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Issue #111
MailPoet - Zeplin 2019-10-25 17-00-44

This week in WordPress

FSE themes? Block themes? What are we calling them?

FSE themes? Block themes? Block-based themes? FSE block themes? What are we calling these new WordPress themes? asks Justin Tadlock at WPTavern.

Answering his own question, he says the short—and official—answer is "block themes" (the WordPress Themes Team agreed on this terminology in December 2021). The longer answer, as Tadlock explains, is more nuanced as there are actually now four types of WordPress themes: block, classic, hybrid and universal.

And more opining about terminology: In her article, Gutenberg Full Site Editing does not have to be full on the Extendify blog, XWP Senior Product Designer Tammie Lister says she "would love for us all to almost stop using the term 'Full Site Editing' in 2022." She argues the case for the gradual adoption of the various tools that comprise full site editing.

Meanwhile, at Smashing Magazine, developer and writer Leonardo Losoviz discusses the pros and cons of WordPress collaborating with the Block Protocol, a new open standard for building and using data-driven blocks. In Implications Of WordPress Joining The Block Protocol, he notes that a big adopter like WordPress would give credibility and traction to the protocol, which is still in draft.

WPTavern: Gutenberg 12.6 now available, doesn't break anything

Gutenberg 12.6 enhances transforming block, adds Read More and Post Author Biography blocks, and enables social icon labels, reports Justin Tadlock at WPTavern

He notes, "Nothing seems to be broken with this release, which is always welcome. Gutenberg has not fundamentally wrecked something I relied on in a long while. There were a few growing pains, but the software has become more stable in the past year. I just wanted to add a note to commend the people working on it every day."

Also at WPTavern, Sarah Gooding reports Gutenberg contributors are exploring more advanced template creation, specifically how the template creation UI can be updated to expand the types of templates that users can create using the site editor.

WordPress Executive Director shares theory of tech adoption

"This is a much more business-y post than I normally write for WordPress, but there are useful insights for anyone building a business based on WP goods or services," tweets WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy, linking to A Theory of Technology Adoption in the WordPress Project.

In a nutshell: As we head into the second phase of Gutenberg, the WordPress project must keep in mind what will motivate or inspire users to "take a fresh look at the WordPress editor," which Haden Chomphosy breaks down into three parts: apparent usefulness, apparent ease of use, and apparent trustworthiness.

She notes that after WordPress 5.0 was released, "We experienced the effects of social proof not being on our side early on in the Gutenberg project, and turned that around through substantial after-the-fact efforts from contributors all over the WordPress project."

Accessibility advocate still asking for WordPress.com to caption videos

"I've been fighting, er, asking @wordpressdotcom for captioned videos for years. I thought it was 5 years. I was wrong. It's been 7 years," tweets accessibility advocate Deborah Edwards-Oñoro, who also shares her frustrations in Seven Years of Asking: I'm Still Waiting for WordPress.com to Publish Captioned Videos.

Edwards-Oñoro adds, "I suspect whoever fields questions on the @wordpressdotcom account has a different way to describe my perseverance."

Meanwhile, A11y Rules podcaster Nicolas Steenhout will share why The Internet is Unusable: The Disabled View at the WordPress Accessibility Meetup's next event on February 22 at 1am UTC. "Because disabled folks are the best people to explain what makes using the web difficult or painful for them," he explains.

Date set for WordPress 6.0 release

WordPress 6.0 is set to be released on May 24. Automattic-sponsored core contributor Chloe Bringmann has shared a proposed WordPress 6.0 Planning Roundup for the second major release of WordPress for 2022.

WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg will continue his role as release lead, with Héctor Prieto, a Technical Project Manager at Automattic working on Gutenberg, taking on the role of Release Coordinator. Peter Wilson, who recently joined 10up as a lead engineer on their Open Source Practices team, will serve as Core Tech Lead.

Several roles are yet to be filled, including the editor tech, triage, test, and accessibility lead roles.

Launch of ad-blocking plugin prompts freemium ads debate

"Have you ever been annoyed with ads or banners in your #WordPress dashboard? Me too, so I tried to build a solution. The Clarity plugin will make dashboard ads a thing of the past. 🚀" tweets full-stack developer Stanislav Khromov, who both launched his plugin and kicked off a debate about freemium products this week.

Or as GiveWP co-founder Matt Cromwell put it in the Advanced WordPress Facebook group, where Khromov also announced his plugin: "… why is no one MORE concerned with plugin developers making a decent living off the free code they publish?"

Justin Tadlock unpacks the issues raised in the 120 comments in the Facebook group in his story at WPTavern: Clarity Ad Blocker for WordPress Announced, Receives Mixed Reactions.

At WP Mainline, Jeff Chandler muses that he lives in a world where an ad-blocker plugin for the WordPress background exists: The most surprising aspect of all of this is that a plugin like Clarity hasn't been created sooner and if it has, I don't recall it. The WordPress backend is the Wild West for plugin authors looking to turn free users into paying customers.

As we reported in issue #109, Jonathan Bossenger is trying to revive the WP Notify feature project — aka WP admin notices — two and a half years after it was officially proposed and after interest tapered off last year. Bossenger, a Delicious Brains-sponsored core contributor, is seeking help with moving along a GitHub issue so proposed designs can be installed and reviewed.

Delicious Brains Senior Developer Erik Torsner tweets, "Love it or don't. The Clarity plugin has the highest ratio between active users and WP Tavern articles ever and people on two sides calling each other unethical less than a week after launch. @khromov found a pain point and a hammer."

How can we sustain quality WordPress journalism?

Can this community journalism thing work? asks podcaster Matt Medeiros, who launched the WPMinute last year, hired Paul Lacey as managing editor only to lose him a month later, and is now working with Eric Karkovack of speckyboy fame.

Medeiros laments, "There aren't that many people who care about WordPress news, let alone care to contribute to it… So many have come and gone in this space—I can see why." It's a topic he unpacked in an interview with Kim Coleman, co-founder of Paid Memberships Pro: Funding a WordPress news business.

But back to Karkovack, who has published two pieces exploring the impact of full site editing on freelancers: What does Full Site Editing mean for freelancers? and Is WordPress pushing freelancers away?

#WPCommunityFeels: Lu Williams

This week, what's inspiring writer and comedienne Lu Williams.

Join Williams’s session, Find the Funny, at WordFest Live 2022. The 24-hour festival of WordPress will be held on March 4. Tickets are free, with all donations going to Big Orange Heart.
A podcast worth listening to: A Funny Taste in Music with Andrew Bird. As I do stand-up, this is a great podcast that opens up access to other comics whilst discussing their music tastes. Entertaining and a fun way to enjoy music you know or discover new music. For me, it’s almost like a form of networking, listening to the guests and then following their social media presence. But the main thing is the “escapism” that music provides as well as the humor.

A concept worth understanding: Tthe concept of ability. Once we are aware of our abilities, we know what we are or aren't capable of so we can then either improve our ability or shift our focus away from any inability, thus making us better people. You could spend years trying to master a skill you simply don't have or accept it and apply that energy to a skill you do have, ultimately improving the way you look at yourself. It's too easy to feel like we have failed but it's not failure. You can't fail at something you cannot do. Shifting that mindset alone eases so much pressure we put on ourselves, and we can start to really appreciate ourselves and our achievements from a deeper understanding.

A Twitter account worth following: Mine! (@cshq101) Of course, Steven Bartlett (@SteveBartlettSC) is my second choice after following me. I'm just playing but yeah follow me. I'm new on there, I'm lonely lol. Steven is worth following as his posts are quite thought provoking. I personally feel something akin to empowerment since following him as he just cuts through the BS so many motivational posts have by giving the type of content that makes me stop and think about how I respond and react to whatever life throws at me.

An article worth reading: Any articles you can find from Stephen Bartlett are worth so much. Inspirational yet brutally honest, just like his Twitter account.

A habit worth forming: Smile more… Look in the mirror and smile at your reflection. Trust me, you'll thank yourself after. That face that looks back at you, that's your face. You have to live with it your whole life. Even if you don't particularly find yourself aesthetically pleasing, your face is your identity. Smile at it, learn to appreciate it, respect it, embrace it and above all, like it. So smile because it's infectious. Because it's a simple way to be kind to yourself.

Growing Your Business Coffee Chat

YT Event Thumbnail
Last month, GoDaddy Pro hosted a panel where we had guests share how you—as an agency or freelancer—have the potential to increase your monthly recurring revenue by offering website maintenance plans. On February 23, we continue the conversation with additional monthly services beyond simply keeping site plugins up-to-date. To do so, we have an all-new panel of guests!

Join host Marcus Burnette as he welcomes four WordPress industry experts to talk about content, security, SEO, development partnerships, and more! These four professionals are Topher DeRosia from Camber Creative (and HeroPress), Michele Butcher-Jones from Thrive Agency, Alycia Leno from GoDaddy, and Maddy Osman from The Blogsmith. You’ll be sure to leave this casual chat with ideas for how you can add these services to increase your revenue!

This free virtual panel meetup is presented by GoDaddy Pro and will take place on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 3pm EST.

Read more: Growing Your Business Coffee Chat.

In other WordPress news...

  • ICYMI last week, the WordPress Photo Directory now has its own Make team, reports Sarah Gooding at WPTavern. She says nearly two dozen people responded to WordPress Community Organizer Angela Jin's recent call for testers and volunteer photo moderators. "The Photo Directory has so much momentum right now and offers a good opportunity to contribute back to the WordPress world without having to know how to code," Gooding writes.
  • The KitchensinkWP podcast marked eight years of weekly shows this week without skipping a week or repeating a single episode. "Oh.. maybe I should get some 'merch' made... starting with the 'I've listened to XX many of the XX episodes & all I have to show for it is this shirt!' tweets host Adam Silver.
  • BlackPress will host its second meetup on February 25 at 1am UTC. Allie Nimmons will talk about Underrepresented in Tech, a tool she co-founded that aims to make diversity work easier.
  • Marketing Strategist Laura Coronado has published a round-up of the WebDevStudios team's favorite newsletters. She says by subscribing to WordPress newsletters, all the latest and greatest WordPress news, announcements, and tutorials will be delivered right to your email inbox and "no different than having a meal delivered by DoorDash."
  • Nominations are now open for Torque's Plugin Madness 2022. The annual bracket-style competition pits reader-nominated plugins against one another over several weekly rounds, with the final plugin named the champion. WP Engine Content Manager Abe Selig says last year, the competition played host to a great "Cinderella story" with first-time competitor FluentCRM winning the coveted final spot.
  • The ball is moving on a nine-year-old effort to migrate BuddyPress' custom URI parser to use WordPress' Rewrite API, reports Sarah Gooding at WPTavern. The first beta for the BP Rewrites feature plugin was released this week with a call for testing before it gets moved to the WordPress plugin directory.
  • Why does the WordPress community matter and how do you deal with community issues? In a recent episode of The SDM Show, community builder Michelle Frechette, the Director of Community Engagement for StellarWP at Liquid Web, touches on WordPress drama, the pandemic, mergers and acquisitions, Gutenberg, and why WordPress needs more sponsored contributors.
  • South Florida WordPress community organizers William and Aida Jackson are hosting Black Meta Fest 2022. The virtual week-long Web3 festival will showcase Black NFT art, blockchain education, and Black history within the metaverse will kick off on February 21. The family-friendly event is free and will include a panel and workshops for youths and teens.
  • It has been over nine years since the late Alex Mills opened a ticket on WordPress Trac titled "Plugin Dependencies (Yet Another Plugin Dependencies Ticket)." At WPTavern, Justin Tadlock delves into Yet Another Plugin Dependencies Discussion, Two Proposals This Time.
  • Newsletter Glue co-founder Lesley Sim thinks special contributor badges on WordPress.org could further incentivize core contribution if it earned developers a boost in their plugin and theme rankings. In the latest episode of Post Status Excerpt, host David Bisset picks Sim's brain about some ideas she has for rewarding core contributors to WordPress.
  • Wordfence is urging UpdraftPlus users to update to the latest version after disclosing a vulnerability that allows any logged-in user, including subscriber-level users, to download backups made with the plugin. Security researcher Marc Montpas discovered the vulnerability in the popular backups plugin, which has over 3 million active installations.
MailPoet - Zeplin 2019-10-25 17-00-44

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