WPTavern: Gutenberg and Classic Editor Plugins Pass 200,000 Active Installations, WordPress 4.9.9 Planning Underway
It has been three weeks since the “Try Gutenberg” prompt was sent out in WordPress 4.9.8 and the plugin has now passed 200,000 active installations. The callout has increased the visibility of the Gutenberg project and brought necessary feedback to the development and design of the new editor.
Prior to WordPress 4.9.8, Gutenberg reviews held a 2.7-star average on WordPress.org. Negative reviews continue to pour in and the average rating has slipped to 2.3 stars. Users are reporting that the new editor is too complicated, cumbersome, and that it offers an inferior writing experience. A few positive reviews are sprinkled in between, calling the editor a “necessary step forward,” and those reviewers seem hopeful that others will feel the same once they get past the learning curve. The vast majority of reviews, both positive and negative, report that Gutenberg’s interface is not yet intuitive to use.
The Gutenberg team’s responses to reviews have improved to be less “canned” since the initial reactions a few days after the Gutenprompt went out. However, the team still appears to be combing the feedback for bugs with the existing interface. Overall, the team’s responses are unified in a general unwillingness to admit that there are critical flaws preventing the interface from being more well-received.
Active installations of the Classic Editor plugin, the official antidote for those do not wish to adopt Gutenberg when it ships in WordPress 5.0, have climbed to more than 200,000. This number is about equal to the number of sites that have Gutenberg active. The Gutenberg team does not view Classic Editor installs as an important metric for understanding Gutenberg adoption or rejection but rather see these installs as a healthy intermediary step for sites keeping the same workflow while preparing for Gutenberg.
In response to recent discussion surrounding the ClassicPress fork of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg said, “No plans to ever have direct vote determine strategic direction in WP, but we are having a bit of a referendum in the adoption of the Gutenberg and Classic Editor plugins, people are voting with their usage. The people are deciding.”
This is essentially true in that users can decide if they want to adopt Gutenberg or not, for as long as the Classic Editor is supported. The Classic Editor plugin is an option people demanded but now the reality of two different admin experiences is nearer than before. The notion of a fork, though perhaps not a serious threat to the project, makes it painfully clear what some users are willing to do in order to avoid Gutenberg.
With the number of Classic Editor plugin installations on the rise, WordPress is headed towards a fractured admin experience. For some it may be a healthy transition option, but in the end, the number of Classic Editor installations indicates how many sites will be running an alternative editing experience because site owners are either not ready or not willing to adopt Gutenberg.
At some point in the future, WordPress will need to unite the editing experience, either by winning these users over to Gutenberg or by discontinuing support for the Classic Editor. In the meantime, WordPress product developers will need to provide support for both editing experiences or go all in on one or the other. It has the potential to erode WordPress’ momentum for a few years, especially if Gutenberg doesn’t become more intuitive.WordPress 4.9.9 Is Expected to be a 6-8 Week Maintenance Cycle
WordPress contributors met this week to discuss WordPress 4.9.9.
“As of now there’s no specific timeline for 4.9.9,” Jeff Paul said. “That will get set once release leads are in place. However, I’d like to try and finalize leads in next week’s meeting or shortly thereafter so that we can begin 4.9.9 planning and coordination as we get into September.” Paul requested contributor submit nominations for release leads, for themselves or others, ahead of next week’s meeting.
“Until we have a confirmed timeline and plan for 5.0, my assumption is that we’ll continue with our minor release cadence of ~6-8 weeks with specific focus on items needed in support of 5.0,” Paul said.
During his announcement at WordCamp Europe in Belgrade, Matt Mullenweg said WordPress 5.0 could happen as early as August. It’s now looking more likely that 5.0 will drop closer to the end of the year. This gives WordPress users and developers more time to prepare their sites to be compatible with Gutenberg and ready to take advantage of the new features it offers. The schedule for releasing WordPress 5.0 is not yet set but the release is expected to happen in 2018.
Kochi is located in Southwest India in the coastal state of Kerala. The flooding has been so severe, the Kochi airport has been shutdown since August 15th due to electrical damage.
In addition to WordCamp being postponed, WooCommerce has also postponed its Women’s Workshop.
In light of current events, we've decided to postpone the Women's Workshop. More info to come later today. https://t.co/TBfGGNWZW0— WooCommerce (@WooCommerce) August 23, 2018
Organizers worked with WordCamp Community Support who agreed that the best course of action was to delay the event.
Besides, one of the ethos of conducting a WordCamp is to ensure a safe space for attendees and participants. Since the state is still recovering from the floods, conducting a big event poses a lot of threats/challenges, like rain-borne diseases, unpredictable weather, etc.Hari Shanker R
Tickets for WordCamp Kochi are still available and can be purchased from the event’s site. Women who use the WCK18WOMAN coupon code will receive a 40% discount off the ticket price. There’s also a discounts page with information on other ways you can reduce ticket prices.
Those who purchased tickets for September 2nd can use the same ticket to attend November 3rd. If you purchased tickets for September 2nd and can not attend November 3rd, you’re encouraged to contact the event’s organizers as refunds are not available.
Brett Martin has an excellent longread in GQ, Houston Is the New Capital Of Southern Cool. I moved to San Francisco when I was 20, I hadn’t ever even been old enough to drink in Houston, but when I returned in my late twenties and really made it my home I was blown away at how much the city had changed in the time I had been away. Or maybe I just grew up enough to appreciate it. Regardless, Brett captures the verve and paradoxes of the city well.
WordCamp for Publishers 2018 was held in Chicago earlier this month, bringing together a diverse group of people who use WordPress to manage publications. The event even got a nod from Nieman Lab, who dubbed it “WordPress’ publisher summit,” and highlighted a few tweets from the #wcpub hashtag.
“As conference organizers, we challenged speakers to touch on whether an open web ever truly existed, what state it’s in now, the consequences of a closed web, and how publishers can protect and encourage an open web,” Alexis Kulash, one of the event’s organizers, said in her recap post.
“Overall, we saw common themes emerge around empowering publishers to innovate and evolve. There was a shared belief that ethical journalism depends on an open web, with inclusivity as a fundamental building block to creating responsibly for the future.”
Sessions included topics of interest to publishers both large and small, including AMP, Gutenberg, the effect of paywalls on the open web, communication between tech and editorial teams, newsletters, performance, and many other publishing-related topics.
“Given that this is the only single-vertical official WordCamp it offers a rare perspective into a limited but very serious set of issues in a space,” Pantheon Community Manager Dwayne McDaniel said in his recap post. “Having the official support and legitimacy of the WordCamp name brand I think adds a weight the organizers could not achieve otherwise, a claim I am going to support with the caliber of the participants as substantial evidence.”
By all accounts the event was one of the best media conferences participants had ever attended. Recordings of the sessions started rolling out on WordPress.tv today. The videos can all be found on the same page listed under the WordCamp for Publishers 2018 event.
WordPress.com Boots Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theory Sites, Bans Malicious Publication of Unauthorized Images of Minors
WordPress for iOS 10.6 Adds A Detailed Site Activity Log
Oakley Capital to Acquire cPanel
Drupal.org Migrates Developer Tools to GitLab
ClassicPress: Gutenberg Not Included
Next Episode: Wednesday, August 29th 3:00 P.M. Eastern
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Mario Peshev, CEO of DevriX, has published a video that explains how Gutenberg will change the way users create content. If your background as a WordPress user is maintaining your website with the help of a page builder like Beaver Builder, Divi Builder, Elementor, or a similar plugin, this video will acquaint you with a few advantages that Gutenberg will bring to content creation in the future.
Peshev demonstrates how Gutenberg will make it easier for users to add and arrange page content that actual websites need, such as call-to-action buttons, testimonials, headers, and columns. In the past, users have relied on page builders, page templates, widgetized areas, shortcodes, custom meta boxes, and a host of disparate ways of trying to place content in a certain arrangement on a page. All of these seem rather clunky now when compared to Gutenberg’s united interface, despite the new editor’s less than perfect implementation.
This video helps users understand the problems Gutenberg aims to solve. Peshev explains that page builder tools usually have heavy, complicated code bases in order to work around the problem of adding blocks of content to a page. Gutenberg is not replacing page builders. In fact, most of them are updating to provide a better experience for users in the Gutenberg era, so agencies should be able to utilize some of the same tools they have used in the past while setting clients loose in the new editorial framework.
“The video was first published on my LinkedIn feed, which is comprised of business leaders, marketing experts, freelancers — many of whom use WordPress at work or for their own businesses,” Peshev said.
“They are not WordPress experts by any stretch, and rarely spend the time to test the ‘latest cool thing.’ Odds are, some may have heard of it, but 95% haven’t even seen screenshots or demos of the new editorial experience.”
As a digital consultant and the CEO of DevriX, a 30+ person agency, Peshev understands the need to assure users that their traditional content editing experience will still be available if they don’t want to use Gutenberg. He has been preparing his clients who fall on both sides of the 5.0 release – either to move forward with the new editor or employ the Classic Editor to maintain the old one.
“At DevriX, we’ve been testing every site we manage and maintain monthly,” Peshev said. “We want to ensure that there are no unexpected regressions or fatal errors we have to deal with last minute. That said, half of our customers can benefit by using Gutenberg — we’ve had continuous conversations with them and align the roadmap accordingly. Others, on the other hand, are purely content-driven, a traditional WYSIWYG experience, and we have the Classic Editor ready to go once Gutenberg is live.”
Peshev said his agency has had to find the balance between improving the editorial experience as needed (for things like landing pages and more robust sections), versus ensuring the stability and consistency of content development for traditional editorial teams. He urges other agency owners to push forward and embrace the custom work that Gutenberg will require.
“Gutenberg is still in its infancy; there’s a lot of work left for us, agency owners and developers,” Peshev said. “Just as we used to build custom widgets, shortcodes, and page templates, we should build a series of Gutenblocks for every customer, prepare the corresponding templates, design the resulting front-end experience, and a lot more. Realistically, the editorial experience alone is a tiny chunk of the scope of WordPress development as a whole.”
A couple years ago I was at Prestige Conf in Minneapolis. I noticed a young woman sitting by herself, patiently waiting for the talks to start, and thought I’d say hi. Her name was Stacey, and she was a freelance web developer and design expert. She was had recently quit her job to go freelance and this conference was part of her self-education.
Our conversation brought back lots of memories of the excitement of when I first quit a good job to go freelance, but I was impressed by how much more attention to detail she’d paid than I had. I was a Bad Freelancer.
A few weeks later it occurred to me that she might be willing to make the header banners for HeroPress essays. I asked, and she agreed at a price I could afford. For a couple years now all of the banners you’ve seen on HeroPress were made by Stacey Bartron. No-one else has ever told me this, but I think the banners are pretty important to the essays and she’s done a wonderful, meaningful job.
Stacey quit her job and went freelance because she had faith in her own abilities. Her skills were greater than the use to which they were being put at The Day Job. As it turns out, she was right.
Check out Stacey’s very own HeroPress essay here:
The Drupal Association announced this week that Drupal.org will be migrating its developer tools to GitLab. In selecting a partner for modernizing the project’s tooling, the association aimed to preserve the most valuable parts of Drupal’s workflow. They also wanted a partner that would keep evolving its code collaboration featureset.
In December 2017, after evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket, it appeared the association would be moving forward with Bitbucket. If the comments on that discussion are any indication, the Drupal community was not excited about the selection. GitLab reached out to comment on the status of some of the blockers the association had identified and worked privately with Drupal representatives to resolve those issues.
“They have escalated the internal priority of issues that blocked our adoption of GitLab, offered technical and financial support for the migration, and made a commitment to ongoing support for the Drupal project,” Drupal Association’s director of engineering Tim Hestenes Lehnen said. The team plans to migrate Drupal.org’s 45,000 projects to GitLab over the coming months.
“By adding merge requests, contributing to Drupal will become much more familiar to the broad audience of open source contributors who learned their skills in the post-patch era,” Lehnen said. “By adding inline editing and web-based code review, it will be much easier to make quick contributions. This not only lowers the barrier to contribution for people new to our community, it also saves significant effort for our existing community members, as they’ll no longer need to clone work locally and generate patches.”
It’s easy to see how the WordPress project might also benefit from collaborating on a platform like GitLab. In October 2017, after the company announced a $20 million Series C round of funding and appointed Matt Mullenweg to its board of directors, WordPress contributors speculated about whether the project would move to GitLab.
“It’s definitely something on our minds,” Mullenweg said when asked if GitLab and WordPress might collaborate in the future. “Core WordPress is still Trac and Subversion, so I think that it’s not our top priority this year, but in the future it’s definitely on the radar.”
In 2016, GitLab worked to establish itself as the most welcoming platform for open source organizations after GitHub failed to address open source maintainers’ concerns in a timely way. The company began actively courting disgruntled GitHub users following GitHub’s May 2016 pricing hike.
GitLab’s efforts to resolve critical issues for Drupal.org demonstrates the company’s commitment to ensure open source projects have what they need. Drupal.org’s transparency throughout the decision to migrate its developer tools enabled the project to respond to the community’s request to make GitLab work. It also prompted GitLab representatives to reach out with more information on the project’s blockers. As WordPress will be looking to move its developer tools to a new platform in the future, following along with Drupal.org’s migration experience as it progresses should be a good learning opportunity.
This week I spoke with TechCrunch about one facet of distributed work that differs from physical offices — the idea of “office politics.” I can’t claim that distributed work will solve everyone’s personal differences, but I do think it relieves some of the pressures that might come from forced cohabitation and environments that are prone to interruption. They also have some great points from Jason Fried and and Wade Foster.
cPanel, the makes of control panel software used by many hosting providers across the globe, has announced it has signed an agreement to be acquired by Oakley Capital. Oakley Capital is a private equity investor that invests in companies primarily located in Western Europe.
Financial details of the impending acquisition have not been disclosed. Oakley Capital is the same investment firm that acquired Plesk in May of 2017. Plesk is also control panel software used to manage sites.
cPanel is based in Houston, TX with more than 220 employees. Employees will stay with the company and the headcount is expected to increase thanks to the investment.
Nick Koston, cPanel’s CEO, issued the following statement in a press release.
This investment reflects a great step forward for cPanel. Our team has developed software that contributes to the success of millions of websites operating globally and looks forward to continuing to do so with the same passion that you, our loyal customers have come to love.
This investment will give Internet infrastructure providers access to a wider range of software, features and support. I am excited about what the future holds for the company and the great team at cPanel.Nick Koston
Koston will remain as the company’s CEO and cPanel will continue to run as a separate entity. The acquisition needs to pass a governmental review before it is finalized.
Mimimi, an award-winning game studio based in Munich, has launched a new WordPress website that provides an interesting case study of Gutenberg in the wild. Although you may not be able to tell from the frontend, behind the scenes the new block-based editor is powering the layout with custom blocks, allowing the Mimimi team to easily update various sections of their website.
Luehrsen Heinrich, a local ad agency, built the site with a custom theme and seven blocks tailored to support the Mimimi team’s editing requirements.
“The general task was to create an elegant website that is very easy and fast to maintain and that will maybe later get a blog/news section,” Hendrik Luehrsen, CEO of Luehrsen Heinrich, said. “We knew our client has some amazingly creative and tech savvy people who trusted us. That made us confident to go into Gutenberg.”
The site uses a background block that enables editors to create different background patterns and wavy separators. Luehrsen said it works with ‘InnerBlocks’, similar to columns, so it can host any other block.
The site also has a custom Discord block that dynamically fetches some settings to display a set of users from Discord, which Mimimi uses for internal communication. The block displays an updated team roster. Social media and game blocks enable editors to easily update text and images with the layout already set.
“I am pretty sure we could do the same layout to about 80% by combining columns, paragraphs, and images, but we didn’t want our client to fiddle around like in MS Word when you try to place an image,” Luehrsen said. “So creating a simple layout block was a logical thing.”
Mimimi’s website also uses a custom Mailchimp signup block and a custom spacer block that offers more flexibility and responsive breakpoints.
“All in all we (and our clients) are very happy with the result,” Luehrsen said. “We can see the future of WordPress ahead with this block based editor. But there is still a very long way to go until we really have nothing to smooth out anymore. There are certain things, that still require a lot of work.”
From a development perspective, Luehrsen said his team still struggles with the backend styles for the editor and that frontend and backend styles differ wildly because of that. They also haven’t yet found a maintainable, stable way of applying global styles to the Gutenberg editor. Other than those outstanding issues, the agency has enjoyed building for the new editor and has another Gutenberg-page product launching soon for a different set of clients.Mimimi Games’ Gutenberg Experience: Editors Appreciate the Block Concept but Still Encounter Usability Issues
Johannes Roth, CEO of Mimimi Games, said his team has used WordPress in the past and sees Gutenberg as a major improvement for editing content.
“I absolutely love it, honestly!” Roth said. “It’s so much easier to understand the setup of the page and to customize it. If the Gutenberg editor gets a few user experience improvements, I definitely see it being the new state of the art for maintaining pages. But knowing that it’s still not officially released, it has been super robust and easy to understand from my point of view.”
Roth said his team appreciates the block setup, the ability to reorganize content, having small chunks of content to work on, and having custom tailored options per block.
“There are fewer distractions with weird toolbars and the focus is on content,” Roth said. “It also more closely resembles how we should think about splitting the formatting and decoration part from the content, as well as setting up proper pages for SEO friendliness.”
Roth identified two things that the Mimimi team misses from the previous editor:
- Pressing tab to indent bullet lists and shift tab to reverse
- Using ctrl+a to quickly select all text inside a block (it sometimes selects the whole page, which doesn’t help).
“The biggest issue with usability so far has been the combination of blocks and columns, which sometimes makes it really hard to hit the ‘…’ icon because the mouseover zones get stacked,” Roth said.Enabling Storytellers on the Modern Web: Why Luehrsen Heinrich Took the Leap into Gutenberg Development as an Agency
Luehrsen said his agency decided to board the Gutenberg train last year at WordCamp Europe, after ditching their own ideas for creating a new page builder.
“One or two months before WCEU in Paris, we were sitting on a concept and an alpha version of our own page builder system that was frighteningly similar to the block based approach,” Luehrsen said. “That Q&A by Matt made us quickly realize that our project was already obsolete. We were lucky that we went pretty quickly through the five stages of grief (this post on structured data must have been “bargaining”). We reordered our priorities and started working with and on Gutenberg in the end of October or November of 2017.”
Luehrsen Heinrich is a small agency of just four people who are all involved with Gutenberg in different ways. Luehrsen is an active contributor on the project, submitting his first PR over the Christmas holidays. The team also has a developer who knows block creation inside and out, a designer who designs the UX and style of their blocks, and a project manager who works with the clients on their Gutenberg editing requirements.
Luehrsen said being a Gutenberg contributor helped immensely with learning block creation, despite having no prior experience with React and ES6.
“Working with Gutenberg, contributing to the project and getting immediate feedback from the amazing Gutenberg team, helped us a lot in bootstrapping our process,” Luehrsen said. “Our current block creation process builds heavily on the work Gary, Adam, Matias, and all the others have done, maybe with the exception that we are using LESS internally, and not SCSS. But from folder structure, to the build process, to the structuring of the file, we try to follow the Gutenberg repo style as closely as possible, as that makes debugging and finding issues very easy.”
After successfully making the jump to build Mimimi Games’ new Gutenberg-powered website, Luehrsen’s team is on board for building more client sites with the new editor. He sees it as a way to deliver a better user experience at a better value for the client.
“Our clients share our belief that storytelling in the modern web is much more than just writing text,” Luehrsen said. “TinyMCE as a ‘Rich Text’ editor did an amazing job, but still, combining different types of media to a coherent story was a mess with metaboxes, shortcodes, and sometimes for teasers you even had to leave the edit screen. Gutenberg combines all of this in a nice, unobtrusive way. And, as always: If you can get to a good result in a faster way, that time saved is what the client is essentially buying.”
Yes, it is a press, certainly, but a press from which shall soon flow in inexhaustible streams the most abundant and most marvelous liquor that has ever flowed to relieve the thirst of man! [….] A spring of pure truth shall flow from it! Like a new star, it shall scatter the darkness of ignorance, and cause a light heretofore unknown to shine among men.— Johannes Gutenberg
It’s been about four months since the last time I shared my experience with Gutenberg. In that time, there have been sixteen releases. The more I use Gutenberg, the more nuances I encounter.Disruptive Writing Flow
When writing a post, I press the enter key at the end of a paragraph. This creates a new paragraph block automatically. Sometimes however, I want the next block to be an Image block. The paragraph block does not have an option to be converted into another block.No Option to Convert to Another Block
I end up having to remove the paragraph block, look for the add block icon, and add the image block. This process of rearranging blocks disrupts the flow of writing.
There are a few ways to get around this issue. The first is to not press enter at the end of a paragraph so I can add the block that I want.
The second is to type /image inside the paragraph block which will automatically convert it to an image block. This is convenient but it’s a power user shortcut that’s difficult to discover without someone telling you about it. It’s weird that using a shortcut can convert a paragraph block to an image block but the user interface option to convert it doesn’t exist.Icons Not Associated With a Block Floating in Empty Space
In the image below is a CloudUp embed block that has a video and below it are three icons. I sometimes think these icons are related to the block above it but instead, these icons are part of the add block placeholder UI.Block Icons Look Like They’re For Another Block
Granted, a list, image, and quote icon has nothing to do with embedding videos. At-a-glance, seeing these icons can lead to a bit of confusion. I don’t want to see those icons floating in empty space when I’m working on a block they’re not attached too.
While writing a post working remotely, I noticed the Autosave button in Gutenberg was continuously flashing. I’ve experienced something similar in the classic editor and suspected that a connection issue must have happened although I was browsing the internet without a problem.
I finished writing the post, added meta data, and a featured image. I copied all of the content on the post, refreshed the page, and confirmed I wanted to leave the page. It turns out, my suspicion was right.
At some point, the autosave process stopped working and I lost half the post, including the meta data. I was able to paste the lost content into the editor and go about my day.
The current editor has fail-safes in place to prevent the loss of content, such as using a browser’s local storage. I’m unsure if Gutenberg has the same fail-safes in place. So far, this has been the only time where I’ve lost content in Gutenberg due to autosave not working correctly.Digging Through the Junk Drawer
In the classic editor, the tool bar stays in constant view. In Gutenberg, there are multiple areas on the screen where UI elements appear and disappear depending on where the cursor is.
If you want to see the code version of the editor, you need to click the ellipsis on the top right corner and select it from a drop-down menu. To add a new block, you have to click the + symbol and either search or select from a menu.
The combination of visiting different parts of the editor, browsing through menus, and selecting from multiple things sometimes feels like I’m going through the junk drawer in the kitchen looking for a utensil. This feeling occurs multiple times depending on the length of a post.There’s Still a Ways to Go
I’ve been able to get used to the block concept and actually prefer it over the classic editor. However, there are certain tasks that are easier and faster to accomplish in the classic editor versus Gutenberg.
For example, if you want to create a heading using existing text in Gutenberg, you have to select the text, click the Paragraph icon, select the heading block, and choose which heading you want. In the Classic editor, you select the text, click the preferred heading from an always visible drop-down menu and continue writing.
These nuances to the writing flow, the user interface, and the experience of looking around for things is where I believe Gutenberg needs the most improvement. The bar has been set by the Classic editor but it has more than 10 years of iteration behind it. Hopefully, Gutenberg can reach or exceed that bar before it’s merged into core.
Gutenberg 3.6 was released today, featuring a design overhaul for the core icons in the block inserter. The blocks now use Material icons, which offer more options than the Dashicons. This update also improves the icons for the core embeds, which now display the corresponding icon for each embed service.
Gutenberg testers logged an issue regarding the limitations of Dashicons last year, citing the small number available, the inadequacy of their size, and the generic substitutions for embed service icons. The Gutenberg team closed the ticket, saying there was no sign in testing that showed the icons to be a problem and that potential contributors would need to “revisit with evidence” if they wanted to re-open the issue.
It’s not clear whether the team received the evidence or testing required to make this change but the icons become problematic in other ways. As the community started extending Gutenberg, block icon duplication became a problem, due to the limited number of Dashicons available.
“We really need block icons to move away from using dashicons as soon as possible,” Gutenberg technical lead Matías Ventura said in another discussion on a proposed solution. “We are already seeing plugins adding blocks where the icon overlap is very high just because of the limited icons set, which reduces clarity for users very drastically.”
Switching to Material icons solves this problem, ensuring there are unique icons for each block. The inserter design has also been updated as part of this overhaul. Previously, icons appeared with a grey background, as seen below:
The old design suddenly looks rather dated in comparison to Gutenberg’s 3.6 update, which allows for more whitespace around the icons:
The new embed icons are also greatly improved from previous versions of the plugin:
“The new icons aim to encourage people creating their own blocks to supply their own SVG,” Ventura said. “The hope is to make sure we can avoid multiple cases of duplicated icons diminishing the overall ability to quickly scan blocks.”
Ventura said Gutenberg will retain the ability to specify a Dashicon slug in the Block API but he encourages developers to “supply custom SVGs (or draw from the material icon pool) as much as possible.”
Gutenberg 3.6 also adds several new keyboard shortcuts, including inserting a new block before/after the current block, toggling the inspector settings, removing a block, and displaying a new modal help menu. The modal can be launched from the Settings button at the top of the editor and users can scroll through all available shortcuts.
This release also fixes many bugs that users have reported. Gutenberg will now open a new preview window if the prior window has been closed. It will also bring the preview tab to the front when clicking the preview button. Version 3.6 fixes several usability issues that testers found with the permalink UI. Check out the release post for the full list of all the fixes and changes included in 3.6.
WP Super Cache is a full page caching plugin for WordPress. When a page is cached almost all of WordPress is skipped and the page is sent to the browser with the minimum amount of code executed. This makes the page load much faster.
1.6.3 is the latest release and is mostly a bugfix release but it also adds some new features.
- Added cookie helper functions (#580)
- Added plugin helper functions (#574)
- Added actions to modify cookie and plugin lists. (#582)
- Really disable garbage collection when timeout = 0 (#571)
- Added warnings about DISABLE_WP_CRON (#575)
- Don’t clean expired cache files after preload if garbage collection is disabled (#572)
- On preload, if deleting a post don’t delete the sub directories if it’s the homepage. (#573)
- Fix generation of semaphores when using WP CLI (#576)
- Fix deleting from the admin bar (#578)
- Avoid a strpos() warning. (#579)
- Improve deleting of cache in edit/delete/publish actions (#577)
- Fixes to headers code (#496)
This release makes it much easier for plugin developers to interact with WP Super Cache. In the past a file had to be placed in the “WP Super Cache plugins directory” so that it would be loaded correctly but in this release I’ve added new actions that will allow you to load code from other directories too.
Use the wpsc_add_plugin action to add your plugin to a list loaded by WP Super Cache. Use it like this:
You can give it the full path, with or without ABSPATH. Use it after “init”. It only needs to be called once, but duplicates will not be stored.
In a similar fashion, use wpsc_delete_plugin to remove a plugin.
The release also makes it much simpler to modify the cookies used by WP Super Cache to identify “known users”. This is useful to identify particular types of pages such as translated pages that should only be shown to certain users. For example, visitors who have the English cookie will be shown cached pages in English. The German cookie will fetch German cached pages. The action wpsc_add_cookie makes this possible.do_action( 'wpsc_add_cookie', 'language' );
Execute that in your plugin and WP Super Cache will watch out for the language cookie. The plugin will use the cookie name and value in determining what cached page to display. So “language = irish” will show a different page to “language = french”.
Use wpsc_delete_cookie to remove a cookie. Cache files won’t be deleted. It’s doubtful they’d be served however because of the hashed key used to name the filenames.
If you’re going to use either of the plugin or cookie actions here I recommend using Simple Caching. While the plugin will attempt to update mod_rewrite rules, it is much simpler to have PHP serve the files. Apart from that, any plugins loaded by WP Super Cache will be completely skipped if Expert mode is enabled.
Particle Responsive Theme is Mobile-friendly Drupal 8 responsive theme. This theme features a custom Banner, responsive layout, multiple column layouts and is highly customizable. It also supports Google fonts, font awesome and it is great for any kind of business website.
Particle Responsive Theme is developed with all latest technologies Drupal 8, Bootstrap, Font Awesome and particle js etc.
- Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Theme
- Supported Bootstrap
- Inbuilt Font Awesome
- Mobile support (Smartphone, Tablet, Android, iPhone, etc)
- A total of 15 block regions
- Custom Banner with particle background
- Sticky header
- Drop Down main menus with toggle menu at mobile.
Available options in theme setting
- hide/show and change copyright text
- hide and show bottom to top scroll
- change particle background image.
- adding social icons in the footer also can disable from the theme.
In the past few months, the WordPress mobile application for iOS has quietly received a steady round of improvements. Version 10.5 increased its compatibility with Gutenberg. Earlier this year, Gutenberg and the iOS app didn’t get along particularly well.
About a month ago in 10.4, an activity log was added that allows users to see a detailed list of activities on their sites. In 10.6, the most recent version, the activity log is now available for free WordPress.com sites and those connected with Jetpack.WordPress for iOS Activity Log
As you can see in the screenshot above, comment activity, post and page activity, and generally all site activity shows up in the log.
Selecting an activity displays detailed information such as who performed the action, their role, IP address, and other information depending on the activity. The log displays the last 20 activities performed on the site.
It’s unclear exactly what data the activity log monitors, where or if it’s saved, how it’s generated, and how users can turn it off. Browsing around the mobile app, I was unable to find a way to disable the activity log.The WordPress Mobile Team is Quiet But Busy
If it weren’t for the change logs on the iTunes Store, it would be difficult for users to know what’s going on with the app. The project’s GitHub page is buzzing with activity, but more public facing means of communication are not.
The WordPress for iOS app Twitter account has been dormant since May. The WordPress Mobile apps blog hasn’t published a new post since 2016 and some of the posts that highlight new features are on the official WordPress.com blog.
Sure, not every release requires a full-featured post, but the activity log is a feature that I think warrants one. An explanation of why it was created, how it works, and how users not interested in it can disable it.
After this article was published, I was given a link to a support document on the Jetpack website that explains the activity log feature in more detail. The document links to a list of activities along with their retention periods which vary based on the plan attached to the user’s WordPress.com account.
Only the most recent 1,000 events are displayed in the log. As noted at the end of the article, once the retention period ends for activity data, it’s moved to long-term storage where it is retained indefinitely. Data held in long-term storage is removed from the activity log.
According to the document, there is no way to deactivate this feature.
WPTavern: WordPress.com Boots Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theory Sites, Bans Malicious Publication of Unauthorized Images of Minors
WordPress.com came under fire this week for hosting a site with conspiracy theories claiming the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax. The New York Times published an article titled “This Company Keeps Lies About Sandy Hook on the Web,” setting off a hailstorm of angry posts on social media that demanded Automattic take action.
“Posting conspiracy theories or untrue content is not banned from WordPress.com, and unfortunately this is one of those situations,” Automattic told the New York Times in a statement. “It is a truly awful situation, and we are sympathetic to the Pozner family.”
Leonard Pozner, father of Sandy Hook Elementary shooting victim Noah Pozner, claims that images of his son were being misused on a WordPress.com-hosted site where the author denied the tragedy and called his son a crisis actor. He filed copyright infringement claims on the images used on the conspiracy site in an attempt to get the content removed.
Automattic examined the images and determined that there was nothing illegal about their use on the site. The company sent Pozner a reply that said, “because we believe this to be fair use of the material, we will not be removing it at this time.”
In the New York Times article, Automattic admits its insensitivity in handling the situation, apologizing to the family, but said the posts in question “are not violating any current user guidelines, or copyright law.”
The updated policy adds “the malicious publication of unauthorized, identifying images of minors” to that list.
Searching Twitter for discussion surrounding Sandy Hook conspiracy sites turns up a slew of tweets calling on people to boycott WordPress.com and other Automattic products. However, there are also responses on the other end of the spectrum, with Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist supporters retweeting a user who claims that WordPress.com has shut down his site.
Minutes ago this morning, I discovered that WordPress has unilaterally and without warning shut down Fellowship of the Minds for alleged violations of "Terms of Service". I will explore finding another server for FOTM. Please pray for America.
— Eowyn (@DrEowyn) August 14, 2018
WordPress just suspended my interim blog The Fundamental Option as well. That blog has been active for only the past 2 days, so what possible "terms of service" could have have violated? It's war, folks. America is entering into very dark days. Be prepared.
— Eowyn (@DrEowyn) August 15, 2018
The site in question (fellowshipofminds.com) appears to have been removed, along with an interim site the author created following the first suspension. A number of other related sites have also recently been removed. These events are outlined in a post on memoryholeblog.org, a site maintained by James F. Tracy, a former professor of journalism and media who became known for his research questioning the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and Boston Marathon bombing. Tracy’s blog was also removed from WordPress.com in 2016 for violation of Automattic’s Terms of Service.
“As with Automattic’s treatment of MHB, FOTM’s disappearance strongly suggests how WordPress.com’s policies are being tailored to placate outside parties whose foremost interest is in stifling political speech on potential high crimes, and how in this instance such poorly-founded grounds for censorship have triumphed over free speech,” Tracy said.
Historically, Automattic has been a stalwart defender of free speech on the web. It’s outlined as part of the WordPress.com’s User Guidelines:
WordPress.com strongly believes in freedom of speech. We have a vast audience spread across many cultures, countries and backgrounds with varying values and our service is designed to let users freely express any ideas and opinions without us censoring or endorsing them.
It’s not clear whether Automattic changed its policy in response to this situation or whether this situation revealed holes in it that the company wanted to improve. In either case, the policy change seems to have enabled Automattic to do what outraged onlookers wanted them to do, except outside of the emotional mandate issued by the New York Times.
As it is a private company, Automattic’s terms of service do not have to reflect the full freedom of speech allowed by the law. However, the company has always upheld its reputation in the past as an uncompromising defender of its users when presented with requests for censorship.
In a recent post on Techdirt, Automattic general counsel Paul Sieminski and Holly Hogan detail how WordPress.com handles its role in managing intermediary liability when the company receives complaints regarding defamatory content:
Making online hosts and other intermediaries like WordPress.com liable for the allegedly defamatory content posted by users is often criticized for burdening hosts and stifling innovation. But intermediary liability isn’t just bad for online hosts. It’s also terrible for online speech. The looming possibility of writing a large check incentivizes hosts like Automattic to do one thing when we first receive a complaint about content: Remove it. That decision may legally protect the host, but it doesn’t protect users or their online speech.
That article explains the level of nuance involved in handling complaints and the costs associated with protecting its users’ freedom of speech. Automattic’s counsel concludes with an observation that “leaving such important decisions to the discretion of Internet hosts is misplaced and tilts the balance in favor of silencing often legitimate voices.”WordPress.com is a Host for Websites, Not a Social Media Silo
WordPress.com’s platform is distinct from social networks in that it is not a social media silo. It acts more as a host and cannot have one-off shutdowns of sites anytime there is a public outcry.
“WordPress.com is much closer to being a common carrier than Facebook and other social media,” Dan Kennedy, associate professor at Northeastern University’s school of Journalism, said in response to the NYT article. “That difference really doesn’t get highlighted here.”
Self-hosted WordPress (.org) user and data journalist Matt Stiles also commented on the distinction, and followed up with me privately, identifying WordPress.com as “a free-speech sidewalk for the Internet.”
“WordPress.com needs to make clear to the public that it’s a host, not a place that controls — through algorithms or other curation, and revenue — content,” Stiles said. “I am NOT a supporter of sites like this. I just want WordPress to thrive as an open-source tool and as an important paid host for web sites. I’m also worried about WordPress.com having to make arbitrary decisions about content. It’s tough to define hate speech. We know it when we see it, but I worry about censorship on private platforms.”
Dave Winer also commented that the article failed to capture the distinction of WordPress.com as a host for websites:
WordPress.com isn’t like the others, it isn’t a silo, so banning him from that service will not necessarily have any affect on the presence of his site. He will be able to export his site, set up his own server, point the DNS entry at that server, and proceed on the open web and it will appear to outside viewers as if nothing happened. This will be the end of the discussion, unless the anti-speech advocates try to exert pressure on the open web. There they will find there is no CEO, no corporate headquarters, no shareholders afraid of losing value, none of the usual pressure points.
Today more than 200 newspapers, including the New York Times, are coordinating to publish editorials calling out President Trump’s characterization of the press as the “enemy of the people.” Corporate-owned news media is ready to decry attacks on free speech, but do they really believe in it when it counts? That freedom isn’t predicated on whether the speech is true or unoffensive to readers.
Calling out a free speech platform like WordPress.com, without any distinction for its vital role in enabling journalists across the globe, is a coercive attempt to exact a desired result. What WordPress.com has done is groundbreaking in democratizing publishing and enabling bloggers to break news on their own sites.
The New York Times raking WordPress.com over the coals for its refusal to censor its users is an egregious double standard. A publication cannot call for free speech for itself while eating up the rights of everyone else they don’t agree with. Principles aren’t principles if they only serve you when they are convenient.
Forcing the censorship of offensive speech may feel like swift justice in the short term, but it weakens the fabric of a free society. Let discerning readers make up their own minds when they come across sites disseminating conspiracy theories. Although it may be an unpopular stance, the tragic nature of this particular offense cannot bypass the principles that underpin our basic freedoms.
In this episode, John James Jacoby and I discuss what’s new in the world of WordPress. First, we talk about Syed Balkhi’s growth accelerator fund and learn that Jacoby pitched a similar idea to Balkhi at WordCamp Miami 2017.
We discuss the new feedback surrounding Gutenberg thanks to the call out in WordPress 4.9.8. Near the end of the show, we have a thoughtful conversation around misinformation, truth, and the fine line of allowing freedom of speech on private platforms.
I apologize for the audio quality in this episode. During the Live hangout, there were no issues detected. However, once the video was encoded by YouTube, audio issues were present, the video was choppy, and the length of the show was shortened.
Unfortunately, I’ve been complacent with Google Hangouts’ reliability and have not been recording my audio locally. Beginning next week, Jacoby and I will record our audio locally so if this issue happens again, we’ll be able to combine the audio tracks. Although there are parts of this episode that are difficult to listen too, I believe there is enough good audio in the show to warrant its publication.Stories Discussed:
Syed Balkhi Launches A WordPress-focused Growth Accelerator Fund
Gutenberg Plugin Garners Mixed Reactions from New Wave of Testers
Mythic: A WordPress Starter Theme by Justin Tadlock Now in Open Beta
Advanced Custom Fields to Add Gutenberg Compatibility in Version 5.0, Slated for September
Ephox, Creators of TinyMCE, Rebrand to Tiny Technologies Inc.
This Company Keeps Lies About Sandy Hook on the Web
Next Episode: Wednesday, August 22nd 3:00 P.M. Eastern
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