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The Month in WordPress: September 2018

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 12:01

The new WordPress editor continues to be a major focus for all WordPress contribution teams. Read on to find out some more about their work, as well as everything else that has been happening around the community this past month.

Further Enhancements to the New WordPress Editor

Active development continues on Gutenberg, the new editing experience for WordPress Core. The latest update for the editor includes great new features, such as reusable content blocks, a dark editor style, export and import of templates, and much more. In addition, the Gutenberg team has published a comprehensive guide to the features currently included in the editor.

Users can test Gutenberg right now by installing the plugin, which currently has over 450,000 active installs according to the new Gutenberg in Numbers site. Along with that, the Gutenberg Handbook has some very useful information about how to use and develop for the new editor.

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

Work Begins on WordPress 5.0

After initially announcing a minor v4.9.9 release, the Core team has shifted their focus to the next major release — v5.0. One of the primary factors for this change is that Gutenberg is nearly ready to be considered for merging into Core, with the goal to complete the merge in v5.0.

To maintain flexibility in the development process the final timelines are not yet determined, allowing work already done for v4.9.9 to be moved to v5.0 if needed. Ensuring that WordPress is compatible with the upcoming PHP 7.3 release is a high priority for the Core team. Once a final decision is made, the details will be announced on the Core team blog.

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

Further Reading:

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

The Month in WordPress: August 2018

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 11:00

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

WordPress 4.9.8 is Released

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

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

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

New WordPress Editor Development Continues

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

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

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

Planning Begins for the Next Global WordPress Translation Day

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

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

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

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

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

WordPress 4.9.8 Maintenance Release

Thu, 08/02/2018 - 21:25

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of WordPress 4.9.8.  This maintenance release fixes 46 bugs, enhancements and blessed tasks, including updating the Twenty Seventeen bundled theme.

Following are the highlights of what is now available.

“Try Gutenberg” callout

Most users will now be presented with a notice in their WordPress dashboard. This “Try Gutenberg” is an opportunity for users to use the Gutenberg block editor before it is released in WordPress 5.0.

In WordPress 4.9.8, the callout will be shown to the following users:

  • If Gutenberg is not installed or activated, the callout will be shown to Admin users on single sites, and Super Admin users on multisites.
  • If Gutenberg is installed and activated, the callout will be shown to Contributor users and above.
  • If the Classic Editor plugin is installed and activated, the callout will be hidden for all users.

You can learn more by reading  “Try Gutenberg” Callout in WordPress 4.9.8.

Privacy fixes/enhancements

This release includes 18 Privacy fixes focused on ensuring consistency and flexibility in the new personal data tools that were added in 4.9.6, including:

  • The type of request being confirmed is now included in the subject line for all privacy confirmation emails.
  • Improved consistency with site name being used for privacy emails in multisite.
  • Pagination for Privacy request admin screens can now be adjusted.
  • Increased the test coverage for several core privacy functions.

This post has more information about all of the issues fixed in 4.9.8 if you’d like to learn more.

Download WordPress 4.9.8 or venture over to Dashboard → Updates and click “Update Now.” Sites that support automatic background updates are already beginning to update automatically.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to WordPress 4.9.8:

1naveengiri, Aaron D. Campbell, Aaron Jorbin, Abdullah Ramzan, alejandroxlopez, Allen Snook, Andrea Fercia, Andrew Ozz, Andrew Taylor, Arun, Ayesh Karunaratne, Birgir Erlendsson (birgire), Birgit Pauli-Haack, BjornW, Boone Gorges, Brandon Kraft, Burhan Nasir, Chetan Prajapati, Chris Lema, Corey McKrill, Daniel Bachhuber, Daniel James, David Herrera, Dion Hulse, Dominik Schilling (ocean90), dontstealmyfish, dyrer, Felipe Elia, Felix Arntz, Fernando Claussen, Gareth, Garrett Hyder, Gary Pendergast, Gennady Kovshenin, GM_Alex, Heather Burns, Ian Dunn, ibelanger, imath, Jb Audras, Jeremy Pry, JJJ, Joe McGill, Joen Asmussen, John Blackbourn, Jonathan Desrosiers, Jonny Harris, Josepha, JoshuaWold, Joy, jrf, K. Adam White, khaihong, kjellr, Konstantinos Xenos, laurelfulford, lbenicio, Leander Iversen, leemon, macbookandrew, Marius L. J., Matias Ventura, Mel Choyce, mensmaximus, mermel, metalandcoffee, michelleweber, Milan Dinić, Muhammad Kashif, Naoko Takano, Nathan Johnson, Ov3rfly, palmiak, Paul Biron, Prashant Baldha, PressTigers, programmin, Rafsun Chowdhury, redcastor, Robin Cornett, Sergey Biryukov, Simon Prosser, skoldin, spyderbytes, Subrata Sarkar, Sébastien SERRE, Tammie Lister, tharsheblows, Thomas Patrick Levy, timbowesohft, Timothy Jacobs, Tobias Zimpel, Tor-Bjorn Fjellner, Towhidul Islam, Usman Khalid, warmlaundry, William Earnhardt, Yui, and YuriV.

The Month in WordPress: July 2018

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 09:11

With WordPress 5.0 coming closer, there’s lots of work going on all across the project. Read on to learn about how we progressed in July.

Release of WordPress 4.9.7

On July 5, WordPress 4.9.7 was released,  fixing one security issue and 17 other bugs across the platform.

While this is a minor release, incremental fixes are essential to keep WordPress running smoothly. Everyone is encouraged to update as soon as possible and to make sure that automatic updates are switched on.

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

The New WordPress Editor

In the upcoming minor release of WordPress, 4.9.8, a new section in the dashboard will feature Gutenberg, the upcoming content editor for WordPress.

While the official release of Gutenberg is scheduled for the coming months, you can already install it as a plugin to test it out right now. Additionally, a brand new demo page is now available — play around with the many features the editor has to offer, without installing it on your own site.

Would you like to help build or test Gutenberg? Follow the Core team blog and join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Page Design Updates on WordPress.org

Bit by bit we’re refreshing the design of WordPress.org. The latest pages to get a new treatment have been the Download page and user profiles.

The Meta and Design teams worked hard to make these new designs a reality, with notable contributions from @melchoyce, @obenland, @mapk, and @kjellr. The new designs enhance the overall look of the site and provide more relevant information to those searching.

Would you like to get involved in the design refresh? Follow the Meta and Design team blogs and join the #meta and #design channels in the Making WordPress Slack group.

The First WP-CLI Hack Day

On Friday July 20, the WP-CLI team held their first hack day — a global event encouraging people to contribute to the official command line tool for WordPress.

Run by @schlessera, the event  was a great success. Twelve pull requests were  merged and another 13 submitted. It also included a video chat to give all contributors a space to meet each other and connect directly.

Would  you like to get involved in contributing to WP-CLI? Follow the team blog and join the #cli channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Further Reading:

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

Quarterly Updates | Q2 2018

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 14:50

To keep everyone aware of big projects and efforts across WordPress contributor teams, I’ve reached out to each team’s listed representatives. I asked each of them to share their Top Priority (and when they hope for it to be completed), as well as their biggest Wins and Worries. Have questions? I’ve included a link to each team’s site in the headings.

Accessibility
  • Contacted: @rianrietveld, @joedolson, @afercia
  • Priority: Working to make sure that Gutenberg is reasonably accessible prior to merge. ETA is before 5.0
  • Struggle: Lack of developers and accessibility experts to help test and code the milestone issues. The team is doing outreach to help solve this problem.
  • Big Win: Interest from companies like The Paciello Group and Tenon.io to help out with Gutenberg code review and testing tools.
CLI
  • Contacted: @danielbachhuber, @schlessera
  • Priority: Very first global Hack Day is coming up July 20. Version 2.0.0 is still in progress (new ETA is end of July).
  • Struggle: The team continues to need new contributors. The current team is tiny but tough.
  • Big Win: WP-CLI is currently one of the project’s four main focuses, as mentioned in the Summer Update at WordCamp Europe.
Community
  • Contacted: @francina, @hlashbrooke
  • Priority: Focusing on smoothing out the processes in our community management by building up our team of volunteers and establishing what tools we need to keep things running well. ETA is ongoing.
  • Struggle: Our two biggest struggles at the moment are tracking what we need to get done, and making final decisions on things. There is current work on the tools available to assist with tracking progress.
  • Big Win: After making a concerted effort to get more contributors on the Community Team, we now have a much larger group of volunteers working as deputies and WordCamp mentors
Core
  • Contacted: @jeffpaul
  • Priority: Following the WordCamp Europe summer update (and the companion post here), the team is getting Gutenberg (the new WordPress editing experience) into a strong state for the 5.0 release. Potential ETA as soon as August.
  • Struggle: Coordinating momentum and direction as we start seeing more contributors offering their time. Still working our way through open issues. The team is starting multiple bug scrubs each week to work through these more quickly and transparently.
  • Big Win: Had a sizable release in 4.9.6 which featured major updates around privacy tools and functionality in Core.
Design
  • Contacted: @melchoyce, @karmatosed, @boemedia, @joshuawold, @mizejewski
  • Priority: Better on-boarding of new contributors, especially creating better documentation. ETA is end of July.
  • Struggle: It’s hard to identify reasonably small tasks for first-time contributors.
  • Big Win: The team is much more organized now which has helped clear out the design backlog, bring in new contributors, and also keep current contributors coming back. Bonus: Joshua Wold will co-lead the upcoming release.
Documentation
  • Contacted: @kenshino
  • Priority: Opening up the work on HelpHub to new contributors and easing the onboarding process. No ETA.
  • Struggle: Some blockers with making sure the code and database can be ready to launch on https://wordpress.org/support/
  • Big Win: The first phase of HelpHub creation is complete, which means content updates (current info, more readable, easier discovery), internal search, design improvements, and REST API endpoints.
Hosting
  • Contacted: @mikeschroder, @jadonn
  • Priority: Preparing hosts for supporting Gutenberg, especially support questions they’re likely to see when the “Try Gutenberg” callout is released. ETA July 31st, then before WordPress 5.0
  • Struggle: Most contributions are still made a by a small team of volunteers. Seeing a few more people join, but progress is slow.
  • Big Win: New team members and hosting companies have joined the #hosting-community team and have started contributing.
Marketing
  • Contacted: @bridgetwillard
  • Priority: Continuing to write and publish case studies from the community. ETA is ongoing.
  • Struggle: No current team struggles.
  • Big Win: Wrote and designed a short Contributor Day onboarding card. It was used at Contributor Day at WCEU and onboarding time went down to 1 hour instead of 3 hours.
Meta (WordPress.org Site)
  • Contacted: @tellyworth, @coffee2code
  • Priority: Reducing manual work around the contributor space (theme review, GDPR/privacy, plugin review). ETA for small wins is end of quarter, larger efforts after that.
  • Struggle: Maintaining momentum on tickets. There are also some discussions about updating the ticket management process across teams that use the Meta trac system.
  • Big Win: The new About page launched and has been translated across most locale sites.
Mobile
  • Contacted: @elibud
  • Priority: Getting Gutenberg in the mobile applications. ETA is late December.
  • Struggle: Consuming the Gutenberg source in the ReactNative app directly. More info can be found here: https://make.wordpress.org/mobile/2018/07/09/next-steps-for-gutenberg-mobile/
  • Big Win: The WordPress mobile applications now fully support right-to-left languages and are compliant with the latest standards for accessibility.
Plugins
  • Contacted: @ipstenu
  • Priority: Clearing ~8,000 unused plugins from the queues. Likely ETA is September.
  • Struggles: Had to triage a lot of false claims around plugins offering GDPR compliance.
  • Big Win: Released 4.9.6 and updated expectations with plugin authors. Huge thanks to the Core Privacy team for their hard work on this.
Polyglots
  • Contacted: @petya, @ocean90, @nao, @chantalc, @deconf, @casiepa
  • Priority: Keep WordPress releases translated to 100% and then concentrate on the top 100 plugins and themes. ETA is ongoing.
  • Struggle: Getting new PTEs fast enough, and complex tools/systems. Overall, the volume of strings awaiting approval.
Support
  • Contacted: @clorith
  • Priority: Getting ready for the Gutenberg callout (it got pushed last quarter). Needing a better presence on the official support forums, and outreach for that is underway, ETA end of July. 
  • Struggle: Keeping contributors participating post-contributor days/drives. Considering the creation of a dedicated post-contributor day survey to get some insight here.
  • Big Win: The increase in international liaisons joining for weekly meetings, helping bring the wider support community together.
Theme Review Tide
  • Contacted: @valendesigns (but usually @jeffpaul)
  • Priority: Storing PHPCompatibilty results inside the WordPress.org API and building a UI to display those results, an endpoint to request an audit is required for this work to continue.
  • Struggle: Development has dramatically slowed down while team members are on leave or pulled into internal client work.
  • Big Win: Migration to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) from Amazon Web Services (AWS) is complete and the audit servers have all been rewritten in Go. (This allows us to be faster with greater capacity and less cost.)
Training
  • Contacted: @bethsoderberg, @juliek
  • Priority: Lesson plan production. ETA is ongoing.
  • Struggle: The workflow is a little complex, so recruiting and training enough contributors to keep the process moving is a struggle.
  • Big Win: WordCamp Europe’s Contributor Day was very productive. New tools/workflow are in place and two team representatives were there to lead and help.

Interested in updates from the first quarter of this year? You can find those here: https://make.wordpress.org/updates/2018/04/24/quarterly-updates-q1-2018/

Update on Gutenberg

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 19:23

Progress on the Gutenberg project, the new content creating experience coming to WordPress, has come a long way. Since the start of the project, there have been 30 releases and 12 of those happened after WordCamp US 2017. In total, there have been 1,764 issues opened and 1,115 closed as of WordCamp Europe. As the work on phase one moves into its final stretch, here is what you can expect.

In Progress
  • Freeze new features in Gutenberg (the feature list can be found here).
  • Hosts, agencies, teachers invited to opt-in sites they have influence over.
  • WordPress.com has opt-in for wp-admin users. The number of sites and posts will be tracked.
  • Mobile app support for Gutenberg will be across iOS and Android.
July
  • 4.9.x release with an invitation to install either Gutenberg or Classic Editor plugin.
  • WordPress.com will move to opt-out. There will be tracking to see who opts out and why.
  • Triage increases and bug gardening escalates to get blockers in Gutenberg down to zero.
  • Gutenberg phase two, Customization exploration begins by moving beyond the post.
August and beyond
  • All critical issues within Gutenberg are resolved.
  • There is full integration with Calypso and there is opt-in for users there.
  • A goal will be 100k+ sites having made 250k+ posts using Gutenberg.
  • Core merge of Gutenberg begins the 5.0 release cycle.
  • 5.0 moves into beta releases and translations are completed.
  • There will be a mobile version of Gutenberg by the end of the year.

WordPress 5.0 could be as soon as August with hundreds of thousands of sites using Gutenberg before release. Learn more about Gutenberg here, take it for a test drive, install on your site, follow along on GitHub and give your feedback.

WordPress 4.9.7 Security and Maintenance Release

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 17:00

WordPress 4.9.7 is now available. This is a security and maintenance release for all versions since WordPress 3.7. We strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.

WordPress versions 4.9.6 and earlier are affected by a media issue that could potentially allow a user with certain capabilities to attempt to delete files outside the uploads directory.

Thank you to Slavco for reporting the original issue and Matt Barry for reporting related issues.

Seventeen other bugs were fixed in WordPress 4.9.7. Particularly of note were:

  • Taxonomy: Improve cache handling for term queries.
  • Posts, Post Types: Clear post password cookie when logging out.
  • Widgets: Allow basic HTML tags in sidebar descriptions on Widgets admin screen.
  • Community Events Dashboard: Always show the nearest WordCamp if one is coming up, even if there are multiple Meetups happening first.
  • Privacy: Make sure default privacy policy content does not cause a fatal error when flushing rewrite rules outside of the admin context.

Download WordPress 4.9.7 or venture over to Dashboard → Updates and click “Update Now.” Sites that support automatic background updates are already beginning to update automatically.

The previously scheduled 4.9.7 is now referred to as 4.9.8, and will follow the release schedule posted yesterday.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to WordPress 4.9.7:

1naveengiri, Aaron Jorbin, abdullahramzan, alejandroxlopez, Andrew Ozz, Arun, Birgir Erlendsson (birgire), BjornW, Boone Gorges, Brandon Kraft, Chetan Prajapati, David Herrera, Felix Arntz, Gareth, Ian Dunn, ibelanger, John Blackbourn, Jonathan Desrosiers, Joy, khaihong, lbenicio, Leander Iversen, mermel, metalandcoffee, Migrated to @jeffpaul, palmiak, Sergey Biryukov, skoldin, Subrata Sarkar, Towhidul Islam, warmlaundry, and YuriV.

The Month in WordPress: June 2018

Mon, 07/02/2018 - 09:28

With one of the two flagship WordCamp events taking place this month, as well as some important WordPress project announcements, there’s no shortage of news. Learn more about what happened in the WordPress community in June.

Another Successful WordCamp Europe

On June 14th, WordCamp Europe kicked off three days of learning and contributions in Belgrade. Over 2,000 people attended in person, with hundreds more watching live streams of the sessions.

The WordCamp was a great success with plenty of first-time attendees and new WordPress contributors getting involved in the project and community. Recorded sessions from the 65 speakers at the event will be available on WordPress.tv in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out the photos from the event.

The next WordCamp Europe takes place on June 20-22 2019 in Berlin, Germany. If you’re based in Europe and would like to serve on the organizing team, fill in the application form.

Updated Roadmap for the New WordPress Content Editor

During his keynote session at WordCamp Europe, Matt Mullenweg presented an updated roadmap for Gutenberg, the new content editor coming in WordPress 5.0.

While the editor is in rapid development, with v3.1 being released this past month, the team is aiming to ship Gutenberg with WordPress Core in August, 2018. This is not set in stone — the release date may shift as development progresses — but this gives the first realistic idea of when we can expect the editor to be released.

If you would like to contribute to Gutenberg, read the handbook, follow the Core team blog, and join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

WordCamp Incubator Cities Announced

The WordCamp Incubator program helps spread WordPress to underserved communities by providing organizing support for their first WordCamp. The first iteration of this program ran successfully in 2016 and empowered three cities to start their own WordPress communities.

This year, the Community Team is running the Incubator program again. After receiving applications from 104 communities, they have selected Montevideo, Uruguay and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia to participate in the program. Both cities will receive direct help from experienced WordCamp organizers to run their first-ever WordCamp as a way to help their WordPress community get started.

To find out more about the Incubator program follow the Community team blog, and join the #community-events channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Further Reading:
  • The WordPress community of Spain recently received an award for being the best open-source community in the country.
  • This month, WordPress reached the milestone of powering 31% of websites.
  • WP Rig is a brand new tool to help WordPress developers build better themes.
  • Block Unit Test is a new plugin to help theme developers prepare for Gutenberg.
  • Near the end of the month, Zac Gordon hosted an online conference focused on JavaScript development in WordPress – the session videos will be available on YouTube soon.

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