WordPress Planet

February 26, 2024

WPTavern: WordPress Photo Festival 2024, A Five Part Retrospective, Part 1, Organizers

This article is available in Video, Audio, and transcribed text.

Audio Edition

Transcription

[Music] Hello, my name is Topher DeRosia.

This episode begins a five-part series on the WordPress Photo Festival 2024 that took place February 3 through 10.

We’ll talk to organizers, volunteers, and participants about how the event went, as well as the community team about how this event is a model for the second generation WordPress events.

Before we get started, I’d like to provide some background for the event.

At the State of the Word 2021, Matt announced the WPPhotos project, a project to have the WordPress community submit photos for use by anyone in the world for any purpose.

As of today, there are over 15,000 photos available in the Photos repository.

The 2024 Photo Festival was an attempt to both boost the number of submitters as well as the number of photos.

We begin our story talking with Bigul from Kerala.

Bigul, can you tell me your full name and where you live?

Hi, good evening.

I’m Bigul.

My full name is Bigul Malayi.

Malayi is my family name.

I’m from South India, southern part of India.

I live in a state called Kerala, and my city name is Kozhikode, Calicut.

It is one of the old times.

It is very famous for spices.

So many European traders came here for trading spices in the past.

Were those the Portuguese?

Like, I know the Portuguese came to Goa…

Yes, exactly.

He landed here.

He was then he started the colonialization of India.

Okay, so the Portuguese came here and before the Portuguese, we were in trade with the Arabs and Chinese traders.

So my city has been in touch, direct contact with the foreigners, different traders from the world for more than 800 years.

Wow, that’s really impressive.

And if you’re here and for the rest of the state, Kerala, he’s in touch with the spice trading and a lot of commodities traded here since the time of Greeks and Romans.

Maybe you can find the mentions of Kerala Malabar Coast in the Solomon episode of Bible also.

Oh, yeah, I’ll bet.

Yeah.

So we’re here today to talk about the WPPhotos event that happened there.

Tell me about it.

What is it for somebody who doesn’t know?

Okay, what does it tell?

As everybody knows, we have no way to contribute back to WordPress since last two years.

And many people are involved in that project.

Because nowadays, everyone carry good camera or mobile.

So we were able to click nice shots wherever we go.

So we have a lot of contributors to the WordPress photo directory, there are 1000s of contributors.

And from our in Kerala, we have five meetups groups.

And most of the time we organize the meetups and WordCamps together.

So we notice many people from our community, we have a we have three active at WordPress group, and we have five meetup groups.

So from there, we noticed many people in our communities actively contributing to WordPress photo directory, and few of them, their photos were selected in, in our associated newsletters.

And also some other also some other websites are related to WordPress, especially like Gutenberg Times, HeroPress, etc.

So as a token of appreciation, people love to contribute more back to the WordPress photos.

So as per the current status, many WordCamps or WordPress meetup groups are organizing photo walk.

So we impressed from WordPress Tokyo group, and they, they used to do photo walks very often than other meetup groups.

So we decided to go something similar to what they did.

So a few months back, last year, we went to a botanical garden nearby in Calicut, that is hardly 10 kilometers from my native.

I used to go there in the childhood, because that botanical garden has a lot of plants, varieties, more than thousands of plant varieties, especially they have a garden for ginger and bananas.

That sounds like an ideal place for a photo walk.

Yeah, yeah, photo walk.

So we’ve been there.

And also they have, they have a very good pond for lotus and water lilies.

So we went there, and we were able to take a lot of photos there.

And the funny thing is that actually, we were only allowed to stay there for three hours.

But that day we went there on a Sunday, and that day was very rainy day.

And we were not able to walk sometime because of the heavy rain.

Thankfully, there were some kind of a shed there.

We could scan, what to say, some kind of a shed hut or roughly shed there.

So we were able to sit there and we were able to talk about the WordPress and general web development thing.

So it’s like extended a WordPress day.

And we were 15 people.

And then we took more than six hours to rob around.

Thankfully that day there were a coffee bar nearby.

There is a coffee bar.

Actually, they were serving food also in the working days, but Sunday is the only day for them.

So we were able to only able to drink coffee until four evening.

So, but the atmosphere was very chilly because it is very cool.

And the rain was most of the time they were raining and we were able to take very good photos.

And I think more than 200 photos from that walk is already in the photo directory by different people.

And a few are still remaining to upload those photos.

But still it is very nice after seeing that in those years from the and we also created a few reels.

And sure, it was very successful.

When we shared it in the our community groups, meetup groups and WhatsApp group, we got a very good response from the people and they want to be part of that.

But in so we thought that if we are taking 20 or 30 people to a botanical garden because the photos will be similar because there is a limitation.

There will be many photo duplications.

There are a lot of chances for that.

So we started to think about how we can have a photo contributor day and how we can differentiate from a photo worker.

Then we came with the idea about a half day photo contribution day and we organized it in last year after two, three weeks after the photo walk.

And it went very well.

It was in last November and it went very well.

We were able to contribute another 200 photos from and most of the participants were different part of Kerala.

So more than 60 people attend that event also.

So that was a very interesting feedback from the people.

And but we there were a lot of positive feedbacks.

And one of the negative feedback was they are not getting much time to contribute the photo as we know, we can only upload five photos at a time and we have to wait for the moderation.

So we were looking for an option how we can we can make a remedy for this and what will be the exact solution for this when we are organizing a photo walk or photo contributor day.

So people want to contribute more than 10 or 15 photos and we have to we have to consider it as a part of the event, these photos.

So we were thinking about different models.

And finally we came up with the idea that still few people don’t know or what why we should contribute the photos and what are the methods we have to follow, what are the things we have to take care of.

So we decided to have a different format.

We plan to organize a photo festival and it’s fully dedicated for the contribution of WordPress Photo Directory and we decided to run it as a one week program.

On the first day, we organized two orientation, one in the Asian morning time zone and one in the hour evening time.

So the people from different parts of the globe can attend.

Even the people from the American side also can attend that because it will be early morning for them.

So we organized two meetings, one is in the early morning time, hour time and evening time.

So more than 100 people attended both of the meetings, all in one and they came to know more about how we can contribute to the photo directory and what are the things we have to take care about, what is the relevance of CCO license, etc.

We had a very interactive discussion on both sessions and people started to contribute.

And the interesting fact that our goal for this photo festival was 1000 photos to the photo directory in a one week time.

On the first day itself, there are more than 400 photo submissions.

And that is the first time the photo directory is facing that much load.

Actually, the moderators was busy for the next one week.

Because whenever you look at the photo directory, there will be more than 200 to 250 photos in the queue.

Even on the last day, there were, we spent a lot of time on Friday, and also Saturday morning.

And then also there were more than 60 photos submitted for our photo festival.

So that was an immense response.

Our goal actually, as like I mentioned before, our goal was 1000 photos, but we were able to, I mean, the people contributed more than 2000 photos.

But as you know, we can have, there are a few of the photos, 400 plus photos were not up to the mark.

They were matching our guidelines.

So it happens.

So we were, we have to reject those photos, because most of them are not up to the mark because of different issues like clarity, fading, etc.

So after that also, even we rejected 400 plus photos, there were 1544 photos contributed to the weightless photo directory as a part of that.

And it is contributed by more than 160 contributors from different parts of the world.

And that’s just within one week, right?

Yeah, within one week, actually, the funny thing is that more than 300 people registered for the event, but thankfully only 170 people.

The city will be a big, big, big, big delay because that to monitor the photos and the moderate the photos, it will take a lot of lot of time, it will not be possible to sort all the things in a one week time.

So overall, we got a very good feedback.

And it is it’s a nice way of contributing back to it.

Yeah, I do know the moderators struggled to keep up because they came in so quickly.

Yes.

At one point, there was I think 1000 in the queue.

Yes, I watch.

Personally, I watch every photo go by in an RSS feed, just for fun.

And there’s usually 40 or 50 in a day.

And I got up over 2000 in my reader before I could start catching up.

And so that was crazy.

I personally was ill during that time, so I wasn’t able to moderate or even attend.

And so and I’m one of the moderators.

So that put extra weight on some of the others.

Marcus Burnett is a moderator and he was at a WordCamp.

And so it was it was a pretty stressful time.

I don’t think anybody expected that volume.

Yes, exactly.

And it was, it was pleasantly international.

You know, it was India heavy, but that’s okay.

It’s that was, that’s your home, your home base.

But I saw people from all over the world, contributing.

And that was very encouraging.

I’m excited to see other cities, other states around the world, pick up the mantle and do something similar.

Sort of like the Olympics, you know, where it’s international, but it’s really about the city.

Yes, you know, yes, we can consider because after this, when we can conclude the photo festival, most of the participants were checking when will be the next event.

So, of course, we have to think about a bigger vision, maybe next year, in a bigger manner.

Yep.

Tell me about the future.

Have you have you already thought about doing another one yourself?

Have you thought about or has anybody approached you and said, hey, we’d like to do this also?

Yeah, we got a very good feedback from the community, we have community because few approach, I mean, few community organizers in touch with us, they told us that we they will be doing something similar as a part of their weight gain, not in a bigger, bigger manner, but a kind of a smaller version of this.

So, I hope it will be followed by many other communities.

And people want a bigger version of this.

So, maybe next year, we can we can plan a bigger one.

Yeah, I in sense what I mean that actually that many people contributed more than 30 photos, and they want to contribute more.

And also the thing is that they were not getting enough time to contribute as they they weren’t, because many participants conducted us through different social media channels, even few of them contacted us directly directly because they have our phone numbers or WhatsApp numbers.

So, they picked me directly and say, why am I put to spending Q4 last two days?

I have tons of photos with me, I want to contribute, I want to contribute what, well, when you will be moderators.

Okay, so that’s, that speaks to some of the logistics that we need to take care of.

Yeah, particularly around moderators.

Yeah.

So, yes, please carry on.

But we have enough moderators for daily submissions.

It’s working fine.

Yes, exactly.

But so that’s not going to scale.

So, yeah, points that out.

This is a good stress test for the for the system.

Yes, exactly.

So, what we can do that we can, we can in touch with moderators in advance.

In this time, we only ping them just around two weeks before the event.

Next time, we can make a long plan.

And we can ping them in advance two, three months advance so they can be ready.

They can devote some time on that particular two, three weeks.

And we can give people more than a week for 10 days or 15 days for contributing to the weightless photo directory.

So, everybody will get enough time to contribute their good photos to the photo directory.

And also, so there will not be any hurry.

So, we will get enough submission also and also, as a moderator, we will get enough time to moderate it.

And for for us, it will get enough time to sort out the photos and announce the winners rather than doing in a one or two days.

So, that is our plan.

And also, many people will be discussed in person multiple times.

Many people want to contribute to the weightless photo directory, but they are not willing to create an accord in weightless.org or they are submitting the photos one by one.

And when we when we were sharing this group with in a few of the professional photographers, we know and they shared it in their WhatsApp group about this.

So, immediate response is that is it possible to send the photos, send the photos via email?

So, that is the normal practice.

Yeah, not all practice here.

Some when online media or a regular media conduct the event for the photo festival like this.

For example, nature photo festival or wildlife photograph festival, there are a few photo festivals happens here most of the time by conducted by some organizations or online agencies like that.

They will only ask them to send the photos via mail.

So, they were expecting the same parameters.

So, we expect few professional photographers’ participations.

But unfortunately, we only get less than 10 from our state because of this.

So, next time we will pick a way to include them also.

So, we have to work on that.

We need if we get one or two volunteer to monitor this, we will surely consider this.

Yeah, I know that there are professional developers in the world who became professional developers because of WordPress.

I’m going to be really curious to see if we get professional photographers grow out of this program.

Yes, exactly.

That would be really great.

Yeah, we are hoping for that also.

But there is also another problem is that they are ready to share.

Few of them are ready to share, but they are not willing to share in a license.

Right.

Yes.

That is a difficulty.

Yeah, that’s a difficulty.

So, at least we missed the few great photos because of that.

But we can compromise with that because that’s one of the most important things in our guidelines.

Sure.

Yeah.

I’ve given some thoughts to that.

And I think we as a community need to do a better job of communicating why it’s worthwhile for a professional to submit some photos under the CC0 license.

They never want to give anything away.

It makes sense.

It’s their culture.

But I think we can convince them that it’s worth it in some ways.

So, that’s something we can learn from this project.

And also a few of the promotional photos submitted in our event as a part of this event.

We can get wider recognition.

One of them is selected as the 15,000 photo.

Yeah.

There was a tweet from the Twitter handle about 15,000 photos and one of the promotional photos submitted as a part of the event is selected for that.

Ah, that’s great.

The one, maybe you remember the blue one of Kingfisher, blue Kingfisher.

Yes, I do.

It’s selected as one of the best photos of our photo festival.

Ah, that’s great.

I’d like to talk to you for a few minutes about organizers.

I noticed you have a lot of them.

My local WordCamp usually had four.

What did you have, 20 or something like that?

Yeah, I actually, as I told you before, we conducted, I mean, we organized this event as a, on the banner of Waitress Kerala community.

We have four community, waitress active community here.

So all these organizers from that group.

Okay.

And they are part of our last two, three WordCamps also.

And we worked as a team since we started.

So all of them were part of this event in a different, different way.

So what kinds of different things did they do?

I mean, okay, so it’s not a, it’s not a WordCamp.

So you’re not getting a venue, you’re not, you know, all that stuff.

What, what did they do for this event?

Actually, most of us were in the part of, in the initial process itself.

So as I described before, few minutes before, we started it as a photo walk in the first, then we organized as a photo direct, I mean, a photo contributor after contributor dates.

Then we decided to go for a photo festival.

So all this idea came when we sit together in different Zoom calls.

So all of them have their own suggestions.

And discussing about the day.

So it took three, four meetings that evolved from a photo walk to photo festival.

So everyone was part of the discussion.

And they were sharing their idea in our group.

So we have a WhatsApp group and Telegram group for this.

And also we have a Slack group.

So we were discussing a lot of things, how to, how to execute in a better manner.

So a lot of suggestions came from all of these people.

And also they shared about this event in their all of our all possible ways, like they’re in between their friends and family, in between their colleagues, okay, in a different way.

So that is why we get a wider spread of this event in a short time.

Actually, as a part of a budget, there was $250 allocated for online campaign, especially for the Instagram ads.

But on the first day, our plan was to execute it on after we, we organized the first orientation, the first day orientation, and to wait for the response, how will be the response.

And thankfully, we got a very good response on the first day itself, because of this in direct collaboration with the people like friends, family, colleagues, etc.

So that helped, that helped a lot.

So we were able to do the promotions in a very short, short time because of this wider base.

Right.

I really liked that.

I’m accustomed to a lead organizer deciding what the tasks are, and then assigning them to as many contributors as needed, which might be four or five or whatever for an event or a very large event, maybe, you know, a dozen or so.

But I really liked the idea of people coming to the meeting and saying, I think we should do this, and I’m willing to do the work.

And so now I’m an organizer, you know, that’s very, very open source.

You know, come to the group and say, I’m going to do this work for this project.

Actually, we always tell one thing, we always tell one thing here.

We are trying to execute that, like, there is a famous verse from three musketeers, one for all, all for one.

Yes.

Yeah, that’s really great.

Okay.

And also, the important thing is that we also get very good support from other Indian community.

Like, for example, maybe you have noticed that Sadie has created a Sadie, Sadie also pinned us to join us a volunteer.

So she created, she created an article, she wrote an article in our event, event site about how to contribute to WordPress photo directory with a good video.

So people were able to, if a person reading that article, he or she will be able to get a clear understanding of how to contribute to WordPress photo directory.

That was translated too as well, right?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

So we conducted, so in our internal discussion, this idea came that we can translate this, the article to different Indian languages.

Then we conducted some of our, I mean, most of our community here, and we were able to translate it to multiple languages like Tamil, Canada, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Nepali.

Okay.

We have translated this must languages.

So yeah, so it, it gave it, it could help us to get a wider recognition, even in the community.

And people were able to read, read the article in their languages, and they were able to contribute to the photo directory without much hustles.

So it helped a lot.

Yeah, that’s, that’s pretty cool.

I interviewed Sadie and in a couple of days, you’ll be able to watch the interview about her making that video.

Okay.

I think that’s it for today.

Okay.

I really appreciate your time.

Okay.

Thank you very much.

You’ve been very patient throughout the entire interview process.

It’s been a journey for both of us.

It’s a pleasure to be talking with you because you are one of our members in the photo.

Thank you very much.

Actually, actually, we started to contribute after seeing the efforts you have taken for the photo directory, especially you, Michelle and Marcus.

Well, thank you very much.

We really appreciate that.

It’s nice to be here.

Okay.

Thank you very much.

Bigul was not the only organizer by a long shot.

There were quite a few.

I also interviewed Ajith.

So tell me your whole name and where you’re from.

Yeah.

My name is Ajith R N.

So I’m from Kochi, Kerala.

It’s a southern state of India.

So basically I live near the middle of the sea and the mountains.

Yeah.

It’s on the western shoreline, right?

Yeah.

That’s right.

I kind of keep track of things by their relation to Mumbai.

And I know Mumbai is about halfway down on the west.

And so you guys are halfway between the bottom and Mumbai, right?

No, no, actually we are way below that.

So we are the bottom part of India on the left side.

Okay.

If you see.

Yeah.

The hot part.

Yeah.

[Laughter]

So tell me what you did with the WPPhotos event that happened recently.

Okay.

Basically my role was to take care of all the website and all the same side of things.

So I did most of the website and all the, facilitated all the things for the registration.

And also we did some small apps to display the live feed of the photos.

Oh nice.

Yeah.

Right.

Yeah.

Also we got some leaderboard too.

So anyway, since the event is over, I think that’s finalized.

So yeah.

Okay.

Basically my role was to mostly doing all the technical stuff, I guess.

So yeah.

Your title was organizer.

Yeah.

Yeah.

That’s right.

I was surprised.

There are quite a few organizers.

What was it like 10 or something like that?

Yeah.

Yeah.

Just something like that.

So we basically, we are a group of organizers.

So whenever there is a meeting and everyone will input, we will do their parts.

So that’s it.

Yeah.

Since this was, we didn’t get enough time to prepare for the event.

So like we just got approval and in the next one week or one and a half week, we just, there’s only a short amount of window.

So most of us didn’t have free enough time to go through the whole process.

So a bunch of us came together and we did.

And yeah, that’s basically.

Okay.

Bigot mentioned he was the main point of contact.

Well, okay. so I asked him if he was lead organizer and he did not say yes.

He said it was main point of contact.

Was there a lead organizer?

Was there one person or was it just like main point of contact was by default?

Yeah, actually he was, yeah, actually we didn’t specify any lead organizers.

So because actually initially he came up with this idea.

So we communicate through him and he really, yeah.

If you say, if he can’t say who is the lead organizer, I think it’s, we can’t tell it was people.

So yeah, that’s right.

Anyway, we didn’t came to that conclusion.

So we work as a group.

All right.

That makes sense.

Have you organized, been on the organizing team for a WordCamp before?

Yes, I did.

So actually I was part of the two editions of WordCamp and one edition of WordCamp.

So my question related to that is how is this different from an organizer standpoint?

Yeah, since this is a purely online event, so there is no interaction with people physically.

So basically that was a challenge in some way, or maybe we can say we, we can cut out few of our teams.

Like we don’t need to organize a venue and all things related to that.

So basically, yeah.

So anyway, the reason we choose to go for an online event, because since it was basically a contributing photos to the photo directory, and if we do it on one day, we may not have get enough photo contributions.

So if it was a longer event or an online event, then everyone can participate.

So with their own time.

Okay.

So would you say it’s easier, harder or just different?

I think it’s just different.

So it’s not an easy part.

So yeah.

So I can imagine some parts would be easier and some parts would be harder.

Yeah, some parts would be harder.

So the organizing their talks and all the things, the interaction between the attendees.

So that was a bit different from an in-person event.

So I’m not sure if we get enough networking experience or networking opportunities with these online events.

So yeah, that’s an issue.

But the easy part is, like I mentioned before, we don’t need to worry about the venue and the core setup for the speakers and all sorts of things related to that.

So that’s…

That makes sense.

Yeah.

Let’s talk about the future a little bit.

Specifically for a photos event, not just virtual, but specifically for a photos event.

What would you do differently in the future, especially from your standpoint as the tech guy?

What would you build differently?

How would you come at it?

So I think the easiest way is to, we can build an efficient system to, I mean, display the photos one.

So currently we have some limitations with the API, how we get the photos and display them.

So sometimes it’s harder to get all the info we need in one go or something like that.

And the other thing we might need to change is if we can accept more photos from a user.

But that’s…

I think it’s different.

So if we get more photos from one person, I think it’s a bit harder to moderate.

So I think the other thing, the one thing I would do differently is if we can serve first, maybe we can approve the photos of the person who submitted it first.

So maybe that way everyone will get a decent chance.

So something like that.

So yeah, I think I know some of the photos from the users.

So since the queue in the admin is random, so maybe some of the photos from a user will come to us to moderate regularly.

So yeah.

Anyway, I think also in the recent update they fixed the sorting issue with the date.

So maybe that will help in the future.

So, and the other thing, maybe we can, this time I think we didn’t get enough time to plan things perfectly.

So we did in the short amount of time we got.

And so maybe next year if we are planning to do this kind of event, mostly I think this is a hybrid kind of event.

Maybe some, if anyone can, anyone wanted to attend the event in person, they can.

And also if it’s going to be a longer event like this, maybe one week or something like that.

So yeah, maybe the initial day we can just gather like a regular webcam and we all have the talk and all the opportunity to do the networking and all sorts of things.

So you mentioned more time to prepare.

How much did you take?

How much did you have?

Just one week or two?

I think less than two weeks.

So that’s okay.

So if I wanted to do one of these myself, I should plan on three or four weeks preparation.

Yeah, that would be perfect.

So I think the main reason is we need to prepare the site and the contents.

So once it’s ready, I think the rest is spreading the information around the community.

So what we did was we just reach out to all our friends in the community and they share the update or the social media post.

So that’s how we get all the attendees.

So we didn’t do any like a promotion or social media advertisement or anything like that.

So it’s mostly word of mouth.

So yeah, that’s it.

Yeah, that was very impressive.

And it worked well.

It got me.

That’s why I was there.

So pretty great.

Okay.

The other thing we did differently is we translate the how to post in different local languages.

So that way we will get more inclusion from different parts of the region.

So in India, there is officially 26 or 30 or something like that language is in this standard.

Right.

You personally translated all of them, right?

No, no, no, no.

I think I only can read one or two of the languages.

Some I can understand and some I can speak.

So maybe only I can read and write.

So yeah.

What are those two that you know really well?

Actually, my mother tongue is Malayalam.

So, okay.

Yeah.

Yeah.

So the other I can talk in English.

So it’s not an official language in India anyway.

But we all speak communicate in English since everyone knows it.

The other two languages I speak Tamil.

So yeah.

And the nearby Hindi.

Yes.

Also Hindi.

So I know a little bit of Hindi.

And also I know some Canada or something like that.

I have my translation badge on WordPress.org.

I have translated WordPress into Canadian, Australian and British.

Okay.

That’s how far I’m multilingual.

Okay.

So I mean, I’ve translated to Malayalam.

So from English.

Yeah.

Yeah.

Well, thank you very much for your time.

I appreciate it.

Okay.

And I look forward to talking to you again.

Okay.

Thank you.

Bye.

Bye.

And that’s our story for today.

I hope you enjoyed it.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow.

We’re going to talk to some volunteers from the event and find out what it’s like to work at an event where you don’t really interact with the attendees or the organizers or anyone else.

What’s it like to run not just a virtual event, but a photo walk like this.

I’ll see you tomorrow.

by Topher DeRosia at February 26, 2024 07:40 PM under WPPhotos

WPTavern: WordCamp Canada (WCEH) Announces Call for Speakers, Sponsors & Volunteers

tl;dr

The first-ever WordCamp Canada is callin’ out for Speakers, Sponsors, and Volunteers, ready to bring the community together, post-pandemic style. It’s a beaut chance for all us Canadians to showcase what makes us unique, from our love for poutine to our bilingual chats, all while diving deep into WordPress, inclusivity, and Indigenous perspectives. So, grab your toque and let’s make it a good one, buddy!

Neighbour. 

You have no idea how good it feels to drop that little ‘u’ in there. It’s also a great word to lead into a conversation about the first-ever WordCamp Canada launching its Calls for Speakers, Sponsors, and Volunteers.

Post-COVID many local meetup groups and WordCamps are facing headwinds as the habits of getting together must be re-learned. Facing such headwinds, a group of Canadians has decided that the best way to reboot the community across the country is to host a national WordCamp.

“Many meetups fell dormant during the pandemic and we couldn’t keep up. This is an opportunity for those existing communities, as well as those communities yet to come to come together and maybe find their people.[sic]”

Shanta, WCEH Organizer

As a fellow Canadian who loves poutine, wears a toque outside in the winter and has often been described as nice, I’m excited to see us celebrating our national identity and inviting others to participate.

With WordCamp US a regular event, you may be wondering why the Canadians felt the need to have something similar. After all, they’re right next to each other and it’s not difficult to travel between the two countries. 

Welcome to the conundrum that is being Canadian. Because we are different. It is different here and how we view the world, technology and our role in all of it is also different. 

Sorry.

“Many think we’re the same, but we face some very different challenges, including those challenges because we are so close to the US. [WCEH] gives Canadians and Canadian companies the chance to shine. When many of those companies would get swept up at places like WCUS, they can shine at WCEH!”

Shanta, WCEH Organizer

Our roads are bumpier and we drink milk from bags. We’re an officially bilingual country where the majority speak one language. We’re open to immigration in ways that might intimidate other countries (humble brag).

While many outside of Canada view it as a maple syrup-hoarding place of multiculturalism and inclusivity, we’re also reckoning with our colonial past and our treatment of Indigenous Peoples and racialized Canadians.

To keep this national conversation at the forefront, the Call for Speakers at WordCamp Canada has placed particular emphasis on topics related to accessibility, underrepresented voices, multilingualism and indigenous communities.

“[There] exists an increasing acknowledgement of the need for conscious efforts towards “a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.” This has informed our desire to focus on indigenous empowerment and perspectives, as well as accessibility, inclusivity, and underrepresented communities in general.”

Paul & Gina, WCEH Organizers

The organizing team also expressed their interest in exploring how Open Source and WordPress ideals intersect with Indigenous principles. I’m personally excited to see a WordCamp place particular emphasis on these kinds of topics, it feels very, um, Canadian. Perhaps that’s the point.

So buddy, if you’re looking for a WordCamp to put on your calendar, join me and my fellow moose-herding canucks in my hometown of Ottawa, Canada this July 11-13 for the inaugural WordCamp Canada.

by James Giroux at February 26, 2024 03:36 PM under Events

Gutenberg Times: Gutenberg Changelog #96 – Gutenberg plugins versions 17.6 and 17.7, Mega Menus, Interactivity API and WordPress 6.5

In this episode, Tammie Lister and Birgit Pauli-Haack discuss Gutenberg Changelog #96 – Gutenberg plugins versions 17.6 and 17.7, Mega Menus, Interactivity API and WordPress 6.5

Show Notes / Transcript

Show Notes

Special Guest: Tammie Lister

Community Contributions

What’s Released:

What’s in active development or discussed

Section Styling, Colorways, and Typesets for WP 6.6

Meetup: How to build modern web layouts with WordPress blocks

Stay in Touch

Transcript

The transcript is in the works.

by Birgit Pauli-Haack at February 26, 2024 02:35 PM

Do The Woo Community: Hear From 13 WordCamp Asia 2024 Speakers

In anticipation of WordCamp Asia 2024, listen to thirteen speakers share what they will be talking about in their session.

>> The post Hear From 13 WordCamp Asia 2024 Speakers appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce and WordPress Builder Podcast .

by BobWP at February 26, 2024 06:00 AM under WordPress Event Talk

February 25, 2024

Matt: On the Reddit IPO

I’m looking forward to the Reddit IPO, and I think it’s awesome that they opened up a top-tier IPO tranche to their community. People with 200,000 karma points or 5,000 moderator actions on Reddit will get access to something that has previously been reserved for the most elite allies of financial institutions. Wow!

I’m sure this was not easy to do so Reddit users should understand that at this very important juncture in the company’s history it has gone above and beyond to include you. I’m mostly a lurker on Reddit so my 958 karma doesn’t qualify so I’ll get access with the rest of the normal folks.

If I ever IPO something from Automattic, it will include the same for people who have contributed to WordPress. And every supporting open-source project underneath it. (It’s turtles all the way down.)

My only fear is that code contributions are structured in a way that is easily legible, so is anything that happens on w.org, but we may miss including people who have contributed to the growth of WordPress in non-legible ways.

by Matt at February 25, 2024 10:42 PM under Asides

February 24, 2024

Gutenberg Times: Block Bindings, Layouts, Font Library, Mega Menus and more — Weekend Edition 286

Howdy,

Next week, I’ll be heading out to Taipei, ahead of WordCamp Asia, to acclimate and do some sightseeing. If you are in the area, you can double-check my calendar so we can meet. Getting meeting times and places sorted ahead of time, makes it more likely that the conversations will happen, and not just between doors or sessions.

This week, you can get more insights on what is coming with WordPress 6.5 again. Now that Beta 2 has been released, it’s time to test your plugins and themes for compatibility and report issues.

I am totally excited about this new release and I wish you fun exploring the new features!

Yours, 💕
Birgit

PS ICYMI:

  • WPTavern is publishing again. Seven writers a showing off their skills in a public trial for two permanent positions. For now, James Giroux, Ronny Shani and Adam Silver have published their articles. Good luck to all of them!
  • Also back from a publishing break: Rae Morey, editor of The Repository

Developing Gutenberg and WordPress

WordPress 6.5 Beta 2 is now available for testing. The WordPress test team has a few tips for your testing pleasure: Help test WordPress 6.5. In last week’s edition I shared tools to set up test sites.

Ronny Shani reported on the release on WPTavern: WordPress 6.5 Is Around the Corner; Test Beta 2. Shani, accumulated quite a collection of links and videos about features already published on the web.

Bud Kraus invites you to the Learn WordPress Online Workshop: What’s New In WordPress 6.5? on April 9, 2024, at 19:00 UTC. He’ll cover, among other features

  • Font Library
  • Revisions for Styles, Templates and more
  • Synched Pattern Overrides

Recording the next Gutenberg Changelog episode, Tammie Lister and I talked through Gutenberg 14.6 and 17.7 and what comes to WordPress 6.5 and other community initiatives and discussions. The episode will arrive at your favorite pods app over the weekend.

In their post, Overlapping problems, Anne McCarthy addresses the complexity that arises when multiple issues co-exist and interact with one another, complicating their resolution. McCarthy discusses strategies for managing these concerns by prioritizing them and employing a holistic approach to understand and resolve their interconnected nature.

They also emphasize the psychological effects of facing such issues and the need for adaptive problem-solving techniques. McCarthy included practical examples to illustrate how these concepts are applied in real-world scenarios.

Brian Coords kicked off an interconnected Twitter thread , and as a consequence Anne McCarthy invites contributors and extenders to a Hallway Hangout: Let’s chat about overlapping problems in the Site Editor on February 27 at 17:00 UTC.

Plugins, Themes, and Tools for #nocode site builders and owners

Tammie Lister published four more Editor Tips:



Jamie Marsland, PootlePress recreated NASA homepage with WP Blocks in 30 mins! Follow along as Marsland uses nothing more than WordPress, the default block theme, and core Gutenberg blocks (no plugins, no additional CSS).


Brian Gardner, WPEngine shows you in his video how to disable patterns in the WordPress block inserter and site editor for his Powder theme, available in the WordPress Theme repository. His solution: a simple uncheck the pattern category on a settings page, before you turn over the site to a client.


Anne McCarthy posted a new video: No Code, All Fonts thanks to the Font Library in WordPress 6.5. She wrote in the description:

  • The Font Library operates globally, similar to the Media Library, allowing you to easily install, remove, and activate fonts across your entire site.
  • Whether a font is installed by you or provided by your theme or plugin, the Font Library provides seamless selection across your editing experience.
  • Google Fonts is integrated into the Font Library experience, offering various typography options and quick uploads.
  • This new ability empowers you to control a foundational aspect of your site’s design without the need for coding.
  • Extenders can provide their font collections and manage permissions, including turning the feature off.
Synched Pattern Overrides – an early review
A month ago, Anne McCarthy suggested Early Opportunities to Test WordPress 6.5. Meanwhile, Gutenberg 17.6 has been released and 17.7 is in the works. For my explorations, I used WordPress… Read more.
Block Bindings and Custom Fields – an (almost) no-code example
With the upcoming release of version 6.5, WordPress will receive the first iteration of Block Bindings API, a way to bind content of blocks to data stored in custom fields.… Read more.

Eric Karkovack set out to Clearing Up the Confusion Surrounding Block Themes. “Some users may not know if block themes are suitable for them. Others may have never heard of them at all. And we can’t forget the confusing comparisons with classic themes.” he wrote. Karkovack lists quite a few reasons why one would use a Block theme over a conventional theme.


Anders Noren, theme builder from Norway Sweden and early adopter of block themes, just announced a new block theme: “Norrsken is a simple blog theme inspired by the Aurora Borealis.” Introducing Norrsken. Fun fact: it is Noren’s 30th theme in the WordPress Repository!

Noren published his first theme, Lingonberry, in 2013. His first block theme, Tove, made its debut in September 2021 and Norrsken is his 9th Block theme in the repository.

Nick Diego has been Experimenting with block-based mega menus combining two different extensibility features of the block editor coming to WordPress 6.5:

Diego shared his code on GitHub. He is also working on a tutorial for the WordPress Developer Blog.

Jamie Marsland was inspired to try it out, and created a few examples. In his video WordPress Gutenberg Mega Menus – Sneak peek! he shares his knowledge and shows you how you can use it, too.

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

Anne Katzeff, graphic designer, theme builder, artists and fellow WordPress meetup organizer, ventured on the journey of building her first Block theme and shares her progress and pain points. Her blog posts are rich with screenshots and other illustrations. She really takes you along her design process and how she gets things done.

  • In part one, she covers setting the stage, with fonts, using the new font library and Global settings for color, dimensions, and layouts.
  • In part two, Katzeff tackled navigation, menu, and header template part.

Next Tuesday, Feb 27 at 16:00 UTC, Justin Tadlock and Ryan Welcher will host the next Developer Hours session on building complex layouts with blocks. Nick Diego likes to call this the art of “block composition” and you won’t want to miss this. You can RSVP via Meetup: How to build modern web layouts with WordPress blocks

How to create modern layouts with WordPress

Hey there! Check out the latest “Keeping up with Gutenberg – Index 2024” where you’ll find a fresh, up-to-date list of all the posts from the teams working hard on Gutenberg. We’re talking Design, Theme Review, Core Editor, and more, from January 2024 onwards. I’ve been keeping tabs on everything just for you.

Want to take a walk down memory lane? No problem! You can revisit the old days with these links: 202020212022, and 2023. Have fun diving in!

Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.

Are you a PHP developer and hate JavaScript? Well, could be you just need someone like you to explain to you the important bits that are used in WordPress. Aurooba Ahmad published: Introducing JS Essentials for WP Devs, a course “with 15 bite-sized lessons delivered daily to help you absorb JavaScript essentials. So you can go from zero to JS development as quickly as possible.” she wrote. The first lesson will come out on March 4, 2024, you need to sign up, though. The best part? It is free.


Justin Tadlock introduced the first segment of a tutorial dedicated to the Block Bindings API on the WordPress Developer blog. The article, titled “Introducing Block Bindings, part 1: connecting custom fields,” provides step-by-step instruction and code examples on how to connect custom fields to blocks within the WordPress editor and display on the front end. It serves as a primer to the new API, that helps to streamline the process of binding meta fields to blocks,


On the WPTavern site, James Giroux reported on Interactivity API Prepares for its Official Debut in WordPress 6.5. “The Interactivity API and how it uses WordPress could be a pivotal moment in the Project’s history. It could create a new way of working with WordPress. ” he wrote. And he might be right. It’s definitely exciting, and I am excited about all the tutorials and case studies that will be written in the upcoming months.


If you don’t have a lot of time, but are curious about the Interactivity API, you and listen to Mario Santos, Ryan Welcher and Josepha Haden Chomphosy on the 73rd episode of the WP Briefing discussing the Interactivity API. “a new foundational tool that helps developers create memorable interactive front-end experiences.” and the show notes lists a ton of resources.

A couple of weeks ago, I shared about Buzz around the Interactivity API on the Weekend Edition 284, with links to more documentation and videos.

Ryan Welcher ran a Live Stream on Twitch and working on converting a React app to do blocks with the Interactivity API in WordPress.


Leonardo Losoviz Gato GraphQL v2.1, it allows doing GraphQL as Automator, leveraging GraphQL persisted queries to automate data-related and block-related tasks. In his post, Automate your WordPress tasks, with the new Gato GraphQL v2.1, Losoviz added an example how the comments block can be automatically added to the post. “As you can compose the GraphQL persisted queries and automation rules directly within the wp-admin, it takes no time to create a super-customized automation pipeline, tailored to your needs.” Losoviz wrote.


This week, Tammie Lister spoke on the WP Product Talk podcast, where she discussed Designing for the Future of WordPress. You can find the full episode on their website soon, right here.

During her talk with Amber Hinds and Zack Katz, who both own plugin companies, they talked about how WordPress seems to be both moving too slowly and too quickly at the same time, making it hard for people to keep up. She also encouraged people to speak up more when they find something missing in WordPress.


Need a plugin .zip from Gutenberg’s master branch?
Gutenberg Times provides daily build for testing and review.

Now also available via WordPress Playground. There is no need for a test site locally or on a server. Have you been using it? Email me with your experience

GitHub all releases

Questions? Suggestions? Ideas?
Don’t hesitate to send them via email or
send me a message on WordPress Slack or Twitter @bph.


For questions to be answered on the Gutenberg Changelog,
send them to changelog@gutenbergtimes.com


Featured Image: Makarand G. Mane Colorful outdoor wedding stage (mandap) found on WordPress Photos


Don’t want to miss the next Weekend Edition?

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

Thanks for subscribing.

by Birgit Pauli-Haack at February 24, 2024 10:37 AM under Weekend Edition

February 23, 2024

WPTavern: Proposal: Host 3rd-Party Blocks in Gutenberg’s GitHub Repository

Matias Ventura, Gutenberg’s Lead Architect, recently made a pitch to incorporate some 3rd-party blocks in the Gutenberg GitHub repository:

“There’s a growing subset of blocks that we may contemplate creating that are either more niche or—for various reasons—not necessarily an immediate fit for the bundled library in core. This would include blocks that have enough appeal, demand, and where offering an endorsed implementation can significantly help both creators and viewers given best practices can be ascertained.”

These plugins won’t just be guests—they’ll become roommates, proudly featured in the Blocks Directory: “designed, developed, published, and maintained by core contributors in this repository” but available to install as standalone blocks in the directory.

Early design prototypes of the Block Directory

The tension between users’ demand to bundle more functionalities and the maintainers’ inclination toward keeping core as lean as possible won’t be resolved anytime soon. Yet this presents an interesting compromise: if the estimations are accurate, and most websites are built with a combo of Group blocks holding Heading, Paragraph, Image, List, and Button blocks, then having this living arrangement will benefit both segments of the community.

The History of the Block Directory

The Block Directory features a subset of single-purpose plugins that users can install right in the editor without leaving the page you’re working on. 

Included in the Block Editor since WordPress 5.5, it has been the topic of several public debates since Matt Mullenweg prioritized it as an upcoming focus area in 2018.

As reported on WP Tavern, the original proposal was to host small, JavaScript-based blocks that users could easily install via searchable in-editor UI. The critical responses to the technical limitations, the divergence from the native UX, and the potential performance toll it would entail didn’t prevent the final implementation from being almost identical to the initial version (although a few early design prototypes did address the UX issue).

The Evolution of Gutenberg

No matter where they’re hosted, Blocks are plugins. And plugin developers are the jelly in WordPress’ sandwich.

Treating these smaller-scoped blocks as standard plugins that must adhere to the platform’s Plugin guidelines regarding monetization, along with the introduction of a set of technical restrictions—no Dynamic Blocks, no block extensions, preferably no block collections, and no style Variations—has left many frustrated.

The same technical and business-related concerns raised during the discussions on the initial proposal remain unresolved in this latest proposal. Still, it does offer a modest promise to share the burden of maintenance and updates and the benefits of the authored by WordPress.org stamp of approval.

This time, though, the questions aren’t so much the technical functionality, the UI, or the business aspects; Ventura’s exploratory proposal is an administrative reform, hinting at the evolution of Gutenberg: no longer an experimental add-on that ships an ever-expanding array of specialized blocks but a maturate platform that focuses on fundamental core blocks, treating the former as cherished friends who are welcome to stay over.

Examples mentioned in the proposal

by Ronny Shani at February 23, 2024 09:15 PM under gutenberg

February 22, 2024

BuddyPress: BuddyPress 12.3.0 maintenance release

Immediately available is BuddyPress 12.3.0. This maintenance release fixes 7 bugs. The most serious one was happening when a community member requested an email address change from her/his front-end profile: the link to verify the request validity was not generated the right way. This bug is only concerning versions 12.0.0 to 12.2.0. It was reported 12 hours ago and we decided to quickly build this maintenance release to fix it as soon as possible.

For details on all changes, please read the 12.3.0 release notes.

Update to BuddyPress 12.3.0 today in your WordPress Dashboard, or by downloading it from the WordPress.org plugin repository.

Many thanks to 12.3.0 contributors 

yagniksangani, johnjamesjacoby, r-a-y, vapvarun, testovacemaralive & imath.

by Mathieu Viet at February 22, 2024 10:13 PM under releases

Gutenberg Times: Block Bindings and Custom Fields – an (almost) no-code example

With the upcoming release of version 6.5, WordPress will receive the first iteration of Block Bindings API, a way to bind content of blocks to data stored in custom fields. Custom fields have been around for a long time. What wasn’t available was a way for content creators / no-code site builders to read out the values of custom fields without using plugins like ACF or Metabox, etc. To include values from Custom fields on Theme templates, you also need a developer to help out.

This first iteration is mostly for developers. Justin Tadlock published Introducing Block Bindings, part 1: connecting custom fields.

  • It’s only enabled for heading, buttons, paragraphs, and image blocks.
  • The binding sources are either core/patterns or core/post-meta.
  • The feature does come with a way to register additional binding sources for your plugin or theme.
  • A way to add or edit custom fields via the block editor is missing.

So you might ask why should I bother? And you’d be right. Whether you are a no-code site builder or site owner, don’t quit just yet.

As Custom Fields have been part of WordPress since the Stone Age, there is a way to add and modify custom fields. The good ol’ meta boxes.

Block Bindings will open so many possibilities that many users have been longing for since the start of blocks in 2017. I found the feature so intriguing that I wondered if I could make it work now using as little code as possible. And with a minimal squinting in the code editor, you can start using it, too. Even if only as a proof of concept. There is the little warning: Use this in production at your own risk.

Here is a rundown of my idea:

Each blog post is part of a logbook, which reports what happened today– including a note about the weather, which then appears above the title of a post.

Here are the broad steps to accomplish this:

  • Use the good ol’ meta box to add a note about today’s weather to the blog post
  • Use a block to read the post-meta value, and
  • Add the block to the single post template, with some styling and a drop-shadow.

The middle step is the meat of the matter, and that’s where the squinting skill comes in. If you know how to use meta boxes to create custom fields, you can skip over the next section right to the middle step.

How to use Meta boxes to create a Custom Field

First, you need to enable Custom Fields for the post editor via the Preference menu . Go to the 3-dot Options menu and select Preferences. But before you go there, make sure you saved all your changes to the post. To show the meta boxes below the post, the block editor needs to reload the page, and unsaved content would be removed.

Here is a short video.

You can add a new custom field called “Weather” to the post and add the value: “Sunny with a chance of rain in the afternoon.”

For subsequent posts you can select the name of the Custom field from the dropdown box and add the value.

That was our short discourse on handling Custom Fields with WordPress. Now we apply your knowledge a bit further.

Block Binding Block markup

The documentation for the Block Bindings shows how you can use the block markup to add information about the meta field (aka Custom field) to the block.

The template looks like this:

<!-- wp:paragraph {
     "metadata":{
        "bindings":{
          "content":{
            "source":"core/post-meta",
            "args":{
              "key":"Weather"
              }
             }
            }
         }
      } -->
<p></p>
<!-- /wp:paragraph -->

The source parameter identifies the place where the system looks for the information. Here it says, “core/post-meta.” That’s the space where custom fields and their values are stored. In the args section, it asks for the key of the custom field, that’s the name, which is “Weather” in our case.

Yes, it can be a bit intimidating. You need to enter the code editor for a minute to add this to your post.

Now, here comes the hard part for non-coders.

  • Use the copy button on the right of the code block to add the content to your clipboard.
  • Switch to the code editor via the Options menu or use the Keyboard shortcut.
  • Then paste the code above into the code editor
  • Save everything and exit the code editor.
  • When you return to the visual editor, you only see one word in the space where the block went: Weather. Don’t worry, that’s a little downside of this process, there is no preview in the editor.
  • Click on the Preview in new tab, and you see the post’s value for the custom field “Weather” displayed on the front end.

Here is a video of the whole process.

Phew! For the first time, that seems like a complicated move. You might not want to do too often, right? Or maybe it gives you a bit more confidence. I’d be happy to help you while you try to figure it out. Just email me at pauli@gutenbergtimes.com or ping me in WP Slack as @bph.

Add the block with bindings to the single post template

The next and final step is easier. Now that you know how this works, you might want to add the block to the Single Post template. So every time an editor makes a logbook entry and adds the weather to the meta box, it will display on the front end.

Here is the video of the steps.

From there, you can embellish the weather section of your posts some more.

After I transformed the block into a column, I added another paragraph to the template section with a drop shadow.

Some things to consider

Although it works well when you always remember to add the weather note to every post, there is no reminder, and we know there is no preview. I also see two major issues:

  • There is no default option on what to display when the value of the custom field is empty. It will display the empty white box.
  • All you can do with custom field in meta boxes is a text input field. There is no select box to make sure only a certain set of values is added, no control of numbers, etc. and shadow just. These issues and a few more are better solved with code.

In his post, Introducing Block Bindings, part 1: connecting custom fields, Justin Tadlock wrote about how to user register_meta() function to add custom fields properly.

Meta boxes are also a legacy system that doesn’t really fit the block editor way of doing things anymore. The Gutenberg developers are working on the interface to add and edit custom fields as well as make the block show that it’s connected to a custom field.

If you are interested in the Block Binding API work you can follow along this tracking issue.

Please share in the comments if you run into trouble, and you are welcome to share your ideas and implementations if you followed along. Furthermore, please post your questions so we can answer them.

On the WordPress Slack space there is also an #outreach channel where I and other contributors hang out to answer questions and facilitate discussions about upcoming features. You are more than welcome to join. If you are not on the WordPress Slack yet, you can sign up with your WordPress.org account and then follow the instructions.

by Birgit Pauli-Haack at February 22, 2024 06:31 PM under News

WPTavern: WooCommerce Releases 8.6 & 8.6.1

tl;dr

WooCommerce 8.6, delayed due to an Order Attribution Tracking issue, has been released. It features a new Product Details block style, six new layouts for the Product Collection block, and a sales column for marketing analytics.

For developers, it offers improved logging, a notice on Legacy REST API removal, simplified customer history calculation, and 8.6.1 patching four issues.


After a slight delay, WooCommerce 8.6 was released last week. An Order Attribution Tracking issue discovered in 8.5.2 prompted the delay so that a fix could be included in the 8.6 release. With 365 commits from 73 contributors, this latest version of WooCommerce introduces some slick new features and enhancements for merchants and developers.

Key Features

Product Details Block Styles Section

New Block Style for Product Details Block

WooCommerce 8.6 introduces a new ‘Styles’ area for the Product Details block with two options; Classic and Minimal. By default the Minimal style is selected on new installs with the Classic style being maintained to ensure compatibility with theme-based CSS customizations.

Product Collection Block Gains Six New Layouts

Probably the most impactful feature for merchants and marketers is the introduction of six new layouts for the Product Collection block. Now merchants can select between New Arrivals, Top Rated, Best Selling, On Sale, Featured and Product Catalog. 


Screenshot of Product Collection Layouts Interface.

These new layouts can be combined, mixed and matched on a single page to respond better to the needs of merchants. For example, promote your new spring arrivals in a block above your winter sale items that leads into your complete product catalog.

Sales Column Added to Marketing Page

For merchants who are using WooCommerce to view and manage their marketing channels (i.e. Google Ad campaigns), a new column in the Sales card provides a quick look at how various campaigns are performing.

Developer Updates

Logging System Changes

Significant improvements have been made to the internal logging system in WooCommerce 8.6. Merchants and developers now have an interface for browsing and viewing log entries that will improve debugging and auditing in the future.

There is now a log file browser that lets users filter, sort and manage log files. Users can now click individual log files and view them right within their WordPress dashboard. Search has also been improved to enable selecting a group of files to search within, filtering, sorting and linking individual lines in files that contain the search term. Logs have also now been made fully exportable. Users can download individual files or in bulk via a zip file. 

Legacy REST API Removal Notice

As WooCommerce prepares for the removal of its legacy REST API in 9.0, merchants still using the legacy API will now see a notice of the upcoming change. Given the pace of releases, this means deprecation/removal is about 4 months away.

Simplified Customer History Calculation

With Order Attribution Tracking the main cause for the delay in releasing 8.6, a simplified customer history calculation was introduced to mitigate the risk of a calculation resulting in 500 errors (server errors) on larger shops.

8.6.1 Release Patches 4 Issues

A patch was released earlier this week that fixes four issues identified with the release of 8.6. These issues were significant enough that this release was issued very quickly. Check out the details on the WooCommerce Developer blog.


w00t Dev Docs

By Ronny Shani

Shortly before the release, the team launched a brand new documentation website for developers. The Woo Developer Docs embraces the docs-as-code approach, hosting markdown files in a centralized location: the docs folder of the project’s GitHub monorepo.

This approach is a win-win:

  1. It encourages community collaboration and empowers users to contribute to the documentation.
  2. It enables the plugin’s developers to update docs whenever they modify or update WooCommerce’s codebase.

Improving the developer experience is part of Woo’s roadmap; V1 is a great example of how to do it right.


Progress On New Product Editor

Finally, a small tweak to the new Product Editor was introduced, adding the ability to mark a product as Featured. Merchants using the new Product Editor can click an inline star icon in the title field. The new product editor is making steady progress as it reshapes the way merchants interact with WooCommerce in the product creation flow.

If you have not yet, now is a good time to give the new Product Editor a test drive to see what’s coming and how the interface of WooCommerce is changing.

by James Giroux at February 22, 2024 06:10 PM under News

Do The Woo Community: WordCamp Asia 2024 with Andy Saw & Huanyi Chuang

Volunteers from the organizing team, Andy Saw & Huanyi Chuang cover all the ground for the event coming in Tapai in March.

>> The post WordCamp Asia 2024 with Andy Saw & Huanyi Chuang appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce and WordPress Builder Podcast .

by BobWP at February 22, 2024 09:56 AM under Devin Maeztri

WPTavern: Navigating the Nexus: A Chronicle of Recent WordPress Acquisitions

Over the past four months, some exciting developments have been bustling in the dynamic mergers and acquisitions arena of WordPress. To catch everyone up let’s grab a beverage of choice and take a stroll down the calendar of memories.

Most recently, on February 15th, OptinMonster announced its acquisition of Beacon Lead Magnet Creator. Per the press release from OptinMonster “Beacon makes it easy for anyone to create and deliver professional lead magnets, without needing a writer, graphic designer or developer.” This move adds another layer to OptinMonster’s robust toolkit, reinforcing its position as a go-to resource for businesses seeking to optimize their lead-generation strategies. Additionally, the founders of Beacon.by, brothers Kevin & Eion McGrath will be moving on to other ventures. 

Stepping back two weeks lands us on the date of January 28th when Andrew Wilder at NerdPress.net shared the news that they acquired the Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions Plugin. As Andrew states. “It’s a tool we’ve long relied on — installing it on all our clients’ sites….and less than a day after releasing our first update (patching minor security vulnerabilities), the plugin has already been downloaded nearly 23,000 times”.

Rolling back the calendar yet another seven weeks we see the calendar shows the date of December 6, 2023, and we once again hear from Andrew Wilder of NerdPress.net. This time the news is a bit more celebratory as it’s about their first acquisition ever! They acquired the social media sharing plugin Grow Social from Mediavine. Part of the agreement in the acquisition was to rename the plugin to clear up any confusion between Mediavines properties “Grow Social” and “Grow”, which they have by rebranding the plugin Hubbub. Kudos to Andrew and NerdPress for consistently expanding their offerings and enriching the WordPress community.

Finally, our trip down memory lane comes to a stop two months earlier on Oct 5, 2023, when Jamie Madden announced on X/Twitter that his plugin License Server plugin was acquired by @peter_4sure via acquiredotcom

As the WordPress world keeps spinning on its axis of innovation, it seems our beloved industry is playing matchmaker, setting up mergers and acquisitions like they’re going out of style. It’s like watching a rom-com where everyone ends up happily ever after, except here, the happy couples are plugins, platforms, and services tying the knot. So, raise your virtual glasses to the lovebirds… here’s to them finding their soulmates in the vast sea of code and content. May these digital unions spark a renaissance in our WordPress universe, bringing us new features, faster sites, and maybe, just maybe, fewer “Error establishing a database connection”

by Adam Silver at February 22, 2024 01:00 AM under News

February 21, 2024

Gravatar: Securing Cyber Space: Role of Digital Identity Verification

We all have an online identity in all kinds of scenarios, from joining a social media platform, opening a bank account, applying for a loan, and buying services, just to name a few. For each of these to be possible, the person or organization on the other side must be sure that this identity is legit.

With more than 42 million folks reporting to have been victims of identity fraud just in 2021 and just in the USA, everyone must be highly vigilant regarding their digital information. This guide covers why digital identity verification is necessary and the various methods you can use to enable it.

You’ll also get familiar with a standout solution in digital identity management – Gravatar. Our platform simplifies digital identity verification and facilitates more seamless integration for developers creating websites, web apps, or digital stores.

Let’s jump right into it! 

What is digital identity verification?

Simply put, this is the process of authenticating users to confirm their identity is legitimate, preventing fraud attempts and elevating cybersecurity. 

This involves collecting various types of user data – from personal information like name and date of birth to biometric data such as fingerprints or facial patterns. This data is then carefully analyzed, creating a digital identity that the system uses to assess whether the user is genuinely who they claim to be.

In sectors such as cybersecurity, online banking, and eCommerce, digital identity verification is essential. Online banking, for instance, can prevent unauthorized access to private accounts, avoiding substantial financial losses. Similarly, in ecommerce, verifying customer identities can deter fraudulent transactions, leading to a safer shopping environment.

Digital fraud has serious real-life consequences. In 2022 alone, cybercrime accounted for monetary losses, amassing an astounding 10.3 billion U.S. dollars, making it evident just how critical digital identity verification is.

Thankfully, with advanced technological strategies, such as multi-factor authentication and AI-powered checks, and by following regulatory mandates such as Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML), you can effectively keep cybercriminals at bay and create a secure digital environment where users can interact fearlessly.

Compliance with Know Your Customer and anti-money laundering regulations

KYC guidelines require financial businesses to corroborate the identity and suitability of every customer while continuously monitoring their transactions for suspicious activities. Similarly, AML regulations are comprehensive policies designed to combat illicit actions like money laundering or terror financing.

As you can probably guess, to comply with these regulations, you need to apply different digital identity verification methods; for example – Artificial Intelligence (AI)-aided digital identity verification. Advanced algorithms can quickly detect anomalies in user profiles, enabling faster, more accurate determination of a user’s identity. 

Website security

Implementing a solid verification process can protect many different website elements from unauthorized access and potential data theft, including user login interfaces, transactional pages, and backend data storage facilities. 

Without a secure verification process, websites become easy targets for cybercriminals and are exposed to threats with potentially catastrophic outcomes – from loss of sensitive user information, identity theft, and damaging brand reputation to great financial losses.

Thankfully, this can be easily prevented by implementing robust digital identity verification methods and ensuring that all employees and partners know the security protocols. 

Advantages of automated identity verification

Automated identity verification is a technology-based process that uses algorithms and data analysis to confirm an individual’s identity without human intervention.

Let’s take a look at how it can benefit identity verification procedures. 

  • Decrease in human errors: Typically, manual identity checks are prone to oversights, inconsistencies, and delays. Automated verification eliminates these drawbacks by employing superior algorithms and databases that enhance accuracy and reliability. 
  • Improved efficiency: Automation speeds up identity checks, making it faster for users. For instance, if someone wants to make a big online transaction, automated identity checks would greatly reduce the time it takes to verify whether the customer is legitimate, allowing them to proceed with the transaction while providing a hassle-free experience. 
  • Convenience: With automated identification, there is no need to go through mountains of documentation or force the customer to be physically present to seal the deal. 
  • Increased security provisions: Modern-day systems incorporate a range of sophisticated technologies, including AI and biometrics, adding multiple layers of security. For instance, AI algorithms are designed to adapt and evolve to potential threats, while biometric checks like fingerprint or facial recognition provide an endless series of verifications, preventing nearly all attempts at identity spoofing.

Common methods for digital identity verification

There are six primary techniques for digital authentication that can be combined or used separately:

ID document verification

A diagram showing that OCR can transcribe images, PDFs, and docs into text.

Identity Document Verification is used to verify the authenticity of government-issued identification documents such as passports, driver’s licenses, or voter ID cards. 

It uses advanced OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to extract data from a document’s text fields. This data is then analyzed and verified against numerous databases and real-time information. 

You can use many tools for ID Document Verification, such as Ekata, Onfido, or Jumio.

Biometric verification

Facial and fingerprint recognition.

This method gives businesses a very high level of security as it focuses on fingerprint recognition, iris or retina scanning, and face recognition. It uses the unique biological traits of an individual that are hard to forge or steal instead of relying on what a user knows (like a password) or what a user has (like an ID card) for identification. 

Companies like Apple have implemented face and fingerprint recognition techniques for user identification. Their cultivated databases have proven to be instrumental in enhancing user access management, proving crucial in fields beyond consumer electronics like border control and banking. 

Security aside, privacy considerations around biometric data must be addressed keenly with robust data-protection frameworks to prevent misuse.

Liveness detection

Liveness detection is an integral component of the digital identity verification landscape. It refers to the technology that authenticates whether the user engaging with a service or application is indeed a ‘live’ human and not a spam bot or an impersonator, significantly fortifying cybersecurity.

This technology relies on evaluating user interactions for signs of natural human behavior such as eye movement, facial expression changes, and depth perception – traits that bots find challenging to mimic. For example, platforms such as ID.me and Jumio use methods like optical-based motion analysis to accurately detect living entities and mitigate identity fraud.

Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA)

A form asking, 'What is your childhood pet's name?'

Knowledge-based Authentication (KBA) is an identity verification process that uses private information unique to the user for authentication. 

It comes in two forms: 

  • Static KBA: Uses pre-set questions like “What is your mother’s maiden name?”.
  • Dynamic KBA: Revolves around public information, with questions such as “Which one of these addresses are associated with you?”.

However, KBA has its vulnerabilities, such as people often choosing very predictable questions and answers. So, it’s no wonder the cybersecurity industry is gradually tilting towards safer alternatives. Biometric authentication and multi-factor authentication are growing trends, offering a more secure way of verifying digital identities.

What is rel=me?

The rel=”me” attribute is a way to indicate that two different web pages are owned or controlled by the same person or entity. This can be useful for search engines and other services that try to understand the connections between different parts of your online presence.

Imagine you have a professional blog and a Twitter (now X) account. To link these two and establish your authority over both, you can use the following code on your website and affirm ownership of both profiles in the digital space.

<a href=”https://twitter.com/yourTwitterHandle&#8221; rel=”me”>Follow me on Twitter</a>

Gravatar, for example, leverages rel=me to authenticate Mastodon accounts, providing credible proof for the influential role of this tag in elevating the digital identity verification process.

Identity providers

Identity Providers (IdPs) are trustworthy platforms that authenticate the identity of a user. After confirming the identity, IdPs grant authorization credentials, such as tokens or digital certificates, enabling users to access a website or application without creating unique logins for every site. 

Despite simplifying processes massively, IdPs do not compromise security. They adhere to rigorous security standards like OpenID Connect and the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) to guarantee protection from unauthorized access.

Gravatar: The digital identity verification provider you need

Verifying the identity of users who sign up to a website/web store/web app can be a complicated task, but you can make this much easier with a trusted provider such as Gravatar

Gravatar simplifies the process of digital identity verification by assigning globally recognized avatars. These avatars are linked to users’ email addresses, authored posts, comments, and more, reinforcing a robust and unique digital identifier.

Simply put, a user is verified when they prove they own the particular service’s login credentials, including Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, GitHub, Twitch, Stackoverflow, and many more. The moment an account is added to a profile, it is deemed “verified” and, thereby, securely validated.

Gravatar profiles are implemented across many platforms, such as WordPress and OpenAI, making every digital journey a consistent and streamlined experience. 

This digital verification system stands out with many impressive features, such as: 

  • Privacy-forward approach: The complete control over personal data remains with the user. They decide what’s public and what’s private, catering to the needs of privacy-conscious netizens.
  • Easy integration: Integrate with Gravatar in just a few minutes using the developer API
  • Optimized customer experience: For instance, new users registering on a blog site would find their Gravatar avatar automatically displayed instead of an impersonal placeholder. This can significantly reduce the number of steps in the profile setup and make the sign-up process quicker and smoother.

Be it enriching user experiences, simplifying the digital identity verification process, or ensuring avatar consistency, Gravatar proves to be an indispensable tool. So, if you’re a business or an individual who wants to enhance cybersecurity and identity management, check out what Gravatar can do for you.

by Ronnie Burt at February 21, 2024 08:30 PM under Guides

WPTavern: WordPress 6.5 Is Around the Corner; Test Beta 2

WordPress 6.5 Beta 2 was released yesterday, featuring exciting capabilities and dozens of updates and bug fixes.

The first major release of 2024, WordPress 6.5 will officially launch on March 26, 2024. Now’s the best time to start poking around, see what’s new, make sure your project(s) are ready, and help test the system so the team can get to the finish line with as few bugs as possible.

To experiment with the latest beta, try WordPress Playground; this no-code browser-based WordPress instance comes pre-installed with extra plugins and test content.
Click here to open a standalone Beta 2 window in a new tab.

Let’s see what’s new:

Improvements and Bug Fixes

The results of the WordPress 2023 Survey revealed that users already rank performance and accessibility among their favorite things about the platform but would like to see even more done to enhance both. Ask, and you shall receive.

Performance and Accessibility

According to the announcement post, the upcoming version “contains more than 110 performance-related updates”, including improved loading speeds across the Post and Site Editor:

ItemWP 6.4WP 6.5Speed
Increase
Typing60ms15ms4x
First block load20s8.4s> 2x
Patterns load2s1.5s1.33x
Site editor first block load7s4.6s1.5x

The loading time for translated sites gets a boost due to merging Performant Translations into Core. This greatly improves the load time of translated sites across the board by loading multiple locales simultaneously, making switching between them a faster and more enjoyable experience.

As an open-source software whose mission is to democratize publishing, WordPress adopted a set of Accessibility Coding Standards. These apply to the project’s core and official plugins, complemented by its long-term goal of achieving Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0 compliance.

To deliver on this promise, version 6.5 ships with over 65 accessibility improvements, including “fixes to contrast settings, cursor focus, submenus, positioning of elements, and more.”

Design and Customization

Since you can never have too much of a good thing, 6.5 comes packed with design, UI, and UX:

  • Background images in Group blocks get backgroundSize and backgroundRepeat  support.
  • The Cover block gets aspectRatio support.
  • The Column, Columns, Image, and Button blocks get box-shadow support.
  • Rename blocks in List View. The name will appear as metadata. For example, <!-- wp:paragraph {"metadata":{"name":"p2"}} -->.
  • Overriding default right-click behavior to allow custom WordPress contextual menus.
  • Better drag-and-drop experience—in List View and throughout the Editor
  • Synced Patterns override (formerly Reusable Blocks) for the Paragraph, Image, Heading, and Button blocks.
  • New Meta Views in the Site Editor, supporting Grid layouts, sorting, and smart filters.
  • Better Revisions in the Site Editor’s Styles and Style Book sidebar.
Editor Triage Co-Lead Anne McCarthy demonstrates the new Meta Views in WordPress 6.5

Shiny New Features

If you clicked the Synced Patterns link above and visited the Gutenberg Times, you might have spotted the word bindings popping up at the end of Birgit Pauli-Haack’s post. An obvious segue into one of the most transformative features of 6.5: the Block Bindings API.

The Block Bindings API

Automattic’s Mario Santos described the goal of the new API:

This API aims to connect block attributes to values, obtained from different sources, that might vary depending on the context. For example, a value like post_author that changes depending on the current post.

This will expand the capabilities of existing blocks […] For example, having a Heading block with the content of the Post Author without needing a new Post Author block.

The API already powers the Synced Patterns and the much-anticipated ability to connect custom fields to block attributes. The list of supported blocks and attributes is short, but that’s only the beginning:

  • Paragraph: content
  • Heading: content
  • Image: URL, alt, title
  • Button: text, URL, linkTarget, rel.

Custom fields have been neglected in the Block Editor, hidden behind the Preferences window like a lost treasure. Let’s hope this is the first sign of their comeback. If you’re interested in what you can build with this powerful combo, check out Justin Tadlock’s tutorial on the WordPress Developer Blog.

The Font Library

Next on the finally list is the Font Library, aka the WordPress font manager. 

Soon, you won’t need to write any code or install any plugins—from now on, you can do it yourself, regardless of your active theme. The fonts are stored under /wp-content/fonts which makes it as theme-agnostic as the Media Library.

A screenshot of the new Font Library (WP 6.5 Beta 2)

To access the Library, open the Styles sidebar, click on Typography, and click the icon next to FONTS. Try to upload, install from Google Fonts, activate, and, well, manage your fonts. Once installed, use it across the Editor, wherever the blocks’ Typography attribute is enabled.

Developers can access the Font Library programmatically, create custom Font Collections for their users, or disable it altogether. Take a peak at the still-WIP documentation for instructions.

The Interactivity API

The grand finale of this impressive lineup is the Interactivity API. James Giroux covered it here on the Tavern earlier this week, so we’ll only give you a taste of WP Movies Demo:

A walkthrough of WP Movies, a demo project that features the Interactivity API (Source)

If you’re a developer interested in the nitty-gritty details and want to try what’s already possible, visit the WP Movies GitHub repository, where you’ll find a getting started tutorial.


That Playground link is tempting, so go experiment, and then come back to tell us which feature you’re most excited about. Have you tried the new APIs? Did you find (and file) any bugs?

by Ronny Shani at February 21, 2024 08:23 PM under wordpress

Akismet: What is a Spambot? How to Identify and Stop Them Using AI

Anyone who has interacted online with others through comment sections, social media posts, or discussion forums is probably familiar with spambots. These annoying automated computer programs generate unwanted, unrelated comments that are sprinkled among legitimate ones in an effort to sell products or services or attract clicks that can spread scams or malware. 

In fact, according to Security Today, more than 30% of all internet traffic is generated by malicious bots.

Today, we’re going to learn about spambots, how they work, common types of spambots used, signs of spambot activity, and how to stop them. Finally, we’ll see how Akismet’s top‑rated AI‑driven anti‑spam solution is successfully leading the charge of blocking spambots on the internet.

What is a spambot?

A spambot is a computerized program that repetitively sends spam throughout the internet. It is often used to post irrelevant messages in places where people interact with one another, including comment sections of websites, social media messaging platforms, or online discussion forums.

How do spambots work?

Most spambots begin their nefarious activity by automatically setting up fake accounts on social media, email hosts, or forums, which typically only require basic information such as a name and email address.

Once spambots gain access to their target websites, they can begin posting spam messages based on a specific set of rules. Email spambots might scan, scrape, and save email addresses or phone numbers on the web to fuel future spam activities.

example of a spam comment on a website4

What are common types of spam caused by spambots?

Spambots can be extremely agile and used in a wide variety of places on a website. Here are a few of the most common ways you might encounter spambots:

  • Contact form spam. spambots can be programmed to automatically fill out contact forms online. This allows them to gain access to a particular website or admin who receives the form submissions. Sophisticated bots may be able to implement SQL injection attacks as well.
  • Comment spam. Many websites offer comment sections where users can post questions, share ideas, or express opinions. spambots may automatically insert a spam comment in these areas, advertising unwanted products or services or tempting users to interact with them. The malicious actors can then cause those users to fall for scams or insert malware onto their devices.
  • Fake account registrations. Imposter accounts can be automatically generated, especially if websites ask for only a few basic pieces of information like a name and email address. These accounts allow spambots to gain access to websites for future spamming activities such as posting negative reviews or wasting the time of a sales team focused on non‑existent customers.
  • Forum spam. Online forums are great places for people to discuss just about anything they are interested in. spambots pollute these spaces by posting unrelated information among legitimate comments and discussions. Forums that allow anonymous posting can be especially vulnerable.
  • Email spam. Gaining access to a large number of email addresses can fuel spam activity. Some spambots can scrape the web, access email lists, and save them to a database, which can then be used by cybercriminals to spread malware, run phishing attacks, or set up future scams.
  • Doxxing. Doxxing occurs when spambots maliciously publish private information on a public forum. This may include publishing financial details or posting private data that could put people in potential physical harm.

What are the motivations behind spambots?

Do you ever wonder why cybercriminals spend time creating spambots and what their ultimate purpose could be? The motivations behind spambots are varied and numerous. Here are a few of the most popular reasons for creating spambots:

  • SEO manipulation. Some spambots attempt to trick Google’s algorithms into believing that a particular website deserves top ranking by adding backlinks from other sites
  • Phishing. Other spambots work to promote phishing scams, hoping that users will give up key account information such as passwords or usernames. These spambots may attempt to gain access to credit card or other financial information. 
  • Malware distribution. spambots may also be used to distribute malware through the continued sharing of tempting links in comment threads. 
  • Social media manipulation. Like trying to trick Google Analytics, spambots may be used to manipulate social media activity as well. Spam comments or posts may attempt to sway public opinion or create an illusion that something is more widespread and popular than it actually is.
  • Advertising and promotion. Finally, spambots may be used to promote products and services, adult content, or too‑good‑to‑be‑true offers in an attempt to attract user interaction.
spam comment that's unrelated to the post

What are common signs of spambot activity?

In order to stop spambot activity, it’s important to understand common signs before unwanted posting gets out of hand and your user base is inundated with unwanted email or spam messages. Here are things to look for:

  • A sudden surge in traffic. From a system perspective, if your IT department suddenly notes a rapid surge in traffic on your website, you may be a target for spambot activity.
  • High bounce rates with short session durations. If you happen to see higher than normal bounce rates with very short session times, you may have spambots visiting your site.
  • Inconsistent or patterned user behavior. spambots that are posting on website forums or in comment sections will display inconsistent and nonsensical user behavior. They won’t respond appropriately to other posts.
  • Irrelevance. In most cases, spambots will post irrelevant advertisements, comments or questions in public forums that don’t follow the existing conversation. If they’re programmed to respond to others, the language used may also seem out of place.
  • Activity from known malicious IP lists. If you keep a list of malicious IP addresses as part of your cybersecurity practices, you may be able to flag anything from the same IP address as potential spambot activities.
  • Excessive errors. Many spambot messages contain a great deal of errors in terms of grammar or spelling. They may not even make sense at all.
  • Ridiculous deals. If a product or service is advertised at prices that sound way too good to be true, they probably exist only to draw clicks to a malicious site or activate malware or phishing attempts.
  • Pushing users to click or forward. spambots designed to spread malware or facilitate phishing attempts need users to click on links or forward them to others on their contact list. Urgent requests to do so should be a red flag for spambot activity.
  • Unknown respondents. If activity is coming from individuals who seem suspicious, in combination with any of these other clues, you may be dealing with spambot activity.

What are the implications of not blocking spambots?

For a busy website manager or IT department, it can be tempting to ignore spambot activity, at least for the time being if other technical issues are pressing. spambot activity may be seen as merely annoying, but not as dangerous as other cybercriminal activity. 

However, not blocking spambots can have far‑reaching consequences for your overall business. Here are a few to consider:

  • A bad user experience. First and foremost, spambots can contribute to a negative user experience. If you are trying to encourage discussion, comments, and questions on a public forum, having random spambot postings throughout can be irritating and annoying to those trying to truly interact with one another.
  • A tarnished site reputation. Not only can you develop a poor site reputation if spambot activity is regularly associated with your website, but some spambot activity may include posting fake negative reviews or the generation of false complaints, which can have negative implications for your business as a whole.
  • The risk of penalties from search engines. Search engine algorithms are constantly being developed to deal with spambots and false optimization attempts. Your site could be penalized for carrying irrelevant links to other sites if they violate search engine rules.
  • The risk of site blocklisting. If dangerous spam becomes a rampant problem on your site, search engines and web browsers may actually blocklist your site or display warnings to potential visitors. This could eliminate the majority of your site traffic in a matter of days.
  • Reduced site performance. It takes time and server resources to process spambot activity. This may slow down the performance of your site for legitimate users.
  • Increased server costs. Some server hosting companies charge based on the resources used. Unwanted spambot activity may increase these costs.
  • A waste of time and money. If spambots operate by generating fake inquiries, your business could waste valuable sales force time trying to follow up or sort through junk leads to get to actual prospects.

How to stop spambots

The good news is that there are several tools and solutions to help you stop spambots effectively. Each has advantages and disadvantages, but all of them can help you eliminate unwanted posts, email scraping, and fake account set‑ups.

Akismet homepage

Akismet: The #1 AI‑powered anti‑spam solution

The top choice to stop spambots is Akismet, which is an AI‑powered anti‑spam solution used by more than 100 million websites today. It uses machine learning technology to identify and get rid of 99.99 percent of all spam.

What is Akismet?

Akismet is a powerful anti‑spam solution built on cutting edge artificial intelligence and machine learning technology. It has been blocking spam for nearly two decades, and its technology is continuously learning to stay ahead every step of the way. It’s successfully removed more than 500 billion pieces of spam across more than 100 million sites.

How does Akismet work?

Unlike some other spam blockers, Akismet works completely in the background, so your users experience zero friction on your site. They simply navigate to the areas, discussion boards, and contact forms they want and proceed without so much as a CAPTCHA or box to click. 

However, spambots are detected with near‑perfect accuracy and are booted from the site or prevented from submitting forms. Depending on your settings, Akismet can even toss comments directly in the trash without you ever having to see them.

spam settings in WordPress

What are the benefits of using Akismet?

Sites that rely on Akismet reap many benefits. First, since Akismet works in the background without relying on your users to “prove” that they’re not spambots, the user experience is far superior to other prevention methods like CAPTCHA. A faster, less annoying user experience often results in better conversion rates and higher overall visitor satisfaction.

Second, since Akismet’s technology learns from every spam it’s removed from more than 100 million websites, you benefit from all this knowledge. Just about everything that’s known about spam is stored in a cloud-based database, ready to inform Askimet’s actions for your specific site. This learning will continue over time, keeping your site nearly free of all new spam — even new spam techniques that have yet to come! 

Third, because the database is stored in the cloud, you get the benefits of Akismet without any negative effects on speed or storage for your site.

Want to know how it works in real life? Explore how ConvertKit is using Akismet to protect entrepreneurs from spam. In this case study, ConvertKit executives walk through their spam challenges, potential negative effects spam has on their business and the entrepreneurs they support, and how Akismet is helping them solve their spambot problem.

stats about ConvertKit, using Akismet

How to get started with Akismet

If you’re ready to eliminate spam without frustrating visitors, you can download the Akismet plugin for WordPress today. On another platform? Developing a unique app? Learn about the flexible Akismet API to integrate it with your project. 

Akismet in the WordPress plugin library

Enterprise companies can reach out to the Akismet team to get a custom solution just for them.  

Honeypots and reCAPTCHA

Two other common ways that companies can stop spambots are honeypots and CAPTCHA puzzles.

Honeypots are set up like a trap, attempting to lure spambots to complete an invisible, unneeded field so that spam can be quickly identified. While real users do not see the invisible field, spambots are automatically scanning code for fields to complete and fall for the honeypot trap.

Although honeypots are effective at blocking spambots targeting form completion, they do not effectively stop email scraping or other types of spambot activity.

example of a reCAPTCHA

reCAPTCHA puzzles are familiar to nearly everyone, requiring that the user check certain boxes that contain specific images to prove that they’re human or complete other types of puzzles. CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA puzzles are often frustrating because images can be difficult to decipher or even understand across cultures.

Although a wide variety of other CAPTCHA alternatives have been developed in an effort to address these issues, they all still require user interaction and can be impossible to complete for those with various impairments.

Since CAPTCHAs are often needed at key points in the customer journey — such as requesting a sales call or checkout points — they can create a negative user experience and significantly diminish conversion rates.

Web application firewalls (WAFs)

Traditional web application firewalls (WAFs) were created to guard against things like SQL injections, cross‑site scripting, and session hijacking. However, they often fail to keep up with the evolution of bad actors, including those using spambots.

While next‑generation firewalls (NGFW) tried to make headway in detecting new applications, they still use basic methods like simply blocking repetitive inquiries, identifying browsers, or blocking specific IP addresses. Many improvements rely on filters to identify malicious activity but are only somewhat effective at blocking threats. As bots advance, these NGFW also have trouble keeping up with more sophisticated activities.

In addition, businesses often struggle with managing WAF policies that can be operationally complex, leaving patches undone and resulting in an increased number of vulnerabilities. 

IP blocking

Another proven method of stopping spambots is traditional IP blocking. Many IT departments have a list of IP addresses that have generated a great deal of malicious or spam activity in the past and can automatically block any traffic coming from those particular IP addresses.

Although generally effective, this approach does not prevent more sophisticated spambot activity and could potentially block activity from a legitimate source. It’s limited in overall effectiveness and more manual to set up and manage.

Confirmed opt‑in (COI) or double opt‑in (DOI)

Businesses can also use a confirmed opt‑in or a double opt‑in approach to stop spambots that are trying to sign up with fake email addresses. This process requires that new contacts be verified, requiring them to click on a link in an email sent immediately after they submit a form.

MailPoet email sign-up confirmation

Although this process can be somewhat effective, screening out fake sign‑ups, it only addresses spambots that are setting up false accounts. Other malicious system activity or sophisticated spambots may go undetected.

In addition, the DOI process means extending the sign-up process. The more you require of prospects, the more likely some of them will abandon the sign-up process. 

In addition, the younger generation often doesn’t check email as frequently as older generations, which causes a bottleneck in your engagement or purchase process. Finally, some users may not confirm and therefore slip through the cracks for future marketing outreach.

Multifactor authentication

A wide number of businesses now use multifactor authentication to provide an extra layer of security on their sites. This usually involves a user confirming their identity through more than one method, such as an email account or phone. 

setting up two-factor authentication with WordPress.com

Although this can be very effective at ensuring that users are legitimate customers or prospects, it again adds another step in user engagement, potentially causing additional friction that can cause lost leads or abandonment of a checkout process.

Akismet: Leading the charge in blocking spambots

While many solutions exist to help businesses block spambot activity, it’s clear that the number one choice is Akismet. Its years of experience with blocking spam, coupled with powerful artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, make it the clear choice for a comprehensive, effective spambot blocking solution.

More than 100 million websites agree, taking advantage of the cumulative knowledge that Akismet has gathered since 2005. With 99.99 percent effectiveness and an impressive track record of removing more than 500 billion pieces of spam from the internet, it’s hard to argue about the solution’s success.

Most importantly, Akismet completes its job unbeknownst to your users and visitors. Prospects and customers can journey smoothly through your sales funnel without stopping to complete CAPTCHA puzzles or double opt‑in confirmations at inopportune times. This means a smoother engagement process and less friction, leading to happier users and a better reputation.

With its advanced technology and comprehensive spam database residing in the cloud, Akismet doesn’t affect processing time, server activity, or loading speeds. This ensures that your site continues to operate quickly and effectively without diverting resources to spambot detection and removal activities. 

Finally, Akismet will continue learning into the future, which means that, even if spambot creators get more sophisticated, Akismet will be ready with a spambot blocking solution.

Get started with Akismet. 

by Jen Swisher at February 21, 2024 02:15 PM under Spam

Do The Woo Community: WordPress and WooCommerce at CloudFest 2024

Hosts Tammie and Jonathan talk about WP Day at CloudFest this year and the increased visibility of WordPress and Woo at the event.

>> The post WordPress and WooCommerce at CloudFest 2024 appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce and WordPress Builder Podcast .

by BobWP at February 21, 2024 10:50 AM under Tammie Lister

BuddyPress: BP Classic 1.4.0

Dear end users & site owners,

Please note BP Classic 1.4.0 is now available for upgrade/download. 1.4.0 is a maintenance release of the BuddyPress backwards compatibility Add-on helping you to stay classic so that you can carry on:

  • enjoying 3rd party BP plugins / themes that are not ready yet for the modern BuddyPress (12.0.0 & up);
  • and / or using the deprecated BuddyPress Legacy widgets;
  • and / or using the deprecated BP Default theme.

Only 1 issue has been fixed: the bbPress topics/replies pagination should now behave as expected with BuddyPress 12.0 & up (See #44)

Please upgrade!

by Mathieu Viet at February 21, 2024 05:01 AM under releases

February 20, 2024

WPTavern: WP Tavern Launches Writer Hunger Games

tl;dr

Seven folx from the WordPress Community have been selected as finalists for two positions as writers for the Tavern.

May the odds be ever in your favor.


If you’ve been around the Tavern for a while you’re probably aware that it has been without a full-time writer or two since December 2023. Back in November, the Tavern’s last standing writer, Sarah Gooding joined her predecessors Jeff Chandler and Justin Tadlock in announcing her departure. 

Matt Mullenweg later put the call out for those interested in becoming full-time writers. Hundreds applied and from that list, earlier this February, seven were chosen to participate in a public trial. 

Each travelled by train to a meeting where they were introduced to each other and then dropped into the middle of an arena with the only rule being to survive.

It may feel a bit like the Hunger Games have come to WordPress. But, behind the scenes, it’s a ton of enthusiasm and collaboration. After all, it’s for a platform and community we are all passionate about.

Hitting publish is stressful (at least for me), but, we’re excited about this chance. We’re eager to bring our unique views to Tavern readers and the wider WordPress community.

Each person in the trial has two weeks with full access to the Tavern to create content. The trial contributors have not been given any restrictions on how much content they can contribute, the format of that content, or the subject matter of the content.

Unlike the Hunger Games, we’re each other’s biggest fans and supporters as we go through this process. 

The availability of trial contributors varies so for about a month, each of the seven will have staggered start dates. You’ll see content from each appear over time as they begin their trials. 

So what’s it like day-to-day to run the Tavern?

It’s everything you would imagine an industry journal would have. We’re collaborating in a private Slack channel, sharing ideas and figuring out how to create the content we’re passionate about. Early on the crew self-organized around a content calendar. 

We’re sharing article drafts for feedback from each other. Giving way to each other when we have similar ideas for articles. Challenging ideas and pushing each other to be better. All to create the best experience for Tavern readers. 

We’re still figuring things out. For example, we need to find the right images to use. We also need to reconnect the X/Twitter account so articles are broadcast from it. And, we need to clean up comments on existing articles. The day-to-day things that keep the Tavern humming along.

We’re keen to engage with Tavern readers

We’d love to hear your thoughts on what we’re creating. All of us are in the Make WordPress Slack so feel free to ping us with your thoughts and feedback. We’re keen to grow and improve throughout this process so if a story resonates with you (or not) we’d love to hear about it.

This is a unique season for the Tavern. While eventually there will only be two primary voices, for now, there are seven. Seven different perspectives and lived experiences shaped by WordPress. Enjoy it, get stuck in and tell us what you think.

We haven’t all gone public yet but as our content hits the Tavern’s pages, say hi, tell us your story and help us share the awesomeness of WordPress with others.

by James Giroux at February 20, 2024 05:51 PM under Tavern

WordPress.org blog: WordPress 6.5 Beta 2

WordPress 6.5 Beta 2 is now ready for testing!

This beta version of the WordPress software is under development. Please do not install, run, or test this version of WordPress on production or mission-critical websites. Instead, it is recommended you evaluate Beta 2 on a test server and site.

You can test WordPress 6.5 Beta 2 in four ways:

PluginInstall and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin on a WordPress install. (Select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).
Direct DownloadDownload the Beta 2 version (zip) and install it on a WordPress website.
Command LineUse the following WP-CLI command:
wp core update --version=6.5-beta2
WordPress PlaygroundUse the 6.5 Beta 2 WordPress Playground instance to test the software directly in your browser without the need for a separate site or setup. 

The current target date for the final release of WordPress 6.5 is March 26, 2024. Get an overview of the 6.5 release cycle, and check the Make WordPress Core blog for 6.5-related posts in the coming weeks for more information.

Catch up on what’s new in WordPress 6.5: Read the Beta 1 announcement for details and highlights.

How to test this release

Your help testing the WordPress 6.5 Beta 2 version is key to ensuring everything in the release is the best it can be. While testing the upgrade process is essential, trying out new features is equally important. This detailed guide will walk you through testing features in WordPress 6.5.

If you encounter an issue, please report it to the Alpha/Beta area of the support forums or directly to WordPress Trac if you are comfortable writing a reproducible bug report. You can also check your issue against a list of known bugs.

Curious about testing releases in general? Follow along with the testing initiatives in Make Core and join the #core-test channel on Making WordPress Slack.

Vulnerability bounty doubles during Beta 2

Between Beta 1, released on February 13, and the final Release Candidate (RC) scheduled for March 19, the monetary reward for reporting new, unreleased security vulnerabilities is doubled. Please follow responsible disclosure practices as detailed in the project’s security practices and policies outlined on the HackerOne page and in the security white paper.

Beta 2 updates and highlights

WordPress 6.5 Beta 2 contains more than 50 updates to the Editor since the Beta 1 release, including 40+ tickets for WordPress core.

Each beta cycle focuses on bug fixes; more are on the way with your help through testing. You can browse the technical details for all issues addressed since Beta 1 using these links:

A Beta 2 haiku

Help out with testing
Contribute! Make an impact
Let’s find all those bugs

Thank you to the following contributors for collaborating on this post: @dansoschin, @huzaifaalmesbah, @rajinsharwar, @swissspidy, @courane01.

by Lauren Stein at February 20, 2024 05:25 PM under releases

WPTavern: WordPress 2023 Survey: Block Editor on the Rise, Positive Feeling about Contributing Drops

The results of the 2023 WordPress Annual Survey are in, revealing a steady growth in the adoption of the Block Editor, along with a lukewarm response to upcoming Gutenberg enhancements.

Automattic-sponsored contributor Dan Soschin posted a breakdown of the results:

“Overall, awareness and/or use of block-based features is up year over year, as well as resources such as Learn.WordPress.org. This reflects project-wide efforts to increase utilization of these respectively. However, positive sentiment about WordPress is down modestly, and more so among contributors.

The data collected is used as one of many signals that inform the project’s road map and areas of focus, both near and long-term.”

A total of 3,922 people completed this year’s survey, an increase of 17% compared to 2022 but still lower than the goal set by the team. Interestingly, a new metric captured this year shows that approximately 11,153 viewed the survey without answering a question (more on that later).

A chart showing the distribution of answers to question number 3 in the 2023 WordPress Survey, Age distribution A chart showing the distribution of answers to question number 8 in the 2023 WordPress Survey, How many years have you been using WordPress? A chart showing the distribution of answers to question number 9 in the 2023 WordPress Survey, Block or Classic Editor?

Below are a few interesting findings from the slimmer-than-usual 54-page report (PDF):

Key findings

  • NPS, measuring responders’ willingness to recommend WordPress, is down, marking a continuous downward trend: 27.9 among contributors and 32 among non-contributors.
  • Most responders use WordPress for business-related activities: 48.8% offer the service to clients, and 43.1% use it to run their business.
  • The majority (39.9%) use the Block editor or Gutenberg plugin, 20.2% use the Classic editor, and 19.9% use both. These figures represent a steady rise in the adoption of the Block editor. However, this year, 12.3% of respondents chose the Other category (likely referring to site builders).
  • As to their satisfaction with the Site Editor, 45.1% said it meets their needs for building websites.
  • 51.7% built websites for others, and 41.9% created a plugin, theme, style variation, or a block pattern.
  • Some activities that saw a significant increase include consuming learning materials on learn.wordpress.org and various types of contributions and involvement with the community: participated in a meetup/WordCamp, contributed to the platform, and joined the Making WordPress Slack.
  • Seeing as most responders develop, design, or maintain WordPress websites, it’s good to see that 61.1% say they are familiar with Block-based themes and plugins.
  • 63.3% think WordPress is as good as, or better than, other site builders and CMSs, down from 68% in 2022. Interestingly, many also regularly use other blogging and newsletter tools to publish content, mainly Medium, Tumblr, and Blogger. The top reasons respondents preferred WordPress were open-source, familiarity, maturity, and cost.
  • The figures above correspond with answers to the question, What’s the best thing about WordPress? where performance, scalability, and accessibility registered a huge spike while parameters like ease of use, flexibility, cost, and block themes dropped significantly.
  • Ranking “essential plugins” out of the 20 most popular ones provides a glimpse into day-to-day use: Yoast SEO, Classic Editor, and WooCommerce were the top three, with None of the above coming fifth, Elementor Website Builder coming at 8th, and two plugins that enable post and page duplication closing the list. Gutenberg is absent.
  • On the other hand, too many plugins were the primary cause of frustration (133% rise from 2022, with too many themes seeing a 72% rise), followed by dissatisfactory site editing, designing, configuring, and publishing experience. The cost complaints, meanwhile, are directed at hosting companies: 7% in 2023 vs. 3% in 2022.
  • 57.5% see phases 3 and 4 of the WordPress roadmap as beneficial for developers, creators, and publishers alike, with the rest either neutral or disagreeing. Performance, security, and developer resources were the top three areas responders wanted the project to focus on, with collaborative editing at the very bottom of the list.
  • Finally, many had poor experiences when contributing to the community, with fewer people feeling welcome to participate in various ways. Asked what prevents you from contributing more, 35.3% cited bad experiences and not feeling safe, welcome, or appreciated.

Mapping the Road Ahead

After reading through the results, one can’t help but notice a certain disconnect between the people who use WordPress and those tasked with maintaining and leading it into the future.

Responders appear less interested in new features than they are in optimizing core functionality and delivering a stable experience; many still find the Site Editor and blocks-based posts overwhelming, holding on to the Classic Editor plugin; and both audiences—extenders and end-users—crave guidance, training, and support.

A chart showing the distribution of answers to question number 10 in the 2023 WordPress Survey,

Summarizing the next steps, Soschin mentioned the plan to replace or refine some of the questions “to ensure people continue to provide valuable insight into the project’s trends”.

One possible way is to bring back open-ended questions that could help the team better understand what matters to people.

Looking at the high percentage of people who replied “None of the above” to several questions and the comments to the post inviting WP Tavern readers to participate in the survey, community members seem eager to share their opinions; they’re just frustrated with the format.

Have you participated in the latest annual survey? Share your experience in the comments.

by Ronny Shani at February 20, 2024 03:37 PM under survey

Do The Woo Community: From Woo Specialists to Full-Sevice Ecommerce Agency with Cody Landefeld

Cody shares insights on customer care, team investment, and the future of online shopping with AI's role in ecommerce.

>> The post From Woo Specialists to Full-Sevice Ecommerce Agency with Cody Landefeld appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce and WordPress Builder Podcast .

by BobWP at February 20, 2024 11:44 AM under Robert Jacobi

February 19, 2024

WPTavern: Freenginx’s Stand Against Corporate Limits: Potentially A New Era for WordPress Hosting

The Latest

In a recent development within the world of web servers, the highly regarded service Nginx has undergone a significant transformation. Russian developer Maxim Dounin has made waves by announcing a new fork of the Nginx web server and caching proxy. The new fork is called freenginx. This move is strategically aimed at steering clear of the corporate control wielded by F5, the current owner of Ngnix.

What is Nginx?

For those of us who aren’t overly technical, Nginx is known for its versatility, serves as a robust web server, a reverse proxy, and offers formidable security features. It offers a broad range of applications which has made it a favorite among developers and IT professionals. The decision to fork Nginx comes as a response to concerns about corporate influence and the desire to maintain the open-source ethos that has been pivotal to its success.

What role does Nginx play in WordPress hosting:

Given that approximately 34.1% of websites rely on Nginx servers, this fork has potential repercussions, especially in the enterprise space and for those involved in hosting reselling. The future landscape of Nginx will undoubtedly be closely monitored, as the developments in this space could have a cascading impact on the digital infrastructure that supports a significant portion of the internet.  

What’s next?

In speaking with some of my contacts at a variety of WordPress hosting companies, the overall sentiment was both a wait-and-see approach along with some light concern and trepidation. One contact responded with, “If the fork takes and diverges it could make Nginx support a little harder.” Another added, “It will be interesting to see what happens and how the licensing changes. I suspect a lot of commercial hosts are on the commercial version but even that could be shaken up a bit, in the long term, with this Nginx [version] has been so steady for so long though that any change will raise eyebrows.” 

Of course there is the big looming question: How might this shake things up for commercial hosts in the long run? With the usual uncertainty that comes with change, hosting providers, developers, and businesses are keeping a close eye on the outcome.  For those working in the web hosting industry, only time will tell to see what happens with this fork in the road. 

by Adam Silver at February 19, 2024 09:05 PM under News

WPTavern: Interactivity API Prepares for its Official Debut in WordPress 6.5

tl;dr

The Interactivity API is merging into WordPress 6.5. It revolutionizes site interactivity by standardizing the development of interactive elements. This makes it easier for developers and enhances user experiences. It enables dynamic interactions like shared data across blocks without reloading pages. This opens up new possibilities for developers, users and businesses alike. It could mark a significant milestone in WordPress’s evolution.


Today WordPress contributor Carlos Bravo officially announced the merge of the Interactivity API into Core for WordPress 6.5. Introduced last year, the team behind the Interactivity API has been releasing builds through the Gutenberg plugin in preparation for this pivotal moment.

What is the Interactivity API?

One of the challenges with interactivity in WordPress right now is that there is no set standard in how developers can approach it. Today, developers pick their tools. They define their approach to integrating with WordPress. They decide on inter-block communication. And, they make choices (and compromises) around frontend performance for every new project they deliver.

The Interactivity API aims to solve these problems. It provides developers with an opinionated approach that standardizes building interactive elements. The hope is that this will make it easier to focus on what to build and not how to build it.


Visual representation of the decision areas covered by the Interactivity API, for developers.From the original proposal post on Make WordPress Core..

What does this mean for users?

The team behind the Interactivity API use a movie website in their demo where they showcase some of the functionality that users may soon be able to enjoy. In particular is the way that multiple blocks can work together to share data. In the demo, clicking a heart button on movies in a list makes a heart counter go up. 

All of this is done instantly. It doesn’t reload the page and no developer or engineering team needs to dive deeply into layers of code.

Imagine building a recipe website. You want a site visitor to build their shopping list with price estimates in their local currency. The Interactivity API would facilitate being able to create all of the dynamic elements using the Block Editor. It lets a list grow and the total cost change as a visitor adds and removes ingredients from their shopping list.

What are the implications for developers?

Beyond the code layer of the API, let’s take the shopping list example a step further. Let’s say the blocks needed to build it have been created by three different developers. The Interactivity API has standardized the way that blocks load and communicate with each other. It creates a consistent, performant user experience.

The original proposal calls this composability and compatibility. It mentions a future state where interactive blocks can be combined and even nested in structures with defined behaviors.

Users have a knack for making code do what they want. Not what it was intended for, ask any QA tester right after a launch. In the future, interactive blocks will work together. They won’t be limited by their original developer. Users will be able to create patterns and interactions that go beyond their original purpose.

The Interactivity API and how it uses WordPress could be a pivotal moment in the Project’s history. It could create a new way of working with WordPress. 

Consider the concept of single-page applications (SPAs). Today SPAs are often complex, expensive and inaccessible to most users. The Interactivity API, once more developed, could lead to a whole new kind of application category built with WordPress. How exciting would it be to unlock these types of patterns for everyday users?

What are the implications for WordPress businesses?

Everyday users will see the most impact from the Interactivity API. As blocks become more interoperable, the kinds of interactions that users can access will grow. Consequently, demand for more feature-rich or complex interactions may also grow.

The Interactions API could unlock a whole new product category to monetize. It could lead to new partnerships as product businesses migrate their interactions to the block level. Think of the enterprise user who may be able to work with a suite of approved blocks. They could build performant, secure, and reliable applications in the stack and user interface they already know.

This is likely only scratching the surface of what could be possible. But it is clear that for WordPress to continue to outpace its rivals, innovations like the Interactivity API will need to continue.

Author’s Note

I am not a developer so while I’ve tried my best to capture and communicate the Interactivity API and its implications, I could be wrong. If that’s the case, let me know in the comments and I’ll make the corrections. Also worth a listen is the latest WordPress Briefing where Josepha, Mario and Ryan discuss the Interactivity API.

I’m curious about what you think. Am I totally off on this? Am I painting too ambitious a future state? Did I miss something glaringly obvious about the Interactivity API?

by James Giroux at February 19, 2024 07:42 PM under WordPress

WPTavern: Look Who’s Back: jQuery 4.0.0 Is Now in Beta

We weren’t here to report it in real-time, but on February 6, jQuery Core Team Lead Timmy Willison announced that jQuery 4.0.0 is now available in beta.

jQuery 4.0.0 has been in the works for a long time, but it is now ready for a beta release! There’s a lot to cover, and the team is excited to see it released. We’ve got bug fixes, performance improvements, and some breaking changes.

We’ve trimmed legacy code, removed some previously-deprecated APIs, removed some internal-only parameters to public functions that were never documented, and dropped support for some “magic” behaviors that were overly complicated.

The post includes an overview of the changes, starting with the highlight: dropping support for IE10 and older. The team planned to part with IE11 after Microsoft ended support in 2022 but eventually decided to push this change to v5 to avoid any more blockers to the v4 release.

The upcoming release uses ES modules and switches from RequireJS to Rollup for packaging. It also removes 13 deprecated functions that “were either always meant to be internal or ones that now have native equivalents in all supported browsers.”

78 Million Websites Use jQuery

Adherence to modern browser behavior and specs is a common thread in the announcement post. Indeed, browsers have come a long way since January 2006, when jQuery was launched, Internet Explorer had a 90% market share, and front-end development was a constant struggle.

Today, with 99.84% browser support for ES6, a slew of well-supported Web APIs, and robust upgrades to CSS—when we can run a full-blown WordPress instance in the browser using WebAssembly—do we still need an 85.1 kB DOM manipulation library?

Or, in the words of an opinionated Redditor:

Look, jQuery was incredible and it changed JS in incredible ways. It made the JS developer experience incredible because it was so inventive. And the JS community and TC39 implemented so many things that jQ did incredible. It was one of the goals of jQ – set standards and improve the JS language. And it worked. And it’s no longer needed.

Judging by online statistics, the answer is an unequivocal “YES!”. jQuery might be the uncool kid in the front-end neighborhood, but its market share dwarfs the hipper frameworks.

Based on NPM, jQuery 3.7.1, released in August 2023, boasts over 9 million weekly downloads and has more than 20k dependent packages.

BuiltWith indicates that over 78 million websites use jQuery, while W3Techs reports that “jQuery is used by 94.4% of all the websites whose JavaScript library we know. This is 77.1% of all websites.”

A Legacy Dependency

Among the chief reasons for jQuery’s relentless popularity is being instrumental to the ecosystem. Namely, it’s bundled in WordPress Core and is part of numerous themes and plugins.

WordPress’ adoption of React-based Gutenberg has lowered its dependency on jQuery. During a Developer Hours session hosted a week after Willison’s announcement, titled JavaScript for modern WordPress development, Automattic’s developer advocates Ryan Welcher and Nick Diego spent more than an hour diving into JS tools and techniques to build blocks and editor extensions; they didn’t once mention jQuery.

In a post published in October 2021 on the Make Themes blog, core contributor Felix Arntz urged theme developers to move away from jQuery to improve performance.

Still, a TRAC ticket opened on the day of Willison’s announcement reported the news and enquired, “Is this something that wp core will be looking to implement?”. Andrew Ozz, Lead Developer at Automattic, replied, “Of course :)”

With a 43% share of the CMS market, WordPress could be the serum of jQuery’s longevity.

jQuery's logo and tagline: write less, do more

The last time WP Tavern covered jQuery was in 2020, when jQuery Migrate 1.4.1 was removed from WordPress 5.5, causing themes and plugins to fail.

The WordPress Core team’s Enable jQuery Migrate Helper plugin—launched to tackle these problems—is still maintained and has 100k active installs. It also has some glaring reviews about how helpful it is. Why would people building WordPress websites in 2024 need to use a plugin designed “as a temporary solution, enabling the migration script for your site to give your plugin and theme authors some more time to update, and test, their code.”?

A Trailblazer that Moves the Web Forward

Perhaps the answer lies in an alarming comment found on W3Techs. A third of the websites that use jQuery run a version older than 3.x (3.0.0 was released in June 2016).

These results correlate with a smaller-scoped study conducted by the OpenJS Foundation and IDC in November 2023. Out of 509 survey respondents, 89% confirmed they use jQuery, with 56% deploying older versions, some no longer maintained.

Open-source and standardization expert Tobie Langel, speaking at the W3C’s Secure the Web Forward workshop, believes “jQuery’s massive reach and longevity” puts it in a unique position: if securing jQuery means securing the web, then “Once again–and against all odds–jQuery can be a trailblazer and help move the web forward.”

There’s already an ongoing effort: In October 2022, the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) Project Alpha-Omega awarded jQuery a $350k grant to “reduce potential security incidents for jQuery by helping modernize its consumers and its code.”

Backed by industry giants like the Linux Foundation, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, and part of the OpenJS Foundation supported by GoDaddy, IBM, Joyent, and the Sovereign Tech Fund, jQuery seems like it will get to live to see more than just another day.

How about you? When was the last time you started a script with $(function()?

by Ronny Shani at February 19, 2024 05:01 PM under jquery

WordPress.org blog: WP Briefing: Episode 73: Inside the Interactivity API

In the latest WordPress Briefing, Josepha Haden Chomphosy discusses the Interactivity API, a new foundational tool that helps developers create memorable interactive front-end experiences. She is joined by special guests and sponsored contributors Ryan Welcher and Mario Santos, who share more about this impactful addition to the WordPress developer experience.

Credits

Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Guest: Mario Santos
Guest: Ryan Welcher
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes

Transcripts

[00:00:00] Josepha: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go. 

[00:00:29] (Intro music) 

[00:00:40] Josepha: I have with me today a couple of guests, Ryan Welcher and Mario Santos, who have joined me to talk about the Interactivity API. This is an API that we’ve been working on for quite a while, and it’s a fascinating thing. It’s really specifically user-facing in its functionality but makes a lot of work streamlined for everyday developers, whether you are building something for yourself, for your family, or for a client. This whole project probably is gonna really speak to you. 

[00:01:10] Josepha: Hi, guys, and welcome to the show. First-time guests, both of you. Right?

[00:01:15] Ryan: Yes. First time for me.

[00:01:17] Mario: Thanks for inviting us.

[00:01:18] Josepha: Yeah. Well, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, like your name, what you do with WordPress, how you contribute to the project, something like that?

[00:01:27] Ryan: I can go first. My name is Ryan Welcher. I’m a developer advocate and sponsored by Automattic. Then, I contribute full-time to the WordPress project by creating documentation, doing live streams, creating videos, and just generally trying to be helpful in in the space to help engineers and extenders work with the various APIs in WordPress.

[00:01:46] Josepha: I love the just generally trying to be helpful part. Mario, what about you?

[00:01:52] Mario: He really is. He really does it.

[00:01:54] Josepha: I know.

[00:01:55] Mario: I’m Mario Santos. I’m also a sponsored contributor, and I’m more focused on the project management and developer. I consider myself a mix of both. Right now I’m working on projects that are focused on improving the developer experience especially. That can go from the Block API to the Interactivity API; that is the topic today.

[00:02:16] Josepha: Very nice. Very nice. Just lots of helping that everyone’s trying to do. I think that’s a good thing.

So, we’re talking about the Interactivity API today. And, Mario, I believe it was almost a year ago that you first put this proposal out into the WordPress project. Do you wanna tell us a little bit about just, like, where the idea of this came from? Like, I know it wasn’t originally called the Interactivity API, but, like, what was you said you do some a bit of product, a bit of development. Like, what was it about this idea that was so important to you?

[00:02:48] Mario: Yeah. Sure. So, basically, well, the proposal came, like, one year ago, but it has been in the works, like, for many years, I would say. Just to give a bit more context, previously, before being a sponsored contributor, I was working at a startup called Frontity Framework, and we were building a React framework to enable rich user experiences on top of WordPress.

[00:03:13] Mario: So basically, it was a framework for headless WordPress. And at some point, we became sponsored contributors, the idea was to bring those user experiences to those rich and cool websites that lead to WordPress. So, you don’t need an external framework to create them, and you can do that directly in WordPress. So that’s where the idea of the Interactivity API comes from. From there, we started exploring different possibilities and tailoring it more to WordPress to ensure it works with its APIs.

And I think after many many months working on that, the Interactivity API is the result.

[00:03:54] Josepha: I just wanted to note that you started that answer with, like, the proposal was about a year ago, but the work had been happening for a long time. I think that’s generally true, and it’s not something that we always really acknowledge. This happens with patents also. This is going to be a strange tangent, but this is how we do in in my brain. This is how my brain works. So frequently, you’ll see a brand new product, but the patent for it was, like, 30 years beforehand, like, way before you ever see anything. And I think that’s kinda how this works also with software development. Like, the idea, has been going for a long time.

[00:04:27] Josepha: The problem was identified a long time ago. And by the time you see something that helps to solve the problem or bring a new set of features to you, like, you didn’t know, but it had been being worked on for, like, five years or something. And I think that’s such a fascinating thing. That’s always apparent to me, but I think it’s not really apparent for a lot of people in the, in I don’t know, who use software.

I was gonna say in the space, quote, unquote, but that’s not even it. Like, it’s the people who are using software. We don’t know how long anything’s been under development. We just know that at some point, a magical thing appeared, and we get to use it. 

[00:05:03] Josepha: So speaking of the problems that we have identified that we’re trying to solve with this. Like, was there an inherent problem that you all were trying to solve as you were coming up with this idea around the Interactivity API itself?

[00:05:16] Mario: I would say that trying to summarize it, it covers many things, but the main problem was that creating those kinds of interactions in the client was kind of difficult. You had to manage many things many tools, and each developer could come up with different solutions, and maybe they don’t combine well together. So, the idea is to provide an extended way so developers don’t have to take care of many things. They just have to take care of the interactions they wanna create. And ensuring that it works well with the WordPress way, it works well with the block system, and any block created with this Interactivity API can communicate with each other. You can combine those blocks, and you are not gonna encounter any problem. So, I would say that the main issue we were trying to solve is that there wasn’t a standard solution. There were different approaches taken by different developers, and that could create some issues. So, until now, Gutenberg has been mainly focused on the editor side and how blocks are created. And this is a first attempt to to cover the part of the front end, the interactions that users may want to create in the front end.

[00:06:31] Ryan: It solves a ton of problems. But, I mean, coming from someone like, I have a fair amount of agency experience. I’ve been, you know, you’re working on large projects. And every time someone solves a problem, they solve it slightly differently. And that’s problematic because you switch teams or, you know, someone else picks up the code base, and all of a sudden, now they have to learn your custom system that’s slightly different from the one that I built last week and the one that, you know, someone else built two weeks earlier. And this takes the guesswork out. It takes the sort of the plumbing out of the equation. One of the reasons I really loves working with WordPress when I started working with WordPress was that when I was building for clients, I didn’t have to worry about building the CMS. I didn’t have to worry about building a menu system or figuring out how to handle media.

[00:07:10] Ryan: I just had to do the things that that client was paying me to do. Like, I just had to make their site look the way that they wanted it to. And with the Interactivity API, I think there’s a bit of that where I don’t have to worry about figuring out how am I gonna get all these pieces to talk to each other on the front end. It’s all there. I just have to connect the dots, and it makes it very, very simple.

I’m building the site right now for a workshop that I’m gonna be giving a WordCamp Asia, which is a a shameless plug. Sorry.

[00:07:33] Josepha: Coming up so fast, y’all. WordCamp Asia is, like, two weeks away.

[00:07:37] Ryan: I’m so excited. I have so much work to do.

But I’ve built an entire voting system on a website where people can pick what we’re going to be talking about in my workshop, and I built it in the Interactivity API, and it took me, you know, probably five hours. And that’s me trying to learn some things and mess around with it. And to do that without the Interactivity API would have probably been an entire React-based, you know, completely outside of WordPress. I would have loaded one thing on the page and had it build out my whole application, and now I’m doing it with blocks and I’m doing it with a block theme. So if I wanna move those blocks around. I can move the blocks around. I can change anything that I wanna change inside of WordPress the way I would normally, and all that in interactivity just still works. And that’s It’s awesome. I just I love it. I can’t like, the Interactivity API, not my website. 

[00:08:26] Josepha: But also both. Like, it can be both. 

[00:08:28] Mario: I wanted to say that I think it’s a great point. I like to think about it like having the best of both worlds. Right now, we have modern frameworks like React, Vue that are used to create these cool websites.

And I think the Interactivity API plus WordPress brings everything together. Like, you can create those cool user experiences while keeping the full power of WordPress, its management system, the Block editor, and to be honest, I don’t think there’s anything like that out there. Like having the best of both both worlds because we are still working with blocks, and that’s amazing. 

[00:09:04] Ryan: Given that it’s still, it’s not even been released yet. Like, it’s coming very soon. But.

[00:09:08] Josepha: Yeah. This is all still in the Gutenberg plugin. So, like, if you don’t know what we’re talking about, get the Gutenberg plugin.

[00:09:16] Ryan: But just how mature the API is now, considering it is still kind of not even fully released, it’s only gonna get better? I just think it’s awesome.

So, kudos to Mario and your team for doing all this stuff.

[00:09:28] Mario: Thank you. Kudos to everyone involved.

[00:09:32] Josepha: So, I’ve a question that I think probably, Ryan, you can start with, but then also probably, Mario, you’re gonna have some opinions on also. In this conversation so far, we’ve done a lot of, like, when you want to have these interactions and also when you want to have these cool experiences. For folks who actually do not know what the Interactivity API is yet, and they don’t know what we’re talking about when we say these interactions like, what exactly are we talking about from a user perspective?

Like, what types of things will users be able to see when they are experiencing the Interactivity API’s features and functionality.

[00:10:07] Ryan: I think it’s a great question. From a user standpoint, it’ll just look like your regular website, I think. Depending on what you’re doing. So, like the interactions that we’re talking about is when you’re in the browser and you wanna click a button and expand something, for example, or you wanna click an image and have the lightbox pop-up, which is in core now, that’s driven by the Interactivity API, but these interactions are basically when a user wants to interact with something, what it does. That’s a really generic way of saying it. 

[00:10:34] Josepha: Our current favorite example and, Ryan, it sounds like you also have another example. But our current favorite example is like a movie collection site, you know? And so, like, when we’re talking about what the Interactivity API is going to power, it’s things like, when you favorite a series of movies, and then you can, and it just updates that on the fly, and you’ll be able to in essentially real-time as instant as reasonably possible based on your computer and stuff.

[00:11:03] Josepha: Like, then look at your list of things that you favorited or things like that. Like, for folks who don’t understand interactive site like, all of us know that that, like, if you get on a site, you have interacted with it. But when we’re talking about Interactivity API, we’re talking about types of direct actions users can take. Right? 

[00:11:19] Mario: I would say yes.

They are just only triggered by some actions. It could be scrolling, clicking, or, or whatever. But, it can go from a simple example like drop down or a popover to more complex things like the movies demo, where you can navigate and the page is not reloading, and that allows you to play a trailer. It starts in a pop-up, and you can keep navigating through different pages, and the trailer keeps playing without reloading. Another example could be instant search; like you start typing the search, and it directly updates the list of films, in this case, that are shown, those kinds of things that happen In the browser. 

[00:12:00] Josepha: And Ryan said you, you said that you, like, built a whole survey system, A whole polling system. 

[00:12:06] Ryan: Yeah, a voting system. So there’s a series of buttons, each one representing a certain topic, and people can vote, and it tallies the amount. So each, I’m calling them recipes, has amount of time associated with it, and then so you vote until you run out of time, at which point, like in its tracking it all, and it’s showing you how much time you voted, how much is left, and once you’ve run out of time it blurs like it disables all of the voting buttons so you can’t add more because you run out of time.

[00:12:30] Ryan: So if you remove one, you can add again. It’s very, very powerful. And, like, before the Interactivity API, you would have to have, I would have built that whole thing in React, and it would have been one single application that just get loaded on a page. And I just think it’s amazing. And, like the, the ability to create what are called, like, single page applications or what have always sort of been called SPAs or single page applications where you’re not reloading the browser every single time you click on a link.

You have to do some things to make that work, but that’s just available to you and in WordPress. That’s amazing. I just think that’s so neat. I mean, it’s already powering things like the Query Loop block has the ability to move pagination without reloading the page, which is, sounds like a sort of a like a okay, great, like sort of, you know, mundane thing but imagine you had two or three different query loops sitting on your homepage and you wanted to be able to paginate through each one and not refresh the page. That’s a fantastic user experience that now is just enabled and otherwise was not possible prior to the Interactivity API.

[00:13:28] Josepha: I feel like the Query Loop block was, like, a three-year project four years ago. And I had forgotten about it, which is surprising because I was so concerned with it when we were working directly on it all the time. But yeah. Yeah. That’s exactly the kind of example. 

So we’ve talked about kind of the user thing and people who are gonna build stuff for clients. But, like, if you’re a contributor and you want to figure out more about either how to use this or how to expand on what is already there.

[00:14:01] Josepha: We already talked about how it’s in the Gutenberg plugin. It’s kind of experimental over there. But, like, do you all have like, good first bugs? Things that can be worked on in there? Or is there, like, an experiment zone where people can just be like, this is what I tried with the Interactivity API until it broke? How do people work with that?

[00:14:20] Mario: I would like to clarify first, it’s right now, it’s private in, it’s a private API in WordPress core in 6.4, And it’s public in Gutenberg, but it’s gonna be a public API already in WordPress 6.5. So, yes. Anyone can start testing it.

The best way to get involved is first sharing what interactions you want to see. I mean, everyone has different ideas, and we will love to know the interactions that people want to create using the Interactivity API, so that would be the first step. Then, test it, create your own blocks or site, and send feedback what do you like what you don’t like. Raise issues, and for that, we are mainly using GitHub. We created a new category in GitHub in the Gutenberg plugin discussions, and we try to to keep everything there.

[00:15:13] Mario: So if you have any questions any feedback, you can share it there. You can also find more discussions about the road map, the change log, many things that are going on right now. And, yeah, I would say those are the ways of getting involved, and I can also expect, maybe Ryan can tell you more here, to start working more on tutorials or videos or whatever. And for me, personally, I would love to see the community working on that as well.

[00:15:43] Ryan: Yeah. I can, yeah. I think that from a contributor standpoint, especially those who are trying to get into contributing, because, I mean, it’s not not complicated. Let’s put it that way, like the Interactivity API. And that’s not meaning to be a barrier to anyone, but a great place to start is documentation. A great place to start is going through those docs and making sure they’re up to date and, you know, saying, oh, well, that’s supposed to do this, so let me go try that. And if it works, great. If it doesn’t, you know, file a bug, update the documentation, that’s a great way to get started. It’s gonna familiarize yourself with the code base and what it’s supposed to do. And then, sort of, just through osmosis, you’ll start to pick up more about it. And for anyone starting to contribute to the WordPress project in general, I would say starting with documentation or unit testing is a really, really great way to kinda, dip your toe in the water and not feel too frustrated. And tutorials and demos and show us what you’re building. We wanna see it. I mean, send it to me, and I will show everyone that I know.

[00:16:40] Ryan: I mean, we wanna see what what people are building with it and because, you know, just like WordPress, I always use this example, but, like, people used to hack WordPress until we got a hook added for that particular thing that they were adding. So, if we don’t know what people are building or wanting to build with it, we can’t make those things happen. So knowing what people are building, how they’re building, and what they can’t build, what they’re running into, what issues they’re running into is the best way to contribute. So, so people smarter than me can build it for you. 

[00:17:08] Josepha: I love that call out, frankly.

So there’s, you know, the theory of tech adoption. And for things like the Interactivity API where we’re still kind of in the early adopter phase like, Ryan, you’re an early adopter. You’re doing everything you think you want to be able to do until it breaks. And, like, I love, like, test it till it fails as a concept of how to get involved in something because, like, you’re just experimenting, and we encourage experimentation in open source and in open source software and certainly in WordPress. And so, like, it is an unusual thing to think of, like, the best way that I can give back to this project, that I can contribute to this project and make sure that it continues to succeed long term is by using it until the wheels fall off and then tell people what made the wheels fall off.

Like, that is a change in thought, But you’re right. Like, it’s a very old school open source idea to just get in there and see where it breaks, and tell us. That’s it. That’s all we need. And I love it.

[00:18:08] Josepha: But I just passed my 9-year anniversary being a sponsored contributor, and I was in WordPress for a little bit before it. And so, like, I’m officially the old guard of us, and so the fact that I’m, like, so excited about the fact that people are gonna come in and break Mario’s stuff. Mario, don’t be scared. It’s how it works. But also, like, I do find that very exciting.

[00:18:31] Mario: I’m willing to see how people break things; that’s what we need. I totally agree with your reasoning.

[00:18:38] Josepha: Exactly. So I do have kind of, just, like, a final question for y’all. If there were one thing that you wanted the people who are listening to the WordPress Briefing to know about the Interactivity API, like a hidden gem, a little secret trick. Like, what would it be?

[00:18:57] Mario: For me, the most exciting part of the Interactivity API is the functionality the client-side navigation enables because there are many, many things there. And I’m sure that there are many things we haven’t thought about yet, and the community will come up with some ideas and that would be amazing.

[00:19:17] Ryan: For me, the thing is, I love how integrated it is with WordPress, and I know a lot of thought has gone into that without getting too into the weeds. The reasons the decisions that were made were made was so all the hooks and filters and all that goodness that we’ve had for 20 years is still gonna work. And with the HTML API, the tag processor stuff that’s going on behind the scenes, it’s just so cool. It works so well with WordPress. It just works and that’s probably it for me.

When I work with it, I’m not having to do any weird janky filtering or stuff that, like, you know, the things that I want to do are not hindered by the Interactivity API. The rather, I’m able to do more things because of it.

[00:19:58] Mario: I prefer Ryan’s answer.

[00:20:00] Mario: It’s something really important and it’s something we usually take for granted that it just works with WordPress APIs and the Block Editor, but if you think more about it, it’s amazing. Like, It’s what makes it really powerful, I I believe.

[00:20:15] Josepha: For what it’s worth, I think that’s true for a lot of, like, the R&D type things that we’re working on in the project right now. Right? Across Our ecosystem, like WP Playground. It is mind-boggling how progressive that is as a concept, and we currently have, like, you know, 25 ideas about what we could do with it, and we’re currently working on, like, five because we’ve got two and a half developers on it or something.

But, like, the expectation that it will just work is there for everybody who has, is not part of the R&D process, but for everyone else who’s, like, been watching its development over time, shocking. Shocking that it works at all. Not because it wasn’t supposed to work, but because, like, if someone had asked you five years ago if it was gonna be possible to run WordPress development environments locally and then also just export it and import it into whatever host you want. Like, without a host, without a server, we would all think that you were nuts. 

[00:21:22] Josepha: Amazing what’s happening there and, like, some of the things that we’re seeing, people who are, like, researching with AI in the WordPress space doing? Equally shocking. All of these things. Like, had you said anything to me about it five years ago, I’d be like, well, that is a mystery. So, every once in a while, I do have wild ideas about things that I wish we could do with our software. And so yesterday, I went and looked at a prototype for something that someone built based on a wish that I had in 2019. In 2019, I was like, you can play Skyrim on an Amazon Dot using just your voice. So like, why can’t we build a website?

[00:22:01] Josepha: And then in 2021, someone prototyped that for me. It was ridiculous. It was very bad. It was hilarious. But, also, like, it took 35 minutes to create a ‘Hello world’ page, which was ridiculous.

And now, like, what we’re looking at, the research that I keep seeing from that AI space is people saying, like, I’m gonna put in a plain text prompt. I need a website as a yoga instructor who also makes custom hats. Right? And then, like, poof. You have this thing that kinda looks like a website with your basic functions and features using the blocks that we have created for WordPress. Like it’s fascinating how far it’s come. And that’s in 2021. It was literally impossible the last time that I was talking about it with anyone, equally literally impossible. Everyone’s like, plain language prompts for stuff, like that is just a pipe dream. Get away from us.

And now I keep seeing, like, these demos of the research, and it’s not as far away as we all thought it was. For all these things, Playground, Interactivity API, The AI research is being done. Like, we’re just a walking R&D group over here in WordPress, and I love it. It’s fascinating. We’re just making the impossible possible every day, and I think that’s really cool.

[00:23:16] Ryan: So cool.

[00:23:18] Josepha: Sorry. I got really sidetracked. Do y’all have anything that you wanted to be sure to share about either the Interactivity API or anything that’s coming up? Something you wanna make that our listeners know? 

[00:23:29] Mario: I would just like to emphasize that we love feedback. Please share your feedback. If you test it, yeah, if you think it’s bad feedback, share it with us as well.

That’s especially the feedback we like. I don’t like this part. That’s great. We we want to know because the idea is that it serves all purposes for this kind of interactions. 

That nothing new, but I would like to emphasize that part.

[00:23:56] Josepha: You know what? There’s nothing new under the sun. It’s fine. You’re good. You should always tell people what you need.

[00:24:01] Ryan: If you’re interested in getting started with the Interactivity API and just don’t have any idea where to begin, there’s actually a pack there. There’s a Create Block template. So the Create Block package allows you to to quickly scaffold blocks.

And there’s a template that’s part of the Gutenberg repository. It’s been published on it and NPM. And it will scaffold a very simple block out for you and it’ll give you, it’ll show you all the plumbing and how all the pieces work together. So, I think that’s a fantastic place to get started. It’s a very simple block. It just basically shows and hides a message, but it’s all done via the Interactivity API, but it’s a really, really great sort of, like, like, ‘Hello world’ style. I’m gonna shamelessly self-promote myself at WordCamp Asia. I’ll be at WordCamp Asia this year doing a workshop where I will be doing some stuff with your Interactivity API. But, if you’re there and you wanna chat more about the Interactivity API, I am all ears, and I love talking about this stuff.

[00:24:51] Josepha: Cool. Ryan, Mario thank you so much for joining me today. This has been a wonderful conversation.

[00:24:58] Ryan: Thank you.

[00:24:58] Mario: Thank you.

[00:25:01] Josepha: So I hope that you all find that whole project as fascinating as I find it. The Interactivity API is, I know, something that we’ve kind of been talking about for a while. It showed up specifically in State of the Word, and it’s hard to understand how important, how vital that work is going to be until you really get your hands on it.

So I recommend you get in there. You take a look at it. I think also Ryan has a few live streams that he does, and he’s planning on a couple for the Interactivity API coming up. And so just keep an eye out for all of that as we go. 

[00:25:37] (Music interlude)

[00:25:49] Josepha: Now that brings us to our small list of big things.

Today, it’s a bunch of feedback and documentation. So, first things first. Did you know that the Documentation Team holds an online monthly Contributor Day on the fourth Tuesday of every month. It’s just an online docs day, and I love it. So, the next one that’s coming up is February 27th. We’re looking for folks to help. So show up, figure out how to get some docs done, and make the WordPress project easier to follow, one bit of documentation at a time. 

[00:26:16] Josepha: The next thing that I have is a request for feedback. So, we announced in December that we have a new centralized WordPress events landing page on WordPress.org, and we wanted to give more visibility to all kinds of WordPress events across the globe. But as always, we really could use your feedback about what is useful for you, what you had hoped to see, what you didn’t see. So, leave your comments with any relevant feedback about how you would improve those pages and the text on it. If you’re missing anything relevant, if there are ideas that you have for what could be there, all ideas are welcome. 

And then, the third thing that I have on our list today is another documentation thing. So, over the last year, a group of contributors have been working to improve the block development onboarding experience within the Block Editor handbook. That contains over 400 published pages, and the effort in 2023 to kind of overhaul that and make it easier was just the beginning. So, it’s a daunting task. It’s big. It’s complex, but improving documentation is one of the easiest ways to contribute to the WordPress project, especially If there are just quick fixes like typos or formatting. Feedback on the existing content, such as the new block tutorial, is invaluable. And so, if you have not taken a look at those yet, wander over to the show notes, click a link or two, take a look, get some feedback to us. 

[00:27:41] Josepha: And that, my friends, is your small list of big things. Don’t forget to follow us on your favorite podcast app or subscribe directly on WordPress.org/news. You’ll get a friendly reminder whenever there’s a new episode. If you like what you heard today, share it with a fellow WordPresser. Or, if you had questions about what you heard, you can share those with me at WPBriefing@WordPress.org. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Thanks for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks.

[00:28:09] (Music outro)

by Brett McSherry at February 19, 2024 12:00 PM under wp-briefing

February 17, 2024

Gutenberg Times: Vids on data views, image aspect ratio and synched pattern overrides, modern JS and more — Weekend Edition 285

Hey folks, this edition has scooped up some cool videos for you! No surprise there, since everyone’s buzzing with excitement over the fresh features rolling out in WordPress 6.5 now that Beta 1 has made its grand entrance.

Yours, 💕
Birgit

Developing Gutenberg and WordPress

WordPress 6.5 Beta 1 is now available for testing. The release post offers four ways to start testing this new version.

Olga Gleckler posted for the test team Help test WordPress 6.5 Beta 1

Damon Cook of WPEngine tweeted a link to a blueprint you can download and add to your LocalWP instance. More details are available in Cook’s blog post Beta Testing WordPress with Local Blueprints

InstaWP also tweeted a link to spin-up a test site with the beta version.


Release lead, Maggie Cabrera, published the release post on What’s new in Gutenberg 17.7? (14th February). She highlighted:

Tammie Lister and I will discuss the last two Gutenberg versions 17.6 and 17.7 in our upcoming Gutenberg Changelog recording for episode 96, happening next week. Stay tuned. You want to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast app.


Joen Asmussen posted a new Design Share: Jan 29-Feb 9 and shows off the work of the WordPress design team: of the last two weeks:

  • WordPress.org polished nav
  • Font Stacks
  • Discussion: Concerning Placeholders – designers among you might have an opinion to share
  • Summary polish
  • Revoking Google Fonts access
  • Openverse dark mode

Each item’s given a quick rundown so you can jump straight into the conversation spots. Drop your thoughts and join the chat!

Plugins, Themes, and Tools for #nocode site builders and owners

Tammie Lister published again more Editor Tips this week:


Anne McCarthy is on a roll again, creating awesome videos. This week’s video is about the New powerful views to make your own in WordPress 6.5 (and a taste of phase 3). The latest updates give you a new and improved way to view and rearrange the different parts of your website, like pages and designs, with ease. Now, with just a few clicks, you can choose how to see everything and decide what details you want to be visible. Think of it as organizing your workspace in a way that’s best for you.

These new tools are also preparing for more cool features to come in the future. Currently, these changes are only available for the website editing section, kind of like a test run. This allows people to try them out and give their thoughts, which helps decide how to introduce these helpful tools to other parts of the website-building process later on.


Jamie Marsland, PootlePress, seems Something small but HUGE is coming to WordPress 6.5. I would rather not spoil the clickbait :_)

(Click on the arrow next to the word Spoiler to review the big little secret.)

Spoiler

Marsland is showing the difference between 6.4 and 6.5 with the handling of background image in the cover block when downsizing to mobile. You can now set the aspect ratio.


Inspired by the article Synced Pattern Overrides – an early review, Matt Medeiros posted a video New in WordPress 6.5: Synced Pattern Overrides walking his audience through the blog post and zero’d in on the business aspect of it if you are building sites for others. “Synced Pattern Overrides takes using Patterns to a new level, especially when you’re collaborating with others on your WordPress website. Patterns make it easy to design a collection of blocks to use across your website. In WordPress 6.5, you’ll be able to assign individual blocks to allow users to override, when using synced patterns.”, he wrote in the description.


Anne McCarthy also created a stand-alone video about the Synced Patterns Overrides: Explore a game changing feature for synced patterns in WordPress 6.5.

This video goes through a new feature coming to synced patterns in WordPress 6.5 that allows you to set on a block by block basis the ability to customize the content of an individual instance while keeping the overall layout intact.

Want to modify the layout of every instance? Go for it. Want to reset an individual instance to the original so you can start over? Easy.
Currently, this only works with the Heading, Button, Paragraph, and Image blocks. Join the discussion around how you’d like to see this feature evolve beyond WordPress 6.5

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

Elliot Richmond recorded a YouTube Video to help fellow developer to understand Block Theme Development. “Block themes simplify this process allowing developers to create fairly simple HTML themes, lowering the barrier to entry for WordPress enthusiasts, and also adds the benefit of using a block-based approach to building websites through the full site editing experience.” he wrote in the description.

Hey there! Check out the latest “Keeping up with Gutenberg – Index 2024” where you’ll find a fresh, up-to-date list of all the posts from the teams working hard on Gutenberg. We’re talking Design, Theme Review, Core Editor, and more, from January 2024 onwards. I’ve been keeping tabs on everything just for you.

Want to take a walk down memory lane? No problem! You can revisit the old days with these links: 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023. Have fun diving in!

Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.

In her post Development challenges with WP blocks and Gutenberg, Anne-Mieke Bovelet interviewed Jakob Trost about the complexities and learning experiences of dealing with challenges such as unfiltered HTML, the navigation block and global styles.


Woo 8.6 has been released and brings, among other things, Product Blocks & Order Attribution Updates. Nigel Stevenson highlights

  • New block style for the Product Details block
  • Six new collections added to the Product Collection Block
  • Featured products in the New Product Form
  • New important notices for Legacy REST API users
  • Improvements to debug logging
  • Bringing back classic notice templates for classic themes

On that last item, Niels Lange published a Tutorial: Overriding notice templates on the Woo Developer Blog. He covers the topic for both, classic themes as well as block themes.


In his latest video, Using Core Data and Sharing Context across WordPress Blocks, Brian Coords covers how to use the WordPress Core Data package to communicate across blocks. “We get pretty deep into the weeds to understand tools like useSelect, useDispatch, block context, block filters, and more.” The transcript is available on his website.


Deryck Oñate shared in his post “How to create a Dynamic Block in WordPress” the steps on creating a custom block to read external information and render it on the front end of a website. He covered how to use the create-block scaffolding tool to start a dynamic block and shared the PHP, CSS, and JavaScript code on how to query an external API and display the results in the editor screen and on the front end.

Ryan Welcher has a quick tip for you as YouTube Short:  Creating a plugin with multiple blocks, and tells you how to get this accomplished with the create-block scaffolding tool and wp-scripts package.

Developer Hours

The recording of this week’s Developer Hours on JavaScript for modern WordPress development is now available on YouTube. In this one-hour session, Ryan Welcher and Nick Diego explored how JavaScript is used in modern WordPress development. Whether you’re just beginning your WordPress journey, or if you’re already familiar with development and looking to stay updated with the latest techniques, this Developer hours equips you with the knowledge and practical tools to effectively build your own custom blocks and Editor extensions. The shared resources are available on this Google Doc.

Upcoming Developer Hours

Save the date for the next Developer Hours. Some are still working on but join the WordPress Online Learning Meetup group to receive notifications of newly added events.


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by Birgit Pauli-Haack at February 17, 2024 01:26 AM under Weekend Edition

February 16, 2024

WPTavern: Bricks 1.9.6.1 Patches Critical RCE Vulnerability

First disclosed by security researcher Calvin Alkan of snicco, the vulnerability impacts all versions of Bricks Builder before version 1.9.6.1. Identified as a Remote Code Execution (RCE) flaw, it poses a critical security risk, allowing attackers to potentially gain unauthorized control over websites running on an affected version of Bricks.

What is Bricks?

Bricks or Bricks Builder is a visual site builder that allows users to create web pages on WordPress without using code through their drag-and-drop interface. Unlike other similar products in the WordPress ecosystem which deliver functionality through plugins, the Bricks Builder uses the theme functionality as it’s way of delivering features to users.

Understanding RCE Vulnerabilities

RCE vulnerabilities are among the most critical types of security flaws. They allow attackers to execute arbitrary code on a website from a remote location, allowing them to control the site, access confidential data, distribute malware, and more.

Timeline of the Patch

The vulnerability disclosure timeline is commendable for its efficiency. The flaw was reported to Bricks by security research team snicco on February 10, 2024, marking the start of a swift and effective response. Bricks acknowledged the issue on the same day and, by February 13, had released the patch (1.9.6.1) following snicco’s recommendations. 

Update Highly Recommended

Wordfence has labelled the severity of this vulnerability a 9.8 out of 10 while Patchstack has labelled it a 10 out 10, marking it a critical update for website owners using Bricks. Users are urged to update their installations immediately to protect their sites from potential exploits.

If you would like to learn more about how this security vulnerability was discovered, Calvin Alkan will be joining Remkus de Vries on his show for a discussion on this and other related security topics.

by James Giroux at February 16, 2024 07:52 PM under News

WPTavern: EU Regulatory Success Prompts Open-Source CMS Leaders to Form Alliance

tl;dr

The Open Web Alliance is a formalization of the more loose Inter-CMS Working Group that recently scored a huge regulatory win by changing the language in the EU’s Cyber Resilience Act. Moving forward, the organization hopes to promote open-source projects and the cause of the open web to legislators around the world.

For those of us in WordPress, regulatory oversight is probably a future we can anticipate. If we want to remain competitive in the enterprise/government space, we’ll need to figure out how to be more proactive at compliance and security and get better at sharing the positive open-source narrative.


The regulatory landscape that the WordPress community finds itself in today is vastly different from where we’ve been. Governments are accelerating their regulatory oversight of technology and introducing new legislation regularly to try and catch up with the pace of innovation. 

In Europe recently we’ve seen two landmark pieces of legislation, the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the proposed Cyber Resilience Act (CRA). While both have created news in technology circles it is the CRA that has been of particular concern to the WordPress community and other open-source projects. 

In an open letter to EU legislators in July 2023, the leaders of WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and TYPO3 highlighted the risks to open-source and began a collaborative effort called the Inter-CMS Working Group to bring about significant change to the wording proposed in the CRA.

The Impact of Collaborative Advocacy

In early December, after several months of dialogue, investigation and negotiation, the EU parliament released an updated draft of the legislation that looks to have resolved many of the primary concerns raised by open-source communities.

The revised Act makes a concerted effort to ensure that the regulations are practical and do not hinder the collaborative spirit or the ways of working that open-source projects like WordPress rely on.

With the success of amending the CRA as a foundation to build on, the four open-source communities represented in the Inter-CMS Working Group recently established the Open Web Alliance.

This Alliance, now formalized with a charter, represents a collective commitment to furthering the education about and advocacy of open-source benefits and principles.

Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany.Photo by Federico Orlandi on Pexels.com

The Future of the Open Web Alliance

The Open Web Alliance aims to promote and defend the rights of open-source projects, aspiring to create a better web. It emphasizes encouraging the use of open-source software, sharing best practices, and supporting third-party open-source projects.

This collaborative body, while not a legal entity, signifies a structured approach to ensuring open-source software remains a vibrant and integral part of the digital landscape.

Moving forward, the presence of the Open Web Alliance could be a game-changer in how open-source communities navigate regulatory challenges and advocate for policies that recognize and support the unique nature of open-source development.

Its charter underscores a commitment to openness, trust, and quality, offering a platform for open-source CMS projects to collaborate more effectively.

This transition toward a more formalized alliance underscores the WordPress community’s role not just in advocacy, but in shaping a future where open-source principles are acknowledged and protected in the global digital policy arena.

The Open Web Alliance’s foundation and its charter reflect a mature, strategic approach to ensuring that the ethos of open-source software continues to thrive amidst an evolving regulatory landscape.

Navigating A Regulatory Future: Implications for WordPress Businesses

The recent developments around the CRA and the active role of the (now) Open Web Alliance highlight a broader trend: the regulatory landscape impacting open-source software is evolving.

For WordPress businesses, the amendments to the CRA represent a momentary sigh of relief, but the horizon suggests that regulatory challenges will persist.

From a business perspective, the future willingness of enterprises and government entities to adopt open-source software may hinge on how effectively the community can navigate these regulations.

The Open Web Alliance’s efforts to advocate for open-source principles–emphasizing security, reliability, and openness–become crucial in this context. 

It’s also worth considering that the relationship dynamics between government entities, enterprises, and open-source vendors are likely to evolve. A failure to leverage open-source software due to regulatory or compliance concerns could limit innovation and flexibility for governments and businesses alike. 

For the WordPress ecosystem, this underscores the importance of supporting initiatives like the Open Web Alliance, ensuring that open-source software remains a viable, attractive option for all users, regardless of the regulatory climate.

By focusing on education, advocacy, and the development of compliance tools, the WordPress community can help mitigate potential reservations from enterprise and government sectors.

This proactive stance not only defends the community’s interests but also promotes the fundamental advantages of open-source software in fostering innovation, security, and a more inclusive digital future.

What do you think? Is this just a dodged bullet of government over-reach or the beginning of a new more regulated future? How do you think businesses and contributors should respond?

by James Giroux at February 16, 2024 04:54 PM under News

Matt: On StellarWP Podcast

I’m still doing some podcasts as sabbatical-Matt, especially with the WordPress community which for me isn’t really work, it’s building relationships in our community of practice. If you know me, I can wax poetic about WordPress for hours! It’s what I do for fun. Here’s my first post-sabbatical interview with Michelle Frechette. Another unusual thing about this interview is I was quarantining with Covid!

by Matt at February 16, 2024 04:15 PM under WordPress

Do The Woo Community: WooBits, a Plethora of WooCommerce Tips and Insights

WooBits, a end of the week show that highlights concise and useful WooCommerce tips for builders and businesses.

>> The post WooBits, a Plethora of WooCommerce Tips and Insights appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce and WordPress Builder Podcast .

by BobWP at February 16, 2024 10:18 AM under BobWP

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February 27, 2024 04:15 AM
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