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September 23, 2017

WPTavern: Scott Bolinger Shares Unique Perspective of WordPress From Outside the Bubble

Scott Bolinger, a product developer focused on the WordPress space who has created several products, including AppPresser and Holler Box, recently attended Content and Commerce Summit 2017.

This conference focuses on what’s working in eCommerce, digital media, information publishing, and subscription commerce. According to Bolinger, WordPress and WooCommerce were not topics of discussion.

“It really opened my eyes going to an event where no one even said the word WordPress once,” Bolinger said. “The audience at this conference was non-technical, mostly marketers selling stuff online. I watched a presentation where the presenter had slides with 20+ different recommended tools on them, and not a single mention of WordPress.

“This is an eCommerce conference, WooCommerce is 41% of all eCommerce stores, and not a single person said the word WooCommerce. All I heard about was Shopify and Amazon.”

According to SimilarTech, WooCommerce is leading in the top 100K sites, top 1M sites, and the entire web while Shopify is leading in the top 10K sites. While Shopify has a lot less market share, it’s used on substantially higher trafficked sites.

Bolinger shared the perspective of a friend who uses Shopify to sell clothing and will gross more than $1M in revenue this year. According to his friend, Shopify is easy to use, from setting up a theme, to the plugin/app ecosystem to add functionality.

“When my friend said Shopify is easy to use, this is a whole different category of great user experience,” Bolinger said. “This is building a site from scratch for a completely non-technical user, and them loving the end result and the experience.”

Bolinger raised an interesting point in that, Wix, Shopify, and SquareSpace are closed, SaaS offerings where they can control the user experience from end-to-end. This is impossible to do with WordPress because there are too many moving parts and core can not control how plugins and themes take part in that experience.

While WordPress core can’t necessarily solve the problem, it hasn’t stopped webhosts from trying. GoDaddyBluehost, and others have created onboarding solutions that try to control the end-to-end user experience.

Bolinger shared a sentiment that many in the WordPress community have advocated in recent years. “If we’re honest, the strength of WordPress is not that it’s easy to use for non-technical people. It’s an open-source platform that is easy for developers to extend and customize for clients.”

There was a time, somewhere between WordPress 2.3 and WordPress 3.5, where one of the main reasons people used WordPress was because it was easy. Between then and now, what caused WordPress to lose its ease-of-use factor?

SquareSpace, Wix, and Shopify didn’t exist in the early days of WordPress, they were late to market. This gave them the advantage of implementing all the lessons learned through WordPress’ lifespan and since it’s a closed system, they can iterate rapidly.

The biggest reality check that Bolinger shares is that there are a lot of people WordPress simply doesn’t cater too.

“There is a large contingent of people who just want to get stuff done, they don’t want to fuss with the tech”, He said. “They don’t care about open source or owning their data. They don’t want to install a theme and setup their widgets, or search thousands of results to find the best SEO plugin.

“They don’t want to set up ‘managed hosting’, an SSL certificate, or a payment gateway. They just want to sell their products and make money as fast and easily as possible.”

I encourage you to read the full post as it provides a perspective of WordPress not often shared within the WordPress bubble. How does WordPress become a platform that delivers the kind of experience from end-to-end that Bolinger’s friend describes?

by Jeff Chandler at September 23, 2017 12:43 AM under wordpress

September 22, 2017

WPTavern: WordPress Explores a JavaScript Framework-Agnostic Approach to Building Gutenberg Blocks

photo credit: found_drama E.’s pirate town(license)

The discussion regarding WordPress’ JavaScript framework selection continues in the #core-js Slack channel ahead of next week’s meeting. One of the more recent topics is the possibility of framework-agnostic block rendering for Gutenberg, which would allow developers to extend the new editor using any JS library they prefer. This means that Gutenberg blocks, which are colloquially referred to as “Gutenblocks,” could be built with Vue, React, Preact, Angular, or whatever the developer feels comfortable using.

Proponents of this idea contend that pursuing a more flexible approach makes WordPress’ core JS framework decision less critical. While answering questions on the #core-js channel, Gary Pendergast explained how Gutenberg could be built to maintain the separation.

“I’m really not joking when I say that this decision doesn’t matter, even for people contributing to Gutenberg,” Pendergast said. “In #2463, the library is treated entirely as a utility library, much like we use lodash, for example. It performs a handful of tasks, and it can be relatively easily pulled out and replaced with something entirely different, with no disruption to the rest of the codebase. For people contributing to Gutenberg, they’re contributing in the Gutenberg coding style, not the style of whatever library we happen to import.”

When asked about a timeline for when the decision will be made and what factors are being considered, Pendergast replied that there is no timeline and that those interested in participating should blog about their experiences and write examples of things they can build with the JS frameworks they are familiar with.

“There is neither roadmap, nor timeline, nor does there need to be,” Pendergast said. “As Matt mentioned, it’s really just a technical decision – the important decision for the wider community was choosing ‘not React.’ Unfortunately, this decision has been blown way out of proportion, and heavily conflated with ‘what JS library will I be able to build my plugins with?’ and sometimes ‘what JS library’s practices will Gutenberg blocks resemble?,’ neither of which are related. Tweets and posts that treat it like a horse race are not helpful in this way.”

Pendergast said whatever library is selected will “continue to be wrapped by the WordPress element, the underlying library won’t be exposed.” The Gutenberg team is working to remove all library dependencies from its components so that plugin developers can use any library they choose.

However, other community members are not so eager to relegate the JS library selected for core to a simple technical decision or utility library.

“Most developers understand that their plugins are not bound by the framework chosen for core/Gutenberg,” Kevin Hoffman said. “But that doesn’t diminish the significance of the decision. If we want to encourage more contributors, we’d be well served to choose a framework in which a significant majority feel capable and confident. If this majority is out there developing plugins with one framework and has to learn another in order to contribute to core, then we’re limiting the number of potential contributors.”

Peter Booker contends that no matter how elegant Gutenberg’s separation is, having a decent understanding of the library chosen for core affects a developers’ ability to deeply troubleshoot certain issues.

“I do not think we should be so dismissive of the choice as a minor technical decision,” Booker said. “Understanding how PHP, JavaScript, and Backbone (among other things) work is essential to be able to properly debug problems with WordPress. The JS framework chosen for Gutenberg is going to impact a great many people, even if we are not core contributors. It will be essential knowledge to be able to fully troubleshoot issues. This is a decision which will impact far more people than just the Gutenberg team.”

What are the implications of providing a flexible, framework-agnostic approach to building Gutenblocks?

Jason Bahl asked if anyone has tried mixing React, Preact, Vue, and Angular in a single app to see if it is “a recipe for a performance nightmare.” He posed an example scenario wherein Gravity Forms builds Vue-based Gutenblocks, Yoast has React-based blocks, WooCommerce builds blocks with Preact, and another plugin uses Ember.

“It sounds kind of nice to be flexible and allow folks to use whatever but also like it could lead to a lot of division on best practices, and potentially performance issues,” Bahl said. “We’ll see tutorials pop up for how to build Gutenblocks in Vue, React, Preact, Ember, Vanilla JS, etc., which would be cool to see, but also confusing and potentially cause further divide in the community and accepted best practices. Flexibility is nice to a degree, but a strong opinion at some level is also good.”

Carl Hancock, co-founder of Gravity Forms, contends that offering a framework-agnostic approach to building Gutenblocks will have little influence on developers who are extending the project. The decision cannot be made less critical by offering more flexibility, because developers will inevitably adopt whatever WordPress core uses.

“People are going to end up adopting whatever core uses for the most part despite the rainbows and butterflies some are claiming as it relates to creating an abstraction layer so plugin/theme developers can use whatever they want,” Hancock said. “Which means however complex that core framework ends up being will have a direct impact on the barrier to entry for plugin and theme developers. That barrier to entry has been historically low to date and a direct contributor to the growth of WordPress as a self-hosted CMS. Dramatically raising that barrier to entry isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For example, Gravity Forms will use Preact, Vue, whatever, because we have the manpower and skillset to do so when we can finally decide to do so once core makes it’s decision.”

WordPress’ Opportunity to Advance the Web

WordPress currently powers 28% of all websites, according to W3 Techs, and whatever framework it chooses will make a major impact on which library many developers decide to learn in order to extend the software and advance their careers.

Matías Ventura, one of the technical leads on the Gutenberg project, encouraged participants in the discussion to look at the bigger picture and embrace the opportunity to work together and collaborate on a solution for WordPress that will advance the web. The team’s efforts to collaborate with representatives from competing frameworks stands apart in an ecosystem that is generally fragmented and fractious.

“I’m excited about the opportunity we have to advance web development in terms of JavaScript UI representation, in a similar way to how WordPress was a driving force for web standards during the past decade,” Ventura said. “That’s also where I see us having a responsibility as a project, as people will continue to learn web development through WP. Many people have been introduced to PHP through WordPress, originally just interacting with WP functions and APIs, eventually diving a bit more deeply into the language as needed. I do see our core remaining close to JS the language, as that gives the most meaningful tool to learn, spanning across all frameworks and libraries.”

Ventura assured participants in the ongoing discussion that the Gutenberg team is listening and working towards a solution that will push the web forward.

“We are absolutely aware that how we build and what we offer through Gutenberg is going to affect the dev community and we are not taking this lightly—quite the opposite,” Ventura said. “I’ve been talking with Evan (Vue) and Jason (Preact) because rather than having a ‘choose your framework’ contest, this seems an opportunity to collaborate and push the web forwards.”

by Sarah Gooding at September 22, 2017 10:26 PM under vue

WPTavern: DonateWC Reaches Fundraising Goal

DonateWC, an initiative focused on providing less fortunate people an opportunity to attend large WordCamps has reached its fundraising goal of 1,000€. Ines van Essen expressed gratitude and appreciation for the donations. “The responses and feedback that have come in during the past week have been overwhelming,” She said.

“I can’t believe we can already move to legalizing things and actually getting things done. Lesson learned: do not spend two years thinking about something you could maybe do at some point in the future. The time is now, and it’s time to change some lives.”

DonateWC Reaches Fundraising Goal

Essen confirmed that Automattic is not affiliated with the initiative although quite a few of her colleagues are supportive of the idea. “Everyone can do something to help another community member,” She said. “Whether that’s buying someone a meal, sharing a ride, or even sharing a room. DonateWC is a big picture thing, but there’s so many other things you can do to help under privileged groups.”

Essen hopes to have the non-profit and other legal aspects of the project taken care of in time to sponsor at least one person to WordCamp US. Part of the funds will be used to pay someone to design a logo and for social media marketing. If you’re interested in helping out with the project, please get in touch.

by Jeff Chandler at September 22, 2017 12:13 AM under wordcamps

September 21, 2017

WPTavern: WordCamp for Publishers Videos Now Available on YouTube

WordCamp for Publishers, held last month at The Denver Post building, was the first niche WordCamp to be focused around a specific industry. The event was designed for people who use WordPress to manage publications and also to encourage collaboration among project maintainers who build open source tools for publishers.

In addition to hands-on technical workshops, the schedule included a variety of publishing-related topics, such as monetization, content distribution, newsletter tools, and print and digital workflows.

“The schedule prompted a great deal of learning and discussion that extended well beyond the content typically found at a regional WordCamp,” attendee Maura Teal said. “One of the best aspects of this conference was chatting with other developers and leaders involved in media on the web. There were multiple sessions and hallway discussions that brought intriguing solutions to the table. My primary takeaway was that there certainly needs to be more WordCamps of this kind – that is, focused on a niche but still rooted in community.”

The unique format of the event offered more small group opportunities than a traditional WordCamp does for learning, asking questions, and collaborating around tools and strategies that directly relate to publishers.

“WordCamp for Publishers was not your average or typical WordCamp,” attendee Dwayne McDaniel said. “It felt a lot more like WPCampus insofar as the general mood and feeling I got from the participants. Getting to see folks from competing media companies openly discussing how to solve their common challenges, I learned a whole lot and I am grateful to have had the chance to learn about the publishing space.”

Videos for all of the sessions held in the auditorium are now available in a YouTube playlist. They will also be uploaded to WordPress.tv in the near future. Organizer Steph Yiu said the event was so successful that they are already planning next year’s conference. Anyone interested in volunteering or donating a venue can get in touch with the organizing team.

by Sarah Gooding at September 21, 2017 06:53 PM under WordCamp for Publishers

WPTavern: Apply Filters Podcast to be Retired after 83 Episodes

Brad Touesnard and Pippin Williamson are retiring from podcasting. Their bi-weekly show Apply Filters, a favorite podcast among WordPress developers, will go off the air after publishing its 83rd episode. The hosts have not yet revealed why they are retiring but plan to share more details in the final episode.

Apply Filters focused primarily on development and technical topics but also provided a wealth of information on business models, pricing, and marketing in the WordPress product ecosystem. The first episode aired August 15, 2013, just after the Heartbeat API was introduced in WordPress 3.6.

The show’s imminent retirement was announced on Twitter today to the disappointment of its many loyal fans. According to the information available on the sponsors page, each episode was receiving more than 2,000 downloads in the first three months after publishing. Roughly 54% of the audience identified as developers.

During the past six months, the frequency of the episodes had slowed to once per month. I wouldn’t be surprised if the hosts became too busy to keep up with the show, as they both lead successful WordPress product businesses. Touesnard and Williamson plan to record one final mailbag episode before retiring the show indefinitely and are inviting listeners to send in any last questions.

by Sarah Gooding at September 21, 2017 03:54 AM under podcasts

WPTavern: New Core Gallery Widget Targeted for WordPress 4.9

The Core Media Widgets feature plugin introduced a gallery widget in the 0.2.0 release this week. WordPress 4.8 added the new audio, image, and video widgets from this feature plugin. The gallery widget is targeted for merge into the upcoming WordPress 4.9 release.

In testing the new feature I found it to be a simple, straightforward implementation of a gallery widget that could easily replace many plugins that are currently filling this need for users. The option to edit or replace a gallery is immediately available and users can easily rearrange or randomize the images included.

On the frontend the gallery displays neatly in a thumbnail grid. I was able to change the number of columns while editing the gallery, but the preview in the admin did not match the the way the gallery looks on the frontend. The number of columns is correct on the frontend but not in the admin preview. This might cause some confusion for users if it isn’t fixed before landing in core. Contributors to the plugin are looking at this issue.

Overall, the implementation is user-friendly and similar to adding galleries in posts and pages. However, the widget could still use some testing, especially with different plugins installed. For example, with Jetpack enabled, users can choose between a thumbnail and a slideshow gallery, but the slideshow option doesn’t seem to work correctly in the widget. WordPress.org has several hundred plugins that implement some sort of gallery widget and these plugin authors will want to test the new core widget.

Theme authors will also need to test how the core gallery widget interacts with their themes. After testing the gallery widget with several popular WordPress.org themes, I found that many display the thumbnails with unsightly outlines and unpredictable spacing between images.

Weston Ruter, who authored the dev note post when the previous media widgets were introduced in 4.8, said that the paragraph regarding default theme updates is still applicable:

Themes that add custom styles to the MediaElement.js player (namely Twenty Thirteen and Twenty Fourteen) were updated from just styling it within syndicated content, to also include instances within widgets. Most themes don’t restrict styles for captioned images or media players to just post content, that is, limit CSS selectors to classes output by post_class(). If your theme does, make sure to either remove that constraint or include a .widget selector.

Ruter said another dev note will be coming with common theme changes that are required to add the right styling for galleries. Users and theme/plugin developers can test the gallery widget right now on 4.8.2 or 4.9-alpha using the Core Media Widgets plugin. Once the widget is added to WordPress, it will be deactivated in the feature plugin for future releases. Contributors plan to merge the new widget into core next week, provided testing goes well.

by Sarah Gooding at September 21, 2017 12:35 AM under WordPress 4.9

September 20, 2017

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 288 – No React.js Framework for Gutenberg

While I was supposed to be on vacation last week, I instead had surgery for a broken ankle. Tune in to hear the hilarious explanation on how I broke it. The lesson I learned is to not chase animals out of the yard.

John James Jacoby and I discuss the news of the week, including a major decision where Gutenberg will not be written in React due to a patent clause in its license. Other topics include, blind speaker selection for WordCamp US, bbPress performance improvements, and our picks of the week.

Stories Discussed:

Equifax Launches WordPress-Powered Site for Consumers Affected by Security Breach
SWFUpload Will Officially Be Removed From WordPress
WordPress.org Adds New Support Rep Role for Plugin Pages
Display Widgets Plugin Permanently Removed from WordPress.org Due to Malicious Code
WordPress Abandons React due to Patents Clause, Gutenberg to be Rewritten with a Different Library
DonateWC Aims to Provide Travel Sponsorships to Attend Large WordCamps

Picks of the Week:

WordPress Global Translation day is next Saturday, September 30th. Twenty-four hours dedicated to translating the WordPress ecosystem through sessions, training marathons, and local events.

Local by Flywheel is software that easily creates a local environment for WordPress development.

From the folks behind GiveWP, Give Live is a series of webinars for the community.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, September 27th 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 #288:

by Jeff Chandler at September 20, 2017 10:13 PM under swfupload

HeroPress: What I Do Does Not Define Who I Am

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

The first time I ever made a WordPress site, I got 180,000 views in 2 days, 253 comments, and (give or take) 7 death threats.

It was 2014 and I was working on an MBA at Florida State University during the peak of the Jameis Winston controversy, where a football quarterback was accused of rape and protected from prosecution by the university and local police. I had used WordPress before, but not a lot. But, in true democratizing publishing, giving a voice to the voiceless fashion, when I had something I wanted to say, I knew just the thing to get it out there with minimal know-how: a free, single page WordPress.com site.

I had just returned to Florida from a summer in New York City. To my amazement, I got the life-changing opportunity, paid for by the university’s College of Social Sciences paid, to go up there for a summer of exploration in the social entrepreneurship and technology circles after pitching Florida State on a concept for financial education.

Beginning the Journey

I had become interested in financial education around the age of 16, when my family became homeless for a month. My mom hadn’t been able to make the rent, so we got kicked out, and then couldn’t find an apartment easily due to my mom’s lack of credit. Later, I started working at a major commercial bank and met hundreds, if not thousands, of people in similar situations (and saw the ways in which major commercial banks don’t help these people, but that’s a different conversation).

Imagine having been homeless at 16. Then, 6 years later, you’re attending graduate school, funded by the university, and that same university also paid for you to live in the country’s most expensive place for 3 months so that you could learn about executing your ideas on how to make a positive difference through technology entrepreneurship.

You would probably be overcome with gratefulness. But you would also likely be extremely protective of the people making such a thing possible.

Now imagine, that while Florida State University’s programs making such an impact on you, a football player’s actions are driving the narrative of this place you want to be proud of.

Imagine me, telling the story I just told you, and watching people connect the dots between what institution was making all of this possible for me, and what they had heard of it. “Oh, my God, with the quarterback that raped that girl?” they would say.

I would link you to the page I created, but quite honestly, it wasn’t a lot more than a profanity-laden rant (of admittedly epic proportions). But, it got a reaction: she needs to shut the f**k up. She’s completely right. She’s an “attention-seeking whore!”. She’s the story we should be focusing on. She’s just upset her Kickstarter campaign failed.

There it was: WordPress had amplified my voice, and everyone else’s, too.

Finding WordPress Business

Today, I’m the lesser-known half of Caldera Labs, makers of Caldera Forms, a top drag-and-drop form building plugin for WordPress. A few weeks ago, we got a one-star review on WordPress.org that called me out by name: “their team is useless, especially Christie Chirinos.” I received caring notes from several seasoned WordPress product developers, reassuring me that these things happen and I ought to not take it personally. “It’s not the first time someone’s been mean to me on the internet, and it probably won’t be the last,” I wrote in a Slack DM to my incredible business partner, the part of Caldera Labs you probably know, Josh Pollock. Josh laughed.

My road from single-page rants on WordPress.com to WordPress product leadership was actually pretty straightforward, although certainly wrapped in incredible fortune. I kept up that blog for a few months at the request of some of those 253 people (and the dismay of some others). Eventually it was forgotten for my financial education project’s website, which went from Wix to self-hosted WordPress.

Some months of working on that site made me acutely aware that if I wanted to execute more of my ideas, I should learn more code. I started learning JavaScript and PHP. I met Josh somewhere around that time. He liked my WordPress.com story, and encouraged me to keep learning, while picking my brain on what my almost-finished MBA thought about Caldera Forms.

A professor asked me if I would work on his academic WordPress website for a fee. I was a broke graduate student, so I said yes. Suddenly I had clients. When I graduated, Josh approached me with a proposal to join him in business. I said yes, but my only condition is that I’m moving back to New York City. Josh said, remote work is the norm.

Screen shot of Caldera website

 

Despite the quote-unquote “formal business education,” I was flabbergasted when the full weight of what a WordPress product business entailed hit me. I didn’t understand the community. I didn’t understand the niche’s culture. Much of what I learned were business norms, were completely non-existent in WordPress. I communicated all of this to Josh.

“I have no idea what I’m doing.”

“Of course you don’t, you’ve never done this before.”

He introduced me to the extensive library of talks on WordPress TV on imposter syndrome.

Diving Into WordCamp

For me, it clicked at the inaugural WordCamp US. I showed up to the event looking like a deer caught in the headlights and was welcomed with open arms. I got to put faces to all of the names I had learned in the last half-year, and surprise: they were nice. They were welcoming. They were understanding.

I scoffed at the idea that I would have anything to contribute on Contributor Day, and then found out that the polyglots team could totally use an immigrant that speaks 4 languages. More importantly, I became completely inspired by the mission of WordPress. I realized that, by total accident (or perhaps completely on purpose), I had become a part of something bigger than myself. I had to stick with it, no matter how hard it was.

In the year after that, I also began to find a small niche for myself. I became “the girl with the MBA,” smart, young, and clearly lucky. “There’s not a lot of people in the space with your background,” said the host interviewing me on a WordPress podcast. Meanwhile, I’m thinking to myself, “oh my god. I don’t even understand why you invited me. I’m very grateful, but I also really don’t know that much about business. Didn’t you notice? Didn’t anyone tell you?”

Move forward a year, and results started rolling in. I spoke at 4 WordCamps and many other shows. Josh published his 2016 Year In Review, where he outlined the explosive growth that Caldera Forms experienced at the end of the year and acknowledged the benefit of having partnered with me. He doesn’t know this, but I cried when I read that (now he knows).

It was surreal: the unlikely thing that we set out to do was working.

This year, 2017, has consisted of taking on the next step in that process: teaching myself how to turn all of those thoughts on their heads. I have had to unlearn “why me?” and internalize “why not me?”, and most importantly, practice differentiating the story that I tell myself about myself versus the evidence-based reality.

Self Discovery

A crucial part of this stage has been learning that what I do does not define who I am. That’s a tired joke where I live. The joke goes that you can go to any bar, and participate in the same script: what’s your name? What do you do? “I’m Christie, and I’m a partner and the business manager at a commercial WordPress plugin shop, Caldera Labs” is a story, and it immediately sparks self-doubt. That isn’t an answer that describes an evidence-based reality, it is an answer that describes a story, and stories by definition require effort to be believed.

Who I am, I am learning, is the collection of my experiences, which then drive my priorities in how I do what I do, which is business.

In that podcast interview, I wasn’t told “there aren’t many business managers in the space.” I was told that there weren’t a lot of people with my background in the space. It’s the collection of my stories – of immigration, difficult childhoods, arguments in business school classrooms and accidentally viral WordPress websites, that perfectly positioned me to do what I’m doing right now.

The main reason I wanted to write for HeroPress when Topher offered was to take these thoughts out of my story. The more I grow into this role, the more I’m learning that this is especially common with people like me.

Research is being conducted more and more every day seeking to discover why we don’t become entrepreneurs who fearlessly pursue happiness and high-risk, high-reward situations (the common trope being that privilege is being told to strive to be anything one wants to be, while others are told to strive for an escape from instability).

Most of it boils down to the idea that many minorities, women, immigrants, people from low-income households – take your pick – have convinced themselves of a story that does not, in fact, reflect the reality of their possibilities.

It’s a shame, because there’s almost as much research that demonstrates that businesses with diverse leadership teams outperform homogeneous teams almost every single time.

Let’s start talking about this, even if this isn’t something that directly relates to you. Because, if that is the case, chances are that this is a topic that relates to someone you know. Diversity of thought is an important part of our WordPress community narrative. If you are not the person who must assess replacing a story with an evidence-based reality, you may be someone who is positioned to engage in powerful actions to promote diversity of thought, like encouraging someone else to challenge the stories they tell themselves and the stories they tell others about themselves. “I’m Christie, and I lead all of the business development and marketing for a commercial WordPress plugin shop, Caldera Labs” sounds a lot better.

The post What I Do Does Not Define Who I Am appeared first on HeroPress.

by Christie Chirinos at September 20, 2017 12:00 PM

WPTavern: WordPress 4.8.2 Patches Eight Security Vulnerabilities

WordPress 4.8.2 is available for download and users are encouraged to update as soon as possible. This release patches eight security vulnerabilities and has six maintenance related fixes. Hardening was also added to WordPress core to prevent plugins and themes from accidentally causing a vulnerability through $wpdb->prepare() which can create unexpected and unsafe queries leading to potential SQL injection (SQLi).

To see a full list of changes, check out the release notes. Auto updates are rolling out to sites that support them but if you’d like to update manually, you can browse to Dashboard – Updates and click the Update Now button.

by Jeff Chandler at September 20, 2017 01:22 AM under updates

September 19, 2017

Dev Blog: WordPress 4.8.2 Security and Maintenance Release

WordPress 4.8.2 is now available. This is a security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.

WordPress versions 4.8.1 and earlier are affected by these security issues:

  1. $wpdb->prepare() can create unexpected and unsafe queries leading to potential SQL injection (SQLi). WordPress core is not directly vulnerable to this issue, but we’ve added hardening to prevent plugins and themes from accidentally causing a vulnerability. Reported by Slavco
  2. A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability was discovered in the oEmbed discovery. Reported by xknown of the WordPress Security Team.
  3. A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability was discovered in the visual editor. Reported by Rodolfo Assis (@brutelogic) of Sucuri Security.
  4. A path traversal vulnerability was discovered in the file unzipping code. Reported by Alex Chapman (noxrnet).
  5. A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability was discovered in the plugin editor. Reported by 陈瑞琦 (Chen Ruiqi).
  6. An open redirect was discovered on the user and term edit screens. Reported by Yasin Soliman (ysx).
  7. A path traversal vulnerability was discovered in the customizer. Reported by Weston Ruter of the WordPress Security Team.
  8. A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability was discovered in template names. Reported by Luka (sikic).
  9. A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability was discovered in the link modal. Reported by Anas Roubi (qasuar).

Thank you to the reporters of these issues for practicing responsible disclosure.

In addition to the security issues above, WordPress 4.8.2 contains 6 maintenance fixes to the 4.8 release series. For more information, see the release notes or consult the list of changes.

Download WordPress 4.8.2 or venture over to Dashboard → Updates and simply click “Update Now.” Sites that support automatic background updates are already beginning to update to WordPress 4.8.2.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to 4.8.2.

by Aaron D. Campbell at September 19, 2017 10:17 PM under Security

WPTavern: WooCommerce 3.2 to Introduce Pre-Update Extension Version Checks, Release Date Pushed Back to October 11

WooCommerce 3.2 RC1 is coming next week ahead of the plugin’s second major release this year. Version 3.1 introduced a new built-in product importer/exporter that supports CSV files and brought significant improvements to extension management. Version 3.2 is on track to make the process of updating stores a smoother experience with a long-awaited new feature that displays version compatibility checks to users prior to updating their extensions.

Many WooCommerce store owners experienced considerable difficulties in updating to version 3.0 due to incompatibilities with extensions that were not fully compatible. The widespread problems with updating caused a direct hit to the plugin’s reputation, even though the main issue was with third-party extensions not being ready to go for 3.0. WooCommerce 3.2’s new pre-update extension version checks will help users to be more informed about the status of extension compatibility before updating.

WooCommerce plugin developers can now add two new headers to their extensions to specify a minimum required version and a “tested up to” version.

/*
* Plugin Name: WooCommerce Barter Gateway
* Plugin URI: https://wordpress.org/plugins/woocommerce-gateway-barter/
* Description: Take payments by bartering crops and livestock.
* Author: WooCommerce
* Author URI: https://woocommerce.com/
* Version: 3.0.7
* Text Domain: woocommerce-gateway-barter
* Domain Path: /languages
* WC requires at least: 3.0.0
* WC tested up to: 3.2.0
*/

Plugin authors are recommended to update these headers after each major and minor WooCommerce release. (Patch releases do not require headers to be updated.)

The core WooCommerce plugin will check through the extension headers and display a warning to users when updates are available, detailing which plugins have or haven’t been tested with the latest major version.

WooCommerce developer Claudiu Lodromanean cited several important benefits for extension developers in a post announcing the new feature:

  • You will have to field fewer complaints from users that the new WooCommerce version broke your plugin. They will have clear warnings about the dangers of upgrading when the plugin is incompatible. This should reduce your support load when new versions of WooCommerce are released.
  • You will not have to rush updates to your plugin. If a user upgrades WooCommerce and your plugin breaks you are under a lot of pressure to release an update fast. If the user waits until a compatible version of the plugin is released before updating WooCommerce you do not have this problem.
  • Users will trust your plugin more. By adding the header you are letting the user know that the plugin has been tested, works with their version of WooCommerce, and is actively maintained to be compatible with WooCommerce.

The pre-update version checks for extensions is an exciting improvement for store owners and the greater WooCommerce developer community. Updates will be much easier when users can see at a glance which of their extensions are ready to go. Developers are also interested in seeing this feature applied for themes and the WooCommerce team confirmed they will look into the possibility.

WooCommerce 3.2’s release date has been pushed back one week to October 11 to give store owners and extension developers enough time to test. The first release candidate is slated for September 27.

by Sarah Gooding at September 19, 2017 09:06 PM under woocommerce

WPTavern: DonateWC Aims to Provide Travel Sponsorships to Attend Large WordCamps

DonateWC is a new initiative by Ines van Essen, Happiness Engineer at Automattic, that aims to provide an opportunity for less fortunate people to attend large WordCamps. Essen was inspired to create the non-profit organization after realizing how expensive it was to attend WordCamp US 2015. “As I did not work for a company that could send me there, I had to pay for travel, accommodation, and food/drinks myself,” She said. “All in all, I spent a full month’s worth of income to attend.”

While many WordPress focused businesses purchase and give away WordCamp tickets, DonateWC sponsorships include the following:

  • A WordCamp ticket
  • Door to door transportation
  • Accommodation
  • Food and drink money
  • Internet access

To be eligible for a sponsorship, you can not work for a company that is involved in WordPress or known to sponsor employees to WordCamps. You must be active in the community and either a speaker or volunteer at the WordCamp you’re attending.

Essen has a crowdfunding campaign through GoFundme and is asking for 1,000€. The initial 1,000€ will be used to design a logo, register the non-profit in the Netherlands, customize the theme for the site, and commercial plugins. However, if you can help out with providing any of the above, the savings will go towards sponsoring more people. Once DonateWC officially becomes a non-profit organization, a call for sponsors will go out.

If DonateWC is an initiative you believe in, consider donating to the campaign.

by Jeff Chandler at September 19, 2017 07:01 PM under wordcamps

Akismet: Akismet WordPress Plugin 4.0 Now Available

Version 4.0 of the Akismet plugin for WordPress is available.

This update, a.k.a, “Akismet for the REST of Us,” adds endpoints to the WordPress REST API for configuring Akismet and retrieving Akismet stats. Documentation is available here, or you can read the code that adds the endpoints in the `class.akismet-rest-api.php` file.

The progress indicator on the “Check for Spam” button has been improved as well and now shows the percentage of comments that have been rechecked rather than just a loading indicator.

This release also removes support for versions of WordPress before 4.0. If you’re running anything older than that, you should upgrade.

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 September 19, 2017 06:12 PM under WordPress

WPTavern: Why Vue.js Creator Evan You Thinks Vue Could Be a Good Fit for WordPress

photo credit: JSConf China

After last week’s news that WordPress is abandoning React due to its unfavorable patents clause, the discussion regarding the selection of a new framework is heating up again. As Vue is once again among the leading contenders, I reached out to Vue.js creator Evan You to get his perspective on the possibility of WordPress adopting the framework.

“Yes, I had a conversation with the WordPress team mostly answering questions they had about Vue,” You said. “The discussion happened before Matt’s announcement of moving away from React. It was mostly intended for filling the team in with the state of Vue and there was no particular conclusion made from it.

“To be honest, I got the feeling that the team had already decided to go with React and simply wanted to explore other options before they make the final call. I was a bit surprised by Matt’s post, but also understand the concerns behind that decision. I think React is a technically sound choice, and the whole patent issue is unfortunate.”

Vue is back in the mix alongside Preact.js and other libraries WordPress core contributors are considering adopting. You has been active in the comments on the WordPress core development blog during the previous discussion, as well as more recently in the discussion in Gutenberg’s GitHub repo, clarifying misconceptions about the financial stability of the project.

You has been careful to disclose his bias when participating in conversations about which framework WordPress should adopt. During my interview with him, he offered the community three reasons why he sees Vue as a good fit for the project:

“Now that WP has decided to pick a different framework, as the creator of Vue, I surely hope that the WordPress team can adopt Vue,” You said. “Below is why I believe Vue would be a good fit for the choice:

  • “As an independent open source project (not born from within a major corporate), Vue provides a good alignment in terms of OSS values with the WordPress project. It’s fully MIT licensed, and its development is sustained by open financial contribution channels (via Patreon and OpenCollective). This means WordPress can easily ensure Vue’s sustainability by becoming a major sponsor.
  • “Vue is one of the most approachable frameworks out there, with an established and active community, and ever-growing amount of learning resources. Adopting Vue would provide a low entry barrier and smooth learning curve for devs just getting into WordPress development. This also aligns with what made WordPress successful.
  • “As an incrementally adoptable framework, Vue’s flexibility means it can be adapted in different use cases ranging from embedded widgets, plugin development to full single-page applications. It can be used without any compilation step in simple use cases, while being mature and powerful enough for more complex use cases such as Calypso and Gutenberg. It offers the complete stack from vdom + ability to use raw render functions, server-side rendering, routing, state management, build tooling, browser devtool extensions, to editor tooling support.”

Evan You and six others from the Vue.js core team will be participating in an AMA on Hashnode at 12PM on September 20, inviting general questions about the project, how to use it and contribute, and general programming advice. The questions are already rolling in and their answers should provide more information about the future of Vue and its place in the wider JavaScript ecosystem.

WP Tavern has also reached out to Jason Miller, creator of Preact.js to get his perspective on the possibility of WordPress selecting Preact and what it would mean for both projects. The React-alternative is another strong contender among JS libraries WordPress is looking at for use in core.

The Gutenberg team has been working to ensure that WordPress developers will be able to create “Gutenblocks” using any JS library they prefer with different explorations of framework-agnostic block rendering. Ultimately, this would make creating plugins and themes less dependent on the library that is chosen for use in core. Other community members involved in the discussion, however, are keen to emphasize that the framework selected will have an impact on the greater WordPress product ecosystem, far beyond its use in Gutenberg, and are not eager to down play it as a simple technical decision. We’ll have a more detailed look on that in a separate post.

In addition to the discussions on independent blogs, the Gutenberg GitHub issues queue and the #core-js channel on WordPress Slack are both hosting active conversations on the upcoming decision. This week’s core JavaScript chat has been cancelled due to many of those involved traveling or unable to attend. The agenda for the next meeting is to discuss the role a JavaScript framework will play in current and future core focuses (including but not limited to the Gutenberg editor). This meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 8:00 AM CDT.

by Sarah Gooding at September 19, 2017 05:42 PM under vue

September 17, 2017

HeroPress: DonateWC: Getting People to WordCamp

Image of a plane wing with the sunset on the horizon

One of the first addons for HeroPress I ever thought of was sending people to WordCamp who might have a hard time getting there. HeroPress started out to be a voice for people on the fringe of WordPress, and being outside the ability to go to WordCamp practically defines the fringe.

I never could figure out the logistics of how to make it work. How is money handled? International law? So the idea languished.

On the other side of the world, Ines van Essen had the same idea. She’s far more clever than I though, and she’s making it happen. She’s starting a new organization called DonateWC, specifically to help people get to WordCamp.  Not just local WordCamps, but the large ones like WordCamp Europe and WordCamp US. Trips that can cost multiple months, or even a years salary.

I am so so so excited that this is happening, Ines is my hero.

How You Can Help

To get things really rolling Ines needs some funds.  I mentioned logistics earlier; if this isn’t handled properly a tax agent somewhere is going to come investigating. A non-profit org needs to be created, a logo needs to be created, a site needs to be built, a board needs to be formed, etc. Getting started costs money.

So there’s a GoFundMe page for DonateWC. All things considered she’s not looking for very much money right now, we can DO THIS.

If we can make this thing work it’s going to really change lives. Please help out if you can, and keep an eye on the project. The first person to get sent to WordCamp is going to make history.

The post DonateWC: Getting People to WordCamp appeared first on HeroPress.

September 17, 2017 08:42 PM under WordCamp

September 15, 2017

WPTavern: Vue Project Launches Community Campaign on OpenCollective

With the recent news that WordPress is abandoning React due to its BSD + Patents license, core contributors are now revisiting the discussion of the merits of other frameworks. Gutenberg development is currently on hold until a new library is chosen to replace React, and selection is likely to be imminent to prevent further delay.

Vue is once again a strong contender with a recent surge in enthusiastic support in discussions on GitHub, Mullenweg’s announcement, and social media posts. One of the chief concerns WordPress core contributors had regarding Vue in previous discussions was the longevity of the project and its dependence on creator Evan You, who has historically done most of the development.

The Vue project has recently been taking steps to mitigate this drawback. Earlier this week You announced that Vue is now accepting financial support on OpenCollective, a platform for funding open source projects in a transparent way. You already has a successful Patreon campaign where contributors are paying $8,815 per month to support his work on Vue, but the new OpenCollective account will support the work of core contributors and community events.

“When I started the Patreon campaign, the primary goal was providing myself with enough income so that I can work on Vue full-time,” You said. “Today, as the Vue community grows, there are more and more contributions from the community, and OpenCollective’s transparent expense model could help us scale the financial contributions beyond a single developer.”

Just four days after launching, Vue already has an estimated annual budget of $9,895 on its OpenCollective account. You is still independently accepting contributions on Patreon to fund his full-time work on the project.

Preact, the other leading contender WordPress core contributors are considering, has had an account on OpenCollective since late 2016. Backers and sponsors have contributed to a $16,091 estimated annual budget for the project.

Both Vue and Preact have growing networks of financial supporters and are not heavily influenced by a single corporation’s interests. WordPress core contributors continue to discuss the merits and drawbacks of the two frameworks on various places around the web, but the discussion is somewhat scattered and it’s difficult for participants to know where their feedback will receive consideration.

“The main options are actually all pretty good, and we’d probably be fine going with any of them, which is makes it a tough decision — objectively and technically there isn’t one clear without-a-doubt winner,” Matt Mullenweg said today in WordPress’ #core-js Slack channel.

An updated post detailing the frameworks and technical considerations that contributors are now examining has yet to be published to the make/wordpress.org development blog. Having communication throughout the process of selecting the framework, instead of announcing it after the decision, would go a long way towards keeping the community informed and involved. We’ll be following the public discussion as it develops.

by Sarah Gooding at September 15, 2017 07:54 PM under vue

WPTavern: WordPress Abandons React due to Patents Clause, Gutenberg to be Rewritten with a Different Library

photo credit: Lalesh Aldarwish

This evening Matt Mullenweg announced on his blog that WordPress has decided to move away from React due to its BSD + Patents clause licensing. Gutenberg engineers will be rewriting the new editor to use another JavaScript framework and Automattic plans to rewrite Calypso as well:

We had a many-thousand word announcement talking about how great React is and how we’re officially adopting it for WordPress, and encouraging plugins to do the same. I’ve been sitting on that post, hoping that the patent issue would be resolved in a way we were comfortable passing down to our users.

That post won’t be published, and instead I’m here to say that the Gutenberg team is going to take a step back and rewrite Gutenberg using a different library. It will likely delay Gutenberg at least a few weeks, and may push the release into next year.

Mullenweg clarified that Automattic has been happy with React and that the company’s general counsel didn’t think they would ever run into the patent issue. He also commended Facebook on being “one of the better open source contributors out there” and for making their intentions clear. Ultimately, Mullenweg decided that he wasn’t comfortable with the larger WordPress community inheriting the patents clause:

Automattic will also use whatever we choose for Gutenberg to rewrite Calypso — that will take a lot longer, and Automattic still has no issue with the patents clause, but the long-term consistency with core is worth more than a short-term hit to Automattic’s business from a rewrite. Core WordPress updates go out to over a quarter of all websites, having them all inherit the patents clause isn’t something I’m comfortable with.

After the Apache Software Foundation added Facebook’s BSD+Patents license to its Category X list of disallowed licenses, many open source project leaders and developers petitioned Facebook to consider re-licensing React, as many React-based projects are now having to be rewritten. Facebook decided it wasn’t budging on the patents clause and opted to continue protecting its own interests, fully recognizing that it may lose some React community members.

In the past Mullenweg has been outspoken about how Automattic was betting on React. Many in the community considered WordPress adopting React to be a foregone conclusion, given that both Calypso and Jetpack’s new admin interface were built on it, as well as WordPress’ new Gutenberg editor. In making the costly decision to rewrite Gutenberg and Automattic’s products in another library, Mullenweg has demonstrated he is willing to lead the WordPress project in a direction where the community can feel confident about continuing to use and extend the software.

“The decision on which library to use going forward will be another post; it’ll be primarily a technical decision,” Mullenweg said. “We’ll look for something with most of the benefits of React, but without the baggage of a patents clause that’s confusing and threatening to many people. Thank you to everyone who took time to share their thoughts and give feedback on these issues thus far — we’re always listening.”

Gutenberg could certainly use the extra time and may gain a new crop of contributors, given that the learning curve for the new library isn’t likely to be as steep as learning React.

At the end of May, WordPress core contributors had narrowed their considerations for a new JavaScript framework to React and Vue. It appears that Vue is still a strong contender. After a commenter on Mullenweg’s post suggested switching to Vue, he replied that it has been frequently suggested and that the team has met with Evan You, Vue’s lead developer.

When I interviewed Evan You in June, he said he didn’t have enough perspective on WordPress core to make an unbiased recommendation but offered feedback on some technical issues being discussed at the time. He also clarified some common misconceptions about Vue, which WordPress’ React proponents had been using as leverage in their arguments against adopting it.

Mullenweg also confirmed in the comments of his post that Preact is another library under consideration. Preact.js is a lightweight 3kB alternative to React that uses the same API but is MIT-licensed. Some are already speculating about Preact being the front-runner for the replacement, as Gutenberg already has a branch devoted to trying it.

Also, Mullenweg’s comment that the decision “will likely delay Gutenberg at least a few weeks, and may push the release into next year,” seems to only be feasible if the team rewrites the project using Preact.

Public reactions to the news that WordPress is shifting away from React have so far been overwhelmingly positive. Many are thankful and relieved that Mullenweg made the tough decision to change course and select another library after investing so heavily in React.

The discussion regarding the new framework continues behind closed doors and is not open to the public, although a pull request for using Preact in Gutenberg is open on the project’s GitHub repo and some community discussion regarding the library selection is happening there.

by Sarah Gooding at September 15, 2017 05:39 AM under vue

Matt: On React and WordPress

Big companies like to bury unpleasant news on Fridays: A few weeks ago, Facebook announced they have decided to dig in on their patent clause addition to the React license, even after Apache had said it’s no longer allowed for Apache.org projects. In their words, removing the patent clause would "increase the amount of time and money we have to spend fighting meritless lawsuits."

I'm not judging Facebook or saying they're wrong, it's not my place. They have decided it's right for them — it's their work and they can decide to license it however they wish. I appreciate that they've made their intentions going forward clear.

A few years ago, Automattic used React as the basis for the ground-up rewrite of WordPress.com we called Calypso, I believe it's one of the larger React-based open source projects. As our general counsel wrote, we made the decision that we'd never run into the patent issue. That is still true today as it was then, and overall, we’ve been really happy with React. More recently, the WordPress community started to use React for Gutenberg, the largest core project we've taken on in many years. People's experience with React and the size of the React community —  including Calypso — was a factor in trying out React for Gutenberg, and that made React the new de facto standard for WordPress and the tens of thousands of plugins written for WordPress.

We had a many-thousand word announcement talking about how great React is and how we're officially adopting it for WordPress, and encouraging plugins to do the same. I’ve been sitting on that post, hoping that the patent issue would be resolved in a way we were comfortable passing down to our users.

That post won't be published, and instead I'm here to say that the Gutenberg team is going to take a step back and rewrite Gutenberg using a different library. It will likely delay Gutenberg at least a few weeks, and may push the release into next year.

Automattic will also use whatever we choose for Gutenberg to rewrite Calypso — that will take a lot longer, and Automattic still has no issue with the patents clause, but the long-term consistency with core is worth more than a short-term hit to Automattic’s business from a rewrite. Core WordPress updates go out to over a quarter of all websites, having them all inherit the patents clause isn’t something I’m comfortable with.

I think Facebook’s clause is actually clearer than many other approaches companies could take, and Facebook has been one of the better open source contributors out there. But we have a lot of problems to tackle, and convincing the world that Facebook’s patent clause is fine isn’t ours to take on. It’s their fight.

The decision on which library to use going forward will be another post; it’ll be primarily a technical decision. We’ll look for something with most of the benefits of React, but without the baggage of a patents clause that’s confusing and threatening to many people. Thank you to everyone who took time to share their thoughts and give feedback on these issues thus far — we're always listening.

by Matt at September 15, 2017 12:59 AM under Asides

September 14, 2017

WPTavern: First WordCamp Dublin Set for October 14-15

photo credit: Ireland.com

Following up on the success of WordCamp Belfast last October, the WordPress community in Dublin will be hosting its first WordCamp October 14-15. Both camps began the early stages of planning last year and the two communities have shared some of the same organizers across their teams to help get these new camps off the ground in Ireland.

WordCamp Dublin will be held at DCU Business School and ticket sales will be capped at 250. In truly affordable WordCamp tradition, tickets are only €35 and include access to two tracks of speakers on both camp days, catered lunch, and an after party on Saturday night in Dublin City Centre.

“Given it’s our first WordCamp Dublin it’s difficult to select a venue when we’ve no idea about how many people would like to attend,” co-organizer Colm Troy said. “But demand so far has been great so if you want a ticket I’d recommend getting one sooner rather than later.”

Most of the camp’s five organizers are also part of the Dublin WordPress meetup, which is fairly active with 25-30 people attending regularly. They meet the first Thursday of every month and host a local speaker to teach attendees something new. WordPress developers generally gravitate towards the more technical talks, while WordPress users are more interested in talks about improving and promoting their websites.

WordCamp Dublin will feature one track with advanced WordPress, coding, and development topics and a second track that covers aspects of running a business, growing website traffic, podcasting, and other related topics.

“​The Dublin WordPress community, based on what I’ve seen and experienced elsewhere (Buenos Aires, Paris, Vienna, UK, Italy), is pretty unusual,” co-organizer Rodolfo Melogli said. In addition to co-organizing the local WordPress meetup, Melogli also organizes the Dublin E-commerce and WooCommerce Meetups.

“We have complete beginners, who after years of using other CMSs have finally decided to start using WordPress,” Melogli said. “We have passionate bloggers, who have been exploiting the SEO and content management features of WordPress since the very beginning. Then, we’ve got successful themers, popular plugin developers and experienced WordPress freelancers. Making sure everyone is catered for at each WordPress meetup and at the upcoming WordCamp is our biggest challenge and main priority.

“The beautiful thing about the WordPress community, and especially in Dublin, is that you can have a successful theme seller sitting beside a complete beginner. And they both have things to share.”

Organizers have just announced the full lineup of speakers for the WordCamp and co-organizer Colm Troy said the team was “blown away by the quality and quantity of excellent speaking applications” they received.

The camp’s designers have created a new “blocky” style wapuu for the occasion to accompany the event’s modular design theme. They were aiming for a Lego-like wapuu while incorporating the cosmopolitan landmark “Spire of Dublin.”

“​We have a couple of ideas floating around that will definitely add a unique Irish aspect to WordCamp Dublin but it’s too early to let the cat out of the bag on those yet,” Troy said. “In terms of what people can expect, Dublin and Ireland in general has a well earned reputation as one of the most welcoming places in the world. In many ways, our welcoming spirit is closely aligned with the ethos of the WordPress community and I think it’s going to be a really special weekend for attendees regardless of whether they’re new to WordPress or WordCamp veterans.”

by Sarah Gooding at September 14, 2017 09:15 PM under wordcamp dublin

WPTavern: GitHub Partners with Facebook to Release Atom-IDE

GitHub announced the launch of Atom-IDE this week, a new set of packages that extend its open source JavaScript-powered code editor to include IDE-like functionality. This first release includes packages that support TypeScript, Flow, JavaScript, Java, C#, and PHP.

“The start of this journey includes smarter context-aware auto-completion as well as a host of code navigation features such as an outline view, go to definition, find all references as well as other useful functions such as hover-to-reveal information, errors and warnings (diagnostics) and document formatting,” Atom engineer Damien Guard said.

Atom, which was open sourced in 2014, is relatively new to the world of text editors, but its directory lists more than 6,700 packages to extend its functionality. WordPress developers have created more than a dozen packages that support actions and filters, WP-CLI commands, documentation, and snippets for third-party plugins.

Those who have adopted Atom appreciate its extendability, but the most common complaint from the Atom community is that the code editor is noticeably slower than many others. This has been a frequent topic of discussion for several years and its creators admit that performance isn’t one of its strongest features. However, sometimes extreme performance issues can be caused by a package that a user has installed.

Atom partnered with Facebook’s Nuclide project developers to develop the new Atom IDE UI package that uses Atom’s atom-languageclient library in displaying features supported by the language server protocol. Users who want to get started with Atom-IDE will need to install the Atom IDE UI package as well as an IDE language support package (i.e. ide-php).

Using Atom-IDE currently requires Atom Beta 1.21+. In the future the team plans to add support for more languages, which will most likely happen through outside package contributions.

“With the help of our community, we plan to expand the number of languages that Atom-IDE can support and make it possible for you to run and edit applications, making Atom-IDE a true IDE,” Damien Guard said. “We hope to see future language support for the great languages out there including Rust, Go, Python, etc.”

by Sarah Gooding at September 14, 2017 02:12 AM under atom

September 13, 2017

WPTavern: Display Widgets Plugin Permanently Removed from WordPress.org Due to Malicious Code

Display Widgets, a plugin with more than 200,000 active installs, has been removed from WordPress.org due to its authors inserting malicious code. SEO consultant David Law was the first to bring this issue to the attention of the plugin team after discovering that Display Widgets was inserting content into sites from external servers and also collecting visitor data without permission. He posted to the WordPress.org forums several times to warn other users.

Wordfence has been warning its customers about the plugin during the past several months and published a timeline tracking how Display Widgets was removed from WordPress.org on four separate occasions. According to their independent investigation, the plugin included a backdoor that allowed the plugin author to publish spam content to the sites where Display Widgets is installed. It also prevented logged-in users from being able to see the content.

Pagely banned the Display Widgets plugin from its hosting platform this week:

For our customer’s safety, we have banned the plugin from our customer sites…The plugin will remained banned on our network until a time that we see someone has taken responsibility for the plugin and the future of patching its code.

Display Widgets had recently changed hands, as it was acquired from the team that created Formidable Forms. The previous owners have issued a warning about the plugin on Twitter, advising users to remove it from their sites.

It is not yet confirmed whether the plugin was acquired solely for the purpose of distributing malware, but its new owners have been fairly persistent about getting it added back to WordPress.org after each of its violations.

Display Widgets Users Advised to Update to Version 2.7 or Remove the Plugin

Users have no way of finding out that they are running malicious code unless they hear about from their host, security company, or some other third party. They do not receive a notice in the WordPress admin about the plugin having been removed from the directory. Since Display Widgets was a fairly popular plugin, there are likely many sites that still have it active and those website owners are probably unaware of the spam content they are publishing.

Yesterday the plugin team issued a notice that Display Widgets 2.7 is a clean version that restores the plugin to version 2.0.5 before the malicious code was added:

We will be leaving this version deploying updates, however at this time we will NOT be allowing for its adoption. The second owner has effectively destroyed any trust a person might have in the plugin.

Note: You CANNOT visit the page or download it as a new plugin for a reason. This plugin is done. It’s not supported, it’s not worked on, nothing. So if you have it, upgrade. Otherwise, find something else to use.

Display Widgets is now likely to end up in the graveyard of abandoned plugins, but there are many other options for adding conditional widget display to WordPress sites. Jetpack’s widget visibility module, Widget Options by Phpbits Creative Studio, Custom Sidebars by WPMU Dev, and Content Aware Sidebars are a few popular alternatives on WordPress.org.

The plugin team does not currently disclose why certain plugins have been closed or removed from WordPress.org, but they are working on providing better communication for users. One meta trac ticket requests that closed plugins have a public page instead of disappearing completely. In another related ticket, plugin team member Mika Epstein has proposed that when plugins are closed or disabled, there should be a dropdown for WordPress.org admins to select a reason why. She suggested the following as available options:

  • Security Issue
  • Author Request
  • Guideline Violation
  • Licensing/Trademark violations
  • Merged into Core

The issue with Display Widgets was fairly public as users posted about their investigations on the WordPress.org support forums and various companies issued warnings about it. However, many plugins are disabled without the public knowing why. Even a short explanation like the proposed examples above would be a major improvement over leaving WordPress.org plugin users in the dark. It would assist site owners in knowing whether they need to prioritize looking for an alternative or simply wait until the situation is resolved.

by Sarah Gooding at September 13, 2017 08:08 PM under security

HeroPress: Making My Own Normal

Pull Quote: There are more sorts of normal than I could ever imagine.

As long as I can remember being normal was my only goal in life. If only I could be normal, then everything would be alright. There was not a lot wrong in my life when I was a kid, growing up in a small dutch town. I had a normal family with 2 parents (a mum and a dad) and a younger sister. My life was pretty normal. The problem was: It didn’t feel normal; I didn’t feel normal. You see, everybody was going through life living by certain rules and I lived my life not knowing those rules. Nobody told me, but apparently they told everybody else.

Understanding

When I was 35 I got diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. I cannot tell you how relieved I was after receiving such a clear diagnoses. All those years working so hard to fit in there was an explanation why I didn’t. Why I couldn’t. That was a big deal. It was not that I wouldn’t that I didn’t try hard enough or was to lazy. There was something different about me why I couldn’t. Not understanding the rules of life? Being clumsy and inappropriate in social situation? Being obsessed about some things and totally not interested in others? It was all part of the package.

Getting the right diagnosis changed everything and at the same time it didn’t change anything.

The problems I had to face were still the same. The way to handle them just got more clear. And there was help. I started reading books, I started therapy and I started working with a coach to find a way to integrate this new knowledge into my life. I started looking at what I needed (what??) and finding ways to take care of myself. I really thought this was it. I found the keys, I could learn the rules and finally be a normal person.

And then I got fired.

Having a job was a big part of being normal in my head. Getting fired ruined my chances of ever getting there. I was working as an assistant manager in the local library. I liked my job, and the people I worked with and they liked me. I loved going to work. But the library had to cut their expenses and I was one of the people that got fired. It happens but I was completely shocked.

My experiences with jobs were not good (to put it mildly). There wasn’t one I kept longer than 2 years. You can do the math; I had a lot of jobs since I started working. Some were fun most were not. I got fired many of times. Getting fired was not a new thing. Liking a job and not wanting to get fired and getting fired anyway was what upset me the most. So I decided to start my own company.

Taking Control

Looking back it was a ridiculous plan but strangely enough, it worked out. I started helping people with their Social Media and building website with WordPress.

I learned WordPress for fun. I wasn’t interested in computers or tech stuff. I was just a little obsessed with making a website for the domain name my boyfriend gave me for my birthday a few years earlier. I had nothing to say but was totally fascinated by what you can do with a website. It was like magic to me. Some written code turned into a beautiful page, or an ugly one. I wanted to know all about that. Building things with HTML and CSS was easy. Code is logic (and poetry of course;-)). It does what you tell it to do. If it doesn’t you did something wrong. Never a discussion about it.

I shied away from people. It was too confusing for me now that I found something that was so easy and logical.

I could make money without seeing other people, it felt like heaven.

For a while. This is really what makes this whole thing so disturbing. I want to be alone, but also want to be around other people. I appear to be good with people. A lot of people like me (who knew?!). They have no idea how confusing it is not knowing what the underlying rule set is others are acting by. It’s like interacting with someone from a totally different culture speaking a different language but both of you don’t know that. I got really good at guessing things through the years, but that didn’t make it any less uncomfortable. I also got really scared. Because not all people are understanding and friendly when you try to explain.

And Then WordCamp

In 2011 I went to my first WordPress meetup. I was shocked! These people did what I did and actually knew what they were doing and talked about it. I was blown away with all this new knowledge and information. I needed to know more and learn more. So I went back into my WordPress cave and studied, practiced and learned more.

WordCamp Europe happened for the first time in 2013 in The Netherlands. I signed up as a volunteer. I visited WordCamp NL the year before. As a visitor I didn’t know how to meet new people. That was a lonely experience. I loved the knowledge that was shared but I knew I had to find a way to talk to those people. I figured being a volunteer would give me something to do and a reason to talk to people. And it did.

I met new people, I was shy, I was scared, I acted totally inappropriate and I was exhausted for a week after the event but I did it. The people were nice. Some seem to like me and I had fun. This was a totally new experience. If only this could normal.

I attended more WordCamps, always as a volunteer, that was my safe place.

My confidence grew. The number of people I knew grew. The amount of fun I had grew. And never ever did I feel not normal. As my confidence grew I got more visible and things got even better. It’s an upward spiral. This year I held my first talk, at WordCamp London. I was MC at WordCamp EU in Paris en I am on the organising team for WordCamp EU 2018 (BIG things!).

Did these experiences end my quest to becoming “normal”?

When I turned 40 I decided to quit the quest. I was done trying to be normal. Not because I became normal but I broadened my worldview. There are more sorts of normal than I could ever imagine. It took me a while ( and a lot of redirections) to find the one that fits me best.

The post Making My Own Normal appeared first on HeroPress.

by Wendie Huis in ‘t Veld at September 13, 2017 12:00 PM

September 12, 2017

WPTavern: WordPress.org Adds New Support Rep Role for Plugin Pages

WordPress.org introduced a new feature for plugin pages this week that highlights official support representatives. Plugin authors can now find the UI for adding support reps under the Advanced View on the plugin page. Unlike the contributors and developers role, individual support reps do not have commit access and do not appear on the plugin details page.

The new “support rep” role is especially useful for larger plugins that have a support team managing the forum. It includes the ability to mark forum topics as resolved or sticky. Previously, only plugin authors were able to do this, which made it difficult for support teams to fully manage forum topics. Support reps will now have their interactions highlighted in the forum:

Adding these official indicators to support reps’ replies puts them in context within the thread and lends more authority to their answers. It is a small addition that will allow plugin shops to provide better support to their users. The feature is already active on WordPress.org and available for any plugin author to use.

by Sarah Gooding at September 12, 2017 09:38 PM under plugin support

WPTavern: Gutenberg to Offer New Approach to TinyMCE in WordPress 5.0, a Plugin to Bring Back Old Interface Will be Available

photo credit: Sergey Zolkin

The WordPress community is currently knee-deep in Gutenberg takes, as the new editor is poised to impact nearly every corner of the ecosystem when it ships in WordPress 5.0. With billions of dollars flowing through the WordPress economy, tensions are high, as many people support themselves and their families with the revenue earned from products and services that have been built on the existing editor.

First impressions range from outright rejection of the new editor to those who embrace it and are hopeful for what it will bring to WordPress. For the past several years, most major new features added to WordPress have come through the feature plugin/feature project process where release leads and other contributors decide whether a proposed feature is ready for merge. The Gutenberg project is taking a somewhat different path to core in that Matt Mullenweg has already confirmed that Gutenberg will ship with WordPress 5.0, but the release will come out when Gutenberg is ready. This approach is part of Mullenweg’s new strategy for core development that makes releases more project-based instead of time-based.

One of the most common concerns that developers and agency owners have about the plan to include Gutenberg in 5.0 is that they may need to hold back some of their sites from updating. The most vocal opponents have called for a way to “opt out” of Gutenberg so that it isn’t forced on their users.

In a post titled “WordPress is about to have its New Coke moment,” Nate Hoffelder shared his first impressions of the new edidtor after taking it for a test run. He said he appreciates the changes it promises but was unable to figure out how to create the blocks in the demo and worries about the “average non-techie” trying to use the interface.

Hoffelder referenced Coca-Cola’s attempt to introduce New Coke in April 1985, which quickly ended in consumers calling for a return of the original flavor.

“My gut feeling is that if users share my frustrations with Gutenberg, they will demand the return of the old interface,” Hoffelder said. “But the official release is months and months away, so it is entirely possible that a UX (user experience) expert will force the Gutenberg developers to make Gutenberg easier to use before it is inflicted upon an unsuspecting public.”

WordPress Users Will be Able to Restore the Old Editor with a Plugin after Gutenberg Lands in Core

WordPress will move forward with the Gutenberg editor as the default experience in the 5.0 release, but Matt Mullenweg confirmed in a comment on his blog that a plugin will be available for users who want to restore the old editor.

“Gutenberg uses TinyMCE, so a better way to think of it is that Gutenberg is a new version of our approach to TinyMCE,” Mullenweg said. “It will be the default experience of WP, for people that want to use something more like what’s currently there we’ll have a plugin they can use.”

This should bring some relief to developers who will not yet have updated their extensions to work with Gutenberg, as well as agency owners who are not ready to give their clients access to the new editor.

In his post, titled We Called it Gutenberg for a Reason, Mullenweg shared his vision for how the new editor will will re-imagine TinyMCE and the advantages it will bring for plugin editors:

Plugin developers will be able to completely integrate into every part of WordPress, including posts, pages, custom post types, and sidebars without having to hack TinyMCE or squeeze their entire feature behind a toolbar button. Today, every plugin that extends WordPress does it in a different way; Gutenberg’s blocks provide a single, easy-to-learn entry point for an incredible variety of extensions. Some folks have already begun to port their plugins over, and are finding that they’re easier to build and have a much improved UI.

For developers who are worried about the compatibility of their metaboxes, Mullenweg said a plugin will be available for providing the legacy edit page for metaboxes. One commenter, whose sites are heavily dependent on Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), asked if there is going to be a version of WordPress that will get long-term support for sites that can’t be upgraded to 5.0 without breaking.

“There won’t be a version of WP like that, but there will definitely be a plugin that gives you the legacy / old edit page. Make sure to let ACF know that Gutenberg compatibility is a top priority,” Mullenweg said.

Scott Kingsley Clark, lead developer of the Pods plugin, said this support for legacy PHP meta boxes is welcome news for the project but that Pods is also looking to get on board with Gutenberg once the project’s engineers have a solution for metaboxes.

“I’m very excited to start using the new meta boxes from Gutenberg once the API supports it and gives us more to utilize,” Clark said. “As soon as that’s available, count us in for immediate adoption.”

Despite assurances that a plugin will be available to restore the old interface, some are still concerned about how Gutenberg will impact the WordPress ecosystem. The average WordPress user has never heard of Gutenberg and its inclusion in 5.0 will be a major change.

In a recent article on WPShout Fred Meyer contends that Gutenberg doesn’t go nearly far enough towards giving users what they really want, which he identifies as front-end editing and the ability to create layouts within post content.

“Gutenberg doesn’t go nearly far enough,” Meyer said. “It won’t make WordPress’ core content editor competitive with hosted builder solutions, or even with WordPress’ own themes and plugins (including badly built, bad-for-the-community solutions like Visual Composer.)”

Meyer believes Gutenberg has the opportunity to defragment WordPress’ ecosystem of page building tools, but only if it moves towards providing “a feature-rich, developer-friendly, front-end page builder and content editor.”

In responding to feedback from the community, Gutenberg design lead Tammie Lister has said that the project is currently focusing on editing before tackling the page building experience. The team has also been working with the authors of page builder plugins ahead of the next focus on customization.

“It is still a little early to say what will happen to plugins and builders,” Lister said. “Initially, Gutenberg is focusing on the editor. The next stage is for the Customization focus (the building of pages). One thing that will need to happen is a lot of testing of existing plugins with Gutenberg. That’s how we can ensure things do work and limit issues. Ultimately, more and more plugins won’t be needed – or at least not so many together to achieve simple things. This benefits users and creates a better, more unified experience for all.”

If users’ first impression of Gutenberg is that it is unable to deliver on all of the lofty promises of the project, they may return to the old interface en masse. WordPress will then have a battle to convince users to give it a another chance as the experience improves to include customization.

Multi-column layouts, which are the gateway to page building, are not currently within the scope of the first official version coming to core. Gutenberg’s one-dimensional, vertically stacking approach to designing pages isn’t very inspiring. This may frustrate average users whose expectations have not been tempered with the understanding that a future version will include an expanded page building experience. A plugin that allows users to opt out until it is an improvement over their current tools is going to be crucial for keeping the community happy.

by Sarah Gooding at September 12, 2017 04:22 AM under WordPress 5.0

September 11, 2017

WPTavern: “The Final Word” Plugin Extends O2 to Pin a Highlighted Comment to the Top of a Thread

The Final Word” is a new plugin that extends O2 to highlight a comment at the top of a thread. O2 is the plugin successor to P2, Automattic’s group blogging theme that introduced quick posting from the front page with real-time comment updates. The code was released on GitHub in 2015 and it powers the make.wordpress.org blogs.

If you use O2 as a WordPress contributor or within another organization, then you have likely been a part of lengthy conversations that require a decent chunk of time to read and comprehend. Hugh Lashbrooke created The Final Word for use on the WordPress Community Team blog so that long discussion threads could be summed up in a single comment. He likened the new feature as something similar to the “accepted answer” function on Stack Exchange or other support forums where the best answer floats to the top. Discussions in the Community P2 often involve decision making, and the plugin is useful for highlighting the team’s conclusion on a matter.

The Final Word gives users who are able to edit the post the ability to mark a specific comment as the “top comment.” Other features include the following:

  • The top comment is displayed at the top of the comment list with a ‘view in context’ anchor link
  • The top comment is also highlighted in context in the thread
  • Only one comment can be selected as the top comment
  • The top comment flag can be removed
  • Includes basic styling for top comments
  • ‘Top comment’ label can be translated and/or filtered

The plugin currently will not work without 02 enabled because of its specific way of handling comments, but Lashbrooke said it may be updated in the future to work without O2. (While O2 is not theme-dependent, the plugin is also not guaranteed to work with every theme and is recommended to be used in combination with the p2-breathe theme.)

The Final Word is now active on the WordPress Community team’s blog and is available for other teams to activate as well. With the number of O2 blogs that many contributors are subscribed to, there is a massive amount of information and discussion to keep up with. This plugin gives thread authors and team leaders the ability to summarize conversations and keep them more manageable for readers and participants. The Final Word is available on both WordPress.org and GitHub.

by Sarah Gooding at September 11, 2017 04:10 AM under p2

September 08, 2017

WPTavern: Equifax Launches WordPress-Powered Site for Consumers Affected by Security Breach

photo credit: Lock(license)

Equifax has launched a WordPress-powered website to connect with consumers affected by its recent security breach, which compromised 143 million customers’ personal data. The exposed data includes names, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, and other sensitive financial information.

The equifaxsecurity2017.com site was launched shortly after disclosure to give consumers information about the security incident. Equifax reports that the company has found no evidence of unauthorized activity on its core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases but is offering free identity theft protection and credit file monitoring services to U.S. consumers who enter their last names and last six digits of their social security number into its form.

Consumers are rightfully wary of the website, as the company is asking for more personal information in order to sign people up for another one of its products. Various news outlets are decrying the fact that the site is built on WordPress.

“What’s more, the website which Equifax created to notify people of the breach, is highly problematic for a variety of reasons,” Ars Technica Security Editor Dan Goodin said. “It runs on a stock installation WordPress, a content management system that doesn’t provide the enterprise-grade security required for a site that asks people to provide their last name and all but three digits of their Social Security number.”

Goodin also referenced the output of https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/wp-json/wp/v2/users/ which earlier in the day exposed the username for the site’s administrator before the page was protected.

WordPress’ handbook has a section on reporting security vulnerabilities that explains why disclosures of usernames or user IDs is not a security issue:

The WordPress project doesn’t consider usernames or user ids to be private or secure information. A username is part of your online identity. It is meant to identify, not verify, who you are saying you are. Verification is the job of the password.

Generally speaking, people do not consider usernames to be secret, often sharing them openly. Additionally, many major online establishments — such as Google and Facebook — have done away with usernames in favor of email addresses, which are shared around constantly and freely. WordPress has also moved this way, allowing users to log in with an email address or username since version 4.5.

WordPress Core Security Team Lead Aaron Campbell clarified this section of the handbook to confirm that the users endpoint is intended to be an open API endpoint that serves public data.

“It does in fact include usernames and user IDs (among other things) for users that have published posts in a post type that is set up to use the API, but all the data is considered public,” Campbell said.

Campbell also said he is wary of entering personal data into the equifaxsecurity2017.com website, but not because it is using WordPress.

“I don’t think the fact that it runs on WordPress is a concern from a security standpoint, with the caveat that I don’t know what ELSE it’s using,” Campbell said. “‘Equifax’ is a trusted brand, but it’s not the official Equifax domain and the SSL certificate doesn’t verify ownership. So you know your data is encrypted, but not necessarily who it’s being sent to since you don’t know who owns the site.”

It’s not clear why Equifax simply didn’t build out the information site on its own domain. According to security investigator Brian Krebs, the company appears to have hired Edelman PR, a global PR firm, to handle its public response to the data breach, citing the username publicly displayed by WordPress’ API. Edelman PR opted to use a free Cloudflare certificate to secure the site.

Consumers were also off put by the verbiage of the arbitration clause included in the terms and services of the free credit monitoring, which appears to force those who sign up to waive their rights to participate in class action lawsuits against the company.

“I cannot recall a previous data breach in which the breached company’s public outreach and response has been so haphazard and ill-conceived,” Krebs said.

Kenneth White, a security researcher and director of the Open Crypto Audit Project, said on Twitter that he was amazed the site was running stock WordPress but that his comments specifically referenced the sloppy implementation of the site.

Due to how the site was set up, it appeared to many consumers and researchers as Equifax’s way of stalling or perhaps even scamming those who may have been affected by the breach. Various browsers flagged it as a phishing threat, and some consumers found they were given different answers from the form based on whether they checked with desktop or mobile devices. In responding to the incident with a website that appears to have been hastily implemented for its own convenience and corporate interests, Equifax has missed an opportunity to reclaim any remaining consumer confidence from the public.

by Sarah Gooding at September 08, 2017 08:04 PM under security

WPTavern: SWFUpload Will Officially Be Removed From WordPress

SWFUpload is an open-source library that was used by WordPress in 2011 and earlier that allowed users to upload files. The library was abandoned and replaced with Plupload in WordPress 3.3, released in 2011. Despite being replaced, WordPress continued to bundle the library for plugins that didn’t migrate to Plupload. In 2013, the core team forked SWFUpload and maintained the project, applying security fixes submitted by contributors.

After six years of deprecation, the core team has announced that SWFUpload will officially be removed from WordPress core. The team searched the WordPress plugin directory and compiled a list of plugins that contain references to swfupload in their code. According to Weston Ruter, the list includes 128 themes and plugins.

Some of the most popular plugins include:

The team is working on a way to provide enough backwards compatibility to ensure there are no JavaScript errors and an upload form is displayed instead of embedded Flash. Andrew Ozz also apologized to plugin authors noting that the list likely contains some false positives. If you use one or more of the plugins mentioned above, please get in touch with the author and ask if it will function without SWFUpload in core.

by Jeff Chandler at September 08, 2017 08:06 AM under swfupload

WPTavern: WordCamp Ann Arbor to Host Second WordCamp WarmUp

WordCamp Ann Arbor, MI, is set to take place October 13-14 and for the second year in a row, organizers will host a secondary event called WordCamp WarmUp. WordCamp WarmUp provides an environment for attendees to break the ice and meet new people before the main event.

Janelle Reichman is co-organizing WordCamp WarmUp. “I’ve been running my own WordPress business for about eight years,” Reichman said. “However, I attended my first WordCamp just last fall. I’ll never forget it – I was pretty much terrified.

“But then, I got an invitation to a WordCamp WarmUp. I couldn’t believe my luck. I couldn’t believe there was an event made exactly for people like me, who were shaking in their boots at the prospect of showing up at a conference and not knowing anybody.

“I attended the WarmUp, made friends, saw them all the next day at WordCamp, and ended up having an amazing and unforgettable time”

Unlike last year’s WarmUp, details for this years event will only be announced to WordCamp Ann Arbor ticket holders. The event is maxed out to fifty people and is available on a first come, first serve basis. Appetizers and beverages will be provided.

Rebecca Gill, founder of Web-Savvy-Marketing, organized the event last year and considered it a success. “Not only did most WarmUp guests arrive right on time, we had a full room of WarmUp attendees and even had a few unexpected friends show up,” Gill said.

Ticket holders can expect to see an email with event details within the next few weeks.

by Jeff Chandler at September 08, 2017 03:14 AM under wordcamp

September 07, 2017

WPTavern: Gutenberg 1.1.0 Adds Autocomplete for Blocks, Developers Elaborate on How New Editor Will Work with Themes

Gutenberg contributors continue marching forward this week on their relentless drive to improve the usability of the controversial new editor that will ship with WordPress 5.0. Meanwhile, discussions about Gutenberg’s timing, implications, UI, architecture, and other aspects of the project continue across the web, as the community grapples with what this new editor will mean for the future of WordPress.

Version 1.1.0 was released this week with a new autocomplete-shortcut for adding new blocks without leaving the keyboard.

Many testers have been frustrated with the amount of pointing and clicking required to create new blocks. Autocomplete for blocks is a new feature that partially answers this problem, but it relies on the user knowing that typing a slash / in a new default paragraph block will trigger autocomplete. It may also be added to other blocks in the future.

“We still need to get the point-click/tap interactions right since most people won’t discover, remember, nor use keyboard shortcuts,” Gutenberg engineer Matías Ventura said in response to user feedback on the plugin.

This release of the plugin adds the ability to remove images from the gallery block inline. It works smoothly and resizes the thumbnail previews to fit the available space after an image is removed.

Version 1.1.0 also includes small updates like the ability to set links to open in a new window, accessibility improvements to the add-new-category form, caption styling for video blocks, adjustments to column width calculation in the gallery block, and many other tweaks and improvements. The Gutenberg docs also received an updated design and improvements to the content.

A Preview of How Gutenberg Will Interact with Themes to Build Websites

Gutenberg engineers elaborated on how they expect the new editor will work with themes in a post on the make.wordpress./core blog. Matías Ventura published two video examples to demonstrate where they see Gutenberg headed on its journey towards becoming a full-fledged website building tool. Ventura said this is the long-term goal after the project completes the post and page editing milestone.

The first video shows how Gutenberg can be used for page building, starting with a blank slate and a theme that defines specific styles for blocks. The second one shows how a theme might include templates with blocks already in place that provide users with a guided page-building experience.

These examples clarify some of the benefits the team is aiming for with Gutenberg and how WordPress theme authors will be able to build more user-friendly experiences on top of the new editor.

“These are quickly put together, but I hope it shows how things can progress even with very straightforward theme integration,” Ventura said. “As soon as we expand the scope and include more blocks (site title, site header, menus, more widgets, etc), and describe a way to store page templates as a «list of blocks», Gutenberg would be fundamentally capable of building an entire website.”

by Sarah Gooding at September 07, 2017 08:02 PM under gutenberg

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 287 – WordPress Meetups, Events, and WordCamps with Andrea Middleton

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Andrea Middleton, Dot org Wrangler at Automattic. Middleton supports WordPress community organizers by helping them plan community events that inspire people to do more with WordPress, connect the community, and contribute to the WordPress project.

We discussed a variety of topics including, whether or not speakers should be compensated, regional WordCamps, and improvements that have been made to WordCamp.org. By the way, if you can lend a hand with this trac ticket, it would be appreciated.

We also discussed the possibilities of expanding WordCamps to be more subject focused events. Last but not least, we talked about the successful WordCamp Incubator program and whether or not it will continue.

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Next Episode: Wednesday, September 13th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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Listen To Episode #287:

by Jeff Chandler at September 07, 2017 01:59 AM under wordcamps

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September 23, 2017 05:30 AM
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