WordPress Planet

September 21, 2021

WPTavern: GoDaddy Pro To Host Second EXPAND 2021 Event on September 24 in India

GoDaddy Pro will kick off EXPAND 2021 – India on September 24, the second event of its kind this year. It is a one-day virtual conference that will feature sessions from industry leaders and experts in the field.

Nikhil Arora, the Vice President and Managing Director for GoDaddy India, will present the keynote address. In total, there will be nine sessions that will run between 15 and 45 minutes throughout the day. The goal is to provide guidance and resources for those starting and growing digital businesses.

GoDaddy Pro launched its first event, EXPAND 2021 – U.S., in late April. Over 5,000 people registered for the two-day virtual conference. However, tens of thousands more have viewed individual sessions since then. Each session is available for free viewing via the GoDaddy Pro YouTube channel, and new videos will be added for future events.

When Adam Warner, the Global Field Marketing Sr. Manager at GoDaddy, spoke of the event earlier this year, he described it as a project he had wanted to do since 2018. For him, it was a way of giving back to the community and helping the next generation along.

“I’m pleased with how our EXPAND conference series is growing and the feedback we’ve received from attendees so far,” he said. “The overarching goal of EXPAND is to showcase the solutions that our Pros are providing for their clients, and to do so in a way that both inspires and educates others to follow their passion for building the web and their own businesses.”

The first event did not go off without any bumps in the road. The team learned from it and will tweak things to improve the conference.

“One important lesson we learned from our first EXPAND event was to clearly define chat moderation roles and increase the amount of pre-written platform navigation directions and tips for our Guides to share with attendees in the general and session chats areas,” said Warner. “When our event started, we were walking over ourselves a bit. The chat conversations move so fast, we ended up duplicating a few replies, coming from multiple people.”

The EXPAND 2021 – India conference will be different than the inaugural event held earlier this year. Instead of focusing on a more general or U.S. audience, GoDaddy Pro is leaning into its regional teams and members.

“All the speakers are from India, as well as the Pros whose stories will be featured,” said Warner. “We have dedicated GoDaddy and GoDaddy Pro teams in India, and they’ve played a lead role in defining the best approach for the Indian audience. The biggest challenge with putting this event together so far has been the differences in time zones for our multiple teams. We’ve tried to accommodate everyone’s schedules as much as possible.”

The GoDaddy Pro team is already planning EXPAND 2022 events. Warner said those interested to be on the lookout over the next couple of months for more news.

“To date, our EXPAND conferences run parallel with our location-specific launches of the GoDaddy Pro brand,” he said. “As GoDaddy Pro continues to grow, and when the world gets back to in-person events globally, we would love to accommodate attendees in multiple physical locations.”

One glaring issue for the India event is the lack of gender diversity within its speaker group. Only one woman is leading a session. I asked Warner why there was such an imbalance.

“The number of women in the technology sector in India has been a matter of concern for small and large businesses alike,” said Warner. “GoDaddy is an inviting place to work and an industry leader for women in technology. We are actively working to create platforms and ecosystems to encourage more women to join the fray. We are delighted to have Kriti Aggarwal, Founder of Anaha Services, join us at this year’s EXPAND Event in India and are focused on all future EXPAND Conferences recognizing diverse groups of leaders in their sectors.”

The team is holding two Meetups each week. Yesterday was an all-female panel of GoDaddy and GoDaddy Pro team members in prep for their sponsorship of FemTechConf, held between September 24 and 25.

by Justin Tadlock at September 21, 2021 09:36 PM under godaddy

WPTavern: Open Collective Launches New Way to Support Open Source through Public Stock Shares

It’s no secret that companies are making loads of cash using open source technology. A 2021 survey of 1,250 IT leaders commissioned by Red Hat found that 90% are using enterprise open source software. Following the trail of major acquisitions (Red Hat at $34B, GitHub at $7.5B, and MuleSoft $6.5B), it’s becoming more common to see companies built on open source valued at billions of dollars.

With so much invested in open source infrastructure, many companies will assign employees to work on specific important issues for the projects they depend on, or hire them to support these projects full-time. This is an effective way to support maintainers when it works out but sometimes projects need to be able to funnel support to those who can further the software but who don’t happen to work for one of these corporations.

Open Collective is exploring a new way for individuals and companies to give back to the projects they use by donating public stock. The new initiative is called Open Stocks. It allows donors to support open source without having to pay capital gains tax on the appreciated amount of their stocks, which is up to 37% for those based in the US. They receive a tax write-off at the current market value of the stock. Donating some of those profits is one way to lessen the tax burden for capital gains while keeping the open source software alive that made the public stock possible in the first place.

Open Stocks is using Overflow, a VC-backed philanthropy platform, to streamline the stock donation process, which may have the potential to increase the average donation amount for open source projects. The startup claims “the average stock donation through Overflow is 47X the average online ACH/debit/credit donation.”

Here is how it works: Donors select the open source collective they want to support and then proceed to the checkout process, which happens on the Overflow website app. Donors are asked to connect directly to their brokerage account by authenticating through the app. The Open Source Collective team will receive the donated stock converted to cash and the cash is then transferred automatically to the specified project’s balance with a public contribution notice on their page.

It is not very clear up front for donors what fees they will have deducted from their total donation. Open Collective did not publish this information, and it wasn’t available on the Overflow website. Open Collective co-founders were not immediately available for comment on this.

All currently-registered collectives are automatically able to receive stock donations. The announcement hints at future support for non-traditional forms of payment:

Stocks and shares are a huge part of the economic power of traditional geopolitical structures, and while we believe that equivalent access to those structures is a positive move for the communities we support we can’t ignore that the world is changing… how we embrace and organize around that change may have an even bigger impact on our work. 

Open Collective co-founder Pia Mancini confirmed on Twitter that donation via cryptocurrencies is next on deck for the organization in its efforts to support open source creators.

by Sarah Gooding at September 21, 2021 03:59 AM under open source

WPTavern: StellarWP Acquires Learning Management System LearnDash

StellarWP announced today that it acquired LearnDash, a learning management system (LMS) for WordPress. The product allows educators to create online courses, quizzes, and dynamic content. LearnDash will continue to operate autonomously, keeping its team intact.

In May, Liquid Web launched its new umbrella brand, StellarWP, alongside its acquisition of Impress.org and its flagship product, GiveWP. iThemes, The Events Calendar, Restrict Content Pro, and Kadence WP are included in this family. Each of the brands operates independently. Essentially, StellarWP functions as a “branded house” but is very much a “house of brands,” according to Chris Lema, who will be switching roles and taking the General Manager position for LearnDash.

The LearnDash acquisition is StellarWP’s largest to date, but the company did not provide a specific dollar amount.

The LMS market size grew to $10.84 billion in 2020. It is projected to increase to over $13 billion in 2021, according to Fortune Business Insights. However, when asked why the company was jumping into the space, Lema talked about the vision.

“The way I think about things is less about the bottom line and more about the larger vision,” he said. “At Liquid Web, we believe that things will continue to get more abstracted for customers. They will want, less and less, to deal with the complexities of hosting. They don’t really want ‘managed’ hosting or even ‘managed WordPress’ hosting. They want a hosted solution. In other words, they want a solution that works. If they need it hosted, great. If they already have a host, great. So we’ve been focused on building a solutions-orientation toward folks who are doing digital commerce or are building digital commerce solutions for their customers.”

He said that LearnDash fits perfectly into that vision for the company.

In some ways, the global COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020 may have hit the fast-forward button in many online sectors. The landscape shifted for small and large businesses. More people have had opportunities to take online courses or even create their own.

“Yes, we saw a dramatic increase in the take rate on online learning platforms across the entire space,” said Lema. “Last year saw a COVID dip for many, but for online learning, it was a bump. That said, I think we’re seeing the numbers drop back down a bit into a more normal but elevated range based on what happened last year. And most importantly, more people than ever have tried their hands at online learning, and I don’t think that’s going to stop.”

Now that Liquid Web and StellarWP have built a library of multiple products, one question is how the company might begin to tie them together. There are some easy wins with cross-product integration that would fit into the vision of selling solutions.

“Yes, we think so too,” said Lema. “RCP and LearnDash, GiveWP and LearnDash, LearnDash and Nexcess, and more. I think we’ll see a lot of collaborations across the StellarWP brands. But to be clear, each brand runs independently, so for LearnDash, we’re still focused on all sorts of other integrations, from chat to testimonials to CRM to better Zoom integration.”

While he did not offer any specifics, it is likely in the cards in some form. Each of these is robust a product that, when used together, can provide a powerful toolset for building commerce-based websites.

Lema wrote a more in-depth post on his personal blog about integrations being a vital strategy for business growth. He shared a riddle that he likened to the WordPress ecosystem.

“I thought about it because it’s a bit of a parable for how I see so many product owners in the WordPress ecosystem build their plugins – as if there’s no one else in the world, building anything else that a customer might use with their product,” he wrote.

We will have to wait to see what sort of integrations LearnDash might have in the future. For now, the team is working on the roadmap for its updated course grid and version 4.0 feature release. The update should include dynamic learning paths.

“The reality in online learning is that students don’t move in a linear fashion through material like the instructor always hopes,” said Lema. “Or maybe an instructor wants to support an almost choose-your-own-adventure approach. I know in my coaching, I don’t move everyone through the same lessons in the same order. So we’re excited to innovate in this space.”

by Justin Tadlock at September 21, 2021 01:16 AM under StellarWP

September 20, 2021

WordPress.org blog: WP Briefing: Episode 16: A Sneak Peek at WordPress 5.9

In addition to this episode’s small list of big things, Josepha Haden Chomphosy reviews the upcoming 5.9 WordPress release and its Full Site Editing features.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.



WordPress 5.9 Planning 

5.9 Target Features

Gallery Block Refactor Dev Notes

The Cathedral and the Bazaar, 19 Lessons of Open Source

WordPress Translation Day

WordCamp US 2021

Letters to an open source contributor, by Andrea Middleton


Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:10

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing. The podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Joseph Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:40

Today I’m going to take you through a quick look at the final WordPress release of 2021. It will be WordPress 5.9. And there will be a ton of things in it, including a fresh new default theme. And there are a few things that you need to know about it right now. The target release date is December 14, 2021, which means some of our milestones happen around Thanksgiving in the US. And a few significant commercial dates globally, days, like Giving Tuesday and Black Friday, etc. I’ll include a link to the post with all the target dates in the show notes so that you can plan with those in mind. And also in the show notes. I’ll include a link to Matías Ventura’s post that includes the target features for the release. When you look at that post, you’ll notice that you can sort of group things into two big buckets. The two buckets that I grouped them into are themes plus tools, and also better tools. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  01:31

So bucket number one themes and all their tools. Three things were important for me as I was reading through them. Number one is that there is a default theme. As of the time of this recording, I’ve seen the early concepts for the theme, and I love them. Hopefully, by the time this podcast is published, the post that showcases the look and feel will also be up on make.wordpress.org/design. If it is, I’ll include a link in the show notes to make it easy for everyone to reference. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  02:04

The second thing is block themes in general. So WordPress 5.8 brought to core WordPress a lot of the infrastructure needed to create block themes. And in this release in WordPress 5.9, much of that infrastructure will be made available for folks who don’t always feel comfortable working in the code. That’s mostly UX and UI changes. So user experience and user interface changes are based on user feedback that we’ve gathered over the last six to eight months. But it also will include the long-awaited navigation block. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  02:37

The third thing that shows up for me in this first bucket, in the themes and all their tools bucket, is the UX and interface for theme.json. The user interface that we’re making available for theme.json is a major step forward in this project has been referred to as global styles for a few years. And it kind of is what it sounds like on the box, a way for users to tap into that powerful management tool that we have built through theme.JSON. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  03:09

Bucket number two, which I am calling publicly “tools for days.” But also, I refer to it as design tools, block tools, and pattern tools. I had this whole vision of a Wizard of Oz, “lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!” moment, but I couldn’t make it work. So “design tools and block tools and pattern tools Hoorah!” That’s as close as we’re getting. So that’s my first big number two bucket for you. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  03:37

For most of these tools, the best way to describe it is quality of life improvements, lots of streamlining of what’s there, lots of building what’s not. But there’s one that’s substantial and worth digging into a bit more. And that’s the gallery block refactor. The dev note for this already exists. Like before we had the planning round-up post, the dev note was created. And so I will put a link to that in the show notes. But the headline is that this refactor will make the creation and maintenance of image blocks and the gallery block work the same way. If you are a theme or plugin developer, head on over to the dev notes that I have linked below and take some time to get familiar with it. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  04:20

And then the final thing, which has a bunch of small things in it, but will make a huge impact for all of our users overall, is that we’re working on more intuitive and responsive tools on blocks. That has come up frequently in our user testing again over the last six to eight months. And we are going to chip away at that long list of needs that we have in those particular toolsets. And that’s it. So that’s a really big broad look at what we’re trying to get into the final release of the year.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  04:58

I  know that when I say like this is our hoped for stuff. This is our best guess at the moment. Sometimes it can feel like we should know that already — I should know already what’s going into the release. And on the one hand, yes, I believe in this list of things that we’re going to put into the release, I think they’re going to be good. But I always refer to it as like the hoped-for things, the things that are on the roadmap, our best targets, because I know that I don’t ever want to ship something that is going to be a worse experience for users. And so I always like to save the space to be able to remove a feature or remove an enhancement, a little bit closer to the time of the release, just to make sure that what we are offering is the best that we can offer. However, as it says right there in the 19 learnings of open source, “if there’s a bug, there’s a job,” right? There’s a lot of tolerance in open source software for shipping, slightly imperfect work. And that’s good. When we ship software that’s a little bit imperfect, it makes it clear how everyone can participate, how everyone could participate, if they could find this WordPress community that supports the CMS. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  06:20

If you’ve never participated in a release and are interested in learning how it goes, you can always follow along on make.wordpress.org/core. And of course, we do a lot of our meetings in the making WordPress, community Slack, which you can find at chat.wordpress.org if you are not already in that particular instance.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  06:49

That brings us now to our small list of big things. I have three things on my list for you. The first one is WP Translation day slash month. For folks who’ve been following along for a bit, you probably noticed that Translation Day has been going on all month long all of September so that we can have small individual local events and bring people into the process of translating WordPress and making WordPress more usable for more people, especially when they don’t necessarily speak English as their first language. It’s a wonderful event. There’s been Translation Day at the end of September for years. And this Translation Month is working its way up to that Translation Day; I will leave a link to the event page in the notes below. And I really encourage you to drop by.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  07:38

The second thing is that WordCamp US is coming up on October 1. It is going to be a virtual event, as so many of our events are right now. Tickets are open. The schedule just got published last week. And so we have a good concept of who is talking about what while we’re there. I suggest you wander over to the schedule. Take a look at anything that might be inspirational to you or anyone who looks like they’re answering questions that you’ve had as you have been trying to build your WordPress business. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  08:08

And then the third thing on my smallest of big things. Some of you may already be aware that Andrea Middleton has left the WordPress project. She has been an absolute fixture in the WordPress open source project for the last ten years. And while we will all miss her terribly, her work has been so influential and so foundational that we actually won’t really feel much like she’s gone. We will see the evidence of her work in everything she does and everything she has done while we build a better and more inclusive WordPress after her. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  08:47

As a final love letter to the community, she published a series of things that she learned about contributing to open source and especially how to contribute to WordPress as an open source project. I’m going to link those in the show notes as well. For anyone who has worked with Andrea for a long time, when you read it, it will just remind you of her voice and will be like a nice warm, comforting hug as she heads on to her next endeavors. And for folks who have never worked with her before. It’s still really excellent information that I think translates into all areas of our work, especially right now as people are moving to distributed work and remote work a bit more. Now I encourage everyone to at least give one or two of them a read. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  09:38

That, my friends, is your small list of big things. Thank you for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks.

by Chloe Bringmann at September 20, 2021 12:00 PM under wp-briefing

September 18, 2021

Gutenberg Times: Insights into theme building for FSE, Headless and Gutenberg — Weekend Edition #185


Now, you might have heard or read, Andrea Middleton has left Automattic after 10 years shaping and growing the WordPress Community, and new leaders for open-source. Whenever I spent time with Andrea, I came out a better person.

I have a hard time, accepting this big change. I can’t imagine the WordPress community without Andrea Middleton. As you see, I am still in denial. 🤷

Even from the distance, she makes sure we are ok. She published a blog series: “Letters to an open-source contributor” – That might be you, too! She shared her wisdom on Communication, Collaboration, Criticizing for Change and on Leadership . Andrea has a way to make us listen and hear the truth about ourselves and our community. And she promised more. 🤗

Well, I still keep forgetting her advice on communication:

„Be kind; be brief.”

Andrea Middleton

To clarify, I have trouble with the brief part, not the kind part.

Now it’s Gutenberg time. Many people are exploring block-based Themes. How about you? We have quite a few awesome resources for you, about that and so much more. Enjoy!

Yours, 💕

We scheduled a Live Q & A on building Themes going from classic to block-based themes. I am thrilled to discuss with Ellen Bauer, Anders Noren, and Carolina Nymark, three brilliant WordPress Themes, the challenges, and opportunities of building block-based themes, using theme.json, Block Patterns and getting ready for Full-site editing.
Join us on October 7th, at 16:00 UTC / 11:00 EDT and register now.

Gutenberg Development

Gutenberg 11.5 was released and had quite a few enhancements, as you can read in What’s new in Gutenberg 11.5? by Mike Schroder.

Justin Tadlock has more details: Gutenberg 11.5 Adds Widget Grouping, Iterates on the Block Gap Feature, and Updates Nav Menus.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski and I recorded Episode 52 of the Gutenberg Changelog podcast, and it will arrive at your favorite podcast app over the weekend.

Hector Prieto describes the next focus areas for the Gutenberg development and WordPress 5.9 in his post: What’s next in Gutenberg? (Mid-September 2021)

Jason Crist from the WordPress Theme team curated again an extensive list of issues and PRs, related to full-site editing. Join the discussion on adding Child Themes support for FSE, duo-tone in theme.json or how to the experiments on controlling Navigation block and screen via theme.json.

Building Themes: Full-site Editing, Theme.json and Global Styles

Alfredo Navas dove deep into the documentation and wrote a tutorial on How to use the Full-Site Editor to create a block-based theme. Start with blank files and the right folder structure. After activating the theme, Navas walks you through the process of creating a fully functional theme using the Site Editor and the new theme blocks available. No code required. You can then export it as a zip file and upload to other sites, too.

During this week’s Hallway Hangout, facilitated by Anne McCarthy, Marcus Kazmierczak and Dave Smith, attendees discuss various pathways for adopting full-site editing. There is also a Recap post with the recording, a summary of topics and links to all the resources mentioned.

Take a deep dive into handling color choices via theme.json with Carolina Nymark‘s Lesson on Theme.json color options. Nymark no only covers the usage of all color options, she also shows you how to disable the color picker, gradients, duotone etc. The disabling methods are inconsistent for all the choices. It’s important to consider context.

Fabian Kägy shared his insights when he rebuilt his site as a block-based theme. He walked us through the various aspects of theme development and the challenges he faced. “I outline a few of the things that really impressed me and also a few areas that I have been struggling with a bit / have open questions about.” Kägy wrote. He added quite a few code examples to illustrate his thinking. Well worth following this rabbit hole!

You still have time to send in your feedback for the Theme Switching Exploration taking place in the FSE Outreach Program. The focus of this exploration is looking at Theme switching from a longer-term perspective. It guides you through a very basic theme switching process and then asks you to creatively think about what you’d like to see happen. Doesn’t this sound like great fun? You can influence the next phase of full-site editing and the future of WordPress themes standards.

Speaking of Exploration: Javier Arce presents in his post Interaction with Colors an exploration of the Color panel and Color picker and a proposal for their improvement. In their current implementation they for instance don’t seem to scale well, take a lot of screen real estate. Arce is part of WordPress design team and works on the Inspector Controls for the Global Styles sponsored by Automattic.

Gutenberg for content creators and site implementers

Hugh W. Roberts used a great example for his post on how reusable block can help you with your content creation and save some time in the process. In his post “How to Create And Use A Reusable Block For Your Book On WordPress” – step by step – you learn how to create, Reusable blocks, place them into your post and amended them over all instances, when things change.

Andres Noren has been working on a new theme for full-site editing. Justin Tadlock spotted it in the Theme Review queue and tested it for the WPTavern: Tove: A Block-Based WordPress Theme

Block editor for developers

Iain Paulson wrote the Ultimate Overview of the WordPress Block Editor for Developers in 2021 for Delicious Brains.

Delicious Brains recently acquired plugin Advanced Custom Fields has passed the 2-Million active installations’ threshold! Congratulations! Through the grapevine, I learned that Delicious Brains is also taking over also ACF Blocks plugin from Extendify. Munir Kamal is the original author of the plugin and then joined Extendify back in March.

Need a plugin .zip from Gutenberg’s main (trunk) branch?
Gutenberg Times provides daily build for testing and review.
Have you been using it? Hit reply and let me know.

GitHub all releases

The team at WebDevStudios also build some Blocks for ACF. Among other blocks, that could also be Block Patterns, the plugin provides an Accordion block and a Carousel Block for which the data is managed through Advanced Custom Fields. Have a look at the Wiki for documentation.

If you are interested in Headless WordPress and Gutenberg, WP Engine Launches Faust.js, a New Headless WordPress Framework for a NodeJS hosting environment. While Frontity builds on top of the mainly client-side ReactJS framework, Faust is built in top of NextJS, server-side ReactJS. Sarah Gooding provides us with the details.

You don’t have to host with WPEngine to use this framework. It’s open-source and available via GitHub. The repository has gathered at the time of this post over 400 stars and 43 forks. Faust.js is in the early stages of development.

From the project board for the roadmap, we learn that the Data Fetching process is considered done, and Authentication handling is being worked on. The team still discusses a Gutenberg Bridge and Gatsby support, yet another front-end framework build on top of ReactJS

Kellen Mace, developer advocate at WPEngine, published some additional details on how Gutenberg and WPGraphQL can fit together:

WordPress Events

WPCampus, a two-day virtual conference in the Higher Ed space, starts Tuesday, September 21. Here is the schedule. There are quite a few Gutenberg related presentation, so it’s worth getting your free ticket.

WooSesh 2021 is scheduled for October 12-15, 2021. It’s a live, virtual conference for WooCommerce store builders organized by Brian Richards.

Page Builder Summit is coming back and will be happening October 18 – 22, 2021. Nathan Wrigley and Anchen Le Roux are at it again! Sign-up for the VIP list and learn first about the details of the event.

Don’t want to miss the next Weekend Edition?

We hate spam, too and won’t give your email address to anyone except Mailchimp to send out our Weekend Edition

Thanks for subscribing.

by Birgit Pauli-Haack at September 18, 2021 09:45 AM under Weekend Edition

WPTavern: WordPress Contributor Teams Seek to Curb Spam Pledges in Five for the Future Program

The Five for the Future program, an initiative Matt Mullenweg proposed in 2014, may soon be addressing the problem of spam and outdated pledges that appear on the program’s dedicated website. The idea behind the program is that organizations and individuals will contribute five percent of their resources back to WordPress development, ensuring the future of the project.

Five for the Future launched a website in 2019 to display pledges and has always relied on the honor system of self-reporting tools for individual and organizational pledges. In a discussion post suggesting iterations on the project, Andrea Middleton identified two major issues with the program’s current implementation that she said “have kept it from reaching its full potential:”

  • Spam or dormant pledges
  • Disconnect between contributor teams and pledged contributors

“Two years later, there have certainly been more ‘spam’ pledges than anyone would want, and surprisingly (to me) few reports of fake or spam pledges,” Middleton said. “What that tells me = either people don’t go surfing around in the pledge lists, checking for accuracy, the Report feature is too hard to find (unlikely), or people don’t really care whether pledges are accurate or not.”

Middleton said the existence of spam pledges diminishes the value of active pledges, which necessitates disclaimers on the site if it is to continue without a regular spam cleanup. She suggests starting bi-annual or annual spam checks mediated by contributor team leaders, who would report if they have ever worked with or seen participation from a specific list of pledged individuals. WordPress.org could send absent contributors an email prompting them to re-confirm their pledges are not spam.

Ian Dunn, a full-time contributor to WordPress, suggested automating the effort to combat spam and dormant pledges.

“I think it’d be best to tackle this first, because it won’t matter how good our recruiting docs are if team reps have to dig through hundreds of inaccurate pledges in order to find the 5% of them that will contribute,” Dunn said.

“I worry that a manual approach would add too much work for team reps, and wouldn’t be done consistently, especially after the first 6-12 months.”

He suggests sending all people who are pledged regular emails for re-confirming their commitment, automating props wherever possible, and removing pledges after 6 months of no activity. Contribution tracking isn’t as straightforward for things like Community team efforts but there may be some innovative solutions for these types of contributions.

“As a team rep, I’d love a way to call in contributors that have pledged to the team,” Courtney Engle Robertson said. Robertson contributes 20 hours per week to the Documentation, Marketing, Test, and Training teams. “I’d like them filtered a bit based upon team roles matched with what folks say they are interested in helping with. They could opt out if they need to change their commitments.” This suggestion would help address Middleton’s concern about the disconnect between contributor teams and pledged contributors.

The discussion has been active for a week and is still in the the idea sharing stage. If you have any feedback on the ideas proposed or new ones to contribute, jump in on the comments of the post.

by Sarah Gooding at September 18, 2021 02:11 AM under five for the future

WPTavern: Tove: A Block-Based WordPress Theme by Anders Norén

I have been secretly keeping tabs on Anders Norén over the past couple of weeks, awaiting the moment he pushed his first block theme to the WordPress directory. I first noticed it when he tweeted a screenshot two weeks ago. And, today was the day it happened. Tove landed in the review portal several hours ago, and I have been tinkering with it ever since.

While it is not downloadable from the directory yet, the review system moves much faster than in times past. It should be available soon. In the meantime, anyone who wants to give it a spin can grab the ZIP file from its ticket.

I called his last WordPress theme, Eksell, “the standard by which we should be judging all other” themes, and Norén has a history of releasing solid designs. Could he do for blocks what he has done for classic in years past?

The truth is that going 100% blocks has limitations. Designers can experiment and test out some new things, but the underlying system is not up to par with what is possible with traditional theming. However, some feats are much easier to accomplish. Much of it depends on the creator’s goals and how well they work with the system instead of fighting it.

At first glance, Tove was not any more impressive than most block themes I have installed and activated. It seemed pretty bare-bones, but I imagine this is what theming will look like far into the future. Many will be a wide-open canvas that allows users to build whatever type of site they want. Themes will primarily add personality.

One area where they can and will shine is with custom block patterns. And Tove has over 40 of them.

The theme is flexible enough for use with various sites, but its focus is on cafes and restaurants. Many of the patterns lean into this, such as custom menus, call-to-action-buttons, and more.

Patterns are these pre-built pieces of a design that users can mix and match to lay pages out how they want. This also opens up things for theme authors by not having to make any hardline choices on how something like the front page, for example, should look. The theme is offering some suggestions and the tools to put it together. But, ultimately, the end-user gets to decide how it all comes out.

With Tove, I had my homepage built in just minutes, as shown in the following screenshot. All I would need to do is fill it in with custom content.

It felt empowering to simply mash up just a handful of the theme’s 40+ patterns and create a layout that I was comfortable with. This is what theming should really be all about: handing the keys over to users and letting them take the wheel. The theme’s job is just letting them drive in style.

There are other things to love about Tove too. It has several custom user-selectable styles, such as horizontal separators for the Columns block. However, my favorite is the shaded style for adding a blue drop-shadow to several blocks.

Shaded block style.

The theme is not for everybody. The color palette is a bit on the flashier side and will not fit all sites. Few designers could pull off Tove’s scheme, which is why I think I love it so much. As Norén said in another tweet, it’s “like a plateful of macarons.” Some can work with pretty much anything. The rest of us are just fans.

I would not call Tove revolutionary, but it has no need to be. It is built on top of an experimental system that still has many kinks to work out. However, it is nice to see what one of the WordPress community’s best designers can do with a limited toolset. Norén has definitely pushed the boundaries, which should elevate the block theme development space.

I cannot wait until all the pieces of full site editing are in place, and we can open this thing up.

by Justin Tadlock at September 18, 2021 01:19 AM under Themes

September 17, 2021

WPTavern: Gutenberg 11.5 Adds Widget Grouping, Iterates on the Block Gap Feature, and Updates Nav Menus

Gutenberg 11.5 landed earlier today. It is a hefty release that includes extensive changes to the Navigation block, a new way for grouping widgets, and more block gap feature integration.

I have had mixed reactions to the features that made it into the latest release. At some points, I thought to myself, finally, this made it in. At other moments, I rendered my best version of Jean-Luc Picard’s famous facepalm. But, the wheel keeps turning, and the developers who put their time and effort into the project continue to improve it.

One quick note is that everyone not running a theme that supports the block editor should check that their backend styles are not out of place. Gutenberg automatically outputs some default editor styles if the user’s active theme does not register its own or have a theme.json file present. This should be bundled in point release such as WordPress 5.8.2 so that users are not waiting for it until 5.9.

Navigation Block Changes

With nav menus still being a pain point in site editing, Gutenberg has added new levels of complexity. The Site Title and Site Logo blocks are allowed inside of the Navigation container.

As Joen Asmussen shared in the original ticket, some complex layouts would benefit from allowing more inner elements within the Navigation block:

Navigation block patterns.

This could open a world of layout possibilities for theme authors through custom patterns.

I have no issue with Gutenberg tackling the foundation for these more advanced layouts. However, we have yet to smooth out the basics of navigation. The experience of searching for and inserting in-site links is lackluster at best, requiring multiple mouse clicks. There is an open ticket for a lighter navigation experience, and that should be the focus.

Theme authors should also note that the Navigation block now relies on the CSS gap property for spacing instead of margin. I almost missed this since I customized this for my own projects months ago — welcome to 2021, where we no longer need to rely on hacky margin solutions for simple spacing. This change could impact existing theme designs.

FSE Admin Notice Limited to Themes Screen

The lone FSE theme admin notice.

There are plenty of gripes to be had with the Gutenberg plugin as its features are constantly in flux. However, the most annoying thing about running the plugin has been its persistent, non-dismissible admin notice when a user is running a block theme.

In previous versions of the plugin, this notice has appeared on every screen in the backend. Now, it only appears on the Themes/Appearance page.

Over the past few months, I have kept the Toolbelt plugin by Ben Gillbanks active for the sole purpose of hiding this notice.

Good riddance. Farewell.

Widget Group Block

Editing a Widget Group block title.

While I generally believe the Gutenberg plugin developers and core WordPress make good use of feedback, the block-based widgets system has been one area where the project has dropped the ball. As I have been repeating since September 2020, the feature was fundamentally broken. The goal was to allow end-users to add blocks in more places, but it was never compatible with classic theme markup and styles.

I proposed using patterns, but the team went with a Widget Group block. The end result is similar but not exactly the same. The good news is that it fixes what should have been a blocker for the feature landing in core.

The better news is that this is likely to land in WordPress 5.8.2 instead of the 5.9 release later this year.

I would not go as far as calling it a perfect solution. The experience does not make it immediately clear how to add a widget title. Users must first add a block. Once a block is added, they can then click on the heading/title placeholder that appears. Then, the UI switches to a field for typing the title.

The following video shows how the Widget Group block works:

I would rather have a bit of a janky experience than no solution at all. At least users now do not have to manually create widget wrappers. Some could even deactivate the Classic Widgets plugin if this issue was a holdup.

“Row” Group Variation and Flex Layouts

Adding a post meta (byline) section with the Row block variation.

To begin testing the new flex layout system introduced in Gutenberg 11.2, the development team has added a variation on the Group block named Row. This allows users to align inner blocks side by side instead of on top of each other in the default “flow” layout.

There are tons of use cases for the feature. One of the primary scenarios for theme authors will be aligning post and comment metadata bocks next to each other. Previously, this required use of the Columns block or custom styles, neither of which are ideal.

The experience is rough around the edges. I often found it hard to click in the right spot to edit a block, and the appender button did not always appear for adding new ones.

The Social Icons block also uses the new flex layout. However, there is currently no way to switch it to flow mode for vertical social links.

More Block Gap Integration

Gap between each Column block.

The Columns block now uses the gap feature introduced in Gutenberg 11.4 for handling the spacing between individual Column blocks. There is no UI for end-users to control this yet, but it is likely to land in a future release as the feature evolves.

Gutenberg 11.5 has now added a bottom margin to the post title in the editor. For whatever reason, the development team has made a leap and assumed its current handling of the block gap feature needed this. It is a complex problem to solve. In the meantime, some users might see more whitespace than they are accustomed to between their title and content in the editor.

Lots of extra spacing there.

Of course, this depends on the active theme, its support of the block gap feature, and its current styles.

Post Author Duotone Support

For something that was supposed to be destined for the scrap heap, the Post Author block now has some new life in the form of duotone filter support for its avatar. It works the same as it does for other blocks, such as Image and Cover.

The problem is that Post Author was punted from the last WordPress release because it was not ready yet. The block is a Frankenstein-esque mashup of the author’s name, avatar, and description. These should be multiple blocks that theme authors and users can arrange in unique layouts.

While duotone support simply adds one extra line of code, it does not make sense to continue working on the block in its current form. I would love to see it as part of a separate Post Author Avatar block.

by Justin Tadlock at September 17, 2021 01:10 AM under gutenberg

September 16, 2021

Post Status: Post Status Excerpt (No. 25) — Doing “The Right Thing” and MailChimp Acquisition Thoughts

“When it comes to the entrepreneurial journey – the highest highs and the lowest lows are always people.”

In this episode of Post Status Excerpt, David and Cory first discuss how hard it is to do “the right thing” and potentially dealing with tough and negative feedback as a result. How does an entrepreneur prepare for “roller coaster” times — especially if the ride is heading down? What should you keep in mind? Cory shares an iThemes experience in response.

Also covered in this episode: Cory and David talk about the $12 billion acquisition of MailChimp by Intuit, and how that could potentially reshape the business landscape for WordPress users and entrepreneurs.

Note: David misspoke and said “Stripe” instead of “Square.” Forgive him.

Every week Post Status Excerpt will brief you on important WordPress news — in about 15 minutes or less! Learn what's new in WordPress in a flash. ⚡

You can listen to past episodes of The Excerpt, browse all our podcasts, and don’t forget to subscribe on Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, iTunes, Castro, YouTube, Stitcher, Player.fm, Pocket Casts, Simplecast, or by RSS. 🎧

🔗 Mentioned in the show:

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by David Bisset at September 16, 2021 10:30 PM under Everyone

WordPress.org blog: Join us for WordPress Translation Day Global Events in September 2021

WordPress contributors around the world are celebrating the sixth Global WordPress Translation Day throughout the entire month of September! That’s 30 days dedicated to help and encourage the volunteers that translate the software and its related resources. One of the highlights will be a series of exciting global events, starting on September 17 2021 and finishing on the United Nations’ International Translation Day itself on September 30, 2021.

Everyone is welcome to watch these events live on YouTube and to share their translation stories which will be featured during the celebrations and beyond. The global events will be in English and include presentations on how and why to you should join the thousands of translators in the project, tips and tools, interviews, and much more.

There are now 205 locales translating in what is a remarkable open source effort, bringing the opportunities of the software and its community to people in their own native languages.

Inaugural session: Introduction and latest news on WordPress Translation

Friday, September 17, 2021 at 10:00 UTC

We will start the global events with a panel featuring the latest update on what is happening in the world of WordPress polyglots. Panellists will include translators and polyglot supporters Petya Raykovska and Erica Varlese. There will be a video demonstration on how to translate WordPress, a short presentation on translation statistics, a run down of upcoming events, and more.

Watch the event live on YouTube (or click on the play button below) – sign-up for notifications in the video stream right now so you don’t miss it when it goes live! 

Friday, September 17, 2021 at 11:00 UTC

Right after the livestream, there will be a ‘drop-in’ translation sprint on Zoom video-conferencing, open to all. You can join and hang out virtually with your Polyglots friends from all around the world and translate WordPress in your own language! RSVP for the session now and get joining links!

Check out the other exciting global events

Sunday, September 19, 2021 12:00 UTC

Panel on Polyglots Tools
Join Jesús Amieiro, Peter Smits, Vlad Timotei, and Vibgy Joseph to talk about the tools they’ve contributed to or developed to help translators and translation editors.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 11:00 UTC

Panel on Open Source Translation Communities (YouTube link – opens in a new tab)
Join Zé Fontainhas (WordPress), Ali Darwich (WordPress), Michal Stanke (Mozilla), and Satomi Tsujita (Hyperledger Fabric) to learn about nurturing translation communities.

Thursday, September 30, 2021 16:00 UTC

Closing Party – Why do you translate?
Our finale event for 2021 with emcee Abha Thakor and a panel from the WordPress Translation Day Team. It will feature highlights from some of the local and global events during the month and a selection of results. Some of the nominees for this year’s polyglots appreciation will join the livestream to share their stories.

The livestream will be followed by an after party celebration for anyone who has taken part in the event or is a WordPress polyglot. Book now for the session on Zoom.

Ideas on how to get involved this September

There’s lots of ways to take part – discover this list of ideas.

You can also nominate translation contributors to be featured in this year’s celebrations.

Help us spread the word about #WPTranslationDay

For more information on the 2021 WordPress Translation Day celebrations, visit the WordPress Translation Day website.

Props to @webcommsat, @harishanker, @lmurillom, @oglekler, @meher, @nalininonstopnewsuk, @evarlese for contributing to this story.

by webcommsat AbhaNonStopNewsUK at September 16, 2021 09:51 PM under wptranslationday

WPTavern: Gravity Forms Launches INPUT YouTube Channel and Podcast

Gravity Forms has launched a new YouTube channel and podcast called INPUT, which will focus on sharing the stories and experiences of people inside and outside the WordPress ecosystem. James Giroux, a Rocketgenius employee who joined the company in 2020, is the host of the show and will be interviewing guests from various industries and disciplines.

The first episode is a deep dive into the history of Gravity Forms, one of the most successful WordPress plugin companies that has been operating for 14 years. Its founders share a nostalgic look back at the early days of Rocketgenius, including the story of their first sale and first hire.

They also discussed how the Gutenberg era marks a major shift in WordPress that has impacted the future of the Gravity Forms. The average WordPress user is decidedly no longer a developer who knows how to tinker with PHP, but is now more often a content creator or power user. As the barrier to WordPress development is getting higher, the Gravity Forms team is focusing on making the product easier to use for non-developers but still powerful for those capable of extending it.

The episode is part of what Giroux calls a 3T sub-series (team, tools, and techniques) that will feature discussions about the company’s product, marketing, operations, culture, and ecosystem. The next sub-series is called Agency101 and will feature topics related to agency life for both small and large companies. Brad Miller from 10up will be the first guest of that series.

“The third is a bit of a departure, but we’re interviewing people outside of the WordPress ecosystem in a sub-series called ‘The Story Of…,'” Giroux said. “The episode after Brad’s is with the lead singer of Anberlin, who have sold over 1M albums and have charted multiple times on the Billboard Rock charts. The idea behind this series is to introduce WordPress problem-solvers (developers, agencies, freelancers, etc.) to new industries and perhaps create some opportunities for new ideas and products to spring up in support of them.”

Giroux also plans to chat with TV show creators/hosts, radio broadcasters, inventors, and others to create a well-rounded mix of shows that appeal to everyday WordPress users as well as those who are deeply involved in contributing.

“To me, the WordPress lifestyle is that feeling you get when you show up to a WordCamp or meetup and see other WordPressers,” Giroux said. “It’s about rocking the t-shirt, celebrating unique and diverse voices, promoting a WWW that is accessible to all, inspiring and being inspired by creativity and how WordPress powers us to do great things. There’s a little Wapuu in all of us and Input, I hope, will be a space where we can celebrate that.”

by Sarah Gooding at September 16, 2021 09:00 PM under gravity forms

WPTavern: WP Engine Launches Faust.js, a New Headless WordPress Framework

WP Engine has launched Faust.js, a new headless framework that is open source and designed to work in any Node hosting environment. The framework is built on Next.js, which can handle both static site generation and server side rendering. It uses GraphQL for data fetching and is the only framework that allows developers to query the WPGraphQL API without having to know GraphQL queries ahead of time.

Faust.js was in its earlier stages when WP Engine hired WPGraphQL creator and maintainer Jason Bahl. The company has been heavily investing in headless infrastructure development, hiring more engineers for projects aimed at reducing the friction of using WordPress as a headless CMS. This is the main thrust of the new framework – to allow developers to build scalable, better performing sites with modern frontend tools while preserving WordPress’ rich publishing experience. Faust.js includes content previews, support for custom post types, and built-in authentication to support paywalls, e-commerce, membership sites, and other functionality that has traditionally been difficult for headless sites.

How does Faust.js differ from existing headless solutions like the React-based Frontity framework? Developers building headless sites are curious after Automattic acquired Frontity and the framework’s maintainers exited to work full-time on Gutenberg. Using a community-supported headless framework can be a risky bet for enterprise clients when its creators and maintainers are no longer able to contribute.

“Frontity and Faust are similar, the main difference is that Frontity focuses on providing a framework on-top of React where Faust is primarily built with Next.js support in-mind,” Faust.js creator William Johnston said. “This small distinction is meaningful and means when you are using Faust you can take advantage of all the amazing benefits of Next. It also lets Faust focus specifically on how to make Headless WordPress a better experience, without having to come up with a comprehensive solution for front-end, node-base, static/server-side applications.

When asked how Faust stacks up to Frontity in a comment on Reddit, WP Engine developer relations engineer Kellen Mace highlighted a few other major differences between the frameworks. Frontity only works with the WP REST API and Faust uses WPGraphQL “for more efficient queries.”

“Technically, Faust is built in ‘layers,’ so even if you choose to build your frontend app using SvelteKit, Nuxt, etc. you can still leverage several of the tools Faust provides,” Mace said. “We’ll have more documentation coming out on using it with other JS frameworks in the near future. Using it with Next.js gives you the most ‘bang for your buck,’ however.”

Johnston confirmed that certain elements of Faust (the core/React pieces), are already working with the React-based GatsbyJS framework. Faust is less opinionated about the frontend and is more centered around making the WordPress publishing experience better.

A demo of Faust in action is available at developers.wpengine.com. The framework, which includes NPM packages and a WordPress plugin, can be found on GitHub, but its maintainers caution that there will be breaking changes in the future. Developers who are interested in learning more about Faust.js can check out the documentation or listen to the most recent episode of the DE{CODE} podcast where Johnston discusses headless WordPress and introduces the framework.

by Sarah Gooding at September 16, 2021 04:36 AM under headless wordpress

WPTavern: Newsletter Glue Pro, My First Foray Into Journalism, and New Ideas

As a teen, I would visit my Uncle David’s house every other week or so. He was the only family member with a computer. It was an old, bulky monstrosity that ran whatever the latest version of Windows that existed at the time. It was one of my first introductions to dial-up, but my primary interest was not the internet. It was newsletters and home-printed magazines.

Like all members of my family, we are artists in one way or another. What little extra money many have is spent on creative pursuits. Uncle David’s latest passions at the time were in designing T-shirt logos and printing a family newsletter. Does anyone remember when those were still a thing? I was a kid in a whole new world. Of course, I followed suit and issued a few pamphlets covering the latest goings-on with my family to a circulation of maybe a dozen people.

This kick-started my foray into journalism and design during my adolescence. A family newsletter sounds far more interesting to me now, as an adult, than it did in those days. Somehow, I know I have reached the point where I can officially call myself old by saying that. But, I was coming of age at the turn of the millennium. My interests mostly revolved around video games. I wanted to create something that rivaled Nintendo Power from the comfort of my own home. I had access to a computer and printer; the dream was mine for the taking.

Unfortunately, I could not find any of my printed family newsletters to share. My gaming mag was a short-lived, two-issue venture. I am sure the staff, consisting of my younger sister and best friend, unionized and staged a revolt.

Throughout my life, I have always had it in the back of my mind that I would attempt another periodical at some point, but I have never gotten around to it. However, when Newsletter Glue co-founder Lesley Sim asked me to look at the pro version of her team’s plugin, all those old ideas started swirling around in my head again.

After spending the last few days tinkering with Newsletter Glue Pro, I kind of want to restart the family newsletter again. Maybe digital is the way to go. Perhaps I can even get my uncle to join me.

Admittedly, I have had a lot more fun with this plugin than with others recently. It is the sort of extension that can take a potential newsletter from idea to execution.

All you need is to be familiar with the WordPress editor to kick-start a new project. The plugin has a few settings you might want to tinker with, but the onboarding process walks you through the steps of getting everything off the ground and connecting to your preferred email software. I was worried that there would be a massive learning curve, but I was in the editor in short order.

Writing a newsletter from the WordPress editor.

Users can publish blog posts as newsletters. However, the team introduced a dedicated newsletter post type earlier this year, providing more flexibility in creating content.

What I enjoyed the most about Newsletter Glue was its integration with the block patterns API. The plugin bundles several header and footer patterns, but end-users can build and store their own for reuse.

Duplicating and customizing a footer pattern.

The plugin did have its share of issues. The most prominent was its automatic switching to the fullscreen editor, which is a feature that I turn off on every WordPress site I use. For some reason, this either did not save or was being overwritten each time I loaded the page.

I am also not a fan of the meta box at the bottom of the screen. It is giving me flashbacks of the pre-5.0 WordPress editor that I would like to forget. The team should create a dedicated sidebar panel for the newsletter screen.

Newsletter meta box.

With its reliance on the modern editor, this holdover from an older time just feels out of place. Plus, from a UI perspective, there seems to be nothing requiring the old meta box system.

I would also like to see the built-in Newsletter theme designer integrate with the active theme’s JSON presets. This is a relatively new WordPress feature, so maybe it will land on the features list.

Newsletter theme designer.

Because this is a standardized format, there is no reason that plugins should not start pulling data from it. As a user, I should at least be able to pick and choose text, background, and link colors from those made available through the theme instead of hunting down hex codes or eyeballing it from a color picker.

Overall, I like what the Newsletter Glue team has built thus far. It is no small feat to put together such a well-rounded project of this size in just over a year. I look forward to seeing it evolve over time. For now, I am laying out ideas for the return of my family newsletter thanks to the Newsletter Glue team.

by Justin Tadlock at September 16, 2021 12:54 AM under Plugins

September 15, 2021

HeroPress: WordPress and Me: Am I Going Against All Odds? – WordPress dan Saya: Apakah saya dapat melewati semua rintangan yang menghadang?

Pull quote: In my late 30’s, I threw myself into a new world.

Esai ini juga tersedia dalam bahasa Indonesia.

It is not that hard to fall for WordPress if you have a chance to experience WordPress. For me, it took a WordCamp.

To make it fancy, in 2016, I was volunteering impromptu at WordCamp Denpasar in Bali, the island of Gods. To note, Bali is a tiny island in a country called Indonesia. Yes, it’s where I’m from. So, if you read this, you know how powerful WordCamp is. It may bring people who will give back to the community, even if they don’t get anything from WordCamp. (Well, perhaps a t-shirt, a lanyard and free hotel meals)

My journey with WordPress started from one WordCamp to the next. It gets fancier. The next one was WordCamp Ubud, still in Bali. This time, I was organizing. Ubud is one of the hottest hotspots for digital nomads in Asia. A beautiful place, especially if you are also into nature, yoga and some enlightenment. I’m not kidding. If WordPress does not enlighten you enough, go to Ubud. You will feel some kind of strong energy to connect to everything. Bali is magical, so is everything in it. It is a perfect environment to meet with new people who share the same interests, especially at a WordPress event such as WordCamp or Meetup.

Volunteering at WordCamp Denpasar 2016 with Kharis Sulistiyono (volunteer) and Niels Lange (organizer). Photo Credit: Rocio Valdivia

Then, I started attending WordPress Meetups in Ubud and Jakarta. I also organized more WordCamps. WordCamp Jakarta in 2017 and 2019. But only later, I made a new commitment as a Meetup organizer in Jakarta and Ubud. Before Covid happened, I was travelling back and forth between Jakarta and Ubud. Whenever I went to Ubud, organizing Meetup was the first thing on my list. I was also taking part in organizing WordCamp Asia 2020. Hopefully, it will eventually take place after everything in the world with Covid gets safer for us to travel and meet in person.

At WordCamps and Meetups, you heard stories about how WordPress powers the web. How it changes the lives of so many people. How it helps dreams come true. I was thinking. If WordPress was that powerful, why are there not many people in Indonesia using websites, and why don’t they use WordPress. Why are there not many people who use WordPress in Indonesia contributing to WordPress? Why are there not many talented Indonesian WordPress users, developers, designers, business owners taking part in WordPress.org projects. Why? My guess is one of the many reasons, a language issue.

I believe, the more content translated into Indonesian, the more Indonesian WordPress users see WordPress as more than just a blogging platform or a CMS. Instead, it’s a huge open source community that work together to make the web a better place. The more plugins and themes translated the easier the work of the developer and designer will be with WordPress. The more people see how WordPress can benefit their life, the better the business ecosystem for business owners becomes.

Organizing at WordCamp Ubud 2017 with Pramana Adi Putra dan Wahyu Taufiq. Photo Credit: Hubud

After several asking around and discussions about translating WordPress, suddenly I made a commitment to revive the polyglot project in Indonesia. I was lucky, there was a community member who came forward to help. Then, with a lot of promotion, the team got bigger. It’s good to know I am not alone. There are WordPress users interested in translating.

I didn’t stop there. I noticed that there are not many women involved in the WordPress community in Indonesia. I did meet a few women at WordCamps or Meetups, but the number is too small. And most of the time, I was the only woman. Perhaps I overlooked the fact that Indonesia is still highly patriarchal despite the economic boom. The WordPress community in Indonesia feels almost like a male-dominated community.

Organizing at WordCamp Jakarta 2019

Then after some discussions with a couple of community members, I initiated Perempuan WordPress. There are two words for women in Indonesian, ‘wanita’ and ‘perempuan’. I chose ‘perempuan’ as I like to think that it is not merely referring to women sexually but more importantly about the role that the female human can have. It feels more empowering to me. Don’t ask me about the formal translation of ‘perempuan’ in Indonesian though. It’s pretty sad.

A community member also came forward to help. She wanted to organize an online meetup on Telegram. It is open for everyone to join but we prioritize women to speak, although our first speaker was a man. It was quite challenging to look for female speakers, even using Perempuan WordPress as a platform. I could not even convince my co-organizer to speak!

WCAsia 2020 Organizers in WCEU 2019. Photo Credit: WCEU 2019

I once had a chat with someone who spoke at WordCamp Jakarta and was a successful business owner. I asked why she was not active in a WordPress forum on Facebook, perhaps answering a question, as she is listed as a member. Facebook and Telegram are the two platforms where most Indonesian WordPress users go to ask for support. She said that it was too scary to receive condescending replies from the male members. She was afraid the comments would bring her down. To date, I am still looking for Indonesian WordPress users who share the same interest in building Perempuan WordPress.

But, what did I actually do with WordPress before I started contributing? If you mean whether I code? No, I don’t. I suck in math. I’m super slow in getting my head around code.

Well, in 2014, I signed up for a free account on WordPress.com. I was commuting for work and when I was on public transport my mind wandered. I thought of keeping a note about whatever I see and let the public read it. I was not aware it was called blogging. I did subscribe but the blog never materialized.

WordPress Meetup Ubud before Covid-19

My background is environmental activism. I worked for international development organizations on environmental issues, from policymaking to campaigning. I worked with policymakers behind the desk and organized conferences and meetings. There was a lot of writing and translating involved. I also worked with people on the ground. The people who are impacted by the policies. My work on the ground usually involved researching, movement building and community empowerment.

Perhaps, now you understand why I was easily involved in WordCamps or Meetups. The talent in organizing and working with people is almost like in my genes. They run in my blood veins. I enjoy working to make things happen and get things done. I am also very much comfortable working with people, especially speaking about something that I am passionate about and would make a positive impact on someone’s life.

WordPress Meetup Jakarta before Covid-19

Then, at some point, I was in between jobs. The person who convinced me into volunteering at WordCamp Denpasar created an online CV for me. I was pushed to learn to manage a WordPress site, navigate around wp-admin, and work on the content to appeal to potential employers. I don’t remember which one came first, but I eventually got a job as a campaigner to build a movement online and offline.

The movement was initiated by a bunch of university friends in America who used digital campaigns to go global. The campaign used WordPress as the platform. I was working with a digital campaigner. Not only I had to take part in decision making about the content, the Call to Action, the user experience, I also had to log in to wp-admin and make some amendments. As it was a global movement, the resources were developed in English. So I also worked a lot with translators and reviewed their work.

First WordPress Translation Day for Indonesia Polyglot Team in 2020

And now, you probably understand even more why I am getting my hands dirty with polyglots and Perempuan WordPress. Everything comes from the heart. I do things that I feel so strongly about. Things that call me. And things that I am good at but still giving me room to learn and become better at.

Some people might think, I can do what I do because I have time. That is true. I quit my job as a campaigner at the end of 2018. Since then, I’ve been freelancing. Not much, hence the free time I spend contributing. But I have another initiative that I started once I quit my job and have kept me going. Of course, it also involves WordPress. The initiative aims at helping street cats in Jakarta. So, I am busy trapping cats but also learning how to fundraise using a website. I’m learning to use online forms, set up a payment service provider, work on SEO, and do other new things I need to learn to grow my initiative. I do have the privilege to learn directly from a personal guru. Yes, the same person who convinced me to volunteer at WordCamp Denpasar, and my personal web developer. My husband.

Call for Speakers Poster for Perempuan WordPress. Photo Credit: Hani Khaerunnisa

Although, it’s not always rosy in my part of the world. When I just started learning to become a Deputy, and I was ready to support meetups in new cities across Indonesia and perhaps a WordCamp. Something related to WordPress had brought me down for more than half a year (thanks to Covid as well). I locked myself away from contributing to WordPress. It didn’t feel right though. It felt as if something was missing. But now, I have decided to not let it get in my way anymore. This not-so-rosy situation is perhaps what motivates me the most to keep contributing to WordPress. What does not kill me makes me stronger!

And that’s what I like about WordPress, it is very welcoming and open to people like me, who don’t code at all. At the same time, it shows me a different way of looking at the world, if not the IT world. In my late 30’s, I threw myself into a new world. I pushed myself to learn new things. With WordPress, the chance to learn new things is always there for everyone. WordPress also allows me to contribute, to share what I have. By contributing, I hope to make a difference in someone’s life. Especially the talented Indonesian WordPress users. I hope they feel the benefit of using WordPress and want to give back to create a healthier WordPress community in Indonesia.

WordPress dan Saya: Apakah saya dapat melewati semua rintangan yang menghadang?

Tidak sulit untuk jatuh cinta pada WordPress jika Anda memiliki kesempatan untuk mengenalnya. Saya hanya membutuhkan sebuah WordCamp.

Tidak hanya WordCamp di tempat biasa, pada tahun 2016, saya menjadi sukarelawan dadakan di WordCamp Denpasar di Bali, pulau Dewata. Bali adalah pulau kecil di dalam sebuah negara bernama Indonesia. Ya, saya dari Indonesia. Jadi, jika Anda membaca esai saya, Anda mungkin dapat memahami betapa hebatnya WordCamp. Sebuah kegiatan yang dapat memikat seseorang untuk berkontribusi untuk komunitas, bahkan jika mereka tidak mendapatkan apa pun dari WordCamp. (saya sebenarnya dapat kaos, lanyard, dan makanan hotel gratis)

Perjalanan saya dengan WordPress dimulai dari satu WordCamp ke WordCamp berikutnya. Semakin luar biasa karena WordCamp berikutnya adalah WordCamp Ubud, masih di Bali. Kali ini saya menjadi salah satu penyelenggara (organizer). Ubud adalah salah satu lokasi yang paling diminati oleh digital nomad di Asia. Tempat yang indah, terutama jika Anda juga menyukai alam, yoga, dan ingin mendapatkan pencerahan. Saya tidak bercanda. Jika WordPress tidak cukup mencerahkan Anda, pergilah ke Ubud. Anda akan merasakan semacam energi yang kuat untuk terhubung ke semua hal. Pulau Bali sangat penuh keajaiban, begitu juga semua di dalamnya. Ubud adalah lingkungan yang sempurna untuk bertemu dengan orang baru yang memiliki minat yang sama, terutama di acara WordPress seperti WordCamp atau Meetup.

WordCamp Denpasar 2017

Kemudian, saya mulai menghadiri WordPress Meetup di Ubud dan Jakarta. Saya juga menyelengarakan lebih banyak WordCamp. WordCamp Jakarta di tahun 2017 dan 2019. Akan tetapi, baru setelah beberapa waktu saya berkomitmen sebagai organizer Meetup di Jakarta dan Ubud. Sebelum Covid terjadi, saya sering bepergian hilir mudik antara Jakarta dan Ubud. Setiap kali saya pergi ke Ubud, Meetup adalah hal pertama dalam daftar kegiatan saya selama di Ubud. Saya juga ikut ambil bagian dalam penyelenggaraan WordCamp Asia 2020. Mudah-mudahan WordCamp Asia akhirnya dapat diadakan setelah dunia semakin aman bagi kita untuk bepergian dan mengadakan pertemuan, walaupun Covid masih diperangi.

Di WordCamp dan Meetup, Anda mendengar cerita tentang kekuatan WordPress yang menghidupi web. Tentang WordPress mengubah hidup banyak orang. Tentang WordPress membantu mewujudkan mimpi menjadi kenyataan. Saya berpikir. Jika WordPress sehebat itu, mengapa tidak banyak orang di Indonesia yang menggunakan situs web, dan mengapa mereka tidak menggunakan WordPress. Mengapa tidak banyak orang yang menggunakan WordPress di Indonesia berkontribusi pada WordPress. Mengapa tidak banyak pengguna, developer, desainer, pemilik bisnis WordPress Indonesia yang berbakat mengambil bagian dalam proyek WordPress.org. Mengapa? Dugaan saya, salah satu dari banyak alasan adalah masalah bahasa.

Saya percaya, semakin banyak konten yang diterjemahkan ke dalam bahasa Indonesia, semakin banyak pengguna WordPress Indonesia yang melihat WordPress lebih dari sekadar platform blogging atau CMS. Sebaliknya, WordPress adalah komunitas open source yang sangat besar, tempat banyak kontributor bekerja sama untuk membuat web menjadi tempat yang lebih baik bagi semua. Semakin banyak plugin dan tema yang diterjemahkan, semakin mudah pekerjaan developer dan desainer dengan WordPress. Semakin banyak orang merasakan manfaat WordPress bagi kehidupan mereka, semakin baik ekosistem bisnis bagi pemilik bisnis.

WordCamp Ubud 2017

Setelah banyak bertanya dan berdiskusi dengan banyak orang tentang menerjemahkan WordPress, saya segera berkomitmen untuk menghidupkan kembali proyek poliglot di Indonesia. Saya beruntung, seseorang anggota komunitas datang membantu. Kemudian, dengan melakukan beberapa kali promosi, tim poliglot bertambah. Saya bersyukur, saya tidak sendirian. Banyak pengguna WordPess yang tertarik untuk berkontribusi dalam penerjemahan.

Saya tidak berhenti di situ. Saya perhatikan, tidak banyak perempuan yang terlibat dalam komunitas WordPress di Indonesia. Saya bertemu dengan beberapa perempuan di WordCamp atau Meetup, tetapi jumlahnya tidak banyak. Dan biasanya, saya adalah satu-satunya perempuan. Mungkin saya mengabaikan fakta bahwa Indonesia masih sangat kuat perilaku patriarkinya meskipun ekonominya semakin kuat. Komunitas WordPress di Indonesia hampir seperti komunitas yang didominasi laki-laki.

Setelah berdiskusi dengan beberapa anggota komunitas, saya memulai sebuah inisiatif yang disebut Perempuan WordPress. Ada dua kata dalam bahasa Indonesia, ‘wanita’ dan ‘perempuan’. Saya memilih ‘perempuan’ karena saya merasa bahwa perempuan tidak hanya mengacu pada perbedaan jenis kelamin tetapi lebih tentang peran yang dapat dimiliki oleh seorang perempuan. Saya merasa ‘perempuan” dapat lebih menguatkan saya. Tetapi jangan tanya saya tentang terjemahan formal ‘perempuan’ dalam bahasa Indonesia. Karena menurut saya terjemahannya sangat menyedihkan.

Seorang kontributor perempuan bersedia membantu dan mengusulkan untuk mengadakan pertemuan rutin online di Telegram (Kulgram). Kulgram terbuka bagi siapa saja untuk bergabung tetapi wanita diutamakan untuk menjadi pemateri, meskipun pembicara pertama Kulgram adalah seorang laki-laki. Mencari pembicara perempuan bukan hal yang mudah, meskipun menggunakan platform Perempuan WordPress. Saya bahkan tidak dapat meyakinkan rekan kontributor penyelenggara Kulgram untuk berbicara!

WordCamp Jakarta 2019

Saya pernah berbicara dengan seorang perempuan pemateri di WordCamp Jakarta yang juga merupakan pemilik bisnis yang sukses. Saya bertanya alasannya tidak aktif di forum WordPress di Facebook, misalnya dengan menjawab pertanyaan sebagai anggota. Facebook dan Telegram adalah dua platform tempat sebagian besar pengguna WordPress Indonesia bertanya jawab teknis tentang WordPress. Dia mengatakan bahwa berkomentar di forum semacam Facebook terlalu menakutkan jika muncul balasan yang merendahkan dari anggota forum laki-laki. Dia tidak ingin komentar yang merendahkan akan membuatnya terpuruk. Sampai saat ini, saya masih mencari pengguna WordPress dari Indonesia yang memiliki minat yang sama untuk membangun Perempuan WordPress.

Tapi, apa yang sebenarnya saya lakukan dengan WordPress sebelum saya mulai berkontribusi? Jika Anda bertanya apakah saya dapat menulis kode? Tidak. Saya payah dalam matematika. Saya sangat lambat dalam memahami kode. Pada tahun 2014, saya mendaftar untuk mendapatkan akun gratis di WordPress.com. Saya naik transportasi umum ke kantor setiap hari dan di tengah-tengah kemacetan kadang pikiran saya mengembara. Saya berpikir untuk menulis tentang semua yang saya lihat dan pikirkan lalu memublikasikannya. Saya tidak sadar hal ini disebut blogging. Saya masih berlangganan di WordPress.com tetapi blog yang aktif tidak pernah terwujud.

Latar belakang saya adalah aktivis lingkungan. Saya bekerja untuk organisasi bantuan internasional tentang isu-isu lingkungan, mulai dari pembuatan kebijakan hingga kampanye. Saya bekerja dengan pembuat kebijakan di belakang meja dan mengadakan konferensi dan pertemuan. Saya banyak menulis laporan dan menerjemahkan. Saya juga bekerja dengan banyak orang di lapangan. Mereka yang terkena dampak kebijakan. Pekerjaan saya di lapangan biasanya melibatkan penelitian, membangun gerakan dan memberdayakan masyarakat.

WordPress Jakarta Meetup Online di StreamYard

Mungkin sekarang Anda mengerti mengapa saya mudah terlibat dalam WordCamp atau Meetup. Bakat dalam menyiapkan sebuah kegiatan dan bekerja dengan banyak orang mungkin seperti bakat alami saya yang mengalir di pembuluh darah saya. Saya senang bekerja untuk mewujudkan dan menyelesaikan sesuatu. Saya juga sangat nyaman bekerja dengan banyak orang, terutama berbicara tentang sesuatu yang saya minati dan dapat memberi dampak positif pada kehidupan seseorang.

Kemudian, pada titik tertentu, saya harus mencari pekerjaan. Seseorang yang meyakinkan saya untuk menjadi sukarelawan di WordCamp Denpasar membuat CV online untuk saya. Saya didorong untuk belajar mengelola situs WordPress, menjelajahi wp-admin, dan mengerjakan konten untuk menarik calon pemberi kerja. Saya tidak ingat mana yang lebih dulu terwujudkan, tetapi akhirnya saya mendapat pekerjaan sebagai juru kampanye untuk membangun gerakan secara online dan offline.

Gerakan tersebut diprakarsai oleh sekelompok anak muda di universitas di Amerika yang menggunakan kampanye digital agar tersebar ke seluruh dunia. Kampanye tersebut menggunakan WordPress sebagai platformnya. Saya bekerja dengan seorang juru kampanye digital. Tidak hanya saya harus mengambil bagian dalam pengambilan keputusan tentang konten, Call to Action, dan pengalaman pengguna, saya juga harus login ke wp-admin dan membuat beberapa perubahan. Karena gerakan tersebut adalah gerakan global, sumber daya yang disusun biasanya dalam bahasa Inggris. Jadi saya juga banyak bekerja dengan penerjemah dan meninjau pekerjaan mereka.

Sekarang, Anda mungkin lebih mengerti mengapa saya bersusah payah mengembangkan proyek poliglot dan Perempuan WordPress. Semuanya datang dari hati. Saya melakukan hal-hal yang saya yakini. Hal-hal yang menarik minat saya. Dan hal-hal yang saya kuasai tetapi masih memberikan ruang untuk saya belajar dan menjadi lebih baik.

Organizers (Polyglots GTE) WPTD 2020 Indonesia. Photo Credit: Agus Muhammad

Beberapa orang mungkin berpikir, saya bisa melakukan apa yang saya lakukan sekarang karena saya punya waktu. Mungkin benar. Saya berhenti dari pekerjaan saya sebagai juru kampanye pada akhir tahun 2018. Sejak saat itu, saya menjadi pekerja lepas. Tidak banyak yang saya lakukan, maka saya punya waktu luang untuk berkontribusi. Tetapi saya memiliki inisiatif lain yang saya mulai setelah saya berhenti dari pekerjaan saya dan membuat saya terus berkegiatan. Tentu saja, inisiatif tersebut juga melibatkan WordPress. Inisiatif tersebut bertujuan untuk membantu kucing jalanan di Jakarta. Jadi, saya sibuk menangkap kucing-kucing jalanan tetapi juga belajar cara menggalang dana menggunakan situs web. Saya belajar menggunakan formulir online, menyiapkan penyedia layanan pembayaran, mengerjakan SEO, dan melakukan hal-hal baru lainnya yang perlu saya pelajari untuk mengembangkan inisiatif saya. Saya mungkin beruntung karena dapat belajar langsung dari seorang guru pribadi. Orang yang sama yang meyakinkan saya untuk menjadi sukarelawan di WordCamp Denpasar, dan developer web pribadi saya. Suami saya.

Akan tetapi, semuanya tentu bukan tanpa tantangan. Ketika saya baru mulai belajar menjadi Deputi, dan saya siap untuk mendorong dimulainya Meetup di kota-kota baru di seluruh Indonesia dan mungkin WordCamp. Sesuatu yang berhubungan dengan WordPress telah membuat saya berhenti berkontribusi selama lebih dari setengah tahun (juga karena Covid). Saya sadar hal ini tidak benar. Saya merasa seperti ada sesuatu yang hilang. Tetapi sekarang, saya telah memutuskan untuk tidak membiarkannya menghalangi saya lagi. Situasi yang tidak terlalu menyenangkan tersebut mungkin yang paling memotivasi saya untuk terus berkontribusi di WordPress. Apa yang tidak membunuh kita hanya akan membuat diri kita lebih kuat!

Semua hal di atas adalah yang saya sukai dari WordPress, sangat ramah dan terbuka untuk orang seperti saya, yang tidak bisa menulis kode sama sekali. Pada saat yang sama, WordPress menunjukkan kepada saya cara yang berbeda dalam memandang dunia, mungkin juga dunia TI. Di usia 30-an akhir, saya terjun ke dunia baru. Saya dorong diri saya untuk mempelajari hal-hal baru. Dengan WordPress, kesempatan untuk mempelajari hal baru selalu terbuka bagi siapa pun. Dan WordPress juga memungkinkan saya untuk berkontribusi dengan membagikan apa yang saya miliki. Dengan berkontribusi, saya berharap dapat membuat perbedaan dalam hidup seseorang. Terutama para pengguna WordPress berbakat dari Indonesia. Saya berharap mereka merasakan manfaat menggunakan WordPress dan ingin berkontribusi untuk menciptakan komunitas WordPress yang lebih sehat di Indonesia.

The post WordPress and Me: Am I Going Against All Odds? – WordPress dan Saya: Apakah saya dapat melewati semua rintangan yang menghadang? appeared first on HeroPress.

by Devin Maeztri at September 15, 2021 01:00 AM

September 14, 2021

WPTavern: Konstantin Kovshenin Launches Sail, a CLI Tool for Deploying to Digital Ocean

Last week, Konstantin Kovshenin launched Sail, a CLI tool for deploying WordPress applications to the DigitalOcean cloud. The project is free to use and open source. However, he has plans for an upgraded premium experience down the road.

Kovshenin cited speed and efficiency as the two primary reasons developers should give his new tool a try. “You don’t need to wander around web UIs to launch a new server and install WordPress. You just sail init. You don’t need to open your SFTP GUI client to upload changes to your application. You just sail deploy.”

He also said that because it is a simple CLI, it will integrate well with existing developer tools and services like Gulp, webpack, GitHub Actions, and more.

“I’m a DIY guy when it comes to WordPress hosting, so I like to get my hands dirty with servers, code, configuration, and everything else,” wrote Kovshenin in the announcement post. “I’ve been using virtual servers at DigitalOcean for small WordPress projects for a very long time, and it’s great, and also very affordable.”

He had grown annoyed doing routine maintenance and configuring servers for new projects. This led him to write many scripts for handling each piece of this over the years. Over the past couple of months, he cleaned them up and packaged them as a single CLI tool called Sail. It works across Linux, macOS, and Windows.

While he lists some advantages of using Sail over the competition in the announcement post, he thinks the benefits come from using Sail with other developer tools.

“For example, if you already use Git and GitHub, Sail can automatically deploy your application whenever you push to your main branch,” he said. “If your project is built with Gulp and webpack, you can ask npm to deploy your application after a successful build.”

The CLI tool does not make assumptions about the development environment. Developers are free to use whatever setup they are accustomed to, such as Vagrant/VirtualBox, XAMP/MAMP, Local, Docker, or a custom setup.

“You can use it without a local development environment at all and just cowboy-code your way through, and Sail will help you deploy with confidence and roll back when you’re overly confident,” he said.

The following is a short video demo:

The Future of Sail

For the short term, Sail only works with DigitalOcean. However, Kovshenin plans to support more providers down the road as he looks into “more complex architectures.” However, he said it is not a high priority at the moment.

“DigitalOcean has the best documentation, hands down,” he said. “The simplicity of their APIs just blows you away. And that simplicity extends to their pricing as well, which made it quite an obvious choice.”

While the tool is free, he will offer a Sail Premium service. There is currently no launch date for it. Kovshenin said he was gauging overall interest before diving in. However, he does have an Early Access signup form. Those who use it will gain free passes during the beta period and possibly a discount at launch.

Right now, his focus is on building the core Sail features, which he says will always be free.

“The biggest new feature I’m excited about right now is Blueprints,” said Kovshenin. “This is going to be a YAML manifest file, which will describe the desired application environment and state, including which WordPress plugins to install and activate, which themes and settings, as well as any additional server software and configuration, such as mail, firewall, etc. And to get all of this you’ll just need to specify the blueprint file to sail init.”

The goal is to allow users to build, reuse, and even share their blueprints. Sail itself will even make common configurations available. A single blueprint could include WooCommerce, Stripe, Storefront, Jetpack, Redis object caching, mail relay via MailGun, and more.

“Other features on the list include sub-projects, staging/cloning, automatic and remote backups, profiling, monitoring, and malware/vulnerability scanning,” said Kovshenin.

He is hoping for more feedback on missing features that could make the project more useful for others.

by Justin Tadlock at September 14, 2021 10:21 PM under News

WPTavern: WordPress Opens Applications for In-Person WordCamps

photo credit: Huasoniccc

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WordPress is restarting its in-person WordCamp program after more than six weeks of discussion on a proposal for how the WordPress community can return to hosting events. Applications are now open for in-person WordCamps, provided they meet the Community Team’s updated guidelines for organizing WordCamps during the pandemic.

Local communities that have hosted meetups prior to the pandemic are eligible to apply to host a WordCamp if public health authorities permit in-person gatherings in their region and the area passes the in-person safety checklist. If the checklist requirements cannot be met, organizers may still host a WordCamp, provided that vaccines or COVID tests are readily available in the community. In the event the location doesn’t pass the in-person checklist and also has limited access to vaccines and testing, organizers would need to opt for an online WordCamp.

The new guidelines have been simplified into a flowchart:

The Community Team expects that attendees will be fully vaccinated, recently tested negative, or recovered from COVID within the last three months. Attendance will be based on the honor system, as organizers will not be asking for proof as a condition of participation.

WordCamps are sorely missed by WordPress enthusiasts and professionals, and many are eager to return. This restart of the WordCamp program will need to attract more than just attendees – WordCamp organizers will need to get on board to be the first to test the waters.

The fact that vaccinated individuals can still transmit the virus throws a wrench into things in areas where vaccine hesitancy runs high, making the entire population more susceptible to breakthrough infections. This combined with the prevalence of the more highly contagious Delta variant makes for a scenario where attendees at approved in-person WordCamps could unwittingly participate in spreading the virus to others.

When asked about requiring masks or other precautions, Community Team representative Angela Jin said organizers have a better opportunity to require more precautions beyond local guidelines if they work with a venue that has its own requirements.

“The Community team is asking organizers and attendees to follow local guidelines,” Jin said. “If organizers would like to have more precautions, the deputies would advocate for booking at a venue that takes those precautions, for example, a venue that requires masks while indoors. In this way, the ask of ensuring additional safety measures is not just on organizers (event organizers already have enough to keep an eye on!), but on venue staff as well.”

“I’ve been asked if I think there will be an in-person WordCamp Miami in 2022 once it’s allowed,” longtime WordCamp organizer David Bisset said. “No idea. But I doubt I’ll be involved unless the state of Florida changes dramatically. Plus, other reasons. As of now I’m not planning on attending any in-person WCs for quite some time. I have a ‘wait and see’ attitude.'”

One important consideration is that the Global Sponsorship Program does not currently include funding for WordCamps, so organizers will need to raise 100% of the expenses for their events. A group of Community Team deputies are working on a proposal for the 2022 Global Sponsorship Program, aiming to finalize it by the end of October. In the meantime, organizers will need to find a way to foot the bill.

As scientists consider the increasingly more likely possibility that SARS-CoV-2 becomes an endemic virus, WordCamps and other gatherings will need to find the right combination of precautions that will enable them to continue in this new era. The Community team has become skilled at hosting virtual events, but 18 months into this pandemic it is clear that the connections fostered at WordCamps are irreplaceable.

“The deputies and I know that many places around the world are not in a position to organize in-person WordCamps at this time,” Jin said. “The team will continue to support online events, and do not expect organizers to host in-person events if they are not ready to.”

by Sarah Gooding at September 14, 2021 03:35 AM under wordcamp

September 13, 2021

WPTavern: Theme Author Survey Results: Uploading via ZIP Files Preferred, SVN Access Forthcoming

Earlier today, Dion Hulse announced the results of a six-week survey on the WordPress.org theme upload process. The goal was to figure out if uploading a ZIP file was a “pain point” and see what other methods theme authors prefer. Then, move forward based on the feedback. In total, 256 people responded to the survey.

Of the weighted results, uploading themes via a ZIP remained the most popular option. Committing via Git or integrating with GitHub came in second and third, respectively. Using SVN or a CLI tool also had support.

The next steps should include allowing theme updates to be submitted via SVN. Trac tickets will also be removed for updates, which the Themes Team no longer reviews. For theme authors who prefer Git, the plan is to encourage the use of a GitHub Action for automatic deployment over SVN.

There are no tickets for implementing the changes yet, but they are forthcoming. Hulse said he is awaiting any feedback on the announcement post or in the Themes Team September 14 meeting.

Nothing was said about the initial theme submission. This will likely remain the same.

The upcoming SVN access will have some limits in comparison to plugins. Updates will be stored via a strict /theme-slug/version scheme with a standardized version format. Theme authors will not be allowed to change any commits once an update is submitted. Like the ZIP upload system, they will need to bump the version number to send a new update. The goal is for the theme repository to merely be a deployment destination and not a place for development.

This should be a welcome change for those who have longed for alternative theme upload methods. As far back as I can remember, theme authors have asked for SVN access to the WordPress.org theme directory. It is a capability that plugin developers have long had. This was before the proliferation of Git and the rising popularity of GitHub. Every so often, themers would begin the discussion anew, but it would always end the same. Uploading a ZIP file was the only way to submit a new theme or an update to an existing one.

Eventually, those discussions included talk of Git. However, it seemed most of the passion for integrating with any version control system (VCS) had waned. Most just lived with the status quo.

This has not necessarily been a bad thing. Uploading a ZIP has kept the process simple. Theme authors could use their preferred VCS (or none) and ship the final product to WordPress.org.

As I viewed the survey and thought it over, I changed positions. Throughout my history as a theme author, I was clearly in the camp calling for VCS integration. I wanted SVN (eventually, GIT) access to my projects in the directory. However, I had long ago customized my development build process to incorporate a ZIP creation step. The extra 30 seconds or so that it took to upload that file via the theme upload form did not seem to matter so much anymore.

Like the plurality of others who responded to the survey, I now prefer uploading a ZIP file. Maybe it is what I am accustomed to, but it would not have been my answer a few years ago. I have come to appreciate the simplicity of the existing system.

However, opening the theme upload process up to other methods should improve things for more people. In particular, I could imagine theme shops incorporating something similar to 10up’s GitHub Action for plugin deployment in their release process. Essentially, the Action automatically sends an update to WordPress.org’s SVN repository when tagging a release.

by Justin Tadlock at September 13, 2021 10:56 PM under Themes

September 11, 2021

Gutenberg Times: Theme Switching, Global Styles, Blocks in REST API and more – Weekend Edition #184

Howdy, howdy!

Today we have a great mixture of links to tutorials, news, general information, call to action and events. Now that the summer is over, it feels there is another wave of WordPressers are starting to adopt the block editor, block-based themes and to pay more attention to what’s happening in the Gutenberg world. Or is it just me diving into the topics full-time?

Before you get distracted by the headlines below, let me ask you: Do you have your WordCamp US Tickets, already? Now is the time!

WordCamp US will take place as a one-day virtual event on October 1st, 2021. It’s free and takes place on a Friday, so it won’t cut into your screen-free weekend activities.

  • The first and second set of brilliant speakers were announced this week.
  • There is still a Call for Directors out and if you want to help with Live Chat moderation and capture audience questions you can apply until Sept. 16 for three shifts. More here.
  • Take the opportunity and meetup with a small group of local friends for a watch party. Don Soschin has some ideas and tips for you. Create your WCUS 2021 Attendee Pod.

See y’all at WCUS!

Birgit 💕

Full-Site Editing and Theme design

Speaking of events, next week Anne McCarthy, Marcus Kazmierczak and Dave Smith will gather for a Hallway Hangout on September 16th at 11 am EDT / 16:00 UTC. They will discuss adoption pathways to full site editing, what’s working, what successes folks have had, what blockers people are running into, and what might help more folks participate. Beyond just the benefits of learning from each other, this information will ideally be used to help influence future resources and to give insights to the teams working on these items. Join the #fse-outreach-program WP Slack channel for updates.

The next feedback round for participants in the FSE outreach program is a Theme Switching Exploration. Imagine a world where one could seamlessly take product review patterns from one theme, styling from another, and product display templates from an eCommerce focused theme to create a store. Or imagine being able to switch themes while retaining your favorite palette of colors and typography.

The focus of this exploration is more on “wishful thinking”. In the instructions, Anne McCarthy guides you through a very basic theme switching process, and then asks you to creatively think about what you’d like to see happen. In other words, the focus is not so much on finding bugs, and more on gathering useful insights that will help design this experience. 

If you need some additional inspiration on how your want to approach your switching journey, read Justin Tadlock‘s Exploration Report on the WP Tavern: Insights Into Switching Between Block Themes

Need a plugin .zip from Gutenberg’s main (trunk) branch?
Gutenberg Times provides daily build for testing and review.
Have you been using it? Hit reply and let me know.

GitHub all releases

André Maneiro compares in his post The developer experience of WordPress presets how to handle presets for WordPress themes before and after the release of WordPress 5.8, when theme.json was merged into core. It’s a practical recap on the advantages for developers to migrate to theme.json even for classic themes.

In The Global Styles Interface issue on GitHub, Matias Ventura covers the broad design aspects of global styles, the upcoming user interface for theme.json. Ventura discusses the iconography, small previews, the handling of color palettes, elements and filters, and color tools. Take a look and chime in on working on TNBT (The next Big Thing)

Shaun Andrews, on the design team, shared in The WordPress Editor: Document Status and Visibility the next-generation designs for the Gutenberg Publish section in the side bar.

A group of theme developers met at this week’s Hallway Hangout to discuss current Full-site editing issues, pull requests and designs. Anne McCarthy posted the recording and a summary on the Make Blog.

Gutenberg Changelog #51 is now available with transcript.

Subscribe to the Gutenberg Changelog podcast
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Gutenberg for Site implementers and Content creators

In her post Cascading impact of improvements to featured images Anne McCarty shows you how improvements to the Featured Image block lead to more possibilities for content creation with short videos.

Not in and of itself block-editorial, but still a great story: Automattic Acquires Social Image Generator Plugin, Plans to Integrate with Jetpack. Daniel Post‘s plugin was a dream come true for social marketing people and save so much time. Post and the plugin have a sustainable home with Automattic now.

The team working on the Pods Framework have published their Field Guide for the next version (2.8). Among many other new features and fixes, you’ll find the new Pods Blocks which allow you to

  • List Items,
  • show a Single Item,
  • display a Single Item Field,
  • show a Public Form, or
  • embed a View (any file) from your theme / child theme.

They also included compatibility with the new WordPress 5.8 Query Loop blocks!

For those creators out there looking to get ahead with some common custom block needs, our new Pods Blocks API allows you to register your blocks. Congrats to Scott Kingsley Clark and his team for the major effort to add Gutenberg capabilities to the framework!

The MetaBox team published an in-depth comparison between Gutenberg vs. Page Builders – What is Better & Faster?. Of course, this is still premature, as Gutenberg isn’t a full-featured page builder yet, and is missing quite a few customization and layout feature most page builder provide. This post also runs websites built with Gutenberg and Oxygen in a speed test comparison.

 “Keeping up with Gutenberg – Index 2021” 
A chronological list of the WordPress Make Blog posts from various teams involved in Gutenberg development: Design, Theme Review Team, Core Editor, Core JS, Core CSS, Test and Meta team from Jan. 2021 on. Updated by yours truly.

Block Building for developers

Jonny Harris, WordPress contributor, sponsored by XWP, created a plugin, REST API blocks that adds block data in json format into the REST API. Once installed, there will be two new fields added to the rest api, has_blocks and blocks. Sounds pretty nifty. Thanks to David Bisset for tweeting about it.

Rich Tabor created a tutorial on how to create a Publish Checklist for the block editor. If you work in a team of writers, ensuring that various content tasks are completed before an article is published. Tabor how to use a template to display the check list for the editor.

Matias Ventura shared this fabulous post by Dennis Snell, code wrangler at Automattic. In Gutenberg posts aren’t HTML… Snell explains the idea to store block information in HTML comments in post_content. It was an eye-opener for me.

Create and Display Math Formulas is an interesting requirement and mostly used by scientists and Math teachers. The developers Dennis Snell and Adam Silverstein have a block for this group of writers.

  • MathML by Adam Silverstein is available in the plugin repository and the Block Directory
  • In Typesetting Math in Gutenberg by Dennis Snell walks you through the genesis of his block. With this example block, Snell explains, “I try to design my blocks so that all of the processing and loading costs stay in the editor while editing the post”.

For the seventh episode of the Jukebox podcast, Nathan Wrigley interviewed Gutenberg contributor Ajit Bohra on Gutenberg, Full Site Editing and React. The two covered quite a bit of ground. Grab your favorite beverage and listen.

by Birgit Pauli-Haack at September 11, 2021 08:29 AM under Weekend Edition

WPTavern: Theme Authors Should Be Able To Opt Out of Any Design Feature

As I debugged issues with the new block gap feature added in Gutenberg 11.4 last week, I found the ticket introducing it. And, there was already a new ticket for one problem I had hit. However, there was some discussion over whether themes should be allowed to opt-out, rolling their own solution. There was no way to do it at the time.

It felt like a no-brainer, something I would not think twice about. I quickly chimed in:

Should theme authors be able to opt out? If this is ever a question that comes up, the answer is always: Absolutely, 100%, yes!

The front end of a site is the theme author’s domain. Ultimately, they define how things work there. At least, this is how it has always been. Before the advent of the block system, there were cases where WordPress added its own spin to front-end features, such as styles for the gallery shortcode and emoji JavaScript-image replacement. Themes have always had methods for disabling those.

With the introduction of the Gutenberg project and its evolving feature set, WordPress continues stepping into front-end design. This carries the benefit of standardizing the relationship between the platform, themes, and users. It makes things like block patterns universal, and it will continue doing so as we get into more advanced layout tools. This is a future that I am eager to witness because it will make theming much easier.

However, within the in-ticket discussion, I came across one of the fundamental rifts between some people working on Gutenberg and third-party developers:

I disagree with this take. This means that everything should be optional in WordPress and goes against the decisions not options. some things need to be options but not everything…I don’t think it should be a rule to have an opt-out for everything personally. For instance for structural styles, I’d rather have the themes rely on Core always instead of reinventing their own. Themes are here to bring personality and design but not to define what “horizontal alignment” means for instance.

Riad Benguella

If such a stance becomes one of the cornerstones of block theme development, it will turn many traditional themers away.

I agree with the principle that this should be the foundation, the default way that theming works in WordPress going forward. The more pieces that we can standardize, the better. But, as a rule of thumb, theme authors should be able to opt out of any design-related feature. Then, we make rare exceptions to that rule when the need arises.

Regardless of what Gutenberg and, ultimately, WordPress does, theme authors will find a way around it. Let us pretend that “horizontal alignment” is defined by CSS flexbox in core. I guarantee that someone will come along and use CSS grid.

In the case of the “block gap” feature introduced in Gutenberg 11.4, it is essentially a fancy name for a global top margin that gets applied to blocks (not to be confused with the actual CSS gap property). In essence, it is a system for defining part of the default vertical rhythm.

This feature has long been on my wish list, but the idea of mandating it never crossed my mind. If you want to see a heated discussion, throw a handful of web designers in a room and have them discuss the myriad ways of handling vertical spacing between elements. I am in the top margin camp.

Fortunately, theme authors will be able to enable or disable the block gap feature. But, that is merely one battle.

I had planned to reply in-ticket, but I did not want to get too far off-topic. I also wanted to give some consideration to the other side. However, I could think of few instances where WordPress should always be the deciding factor on front-end design.

From that position, I envision little more than theme authors creating workarounds for what they will see as a broken system. There is nothing wrong with WordPress defining the defaults. However, it should always be from the mindset that developers will want to venture out. The best way to keep them happy is to not get in the way. Build a system that they want to use, not that they must use. And, for those who decide to go a different route, make it easy. Even if we think those rebel designers are creating a broken user experience, that is OK. It is their project to make or break.

What makes WordPress so uniquely WordPress is that the platform has always catered to those who want to extend it in just about any imaginable way. If it starts creating stumbling blocks that need not be there, we have done a poor job as stewards of the software.

by Justin Tadlock at September 11, 2021 01:13 AM under gutenberg

WPTavern: Pipe Wrench Publication Releases New Native Land Search Plugin for WordPress

Pipe Wrench, an online publication that dissects different topics through longform stories, reactions, interpretations, and asides, has released a free WordPress plugin called Native Land Search. The publication commissioned the plugin from Alex Gustafson, a subscriber and contributor to the magazine.

Native Land Search offers a search block or “Native Lands Aside” block pattern that users can add to the post content. Site visitors can search an address to discover if it is on indigenous lands.

Pipe Wrench implementation of the Native Land Search block

On the Pipe Wrench publication, the content authors have added a Cover block with a background image and put the search block inside the Group block.

Here is an example of the output for a Florida location:

The search results are powered by the native-land.ca API and Google Geocoding API. Native Land Digital, a non-profit organization, created the maps with the following mission:

We strive to map Indigenous lands in a way that changes, challenges, and improves the way people see the history of their countries and peoples. We hope to strengthen the spiritual bonds that people have with the land, its people, and its meaning.

We strive to map Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages across the world in a way that goes beyond colonial ways of thinking in order to better represent how Indigenous people want to see themselves.

Native Land Digital notes that the maps do not represent or intend to represent official or legal boundaries of any indigenous nations.

“All kinds of sites — magazine, newspaper, personal blog, academic hub, nonprofit — can use the block to add depth to all kinds of content involving Indigenous groups,” Pipe Wrench Editor Michelle Weber said. “LandBack, residential schools, climate change, general history — offering this search tool helps non-indigenous folks uncover and understand vital histories with ongoing ramifications.”

The Native Land Search Plugin is available for download from WordPress.org and contributions can be submitted on GitHub. It may never have a million active installs but the plugin could be an important tool for sites involved in education or advocacy efforts.

by Sarah Gooding at September 11, 2021 12:58 AM under Plugins

September 10, 2021

Post Status: Post Status Excerpt (No. 24) — Entrepreneurial Resilience: Relying On Others

“A crisis can either build you or break you.”

In this episode of Post Status Excerpt, David and Cory reflect on a tough question: What can help WordPress professionals weather the storm of being an entrepreneur in challenging times? Cory shares four types of people who can offer support in their own unique ways: spouses, counselors, coaches, and colleagues. It's important that you find the right combination of people and connections that works best for you.

Also covered in this episode: Cory and David thank their spouses and will later share the timestamps of this podcast with them as evidence.

Every week Post Status Excerpt will brief you on important WordPress news — in about 15 minutes or less! Learn what's new in WordPress in a flash. ⚡

Browse our archives, and don’t forget to subscribe to our podcasts on Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, iTunes, Castro, YouTube, Stitcher, Player.fm, Pocket Casts, Simplecast, or by RSS. 🎧

🔗 Mentioned in the show:

🙏 Sponsor: SpinupWP

Spin up your own extremely fast WordPress server in minutes with SpinupWP. Use any cloud hosting provider you want, and manage your servers remotely with a simple but powerful control panel. Get the security and performance of managed hosting without losing the independence of hosting your projects and your clients yourself.

by David Bisset at September 10, 2021 03:27 AM under Everyone

WPTavern: Add a Little Pumpkin Spice to Your WordPress Admin This Autumn

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. On some weekends, I like to drive through my old hometown with the windows rolled down. I crawl through the school zone at 25 mph and breathe in the football field’s freshly cut grass. All those memories of blood, guts, and glory under the Friday night lights flood back. Nervous homecoming dances. Hayrides next to the girl who actually agreed to accompany me for the evening. It is a time of festivals, candied apples, and the lingering heat of an Alabama summer that refuses to fade away.

It was always a time of magic and memories, and now it is also the season for pumpkin spice lattes. With a couple of short weeks left before autumn hits, stores and shops are already gearing up for it.

Love it or hate it, nearly everything has a pumpkin spice flavor now — even the WordPress admin interface.

Ben Byrne, the co-founder of Cornershop Creative, released Pumpkin Spice Admin in the past week. It is a WordPress plugin that brings the sights of the autumn season front and center.

Dashboard screen when using Pumpkin Spice Admin.

Never let it be said that I am not a fan of the more whimsical WordPress plugins. One of the joys in my life is seeing these creative attempts at throwing a bit of fun into this thing we call the world wide web. Far too often, we focus so much on business deals and technical features that we sometimes forget to stop and enjoy something as beautiful as autumn leaves changing colors.

Even if we are not simply running a personal blog, it never hurts to install a fun admin-side theme for our own amusement, unbeknownst to our visitors. Just a little something to brighten our day when we cannot be out and enjoying nature.

The biggest downside to the plugin is that it does not rely on the standard WordPress admin color scheme system, which allows each user to select their preferred style. For solo site owners, this is a non-issue. For multi-author websites, it could be problematic if everyone is not on board with the change. I would even consider using it here at WP Tavern, but it might come as a bit of a shock to the rest of the team when they log in.

Technically, it is more than a color scheme. It adds a custom font and a falling leaves animation on each admin screen. However, it would be easy to tie those to user preferences.

At first, I was somewhat off-put by the leaves falling down on the post-editing screen. It could be an annoyance for some users, but the few that appear, quickly pile at the bottom of the browser window. It is not a continuous animation.

Falling leaves on the post-editing screen.

The plugin’s font also overrules the post title, but I can live with that. In some ways, I actually prefer it. It does not affect other fonts in the editor.

Pumpkin Spice Admin will automatically stop working after the season is over. It sets itself to run only from September through November, so there are no worries if you forget to deactivate it.

I only have the plugin running in my test environment, but I am enjoying it for now. All that is missing is a pumpkin-style cursor to complete the look.

by Justin Tadlock at September 10, 2021 01:05 AM under admin color schemes

September 09, 2021

WPTavern: Automattic Acquires Social Image Generator Plugin, Plans to Integrate with Jetpack

Automattic has acquired the Social Image Generator plugin, a commercial product that automatically creates social share images for WordPress content from a set of fully customizable templates. The plugin launched in February 2021, with a starting price of $39/year but is now closed to new sales. Daniel Post, the plugin’s creator, is joining Automattic to continue developing it as a new addition to Jetpack’s social media tools.

Automattic is always on the prowl for companies that are doing something interesting in the WordPress ecosystem. The Social Image Generator plugin expertly captured a new niche with an interface that feels like a natural part of WordPress and impressed our chief plugin critic, Justin Tadlock, in a recent review.

“Automattic approached me and let me know they were fans of my plugin,” Post said. “And then we started talking to see what it would be like to work together. We were actually introduced by Chris Coyier from CSS-Tricks, who uses both our products.”

The Social Image Generator plugin has always been a commercial-only product, which tends to limit a plugin’s reach within a market that has been so heavily trained on the freemium model. Its acquisition will undoubtedly get it into the hands of more WordPress users.

“I briefly considered building a freemium plugin but I decided to focus on paid licenses to make sure I could provide great support to all users and, frankly, to see how well it would be received compared to a freemium plugin,” Post said.

Current customers will be able to continue using the plugin “without any changes in the near term,” according to the announcement on the Jetpack blog. Those who have strong opinions about the long-term future of the plugin are encouraged to schedule a session with Jetpack Customer Research to open a dialogue.

“I look forward to the future functionality and user experience improvements that will come out of this acquisition,” Jetpack General Manager James Grierson said. “The goal of our social product is to help content creators expand their audience through increased distribution and engagement. Social Image Generator will be a key component of helping us deliver this to our customers.“

I would not be surprised to see this plugin available on one of Jetpack’s paid tiers in the near future, alongside the Publicize module’s other paid features (scheduling social media posts, tracking and viewing sharing history, and re-sharing existing content). Social Image Generator makes WordPress content more engaging on social media, has built-in support for WooCommerce, and can be extended for use with other plugins. It’s a strategic acquisition where Automattic gains an engineer as well as a new way to make Jetpack subscriptions more compelling.

“We are still figuring out our exact approach, but the initial plans are to integrate the Social Image Generator features with the existing Jetpack social tools like Publicize,” Post said. “The ability to see exactly what your social media post will look like before publishing it right from your WordPress site is incredible, and a big reason why I’m so excited about this acquisition.”

by Sarah Gooding at September 09, 2021 04:00 AM under publicize

WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.8.1 Security and Maintenance Release

WordPress 5.8.1 is now available!

This security and maintenance release features 60 bug fixes in addition to 3 security fixes. Because this is a security release, it is recommended that you update your sites immediately. All versions since WordPress 5.4 have also been updated.

WordPress 5.8.1 is a short-cycle security and maintenance release. The next major release will be version 5.9.

You can download WordPress 5.8.1 by downloading from WordPress.org, or visit your Dashboard → Updates and click Update Now.

If you have sites that support automatic background updates, they’ve already started the update process.

Security Updates

3 security issues affect WordPress versions between 5.4 and 5.8. If you haven’t yet updated to 5.8, all WordPress versions since 5.4 have also been updated to fix the following security issues:

  • Props @mdawaffe, member of the WordPress Security Team for their work fixing a data exposure vulnerability within the REST API.
  • Props to Michał Bentkowski of Securitum for reporting a XSS vulnerability in the block editor.
  • The Lodash library has been updated to version 4.17.21 in each branch to incorporate upstream security fixes.

In addition to these issues, the security team would like to thank the following people for reporting vulnerabilities during the WordPress 5.8 beta testing period, allowing them to be fixed prior to release:

  • Props Evan Ricafort for reporting a XSS vulnerability in the block editor discovered during the 5.8 release’s beta period.
  • Props Steve Henty for reporting a privilege escalation issue in the block editor.

Thank you to all of the reporters for privately disclosing the vulnerabilities. This gave the WordPress security team time to fix the vulnerabilities before WordPress sites could be attacked.

For more information, browse the full list of changes on Trac, or check out the version 5.8.1 HelpHub documentation page.

Thanks and props!

The 5.8.1 release was led by Jonathan Desrosiers and Evan Mullins.

In addition to the security researchers and release squad members mentioned above, thank you to everyone who helped make WordPress 5.8.1 happen:

2linctools, Adam Zielinski, Alain Schlesser, Alex Lende, alexstine, AlGala, André, Andrei Draganescu, Andrew Ozz, Ankit Panchal, Anthony Burchell, Anton Vlasenko, Ari Stathopoulos, Bruno Ribaric, Carolina Nymark, Daisy Olsen, Daniel Richards, Daria, David Anderson, David Biňovec, David Herrera, Dominik Schilling, Ella van Durpe, Enchiridion, Evan Mullins, Gary Jones, George Mamadashvili, Greg Ziółkowski, Héctor Prieto, ianmjones, Jb Audras, Jeff Bowen, Joe Dolson, Joen A., John Blackbourn, Jonathan Desrosiers, JuanMa Garrido, Juliette Reinders Folmer, Kai Hao, Kapil Paul, Kerry Liu, Kevin Fodness, Marcus Kazmierczak, Mark-k, Matt, Michael Adams (mdawaffe), Mike Schroder, moch11, Mukesh Panchal, Nik Tsekouras, Paal Joachim Romdahl, Pascal Birchler, Paul Bearne, Paul Biron, Peter Wilson, Petter Walbø Johnsgård, Radixweb, Rahul Mehta, ramonopoly, ravipatel, Riad Benguella, Robert Anderson, Rodrigo Arias, Sanket Chodavadiya, Sergey Biryukov, Stephen Bernhardt, Stephen Edgar, Steve Henty, terraling, Timothy Jacobs, tmatsuur, TobiasBg, Tonya Mork, Toro_Unit (Hiroshi Urabe), Vlad T, wb1234, and WFMattR.

by Jonathan Desrosiers at September 09, 2021 03:11 AM under Security

WPTavern: FSE Program: Insights Into Switching Between Block Themes

Unlike routine testing rounds for the FSE Outreach Program, Anne McCarthy threw a bit of a twist on the Make WordPress Test blog earlier today. The announcement asks users to think about what they would like to see when switching between block themes. The test is open to anyone who wants to participate through September 29.

The steps are loose and not required. The goal is to get people thinking and discussing what the theme-switching flow will look like over time. McCarthy asked several questions, but they are merely a starting point for a more open-ended discussion.

While I sometimes need structure, I tend to break the rules anyway. The format of this test suited me well today.

I am not one for switching themes. Since I learned how to design for WordPress well over a decade ago, I have never moved from one theme to the next. At least not in the same way that the average user would. Instead, every time I have added a new coat of paint on my websites, I have simply switched over the foundation to whatever I had been working on at the given moment. WordPress themes, for me, were always just an iteration upon the last project.

One of the cornerstones of programming is to reuse your code, and it is a principle that I have taken to heart. Even now, as I continue to explore block theme design, I am doing so from a gutted version of the last WordPress theme I built.

When I think about switching themes, it is not an experience that I am accustomed to. Even when I started working for WP Tavern, the site already used one of my themes with some customizations. It feels like I have missed out. Throughout my entire journey with WordPress since version 1.5, in which the platform first introduced themes, I have never truly experienced the theme-switching process in the most fundamental way. I will soon, but we will talk about that on another day.

When I have “switched” themes, I have done so in test environments for writing about them or running tech support for end-users.

The call for exploration mainly focused on global design-related features. However, in my experience, these tend to matter far less than what a user’s content will look like. The first thing I do when testing any theme is to load a demo post. Lately, this has been the “Welcome to the Gutenberg Editor” test post. The primary question: Can I read the content comfortably? If I do not get past this stage, I simply deactivate the theme.

For this experiment, I chose three themes:

I started with that foundation of testing how easy it was to read a simple blog post.

Overall, each theme performed admirably. However, Quadrat’s use of the featured image on a single post view felt out of place.

One question that keeps me up at night is how cross-theme compatibility will work on the content level. Default block output should translate from one theme to the next with little or no issues. However, custom block styles, font sizes, colors, and the full range of presets are already a problem area.

This is not a new conversation. There is an ongoing discussion on standardizing some features. But the cat is already out of the bag and running loose through the house.

Global styles and templates are features that themers have been dealing with for years in some form or another. The new systems are just different ways of doing the same thing.

However, when design elements merge with content, switching themes becomes more complex without an underlying, standardized system. To illustrate this point, I checked all three of my test themes against a post that used custom block styles, gradient colors, and font sizes. I wanted to push the boundaries beyond a simple blog post.

The content was built with my custom theme and an “open canvas” template. Quadrat had a similar template for hiding the post title, but TT1 Blocks did not.

The result was, ahem, rough:

Of course, my custom theme looks as it should. This is not to say that TT1 Blocks and Quadrat are poorly designed. They are actually two of the best block themes available at the moment. The problem is that they do not share the same block styles and presets. WordPress and Gutenberg are also missing some fundamental layout tools that could make it easier to carry this design from one theme to the next.

The most complex piece of the design is with the opening Cover block pattern:

Technically, this is a Cover block within another. The bottom layer has a background image with a duotone filter and sets the inner content to 90% width of its parent. The second layer has a theme-defined gradient background and sets its inside container to the left at 50% width. Plus, it has a sprinkling of custom font sizes.

These layout controls are only possible through custom block styles or some hacky uses of the Columns block. I chose the former because it was easier, but it also means they are broken when used with any other theme.

While I called this the most complex piece of the design, it is actually a simple thing to do with most page builders or with a few lines of CSS. Until WordPress has some type of grid container block, theme authors will rely on custom techniques to make such layouts possible. It can and will get even uglier than this the longer we wait.

The open discussions on standardizing presets like font sizes and color names may bear fruit that could help with the more trivial parts. However, I have not seen gradient names pop up in this discussion.

I do have at least one ulterior motive for this test. I have long wanted to try more experimental post designs and layouts here at WP Tavern. However, I know that we will eventually switch themes. That voice in the back of my mind always reminds me that those custom-designed post layouts will likely break when that day comes. The tools are not advanced enough for me to take the plunge. Not yet anyway.

At this point, I am sure that I am no longer following the intended direction of the call for exploration. However, I am just letting the journey take me where I am meant to go. My destination is an addition to my wish list: more robust layout tools that work from theme to theme.

by Justin Tadlock at September 09, 2021 02:35 AM under gutenberg

September 08, 2021

WPTavern: #7 – Ajit Bohra on Gutenberg, Full Site Editing and React

About this episode.

On the podcast today we have Ajit Bohra.

Ajit is a keen advocate of WordPress, having used it and committed to it, for many years. He’s a full stack developer working at Lubus which is based in Mumbai, India. His team works with WordPress as well as offering solutions built with Laravel and React.

He’s on the podcast today to offer up his opinions about the near future in WordPress and why he’s confident that the project is moving in the right direction.

To make matters easier to digest we break up the podcast into three distinct sections.

Starting off with Gutenberg we discuss where the Block Editor is at right now and what Ajit sees as the benefits of a Block based approach to content building. We go into some concrete examples of why Ajit thinks that the Block Editor is preferable to the Classic editor as well as discussing some of the projects that he’s been working on to enhance the editing experience for his team and the community. We also talk about the pace of development and whether or not it’s keeping up with the expectations of WordPress users.

We then move onto a detailed conversation about Full Site Editing which is going to play a pivotal role in WordPress’ utility going forwards. The power that it will offer non-technical users to build out their entire site is an exciting prospect, but right now it’s still a work in progress. Ajit talks about why Full Site Editing is needed to compete in the CMS market as well as how Block Patterns will make site building much easier in the future.

Finally we get into the subject of WordPress’ need to move towards a future in which React is playing a vital part in the software’s Core. Why does Ajit think that the project needed to move away from a PHP based platform; after all, it was easy to work with and people had become very familiar with how to build sites using their PHP skills. It’s a case of having to keep up, and as Ajit says, he thinks that you have to unlearn to learn. We briefly discuss the resources which Ajit used to up-skill, websites that he frequents and courses which he recommends should you wish to take the plunge.

In parts the audio is a little choppy, in fact this is a second pass at recording this episode, but I felt that the message contained within was well worth publishing despite that, and I hope that you do too.

Useful links.

Ajit’s Twitter account



Beginner Javascript


Javascript 30

React for Beginners

The Net Ninja YouTube channel

The Beginner’s Guide to React

Epic React

Is WordPress Development Really All That Hard To Get Into Today?

Nathan Wrigley [00:00:00]

Welcome to the seventh edition of the Jukebox podcast from WP Tavern. My name is Nathan Wrigley. Jukebox is a podcast all about WordPress, the software, the events, and the community. Every month, we’re bringing you someone from that community to discuss a topic of current interest. If you like the podcast, please share it with your friends. You might also like to think about subscribing so that you can get all the episodes in your podcast player automatically. And you can do that by searching for WP Tavern in your podcast player, or by going to WP Tavern dot com forward slash feed forward slash podcast. You can also play the podcast episodes on the WP Tavern website, if you prefer doing it that way. If you have any thoughts about the podcast, perhaps the suggestion of a guest or an interesting subject, then head over to WP Tavern dot com forward slash contact forward slash jukebox. Use the contact form there and we’d certainly welcome your input.

Okay, so on the podcast today, we have Ajit Bohra. Adit is a keen advocate of WordPress having used it, and committed to it, for many years. He’s a full stack developer working at Lubus, which is based in Mumbai, India. His team works with WordPress as well as offering solutions built with Laravel and React. He’s on the podcast today to offer up his opinions about the near future in WordPress and why he’s confident that the project is moving in the right direction.

To make matters easier we break the podcast up into three distinct sections starting off with Gutenberg, we discuss where the block editor is at right now and what Ajit sees as the benefits of a block based approach to content building. We go into some concrete examples of why Ajit thinks that the block editor is preferable to the classic editor, as well as discussing some of the projects that he’s been working on to enhance the editing experience for his team and the community.

We also talk about the pace of development and whether or not it’s keeping up with the expectations of WordPress users. We then move on to a detailed conversation about full site editing, which is going to play a pivotal role in WordPress’ utility, going forwards. The power that it will often non-technical users to build out their entire site is an exciting prospect, but right now it’s still a work in progress. Ajit talks about why full site editing is needed to compete in the CMS market, as well as how block patterns will make site building much easier in the future.

Finally, we get into the subject of WordPress’ need to move towards a future in which React is playing a vital part in the software’s core. Why does Ajit think that the project needed to move away from a PHP based platform? After all, it was easy to work with and people have become very familiar with how to build sites using their PHP skills. It’s a case of having to keep up, and as Ajit says, he thinks that you have to unlearn to learn.

We briefly discuss the resources, which Ajit used to up-skill. Websites that he frequents and courses, which he recommends should you wish to take the plunge?

In parts, the audio is a little choppy. In fact, this is a second pass at recording this episode, but I felt that the message contained within it, it was well worth publishing despite that, and I hope that you do too. 

If any of those, the points raised in this podcast resonate with you, be sure to head over and find the post at WP Tavern dot com forward slash podcast, and leave us a comment there.

And so without further delay, I bring you Ajit Bohra.

I am joined today by Ajit Bohra. Hello, Ajit, welcome to the podcast. 

Ajit Bohra [00:04:37]

Yeah, hi Nathan. 

Nathan Wrigley [00:04:38]

It’s very nice to have you on, as we typically do at the beginning of the podcast, we’d like to allow our guests to introduce themselves and tell us a little bit about their journey and how they came to be involved in WordPress. So, it doesn’t matter how far you want to rewind your life, but if you could paint a little picture of how it is that you’re on the podcast today. When did you start using WordPress? What is it that you’re doing currently? 

Ajit Bohra [00:05:00]

Yeah, so I am from Mumbai, India and on a professional front, I own an agency where we provide WordPress based solution to the clients. It has been quite an interesting journey for me because I have been someone who always hated computers and programming.

And it’s exciting that today it’s my passion for everything. I started working with WordPress when it was around version one x. We had that blue, white screen where we didn’t have the sidebars at an early stage of WordPress. It’s been around 10 to 12 years of experience working with WordPress. I’ve worked with a lot of technologies being Drupal, being Joomla, being DotNet.

And then eventually I fall in love with PHP. Probably I got into PHP because of WordPress. So I can say WordPress was the entry point for me to get into the PHP world. There was a time when I was just working with WordPress, I was not a community guy or something. Then I was hearing a lot about the meetups, WordCamps and everything, and then happened to be part of the local WordPress community.

And then started visiting the WordCamps and I think, and I was like, damn, I have been missing out on a lot of interesting stuff. Like this is something I have missed out. And then for three, four years, there was a lot of travelling around the country, visiting international WordCamps trying to speak at a couple of WordCamps and local meetups. It was quite an interesting journey. And then at one point, after visiting this WordCamp, I was like, damn, I’m not even contributing to the WordPress, and it’d been 10, 12 years. I’ve been in the industry and I’m being like a leech where I’m just taking things from WordPress. That was the point I was looking to contribute to WordPress. I was like, okay, now I want to learn something new, because there was a shift in WordPress. So Gutenberg become an entry point for me to learn new things and also contribute to the, contribute back to the WordPress community. So I started with one refactoring PR and from that things accelerated and start contributing more PR’s to looking at different aspects of development, helping people get into the Gutenberg bandwagon. And then I started writing the notes for the weekly editor meeting. So quite interesting thing happens. And then finally I’m into the WordPress community. 

Nathan Wrigley [00:07:00]

Thank you. That’s really interesting. So you go back really a long way. Community is obviously a part of this discussion, but we’re really going to focus on everything post Gutenberg.

When we started communicating about this podcast episode, we decided on three different sections and that’s how the episode is going to be chunked today. We’re going to talk initially, just about Gutenberg and have a conversation around what we think of it and where it is and how the community has been involved with that and so on. And we’re going to move on to a discussion of full site editing, and what we think about the state of play there. And then finally talking about the future of the way that WordPress will be built from the coding side. We’ll talk about React and how that’s impacting things. So we’ll kick off the conversation with Gutenberg.

Now, obviously you just mentioned that you got yourself involved in the community side of things around Gutenberg, and I’m curious because it does seem to be quite a divisive issue. On the one hand, we’ve got people who really enjoy using it and love it and find great pleasure in experiencing it. And then you’ve got other people who are finding it to be a difficult transition. They wish that perhaps that it hadn’t come along and things had continued with the old TinyMCE implementation. What is it about Gutenberg that you enjoy so much? Why do you feel that it’s a good thing that the community has done pushing Gutenberg into core in WordPress five. 

Ajit Bohra [00:08:22]

Before I say I enjoyed Gutenberg, I have to admit that I was the guy who hated Gutenberg. When it was introduced, I put it that, right now I have to learn everything new and this is going to be difficult. So I have a love, hate relationship with Gutenberg. Eventually came to a point where I was like, oh damn, I’m enjoying it.

I can connect with a lot of people because I have never been a Javascript guy. I knew React, I knew other stuff around it, but I was more comfortable with PHP and I can see a lot of people are comfortable with PHP for them. So there is a resistance saying that, okay, now we have to learn new stuff. And also problem is it changes a lot of things. How we have been approaching things. You have to change the mindset. You have to have that bloggers mentality. So that’s the reason why people have a resistance because you have to unlearn, to learn new things and people are not ready to unlearn. That’s the biggest problem. When they look at Gutenberg, they are still with that process of PHP base with a system where you have this hierarchy of files and everything. Which has changed.

So Core is trying to provide a backward compatibility and also making things smoother for people. At the one end where developers are trying to move, push the envelope. There are people, they are still holding their old envelope and saying we want things this way. So that resistance is creating the problem, but when you take a step back and look at things, things look a lot more, good. If you look at it from a positive side, you end up learning something new. Like if it was not Gutenberg, WordPress community will have not ventured into JavaScript and React. That’s opening door for you. If you think from a developer perspective, it is adding a lot more feathers in your cap.

Okay. Previously, we are working with the PHP. Now you’re working with JavaScript. Now you’re working with React. Now you can create desktop apps because React and JavaScript helps you create desktop app, mobile app also. So Gutenberg just becomes a reason for you to enter into different dimension and a different nuance.

And that’s the reason why I love it because Gutenberg gave me that push to go an extra mile, which is a technically helping me on my personal professional front also. And if I look from a WordPress perspective, like previously, we were doing certain things and we were quite convenient and comfortable with all this stuff, but at a certain time, and I used to wish, if we can do this thing a different way, because let’s accept it now, even if whatever we were doing with PHP was comfortable, easy for us because we have been doing that for 10 years.

And after 10 years to tell someone, you have to do it that way, you are going to have resistance. But there are a lot of problems that we had since last 10 years, there was a lot of fragmentation of implementations. You have this custom meta boxes, a lot of other stuff, you just want your content and it look good, and user-friendly, you want to give your end users a UI UX in a way where they can control their content. And we ended up creating… it’s a lot mess, because somewhere someone using XYZ page builder, some are creating their own page builders. Technically everybody wants ‘what you see is what you get’ real editor because everybody’s struggling.

So down the line, we are admitting that whatever editor right now we have is problematic because we are trying to stuff in ten different plugins to make it work in a different way. Not do any extra work on your content editor to have that kind of experience. That means there is a problem with the implementation that we have in Core, and I guess Gutenberg just takes care of those problems. If you look at one problem is shortcodes. Like we have shortcode we have widgets, there are ten to twenty different implementation that you can have on your content editor, but when the block editor steps in, that is one implementation that rules out everything, you no longer have those clumsy shortcodes.

Even if you look at the shortcodes, people have these shortcode builders, and that is where block editors coming in with features, where you no longer have to do all those teams because you have a UI, you can configure that your end user can use. So from an user perspective, it is a very good product. Like I’ve been working with a lot of publications and brands. They love Gutenberg. They have been transitioning their old system, to the new system because their marketing team, their content team enjoys it. Even the small to mid-level clients, when they see Gutenberg, they are like, why we didn’t have this previously.

You look at the WordPress user base. We have different kinds of people we can categorize. One are the people who are very hardcore developers. And then there is a second category. I call them the people who do tinkering. They are not hardcore developer, but they happen to get into development accidentally by tinkering with WordPress. And then we have the third category of implementation. So if you ask me the people who do implementation jobs, their job is to take team, take a couple of plugins and make everything. They are the happiest person on the earth when it comes to Gutenberg. But if you talk about people who do a lot of tinkering, they find it very difficult because they have not been a hardcore developer. They have learned PHP the hard way. They have invested a lot of time figuring out tinkering and they are kind of a semi developer. So they find it very difficult for them venturing into JavaScript. It’s like, oh, damn, this is a different game. But if you look at hardcore developers, they know PHP and everything. And if you look at the ratio, we have a lot more people who are doing implementation jobs on WordPress based website. We have way more people who are a semi developer, they are not hardcore developer, but they tend to make things work for WordPress. And if you look at hardcore developer, that ratio is very low. And the resistance that you see from the people is from these other two categories. 

Nathan Wrigley [00:13:30]

I’m just wondering, just maybe to illustrate your excitement about it. If you can bring to our attention, some example, perhaps of a block, something in use inside Gutenberg that you feel encapsulates why it’s so good. It could even be something that you’ve built yourself or a third party thing. Just something that you think… this represents a really great to use of what Gutenberg is capable of. 

Ajit Bohra [00:13:54]

So I will do that in two. Part one is if you look at previously how the Classic Editor works, we had all the content on one page, and I always hated when I have to move content. If I have four paragraphs, if I want to move the last paragraph to the top, the only thing that I have was copy and paste. But with the blocks, I can just move around the content. And that’s the beauty that I love about blocks. And second is, there are a lot of shortcodes and everything. That’s gone. That’s the Core thing. And if you look at building things, the only option that you have is, custom post types. If you want to segregate content and create different types of content, the separation is only at the level of content, but what if you want to give your content and pull together different templating and everything? That is not possible with the classic one, because you have to do a lot of meta boxes in them.

So I remember working on a couple of projects lately, where we have this campaign building tool where a theme needs a lot of banners on their website. So . Just by creating a custom post type and utilizing the power of Gutenberg, you are giving a marketing team, a tool where they can create their own banners. Like it can be a mashup of a cover block with headings, with image and buttons and boom, they have their own banner tool. Like you don’t have to do lot of extra stuff. All the building blocks are there. You have to just assemble them, give it to your users. They can just generate all the banners on the fly. So that’s the beauty. 

Nathan Wrigley [00:15:14]

Yeah. The ability to have everything inside the one UI, all of the settings for all of the different bits and pieces that you may be building your page with as opposed to having to go and tinker with settings in a different part of WordPress is quite compelling. It makes things significantly quicker.

When we began our conversation, talking about what we were going to discuss in this podcast. You mentioned that you’re involved personally, I don’t know whether this is something to do with the business, or if it’s just personal playing, you mentioned that you were involved in building some experiment, mental things in the block editor. Just curious if you could tell us what it is that you’ve been up to? 

Ajit Bohra [00:15:50]

Yeah. So I have been planning on that lately, but I haven’t been getting time, but there are a lot of experiments that I have worked on. There’s a lot of blog blog blog, we have been talking around. So I have named the project, blah, blah, blocks. It’s a sarcastic name, yeah blah-blah-blah blocks. It is not something of a blog pack or anything. It is not intended to create a library. It is just experimental to let people know that this is something that you can do and build. So whatever random ideas that I get, or the random ideas I get from a team while working on different projects. So just write it down that this is something that we can build someday, or maybe we can, kind of experiment. So there are a couple of things that I have been experimenting with blocks. So blocks are not the only thing because a lot of people have been looking at Gutenberg from a block perspective and blockss have been the poster child of Gutenberg. But block is not the only capability that Gutenberg provide. Apart from blocks, if you look at it, we have patterns, we have variations. We have a rich text format, which have a lot more potential, even block extensions is another category where people can explore. Like we always look at block extensions. There are only a handful of developers that I have been following who are actually, kind of creating block extensions, where they are extending the capability of the core blocks and everything. So that’s an interesting area. So I’ve been working on a few of them. I remember creating a couple of blocks where, for example, if you add color code to your editor, so it just displays a hashcode. So that is a format that I have worked on, which create a color token out of it. Like how you look into your color editors. If you paste a color code into a vs code, it will actually display a small icon with the color of it, it will actually show the preview. So that kind of format that I have created, and I’ve created this format for a sound seed format, where you can attach an audio on top of text and display a play button. And lately I’ve been working on another experiment where you create a list or using a list block, and what if you want to convert that list into a to do list? Where it stores now, like you can literally click on it and it will strike off the item. For example, if I’m creating a conference checklist you know, this is a speaker application checklist, and these are the five items that you need to do. And I want to give user capability that they can just click on it and it was strike off and it was store into that local store saying that, okay, this item is completed. I’m working on that block extension also with kinds of convert the list block into a to-do list block. It’s like without creating a new block, we are just utilizing the list block and extending it. So these are the different experimentations that I’m working on. So just to give an idea, and food for thoughts to people out there that there’s a lot more that you can do with editor, you can just be creative.

Nathan Wrigley [00:18:22]

I do love the idea of building on top of the core blocks and changing and adapting them in the way that you’ve just mentioned with your to-do list. Really interesting. You mentioned block patterns and I have to say that this is something I’ve made really good use of. I’m extremely confident that the block patterns are going to become something that many people will make use of. In my case, I repeat a similar format in content that I produce. It has a title, it’s often got an introductory paragraph and I find myself retyping the same thing over and over again. Or at least I did. And so I’ve been creating and saving away block patterns, which essentially create templates for my work. And I can see this being useful all over the place, having complicated layouts and saving things that you wish to use over and over again, and possibly even a marketplace that could spring up around block patterns were pre-configured things that many people would like to have, hero images and so on. And I can just see a few of those starting to come into the marketplace. There seem to be a few players trying to get their block pattern packs, If you like… noticed. I feel this is a really good area for growth in the future.

Ajit Bohra [00:19:32]

So I have seen Justin Tadlock has been doing great work, that block pattern he has been doing and putting it up, putting up on Twitter. So there’s a great lot of pattern he’s worked. I loved it. I remember working on a project recently where the team needs a lot of landing pages for black Friday sale. There is always a struggle between, the content team, the design team and everything. But patterns are the lifesaver. You just talk to the design team, create certain patterns, give to the content team and they are happy editing the content. There is a separation of concern also design team works on the patterns, content team gives them like, this is the content and this is going to be, and then finally give it to the content editing team. So I guess with patterns, we are enabling people to have certain kind of process and protocol, which was not possible with the classic editor, because everything was mashed up.

Nathan Wrigley [00:20:17]

Moving on staying with Gutenberg and the whole block editor, but now talking, instead of talking about the functionality of it, just talking about the implementation of it and how it’s come about over time. There seems to be right at this point, we seem to be at some kind of inflection point where people are discussing whether or not it’s going in the right direction, whether there’s enough involvement. Whether people’s voices are being heard. Perhaps people are saying it’s going too slow, it’s not moving at the speed of commercial page builders. And I’m just curious what your thoughts are on that. Now it may be that you don’t have any thoughts on this, but I’m just interested to know whether you think the project is going in the way that the community wants it to go. Perhaps you’ve got some personal experience of that. But also whether you think it’s going only in the direction of a tiny subset of people who have the time, energy or capacity to actually tell what it is that they want to be built in the future. 

Ajit Bohra [00:21:14]

So I’ve seen a lot of comparisons have been drawn Gutenberg with the commercial page builder, but there is a fundamental difference because I find this comparison a little floored. Because when we talk about commercial product and community projects, they work in a different way in a different fashion, and how decisions are being taken. In a commercial project, if we talk about any page builder they have you know, a limited set of decision makers. They will just put out the product at the pace they have decided they will have a clear guidelines. So everything is isolated in terms of development. So they’re now going to work on core features and being able to put across and all of these commercial products have taken like four to five years to stabilize themselves, roughly around four to five years for Gutenberg also. And Elementor has taken a lot more time where they are right now. Like it’s more elegant way before. And if we do the plus and minus, we can see, they have invested lot more years into the development. So obviously they are going to be way ahead of what Gutenberg is right now. 

If you look at it, initially, all this page builder started working with the PHP and everything. And eventually later on, now they are going into the JavaScript, where Gutenberg itself started with the JavaScript itself because they knew they want to give an experience on the client side, and that JavaScript has to come into it. 

Nathan Wrigley [00:22:28]

It’s also curious as well, the way that these different commercial page builders are set up, I think allows them to iterate more quickly. Not only do they not have to worry about the backwards compatibility of core, they only need to worry about the backwards compatibility of their plugin and the ecosystem that they’ve developed. But also they have a smaller audience and so they can probably poll them and ask for their opinions and be a little bit more decisive about what it is that they need to build. Whereas I feel the core project, it does have to be backwards compatible, and also it has a giant audience of, let’s say 42% plus of the web. So they need to be very mindful. And it’s something that I keep saying over and over again, when the audience is that large, it must be very difficult not to have paralysis about what it is that you’re going to introduce and so on. So yes, I can. Understand that. 

Let’s move on. Let’s change tack a little bit. And let’s talk about full site editing. Now full site editing, we’re in a really difficult moments because we know that it’s coming. We can sense that it’s coming. There are bits of it, which are now available to us, but it’s very limited. We can modify only certain bits and we’ve got a roadmap, and so we know what’s coming. I’m just curious as to what your thoughts are on full site editing. Do you think this is an important milestone for WordPress? 

Ajit Bohra [00:23:51]

Yeah, this is definitely an important milestone because that is always a comparison between the page builders that we have in market. And most of them cater with the full site editing where if you can control the header, footer, global styles and everything. And that’s the reason where people feel Gutenberg is lagging. And once the FSE comes in, I guess it is going to, kind of also reduce the fragmentation that we have right now between the PHP. If you want to create a theme, okay, you can create blocks, but you don’t have complete control of your website in terms of block-ifying everything. But when FSE comes into picture, you are in complete control of the website. So right now it is mainstream where a lot of people are actually using it on the live site. There are also certain people, which are, they are experimenting with the FSE. But again, if you look at the FSE, the mindset of the people is still in the old implementation of themes. You know, they still think that hierarchy and everything, but FSE changes a lot of stuff. I have seen a lot of videos, a lot of people talking about how it is changing or creating a confusion on FSE, and confusion only happens when you see something new and you expect that new thing to be functional and similar to what you have seen past. It is new for a reason that there is going to be a different implementation. And if you honestly ask me, FSE is doing what actual themes were supposed to initially do, like the job of theme is to give you a foundational thing where you have a base layout, you have your design system place where you say that this are my fonts, these are my colors, and this is my master layout. And this is the building. Now you just craft your content and create all this stuff. So FSE actually enables you with that. If you look at classic themes, there is a lot of stuff that developers have to do. Like they have to look after not creating and handling the global styles. Looking after the topography, looking after all the designs and layout, like they have to do a lot of work on the code. But with FSE it is like, you don’t focus on this stuff. You just focus on the design elements. As a theme developer your job is to actually work on the look and feel, not on the small nitty gritty. They are giving you the building. So for me, Gutenberg is more of, laying down a lot of processes for the community, how they work, in terms of how you craft your content, how you write your content, how you design your themes. It is redefining the processes. So rather than looking at Gutenberg as just a way to edit your content, we should look at it in a way where we have a certain process and protocol in place, how we use our WordPress website or content editing experience. And we should look at Gutenberg as a way to redefine those processes. We can say, now we are getting a different set of processes, which are more refined and which are more optimized. We have to just unlearn the old process and get into the into the new process. And that is going to open up a lot. 

Nathan Wrigley [00:26:33]

Yeah, that’s a really interesting point. And I was trying to think about wordPress from the perspective, this was the other day. I was trying to think about what it would be like if I was fresh to WordPress and I’d never used it before. And also I had no experience with any kind of software. I’d never had a website. I have no expertise in anything to do with putting content on the web. And so I was trying to think to myself what, what is it that I would want. The full site editing what’s promised is exactly what I would want. I would want to be able to set things up, set some basic global styles, pick some fonts, pick some colors and so on, and then to be able to create my menu. And I would be wanting to do that in one place. In one part of the overall software, I wouldn’t want to be having to go over to this different section, modify things, save things, go back and check things. I would wish to do it all in one space. And I think you’re right. The idea of modifying the workflow, if you like modifying the workflow so that everything is easy for non-technical people out of the gate is the goal so that we can continue to democratize publishing, but we are in a transient period where the old things have to be adapted, perhaps replaced and the new things have to be accepted and it’s going to be a bumpy ride, which of course leads to the problems that we’ve got at the moment where there seems to be confusion, and in some cases, people are a little bit, perhaps even upset because of the way things are happening. But I guess change is going to be needed in order to make the content management system usable by people in the future. By having one interface for everything. 

Ajit Bohra [00:28:16]

And a lot of people think that FSE is going to kill themes. Let me tell you it is not killing themes are not going anywhere. Technically FSE is helping team developers. If you look at any marketers, you can see if you pick five different themes, those five different themes are done in a different way. They have a different set of page builder. They are either tied up with a third party page builder, or they have their own custom page builders. They are using customizer. There’s a lot of work they are doing just to get the basics of theme setup done. But after FSE and it will make theme developers and theme shop jobs easy, because now they don’t have to maintain their own version of, maintaining design systems and everything because Gutenberg is I like, I know you need all this stuff. So let me give you all this in core and standardize this for you. So Gutenberg is going to extend the rise the overall process of themes, and rather than working on those core sectors, you just focus on theme. If you want to create a university theme, so you create the color palette, you create the theme, you create, you just define the font size into the theme json files and you ship the required patterns that are required for a university website. So you are now working on the content. So rather than building your car from the ground, you are saying, okay, I have my engines and bonnets and everything ready, I just need to work on the body color and the interior. That’s it. So you are getting semi build cars for your themes. So themes are there. They are not going to die.

And my phrase throughout the day when I started working on the Gutenberg is you need to unlearn to learn. And that is the important when there is something new out in the industry where you are working, you have to often unlearn, because you cannot sit there and say that we have been, using this for 10 years. It’s okay. 10 years things have to redefine. 

Nathan Wrigley [00:29:55]

Yeah, good point. One of the things which causes the disagreements in the community or the upset that we’ve got from time to time is simply that this can’t happen overnight. It can’t be just okay, finished in the background. Let’s just throw it into the next version of WordPress. It does need to iterate. And I liken it to imagine I’ve got a house and I wish to have an extension built onto the side of my house to increase its size and make my house more desirable. There isn’t some sort of Jack and the Beanstalk magic beam that you can throw in the ground and sprinkle water on it, and suddenly I’ve got an extension. I have to go through a process of watching the house being built and everything gets messy. There’s dust everywhere. Bits of my walls need to be knocked down to make it happen. And eventually after a period of time, when everything is finished and tidied up, the house is better, but there was a process that I had to go through, which was a little bit difficult in the meantime. I don’t know what you think about that analogy, but that’s the way I’m thinking about where we are right now. We’re in the process of building something, adding something new. It’s difficult, but it has to be difficult. 

Ajit Bohra [00:31:03]

Yes, because if a lot of people have argument that it should have been plugin. It was a plugin for quite a good amount of time and which kind of, enabled the team to gather feedback. But eventually you someday you have to put it in the core and you cannot wait for five years and say that now we are going to put it into core and test. Because the moment you add things to the core, one is it increases the adoption and you get like a lot more clear feedback. It is very crucial for it to land in the core. And even if you look at it, it landed in the core with a small set of features where they only focused on the editing experience. Like they only replace the editor. I can say that, no, it is not perfect, but yeah, you have to do it someday. People say you should stabilize it because if you talk about stability and perfection, they are very subjective. If you take 10 people and ask a view about Gutenberg, I’m sure a lot of people will say, this that is perfect. A lot of people with that, this has just started. Perfection, stability are very subjective, a lot of, a lot more people, a lot more voices, and we can never say what is perfect. People complain about these things. I guess period is going to be slow. There are two reasons. One, there are a lot of people involved. There is some central decision making, but still it is a community project where a lot of people talk about it, they write issues and have people speak about it. It is shared on the Slack. So it kinds of creative friction and resistance. We have a set plan, but to move slow, it is a community project. We have to take care of good compatibility. So for example when working on the FSE, FSE is going slow. While working on a team realizes that there are a lot more changes that needs to be done into the core API’s. If you look at the blocks API, they are lot more flexible. Like we previously didn’t had option for design tools you know, defining padding and everything. So they realize, okay these options are required on the block to enable FSE. There is an argument that team will have thought about implementing this, but you cannot startup, adding ten different options in first place. Like a lot of commercial page builder, they work in a template fashion where they add all the option in one go. But in Gutenberg approach, if you see we are starting with a minimal set of features and flexibility, we are not giving all the options to user. They are slowly added and iterated in a way where things are flexible. Things are backward compatible and then they don’t even create a bloat also. So that is the reason why processes is a bit slow because we are looking for creating something, which is long-term sustainable. 

Nathan Wrigley [00:33:23]

Yes. Good point. I guess if you are after this being quick, then it’s likely to be poorly implemented if we rush it, but I can well understand the arguments of people who feel that the pace of change is not necessarily as, as quick as they would like, but I guess we just have to just hold on and see what the future holds.

There’s an interesting quote that I’ve written down from Justin Tatlock, who obviously is with WP Tavern. He wrote the following in a blog post, which I’ll link to, he wrote, "If WordPress must become more complex for developers to provide end users with this much power", he was talking about full site editing, he says, "I can live with that". And I think that’s my position as well. 

Okay. Let’s move on to our third and final section. Now, obviously in the future, WordPress has decided to become more JavaScript focussed. In the past, very much since the beginning, it’s been all to do with PHP and template files and all of that stuff. Now we’re moving into an era where new languages, new capabilities, new ways of doing things are possible. And so we’ve entered this new era where React is taking over the heavy lifting for many of the things in WordPress. It does by definition, a little bit like we talked about just previously, it does mean that if in the future you wish to really get involved with WordPress and it’s core, you will need to have those skills, sounds to me like you have embraced that and you’ve decided to learn those things, but I’m just curious how you think the WordPress community is handling this and what you have done to upscale yourself and learn these new things.

Ajit Bohra [00:34:59]

So I still see a lot of people complain about it and they have resistance because they are thinking from the perspective of (?). And I have been a fan of Laravel also, I’ve been active into that Laravel community, which is more a PHP focused, but I have seen how they embrace different technologies and where, when you are into different communities, you learn a lot.

So it’s good for WordPress developer also to hang out in different communities, in different technologies, also different perspective, and also help you grow. So a lot of people who say that they don’t want to move to the JavaScript. Even if you have to admit we are not doing PHP also fairly good. We are using PHP in a limited scope because I see a lot of PHP developer, they are using PHP at a basic level. They are not moving up. And if you look at the core. The core has been slowly modernized in terms of PHP also. There was a time when there was a lot of functional programming, but we can see a lot of OOPs has been implemented. We have a lot of classes and even the way things are handled is way far better than what we had in the previous version of the WordPress.

If you look at the developers right now, even on the PHP front also, they need to redefine. You need to step up your game. You need to get into the modern PHP. You need to start embracing the OOPs. You need to start embracing the dependency management. So I’ve seen a lot of PHP developer also who have resistance, who don’t even want to go and use Composer also to maintain the dependency.

So these are the category of developers who eventually have resistance. Like they work on certain set of things and they are comfortable in there. The only problem is that comfort backfires you because that just stops your growth. And that’s exactly the reason I have been extensively working in the past year, improving myself on the PHP front also, but when JavaScript jumped in. So I remember Matt saying that learn JavaScript deeply. So at that time I was like, at some point I will learn JavaScript, and I’ve always been comfortable in the PHP area, but there are a lot of interesting stuff happening in the JavaScript arena. And I was like some days, some day, but eventually Gutenberg happened.

I started getting involved in it and I was like, let’s address the elephant in the room. So I started now, I took three months, a break from everything, isolated myself, and I started reading stuff about it. I was like, damn, this is interesting. Not bad. Once you start loving things and stop hating it. Now, you open a lot of doors and don’t look JavaScript from the perspective of WordPress. The biggest mistake that we can do is as a developer is if you are working with WordPress and saying, now WprdPress needs JavaScript, I need to learn. No, rather look at it from a distant, different perspective and say that, now there’s a lot of JavaScript that is in general being used outside. Which you can explore and embrace. So there might be case when you start working on React or JavaScript and WordPress being the reason, and you ended learning a new skill. And then you realize, oh, now you can work on a lot of stuff outside of WordPress also. So WordPress become the teacher who’s pushing you to learn something new, and that completely changed things for you. So right now I’m working extensively with React, NodeJS, working with clients and on the complex projects where I remember working on a completely different mobile app built on React, native Electron app, a PHP generation tool, complete written on NodeJS. All this was impossible previously. Gutenberg being an entry point for me to enter into this, it helped me.

I have seen a lot of developers who embrace the JavaScript and React because of WordPress. And now they are into a full-time React and JavaScript development. They are enjoying working with different kinds of projects. They are working on their pet projects. They are ended up getting paid better because of their increased skillset in React and JavaScript, because React and JavaScript have a good market share. There are a lot of jobs out there paying well for you. So there are a lot of reason for people to learn React and JavaScript, not just because WordPress is introducing it, but it is going to help you. 

Nathan Wrigley [00:38:43]

Staying on the WordPress side of JavaScript, I’m just wondering if you can perhaps explain some solid examples of where you feel WordPress will improve because it is using JavaScript instead of the way it’s been doing things with PHP in the past. It always strikes me that we’re always told, learn JavaScript deeply, it’s the future and so on. But very often that doesn’t come along with an argument as well, this is the reason, here’s a concrete example of why it’s going to be. 

Ajit Bohra [00:39:16]

So the reason if you look at WordPress core itself, and if you look at the entire history slowly, slowly, there are a lot of components that are slowly been transitioned to the JavaScript. There’s a lot of JavaScript that is written into the core, core base. And so far people have never realized we are interacting with a lot of JavaScript code in core. But that’s all behind the door. It has never been the front facing into the developer arena. So we never realized that we are working with JavaScript. So even if you look at customizer, I don’t think a lot of people use customizer, but there is a lot of JavaScript involved when you’ve worked with customizer.

If you work with the media uploader, there is a lot of JavaScript involved. There is a backbone JS that is behind the scene, which you can use. So already there is a fragmented, JavaScript implemention in the core. So we have been slowly, already adopting JavaScript. Even if you use jQuery, I just put it in the category of JavaScript because you are just doing a library. So we are using JavaScript already, but rather than using a different mashup of them, like using backbone or different things, now we are standardizing and seeing that this is how our JavaScript is going to work. So for me, again, even if I look at, from a development perspective, in terms of JavaScript, you’re also putting a protocol and you’re getting a standardization, like rather than using this and 10 different things. We are giving you a set of components, a set of helper functions and everything which you can use and build your own stuff. So Gutenberg is a foundation for the front end experience and also for the backend development and processes also, like here they are giving you blocks and everything to craft your content. In terms of front-end usage. In terms of development usage, they are giving you as a theme builder, they are giving a themes for the right person. And if you go further, down a lower level, they are giving you this handcrafted components and everything with React to build things. 

Eventually this is going to spread across the code base. I feel we are just started with the small section. We can see that it is going to span across the different area of admin area. WP admin is going to be invaded by the React and JavaScript. Because it is going to be re-used. So it’s better that, start embracing the JavaScript and React right now, rather than waiting for another two, three years down the line and then realizing, oh, now we have to like, you actually get into it. 

Nathan Wrigley [00:41:25]

With that in mind, what do you make of projects, ACF blocks is one that comes immediately to mind, where, people are trying to create a nice bridge, the opportunity for people to do things in the way that they’re accustomed to. So just to illustrate ACF blocks enables you to create your own blocks, but instead of getting involved in the whole, that the whole in inverted commas, normal way of making blocks, you can do it with reference to PHP and ways that you’re perhaps familiar with. Do you feel that these are a good stop gap? They bridged the gap in the period of time where people are learning these skills or do you think actually it would be better if everybody just learned the stuff and moved on. 

Ajit Bohra [00:42:02]

So I guess they are good for people who are transitioning. You know, like they are good for now. It’s not a clear yes or no, if you talk about ACF blocks and because I have seen projects, and even there are projects where I recommend people like, go ahead and use the ACF blocks. You don’t have, that tailored requirement for creating something from scratch. It’s a fairly small requirement where you just want certain input fields and that works. So in those cases, ACF is good. Even if you’re transitioning, it’s good. But if you look from a long-term perspective or if you have very complex requirement, I have seen that ACF blocks don’t because there was one project where we have been working on where ACF blocks, but if you wanted to create a more controlled user experience, not using lots of other components. And eventually we have to deprecate the ACF implementation and that create everything from scratch and creating a handcrafted blocks using the core functionality.

So if you have to just evaluate when ACF blocks fitting and when you have to use core blocks, but eventually core blocks are going to fair well because they always have access to the newer API. You have more control over it. And if you look at how APIs are transitioning, like if you look at the initial version of block APIs, that was a lot of code that you had to write. But now you write less code to create those blocks. You have CLI tools. You have a boilerplate APIs, very light have to just couple of lines of code to get things done compared to writing almost 5,200 lines in past. So I guess the development path on which APIs are working is also. If you look at the sort API, if I want a background support or gradient support on that, I just do define the support. But previously have to implemented that entirely. I guess start learning how to build blocks from scratch. All the third party solutions are a patchwork on top of what we have. So like it, it might be controversial, but yes. For me, it feels like a patch. You’re like patching something. You’re just trying to run away from something saying I’m going to use. 

Nathan Wrigley [00:43:57]

My final question then it leads perfectly on from what you were saying, it feel that the need to learn React, for example, is essential going forward. I don’t know if you have any resources that you’d like to mention or places, perhaps websites, anything in fact, which you found to be useful, which we could add into the show notes, which might enable people to get to the good stuff quickly.

Ajit Bohra [00:44:17]

Even before people start working on the React, they need to get their basics clear in term of JavaScript. And there is a lot of arresting tutorial available out there, but I will, I like to recommend the one by the Wes Bos. Wes Bos have two JavaScript courses. One is JS for everyone, and JS for beginners. They are quite good material on the ES6 and everything on the build tools. Like it’s a one-stop shop for you. You know, just get those two courses and you will learn everything in depth. Apart from that, if you are looking for resources on YouYube, there’s is a good channel by Net Ninjas. This guy goes a lot of interesting stuff. Like you, you don’t have to pay those, those are free of course. So these are the two good resources where you can learn ES. For the React also that you can refer the official documentation. They are best. Just go through it. If you are a person who likes to refer videos again, Wes Bos have a lot of videos on it and other resources that can decode. It is on Egghead. This is a free course. It is available there. You can just visit the website and learn the React for Beginners. He has epic React course, which is a more elaborated and detailed course, which you can go through. These other resources that you can refer, which are very good in terms of investing your time.

Nathan Wrigley [00:45:26]

Thank you. We’ll make sure to add some of those links into the show notes so that people can access them. But I’ve run out of questions that I would like to ask today. I’m just mindful that we would people, if they wish, if they’ve listened to this podcast and they would like to get in touch, I’d like to provide them with a way to do that if you’re willing. So if there’s any best way of getting in touch with you, it could be Twitter or an email address or whatever you feel comfortable sharing. Go for it. Let us know. 

Ajit Bohra [00:45:53]

People can DM on Twitter, like a lot of people already ping me on DM for our doubts, queries and everything they have around Gutenberg. So it’s been a couple of years I have been already helping people on the Twitter with the right resources if they need, or they have any doubts on queries around Gutenberg. It’s @ajitbohra.

Nathan Wrigley [00:46:09]

Ajit, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. I really appreciate it.

by Nathan Wrigley at September 08, 2021 02:00 PM under react

WPTavern: WordPress 5.9 Proposed Scope: Major Push Towards Full-Site Editing, Plus a New Default Theme

WordPress 5.9 is starting to take shape as Josepha Haden Chomphosy published a planning roundup at the end of last week with a tentative schedule and scope. This will be the last major release of the year, which Haden Chomphosy said will require “a slightly larger release squad,” considering the proposed scope.

The squad leads have not yet been named with the exception of Matt Mullenweg as release lead, Haden Chomphosy as marketing lead, and Jonathan Bossenger who was invited to be a technical writer as part of a small experiment in the 5.9 release cycle. Bossenger said this new role was created “to get the technical details of new releases translated into accessible and actionable information for other contributor teams.” The rest of the team will be named as features are confirmed to land in the release.

“The main goal for 2021 is getting full site editing to all WordPress users,” Haden Chomphosy said as a preface to the scope of work outlined for 5.9. These include the following block and site editing features that Matias Ventura previously identified as already underway in Gutenberg:

  • Blocks + intrinsic web design
  • Navigation menus
  • Interface for theme.json
  • Refining editing flows for block themes
  • New default theme
  • Additional design tools

A few other items are being considered for the roadmap but may not be ready in time. These include:

  • Pattern insertion + creation
  • Unzip/Rollback Failsafes
  • PHPUnit Tests
  • Improved compatibility with PHP 8.0 and 8.1

The proposed timeline puts the go/no go date for features at October 12, with Beta 1 arriving November 16, and the general release on December 14.

While this timeline seems ambitious for the proposed features, work on many of these efforts has already been happening for months via the Gutenberg plugin. The continual work happening alongside core in the plugin has many advantages but also introduces some complexity into the release process.

One common complaint logged on the 5.8 retrospective was that backporting PHP changes from the Gutenberg plugin to WordPress core was a significant pain point for contributors.

“The current structure of the Gutenberg plugin makes it really hard to locate the changes necessary to bring to WordPress core together with related JavaScript logic,” Greg Ziółkowski said. “Before anything else, we should make it more transparent in the plugin what’s already in WordPress core, what’s ready to be backported, and what’s still an experiment.” Ziółkowski has opened a ticket to discuss how contributors can make backporting a more semi-automated process.

Meanwhile 5.8.1 RC 1 is on deck with 41 bug fixes for core and 20 bug fixes for the block editor. The minor release is expected to land this week.

by Sarah Gooding at September 08, 2021 05:11 AM under WordPress 5.9

September 07, 2021

WPTavern: Termly Responds to Feedback, Updates Its Cookie Consent Banner Limits

In July, Termly announced its acquisition of the GDPR/CCPA Cookie Consent Banner plugin. The new direction was an overhaul of the WordPress extension, turning what was once a free offering into, essentially, a commercial SaaS product. Users could run the service for up to 100 visitors. After that, the cheapest tier would cost $180 per year.

Despite multiple notices that changes were coming and making sure auto-updates were disable so that users would find no surprises, the move has not sat well with many people. Since the plugin update, users have taken to the WordPress.org review system. Across the board, they have left nothing but one-star ratings in the past month and a half.

The free tier limit of 100 monthly visitors did not feel free at all to many. By the middle of August, the Termly team had responded after listening to this feedback and making some changes.

The company bumped the limit to 10,000 unique visitors, making it a free solution for far more users. Termly is also dedicating more team members to responding to questions on the WordPress forums.

“Termly has offered a consent management solution for years, and our pricing structure has been this way for 1,000s of existing customers,” said Raffaele Riconosciuto, Director of Marketing at Termly, when asked whether the 100-visitor limit came up in discussions before launch. “In all honesty, we simply did not consider it since our new customers view our pricing structure favorably. In hindsight, the structure is less favorable for people who are currently getting something for free, and thus why we made the changes as quickly as we could.”

A 10,000 visitor limit on the free tier is likely to be a much more reasonable limit for the average website. Beyond that, site owners will need to account for a monthly or yearly fee.

Some users may still have issues with the plugin being rolled into a SaaS offering, needing to sign up for a third-party service. However, Riconosciuto said Termly needed to go in this direction.

“The SaaS structure we’ve adopted is ubiquitous for most consent management platforms (CMPs) today,” he said. “Given that data privacy laws are constantly evolving, as are mechanisms for tracking users on the web, CMPs require a high degree of maintenance and upkeep just to keep their users meeting base legal requirements. We are also continuing to develop new functionality to make the process more painless and robust. Hence why we charge a recurring subscription cost to our more advanced users, who subsidize the always-free tier.”

Termly already had a robust platform in place that serves customers inside and outside of the WordPress ecosystem. It did not make sense to rebuild the entire platform within the plugin and maintain them separately. It would have created duplicate development work without a need to do so.

Users can still install the cookie consent banner without leaving the WordPress admin panel, but further customizations happen via the Termly dashboard. Riconosciuto said the team may extend the UI integration between the plugin and service in the future if that is where user feedback leads them, pulling more functionality into WordPress.

The other side of this is that previous plugin versions were not compliant with several data privacy laws, including the GDPR and ePrivacy Directive.

“The GDPR and ePrivacy Directive are the main EU legislation governing the use of cookies and similar tracking technologies,” said Riconosciuto. “In the context of cookie consent management and cookie banners, the most important takeaway is that a business must obtain consent from an end-user before they serve them non-essential cookies. Consent must be free, specific, informed, and unambiguous. The old banner does not block cookies or contain the information required to ensure when an individual interacts with the banner, they have provided consent to the satisfaction of these legal requirements.”

Of the legal mazes businesses must navigate, Riconosciuto said that each EU member state had “transposed the ePrivacy Directive into local cookie laws.” Termly looks at the guidance issued from each of these member state regulators when determining how to implement the cookie banner.

“Why does following the law and related guidance matter?” asked Riconosciuto. “Recently, we have seen regulators in these regions taking enforcement action against entities that fail to comply with the guidance they have provided for how to comply with the cookie laws. Unlike the GDPR, ePrivacy directive, and France’s cookie law, guidance, and recommendations from an EU regulator is considered ‘soft law’ and not binding. However, the guidance typically explains how a regulator will determine if a business is violating a local cookie law (i.e., how they will enforce the cookie law). That means if your business’s cookie practices fail to satisfy the requirements laid out in regulator guidance, you are likely violating cookie law and may be subject to enforcement action. Even more, organizations in the EU like NYOB are relying on these laws and soft guidance to determine whether they will file draft complaints with regulators against businesses in violation of these laws.”

Riconosciuto mentioned several areas where the older versions of the plugin did not comply with the laws. However, the updated plugin and service take care of these issues. The following is a non-exhaustive list:

  1. The solution must actually block cookies and tracking. Cookie consent banners must honor user choices.
  2. The language must adequately notify users of what they are agreeing to before consenting.
  3. Consent banners must allow the granular selection of cookies by category (e.g., performance and functionality, advertising, analytics, social networking, etc.).
  4. Provide clean and easily accessible information and options for accepting or rejecting at the first level without being deceptive (e.g., all buttons should be the same size and format).
  5. The banner must generate and save an audit log of consent interactions. These may need to be presented to regulators.

While users may continue using an older version of the plugin, Termly does not recommend it because it is non-compliant. The company has no plans to restore any parts from the previous version.

“We are committed to making sure businesses are educated and compliant the right way,” said Riconosciuto. “Termly is built on quality, trust, and collaboration, and we can promise that we will continue to listen to feedback and adjust our platform to accommodate all of our customers — including the WordPress community — without sacrificing compliance to all laws and regulations.”

by Justin Tadlock at September 07, 2021 09:34 PM under Plugins

September 04, 2021

Gutenberg Times: Standardization for theme.json, Blocks without Build process, Patterns – Weekend Edition #183

Featured Image: Photo by Nick Nice on Unsplash


And suddenly, the summer is mostly over. Among other things, one notices the increased activity in the WordPress space and the growing length of all the newsletters.

This week, the core team managed two releases: WordPress 5.8.1 RC with a few bug fixes, and Gutenberg plugin 11.4. Grzegorz and I discussed details and more in our 51st episode of the Gutenberg Changelog podcast.

The Gutenberg developer team received reinforcements with the Frontity team, who joined Automattic’s Dotorg Division. WordPress Tavern’s Sarah Gooding has more details on this story: Automattic Acquires Frontity, Founders to Work Full-Time on Gutenberg.

With all the excitement around new beginnings, we also need to say Farewell to Andrea Middleton. Soon, she will leave the WordPress space to enrich the communities on Reddit with her leadership brilliance. I wouldn’t be where I am without Andrea’s encouragement, support, and guidance. I will be eternally grateful for all her work in the WordPress community, her big heart and for her friendship. It’s hard to imagine WordPress without her.

I have been blown away by all the kind words from so many of you on Twitter, Slack, and email. Thank you all so much! You really made me feel the love. There will be group hugs at in-person events!

With that, I leave you to the brilliant minds writing and experimenting with Gutenberg and sharing their lessons learned.

Yours, 💕

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WordPress 5.9

Josepha Haden Chomphosy publish the WordPress 5.9 Planning Roundup outlining the schedule and scope of the last WordPress release for 2021.

Go/NoGo Decision will be made on or around October 12, 2012, followed by the Feature Freeze / Bug Fixes deadline of November 9th. A week later, on November 16, Beta 1 would be released. Between Beta 1 and the final release date are roughly four weeks. The final release is set for December 14th, 2021

The scope matches pretty much what Matias Ventura onlined in his “Road to 5.9” plus a new default theme.

Chomphosy also mentioned some roadmap hopefuls, mostly PHP related; among them the Pattern insertion and creation for submission to the directory.

She ended the post with a call for volunteer for Triage Lead and Release Coordinators, positions that need to be covered to get a release started. If you are interest, comment on the post on the Make Core blog.

 “Keeping up with Gutenberg – Index 2021” 
A chronological list of the WordPress Make Blog posts from various teams involved in Gutenberg development: Design, Theme Review Team, Core Editor, Core JS, Core CSS, Test and Meta team from Jan. 2021 on. Updated by yours truly.

Block Patterns

Anne McCarthy published a Video On Block Patterns and took “a look at the power of patterns, where you can currently find them, how you can start creating your own, and what’s to come in future releases”.

The meta team is working on a new component called the “Pattern Creator” to empower designers and site builders to submit Block Patterns to the directory, too. You can follow along and contribute via the GitHub repository

Navigation Screen

Sarah Gooding wrote about the Hallway Hangout where Gutenberg developers discussed what issues needed to be solved for the Navigation screen to make it out of the experimental state within Gutenberg plugin. Gutenberg Contributors Get Organized to Move Block-Based Navigation Forward

Full-Site Editing and Theme.json for Theme Builders

Ellen Bauer of Elmastudio, wrote about her Lessons learned building our first block theme for Full Site Editing. As early adopter, she wrote: “Converting Aino to a block theme was our first big step towards this new WordPress theme era. We feel this was important so we and our theme users can now explore block themes more deeply. From here we can learn and add new features step by step.” Justin Tadlock recently posted a review of the Aino theme and plugin.

Bauer also published a tutorial on How to Customize the Footer in Full Site Editing Block Themes

Marcus Kazmierczak created a tutorial on how to use the theme.json feature with a Classic Theme. After describing the various settings for colors, typography, layout and more, Marcus also explains in detail what happens in the background.

Rich Tabor published a series on Standardizing Theme.json and covered

Tabor wrote: “By standardizing just a few key high-level entries within a WordPress theme’s theme.json file, we can finally create a class of themes that truly are interchangeable. Interchangeable in function, while remaining distinct in style.”

Brian Gardner followed along and shared how he implemented Theme.json and Standardizing Font Sizes for the Frost Theme

Tammie Lister also makes the case for The need for standardization, by writing about the human aspect, mostly cognitive load and the spark of creativity that comes from limits. Another aspect Lister touches upon is translation, and the many languages, WordPress is translated into. She has a great way explaining the unlimited possibilities, starting with three main colors.

The biggest argument for basic standardization Lister makes almost as a side note, is the interchangeability of Themes. What happens to all the user choices for color, typography etc., when the site owner switches the Theme?

This is quite timely as a question. Anne McCarthy is working on a guided exploration of Theme switching as the next round of testing for the FSE outreach program. If you’d like to participate, join the channel #FSE-outreach-experiment of WordPress Slack, that recently celebrated the 400th member.

Speaking of which, Anne McCarth posted the summary of the 9th call for testing on the Make Test blog: FSE Program Handling HigherEd Headers Summary

Jason Crist compiled the 63rd Gutenberg + Themes Roundup. While many issues discussed are about the theme.json file and feature handling, I also found the exploration around a Mosaic View for the Template views of the Site Editor.

Need a plugin .zip from Gutenberg’s main (trunk) branch?
Gutenberg Times provides daily build for testing and review.
Have you been using it? Hit reply and let me know.

GitHub all releases

Building Custom Blocks

Iain Poulson announce the 5.10 Release of Advanced Custom Fields

  • Block API v2 support
  • Block preloading
  • Full height button

It’s the first big release of ACF for the Delicious Brains team

Marcus Kazmierczak wrote on how to Make your own create-block templates. First, he explains how the official block building scaffolding tool create-block works. Then, Marcus provides instructions and background on how to customize the template to your block-building needs. You might also enjoy Fabian Kägy and Grzegorz, recorded live session on “Tooling: Using Create-Block Scaffolding and 3rd Party Templates” via YouTube.

Helen Hou-Sandi explained an agency’s approach to streamline Custom Block development in here post: Exploring custom blocks from a PHP-centric developer UX point of view.

Riad Benguella had a similar idea and approached it from a runtime-agnostic point of view. He shared Blocky via GitHub, and wrote: ‘The fast way to create WordPress blocks. No more hard JavaScript files, or weird PHP registration.’

Justin Tadlock recalled a discussion that started on Twitter with Mark Jaquith tweet: “What if building custom blocks for the Block Editor was as easy as supplying attributes and a block of HTML? What if this produced React editing code and PHP rendering code without a build step?”. A World Where (Some) Block Development Is Merely a Templating System With No Build Process?

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by Birgit Pauli-Haack at September 04, 2021 06:00 PM under Weekend Edition

WPTavern: Worldwide WordPress Virtual 5K Set for October 1-30, 2021

Automattic is organizing its 2nd annual Worldwide WordPress 5K during the month of October this year. Registration for the race is free and participants will have the opportunity to donate to a charity of their choice, with Automattic matching donations up to $50,000.

Just like the first Worldwide WP 5K that was held in 2015, the race will be virtual. Anyone is welcome to run, walk, bike, or swim the 5K any time between October 1-31. The requirements are fairly loose in that you can use any exercise app to track your run if you want. Participants are also encouraged to share a selfie, a screenshot of your route, and write a blog post that includes the #wwwp5k tag. Automattic will use the hashtag to include pictures on the official race site.

Throughout the pandemic, much of the social running industry has gone online and virtual races have become more common. Although they don’t carry the same energy as in-person races, virtual races help friends keep setting fitness goals and encourage each other through online challenges. Joining in the Worldwide WordPress 5K is a great way to connect with friends around the world for an offline challenge that benefits your health.

There is plenty of time to start training to reach a goal ahead of October and lots of resources available for running your first 5K. If all other motivations fail, maybe Wapuu can get you off the couch. The lack of in-person WordCamps has left some people hankering for new WordPress swag, and the 5K wapuu is ready to deliver. Participants can choose from a wide array of official gear, including hoodies, t-shirts, water bottles, tank tops, pins, socks, and more. Those who prefer not to run but still want to take part in the charitable event can give directly through the donation page.

by Sarah Gooding at September 04, 2021 02:04 AM under Worldwide WordPress 5K

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Last updated:

September 22, 2021 07:45 AM
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