Wordpress News

The Month in WordPress: July 2018

Wordpress News - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 09:11

With WordPress 5.0 coming closer, there’s lots of work going on all across the project. Read on to learn about how we progressed in July.

Release of WordPress 4.9.7

On July 5, WordPress 4.9.7 was released,  fixing one security issue and 17 other bugs across the platform.

While this is a minor release, incremental fixes are essential to keep WordPress running smoothly. Everyone is encouraged to update as soon as possible and to make sure that automatic updates are switched on.

Would you like to get involved in building WordPress Core? Follow the Core team blog and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

The New WordPress Editor

In the upcoming minor release of WordPress, 4.9.8, a new section in the dashboard will feature Gutenberg, the upcoming content editor for WordPress.

While the official release of Gutenberg is scheduled for the coming months, you can already install it as a plugin to test it out right now. Additionally, a brand new demo page is now available — play around with the many features the editor has to offer, without installing it on your own site.

Would you like to help build or test Gutenberg? Follow the Core team blog and join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Page Design Updates on WordPress.org

Bit by bit we’re refreshing the design of WordPress.org. The latest pages to get a new treatment have been the Download page and user profiles.

The Meta and Design teams worked hard to make these new designs a reality, with notable contributions from @melchoyce, @obenland, @mapk, and @kjellr. The new designs enhance the overall look of the site and provide more relevant information to those searching.

Would you like to get involved in the design refresh? Follow the Meta and Design team blogs and join the #meta and #design channels in the Making WordPress Slack group.

The First WP-CLI Hack Day

On Friday July 20, the WP-CLI team held their first hack day — a global event encouraging people to contribute to the official command line tool for WordPress.

Run by @schlessera, the event  was a great success. Twelve pull requests were  merged and another 13 submitted. It also included a video chat to give all contributors a space to meet each other and connect directly.

Would  you like to get involved in contributing to WP-CLI? Follow the team blog and join the #cli channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Further Reading:

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

HeroPress: Begin at the Beginning

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 08:00

With this story, as with most things in my life, I never really know where to start. Because of that strange sense of time and action I’ve always been quite fond of the quote from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
But where, for this story, is the beginning?

It was a lifetime of choices and serendipitous encounters that led me down the path to WordPress and eventually Automattic. And those same types of choices and encounters that keep me here.

Begin at the Beginning…

I was a youngish mother of a youngish child and a full time stay at home parent. I didn’t work outside the home; I was raising my kid. That was both a privilege and a problem. I realized that, as a mother consumed with caring for this new human, I was beginning to lose the very strong sense of identity that I’d always had.

This was my first experience with not knowing who I was. I always knew who I was, even if I didn’t know who I wanted to be. As a mother though, most of who I am was sucked into caring for my family. Not sleeping. Not taking proper care of myself. Not taking time for my interests. Putting the others in my house before me and saying that it was what I wanted.

Narrator: It wasn’t.

There was a pivot point. A moment before my daughter turned three. When I realized that if she were to choose to become a mother I would not want her to go down the same path of self denial that I had. I would want her to be who she is first and a mother second so that she could be the best self and mother she could be.

And I realized that was something I could only show by example. But how to start? I’d always been a writer. I often say that I only learned to read so that I could write. Journaling, short stories, poetry. Sometimes just long strings of thoughts and observations that wouldn’t leave my head until I wrote them down. I would write out long “stories” on MySpace about my experiences and realizations. I would scrawl poetry on scrap paper laying around the house. None of it was enough.

Also, as I understand is fairly typical for a stay at home parent, I had no one to talk to most of the time except for my small child. And while she was super awesome and receptive to any conversation I may want to start, they all tended to transition to discussion of My Little Ponies or a request for ice cream or screen time. So I looked for something more. For a place to discuss the mommified version of myself with no one and everyone. I started a blog.

But it wasn’t on WordPress.

Go On…

I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. My experiences, my kid’s experiences. Dreams and hopes and bad poetry. And I found a group of people who shared with me their struggles and dreams as they dove into mine. A web of women and men who got me. Who got what I was going through. Who got what I was doing. A community of individuals, not all like minded, but all understanding.

And then one day I was asked to write for a city blog, and then another. And as my writing began to expand I found other communities. My sense of self was first preserved but then invigorated and it grew and I stretched my arms and I stretched my wings and I realized I was beginning to feel whole for the first time in a long while.

But using multiple platforms for my blogging gave me the understanding that the platform I was using was restrictive and unsatisfying. Clunky.

And that’s when a friend mentioned WordCamp Portland. It was this new thing. We were doing it for the first time. A bunch of bloggers getting together to talk about WordPress and blogging and stuff.

I had no idea what WordPress was. But my friend said they needed some volunteers to help out, and I’m always one to support my friends, my community. So I asked what I needed to do to help.

“Move your blog to WordPress”

And so I did. And something clicked. Once I had moved to a WordPress site I found my passion for blogging was something more. I played with themes, I made headers that felt like art pieces, I helped others transfer their content, set up their sites. I introduced them to a community that I was just beginning to get to know.

And then there was a cascade of activity. More blogs, podcasting, events, community, and every year there was WordCamp Portland. And I continued to learn and grow my skills as a writer, as a blogger, as a podcaster, and as a WordPresser. I continued to volunteer, and then to speak, and to help organize.

And on…

But life changes. Sometimes for the better sometimes for the worse. But change is hard. People change or stay the same. Relationships change. Life changes. Sometimes all of the above. So I ended a marriage and found myself stumped. I knew who I was, but who I happened to be was a stay at home mom who hadn’t worked outside the home in eight years and had no marketable skills that I could find that would also allow me to continue to be home for my kid.

And I panicked and I procrastinated and then I found an opening. A small startup I knew through my interactions with the community needed a customer support person who also knew WordPress.

A light went on. And I had a job for the first time in eight years. And I knew what I was doing. And I was good at it. And I continued to blog. A little. And I stuck to the little tiny fringes of the WordPress community I knew. Still not realizing how big the rest of it was.

The Portland WordPress folks were like a river feeding into the ocean of the worldwide community. But I’d only ever stood on the shores of the river and dipped my toes in. All that was about to change.

Till You Come to the End…

But as I said at the beginning, it’s not that simple. There is no end. There is just more. More stories, more people, more learning, more community. And that’s where we begin the part of the story that tells us where I am today.

This part begins with an email from a community friend with a link to a job posting. And a new beginning.

I was working happily at that small startup, spreading my wings. But starting to feel a little bit like my passion wasn’t being put to use when that email arrived. A link to a job posting working as a sponsored volunteer within the WordPress community and question. It was a simple question. “Do you know anyone who would kick ass at this job?”

DID I? I was reeling from the possibility and doubled over with imposter syndrome and fear. Fear that I wasn’t good enough. Fear that they wouldn’t like me. Fear that I’d be leaving my boss in the lurch.

So I did what I always did at that time. And what I still do to this day. I procrastinated. I talked. I thought. I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic thinking I had forgotten something. Thinking I had done something wrong.

But as I sat there one day tinkering on the startup’s site, scheduling posts, checking in on our customers all while getting my daughter ready for school that morning I realized that it was time to set aside those fears. To look that imposter syndrome right in the eye and say “not today” and I started putting together my resume and working on the cover email.

No one was more surprised than I when I found myself two months later starting my first day at Automattic.

It’s been about 5 and a half years since that email landed in my inbox. It’s been more than a decade since WordPress landed in my heart and I’m proud to make my living in the wide wonderful world of WordPress. As I write this story for all of you to read—not a cautionary tale I hope, but an inspirational one—I’m just a few days away from the end of my three-month sabbatical (a benefit that all Automatticians are eligible for after 5 years.)

It’s been a time of rest, readjustment, relaxation. Of edification. But it’s also been a renewal. A time to look back at how I got where I am and remember how lucky I am to be here today. And I owe it all to a little bit of gumption and to the amazing community of WordPressers who opened their world to me. And also to everyone else who is willing to be a part of this great big community founded on open source. On WordPress.

The post Begin at the Beginning appeared first on HeroPress.

WPTavern: WordPress 4.9.8 RC 3 Released, Limits ‘Try Gutenberg’ Callout Visibility

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 00:14

WordPress 4.9.8 Release Candidate 3 is available for testing. This version includes one important enhancement that limits the visibility of the ‘Try Gutenberg’ callout.

If Gutenberg is not installed or activated on a site, the callout will be displayed to users with the install_plugins capability. If Gutenberg is activated, the callout will be shown to users with the edit_posts capability.

Limiting the visibility of the callout to a specific subset of users will avoid inundating the WordPress.org support forums with Gutenberg support requests. A concern that was expressed by Daniel Bachhuber four months ago.

“There’s a good amount of fit and finish to be desired before rolling out to a large number of unacquainted users,” Bachhuber said. “We’re not quite over the hump on the issues we do already know about. There’s not a ton of sense in having 10,000 users re-report them.”

Other than this change, the change log from WordPress 4.9.8 RC 1 remains the same. WordPress 4.9.8 was originally scheduled to be released today, but has been rescheduled for Thursday, August 2nd.

WPTavern: Facebook Shuts Down API for Publishing to User Timelines, Impacts Jetpack’s Publicize Feature

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 22:11

In the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Facebook is tightening its control on third-party applications and will no longer allow apps to post to user profiles. In April, the platform announced sweeping changes to the publish_actions permission, which allowed apps to publish to users’ timeline on their behalf.

On August 1st, 2018, the Live API publish_actions permission, which allows an app to publish on behalf of its Users, will be reserved for approved partners. A new permission model that allows apps to publish Videos to their User’s Groups and Timeline will be created instead.

Access to the Pages APIs requires re-submission of the application for review before August 1, 2018. This will be required to continue publishing live and VOD video to Pages, as well as reading insights.

Facebook is notorious for swiftly changing its APIs in ways that break apps (sometimes without warning), often sending developers scrambling. For a long time, apps auto-posting to user timelines was part of the wild west of app permissions granted without much oversight from Facebook. Users often unknowingly gave permission to apps that would collect data and spam their Facebook connections with posts made on their behalf.

Those days are over, but an unfortunate byproduct of this restriction is that apps like WordPress.com and Jetpack’s Publicize feature can no longer automatically publish posts to user timelines. This change also adversely affects apps like Buffer and Hootsuite that allow users to schedule and publish posts to their social accounts.

Jetpack 6.3.3 removes the ability for users to select Facebook Profile connections and displays a notice regarding existing connections, so users will be aware of which auto-posting connections they are losing. Besides Jetpack, this Facebook API change affects tens of thousands of users who have this functionality implemented through one of many other plugins on WordPress.org.

Users are now required to manually share their posts to their timelines. They can no longer schedule content to be shared to Facebook at specific times for different audiences.

Auto-posting to Facebook Pages still works, and one option users have is to convert their Profile to a Page or set up a new page. This may not be a suitable alternative for bloggers and those whose writing is not attached to a business or an organization.

In a recent post on his blog, Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg commented on Facebook’s decision to turn off auto-posting to profiles.

“As it turns out, Facebook also is turning off the ability for WordPress sites — and all websites — to post directly to users’ profile pages,” Mullenweg said. “The decision to shut down the API is ostensibly to fight propaganda and misinformation on the platform, but I think it’s a big step back for their embrace of the open web. I hope they change their minds.”

If only a select few “approved partners” are allowed to automatically broadcast to user timelines, it puts smaller players at a disadvantage, requiring manual sharing each time they publish. Facebook is setting itself up as a gatekeeper that enables news from a small selection of partners to keep pumping through the platform on schedule. Individual voices on smaller websites are no longer able to syndicate to the Facebook platform unless they decide to create a Page.

Put a different way, the only syndicated content allowed on Facebook will be through channels the company can monetize – business/organization Pages or partners who are approved to post to user timelines. Users who care about retaining their Facebook audiences will need to remember to manually post their content to the social network after August 1, 2018, when the API changes go into effect.

System Design Primal Theme

Drupal Themes - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 09:01

Learn how to design large-scale systems.

Matt: My Recode Decode Interview with Kara Swisher

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 08:31

“We want to make the best tools in the world, and we want to do it for decades to come. I’ve been doing WordPress for 15 years, I want to do it the rest of my life.”

The last time I chatted with Kara was in 2013 in the back of a pedicab in Austin. This time I got to sit in the red chair at Vox headquarters in San Francisco, and per usual Kara was thoughtful, thorough and to the point: we talked about WordPress and the future of the open web, the moral imperative of user privacy, and how it all relates to what’s going on at Facebook.

(As it turns out, Facebook also is turning off the ability for WordPress sites — and all websites — to post directly to users’ profile pages. The decision to shut down the API is ostensibly to fight propaganda and misinformation on the platform, but I think it’s a big step back for their embrace of the open web. I hope they change their minds.)

Kara and I also talked about distributed work, Automattic’s acquisition of Atavist and Longreads, and why every tech company should have an editorial team. Thanks again to Kara and the Recode team for having me.

WPTavern: WordPress Coding Standards 1.0.0 Released

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 23:43

After nine years since the project began, version 1.0.0 of the WordPress Coding Standards is available for download. The WordPress Coding Standards is a collection of PHP_CodeSniffer rules or sniffs to validate code developed for WordPress. It ensures code quality and adherence to coding conventions, including the official WordPress Coding Standards.

In addition to being a big milestone, 1.0.0 contains breaking changes. “A number of sniffs have been moved between categories and the old sniff names have been deprecated,” Juliette Reinders Folmer, a significant contributor to the project, said. 

“If you selectively include any of these sniffs in your custom ruleset or set custom property values for these sniffs, your custom ruleset will need to be updated.”

The WordPress-VIP ruleset has been deprecated as well. “This ruleset has not been valid for some time, as we have our own VIP coding standards, available for public use,” David Artiss, a member of the WordPress.com VIP support team, said.

“If you are a VIP client and you are not using the alternative rulesets, then we would strongly recommend switching to these. If you used the WordPress-VIP ruleset for any other reason, you should use WordPress-Extra or WordPress instead.”

Those who use the WordPress Coding Standards Sniffs are strongly encouraged to read the changelog before updating. WordPress Coding Standards is a free, open source project, that’s available on GitHub where contributions are welcomed.

WPTavern: David Needham Chats about Venturing Outside WordCamp to Visit Other Open Source Communities

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 21:50

While at WordCamp Europe I had the chance to chat with David Needham, a developer advocate at Pantheon, about his session titled “Intro to Drupal for WordPress Folks.” Needham frequently travels between the WordPress and Drupal communities, representing his company as a developer liaison. He has spoken at various Drupal camps and WordCamps and is also one of the organizers for WordCamp US 2018 in Nashville.

During our chat, Needham discussed some of the more notable differences between the WordPress and Drupal communities and how the two can inspire each other in various ways. He encouraged attendees at his session to venture outside of WordCamps and said he hopes to see more collaboration across the platforms in the future. From his unique vantage point, Needham said he doesn’t think CMS rivalries are as big of a deal as they used to be.

“We’re realizing that we’re really not competing,” Needham said. “The internet is a big place and there’s plenty of room for all of our communities to work together – especially since our values are so closely aligned already. If there is a rivalry, it feels a little bit more like a friendly sibling rivalry than anything.”

WPTavern: WordPress Developers: Learn How to Convert Shortcodes to Gutenberg Blocks

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 13:47

Gutenberg contributor Gary Pendergast has published a handy sample plugin that demonstrates how to convert shortcode functionality to a Gutenberg block.

Do you have a bunch of shortcodes that you’d like to really easily turn into blocks? Here’s a sample plugin showing how to re-use your exisiting shortcode functionality in a block!https://t.co/bppHcumBlB

— Gary (@GaryPendergast) July 29, 2018

The first file shows a basic example of how to register a block with JavaScript and add block inspector controls to the sidebar. The second file is the PHP code for the plugin that converts the existing shortcode logic into a block that will work inside the new editor.

“This sample uses the ServerSideRender element,” Pendergast said. “It’s critical to remember that ServerSideRender is a stepping stone to a full block editing experience: having to call back to the server to re-render is a worse UX than native JS rendering. Use ServerSideRender to get your existing functionality ready for WordPress 5.0 now, and plan to phase it out over time.”

With WordPress 4.9.8’s “Try Gutenberg” callout just around the corner, this sample plugin may be helpful for developers who have created custom shortcode plugins for clients. If you’re not sure where to start, Pendergast’s sample plugin makes Gutenberg block creation more approachable. The Gutenberg handbook has more in-depth documentation for developers who want to improve their blocks beyond this basic example.

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Drupal Themes - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 05:33

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