Wordpress News

WPTavern: Theme Review Team Leadership Implements Controversial Changes to Trusted Authors Program, Requiring Theme Reviews in Exchange for Making Themes Live

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 19:15

The WordPress Theme Review team has implemented a controversial change to its Trusted Authors Program that puts a hard requirement on participants to join the theme review team and perform a minimum number of reviews in order to continue having their own themes fast tracked through the review process.

“As we can’t figure out a way to bring in new reviewers and maybe keep them on-board after the initial reviews, we decided to make a few changes to the Trusted Authors program,” Alexandru Cosmin said, on behalf of the Theme Review team leadership.

“Trusted Authors will need to review one ticket a month to be able to have their themes set live. Not doing a review doesn’t mean that you’ll lose your privileges or that you’ll have to re-apply. You’ll just not be able to have your themes set live until you finish a review.”

The Trusted Authors program was put in place a year ago with the goal of streamlining the review process for authors who consistently produce high quality code in line with the current guidelines. The idea was to relieve some of the burden for theme reviewers and reduce the queue.

Trusted Authors are required to do a full review of a parent theme (no child themes permitted). Themes that are not approved will not count. After performing the review, the author may then upload a theme and add a comment to it with a link to their latest review that meets the requirement.

The change to the program is controversial, based on the feedback from other members of the Theme Review team who commented on the announcement.

“I understand the reason behind it, but I cannot agree with it,” WordPress theme author Dumitru Brinzan said. “Reviews should be done out of professional desire, not to buy a credit for setting a theme live quicker.

“This might reduce the quality of reviews, because trusted authors are now directly interested in setting more themes live. This means that someone will have to monitor more closely the reviews done by trusted authors. This just feels unnatural somehow.”

Justin Tadlock, a long-time review team member who volunteered as a lead for many years, said he is disappointed to see this idea resurface after he and others shot it down multiple times in the past.

“I assume the team got permission from higher up the chain to run a pay-for-play system,” Tadlock said. “We’ve already established they are not allowed.

“What such systems do is provide an unfair advantage to larger theme businesses with multiple employees. They assign one of their employees to handle a review and keep pumping out themes without missing a beat. All the while, solo developers are forced into ‘volunteering’ with time they may not even have. Not that it’s fair to businesses either; it’s just worse on solo devs.”

Tadlock also said that based on his experience with past incentives, forcing Trusted Authors to join the review team in order reap the benefits of the program will likely result in a decline in the quality of the reviews.

“Making people contribute to the review system should absolutely never happen in any shape or form,” Tadlock said. “It should never be the means in which the team shows favoritism to one author/team over another.

“And, when you tie incentive programs to the review system, you tend to get shit reviews. We’ve already seen this happen.”

Tadlock referenced the Theme Review Incentive program that was implemented in 2014 which became highly controversial due to a number of underlying problems.

“Basically, that program allowed the top reviewers to select the featured themes every month,” Tadlock said. “The original idea (at least from my understanding) would be that they’d select featured themes from the list of themes that they’d reviewed. Instead, they chose their own themes, month after month.

“What ended up happening is that many of those top reviewers would just burn through reviews, focusing on number rather than quality. Bad, sometimes insecure, code would fall through the cracks. Some themes really didn’t even get anywhere near a proper review.”

In response to Tadlock referencing the past incentive program, Cosmin pointed out several differences with the new Trusted Author requirement to join the review team.

“The last time we did this it was a competition for the Featured page (which in my opinion is of higher value than having a theme on Latest),” Cosmin said. “Back then you also had to do a lot of reviews just to get the chance of selecting a featured theme.

“With TAs you don’t lose anything, you either do or not the review, you keep your TA status. One review a month is just 15-30 minutes of reviewing. Either way they are still ‘pumping out themes without missing a beat.’ Any TA author that has time to pump out 3-4 themes a month also has time to do a freaking review.”

Theme Review Team Leadership Did Not Consult the Team Before Implementing Changes to Trusted Authors Program

This change to the Trusted Authors Program seems to have blindsided other members of the Theme Review Team who only learned of it from the announcement today. The idea was not discussed publicly in the #themereview channel on Slack. It was a unilateral decision made by the leadership behind closed doors.

I asked Cosmin for background on the decision and he said it was discussed in a private meeting of Theme Review Team leads that included William Patton and Ganga Kafle. He said the decision just happened while they were discussing the current state of the queue and how things are not going well.

There are 120 themes waiting to be reviewed and Cosmin estimated that authors are waiting approximately two months in order to get their themes approved. He said the changes to the Trusted Authors program are “currently the only viable option with short term results.”

However, Tadlock is concerned that Trusted Authors who didn’t have the desire to review themes prior to the requirement might simply do the minimum possible to stay in the program. It also sets a precedent for requiring volunteer time in order to receive the benefit of a streamlined review.

This particular controversy is another milestone in the Theme Review Team’s perennial struggle with an unmanageable queue. In the past, the team has entertained suggestions about relaxing the submission guidelines and limiting reviews to security concerns, but changes in this direction never seem to materialize. So far the team has had success with limiting authors to submitting one theme at a time. It slows the growth of the directory but makes the work more manageable for the volunteers who often find themselves knee-deep in manual code review without an end in sight.

The new requirement for Trusted Authors to perform reviews in order to have their themes set live may still be up for discussion if other reviewers continue to raise concerns, but comments from the leads indicate that they want to give it a try before scrapping the idea. In response to Tadlock’s concern about the potential impact on the quality of reviews, Cosmin said the leadership will decide based on how the program goes.

“It’s expected that TAs are experienced authors that know the requirements,” Cosmin said. “We’ll monitor this and if it’s the other way around, we’ll decide then. We get shit reviews right now without having any incentives.”

WPTavern: Tabor Theme Now Available as a Free Gatsby Theme for WordPress

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 03:31

Gatsby WordPress Themes, a project launched earlier this year by a group of collaborators, has just released its second free theme. The team is led by Gatsby and GraphQL aficionados Zac Gordon, Jason Bahl, Muhammad Muhsin, Hussain Thajutheen, and Alexandra Spalato. Inspired by the scalability, speed, and security that the React-based static site generator can bring to WordPress, the team is working to make it easier for people to get their sites running on Gatsby, along with the WP GraphQL plugin.

Rich Tabor’s “Tabor” theme has been ported over and “Tabor for Gatsby” is now available for free. After GoDaddy acquired ThemeBeans and CoBlocks, the company made all the previously commercial themes available on GitHub, including Tabor. The theme primarily suits blogs and personal websites and became popular as one of the first themes to showcase the new Gutenberg editor.

Check out the Tabor for Gatsby theme demo to see it in action with near-instantaneous page loads.

The Gatsby WordPress Themes team credits Alexandra Spalato for doing most of the work of porting this theme over to Gatsby. Tabor joins WordPress’ default Twenty Nineteen theme in the collection. Muhammad Muhsin, the lead developer on the project, has written a tutorial with an in-depth look at how he ported over Twenty Nineteen.

Gatsby WordPress Themes has temporarily paused releasing new themes while the team works on upgrading the existing themes to V2. They currently only serve static content but V2 will add native comments, a contact form plugin, and Algolia search to all the themes.

WPTavern: WordPress Designers Explore Proposal to Simplify WP Admin Navigation

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 05/06/2019 - 20:20

The admin can be intimidating to navigate if you’re just getting started with WordPress. After installing a few plugins, top-level menu items begin to pile on. This adds even more complexity to grapple with in a narrow space with long lists of items hidden behind flyout menus that make managing WordPress on mobile a frustrating experience.

The admin dashboard design hasn’t changed significantly since the MP6 plugin was merged into WordPress 3.8 in 2013. This project brought updated typography and improved contrast to the admin but didn’t tackle the increasing complexity of admin navigation.

A new proposal on trac aims to simplify the left sidebar navigation to improve accessibility, usability, and scalability by replacing the flyouts with accordion menus. Designer Dave Martin shared some mockups originally created by Joen Asmussen, and describes them as “a very early, exploratory concept.”

Martin listed several reasons for exploring a new design, including the inaccessibility of the hover/flyout menus and how poorly they scale on mobile interfaces. He also cited the abundance of top-level menu items that are rarely used, which he said contributes to the cognitive weight of admin navigation by still being permanently visible.

The major changes included in this proposal include the following:

  • Flyout menus are replaced with accordion behavior. This scales all the way from mobile to desktop, and affords better accessibility.
  • Menu is made 80px wider (240px vs. 160), affording a 14px minimum font size for all items, perhaps bigger icons in the future, more relaxed spacing, enhancing usability and accessibility.
  • Sidebar is grouped in major sections, “Site”, “Design”, “Tools” and “Manage”.
  • “Updates” are moved to a subsection of “Manage”, making Home a single item.
  • Items related to content on your site (such as “Posts” and “Pages”) are moved under “Site”.
  • Clicking major menu items just opens or closes the accordion, as opposed to go directly to the first subsection. This unifies the mobile and desktop behavior. You can keep the accordion open if you use it all the time (each click will save state, so you’ll see the same open/closed sections upon page refresh).
  • All “Settings” subsections are moved under “Manage”, along with “Plugins & Blocks” and “Users”.
  • Separators group major categories, like “Site” and “Design” together
  • Dashboard is renamed “Home”, because all of WordPress is a Dashboard, and “Home” is where you can get an overview at a glance.

WordPress core committer John Blackbourn commented on the proposal, recommending further exploration of what the menu could look like for different user roles and whether that might affect the appearance, grouping, and behavior of the menu items. For example, roles with more limited publishing capabilities, such as a subscriber, would see very few menu items.

There’s also a bit of discussion regarding the use of the word ‘Site’ where some might better understand that section as ‘Content.’ As this is just an initial mockup, nothing is set in stone and many iterations will likely follow.

Even with many changes expected as the concept evolves, the proposed design significantly reduces cognitive load, especially for new users who may not be as familiar with the admin menu. An updated admin navigation design might lend itself well to being tested as a feature plugin. As with any major change in WordPress, there are many considerations for how it will affect plugin developers. Major visual overhauls like this are exciting, but it takes time to get it right. This proposal already shows a lot of promise but needs more feedback and participation from diverse user groups across the WordPress community.

WPTavern: Gutenberg Plugin for OctoberCMS Now in Beta

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 23:01

Last week we reported on Laraberg, a Gutenberg implementation for Laravel that is now in beta. The project was based on Gutenberg.js, a package that makes it easier to bring Gutenberg into other applications.

Nick Khaetsky, a backend developer at Biz-Mark, took Laraberg and used it to build a Gutenberg plugin for the open source OctoberCMS, which is based on Laravel. OctobeCMS was launched in 2015, and still captures only a tiny sliver of the CMS market share, but it is growing in popularity among the top one million websites, according to stats from BuiltWith. The CMS has a growing ecosystem of more than 700 themes and plugins.

The Gutenberg for OctoberCMS plugin is now in beta. It allows developers to embed Gutenberg in the backend via their own model by creating a Polymorphic relation. The plugin integrates Laraberg but all of its blocks are standard from the Gutenberg.js package. It doesn’t include anything custom.

Most aspects of Gutenberg are working in the beta, including common blocks, formatting, layout, and embed blocks, custom styles, and block settings.

None of WordPress’ standard widgets work in the plugin and Khaetsky said he plans to remove them in future updates.

Anything that requires media uploading, such as the gallery block, inline images, and cover block, are not working. Khaetsky said he is working on getting the plugin integrated with the native OctoberCMS Medialibrary. He encouraged anyone who wants to contribute to that effort to submit a PR to the plugin’s GitHub repository.

Khaetsky’s free plugin is MIT-licensed and available in the official OctoberCMS plugin marketplace. The plugin’s adoption is limited to developers who know how to implement it, but it already has 39 installations. Documentation is available on the plugin listing.

WPTavern: Block Options Plugin Rebrands to EditorsKit, Expands Beyond Block Visibility Management

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 20:35

WordPress plugin developer Jeffrey Carandang has rebranded his Block Options plugin to EditorsKit. Carandang created Block Options prior to co-founding CoBlocks, which was recently acquired by GoDaddy. It began as a plugin for controlling block visibility, inspired by his Widget Options plugin, but has since grown to include more features for managing Gutenberg blocks. EditorsKit now offers the following capabilities:

  • Devices Visibility Options
  • User Login State Visibility
  • Display Logic
  • Advanced Custom Fields Integration
  • Block Guide Lines

“As much as I love the name ‘Block Options,’ it has started to become too generic and has been used a lot on the Gutenberg editor itself,” Carandang said. “So, I have decided to change the name to something that stands out and fits the purpose more – page building block options for the new editor.

“The name EditorsKit came from ‘Editor’s Toolkit.’ I’ve been progressively moving towards building a set of tools that will help users navigate through the editor more conveniently, besides giving them visibility control.”

Version 1.4 of the plugin introduces the new Block Guide Lines feature, one of the features to go beyond visibility management. It allows users to toggle guide lines on/off for titles and editor blocks to check element boundaries. Carandang said the feature becomes especially useful when handling nested blocks.

The last major release of the plugin also improves the UI and UX with a new “Visibility Settings” modal for managing all visibilities in the same place. The modal includes an “Advanced” tab for more complicated options that are more likely to be used by developers, such as custom display logic and ACF visibility support.

Under the umbrella of its new branding and website, Carandang plans to expand EditorsKit to include more tools, with the next set focused on developers. Next on the roadmap is a setting to toggle Auto Save on/off and theme support for page template body classes.

Check out a quick preview of the improved interface and new features below:

Post Status: An Interview with Reyes Martínez of Frontity — a new WordPress framework

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 17:48

Previously known as Worona, Madrid-based Frontity is close to launching their eponymous public beta, described on Github as both “an alternative rendering engine for WordPress,” and “a React framework to create WordPress themes.” Frontity, the framework, runs separately from WordPress on Node.js and uses the WordPress API to generate HTML and AMP pages. Unlike other approaches to “headless” WordPress, Frontity is the first to be built exclusively for WordPress.

PS: Can you give us an overview of Frontity’s history and how your company, product, and brand has developed?

Reyes Martínez

RM: It all started back in 2015 when Pablo Postigo and Luis Herranz created Worona, a free WordPress plugin to turn blogs into mobile apps. Pablo and Luis discovered a lot of people were concerned about the way their WordPress sites performed on mobile devices. They thought it would be a powerful solution to build an open source platform that could be extended by other WordPress developers.

I met Pablo and Luis in late 2015, loved their project and joined them. I was used to working with WordPress as a content editor, but I didn’t have a technical background. So I mostly started helping by writing blog posts, social media content, documentation, and providing user support. Now I’m in charge of Frontity’s marketing and communications. (I still don’t code but would love to learn at some point!)

After that first prototype, they decided to develop a free platform not just for creating mobile apps. The idea was that any WordPress user could build mobile apps, progressive web apps, or add Google AMP to their blogs in a very easy way. This was Worona 1.0, which was launched in February of 2017. Thousands of WordPress users joined that journey, and we’re truly thankful for that. At that time we already used React and fetched the blog’s content using WordPress’s REST API. The mobile apps were created with Cordova.

Although Worona had a loyal following, we were aware that mobile app usage was slowly declining. People don’t want to download an app for every blog they read. Plus, Apple stopped supporting apps from app generation platforms like ours. This became a serious problem as we couldn’t grow under that scenario.

That’s when we decided to bet on the mobile web and started working on a new framework for building Progressive Web App themes (based on React) on top of WordPress. In 2018 we rebranded to Frontity and got financial backing to make the project grow. Although our main goal was to keep the code open source, we decided to use it internally and release a product exclusively to WordPress publishers (we called it Frontity PRO), so we could see what happened and gather feedback.

Frontity PRO is a proprietary mobile theme built on React for WordPress blogs and news sites. It implements Progressive Web App technologies and uses the REST API to fetch the content, along with our WordPress plugin, WordPress PWA.

By the time Frontity PRO was created, we also contributed to the official WCEU PWA. Building a PWA from the ground up is a difficult and time-consuming task, but we had created a framework to precisely solve that problem. It was the perfect time to test it out and give back to the community.

We have worked with Spanish media companies since we launched Frontity PRO, and the result has been great. Our theme has allowed them to deliver faster and more engaging mobile experiences, which has been proven to increase their pageviews and ad revenue. Our internal framework has served content to more than 20 million readers. Some of our major clients were part of ADSLZone group. Others include Medios y Redes, Tendenzias or Coches.com. They all use WordPress.

During this time, we realized that many of our clients’ tech teams were considering using our framework to develop their own custom themes. This was one of the main reasons that made us think about open sourcing it — it seemed the perfect moment. Plus, this was our original vision.

A few months ago, we finally decided to go straight for that vision. We set aside the development work of Frontity PRO to place all our focus on Frontity.org, the open source framework. Our next milestone is to release the first beta version in the next few weeks. (Early May 2019.) More than 300 developers have already signed up to try it out. We are really excited about this project and believe it can make a real impact in the WordPress ecosystem.

Since our resources are limited, we are looking for some financial backing again to bring contributors on board and build a thriving community of people interested in WordPress and React.

PS: What problems does Frontity solve? (And whose problems are they?) Will Frontity make frontend development more accessible to people who are new to React?

RM: In order to create a WordPress theme with React, developers need to learn and configure lots of different things: bundling, transpiling, routing, server rendering, retrieving data from WordPress, managing state, managing CSS, linting, testing,…

There are already some amazing React frameworks, such as Next.js and GatsbyJS, that can work with WordPress, but they’re not focused exclusively on it. As a result, there’s still some complex configuration and additional tooling left to the developer.

This is what Frontity aims to solve; we want to make everything much simpler for WordPress developers and more accessible to those who are new to React. Each part of the framework has been simplified and optimized to be used with WordPress, and developers don’t need to figure out what tools to use for things like CSS or state management.

Everything is ready so they can get WordPress and React to work together in an easier way.

How does Frontity differ from Genesis, _s, or WP Rig — from the developer and designer’s perspective, and in the end user’s experience?

RM: Genesis, _s or WP Rig are fantastic frameworks to develop WordPress themes based on PHP. These themes use the PHP WordPress rendering engine, which means they rely on a server-side architecture where almost every interaction that is made by the user on his device needs to wait for the server to render the new result. Our framework is focused on developers who want to create a React frontend and connect it to a WordPress backend using the REST API. We can call this a client-side architecture, where all the logic and rendering happen directly on the device and the calls to the server are limited only to data sourcing.

In the last few years, web development has evolved a lot. One of the main reasons is the shift to mobile devices and the need for fast web experiences. Achieving this is not easy using a server-side architecture. This is why client-side libraries like React are becoming so popular.

From the developer perspective, everything changes! A theme developed with Frontity and React has zero PHP in it, only JavaScript and CSS. This might sound like a radical change, but there is a trend of developers using WordPress as a headless CMS with a decoupled JavaScript frontend for whom our framework can be quite useful.

How does Frontity the framework fit into a business model or revenue stream for Frontity the company?

RM: We won’t develop any business model in this initial phase. The framework will always be 100% free and open source. Right now, we are focused on building a community of developers and contributors around the framework.

Possible monetizations in the future are a hosting solution, premium support, or a marketplace of paid themes.

What opportunities do you see for WordPress developers now and in the near future?

RM: With the shift to Gutenberg as well as the rise of headless CMS approaches, the WordPress community has started considering React for their projects. Beside this, modern libraries like React are becoming essential to rich user experiences.

The client-side approach to theme-building opens a world of new possibilities: storing and pre-fetching content, animations within themes, offline experiences, and more. It also has enormous benefits in terms of performance, UX and design.

React presents an opportunity to accelerate things in the WordPress ecosystem, build modern and engaging frontend experiences, and extend what developers can do with this powerful CMS.

Pictured in the Frontity team photo above, from left to right, back row first: Eduardo Campaña (developer), David Arenas (developer), Carmen Fernández (no longer with the company), Mario Santos, (Community), Reyes Martínez (Marketing & Communications), Pablo Postigo (Founder & CEO), and Luis Herranz (Founder & Lead developer).

WPTavern: WordCamp US 2019 Tickets Now on Sale

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 04:29

Tickets for WordCamp US 2019 went on sale this week. The event will be held November 1–3, 2019, in St. Louis, MO, at America’s Center Convention Complex.

For just $50, attendees will have access to everything throughout the three-day event, including more than 40 speaker presentations, workshops, “birds of a feather” meetups, and Contributor Day. The price also includes lunches, morning and afternoon snacks, admission to the WordFest party on Friday night, and a commemorative tee shirt with a surprise gift.

This year, parents bringing children children under 9 years old have a separate ticket option where they can indicate whether or not they are interested in on-site child care during the conference. There is no additional cost for selecting the “Parent with Kids” ticket option. Organizers are currently considering various options for childcare.

WordCamp is about diversity, this is not a catch phrase, it is not just a moment. It is about real people, doing real things, in the real world across gender, generation and culture. WordCamp embraces the world. #WordCamp #WordPress @WordCamp #WCUS pic.twitter.com/GdcCDNJYed

— WordCamp US (@WordCampUS) May 2, 2019

WordCamp US organizers have secured a block of hotel rooms at The Marriott St. Louis Grand with a special rate for conference attendees ($149/night). It is located directly across from the official venue. They anticipate the hotel block will sell out quickly. Attendees can follow the link from the WCUS website to reserve a room.

Attendee Services is now open, and this includes assistance with visa applications. Any prospective attendee who requires a visa may request a letter from WCUS organizers for the application. Requests must be made before September 1, 2019, in order to be processed in a timely way.

Speakers will be notified of their acceptance in June and the full schedule will not be announced until July. Volunteer applications will also open in July. Check out the WordCamp US 2019 Timeline to get a quick overview of what’s next and follow @WordCampUS on Twitter for all the latest.

WPTavern: WPCampus’ Gutenberg Accessibility Audit Finds “Significant and Pervasive Accessibility Problems”

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 19:59

WPCampus has published the results of the Gutenberg accessibility audit the organization commissioned from Tenon, LLC. The audit was crowdfunded by the WordPress community and Matt Mullenweg and Automattic pledged to cover the balance to ensure it would be fully funded.

Tenon’s analysis includes a 329-page technical audit of the editor along with user-based testing that included people with various disabilities. WPCampus’ announcement presents Tenon’s findings in a measured and diplomatic way, encouraging the community to use the report for improving WordPress:

Please use this report as what it is intended to be: constructive feedback in support of the WordPress project. We hope this report generates discussion about accessibility, excitement about inclusive design, and action toward improving the editing experience.

Beyond its use for WordPress core, the audit is also a valuable resource for those extending Gutenberg and more broadly for developers who are building React-based projects.

Tenon’s report includes a 34-page Executive Summary, highlighting key findings from the usability testing and technical review. It’s important to note that the audit was conducted on WordPress version 5.0.3 in January 2019. Since that time the Gutenberg and Accessibility teams have resolved an additional 116 accessibility issues, which will be included in WordPress 5.2 next week.

As expected, Tenon’s results show that overall the markup generated by Gutenberg is “clean, semantically correct and accessible” but that “Gutenberg’s user experience is consistently poor.” The audit found that Gutenberg fails to comply with all 30 of the WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria.

Tenon’s findings confirm the statement WordPress’ Accessibility Team published in October 2018 regarding the editor’s overall level of accessibility:

“The accessibility team will continue to work to support Gutenberg to the best of our ability. However, based on its current status, we cannot recommend that anybody who has a need for assistive technology allow it to be in use on any sites they need to use at this time.”

At that time, many WordPress contributors urged leadership not to ship an editor with critical accessibility issues that prevented people using assistive technologies from moving forward with the latest version.

Tenon’s Executive Summary concludes that the new editor is a step backwards for people with disabilities:

Gutenberg has significant and pervasive accessibility problems, the likes of which amount to a step backwards for users with disabilities over the legacy editor. Our user-based testing – backed by data from our technical review – indicates that the accessibility problems are severe in nature. We feel concerned that Gutenberg’s current accessibility issues will prove problematic for website owners who deploy Gutenberg to content creators in protected populations or for website owners who are themselves part of a protected population. Therefore, organizations which have high risk profiles should consult legal counsel before using it and may want to choose to use the legacy editor instead.

Tenon recommended that Gutenberg’s developers aggressively tackle the issues uncovered in the technical report, given the size of WordPress’ user base. The full report essentially functions as a guide for anyone who wants to contribute to the new editors’ accessibility. It is an excellent resource that outlines each issue with solutions and recommended code, making it easy for developers to get started with meaningful contributions right away. Tenon has created a collection of 84 issues on GitHub based on the findings in the audit and six of them have already been resolved/closed.

WordPress 5.2 RC2

Wordpress News - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 16:17

The second release candidate for WordPress 5.2 is now available!

WordPress 5.2 will be released on Tuesday, May 7, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.2 yet, now is the time!

There are two ways to test the WordPress 5.2 release candidate: try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want to select the “bleeding edge nightlies” option), or you can download the release candidate here (zip).

For details about what to expect in WordPress 5.2, please see the first release candidate post.

This release includes the final About page design. It also contains fixes for:

  • Proper translation of the recovery mode notification emails (#47093).
  • Improvements to the way Site Health works with multisite installs (#47084).
Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.2 and update the Tested up to version in the readme to 5.2. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.2 Field Guide has also been published, which details the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

It’s the start of May
and the release is coming.
We all give a cheer!

WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.2 RC2

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 16:17

The second release candidate for WordPress 5.2 is now available!

WordPress 5.2 will be released on Tuesday, May 7, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.2 yet, now is the time!

There are two ways to test the WordPress 5.2 release candidate: try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want to select the “bleeding edge nightlies” option), or you can download the release candidate here (zip).

For details about what to expect in WordPress 5.2, please see the first release candidate post.

This release includes the final About page design. It also contains fixes for:

  • Proper translation of the recovery mode notification emails (#47093).
  • Improvements to the way Site Health works with multisite installs (#47084).
Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.2 and update the Tested up to version in the readme to 5.2. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.2 Field Guide has also been published, which details the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

It’s the start of May
and the release is coming.
We all give a cheer!

The Month in WordPress: April 2019

Wordpress News - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 09:00

This past month has been filled with anticipation as the community builds up towards a big new release, plans some important events, and builds new tools to grow the future of the project.

WordPress 5.2 Almost Due for Release

WordPress 5.2 is due for release on May 7 with many new features included for developers and end-users alike. The Field Guide for the release provides a lot of information about what is in it and what you can expect, including a few key elements:

Site Health Check

One of the most highly anticipated features for v5.2 is the Site Health Check. This feature adds two new pages in the admin interface to help end users maintain a healthy site through common configuration issues and other elements that go along with having a robust online presence. It also provides a standardized location for developers to add debugging information.

Fatal Error Recovery Mode

The Fatal Error Recovery Mode feature was originally planned for the 5.1 release but was delayed to patch up some last-minute issues that arose. This feature will help site-owners recover more quickly from fatal errors that break the display or functionality of their site that would ordinarily require code or database edits to fix.

Privacy and Accessibility Updates

Along with the headlining features mentioned above, there are some important enhancements to the privacy and accessibility features included in Core. These include some important developer-focused changes to how privacy policy pages are displayed and user data is exported, as well as moving to more semantic markup for admin tabs and other improvements such as switching post format icons to drop-down menus on post list tables, improved admin toolbar markup, and contextual improvements to archive widget drop-down menu.

New Dashicons

The Dashicons library was last updated was over 3 years ago. Now, in the upcoming release, a set of 13 new icons will be added to the library along with improvements to the build process and file format of the icons.

Block Editor Upgrades

The Block Editor has seen numerous improvements lately that will all be included in the v5.2 release. Along with the interface upgrades, the underlying Javascript module has been reorganized, improvements have been made to how the block editor is detected on the post edit screen, and the Javascript build process has been enhanced.

WordPress 5.2 is now in the Release Candidate phase and you can test it by installing the Beta Tester plugin on any WordPress site.

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

WordPress Translation Day 4 is Almost Here

On 11 May 2019, the fourth WordPress Translation Day will take place. This is a 24-hour global event dedicated to the translation of all things WordPress, from Core to themes, plugins to marketing.

Over the course of 24 hours, WordPress communities will meet to translate WordPress into their local languages and watch talks and sessions broadcast on wptranslationday.org. During the previous WordPress Translation Day, 71 local events took place in 29 countries, and even more communities are expected to take part this time.

Want to get involved in WordPress Translation Day 4? Find out how to organize a local event, follow the updates on the Polyglots team blog, and join the #polyglots channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Block Library Project Gets Started

Since the initial proposal for a Block Library that would be made available from inside the block editor, work has been done to put together some designs for how this would look. Since then the project has received a more direct focus with a planned out scope and timeline.

The project is being managed on GitHub and people interested in contributing are encouraged to get involved there. You can also keep up to date by following the Design team blog and joining the #design channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Further Reading:

Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it here.

WordPress.org blog: The Month in WordPress: April 2019

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 09:00

This past month has been filled with anticipation as the community builds up towards a big new release, plans some important events, and builds new tools to grow the future of the project.

WordPress 5.2 Almost Due for Release

WordPress 5.2 is due for release on May 7 with many new features included for developers and end-users alike. The Field Guide for the release provides a lot of information about what is in it and what you can expect, including a few key elements:

Site Health Check

One of the most highly anticipated features for v5.2 is the Site Health Check. This feature adds two new pages in the admin interface to help end users maintain a healthy site through common configuration issues and other elements that go along with having a robust online presence. It also provides a standardized location for developers to add debugging information.

Fatal Error Recovery Mode

The Fatal Error Recovery Mode feature was originally planned for the 5.1 release but was delayed to patch up some last-minute issues that arose. This feature will help site-owners recover more quickly from fatal errors that break the display or functionality of their site that would ordinarily require code or database edits to fix.

Privacy and Accessibility Updates

Along with the headlining features mentioned above, there are some important enhancements to the privacy and accessibility features included in Core. These include some important developer-focused changes to how privacy policy pages are displayed and user data is exported, as well as moving to more semantic markup for admin tabs and other improvements such as switching post format icons to drop-down menus on post list tables, improved admin toolbar markup, and contextual improvements to archive widget drop-down menu.

New Dashicons

The Dashicons library was last updated was over 3 years ago. Now, in the upcoming release, a set of 13 new icons will be added to the library along with improvements to the build process and file format of the icons.

Block Editor Upgrades

The Block Editor has seen numerous improvements lately that will all be included in the v5.2 release. Along with the interface upgrades, the underlying Javascript module has been reorganized, improvements have been made to how the block editor is detected on the post edit screen, and the Javascript build process has been enhanced.

WordPress 5.2 is now in the Release Candidate phase and you can test it by installing the Beta Tester plugin on any WordPress site.

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

WordPress Translation Day 4 is Almost Here

On 11 May 2019, the fourth WordPress Translation Day will take place. This is a 24-hour global event dedicated to the translation of all things WordPress, from Core to themes, plugins to marketing.

Over the course of 24 hours, WordPress communities will meet to translate WordPress into their local languages and watch talks and sessions broadcast on wptranslationday.org. During the previous WordPress Translation Day, 71 local events took place in 29 countries, and even more communities are expected to take part this time.

Want to get involved in WordPress Translation Day 4? Find out how to organize a local event, follow the updates on the Polyglots team blog, and join the #polyglots channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Block Library Project Gets Started

Since the initial proposal for a Block Library that would be made available from inside the block editor, work has been done to put together some designs for how this would look. Since then the project has received a more direct focus with a planned out scope and timeline.

The project is being managed on GitHub and people interested in contributing are encouraged to get involved there. You can also keep up to date by following the Design team blog and joining the #design channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Further Reading:

Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it here.

bootstrap_subtheme_rtl

Drupal Themes - Wed, 05/01/2019 - 22:30

HeroPress: WordPress is My Identity

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 05/01/2019 - 03:00

I was born and brought up in the under-developed city of ​Layyah​, which is situated in Southern Punjab and surrounded by desert and the river ​Sindh​.

I graduated from college in my hometown with pretty much regular grades. Went through some hard times when I was in university. It was also difficult for me to pay the university dues due to financial shortcomings.

I am a sportsman and still have a wish to play in International Cricket which seems impossible from where I am today. At one point, I wished to join Pakistan Air Force but life directed me towards Computer Sciences.

I started using a computer in ​2010​ when I joined ​Government College University Faisalabad​. Came to know about WordPress while I was finishing the last semester of my degree and my FYP was based on WordPress.

My mother–who is no more in this world–was the real hero of my life and stayed by my side till her last breath. I remember my kindergarten days when she helped me with my homework. I remember the moments in which she used to stay standing in front of the house while I drove off to school.

I remember her last day at the hospital. I met her in the ICU before her heart surgery. She hugged me and said ​“Don’t worry, everything will be good”​. She expired during the surgery. I pray for her soul to rest in peace every day.

Start of Career:

Something had always felt missing in my life, but I felt like I was on the right track for the first time in my life when I joined the WordPress community. After graduation, I struggled a lot to get my first job. I joined ​PressTigers​ as a Software Engineer and continued struggling to make my position better.

Khawaja Fahad Shakeel​ was my first mentor. For me, it has always been an honour to work with him. He directed me towards the right path and provided me with endless support.

Community – WordCamps and Meetups:

I am using WordPress since ​2015​. Once I started attending meetups and open source contribution, it turned out to be a game changer for me.

I learned a lot of things from the WordPress Community platform. There are a lot of personalities who have left a deep impression on met. One of them is ​Nidhi Jain​ from Udaipur India. At this point, she is like a sister to me. We have an amazing chemistry when it comes to working on WordPress dev. The second one is ​Jonathan Desrosiers​ who is like my big brother whom I have learned a lot from and continue to do more every day.

WordPress Community is where I feel the most comfortable, after my family. I am supporting local WordPress communities and was part of ​WordCamp Karachi​ as an organizer. It was the first time that I spoke in an international level event.

People around the globe know me because of WordPress. This is why WordPress is my identity. I owe a huge part of who I am to the WordPress Community.

WordPress and Future:

I believe WordPress can never die as long as people don’t stop baking new things and curating it according to the demands of the new era.

The beauty of WordPress is that it is made for everyone.

As a ​co-organizer of WordPress Meetup Lahore​ it is an honor for me to provide a platform for people to gather under one roof, to learn and share something with the community. I believe in diversity and would love to involve more people in the community leadership team.

I am extremely hopeful regarding the WordPress Meetup Lahore group and welcome everyone to contribute into making it great.

I have been terribly impressed by ​Marcel​ as he walked for WC Europe and I would love to walk for WC Asia after the approval.

In the future, if I get a chance in politics, I wish to be a part of upper house as a ​SENATOR OF PAKISTAN​. Hopefully, I will be contesting in the next senate election either from the platform of the ruling party or as an independent candidate.

Community Mentor:

Usman Khalid​, the lead organizer of WC Karachi, is the hero behind the scenes for establishing the communities in Pakistan. He has mentored me for community relevant stuff. I would love to credit him, the person who gathered the Pakistani WordPress folks under one roof for the first time.

Message for WordPressers:

If you seriously want to do something for yourself, do something for others first.

Go for open source, you’ll surely learn how to code. You’ll learn how to work in a team. Join local meetups, meet with the folks: help them, learn from them and share ideas.

Wrap Up:

One thing I have learned from life is that there is no shortcut to success. You have to work hard to achieve your goals. The person who lives in a fantasy world will never succeed in life.

I don’t think I have achieved something great. I still have the thirst to do something; lots and lots of missions to be accomplished. My only wish is to do something different for this world which will be remembered long after I am gone.

Together we grow. Peace

The post WordPress is My Identity appeared first on HeroPress.

WPTavern: Creative Commons Launches New Search Engine with Access to 30 Million Images

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 05/01/2019 - 01:52

After more than two years in beta, Creative Commons has launched its new search engine, featuring a completely redesigned search page, improved navigation and search filters, better search loading times, and more accurate search phrase relevance. It has replaced the old search portal and is now linked from the homepage.

This update to CC Search also improves attribution options, making it easy for users to copy the text or HTML with the license icons included. Each image also has a unique link for users to provide optional feedback on how they using the works.

Creative Commons has indexed 30 million CC-licensed images from 19 collections, including Flickr, Geograph Britain and Ireland, Bēhance, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a number of other smaller collections. The nonprofit organization’s long-term goal is to provide access to all 1.4 billion CC-licensed and public domain works on the web.

Creative Commons will soon be expanding its image catalog with works from Europeana and Wikimedia Commons and is also adding open textbooks and audio later in 2019. The next items on the CC Search roadmap for this quarter include advanced filters to the home page, the ability to browse collections without entering search terms, and improved accessibility and UX on mobile. Some of this work will be performed by Google Summer of Code students beginning next month.

CC-licensed images are popular with bloggers and designers but tracking down license and attribution information can be tedious when searching various collections across the web. CC Search aggregates some of the most popular sources and is steadily improving the performance of its search tool. If you experience any issues, all of the CC Search code (CC Search, CC Catalog API, CC Catalog) is open source on GitHub and the organization welcomes bug reports and contributions from the community.

WPTavern: BuddyPress 5.0 to Display Debug Info in the New Site Health Info Screen

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 18:15

The upcoming BuddyPress 5.0 release will add plugin-specific debug info to the new Site Health Info screen that is coming in WordPress 5.2.

Mathieu Viet, who contributed the patch, said the information could be very useful to help solve issues on the BuddyPress forums. The panel is displayed at the bottom of the screen. It includes the BuddyPress version, active components, active template pack, and a list of other component-specific settings information.

This is a good example of how plugins can hook into this screen to add specific debug information. Users who need support can copy the information from the screen and paste it into the support forums for faster assistance with their issues.

BuddyPress 5.0 is expected at the end of May and will ship with this new site health enhancement.

WPTavern: npm’s 2019 JavaScript Ecosystem Survey Shows 63% of Respondents are Using React

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 22:24

npm, Inc. has released a preview of the results of its Enterprise JavaScript in 2019 survey, which was conducted from 12/1/18 – 1/8/19. The company received 33,478 responses from developers across 23 industries and 194 countries and territories. Twenty-two languages were represented and less than half of respondents spoke English (47.13%), although the survey was in English.

The preview highlights essential trends in the JavaScript ecosystem. React’s growing popularity is the least surprising among these trends. The results showed that 63% of respondents are using React.

npm Inc. estimates that there are approximately 5 million React developers worldwide and concludes that “There has never been a JavaScript framework this popular before, and it is more than twice as popular as the next-biggest framework, Angular.”

Results for other frameworks are not yet available to the public but npm Inc. plans to share more details in future articles.

Nearly half (49%) of respondents have more than 5 years of experience using JavaScript, a 9% increase from the previous year’s survey, shifting an estimated 1 million participants into this category. This indicates that the JavaScript user base is becoming more sophisticated overall.

Another trend is the rising popularity of GraphQL. While its adoption is still relatively low, with only 7% of respondents indicating that they use it frequently, 23% of developers use it for some of their projects. The results showed that 72% of npm users are using or considering using GraphQL in 2019.

In a post that goes further in depth on the methodology used for the survey, nmp Inc. said the company did not collect demographics on race or gender identity, so the data may not be representative of the broader population of JavaScript users on these metrics. English speakers are also over-represented and the survey may contain some bias towards the opinions of users “who have more affinity to npm as an organization.” However, results from independent surveys like the 2018 State of JS Survey, show similar trends in the JavaScript ecosystem.

npm Inc. will be sending out follow-up surveys to specific groups of respondents who volunteered to answer additional questions. The company plans to publish more data from the questions about tooling choices, technical preferences, and attitudes towards various professional practices.

WPTavern: WordPress 5.2 Pushed Back to May 7, RC 1 Now Available for Testing

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 14:28

WordPress 5.2 was originally scheduled to be released on April 30, but has now been pushed back to May 7, due to the number of open tickets last week (43). There is now only one ticket remaining on the 5.2 milestone for completion of the About page and WordPress 5.2 RC 1 is ready for testing.

The upcoming release will bring major improvements to the block editor (everything released in the Gutenberg plugin prior to version 5.4). This includes the new block management capabilities and several new blocks that were ported from core widgets.

WordPress 5.2 will introduce a new admin interface for Site Health under the Tools menu. It runs tests that deliver results categorized as critical, recommended, or good, along with action items for users to improve their settings. The Information tab was added for basic debugging and provides information about the website and server setup.

A new feature called “fatal error recovery mode” is also included in this release. It pauses themes or plugins that are causing a fatal error and puts the site into recovery mode so the user can still access the admin to troubleshoot the issue. Users should experience fewer “white screen of death” situations with this new feature in place.

WordPress 5.2 brings a host of accessibility improvements to various admin screens for users who rely on assistive technologies. It also makes it easier to customize and design WordPress’ included Privacy Policy page.

Check out the 5.2 field guide for a detailed breakdown of everything that’s coming in the upcoming release. If you want to get a sneak peak and help test the release candidate, the easiest way is to install the Beta Tester plugin and select the “bleeding edge nightlies” option.

WPTavern: Apache NetBeans is Now a Top-Level Project of the Apache Software Foundation

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 02:18

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), a non-profit corporation of decentralized volunteers from the open source developer community, has officially approved the NetBeans IDE as a Top-Level project. NetBeans joins more than 350 other open source projects and initiatives managed by the foundation after spending two years in the Apache Incubator.

The IDE supports Java, JavaScript, PHP, HTML5, and other popular programming languages, and is also used as a tooling platform and application framework. Although PhpStorm and Sublime Text capture a larger share of the IDE market for PHP developers, there is a small but passionate segment of WordPress developers who favor NetBeans as their IDE of choice.

NetBeans started as a student project in 1996 in what was formerly known as Czechoslovakia. It was the first Java IDE written in Java but it soon became more than just an IDE platform, as the community began using it to create applications that weren’t development tools. In 2000, Sun Microsystems acquired NetBeans and open sourced it, making it Sun’s first sponsored open source project. It became part of Oracle when it acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010 and the company continues to sponsor the project. NetBeans is now used by more than 1.5 million users each month.

Now that Apache NetBeans is governed by the ASF, it will be more likely to receive contributions than when it belonged to a commercial entity. However, contributors from Oracle and other organizations will continue to be part of shaping its future. Coming under the ASF umbrella is also bringing some welcome developments for the project’s governance, according to Apache NetBeans Vice President Geertjan Wielenga:

Being part of the ASF means that NetBeans is now not only free and Open Source software: it is also, uniquely, and for the first time, part of a foundation specifically focused on enabling open governance. Every contributor to the project now has equal say over the roadmap and direction of NetBeans. That is a new and historic step and the community has been ready for this for a very long time. Thanks to the strong stewardship of NetBeans in Sun Microsystems and Oracle, Apache NetBeans is now ready for the next phase in its development and we welcome everyone to participate as equals as we move forward.

Oracle’s decision to submit NetBeans to the ASF Incubator came as a surprise to many in 2016. At that time, OSI President Simon Phipps shared his thoughts about the benefits he saw for the project moving to open governance under the ASF:

By moving to independent governance and losing the Oracle CLA, others can join in with confidence their contribution won’t be used against them. More importantly, contributors also no longer need fear the transient decisions of cost-cutting Oracle VPs impacting the long-term viability of the project. Oracle’s Java team still needs NetBeans in order to make tools releases supporting new capabilities in Java 9 and later, so are likely to engage. Rather than withdrawal, this looks more like leveraging the ecosystem around NetBeans to sustain development while keeping Oracle’s costs in line with the direct benefit NetBeans delivers to them.

According to the proposal submitted to the ASF for NetBeans’ acceptance into the Incubator, the majority of code contributions have come from Oracle since it acquired Sun Microsystems. In addressing some of the known risks Oracle faces in contributing NetBeans to the ASF, the proposal states that “the size and diversity of the community is a guarantee against the project being orphaned.”

NetBean’s proposal said the purpose of moving NetBeans to Apache is to “expand the diversity of contributors and to increase the level of meritocracy.” The project already has a good foundation to build on, as its application framework is used by large companies and organizations, including Boeing, Airbus Defense and Space, NASA, and NATO, that depend on NetBeans for building mission critical scientific software. This new era of open governance should give the community a stronger sense of ownership and stimulate greater levels of contribution across the project.

WordPress 5.2 Release Candidate

Wordpress News - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 01:28

The first release candidate for WordPress 5.2 is now available!

This is an important milestone as we progress toward the WordPress 5.2 release date. “Release Candidate” means that the new version is ready for release, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible something was missed. WordPress 5.2 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, May 7, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.2 yet, now is the time!

There are two ways to test the WordPress 5.2 release candidate: try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want to select the “bleeding edge nightlies” option), or you can download the release candidate here (zip).

What’s in WordPress 5.2?

Continuing with the theme from the last release, WordPress 5.2 gives you even more robust tools for identifying and fixing configuration issues and fatal errors. Whether you are a developer helping clients or you manage your site solo, these tools can help get you the right information when you need it.

The Site Health Check and PHP Error Protection tools have brand new features, giving you peace of mind if you discover any issues with plugins or themes on your site. There are also updates to the icons available in your dashboard, fresh accessibility considerations for anyone using assistive technologies and more.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.2 and update the Tested up to version in the readme to 5.2. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.2 Field Guide has also been published, which goes into the details of the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! This release also marks the hard string freeze point of the 5.2 release schedule.

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

Howdy, RC 1!
With tools this interesting,
I can hardly wait.

Pages