessibility challenges that WordPress’ Gutenberg editor has encountered.

In his post introducing Layout Builder, Buytaert made some pointed remarks about Drupal’s commitment to accessibility:

Accessibility is one of Drupal’s core tenets, and building software that everyone can use is part of our core values and principles. A key part of bringing Layout Builder functionality to a “stable” state for production use will be ensuring that it passes our accessibility gate (Level AA conformance with WCAG and ATAG). This holds for both the authoring tool itself, as well as the markup that it generates. We take our commitment to accessibility seriously.

Some contributors are not as optimistic about Drupal being able to fulfill these bold claims in time to ship the feature in 8.7.0. Andrew Macpherson, one of the accessibility topic maintainers for Drupal 8 core, has proposed Layout Builder offer an alternative UI that users can access without the visual preview UI.

“Dries’ blog post about layout builder yesterday says we’re on track to mark this as stable for D8.7.0,” Macpherson said. “I’m not at all optimistic about that, because as yet there is no feasible plan for how it can be made accessible.

“A minimum viable product for Layout Builder accessibility would be at least one method which works, for each user task, for each input/output method. I don’t think we can say we have found a feasible approach. We’re in deeply experimental territory here – there isn’t a well-established, reliable pattern we can just copy to make the current layout builder accessible. Essentially, we’re making stuff up in a hurry, for a novel UI, with limited opportunity for design validation. There’s no guarantee that users are going to understand it, or find it easy to use. That’s why I’m not optimistic about it getting past the accessibility gate in time for D8.7.0.”

Macpherson said that WCAG strongly advises against providing alternate versions but allows for them in instances where the main version cannot be made accessible.

“I think we are effectively in this situation now, although we are still exploring ideas,” he said.

Macpherson also recommended they continue striving to make the drag-and-drop, visual-preview layout builder UI accessible at the same time. He referenced emerging principles of Inclusive Design for application developers, which recommend “offering choice,” giving users different ways of completing tasks, especially those that may be complex or non-standard.

“Eventually, I’d like to see BOTH layout builder UIs being accessible, and offer genuinely useful choices for everyone,” Macpherson said. “But let’s take the time to do it well, instead of hastily bolting on fixes for one type of interaction method at a time, in a rush to ship a single layout builder UI. ”

Macpherson’s proposal is still under consideration, but it provides an interesting perspective on similar challenges WordPress contributors are facing with Gutenberg. Modernizing UIs to make the site building experience more accessible for those who don’t know how to code has to be balanced with considerations for those who may not be able see very well or use a mouse. Drupal contributors are exploring providing an alternative accessible UI as a solution to empower more users to take advantage of the new Layout Builder.

by Sarah Gooding at November 29, 2018 04:31 AM under gutenberg

November 28, 2018

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 339 – Interview With Pippin Williamson, Founder of Sandhills Development, LLC

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Pippin Williamson, founder of Sandhills Development, LLC. Pippin describes what he’s learned going through the process of opening a brick and mortar business.

He also describes the emotional process of firing employees, making business decisions as a team, and how he wants to create a life-long company where employees stick around for decades.

Near the end of the episode, Pippin expresses his opinions on Gutenberg the product and Gutenberg the process. You might be surprised by what he has to say.

Stories Discussed:

2017 in review

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, December 5th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Itunes

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via RSS

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Stitcher Radio

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Listen To Episode #339:

by Jeff Chandler at November 28, 2018 07:54 PM under sandhills

WPTavern: SyntaxHighlighter Evolved Plugin Adds Gutenberg Support

WordPress 5.0 will ship with a code block in the new editor but it doesn’t include syntax highlighting. The code is currently wrapped in pre tags. During the earlier days of Gutenberg’s development, the HTML block had syntax highlighting but the team was not satisfied with its implementation and decided to pull it until they could provide more consistent behavior across blocks.

For now, users will have to depend on a plugin to get syntax highlighting. SyntaxHighlighter Evolved is one of the first plugins of its kind to add Gutenberg support via its own block.

The plugin currently adds syntax highlighting to source code on the frontend only. Nevertheless, it’s a great use case for Gutenberg, as the plugin previously required you to remember how to structure the shortcode in a particular way in order to use it.

Ian Dunn contributed the Gutenberg support for SyntaxHighlighter Evolved. In the PR for this feature, Dunn said he wanted to give existing users a way to continue using the plugin after WordPress 5.0 is released:

The syntax highlighting only works on the front end, due to the nature of SyntaxHighlighter. Details are documented in the edit() function’s docblock.

Because of that, this isn’t the ideal syntax highlighting block[1], but this provides a way for existing users to continue using the plugin without having to migrate old posts to a different plugin.

Another limitation is that this PR only supports the language attribute of the shortcode, because I ran out of time/energy. This lays the groundwork, though, so the rest of them can easily be added in a future iteration.

SyntaxHighlighter Evolved is active on more than 40,000 installations and is also used on WordPress.com, so this update to the plugin should help those who rely on it to be able to use the new Gutenberg editor without having to switch back to the old editor when they need to add code to their content.

There is still some debate about the best way to provide syntax highlighting in Gutenberg. Another implementation called Code Syntax Block by Marcus Kazmierczak, extends Gutenberg’s existing code block to offer syntax highlighting, instead of creating a new block for it. It also uses PrismJS syntax highlighter.

Shiny Code is another approach that adds a new block for code and provides a preview inside the Gutenberg editor.

Shiny code

In the official plugin directory, the Enlighter plugin, which has 10,000 active installs, offers experimental support for Gutenberg that is being actively developed on GitHub. Kebo Code, a relatively new plugin with fewer than 10 installs, was created to offer syntax highlighting for Gutenberg and currently supports 121 languages and two themes. Users will have to switch to the frontend to see the code rendered with the theme selected.

SyntaxHighlighter Evolved does not yet provide a way for highlighting existing code blocks or transforming a core code block to use the plugin’s syntax highlighting. Converting all existing code blocks might take some time for those who have been using it extensively. Alex Mills, the plugin’s author, said he is considering all of these issues and welcomes patches on the GitHub repository for the plugin. Plugin authors may change their approaches over time, depending on where Gutenberg goes in the future, so users will want to evaluate available plugins periodically to see which ones suit their needs.

by Sarah Gooding at November 28, 2018 05:10 PM under syntax highlighter

November 27, 2018

WPTavern: WordCamp US 2018 Livestream Tickets Now Available

photo credit: Viv Lynch Westward(license)

The countdown has started for WordCamp US 2018 in Nashville. The event is just 10 days away. If you cannot attend, watching via the livestream is the next best option. Anyone can join the livestream for free, but viewers will need to sign up for a ticket on the event website.

This year’s schedule includes sessions in two tracks: Banjo and Guitar. Matt Mullenweg’s annual State of the Word address is scheduled for Saturday, December 8, at 4:00 p.m. CST. Livestream ticket holders can tune in to any of the sessions and may also want to participate in the conversations on Twitter using the #WCUS hashtag.

by Sarah Gooding at November 27, 2018 10:09 PM under wordcamp us

BuddyPress: BuddyPress 4.0.0 “Pequod”

BuddyPress 4.0.0 “Pequod” is now available!

A focus on data privacy and control

BuddyPress boasts a proud history of letting community members and managers control their data, independent of third-party, commercial entities. In this spirit, as well as the spirit of recent regulations like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Expanding on some of the tools introduced by WordPress in version 4.9.8, BuddyPress 4.0 introduces a suite of tools allowing users and site admins to manage member data and privacy.

Screenshot of

Giving your users greater control over their data

The new “Export Data” Settings panel lets users request an export of all BuddyPress data they’ve created. BuddyPress integrates seamlessly with the data export functionality introduced in WordPress 4.9.8, and BP data is included in exports that are initiated either from the Export Data panel or via WP’s Tools > Export Personal Data interface.

BuddyPress 4.0 also integrates with WordPress 4.9.8’s Privacy Policy tools. When you create or update your Privacy Policy, BP will suggest text that’s specifically tailored to the kinds of social data generated on a BuddyPress site. And will prompt registering users to agree to the Privacy Policy, if your theme supports it.

We’ve also done a complete review of BuddyPress’s cookie behavior, and dramatically reduced the number of cookies needed to browse a BP-powered site – especially for logged-out users. We’re confident that this change will help site owners comply with local privacy regulations.

Nouveau and other improvements

The BuddyPress team has been hard at work improving the Nouveau template pack introduced in BuddyPress 4.0. We’ve improved accessibility, extensibility, and responsiveness on mobile devices.

BuddyPress 4.0 also contains a number of internal improvements that improve compatibility with various version of PHP, fix formatting and content issues when sending emails, and address some backward-compatibility concerns.

Mille grazie

As usual, this BuddyPress release is only possible thanks to the contributions of the community. Special thanks to the following folks who contributed code and testing to the release: Alex Concha (xknown), Ankit K Gupta (ankit-k-gupta), Boone B Gorges (boonebgorges), Brajesh Singh (sbrajesh), Brian Cruikshank (brianbws), Christian Wach (needle), Dinesh Kesarwani (cyberwani), dipeshkakadiya, drywallbmb, dullowl, Eric (eric01), Garrett Hyder (garrett-eclipse), Harshal Limaye (harshall), Hugo (hnla), John James Jacoby (johnjamesjacoby), Marcella (marcella1981), Mathieu Viet (imath), mercime, MorgunovVit, n0barcode, paresh.radadiya (pareshradadiya), Paul Gibbs (DJPaul), Pooja N Muchandikar (pooja1210), r-a-y, Renato Alves (espellcaste), RT77, Ryan Williams (cyclic), Samuel Elh (elhardoum), shubh14, spdustin, suvikki, Stephen Edgar (netweb), thejimmy, vapvarun, Wbcom Designs (wbcomdesigns), Yahil Madakiya (yahil)

This version of BuddyPress is code-named “Pequod” after the famous Pequod’s Pizza in Chicago, where the crust really is caramelized, and the dish really is deep. Buon gusto!

Keep on truckin’

Questions or comments about the release? Visit the buddypress.org support forums, or open a ticket on our bugtracker.

by Boone Gorges at November 27, 2018 07:57 PM under 4.0.0

WPTavern: Jetpack 6.8 Adds Gutenberg Blocks for Payment Buttons, Forms, Maps, and Markdown

Jetpack 6.8 was released today, introducing the plugin’s first set of blocks for Gutenberg. The necessary infrastructure was added in version 6.6 and all existing features that touch the editor are in the process of being ported over to blocks. This release includes blocks for payment buttons, forms, maps, and markdown.

The Contact Form module is one of the plugin’s most popular features and one that users often enable on new websites. This block removes a major barrier to implementing a form on WordPress sites – new users will have no need to try to understand the concept of shortcodes in order to collect feedback on their sites. Creating a new form essentially works like adding blocks inside of blocks:


The Simple Payments button block is slightly different in that it already has the form fields set up so the user can fill them out for whatever they are selling. This block is available for users on the Jetpack Premium or Professional plan.

The map block makes it easy for users to embed an interactive map within the content of posts or pages. After signing up for a free Mapbox Access Token, users can select a location directly inside the new editor and preview it live with different map theme options and a color-picker for the marker.


Some of those who have tested Gutenberg may not be a fan of its current writing interface, but after you see some of these blocks in action for things like maps and payment buttons, it’s clear that this is a superior interface for these content types. Modernizing the interface for content that previously relied on shortcodes is where Gutenberg truly excels right now.

Development on the Gutenberg plugin has been so active that it makes sense that the Jetpack team waited until WordPress 5.0 RC to release any blocks. Jetpack users can take advantage of them now if they have Gutenberg installed, or wait until 5.0 is officially released. The Jetpack team is also working on a number of other blocks for existing features. You can follow the progress on upcoming blocks at Jetpack’s GitHub repository and log issues with blocks that have already been released.

Jetpack 6.8 also restores the Publicize module to the pre-publish sidebar, so users can continue automatically sharing posts after WordPress 5.0 is released. This version ensures compatibility with Jetpack’s widgets for those using the Twenty Nineteen theme. Check out the release post to see more blocks in action and the changelog for a full list of all the enhancements and bug fixes.

by Sarah Gooding at November 27, 2018 05:52 PM under jetpack

WPTavern: WordPress 5.0 RC 1 Released, Gutenberg Passes 1 Million Installations

WordPress 5.0 RC 1 was released over the weekend after a string of five betas that began in late October. According to the Gutenberg stats page, more than 1.1 million sites have the Gutenberg plugin installed and users have written more than 980,000 posts using the new editor. These numbers are conservative estimates, as the numbers only include WordPress.com sites and sites running Jetpack.

Most of the changes included in the RC were outlined in the Gutenberg 4.5 release post last week. An update published today shows 12 PRs waiting for review in the 4.6 milestone, 14 open issues in the 5.0.0 milestone, and more than 150 issues open in 5.0.1 and subsequent releases. Dev notes for 5.0 have been published and tagged on the make.wordpress.org/core blog.

WordPress 5.0’s official release date was set for November 27 but after further evaluation the date has been pushed back. Last week WordPress core core committers, contributors, and former release leads made strong, last-minute appeals to hold off RC and defer the release to January. Development is moving forward desipite the pushback. A new release date has not yet been announced. The current plan is to monitor feedback on the RC and the team will make a decision from there.

Mullenweg Responds to Critics on Twitter, Reiterates Vision for Gutenberg

Over the weekend, Matt Mullenweg responded to critics on Twitter who voiced concerns about his leadership and communication throughout WordPress 5.0’s development. One particular post titled “Let’s Take A Very Serious Look At Gutenberg,” written by WordPress developer Cameron Jones, sparked conversation. In response to Cliff Seal, who urged Mullenweg to “re-cast the vision of WordPress in a way that accounts for the apparent urgency of this effort,” Mullenweg responded:

Many people who try to start publishing with WordPress fail; those who don’t struggle with shortcodes, embeds, widgets; those who can toggle to code view to do basic tasks in the editor, and for clients set up elaborate meta-field and CPT based schemes to avoid catastrophe.

Gutenberg aims to solve these problems, improve the WP experience for all its users, and open up independent, open source, beautiful publishing on the web to a class of users that couldn’t publish with WordPress before.

It may seem rushed to people unused to this pace of development and improvement in the WordPress world. However this has been a pace sustained for almost two years now, and we still look slow compared to some modern software. Speed of iteration is enabled by the new tech stack.

It bothers me at a deep, moral level to hold back a user experience that will significantly upgrade the publishing ability and success of tens or hundreds of millions of users. It hasn’t been ready (for core) yet, so it’s not released. I hope it will be soon!

This may all look very quaint in retrospect, when we look back three or five years from now. It’s a tough transition but the foundation Gutenberg enables will be worth it.

Matt Medeiros, another vocal critic of Mullenweg’s leadership on WordPress 5.0, recorded a video, expounding on his concerns about transparency and the rushed pace. He summarized the frustrations that inspired him to make the video.

“While I agree WordPress needs innovation to reach new users that desperately require freedom over their content, especially within the context of today’s social networks, I don’t agree and am also discouraged by Matt not sharing the product vision with the community,” Medeiros said. “It’s polarizing to build software under the guise of openness with a mission to democratize publishing, but not give the same people volunteering to ‘Five for the Future’ a voice for the future.

“Lack of communication, not Gutenberg or the team developing it, has lead to the current divide and we’re left asking — why? WordPress has always had a branding problem and this continues to muddy the lines between open source project and WordPress the ‘product.'”

The 5.0 release is heading into the home stretch but Gutenberg has several phases ahead with many more years of development. Mullenweg’s responses on Twitter over the weekend indicate he is interested in keeping the lines of communication open throughout the process. He said he plans to dedicate more time to responding directly to feedback.

“One thing will try: I’m going to open up some listening office hours in the next week so people can talk directly,” Mullenweg said. “I want everyone to be and feel heard, as they have been since the beginning of this process in 2016.”

by Sarah Gooding at November 27, 2018 01:54 AM under WordPress 5.0

November 23, 2018

Dev Blog: WordPress 5.0 Release Candidate

The first release candidate for WordPress 5.0 is now available!

This is an important milestone, as we near the release of WordPress 5.0. The WordPress 5.0 release date has shifted from the 27th to give more time for the RC to be fully tested. A final release date will be announced soon, based on feedback on the RC. This is a big release and needs your help—if you haven’t tried 5.0 yet, now is the time! 

To test WordPress 5.0, you can use the WordPress Beta Tester plugin or you can download the release candidate here (zip).

What’s in WordPress 5.0?

Screenshot of the new block editor interface.The new block-based post editor.

WordPress 5.0 introduces the new block-based post editor. This is the first step toward an exciting new future with a streamlined editing experience across your site. You’ll have more flexibility with how content is displayed, whether you are building your first site, revamping your blog, or write code for a living.

The block editor is used on over a million sites, we think it’s ready to be used on all WordPress sites. We do understand that some sites might need some extra time, though. If that’s you, please install the Classic Editor plugin, you’ll continue to use the classic post editor when you upgrade to WordPress 5.0.

Twenty Nineteen is WordPress’ new default theme, it features custom styles for the blocks available by default in 5.0. Twenty Nineteen is designed to work for a wide variety of use cases. Whether you’re running a photo blog, launching a new business, or supporting a non-profit, Twenty Nineteen is flexible enough to fit your needs.

The block editor is a big change, but that’s not all. We’ve made some smaller changes as well,  including:

  • All of the previous default themes, from Twenty Ten through to Twenty Seventeen, have been updated to support the block editor.
  • You can improve the accessibility of the content you write, now that simple ARIA labels can be saved in posts and pages.
  • WordPress 5.0 officially supports the upcoming PHP 7.3 release: if you’re using an older version, we encourage you to upgrade PHP on your site.
  • Developers can now add translatable strings directly to your JavaScript code, using the new JavaScript language packs.

You can read more about the fixes and changes since Beta 5 in the last update post.

For more details about what’s new in version 5.0, check out the Beta 1Beta 2Beta 3, Beta 4 and Beta 5 blog posts.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.0 and update the Tested up to version in the readme to 5.0. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release. An in-depth field guide to developer-focused changes is coming soon on the core development blog. In the meantime, you can review the developer notes for 5.0.

How to Help

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If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

Ruedan los bloques
Contando vivos cuentos
Que se despiertan

by Matias Ventura at November 23, 2018 09:46 AM under 5.0

November 22, 2018

WPTavern: WordPress 5.0 RC Expected on U.S. Thanksgiving Holiday, despite Last-Minute Pushback from Contributors

photo credit: KaylaKandzorra i miss you grampa.(license)

WordPress core committers, core contributors, and former release leads made strong, last-minute appeals on Monday for the 5.0 release to be deferred to January. RC was expected Monday but those urging its delay cited the large number of open issues on the milestone and the fact that many confirmed bugs are being aggressively punted to followup releases.

“I do not see how we can seriously ship a release candidate today,” Joe McGill said. “In doing so, we are either saying we’re ok with shipping a major version of WordPress with this many known issues, or that the term ‘release candidate’ does not actually have meaning. I would suggest that we revise the schedule to push back RC for at least 4 weeks so we have a reasonable deadline and, in the mean time, continue releasing betas.”

Nearly every contributor involved in the discussion was enthusiastic about Gutenberg but urged release lead Matt Mullenweg to allow for four weeks of RC and code freeze to give the community to prepare.

Contributors said they don’t understand the rush to get 5.0. Several noted that Gutenberg seems to be measured by a different rod of success than previous releases where headline features were held to a different standard in regards to shipping known bugs.

“We’re fast approaching a million (Jetpack tracked) posts made through the editor, with the non-tracked number probably a multiple of that,” Mullenweg said in response to contributors’ concerns. “There’s been an explosion of plugins building on top of Gutenberg and some things like the work ACF and Block Lab have done that seem really transformational for WordPress. For those whom the editor is not a good fit they can opt in at any point, including post-5.0, to Classic and continue using WP exactly as they had before until at least 2022 and likely beyond.”

Mullenweg identified a few questions he sees as “good measures of success for Gutenberg:”

  • Are people, when given the choice, choosing to use it over the old editor?
  • Can they create things they weren’t able to create before?
  • Are new-to-WP users more successful (active, happy with what they create) than pre-Gutenberg?
  • Are interesting things being built on top of it?

Interesting plugins are being built on top of Gutenberg but they are breaking with every release of the plugin. Gutenberg 4.5 was released yesterday, matching the first 5.0 RC feature set. It includes a large number of changes and bug fixes that have gone relatively untested by the community at large. Most notably, 4.5 introduced a regression that caused a white screen of death when trying to load custom post types in the classic editor, forcing a 4.5.1 release earlier in the day. Every release introduces changes that cause plugins to break, requiring immediate updates from plugin developers.

Gutenberg technical lead Matias Ventura posted an update today, confirming that WordPress 5.0 will miss the planned November 27 release date but did not offer a secondary date.

“The date for 5.0 release is under consideration, given it’s not plausible for it to be the on 27th,” Ventura said.

WordPress 5.0 Will Ship “When It’s Ready,” Contributors are Focusing on Getting Release Candidate out ASAP

When the second set of November dates for release were missed, many assumed WordPress 5.0 would fall back to the secondary dates in January, but that has not yet been confirmed. The previous scope and schedule Gary Pendergast outlined said the November dates could slip by up to eight days if necessary and that if additional time was required, they would aim for the January dates:

Secondary RC 1: January 8, 2019

Secondary Release: January 22, 2019

During the regularly scheduled core developers’ chat today, the discussion regarding WordPress 5.0’s release date became heated, as contributors continued to push for a January release. Pendergast suggested that December might have a viable date, to which Yoast CEO Joost de Valk responded, “I’m going to raise hell if we do December.”

WordPress plugin developers and agencies are trying to plan for upcoming holidays and want to have staff available when the release lands. Many of those who attended the meeting were hoping to receive confirmation on the release being pushed back to January.

“Please also consider the plugin shops that are rearranging their priorities to have blocks ready for 5.0, only to have had to fix them several times in the last few weeks,” Kevin Hoffman said. “The success of 5.0 depends just as much on third-party support as it does core.”

“There’s agreement on that from all sides, that the amount of code churn and missed earlier deadlines means that the 27th is untenable,” Mullenweg said. “RC is still possible soon, but please don’t assume that implies a final release date until we see how that goes and pick one. I hope that it shows that we are willing to change decisions based on new information, it’s not about being ‘right’ or sticking to previous plans blindly.”

This statement indicates Mullenweg may be considering dates that were not included in the original schedule, as he later said,”If y’all can take the data without freaking out about what it means for the release date, there have been 8 major releases in December, it’s actually been 34% of our last 23 major releases.”

Several contributors agreed that getting an RC out ASAP would finally force a longer code freeze for Gutenberg’s UI, API, documentation, and features. This would give the community more time to prepare.

“As part of the development team for almost two years now, I’d love for us to draw the RC line soon for the sake of everyone’s fatigue,” Matias Ventura said. “And think it’s ready to be drawn. I am concerned with letting us do ‘one more little thing’ and pushing the stability line further down, in an almost endless process.”

Contributors are now wrapping up the last few tickets and the plan is to get the release candidate out tomorrow during the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Given WordPress’ global contributor base, releasing on the holiday shouldn’t be an issue. The team is also still investigating the possibility of bundling the Classic Editor plugin with updates for existing WordPress sites.

“Our focus right now is on a great RC,” Mullenweg said. Throughout Gutenberg’s development Mullenweg has said WordPress 5.0 would ship “when it’s ready.” No release date will be announced until the team has had time to evaluate the release candidate.

“It is true that the primary thing is whether it’s ready, and it’s not currently ready,” Mullenweg said.

In 1928, John A. Shedd published a little book called “Salt from My Attic.” It included a saying that U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper said was influential in her life: “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

Shipping a major overhaul of WordPress’ editor has brought a fair share of uncertainty and frustration to contributors and the community that depends on the software. After mission-critical issues have been resolved, it seems to become a cycle of fixing and breaking things that could continue indefinitely. Although the holiday timing isn’t ideal, if Gutenberg stalls much longer it’s going to be burning daylight. At some point the ship just needs to push away from the port and see how it sails.

by Sarah Gooding at November 22, 2018 03:17 AM under WordPress 5.0

November 20, 2018

WPTavern: ExpressionEngine Goes Open Source after 16 Years

In a post titled “Open Source Has Won,” EllisLab founder Rick Ellis explained why ExpressionEngine is going open source after 16 years. The content management system is an evolution of the pMachine blogging software first released in early 2002. EllisLab previously required a license fee to use the full version of ExpressionEngine, which is built on object-oriented PHP and uses MySQL for storage.

“Although open source was a viable licensing model when we launched our first CMS back in 2002, it was not apparent then just how dominant open source would become on the web,” Ellis said. “It wasn’t until Eric Raymond wrote The Cathedral & The Bazaar that open source would even begin to enter the general public’s consciousness. Since then we’ve watched the open source market grow rapidly and continuously.

“Today, over 90% of the CMS market is open source. In fact, it’s nearly the de-facto license model for all-things web. Stunningly, the market is expected to triple in revenue within the next five to ten years, and it’s estimated that over 70% of businesses worldwide rely on open-source software. To say that the internet is open source would not be an exaggeration. It’s that dominant.”

Ellis said he had wanted to migrate to an open source license for a long time but had not yet found “the right strategic and financial partner to enable the full vision of what we hope to achieve.” The first part of EllisLab’s business plan is to build a successful services model and then branch out from there.

Prior to licensing ExpressionEngine under the Apache License, Version 2.0, EllisLab’s commercial license imposed severe restrictions on what users could do with the software. Users were not permitted to do any of the following:

  • Use the Core License (free) for any client or contract work.
  • Use the Software as the basis of a hosted blogging service, or to provide hosting services to others.
  • Reproduce, distribute, or transfer the Software, or portions thereof, to any third party.
  • Modify, tamper with, bypass, or in any way impede license registration routines in the Software.
  • Sell, rent, lease, assign, or sublet the Software or portions thereof, including sites in your multi-site license.
  • Grant rights to any other person.
  • Use the Software in violation of any U.S. or international law or regulation.

Additional stipulations encouraged users not to share code by keeping their repositories private, and to make sure they were paying for commercial licenses if they were being paid for their work.

There was simply no way ExpressionEngine could capture any significant amount of market share with this kind of restrictive licensing and its usage has steadily declined over the years. It is currently used by 0.3% of all the websites whose content management system w3techs can detect. By this or any other measure of market share, ExpressionEngine stands as a sobering monument to the importance of giving a project a license that empowers its community to continue adding wood to the fire.

“The community is mostly gone at this point and I don’t even think its related to them charging for the software but they just stopped responding people and helping them in their forums,” reddit user @netzvolk commented on the news.

“I have paid EE multiple times in the past but considered NOT paying anymore because third party developers are gone, the community members are gone, the tutorials and books are gone….EE 2 was the best version so far. Moving to yearly releases also caused more harm than good in terms of building a stable ecosystem around the product.”

ExpressionEngine’s new open source licensing is a major win for its remaining users. How much further down the road would the software be if the decision was made years ago? There’s no way to know, but moving forward users will have more input and influence over the future of the software.

“I suspect open sourcing EE is an approach to get that community and developers back,” @netzvolk said. “EllisLab can still make money with consulting, support and add-ons.

“But all those suffer if nobody is using the product anymore. This is more about expanding reach to stay afloat than anything else because some of their past bad decisions are what created alternatives like Craft. EllisLab turned an amazing product into a forgotten one in just a few years. I hope this means some change, and maybe, maybe one day the old developers and hard core EE community members come back.”

Users can only speculate on why EllisLab is making this move after 16 years of keeping its software locked down under restrictive licensing, but Ellis makes it clear in his post that the market decided long ago.

“Open source has won,” Ellis said. “It’s not even a contest anymore.”

by Sarah Gooding at November 20, 2018 09:21 PM under open source

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December 11, 2018 02:30 AM
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