Wordpress News

WordPress 4.9 Release Candidate 3

Wordpress News - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 06:53

The third release candidate for WordPress 4.9 is now available.

A release candidate (RC) means we think we’re done, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible we’ve missed something. In fact, we did miss some things in RC1 and RC2. This third release candidate was not originally scheduled, but due a number of defects uncovered through your testing of RC2 (thank you!), we are putting out another 4.9 release candidate.

We hope to ship WordPress 4.9 on Tuesday, November 14 (that’s tomorrow) at 23:00 UTC, but we still need your help to get there. If you haven’t tested 4.9 yet, now is the time! If there are additional defects uncovered through testing between now and the release time, we may delay the 4.9 release to the following day.

To test WordPress 4.9, you can use the WordPress Beta Tester plugin or you can download the release candidate here (zip).

We’ve made just over 20 changes since releasing RC2 last week (as we did between RC1 and RC2). For more details about what’s new in version 4.9, check out the Beta 1, Beta 2, Beta 3Beta 4RC1, and RC2 blog posts. A few specific areas to test in RC3:

  • Switching between the Visual and Text tabs of the editor, and the syncing of the cursor between those two tabs.
  • Overriding linting errors in the Customizer’s Additional CSS editor.
  • Adding nav menu items for Custom Links in the Customizer.
  • Scheduling customization drafts (stubbed posts/pages) for publishing in the Customizer.
  • Autosave revisions for changes in the Customizer.
  • About page styling.

Developers, please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 4.9 and update your plugin’s Tested up to version in the readme to 4.9. If you find compatibility problems please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release — we work hard to avoid breaking things. Please see the summative field guide to the 4.9 developer notes on the core development blog.

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.

Didn’t squash them all 
We want to release Tuesday
New features not bugs

Thanks for your continued help testing out the latest versions of WordPress.

WPTavern: iA Writer 5 for iOS Released, Web Collaboration Version Coming Soon

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 22:00

iA Writer 5 for iOS was released last week, nearly a year after version 4. This update is free for those who purchased version 4 from the iOS App Store. iA Writer 5 for Mac is still in the works. The free Android version of the app is receiving incremental improvements that will bring it to parity with version 5 in the near future.

iA Writer is a plain text writing and editing app that is popular with authors, academics, and long-form writers. It’s also a favorite among WordPress users who look to third-party apps for to provide a more focused, distraction-free writing environment. In April 2016, version 3.1.4 for Mac and iOS introduced publishing drafts to WordPress.com and Jetpack-powered sites.

Version 5 focuses on making everything accessible through the keyboard by bringing the Open Quickly feature in iA Writer for Mac to iOS. The app’s creators said the goal of the design process was to “allow the writer to do everything without leaving the keyboard, including file handling, export, and all commands.” The new Quick Search feature is now built into the keyboard bar along with with a fully configurable keyboard. This allows users to quickly do things like create new files, switch to night mode, and export to PDF without leaving the keyboard.

This release adds new organization features that allow users to select multiple files and folders and move, rename, or delete them from the Library. It also introduces Smart Folders which can be created based on a set of rules. Version 5 adds support for iOS11’s Files system, allowing users to open and edit text files from any storage provider that works with Files. Support for Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box is already available with more providers coming soon.

The makers of iA Writer are interested in exploring other platforms if there is sufficient interest, including the possibility of creating a Windows version. Demand doesn’t seem to be very high, as the writing app’s fans are primarily Apple-only users.

How badly do you want a Windows version of iA Writer?

— iA Writer (@iAWriter) October 17, 2017

However, users across multiple platforms have requested a web version of iA Writer, and the company confirmed in September that they are already working on it. After releasing a big Material Design update to the iA for Android app in October, the creators said Android users will be the first to have access to the web version:

The biggest request from you was collaboration, in other words, iA Writer for Web. iA Writer for Android will stay free and you will be able to connect and subscribe to the Web version via the app, if you wish to. If you could tell us what you’d expect to pay for it, that would be very helpful…As part of our commitment to continually improve iA Writer on all platforms, Android will likely be the first to gain access to the upcoming Web collaboration.

The upcoming web version should provide a sort of bridge for users on other desktop platforms without an iA Writer app.

There’s no target release date for iA Writer 5 for Mac but iA Inc has confirmed that it will also be a free update for those who have purchased the previous version.

WPTavern: Watch the State of the Woo! After You Give WooCommerce Your Name and Email Address

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 21:25

If you didn’t watch the live stream or attend WooConf in-person, you’re in luck as videos from the event are starting to come online. The first talk highlights is the State of the Woo by Todd Wilkens, Head of WooCommerce. Wilkens shares stats, provides an overview of projects the team is working on, what to expect in new versions, and explains the relationship between WooCommerce and Jetpack.

The video is available to watch for free, but viewers must provide their first and last name as well as an email address. Clicking the play button without entering this information displays a message that says Please enter your full name. This is a classic technique used by many internet marketers.

Although you can provide fake information in order to watch the video for free, I feel it’s an unnecessary burden. The WooCommerce team could obtain the same information with a form in the post. An alternative to watching the video is reading the company’s great overview of Wilkens’ session. The team plans to publish other talks from WooConf in the coming weeks.

Updated November 14th: An Automattic employee has removed the email form and made it skippable.


Drupal Themes - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 17:07

Umami is the theme that will be used in the Umami installation profile for Drupal core.

Development takes place on github. Please file any issues there.

Documentation does not exist yet - perhaps you'd like to start writing some for us?


Drupal Themes - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 19:08

Yacht Charter Booking Drupal Theme

Sailor is a Drupal port of the Sailor HTML Template

Note: This theme requires a license for Sailor HTML Template as well as an Envato Market token, with the "Download your purchased items" permission.


Install with Composer:

composer require drupal/sailor

Composer will also then execute NPM. You will be asked for your Envato Market token. You can also put this in the npm config like this:

npm config envato_token YOURTOKEN

or it can be added as an environment variable with the name: NPM_CONFIG_ENVATO_TOKEN

Matt: Product and Process

Wordpress Planet - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 05:01

When I look back over the last 25 years, in some ways what seems most precious is not what we have made but how we have made it and what we have learned as a consequence of that. I always think that there are two products at the end of a programme; there is the physical product or the service, the thing that you have managed to make, and then there is all that you have learned. The power of what you have learned enables you to do the next thing and it enables you to do the next thing better. — Jony Ive

From the Wallpaper article on the new Apple campus.

WPTavern: WP-SpamShield Plugin Removed from WordPress.org, Author Plans to Pull All Plugins from the Directory

Wordpress Planet - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 04:19

The WP-SpamShield plugin was removed from the WordPress.org directory this week due to what the Plugin Review Team has deemed a violation of the guidelines and a possible miscommunication.

Two weeks ago, the author of WP-SPamShield and the author of the Plugin Organizer plugin exchanged contentious remarks in a support forum thread where each accused the other of targeting each others’ plugins. This resulted in both parties adding code that disabled the others’ plugins, and both were asked by the Plugin Team to remove the code.

WP-SpamShield’s author, Scott Allen, has published an account of his interactions with the Plugin Team with updates for users who are monitoring the status of the plugin. Although the team rarely discloses why a plugin was removed, representative Mika Epstein responded to Allen when he said he had not received an answer about what guideline the plugin had violated:

Sorry, I thought it was clear that it’s issues regarding the forum guidelines and rule #9:
Intentionally attempting to exploit loopholes in the guidelines.

To whit, you were asked to make a change and did so incompletely. If this was not intentional, then I apologize.

I’ve sent you a followup email, trying to clarify what we would accept as solutions to the issue (I came up with 3 options, but I’m open to hearing more).

I understand why you’re angry and we will respect any decision you make regarding this. Nothing that has happened thus far is insurmountable or permanent.

In the post Allen published, he said his experiences with the Plugin Team over the past 10 years have caused him to decide to move his plugins off of WordPress.org. When I contacted him to see if he plans to update his code according to the Plugin Team’s suggestions, he said he doesn’t agree with the solutions the team is offering, nor their assessment of the situation.

“They really were not solutions,” Allen said. “It was just rehashing the same issues we’d already discussed. Unfortunately, neither Otto nor Mika have the security expertise to be making the dictates they were making, so there were no realistic solutions.”

Allen also claimed that Epstein’s report about him making a change and it being incomplete was not accurate and that the Plugin Team did not seem to be on the same page:

We literally did exactly what they asked and made the changes. Two weeks ago Mika had emailed me and indicated things were good. (No code updates since then.) Then two weeks of silence, and then angry email from Otto out of the blue yesterday telling us it was booted. The issue he brought up was different code.

The two of them cannot make up their minds on what is acceptable, and what is not. The arbitrary removal was the last straw though. WordPress.org is the only venue that would do that. We repeatedly asked them what rule we broke, to no answer. Only after I called Mika out on the forum did she come up with something – Rule 9 – exploiting a loophole in the rules. Seriously? It’s impossible for developers to comply with rules that are constantly changing.

Allen confirmed that his team at Red Sand Media Group plans to pull all seven of its plugins from WordPress.org as the result of the incident but will continue maintaining and hosting them elsewhere.

“Developers cannot operate like that,” Allen said. “People depend on us. While it might hurt a bit in the short term, in the long term, we have to do it. There really need to be some major reforms to the way plugins are handled.”

WP-SpamShield was installed on more than 100,000 WordPress sites before it was removed. There is currently no standard way to notify users why a plugin was removed from the directory, but the original dispute between the WP-SpamShield and Plugin Organizer authors is public, as well as a few exchanges between Allen and the Plugin Team. Allen said he is still working out the details of how to notify users that his plugins will be hosted elsewhere from now on.

“We’ll come up with a good plan in the next few days,” he said. “Some people have been notified already because WordFence let them know yesterday that WPSS was removed. (They knew before I did.)”

Samuel “Otto” Wood said the Plugin Team is still willing to put Allen’s plugins back up if he removes the code in question and that the team is not offended by a plugin developer being angry over a decision. At this time Allen appears to be unwilling to comply with the team’s most recent requests.

In the meantime, users who know that WP-SpamShield was been removed are waiting to hear if they need to begin looking for a replacement. Allen said that users shouldn’t need to replace the plugin, since the it will continue to work as before. However, some users are not comfortable installing free plugins hosted outside of WordPress.org. Allen’s team is figuring out a plan for how they will deliver updates to the plugin and will post more information for users on the Red Sand Marketing blog.

WPTavern: Weglot Passes €44K in Monthly Revenue, Plans to Expand into More CMS and E-commerce Markets

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 20:04

Weglot, a SaaS-based multilingual plugin that entered the WordPress market last year, has passed €44,000 in monthly revenue. The company received €450K in seed funding in May 2017 and has nearly doubled its user base in the past six months. Co-founder Rémy Berda reports that the plugin is approaching 20,000 users and that more than 20,000 websites are connected to the Weglot API, if you include the company’s Shopify product and those using the JS script directly.

WordPress customers currently represent 75% of Weglot’s revenue with Shopify at 25%, but Berda says the two markets are growing at the same rate. In May, the company’s customer distribution was primarily in the US and France, which made sense as the product’s founders are French and Weglot was first marketed to the French WordPress community. Weglot’s customer distribution has become more global over the past six months and the US has now overtaken France as the strongest market for the multilingual plugin. Canada has also passed Germany, and Berda said he thinks the distribution will eventually align progressively with global WordPress usage.

Weglot customer distribution as of November 2017

Despite having only recently entered the WordPress community in a niche with well-established competitors, Weglot’s cofounders are confident their SaaS approach is the road to success for becoming the best multilingual solution for WordPress. The team is aiming for its product to become the highest rated multilingual plugin in the WordPress directory within the next six months.

WPML, a purely commercial product and the most widely used, has been in business since 2009 and is active on more than 500K sites. Polylang, a popular free plugin with a commercial option, is installed on more than 300,000 sites and has a 4.7-star rating on WordPress.org. qTranslate X is also a formidable competitor with more than 100,000 active installs and a 4.7-star rating.

“For now the two biggest plugins in terms of active installs are WPML and Polylang,” Berda said. “Both don’t have a SaaS approach. Polylang recently released the PRO version (it was only free previously) but it is still sold as a piece of software, not a SaaS. We are convinced that SaaS is the right approach as it allows us to be in constant relation with users and make the product evolve faster. It’s also healthier in terms of business.”

Although he has no precise statistics on how many, Berda said he sees a lot of former WPML and Polylang users (freelancers and agencies) in their support center who have opted to use Weglot on their new projects. This indicates that Weglot may not so much be whittling away at the existing customer base of other plugins but is finding success at attracting customers who are starting new projects.

In their efforts to stake a claim in the WordPress ecosystem, the Weglot team has found that being active in the community is important to having a successful product.

“WordPress is really huge so there is no magical formula for marketing,” Berda said. “I think what is important is to accept that it takes time. You must keep improving your product forever while being active in the community and do it not only with high intensity but for a long time.”

The €450K in seed funding Weglot received earlier this year has helped the team to expand its support and development team, but it has also made it possible for the company to invest more in the community. They have now sponsored a dozen WordCamps across the world, including WordCamp Europe in Paris.

Berda’s advice to other WordPress entrepreneurs who are looking for funding is to consider the option carefully and understand how it will impact the company’s future and ability to act independently.

“My recommendation would be to think twice about raising money as it takes time,” Berda said. “It changes your governance and it temporarily distracts you from your number one focus – your users. Raise only if you are sure you will have a return with the money invested. Not every business need to raise money.”

Fueled by their success in the WordPress market, Weglot plans to expand into other CMS and e-commerce markets, including BigCommerce and Jimdo, followed by Drupal, Magento, and Joomla. Berda said the company also plans to release an open version of the API for developers to integrate their non-CMS websites built on technologies like Symfony and Laravel.

“In 2018, we will be adding many things: We will start using machine learning to improve the quality of automatic translations,” Berda said. “We will also leverage the fact that we are SaaS to add some insights about language usage for the users so they can see what languages are performing better. Finally, we will add extra features to manage multilingual SEO. In terms of monthly recurring revenue, we aim to reach €70,000 in 6 months.”

WPTavern: Jetpack 5.5 Removes Syntax Highlighting and Gallery Widget for Compatibility with Upcoming WordPress 4.9 Release

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 20:13

Jetpack 5.5 was released yesterday with several important changes that ensure the plugin is compatible with the upcoming WordPress 4.9 release scheduled for November 14. The plugin will be able to shed some weight, as core improvements will make Jetpack’s syntax highlighting and gallery widget obsolete.

WordPress 4.9 incorporates CodeMirror, which brings syntax highlighting, linting, and auto-completion to the built-in code editors. Jetpack 5.5+ will rely on WordPress to handle syntax highlighting and the Custom CSS module has been updated to be fully compatible with core’s new code editing improvements.

image credit: make.wordpress.org

Jetpack 5.5 also adds compatibility for WordPress 4.9’s new core gallery widget. When users update to 4.9, Jetpack will automatically migrate its own gallery widgets to use the widget included in core.

The release also includes several other changes for compatibility with WordPress 4.9:

Jetpack 5.5 also improves the connection process between the plugin and WordPress.com, which should reduce recent issue users have experienced when migrating their sites from HTTP to HTTPS. A full list of the changes in this release is available in the plugin’s changelog.

HeroPress: From the Outskirts to an Insider

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 12:00

WordPress wasn’t the first blogging platform I tried. My very first blog was set up using Blogspot (now Blogger). I didn’t even know I wanted a blog to tell you the truth. But let me take a step back.

I am a techie. A very “untechie” techie, but a techie nonetheless. I actually went to university with a plan to study mathematics and become an actuarial scientist (math and money made for a perfect career, I thought). After one year of university-level mathematics, I decided that I was done with the subject and I stuck with the computer science courses I had also taken. It turned out I had a knack for programming and was often found in the computer lab, debugging my friends’ assignments.

Following my graduation, I worked for several years as a programmer before deciding that I had no interest in coding for the rest of my life. I moved on and up, studying management and information systems, which led me into more managerial positions. On my way there, I decided that I needed to have a personal website. I bought a domain (not my real name though) and starting looking into building my website.

My very first job out of university had been with a web development company as web administrator, where I had picked up quite a bit of HTML, so I figured it would be easy to just build my own website. While researching the latest and best, it struck me that being able to easily add content would be cool, as I had seen early content management systems used back in that job (Tango, anyone?).

Blogging Begins

Suddenly my search results were showing me something called blogging. This was 2005, and blogs were still pretty new. I was excited by the concept, that I could have an easy way to put my thoughts out into cyberspace. I signed up for Blogspot and dove in. For all of 2 days. I wanted to change the design and the layout of my new blog, but I couldn’t. I was stuck in the box that Blogspot provided. A little more searching and I found WordPress.

WordPress meant I could install it myself on my own hosting and play around to my heart’s content. It was a techie’s dream. In April 2005, WordPress was at version 1.5 and I was in heaven. I spent days and nights tweaking and customizing my brand new website and blog. I was a WordPresser.

I was an avid blogger, sharing posts everyday — longer thought-pieces and short asides (who remembers that concept?). The blogging community in Jamaica was small but we were an enthusiastic bunch. Many of my friends were still using other platforms, but I was a diehard WordPress lover. They took comfort in the ease of use of their hosted platforms, while I reveled in being able to completely mess my site up myself (and fix it!).

I played with themes, and experimented with plugins. Two years later, I was helping other people set up and customize their WordPress blogs, and doing migrations from Blogspot.

I was a WordPress freelancer. I didn’t even know this was a thing people did.

It took me several years before I officially created my freelance consultancy, L’Attitude Studios and actually looked to bring in clients.

Despite the fact that WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in Jamaica, and is used by many web developers to built CMS-based websites, there is not much of a WordPress community. And despite my reading all about WordCamps and community meetups, I didn’t really think of myself as part of an actual community. WordCamps started back in 2006 and there have been hundreds since, but I only went to my first WordCamp in 2016, in Miami.

Finding a Place

The organizers of WordCamp Miami made me feel so welcome. They were excited to have me come from Jamaica “just” to attend their event. For the first time, I understood that I have a place in the community, not just as a user. I signed up with the WordPress Community team as an organizer of the WordPress Kingston meetups. Full of enthusiasm I came home, ran a survey to find out how people were using WordPress and declared I was starting local meetups. The sound of crickets followed as the interest was low.

I started a new job and didn’t have time to focus on WordPress, so the meetups fell by the wayside. But I still wanted to contribute. So In 2017, I made the leap to speaking. I decided that there were things I could offer the WordPress community based on my own experiences. WordCamp Ottawa became the first WordCamp I spoke at.

Again, the WordCamp organizers (one of which I had met at WordCamp Miami) were thrilled to have me travel from Jamaica to participate. Funnily, I had to point out to several people that it took less time to get from Jamaica to Ottawa than it did for those traveling from San Francisco.

Everyone I met at WordCamp Ottawa made me feel like a part of the WordPress family, like I belonged.

I still hadn’t got my local meetups going, but I had started making connections in the WordPress space locally. And there seemed to be more interest. I proposed a series of workshops to the organizer of Caribbean Bloggers’ Week. It wouldn’t quite be a WordCamp, which we wouldn’t get permission for, but we could try to do an educational community event to spur interest and raise awareness. WP in the City was born! Sadly, it had to be postponed, but it will still take shape for 2018.

WordCamp US

Now bitten by the bug, I set my speaking sights even higher and made a submission to WordCamp US. A month later, I was notified that one of my two proposals was accepted. I was to be a WordCamp US speaker! Now an even bigger part of the WordPress community would be open to me. I set about making plans for Nashville in December.

By the time you read this, I will be able to announce that I was selected as the recipient of the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship. When they notified me, I didn’t even remember I had applied. Kim Parsell was an active member of the WordPress community until her passing in 2015. She was nicknamed “WPMom” because of the care she took in making sure any member of the WordPress community she met felt welcomed and valued.

Kim was already gone before I actively started taking part in the wider WordPress community. But the community I encountered definitely made me feel welcomed and valued, and now I want to help others feel that way. Going to WordCamp US is going to be an amazing opportunity, in part because of the size and breadth of the community I will get to interact with.

Bringing it Home

Jamaica is a small country, an island in the middle of the Caribbean sea. Most people know about our biggest stars (like Bob Marley and Usain Bolt), our culture (reggae music and jerk cooking) or our beaches. The people who go usually remember the people. Our community is what makes us a powerhouse. And I want to tap into that for WordPress.

I want to bring Jamaica into the WordPress community, and bring the WordPress community to Jamaica. I want to get more Jamaicans to WordCamps and actively participating in the WordPress community in other ways (through contributing and meetups).

I want to bring more WordPressers to Jamaica to share and exchange knowledge, not just enjoy the beach.

When I started out, WordPress was just a tool to get me to my goal. For a long time, I didn’t think much about the people behind WordPress, much less considering getting involved myself. Despite my own technical background, I am a newbie where it comes to WordPress development, having remained a tinkerer for much of the last decade. But WordPress is so much more than just code.

Through WordPress, I have been able to express myself through blogging and poetry. I have been able to help others achieve their own success. I have found people willing to share their knowledge for others (like me) to learn. I have found people willing to hear about my WordPress experiences. I have built a network of contacts always willing to help out.

Reading through the other essays on HeroPress, it is also clear that WordPress has changed lives. It has given people a voice. It has brought people together.

WordPress is community. WordPress is my community.

The post From the Outskirts to an Insider appeared first on HeroPress.

WPTavern: How to Whitelist Comments in WordPress

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 02:50

Out-of-the-box, WordPress provides the ability to blacklist comments or configure a set of options to send comments to moderation. If all comments are moderated, there are no options to whitelist comments.

Searching the plugin directory for comment whitelisting provides few, if any, solutions. However, a cursory search of Google led me to the Comment Whitelist plugin by Alejandro Carravedo.

Comment Whitelist Box

Comment Whitelist adds a ‘Put in Whitelist’ quick moderation link to comments that makes adding email addresses to the list an easy task. One thing to keep in mind is that the whitelist uses email addresses and it’s possible comments from people impersonating whitelisted users may get published.

Despite not being updated in more than nine years, the plugin works as advertised. You’ll need to download the zip file and manually install it as you won’t be able to find it by searching the plugin directory from the WordPress backend.

WPTavern: Gutenberg Contributors Explore Alternative to Using iframes for Meta Boxes

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 22:58

The discussion surrounding the use of iframes for meta boxes in Gutenberg became more heated over the weekend, as concerned developers implored the team to consider the detriments of the current approach. Responses from Gutenberg’s leadership initially deflected concerns, presenting the iframe implementation as an experiment that “works ‘for now'” but isn’t what the team would ship.

Instead of getting a response to the specific concerns about performance and accessibility of the iframes approach, Kevin Hoffman was urged to think about the future of meta boxes and “the cases (if any) that would not be converted to blocks.” When the developer community is repeatedly asked to test and offer feedback but is met with deflection on issues that are critical to sites using WordPress as a CMS, the GitHub discussions begin to get more heated.

“People are worried, and getting frustrated and it seems to me that they have every right to do so because the perception is that the team working on Gutenberg has little understanding of how meta boxes are being used, little concern for what the impact will be, and is going to move forward with their vision no matter what,” Jimmy Smutek, lead developer at the office of external affairs at Johns Hopkins, said in response to a Gutenberg collaborators’ admission to having been dismissive of feedback.

After several rounds of developers joining the thread to debunk the notion that iframes for meta boxes “work for now,” Gutenberg lead developer Matias Ventura joined the discussion yesterday and confirmed that the experiment is likely to be dropped fairly soon.

“I’m glad the conversation refocused in the end to the topic’s issue: is the current approach to meta-boxes in an iframe viable? With the answer being no,” Ventura said. “The iframes are an implementation detail I think we can drop relatively easy. So let’s focus on that.”

He also addressed the popular opinion that WordPress should make iterative enhancements to the editor itself (and not the full page) before proceeding with overhauling meta boxes.

“What some people have called as the pragmatic approach is not concomitant with the design direction this project has had from the start — heading towards full site customization — and what has dictated our decisions so far,” Ventura said. “Nothing here has to be a final solution, we are exploring what is possible within the design premises and putting it out there for testing.”

Ventura said that not making changes to the other aspects of the edit screen would certainly be the simplest path for Gutenberg to take but that it “would not be fair to the goals of the project and the long term users of WordPress.”

WordPress developer Gary Jones contended that pursuing a more iterative approach would not change the goals of the project but would make it possible for more sites to come along during the process.

“Going one step at a time does not, in any way, compromise the goals of the project,” Jones said. “You can still head to full-size customization if that’s the goal, but by doing it in a stepped way, you’ll bring the rest of the developer community along with you.” Jones cited the Customizer as an example of a feature within WordPress with a concept that is being realized over time with many iterations.

Ventura responded with clarification on the Gutenberg team’s approach to iterating on the project, a paradigm shift that supports block-based content creation from the outset.

“We have proposed a staged approach, from Matt’s original new focuses post, it just considers the steps differently,” Ventura said. “There are generally three stages for the Gutenberg project: from the post editor, to page templates, to site building. What is primordial is that the paradigm is one where the content is a single area, with the block as the primary concept, and where the outcome can be visually represented with clarity and without excessive abstractions.”

Ventura also assured those following along on the discussion that the project will not be dropping support for meta boxes but needs more time to experiment with different interface options.

“WordPress always moves with the user, and we take the burden of figuring out development paths to ease transitions for our existing code,” he said. “As a project, we have said before that we were not dropping support for meta-boxes from WordPress, but also that we had to explore what interface decisions we would have to make within the new paradigm, including the possibility of loading the classic editor when we detect meta-boxes we cannot handle or that directly conflict with an editor that seeks to more clearly delineate what is content and what is meta-data.”

He also said the team plans to create more mechanisms to handle incompatibilities as well as “allowing more things to be opt-in (say if you are comfortable with your meta-boxes showing in Gutenberg you could declare support for it, or vice versa.”

A new approach to rendering meta boxes without using iframes is currently underway. Riad Benguella has created a pull request that attempts to undo the iframes and implement a suggestion that Tom Nowell offered during the discussion:

Instead of loading Gutenberg on a settings page, lets load it into the main classic editors page, load metaboxes in their native environment, then hoist their container DOM node into a component via JS.

We then use a different kind of toggle to make sure the classic editor can still be used. This way:

– we avoid the iframe nonsense
– metaboxes work as they always have done as far as registration is concerned
– the existing JS works as expected, and no hacks are necessary to make things work on the PHP end

The new approach has the advantage of no problems with links, modals, duplicate stylesheets, and the other drawbacks to using iframes.

The Gutenberg Team Needs a New Communication Strategy

The discussion regarding the long-term viability of using iframes for meta boxes has highlighted a lack of a unified message or communication strategy among Gutenberg leads. Collaborators on the project have grown impatient with the community for not grasping the vision, but communication is scattered across various blogs, comments, Slack channels, and GitHub discussions.

Morten Rand-Hendriksen has opened a new issue requesting a centralized resource that can serve as a plain language outline of Gutenberg’s scope, direction, and goals.

“My observation is the community is struggling to see the wider scope of the Gutenberg project due to lack of a single authoritative plain language resource containing this information,” Rand-Hendriksen said. “This creates a high degree of speculation, miscommunication, and frustration from all parties and the project suffers as a consequence.”

Gutenberg does have a documentation hub, but so far those documents are more technical and lack a practical roadmap for how the team is aiming to accomplish its goals. The FAQ section of the current docs is the closest thing to the plain language resource that Rand-Hendriksen is requesting in his ticket. The readme.txt files for both Gutenberg’s GitHub repository and the WordPress.org plugin give the impression that the project is simply updating the current editor to be block-based, not overhauling the entire editor screen.

“Due to the fractured nature of this information it is challenging for anyone to get a clear picture of the entire project, and though Matias and Matt’s posts do a good job at explaining the grand vision of the project, they lack concrete plain language breakdowns of the essentials the community need to get a firm understanding of what this project is and where it’s headed,” Rand-Hendriksen said. “They also exist as independent satellites of information circling the project rather than core parts of the project itself.”

The community is chiming in on the GitHub issue with questions they would like to see answered in a more transparent plain language product roadmap. A document like this might help the Gutenberg team to better communicate the goals of the project and avoid sending mixed messages that cause unnecessary confusion.

Akismet: Version 4.0.1 of the Akismet WordPress Plugin Is Now Available

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 20:29

Version 4.0.1 of the Akismet plugin for WordPress is now available.

4.0.1 contains a few helpful changes:

  • We fixed a bug that could prevent some sites from connecting Akismet using an existing Jetpack connection.
  • We added some code to ensure that any pending Akismet-related events are unscheduled if (heaven forbid) the plugin is deactivated.
  • Some of the Akismet JavaScript is now run asynchronously in order to increase the speed with which your pages will appear to load.

Pretty good, right?  To upgrade, visit the Updates page of your WordPress dashboard and follow the instructions. If you need to download the plugin zip file directly, links to all versions are available in the WordPress plugins directory.

WPTavern: WordCamp Europe 2018 Early Bird Tickets Now on Sale

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 19:54

WordCamp Europe 2018 has begun early bird ticket sales for its sixth edition in Belgrade, Serbia, June 14-16. Attendees who purchase a ticket before December 31, 2017, will receive a limited-edition swag item.

WordCamp Europe has sold out in many previous years and organizers of the 2017 event in Paris anticipated that it would be the largest event in WordPress history. They expected to host more than 3,000 attendees but the actual number on the ground was 1,900 – 5% fewer than the 2,000 who attended in Vienna the previous year. WCEU 2017 posted a 24% no-show rate, which was more than double that of previous years.

Putting tickets on sale too early was one of the factors that contributed to the Paris event’s high no-show rate, in addition to higher local sales, an expensive location, and attendees’ problems obtaining visas. This year ticket sales are starting a little later and batches will be staged out into 2018.

The WCEU organizing team for Belgrade includes 54 people leading 10 teams to manage sponsors, PR, volunteers, design, and on-site responsibilities. The event has also added a new Attendee Services team that will assist with things like ticket invoices, visa letters, and other services on the ground.

A batch of 1,000 early bird tickets were released today and more than 10% have already been purchased on the first day of sales. Tickets are €40.00 and include two days of presentations, lunch, coffee and snacks, a t-shirt, and a ticket to the After Party. The ticket also gives the attendee access to Contributor Day, which will take place the day before the conference and requires a separate sign up. Tickets are non-refundable but can easily be resold or gifted in the event that the purchaser cannot attend.