WordPress Planet

July 27, 2017

WPTavern: .blog Passes 100,000 Registrations, 66.5% of Purchased Domains are in Use

The .blog domain extension, managed by Automattic subsidiary Knock Knock WHOIS There (KKWT), opened registration to the public in November 2016 and has just passed the 100,000 registration milestone. The extension is averaging 300 new .blog domains registered per day and is quickly gaining popularity among new generic TLDs. According to the most recent stats available at nTLDStats, .blog registrations have climbed steadily and predictably every month since its public launch.

.blog registrations according to ntldstats.com

Automattic, which operates independently from KKWT as a registrar, currently has the largest market share of .blog domain registrars at 62.8%. Other smaller pieces of the pie continue to see increasing numbers of registrations.

“When a .blog domain is sold through any .blog registrar, it operates like all other top-level domains (TLDs),” .blog representative Erica Varlese said. “This means that the registry, in this case Knock Knock WHOIS There, receives the wholesale cost, ICANN receives their fees, and the registrar retains the rest.”

The .blog team has started experimenting with different marketing programs to promote the extension among registrars and launched its first campaigns last month.

“These programs are available to any .blog accredited registrar and, through participation, allows them to provide .blog domains to their customers at a discounted rate,” Varlese said. “It is designed to test price elasticity and various end-user marketing techniques that best fit each registrars’ unique customer-base.”

Registration for .blog domains is fully integrated into WordPress.com’s domain offerings, but Varlese said that Knock Knock WHOIS There, as a separate company, is not informed of the specific details of their domain roadmap. The subsidiary also does not track how many of the .blog domains are running WordPress, as the extension is platform agnostic and in use across many different blogging services.

So far .blog domain customers include both individuals and businesses, including some e-commerce and community sites. Varlese said the main benefit to acquiring a .blog domain is that customers are more likely to get and use a name they always wanted (example.blog), versus settling for a more complicated variation, such as blog.example.com.

“Using a blog domain is also a great way to embrace engagement with your community,” Varlese said. “In addition to individual and personal bloggers, we also see larger brands using blogs to engage with their customers. Visiting stackoverflow.blog, for example, is intuitive. The domain lets me know right away what type of content and interaction to expect versus what my expectations would be when prompted to visit stackoverflow.com. Both are equally important and both add value to the customer’s online experience.”

Many people purchase a domain just to sit on it for the right time to use it or sell. Greater usage of .blog domains promotes visibility on the web, which is why registrars place value on how many have launched websites using the extension.

“Our goal is steady, long-term growth while continuing to increase our usage rates,” Varlese said. “We want every .blog domain to resolve to a unique content site or blog. Usage is an important metric for us. It positively contributes to help the new TLD marketplace thrive and grow organically. It is at the forefront of every decision we make, including marketing and rebate programs for our registrars, as well as our dotblogger program, which gives online influencers easy access to all .blog domains, including premium and reserved domains.”

The .blog team’s 100,000 registrations milestone post cites usage stats from Pandalytics, a domains data service, that are not publicly available.

“66.5% of .blog domains have a unique website associated with them, compared to an average of 39.3% for both new and legacy TLDs, according to recent research by Daniel Ruzzini-Mejia (co-founder and CSO of DomainsBot Srl, the company behind big-data analysis platform Pandalytics),” Varlese said. “Ruzzini-Mejia also found more than 250 .blog domains that use an eCommerce platform.”

This is an interesting find in an era where many have claimed that blogs are dead. If the indie web proponents have their way, blogs may have another renaissance yet, and could become the anchors of commerce and identity online. The healthy usage numbers the .blog extension has posted in its first year are a strong indicator that the concept of blogging still holds an important place on the web.

by Sarah Gooding at July 27, 2017 06:09 PM under blog

July 26, 2017

WPTavern: Adobe to Discontinue Flash Support and Updates in 2020

Adobe announced today that it will discontinue Flash support and updates at the end of 2020. Flash played an important part in the history of the web, inspiring many of the open standards and formats that the web has moved on to embrace.

Given this progress, and in collaboration with several of our technology partners – including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla – Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.

Last year most major browsers moved to block Flash, requiring users to enable it manually for sites where they wish to view Flash content. Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla were on deck today with announcements of their own regarding future Flash support. Firefox is the most aggressive with its plan to disable Flash for most users in 2019. Only those running an Extended Support Release will be able to continue using it through the end of 2020 and no version of Firefox will load the plugin after Adobe discontinues security patches.

Chrome is also phasing out support for Flash and plans to remove it completely from the browser toward the end of 2020.

“Three years ago, 80 percent of desktop Chrome users visited a site with Flash each day,” Google Chrome Product Manager Anthony Laforge said. “Today usage is only 17 percent and continues to decline.

“This trend reveals that sites are migrating to open web technologies, which are faster and more power-efficient than Flash. They’re also more secure, so you can be safer while shopping, banking, or reading sensitive documents.”

The Microsoft Edge team also announced its plans to phase out Flash from both Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer with complete removal from all supported versions of Microsoft Windows by the end of 2020.

Although HTML5 adoption is growing among game developers, Adobe’s announcement means major changes for segments of the the gaming, education, and video industries that have not yet migrated to newer, open formats. This news will also make obsolete dozens of WordPress plugins that were created to upload and display Flash content.

Adobe’s announcement was met with thanks and “good riddance,” with many calling for an even speedier timeline. Many are also concerned about all the orphaned content and .swf games on the web that Flash’s disappearance will create. Adobe has received many requests on Twitter for the company to consider open sourcing the old Flash Player codebase for the sake of compatibility and archiving content. Adobe has not officially replied to any of these requests.

by Sarah Gooding at July 26, 2017 04:01 AM under flash

HeroPress: Random Diary Chapters

Pull Quote: WordPress combines people together from all over the world. Maybe WordPress is important after all.

There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He’s ordinary

I have no idea what I’m going to write about. How about people? Ordinary people are heroes to me. People who are willing to help one another. People just like you and me.

Well, at least like you 🙂 – if you’re for some reason reading my diary.

Who’s teaching who

I still remember when I build my first website with table layouts while studying math in the University of Jyväskylä. Those were the days! But it doesn’t feel like yesterday anymore. More like day before.

Nevertheless being a math teacher has been the perfect choice for me. It’s been fun, challenging, and rewarding. I’ve probably learnt lot more from students than they have from me.

Heck, they even got me into WordPress when I was taking my ex-students short film course. Was it 2008? Something like that. We needed a website for our short film and had only 1-2 days. Students gave me link to WordPress.com and I was sold. Getting site up and running was easy and fast.

“Well come here and do it yourself!!” – drama class student shouted.

That’s another good lesson I’ve learnt.

It’s so easy to give negative feedback (don’t do it like that) without doing anything yourself or giving constructive feedback.

Oh boy I still feel ashamed when I judged a book by it’s cover. This time the book cover was a blonde girl asking weird questions with high voice. I was a prison of my prejudice and instantly assumed she must be bad at math. How wrong was I. She was brilliant.

At least the prison gate is now open if I just understand to walk out.

Who am I

Sometimes I wonder what other people think of me? Do they think I’m open minded teacher, or front-developer who cares about accessibility. But does any of that matter? Job title really doesn’t tell anything who I am. Or anybody else.

But who am I? I’m not sure how to define me. I’m no dad or husband. I do have several good traits but there are also demons inside me. Lack of empathy is one of them. And that comes down to this:

In the end I’m a selfish asshole.

It’s okay to be selfish from time to time but it’s not okay to let people down big time when they need me most. Being an ordinary human being is not one of my strengths but I’ll promise to work on it.

Friends will be friends

I consider myself lucky. I have lovely parents and two crazy big brothers. And over the years I have made friendships that last forever.

I hope everybody have a friend who is like a bridge between other friends. Someone who is always organizing something fun: bowling, music gigs, dinners, sports. Someone who is always nice to others and would never hurt a fly.

I had a friend like that.

But as a return I couldn’t help him enough. Shadows of life had taken over him. He could not see the light anymore. He died by suicide before christmas 2015.

Now he can’t fall anymore. He will always be our beloved one and we’ll miss him more than words can express. So many songs reflects to memories we have. For example this Finnish song that I heard exactly one year after his death. (Lyrics in english).

Why is it so much easier to talk about other problems but not your own. Why is it so hard to ask help when you really need it.

Life goes on

Do I need to say anything. No I don’t.

View of the water form the shore.Summer 2017. Peaceful state of mind after a sauna.


Sami and 2 friendsMy dear friends rock!


Sami and two friendsFriends will be friends forever.

WordPress is not important

WordPress is not important. People behind it are, they have feelings. I wish more people would remember that when commenting on blog posts, Slack, or other online tools with shitty attitudes.

Being nice and constructive goes a long way.

At the same time it’s amazing to notice how WordPress combines people together from all over the world. In WordCamps and meetups I have found new friends that really matter. That feels good.

Maybe WordPress is important after all.

The post Random Diary Chapters appeared first on HeroPress.

by Sami Keijonen at July 26, 2017 12:00 AM

July 25, 2017

WPTavern: SiteLock Acquires Patchman’s Malware and Vulnerability Detection Technology, Expands WordPress Customer Base to 4 Million

SiteLock, a website security company, has acquired Patchman, a Dutch security startup that offers automated vulnerability patching and malware removal for hosting providers. Prior to the acquisition SiteLock protected 6 million sites, with 2.2 million of them running on WordPress. The addition of Patchman extends SiteLock’s customer base to 12 million sites and more than 4 million of those are powered by WordPress.

Patchman detects vulnerabilities in a wide range of popular applications and quarantines and patches threats automatically. The quarantine feature neutralizes malicious files by removing them from public access. Patchman supports detection and patching for WordPress 3.x and later.

Historically, the service has not included patches for plugins but it has applied them on a case-by-case basis for high impact vulnerabilities, including a few found in WP Super Cache, MailPoet, and the open source Genericons font project. The Patchman dashboard allows users to easily track files where vulnerabilities have been detected, view status, and revert patches if necessary.

Patchman’s single focus on hosting providers gives SiteLock the opportunity to offer more options to its hosting partners. With the acquisition, the company is now partering with more than 500 hosting providers, including BlueHost, 1&1, Web.com, InMotion, Melbourne IT, GMO (NTT), and many others.

“During our early talks, Patchman was not looking to be acquired and SiteLock wasn’t looking to acquire,” SiteLock President Neill Feather said. After meeting at the WorldHostingDays show in Rust, Germany in late March this year and at another show in Los Angeles, the companies found they shared similar goals and would be in a better position working together.

“It truly was a matter of 1+1=3,” Feather said. “Traditionally, SiteLock is very strong in detecting and removing malware for end users. Patchman offers a service tailored specifically to hosting providers and aimed at fixing the security vulnerabilities that hackers exploit to infect websites with malware. By working together we are able to address a wider market and offer a broader solution to the problems that we solve for our customers. We can now attack the problem from multiple angles.”

Patchman’s technology will compliment SiteLock’s existing security features but the company has not yet decided how it will be incorporated into its security plans for customers. Feather said the team is still jointly building out its future roadmap to give hosts and end customers access to a wider range of products. They are also considering making Patchman’s detection technology compatible with more products in the WordPress ecosystem.

Feather could not disclose any specifics on revenue generated by SiteLock’s WordPress security products but approximately 30% of its newly expanded customer base is running on WordPress.

“What we can say is that we’re heavily invested in the WordPress community and plan on continuing to do so,” Feather said.

“I’m excited that the increased number of sites we now protect across multiple platforms means we’ll be able to identify malware and malicious trends more efficiently than we’ve been able to already, and that’s good for every end user,” SiteLock’s WordPress Evangelist Adam Warner said. “Secondly, although we already have solutions for our partners, Patchman allows web hosts to offer increased security options for advanced users of their platforms. Being a WordPress guy, I’m excited about the possibility we now have to extend the capabilities of Patchman to plugins and other WordPress-specific software.”

by Sarah Gooding at July 25, 2017 06:46 PM under sitelock

WPTavern: Watch WordCamp Varna Wapuus Get Designed in Real Time

The very first WordCamp Varna will be held September 2-3 at the University of Economics. Varna is a beautiful city in Bulgaria on the Black Sea and a popular spot for summer holidays. It is the first Bulgarian WordCamp to be held outside of Sofia.

Tickets are on sale for EUR 10 (BGN 20) and include all the sessions, lunch, a #WCVAR 2017 T-shirt, and a few drinks at the after party. There are 102 remaining for the conference and 14 remaining tickets for the kids’ workshop (ages 7-14).

The location naturally inspired a maritime sticker pack collection for attendees, featuring four new wapuu designs. The collection was designed by the vector graphic illustrators at GraphicMama, a design partner for the WordCamp. Ever wonder how much effort goes into designing all the individualized creations in the world of wapuus? Check out the video below to see how WordCamp Varna’s wapuu designs were brought to life.

by Sarah Gooding at July 25, 2017 04:14 AM under wordcamp

July 24, 2017

WPTavern: New Aztec Editor for WordPress Mobile Apps Now in Beta

WordPress’ iOS and Android apps will soon be getting a new editor. The appearance of the new editor, codenamed “Aztec,” is very similar to the old one but is light years ahead of its predecessor in both speed and reliability. Aaron Douglas, iOS engineer at Automattic, announced the open beta for Aztec today with a side-by-side comparison video of the old and new editors. A copy and paste test with 500 paragraphs on iPhone 6s demonstrates Aztec’s instantaneous response while the old editor takes two-minutes to render the text.

In addition to better speed and performance, Aztec’s use of OS-provided text controls makes it possible to offer full support for accessibility technologies like iOS’ VoiceOver and Android’s TalkBack. It also adds the ability to draft using dictation.

Aztec introduces a new undo/redo tool at the top of the screen as a quick option for fixing mistakes. It also provides a simpler, more reliable experience using spell check.

The Aztec beta is available to all users in the latest updates of the app (8.0 for iOS, 7.8 for Android). After opening the app you will see a popup for enabling the new editor. It can also be toggled on/off by going to Me > App Settings and selecting “Set the Editor Type.”

The mobile team has made it easy to test and give feedback without leaving the app. Tapping the “beta” button at the top of the editor will open a “What’s New in the Beta” page with a bug button at the top that you can use to report bugs and send feedback. At the moment, the beta does not support shortcodes or video and WordPress gallery features. Keep in mind that it’s not 100% ready for use and heavy users of the mobile apps are likely to discover glitches.

Aztec is open source (GPL 2.0) and packaged as a rich-text editor component in its own GitHub repository (iOS | Android) so that developers can use it in their own applications and contribute code back to the project.

“Quite literally, there is nothing like this out there – every editor we could find uses a web view or has very limited support for any HTML,” Douglas said. “Our hope is the Aztec editor is seen as a component that can be used by many iOS and Android apps to provide a rich HTML editing experience. We feel that we could garner a bigger contributor base to the mobile apps simply because this component exists, is free and open, and is super awesome.”

The project is a few months behind the schedule published in April, which had open beta targeted for May and the full release for the end of this month. Depending on how well the beta testing period goes, users could see the new Aztec editor included in the mobile apps within the next few months.

by Sarah Gooding at July 24, 2017 10:59 PM under wordpress mobile apps

WPTavern: Hamilton: A Free WordPress Portfolio Theme for Photographers, Illustrators, and Designers

Hamilton is a new portfolio theme released by Swedish designer and developer Anders Norén during his summer vacation. It was created for photographers, illustrators, designers, and image-heavy blogs. The theme displays portfolio items in a minimal, masonry-style grid with an optional tagline on the front page.

“Hamilton has a pretty simple design at its core, so when it was more or less finished, I decided to add a couple of fun theme options to make it more customizable,” Norén said. “The main one is the Dark Mode. With a click of the mouse in the WordPress Customizer, you can change Hamilton from dark text on a white background to white text on a dark background.”

The Customizer also includes a few other helpful options for portfolio sites:

  • Set a custom background image or color
  • Replace the navigation toggle in the header with the Primary Menu on desktop
  • Change two-column default post grid display to three columns on desktop
  • Display titles in the post previews
  • Add a title to front page when it’s set to display latest posts

The theme is beautifully responsive to various devices and screen sizes. Norén’s typography choices are clean and readable on mobile.

Hamilton includes styles for the default WordPress image gallery with more interesting options available to create complex galleries stacked with different numbers of columns. It also supports Jetpack’s Infinite Scroll module and has styles for blockquotes, pullquotes, and left/right/center aligned media.

One of the most unique features of the theme is the Resume template. It gives users the option to add a simple resume to their portfolios, without having to add a plugin. The template uses basic HTML for formatting with h1 header tags, horizontal rules, and unordered lists. The template could use a bit more documentation, since not all users are familiar with HTML, but it’s a useful addition for simple portfolio sites.

Check out a live demo along with the style guide to see the theme in action.

Hamilton is Anders Norén’s 15th theme approved for the WordPress Theme Directory. When he submitted it to the Theme Review Team, he anticipated that it would take a month or two for it to get through the review process. His previously submitted theme, Davis, took approximately nine months to make it through the queue. He was surprised to find that Hamilton went through the process in under a month. After less than a week on WordPress.org, the theme has already been downloaded more than 200 times.

by Sarah Gooding at July 24, 2017 07:27 PM under portfolio

July 21, 2017

WPTavern: Members 2.0 Adds Capability Registration System, Introduces New Settings Screen for Add-Ons

Eight years ago, Justin Tadlock moved back home to Alabama and was living in the spare bedroom of his grandparents’ house with nothing more than a laptop and a suitcase. Over the course of a few months he started going deeper into learning about writing WordPress plugins and produced Members, a role management plugin for WordPress. The first major overhaul of the plugin came in 2015 with version 1.0’s expansion of features and a new UI for editing roles.

Members has built up a user base of more than 100,000 active installs since it first launched in 2009. Tadlock estimates that over the last couple years, 40% of Theme Hybrid customers are primarily there for support and small tweaks to the Members plugin. He decided it was time to begin investing more in the plugin and its community.

Tadlock released Members 2.0 this week. The plugin manages core WordPress capabilities but 2.0 adds the ability for plugins to register custom capabilities. The labels for the capabilities can be internationalized so users can manage the plugin in their own languages in human-readable form.

This release also adds the ability to use the WordPress editor for writing custom post error messages, making it easy to direct visitors to registration or other important information regarding access to the content.

Members 2.0 lets users add multiple roles when creating a new user from the Add User screen. It also introduces the ability to bulk add or remove roles from users, even when multiple roles have been enabled.

This version of the plugin serves some of its data using the WP REST API and a new setting was added to authenticate users who are accessing the REST API endpoints. This protects content from being exposed on sites that have the “private site” setting enabled. Tadlock plans to write a tutorial about what he has learned in integrating the REST API with the plugin.

Tadlock Aims to Monetize Members with Add-Ons, Renews Efforts to Develop a Community of Add-On Developers

Members 2.0 introduces a new Settings screen that ties in with Tadlock’s future plans to monetize the plugin. The new screen includes a view for add-ons. Tadlock has two add-ons available currently and has written an API for third-party developers to register their own add-ons to be visible on this screen.

“The plan is to create some small add-on plugins,” Tadlock said. “There’s already two: Members – Role Levels, which is paid, and Members – Role Hierarchy, which I was hired to build and was allowed to release to the community for free. I’ve got a few small plugins like those in mind that’ll be in a lower price range.”

Tadlock also plans to release a more robust version of the “Content Permissions” feature as another add-on. He has received numerous feature requests from users over the years about what they would like to see in this plugin. The add-on will offer a variety of different ways to show/hide content.

I asked Tadlock if he has considered building payment gateway add-ons so users can charge for memberships. He said the idea is on the table.

“I’m not sure if I’m going to build those or someone else,” Tadlock said. “I’ve mentioned it to some other developers. It would be a good place to start building add-ons.” His current setup uses Easy Digital Downloads with a couple of plugins to bridge it with Members and ThemeHybrid.com.

A plugin like Members has the potential to have a large, third-party ecosystem of plugins for payments and additional features, but Tadlock was focused on other projects during the first few years after it launched.

“I haven’t actively pursued the add-on angle,” Tadlock said. “Instead, I focused more on themes during most of that time. Now, I’m focusing more on plugin development. It’s my fault for not nurturing a community of add-on developers, which is something I’m trying to do more of now.”

Tadlock said many of the developers he knows are working with Members because they like that it gives them a solid foundation to build on for client work. He hopes to persuade some of them to release some of that code back as commercial add-ons or free plugins in the WordPress plugin directory.

Since launching the plugin eight years ago, Tadlock has aimed to make it behave as if it were a natural part of WordPress. At its core, Members is a role and capability management plugin and not a one-size-fits all membership plugin.

“It’s more or less a UI over what you could do with code already,” Tadlock said. “Most of all, it tries not to get in your way. Every membership site has its own unique needs. It’s tough building something that suits everyone. That’s why I’d rather have that foundation of Members just exposing the roles/caps system with third-party add-ons that suit various users’ needs.

“Other membership plugins often try to please everyone or pigeon-hole everything into their custom system. I like more to have a bit more flexibility without the bloat.”

by Sarah Gooding at July 21, 2017 09:37 PM under membership

WPTavern: WordPress 4.8.1 Adds a Dedicated Custom HTML Widget

When WordPress 4.8 was released last month, it introduced TinyMCE functionality to the Text widget. Unfortunately, this caused issues for those who use Custom HTML as the Visual editor often strips out portions of the code.

WordPress 4.8.1 Beta 1 is available for testing and addresses this problem by including a dedicated Custom HTML widget.

“For advanced users or any user who needs to paste in HTML snippets, there is now a dedicated ‘Custom HTML’ widget that is specifically for adding arbitrary HTML to your sidebar,” Weston Ruter, said.

“This widget will retain the application of the widget_text filters, in addition to having a new dedicated widget_custom_html_content filter.

“For use cases that involve adding content to your sidebar, the Text widget will continue to feature the same Visual editing interface that the post editor has (TinyMCE).”

Users who access Text widgets that have Custom HTML in WordPress 4.8.1, will see a note at the top of the widget that suggests using the Custom HTML widget.


If a user pastes or types HTML into a text widget with the Visual editor active, WordPress displays an Admin Pointer suggesting that they use the Text tab instead or use the Custom HTML widget.

TextWidgetAdminPointerText Widget Admin Pointer

The Custom HTML widget works similar to the Text widget in WordPress 4.7 and below.

CustomHTMLWidgetCustom HTML Widget

Sites that have existing Text widgets containing custom HTML that may be modified by the Visual editor, are opened in a legacy mode.

Legacy mode retains the old Text widget interface, including the checkbox on whether or not to automatically add paragraphs. This change prevents the Visual editor from altering code.

Ruter says the ideal way to test these improvements is to install it on a staging site that has Text widgets containing HTML and are known to be problematic in WordPress 4.8. After upgrading, check to see if the widgets open in legacy mode.

WordPress 4.8.1 is scheduled to be released on August 1st. Please report any bugs or errors you encounter in as much detail as possible to the WordPress Alpha/Beta section of the support forums.

by Jeff Chandler at July 21, 2017 06:31 PM under text widgets

July 20, 2017

WPTavern: Petition to Re-License React has been Escalated to Facebook’s Engineering Directors

photo credit: manu schwendener

React users are petitioning Facebook to re-license React.js after the Apache Software Foundation announced its decision to ban Apache PMC members from using any technology licensed with Facebook’s BSD+Patents License. So far the GitHub issue has received 627 “thumbs up” emoji and 66 comments from concerned React users who are hoping for a change in licensing.

Many respondents on the thread said that ASF’s decision affects their organizations’ ability to continue using React in projects.

“Apache CouchDB and others will switch away from React if we have to,” CouchDB committer Robert Newson said. “We’d rather not, it’s a lot of work for no real gain, but we don’t have a choice. Changing license can be simple (RocksDB completed that change in a day).”

“My team, at LinkedIn, is also having legal troubles using React for our internal projects,” LinkedIn software Denis Ivanov said. “We would love to see a change on this front.”

Software developer Clark Evans commented on how React’s current licensing might affect medical research institutes, and suggested that Facebook consider an Apache 2.0 license because it includes equitable patent grants.

Since U.S. based universities rely upon patent licensing as part of their legislatively mandated technology transfer initiatives, they are growing far more cautious in their due diligence. For this reason, at some universities, software written with React may be shunned. Existing projects using React software may be asked to remove the React software software dependency. Please strongly consider this proposal, since our RexDB work is used at major universities, we do not wish to rework to use a React alternative.

Several participants in the discussion commented that they would like to use React but the licensing makes it impossible for their companies.

“Other large companies such as mine (Adobe) can’t use React, Pop, etc. for the very same reason,” Corey Lucier said. “We’d love to participate in the project, contribute to each, etc. but Facebook’s heavy-handed PATENTS clause is a showstopper.”

“Even mid-size companies like mine (ViaSat) are starting to disallow the use of Facebook’s ‘open-source’ projects for this reason,” software developer Aaron Yoshitake said. “We’d like to build React web and native apps, but it seems that any sensible legal department will recommend against agreeing to Facebook’s asymmetric patent grant.”

Internal Discussions Continue at Facebook, Re-Licensing Issue has been Escalated to Engineering Directors

Dan Abramov, co-author of Redux, Create React App, and React Hot Loader, shared with participants that Facebook is having internal discussions about the re-licensing issue but cautioned them to temper their optimism. He returned to throw some ice on the conversation, which has grown more heated over the past few days, when he said it could only remain an open discussion if everyone involved remains civil. Many participants are concerned about the future of the React-based software that they have already invested thousands of hours of work into.

“I understand that everyone is frustrated about this issue,” Abramov said. “Personally I am just as frustrated to spend time, energy, and emotional wellbeing on legal mumbo jumbo that is preventing people from using React. I would much prefer to spend this time on working together to make it better.

“But the reality of this situation is that the maintainers of React (people like me that you’re interacting on the issue tracker) are not the ones making these decisions. Each of us is doing what we can to show different perspectives on this issue to the people who can make those decisions, and we appreciate your feedback too. But we can only keep discussion open if everyone stays civil and respectful.”

Abramov also pointed out in a follow-up update that a bug tracker isn’t the best avenue for a legal discussion, especially since most participants are software developers and not lawyers. Many have mistaken the thread as a way to communicate with Facebook but there are just a handful of software developers who are representing the React community’s concerns.

“We have heard you very well, and we have passed on your concerns,” Abramov said. “But repeating the same points over and over in different threads does not help move this forward, and creates a lot of noise and stress for the maintainers who are already empathetic to your cause.”

Several participants expressed frustration that the React community cannot participate in the discussions more directly. However, as React is both an open source project and a product of Facebook, the company’s leadership has the last word on licensing issues.

“I understand that software developers like us are not the best people to discuss legal details,” software consultant Erik Doernenburg said. “However, wouldn’t the logical consequence be that the Facebook Legal team, who make such decisions, become active in this forum? Shouldn’t it be possible that all relevant details pertaining to a piece of open source software are discussed in the open? It is incredibly frustrating to have such an important aspect of open software discussed behind closed doors.”

It’s not known whether Facebook is considering another change to its Patents grant or a complete re-licensing. Participants in the discussion are also concerned about other Facebook open source projects like GraphQL, Relay, React Native, and Flow, which share the same BSD+Patents License and are widely used by the open source community.

Dan Abramov left an update today to let the community know that no resolution is available this week. However, the update seemed more positive than the first one, which discouraged participants from being optimistic about a change.

“I want to point out that there is a real momentum behind this discussion internally,” Abramov said. “There are going to be more meetings next week escalating this up to the engineering directors. As you imagine they are quite busy, so this is taking more time than we thought.

“Again, I can’t promise you any specific conclusion, and there is no clarity on where this will land. But please know there are people working on getting your voice heard.”

by Sarah Gooding at July 20, 2017 10:37 PM under react

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 282 – Talking WooCommerce with Cody Landefeld

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Cody Landefeld, Senior web strategist and founder of Mode Effect. Landefeld describes some of the challenges that shop owners face and provides insight into a couple of WooCommerce projects Mode Effect has recently built.

We discussed the future of WooCommerce and the odds of it turning into a SaaS product. Landefeld shares his thoughts on WooCommerce dropping its 50% renewal discount on subscriptions. Even though the discount is gone, he believes it’s still an affordable option for most users. To close out the show, Jacoby and I discuss the news of the week.

Stories Discussed:

AJ Morris Acquires iThemes Exchange
Jetpack Professional Plan Introduces Unlimited Access to 200+ Commercial Themes
bbPress 2.5.13 Readds Sanitization to Anonymous User Data
WP Rollback Adds Multisite Compatibility and Changelog Preview
Gutenberg 0.5.0 Adds New Verse Block for Poetry and a New Display for Recent Blocks

Picks of the Week:

Gutenberg Boilerplate For Third-Party Custom Blocks by Ahmad Awais. The boilerplate is a great way to learn the basics on creating custom blocks for Gutenberg. It comes with four example blocks.

  • A block with custom CSS for editor and front end
  • A block with ES6 or ESNext and a Webpack build process
  • A block with editable content
  • A block to click Tweet the contents of that block

Awais also shared his thoughts on the Gutenberg project.

Add Admin CSS – Using this plugin you’ll easily be able to define additional CSS (inline and/or files by URL) to be added to all administration pages. You can define CSS to appear inline in the admin head (within style tags), or reference CSS files to be linked.

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by Jeff Chandler at July 20, 2017 01:19 AM under woocommerce

July 19, 2017

WPTavern: The State of JavaScript 2017 Survey is Now Open

The State of JavaScript 2017 Survey is now open to web professionals of all backgrounds. The intent of the survey is to provide an overview of the rapidly changing landscape of JavaScript frameworks and tools by gauging which technologies are growing in popularity and which ones people are liking and using less.

The survey, created by Sacha Greif and Michael Rambeau, should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Topics include JavaScript frontend and backend tools and frameworks, state management solutions, testing tools, CSS, build tools, mobile and desktop technologies, package managers, text editors, salaries, and more.

Last year’s 89-question survey received more than 9,300 responses. Results showed that React ranked higher than other front-end frameworks in terms of developer satisfaction at 92%, followed closely by Vue.js at 89%.

It will be interesting to see if and how these results change with many open source project and companies growing wary of using React after the Apache Software Foundation’s recent decision to ban Apache PMC members from using any technology licensed with Facebook’s BSD+Patents License. A licensing issue that jeopardizes more companies’ ability to use Facebook’s popular open source technologies could precipitate a decline in React’s preeminence among frontend frameworks.

Sacha Greif reports that the survey has received more than 3,500 responses in less than 24 hours, a remarkable number compared to 9,300 over the course of three weeks last year. This response affirms the value that last year’s results provided to web professionals who are attempting to navigate the ever-expanding JavaScript ecosystem.

by Sarah Gooding at July 19, 2017 08:16 PM under react

WPTavern: bbPress 2.5.13 Readds Sanitization to Anonymous User Data

The bbPress development team has released bbPress 2.5.13. This release fixes a few bugs, most notably, it readds sanitization to anonymous user data that was accidentally removed in previous versions.

Those who allow anonymous users to create topics and replies on their forums are encouraged to update immediately.

“This feature is not widely used on public forums because spammers aggressively target these kinds of sites, but for communities that rely on this feature, please know you can safely upgrade to 2.5.13 without any issues,” John James Jacoby, lead developer of bbPress and BuddyPress, said.

As a reminder, beginning with bbPress 2.5.12, the minimum version of WordPress supported is 4.7. If you’re using an older version of WordPress, Jacoby recommends using or staying with bbPress 2.5.11.

bbPress 2.6 is still in the release candidate phase as developers iron out a few issues discovered on WordPress.org.

Users can download the latest version of bbPress from WordPress.org or browse to Dashboard > Updates, and upgrade from within WordPress.

by Jeff Chandler at July 19, 2017 06:22 PM under bug fixes

WPTavern: Zagreb to Host 3rd WordCamp in Croatia, September 1-3

photo credit: Archives of Zagreb Tourist Board – Author: Marko Vrdoljak

WordCamp Zagreb will be held September 1-3 and organizers are anticipating 300 attendees. This is the third WordCamp to be held in Croatia, following WordCamp Rijeka (2015) and WordCamp Split (2016). Although it changes cities every year, the camp is known as Croatia’s annual WordCamp.

“Having WordCamp change cities each year is quite normal for us,” WordCamp Croatia co-organizer and Zagreb meetup organizer Emanuel Blagonic said. “A lot of people from other cities travel to meetups too. Our largest meetup in Zagreb, which usually has 80+ people present and 100+ live stream viewers, usually has people attending from a 300km circle around Zagreb. People also travel to Split when there are meetups there.”

A renewed discussion on regional WordCamps is firing up on the WordPress Community team P2 blog, as the topic was discussed at the Community Summit and with recent developments in WordCamp Netherlands being reinstated and WordCamp Asia a possibility for 2019. Croatia is another example of a country where a national WordCamp might benefit the community.

“When we started with organizing a WordCamp in Croatia, as a community we hoped that WordCamp will help us boost local communities, thus not having everything centralized in Zagreb (where most other meetups happen, i.e. PHP, Design, UX, JavaScript, Python, etc.),” Blagonic said. “As a community we strongly believe that every region is different and it should be viewed like that. So far we are organizing WordCamps ‘no matter what,’ but having a ‘national WordCamp would mean more Croatian sponsors and better coverage from national media.”

WordCamp Zagreb will be a three-day event, beginning with workshops on the first day as the event has done in previous years. Organizers are planning for 12 workshops in four tracks that will be open to public registration. The main conference will be held Saturday with two tracks. Contributor Day will close out the event on Sunday, followed by a walking tour of the city.

Friday’s workshops will be held mostly in Croatian, except a few, such as WordPress Basics and Public Speaking, which will be conducted in English. All of the conference talks this year will be in English.

“Croatia is a tourist country and most of the people here speak good English, which is often used at large tech events,” Blagonic said. “With that in mind, every WordCamp so far was (mostly) in English, which means it’s quite welcoming for people outside Croatia, too (Slovenia, Austria, Italy, Germany) – and our community likes to meet new people. Unlike WordCamps, we see Meetups as strong local events so we usually have talks in Croatian there.”

Blagonic said every year so far the WordCamp has had approximately 20% of its attendees traveling from outside Croatia, as the country is relatively small with a population of 4 million. Most attendees travel to the WordCamp from other parts of Croatia.

Croatia currently has five local meetups, but only the two in Zagreb and Split have enough members to meet regularly. Blagonic said he sees the meetups as a way to help local communities grow and views the WordCamp as “a celebration of the country community.” However, he believes centralizing the larger events too much would be detrimental to growing the fledgling WordPress communities in the smaller cities.

“I’d say that in Croatia (and in the region) we have a young democracy and we still haven’t found the best way to connect with people,” Blagonic said. “For example, there are four big cities in Croatia where most of the things happen, and the tech scene is quite strong in them. If you go outside of these four hubs, a lot fewer things happen, which is a problem for people living outside. We believe that having a centralized country is bad for growing local communities (outside these areas) so with changing cities each year and with traveling to other Meetups/WordCamps we hope that we will change how people feel about it. “

by Sarah Gooding at July 19, 2017 06:11 PM under wordcamp

Donncha: WP Super Cache 1.5.0

WP Super Cache is a fast full-page caching plugin for WordPress. Download it from your dashboard or get it here.

Version 1.5.0 has been in development for some time. It has a ton of bug fixes and new features.


The headline new feature is REST API access to the settings. This will allow developers to create their own interface to the settings of the plugin. Unfortunately it isn’t yet documented but you can see the code in the rest directory. Start with load.php where you’ll find the code that registers all the endpoints. Users who access the API must be logged in as admin users. If you want to test the API, see the end of this post.

Settings Page

We have also simplified the settings page to make it easier to choose which caching method is used.

Instead of maybe confusing the user with technical words like PHP, mod_rewrite and WP-Cache we have split them up into “Simple” and “Expert” delivery methods, and done away with mentioning WP-Cache completely. Simple delivery uses PHP, expert uses mod_rewrite and well, WP-Cache got the boot because it’s always active anyway.

WP-Cache caching is always active, but it can be disabled in different ways.

  • Disable caching for known users.
  • Don’t cache pages with GET parameters
  • Disable caching of feeds


We expanded the number of headers cached by the plugin. The list of headers was borrowed from Comet Cache. However, anonymous users will still only see the bare minimum like content-length or content-type. If you need to use security headers like “X-Frame-Options” or “Content-Security-Policy” you should enable caching of HTTP headers. This unfortunately disables super caching so only WP-Caching is used but it’s still very fast (and faster in this release than before which I will get to below). You can also use the “wpsc_known_headers” filter to modify the list of recognised headers.

WP-Cache Reorganisation

WP-Cache cache files are split into two files – one holds the page content, the other (meta file) holds information about the page such as cookies, headers and url. In the past these files were stored in two directories which could become a problem if there were many thousands of those files. Even with only a few hundred files, maintenance could be an issue as deleting related files (like page archives, or copies of the front page) needed every meta file to be inspected.
Now the files are stored in the supercache directory structure that mirrors your permalink structure. Deleting related files is is simpler and serving files will be faster as the operating system won’t need to open a directory of thousands of files.
If you currently rely on WP-Cache files, the plugin will still look for them where they are, but new WP-Cache files will be created in cache/supercache/example.com/ (where example.com is your hostname).


We added support for caching sitemaps, but your sitemap plugin will need to cooperate to get it to work. The sitemap plugin needs to identify the sitemap request as a feed. Jetpack 5.1 now supports this since #7397. You can disable the caching by excluding feeds from caching.

Debugging Improved

The debug log is now protected by a username/password. For convenience, the username and password are the same but they are a long md5 string:

Deleting the log file clears it and resets it ready for more logging. Before, toggling debugging would create a new debug log and the old one would be kept around, but not linked, until deleted by garbage collection, and of course they were text files anyone could access.

This release includes lots of other small bug fixes and changes. Take a look at the number of closed PRs for an exhaustive list of those changes!

Testing the REST API

There are a number of ways to send POST requests to a web server but one I like is using curl in a shell script. You’ll need two bits of information from the website:

  1. The “wordpress_logged_in” cookie from your browser.
  2. The wp_rest nonce which you can get by adding `echo wp_create_nonce( ‘wp_rest’ );` somewhere on your site where you’re logged in. It’s good for 24 hours.

My test script looks something like this:
export NONCE='1234567890'
export COOKIE='wordpress_logged_in_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx=1234567890'
curl -v -X "GET" -H "Content-Type: application/json" -H "X-WP-Nonce: $NONCE" -H "Cache-Control: no-cache" -H "Cookie: wordpress_test_cookie=WP+Cookie+check; $COOKIE" \
-d '{}' "https://example.com/wp-json/wp-super-cache/v1/settings/"

Related Posts


by Donncha at July 19, 2017 12:25 PM under wp-super-cache

HeroPress: Becoming Myself Again

Pull Quote: The WordPress community is, slowly but surely, helping me get rid of my ingrown fear of the unknown, of others.

It’s so easy to become secluded and sit at home, in your own bubble, but it wasn’t until a group of people literally pulled me in with their welcoming atmosphere and demeanor, that I realised that I could function amongst other people as well (even if it was somewhat limited).

In The Beginning

To understand my bubble, you need to also know a little about me, or rather, about my childhood. I had a less than ideal childhood. I have a great family, lived in a great house, even in the “best country in the world” as they say. And despite this, I say I wasn’t happy with my childhood. My school years were the reason, they were rough. At times I think back and feel like events that unfolded were parts of ridiculous scenes from an over the top movie.

All in all, the days seemed generic enough, except my school days were a thing of dread. I would suffer physical and verbal abuse throughout my schooldays, even going to and from school, I had no real friends (victim by association is understandably not something a child would want to intentionally walk into. I understand this as an adult, but as a child it’s not that easy).

Because of my treatment over the years, I developed trust issues, I got a fear for everyone around me, and it was growing stronger and stronger over the years.

I suppressed it, I lied about it, and I got terrifyingly good at the lying part.

This is why I was drawn to the internet: I didn’t have to interact with people, I didn’t need to go outside where the others were, I could just do my thing and move on. I could live in my own bubble.

Finding WordPress

But then the darndest thing happened. I’d been stuck on a project, I needed help, and I turned to a support room for an open source project, for WordPress. If you’ve ever tried to get help in a chat before, you’ll know what kind of an experience it can be, the snarky reactions to your code, the nitpicking of using the wrong terminology, it’s not fun. This place though, they didn’t care that I was not only using the wrong terms, but my entire code was a horrible mess.

Where I would usually get the help I needed and move on, popping back in my bubble of solitude, I instead wanted to be like these people, I wanted to use what I learnt to let others get helped.

Over the years, I all but devote myself to that place. Nobody knew me, I liked staying under the radar, but eventually I got pushed into a team meeting. I was intrigued, so I would watch, I’d say hi, and progressively make my opinions heard. Yet, I would stick to my bubble, once the meeting was over I was back on my own.

And Then I Went To WordCamp

Until I got to attend my first big WordCamp, the last one held in San Francisco, I was ecstatic! I’d never been to a big conference before, as I didn’t like crowds, but I knew some of the people who would be there. They were people who had been friendly and inviting in the most genuine way imaginable. It’s not easy being worried whenever you’re out amongst people, but this group of people, this community, I didn’t have that fear around them.

I somehow made WordCamps my safe space.

They are where I can, if only for a short while, leave that bubble, leave the need to be alone, and be a part of something great! I use them as fuel to get through the hard times, I can look forward to meeting people, people who value my opinions and my experience. People who genuinely want to listen and most of all, care about you! The WordPress community is, slowly but surely, helping me get rid of my ingrown fear of the unknown, of others.

The community is helping me become myself again.

The post Becoming Myself Again appeared first on HeroPress.

by Marius Jensen at July 19, 2017 12:00 PM

WPTavern: New WordPress Contributors Meeting Provides Opportunities to Ask Questions and Learn the Ropes

Contributing to WordPress or other open source projects can be intimidating for first-time contributors. Sometimes, all you need is a helping hand to overcome fear, intimidation, or other barriers.

In 2013, with the help of Konstantin Obenland, a WordPress core developer, I overcame my fear and contributed my first patch to WordPress.

This is one of the principles behind a new weekly meeting that is geared towards new contributors.

“The new contributors meeting is the perfect place to come if you are new to contributing to WordPress core and have questions,Adam Silverstein, WordPress core contributor, said.

Every Wednesday at 3PM Eastern Daylight Time, users can visit the #core WordPress Slack channel and ask questions related to patches, tickets, and review the good-first-bugs report on Trac.

The first meeting was held on July 5th where participants asked questions about working with Git in WordPress core, applying patches, and unit testing. In the second meeting, participants discussed whether or not new contributors are allowed to make changes to tickets.

Other topics mentioned include, which repositories to use, clarification on contributing to core versus updating the WordPress Developer’s site, and which tickets to select for review.

The next meeting is on Wednesday, July 19th at 3PM Eastern. If you have any questions on how to contribute to WordPress, be sure to join the WordPress #core Slack channel at that time and ask away.

Meeting notes with links to discussions, tickets mentioned, and other resources are published on the Make WordPress Core blog under the #new-contributors tag

by Jeff Chandler at July 19, 2017 05:09 AM under open-source

July 18, 2017

WPTavern: WP Rollback Adds Multisite Compatibility and Changelog Preview

In the two years since WP Rollback launched on WordPress.org, the plugin has racked up more than 30,000 active installations with nearly all 5-star reviews. It allows users to roll back any WordPress.org plugin or theme to a previous version with just a few clicks and also supports beta versions of plugins.

It’s easy to see why the plugin is so popular. Navigating buggy updates is a natural part of life when maintaining a self-hosted website and not all users have a separate testing environment for their websites. This tool gives them a basic diagnostic tool and the confidence to apply updates knowing they can easily roll it back in case of a problem. Many reviewers cite the plugin as having been “a lifesaver” when applying WooCommerce or Yoast SEO updates that had unexpected results.

The lone one-star review of WP Rollback was given because the user anticipated multisite compatibility and was unable to get it to work. That issue has been solved in the latest update.

WP Rollback 1.5 is fully compatible with multisite networks, giving super admins the ability to roll back extensions from the network plugin/themes screen or from the the plugins/themes screen of the primary site in the network. Sub-sites do not have the ability to roll back plugins and themes for the entire network. The UI for rolling back themes on the network admin screen is identical to the plugin screens, as multisite doesn’t have the fancy theme preview screen that single site installs have.

Version 1.5 also adds the ability for users to preview the changelog for previous versions of a plugin. This makes it convenient for users to quickly view the changes for each version without leaving the admin.

WordImpress, the folks behind WP Rollback, have considered adding core rollbacks and database savepoints, but both features have serious potential drawbacks that could turn it into a high support-demanding plugin. In its current state, the plugin is virtually support-free.

Matt Cromwell, Head of Support and Community Outreach at WordImpress, said the team thought about monetizing the plugin in the beginning, but is not pursing any plans to do so at this time.

“We think of it as just one of the many ways we are giving back to the WP community,” Cromwell said. “Our preference would be for the core team to consider it as a potential feature plugin for eventual core inclusion.”

Cromwell said WordImpress hasn’t made any intentional steps to see if core folks are interested in WP Rollback becoming a feature plugin, but the team has purposely built it to be as close to core standards as possible. He believes it would be relatively easy to implement in WordPress.

Suggestions for new features, general feedback, and bug reports are welcome on WP Rollback’s GitHub repository. The plugin’s authors recommend backing up your site before using it to rollback plugins and themes or testing rollbacks on a staging site first. WP Rollback is not capable of rolling back changes a plugin update has made to the database, so a backup can come in handy if the database changes are incompatible with previous versions.

by Sarah Gooding at July 18, 2017 10:24 PM under plugin updates

WPTavern: React Users Petition Facebook to Re-license React.js after Apache Software Foundation Bans BSD+Patents License in Dependencies

The Apache Software Foundation issued a notice over the weekend, indicating that it has added Facebook’s BSD+Patents license to its Category X list of disallowed licenses for Apache PMC members. This is the license that Facebook uses for most of its open source projects.

A representative from Facebook’s RocksDB team commented on the Apache Foundation’s post to advise that the project will meet the August 31st deadline for relicensing in order to be in compliance with Apache PMC member requirements, and that change has been committed today:

The RocksDB team is adjusting the licensing such that it will be dual-licensed under the Apache 2 and GPL 2 (for MySQL compatibility) licenses. This should happen shortly and well ahead of August 31st. I’ll leave the history and philosophy around licensing alone since it’s generally a complex discussion to have and I’m not sure that it has actually been fully captured in this thread especially vis a vis Facebook’s intent.

Hopefully this morning’s guidance to PMCs can be adjusted since I don’t think any of us see a bunch of extra engineering effort as a desirable thing across the ASF projects which are already making use of RocksDB

In light of the ASF Legal Affairs Committee’s decision to disallow the BSD+Patents License in Apache projects, ASF member Joan Touzet opened an issue on the React repository urging Facebook to consider re-licensing React.js under Apache License v2.0 and GPL 2:

This has led to a lot of upset and frustration in the Apache community, especially from projects requiring similarly-licensed code as direct dependencies – the chief of these being RocksDB.

We (the Apache Software Foundation) have just received word that RocksDB will be re-licensing their code under the dual Apache License v2.0 and GPL 2 licenses.

As a user of React.JS in an ASF top-level project (Apache CouchDB), please consider re-licensing React.JS under similar terms. Otherwise, many ASF projects such as our own will have to stop relying on and building with React.

Although the re-licensing of RocksDB solves that particular project’s problem, ASF’s ban of Facebook’s BSD+Patents license means other widely used technologies from Facebook, including React.js, are still banned. This is likely to cause problems for many open source projects.

Harshavardhana, from the Minio team, commented in support of the petition to Facebook for re-licensing React.

“Our object storage browser UI is based on React and we are Apache 2.0 licensed,” he said. “It would be unfortunate and time consuming to migrate but we will have to do that in lieu of new information regarding Apache incompatibility. Please consider re-licensing React.”

Contributors to Om, a ClojureScript interface for React, are also discussing whether or not the ASF’s new requirements will affect their project. Greg Stein, commenting on behalf of ASF, clarified the reasons behind the organization’s decision to ban Facebook’s BSD+Patents license:

Please note that the ASF chose this path for policy reasons, rather than “license incompatibility”. We don’t want downstream users of Apache code to be surprised by the PATENTS grant that (was) in RocksDB and (is) in React. Users should only need to follow the ALv2, with no further constraints.

These license can work together (IMO) and simply provide two sets of restrictions upon users.

Stein said it was not ASF’s lawyers who made the decision but rather the organization’s policy decision to “disallow FB/BSD+Patent license to be mixed into the software the Foundation releases to users.”

Facebook is Internally Discussing the Re-Licensing Matter

Dan Abramov, co-author of Redux, Create React App, and React Hot Loader, joined the discussion on GitHub regarding re-licensing with a brief and ambiguous summary about how Facebook is handling the petition to re-license.

“To give you a small update, there are going to be more internal discussions about this for about a week,” Abramov said. “This is about as much as I can say. I wouldn’t be too optimistic about this changing for React but we’ll see. @daveman692 has kindly agreed to provide an update when these discussions are over.”

Dropping the patent grant entirely, which would be the most convenient way of solving this issue for open source projects, isn’t likely to happen. React has already gone through re-licensing twice during its short history. It was originally licensed under Apache 2.0 but this was changed in October 2014 to the BSD License plus the patent grant, which included a highly controversial termination provision. In April 2015, the patent grant was changed slightly to allow licensees to continue to use the software in the event that a patent lawsuit did not include a counterclaim against Facebook or its affiliates in a matter unrelated to React.js.

The termination provision in Facebook’s BSD+Patents License continues to be unpopular and is regarded suspiciously by many open source project maintainers. When the Drupal project began considering a client-side framework to supersede Backbone.js, Dries Buytaert passed on React based on what he said was “a potentially unacceptable patent clause,” citing pushback from WordPress.com’s Calypso and React contributors.

The WordPress open source project has not formally announced its decision on which JavaScript framework will be included in core, but all signs point to React. WordPress’ upcoming Gutenberg editor is built on React and its chief contributors are Automattic employees who work on React-based products for WordPress.com. Gutenberg continues to plough forward at a breakneck pace with no indication of a rewrite, and WordPress co-creator Matt Mullenweg has been outspoken about his preference for using React.

Although Automattic’s legal counsel has said the company is comfortable using React for its product under the project’s current license , others in the WordPress community are not as amenable to including the framework in core.

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) includes a generic BSD+Patent license listed among its approved licenses, but Facebook’s particular BSD+Patent license has not been submitted. Robert Pierce, a partner at El Camino Legal, contends that the license termination provision ought to be impermissible in an open source license because it exists to protect Facebook from patent litigation that is completely unrelated to React code:

Facebook touts React.js as open source software. But in my mind the license termination provision of the Additional Grant of Patent Rights takes the offering outside the realm of open source software.

The patent license offered in the Additional Grant of Patent Rights (v.2) is conditioned upon the licensee not bringing a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook or its affiliates. Thus, the licensee pays a price to use the library. It is not a price paid with money. The price demanded by Facebook for use of the library is that the licensee refrain from exercising any of its patent rights against Facebook or its affiliates.

Pierce views Facebook’s publication of React source code as leverage to win some protection against patent lawsuits, which he deems to be “too greedy an approach for Facebook to claim open source status.”

The open source community has widely speculated about the implications of including Facebook’s BSD+Patent license as a dependency, but the license has not yet been tested in court. The Apache Software Foundation is the first major organization to take a hard line stance on the controversial license and this has caught Facebook’s attention. Facebook representatives have promised an update on the petition for re-licensing after its internal discussions have concluded.

by Sarah Gooding at July 18, 2017 03:25 AM under react

WPTavern: Stylishly Display Weather Conditions with the Weather Atlas Widget

If you’re looking for an easy way to display weather conditions on your site, check out the new Weather Atlas Widget by 

Weather Atlas Settings

As you begin typing, a drop-down list of cities is displayed. This helps choose the correct city. From here, users can configure the following settings:

  • Display temperatures in Fahrenheit or Celsius
  • Use English or Spanish language
  • Horizontal or Vertical Layout – Horizontal displays more information such as five-day forecasts
  • Font size. By default, the widget uses the font size specified in the theme
  • Background color
  • Text Color
  • Headings

Users can display sunrise and sunset times, heat index, wind chills, UV index, wind speeds, humidity, and pressure. You can also hide or display hourly forecasts.

Forecast for Cleveland, Ohio

It’s recommended that for three-hour forecasts, you use the vertical layout and for five-hour forecasts, the horizontal layout. The same recommendations apply for daily forecasts.

The widget not only looks nice but it also changes color based on temperature. Shades of blue represent cooler temperatures while shades of red represent warmer temperatures.

Temperatures Represented by Colors

By default, the bottom of the widget displays the text, “Weather from Weather Atlas”. However, if you choose to display the detailed forecast, the text is replaced with a Detailed Forecast link. This link takes visitors to a page on Weather-Atlas.com that displays detailed weather conditions for the selected city.

I tested the Weather Atlas Widget on WordPress 4.8 and didn’t encounter any issues. It’s available for free on the WordPress plugin directory.

by Jeff Chandler at July 18, 2017 01:55 AM under widget

July 17, 2017

WPTavern: Gutenberg Boilerplate Demonstrates How to Build Custom Blocks

Gutenberg is still in beta but developers are already getting ready for creating their own custom blocks. Over the weekend Ahmad Awais released a new project called Gutenberg Boilerplate For Third-Party Custom Blocks. Awais’ introductory post includes a rundown of his thoughts on the current pros and cons of developing for the Gutenberg project. Although he appreciates the technology behind Gutenberg and the improvements over shortcodes, he is not fully sold on the concept of putting everything into blocks. To learn more, he decided to jump into the code.

“I am still making up my mind with how Gutenberg will fit in the WordPress core,” Awais said. “There are so many things which are both good and bad about it. So, instead of ranting about it, I wanted to do something more productive. I went ahead, studied the source code and received a lot of help from Gutenberg contributors (Matias Ventura, James Nylen, Riad Benguella, Andrew Duthie, Joen, etc.) to finally build a Gutenberg Boilerplate project.”

Awais’ Gutenberg Boilerplate is a good starting place for learning more of the basics about developing for the editor. It comes in the form of a plugin that offers four examples of how to build different kinds of custom Gutenberg blocks, with and without a build process:

  • A block with custom CSS for editor and front end
  • A block with ES6 or ESNext and a Webpack build process
  • A block with editable content
  • A block to click Tweet the contents of that block

For example, the tweet block, which is something that might previously been handled with a shortcode, is an example that includes four files: block.js to register the custom Gutenberg block, editor.css, style.css, and index.php.

Awais noticed that many developers were wanting to try building third-party blocks, but Gutenberg’s documentation for this was outdated and/or non-existent. He got involved in contributing to the project’s documentation after discovering the docs describing how to enqueue block and block editor assets were not available. This gave him the inspiration to create a boilerplate.

“Both as a theme/plugin developer, I think there’s going to be a steep learning curve here for just about everyone – users as well as developers,” Awais said. “WordPress development just became very complicated with the Gutenberg project. I’m also not sure how devs will start writing extensions. Some users might expect them to keep the shortcodes for the old editor. Some might ask for blocks in the new one. Is there an API or back-compat? In short everything is changing and this change has both pros and cons.”

These concerns also tie into the larger discussion around how Gutenberg can support legacy metaboxes that use the old PHP framework, instead of updating to the new JS.

“New metaboxes should be written in JS, and will appear in the Post Settings sidebar alongside the stock ones,” Gutenberg contributor Joen Asmussen said. “Metaboxes written in PHP should ideally be upgraded to be JS, but should continue to work in their PHP form also.” Asmussen has proposed an “Extended Settings” panel to house legacy metaboxes in a section below the editor. It would appear only when legacy plugins and metaboxes are enabled, as shown in the mockup below.

Discussion regarding how to support metaboxes is still ongoing. With so many important issues like this up in the air, it’s too early to know what the future of extending Gutenberg will look like. At the moment, the project is undergoing rapid development and changes, so extending Gutenberg may evolve drastically over a short period of time. If the editor is to preserve the same flexibility and customization opportunities of its predecessor, the project will need to ensure that it is easy to create custom blocks and extensions while continuing to support older PHP metabox infrastructure that is currently widely used.

by Sarah Gooding at July 17, 2017 08:28 PM under metaboxes

July 15, 2017

WPTavern: Gutenberg 0.5.0 Adds New Verse Block for Poetry and a New Display for Recent Blocks

Another round of Gutenberg updates was released today. Last weekend brought version 0.4.0, which didn’t have too many noteworthy visible changes on the frontend but introduced an API for handling pasted content. Gutenberg developers are aiming to have specific handling for converting pasted content from applications like Word, Markdown, and Google Docs to native WordPress blocks. Version 0.4.0 also added navigation between blocks using arrow keys and included a new approach for rendering embed frames.

Gutenberg 0.5.0 hit dashboards today. One major improvement to the writing flow is that the editor will now avoid showing block UI while the user is typing and/or starting a new paragraph in a text block. You can test this by typing and pressing enter twice to begin a new text block. No UI should be visible during this process. Small improvements like this one are gradually bringing a bit more zen to the editor, which is still full of confusing and surprising experiences.

Version 0.5.0 adds the ability to upload images via drag-and-drop onto image block placeholders. The example below shows one of my tests. While the image is uploading, it fades in and out. This experience is a bit disconcerting, especially if the upload never resolves. I’m not certain this UI provides the best communication for the status of the image upload.

This version also introduces a new Verse block, which is intended for poetry. It has a slight indent, as compared to a plain text block, but it doesn’t yet work well with copy and paste. Unless you are a poet composing in WordPress, it’s far more likely that you will be pasting in poetry content from somewhere else on the web. Other than the initial bugs, it’s a useful block for those who often post verse.

With the growing number of block types, it can be cumbersome to sort through all of them when adding a new block. Gutenberg 0.5.0 implements a new display for recent blocks. A maximum of eight are shown and the most recently used ones are displayed at the top. It does not yet persist between editor sessions, but Gutenberg contributors plan to add that in the future.

Other notable improvements in this release include the following:

Writing Long-Form Content with Gutenberg is Still a Frustrating Experience

Gutenberg in its current state is a long way away from being an editor that users would embrace for long-form writing. It still contains many unnerving bugs that steal user confidence. For example, when pasting in multiple paragraphs from a lorem ipsum generator, the editor gave me a white screen and I lost all of the content in my post. After a bit of testing I found that pasting in paragraphs one at a time worked.

This kind of frustrating and unexpected behavior has caused many testers to wonder why it isn’t being referred to as alpha software instead of beta. WordPress contributor Jon Brown summed up this common sentiment in a comment on the 0.4.0 release post.

“It’s getting better, but it honestly still feels more like a 0.0.4 alpha than a 0.4.0 beta,” Brown said. “I’ve tried writing long form content several times with each version since 0.1.0 and each time I’m quickly frustrated by the lack of flow between blocks. It’s more frustrating than TinyMCE.”

Gutenberg needs to make significant progress before it can be suitable for writing anything more than a few short paragraphs. It’s nearly impossible to get into the flow of creating long-form content with the prominence of the block UI. Right now, the editor just gets in the way. The current UI is skewed heavily towards frequent block creation. It is clutter-some and distracting for pure writing tasks. Following the evolution of the editor, with its fast-paced development cycle, is exhilarating after years of stagnation. But the project is sorely in need of a breakthrough where the Gutenberg UI finally gets out of the way of writing.

by Sarah Gooding at July 15, 2017 05:14 AM under gutenberg

July 14, 2017

WPTavern: Jetpack Professional Plan Introduces Unlimited Access to 200+ Commercial Themes

Automattic has been teasing its plan to add commercial themes to Jetpack for several months after introducing theme installation for self-hosted users from WordPress.com. In March, the plugin opened up access to all of WordPress.com’s free themes via the Jetpack Manage interface. All signs pointed to Automattic developing the infrastructure to offer commercial themes via Jetpack upgrades. At that time, however, Jetpack team member Richard Muscat said that Automattic had “no immediate plans to sell themes at this time.”

Yesterday those subscribed to the Jetpack Announcements email were notified that commercial themes have landed in the Jetpack Professional plan, which is regularly priced at $24.92/month or $299/year. Customers will have unlimited access to more than 200 commercial themes that are already available on WordPress.com. Jetpack users on the free plan will see all the themes available in the WordPress.com theme browser with a prompt to upgrade for the ones that are commercial.

The announcement also noted that any themes users elect to use will be automatically backed up and regularly scanned for malware as part of the security services included in the package. For those who are running a multisite network, each site will need its own Jetpack Professional subscription to have access to the commercial themes.

For years the WordPress community has speculated about what Automattic’s long game was for Jetpack, and many believed it was only a matter of time before the plugin started offering commercial upgrades. It was introduced to the WordPress world in 2011 as a way to provide feature parity between WordPress.com and self-hosted sites. The first version included just eight modules, but fellow plugin developer and entrepreneurs in the community were immediately aware of its commercial potential.

In 2016, Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg identified both Jetpack and WooCommerce as “multi-billion dollar opportunities” that could each individually be larger than WordPress.com. The plugin is now active on more than 3 million WordPress sites. Automattic’s aggressive commercialization of Jetpack in the past two years is the fulfillment of initial predictions about where the plugin was headed.

The new commercial themes offering significantly raises the value of the Jetpack Professional plan, which was previously targeted at business users who require unlimited storage, Google Analytics, and additional SEO features. With the addition of unlimited use of 200+ themes, Automattic has expanded the Professional plan to be more compelling for non-business users who are simply interested in gaining access to a collection of professionally-supported themes.

by Sarah Gooding at July 14, 2017 09:46 PM under jetpack

BuddyPress: BuddyPress 2.9.0 Release Candidate 1

Today sees BP 2.9.0 move to The final testing phase Release Candidate 1.

This is the last chance to test out this release and report back any issues found before final release in approximately two weeks time.

Any issues found can be reported to our trac ticket home , or raised on the support forum.

Amongst other improvements and fixes to look out for are:

  • Fixing display of older activity comments.
  • Correction of message when removing friends that are not friends.
  • Group invites – omit sending to previously invited members.
  • Profile image upload fix for IE Edge breaksIOS fix.
  • Correct issue with hidden group & CSS specificity.
  • URL compatibility for LightSpeed.
  • Fix inability resizing of member avatar for cyrillic character filenames.

For a full list of commits see 2.9 tickets A full changelog will be available when we release the final version.

You can download the plugin to test from the WP repo BP 2.9.0-RC1 or grab a copy from our SVN repo.

A reminder to all theme developers that there are changes to template markup that could effect layouts and ask that they check their themes carefully, the changes are listed below along with changelog links; again any issues or problems please report as soon as possible to the BP trac or slack channel.

Template changes

In this release there are a number of improvements to templates that add a level of improved a11y performance and markup changes for better semantics & Standards.

Theme authors may want to pay particular attention to changes to profile field visibility links and the profile field descriptions where significant markup changes are made that effect positioning of these elements – changesets for these are r11617 & r11618

Nouveau – new template pack

If you’re looking for Nouveau as we mentioned in the beta2 announcement we have delayed the release of this new template pack to ensure it receives as much code checking & refinement as possible and we’ll be looking to probably package this as it’s own release shortly after 2.9 is released.

We thank you in advance for all testing and reports and it need not be mentioned but please don’t run Beta or RC releases in a production environment only on test installs.

The BuddyPress team.

by Hugo Ashmore at July 14, 2017 12:57 PM under releases

WPTavern: CoKinetic Systems Pursues $100 Million GPL License Violation Case Against Panasonic Avionics

photo credit: Paper Plane(license)

Open source software has made its way into nearly every industry, but a recent open source security and risk analysis shows widespread license compliance risks, with 75% of the audited applications including GPL license conflicts. Although most violations are unintentional, there are some cases where companies do not comply with the license in order to block competitors from developing similar software.

GPL enforcement doesn’t often lead to litigation. When it does, most other avenues of resolving the complaint have already been exhausted. A lawsuit in the air transport industry is currently bringing more attention to the gravity of not complying with open source software licensing requirements.

CoKinetic Systems, a developer and manufacturer of in-flight entertainment (IFE) software, has filed a case against Panasonic Avionics that includes allegations of a fairly egregious breach of the GPL. The complaint alleges that Panasonic Avionics has monopolized the Panasonic IFE Software and Media Services Market by deliberately refusing to distribute the source code for its open-source Linux-based operating system:

More specifically, Panasonic has built the Linux-Based Panasonic Core Software using the open-source Linux kernel, which is clearly governed by the GPL, together with Panasonic’s own modified Linux modules, which are likewise governed by the GPL.

Indeed, Panasonic has itself affirmatively identified its own modified modules as being subject to the GPL, because the original Linux modules were specifically designed to generate warning messages if other code is linked with or otherwise combined with the Linux modules that are not licensed under the GPL. To suppress these warnings, Panasonic willfully acted to insert code into its own modules to indicate that they were licensed under the GPL.

Panasonic has incorporated a massive amount of open source modules, programs, and libraries into the Linux-Based Panasonic Core Software, without distributing notices or source code to the Linux-Based Panasonic Core Software, or even to any part of it…By deliberately refusing to distribute the source code to the Linux-Based Panasonic Core Software in accordance with its GPL obligations, Panasonic intentionally deprives competitors in the market from having the ability to develop software that can access the basic features and capabilities of Panasonic IFE Hardware.

CoKinetic Systems contends that Panasonic’s refusal to distribute its source code voids its GPL license and “potentially exposes Panasonic to billions of dollars in statutory damages for hundreds of thousands of hardware installations that willfully infringe copyrights belonging to hundreds or even thousands of software developers that freely contributed source code to Linux.”

Furthermore, the complaint details how competitors have to rely on Panasonic’s APIs in order to offer software services to airlines using Panasonic’s IFE hardware, because they do not have access to the source code for the Linux-based core software. CoKinetic claims that Panasonic also deliberately blocks competitor products by its selective distribution of its APIs, resulting in stifled industry innovation and monopoly control over the Panasonic IFE Software and Media Services Market.

Perhaps the worst and most grave allegation in the complaint is that, in addition to locking up the source code and doling out access to the APIs, Panasonic also maliciously sabotaged its own APIs in order to give the appearance that it is the only reliable software service provider for its hardware, which CoKinetic claims is inferior and sold at monopolistic prices.

Panasonic also is able to use its control over the Linux-Based Panasonic Core Software in order to make ongoing, undisclosed, and often malicious modifications to its source code, deliberately “breaking” Panasonic’s own APIs in order to purposely and maliciously sabotage the performance of third-party software products that Panasonic deems a competitive threat — particularly CoKinetic software.

In the introduction to the case, CoKinetic cites a litany of anti-competitive conduct the company has engaged in over the past decade before detailing the current allegations. The case is not purely an open source license dispute, as the plaintiff also alleges that Panasonic abused regulatory processes, engaged in acts of corporate espionage, defamed CoKinetic, paid commercial bribes, and employed unlawful means to monopolize the Panasonic IFE Software and Media Services Market.

CoKinetic is seeking compensatory damages for Panasonic’s GPL ongoing GPL breaches. The specific amount would be determined at the trial but the company believes it to be in excess of $100 million. The company also wants the court to compel Panasonic to publicly disclose and distribute the source code.

This isn’t a case where distributing the source code is just a small sticking point or just a matter of principle. It has the potential to open up the IFE industry for faster progress and greater innovation. Many reading this article have undoubtedly used Panasonic’s IFE products when flying with the company’s customers, which include Emirates Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Virgin America, and United Airlines. With the source code available, airline customers could remove Panasonic’s software from their IFE hardware and replace it with their own software solutions.

The complaint, which was filed in the Southern District of New York in March, demands a jury trial. An initial pre-trial conference was held in May, but the case has been slow moving. The Court gave a deadline for the Defendant to file its motion to dismiss, but deadlines have since been extended. The Court also strongly recommended that the two parties retain a private mediator but it’s not clear how outside mediation could solve such a far-reaching matter that impacts so many vendors. Additional documents are due over the next few months, so it will be some time before there are updates on the progress of the case.

by Sarah Gooding at July 14, 2017 04:39 AM under open-source

WPTavern: AJ Morris Acquires iThemes Exchange

In 2013, iThemes released Exchange, an e-commerce platform that aimed to make selling online as simple as possible. Today, the company announced that AJ Morris, Product Manager at Liquid Web, has taken over the project.

“When approached about taking over iThemes Exchange early this year, we wanted to be sure the project and our customers went into very competent hands, someone who will love and care for them as much as we do,” Cory Miller, founder of iThemes, said.

“Having spent four and a half years investing in the project and in you and your success, we did not take this lightly.

“After numerous conversations over the past several months, we believe the best home for Exchange is with ExchangeWP LLC led by AJ Morris.”

Everything iThemes Exchange related will transition to ExchangeWP.com. Toolkit, Plugin Suite, Exchange Pro Pack, and iThemes Exchange Add-on customers will be given accounts for free support and upgrades through August 2018 at ExchangeWP.com.

Beginning today, customers will no longer be able to purchase Exchange or its add-ons through iThemes as the company transfers licenses and products to ExchangeWP. However, iThemes will continue to provide customer support until the transition is completed, expected to happen in early August.

Morris says he’ll continue to focus on making e-commerce simple and will provide regular updates to customers to provide insight into what goes into transition a product from one company to another and where the product is heading.

“These days, it’s very easy to get WordPress up and running so you can start blogging,” Morris said. “But when you want to add e-commerce to the mix, it’s a bit different.”

“With big players like WooCommerce out there, it becomes too much too quickly for the average content producer to get their store up and running.

“Exchange is going to continue focusing on the independent publishers that want to keep the revenue they can, while providing a simplistic experience in an easy-to-use e-commerce plugin that will help get their stores online quickly.”

Allowing Morris to take over the project frees up resources for iThemes to focus on three of its flagship products; BackupBuddy, iThemes Security, and iThemes Sync. In addition to their core products, the company says it will soon release a new project.

“My job as CEO is to be a steward of the time and resources we have at iThemes in order to serve you best,” Miller said.

“We’ve realized for a while that it was past time for us to refocus our finite resources on the projects that have the most growth and potential for our company and you.

“That meant we either needed to find a new home for Exchange or sunset the project. I’m thankful we didn’t have to do the latter.”

Morris is a long-time member of the WordPress community and has spoken at several WordCamps. With Morris taking over the reigns, existing customers won’t have to worry about finding a replacement.

by Jeff Chandler at July 14, 2017 01:00 AM under ithemes

July 13, 2017

Akismet: Akismet WordPress Plugin 3.3.3 Now Available

Version 3.3.3 of the Akismet plugin for WordPress is now available.

For a full list of the changes in this release, see the revision log, but here are some notable fixes:

  • The number of spam blocked that is displayed on the WordPress dashboard will now be more accurate and updated more frequently.
  • We fixed a bug in the Akismet widget that could cause PHP warnings.
  • We’ve improved Akismet’s compatibility with other plugins by removing a workaround that only targeted very old versions of WordPress.

To upgrade, visit the Updates page of your WordPress dashboard and follow the instructions. If you need to download the plugin zip file directly, links to all versions are available in the WordPress plugins directory.

by Christopher Finke at July 13, 2017 10:00 PM under WordPress

WPTavern: WordPress.com Introduces Scheduling for Social Media Posts

WordPress.com is venturing into the realm of social media management applications with its latest feature that allows users to schedule Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn updates for individual posts. This goes beyond the basic Publicize functionality that automatically shares posts to connected accounts as soon as they are published, giving users the ability to automate their content marketing to social networks for the most optimal time for sharing.

It’s difficult to know how a post will appear on social networks once it has automatically been shared, which is one reason why many people choose to manually share a post for the best presentation. You want to ensure that the right thumbnail will show up with a message customized for each network’s particular audience. The new social scheduling feature on WordPress.com includes a built-in preview screen so users can see what the post will look like once it is shared to the network and then make any necessary tweaks.

Scheduling social media posts is available on WordPress.com for Premium and Business plan users and for Jetpack Professional and Premium users. On the Premium plan level, which comes in at ~$9/month, users pay less than they would for scheduling apps like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Sprout Social while also getting access to more commercial WordPress features.

To truly become a realistic replacement for these types of social media marketing apps, WordPress.com would need to offer better analytics tied into the new sharing feature to show how posts are performing at different times and networks. Although WordPress.com allows for unlimited scheduling and users, it would also need to allow sharing to more networks to be more competitive against these apps. For users who don’t need all of that data but just want the scheduling feature, a paid Jetpack or WordPress.com plan is a more affordable option.

Several other self-hosted WordPress plugins already offer scheduling social media posts for free and some even integrate the social accounts with Google Analytics. The addition of this feature to Jetpack commercial plans may not be as compelling for self-hosted users who can already find this for free, but it adds value for existing Jetpack customers who may now be able to replace a plugin or third-party service.

by Sarah Gooding at July 13, 2017 07:59 PM under wordpress.com

July 12, 2017

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 281 – In Memory of Jesse Petersen

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Ben Meredith. Over the past few years, Ben has established a friendly and professional relationship with Jesse Petersen, who passed away due to complications from Cystic Fibrosis.

Ben shares his unique perspective on who Petersen was as a person and describes the challenges of taking over his business. We emphasized how important it is to create a file with passwords and other login information to help appointed people access a person’s digital presence. We also discuss if saying a person lost their battle with an illness is a negative thing to say.

To close out the show, we talk about net neutrality, 10up acquiring Lift UX, and Let’s Encrypt offering wildcard certificates in 2018.

Stories Discussed:

Automattic Releases Net Neutrality WordPress Plugin Ahead of July 12 Protest
10up Acquires Lift UX
Let’s Encrypt Passes 100 Million Certificates Issued, Will Offer Wildcard Certificates in January 2018

Picks of the Week:

Newlungsfor.me is a place to read about Jesse’s battle with Cystic Fibrosis along with CFfatboy.com.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, July 19th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via RSS: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Stitcher Radio: Click here to subscribe

Listen To Episode #281:

by Jeff Chandler at July 12, 2017 10:00 PM under net neutrality

WPTavern: Sustain Event Draws 100 Attendees to Discuss the Sustainability of Open Source Software

More than 100 open source project maintainers and industry leaders gathered at the GitHub headquarters in San Francisco last month to discuss the long-term sustainability of open source software. The Sustain event, put on by a relatively new organization called SustainOSS, did not follow a traditional conference format with talks and keynotes but was intentionally left unstructured to foster open discussion.

Organizers expected 50 attendees but ended up with double their estimates. The $50 ticket price covered day care, travel assistance, food, and other miscellaneous event costs. Attendees shared insights from their diverse backgrounds and participated in collaborative working sessions and various discussions facilitated by organizers.

Co-organizer Alanna Irving shared in her wrap-up post how the team used Open Collective to make the event’s finances transparent and offer payment options for participants and sponsors. The service has recently added a new feature that allows collectives to communicate event info and sell tickets.

Representatives from large tech companies attended the event, as well as contributors from various open source projects and foundations, including Google, Amazon, Paypal, Airbnb, Red Hat, JS Foundation, Linux Foundation, Apache Foundation, npm, FontAwesome, GulpJS, and more. Irving published a few insights from the discucssions that she and her colleagues are applying to their work at Open Collective:

  • Introducing money in open source is less controversial than we thought. The main issues are related to how.
  • The coder role is only one among many equally important roles: community builder (for onboarding and creating a healthy ecosystem), documentation writer, fundraiser, and public advocate.
  • Companies want to support open source communities. This is now more clear than ever.
  • It’s easier for some companies to make in-kind donations rather than cash. We’re working on making this easier, and will share more about it soon.
  • Projects that companies publicly support need to have accountability and respect codes of conduct, in order to avoid PR nightmares.

On the day following the event, SustainOSS organizers tweeted out a link to a new forum on GitHub for discussing open source sustainability. Proposed topics include fundraising, governance, contributor retention, productivity, and managing corporate relationships. It was created to offer a safe place for open source sustainers to collaborate with each other in the open and contributors have already submitted some practical ideas for discussion, such as adding a standardized FUNDING or SUSTAINABILITY file to repositories.

Sustain was inspired by inspired by the Maintainerati event held in London in May 2017. The similarly unstructured event brought together open source maintainers who share similar challenges. GitHub also hosted the Wontfix Cabal event at its San Francisco headquarters in February, which highlighted some of the difficulties related to maintaining OSS projects. Events focused on maintaining and funding OSS have been popping up in the past two years, as more people become aware that open source infrastructure has a critical sustainability problem.

The SustainOSS organizers will be releasing a more detailed article on the event soon. They are also open to considering hosting other Sustain events in different locations. Follow @SustainOSS on Twitter for the latest updates.

by Sarah Gooding at July 12, 2017 08:38 PM under open-source

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July 27, 2017 08:30 PM
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