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October 18, 2017

HeroPress: Be Brave and Trust Yourself

Pull Quote: Choose to be brave and trust yourself.

Beginnings

I was born into a working-class family in Targoviste, a small town in Romania situated around 50 miles from the capital, Bucharest. My childhood was a normal one, mostly happy but marked negatively by the frequent conflicts between my parents.

Growing up, they didn’t have much to offer to me and my brother. They struggled to give us as much as possible, and at the end, they did offer us quite a decent life, but all those shortages can be quite difficult to understand, especially for a child.

“Why the other kids can have things that I don’t have?”

“Why didn’t my parents gave me more?”

I knew since then, part of the answer. They didn’t give me more because they didn’t have more, not because they didn’t want to. Thinking more about this, years later, I actually realized, that this whole situation was actually more of a blessing for me, and I am now really grateful for it.

Why I’m saying this?

Because not having everything gave me an incredible motivation to grow, overcome my situation, be creative and don’t ever give up on my dreams.

Facing the world

Wanting to do great things with my life, I always knew that staying in my small town forever is not an option.
So, at 19, after finishing high school, I got admitted to Politehnica University of Bucharest, to study Computer Science. My brother was the one that convinced me to pursue this subject of study, as I wasn’t very sure on which path I should choose because I was not having enough self-confidence that I would be good at it, even though I always was better at this fields of study in school.

I have to thank him for that.

Going to University was by far the most important moment in my life at that time. It was hard but beautiful at the same time, the whole experience. At first, it was a total shock for me. Between all the big changes in my life, like leaving home for the first time, living in a college dorm with three new girls, taking care of myself and all that, school was not that easy anymore either. Even though I always liked studying and was one of the best students in my class, University was at a totally different level.

It was really difficult to adjust, as I started to think again that maybe I wasn’t good enough for this, that it’s not something I can do, and I should give up.

Luckily I didn’t do that, and with lots of work, in time, I managed to adapt and eventually finish the University with both a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Computer Science.

From my second year at University, I started thinking seriously that I should start working. I always wanted to have financial independence, as I also knew deep down, how difficult it would be for my parents to sustain me over the course of the next years of study. So, I started to search for jobs. I had so little self-confidence that I thought that nobody will ever hire me, so I took the first job offer that I received.

I started to work part-time as a junior web developer at a small IT company. Looking back at that time, I can’t say I learned much there, as the company itself and the people in charge of it were not very interested in teaching me something or giving me interesting projects, so I could evolve professionally. And this was not happening just for me. Months later I realized this was their thing. They were mostly hiring students, paying them very small salaries and in some ways taking advantages of them. For example, in my case, they didn’t make me a contract even after 6 months there, even though they promised me that since day one. So, I was working illegally all that time, with no paid taxes, with a salary of just 90$ a month.

But considering all this, I’m honestly happy I’ve had the chance to work there. I didn’t have the chance to learn much programming there, but I learned other valuable things that helped me through my life. All I’ve experienced that time, gave me a much more sense of what the world really is. And it made me realize that I want more, that I deserve more. There had to be something better out there.

Plus, there is where I met my fiance 🙂

Finding my way

I started to search for a new job and lucky enough, in a couple of days I started working at Codeinwp.com. At that time, it was a really small agency, in a tiny office, with only two other employees besides me. We were all kind of the same age, students with no money, no major work ( or as a matter of fact, even life ) experience but with big ambitions. It was obvious for me, from the start, that this was a very different company than the one where I’ve worked before. I got my contract signed in the first two days, I got payed better, I got interesting projects to work on, I got people helping me learn.

Rodica at WordCampWordCamp Europe 2017 Paris, The Afterparty

And I got something that I didn’t know existed in other companies. I got freedom and trust. Lots of trust.

The company is co-founded by Ionut Neagu, who was at that moment living in France. And he was running the business from there, miles away from us, not knowing what we’re doing all the time. I don’t think many people would be able to do this. And do it successfully.

I also think that part of his success in running this business is his way of being, as he is genuinely one of the most generous and kind-hearted people I’ve met. Always there for everyone.

The Breakthrough

The first couple of years in the company were a bit tough, especially for Ionut, as he had to always find new projects and customers to make sure we are making enough money to sustain us all. At that time, I didn’t realized that, but now I understand how difficult it was for him sometimes, and I appreciate him more.

Here is where I also first encountered WordPress. It was a new concept, not just for me, but for the other guys too. And we started to learn it, step by step, project by project. And it changed our lives.

In 2014, the whole company made a risky change, that proved, in time, to be a great choice. We launched Themeisle.com, a marketplace for our own WordPress themes and plugins, and also launched Zerif Lite, that gradually became one of the most popular themes on the wordpress.org repository. Currently is used by more than 100.000 users.

The road was not an easy one, but 5 years later, almost 500,000 people in the world are using our products. I still can’t believe that so many people are influenced by something that I’ve done. Always thought that is difficult for a common man to have an impact on the world. But I had an impact too, in my own way.

Discovering The World

The first time I visited a foreign country was in 2014, at WordCamp Europe in Sofia, Bulgaria. I remember it like yesterday. It was so exciting for me. Though, I don’t think I’ve realized, at that time, the true meaning and dimensions of a WordCamp and all the great things happening in the community. I think I was too amazed of just having the opportunity to travel. But this was not going to stop here.

We got the chance to travel to all major WordCamps in Europe, and discovered the joy of participating as volunteers too ( and organizers now too).

I’ve met so many great people, from all around the globe, I’ve learned so much from all the different cultures.

ThemeIsle TeamPart of the team at WordCamp Europe 2017

And last year, I’ve got the chance to go somewhere I’ve never imagine going. We went to New York, and joined WordCamp US in Philadelphia. It was such an amazing experience for which I’m so grateful, and hope everyone can have this kind of opportunities.

In Conclusion

I’m so proud of being part of the WordPress community and part of the ThemeIsle team. It’s so rewarding to start working in a small company and see it grow, alongside you. To see it flourish, starting from almost nothing and reaching success, after many challenges and obstacles along the way. As cheesy as it may sound, it’s almost like seeing your child grow and fulfill his dreams.

And as I mostly struggled thinking I wasn’t better enough at the beginning of my life, all these experiences made me realize that you just have to work for your dreams, don’t ever give up, and realize that always, even though somebody will be better than you, you are better than others. It’s important the direction you choose to look at.

So choose to be brave and trust yourself.

The post Be Brave and Trust Yourself appeared first on HeroPress.

by Rodica Andronache at October 18, 2017 05:00 AM

October 17, 2017

WPTavern: Medium Opens Partner Program, Allows Anyone to Publish Behind Its $5 Paywall

In March 2017, Medium scrapped its previous ad-driven revenue model to become a publisher of premium, subscription-based content. The company launched a new $5 subscription program and gave a select group of writers and publications the ability to publish articles behind a paywall inside its network. Medium’s invitation-only Partner Program launched in August but has now been expanded to include any author or publisher who wants to publish behind the paywall.

“Starting today, anyone can enroll in our Partner Program and earn money based on the depth and value they provide to members, not the fleeting attention they deliver to advertisers,” Medium CEO Ev Williams said. “Along with that, we add stories from the world’s best publishers and seamlessly combine it all in an ad-free, personalized experience. The end goal is to offer the world’s best source for important stories and ideas.”

Authors are rewarded based on engagement with their posts, as measured by the number of “clap” reactions a post receives via the network’s new applause button. Readers can clap multiple times and the system evaluates claps on a per-user basis, tracking the number of claps a reader assigns relative to the number of claps that individual typically sends. Subscribers will have their membership fees allocated to different authors based the claps they have given to posts behind the paywall.

Medium quickly changed its “no access” paywall to a “metered” one after launching with a small group of publishers. This means that members can still read a limited number of locked stories each month before hitting the wall. The idea behind this move, according to Sam Duboff, Medium’s head of product marketing, is to give paywalled posts exposure to a wider audience while still paying content creators, instead of having articles simply get buried due to lack of exposure.

Some authors have posted publicly about their earnings and Medium representatives told TechCrunch that 83% of those who published paywalled stories received payments during the month of September with payments averaging $93.65. The largest payment for a single author was $2,279.12 and the largest payment for a single publication was $1,466.68. It’s too soon to see the effects of opening up the partner program to anyone who wants to participate, but Medium’s membership fees will need to stretch further to accommodate all the claps for newly paywalled content.

Non-subscribing readers were not enthused with the paywall when it first launched. With the number of Partner Program participants going up, there are bound to be more links to paywalled content floating around social media.

Readers are finding, however, that they are frequently encountering articles behind Medium’s paywall that are already available for free elsewhere. This is because Medium’s membership also includes curated selections from from The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Economist, CNN, Fast Company, and other publications to supplement original content created by those within the Medium ecosystem. The experience of finding otherwise free content behind Medium’s paywall seems to be confusing for non-subscribers and is ultimately driving readers back to independent publishers.

In a post titled “Words Still Matter,” Williams once again described the broken ad-driven model and the attention economy it fuels. After failing to find success with this model, Medium has repackaged itself as a publisher of subscription-based content and aims to throw a wide net by calling its partner program “the internet’s first open paywall.”

“And while many publishers are looking towards subscriptions as an alternative to the deleterious effects of ads (a move we support for everyone), Medium is the only ‘open paywall’ for thoughtful content on the internet,” Williams said. “Which means, we tap into the ideas and expertise of thousands of the smartest minds on the planet — many of whom made Medium what it is today — to bring fresh perspectives to Medium members.”

Despite setting out to create “a different, bolder approach,” as Williams called it earlier this year, the company has landed on a cheap paywall that is open to any content creator. Putting content behind a paywall isn’t a good strategy for individuals or businesses that depend on their products and ideas getting maximum exposure. It’s also not a sustainable model for larger publishers, several of which Medium had wooed to its platform before suddenly shifting its business strategy.

Opening up the partner program is the next step in Medium’s continued experimentation with monetizing its users’ content. If the company cannot substantially increase its subscriber base to properly pay all the authors who will soon be paywalling unlimited amounts of content, it will need to pivot yet again after its users have spent their efforts building an audience inside the Medium paywall.

“These are just the early days of what we consider a grand experiment,” Williams said after expanding the parnter program in August. “Imagine a day when anyone with the skills and willingness to put in the effort can write something useful, insightful, or moving and be compensated based on its value to others. There is a lot we need to figure out to make this work right. But we are convinced that by joining forces, we can make a new economic model for quality content. We hope you’ll join us in this experiment.”

by Sarah Gooding at October 17, 2017 04:51 AM under medium

October 13, 2017

WPTavern: Bear App Users Want WordPress Publishing Integration

Ever since the demise of WordPress’ old distraction-free writing mode, users have been forced to look elsewhere for a truly zen writing experience. Gutenberg’s current design trajectory doesn’t seem to be putting it on track for delivering the minimalist writing environment that many writers crave. The project has a lot of publishing and design-related functionality to account for in its UI, but I am hopeful that the plugin ecosystem will offer extensions that pare Gutenberg back to just the essentials for writing.

In the meantime, those in search of a minimalist writing experience have found it in dedicated writing apps like iA Writer, Ulysses, WriteRoom, OmmWriter, and others. The Bear app, a newcomer launched in 2016, is a rising favorite that works on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Although somewhat better known as a note-taking app, Bear’s beautiful writing experience won the app a 2017 Apple Design Award.

Bear blends the best features of a note-taking app with a writing app. Users can turn on Focus Mode using the bottom right icon, which hides the sidebar and note list to provide a more minimal writing space. Bear saves users’ writing in real-time, offers in-line support for images, and syntax highlighting for 20+ programming languages. There are no distractions while the user is composing, as the editor instantly displays rich previews. It’s easy to see why Bear has become an instant favorite.

Many Bear users still have the need to publish their writings to the web, a capability that the app doesn’t currently support. Naturally, a WordPress export or “Publish to WordPress” option is one of the most often requested features. However, Shiny Frog, the company behind the Bear app, is not yet working on publishing features.

“Medium and WordPress publishing features are on our todo list, but not on top priority right now,” Shiny Frog co-founder Danilo Bonardi said when I asked last November about the company’s plans to support a WordPress export option.

Other users have also posted to the app’s support forum and its subreddit, asking for WordPress integration:

I’m really enjoying using Bear for my writing, and the newer features are great, but I’m trying to get started with my own blog and more as I am developing my own business and being able to export to WordPress would be incredibly helpful for me going forward.

This is the one feature that would allow me to switch from Ulysses.

With Ulysses going to a (more expensive) subscription, the time seems right for Bear to offer a “publish to WordPress” feature that could match what Ulysses offers. This is about the only thing holding Bear back for me.

I’m currently deciding between Bear and Ulysses, and right now the dealbreaker is Ulysses’s ability to push to WordPress. If you were able to build that functionality, it would seal the deal!

Bonardi confirmed again, as recently as last month, that the company is still keeping a tight focus and has not yet prioritized publishing to WordPress.

“Publishing features have been asked before and we will address them sooner or later,” Bonardi said. “Our hopes are to integrate Bear with Medium/WordPress apps instead of implementing our own publishing tool with their APIs. Using their APIs is the other solution but in this scenario we have to build a specific UI for this functionality instead of relying on external apps.”

In the meantime, Bear App support staff recommends using the Markdown export option, available in the free version. Additional export options, including HTML, are available Bear’s $14.99 per year Pro version, which is much more affordable than pricey competitors like Ulysses and others that cater specifically to long-form writing.

Quadro also has an option to share Bear notes to both Medium and WordPress. However, it’s not an official Bear utility and the workflow is rather complicated to set up. Users who have tried this option didn’t find it to save time over simply copying and pasting.

WordPress Needs Its Own Beautiful Writing Experience

WordPress publishing support for Bear doesn’t seem to be a major priority for the company at this time, but splitting up the writing and publishing process is a deal breaker for many who want a simple workflow that doesn’t involve copying and pasting between apps.

Alternatively, what if WordPress could be known for its beautiful writing experience in core, without a user having to resort to plugins or third-party apps to get there? This seems like a reasonable expectation for Gutenberg, but the project has the added challenge of incorporating a lot of publishing, media, and legacy functionality into its UI in a way that is easily discoverable.

Unfortunately, this has resulted in an interface that is constantly popping into view. With the right combination of clicks and hovers, a user can end up in situation like the one shown below in the screenshot – surrounded by formatting options and icons on all sides.

Making it easy to publish to the web, which is WordPress’ forte, isn’t as compelling if users have to look elsewhere to find a truly distraction-free writing experience. Fortunately, minimalist writing apps like Bear can fill the gap until the WordPress plugin ecosystem can produce an interface where writing is a delight.

by Sarah Gooding at October 13, 2017 10:17 PM under gutenberg

WPTavern: WordPress 4.9 Protects Users From Fatal Errors Created in the Theme and Plugin Editors

Over the years, there have been many discussions and debates on whether or not WordPress should have a built-in file editor for themes and plugins. The file editors, while convenient, allow users to easily trigger fatal errors that can be difficult to fix, especially if they don’t have FTP access.

Instead of removing the editors from core, the WordPress development team has enhanced them by adding fatal error protection in WordPress 4.9. When a user accesses the theme or plugin editor for the first time, they’re presented with the following warnings. The warnings are a result of a three-year-old trac ticket.

Plugin Editor Warning Theme Editor Warning

If you try to save changes to a file and WordPress detects a fatal error, the change is not saved and a warning message is displayed that explains where the error occurred. Although the changes are rolled back, the code in the editor is not replaced with the original. To replace the code, simply refresh the browser tab.

Fatal Error Detected

In addition to safety features, the code editors are powered by CodeMirror, an open-source, JavaScript powered text editor that adds features such as line numbers. The plugin editor includes the ability to look up documentation for filters, hooks, and actions with many of the links pointing to the new WordPress Developers Resource site.

Even with the addition of CodeMirror in core, the file editors in WordPress are not a replacement for an integrated development environment. However, the warnings and fatal error protection are huge improvements that will prevent many users from creating a White Screen of Death situation on their sites.

by Jeff Chandler at October 13, 2017 09:25 PM under WordPress 4.9

October 12, 2017

WPTavern: GitHub Launches New Dependency Graph Feature with Security Alerts Coming Soon

GitHub announced a new Dependency Graph feature at the Github Universe conference yesterday. It lists all the dependencies for a repository and will soon identify known vulnerabilities. The graph can be accessed under the Insights tab and currently supports Ruby and JavaScript dependencies with Python coming soon.

Public repositories display the graph by default and private repository owners also have the option to enable it. Below is a screenshot of Gutenberg’s dependency graph:

GitHub plans to extend dependency graphs to show security alerts when one of the dependencies is using a version that is publicly known to be vulnerable to a security issue. The alerts may also in some cases be able to suggest a security fix. Security alerts for dependencies is the first among a collection of security tools that GitHub has planned to release.

The dependency graph isn’t yet as useful as it could be for many PHP-based WordPress projects, but GitHub’s decision to start with support for JavaScript and Ruby dependencies is in line with the data the company collected from repositories. JavaScript and Ruby are among the top four most popular languages on GitHub, as measured by the number of pull requests. JavaScript is by far the most popular and PHP isn’t too far behind Ruby, according to stats from the State of the Octoverse 2017.

GitHub is also launching new efforts to connect its massive community. The company reported 24 million developers working across 67 million repositories in 2017. The new community features are aimed at helping developers make meaningful connections in the vast sea of repositories on the platform. Users will notice a new “Discover Repositories” feed in their dashboards that makes recommendations based on their starred repositories and the people they follow.

GitHub has also launched a new curated Explore section to help users browse open source projects, topics, events, and resources.

by Sarah Gooding at October 12, 2017 06:56 PM under security

Dev Blog: WordPress 4.9 Beta 2

WordPress 4.9 Beta 2 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site just to play with the new version. To test WordPress 4.9, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the beta here (zip).

For more information on what’s new in 4.9, check out the Beta 1 blog post. Since then, we’ve made 70 changes in Beta 2.

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

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

Let’s test all of these:
code editing, theme switches,
widgets, scheduling.

by Mel Choyce at October 12, 2017 06:29 AM under Releases

October 11, 2017

WPTavern: WordPress Replaces Browserify with Webpack for Build Process

During a core JavaScript chat held in May, WordPress contributors agreed on using Webpack (and ES6 imports) instead of Browserify for JavaScript bundling in the build process.

“Since we split the media files in #28510, the core build process has used Browserify to combine the media files,” Adam Silverstein said in the ticket proposing the replacement. “While browserify has served us well, Webpack is probably a better long term choice for the project, especially with the introduction of a new JavaScript framework that may require a build.”

Over the past four months contributors on the ticket have worked on making sure the Webpack setup is working well to build the files. WordPress core committer K. Adam White also reached out to some Webpack contributors for an additional review during the process before replacing Browserify as the JavaScript bundler.

Webpack has rapidly gained popularity among the many utilities for bundling JavaScript files and is one of the most prominent examples of a project that has successfully found a sustainable source of funding through its account on Open Collective. The project funded its first full-time developer through the platform and has an estimated annual budget of $241,650, based on current donations.

by Sarah Gooding at October 11, 2017 11:58 PM under webpack

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 291 – All Hands on Deck on The Ship of Theseus

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I discuss the news of the week including DonateWC sponsoring its first recipient to WordCamp Cape Town, WordPress 4.9 Beta 1, and WooCommerce 3.2. We also have a bit of fun with Poopy.life and blurt out a few crappy puns. Last but not least, we dissect Matías Ventura’s vision of Gutenberg.

Stories Discussed:

WordPress 4.9 Beta 1 Released
WooCommerce 3.2 Released
WooConf 2017 Livestream Tickets Now on Sale
Gutenberg Engineer Matías Ventura Unpacks the Vision for Gutenblocks, Front-End Editing, and the Future of WordPress Themes
Poopy.life Launches Pro Version at WPsandbox.io Aimed at Theme and Plugin Developers
Disqus Data Breach Affects 17.5 Million Accounts
We’re sending a speaker to WordCamp Cape Town
GitLab Raises $20 Million Series C Round, Adds Matt Mullenweg to Board of Directors

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, October 18th 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 #291:

by Jeff Chandler at October 11, 2017 11:10 PM under wooconf

WPTavern: WooCommerce 3.2 Adds Ability to Apply Coupons in the Admin, Introduces Pre-Update Version Checks for Extensions

WooCommerce 3.2 has arrived a week ahead of the plugin’s upcoming WooConf Developers Conference in Seattle. The release went into beta at the end of August and an extra week was added to the RC testing phase to give store owners and extension developers ample opportunity to prepare for the update.

Version 3.2 adds the ability for administrators to apply coupons to existing orders in the backend of the store. This feature was requested on the WooCommerce ideas board four years ago and had received 374 votes for consideration.

WooCommerce will now automatically re-calculate the order total after applying the coupon and the same in reverse if a coupon is removed. Although it seems like a small improvement, implementing it without breaking extensions was a fairly complex endeavor for the WooCommerce team.

“This was tricky to develop because of the way the cart and coupons were built initially, so some refactoring was needed, but we tried to implement these changes in a backwards compatible manner so extensions wouldn’t require changes,” WooCommerce lead developer Mike Jolley said.

WooCommerce 3.2 Adds Extension Support Version Checks Prior to Core Updates

One of the most exciting new features in 3.2 is support for a new plugin header that extension developers can use to specify which versions of WooCommerce have been tested and confirmed to be compatible. This information will be displayed to users in the plugin update screen when future WooCommerce core updates become available.

These warnings save time for store owners by identifying extensions that need further research and testing before applying a core update. It makes it easier for admins to confidently update their installations without having to worry about extensions breaking. After a few more major releases of the plugin, it will be interesting to see how this new system improves updates overall and how other plugins with their own ecosystems of extensions might be able to benefit from something similar.

Version 3.2 also brings improved accessibility for select boxes, updates to the new store setup wizard, a new “resend” option on the edit order page, and a host of admin UI enhancements that make it easier to manage products and extensions.

WooCommerce.com Adds New Subscription Sharing Feature

Customers who have purchased extensions from WooCommerce.com can now take advantage of a new subscription sharing feature that allows them to specify additional sites (via WooCommerce.com email address) where they want the extension/key to be active. This is especially useful for agencies, developers, and multisite store owners who can now grant the use of an extension without having to connect their own accounts to client sites. The original purchaser of the extension will be the one billed for the subscription and can revoke access for connected sites at any time.

WooCommerce 3.2 had 1610 commits from 98 contributors. Currently, 47% of installs are still on 3.1 but that number should go down as store owners start updating to the latest. The WooCommerce team reports that all changes should be backwards compatible with 3.0 and 3.1 sites, but site owners will still want to test their extensions before applying the 3.2 update.

by Sarah Gooding at October 11, 2017 07:07 PM under woocommerce

HeroPress: Queer Woman In Tech … In A Bowtie

Pull Quote: I have found the WordPress Community the most diverse and accepting space for our beautiful, vast array of queer individuals in tech, period.

Did you know there are still several states in the US where employers can fire me for being gay? Legislation and protections have improved in the past several years, but there are still large gaps throughout the United States for queer and trans people. In addition, I hear horror stories of toxic workplaces that my LGBTQ+ friends have endured and/or have pushed them out of a job due to not feeling safe. I have been incredibly lucky to have a career full of supportive companies where I have felt safe and accepted. But I also have another big thing that has helped me for over 13 years: WordPress.

A Little History

Back when I was in high school in the mid nineties, I was fortunate enough to have access to a computer that connected to this new “internet” thing. This was in 1996 when we had to call the internet. I remember vividly spending nights browsing all these “homepages” of people—even people that were my age—from all over the world. One night I thought, “One day I want to make one of these…” I literally stopped mid thought and decided that I was just going to start right that instant. I signed up for a free Angelfire account using my mom’s email address, and was off and running. Angelfire gave you an advanced option of a code editor, so I copied and pasted and poked and prodded code all summer.

As a result, I taught myself a good chunk of HTML by creating some of the ugliest pages in internet history.

But that started me on a path that I would never look back from. I saw such great potential in connecting with others using this whole “World Wide Web” thing I had just discovered.

A Web Log

Fast forward some years into college and the dawn of the 2000’s when this crazy idea of sharing a journal on the internet started. Web logs—later termed “blogs”—started popping up left and right. I hopped on board with a blogger.com blog almost exactly 17 years ago (10/19/00), then moved to this blogging platform known as b2 just about a year later. Some may recognize this, because b2 by cafelog was the codebase forked to create the first WordPress. So technically, I’ve been using WordPress since before it was WordPress.

Creating Community

Back when blogging first became a thing, commenting systems weren’t developed yet, so it was more like just shouting into space wondering if anyone was listening. But people were. Some of us added message boards to our sites.

Conversations happened, connections were made and communities started to form. Some of these connections are still some of my close friends today.

We share a special bond because we all kind of learned the internet together. These created communities also helped me feel less like an outcast and gave me hope that I wasn’t the only one that felt out of place like I did. People’s blogs were vulnerable glimpses into their lives and hardships, really helping me see I was not alone and even helping me face some of my own struggles. Back then I didn’t realize I was gay, but I did feel strangely out of place in so many parts of my life.

Coming Out

In my late 20’s I finally realized, accepted and came out to myself that I was a lesbian. For many years following I stumbled around a lot to find my true expression and identity. Not to mention shed—and recover from—the many external pressures that were forcing me into a completely fabricated heteronormative “box” that I did not fit. It took well into my 30’s to find my comfort zone as an androgynous/masculine of center expressing, gay woman. With that, my outward expression and style creates a daily “coming out” to everyone I meet… or at the very least, draws attention to me when in midwestern heteronormative spaces. Thus, putting me a bit more at risk of being targeted for being queer.

And now back to WordPress

Back to the subject at hand, how does all this relate to WordPress? Throughout this whole journey of self discovery, I was continually using and learning WordPress as well. By the time I had come out, I had learned enough about working with WordPress templates to create custom websites. This gave me the tools to create my own job if I ever lost my full time employment, or would find myself in a toxic, unhealthy—or even dangerous—working environment.

WordPress became my ticket to being self sufficient and confident in my career.

On top of it all, I have found the WordPress community the most diverse and accepting space for our beautiful, vast array of queer individuals in tech, period. This made the decision to join in the WordPress community an easy and safe choice. I had not seen many people like me at tech-related events before, let alone speaking at one. But WordCamps have given me the ability to be that gay woman in a bowtie speaking at the front of the room that I had not seen represented before. And that I can do that without fear is priceless! WordPress and this wonderful community has helped me feel more confident in who I am as a web creator, but more importantly, a person.

The post Queer Woman In Tech … In A Bowtie appeared first on HeroPress.

by Tracy Apps at October 11, 2017 12:00 PM

WPTavern: Gutenberg 1.4 Adds HTML Mode for Blocks

Gutenberg 1.4 was released today with a new feature that allows users to edit HTML on a per-block basis. HTML mode can be triggered by toggling the ellipsis menu and selecting the HTML icon. This will switch the block between visual and text mode, without having to switch the entire document into text mode.

Contributors debated on whether or not to place the HTML button in the quick toolbar or to add the button to the side of the block. Eventually, they landed on putting the trash icon, the cog settings, and this new HTML mode under an ellipsis.

Gutenberg testers will also notice that version 1.4 redesigns the editor’s header, grouping content actions to the left and post actions to the right.

This release adds the initial REST API infrastructure for reusable global blocks, an idea Matias Ventura proposed several months ago. The pull request was created by new Gutenberg contributor Robert Anderson, a web and mobile developer at Tumblr. It is based on the technical details that Weston Ruter outlined for creating dynamic reusable blocks. Anderson highlighted a few examples of what this infrastructure will eventually enable for users:

  • Convert a block into a reusable block, and give it a name
  • Convert a reusable block back into a regular block
  • Edit a reusable block within a post and have the changes appear across all posts
  • Insert an existing reusable block into a post
  • Delete an existing reusable block

Anderson said the next step is adding a core/reusable-block block to the editor that can be rendered and edited, followed by a UI for adding, deleting, attaching, and detaching reusable blocks.

Gutenberg 1.4 will now show a users’ most frequently used blocks when hovering over the inserter. If the editor doesn’t have enough usage data, it will display the paragraph and image blocks by default.

Version 1.3 of the plugin introduced a new feedback option for testers with a link in the Gutenberg sidebar menu. Ventura reported that the team has received 12 responses so far, which included four bugs and two proposed enhancements. Check out the full changelog for 1.4 for more details on what’s new in the latest beta release.

by Sarah Gooding at October 11, 2017 04:57 AM under gutenberg

October 10, 2017

WPTavern: GitLab Raises $20 Million Series C Round, Adds Matt Mullenweg to Board of Directors

GitLab celebrated its sixth anniversary as an open source project yesterday and announced a $20 million Series C round of funding led by GV General Partner Dave Munichiello. The company’s CEO Sid Sijbrandij joined Municheiello with guest hosts, Adam Stacoviak and Jerod Santo from The Changelog podcast, for the GitLab live event that aired yesterday.

“When we think about investing, we want to be involved in the fastest-growing companies in the world,” Munichiello said. “We think about that a little differently than most firms in that we are looking for looking for dev-focused tools. We think software will disrupt the enterprises of the future and so we think the best tools that help enable and empower the best software teams will become enormous companies over time. We’re certainly seeing that with GitLab.”

Munichiello said he favors investing in open source because it is “the most secure and the best software in the world.” Although GitLab is a much smaller company than its more prominent rivals GitHub and Bitbucket, it currently dominates the self-hosted Git market with its open source tools. GitLab is used by 100,000 organizations and customers include NASA, the Nasdaq Stock Market, Sony Corp, Comcast, Bayer, among many other large companies.

In addition to the $20 million in funding, the company also announced that it has appointed Matt Mullenweg to its board of directors.

“I’m very excited to announce that Matt Mullenweg, the CEO of Automattic and founder of WordPress decided to join our board,” Sid Sijbrandij said. “He’s a leading figure on how to think about open source and how to build a business on that and a remote-only work culture.” Sijbrandij said GitLab’s board of directors sets the tone for what the company is allowed to spend its money on, how it approaches the balance between open source and closed source, and the features that the team decides to make money with.

“GitLab’s powerful momentum and scaling have a lot of parallels to Automattic and WordPress in their early days,” Mullenweg said. “WordPress had to battle a lot of competitors, and ultimately came out on top as a successful company on an open source business model. I hope to help GitLab achieve the same triumph. Fundamentally, I want to help create the kind of internet that I want to live in and I want my children to live in, one that reaches a global audience and one that is able to make a difference.”

Mullenweg also said he was impressed with GitLab’s transparency and how the company shares many of its internal documents, whether it’s a sales manual or employee onboarding information. GitLab, which employees nearly 200 people, also shares a similar work culture to Automattic, as 100% of the team works remotely.

When asked if there is anything down the line for collaboration between GitLab and WordPress, Mullenweg said, “It’s definitely something on our minds. Core WordPress is still Trac and Subversion, so I think that it’s not our top priority this year, but in the future it’s definitely on the radar.”

GitLab started with basic version control and an issues tracker. Last year the company announced its first master plan to make GitLab a complete developer solution, which it completed in December 2016. Sijbrandij said the company is aiming to deliver a complete DevOps solution in 2018, a set of tools that unifies the development and operations work into a single user experience.

GitLab has been working towards the goal of supporting the complete DevOps lifecycle by adding tools for application performance monitoring and server monitoring. This enables developers and operations managers to keep tabs on code after it is deployed, while using a single user interface, the same tools, and one permissions model.

“It used to be that development and operations were separate parts in a company and they had their own tools and those tools were different,” Sijbrandij said. “You needed different expertise to operate them. Now devops aims to align and integrate those groups. What happens is people took the tools from two different departments and tried to glue them together. They duck taped the tools together. That’s what you see in traditional devops – the glue between the traditional developer tools and the traditional operating tools, and it’s not a very good experience. We want to take the complete set of tooling we have for development and extend it all the way to operations, so it’s about creating a single application that does both.”

Check out the recording of the GitLab live event below for a more in-depth explanation of Sijbrandij’s vision for creating a complete DevOps solution in 2018.

by Sarah Gooding at October 10, 2017 06:55 PM under gitlab

WPTavern: WordPress 4.9 Adds Scheduling, Drafts, and Front-End Preview Links to the Customizer

While WordPress 4.8 focused on adding new widgets, visual improvements to links in the text editor, and a new dashboard widget that displays nearby events, WordPress 4.9 places a heavy emphasis on customization.

In WordPress 4.9, the Customizer has a new publish button with options to publish, save draft, or schedule changes. Edits made via the Customizer are called changesets that have status’ similar to posts. These improvements were incorporated from the Customize Snapshots and Customize Posts feature plugins.

New Customizer Publishing Options

Those who design sites will appreciate the ability to easily share a link that provides a front-end preview to changes. Note the About This Site widget at the bottom of the page.

This eliminates the need to publish changes to a live site or give users access to the WordPress backend. Links are generated by saving a draft in the Customizer.

Clicking the Discharge Changes link removes unpublished edits. Scheduling changes is as simple as choosing a day and time for them to take place.

These are just a few of the improvements in WordPress 4.9 which you can try out for yourself by downloading and testing WordPress 4.9 beta 1 on a test site. Alternatively, you can install the WordPress Beta Testing plugin on a test site, configure it for point release nightlies, and update to 4.9 Beta 1.

Stay tuned as we go in-depth on some of the other features in WordPress 4.9 in the coming days.

by Jeff Chandler at October 10, 2017 01:32 PM under schedule

WPTavern: Gutenberg Engineer Matías Ventura Unpacks the Vision for Gutenblocks, Front-End Editing, and the Future of WordPress Themes

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

In a post titled Gutenberg, or the Ship of Theseus, Matías Ventura breaks down the vision for how the project will transform WordPress’ content creation experience and the decisions the team has made along the way. Ventura describes how WordPress has become difficult to customize, as online publishing has embraced rich media and web design has evolved in complexity over the years.

“WordPress can build incredible sites, yet the usability and clarity that used to be a driving force for its adoption has been fading away,” Ventura said. “The present reality is that many people struggle using WordPress as a tool for expression.”

Ventura’s words hint at the growing threats from competitors whose interfaces define users’ current expectations for a front-end editing experience. If WordPress is to stay afloat in a sea of competitors, it can no longer continue expanding its capabilities while leaving a disconnect between what users see while editing in the admin versus what is displayed on the frontend.

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

Ventura elaborated on the foundations of the block approach to content creation and how it will expose more functionality to users in a unified interface, bringing more opportunities to the plugin ecosystem. The post offers some clarity for those who have been wondering about the decision to “make everything a block.” Ventura also anticipates that blocks will become a big part of WordPress theming in the future:

Themes can also provide styles for individual blocks, which can, in aggregation, fundamentally alter the visual appearance of the whole site. You can imagine themes becoming more about the presentation of blocks, while the functional parts can be extracted into blocks (which can potentially work across multiple theme variations). Themes can also provide templates for multiple kind of pages—colophon, products, portfolios, etc., by mixing blocks, setting them up as placeholders, and customizing their appearance.

Ventura also introduced a few new possibilities that Gutenberg could enable. He shared a video showing how granular control over each block can pave the way for a future where WordPress core allows for real-time collaborative editing. This is a feature that has been painfully lacking from the CMS but is nearer on the horizon with Gutenberg in place.

“This same granularity is allowing us to develop a collaborative editing framework where we can lock content being edited by a peer on per block basis, instead of having to lock down the whole post,” Ventura said.

Ventura sees Gutenberg as the path to finally bringing front-end editing to WordPress:

Once Gutenberg is capable of handling all the pieces that visually compose a site—with themes providing styles for all the blocks—we end up with an editor that looks exactly like the front-end. (And at that point, we might just call it front-end editing.) Yet we’d had arrived at it through gradually improving the pieces of our familiar ship, in a way that didn’t cause it to collapse or alienated the people aboard. We want to accomplish this in a way that would allow us to refine and correct as we iterate and experience the reality of what is being built and how it is being used.

He likened the challenge of the Gutenberg project to upgrading the materials on a ship while ensuring that it continues to sail. As there are many passengers who depend on the boat, completely breaking it for the purpose of rebuilding is not an acceptable way forward.

“It is an attempt at improving how users can connect with their site in a visual way, not at removing the flexibility and power that has made WordPress thrive,” Ventura said. “There might be a time when the old ways become obsolete and disappear, absorbed by the richer and clearer interface of blocks, but we are doing as much as possible to make this a process. The old doesn’t have to disappear suddenly, it can be gradually shaped into the new.”

Comments are not enabled on the post, but it has received mostly positive feedback on Twitter. For some, it clarifies the direction of Gutenberg, the purpose of blocks and the possibilities they enable. Others in the community are on board with the concepts behind Gutenberg but are not comfortable with the tentative timeline for its inclusion in core. Ventura’s post does not address many of the more practical concerns the community has about allowing enough time for the WordPress product ecosystem to get ready for Gutenberg.

Matt Mullenweg has confirmed that Gutenberg will ship with WordPress 5.0 whenever Gutenberg is ready and most recently said that delays on selecting the JavaScript framework “will likely delay Gutenberg at least a few weeks, and may push the release into next year.”

Last week, a post published by Yoast SEO founder Joost de Valk sparked conversation with his proposed alternative approach to Gutenberg, which calls for a slower, staged rollout for plugin authors.

“In this point of time, it’s not possible for plugins at all to integrate with Gutenberg,” de Valk said. “How on earth should plugin authors be able to build their integrations within a few months? That’s not possible. At least not without breaking things.”

His proposal recommends keeping the idea of blocks and making over the admin for WordPress 5.0 but leaving the meta boxes and toolbar untouched.

“We are very enthusiastic about the idea of blocks, but have strong concerns about some of the technical choices and the speed of the implementation process,” de Valk said. “We are also worried about the lack of priority given to accessibility issues in the project. But most importantly, we are very much concerned about the fact that plugins are not able to integrate with the new editor.”

It’s impossible for developers to have a clear understanding of the right way to extend Gutenberg right now. The JavaScript framework for the plugin has not yet been announced and critical issues regarding how block data should be stored are just now being floated for discussion.

“The Editor/Gutenberg team would like the broader core group to start thinking about and discussing how block data is stored,” Ventura proposed during last week’s core development meeting. “We currently (specially after allowing meta attributes) have a lot of ways to store block data, with different tradeoffs. It’s going to be important to communicate when each is appropriate. This will come through examples and documentation, but generally such knowledge has also spread by core contributors doing talks and blog posts, etc.”

Further collaboration from the broader community of WordPress core contributors should bring the project closer to being able to deliver the documentation developers need in order to follow best practices for extending the new editor. In the meantime, Ventura’s post is a great read for understanding the larger vision behind Gutenberg and where it is headed.

by Sarah Gooding at October 10, 2017 03:56 AM under gutenberg

October 09, 2017

Matt: Potential of Gutenberg

Matias Ventura, the lead of the editor focus for WordPress, has written Gutenberg, or the Ship of Theseus to talk about how Gutenberg's approach will simplify many of the most complex parts of WordPress, building pages, and theme editing. If you want a peek at some of the things coming down the line with Gutenberg, including serverless WebRTC real-time co-editing.

by Matt at October 09, 2017 12:47 PM under Asides

October 07, 2017

WPTavern: WPThemeDoc: A Single-File HTML Template for Documenting WordPress Themes

photo credit: Lia Leslie

ThemeBeans founder Rich Tabor has open sourced WPThemeDoc, the template he uses for documenting his commercial WordPress themes. Tabor is also the creator of Merlin WP, a theme onboarding wizard that makes setup effortless for users. After applying his aesthetic talents to the documentation aspect of his business, he decided to package up his efforts and release WPThemeDoc on GitHub to benefit other theme developers.

WPThemeDoc is neatly organized and easy to navigate. It can be used without any design modifications or as a starting point for your own branded documentation design. Check out the live demo documenting Tabor’s York Pro theme.

The template is a single HTML file that is easy to extend by adding or removing sections. It includes a set of “find and replace” variables that developers can use to quickly customize the document’s information for their own themes. The template itself requires very little documentation, as it uses nothing more than simple HTML and CSS.

For many theme developers documentation is a chore – it’s not the fun part of creating themes. WPThemeDoc makes documentation as simple as filling in the blanks. It is licensed under the GPL v2.0 or later and feedback and contributions are welcome on GitHub.

by Sarah Gooding at October 07, 2017 04:44 AM under documentation

WPTavern: Disqus Data Breach Affects 17.5 Million Accounts

Disqus, a comment management and hosting service, has announced it suffered a data breach that affects 17.5 million users. A snapshot of its database from 2012 with information dating back to 2007 containing email addresses, usernames, sign-up dates, and last login dates in plain-text were exposed.

Passwords hashed with the SHA1 protocol and a salt for about one-third of affected users are also included in the snap-shot. Disqus was made aware of the breach and received the exposed data on October 5th by Troy Hunt, an independent security researcher. Today, the service contacted affected users, reset their passwords, and publicly disclosed the incident.

Jason Yan, CTO of Disqus, says the company has no evidence that unauthorized logins are occurring due to compromised credentials. “No plain-text passwords were exposed, but it is possible for this data to be decrypted (even if unlikely),” Yan said.

“As a security precaution, we have reset the passwords for all affected users. We recommend that all users change passwords on other services if they are shared. At this time, we do not believe that this data is widely distributed or readily available. We can also confirm that the most recent data that was exposed is from July, 2012.”

Since emails were stored in plain-text, it’s possible affected users may receive unwanted email. Disqus doesn’t believe there is any threat to user accounts as it has made improvements over the years to significantly increase password security. One of those improvements was changing the password hashing algorithm from SHA1 to bcrypt.

If your account is affected by the data breach, you will receive an email from Disqus requesting that you change your password. The company is continuing to investigate the breach and will share new information on its blog when it becomes available.

by Jeff Chandler at October 07, 2017 03:13 AM under security

October 06, 2017

WPTavern: Poopy.life Launches Pro Version at WPsandbox.io Aimed at Theme and Plugin Developers

photo credit: hiljainenmiescc

Six months ago, the team behind WP All Import and Oxygen opened Poopy.life to the public, a service that offers free unlimited WordPress installs for anyone who needs a temporary testing site. Public testing went well enough that a commercial tier of the service is now available at WPSandbox.io, with plans ranging from $49/month – $699/month, depending on the number of installs required.

“On any given day we have around 3-4K active installs,” WP All Import team lead Joe Guilmette said. “We actually got around 7K the first day and the infrastructure didn’t go down. So we were pretty stoked.”

Guilmette said a few plugin and theme shops are using the service and one developer even wrote a script to iframe their poopy.life installs for use in their theme demos.

“We’ll probably put a stop to that at some point, but it was pretty cool to see,” Guilmette said. “Tons of people use it for testing plugins, themes, and just all sorts of general WordPress testing. We’ve been using this internally for years, and every time we’d fire up localhost or a testing install, it’s just faster to use poopy.life.”

Pro users get all the convenience of Poopy.life under the more business-friendly wpsandbox.pro domain with a dashboard to manage installs, SSH and SFTP access to their installs, and the ability to hot-swap between PHP versions. Having Poopy.life open to the public has given the team an opportunity to address any remaining pain points with hosting thousands of test installs.

“Since launching poopy.life everything has actually been pretty smooth,” Guilmette said. “We’ve already been using various versions of this internally to sell millions of dollars worth of plugins over the last five years. So it’s already been hacked to pieces, DDoSed, etc. We’ve already been through all that.”

When the team first started Poopy.life as an internal project for WP All Import, they had a difficult time trying to host it on a VPS with the requirement of isolating installs from each other without any professional systems administrators on board.

“We were getting hacked all the time, so we started using CloudLinux, the same software that a lot webhosts use for their shared hosting servers,” Guilmette said. “This also prevents resource hogging, where someone could start mining bitcoin and then everyone’s installs would take forever to load.

“Then came the spammers, using their installs to send out email spam. So we learned we had to discard e-mail silently while allowing scripts that expect e-mail to be available to still function correctly.

“Once we went on that whole journey, it was kind of a no-brainer to share this tool with everyone else. We’ve been through a lot of pain in building this platform, and in opening this up to the public we hope we can help others avoid those same issues.”

The team now has two systems administrators on call 24/7 to get the service back up and running quickly if anything breaks.

WP Sandbox Service is Aimed at Theme and Plugin Developers

In the past six months since opening Poopy.life to the public, Guilmette’s team has learned several valuable lessons in how to market the commercial service.

“We use the Sandbox for so many different things, so the in the beginning the temptation was to kind of market it to everyone who we thought would find it useful,” Guilmette he said. “We didn’t find a whole lot of success, and are now focusing on plugin and theme developers. It’s helped us so much for WP All Import and Oxygen – everything from increasing sales to making tech support much easier by giving users isolated places they can reproduce problems. We know plugin and theme developers need this tool, so it makes the most sense for us to focus our marketing directly at them.”

Having a way to allow users to try a product like Oxygen before purchasing will be particularly useful in the Gutenberg era, where many users are unsure about the differences between what core will offer and what a site building product can bring to the table. Guilmette and his team are optimistic about what Gutenberg will bring to the customization experience.

“We can’t wait for it to ship in core,” Guilmette said. “I think a lot of the negativity about Gutenberg is from folks who make page builders and view it as competition. But Oxygen is a site builder, not a page builder (i.e. you design headers, footers, etc.). We don’t see Oxygen as competition; we think it will enhance the Oxygen experience. We think Gutenberg is great, and are excited to see some other talented teams out there working hard to make WordPress easier to use for everyone.”

He said his team is hoping to provide a Gutenberg component that users can drop into Oxygen and then edit that area of the site with Gutenberg. Having a sandboxed version of this available for users to test will help them to understand how the product works before purchasing.

Regardless of whether or not WP Sandbox takes off with other WordPress product companies, WP All Import and Oxygen have benefited from bringing sandboxing to the sales experience and continue to make use of the architecture the team has developed.

“We generally avoid big, coordinated releases,” Guilmette said. “We prefer to slowly build a product around a group of slowly growing users. If you release a finished product to the world, chances are you spent too much money making something no one wants.

“It hasn’t paid for itself yet, but that’s to be expected. We have enough users to make us optimistic, and some very exciting customers in the onboarding process. Once we get a few big names using it and other plugin developers realize the benefits of using it, we think it will take off.”

by Sarah Gooding at October 06, 2017 07:17 PM under sandbox

WPTavern: WooConf 2017 Livestream Tickets Now on Sale

The third edition of WooConf is being held in Seattle, Washington, October 19-20. This year the event is narrowing its focus to developers and will feature eight workshops and more than 30 speakers. Topics include scaling, client relations, A/B testing, and enterprise e-commerce.

WooCommerce is currently active on more than three million sites and the plugin has been downloaded 31 million times. Developers are using the plugin all over the world, but only a small fraction of them will be able to make it to Seattle for the conference. WooConf is less than two weeks away but in-person tickets are still available at $699 per attendee.

A livestream of the conference is available for those who would like to attend but are unable to travel. Livestream tickets went on sale today for $50/each.

“The in-person ticket prices, the live stream tickets, and the support of our sponsors are what funds the conference,” WooConf co-organizer Aviva Pinchas said. “For those who are not in a position to pay for the live stream tickets or attend the event in-person, the video recordings will be released later for free, and there are a number of other ways people can participate.”

Pinchas said the team will be sharing updates on social media, the event’s blog, and in the WooCommerce Community Slack. They have also arranged with local WooCommerce meetup organizers to livestream parts of the event during free IRL meetups in 12 major cities across the globe. These satellite events will include local speakers and offer attendees the opportunity to connect with other nearby WooCommerce developers and store owners.

All of the recorded sessions will be published to the WooCommerce YouTube channel sometime after the conclusion of the event.

by Sarah Gooding at October 06, 2017 03:04 AM under wooconf

October 05, 2017

WPTavern: DonateWC Successfully Sponsors its First Applicant to WordCamp Cape Town

DonateWC has selected and successfully sponsored its first applicant to WordCamp Cape Town. The recipient has chosen to remain anonymous although they are a speaker at the event.

Funds left over from the initial crowdfunding campaign and from the general donation pool were used to cover expenses. The total cost of sponsorship is €669.24 with €197.37 coming from donations.

In addition to sponsoring recipients, DonateWC is also publishing stories submitted by contributors on the benefits and impacts WordCamps have. Arvind Singh published the first story on DonateWC where he explains how his experience at WordCamp Udaipur translated into WordPress meetups in Delhi, India and eventually, the first WordCamp Delhi.

There’s no word yet on who will be the next recipient of a DonateWC sponsorship but the initiative still needs your help. If you believe in the cause, please consider making a donation. The funds will be used to help others who are less fortunate attend WordCamps.

by Jeff Chandler at October 05, 2017 11:33 PM under wordcamps

WPTavern: Gutenberg 1.3 Adds New Feedback Option for Plugin Testers

Gutenberg 1.3 was released this week with many small tweaks and improvements to existing features. One of the most visible updates for those who are testing the Cover Image block is the addition of an opacity slider. It brings more flexibility to the feature than the previous on/off background dimming toggle provided. Users can now slide the opacity along a range snapped to percentages of 10.

Version 1.3 also introduces an option to convert a single block to an HTML block when Gutenberg detects conflicting content. This is a precursor to an open issue that proposes an HTML mode for blocks, essentially a mechanism for each block to be edited as HTML. Contributors are still discussing the best approach for implementing the UI, which we will likely see in a future release.

Gutenberg 1.3 adds a new submenu item that ramps up the potential for gathering more feedback from people who are using the plugin. The Feedback link appears in the plugin’s sidebar menu and leads to a polldaddy form that separates users’ comments into either either a feedback or support channel.

Instead of relying on testers to know where to go to offer feedback, the new link offers them an easily accessible avenue for sharing their thoughts and concerns. This option is especially helpful for those who are not as adept at using GitHub or writing meaningful bug reports. The forms guide the user to report important details of their setup, browser information, screenshots, and other useful information.

Gutenberg does not track any information about users who submit feedback via the Polldaddy forms and there is nothing to indicate that the responses will be made public. It is unrealistic to expect that the Gutenberg team will be able to respond to each submission individually, but it would be helpful if they provided summaries of trends in user feedback and how it is informing the design and development of the project. This could go a long way to prevent users from perceiving that their concerns are being buried.

Version 1.3 also adds expandable panels to the block inspector, support for pasting plain text markdown content (and converting it to blocks), and accessibility improvements to the color palette component. Check out the full changelog for more details.

by Sarah Gooding at October 05, 2017 10:01 PM under gutenberg

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 290 – Putting The Rad in Brad

In this episode, I’m joined by special guest co-host Brad Williams, Co-Founder and CEO of the website design and development agency WebDevStudios. Brad shared his experience at CampPress and is looking forward to attending the event again in 2018.

We discussed the recent move to moderate all comments on the Tavern again. We covered the news of the week and near the end of the show, Brad describes why his company gives back to WordPress by participating in the Five for the Future initiative.

Stories Discussed:

Camp Press – A Detox from Digital Life
Yoast Publishes an Alternative to Gutenberg While Raising Concerns About its Development.
New WP-CLI Project Aims to Extend Checksum Verification to Plugins and Themes
Regenerate Thumbnails Plugin Passes 5 Million Downloads, Rewrite in the Works
Drupal Core Maintainers Propose Adopting React for Administrative UI’s
WPCampus 2018 is Taking Submissions From Host Cities
Jetpack 5.4 Released

Picks of the Week:

If you have any WordPress related questions, consider asking them during the Ask Maintainn event on October 5th using the #askMaintainn hashtag on Twitter. Jim Byrom, Director of Client Services, will answer the questions directly through the Maintainn Twitter account.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, October 11th 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 #290:

by Jeff Chandler at October 05, 2017 07:21 AM under webdevstudios

Dev Blog: WordPress 4.9 Beta 1

WordPress 4.9 Beta 1 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site just to play with the new version. To test WordPress 4.9, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the beta here (zip).

WordPress 4.9 is slated for release on November 14, but we need your help to get there. We’ve been working on making it even easier to customize your site. Here are some of the bigger items to test and help us find as many bugs as possible in the coming weeks:

  • Drafting (#39896) and scheduling (#28721) of changes in the Customizer. Once you save or schedule a changeset, when any user comes into the Customizer the pending changes will be autoloaded. A button is provided to discard changes to restore the Customizer to the last published state. (This is a new “linear” mode for changesets, as opposed to “branching” mode which can be enabled by filter so that every time  user opens the Customizer a new blank changeset will be started.)
  • Addition of a frontend preview link to the Customizer to allow changes to be browsed on the frontend, even without a user being logged in (#39896).
  • Addition of autosave revisions in the Customizer (#39275).
  • A brand new theme browsing experience in the Customizer (#37661).
  • Gallery widget (#41914), following the media and image widgets introduced in 4.8.
  • Support for shortcodes in Text widgets (#10457).
  • Support for adding media to Text widgets (#40854).
  • Support for adding oEmbeds outside post content, including Text widgets (#34115).
  • Support for videos from providers other than YouTube and Vimeo in the Video widget (#42039)
  • Improve the flow for creating new menus in the Customizer (#40104).
  • Educated guess mapping of nav menus and widgets when switching themes (#39692).
  • Plugins: Introduce singular capabilities for activating and deactivating individual plugins (#38652).
  • Sandbox PHP file edits in both plugins and themes, without auto-deactivation when an error occurs; a PHP edit that introduces a fatal error is rolled back with an opportunity then for the user to fix the error and attempt to re-save. (#21622).
  • Addition of dirty state for widgets on the admin screen, indicating when a widget has been successfully saved and showing an “Are you sure?” dialog when attempting to leave without saving changes. (#23120, #41610)

As always, there have been exciting changes for developers to explore as well, such as:

  • CodeMirror editor added to theme/plugin editor, Custom CSS in Customizer, and Custom HTML widgets. Integration includes support for linters to catch errors before you attempt to save. Includes new APIs for plugins to instantiate editors. (#12423)
  • Introduction of an extensible code editor control for adding instances of CodeMirror to the Customizer. (#41897)
  • Addition of global notifications area (#35210), panel and section notifications (#38794), and a notification overlay that takes over the entire screen in the Customizer (#37727).
  • A date/time control in the Customizer (#42022).
  • Improve usability of Customize JS API (#42083, #37964, #36167).
  • Introduction of control templates for base controls (#30738).
  • Use WP_Term_Query when transforming tax queries (#37038).
  • Database: Add support for MySQL servers connecting to IPv6 hosts (#41722).
  • Emoji: Bring Twemoji compatibility to PHP (#35293). Test for any weirdness with emoji in RSS feeds or emails.
  • I18N: Introduce the Plural_Forms class (#41562).
  • Media: Upgrade MediaElement.js to 4.2.5-74e01a40 (#39686).
  • Media: Use max-width for default captions (#33981). We will want to make sure this doesn’t cause unexpected visual regressions in existing themes, default themes were all fine in testing.
  • Media: Reduce duplicated custom header crops in the Customizer (#21819).
  • Media: Store video creation date in meta (#35218). Please help test different kinds of videos.
  • Multisite: Introduce get_site_by() (#40180).
  • Multisite: Improve get_blog_details() by using get_site_by() (#40228).
  • Multisite: Improve initializing available roles when switch sites (#38645).
  • Multisite: Initialize a user’s roles correctly when setting them up for a different site (#36961).
  • REST API: Support registering complex data structures for settings and meta
  • REST API: Support for objects in schema validation and sanitization (#38583)
  • Role/Capability: Introduce capabilities dedicated to installing and updating language files (#39677).
  • Remove SWFUpload (#41752).
  • Users: Require a confirmation link in an email to be clicked when a user attempts to change their email address (#16470).
  • Core and the unit test suite is fully compatible with the upcoming release of PHP 7.2

If you want a more in-depth view of what major changes have made it into 4.9, check out posts tagged with 4.9 on the main development blog, or look at a list of everything that’s changed. There will be more developer notes to come, so keep an eye out for those as well.

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

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

Happy testing!

Without your testing,
we might hurt the internet.
Please help us find bugs.🐛

by Jeffrey Paul at October 05, 2017 05:54 AM under Releases

October 04, 2017

WPTavern: Jetpack 5.4 Introduces Beta Version of New Search Module Powered by Elasticsearch for Professional Plan Users

Jetpack 5.4 was released yesterday with many small enhancements to existing modules and an expansion of features for users on the paid plans. A new date picker field is available for the Contact Form, allowing administrators to request additional information such as project timelines, event reservations, or any other date-related data.

This release also fixes a bug with Jetpack’s Comments module where the form had whitespace beneath it when displayed in some themes. It now has a set default height, which will expand automatically as commenters are typing.

A few other other improvements for all Jetpack users include the ability for third-party plugin and theme authors to add new menu items to the WordPress.com toolbar, connection process updated to allow for more users, improved display of Facebook embeds, and a better migration process for Widget Visibility rules when switching to the new WordPress Image Widget. Check out the full list of changes in the plugin’s changelog.

New Features for Jetpack Personal, Premium, and Professional Plans: Welcome Screens and Search Module in Beta

Jetpack 5.4 adds a new welcome screen for users who upgrade to a paid plan, highlighting some of the additional features included.

The plugin will soon be introducing a new Jetpack Search module for users on its Professional plan, the top tier that caters to those who need more business and marketing tools. Version 5.4 adds the architecture for the feature, which is powered by Elasticsearch and runs in the WordPress.com cloud. Users who want to participate in the beta can enable the feature at Settings > Traffic on WordPress.com and then add the new Search widget within wp-admin.

WordPress’ native search function is notoriously slow and often provides poor and inadequate results for sites with large amounts of content. Jetpack’s new Search module aims to deliver faster, more relevant results using the same powerful infrastructure that runs Jetpack Related Posts and the search on hundreds of WordPress.com VIP sites. In July 2017, WordPress.com’s data.blog reported that its network averages 23 million actions per day that trigger indexing of 75 million Elasticsearch documents into hundreds of indices.

Jetpack Search boasts a zero configuration setup, real-time indexing (WordPress.com’s VIP indices have a one-second refresh rate), and the flexibility for developers to create custom Elasticsearch queries.

The Jetpack Professional plan’s $299/year price point is highly competitive for access to a hosted Elasticsearch engine. Ordinarily, developers looking for the most economical way to implement Elasticsearch on a WordPress site will have to host and manage their own instances on Amazon AWS or other cloud services. This often comes with more ongoing maintenance and setup.

Most managed WordPress hosts do not have a hosted Elasticsearch solution built into their plans. Earlier this year 10up launched ElasticPress.io to fill this need for for enterprise clients. The service starts at $299/month for up to 20GB of storage and unlimited Elasticsearch bandwidth and goes up to $999/month for more resources. WordPress.com VIP also offers Elasticsearch for their customers on plans ranging from $5,000 – $25,000 per month. Access to WordPress.com’s Elasticsearch infrastructure is arguably the highest value addition to Jetpack’s commercial plans to date.

The Jetpack team is still working on the documentation for the new Search feature and has not published the specifics of the Elasticsearch resources and limits for Jetpack Professional subscribers. More information should be available once the feature is out of beta but current customers can test it after updating to Jetpack 5.4.

by Sarah Gooding at October 04, 2017 11:17 PM under wordpress.com vip

Matt: Consciousness of Matter

Nautilus Magazine has an interesting look at the question of Is Matter Conscious? Worth reading to learn what the word "panpsychism" means. Hat tip: John Vechey.

by Matt at October 04, 2017 10:22 PM under Asides

HeroPress: WordPress Research Behind The Scenes

Pull Quote: I have met wonderful people from whom I have learned so much in the WordPress community.

When I moved from Bogota (Colombia) to Paris I did a degree in translation and found myself, years later, working for one of the most important publishers specializing in research. But my dream since I left Colombia was to study Psychology. After about two years, I quit my job and went back to college. It was not an easy decision, but it never is, is it?

My interest in starting this new career was to work in Clinical Psychology and Psychopathology. However, as far as I continued with my degree, I was finding subjects that put in doubt what I really wanted to work in the future. Health and Occupational Psychology was one of them.

Finding a Purpose

At that time I was still living in Paris with my husband, Andrés Cifuentes, a chemical engineer who ended up doing a master’s degree in web programming. Afterwards he became a WordPress enthusiast and nowadays he works within the WordPress ecosystem. Back then, while he spent his free time getting to know and learn more about WordPress (I didn’t know at that time that I was discovering WordPress too!) he listened to different podcasts and many of them addressed issues of the problems that remote workers had to face.

All of these people in the podcasts mentioned burnout as a result of their work and what they suffered for it. It was at that moment that I made the connection; I had found what I wanted to do.

The same day I started to investigate more about remote work and its impact on stress and burnout on the web (blogs, articles, essays).

Putting It Into Action

When time came to start my master I presented my project to my thesis director: I wanted to establish a relationship between remote work and burnout. Although he accepted my first subject of study, there was a long path waiting before establishing and defining my research area.

Getting into the first steps of the research, I started an arduous research work of the literature review on remote work, which turned out being quite frustrating, as I could not find any scientific paper for my study on the subject. The only helpful information I could find was the research that had been done on telework, which was the closest type to remote work although it was not good enough.

On the other hand, as a requirement for the master, I had to find an internship in a company, so I spent hours and hours writing cover letters and applying to boring internship offers which practically wanted the interns to make coffee. Nice!

Fortunately, my husband had the wonderful idea for me to apply to companies working with WordPress. Since those companies are mostly 100% remote, this would help with my research along with having personal experience on remote work myself.

Lucky me! I had the great opportunity to do my internship in Human Made.

My proposal was to do a psychosocial risk assessment in the company that would also serve for my study. They were very kind to me and welcomed me warmly. No doubt they are a great company, Tom Wilmot truly cares for the wellbeing of his Humans and among themselves they help each other a lot, which for me is the basis of the success of the company’s growth. I really hope they have learned as much as I did.

Narrowing Focus

For several months I delivered to my thesis director about 8 different projects that I had find interesting to work on the remote work (stress, social support, culture differences, coping strategies, communication, isolation, identity…) all of them without success. My director disapproved each one of them as remote work in general is too extensive and scattered for a master thesis and I had to focus on a smaller group.

As I was doing my internship at Human Made, I thought it was a good idea to focus my study on the same subject but only within the WordPress community.

It was perfect since there have been no studies in this field in the WordPress community! Since WordPress project volunteers are the driving force behind the project, it has become particularly important to focus more on their psychological well-being.

I sent the new thesis project about the role of motivation on burnout into the WordPress Community to my director and my research protocol was finally approved!

Studying The WordPress Community

WordPress is a community I’ve known for years thanks to my husband and I got closer to it with the time. My first contribution was to the Polyglots Team, he taught me how to start contributing and translating. He motivated me to give talks in WordCamps, something that I was very afraid of but I took it as an opportunity to share what I have learned about stress. I end up contributing with a couple of talks in WordCamp Sevilla and Barcelona about stress and remote work. Recently, I volunteered at past WordCamp Europe 2017.

I have met wonderful people from whom I have learned so much in the WordPress community, I never thought that I would ended up being part of this community myself!

So, in the end, for me it is more exciting to do my research on the WordPress community because I have a lot of affection for it. And there are so many more things to investigate!
My purpose is to contribute with this ecosystem improving its well-being.

For the moment, I am working on the survey data of my current research and I am looking forward to sharing the results with the WordPress community!

The post WordPress Research Behind The Scenes appeared first on HeroPress.

by Catalina Alvarez at October 04, 2017 12:00 AM

October 03, 2017

WPTavern: Drupal Core Maintainers Propose Adopting React for Administrative UI’s

Both the Drupal and WordPress communities are now knee-deep in weighing JavaScript frameworks to modernize underlying architecture for building user interfaces in 2018 and beyond. Yesterday Drupal founder Dries Buytaert published a summary of his discussions with core committers, framework managers, JavaScript subsystem maintainers, and JavaScript experts at DrupalCon Vienna. Together they concluded that Drupal should consider adopting React.

“We agreed that today, React would be the most promising option given its expansive adoption by developers, its unopinionated and component-based nature, and its well-suitedness to building new Drupal interfaces in an incremental way,” Buytaert said. “Today, I’m formally proposing that the Drupal community adopt React, after discussion and experimentation has taken place.”

The proposal is now available to the broader Drupal community and Buytaert’s recommendation during his keynote presentation in Vienna was to test and research how Drupal’s administrative UX could be improved by using a JavaScript framework.

Two years ago Drupal explored adopting a JavaScript framework and at that time Buytaert was considering React, Ember, and Angular. Facebook’s patent clause in React’s licensing made him hesitant to want to pursue it for Drupal but the license has since been changed to MIT. The Drupal community was not eager to select a framework at that time and in response Buytaert opted to focus on improving Drupal’s web service APIs instead.

“By not committing to a specific framework, we are seeing Drupal developers explore a range of JavaScript frameworks and members of multiple JavaScript framework communities consuming Drupal’s web services,” Buytaert said. “I’ve seen Drupal 8 used as a content repository behind Angular, Ember, React, Vue, and other JavaScript frameworks.”

Buytaert shared an illustration showing how he envisions Drupal “supporting a variety of JavaScript libraries on the user-facing front end while relying on a single shared framework as a standard across Drupal administrative interfaces.”

This approach is similar to what WordPress’ Gutenberg contributors are proposing with framework-agnostic block interoperability where core would adopt a framework internally but developers could extend the new editor (and other UIs) using any JS library they prefer. In addition to giving developers more flexibility, this approach also helps to protect the project from the effects of the rapid pace at which JavaScript frameworks and libraries are coming and going.

“Several years later, we still don’t know what JavaScript framework will win, if any, and I’m willing to bet that waiting two more years won’t give us any more clarity,” Buytaert said. “JavaScript frameworks will continue to evolve and take new shapes. Picking a single one will always be difficult and to some degree ‘premature.’ That said, I see React having the most momentum today.”

The proposal on Drupal.org, authored by Lauri Eskola, Dupal’s core framework manager who specializes in JavaScript, said contributors’ discussions revealed “unanimous consensus…that React would be a good choice.” Eskola cited several benefits they believe React will bring to Drupal, including its large ecosystem of libraries, active developer community, project maturity, and improved career options for classical Drupal developers. WordPress.com, TYPO3, The New York Times, Airbnb, and others using React were also listed among React’s benefits.

The discussion on the proposal is an interesting read with many similarities to the recent discussions in the WordPress community regarding React. Several Drupal developers expressed concerns about how difficult it may be for those with a PHP background to learn React, as it adds more complexity to the development process.

“Overall I’m in favor of a framework,” Drual developer Mark Miller said. “However, a big question for me is how many PHP developers are going to easily pick up React? I know we want to bring in more Javascript developers, but it seems that most people creating modules and using this will be coming from a PHP background. I know pure JavaScript people love React, but it will likely be a steep curve to others in Drupal’s already steep learning curve.”

Others, who had previously become disillusioned by a perception of Drupal being unable to keep up with modern web development, welcome the proposal to experiment with React. A few advocated for their frameworks of choice and said they would like to see the experimentation expanded to include other frameworks as well.

“Is there an issue yet for the React prototype of the watchdog page?” Drupal core committer Angie Byron said. “When that’s created, folks interested in alternative frameworks (I’m hearing both ‘vanilla’ web components and Vue.js come up a lot, both here and in the WP discussions) could start an alternate implementation in a duplicate issue and we could compare/contrast, which would be very helpful in my opinion.”

Drupal is aiming to have enough real-world testing done to make a final decision before the upcoming 8.6.0 development period slated for the first part of 2018. Buytaert said that after deciding on a framework, Drupal’s leadership plans to begin adoption in a limited and incremental way “so that the decision is easily reversible if better approaches come later on.”

by Sarah Gooding at October 03, 2017 11:04 PM under react

October 02, 2017

WPTavern: Regenerate Thumbnails Plugin Passes 5 Million Downloads, Rewrite in the Works

Regenerate Thumbnails, written by prolific plugin developer Alex Mills, has passed 5 million downloads. The plugin was first released nearly a decade ago in August 2008 during the days of WordPress 2.6. Regenerate Thumbnails is used to retroactively generate new thumbnail sizes for past uploads. It has become an indispensable utility over the years, helping millions of users successfully transition between WordPress themes that have different featured image sizes.

Regenerate Thumbnails version 1.0.0

“I was freelancing at the time and according to an ancient post on my blog, I apparently wrote it as a client needed the functionality,” Mills said. “I don’t remember that though and I certainly never figured it’d be installed and activated on over a million sites like it is today!”

Regenerate Thumbnails is downloaded thousands of times every day, and, fortunately, it is the type of plugin that doesn’t generate too many support issues. Mills said he is thankful for the many volunteers on the WordPress.org support forums who have also helped manage the load. Despite the continued and widespread use of the plugin, Mills has never considered cashing in on it.

“I’d never monetize any of my plugins,” he said. “I write them for fun not profit. It would be a conflict of interest anyway due to my employment at Automattic.”

Regenerate Thumbnails is a fairly straightforward plugin that rarely requires updating, but this year Mills said he has tried to give it a lot more love and will soon be releasing a complete rewrite.

“The rewrite is currently taking place on GitHub and is a complete rethink of the plugin, both in terms of the interface and underlying technologies,” Mills said. “The interface is powered by Vue.js, which I’m learning and using for the first time, and the WordPress REST API. I also have a full suite of unit tests for PHPUnit to verify that the plugin code is working as intended, both now and into the future. Those have been incredibly useful while writing the plugin and I highly recommend other plugin authors make use of them too. WP-CLI makes it very easy to set up.”

After nine years of supporting Regenerate Thumbnails, and many other plugins, Mills said he doesn’t consider himself the best example when it comes to maintaining plugins. His advice to other developers is “try to make sure to write your plugins to be future-proof.”

“Outside of some updates last month, the last real changes to the plugin were made in 2012!” Mills said. “I wrote the plugin well the first time around and it’s just worked mostly fine ever since because it uses built-in WordPress code to do the work.”

This is the reason why Regenerate Thumbnails has already blazed past its major milestone at 5,762,713 downloads and is well on its way to 6 million before the end of the year. Users still find the plugin to work as reliably as it did in 2008.

Mills said that making a plugin future proof is key if you write code all day for a living and then find it difficult to write more in the evenings and weekends for WordPress.org plugins. However, due to his current illness, he hasn’t worked in nearly a year since October 2016.

“While I’m still battling the leukemia, I’m at least feeling better than I was at the beginning of the year so I’ve gotten the itch to code again,” Mills said. “Working on personal projects such as Regenerate Thumbnails has been a good way to brush off my coding skills in anticipation of returning to work. Plus it’s just fun to code again!”

by Sarah Gooding at October 02, 2017 09:53 PM under Plugins

WPTavern: New WP-CLI Project Aims to Extend Checksum Verification to Plugins and Themes

The WP-CLI team is initiating a new project that aims to bring checksum verification to plugins and themes. Checksums are a method of verifying the integrity of files. Three years ago, WP-CLI added the capability of verifying WordPress core checksums using the MD5 algorithm. This is a useful security feature that allows developers to easily see if any files have been modified or compromised.

The core checksums are handled via WordPress’ official API (https://api.wordpress.org/core/checksums/) and WP-CLI contributors are planning to extend this infrastructure to plugins and themes hosted on WordPress.org.

“Having this kind of functionality for plugins and themes as well would be a huge security benefit,” WP-CLI co-maintainer Alain Schlesser said. “It would allow you to check the file integrity of an entire site, possibly in an automated fashion. However, there is no centralized way of retrieving the file checksums for plugins or themes yet, and the alternative of downloading the plugins and themes from the official servers first just to check against them is wasteful in terms of resources and bandwidth.”

Contributors are currently exploring different options for implementation in a discussion on GitHub, inspired by an existing wp-checksum project by Erik Torsner.

“The simplest possible infrastructure to go with would be flat files (no database),” WP-CLI maintainer Daniel Bachhuber said. “I’ve chatted with the corresponding WordPress.org folks about hosting. If our middleware application can generate flat files served by some API, then it will be fine to sync those flat files to a WordPress.org server (with rsync or similar).”

The team is considering building the API under a separate URL for testing and iteration and then incorporating it back into WordPress.org’s infrastructure once it is ready. However, the sheer size of the SVN checkouts and the CPU required to sync the files makes it an interesting challenge. DreamHost has volunteered a server for the team to run its checksum generator on while the infrastructure is being developed.

Torsner’s WP-CLI subcommand to verify checksums for themes and plugins currently only works with those hosted on WordPress.org, but he is also experimenting with mechanisms for getting checksums from some commercial vendors, including Gravity Forms and Easy Digital Downloads. He said he hopes the project would be capable of keeping these capabilities for commercial plugins after it is incorporated back into WordPress.org.

The Plugin and Themes Checksums project is currently in the initiation stage and will have an official kickofff during the next WP-CLI meeting on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, at 11:00 AM CDT. Anyone who would like to volunteer is encouraged to attend, especially those with an interest in security, systems administration, and the technology required to get this project off the ground.

“This project will have a huge impact on the perceived and effective security of WordPress installations,” Schlesser said. “It can greatly reduce the amount of malware-infested sites plaguing the internet, and through the substantial market share of WordPress, improve the general browsing experience for all net citizens.”

by Sarah Gooding at October 02, 2017 06:37 PM under wp-cli

Dev Blog: The Month in WordPress: September 2017

This has been an interesting month for WordPress, as a bold move on the JavaScript front brought the WordPress project to the forefront of many discussions across the development world. There have also been some intriguing changes in the WordCamp program, so read on to learn more about the WordPress community during the month of September.


JavaScript Frameworks in WordPress

Early in the month, Matt Mullenweg announced that WordPress will be switching away from React as the JavaScript library WordPress Core might use — this was in response to Facebook’s decision to keep a controversial patent clause in the library’s license, making many WordPress users uncomfortable.

A few days later, Facebook reverted the decision, making React a viable option for WordPress once more. Still, the WordPress Core team is exploring a move to make WordPress framework-agnostic, so that the framework being used could be replaced by any other framework without affecting the rest of the project.

This is a bold move that will ultimately make WordPress core a lot more flexible, and will also protect it from potential license changes in the future.

You can get involved in the JavaScript discussion by joining the #core-js channel in the Making WordPress Slack group and following the WordPress Core development blog.

Community Initiative to Make WordCamps More Accessible

A WordPress community member, Ines van Essen, started a new nonprofit initiative to offer financial assistance to community members to attend WordCamps. DonateWC launched with a crowdsourced funding campaign to cover the costs of getting things up and running.

Now that she’s raised the initial funds, Ines plans to set up a nonprofit organization and use donations from sponsors to help people all over the world attend and speak at WordCamps.

If you would like to support the initiative, you can do so by donating through their website.

The WordCamp Incubator Program Returns

Following the success of the first WordCamp Incubator Program, the Community Team is bringing the program back to assist more underserved cities in kick-starting their WordPress communities.

The program’s first phase aims to find community members who will volunteer to mentor, assist, and work alongside local leaders in the incubator communities — this is a time-intensive volunteer role that would need to be filled by experienced WordCamp organizers.

If you would like to be a part of this valuable initiative, join the #community-team channel in the Making WordPress Slack group and follow the Community Team blog for updates.

WordPress 4.8.2 Security Release

On September 19, WordPress 4.8.2 was released to the world — this was a security release that fixed nine issues in WordPress Core, making the platform more stable and secure for everyone.

To get involved in building WordPress Core, jump into the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group, and follow the Core team blog.


Further Reading:

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

by Hugh Lashbrooke at October 02, 2017 08:00 AM under Month in WordPress

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