Development News

Droptica: What's New in Drupal 9.4? Review of the Latest Version

Main Drupal Feed - Thu, 06/16/2022 - 07:34

The new, major Drupal update was released on 15 June 2022. There are some new elements and changes, such as the Manage permissions tab, dynamic determination of the minimum PHP version, changes in the API, change of the default frontend theme from Bartik to Olivero, and the administrative theme from Seven to Claro. Quite a few functions and libraries have been labeled "deprecated". We'll talk more about these and other changes later in this article.

Is it worth upgrading Drupal to 9.4?

Yes. With the release of update 9.4, security support for 9.2.x will cease. That's why we recommend updating as soon as possible, at least to version 9.3.x and preferably to the recently released version 9.4. Of course, version 9.4 also introduces new improvements and functionalities that are worth checking out.

What to check before updating Drupal to 9.4?

The most important thing will be to check that the currently used PHP version meets at least the minimum requirements. Drupal 9.4 requires PHP version 7.4 at the very least, but the recommended version is 8.1. From now on, the minimum version will be defined using the \Drupal\Core\PhpRequirements::minimumSupportedPhp() method, which is based on the release cycle of both PHP and Drupal versions.

Another element worth checking out is the main .htaccess file, which – since version 9.4 – has a new section containing the settings for PHP 8^. If your application used PHP 7^ before, and you have changes to htaccess, and you want to upgrade to PHP 8^, these custom settings should be moved to the new section.

Since version 9.4, Drupal will show a warning if the currently used database connection doesn't support the JSON format. A connection supporting JSON will be required for Drupal 10.

The most important changes introduced in Drupal 9.4

The latest version introduced a lot of changes and new functionalities. Let's take a closer look at the most important ones.

Manage permissions tab

When editing the content types, we see standard tabs for editing, field management, and form and content display. This is where the permission management options have been added. In this tab, we can easily see the full list of defined permissions, relating only to the type of content that we're currently editing.

 

In order for the tab to be visible in your entity, two keys should be added to its annotation:

  • handlers.route_provider.permission,
  • links.entity-permissions-form.

 

The form can also be defined by custom routing. You can find out more about this in the functionality task.

Default Olivero theme in Drupal 9.4

The change applies to the installation using the standard Drupal installation profile. Since the latest release, after the installation, we'll see a new graphic design, differing from the older Bartik theme, primarily due to an updated and modern design and full support for the latest Drupal functionalities, such as multi-level navigation, embedded media or Layout Builder. In addition, the Olivero theme complies with WCAG AA, i.e., the guidelines related to the accessibility of web content. It's also a major step towards modernizing Drupal's look.

Source: Drupal.org

Default Claro theme in Drupal 9.4

The change applies to the installation using the standard profile and Umami. Claro is a clear, accessible, and comprehensive administrative theme, and it's part of the Admin UI & JavaScript Modernisation initiative. When compared to the frontend theme Bartik, it stands out due to its cleanliness and a feeling of freshness, as well as the solutions that have a positive impact on the user experience.

Source: Drupal.org

Changes in coding standards in Drupal 9.4

For a long time, the Drupal core has been using ESLint to validate JavaScript. The tool itself remains the same, but Core now uses the eslint-config-airbnb-base configuration instead of eslint-config-airbnb. Anyone using ESLint for the React or JSX code should add eslint-config-airbnb back to their dependencies, as the base version used now doesn’t contain rules for libraries (which we describe below).

Coder has received update 8.3.15, which updates the coding standards. Drupal 9.4 is fully compatible with the latest version of Coder. See the release notes for the complete list of changes in version 8.3.15.

What has been marked as deprecated in Drupal 9.4?

The Color module has been marked, and it'll be completely removed in Drupal 10. If you still need to use it, you can use the contrib module. The same goes for the Hypermedia Application Language (HAL) module. If you need the module, you have to install the contrib version. The Quick Edit module is marked as deprecated since version 9.4 and is planned for removal in Drupal 10. There's a contrib version that should be used instead. A contrib is also available now for the Forum module. For more information on the modules marked as deprecated, see the Deprecated and obsolete modules and themes page.

Apart from the modules, the list of deprecated features has also grown. You can find it on the Drupal.org website.

How to deal with deprecated functions?

The Upgrade Status contrib module will be perfect for this. It lists all the deprecated functions used in contrib and custom modules and themes. Additionally, you can rely on an IDE, which can be equipped with a feature allowing you to list the deprecated functions.

What libraries have been deprecated since Drupal 9.4?

Modernizr.touchevents. This library was used to detect whether the currently used device supports the touchevents, in order to adjust the behavior of the website on this basis. The library is replacing Modernizr.touchevents, i.e., core/drupal.touchevents, uses the same logic, and is backward-compatible. If you used the functions provided by the Modernizr.touchevents library in a custom code, you should get rid of this dependency.

Backbone and Underscore. The first of these libraries was used to create interactive user interfaces, and the second one provided a series of functions, the so-called "helpers", to help write code faster. Drupal Core, and more specifically the drupal.editor.admin and drupal.filter.filter_html.admin libraries, no longer use them. These libraries will be removed in Drupal 10. The modules and themes using these libraries should be rewritten.

Drupal 9.4 release - summary

Drupal seems to be doing better than ever. Systematizing and planning the roadmap well, changing the way of thinking to fewer but sooner, granular changes, one thing at a time, brings results in the form of periodic improvements to Drupal. There's nothing left but to prepare for the update and wait for the next ones. If you need help with the update, our Drupal support team will be happy to advise you or carry out the entire process: from checking for compliance, through upgrading and testing, to implementation.

Drupal blog: Drupal 9.4.0 is available

Main Drupal Feed - Wed, 06/15/2022 - 17:56
What’s new in Drupal 9.4.0?

The fourth feature release of Drupal 9 brings a whole new frontend look with the Olivero theme by default and a refreshed backend interface with the Claro theme. There is also a new starterkit theme generator, better image loading performance and easier permission management.

Drupal now uses the Olivero frontend theme by default

When you install Drupal 9.4.0, it will look quite different from previous releases because it uses the new modern Olivero frontend theme. While the theme looks beautiful, it also has superb accessibility and adapts well to various display sizes.

The theme is named after Rachel Olivero (1982-2019). She was the head of the organizational technology group at the National Federation of the Blind, a well-known accessibility expert, a Drupal community contributor, and a friend to many.

Drupal now uses the Claro backend theme by default!

The Claro backend theme has been in the works for a while. It became stable and the default administration theme in Drupal 9.4.0. The new theme brings a modern look to the backend interface of Drupal. It has been available as a core experimental theme for some time, so it is well-tested with contributed projects and real-world sites.

A delicious addition to the Umami demo in core is a new Borscht recipe (pictured), with a dedication to the fantastic Ukrainian Drupal community.

New experimental Starterkit theme and theme generator

Drupal 9.4.0 ships with a new experimental Starterkit theme and theme generator. The new Starterkit theme is used as a basis to generate new standalone themes, rather than being extended at runtime like the Classy core base theme. Currently, the markup provided by the Starterkit theme is the same as Classy's, but its markup can be improved in future minor releases (whereas Classy's can't), so once it becomes stable, Starterkit will replace Classy. For more information, read the blog post on how the new starterkit will change theme creation in Drupal 10!

New lazy loading configuration option added to image fields

A new lazy loading configuration option is added to image fields in 9.4.0 and most image fields shipped in core are now configured to lazy load. This helps browsers to delay downloading and displaying them until they become visible, which speeds up general page display.

Easier permission management for content types, vocabularies, etc.

When editing content types, vocabularies, and so on, site administrators previously had no way to control permissions in context for these entity bundles in the same interface. With Drupal 9.4.0 a new "Manage permissions" tab displays the permissions that depend on the given type, making them easier to configure correctly.

Improvements to drupal/core-recommended for security update management

The drupal/core-recommended metapackage now allows patch-level updates for Composer dependencies. This means that site owners using drupal/core-recommended can now install most Composer dependency security updates themselves, without needing to wait for an upstream release of Drupal core that updates the affected package.

What does this release mean for me? Drupal 8 site owners

Drupal 8 is end of life as of November 17, 2021. Upgrade from Drupal 8 to at least Drupal 9.3.x as soon as possible to continue receiving security coverage. Upgrading is supported directly from 8.8.x and 8.9.x.

Drupal 7 site owners

Drupal 7 support was extended until November 1, 2023, and it will continue to receive bug and security fixes throughout this time. On the other hand, the migration path for Drupal 7 sites to Drupal 9 is stable. Read more about the migration to Drupal 9.

Translation, module, and theme contributors

Minor releases like Drupal 9.4.0 include backwards-compatible API additions for developers as well as new features.

Since minor releases are backwards-compatible, modules, themes, and translations that supported Drupal 9.3.x and earlier will be compatible with 9.4.x as well. However, the new version does include some changes to strings, user interfaces, internal APIs, and API deprecations. This means that some small updates may be required for your translations, modules, and themes. Read the 9.4.0 release notes for a full list of changes that may affect your modules and themes.

This release has further advanced the Drupal project and represents the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and contributors from various organizations. Thank you to everyone who contributed to Drupal 9.4.0!

Nonprofit Drupal posts: June Drupal for Nonprofits Chat

Main Drupal Feed - Wed, 06/15/2022 - 15:55

We are looking for an additional co-moderator for this group! Reach out to Jess or Johanna to learn more about what's involved.

Our normally scheduled call to chat about all things Drupal and nonprofits will happen TOMORROW, Thursday, June 16 at 1pm ET / 10am PT. (Convert to your local time zone.)

No pre-defined topics on the agenda this month, so join us for an informal chat about anything at the intersection of Drupal and nonprofits. Got something specific on your mind? Feel free to share ahead of time in our collaborative Google doc: https://nten.org/drupal/notes!

All nonprofit Drupal devs and users, regardless of experience level, are always welcome on this call.

This free call is sponsored by NTEN.org and open to everyone. 

  • Join the call: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81817469653

    • Meeting ID: 818 1746 9653
      Passcode: 551681

    • One tap mobile:
      +16699006833,,81817469653# US (San Jose)
      +13462487799,,81817469653# US (Houston)

    • Dial by your location:
      +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
      +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
      +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
      +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
      +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
      +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

    • Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kpV1o65N

  • Follow along on Google Docs: https://nten.org/drupal/notes
  • Follow along on Twitter: #npdrupal

View notes of previous months' calls.

Post Status: This Week at WordPress.org (June 13, 2022)

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/15/2022 - 14:30
Each week we are highlighting the news from WordPress.org that you don't want to miss. If you or your company create products or services that use WordPress, we've got the news you need to know. Be sure to share this resource with your product and project managers. Are you interested in giving back and contributing...

Post Status: This Week at WordPress.org (June 13, 2022)

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/15/2022 - 14:30
Each week we are highlighting the news from WordPress.org that you don't want to miss. If you or your company create products or services that use WordPress, we've got the news you need to know. Be sure to share this resource with your product and project managers. Are you interested in giving back and contributing...

WPTavern: #30 – Matt Mullenweg on the Future of Technology and Where WordPress Fits In

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/15/2022 - 14:00

On the podcast today we have Matt Mullenweg.

Matt is the co-founder of WordPress, and as a result, he has been a user for as long as anyone.

We recorded this podcast whilst at WordCamp Europe in Portugal a couple of weeks ago. It’s a wide-ranging discussion, covering a lot of ground. 

We start out with Matt’s reflections of WordPress at 19 years old. Which aspects of the project would he change if he had his time over, and which parts is he proud of?

Did Covid, and the restrictions around community events, have an impact upon the project, given that much of the time dedicated to WordPress is done by volunteers? What lessons have we learned about events like WordCamp Europe?

In recent news, and for the first time, there’s some data pointing to the fact that WordPress’ market share might have flattened out. Is this a cause for concern?

Where are we at with WordPress right now, given that it’s changing the scope of what non-technical users can do with it out of the box?

We then get into some more personal matters, including how Matt manages his time over the variety of projects he’s involved with, and does he regard advances in artificial intelligence as always positive?

You might notice that the sound is a little patchy in places. This was a function of the environment we were in. There’s a few booms on the mic here and there, but it’s certainly listenable.

Useful links.

Five for the future

DALL·E: Creating Images from Text

OpenAI

Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Jukebox podcast from WP Tavern. My name is Nathan Wrigley. Jukebox is a podcast, which is dedicated to all things WordPress, the people, the events, the plugins, the blocks, the themes, and in this case, the place of WordPress in the technology landscape.

[00:00:38] If you’d like to subscribe to the podcast, you can do that by searching for WP Tavern in your podcast player of choice, or go to WP Tavern.com forward slash feed forward slash podcast. And you can copy that URL into most podcast players as well. If you have a topic that you’d like us to feature on the podcast well I’m very keen to hear from you and hopefully get you, or your idea featured on the show. Head to WP Tavern.com forward slash contact forward slash jukebox. And use the contact form there.

[00:01:13] So on the podcast today. We have Matt Mullenweg. Matt is the co-founder of WordPress. And as a result, he’s been a user of WordPress for as long as anybody. We recorded this podcast while at WordCamp Europe in Portugal, a couple of weeks ago. It’s a wide ranging discussion, covering a lot of ground.

[00:01:41] We start out with Matt’s reflections of WordPress at 19 years old. Which aspects of the project would he change if he had his time over and which parts is he proud of? Did Covid, and the restrictions around community events, have an impact upon the project, given that much of the time dedicated to WordPress is done by volunteers? What lessons have we learned about events like WordCamp Europe?

[00:02:08] In recent news, and for the first time, there’s been some data pointing to the fact that WordPress’ market share might have flattened out. Is this a cause for concern?

[00:02:20] Where are we at with WordPress right now, given that it’s changing the scope of what non-technical users can do with it out of the box.

[00:02:30] We then get into some more personal matters, including how Matt manages his time over the variety of projects he’s involved with. And does he regard advances in artificial intelligence as always positive?

[00:02:43] You might notice that the sound is a bit patchy in places. This was a function of the environment we were in. There’s a few booms on the mic here and there, but it’s certainly listenable. If you’re interested in finding out more, you can find all the links in the show notes by heading over to WP tavern.com forward slash podcast, where you’ll find all the other episodes as well.

[00:03:07] And so without further delay, I bring you Matt Mullenweg.

[00:03:17] I am joined on the podcast today by Matt Mullenweg. Hello Matt.

[00:03:22] Howdy, good to see you.

[00:03:23] Yeah. They’re really nice to see you.

[00:03:25] As far as I’m aware, you’re one of two people who can claim to go all the way back with WordPress. And it’s been just last week, 19 years, I think.

[00:03:35] Yeah, that was a pretty exciting anniversary.

[00:03:37] Yeah, does that kind of stuff fill you with nostalgia? Do you sort of look back and think, wow, what a journey this has been? Or are always focusing on the future?

[00:03:45] You know, I am very future-focused personally, but it’s partially because I have a terrible memory. No really. It’s one of the reasons I started blogging. I learned a lot from the archives of my blog that I forgot. It’s also why I’m not too attached to like, arguing about the past. It’s like, you remember it differently. It’s fine. I’ll even go with your version, but what’s happening next? What are we doing in the future? And I try to live my life primarily oriented towards moving forward.

[00:04:12] The reason I laughed is because I’m exactly the same. I more or less everything that happened 30 minutes ago. But looking back over those 19 years, what would be some of the highlights? So I’m forcing you to be nostalgic.

[00:04:25] Hm. You know to me, it’s all about the people. Like we created lots of great stuff together, and still are. And so there’s definitely things like the first plugins, the first themes, the first international versions of WordPress with the Wiziwig coming in, which was quite controversial. And then Gutenberg coming in, which is quite controversial.

[00:04:46] That’s part of why I dipped back into more active WordPress stuff day to day for a while there. But, I really think of the people. From the early folks like Mike Little, some who’ve passed away like Alex King. To the incredible array of people we have here today.

[00:05:00] And my favorite part about WordCamps, what I miss the most was just meeting folks. Reconnecting with people who I’ve seen before, or just meeting people who, lives have been touched by WordPress in some way. And I’ve never, we’ve never run into each other before. I really enjoy that side of it. I learn a lot too. So it actually is very helpful for me in terms of thinking about the roadmap for WordPress. Just the stories. I hear, the things I see in the booths, the talks that happen. I definitely learn a ton from it.

[00:05:29] Staying on nostalgic thing, are there any bits which you think, I wish it had played out differently, bits where you look back and you think, oh, WordPress could have gone in that direction, or there was a moment in time where we could have done this, and we we didn’t do that?

[00:05:40] Hmm. Probably would have left the Rest API as a plugin, or maybe skipped straight to GraphQL or something. We did need to support all the feeds other than RSS2. We probably didn’t need all the others. Gosh, what else? I definitely, if I could go back to the very early days, we’ve always been really big on backwards compatibility.

[00:06:00] And so there’s a few database tables that are just inconsistent in their namings, you know, as capital ID or something like that. Going all the way back to the B2 days, even before WordPress. So I kind of wish we had just renamed some of those early, actually it might be easier to do it now because no one accesses those tables directly anymore, but some of those minor things kinda.

[00:06:18] I’d say broadly on the whole year you got it fairly right? I’m staying on the nostalgic bit, but this is the last couple of years. I mean, everybody knows what I mean by that sentence. The last couple of years, Covid and so on. How’s that been for WordPress in general? Everybody started staring at screens and looking at Zoom and, I feel that we were as prepared as an industry, as any. We got the zoom calls. We knew how to get the computer to do all those things. We had the mics, we had the cameras, but yet it wore pretty thin, after a period of time. And I wonder if the community, was sort of slowly leached away a little bit and I if there’s any of that.

[00:06:56] I don’t think in a way that was unique to WordPress. Like you said, we’re fortunate that we’ve always connected online. It’s a fairly positive community. People are very supportive of each other. Competitors grabbed dinner together. What we miss was definitely these events like what’s happening right now.

[00:07:11] It’s always been part of our magic sauce, secret sauce, if you will. Like we work remotely, but then when we get together, it makes it that much more special. And then more broadly, I think it’s just, you can’t ignore the impact all this has just had in people’s lives. And if there’s something going on in your life, you’re gonna have less energy for work or volunteering or other things.

[00:07:32] And certainly if it’s anything health related, right. All the priorities melt away, right? When you, or a loved one facing a health challenge. So I think that, so many parts of the world are back to normal or like nothing happened, but it’s easy to forget, like the vast human costs of what we’ve been through. And it’s still ongoing for many people.

[00:07:49] In terms of the contributions to the project, did that wick away? Is there the same engagement today, well, maybe let’s say three months ago, as there was two years ago, to core and all the other bits and pieces, or was that a struggle to keep going?

[00:08:07] I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but if I recall there was a boost at the beginning, when we’re stuck at home. And I think like, as people started returning, to normal life, it dipped a bit, which makes sense, right there probably like have saved up. I know I’ve been going to like a thousand weddings. It feels like everyone in the world is doing their wedding. So I think there’s just some natural time that goes back to life, which by the way is great, because then we’ll return to equilibrium there. If you looked at 6.0 though, amazing number of contributors, contributor day yesterday was way over populated.

[00:08:42] Yeah, it was so overpopulated, there was a struggle with food.

[00:08:44] We literally ran out of food and we always over half that. So I think that’s showing that there is a, um, to say WordPress can continue to serve the needs of the world and our community. There’s no reason for it to, uh, not continue to grow and get more involved. That flywheels, it gets more users, some percentage of those contribute. And then of course we have programs like five for the future. That I feel like every open source project should have, but it’s very mature in WordPress where it’s just a cultural mores of people, for whom they get a lot from WordPress, take a little bit of time to give back. And that again is part of it. It’s all the people at the end. I think I’m going to say that 10 times.

[00:09:22] No, it’s okay. I don’t know if you know, but apparently the two thousand seven hundred people who are registered, apparently 1,700 are brand new. Never been any WordPress event. About 60% of the people who are in this building have never been. So it feels if that was the thing it’s back in reverse.

[00:09:41] It makes me wonder what the 2022 WordCamp Europe would be without a global pandemic we are just are coming out of and like, kind of in, in many places still. So yeah, 2,700 that’s amazing.

[00:09:54] What do you think about events like this? It’s a generic question, but what are your thoughts? I mean, you’ve got such a different perspective, I guess, than somebody like me who turns up, attend events and go to people speaking and go to various different bits and pieces. What is this for you? Is it an enjoyable experience?

[00:10:11] I mean, that’s, that’s what I do too. You know, I’ll drop it in the back and check out talks. If for whatever reason not in the room often I’m live streaming them. I would say the difference for me is like, I leave a pretty under the radar life generally. It’s not like people recognize me or anything like that. But at WordCamps, definitely. So I go stopped sometimes every five feet, to take a picture or talk to people, but you know what, that’s kind of why I’m here too.

[00:10:40] Like if that’s a any way I can be of service to the community, sign me up for it.

[00:10:44] Maybe that was the target of the question. Is it a strange thing to drop into for a period of time where life generally is normal and then it’s extraordinary for a bit, and then it goes back to whatever the normal is.

[00:10:57] You know, I also just love talking about WordPress and technology. So I’m doing that for fun anyway. I’d say the main difference from my normal life is being recognized, which is just kind of a bizarre human experience. I never want to be actual, famous. Keep me out of the Daily Mail or The Post or whatever it is like. I’m happy to be well known among a community creating things like we do in WordPress.

[00:11:20] So yeah, that’s kind of fun. And also the to and from, because like all the restaurants around. The planes to and from the event. You’ll just run into people and, you know, I could take a hundred flights without anyone ever stopping me. Yeah, my backpack actually has the WordPress logo embroided on it, but it’s black on black, so it’s a little subtle.

[00:11:36] Normally no one recognizes. But often to or from a WordCamp, people will be like, oh, hey. But even I can go to WordCamps. I remember, often before WordCamp US, I’ll go to a bunch of the smaller ones. Just to kind of test out my material, like a comedian, playing smaller clubs before the big ones.

[00:11:51] I remember going to working at Scranton, I think it was. Uh, Pennsylvania. I forget where Scranton is, someplace, um, and smaller WordCamp, maybe 110 people, which are some of my favorites, but, you know, we sat down at the lunch. No one knows who I am. They’re like, what do you do? And then after my talk, they were like, oh wow.

[00:12:08] You’re like, you did that. And so it’s, it’s also fun to just kind of be like a secret shopper, if you will. Like often I’ll just sit down at random tables or go over to people. And, uh, again, like I said, I learn a ton, and sometimes when people don’t know who I am, I’m able to learn even more because they are more unguarded and more relaxed.

[00:12:26] These kinds of events feel to me almost like the glue that binds so much more together. These are three days where all sorts of new relationships are forged and old relationships are rekindled, and it feels like there’s been a great, big chasm. They’ve been missing. And, I’m just really glad they’re back.

[00:12:45] It’s funny, one of the things I’ve said that gets quoted the most, like on Instagram posts and stuff, is technology is best when it brings people together. And that really came out of the WordCamp experience. It’s a tremendous amount of work, and this is where I’d actually like to call out and thank the WordCamp Europe team.

[00:13:00] They really push the bar every year and raise it. Right. I have a little more involved with US. Every time Europe happens I’m like, man, we got to up our game. And I know it’s exhausting. Everyone like, you know, needs a break at the end. But wow. Really is one of the, I think one of the best contributions to the WordPress community.

[00:13:18] They’re all wearing black t-shirts and there’s black T-shirts everywhere. You know, there’s hundreds and hundreds of people who are giving up their time. And It’s amazing, you know, they’re doing it because they want to do it. There’s no coercion there. They’re really keen on the community and it’s this lovely.

[00:13:33] It’s a lot of fun too. Often my sister, she’s been to, I think, WordCamp US and Europe until this one. Unfortunately she tested positive before the flight, so she ended up staying home, wasn’t feeling well. But often she’ll volunteer at like the check-in stage or something like that. But she now loves it for the people, you know, like she’s a fan of mine obviously. We’re brother and sister for a long time, she has so many friends here now.

[00:13:56] I know for a fact that there’s people here just in the few people that I know who’ve brought their husband or wife and they’d just in, cause it’s a nice thing to do. Staring into the future, forever, it seems, the numbers for WordPress up, up, up, up, up, 25%, 40%, 43%, whatever it is. I think, you know where this is going.

[00:14:15] Recently, I don’t know how dubious the statistics are. There’s this possible leveling off. Is any of that of interest to you? Is growth the thing, or is it, is there something else? Are you thinking about that at any point? Does it worry you or give you pause for thought?

[00:14:31] I think growth is the result. So if we create something that’s accessible, well designed, solves people’s problems, we should grow. And so, yeah, it’s concerning to me when we don’t grow. That number is going to be a little wonky over the next year, year and a half, because as you’re probably aware, Alexa, the toolbar is shut down.

[00:14:51] So even though they’re still providing data, the W3Techs, that data is more stale than it used to be and will, I think degrade over time and eventually W3Techs are switching to a different data set. I forget which one it’s called. So I don’t know that off the top of my head, sorry, my computer’s over there, but on Built With, Built With is something else that indexes the whole web and says how many it is. We’ve generally talked about the W3Techs number, which I think got up to like 42 or 43% before it started to wobble a little bit. Built With had us at like 30 something percent. I think the answer is somewhere in between there.

[00:15:23] So I can see the W3Techs number coming down, maybe even 15 or 20%, uh, regardless of the actual underlying fundamentals of WordPress. And luckily we have some other of data that we get back, and the wordpress.org plugin directory from the update pings, things like that, that show the health of WordPress.

[00:15:40] Uh, so those are always what I look at as the leading metrics. So we keep an eye on those. If there were to see a big migration, we would definitely take a look at the why, and see if there’s something we can improve in the software. And then finally, I’m a little less worried least at the moment because I’d really like to switch Tumblr over to WordPress, which is, well half a billion blogs. There’s a lot of Tumblrs out there.

[00:16:03] And of course not all active, so it won’t move the number that much, but, yeah, a good amount. I’m very excited to bring that part of the web, which is so vibrant, has such a strong community and has a demographic, you know, younger, more female, than we might normally have at a WordPress event. Having it be like an on-ramp to the WordPress world.

[00:16:20] Some of the commentary around that, whatever that was, this leveling off, was around things like, well maybe WordPress, there’s a lot of work to do in terms of performance and things like that. And I know that there’s initiatives in place and things are being done. I just wondered if there was anything you had on that.

[00:16:38] I think we need to improve every single part of WordPress. And there was some performance data. I think is it, Alaine talked about today in his presentation? That shows that some WordPress sites are not as performant as some others. Now, the tough thing is I think you need to adjust to that per dollar.

[00:16:57] So, you know, comparing it to essentially a hosted platform, like Squarespace that people might be paying $25 a month. To a web host you might be paying like $4 a month for is not an apples to apples comparison. There’s going to be some performance differential there. And of course, one reason why so many people use WordPress, especially globally is the accessibility.

[00:17:16] The job that the web hosts do, making it extremely affordable. You know, the average Shopify subscriber spends $1,200 per year. Average WordPress subscriber, it’s, I don’t know cause it’s across so many hosts, it would be closer to like a hundred dollars a year, maybe even less when you look at like how reasonable a lot of these hosting plans are, but definitely anything we could do in Core is helpful.

[00:17:39] And it’s also part of why, I think part of the story of the past 10 years of WordPress has been our really close partnerships with all the hosts. So the auto upgrade almost every well, every major host upgrades by default. Getting them on the new PHP versions, which actually have huge performance increases. PHP seven doubles performance essentially. So helping them be on the edge of the technology adoption curve.

[00:18:01] But it’s not true, I’d strongly disagree that WordPress is slow. In fact, WordPress sites can be some of the fastest ones out there, but when you think of 40% of the web, a lot of them on less expensive hosting providers, it’s going to pull our overall numbers down. If you’re looking at all sites, not just the fastest ones.

[00:18:20] Gutenberg WordPress 5.0. At seminal moment, everything changed.

[00:18:25] Yeah. It was a good one.

[00:18:27] There’s been a lot, there’s been a lot that’s changed since then. I’m just wondering over the course of those, what is that? Three years, some, three years.

[00:18:34] Yeah, right about.

[00:18:35] How you feel that’s gone. was a messaging thing at the beginning, you know, how, how did it get rolled out. But it feels to me as if the people who are developing on top of it more and more and more. Are getting excited and the talk is more and more and more about the possibilities and what’s going to be possible. So just that really. Are you pleased with the direction it’s going in? Where we’re at now, full site editing, all of those, block themes.

[00:18:59] I’m pretty thrilled with it. Of course, I’m an impatient person. So I would love to move faster. But the truth is in 2022, if you’re not building a site on Gutenberg by default, you’re kind of setting it up for obsolescence or really expensive upgrade paths in the future. It is so capable. I think people underestimate how much you can do with Core blocks

[00:19:21] Like without adding any of these block ad-ons or anything. And yet also, that’s such a clear roadmap, so many improvements are coming in every release. It was just at 6.0. I’d like to move us to be more releases per year. You know, maybe we can get to four per year instead of three, but it’s coming along. I’m thrilled with it.

[00:19:37] And other CMSs are starting to copy it, and we’re getting Gutenberg and a lot more places too, which is also exciting. Um, Gutenberg is live for Tumblr by the way.

[00:19:47] Is the intention that it’s the editor for the web, basically.

[00:19:49] A hundred percent. It’s bigger than WordPress.

[00:19:51] It’ll be everywhere and ubiquitous. So on the phone and on the, whatever CMS that you’re using and the whole thing.

[00:19:58] Yeah. And there was this announcement for something called the block protocol, which I think, if you look at it, it’s exactly what we’ve been doing with Gutenberg and they probably should just adopt a Gutenberg and then like build from there.

[00:20:07] Yeah. That was a really interesting project. The idea that it’s completely interoperable across everything. Yeah. Really, really, really interesting.

[00:20:14] That’s what we’re doing. We have the mobile versions for iOS and Android. I believe we’re relicensing those right now to be even more open. So they’re easier to embed in commercial apps. And then of course the web version is getting pretty robust. And it’s just, it’s weird edge cases that you start to deal with.

[00:20:29] There was one I found the other day actually through a friend. This is why I love doing tech support and people talking to me about the problems with WordPress. I think it was copying and pasting from Facebook images. So they had a lot of their photos on Facebook and they would right click to click copy and paste and in Gutenberg, what it was doing was making that a link to the image, versus actually uploading the image. And so, because it was to like a private URL, it would break for other people. But it would look normal to that person.

[00:20:59] This was just a workflow no one has pointed out to us. It was like pretty easy to fix once we knew about it. But, it was interesting because one thing we do when something like that comes up is we look at other editors and see which other editors support that use case. Actually Google docs did. So at some point, Google docs figured this out, but a bunch of other editors did. Google docs is actually one of the software projects I repect the most.

[00:21:22] I entirely agree. I’m waiting for the day when, um, we can do the concurrent editing, that will be.

[00:21:26] Oh my goodness.

[00:21:27] It’s almost as if that’s the minimum requirement now. I’ve got so used to using Google docs and seeing the other people contributing at the same time. I remember the experience of seeing that for the first time and thinking what that’s voodoo.

[00:21:39] How, did that happen? But you you’re happy. You’re pleased with the development and you’re pleased with the way it’s looking?

[00:21:45] No, I’m impatient. I’m really proud of what we’ve done, but there’s so much more to do. And especially if we’re trying to make the editor for the entire web, it’s even bigger than WordPress. I think that’s going to have such a benefit, to both developments, like speed of development. It’s not unlike web components or other things like we’ll have these standard things everyone can use.

[00:22:06] And then there’s also usability because users will be able to learn how blocks work, once, and then create almost anything. Like how cool is that? It’s like a fundamental, literally fundamental building block of the web, almost like the DNA.

[00:22:17] I’m going to phrase this in a way which I suspect you’ll push back on, but let’s see where we go. The five for the future initiative. That would be so great if everybody was a part of that. And I wonder if you would like more people to be a part of that? Whether or not there’s some inertia.

[00:22:36] I’m struggling to find the words. The speed of everything could go more rapidly. Everything could happen more quickly. And that speaks to your impatience. If more people were able and willing to step up for that initiative.

[00:22:49] You know, I value even if people just have one hour, once a month. You know, five for the future isn’t meant to say you need to do 5% or nothing. It’s just meant to say that, Hey, if enough people do the 5%, WordPress will really thrive. But if not everyone does it, that’s okay too. In fact, you know, not everyone does it and doing pretty well.

[00:23:12] It’s funny cause contributing, it’s kind of hard to start and maybe it’s intimidating to think like, oh, do I take like two hours a week to be part of WordPress. 5% of a 40 hour week or something. But it’s hard to stop too. Once get involved, it’s infectious because it’s such a great way to learn.

[00:23:28] It’s really great to be connected to something larger than yourself. Do some work and then see the ripples throughout the web or throughout WordCamps. It’s really fun to like overhear someone talking about something at a WordCamp that you were involved in building or contributing to or documenting or translating.

[00:23:44] I dunno, it’s just like a source of pride. It’s kind of how I got involved. Like I contributed some code to B2 at the time and I just got such a high. From knowing that, you know, hundreds of websites were running my code, and I’ve just been chasing that ever since. Like it’s still compelling, even if it’s a plugin that only like 10 people use to like, you know, obviously any changes the Core go to a lot of the web. At any point it’s just kinda like leaving a dent in the universe, leaving the world a little bit better than you found it.

[00:24:10] It’s funny, you said the word proud, well you said pride and my question contains the word proud, and it is follows. What are the things, and you’ve covered this a little bit. But this doesn’t have to be the code, it doesn’t have to be the community, although maybe that is the bit. What are the bits that you’re most proud of? The bits that you look back and think I am so pleased that bit happened. And it could be a big thing, could be a tiny thing, but the bit that makes you internally smile.

[00:24:36] I’m really proud, to the extent WordPress, it can be a very welcoming place. We really strive to be inclusive, to bring folks from all over the world, all backgrounds. Now I’m sure there’s mistakes. I’m sure there’s things that happen at WordCamps sometimes, but like we correct that and the norm of the community is expecting to make someone feel welcome. Yeah, I really appreciate that. I mean you look around WordCamp, could not be a more different group of folks.

[00:25:03] Yeah, that’s true. They’re an interesting, there’s an eclectic mix of people up there.

[00:25:08] Oh my goodness, even it just like fashion styles or like you know, like hairstyles, styles, ages, colors, everything. And how beautiful that? That we can come together with a shared passion, communicate with each other as humans. Every person is unique. You’re not what it says on your badge or where you work. It’s really about connecting as humans and that’s, to me, what’s great about blogging. It’s about, what’s great about the open web. It’s recognizing the beauty, brilliance and uniqueness of every person.

[00:25:37] How do you manage your time? Because I know that you’ve got more things than I’m doing. Let’s put it that way. You’ve got Tumblr, you’ve got WordPress. Where does it all fit in? Do you like a run a regular week? Are you a 40 hour a week person? Do you tend to work late into the evening or?

[00:25:53] I guess there’s multiple levels to answer that. Where I’m spending my time in terms of all the projects that are going on, is kinda like rotations. Like often I’ll move into something, spend a lot of time there and then I’ll drift back out once, you know, whatever I was coming in for has changed. Probably a good example of that recently was Gutenberg.

[00:26:16] So that’s one took a more active role and kind of release lead, the driving, the getting that happening. Even like the product itself. And then as that really got great you know, 5.1, 5.2, able to step back and allow others to like take a more active role and leading that or driving that. Tumblr’s is a good example.

[00:26:38] Like, you know, stepping into it for a bit. I hope to be able to pass it to someone in the future and say like, take this, keep it going. It’s going great. And so that’s kind of how the projects do. And then personally, I just try to manage my energy, to match that to the tasks that are happening.

[00:26:53] Unfortunately, I work very strange hours sometimes, and, I just try to capture, like, if I get a burst of inspiration late at night to write something or, feeling really engaged, we’re in the mood for like doing communication stuff versus like I’m in the mood for reading, whatever that is, and run with it. Versus trying to say like, every morning I’m going to do this. Some mornings I’m tired. Some mornings, you know, maybe I’m feeling a little more burnt out. And so, like, I don’t feel that sort of creative spark to, to write a thousand words, but it might be easier to catch up on some P2 posts. Catch up on the Slacks.

[00:27:26] It sounds like you take care of yourself. You take time to step away and, I came in here you were listening to jazz music, which was quite nice sort of background. But, you know, you take time to do all of that. And have you always coped with pressure well, because I’m guessing there’s a fair amount of pressure your life, yet you always have this fairly serene composure to you.

[00:27:46] I guess what a lot of people think is pressure doesn’t bother me very much, because you know, I feel like you should worry about the things you can change. So if you know, we got to note your biggest client is leaving you, they’ve already made up their mind. You can’t do anything. It’s like okay. Like learn from it, but don’t beat yourself up over it. Like suffer once. Like so often we suffer more, this is a quote, we suffer more in our heads than we do in reality, either for imagined things which is anxiety. Reliving the past, or just kind of beating ourselves up for something. And so it’s better to just recognize reality. Acknowledge it, learn from it, get as much information as possible, but then what’s next?

[00:28:27] Where it definitely hits me harder is when there’s something you can’t change, with a loved one, you know, like someone passing, getting sick, those things hit me really hard. That’s probably the place where, when that happens, I have to step away for a bit. Just kind of recharge or get in nature, hydrate, make sure I’m sleeping well. Those things are tough for, I think everyone, but the calmness that happens in normal, like code or business or whatever it is that normally would stress me out. Those are bigger.

[00:28:59] There’s this phrase, I’ve written it down here. Benevolent dictator for life. Benevolent is such a nice word. It’s great. Everybody loves benevolent. Dictator, maybe that’s a different thing.

[00:29:10] I feel like that branding’s a little less good recently.

[00:29:13] But, we all know what that means? Do you plan to be here in several years time? Would you love still to be at the helm of WordPress? Is this going to be the life for Matt Mullenweg for the foreseeable future?

[00:29:26] Yeah, three out of those four words are millions to. I hope to be of service to the WordPress community, benevolently. That’s always something I will do my best. I always say I’m human. I’m going to make mistakes. We’re going to mess up That’s the only thing I can a hundred percent promise. But we’ll try to learn from them.

[00:29:41] Try to course correct and be right more often than not. And then the, for life. Yeah, a hundred percent. Like it’s been 19 years. I think because WordPress changes so much, I’m never bored of it. You know, it’s like one of these things that you know when WordPress launched, javascript was called DHTML. It wasn’t really common. There was no iPhone. like that. Everything has changed so much and it still is. You know, it’s hard to imagine looking from 2003 to now, how much things have changed looking forward another 19 years to that would be 2041 or something. Like what will be enabled? And in technology, and don’t know if you’ve seen things like the open AI projects, like GPT3 or DALL-E, like utterly astounding,

[00:30:25] I find it a bit scary. Aspects of that worry me. The aspects I think that worry me are the loss of control and that, at some point we’re going to just be creating 10,000 word articles. So the bot creates the article, which is then read by the Google bot. The cyclical creation of things.

[00:30:44] And also the destabilization of the belief in what your eyes tell you. You know, you see a picture of some famous person allegedly doing something, which they never did, but somebody created it with a click of a button. Those pieces worry me. So you sound much more sanguine about it.

[00:30:59] I’m pretty excited. The text side is interesting, but I’m actually really excited by the image creation, not the deep fakes, but more like DALL-E, you can give a prompt. Like I want to see a spaceship cat eating ice cream, while riding a bike.

[00:31:17] That’s the one everybody’s going to say.

[00:31:18] And this image has never existed humanity. Yet you can speak your words and it will be created. And it will create like 15 of them. And some of them are weird, but some of them are incredible. And you can say, do it in the style of Salvador Dali, or do it like a Monet painting. Or do it like an illustration. Like that is unlocking that kind of co-creation of art, I find so compelling because that’s essentially, when technology creates things we can’t expect that hypercharged creativity.

[00:31:50] So even when you imagine, when we moved from drumming and using our voices instruments to having, the creation of the first instruments, whether they were stringed instruments, lutes, organs where the most sophisticated technology at a time. Today, the way we can use synthesizers and remix things and multiple tracks. I’m sure it’s certain points, and I’m sure there’s examples of this creating bad art. You have to make a lot of terrible art to get to the good art.

[00:32:13] The boundary comes down, doesn’t it? You don’t need to have that dexterity with the pencil or the pen, the paint brush or whatever it is. You have to have the vocabulary to describe it.

[00:32:22] There’s an art to that too, like. I feel like there’s a skill to doing a good Google searches, like crafting the search term in a way that helps you find what you want. And we kind of co-learn with it. There’s a feedback loop. You put in a search, you don’t find what you want, and you start to tweak it and you learn.

[00:32:38] I think that the sort of generative art tools like a Dali are the same way. I think Mind Journey is another one. You can go through and feed in some texts and then see what happens. And then like keep going. I mean, how cool would that be. Actually for Tavern, I would love for you to see you all use it more, like, make some, more like Mine Journey or DALL-E type images?

[00:32:56] that then leads me to the question about AI creation of websites. So, do you want a future where you build the website with that kind of an interface? So I would like a website that’s to do with volcanoes and I would like a picture of a volcano at the top. No, not that one. Slightly more fiery. And can we have a button, but no, no red, not blue. Wider. Yeah, no stop there. So that kind of an interface. So we drop the mouse and we describe the website and move the components with our voice, or whatever we’re using, maybe we’re plugged point.

[00:33:28] And how powerful are blocks for that? Right, so we’re creating the sort of raw ingredients that could be used. I used to not believe this stuff would happen. But it’s gotten so great. If you’ve seen Codepilot, Codepilot on Github, or some of the stuff that GPT3 can do around like interface creation or even app creation. It’s fairly powerful.

[00:33:49] We’re going to have much better machine learning models around translation of languages. I think we’ll get to a point, you know, we’ve always joked, like will WordPress ever be written in something other than PHP? I think we’ll have translators over the next five to 10 years, that could take something as complex as a WordPress and translate the code to another language and it’ll work.

[00:34:08] Right, because essentially that’s, what’s happening. All these languages go to a bytecode or some sort of something much closer to the wire. So once a computer can truly deeply understand what’s happening in the code and find the equivalents in another language, right?

[00:34:22] You’re close to just thinking a website into creation at that point, aren’t you? The boundary is, can you imagine, and if you can imagine an elucidate it, then you’ve done it.

[00:34:32] And think how much creativity has been unlocked by things like Photoshop or Illustrator or the pen for the iPad anything. Like you put these things in front of a child, they just start producing.

[00:34:42] Oh, immediately. That’s interesting.

[00:34:44] And that’s, that’s cool, right? And so it kind of comes back to what’s what’s the limits of human imagination and a little bit, our limits are what we’ve experienced so far. So there’s this idea of adjacent possibilities. That whatever’s going on in the world, people consume, and then that gives them the ideas for what’s next. But you need the previous stuff to exist first. Right? We build on the, we stand on the shoulders of giants and every generation that’s come before. And now with global communication, everything, a cycle of that feedback loop of new things happening and then spreading throughout the culture.

[00:35:19] I mean, used to take hundreds of years. There’s examples where they knew that scurvy was caused by lack of vitamin C like hundreds of years before it was kind of widely known knowledge. And. You know, they can sequence a novel coronavirus, create the vaccine, literally within like a day, the sequencing being available. What was it, a year and a half later? Like there’s a billion doses in people’s arms.

[00:35:45] The impediment was the testing, not the creation.

[00:35:47] Wow. Even making a billion of something in like a little over a year is kinda wild as well. So that is, think of it both a faster kind of clock speed for the evolution of culture and thought and knowledge that’s enabled, and also hopefully faster antibodies, both literal and societal to things that can cause harm.

[00:36:11] You know, I don’t think it’s, it’s a stretch to think of misinformation, disinformation, you know, sort of the information wars that are happening right now, both hot and cold throughout, um, authoritarian and more democratic regimes as a type of pathogen. Almost like a novel mean virus or idea virus, which right now we’re not very strong against, but we’re starting to develop the antibodies too, including things like detecting bots and coordinated inauthentic behavior.

[00:36:37] That right now I think is causing a lot of problems throughout society. but we’ll get better at figuring that out.

[00:36:44] It’s fascinating because I think technology can take you in one of two directions, you know, the, the apocalyptic version and then the sort of, desirable, let’s say that. And it feels to me that you are ,firmly on the desirable side. You’ve got a very positive approach that the technology in the future doesn’t worry you.

[00:37:03] It’s not that it doesn’t worry me. It’s just I’m a builder. So I need to choose that I’m going to work on.

[00:37:07] Yeah, sadly, my

[00:37:08] work on the things that things better.

[00:37:10] My vocabulary left me at that point.

[00:37:12] Techno optimist, maybe. Yes. Like, uh, I would say that I tend towards optimism and the thing that gives me that optimism is often deeply engaging with a criticism of it.

[00:37:23] So I want to really strongly understand, be able to make the argument for why all the things I just talked about are going to destroy society. But then once you understand that, how can we build it or how can we do it in a way that’s going to be more positive. And also how can we check our assumptions? Like if we look back, to what we thought was going to ruin society before, did it?

[00:37:43] It’s funny, there’s a, gosh, I forget the name of the account, but it just pulls up old criticisms of the technology. And there was one that showed a subway, and everyone’s, um, reading a newspaper? They’re like, oh, what’s happened to society, people used to talk on the subway, they used to engage with each other. Now just the heads are all buried.

[00:38:00] Of course Gutenberg, you know, the original, uh, needs to read it’s, you know, it’s dangerous.

[00:38:08] And it turns out that it was dangerous, like wow. Protestant, like, how much change that kicked off, but it was really about knowledge is power. It was about the distribution of a more wider distribution of knowledge and opportunity. And that shook up society. But you know what? I needed to be shooken up.

[00:38:25] It’s the message. Maybe this is the perfect point to end?

[00:38:27] That’s what WordPress shakes up, you know? So we take things that, by the way, equivalent to what WordPress does for free, 10 years ago, you’d pay like millions of dollars a site core or Magento or something like that to do it, which now like you can download WooCommerce and it does everything that did and way more.

[00:38:45] So we’re kind of taking, I sometimes make the analogy that we have a promethean task, climb mountain, take the fire from the gods and then bring it to the people. As we do that, sometimes it generates a lot of blow back. You know, if you recall a really big criticism of Gutenberg early on was that it was going to destroy agencies and web builders.

[00:39:05] People would just be able to build their sites themselves. They would lose all their business, everything like that. As you walk around WordCamp ask anyone who’s building websites, like, do you have more business or less business? How’s it going? I’m sure there’s some exceptions, but by and large, the businesses are larger than ever.

[00:39:19] They’re growing faster. Site builders doing fine, the themes that are like, you know, there’s going to be some changes, right? Some of us might be making horse buggies, and those might not be as in demand in the future, but you can also like shift and it’s kind of cool. I have people tell me that they’re way more profitable now because they can build things in Gutenberg that they used to have to code custom. So even though they could code a custom, they can just click some buttons and build a site and be done so they can now do more of them. How cool is that?

[00:39:45] So the change definitely disrupts things. It can definitely be sometimes rocky, but ultimately, if you embrace the change and you sort of work from your principles and your morals to be on the right side of history, it can be incredibly empowering. Matt Mullenweg, thank you for talking to me today. Thank you. Thanks for coming.

WPTavern: #30 – Matt Mullenweg on the Future of Technology and Where WordPress Fits In

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/15/2022 - 14:00

On the podcast today we have Matt Mullenweg.

Matt is the co-founder of WordPress, and as a result, he has been a user for as long as anyone.

We recorded this podcast whilst at WordCamp Europe in Portugal a couple of weeks ago. It’s a wide-ranging discussion, covering a lot of ground. 

We start out with Matt’s reflections of WordPress at 19 years old. Which aspects of the project would he change if he had his time over, and which parts is he proud of?

Did Covid, and the restrictions around community events, have an impact upon the project, given that much of the time dedicated to WordPress is done by volunteers? What lessons have we learned about events like WordCamp Europe?

In recent news, and for the first time, there’s some data pointing to the fact that WordPress’ market share might have flattened out. Is this a cause for concern?

Where are we at with WordPress right now, given that it’s changing the scope of what non-technical users can do with it out of the box?

We then get into some more personal matters, including how Matt manages his time over the variety of projects he’s involved with, and does he regard advances in artificial intelligence as always positive?

You might notice that the sound is a little patchy in places. This was a function of the environment we were in. There’s a few booms on the mic here and there, but it’s certainly listenable.

Useful links.

Five for the future

DALL·E: Creating Images from Text

OpenAI

Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Jukebox podcast from WP Tavern. My name is Nathan Wrigley. Jukebox is a podcast, which is dedicated to all things WordPress, the people, the events, the plugins, the blocks, the themes, and in this case, the place of WordPress in the technology landscape.

[00:00:38] If you’d like to subscribe to the podcast, you can do that by searching for WP Tavern in your podcast player of choice, or go to WP Tavern.com forward slash feed forward slash podcast. And you can copy that URL into most podcast players as well. If you have a topic that you’d like us to feature on the podcast well I’m very keen to hear from you and hopefully get you, or your idea featured on the show. Head to WP Tavern.com forward slash contact forward slash jukebox. And use the contact form there.

[00:01:13] So on the podcast today. We have Matt Mullenweg. Matt is the co-founder of WordPress. And as a result, he’s been a user of WordPress for as long as anybody. We recorded this podcast while at WordCamp Europe in Portugal, a couple of weeks ago. It’s a wide ranging discussion, covering a lot of ground.

[00:01:41] We start out with Matt’s reflections of WordPress at 19 years old. Which aspects of the project would he change if he had his time over and which parts is he proud of? Did Covid, and the restrictions around community events, have an impact upon the project, given that much of the time dedicated to WordPress is done by volunteers? What lessons have we learned about events like WordCamp Europe?

[00:02:08] In recent news, and for the first time, there’s been some data pointing to the fact that WordPress’ market share might have flattened out. Is this a cause for concern?

[00:02:20] Where are we at with WordPress right now, given that it’s changing the scope of what non-technical users can do with it out of the box.

[00:02:30] We then get into some more personal matters, including how Matt manages his time over the variety of projects he’s involved with. And does he regard advances in artificial intelligence as always positive?

[00:02:43] You might notice that the sound is a bit patchy in places. This was a function of the environment we were in. There’s a few booms on the mic here and there, but it’s certainly listenable. If you’re interested in finding out more, you can find all the links in the show notes by heading over to WP tavern.com forward slash podcast, where you’ll find all the other episodes as well.

[00:03:07] And so without further delay, I bring you Matt Mullenweg.

[00:03:17] I am joined on the podcast today by Matt Mullenweg. Hello Matt.

[00:03:22] Howdy, good to see you.

[00:03:23] Yeah. They’re really nice to see you.

[00:03:25] As far as I’m aware, you’re one of two people who can claim to go all the way back with WordPress. And it’s been just last week, 19 years, I think.

[00:03:35] Yeah, that was a pretty exciting anniversary.

[00:03:37] Yeah, does that kind of stuff fill you with nostalgia? Do you sort of look back and think, wow, what a journey this has been? Or are always focusing on the future?

[00:03:45] You know, I am very future-focused personally, but it’s partially because I have a terrible memory. No really. It’s one of the reasons I started blogging. I learned a lot from the archives of my blog that I forgot. It’s also why I’m not too attached to like, arguing about the past. It’s like, you remember it differently. It’s fine. I’ll even go with your version, but what’s happening next? What are we doing in the future? And I try to live my life primarily oriented towards moving forward.

[00:04:12] The reason I laughed is because I’m exactly the same. I more or less everything that happened 30 minutes ago. But looking back over those 19 years, what would be some of the highlights? So I’m forcing you to be nostalgic.

[00:04:25] Hm. You know to me, it’s all about the people. Like we created lots of great stuff together, and still are. And so there’s definitely things like the first plugins, the first themes, the first international versions of WordPress with the Wiziwig coming in, which was quite controversial. And then Gutenberg coming in, which is quite controversial.

[00:04:46] That’s part of why I dipped back into more active WordPress stuff day to day for a while there. But, I really think of the people. From the early folks like Mike Little, some who’ve passed away like Alex King. To the incredible array of people we have here today.

[00:05:00] And my favorite part about WordCamps, what I miss the most was just meeting folks. Reconnecting with people who I’ve seen before, or just meeting people who, lives have been touched by WordPress in some way. And I’ve never, we’ve never run into each other before. I really enjoy that side of it. I learn a lot too. So it actually is very helpful for me in terms of thinking about the roadmap for WordPress. Just the stories. I hear, the things I see in the booths, the talks that happen. I definitely learn a ton from it.

[00:05:29] Staying on nostalgic thing, are there any bits which you think, I wish it had played out differently, bits where you look back and you think, oh, WordPress could have gone in that direction, or there was a moment in time where we could have done this, and we we didn’t do that?

[00:05:40] Hmm. Probably would have left the Rest API as a plugin, or maybe skipped straight to GraphQL or something. We did need to support all the feeds other than RSS2. We probably didn’t need all the others. Gosh, what else? I definitely, if I could go back to the very early days, we’ve always been really big on backwards compatibility.

[00:06:00] And so there’s a few database tables that are just inconsistent in their namings, you know, as capital ID or something like that. Going all the way back to the B2 days, even before WordPress. So I kind of wish we had just renamed some of those early, actually it might be easier to do it now because no one accesses those tables directly anymore, but some of those minor things kinda.

[00:06:18] I’d say broadly on the whole year you got it fairly right? I’m staying on the nostalgic bit, but this is the last couple of years. I mean, everybody knows what I mean by that sentence. The last couple of years, Covid and so on. How’s that been for WordPress in general? Everybody started staring at screens and looking at Zoom and, I feel that we were as prepared as an industry, as any. We got the zoom calls. We knew how to get the computer to do all those things. We had the mics, we had the cameras, but yet it wore pretty thin, after a period of time. And I wonder if the community, was sort of slowly leached away a little bit and I if there’s any of that.

[00:06:56] I don’t think in a way that was unique to WordPress. Like you said, we’re fortunate that we’ve always connected online. It’s a fairly positive community. People are very supportive of each other. Competitors grabbed dinner together. What we miss was definitely these events like what’s happening right now.

[00:07:11] It’s always been part of our magic sauce, secret sauce, if you will. Like we work remotely, but then when we get together, it makes it that much more special. And then more broadly, I think it’s just, you can’t ignore the impact all this has just had in people’s lives. And if there’s something going on in your life, you’re gonna have less energy for work or volunteering or other things.

[00:07:32] And certainly if it’s anything health related, right. All the priorities melt away, right? When you, or a loved one facing a health challenge. So I think that, so many parts of the world are back to normal or like nothing happened, but it’s easy to forget, like the vast human costs of what we’ve been through. And it’s still ongoing for many people.

[00:07:49] In terms of the contributions to the project, did that wick away? Is there the same engagement today, well, maybe let’s say three months ago, as there was two years ago, to core and all the other bits and pieces, or was that a struggle to keep going?

[00:08:07] I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but if I recall there was a boost at the beginning, when we’re stuck at home. And I think like, as people started returning, to normal life, it dipped a bit, which makes sense, right there probably like have saved up. I know I’ve been going to like a thousand weddings. It feels like everyone in the world is doing their wedding. So I think there’s just some natural time that goes back to life, which by the way is great, because then we’ll return to equilibrium there. If you looked at 6.0 though, amazing number of contributors, contributor day yesterday was way over populated.

[00:08:42] Yeah, it was so overpopulated, there was a struggle with food.

[00:08:44] We literally ran out of food and we always over half that. So I think that’s showing that there is a, um, to say WordPress can continue to serve the needs of the world and our community. There’s no reason for it to, uh, not continue to grow and get more involved. That flywheels, it gets more users, some percentage of those contribute. And then of course we have programs like five for the future. That I feel like every open source project should have, but it’s very mature in WordPress where it’s just a cultural mores of people, for whom they get a lot from WordPress, take a little bit of time to give back. And that again is part of it. It’s all the people at the end. I think I’m going to say that 10 times.

[00:09:22] No, it’s okay. I don’t know if you know, but apparently the two thousand seven hundred people who are registered, apparently 1,700 are brand new. Never been any WordPress event. About 60% of the people who are in this building have never been. So it feels if that was the thing it’s back in reverse.

[00:09:41] It makes me wonder what the 2022 WordCamp Europe would be without a global pandemic we are just are coming out of and like, kind of in, in many places still. So yeah, 2,700 that’s amazing.

[00:09:54] What do you think about events like this? It’s a generic question, but what are your thoughts? I mean, you’ve got such a different perspective, I guess, than somebody like me who turns up, attend events and go to people speaking and go to various different bits and pieces. What is this for you? Is it an enjoyable experience?

[00:10:11] I mean, that’s, that’s what I do too. You know, I’ll drop it in the back and check out talks. If for whatever reason not in the room often I’m live streaming them. I would say the difference for me is like, I leave a pretty under the radar life generally. It’s not like people recognize me or anything like that. But at WordCamps, definitely. So I go stopped sometimes every five feet, to take a picture or talk to people, but you know what, that’s kind of why I’m here too.

[00:10:40] Like if that’s a any way I can be of service to the community, sign me up for it.

[00:10:44] Maybe that was the target of the question. Is it a strange thing to drop into for a period of time where life generally is normal and then it’s extraordinary for a bit, and then it goes back to whatever the normal is.

[00:10:57] You know, I also just love talking about WordPress and technology. So I’m doing that for fun anyway. I’d say the main difference from my normal life is being recognized, which is just kind of a bizarre human experience. I never want to be actual, famous. Keep me out of the Daily Mail or The Post or whatever it is like. I’m happy to be well known among a community creating things like we do in WordPress.

[00:11:20] So yeah, that’s kind of fun. And also the to and from, because like all the restaurants around. The planes to and from the event. You’ll just run into people and, you know, I could take a hundred flights without anyone ever stopping me. Yeah, my backpack actually has the WordPress logo embroided on it, but it’s black on black, so it’s a little subtle.

[00:11:36] Normally no one recognizes. But often to or from a WordCamp, people will be like, oh, hey. But even I can go to WordCamps. I remember, often before WordCamp US, I’ll go to a bunch of the smaller ones. Just to kind of test out my material, like a comedian, playing smaller clubs before the big ones.

[00:11:51] I remember going to working at Scranton, I think it was. Uh, Pennsylvania. I forget where Scranton is, someplace, um, and smaller WordCamp, maybe 110 people, which are some of my favorites, but, you know, we sat down at the lunch. No one knows who I am. They’re like, what do you do? And then after my talk, they were like, oh wow.

[00:12:08] You’re like, you did that. And so it’s, it’s also fun to just kind of be like a secret shopper, if you will. Like often I’ll just sit down at random tables or go over to people. And, uh, again, like I said, I learn a ton, and sometimes when people don’t know who I am, I’m able to learn even more because they are more unguarded and more relaxed.

[00:12:26] These kinds of events feel to me almost like the glue that binds so much more together. These are three days where all sorts of new relationships are forged and old relationships are rekindled, and it feels like there’s been a great, big chasm. They’ve been missing. And, I’m just really glad they’re back.

[00:12:45] It’s funny, one of the things I’ve said that gets quoted the most, like on Instagram posts and stuff, is technology is best when it brings people together. And that really came out of the WordCamp experience. It’s a tremendous amount of work, and this is where I’d actually like to call out and thank the WordCamp Europe team.

[00:13:00] They really push the bar every year and raise it. Right. I have a little more involved with US. Every time Europe happens I’m like, man, we got to up our game. And I know it’s exhausting. Everyone like, you know, needs a break at the end. But wow. Really is one of the, I think one of the best contributions to the WordPress community.

[00:13:18] They’re all wearing black t-shirts and there’s black T-shirts everywhere. You know, there’s hundreds and hundreds of people who are giving up their time. And It’s amazing, you know, they’re doing it because they want to do it. There’s no coercion there. They’re really keen on the community and it’s this lovely.

[00:13:33] It’s a lot of fun too. Often my sister, she’s been to, I think, WordCamp US and Europe until this one. Unfortunately she tested positive before the flight, so she ended up staying home, wasn’t feeling well. But often she’ll volunteer at like the check-in stage or something like that. But she now loves it for the people, you know, like she’s a fan of mine obviously. We’re brother and sister for a long time, she has so many friends here now.

[00:13:56] I know for a fact that there’s people here just in the few people that I know who’ve brought their husband or wife and they’d just in, cause it’s a nice thing to do. Staring into the future, forever, it seems, the numbers for WordPress up, up, up, up, up, 25%, 40%, 43%, whatever it is. I think, you know where this is going.

[00:14:15] Recently, I don’t know how dubious the statistics are. There’s this possible leveling off. Is any of that of interest to you? Is growth the thing, or is it, is there something else? Are you thinking about that at any point? Does it worry you or give you pause for thought?

[00:14:31] I think growth is the result. So if we create something that’s accessible, well designed, solves people’s problems, we should grow. And so, yeah, it’s concerning to me when we don’t grow. That number is going to be a little wonky over the next year, year and a half, because as you’re probably aware, Alexa, the toolbar is shut down.

[00:14:51] So even though they’re still providing data, the W3Techs, that data is more stale than it used to be and will, I think degrade over time and eventually W3Techs are switching to a different data set. I forget which one it’s called. So I don’t know that off the top of my head, sorry, my computer’s over there, but on Built With, Built With is something else that indexes the whole web and says how many it is. We’ve generally talked about the W3Techs number, which I think got up to like 42 or 43% before it started to wobble a little bit. Built With had us at like 30 something percent. I think the answer is somewhere in between there.

[00:15:23] So I can see the W3Techs number coming down, maybe even 15 or 20%, uh, regardless of the actual underlying fundamentals of WordPress. And luckily we have some other of data that we get back, and the wordpress.org plugin directory from the update pings, things like that, that show the health of WordPress.

[00:15:40] Uh, so those are always what I look at as the leading metrics. So we keep an eye on those. If there were to see a big migration, we would definitely take a look at the why, and see if there’s something we can improve in the software. And then finally, I’m a little less worried least at the moment because I’d really like to switch Tumblr over to WordPress, which is, well half a billion blogs. There’s a lot of Tumblrs out there.

[00:16:03] And of course not all active, so it won’t move the number that much, but, yeah, a good amount. I’m very excited to bring that part of the web, which is so vibrant, has such a strong community and has a demographic, you know, younger, more female, than we might normally have at a WordPress event. Having it be like an on-ramp to the WordPress world.

[00:16:20] Some of the commentary around that, whatever that was, this leveling off, was around things like, well maybe WordPress, there’s a lot of work to do in terms of performance and things like that. And I know that there’s initiatives in place and things are being done. I just wondered if there was anything you had on that.

[00:16:38] I think we need to improve every single part of WordPress. And there was some performance data. I think is it, Alaine talked about today in his presentation? That shows that some WordPress sites are not as performant as some others. Now, the tough thing is I think you need to adjust to that per dollar.

[00:16:57] So, you know, comparing it to essentially a hosted platform, like Squarespace that people might be paying $25 a month. To a web host you might be paying like $4 a month for is not an apples to apples comparison. There’s going to be some performance differential there. And of course, one reason why so many people use WordPress, especially globally is the accessibility.

[00:17:16] The job that the web hosts do, making it extremely affordable. You know, the average Shopify subscriber spends $1,200 per year. Average WordPress subscriber, it’s, I don’t know cause it’s across so many hosts, it would be closer to like a hundred dollars a year, maybe even less when you look at like how reasonable a lot of these hosting plans are, but definitely anything we could do in Core is helpful.

[00:17:39] And it’s also part of why, I think part of the story of the past 10 years of WordPress has been our really close partnerships with all the hosts. So the auto upgrade almost every well, every major host upgrades by default. Getting them on the new PHP versions, which actually have huge performance increases. PHP seven doubles performance essentially. So helping them be on the edge of the technology adoption curve.

[00:18:01] But it’s not true, I’d strongly disagree that WordPress is slow. In fact, WordPress sites can be some of the fastest ones out there, but when you think of 40% of the web, a lot of them on less expensive hosting providers, it’s going to pull our overall numbers down. If you’re looking at all sites, not just the fastest ones.

[00:18:20] Gutenberg WordPress 5.0. At seminal moment, everything changed.

[00:18:25] Yeah. It was a good one.

[00:18:27] There’s been a lot, there’s been a lot that’s changed since then. I’m just wondering over the course of those, what is that? Three years, some, three years.

[00:18:34] Yeah, right about.

[00:18:35] How you feel that’s gone. was a messaging thing at the beginning, you know, how, how did it get rolled out. But it feels to me as if the people who are developing on top of it more and more and more. Are getting excited and the talk is more and more and more about the possibilities and what’s going to be possible. So just that really. Are you pleased with the direction it’s going in? Where we’re at now, full site editing, all of those, block themes.

[00:18:59] I’m pretty thrilled with it. Of course, I’m an impatient person. So I would love to move faster. But the truth is in 2022, if you’re not building a site on Gutenberg by default, you’re kind of setting it up for obsolescence or really expensive upgrade paths in the future. It is so capable. I think people underestimate how much you can do with Core blocks

[00:19:21] Like without adding any of these block ad-ons or anything. And yet also, that’s such a clear roadmap, so many improvements are coming in every release. It was just at 6.0. I’d like to move us to be more releases per year. You know, maybe we can get to four per year instead of three, but it’s coming along. I’m thrilled with it.

[00:19:37] And other CMSs are starting to copy it, and we’re getting Gutenberg and a lot more places too, which is also exciting. Um, Gutenberg is live for Tumblr by the way.

[00:19:47] Is the intention that it’s the editor for the web, basically.

[00:19:49] A hundred percent. It’s bigger than WordPress.

[00:19:51] It’ll be everywhere and ubiquitous. So on the phone and on the, whatever CMS that you’re using and the whole thing.

[00:19:58] Yeah. And there was this announcement for something called the block protocol, which I think, if you look at it, it’s exactly what we’ve been doing with Gutenberg and they probably should just adopt a Gutenberg and then like build from there.

[00:20:07] Yeah. That was a really interesting project. The idea that it’s completely interoperable across everything. Yeah. Really, really, really interesting.

[00:20:14] That’s what we’re doing. We have the mobile versions for iOS and Android. I believe we’re relicensing those right now to be even more open. So they’re easier to embed in commercial apps. And then of course the web version is getting pretty robust. And it’s just, it’s weird edge cases that you start to deal with.

[00:20:29] There was one I found the other day actually through a friend. This is why I love doing tech support and people talking to me about the problems with WordPress. I think it was copying and pasting from Facebook images. So they had a lot of their photos on Facebook and they would right click to click copy and paste and in Gutenberg, what it was doing was making that a link to the image, versus actually uploading the image. And so, because it was to like a private URL, it would break for other people. But it would look normal to that person.

[00:20:59] This was just a workflow no one has pointed out to us. It was like pretty easy to fix once we knew about it. But, it was interesting because one thing we do when something like that comes up is we look at other editors and see which other editors support that use case. Actually Google docs did. So at some point, Google docs figured this out, but a bunch of other editors did. Google docs is actually one of the software projects I repect the most.

[00:21:22] I entirely agree. I’m waiting for the day when, um, we can do the concurrent editing, that will be.

[00:21:26] Oh my goodness.

[00:21:27] It’s almost as if that’s the minimum requirement now. I’ve got so used to using Google docs and seeing the other people contributing at the same time. I remember the experience of seeing that for the first time and thinking what that’s voodoo.

[00:21:39] How, did that happen? But you you’re happy. You’re pleased with the development and you’re pleased with the way it’s looking?

[00:21:45] No, I’m impatient. I’m really proud of what we’ve done, but there’s so much more to do. And especially if we’re trying to make the editor for the entire web, it’s even bigger than WordPress. I think that’s going to have such a benefit, to both developments, like speed of development. It’s not unlike web components or other things like we’ll have these standard things everyone can use.

[00:22:06] And then there’s also usability because users will be able to learn how blocks work, once, and then create almost anything. Like how cool is that? It’s like a fundamental, literally fundamental building block of the web, almost like the DNA.

[00:22:17] I’m going to phrase this in a way which I suspect you’ll push back on, but let’s see where we go. The five for the future initiative. That would be so great if everybody was a part of that. And I wonder if you would like more people to be a part of that? Whether or not there’s some inertia.

[00:22:36] I’m struggling to find the words. The speed of everything could go more rapidly. Everything could happen more quickly. And that speaks to your impatience. If more people were able and willing to step up for that initiative.

[00:22:49] You know, I value even if people just have one hour, once a month. You know, five for the future isn’t meant to say you need to do 5% or nothing. It’s just meant to say that, Hey, if enough people do the 5%, WordPress will really thrive. But if not everyone does it, that’s okay too. In fact, you know, not everyone does it and doing pretty well.

[00:23:12] It’s funny cause contributing, it’s kind of hard to start and maybe it’s intimidating to think like, oh, do I take like two hours a week to be part of WordPress. 5% of a 40 hour week or something. But it’s hard to stop too. Once get involved, it’s infectious because it’s such a great way to learn.

[00:23:28] It’s really great to be connected to something larger than yourself. Do some work and then see the ripples throughout the web or throughout WordCamps. It’s really fun to like overhear someone talking about something at a WordCamp that you were involved in building or contributing to or documenting or translating.

[00:23:44] I dunno, it’s just like a source of pride. It’s kind of how I got involved. Like I contributed some code to B2 at the time and I just got such a high. From knowing that, you know, hundreds of websites were running my code, and I’ve just been chasing that ever since. Like it’s still compelling, even if it’s a plugin that only like 10 people use to like, you know, obviously any changes the Core go to a lot of the web. At any point it’s just kinda like leaving a dent in the universe, leaving the world a little bit better than you found it.

[00:24:10] It’s funny, you said the word proud, well you said pride and my question contains the word proud, and it is follows. What are the things, and you’ve covered this a little bit. But this doesn’t have to be the code, it doesn’t have to be the community, although maybe that is the bit. What are the bits that you’re most proud of? The bits that you look back and think I am so pleased that bit happened. And it could be a big thing, could be a tiny thing, but the bit that makes you internally smile.

[00:24:36] I’m really proud, to the extent WordPress, it can be a very welcoming place. We really strive to be inclusive, to bring folks from all over the world, all backgrounds. Now I’m sure there’s mistakes. I’m sure there’s things that happen at WordCamps sometimes, but like we correct that and the norm of the community is expecting to make someone feel welcome. Yeah, I really appreciate that. I mean you look around WordCamp, could not be a more different group of folks.

[00:25:03] Yeah, that’s true. They’re an interesting, there’s an eclectic mix of people up there.

[00:25:08] Oh my goodness, even it just like fashion styles or like you know, like hairstyles, styles, ages, colors, everything. And how beautiful that? That we can come together with a shared passion, communicate with each other as humans. Every person is unique. You’re not what it says on your badge or where you work. It’s really about connecting as humans and that’s, to me, what’s great about blogging. It’s about, what’s great about the open web. It’s recognizing the beauty, brilliance and uniqueness of every person.

[00:25:37] How do you manage your time? Because I know that you’ve got more things than I’m doing. Let’s put it that way. You’ve got Tumblr, you’ve got WordPress. Where does it all fit in? Do you like a run a regular week? Are you a 40 hour a week person? Do you tend to work late into the evening or?

[00:25:53] I guess there’s multiple levels to answer that. Where I’m spending my time in terms of all the projects that are going on, is kinda like rotations. Like often I’ll move into something, spend a lot of time there and then I’ll drift back out once, you know, whatever I was coming in for has changed. Probably a good example of that recently was Gutenberg.

[00:26:16] So that’s one took a more active role and kind of release lead, the driving, the getting that happening. Even like the product itself. And then as that really got great you know, 5.1, 5.2, able to step back and allow others to like take a more active role and leading that or driving that. Tumblr’s is a good example.

[00:26:38] Like, you know, stepping into it for a bit. I hope to be able to pass it to someone in the future and say like, take this, keep it going. It’s going great. And so that’s kind of how the projects do. And then personally, I just try to manage my energy, to match that to the tasks that are happening.

[00:26:53] Unfortunately, I work very strange hours sometimes, and, I just try to capture, like, if I get a burst of inspiration late at night to write something or, feeling really engaged, we’re in the mood for like doing communication stuff versus like I’m in the mood for reading, whatever that is, and run with it. Versus trying to say like, every morning I’m going to do this. Some mornings I’m tired. Some mornings, you know, maybe I’m feeling a little more burnt out. And so, like, I don’t feel that sort of creative spark to, to write a thousand words, but it might be easier to catch up on some P2 posts. Catch up on the Slacks.

[00:27:26] It sounds like you take care of yourself. You take time to step away and, I came in here you were listening to jazz music, which was quite nice sort of background. But, you know, you take time to do all of that. And have you always coped with pressure well, because I’m guessing there’s a fair amount of pressure your life, yet you always have this fairly serene composure to you.

[00:27:46] I guess what a lot of people think is pressure doesn’t bother me very much, because you know, I feel like you should worry about the things you can change. So if you know, we got to note your biggest client is leaving you, they’ve already made up their mind. You can’t do anything. It’s like okay. Like learn from it, but don’t beat yourself up over it. Like suffer once. Like so often we suffer more, this is a quote, we suffer more in our heads than we do in reality, either for imagined things which is anxiety. Reliving the past, or just kind of beating ourselves up for something. And so it’s better to just recognize reality. Acknowledge it, learn from it, get as much information as possible, but then what’s next?

[00:28:27] Where it definitely hits me harder is when there’s something you can’t change, with a loved one, you know, like someone passing, getting sick, those things hit me really hard. That’s probably the place where, when that happens, I have to step away for a bit. Just kind of recharge or get in nature, hydrate, make sure I’m sleeping well. Those things are tough for, I think everyone, but the calmness that happens in normal, like code or business or whatever it is that normally would stress me out. Those are bigger.

[00:28:59] There’s this phrase, I’ve written it down here. Benevolent dictator for life. Benevolent is such a nice word. It’s great. Everybody loves benevolent. Dictator, maybe that’s a different thing.

[00:29:10] I feel like that branding’s a little less good recently.

[00:29:13] But, we all know what that means? Do you plan to be here in several years time? Would you love still to be at the helm of WordPress? Is this going to be the life for Matt Mullenweg for the foreseeable future?

[00:29:26] Yeah, three out of those four words are millions to. I hope to be of service to the WordPress community, benevolently. That’s always something I will do my best. I always say I’m human. I’m going to make mistakes. We’re going to mess up That’s the only thing I can a hundred percent promise. But we’ll try to learn from them.

[00:29:41] Try to course correct and be right more often than not. And then the, for life. Yeah, a hundred percent. Like it’s been 19 years. I think because WordPress changes so much, I’m never bored of it. You know, it’s like one of these things that you know when WordPress launched, javascript was called DHTML. It wasn’t really common. There was no iPhone. like that. Everything has changed so much and it still is. You know, it’s hard to imagine looking from 2003 to now, how much things have changed looking forward another 19 years to that would be 2041 or something. Like what will be enabled? And in technology, and don’t know if you’ve seen things like the open AI projects, like GPT3 or DALL-E, like utterly astounding,

[00:30:25] I find it a bit scary. Aspects of that worry me. The aspects I think that worry me are the loss of control and that, at some point we’re going to just be creating 10,000 word articles. So the bot creates the article, which is then read by the Google bot. The cyclical creation of things.

[00:30:44] And also the destabilization of the belief in what your eyes tell you. You know, you see a picture of some famous person allegedly doing something, which they never did, but somebody created it with a click of a button. Those pieces worry me. So you sound much more sanguine about it.

[00:30:59] I’m pretty excited. The text side is interesting, but I’m actually really excited by the image creation, not the deep fakes, but more like DALL-E, you can give a prompt. Like I want to see a spaceship cat eating ice cream, while riding a bike.

[00:31:17] That’s the one everybody’s going to say.

[00:31:18] And this image has never existed humanity. Yet you can speak your words and it will be created. And it will create like 15 of them. And some of them are weird, but some of them are incredible. And you can say, do it in the style of Salvador Dali, or do it like a Monet painting. Or do it like an illustration. Like that is unlocking that kind of co-creation of art, I find so compelling because that’s essentially, when technology creates things we can’t expect that hypercharged creativity.

[00:31:50] So even when you imagine, when we moved from drumming and using our voices instruments to having, the creation of the first instruments, whether they were stringed instruments, lutes, organs where the most sophisticated technology at a time. Today, the way we can use synthesizers and remix things and multiple tracks. I’m sure it’s certain points, and I’m sure there’s examples of this creating bad art. You have to make a lot of terrible art to get to the good art.

[00:32:13] The boundary comes down, doesn’t it? You don’t need to have that dexterity with the pencil or the pen, the paint brush or whatever it is. You have to have the vocabulary to describe it.

[00:32:22] There’s an art to that too, like. I feel like there’s a skill to doing a good Google searches, like crafting the search term in a way that helps you find what you want. And we kind of co-learn with it. There’s a feedback loop. You put in a search, you don’t find what you want, and you start to tweak it and you learn.

[00:32:38] I think that the sort of generative art tools like a Dali are the same way. I think Mind Journey is another one. You can go through and feed in some texts and then see what happens. And then like keep going. I mean, how cool would that be. Actually for Tavern, I would love for you to see you all use it more, like, make some, more like Mine Journey or DALL-E type images?

[00:32:56] that then leads me to the question about AI creation of websites. So, do you want a future where you build the website with that kind of an interface? So I would like a website that’s to do with volcanoes and I would like a picture of a volcano at the top. No, not that one. Slightly more fiery. And can we have a button, but no, no red, not blue. Wider. Yeah, no stop there. So that kind of an interface. So we drop the mouse and we describe the website and move the components with our voice, or whatever we’re using, maybe we’re plugged point.

[00:33:28] And how powerful are blocks for that? Right, so we’re creating the sort of raw ingredients that could be used. I used to not believe this stuff would happen. But it’s gotten so great. If you’ve seen Codepilot, Codepilot on Github, or some of the stuff that GPT3 can do around like interface creation or even app creation. It’s fairly powerful.

[00:33:49] We’re going to have much better machine learning models around translation of languages. I think we’ll get to a point, you know, we’ve always joked, like will WordPress ever be written in something other than PHP? I think we’ll have translators over the next five to 10 years, that could take something as complex as a WordPress and translate the code to another language and it’ll work.

[00:34:08] Right, because essentially that’s, what’s happening. All these languages go to a bytecode or some sort of something much closer to the wire. So once a computer can truly deeply understand what’s happening in the code and find the equivalents in another language, right?

[00:34:22] You’re close to just thinking a website into creation at that point, aren’t you? The boundary is, can you imagine, and if you can imagine an elucidate it, then you’ve done it.

[00:34:32] And think how much creativity has been unlocked by things like Photoshop or Illustrator or the pen for the iPad anything. Like you put these things in front of a child, they just start producing.

[00:34:42] Oh, immediately. That’s interesting.

[00:34:44] And that’s, that’s cool, right? And so it kind of comes back to what’s what’s the limits of human imagination and a little bit, our limits are what we’ve experienced so far. So there’s this idea of adjacent possibilities. That whatever’s going on in the world, people consume, and then that gives them the ideas for what’s next. But you need the previous stuff to exist first. Right? We build on the, we stand on the shoulders of giants and every generation that’s come before. And now with global communication, everything, a cycle of that feedback loop of new things happening and then spreading throughout the culture.

[00:35:19] I mean, used to take hundreds of years. There’s examples where they knew that scurvy was caused by lack of vitamin C like hundreds of years before it was kind of widely known knowledge. And. You know, they can sequence a novel coronavirus, create the vaccine, literally within like a day, the sequencing being available. What was it, a year and a half later? Like there’s a billion doses in people’s arms.

[00:35:45] The impediment was the testing, not the creation.

[00:35:47] Wow. Even making a billion of something in like a little over a year is kinda wild as well. So that is, think of it both a faster kind of clock speed for the evolution of culture and thought and knowledge that’s enabled, and also hopefully faster antibodies, both literal and societal to things that can cause harm.

[00:36:11] You know, I don’t think it’s, it’s a stretch to think of misinformation, disinformation, you know, sort of the information wars that are happening right now, both hot and cold throughout, um, authoritarian and more democratic regimes as a type of pathogen. Almost like a novel mean virus or idea virus, which right now we’re not very strong against, but we’re starting to develop the antibodies too, including things like detecting bots and coordinated inauthentic behavior.

[00:36:37] That right now I think is causing a lot of problems throughout society. but we’ll get better at figuring that out.

[00:36:44] It’s fascinating because I think technology can take you in one of two directions, you know, the, the apocalyptic version and then the sort of, desirable, let’s say that. And it feels to me that you are ,firmly on the desirable side. You’ve got a very positive approach that the technology in the future doesn’t worry you.

[00:37:03] It’s not that it doesn’t worry me. It’s just I’m a builder. So I need to choose that I’m going to work on.

[00:37:07] Yeah, sadly, my

[00:37:08] work on the things that things better.

[00:37:10] My vocabulary left me at that point.

[00:37:12] Techno optimist, maybe. Yes. Like, uh, I would say that I tend towards optimism and the thing that gives me that optimism is often deeply engaging with a criticism of it.

[00:37:23] So I want to really strongly understand, be able to make the argument for why all the things I just talked about are going to destroy society. But then once you understand that, how can we build it or how can we do it in a way that’s going to be more positive. And also how can we check our assumptions? Like if we look back, to what we thought was going to ruin society before, did it?

[00:37:43] It’s funny, there’s a, gosh, I forget the name of the account, but it just pulls up old criticisms of the technology. And there was one that showed a subway, and everyone’s, um, reading a newspaper? They’re like, oh, what’s happened to society, people used to talk on the subway, they used to engage with each other. Now just the heads are all buried.

[00:38:00] Of course Gutenberg, you know, the original, uh, needs to read it’s, you know, it’s dangerous.

[00:38:08] And it turns out that it was dangerous, like wow. Protestant, like, how much change that kicked off, but it was really about knowledge is power. It was about the distribution of a more wider distribution of knowledge and opportunity. And that shook up society. But you know what? I needed to be shooken up.

[00:38:25] It’s the message. Maybe this is the perfect point to end?

[00:38:27] That’s what WordPress shakes up, you know? So we take things that, by the way, equivalent to what WordPress does for free, 10 years ago, you’d pay like millions of dollars a site core or Magento or something like that to do it, which now like you can download WooCommerce and it does everything that did and way more.

[00:38:45] So we’re kind of taking, I sometimes make the analogy that we have a promethean task, climb mountain, take the fire from the gods and then bring it to the people. As we do that, sometimes it generates a lot of blow back. You know, if you recall a really big criticism of Gutenberg early on was that it was going to destroy agencies and web builders.

[00:39:05] People would just be able to build their sites themselves. They would lose all their business, everything like that. As you walk around WordCamp ask anyone who’s building websites, like, do you have more business or less business? How’s it going? I’m sure there’s some exceptions, but by and large, the businesses are larger than ever.

[00:39:19] They’re growing faster. Site builders doing fine, the themes that are like, you know, there’s going to be some changes, right? Some of us might be making horse buggies, and those might not be as in demand in the future, but you can also like shift and it’s kind of cool. I have people tell me that they’re way more profitable now because they can build things in Gutenberg that they used to have to code custom. So even though they could code a custom, they can just click some buttons and build a site and be done so they can now do more of them. How cool is that?

[00:39:45] So the change definitely disrupts things. It can definitely be sometimes rocky, but ultimately, if you embrace the change and you sort of work from your principles and your morals to be on the right side of history, it can be incredibly empowering. Matt Mullenweg, thank you for talking to me today. Thank you. Thanks for coming.

Do The Woo Community: devlife_snippet: From Sprints to Managed WooCommerce

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/15/2022 - 11:43

A sprint is a nice change of pace when you start a WooCommerce web agency but not always recommended. Here's why.

>> The post devlife_snippet: From Sprints to Managed WooCommerce appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community .

Do The Woo Community: devlife_snippet: From Sprints to Managed WooCommerce

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/15/2022 - 11:43

A sprint is a nice change of pace when you start a WooCommerce web agency but not always recommended. Here's why.

>> The post devlife_snippet: From Sprints to Managed WooCommerce appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community .

Web Wash: Add Preview Page to Forms using Webform in Drupal

Main Drupal Feed - Wed, 06/15/2022 - 08:00

When you create a form using the Webform module, you may need a “preview” step. This is a page or step which allows the user who’s submitting the form to preview what’s being submitted.

If they see a mistake, they can go back to the form and fix the error. Once the form has been filled out and previewed then, it can be submitted.

Webform allows you to quickly create a preview step in any form, and in this tutorial, you’ll learn how to implement it.

The Drop Times: 10 Best E-commerce Modules For Drupal 9 [Most Installed]

Main Drupal Feed - Tue, 06/14/2022 - 10:57
Drupal e-commerce modules are useful for managing various aspects of your site, that's why you should know which modules are worth getting. Here are the most installed e-commerce modules.

The Drop Times: 10 Best E-commerce Modules For Drupal 9 [Most Installed]

Main Drupal Feed - Tue, 06/14/2022 - 10:57
Drupal e-commerce modules are useful for managing various aspects of your site, that's why you should know which modules are worth getting. Here are the most installed e-commerce modules.

Talking Drupal: Talking Drupal #351 - Core Theming $h!t

Main Drupal Feed - Mon, 06/13/2022 - 18:00

Today we are talking about Core Theming with Cristina Chumillas.

www.talkingDrupal.com/351

Topics
  • What’s newe in core themeing?
  • Why is Claro in core important?
  • Why is Olivero in core important?
  • Why was it so long between new themes?
  • Continuous improvement?
  • What is the biggest improvement?
  • What happens to old themes?
  • Accessibility
  • CSS
    • Build tools
  • Drupal 10
    • IE
    • UC
  • Compound elements
  • Getting involved
Resources Guests Hosts

Nic Laflin - www.nLighteneddevelopment.com @nicxvan John Picozzi - www.epam.com @johnpicozzi Mike Herchel - herchel.com - @mikeherchel

MOTW

Quicklink This module provides an implementation of Google Chrome Lab’s Quicklink library for Drupal. Quicklink is a lightweight (< 1kb compressed) JavaScript library that enables faster subsequent page-loads by prefetching in-viewport links during idle time.

Jacob Rockowitz: Baking a Recipe using the Schema.org Blueprints module for Drupal

Main Drupal Feed - Mon, 06/13/2022 - 12:58

In my last post, I introduced the Schema.org Blueprints module to the Drupal community. At DrupalCamp NJ, I shared a presentation about the module. The blog post and presentation managed to collect a bunch of helpful feedback, which encouraged me to simplify the module's dependencies and relationships. One of the biggest improvements is that JSON-LD is now fully supported with previews and dedicated API support. The entire module is still under active development. As you read this new post, new features are being added (and removed).

The reality is the Schema.org Blueprints module is turning into a pretty large undertaking. I will need help from individuals and organizations in the Drupal community to launch a stable release. At the same time, by not having an alpha release, I can frame out most of the core APIs and challenges quickly while making changes as needed. Leveraging a Schema.org-first approach to modeling content in Drupal has required a lot of thought and strategy. The sustainability of the module is going to need an equal amount of effort and a dedicated blog post. For now, I need to build up the Drupal community's interest in the module by creating content and demos that showcase the Schema.org Blueprints module in action by baking a recipe.

Recipes are among the most shared content types on the web and probably the most shared content off the web. In the Drupal community, we have chosen to provide a recipe website, named Umami, as our out-of-the-box demo site. Umami's recipe content type is based on https://Schema.org/Recipe. Umami's recipe...Read More

Palantir: Drupal Rector: Progress Update

Main Drupal Feed - Mon, 06/13/2022 - 12:00

How the 0.12.4 release fixes the most common Drupal 10 depreciations

With Drupal 10 scheduled for December 14, 2022, we’ve been working with Matt Glaman, Gábor Hojtsy, and the Drupal 10 Readiness team to ensure that Drupal Rector can help upgrade modules for Drupal 10.

As part of that work, we recently released Drupal Rector 0.12.4. The 0.12.4 release is a stable release pinned to Rector 0.12.21. The 0.12.4 includes fixes for the 5 most common Drupal 10 deprecations:

  • drupal_get_path()
  • file_create_url()
  • render()
  • file_url_transform_relative()
  • file_save_data()

Developers should be aware that Rector 0.12.22 includes breaking changes to how we handle Drupal configuration. Therefore, the 0.12.5 release will include Rector 0.12.22, which will force developers to update their Rector configuration.

Luckily, it should be a simple matter of re-copying the configuration file. When we release the 0.12.5, run the following command from your project root:

  • cp vendor/palantirnet/drupal-rector.php .

                [Note the trailing dot - it matters!]

Developers can continue to use the pinned 0.12.4 release, though new update rules will not be available to that release.

Be sure to aggregate to Drupal Planet!

Content Strategy Development Drupal Open Source Site Building Strategy

Palantir: Drupal Rector: Progress Update

Main Drupal Feed - Mon, 06/13/2022 - 12:00

How the 0.12.4 release fixes the most common Drupal 10 depreciations

With Drupal 10 scheduled for December 14, 2022, we’ve been working with Matt Glaman, Gábor Hojtsy, and the Drupal 10 Readiness team to ensure that Drupal Rector can help upgrade modules for Drupal 10.

As part of that work, we recently released Drupal Rector 0.12.4. The 0.12.4 release is a stable release pinned to Rector 0.12.21. The 0.12.4 includes fixes for the 5 most common Drupal 10 deprecations:

  • drupal_get_path()
  • file_create_url()
  • render()
  • file_url_transform_relative()
  • file_save_data()

Developers should be aware that Rector 0.12.22 includes breaking changes to how we handle Drupal configuration. Therefore, the 0.12.5 release will include Rector 0.12.22, which will force developers to update their Rector configuration.

Luckily, it should be a simple matter of re-copying the configuration file. When we release the 0.12.5, run the following command from your project root:

  • cp vendor/palantirnet/drupal-rector.php .

                [Note the trailing dot - it matters!]

Developers can continue to use the pinned 0.12.4 release, though new update rules will not be available to that release.

Be sure to aggregate to Drupal Planet!

Content Strategy Development Drupal Open Source Site Building Strategy

WordPress.org blog: WP Briefing: Episode 33: Some Important Questions from WCEU

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 06/13/2022 - 11:01

In the thirty-third episode of the WordPress Briefing, hear Josepha Haden Chomphosy recap important questions from WordCamp Europe, and a selection of Contributor Day interviews.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.

Credits References Transcript

[Daugirdas Jankus 00:00:04] 

Honestly, it’s not a secret. It’s a big part of our business. And I think it’s like WordPress is a big part of all the hosting company, company’s, businesses, you know? So for us, it is like, we want to make it better. We want to give back. We want to understand, you know, where we can contribute the most. And we see it as a, you know, win, win, win situation for everyone, for clients, for the whole ecosystem.

And for us as a business, of course!

[Milana Cap 00:00:32] 

My favorite WordPress component is WP CLI. That’s my crush, haha, because I love terminal. I love doing it. I’m not a really UI type of person, I get lost in UI. But in terminal, you just type command and it does what you want. And a WP CLI is much more powerful than WordPress dashboard. You can do so many things there and you can have fun.

Uh, so that’s my go-to tool!

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:01:10] 

Hello everyone. And welcome to the WordPress Briefing– the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy.

Here we go!

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:01:36] 

Many, many people were at WordCamp Europe a couple of weeks ago. And at the end, Matt and I closed out the event sessions with a little question and answer time from the community. I was excited to see everyone and excited to answer their questions. But as with all spur of the moment answers, I experienced this l’esprit de l’escalier and I found that there were a few things that I would have answered a little more completely if I had taken more than two seconds to think about them.

So today I’m going to augment some of the answers from that session with a little more context and clarity. There was a question from Laura Byrne about favorite blocks in recent WordPress releases. And given that I was exclusively holding WordCamp Europe information in my brain at the time, I couldn’t think of which block was my favorite. While I was sitting there on that stage,

I realized that one of my favorite things about WordPress’s 6.0 release, like Matt, wasn’t really a block, but it was a functional workflow sort of thing. So my favorite thing was the ability to lock blocks, but I mean, the question was about favorite blocks. And so I do know that some of the most anticipated blocks are the Flexbox layout blocks. Whew. What a sentence!

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:02:46]

Try to say that three times fast! Those blocks are the Flexbox layout blocks, they are sort of shortcuts that show up when you’re selecting multiple blocks and allow for easy side-by-side layouts. I’m not explaining it in a way that does it much justice, but I will share a link in the show notes that has more information and you can kind of see how empowering that particular block is in the block editor.

The next question I wanted to give a little more context to came from Courtney Robertson. She asked about how to make translated content more readily available on learn.wordpress.org. My answer was pretty far ranging and talked about why it’s harder to commit to prioritizing that over, for my example, translating WordPress core. 

But I also understand that there are people who want to help and just need someone to point them in the right direction. And so I want to be clear that it is possible to have workshops in any language on learn.wordpress.org right now. We just don’t have a lot of people contributing those translations.

So there are conversations going on right now in the training team about using Glotpress on learn.wordpress.org, and also how to translate subtitles. So, if you are looking for ways to give back through translation and training is an important kind of area of your focus. I will have links to both of those things in the show notes as well.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:04:11]

I also gave a quick answer, uh, after this question about how hard it is to recognize contributions that are separate from a major event or major release. In this case, when I say recognize, that’s recognized as in thank, not recognize as in, know it exists. In case it’s not clear why that was connected, why that answer was connected to the question, training materials are self-serve and not always specific to individual releases of WordPress.

So that means the maintenance of any content around training happens routinely over the course of time, rather than because of a specific release or a WordCamp. What sometimes can make it a little harder to entice people to join us in that work. 

And now the third question I’d like to tackle is the one that came from Megan Rose. She asked how we can encourage better diversity as we go back to in-person events. My answer was more about the big picture, program-wide work that has been done and specific awarenesses that I, as a leader, have been keeping top of mind. That answer is still true and is still important, but again, it doesn’t really help anyone who’s wondering how they can show up today in their own communities, and do the hard work of fostering an inclusive space there so that we can confidently welcome more diverse voices together. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:05:27]

A great place to start is to have conversations with people who aren’t like you and really listen. Also recognizing that we all come from different backgrounds that give us more or less opportunity and always be asking yourself, who is missing from this conversation and why, how can I find them and invite them into our own WordPress spaces?

If that all kind of feels right up your alley, I would check out the show notes. I’ll have some links in there to the community team’s site, as well as a few posts that will help you to explore that a bit further as well. 

There were also a couple of questions about market share slash usage of WordPress, and Five for the Future that I really do want to answer, but as I was writing up the context and just kind of exploring the questions that people were raising, it turned out to really be quite a big set of answers.

So I will do those in either two separate episodes of their own or one surprisingly long, for me, episode. And so there you have it, a lightning round, deep dive on a few questions from WordCamp Europe.

[Jonathan Desrosiers 00:06:41] 

Yeah, it’s definitely great to be back in person. Um, it’s been a long two years, two or three years for a lot of people and it’s, it’s, it’s great that we’re such an asynchronous community and we can all stay connected online through Slack and different means. Um, but there are some things that you can’t replace, like making friends with people and learning people’s demeanors and having some discussions in person that you can’t replace.

And so, uh, I’m really excited to see people I haven’t seen in a long time. Meet new people and, um, you know, have some of those discussions here today in Portugal.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:07:21] 

Which then brings us to our small list of big things. 

If you missed the announcement, WordCamp Europe will be in Athens next year. And the call for organizers is open already. It’s an experience that is absolutely irreplaceable. So I’ll link to that in the show notes, in case you’ve always wanted to give back to WordPress that way.

The second thing on my list is that work on the next major release of WordPress is already underway. There is a post with roadmap info that was published recently, as well as a slightly more casual thread on Twitter. I’ve linked both of those in the show notes, so that you have some concept of what it is that we are aiming for in 6.1, and also a concept of where to go to get started working on it if that’s what you feel like doing, uh, for the next three to four months– 120 days, roughly.

Uh, and finally. This is less of like a thing to be aware of in the next two weeks and kind of a little WordPress project tool tip. Did you know that we have a calendar that shows all meetings for all teams all week long? It will make you feel tired by the amount of work that gets done in the WordPress project every week, but it’s right there on make.wordpress.org/meetings.

So you never have to wonder where folks are meeting to talk about things ever again. And that my friends is your small list of big things. Thank you for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks.

[Santana Inniss & Héctor Prieto 00:09:11] 

Hello! Mic test. One, two, one, two. 

We are testing the USB microphone. Let’s hope we’re using it actually. 

I think so. I think so. 

Yes. Because now I am far, and now I am much closer to the microphone. Yes. 

And I am sitting in the same spot. 

Good. Hello? 

Hello! 

Mic test one, two.

Mic test one, two. 

[record scratching sound effect]

[laughter]

And, close.

Mic check. 

Mic check. 

[record scratching sound effect]

I’m close to the mic. I’m far from the mic. 

I’m far from the mic. Wow.

Not so far.

[laughter]

Golems GABB: Drupal 9: Auto Tweeting From A Drupal Site When Content Is Published

Main Drupal Feed - Mon, 06/13/2022 - 10:32
Drupal 9: Auto Tweeting From A Drupal Site When Content Is Published Editor Mon, 06/13/2022 - 13:32

Once upon a time, tweeting already published content from a Drupal site was a simple task that required no extra effort. The main deal was to install the Social Post Twitter module, and everything worked.
To date, this module, unfortunately, does not work appropriately on Drupal 9. But this does not mean that you need to stop integrating your site with Twitter. It is one of the main communication channels between businesses and potential customers. Integrating social media with your website increases your brand awareness, attracts users to interact, and so has a positive effect on SEO. In a word, there are a lot of pluses.

#! code: Drupal 9: Render A Drupal Page Within A Drupal Request

Main Drupal Feed - Sun, 06/12/2022 - 17:17

A recent challenge that I faced on a project was to generate the HTML of a full Drupal page, from within a Drupal request. The project called for a template to be rendered within the structure of a Drupal theme and also to include the styles associated with that theme.

At first, this doesn't seem like a big problem, but once I started trying to figure things out it became much more complex than I was expecting.

The problem is that you can't just render a page using the 'html' and 'page' templates as there is a lot of context surrounding those templates. Without this context in place Drupal produces a page of markup that contains no styles or blocks. The context is how Drupal knows what theme to load, what libraries to add to the page, what preprocess hooks to call, what menu items to generate, and so on.

I found a couple of different solutions to this problem that work quite well.

In both of these situations I will generate the page render and then send it back to the user using a new Response object from a controller. This essentially replaces the response from the Drupal controller with our custom markup.

Solution 1: Render A Page Using A Get Request

Since we are trying to render a page it sort of makes sense that we ask Drupal to render that full page for us through a sub-request. This means making a secondary request using the Guzzle HTTP Client  to the page we want to render and then returning the result of that request in the Response object.

This is perhaps the simplest approach as we just need to figure out the page we want to go to and then make the request to that page.

Here is the action method for a normal Drupal controller where we are rendering node 123 in the full context of a page response. I've left out a bit of boilerplate code here, but you'll want to inject the 'http_client' service into your controller and store it in the objects httpClient property.

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