Wordpress News

WPTavern: AMP for WordPress Plugin to Introduce User-Friendly Theme Support Settings in Upcoming 1.0 Release

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 09/04/2018 - 21:28

In October, Google’s open source AMP project (Accelerated Mobile Pages) will be heading into its third year. The initiative aims to improve performance on the mobile web and currently boasts usage on 25 million domains across publishing, advertising, e-commerce, and business websites.

WordPress had a rocky beginning with its official AMP plugin, which was originally developed by Automattic, one of the earliest publishing partners on the project. The first versions of the plugin were not easy to use, especially for heavily customized installations. It required site owners to invest considerable effort into optimizing AMP pages and fine tuning them for their needs. AMP for WordPress went without updates for 10 months in 2017, was fraught with errors, and incompatible with many other plugins.

XWP began leading development of the plugin last year in partnership with Google, beginning with the 0.6 release. Weston Ruter is the tech lead with several XWP engineers contributing to development, design, and testing. Alberto Medina, Developer Advocate at Google, and his team have been leading the product management and outreach efforts.

“Around May last year, my team at Google started a long-term effort with a bigger scope than just AMP, which included significantly investing engineering resources on the development of the plugin,” Medina said. “We started investing development resources, and then teamed up with XWP to expand the engineering scope. During this phase of the project Google and XWP have driven all the execution of the project and the development efforts.”

Ruter said his team went through six months of the plugin’s support topics on WordPress.org and categorized them to figure out what issues users were struggling with most. They used that information to guide the focus for their first release and have been keeping a pulse on the support forum ever since.

The plugin has incorporated many changes since XWP began spearheading its development, putting AMP’s newer features to use within the context of WordPress. Earlier versions of the plugin only allowed posts to be served as AMP but the 0.6 release added pages to its capabilities. Version 0.7 introduced the ability for all URLS on a site to served as AMP (“Native AMP”) but lacked the ability for users to customize which types of content should be excluded from this format. The upcoming 1.0 release will allow users to have a native AMP site that excludes certain templates, such as a shopping cart or a category archive, from being served as AMP.

“AMP initially was limited in functionality,” Ruter said. “The AMP plugin was created when AMP was young. In the beginning it was focused on Accelerated Mobile Pages and it wasn’t able to recreate full responsive experiences that site owners expect. This has changed and AMP is able to do a lot. So that is what we have been focused on with the AMP plugin, is to bring it up to speed with the AMP project itself so that WordPress sites can take advantage of all the features and functionality that are now available.”

The team at XWP is aiming to release version 1.0 of AMP for WordPress in mid-September. The 1.0 alpha release introduced extended AMP theme support with a more user-oriented approach to the settings. Previous versions of the plugin were more developer-centric, requiring edits to a theme or child theme to configure template support. Users can now enable Native AMP or Paired mode on the AMP settings screen and the beta release adds granular controls for selecting supported templates.

image credit: XWP

Other notable updates in the alpha and beta releases include:

  • Enhanced UI for handling AMP validation errors
  • Expanded Gutenberg support to surface AMP validation errors at a block level
  • Addition of AMP-specific functionality to core blocks
  • Redirection to non-AMP URL when unaccepted validation errors present
  • Beta brings back WP Admin Bar AMP menu with AMP error highlighting

AMP for WordPress v1.0-beta2 was released in August and is not yet ready for production use. The good news for those who want to use AMP is that the plugin is becoming more of a plug-and-play solution as development progresses.

“There is only one setting that the user needs to change to take advantage of the new theme support: switching from legacy to paired or native,” Ruter said. “Everything else is optional and just customizes the behavior. There will be a new admin pointer in 1.0 that will call out this updated admin screen.”

Ruter also said his team is considering implementing a wizard-type experience to minimize the number of tweaks users need to make. They are discussing automating the compatibility check of the various templates prior to enabling theme support so users can get a high level view of the areas of the site that would be best-suited for AMP.

AMP Remains a Controversial Solution to Web Page Performance

Many users encountered insurmountable difficulties in their first attempts at using the AMP plugin with highly customized sites, relegating AMP usage to sites with dedicated engineering teams. Early versions of the AMP project did not have the flexibility that many publishers required.

Brian Boyer, VP of Product and People at Spirited Media, home of The Incline, Billy Penn, and Denverite publications, gave a presentation at WordCamp for Publishers titled “Why we ditched AMP, and other UX choices we made for launching membership.”

“We need more control over our user experience than AMP allows – to build an unshitty, persuasive, native feeling, highly effective membership experience, I need a little more JavaScript,” Boyer said. “I need a little bit more control over the page and to be fair, we could probably make some of this stuff but we cannot afford to design, build, and most crucially, test multiple versions of our website.”

Boyer cited the expense of of building and testing multiple codebases as one of the primary reasons his team ditched AMP. The complication of maintaining a second user experience was “far too much to ask” for his development team, who had already produced a fast, lightweight WordPress setup with proper caching.

“An AMP page might load a little faster but our other needs far outweigh that minor performance improvement,” Boyer said. “We got over our FOMP (Fear of Missing Pageviews). If I can be better at making conversions, I’ll take the hit with pageviews.”

Recent Enhancements to the AMP project and the plugin, including the addition of components allowing for the creation of rich interactive experiences, continue to narrow the gap between the custom JavaScript many websites require and AMP’s limitations. This may be encouraging for those who have chosen to embrace AMP, but ultimately will not make a difference for those who fundamentally oppose the initiative as an affront to the open web.

Beyond the technical investment in fine-tuning an AMP setup to meet the needs of his publications, Boyer concluded the presentation by outlining his broader objections to the AMP project:

By policing slow websites, Google has turned the big publishers’ problem into my problem, but that fix comes at a high cost to me, a small publisher,” Boyer said. “AMP is not the Open Web – it’s a short term fix for bad choices. If you build a slow and terrible website that supports a creepy business model, like tracking the shit out of your users, then yes, AMP is one path to a better user experience. It is an escape hatch from your legacy code and the bad choices of your predecessors. I understand why that would be tempting, but it is also a deal with the devil. AMP and its cousin Instant Articles put even more control in the hands of companies that already have too much control, and I for one cannot abide by that. I just ask you, do the work, fix your websites, make them fast, friendly, and respectful.

Other vocal critics are not comfortable with how Google is positioning AMP as a long-term solution, instead of addressing the root issues of web page performance. Jeremy Keith articulated this stance in his article titled “AMPstinction.”

“If the AMP project existed in order to create a web where AMP was no longer needed, I think I could get behind it,” Keith said. “But the more it’s positioned as the only viable solution to solving performance, the more uncomfortable I am with it.

“Which, by the way, brings me to one of the most pernicious ideas around Google AMP—positioning anyone opposed to it as not caring about web performance. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s precisely because performance on the web is so important that it deserves a long-term solution, co-created by all of us: not some commandants delivered to us from on-high by one organization, enforced by preferential treatment by that organization’s monopoly in search.”

However, decoupling AMP from Google’s influence would also mean separating the project from the leadership and resources that have so far driven its adoption across millions of websites. There may be other approaches to addressing performance but Alberto Medina and his team see AMP as serving a practical purpose for users and developers who wouldn’t otherwise be capable of optimizing their sites to the same degree. What he described is in a sense “democratizing performance.”

“The root causes of web performance problems are well known and there are tools, techniques, and web APIs, that allow developers to achieve awesome UX close to what AMP provides,” Medina said. “However, the reality is that doing so is very hard for most developers. Usually achieving it requires having solid engineering teams and enough financial resources. That is not fair for most developers and organizations that do not have the resources.”

Medina sees AMP as an answer to what he describes as the Capability/Usage gap: the difference between what can be achieved in the web and what is actually done in the web.

“The problem is that as the power and complexity of the web increases, that gap has increased as well,” Medina said. “The problem is that as long as that gap exists, achieving the best UX is not possible. So, the goal is to close that gap. There are two options: developers do the right thing all the time, or we provide tooling/libraries that enable them to do the right thing in an easy and effective way. AMP served the latter purpose.”

Medina also emphasized that AMP is fully built on open web technologies. “Basically, it provides what developers could do by themselves but it is hard to do,” he said.

In a recent Recode Decode podcast interview with Kara Swisher, Matt Mullenweg also weighed in on the AMP project.

“It gets a bad rap because Google kind of botched the rollout a little bit,” Mullenweg said. “The underlying tech is open source and it’s actually quite good. Because for you as an independent publisher to have a future, we need you to load just as fast as something that’s embedded in an app. Facebook has done the bait and switch so many times that we need an independent alternative and I think AMP can be that.”

Google’s investment in the AMP plugin through its partnership with Automattic and XWP has made AMP more approachable for the average user, especially with the updates coming in version 1.0. Medina said Google chose to collaborate with WordPress because they share a similar goal of providing a better user experience for the platform.

“AMP is not an end goal in itself; the real objective is enabling all WordPress developers and site owners to provide awesome user experiences powered by WordPress,” Medina said. “AMP is just a component in that overall story, together with PWA capabilities, coding and performance best practices, Tide, etc.” In architecting the latest version of the plugin, Medina said the team is aiming to “enable native AMP experiences in WordPress without compromising content fidelity or surrendering the flexibility of the WordPress platform.”

Whatever your opinion of the AMP project, the user-friendly theme support options and better validation error handling are game changing improvements for the WordPress plugin. It is currently active on more than 300,000 sites. Updates coming in the 1.0 release will enable thousands of WordPress users to have a more successful experience with AMP.

Isosceles Theme (old)

Drupal Themes - Mon, 09/03/2018 - 16:54

Isosceles Theme for Drupal is a simple and easy to use theme that allows users to create profesional and well designed websites, having most of the necessary tools for this. Is a good theme for new users and also for experienced ones.

Stay tuned for new theme releases, updates to existing themes or any other goodies we might share.

Isosceles

Drupal Themes - Mon, 09/03/2018 - 16:30

Isosceles Theme for Drupal is a simple and easy to use theme which is perfect for new users or even experienced ones who are searching for a theme that can be adapted to professional well designed Webs with some of the most necessary options.

Stay tuned with new theme releases, updates to existing themes, offers or any other goodies we might share.

Dev Blog: The Month in WordPress: August 2018

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 09/03/2018 - 11:00

Many of the WordPress contribution teams have been working hard on the new WordPress editor, and the tools, services, and documentation surrounding it. Read on to find out more about this ongoing project, as well as everything else that has been happening around the WordPress community in August.

WordPress 4.9.8 is Released

WordPress 4.9.8 was released at the beginning of the month. While this was a maintenance release fixing 46 bugs, it was significant for Core development because it made a point of highlighting Gutenberg — the new WordPress editor that is currently in development (more on that below).

This release also included some important updates to the privacy tools that were added to Core earlier this year.

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

New WordPress Editor Development Continues

Active development continues on Gutenberg, the new editing experience for WordPress Core. The latest version features a number of important user experience improvements, including a new unified toolbar and support for a more focussed writing mode.

Users can test Gutenberg right now by installing the plugin, which currently has nearly 300,000 active installs. Along with that, the Gutenberg Handbook has some very useful information about how to use and develop for the new editor.

Want to get involved in building Gutenberg? Follow the #gutenberg tag on the Core team blog and join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Planning Begins for the Next Global WordPress Translation Day

The Global WordPress Translation Day is a 24-hour event held online and all across the world. It is designed to bring communities together to translate WordPress into their local languages, and to help them connect with other communities doing the same thing.

There have been three Translation Days since April 2016, and the fourth edition is in the planning stages now. The Polyglots team, who organizes these events, is currently looking for input on the date, format, and content for the event and would love some feedback from the community.

Want to get involved in translating WordPress into your own language? Follow the Polyglots team blog and join the #polyglots channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Further Reading:
  • The Update PHP page on WordPress.org has been revised and improved to make the reasons for upgrading more clear.
  • The Mobile team is looking for people to help test the latest versions of the Android and iOS apps for WordPress.
  • WordBits is a innovative new platform for publishing WordPress-based code snippets with the ability to download each snippet as a working plugin.
  • The Community Team has some updates about how things are going with this year’s WordCamp Incubator program.
  • The WordPress Support Forums now include a feature allowing forum volunteers to easily report a post to the moderators for a follow-up.
  • WordCamp Kochi, India has unfortunately had to postpone their event due to floods in the region.
  • WP Glossary is a new site that offers helpful definitions of words that you could encounter when using WordPress.
  • A few WordPress community members have started a working group to tackle the idea of building diverse WordPress  communities all across the world.
  • A new Gutenberg Block Library is available, listing the details of the many blocks available for the new editor.

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

The Month in WordPress: August 2018

Wordpress News - Mon, 09/03/2018 - 11:00

Many of the WordPress contribution teams have been working hard on the new WordPress editor, and the tools, services, and documentation surrounding it. Read on to find out more about this ongoing project, as well as everything else that has been happening around the WordPress community in August.

WordPress 4.9.8 is Released

WordPress 4.9.8 was released at the beginning of the month. While this was a maintenance release fixing 46 bugs, it was significant for Core development because it made a point of highlighting Gutenberg — the new WordPress editor that is currently in development (more on that below).

This release also included some important updates to the privacy tools that were added to Core earlier this year.

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

New WordPress Editor Development Continues

Active development continues on Gutenberg, the new editing experience for WordPress Core. The latest version features a number of important user experience improvements, including a new unified toolbar and support for a more focussed writing mode.

Users can test Gutenberg right now by installing the plugin, which currently has nearly 300,000 active installs. Along with that, the Gutenberg Handbook has some very useful information about how to use and develop for the new editor.

Want to get involved in building Gutenberg? Follow the #gutenberg tag on the Core team blog and join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Planning Begins for the Next Global WordPress Translation Day

The Global WordPress Translation Day is a 24-hour event held online and all across the world. It is designed to bring communities together to translate WordPress into their local languages, and to help them connect with other communities doing the same thing.

There have been three Translation Days since April 2016, and the fourth edition is in the planning stages now. The Polyglots team, who organizes these events, is currently looking for input on the date, format, and content for the event and would love some feedback from the community.

Want to get involved in translating WordPress into your own language? Follow the Polyglots team blog and join the #polyglots channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Further Reading:
  • The Update PHP page on WordPress.org has been revised and improved to make the reasons for upgrading more clear.
  • The Mobile team is looking for people to help test the latest versions of the Android and iOS apps for WordPress.
  • WordBits is a innovative new platform for publishing WordPress-based code snippets with the ability to download each snippet as a working plugin.
  • The Community Team has some updates about how things are going with this year’s WordCamp Incubator program.
  • The WordPress Support Forums now include a feature allowing forum volunteers to easily report a post to the moderators for a follow-up.
  • WordCamp Kochi, India has unfortunately had to postpone their event due to floods in the region.
  • WP Glossary is a new site that offers helpful definitions of words that you could encounter when using WordPress.
  • A few WordPress community members have started a working group to tackle the idea of building diverse WordPress  communities all across the world.
  • A new Gutenberg Block Library is available, listing the details of the many blocks available for the new editor.

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

Landing Page Zymphonies Theme

Drupal Themes - Sat, 09/01/2018 - 16:42

Landing Page Zymphonies Theme is our Mobile-first Drupal 8 responsive theme. This theme features a custom sideshow, responsive layout, multiple column layouts and is highly customizable. Read more

Live Demo Advanced Themes

Confidently showcase your new product within this bright, comprehensive Drupal responsive layout. Includes pricing grid, team section, featured elements, and social media sections.

Follow us in Twitter & Like us on Facebook to get free/premium theme updates, Drupal tips, tricks & news

Theme designed by FreeBiezz.com & developed by Zymphonies.com

Features

  • Drupal 8 core
  • Bootstrap v4
  • Font Awesome v5
  • Mobile-first responsive theme
  • Custom menu bar
  • Light weight theme
  • Fully responsive design
  • Included Sass & Compass source file
    • Colors are stored in Sass variable
    • Well organized Sass code
  • Static home page banner image
Banner Configuration

Banner can configure completely from theme settings page. It has control to upload image, add title and description etc.

Connect with Zymphonies Contact Zymphonies

Have Queries? Click here to contact Zymphonies

  • Free theme customization & additional features
  • Drupal custom theme development
  • Drupal website design & development
  • Drupal website migration

Sponsored by Zymphonies

WPTavern: Gutenberg 3.7 Released, Introduces Spotlight Mode

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 08/31/2018 - 21:34

Gutenberg 3.7 is available for download and contains a number of changes. The Fixed Toolbar has been renamed Unified Toolbar. This is an optional mode that fixes all of the toolbar icons to the top of the editor, similar to the Classic editor.

The team discovered that experienced users who don’t mind the disconnect between blocks and the toolbar preferred this layout.

Unified Toolbar

There’s now an animation and icon specifically tailored for the Block Converter action. Hovering the cursor over a block’s icon will display two arrows that represent the ability to change block types.

Change Bock Types Icon

For those who want to focus on one block of content at a time, there’s a new mode called Spotlight. When enabled, the blocks that are not being edited partially fade away and the block outlines disappear. This is an experimental attempt at introducing a Distraction Free Writing mode.

The icons have been updated for Paragraph, Heading, and Subheading blocks to add clarity. Previous to 3.7, the Paragraph block icon looked like an alignment option causing confusion.

Updated Icons for Paragraph, Heading, and Subheading blocks

You can find a complete list of changes and links to corresponding issues on GitHub by visiting the Gutenberg 3.7 release post.

Raiblocks

Drupal Themes - Fri, 08/31/2018 - 08:58

Drupal 8 Responsive Theme.

Developed & Designed by https://gmx.cl

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 329 – Gutenberg, Forks, and WordPress Development Cycles

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 09:11

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I discuss the news of the week. We have a candid conversation about what it would be like if Gutenberg were merged into WordPress trunk earlier versus developed as a plugin. We also talk about Classic Editor install numbers, praising forks of WordPress, and some new tools that are available to search Gutenberg blocks. This might be the first episode since Jacoby took over as co-host that we ended the show in under an hour.

Stories Discussed:

Gutenberg Block Library Provides a Searchable Index of Individual Blocks

Gutenberg and Classic Editor Plugins Pass 200,000 Active Installations, WordPress 4.9.9 Planning Underway

WordPress to Support Classic Editor for “Many Years to Come,” Plugin and Theme Markets Expected to Drive Gutenberg Adoption

Gary Pendergast Praises ClassicPress, Extends Invitation for Collaboration

WordCamp for Publishers 2018 Videos Now Available on WordPress.tv

WPCampus 2018 Videos Are Now Available to Watch

New Network Media Library Plugin Creates a Shared Library on a Multisite Network

New WP Glossary Site Translates WordPress Techspeak into Plain English

Picks of the Week:

Jeff – WP Minute by Malcom Peralty over at PressTitan – A new video series by a longtime friend and former co-host, David Peralty that provides quick updates on stories making the rounds in the WordPress ecosystem.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday,September 5th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Itunes

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via RSS

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Stitcher Radio

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Google Play

Listen To Episode #329:

WPTavern: Distributor Plugin Now Publicly Available, Adds Gutenberg Support

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 21:48

10up’s Distributor plugin has exited beta and is now publicly available. The free plugin syndicates content across WordPress multisite networks and the web. It went into beta last year and 10up reports that more than 100 organizations and developers participated in the beta program.

“We’ve already integrated many improvements contributed by beta testers, including 10up clients,” 10up President Jake Goldman said. “Distributor has been approved for use on WordPress.com VIP and is ready for enterprise implementations. We have a roadmap of planned enhancements, with ambitious plans including more advanced media distribution and sophisticated ‘take down’ features for the forced removal of distributed content.”

The public release of Distributor also introduces support for Gutenberg for the settings that are available in the edit screen. Users should be aware that this new feature is still in beta, as Gutenberg is still in active development and not has not yet been merged into WordPress core.

image credit: 10up

“We’ve even considered interoperability between the classic editor and Gutenberg, and instances where custom blocks are not registered on remote sites,” Goldman said. “All aspects of the user interface have been carried over to ensure a coherent and cohesive experience.”

10up has also launched an Enterprise support package that offers faster response for issues, support for custom integrations, and white-labeling. Support packages fund ongoing development and customers have the opportunity to help shape the roadmap of the plugin.

Distributor is available at distributorplugin.com where users can register to get a free license key. The plugin is also available on GitHub.

WPTavern: Gutenberg Contributors Considering a “Focus Mode” for Writing

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 18:32

After overwhelming feedback from testers indicating that Gutenberg is not well suited for simply writing posts, the project’s contributors are considering a few options for improving the writing flow. These proposals are spread across several tickets on GitHub.

Two weeks ago, Gutenberg technical lead Matias Ventura submitted a PR exploring the possibility of introducing a “Focus Mode” to the editor. This mode would highlight the current selected block with all other blocks faded while the “fix toolbar to header” option is enabled. The video below shows an example of what that might look like:

“The aim is to provide a writing experience that can satisfy those that would prefer an environment with the least amount of distractions at the expense of tool clarity,” Ventura said. “I’ve been testing this and personally find it a very enjoyable mode to toggle when I just want to write for a bit. Paired with a robust set of keyboard shortcuts it could be quite nice to use. In this sense, it’d be important to provide an easy keyboard shortcut to toggle the mode on and off.”

Automattic designer Kjell Reigstad opened another ticket that proposes transforming the “Fix Toolbar to Top” setting into a “Focus Mode.”

“A key feedback point we hear is that Gutenberg’s interface can be a little overwhelming,” Reigstad said. “This often comes from users who more commonly focus on ‘writing’ versus ‘building’ their posts. They find the contextual block controls and block hover states to be distracting: When they’re focused on writing, they don’t necessarily want to think about blocks — they just want to write.”

Reigstad said this same subset of users also misses having the formatting toolbar at the top of the page, as it is in other applications like Google Docs, MS Word, and WordPress’ classic editor. He proposed a solution that addresses these concerns by combining the “Fix Toolbar to Top” option with the following UI changes that would provide a more complete “Focus Mode:”

  • The block toolbar would be pinned to the top of the screen.
  • The editor would be full screen.
  • Block outlines would be removed for both hover and selected states.
  • The block label would appear on a delay, and be toned down visually.
  • Block mover + block options would also appear on a delay.

Reigstad also created a video demo of this concept:

This new “focus Mode” concept is also compatible with Ventura’s proposal for highlighting the current selected block and fading out the others. It could either be present in both modes or available as an add-on feature.

A couple of well-written reviews on the Gutenberg plugin describe how the concept of blocks complicates the writing experience and how Gutenberg’s current writing environment is visually distracting and disruptive. This has been a major concern since the plugin was first released for testing, as there are many users who depend on WordPress for its writing features more than the page building aspects.

The Gutenberg team’s new ideas go a long way towards decluttering the interface for writers. This is especially important for those who want to do their long-form writing inside WordPress, instead of beginning their work in an application that is dedicated to providing a distraction-free writing experience. Introducing a “focus mode” or “writing mode” will solve one of the most critical issues with the new editor and we’re looking forward to seeing how this develops.

HeroPress: WordPress Is For You

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 12:17

When HeroPress started, a stated intention was to be a voice for people on the fringe of the Western WordPress culture. In my head I thought this geographical, and involved places like Africa and Asia. I quickly came to realize that everyone is on the fringe of something.

This month’s HeroPress replay is titled “Doing What I Want”  by Becky Davis. Becky’s an American, but she doesn’t fit the American IT worker mold of young white male. In fact, her gender and age were regular friction points in her attempts to get jobs. She’s not old by any means, but she’s not 19 either.

WordPress became a place for her where things like age and gender don’t matter nearly as much as other jobs. Check out Becky’s essay and perhaps drop her a comment.

 

Doing What I Want

The post WordPress Is For You appeared first on HeroPress.

WPTavern: Gary Pendergast Praises ClassicPress, Extends Invitation for Collaboration

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 04:58

Gutenberg and WordPress core contributor Gary Pendergast has weighed in with this thoughts on ClassicPress, a fork of WordPress created by Scott Bowler. Pendergast praises the fork and extended an open invitation to Bowler to collaborate in the future.

As a member of the WordPress core team, I certainly hold no ill-feelings towards them, and I hope they’ll be open to working with us in the future. I hope we’ll be able to learn from their work, to improve WordPress for everyone.

Ultimately, we all share the same goal: creating a free and open web, for everyone to enjoy. While ClassicPress has styled itself as a protest against Gutenberg for now, I hope they’ll find their voice for something, instead of just against something.

Gary Pendergast

In the comments of the article, Pendergast received harsh criticism for writing blog posts instead of working on Gutenberg’s 1K plus issues on GitHub. In an example of showing grace, Pendergast responds to the person’s question of whether or not Gutenberg’s development team is correctly prioritizing their time.

“Personally, I believe we’re doing a reasonable job, though we could probably lean a little more towards blogging than we are now,” he said. “There’s been valid criticism that the Gutenberg team has been less communicative than it could be, which we’re working to address.”

Additionally, Pendergast compared the number of open issues in other projects and dismissed it as a measurement of software quality or readiness.

Personally, I miss reading blog posts about WordPress from core developers. Many of the people on the Planet WordPress feed no longer work on the project or write about WordPress.

I always enjoyed when they shared their deep knowledge of the software or explained why they decided to lead the project in a certain direction. Pendergast’s post is a breath of fresh air and something I’d like to see more often from other core contributors.

WPTavern: New WP Glossary Site Translates WordPress Techspeak into Plain English

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 20:25

Anders Norén has launched a new website called WP Glossary that contains definitions for terms that people encounter when using WordPress. The resource was born out of a need to provide documentation for client projects.

“The last time I updated the glossary for a new client documentation, in the middle of May this year, it hit me that there must be a website for this,” Norén said. “A list of WordPress definitions written not for WordPress developers, but for those who manage WordPress websites either as part of their work or in their spare time.”

Norén said he found resources written for developers but nothing satisfactory for regular WordPress users. Inspired to fill this gap, he bought a domain name and built the site over the next couple weeks. WP Glossary contains definitions for nearly a hundred WordPress-specific and industry-related terms, with more than 25,000 total words.

image credit: Anders Norén

Norén, who has recently jumped into client work with a new agency, is better known for his popular minimalist themes on WordPress.org. His 17 themes have a cumulative rating of 4.97 out of 5 stars and more than 2.1 million downloads. He designed the WP Glossary site, wrote all the definitions, and credits Thord Hedengren for feedback on the design and editorial assistance.

Each glossary term includes a plain English definition and common use cases with a bit of WordPress history sprinkled in. The terms also link to related documentation and some also have related WordPress.tv links. The Default Themes term is the longest article on the site with 1,744 words. Each term has a “Send Corrections” link that visitors can use if they see a term that could be improved.

WP Glossary was enthusiastically received when Norén announced it on Twitter. Many commented that the site will be useful for meetups with members who are new to WordPress and need a quick way to look up some of the jargon they encounter.

Norén’s glossary project overlaps with a glossary the WordPress Marketing team published earlier this year. WP Glossary is more in-depth and contains less techspeak than the marketing team’s copy. It is also targeted at people who use WordPress as part of their job or as a hobby.

The sheer volume of terms on this site reveals how much insider language one encounters while managing a WordPress site. If you’re working in the WordPress world every day, it’s easy to forget how unfamiliar these terms are to new users. WP Glossary is released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0) so freelancers and agencies that want to duplicate, modify, and share the material have permission to do so with attribution.

WPTavern: A Proposal for Improving the Change Block Type User Interface in Gutenberg

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 08:24

In Gutenberg 3.6.2, the development team moved the Convert Block option to the left most icon in the toolbar. As long as the toolbar is visible, so is the option to change block types. However, there are a few user experience issues with this approach.

Convert Block Option

The first is obvious. The paragraph block icon looks like an alignment option. The second issue is that the icon represents the current block being edited, sort of like a block label. Unless a user hovers their cursor over the icon, it’s difficult to realize that it’s for changing block types.

Kevin Hoffman, a WordPress developer and core contributor, has proposed a new user interface suggestion that aims to solve the issues mentioned above.

Suggested Changes by Kevin Hoffman

Hoffman suggests changing the icon to a drop-down menu, similar to the one in the Classic Editor. The menu would make the ability to change block types more discoverable. It removes confusion associated with icons and is a workflow that’s already established.

Gutenberg developer Joen Asmussen thanked Hoffman for the feedback and listed a number of things to consider with his approach. These include the editor’s need to be responsive, scale to editors with thin columns, accessibility, and accommodating long block names.

Gutenberg technical lead Matías Ventura also commented on the proposal.

Just wanted to say thanks for all the constructive voices here and willingness to find better solutions. If there’s anything that is fairly clear is that the current ‘block switching’ interaction is not as obvious as it could be.

I think using the paragraph icon instead of the one that is easily confused as alignment, @jasmussen‘s update in #9310, plus the addition of the drop-down arrow are a good baseline to check on the next release and see if we need something more involved. @kevinwhoffman it’d be great to expand on your proposal and see how it might look across more blocks and nested contexts.

Matías Ventura

Depending on your workflow, changing block types will be a common action. For example, I often press enter at the end of a paragraph block which creates a new paragraph block automatically. Being able to easily identify and use the change block type option will improve my writing experience.

Those with feedback on Hoffman’s proposal are encouraged to respond to the issue on GitHub. It’s also worth noting that the team is experimenting with using an icon that’s designated specifically for changing block types.

WPTavern: WordPress to Support Classic Editor for “Many Years to Come,” Plugin and Theme Markets Expected to Drive Gutenberg Adoption

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 04:28

During the 2017 State of the Word address, Matt Mullenweg announced the availability of the Classic Editor plugin for site owners who are not ready to adopt Gutenberg when it makes its debut in WordPress 5.0. Since its release, the community has speculated about what the plugin’s active installation numbers mean and how long it will be supported.

Matt Mullenweg has confirmed that support for the Classic Editor will be available for “many years to come,” which should come as a relief to those who feared that WordPress would drop support for the old editor after a year or two.

“I love that people are using the Classic Editor plugin!” Mullenweg said in comment on a recent post. “There is an infinite number of ways that WP can be used and not all will be ready for Gutenberg when 5.0 is released, Classic allows people to still be able to update core and stay current with releases, and with the click of a button try out Gutenberg again in the future if they want to. It’s also trivial to maintain because Gutenberg also uses TinyMCE, so Classic Editor users will still get improvements and updates to TinyMCE — I won’t say ‘forever’ but I don’t see any reason why we can’t maintain classic for the edit screen for many years to come.”

These assurances about the continued availability of the classic editor mean that WordPress product developers will need to decide if they want to provide support for both editing experiences or go full steam ahead with Gutenberg, limiting support to WordPress 5.0+. We don’t yet know how many users will be installing the Classic Editor after WordPress 5.0 is released but that may inform more product decisions in the future.

The Market Will Drive Gutenberg Adoption

During the Q&A following the State of the Word in 2017, WordPress developer Kevin Hoffman asked a question about the prospect of developers having to support two different editing interfaces:

Hearing you suggest the Classic Editor plugin and different ways to undeclare support for Gutenberg leads me to this idea that we are headed towards a split admin interface with no finality to the transition, meaning that I don’t see a time in the future where everyone will be on Gutenberg. We will always have these people in classic mode. As plugin and theme developers, we will always have to support two different types of users. How do we reach that point where we are past the transition, however long it might take, where we can not have this box of chocolates effect where you click “edit post type” and you never know what you’re going to get?

Mullenweg said his hope and expectation, based on how this has worked out with new interfaces in the past, is that over time product developers would adopt the latest interface. He cited the Customizer as one example where one is now very hard-pressed to find a theme developer who is rolling their own options panel after the Customizer was introduced as the new standard. It was just three years ago in 2015 when WordPress.org began requiring theme options to be built using the Customizer and now it is used everywhere.

“The truth is, if you are a plugin or theme developer, people are going to expect things in Gutenberg, so you really need to develop for Gutenberg,” Mullenweg said. “And then, at some point, I’m totally ok if you drop support for the Classic [Editor]. There will be themes and plugins that will say you need to have Gutenberg, [WP] 5.0 or newer if you want to use this.

“We already have that existing now. Plugins only support so far back in PHP in WordPress. There will be plugins that don’t support under WordPress 5.0. It’s not going to be that much different from supporting different WordPress versions where people choose sometimes to go way way way back, sometimes a year or several years, and support WordPress 3.8 and 3.9. And some don’t bother anymore. There’s lots of APIs and other things that changed during that time. At some point you just have to make a cost benefit analysis and do things like maybe Yoast is doing for upgrading PHP, and say, ‘Hey, if you really want the best of this, check out this new thing.'”

As Gutenberg blocks become the standard way of extending WordPress’ editing and customization capabilities, the market will drive its adoption. This is already happening with new blocks and block collections being released every day. The new Gutenberg Block Library offers a glimpse of that and there are many more blocks on GitHub that are not yet commercially marketed.

During that December 2017 Q&A, developers seemed to be excited about the Gutenberg demos they had just seen but their uneasiness was palpable in their questions. Now, eight months later, the current proliferation of Gutenberg themes and plugins demonstrates that WordPress developers are ready to embrace the new editor and build the creative extensions that Gutenberg’s creators’ had always anticipated.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing what the design and developer community can build with it and where their imaginations can take us from there,” Gutenberg technical lead Matías Ventura said when I interviewed him in June. “Core is going to supply the infrastructure and the main building blocks but it’s everything that can be built around it that’s going to be exciting, as always with WordPress.”

The extension ecosystem that made WordPress a success in the first place is going to be a key influence in driving adoption for the new editor. Major players in the product market are not waiting to see how users react to the new editor before building their Gutenberg-compatible interfaces. Users may not be compelled by the writing experience, but Gutenberg’s block model will provide a better framework for site customization and a core standard for page builders that interface with WordPress. If the blocks pouring into the ecosystem right now are any indication, the plugin market surrounding Gutenberg is going to offer an exciting variety of tools for site building.

WPTavern: Gutenberg Block Library Provides a Searchable Index of Individual Blocks

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 08/27/2018 - 16:45

An avalanche of blocks is pouring into the WordPress ecosystem ahead of Gutenberg’s inclusion in core. A few block collections, such as Atomic Blocks, Stackable, and CoBlocks, can be found on WordPress.org, but it’s not easy to search the individual blocks they contain. Other collections and standalone blocks are spread across the web. WordPress theme developer Danny Cooper has built a centralized library of Gutenberg blocks that are currently available to extend the new editor.

The library loads blocks into a grid with infinite scroll. It is searchable, so visitors can easily find individual blocks that are part of a collection. Blocks are also tagged, which makes it possible to compare a group of similar blocks. Individual listings display screenshots of the block in action and its settings panel, as well as a link to the author and a link to download.

The Gutenberg Block Library currently has more than four dozen blocks. Visitors and block creators can submit a block that is missing from the library.

Cooper is the owner of Olympus Themes, a small collection of free and commercial niche-focused WordPress themes. He has also created his own blocks collection called Editor Blocks, which focuses on blocks for business sites. His corresponding Editor Blocks theme is available for free on WordPress.org with support for all the business blocks.

“As a theme developer I’d been waiting for a way to build themes in a way where what you see on the backend matches what you will see on the frontend,” Cooper said. “That can be achieved to some extent using the Customizer, but it’s hard to craft more than one complex page using that method.”

Cooper comes from a PHP/jQuery background and said he didn’t have a strong enough understanding of ES6, Webpack, Babel, React to create Gutenberg blocks right away. The learning curve was a little steep but after getting a handle on the basics he is now able to make small contributions to the Gutenberg project.

“It felt like I was hitting a brick wall every five minutes when I started,” he said. “Zac Gordon’s course helped me get past that stage. The #core-editor slack channel was a big help too. Other than that I just studied the code of the core blocks and used Google. As my knowledge increased I’ve tried to reach out by submitting bug reports to other Block Libraries and making minor contributions to the Gutenberg project on Github.”

WordPress.org may be able to benefit from a centralized block library in the future, as people will be frequently searching for blocks after Gutenberg lands in core. Cooper said if WordPress.org had a library like this it might even be possible to find and install blocks from inside Gutenberg.

“I could build a block that searches my library but it wouldn’t be able to install them as most are part of a ‘collection,'” Cooper said. “I’m not sure if in the future the ‘collections’ will continue to grow or people will move towards releasing individual blocks.”

In the meantime, the Gutenberg Block Library provides a helpful resource for early adopters. Browsing through the listings, it’s exciting to see the variety of block functionality that the community is creating. Users who fully embrace Gutenberg in WordPress 5.0 will find dozens of blocks (and perhaps hundreds by that time) available for the new editor, if they know where to look.

Medium Theme

Drupal Themes - Mon, 08/27/2018 - 14:14

A simple light-weight theme inspired by Medium blogging platform. It's clean and simple for user blogs.

Oldblack

Drupal Themes - Mon, 08/27/2018 - 09:08

WPTavern: WPCampus 2018 Videos Are Now Available to Watch

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 19:10

WPCampus 2018 was held July 12-14, 2018, at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Educators, staff, and those in higher-education gathered to learn how WordPress can be and is used in higher-education environments.

If you couldn’t attend in person or watch the live stream, you can now watch all of the sessions for free. Visit the event’s schedule page and click the Watch Session button. Alternatively, you can click on a session’s title to read a brief description and then watch the embedded video.

Videos are hosted on YouTube which makes it easy to share and embed them. There are also links to view the presenter’s slides.

If you have time, I recommend watching GutenReady for the Gutenpocalypse by Brian DeConinck and Jennifer McFarland who work at North Carolina State University in the Information and Technology Department.

In this presentation, the duo explain what they’re doing to get staff, students, and campus sites prepared for Gutenberg.

In addition to the presentation above, I also recommend listening to episode 324 of WordPress Weekly where McFarland describes their experience so far in transitioning sites to Gutenberg, building custom blocks, and discussing what the future of themes might be like once the project is merged into WordPress.

WPCampus organizers are in the beginning stages of planning next year’s event.

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