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Issue #107
MailPoet - Zeplin 2019-10-25 17-00-44

This week in WordPress

WordCamp Birmingham postponed as local Covid numbers skyrocket

No surprises here: WordCamp Birmingham has been postponed due to rising local Covid-19 infection rates. That's Sarah Gooding's report at WPTavern.

Three weeks out from the February 4-5 event and just a week after sharing the last group of speakers, lead organizer Ryan Mark announced this week that #WPYall has been postponed until spring. The event was anticipated to be the first in-person WordCamp globally for 2022 but will now be held in April or May when organizers hope it can be held safely for attendees.

Mark says the organizing team's decision was unanimous and writes that "The WordPress community is bigger than any single WordCamp. We cannot in good conscience continue forward with our event, given the current risk, since this decision could negatively impact other in-person WordCamps currently in the planning stages."

The news comes after the event's Covid-19 safety protocols came under greater scrutiny earlier this month, and after some attendees and sponsors had decided to pull out of the event.

Cloudways Director of WordPress Robert Jacobi, who was planning to attend, has been calling for WordCamp Central to mandate vaccines for in-person events. "I think confusion and indecision from the WordCamp mothership is only making this more frustrating for me," he writes in WPYall, Not for Yall. "Here it is folks, make vaccination a requirement. Keep it simple. Not everyone will be happy but maybe we will actually have a level of in-person rather than zero." TrustedLogin founder Zack Katz, who had signed up as a community sponsor, tweeted earlier this month, "… I DEFINITELY won't go to @wpyall unless 2+ vaccinations are required. Negative tests or prior COVID isn't enough."

Ultimately, folks agree postponing the event is the right move. "Kudos to y'all for making the hard decisions. While I'm so ready for WordCamps again, it's most important for us all to stay healthy," tweets ShePress founder Michele Butcher-Jones, while Lireo Designs owner Deborah Edwards-Oñoro tweets "Good. WordCamp Birmingham postponed."

Post Status discussion explores financial support for open source contributors

Over at Post Status Slack last week, Yoast founder Joost de Valk opened up a wide-ranging discussion about the moral — and financial — dilemmas of open source development, problems with the Five for the Future model, and raised the idea of a WordPress.org app store to pay to help fund core contributions. The discussion was sparked by the recent news that an open source developer corrupted widely-used libraries, the Log4j vulnerability, and Morten Rand-Hendriksen's piece Open Source Considered Harmful, and drew robust responses from WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg among many others.

There's a lot to unpack from this discussion. If you're not a Post Status member (or even if you are), it's worth reading David Bisset's summary of the discussion, Post Status Slack: Does Five for the Future Work?

Podcaster Joe Casabona also explores the issues at hand in How Should the WordPress Open Source Project Support Contributors? on the WP Review podcast.

WordPress 5.9 set for release next week as contributors deal with burnout

WordPress 5.9 remains on track to be officially released on January 25 after the third release candidate shipped this week. Automattic-sponsored core contributor Chloe Bringmann says since the RC2 was released last week, testers have found and addressed two bugs and added 15 fixes for Gutenberg.

It's been a challenging release for core contributors, to say the least. WordPress core committer Jonny Harris tweets, "Spoken to a couple of people in the WordPress core team / community that are feeling burnt out. This WP 5.9 release has been long and hard on many people. Lots of people have worked really hard on this release. If you know someone who worked on this release, send them some love."

Meanwhile, Anne McCarthy, an Automattic-sponsored core contributor who is co-leading testing for the release joins Torque's Social Hour weekly livestream to talk about the upcoming WordPress 5.9 release, Full Site Editing, and the future of WordPress.

Business Spotlight: Cloudways

Cloudways logo
Cloudways is a managed WordPress hosting provider known for its scalability and reliability. Trusted by over 250,000 WordPress users, Cloudways gives you the freedom to choose from any of the top IaaS providers for ultimate performance. With Cloudways, you can forget all the hosting hassles and experience an ascending glide coupled with a smooth experience.

Long-awaited custom tables for orders coming to WooCommerce

Some good news for WooCommerce developers this week: an implementation of custom tables for orders is finally in development. On the WooCommerce developer blog, core developer Vedanshu Jain shares details in The plan for the WooCommerce custom order table.

Sarah Gooding at WPTavern reports that WooCommerce is aiming to produce an MVP of custom tables for orders by Q3, 2022. It's a long-awaited improvement that WebDevStudios co-founder and CEO Brad Williams says, "…. will be a massive win for performance, especially with larger stores!" But as Phil Johnston, a Sr. Software Engineer at WP Engine, and former engineer at Easy Digital Downloads, tweets, "Let me just say that it is not nearly as simple as it sounds."

Gooding says adding custom tables for orders will be a complex undertaking that will impact the entire ecosystem, and the WooCommerce team will be soliciting feedback from the developer community as they proceed with the project.

Yoast launches Shopify app, hosts YoastCon to celebrate

Yoast officially launched its new Shopify app this week and hosted a special Shopify edition of YoastCon. The one-day virtual conference featured talks by Orainti founder Aleyda Solis, iPullrank founder Mike King, Shopify's Director of SEO Kevin Indig and Sr. SEO Lead Jackson Lo, and Amsive Digital Director of SEO Lily Ray, as well as Yoast staff. If you missed the event, the replays are now available.

In other Yoast news, former CEO Marieke van de Rakt shares how she managed one of the biggest WordPress acquisitions of 2021. In the latest video for Freemius' Gamechangers series, she shares the challenges she faced as a first-time seller during Newfold Digital's acquisition of Yoast, and the responsibility she felt to protect the livelihoods of the company's employees.

Gutenberg 12.4 now available as the lack of block themes questioned

Gutenberg 12.4 is out and includes accessibility improvements, a categories reminder, and a tag cloud outline style, reports Justin Tadlock at WPTavern.

Meanwhile, Tadlock also asks why aren't more theme authors creating block themes? He highlights a recent tweet by WordPress Themes Team rep Ganga Kafle, who asked folks why they were submitting more classic themes than block themes to WordPress.org. Not-so-surprising reasons included the hurdle of having to learn how to make block themes, waiting for block themes to "mature," and keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of Full Site Editing theme development.

There are currently 39 themes in the WordPress themes directory that support site editing features. In his recent State of the Word, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg said he hopes there'll be "300 or, ideally, 3,000" block themes in the repository by the time he gives his next State of the Word address.

WordPress left out of open source discussions

Google and IBM are urging tech companies to join forces to identify critical open source projects after attending a White House meeting in the wake of the Log4j vulnerability, reports ZDNet journalist Jonathan Greig.

Dan Knauss, who's following the story for Post Status, notes Kent Walker, President of Global Affairs at Google and Alphabet, has proposed creating an organization to serve as a marketplace for open source maintenance with the following rationale: "Open source software is a connective tissue for much of the online world — it deserves the same focus and funding we give to our roads and bridges."

In attendance at the White House Open Source Cybersecurity meeting were Apache, Google, Apple, Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, Meta, Linux, and Oracle. But as Knauss notes, "Not invited: WordPress, powering 40% of the top million websites, including whitehouse.gov."

He adds, "Currently, WordPress and other open-source projects, many of which belong to the WordPress ecosystem, do not have a seat at the table with the big tech companies that are determining the course of industry ‘self-regulation.' Clearly, that needs to change."

#WPCommunityFeels: Kathy Zant

Photo of Kathy Zant.
This week, what's inspiring Kathy Zant, Product Marketing Manager for KadenceWP at StellarWP and LiquidWeb.
A podcast worth listening to: I really enjoy Matt Medeiros' take on things, and The WP Minute is a great easy listen.

A concept worth understanding: The most important concept worth understanding is empathy. No one has the same experience as you, and empathy helps us bridge connections in every aspect of life. It makes you a better marketer, a better developer, a better boss, and a happier human being.

A Twitter account worth following: Jason Resnick (@rezzz) delivers great content and ideas on email marketing every single day. He's amazing.

An article worth reading: The Most Expensive Lesson Of My Life: Details of SIM port hack. This is a detailed look at a SIM port attack. There are many lessons in it about digital security, our reliance on our cellphones, and how not to be complacent when something doesn't feel right.

A habit worth forming: The best habit in the world is walking a few miles every morning. It's part exercise, part meditation, part reconnection to nature. Bonus: bring a dog with you.

How to Create Low-Code Block Patterns

The WordPress block pattern inserter.
Block patterns are an incredible time-saving opportunity to help you establish the layout of a site. You can get these from the WordPress Pattern Directory or create your own. In this post, we show you how to create your own low-code block pattern and register it to use in many places throughout your website. Don’t worry, you can do this without much coding experience.

You might want to add the block pattern to your Block Inserter, so that you can add it to your site multiple times, without recreating it each time. You don’t even need to copy and paste it again.

In this post, we walk you through:
  1. How to create the layout for your block pattern
  2. View the code
  3. Low-Code Register Block Pattern
Once you have your block patterns registered on your site, you can implement them multiple times across your site, swapping out the text or images while preserving the layout. You can now access the pattern numerous times to create a cohesive look, no matter the content you include. When building websites for clients, be sure to direct them to use patterns you have implemented as well.

Read more: How to Create Low-Code Block Patterns.

In other WordPress news...

  • Most folks know Josepha Haden Chomposy is the Executive Director of WordPress. But what does she actually do? In part one of a two-part interview with Matt Medeiros on The Matt Report podcast, she explains the logistics of her role, bringing in-person WordCamps back, and the challenges with Gutenberg. Part two explores "meatier" topics, including contributor compensation and Five for the Future. "Such a great interview of @JosephaHaden from @mattreport. Gave me a much better understanding of the WordPress open source landscape and how it's managed," tweets Newsletter Glue co-founder Lesley Sim. Meanwhile, on the WP Briefing podcast, Haden Chomphosy shares her hopes for the year ahead.
  • Registration for WordFest Live 2022 is now open. The 24-hour festival of WordPress will be held on March 4 and will feature 60+ sessions across two virtual stages. Tickets are free, with all donations going to Big Orange Heart, a charity that provides well-being support for remote workers.
  • The WordPress Training Team has shared its Learn WordPress goals for 2022. Team co-rep Courtney Robertson, a GoDaddy-sponsored contributor, says the team is currently focused on the WordPress 5.9 release and will begin working towards its March goals in the next two weeks.
  • A new Automattic-backed global meetup group aims to raise awareness about WordPress amongst creators of Black African descent and help connect them to other community members. BlackPress will hold its first online meet and greet mixer on January 27 at 8pm EST.
  • Post Status has followed up its first annual State of the WordPress News with a more European timezone-friendly version. WPNYC Meetup organizer Winstina Hughes, XWP Senior Product Designer Tammie Lister, podcaster and freelancer Nathan Wrigley, Equalize Digital founder and CEO Amber Hinds, Yoast Community Team Lead Yvette Sonneveld, and PressTitan Co-Founder Malcolm Peralty share their picks for the most noteworthy and influential WordPress news stories of 2021.
  • Wordfence has disclosed a vulnerability in the Login/Signup Popup, Side Cart Woocommerce (Ajax), and Waitlist Woocommerce (Back in stock notifier) plugins that make it possible for an attacker to update arbitrary site options on a vulnerable site. Threat analyst Chloe Chamberland says the three plugins for WooCommerce are installed on a combined 84,000 sites and is urging users to update to the latest versions. In other security news, an unauthenticated cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability has been patched in the WordPress Email Template Designer – WP HTML Mail plugin.
  • How WordPress Are You? Robert Jacobi has put together a fun quiz he says will "scientifically place you in your correct Custom Post Type."
  • The WPMinute has welcomed a new community lead. Raquel Landefeld, who's also the event coordinator at Elegant Themes, will be coordinating content and interviews for the WPMinute.
  • WordPress lead developer Helen Hou-Sandí has landed a new role at GitHub. "I'm feeling impatient sooooo… next week I'll be starting @github as a Senior Software Engineering Manager on the ✨extremely cool✨ Special Projects team 🥳 Excited to get to work on quality of life and "wouldn't it be great if" for OSS and developers everywhere!" she tweets. Hou-Sandí finished up as Director of Open Source Initiatives at 10up in December after 10 years at the web agency.
  • Davinder Singh Kainth of The WP Weekly and the WP Awards features in MainWP's latest Q&A. Singh Kainth shares why he started the weekly newsletter and how he was surprised by how many people voted in the recent awards.
MailPoet - Zeplin 2019-10-25 17-00-44

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