Issue #204
Happy Friday! It's March 15 and we're covering WordPress 6.5, the Scale Consortium's new website, Jamie Marsland's new gig, and much more.

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Three big headlines

1. WordPress 6.5 nears release: Second RC and Field Guide now available

We're less than two weeks from the general release of WordPress 6.5. The second release candidate is now available, and the WordPress 6.5 Field Guide dropped earlier today.

The field guide details everything that's coming up, including significant changes to the Block Editor (Interactivity API! Font Library! Block Bindings API!), merging the Performant Translations feature plugin into core, AVIF support, and much more.

WordPress 6.5 brings 10 versions of the Gutenberg plugin into core, including releases 16.8 through to 17.7. In Core Trac, there are almost 344 tickets, including 99 enhancements and feature requests, 210 bug fixes, and 35 other blessed tasks. Twenty tickets focus on performance, 19 on accessibility, and 23 on modernizing code and applying coding standards.

UI/UX architect Ohia Thompson shared her excitement for the Font Library on X, posting, "#WordPress 6.5 dev team is kicking ass and taking names!"

The WordPress Translation Team is working on translating WordPress 6.5 into over 100 languages and dialects, including 14 versions of Spanish, five versions of English (including Pirate), and even emoji.

Kinsta writer Carlo Daniele has published his usual comprehensive deep dive: What's new in WordPress 6.5: Font Library, DataViews, Block Bindings, Interactivity API, and much more!

But for an insider's take, Automattic-sponsored contributor Anne McCarthy, who is serving as one of the Editor Triage Leads for this release, has published WordPress 6.5 Source of Truth. As Automattic Happiness Engineer James Huff posted on Post Status Slack today, it's "an absolutely incredible deep dive into what's coming to WP 6.5. I recommend reading if you have the time."

Lastly, "Having worked as a full time contributor up till last year, I might be biased saying this, but please give a good amount of appreciation to all the volunteers working on the @WordPress 6.5 release. They are doing a wonderful job bringing to life the features we use daily!" posted Jeffrey Pearce, a team lead for the Special Projects Team at Automattic.

A third release candidate is due out on March 19, followed by the general release of WordPress 6.5 on March 26.

2. Scale Consortium unveils new website

The Scale Consortium has launched a new website, and as founding member XWP explains, "Learn more about our shared goals, the industry-leading brands already on #WordPress, and the latest and greatest developments at the forefront of the enterprise marketplace."

The consortium brings together some of the most successful agencies in WordPress enterprise, including XWP, Human Made, Syde, The Code Co, bigbite, WebDevStudios, Alley, Reaktiv, rtCamp, and Crowd Favorite. The group was established shortly after WordCamp Asia 2023 and has met several times at in-person events alongside WordCamps.

According to the new website, the consortium's mission is to amplify the value of WordPress for enterprise-level solutions. To achieve this, the consortium seeks to bring a unified and compelling WordPress experience to the enterprise market.

Crowd Favorite CEO Karim Marucchi, who is leading the consortium, posted this week, "We're proud to be working with other premier digital agencies on this groundbreaking initiative to redefine the #WordPress landscape for the enterprise."

Earlier today, Human Made CEO Tom Willmot sought his X followers' opinions on what the consortium should publish on its website, asking, "What's the biggest thing you think we could do to accelerate WordPress growth as an Enterprise CMS? What the biggest thing missing from the site in your opinion?"

Feedback included case studies detailing how real-world enterprise companies use WordPress, and publishing the consortium's mission on the front page.

3. partners with YouTuber Jamie Marsland

Popular YouTuber Jamie Marsland has partnered with for "Build and Beyond," a video series designed to help users push the boundaries of what's possible with WordPress.

As posted this week, "Tune in to see everything from exciting new feature announcements to handy tips and tricks to Jamie's mind-blowing ‘website recreations.'"

In his first video, Jamie shared what's coming to WordPress in 2024, including mega menus, block pattern overrides, the Block Bindings API, Phase 3: Collaboration, data liberation, and the Interactivity API.

"Congrats Jamie! I've been using WordPress for 20 years and your videos are what made me finally embrace Gutenberg and Block Themes. Now I can't imagine ever going back!" posted Batman-News founder Chris Begley.

Human Made CEO Tom Willmot posted, "I hope @pootlepress success inspires more WordPress focused content creators and influencers. I think it's so great for our space."
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In other news

WordPress project

> Gutenberg 17.9 is now available. According to Automattic-sponsored release lead Andrew Serong, this release prioritizes stability and bug fixes. It brings color and typography presets in global styles, indenting list block items via the tab key, a shuffle option when choosing patterns, and the ability to swap template parts in the inspector (Make WordPress Core)

> The WordPress Marketing Team has updated its fundraising guidelines to create an exception for project leadership. The change comes after WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg used the project's X/Twitter account to garner support for the Bay Bridge Lights project (GitHub | Make Marketing) | For background on how Matt clashed with the marketing team and WordPress community in January, WP Tavern triallist Jyolsna JE wrote the very thorough Bay Lights Darken Matt and WP Community Relationship (WP-Content)

> Core committer Pascal Birchler has published a summary of his recent talk at WordCamp Asia about democratizing performance in WordPress. Pascal is a Google-sponsored software engineer, member of the WordPress Performance team, and performance lead for WordPress 6.5 (Pascal Birchler)

> Jordan Gillman, an Automattic-sponsored support contributor, has kicked off a discussion on the changes needed in the WordPress support forums to adhere to the European Union's Digital Services Act and in turn make life easier for the WordPress Incident Response Team. He proposes notifying users when content is archived and why, and letting users know when they are blocked (Make WordPress Support)

> Brian Coords interviewed Jonathan Bossenger about Learning Pathways, a WordPress Training Team initiative aimed at delivering progressive, user-friendly learning pathways tailored to different types of learners on Learn WordPress. Jonathan talks about categorizing and curating three years of content created for, as well as the site's upcoming redesign (WP Tavern)

> Nick Diego and Bernie Reiter, both Automattic-sponsored contributors, will host a one-hour developer session on March 26 that will explore the recent changes to the Block Hooks API in WordPress 6.5. Bernie is the lead developer of the API (Meetup)

WordPress community

> "Grab some coffee and give this episode a listen to learn what made Nathan say: ‘I feel that you passionately believe everything that you've just said.'" posted WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy this week, linking to her insightful interview with WP Tavern Jukebox host Nathan Wrigley. Recorded live at WordCamp Asia 2024, the interview explores Josepha's journey from hands-on community management to her executive role, her ambition for WordPress to reach 51% market share, and the semi-anarchic nature of participation in the WordPress (X | WP Tavern Jukebox)

> Content creator Bud Kraus has launched a new podcast, Seriously, Bud? The podcast focuses on the lives of his interviewees rather than their work with WordPress. He says he was inspired to start the podcast after meeting people at WordCamps and wanting to get to know them better. The first episode features Marcus Burnette (X)

> Emilia Capital investor Marieke van de Rakt recently attended a Dutch startup event where she was the only woman. "It reminded me of how awesome the WordPress community really is," she writes in her weekly column for Post Status." She says there's still work to do on improving the diversity of speaker line-ups and addressing more than just gender equality, but overall, the WordPress community "makes me feel safe." (Post Status)

> Freemius founder and CEO Vova Feldman speculates on whether WordPress is experiencing a recession in his recap of WordCamp Asia 2024. He notes that compared to other WordCamps, there wasn't much swag on offer, and it looked like sponsors hadn't spent much on their booths. "Previously, every hosting company was throwing a big party, but this was not the case in WC Asia. While I'm still on the fence, there is definitely some indication that we may be witnessing a recession in WordPress," he writes (Freemius)

> Newsletter Glue's Lesley Sim writes about the "oxygen mask approach to open source," an idea shared by Syde's Robert Windisch. "Open source isn't about contributing to every single damn thing until you pass out and die," she writes. "Open source is about making sure you're good, your business is good, and that you have extra bandwidth." (

> Eight-two percent of Japanese websites are powered by WordPress, according to WordCamp Asia 2024 organizer Shusei Toda. Commenting on the news that Matt Mullenweg will deliver this year's State of the Word in Tokyo, Japan, on December 16, Shusei says it marks a "monumental moment for the Japanese WordPress community—one of the oldest global communities dedicated to WordPress." Last year, the State of the Word was live-streamed from Madrid, Spain, marking the first time the event has been held outside of North America (WP Tavern)

Business, enterprise & acquisitions

> Inpsyde is now known as Syde. CEO Alex Frison says the strategic rebrand reflects the evolution of Europe's biggest WordPress enterprise agency, whose clients include Smashing Magazine, Facebook, PayPal and Mercedes-Benz. Established in 2006, Syde now employs more than 130 people from 35 different countries (Syde)

> Is Automattic doubling down on the developer community? Brian Coords explores how the company's various brands, including Woo, and WP Cloud, are focusing less on DIY users and more on the needs of developers. "Regardless of your opinion of Automattic as a company, the fact that they're in the midst of redefining their place in the broader community is important, especially with their outsized role in contribution to WordPress and their alleged content partnerships with AI companies like Midjourney and OpenAI," writes Brian (WP Tavern) | A source at told The Repository the company had been planning to announce a partnership with OpenAI and Midjourney before 404 Media broke the story along with allegations of data misuse. The source said 404 Media's article had soured what could have been a positive news story about empowering users, and any announcement has since been scrapped.

> Knit Pay (Logic Bridge Techno Mart LLP) has acquired WooCommerce extensions UPI QR Code Payment Gateway and Razorpay Payment Links, both created by developer Sayan Datta (X/Twitter)

> Ben Ritner, the creator of the popular Kadence theme, shares his journey from building websites for clients to creating the Virtue theme (it had 300,000 active installs at its peak). He talks about the evolution of the 10-year-old Kadence brand and the launch of the Kadence theme four years ago as a Gutenberg-ready solution (The WP Minute+)

Conferences, events & awards

> WP Engine's fifth annual developer conference, DE{CODE}, will be held on Tuesday in North America and APAC and Thursday in EMEA. The virtual event will feature over 40 speakers. Brian Coords digs into the event's vibe, unusual format, and focus on AI (WP Tavern)

> CloudFest 2024 kicks off in Europa-Park, Germany, on March 18 with WP Day, a day dedicated to WordPress. Guildenberg's Jonathan Wold will again MC this year's event, which will feature talks by Review Signal founder Kevin Ohashi and WebPros CTO Jan Löffler, and panel discussions on product creation in an evolving WordPress, UX and security, generative WordPress, and sustainability and inclusion. Industry analyst and strategist Robert Jacobi has created a cheat sheet for the event (Robert Jacobi) | CloudFest's annual Hackathon starts tomorrow. The three-day event will bring together 140 attendees working across 11 open source initiatives, including a project to enable Mastodon apps for WordPress and plugins, and an inclusive language check for open source contributors (CloudFest Hackathon)

> WordCamp Europe organizers Ohia Thompson and Marco Chiesi talk to Osom Studios' Maciej Nowak about the challenges and triumphs of planning a large-scale event, from their struggles with remote organization and local supplier readiness to visa issues and coordinating diverse activities and committees (Osom to Know)


> WordPress veteran Remkus de Vries delves into the recent Bricks hack with Calvin Alkan, the security researcher who discovered the critical vulnerability (Remkus de Vries) | Making 8 founder Adam J. Humphreys told writer Roger Montti last month that, "People on hosts without good security got exploited. A lot of people are dealing with it now. It's a bloodbath and it's the number one rated builder." The Bricks Builder theme has an estimated 25,000 active installations (Search Engine Journal)

> Wordfence is urging folks to remove miniOrange's Malware Scanner and the Web Application Firewall plugins from their websites immediately and search for alternative plugins. Both plugins contain a critical privilege escalation vulnerability that will never be patched due to the developer closing the plugins (Wordfence)


> "Paul's videos are always good, but this thoughtful and impassioned video is brilliant!" posted SRH Design's Simon Harper, linking to WPTuts owner Paul Charleon's excellent video on why folks should continue supporting small, disruptive development teams in the wake of Cwicly sunsetting (X | WPTuts)

> How do developers manage their product roadmap amidst the constant and ongoing development of blocks? Eric Karkovack speaks to GoDaddy software engineer Anthony Ledesma and Twentig co-founder Yann Collet about how they keep up with Gutenberg (The WP Minute)


⏲️ Jamie Marsland recreates The New York Times' site in under 30 minutes.

✍️ Toby Cryns reflects on his two weeks writing for WP Tavern.

📈 Speaking of, Cryns shares tech trends in WordPress.

🌏 Noel Tock has shared the AI-generated wallpapers from his WordCamp Asia keynote.

🐛 Mika Epstein recalls a time a self-proclaimed security expert filed a complaint.

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