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May 04, 2016

WPTavern: New Super Emoji Plus+ Plugin Adds an Elegant Emoji Picker to WordPress

Last week when Beyoncé released her new Lemonade album, lemon and bee emoji usage spiked on Twitter. According to Twitter’s stats, during the month of April there were more than 2 million tweets that included at least one lemon emoji, 62% of which happened since the album release. The bee emoji, representing the Beyhive of Beyoncé fans, also found its way into 1.8 million tweets during April.

There’s no denying that emoji permeate our culture and communication on the web, especially the mobile web. When people are excited, when they are communicating from the heart, they often use emoji. According to a study performed by emotional marketing platform Emogi last year, 92% of people online use emoji and 63% of them are frequent users.

Last year WordPress 4.2 expanded core support for emoji, adding along with it the ability to natively handle Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters. This improvement came not a moment too soon, but emoji are still not readily accessible when publishing with WordPress until you launch the emoji keyboard for your operating system. There’s something disjointed about having to launch a separate keyboard when you’re trying to compose your thoughts.

Super Emoji Plus+ is a new plugin that makes emoji more accessible. It was created by Eric Andrew Lewis, a WordPress core contributor and developer at The New York Times. The plugin adds an elegant emoji picker to the post edit screen. It can be launched from the toolbar or via autocomplete when you start typing an emoji name, such as “:lemon”.

super-emoji-toolbar

If you use emoji in your WordPress posts, Super Emoji Plus+ provides convenient access to the full list. There’s no easier way to add emoji if you’re working from a desktop, as most emoji keyboard experiences are inferior to the one presented in this plugin. Having it installed removes the need for cheat sheets and saves you from having to remember the correct key combinations to launch an emoji keyboard. Super Emoji Plus+ went into beta last week and is now available on WordPress.org.

by Sarah Gooding at May 04, 2016 06:15 AM under emoji

May 03, 2016

WPTavern: bbPress 2.5.9 Patches Cross-Site-Scripting Vulnerability

John James Jacoby, lead developer of bbPress, has released bbPress 2.5.9 to patch a security vulnerability, “bbPress 2.5.8 and below are susceptible to a cross-site-scripting vulnerability that’s due to the way users are linked to their profiles when they are mentioned in topics and replies,” Jacoby said.

Marc-Alexandre Montpas is credited for responsibly disclosing the vulnerability to the WordPress security team. The patch has already been applied to bbPress 2.6, which is currently in development. Users are advised to update their bbPress installations as soon as possible. Users who encounter issues updating to 2.5.9 can report them to the bbPress support forums.

by Jeff Chandler at May 03, 2016 11:10 PM under security

WPTavern: WordPress Theme Review Team Votes on New Guidelines to Ban Obtrusive Upselling

photo credit: Post no bills - (license)photo credit: Post no bills(license)

One of the main items on the agenda for the Theme Review Team this week was to finalize what type of upselling is allowed in themes hosted on WordPress.org. With the requirement of using the customizer for options, theme authors have gotten creative with upsells and will sometimes include panels and sections that are inoperable unless the user purchases the commercial version.

The team voted on a set of guidelines previously discussed. The counts shown below represent votes in favor of each individual guideline, and no members voted against any of them, according to the reckoning Justin Tadlock posted in the meeting notes:

  • No global nags at top of admin pages. +12
  • One top-level link in the customizer (other unobtrusive links in sections allowed). +8
  • Allow one Appearance sub-page. +11
  • No options or panels/sections behind a paywall. +11

Overall, team members agreed that any upsell links should be unobtrusive and the new proposed guidelines favor keeping the customizer clean and the Appearance menu simple. Although the majority of Theme Review Team members are in favor of the items above, their inclusion in the handbook is not yet set in stone.

“Note that we might change some of the wording for clarity if/when these become guidelines,” Tadlock said. “The admins will review these items for inclusion as guidelines and have further discussion if need be.”

Theme Review Team Considers Adding a Tag to Designate Themes with a Commercial Upgrade

Contributors are looking to add a new designation for freemium WordPress.org extensions that have commercial counterparts available elsewhere. In a recent Meta Team meeting, Matt Mullenweg proposed an agenda item for consideration in the redesign of the Plugin Directory.

“I would love for y’all to figure out a tagging system that will help people know better what’s behind the installation of a plugin,” Mullenweg said. “Does it connect to an external service? Is there a premium version? Is it useful without those things?

“If we can figure out a way to classify those three as examples, it’ll cover a lot of business models people are attempting in the directory,” Mullenweg said, referring to the original examples of Akismet, VaultPress, and Jetpack that he mentioned previously.

“This can be separate from the 3-tag limit,” he said. “It’s really a special tag, and honor system is fine to start for self-classification.”

This hasn’t yet been implemented in the new Plugin Directory, but Konstantin Obenland has the item on his list for when the Meta Team moves forward with an overhaul of the tagging system.

As a result of this discussion, the Theme Review Team is also considering adding a “pro” designation for themes that have a commercial version available. Tadlock said that the team will be following up on the plugin directory discussions and will look to implement improved tagging in line with what the Meta Team decides.

The Theme Review Team ran out of time during this week’s meeting but will discuss the possibility of a “pro” tag next week. If you want to be part of this discussion, make sure to join the #themereview channel on WordPress’ Slack.

by Sarah Gooding at May 03, 2016 09:58 PM under WordPress Theme Review

WPTavern: WordCamp Incubator Program Receives 182 Applications, Narrows Candidates to 16 Communities

photo credit: Chilliwack Chicken Chick - (license)photo credit: Chilliwack Chicken Chick(license)

In February the WordPress Community team announced that it would be launching an experimental WordCamp Incubator program. After a short application window of less than two weeks, the team received 182 applications from cities all over the world. Andrea Middleton reported that the team has narrowed the submissions down to the following 16 communities:

  • Denpasar, Indonesia
  • Chandigarh, India
  • Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Kalamata, Greece
  • Kampala, Uganda
  • Kochi, India
  • Lagos, Nigeria
  • Medellin, Colombia
  • Nagpur, India
  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Udaipur, India
  • Ulyanovsk, Russia

Some of these communities already have active local meetups and others have no organization whatsoever. Selection of the final cities will be based on the location’s potential to foster an emerging WordPress community.

The original plan was to incubate three WordCamps in 2016, but due to staffing changes the new scaled back plan is to commit to two events and intensively mentor a third. Middleton explained that the difference between the two is in the amount of support the local team will receive from the designated community team deputy:

Incubating an event will involve the deputy both advising local volunteers — acting as a kind of project manager for the team — as well as doing some of the organizing work on the event, like a lead organizer usually does. Intensively-mentoring will be more project management and involve less actual organizing work on the part of the deputy.

Middleton said the team is speaking with the remaining applicants about their communities and assessing their abilities to organize a one-day, one-track WordCamp with the help of the community team. The small events will focus on getting the local community connected for future events.

The WordCamp Incubator program is an intriguing concept that has so far received a great deal of interest from potential new organizers. Many locations in the remaining list of candidates are situated in regions that are not as easily accessible to existing WordPress communities. These are places that might not otherwise have an opportunity to host a WordCamp for years without a little boost.

We’ll be following the progress of the Incubator program to see if the experiment can successfully hatch a handful of new local communities. The three locations selected will be announced this month.

by Sarah Gooding at May 03, 2016 04:15 PM under wordcamp incubator program

May 02, 2016

WPTavern: BuddyExtender: A Plugin for Configuring Internal BuddyPress Settings

photo credit: 	Drew Patrick Millerphoto credit: Drew Patrick Miller

The BuddyPress codex has a long list of internal configuration settings that are not exposed in the plugin’s admin settings page. These are short definition lines that can be added to a site’s bp-custom.php file to make changes to BuddyPress default settings.

BuddyExtender is a new plugin from the development team at WebDevStudios that aims to make it easier for community managers to access extra configuration options. The plugin puts a dozen internal BuddyPress settings at your fingertips, including avatar sizes, autocomplete settings, the ability to disable @mentions, and more.

buddy-extender

Once installed, the plugin can be configured at Settings -> BuddyExtender in the admin. Each setting has an explanation on the plugin’s homepage on Pluginize, WebDevStudio’s new plugin shop. Some of these settings have the ability to powerfully affect the display of your BuddyPress site, so its creators warn users to try it on a test environment before going live with their selections. The team plans to add more options to the plugin in the future. You can download BuddyExtender for free from WordPress.org.

by Sarah Gooding at May 02, 2016 10:33 PM under Plugins

WPTavern: Customize Posts Plugin and Selective Refresh are Paving the Way for Front-End Editing Powered by the Customizer

photo credit: Paintbrush - (license)photo credit: Paintbrush(license)

Last week Weston Ruter and the folks at XWP released Customize Posts version 0.5, which includes a new framework for postmeta and the ability to preview featured images. The feature plugin aims to introduce basic content authorship in the Customizer to improve the new user site setup experience and make it easier to edit existing content.

As of 0.5, Customize Posts supports the ability to change and preview the page template, and will sync changes back to the metabox on the page edit screen. It also supports changing the post author, excerpt, and comment/ping status, with live previews and changes saved to the editor. Check out Ruter’s screencast touring the plugin’s newest capabilities:

Front-End Editing Powered by the Customizer: A Not-Too-Distant Possibility

With all these advanced editing capabilities, it doesn’t take a giant leap to imagine a future where the customizer provides the architecture for a front-end post editor. While WordPress’ front-end editor project seems to have gone dormant, improvements to the Customizer are steadily chipping away at the various aspects of content authorship that are not yet editable on the frontend.

“Now that we have the ability to selectively refresh elements without doing full page reloads, this opens the door to using these Customizer components outside of the Customizer itself, such as in the frontend,” Ruter said.

Front-end editing of partials, which are similar to customizer controls but exist in the preview, is a natural extension of the selective refresh architecture and a concept that Ruter will be exploring in the near future.

“Consider, for example, being logged-in on the frontend,” Ruter said. “You see something you want to edit and you click on it. Since the Customizer partials all have selectors associated with them, if the partials are registered with each logged-in frontend request, then there are containers that can be targeted for editing.”

Ruter envisions that clicking on an element would load the controls for that element on demand via a lazy-loaded Customizer pane or a floating control. He said that this would work in concert with customizer transactions (aka snapshots) to store the changes persistently in a transaction.

Front-end editing powered by the customizer, according to Ruter, would involve the following:

  1. Being able to click Customize in the admin bar to lazy-load the Customizer pane’s controls into the existing page without having to having to navigate to `customize.php`
  2. Being able to click on individual containers that have associated partials to start editing controls that relate to those partials
  3. All changes made on the frontend to be persisted in a transaction draft that is initialized on demand

The ability to edit posts in the customizer on the front-end isn’t going to happen overnight, but Ruter thinks a proof of concept could be available this year.

“It’s going to take some discovery and prototyping, similar to Customize Posts,” Ruter said. “My guess is there would be something to play around with in Q3, depending on other projects and having enough time to put down on paper these ideas that have been floating around for a couple years.”

An important step towards making that possible will be getting basic content authorship added to the Customizer, which Ruter and contributors are working towards for the upcoming WordPress 4.6 release.

These will be welcome changes for those who are looking to do more on the frontend, but it still leaves the bulk of content editing behind the admin. Unless you’re a developer who follows every update to the customizer, it’s still confusing for the average WordPress user to know what content can be edited on the frontend vs. content that requires returning to the admin. The editing experience will remain disjointed until the majority of tasks can be done on the frontend.

by Sarah Gooding at May 02, 2016 06:15 PM under customizer

WPTavern: Templatic Hacked, Files and Databases Compromised

Templatic, a WordPress commercial theme company, reported on Saturday, April 30th, that its site was hacked. Files and databases containing customer usernames and passwords were compromised. According to R. Bhavesh, founder of Templatic, the data is being held for ransom money.

The hacker is now threatening us via email and demanding ransom money be paid. This hacker is also threatening to misuse the data they’ve illegally gained access to and email our data to customers.

While this is a very serious and dangerous threat, we are not going to give in to threats and we will not be negotiating with any hacker and that’s no matter how much they try.

Bhavesh is working with local authorities and security experts who are investigating the matter. Since transactions on Templatic are handled directly by PayPal or 2Checkout, hackers were not able to obtain credit card information.

Customers Should Immediately Change Their Passwords

If you’ve ever shared cPanel, FTP, or wp-admin, login credentials with Templatic, you should immediately change your passwords. If you are using a product that relies on the Tevolution plugin and haven’t updated yet, you should do so immediately.

Customers are advised to ignore emails sent from Templatic, “The email we sent today is the last email we will send regarding this matter. Anything further, we will share it on our social mediate accounts at twitter, facebook and our official blog here,” Bhavesh said.

Customers are also advised to create a full backup of their sites and use a free site scanning tool to scan for unknown files. Bhavesh apologized for what happened and says he accepts full responsibility, “I take up the responsibility of this and I sincerely apologize to each single one of our customers. We assure you that we are taking best security measures and fight this, no matter what.”

by Jeff Chandler at May 02, 2016 05:18 PM under templatic

April 29, 2016

WPTavern: WordPress is Now 100% Translated Into Marathi

The Polyglots team announced this week that WordPress is now 100% translated into Marathi, an Indian language with an estimated 73 million native speakers. Marathi is one of the official languages of Western India and is the 19th most spoken language in the world ranked by the number of native speakers.

wp-in-marathi

Less than a week ago, the Marathi translation was at just 10%, but the new translation teams rallied during the Global WordPress Translation Day event to complete it in a matter of days. According to organizer Petya Raykovska, “India was the big surprise with four of the big Indian languages getting new contributors, forming teams, and connecting across India with one another to collaborate live.”

Thanks to the eight local translation team events in India, Marathi received a strong enough push to get all WordPress strings translated at 100% just a few days after the event concluded. Hindi is also now at 100% and the other Indian languages are off to a good start with the newly-formed translation teams.

by Sarah Gooding at April 29, 2016 09:48 PM under polyglots

WPTavern: Create Beer Menus with the Easy Beer Lister Plugin for WordPress

beer

The explosion of the craft beer scene in recent years means that more breweries and beer bars are building their websites on WordPress. What are you looking for when you visit one of these websites? Why, the beer of course! Unfortunately, with the demands of brewing and serving customers, owners of these establishments don’t always have time to update their available beers.

The Easy Beer Lister plugin was created to help breweries keep their information up-to-date. It offers an easy way for users to organize beer on on their websites with the additional benefit of being able to create beer menus with the same information. The menus are mobile friendly and can be printed or displayed on a TV screen.

Alex Standiford initially started on this project out of a desire to improve his WordPress plugin development skills, but it quickly grew from there once he learned how difficult it is for brewers to keep their beer information up-to-date across all of their mediums.

“Many breweries copy/paste their beer menu to their website, or simply don’t update their website at all,” Standiford said. “I even heard of a brewer who was staying up late every Friday to update his powerpoint presentation for his beer menu!

“Once I realized how much time this was taking from the busy brewery owner, I knew that I needed to do something better than what others have done. I needed to provide them with a single place to update their beer information, where they could efficiently display it to customers in many different ways.”

Easy Beer Lister adds a Beer Post Type to your WordPress site with special fields for ABV, OG, IBU, Untappd URL, video, and an image gallery.

beer-post-type-easy-beer-lister

Beer styles can be added as categories and beer pairings as tags. Availability can also be specified via a custom taxonomy using terms such as On-Tap, Spring, Summer, Year-Round, etc. Beers take on the design of the active theme, but you can further customize the post type to improve its display. The plugin comes with a few basic templates, but Standiford is also creating more that can be added on.

beer-page

Once beers are organized and added to WordPress, users can create custom beer menus to display available beers. Sorting methods, such as availability, food pairings, and what’s on tap, can be bulk-edited in the admin.

beer-menu

Easy Beer Lister also includes shortcodes for displaying a specific beer or a list of beers:

  • [beer] – Create a URL to a specified beer. The link also shows a preview of the beer when you hover over it with your mouse.
  • [beer_list] – Create a list of beers based on specified parameters, such as style or pairings.

Standiford plans to open a marketplace for GPL add-ons that extend Easy Beer Lister. Untappd Importer is his first add-on, which makes it easy for breweries to get started without having to manually enter all of their beers.

“With this add-on, I was able to import all 600+ beers from Dogfish Head Brewing’s Untappd page in about three minutes, including the ABV and IBU information,” Standiford said. He is working on other add-ons such as a beer image generator, an Instagram photo import function, and a bartender suite that allows bartenders to access a page to add/remove beers from the tap menu/website quickly.

“The plugin is more than a tool to help brewers manage their beer on their website,” Standiford said. “I aim to use it to dramatically reduce the amount of time a brewer spends updating beer information on all facets of their business.”

by Sarah Gooding at April 29, 2016 06:46 PM under beer

April 28, 2016

WPTavern: WordCamp Organizers Get New Tool for Creating Personalized WordCamp Badges

Creating personalized WordCamp badges for attendees has traditionally been a time-consuming task for event organizers. Last year the community held 89 WordCamps with 21,000 attendees, and each person received a name badge customized for the event they participated in. That’s a massive number of badges to prepare for printing.

In the past, WordCamp organizers used an InDesign template for making the badges, but this required a tedious process of creating a CSV file of attendees, running a custom script, and completing a list of complicated steps. George Stephanis, who had experience using the InDesign template, wanted to simplify this process for organizers and help them move away from having to use a proprietary, commercial software product.

He built a proof-of-concept plugin that allows organizers to create badges with HTML and CSS inside the WordPress admin. After several iterations and contributions from the community team, Ian Dunn announced that the tool is now ready for use.

WordCamp organizers can access the tool under Tickets > Tools > Generate Badges or by navigating through the Customizer to the CampTix HTML Badges panel. The default badge design is shown below with the back of the badge (upside-down) and the front beneath it with a marker for poking the lanyard holes. User names and gravatars are automatically displayed.

wordcamp-badges-with-html-css

Stephanis included the CodeMirror bundled with Jetpack’s Custom CSS module to make it easier for organizers to customize the badge design to suit the theme of the WordCamp. The plugin also makes it fairly easy to customize any aspect of the badge using CSS.

“The underlying markup has plenty of CSS classes to help with customization,” Dunn said. “For example, you could make volunteer badges have a different background color (so that volunteers are easier to find), or make attendees’ last names appear in a smaller font than their first names. There are also plenty of empty < div > elements that you can re-purpose for arbitrary design features.”

Once the design is finished, organizers can export as a PDF and take it to a print shop. Documentation for customizing the badges is available in the WordCamp Organizer handbook.

Organizers are still welcome to use the InDesign tool to create badges, but the new plugin for the customizer is a much easier entry point for those who aren’t familiar with InDesign. If you can help improve the tool, the code is open source on the Meta repository and available for anyone to patch.

by Sarah Gooding at April 28, 2016 11:15 PM under wordcamp organizers

WPTavern: WordCamp Tokyo 2016 Calls for Speakers, Adds New English Track

wordcamp-tokyo
WordCamp Tokyo 2016 will be held September 17-18 at the Bellesalle Shinjuku Grand. This will be the 9th edition of the event, which sold out last year with 750 attendees.

Yesterday the WordCamp’s organizers put out a call for both for English and Japanese speakers. Last year the event hosted a selection of English sessions, but the 2016 edition will add a dedicated track for English speakers with simultaneous interpretation.

The WordCamp will be broken into three tracks: User, Technical, and Global. Descriptions and example topics for each are available in the post calling for speakers. All English language presentations will be placed under the Global track but speakers are welcome to submit any topic.

The theme of WordCamp Tokyo 2016 is “breaking dawn.” With the advent of the WP REST API and the recent surge in WordPress-powered application development, the WordPress community is entering a new era. Organizers have selected a motto as part of the theme:

Let’s try something new,” said organizer Toru Miki. “That is the message we want to get across to the WordCamp Tokyo 2016 attendees. Our goal is to offer sessions that can motivate and stimulate them, just like the beam of sunlight in the dawn.”

If you want to attend one of the biggest WordCamps on the planet and you have a topic that you think can inspire attendees, the speaker application deadline is Friday, June 10. Presentations can be 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or 75 minutes. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status by mid-July.

by Sarah Gooding at April 28, 2016 08:38 PM under wordcamp tokyo

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 232 – Recap of WordCamp San Diego 2016

In this episode of WordPress Weekly, Marcus Couch and I discuss the news of the week as our guest couldn’t make it.

Marcus shares his experience at WordCamp San Diego this past weekend and offers feedback to the organizing team. We let you know what’s in the recently released WordPress update and discuss what happens to the data WordPress.org collects from users sites. As usual, Marcus ends the show with his plugin picks of the week.

Stories Discussed:

WordPress 4.5.1 Fixes 12 Bugs
Global WordPress Translation Day Draws 448 Participants from 105 Countries
WordPress for iOS Adds Geotag Support, Comment Moderation Gestures
WordPress 4.6 to Update Theme Filter Tags in the Admin
What WordPress.org Does with the Data it Collects from Users Sites

Plugins Picked By Marcus:

Video Gallery – YouTube and Vimeo Video Gallery is a responsive plugin that allows you to show YouTube and Vimeo videos in various formats.

OnSale Page for WooCommerce is an extension for WooCommerce that enables you to have a On Sale page with paging, sorting, and filtering options.

Embed Google AdWords Codes on WooCommerce enables users to implement Google AdWords conversion tracking to determine how effective ads are. It provides information such as the number of clicks that are generating sales.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, May 4th 9:30 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via RSS: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Stitcher Radio: Click here to subscribe

Listen To Episode #232:

by Jeff Chandler at April 28, 2016 06:24 AM under WordPress for iOS

WPTavern: Array Cuts Theme Club Pricing, Releases Free Theme Pack

array-logo

Array launched a redesign of its theme shop this week along with drastic price cuts for single theme and club purchases. After conducting a customer survey earlier this year, the company moved to act on feedback regarding its pricing structure.

Previously, Array offered single theme purchases ranging in price from $49 to $89 and the entire collection for $199. The new pricing is more straightforward with all single themes at $49 and club membership for $89.

The company, which began under the name Okay Themes and rebranded two years ago, announced last April that it would be returning to Themeforest after disappointing experiences selling on Creative Market and WordPress.com. Array currently has five items in its portfolio on Themeforest ranging in price from $44-64. The company negotiated an agreement with the marketplace that gives them a better rate than other non-exclusive authors typically receive.

“Although I can’t go into this in too much detail, we are actually not operating at the typical non-exclusive author rates, as most would rightfully assume,” founder Mike McAlister said in a comment on our post about the news. “We’ve worked out a mutually beneficial agreement with Envato that gives us a little more room for experimentation and bandwidth for providing quality support.”

With equal or more affordable pricing at Themeforest, customers had little incentive to buy directly from the Array website with the previous pricing structure in place. The new $89 club membership is now more compelling for those who are interested in purchasing multiple themes directly from Array.

In addition to the the redesign and new pricing, Array released a free theme pack to help potential customers get acquainted with their products before purchasing. The pack includes five of their most popular themes, some of which were not previously offered for free, including Author, Editor, Fixed, Typable and Transmit. Editor is also available on WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

free-theme-pack

Array’s journey over the past two years, which includes pulling out of Themeforest, rebranding, and then jumping back into the marketplace with a more beneficial arrangement, necessitated an update in its pricing structure in order to remain competitive. Customers gravitate towards straightforward pricing that they can understand, especially when products are sold across multiple marketplaces.

The theme shop’s experimentation with selling on Themeforest, WordPress.com, Creative Market, Mojo Marketplace, and Array’s own website shows how much it has had to adapt to reach potential customers. Commercial WordPress themes are a multi-million dollar industry, but there’s no single avenue paved to success even when partnering with one of the dominant marketplaces.

by Sarah Gooding at April 28, 2016 05:32 AM under themeforest

April 27, 2016

Matt: You Yourself

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

This quote is almost always attributed to Buddha. Luckily there’s a great WordPress site called Fake Buddha Quotes that tracks down its actual provenance.

by Matt at April 27, 2016 09:55 PM under Asides

Matt: Secret History of Tiger Woods

ESPN has a fascinating longread on The Secret History of Tiger Woods, especially in the context of his relationship with and the death of his father.

by Matt at April 27, 2016 03:33 AM under Asides

April 26, 2016

WPTavern: A 42-Year-Old Developer’s Advice on Working in Tech

photo credit: Aliis Sinisaluphoto credit: Aliis Sinisalu

Adrian Kosmaczewski, a 42-year-old, self-taught developer, published an article today titled Being A Developer After 40. The piece is full of sage advice that is resonating with developers of all ages. His post is a summary of a talk he gave at the App Builders Switzerland conference in April with the accompanying slides available on Speaker Deck.

Kosmaczewski gives readers a glimpse into what the world of technology was like in 1997, the year he began his career as a developer before the days of unit tests and continuous integration, before SVN even existed.

My first job consisted of writing ASP pages in various editors, ranging from Microsoft FrontPage, to HotMeTaL Pro to EditPlus, managing cross-browser compatibility between Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer 4, and writing stored procedures in SQL Server 6.5 powering a commercial website published in Japanese, Russian, English and Spanish — without any consistent UTF-8 support across the software stack.

If you worked as a developer in those days you may fondly remember working with some of these technologies. Since then, countless new ones have been introduced but the requirement to keep learning remains unchanged. Kosmaczewski offers advice on navigating the hype surrounding the newest programming languages.

Do not worry about hype. Keep doing your thing, keep learning what you were learning, and move on. Pay attention to it only if you have a genuine interest, or if you feel that it could bring you some benefit in the medium or long run.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the new languages and frameworks that people say you need to learn in order to stay relevant, but Kosmaczewski encourages readers to follow their own interests and learn about software history. Otherwise, you’ll be forever chasing new architectures and ideas but never learning them in depth or gaining more than a shallow understanding of their implementation.

In an industry where professionals are valued by their abilities in specific languages, many programmers allow their identity to be wrapped up in the tools they use. Kosmaczewski encourages readers to be ready to change course:

Do not criticize or make fun of the technology choices of your peers; for other people will have their own reasons to choose them, and they must be respected. Be prepared to change your mind at any time through learning. One day you might like Windows. One day you might like Android. I am actually liking some parts of Android lately. And that is OK.

His perspective comes from nearly 20 years of working as a developer. The lesson I saw in this section of his essay is that the technologies you work with are part of your journey, and you’ll cycle through many of them. However, be careful not to allow them to become your whole identity, because you are still learning.

The Value of Teaching

One of the most inspiring parts of his post is the section on teaching. We often hear the saying, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach,” thrown around smugly, but this devalues educators. Teaching is somewhat of a lost art in an industry where many professionals are self-taught. Yet, Kosmaczewski says there are some things you cannot learn without having taught someone else:

Teaching will make you more humble, because it will painfully show you how limited your knowledge is. Teaching is the best way to learn. Only by testing your knowledge against others are you going to learn properly. This will also make you more respectful regarding other developers and other technologies; every language, no matter how humble or arcane, has its place within the Tao of Programming, and only through teaching will you be able to feel it.

Kosmaczewski also shares some moving stories of how his teaching and mentoring have made a difference in the world, especially for those who are just beginning.

If you have a few minutes, I highly recommend reading “Being A Developer After 40.” This article is a window into one developer’s journey but his advice and habit recommendations are relevant to everyone from experienced programmers to those just starting out. Kosmaczewski explores some of the darker aspects of the industry but also the beauty of sticking with it. His closing statement sums it up nicely:

As long as your heart tells you to keep on coding and building new things, you will be young, forever.

by Sarah Gooding at April 26, 2016 09:41 PM under News

WPTavern: WordPress 4.5.1 Fixes 12 Bugs

WordPress 4.5.1 is available and addresses a dozen items reported against WordPress 4.5. According to Adam Silverstein, “a singular class issue that broke sites based on the Twenty Eleven theme, an incompatibility between certain Chrome versions and the visual editor, and an Imagick bug that could break media uploads,” are among the bugs fixed. A detailed list of changes can be viewed here.

WordPress 4.5.1 is already being pushed out to sites configured for auto updates. If you’d rather not wait or have auto updates disabled, you can browse to Dashboard – Updates and click the Update Now button. If you encounter an issue or believe you’ve discovered a bug, please post it in the troubleshooting section of the support forums.

by Jeff Chandler at April 26, 2016 07:54 PM under wordpress 4.5.1

WPTavern: Global WordPress Translation Day Draws 448 Participants from 105 Countries

wordpress-global-translation-day

The first Global WordPress Translation Day was held over the weekend, organized by the Polyglots team. The event included 24 hours of live training sessions and translation sprints that spanned every timezone from East to West. The goal was to grow the translation teams and educate new translators with live training sessions.

During the course of the event, 448 translators from 105 countries translated 40,350 new strings across 597 projects. This includes WordPress core and open source plugins and themes, such as Pods, Google Two-Factor Authentication, WooCommerce, bbPress, Yoast SEO, and hundreds of others.

Japan and Thailand live streaming each other's events -  photo credit: Menn StudioJapan and Thailand live streaming each other’s events – photo credit: Menn Studio

“We had 39 local events and 11 remote events happening across the globe,” organizer Petya Raykovska said. “India was the big surprise with four of the big Indian languages getting new contributors, forming teams and connecting across India with one another to collaborate live.”

All of the sessions were live streamed and the team had 316 people who watched the broadcast at some point during the day. The event featured 12 training sessions in different languages to teach participants how to translate WordPress core, including Japanese, Hindi, Bulgarian, German, Slovak, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Dutch, Lithuanian and Italian.

The other sessions focused on topics for plugin and theme developers, such as:

  • Plugin documentation and support for the whole world
  • How to find translators for your plugins and themes
  • Localization – Beyond Translation
  • The life of a string – or how WordPress gets its translations
  • Plugin/Theme i18n: How to prepare your plugin or theme for translate.wordpress.org
  • GlotDict – how a browser extension changes your translation workflow

All of the videos from the event are available on Crowdcast.io if you want to learn more about the WordPress Polyglots team and how everyone works together. One of the best outcomes of the day, according to Raykovska, is that translation teams now have video documentation for new contributors. They plan to upload the videos to WordPress.tv and include them in the Polyglots handbook.

Global WordPress Translation Day Offers a New Avenue for Contributing to Translations

“We do contributor days around WordCamps and then the community summit once a year,” Raykovska said. “The contributor summit hasn’t been super productive for Polyglots so far. Unlike most other teams, most contributors are 100% volunteers and can’t afford (or get a Visa) for a trip to the US.

“So we wanted to organize a contributor day without these restrictions for participants,” she said. “And that’s how the idea was born.”

The Polyglots team has not set a date for the next Global WordPress Translation event, but Raykovska said it will be easier for them to organize now that they have the processes figured out. One of the most positive outcomes of this past weekend’s event is that it has sparked translation teams to organize more local events, especially now that they are armed with video documentation and training tools for plugin and theme developers.

“Some countries are planning monthly contributor translation drives and standalone contributor days,” Raykovska said.

#WPTranslationDay WordBench 東京。たくさん翻訳できました!

A photo posted by Naoko Takano (@naokomc) on Apr 24, 2016 at 3:37am PDT

Raykovska said next time she would like to get more people on screen from the events happening in different locations around the world. She also hopes to organize some round tables where Polyglots team members can share about their local processes and team structures.

“I think we need to make a solid effort to bridge the gap between plugin authors and translators,” Raykovska said. “The demand for translations is growing, especially for the most used languages. An event like this would be a good reason for the two groups to gather and talk about what’s not quite working right now and think of ways to overcome it.”

As many polyglots will be in attendance at WordCamp Europe, the team is considering organizing a gathering there. This multilingual WordPress event will be the largest WordCamp in history with 2200 attendees. WordPress’ rapidly growing international user base and the expanding Polyglots team could make the Global Translation Day event a catalyst for future improvements to the project.

“If we can go one step further, it would be awesome to revive the conversation about multilingual in core,” Rakovska said. The success of this past weekend’s event shows the Polyglots’ enthusiasm and determination to collaborate across borders to get things done.

by Sarah Gooding at April 26, 2016 05:11 PM under translations

WPTavern: I’m Attending WordCamp Chicago, 2016, This Weekend

WordCamp Chicago 2016 takes place this weekend and I’ll be among the many attendees. I haven’t visited the city since 2009 and I’m excited to satisfy my craving for deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s.

WordCamp Chicago 2009 is a special memory because it’s where I saw a demo of Gravity Forms before it launched to the public. At the time Contact Form 7 was a household name and the go-to plugin for creating forms. I knew it was going to be successful when I saw its user interface and how it worked. Seven years later, the plugin is still going strong.

The GPL license was also hot topic at the time. During Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word presentation, he announced that the WordPress Theme directory would have a section dedicated to theme shops that were 100% GPL. I remember hearing the room gasp during his announcement.

100_2303

In 2009, the WordPress commercial theme market was young and the GPL was a license many theme companies didn’t embrace. Having your company listed on a page that gets a ton of traffic motivated at least a couple of theme shops to embrace the GPL.

I’m looking forward to meeting new people this weekend and creating new memories. If you happen to see me, please stop and say hi. I’d love to talk to you about your experiences with WordPress.

by Jeff Chandler at April 26, 2016 06:12 AM under wordcamp

WPTavern: WordPress for iOS Adds Geotag Support, Comment Moderation Gestures

WordPress for iOS 6.1 is available from the App Store and includes a number of improvements. Those who use Jetpack can now manage Publicize connections from within the app.

Publicize ConnectionsComments can quickly be moderated thanks to gestures added to the notifications screen. Swiping left on a notification displays options to approve, unapprove, spam, or trash a comment.

Comment Moderation GesturesComment Moderation Gestures

If you’ve connected multiple sites to the app, it can be cumbersome to navigate to the one you access most often. This version includes the ability to set up a primary site from within the Account Settings panel. During testing however, I noticed my version of the app doesn’t have this setting. I’m going through the support process to determine the cause.

Configure a Primary SiteMy Account Settings Page

A new UI element at the bottom of the post creation screen allows users to geotag a post. Simply type in an address or location into the search field and a map displays with the location data. The location is stored in the WordPress backend but can be displayed on the frontend if a theme supports it.

Geotag SupportGeotag Support

A full list of changes and bug fixes is available on GitHub where you can also follow the progress of 6.2. If you have any issues or think you’ve discovered a bug, please report it on the WordPress for iOS support forums.

by Jeff Chandler at April 26, 2016 04:03 AM under wordpres for ios

April 25, 2016

WPTavern: WordPress 4.6 to Update Theme Filter Tags in the Admin

The admin themes browser has been updated and modernized in recent years to make it easier to search through the 3,800+ themes available on WordPress.org. One aspect of the interface that has lagged behind, however, is the list of tags for filtering themes. The tags have gone untouched since back in the day when users would search themes by color.

theme-tags

The WordPress Theme Review Team’s proposal to overhaul the outdated tags/filters is making it into WordPress 4.6. All of the color tags will be removed, which makes sense since many modern themes are customizable when it comes to accent colors. The update will also remove fixed, fluid, and responsive layouts and will add ‘Grid Layout’ to the list. In the list of miscellaneous features, Blavatar will be removed and Footer Widgets will be added.

The Subject section will be completely revamped by removing the all the previous tags and replacing them with a new list of general theme categories:

  • Blog
  • E-Commerce
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Food & Drink
  • Holiday
  • News
  • Photography
  • Portfolio

The tags will also be updated on the WordPress Theme Directory in cooperation with the meta team.

The WordPress theme landscape has changed so much over the years, especially with the introduction of the customizer, and this update will make it easier for users to narrow down themes they want to use. WordPress.org theme authors will want to be ready to update their themes as soon as the new tags are available so that they can be more easily found via search.

by Sarah Gooding at April 25, 2016 06:51 PM under WordPress Theme Directory

Matt: 538 on Basic Income

The economic uncertainty surrounding basic income is huge, and the politics of bringing such a program about on a large scale are daunting. But something makes this radical proposal so exciting that people and governments are increasingly willing to try it. Basic income challenges our notions of the social safety net, the relationship between work and income, and how to adapt to technological change. That makes it one of the most audacious social policy experiments in modern history. It could fail disastrously, or it could change everything for the better.

From FiveThirtyEight, What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money?

by Matt at April 25, 2016 03:12 PM under Asides

WP Mobile Apps: WordPress for iOS: Version 6.1

Hi there, WordPress users! Version 6.1 of the WordPress for iOS app is now available in the App Store.

What’s New:

Get social on the go! WordPress.com and Jetpack-enabled bloggers can manage Publicize and third-party sharing from within the app.

More gestures! Swipe notifications to approve, unapprove, and trash comments at the speed of your thumbs.

Swipe left to unveil the new moderation options.

Mobile friendly. Select your primary blog right from within the app.

You can select your primary site in Pick it with a simple tap!

Where’s Waldo? Search locations to tag GPS on posts.

GPS tag your posts! Tap on Use the search field to select the right location.

Enhancements. Because “good” is not enough! Here’s the full list of enhancements.

Bug fixes. Tons of bug fixes!

Thank You

Thanks to all of the contributors who worked on this release:
@aerych, @alexcurylo, @astralbodies, @diegoreymendez, @frosty, @jleandroperez, @koke, @kurzee, @kwonye, @sendhil and @SergioEstevao.

You can track the development progress for the next update by visiting our 6.2 milestone on GitHub. Until next time!

by diegoreymendez at April 25, 2016 01:30 PM under Other

April 23, 2016

Post Status: WordPress Development Tools — Draft Podcast

Welcome to the Post Status Draft podcast, which you can find on iTunesStitcher, and via RSS for your favorite podcatcher. Post Status Draft is hosted by Joe Hoyle — the CTO of Human Made — and Brian Krogsgard.

Everybody creates workflows to accomplish their development work. And sometimes you come upon a new tool that completely changes how you do things, and helps you improve your productivity.

In this episode, Joe and Brian aim to share their tools in the hopes that it will help others review and refine their own processes. And Joe and Brian approach things quite differently themselves, so they compare and contrast their own workflows. Have something to add to the conversation, be sure to comment!

https://audio.simplecast.com/36197.mp3

Direct Download

Tools

Coding Tools & Debugging

Build Tools

Version Control / Review Tools / Deployment

Frontend Tools / Extensions

Sponsor

This podcast is sponsored by Yoast. Yoast SEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin available, with a premium version to provide expert support and additional features. Thank you to Yoast for being a Post Status partner.

Related Podcasts

Understanding WP-CLI

Local WordPress Development Strategies

 

by Katie Richards at April 23, 2016 02:06 PM under Everyone

WPTavern: In Case You Missed It – Issue 8

In Case You Missed It Featured Imagephoto credit: Night Moves(license)

There’s a lot of great WordPress content published in the community but not all of it is featured on the Tavern. This post is an assortment of items related to WordPress that caught my eye but didn’t make it into a full post.

Matt Mullenweg’s Father Passes Away

Losing a loved one is tough, especially when it’s a parent. Matt Mullenweg’s father, Chuck Mullenweg, recently passed away. Matt published a touching tribute on his site that describes the kind of man his father was.

We were in a father / son bowling league. I remember admiring his work ethic so much: he’d get up before dawn every morning and put on a suit, grab his briefcase, and go to work. He often went in on weekends and I loved to go with him because they had ‘fast’ internet at the office and I could read Dilbert and about Babylon 5. He was a voracious reader and learner, and loved tinkering whether it was cars or networking. In the other room I can hear a bitcoin mining rig he set up a few years ago. He was independent minded and unafraid to question the status quo.

My deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the Mullenweg family. You can read Chuck’s obituary here.

My First Plugin

Thanks to Binarygary, my first plugin is in the directory. It’s called Hello Admin and with each page load, a lyric from Hello Dolly displays as an admin notice.

Hello Admin in ActionHello Admin in Action

In all seriousness, the plugin is a joke and a humorous way to bring attention to developers abusing admin notices in WordPress.

Pressware Partners with Evermore

Tom McFarlin announced that his company Pressware, is partnering with Evermore. The partnership allows Pressware to provide its expertise in custom WordPress development and project management to Evermore’s customers.

Four Years of EDD

Pippin Williamson shared the hardships and successes he’s experienced in the last four years managing Easy Digital Downloads.

Today, Easy Digital Downloads is installed on over 50,000 websites, has reached nearly one million downloads, and has grown to a sustainable business that supports the livelihood of an ever-growing team comprised of full time employees and active contractors. I don’t think I ever thought we would be where we are today four years ago.

His post is an honest look at the amount of effort and circumstances beyond revenue that’s involved with running a successful business.

Translation Day Wapuu Posters!

In what is a traditional part of this series, I end each issue by featuring a Wapuu design. For those who don’t know, Wapuu is the unofficial mascot of the WordPress project. The first global translation day takes place on April 24th and to celebrate the occasion, the WordPress Polyglots team has created a series of Wapuu posters.

That’s it for issue eight. If you recently discovered a cool resource or post related to WordPress, please share it with us in the comments.

by Jeff Chandler at April 23, 2016 02:04 AM under translations. pressware

April 22, 2016

WPTavern: Facebook News Feed Now Favors Articles That Users Spend a Longer Time Reading

RC CiprianoRC Cipriano

Facebook announced yesterday that its news feed algorithm will now favor articles that users spend a long time reading. While likes, clicks, comments, and sharing counts are all valuable metrics, they are not always reliable determinants for what users want to see. Facebook discovered this by gathering feedback via its Feed Quality Program.

As a result, the social network updated its algorithm last June to factor in how much time users spent reading posts within the news feed, regardless of whether users even opened the article. Two years ago, Facebook also began factoring in instances where a user clicks on an article but then comes straight back to the news feed. This could be because a site loaded too slowly or the article was click-bait and not what the user was expecting based on the preview.

“Building on this work, we’re learning that the time people choose to spend reading or watching content they clicked on from News Feed is an important signal that the story was interesting to them,” Facebook representatives said. “We are adding another factor to News Feed ranking so that we will now predict how long you spend looking at an article in the Facebook mobile browser or an Instant Article after you have clicked through from News Feed.”

Facebook will not be counting loading time towards this new ranking signal but will calculate the actual time spent reading/watching once the content has loaded. But before you think you can game this algorithm by simply publishing longer articles, Facebook will be measuring this time as a threshold so that longer articles are not preferred by default.

The social network also announced that it will be diversifying its display of posts from different pages so as not to bombard users with too much content from the same source.

“We’ve also heard from people that they enjoy reading articles from a wide range of publishers, and it can be repetitive if too many articles from the same source are back to back in their News Feed,” representatives said. “We’ll also be making an update to reduce how often people see several posts in a row from the same source in their News Feed.”

Publishers who depend on Facebook for a significant amount of their referrals will want to take note of these changes to the news feed algorithm. The social network has already started rolling them out and will continue over the next few weeks.

by Sarah Gooding at April 22, 2016 10:21 PM under facebook

WPTavern: What WordPress.org Does with the Data it Collects from Users Sites

Freemius Featured Imagephoto credit: data slide(license)

Since I started covering WordPress in 2009, one of the things I’ve noticed is that certain topics have a cyclical nature to them. One of these is the contention in the WordPress community on what data is sent, stored, and shared on WordPress.org. In a post published on Torquemag.io, Josh Pollock, Founder of CalderaWP, argues that WordPress is a community-driven project and as such, data collected by WordPress.org should be shared with the community.

If installing and updating themes via the WordPress dashboard wasn’t so easy, WordPress wouldn’t be what it is today. I understand and appreciate this.

Here’s the part that doesn’t sit well with me: WordPress.org is collecting data on all of its users (as it should), but this information isn’t available in aggregate form to the community.

Pollock says that as an entrepreneur, the information would help him make informed business decisions.

Data is Stored for Two Days

I spoke to Samuel ‘Otto’ Wood, who helps maintain WordPress.org, and discovered that some of the assumptions people have are not true.

“The data collection systems on w.org have been inconsistent at best, and re-written several times,” Wood said.

“But the general idea that there is some kind of treasure trove of information we’re storing is misguided, at best. The data is collected, aggregated for the things we display, then tossed. We don’t store it for any serious length of time. Just the results of the data like the counts.”

Gathering, sorting, and displaying the large amount of data associated with WordPress is a CPU intensive job. The most recent example of WordPress.org sharing aggregate data is for active installs of plugins and themes. Displaying the Active Install count is the result of significant performance improvements from WordPress lead developer Dion Hulse. Without the improvements, the data collection would have overloaded CPUs and MySQL databases.

“Gathering that data is frickin’ difficult to start with, “Wood said. “For the longest time, we didn’t even have the actual system resources to pull off the ‘Active Installs’ count. We didn’t display that count because we couldn’t do it. The idea that we’re hiding things is ludicrous.”

Raw data is stored for two days and is then overwritten, “basically, there’s too much data to store,” Wood said. “All of the data that w.org gathers is used to display the stats on w.org itself. Nothing special is hidden.”

Data Accuracy is Hard

If developers are going to make business decisions using public data, the data has to be accurate. Accuracy is a complex problem but the team has slowly made progress over the years as legacy systems on W.org are phased out.

“A lot of the w.org systems are poorly made,” Wood said. “They’re old, have been modified dozens of times over the years, and badly in need of updating. For a long time, the data we gathered could not be processed fast enough so we simply threw over half of it away.

“Mostly, we phase out old useless systems and replace them with something better and newer which gives us things to display. Active Install counts was an entirely new system that replaced an older one which didn’t give any useful information.”

Wood confirms what I’ve believed to be true for a long time. WordPress.org is not storing data for an extended period of time and the information that is collected is likely on public display somewhere on the site. What types of data would you like to see on WordPress.org?

by Jeff Chandler at April 22, 2016 08:38 PM under statistics

WPTavern: Guggenheim.org Relaunches on WordPress Using the WP REST API

guggenheim

The Guggenheim relaunched its website on WordPress this week. The site, which represents the collection of Guggenheim museums, was in need of an overhaul that would modernize its underlying architecture and design.

Laura Kleger, who oversees the foundation’s online projects, explained why the Guggenheim chose WordPress for its new website. She said that the team began with a CMS analysis phase, which included Drupal and WordPress.

“The ideal process for improving websites is incremental and rapid change, but the old Guggenheim.org had accumulated too much technical and structural debt to produce further results, and a big leap forward was required,” Kleger said.

Prior to embarking on the project, the Guggenheim was running on Joomla, but the team had a difficult time implementing small changes.

“We wanted to use a widely adopted, open-source CMS with enough muscle to meet advanced needs,” Kleger said. They needed a user-friendly way for museum staff to create and update content without requesting the help of of designers and developers for simple updates.

“We chose WordPress for a few reasons – among them, the broad pool of developer resources, the excellence of the content administration interface, the rapid update release cycle, the ease of extending functionality, and the CMS’s deep taxonomy,” Kleger said.

The Guggenheim partnered with New York-based development agency Alley Interactive for the website’s overhaul, who recommended implementing a headless version of WordPress with content served via the WP REST API. This allowed the team to build out the frontend of the site using AngularJS.

“As noted by others, this approach is superior to the standard WordPress templating approach for achieving some of the more exciting possibilities in user experience today,” Kleger said.

The new website is a beautiful example of the WP REST API in the wild. For a deeper look at the design and development process, check out Kleger’s post announcing the new Guggenheim.org.

by Sarah Gooding at April 22, 2016 01:34 PM under wp rest api

WPTavern: WordPress 4.5.1 Expected Early Next Week

WordPress 4.5 “Coleman” was released last week without too many issues. However, the WordPress development team recently identified two bugs that are prompting an immediate point release scheduled for next week.

The first is that TinyMCE toolbars and tabs are unresponsive in Chrome Version 50.0.2661.75 beta-m (64-bit). The second is that page templates with widgets are styled incorrectly. WordPress 4.5 added a singular class that many themes use, including Twenty Eleven, that breaks a site’s layout. After a lengthy discussion and testing, the decision was to revert the change.

WordPress 4.5.1 RC 1 is available and the core team wants as many people as possible to test the TinyMCE update and other bug fixes included in the release. If you think you’ve discovered a bug, you’re encouraged to report it in the Alpha/Beta section of the support forums.

by Jeff Chandler at April 22, 2016 02:17 AM under tinymce

April 21, 2016

WPTavern: Jetpack 4.0 Released with UI Improvements and New Editor View for VideoPress

Shortly after Jetpack 4.0 was released yesterday many users reported a fatal error and/or white screen when updating. Developers started warning each other in the Advanced WordPress Facebook group to avoid updating to 4.0, after having received emails from clients with sites that went down. A followup 4.0.2 release was pushed out today for users with the specific configuration that caused the fatal error.

This is the third time in under two months that the Jetpack team has had to send out a followup update on the heels of a release to correct significant problems. Fortunately, the team worked quickly to get a fix out to sites with fatal errors.

jetpack-ui-improvementsThe 4.0 milestone brings major UI improvements for on-boarding new users. In previous versions of the plugin, visiting the Jetpack settings page showed a big green button prompting users to connect to WordPress.com.

This release introduces a full page explaining the benefits of Jetpack to encourage users to hook it up. It also displays a picture of the development and support team, an explanation of Photon, and the benefits of the Protect module.

Version 4.0 also adds a new editor view for VideoPress that lets users edit the shortcode in the editor with a new modal options window. This makes it easy to wrangle VideoPress settings directly in the editor

A few other notable enhancements in this release include:

  • Tighter WooCommerce Integration: Social sharing icons now appear on WooCommerce single product views
  • Widget Visibility for Custom Post Type Archives: Show/hide widgets for CPT single or archive views
  • Selective Refresh for Widgets: Widgets now update instantly with live previews in the customizer
  • Updated schema.org Microdata for Breadcrumbs: Gives search engines a better understanding of a page’s position in the site hierarchy

Jetpack 4.0 also adds performance enhancements for the Protect module and Contact Forms. The method it uses to clean the database of spam form submission records is now more efficient. Check out the changelog to see a full list of all the enhancements and fixes in this release. It should be safe to update your sites and clients’ sites to 4.0.2 without any ill effects.

by Sarah Gooding at April 21, 2016 09:46 PM under jetpack

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