Wordpress News

The Month in WordPress: March 2019

Wordpress News - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 08:59

WordPress reached a significant milestone this month. With some exciting developments in Core, an interesting new proposal, and the return of a valuable global event, March was certainly an interesting time.

WordPress Now Powers One-Third of the Web

WordPress’ market share has been steadily increasing, and as of halfway through this month, it powers over one-third of the top 10 million sites on the web (according to W3Techs, which tracks usage statistics for all major web platforms).

This growth of WordPress is only made possible by the large team of volunteers working to build the project and community. If you would like to get involved in building the future of WordPress, then check out the Make network for a contributor team that fits your skill set.

WordPress 5.2 is on the Way

WordPress 5.1.1 was released this month, with 14 fixes and enhancements, and the Core team is now focusing on the next major release, version 5.2. This release will include some great new features, along with the latest updates to the block editor.

One of the most anticipated new features is the improved fatal error detection – this was removed from v5.1 shortly before release so that it could be improved and made more secure for this release. Along with that, PHP 5.6 is going to become the minimum required PHP version for WordPress, a significant step towards a more modern web and updated coding standards.

WordPress 5.2 is now in beta 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.

Proposal for a Central Block Directory

With blocks becoming the new way to manage content in WordPress, more and more types of blocks are being developed to cater for different use cases and content types. In an effort to make it easier for content creators to find these block types, there is a proposal for a new type of plugin and a directory to handle it.

The proposal outlines a new type of WordPress plugin that provides blocks and nothing else, named Single Block Plugins. The primary benefit would be to provide content creators with individual pieces of functionality and new types of blocks without the need to search for and install new plugins.

The Single Block Plugins would be hosted in a separate Block Directory section of the Plugin Directory and they would initially be JavaScript-based. Each plugin will register a single block, and they will be searchable and installable from within the editor itself. This puts blocks at the publishers’ fingertips — you no longer have to leave the editor to find them.

Want to get involved in shaping this new type of plugin? Join in the conversation on the proposal post, follow the Meta team blog, and join the #meta channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Global WordPress Translation Day is Back

On 11 May 2019, the fourth Global 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 last Global 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 the Global WordPress Translation Day? Find out how to organize a local event, apply to be a speaker, follow the updates on the Polyglots team blog, and join the #polyglots channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Gutenberg Development Continues

With the block editor in WordPress Core, the team has been able to focus on adding some frequently requested features. Version 5.3 of Gutenberg,  released this month, includes a new block manager modal, the ability to nest different elements in the cover block, and some UI tweaks to improve the hover state of blocks.

Want to get involved in developing Gutenberg? Check out the GitHub repository and join the #core-editor 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.

Classy Accessible Base Theme

Drupal Themes - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 01:09

An Accessible base theme based on the Classy core theme.

HeroPress: Four Years

Wordpress Planet - Sat, 03/30/2019 - 02:49

On March 25th, 2015, I published Rarst’s HeroPress essay “Finding Your Place“. It’s been four years.

As of this post there are 165 essays published. 165 stories of dreams, successes, failures, and courage. 165 people I’ve gotten to know and love. It feels like it’s always been there.

For a while this last year I only published once a month, so I could both focus on work a little more as well as draw attention to past essays. A few weeks ago I went back to weekly, and I’m happy with it. It’s exciting getting to know a new person every week. Not just meet them, but have good conversation and really get to know them.

I have some fun news. The other day Josepha The Magnificent approached me about syndicating HeroPress on https://wordpress.org/news/. It’s already on WordPress Planet (Thanks Matt!), which is the number one driver of traffic to this site, by FAR. I’ll be interested to see what being on /news does.

People often ask me about the future of HeroPress, but I don’t really see it changing much. Getting syndicated is nice, but doesn’t really change what I do or publish. We did a scholarship giveaway a couple years ago and we’ve discussed doing it again. I really enjoyed that, I’d welcome more things like it from other organizations.

To all of you who’ve read over the years, I thank you. To all of you who’ve been transparent and had the courage to let the world see your story, I can’t thank you enough. Every time someone says to me “HeroPress is such an encouragement to me” it’s because of you.

Here’s to the future, and many more stories.

The post Four Years appeared first on HeroPress.

WPTavern: WordCamp Asia Proposed for 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 03/29/2019 - 20:19
photo credit: Eustaquio Santimano

The organizers of WordCamp Asia, a brand new regional WordCamp, have published a proposal for making Bangkok, Thailand, the host city for a 2-3 day event in early 2020. They are currently planning for February or March to avoid clashing with other regional WordCamps (WCEU, WCUS). The camp has been informally discussed since 2015 while organizers focused on growing new city-based WordCamps across the region.

“WordCamps in Asia have reached a critical mass that will enable a successful regional WordCamp,” Jon Ang said in the introduction to the proposal. “We believe that running this WordCamp will contribute directly to long term efforts in fostering WordPress interest in countries that lack it.”

WordCamp Asia organizers are being mentored by lead organizers of WordCamp Europe and have created an official proposal based heavily on the one submitted by WordCamp Nordic organizers. They have submitted it to the broader WordCamp community leaders for review before submitting and official application to WordCamp Central.

Asia has many vibrant and diverse WordPress communities across distant geographical areas. It technically includes Middle Eastern countries such as Turkey, Israel, and Iran, as well as all of Russia and India and everything in between.

Hugh Lashbrooke commented on the proposal, asking if it is actually a “WordCamp South-East Asia,” given all the currently listed organizers are from this region, or if they intend to include other countries beyond this area. Ang said that the event will certainly include leaders from India and Pakistan and they have discussed forming a global team with two representatives from each country. The leaders currently listed in the proposal are those who were specifically involved in drafting it.

Bangkok is proposed for the first host city due to its relatively affordable location, the ease of obtaining a visa on arrival for attendees from many Asian counties, and the availability of inexpensive flights to most major cities in Asia. The local WordPress community is also experienced at running large WordCamps (500+ attendees) and Bangkok’s local meetup group has more than 1,500 members. WordCamp Asia organizers are planning for 750-1,000 attendees.

WPTavern: New Gutenberg Playground Offers a Standalone Version of the Editor for Testing Outside the WordPress Admin

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 03/28/2019 - 20:04

The Gutenberg team merged a pull request three days ago that adds a local “playground” development environment for testing outside of the WordPress admin. Riad Benguella, the technical lead for Gutenberg phase 2, said that the playground could grow over time to contain “more than just a standalone version of the editor” and could become a way for developers to test out components in isolation. He shared a screenshot of the playground in action:

During Tuesday’s JavaScript chat meeting, Benguella elaborated on the playground’s intended use.

“Now that we’re expanding the usage of Gutenberg outside of the edit-post and also talking about cross-CMS usage and external usage (in the broad sense), we need a way to run the block editor in a context independent from the WordPress Admin. This means no WordPress admin styles, no API.”

Testing Gutenberg in the playground’s “no-context” mode allows developers to ensure their components don’t rely on WP-Admin styles to be present. Benguella said it demonstrates how core blocks can be used without requiring a post object, which will be useful for architecting the widgets screen.

“This playground could evolve to contain examples of our reusable components (think Storybook),” Benguella said. “It could also serve as a contributor tool. For example, we could include a way to search for selectors.”

The playground was just merged this week, so contributors are working on better documentation. In the meantime, check out the PR for more details on how to test it.

WPTavern: WordPress 5.2 Beta 1 Released: Help Test New Blocks, Block Manager, and Improved Fatal Error Protection

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 03/28/2019 - 03:36

WordPress 5.2 beta 1 was released this evening with an exciting lineup of new user-facing features that are ready for testing. The upcoming release introduces new blocks for RSS, Search, Calendar, Tag Cloud, and Amazon Kindle embed.

The proliferation of block collection plugins as a block distribution mechanism has caused some WordPress installations to become bloated with too many unused blocks. Version 5.2 includes new block management capabilities that will make it easy to turn blocks on or off and tidy up the block inserter tool for greater efficiency.

This release also introduces fatal error protection that catches errors before they produce a white screen, so that users can still log into the admin to attempt to resolve the issue. This feature was previously targeted for 5.1 but needed a few security issues ironed out before it was ready for core.

If you’re just getting started with testing WordPress, the 5.2 beta is a very approachable release with features that anyone can put through the paces. The easiest way is to install the WordPress Beta Testing plugin and select “bleeding edge nightlies.” Try out the new blocks, experiment with turning blocks and and off. Do the new features seem like they work as advertised? Are there any bumps in the road when trying to use them? You can report any issues to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums or log a ticket on trac.

Developers have a few big items to test as well. Plugin authors can now specify a minimum PHP version that the plugin will support. WordPress is also adding the sodium_compat library, a libsodium-compatible cryptography API for PHP 7.2+.

According to the notes from today’s core developer chat, there are currently 116 open tickets that contributors plan to address in three betas. The goal is to slash that number down to 66 before beta 2. WordPress 5.2 is targeted for April 30, 2019.

WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.2 Beta 1

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 03/27/2019 - 23:39

WordPress 5.2 Beta 1 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

You can test the WordPress 5.2 Beta two ways:

WordPress 5.2 is slated for release on April 30, and we need your help to get there. Here are some of the big items to test so we can find as many bugs as possible in the coming weeks.

Block Editor

The block editor has received significant performance improvements since WordPress 5.1, shaving 35% off the load time for massive posts, and cutting the keypress time (how responsive it feels when you’re typing) in half!

Accessibility continues to improve, too. The block editor now supports your browser’s reduced motion settings. The post URL slug has better labelling and help text. The focus styling for keyboard navigating through landmarks is clearer and more consistent. There are a variety of new speak messages, and existing messages have been tweaked for more useful screen-reader behaviour.

We’ve added several new blocks:

  • An RSS block
  • An Amazon Kindle embed block
  • A Search block
  • A Calendar block
  • A Tag Cloud block

To help you keep track of these blocks, and only show the ones you need, there’s a new block management tool to switch blocks on and off.

Block Management Modal

We’re constantly working on existing blocks, too. There are hundreds of bug fixes and improvements in the block editor, you can read more about them in the Gutenberg plugin releases: 4.9, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3.

The WordPress Mobile Apps

The block editor isn’t just for websites, either. The WordPress mobile apps now include an experimental version of a built-in block editor. This is still under development, but you can try it out now!

The block editor is coming to the mobile apps Site Health Check

Site Health Check is an ongoing project aimed at improving the stability and performance of the entire WordPress ecosystem.

The first phase of this project (originally scoped for WordPress 5.1) is now included in WordPress 5.2. For the first time, WordPress will catch and pause the problem code, so you can log in to your Dashboard and see what the problem is (#44458). Before, you’d have to FTP in to your files or get in touch with your host.

The Improved Fatal Error Protection

In addition, we’re adding a new Health Check tool to your Dashboard. Visit the Tools menu and click on Health Check to get information that can help improve the speed and security of your site.

PHP Version Bump

With this release, WordPress will increase its minimum supported PHP version to 5.6. To help you check if you’re prepared for this change, WordPress 5.2 will show you a warning and help you upgrade your version of PHP, if necessary.

For Developers
  • Plugins can now specify the minimum version of PHP that they support, so you can safely modernise your development practices without risking breaking your users’ sites. (#40934)
  • We’ve added the sodium_compat library, which provides backwards compatibility for the Sodium-based cryptography library added in PHP 7.2. (#45806)
  • There’s a new release of Dashicons, the WordPress Dashboard icon font. There are 25 new icons for you to use! (#41074)
  • You can now pass a label to get_search_form(), improving accessibility. (#42057)

There have been 130 tickets closed in WordPress 5.2 so far, with numerous small bug fixes and improvements to help smooth your WordPress experience.

Keep your eyes on the Make WordPress Core blog for developer notes (which are assigned the dev-notes tag) in the coming weeks detailing other changes in 5.2 that you should be aware of.

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.

With each new release,
bearing multiple betas;
We fix, then we fly.

WordPress 5.2 Beta 1

Wordpress News - Wed, 03/27/2019 - 23:39

WordPress 5.2 Beta 1 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

You can test the WordPress 5.2 Beta two ways:

WordPress 5.2 is slated for release on April 30, and we need your help to get there. Here are some of the big items to test so we can find as many bugs as possible in the coming weeks.

Block Editor

The block editor has received significant performance improvements since WordPress 5.1, shaving 35% off the load time for massive posts, and cutting the keypress time (how responsive it feels when you’re typing) in half!

Accessibility continues to improve, too. The block editor now supports your browser’s reduced motion settings. The post URL slug has better labelling and help text. The focus styling for keyboard navigating through landmarks is clearer and more consistent. There are a variety of new speak messages, and existing messages have been tweaked for more useful screen-reader behaviour.

We’ve added several new blocks:

  • An RSS block
  • An Amazon Kindle embed block
  • A Search block
  • A Calendar block
  • A Tag Cloud block

To help you keep track of these blocks, and only show the ones you need, there’s a new block management tool to switch blocks on and off.

Block Management Modal

We’re constantly working on existing blocks, too. There are hundreds of bug fixes and improvements in the block editor, you can read more about them in the Gutenberg plugin releases: 4.9, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3.

The WordPress Mobile Apps

The block editor isn’t just for websites, either. The WordPress mobile apps now include an experimental version of a built-in block editor. This is still under development, but you can try it out now!

The block editor is coming to the mobile apps Site Health Check

Site Health Check is an ongoing project aimed at improving the stability and performance of the entire WordPress ecosystem.

The first phase of this project (originally scoped for WordPress 5.1) is now included in WordPress 5.2. For the first time, WordPress will catch and pause the problem code, so you can log in to your Dashboard and see what the problem is (#44458). Before, you’d have to FTP in to your files or get in touch with your host.

The Improved Fatal Error Protection

In addition, we’re adding a new Health Check tool to your Dashboard. Visit the Tools menu and click on Health Check to get information that can help improve the speed and security of your site.

PHP Version Bump

With this release, WordPress will increase its minimum supported PHP version to 5.6. To help you check if you’re prepared for this change, WordPress 5.2 will show you a warning and help you upgrade your version of PHP, if necessary.

For Developers
  • Plugins can now specify the minimum version of PHP that they support, so you can safely modernise your development practices without risking breaking your users’ sites. (#40934)
  • We’ve added the sodium_compat library, which provides backwards compatibility for the Sodium-based cryptography library added in PHP 7.2. (#45806)
  • There’s a new release of Dashicons, the WordPress Dashboard icon font. There are 25 new icons for you to use! (#41074)
  • You can now pass a label to get_search_form(), improving accessibility. (#42057)

There have been 130 tickets closed in WordPress 5.2 so far, with numerous small bug fixes and improvements to help smooth your WordPress experience.

Keep your eyes on the Make WordPress Core blog for developer notes (which are assigned the dev-notes tag) in the coming weeks detailing other changes in 5.2 that you should be aware of.

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.

With each new release,
bearing multiple betas;
We fix, then we fly.

WPTavern: rtCamp Releases GitHub Actions for Automated Code Review, Deploying WordPress, and Slack Notifications

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 03/27/2019 - 22:46

rtCamp, a 60+ person agency and WordPress.com VIP service partner, has released three new GitHub Actions that handle automated code review, WordPress deployment, and Slack notifications.

The PHPCS Code Review action takes advantage of GitHub’s pull request review feature. It performs an automated code review on pull requests using PHPCS. This Action is based on WordPress.com VIP’s GPL-licensed review scripts.

“Our action is a wrapper around the original vip-go-ci project,” rtCamp CEO Rahul Bansal said. “VIP’s project uses Teamcity which is expensive and very hard to get up and running. We built a wrapper around it to get it working with Github. Still huge props to them for sharing what we consider to be the USP of the VIP platform to the public at large.”

The Deploy WordPress GitHub action uses the Deployer.org tool to deploy code changes. Using it requires your git repo to match rtCamp’s WordPress Skeleton which is very similar to the VIP Go Skeleton. The action includes optional support for Hashicorp Vault, which is useful for managing multiple servers.

“Our action supports secrets fetching via HashiCorp Vault project,” Bansal said. “For small teams or indies using Vault might be overkill. But at scale, such as our hosting dept, where they are responsible for more than 100+ servers, Vault streamlines WordPress Deploys. It’s partly because of Vault, devs can simply change the hostname on the fly and everything still works.”

rtCamp has also released a GitHub action called Slack Notify that sends a message to a Slack channel. It can be customized to notify a channel about deployment status. The Site and SSH Host details are available if the action is run following the Deploy WordPress GitHub action. All three of the new Actions are designed to work seamlessly together.

rtCamp plans to add more Actions to its GitHub Actions Library in the future. Bansal said they are currently working on build actions to cover Sass, Webpack, and Grunt, as well as Testing actions for phpunit and QUnit. Further down the road they are planning to build an action that will automatically update their theme and plugin products in their EDD store when there is a GitHub release.

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