Issue #16
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This week in WordPress

The future of WordCamps

As we touched upon in our last issue, there's been lots of chatter about how COVID-19 is going to change our community meetups. On Wednesday WordPress Executive Director, Josepha Haden, published a post advising the community to "keep WordCamp travel down to a minimum".
Support will be given to WordCamp organisers to make the most suitable arrangements for their local communities; whether that be cancelling, postponing, livestreaming, or continuing with their event.
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Whilst it's disappointing for the community to have to make these decisions, Anthony Burchell makes a great point in saying "I think local focused events will be a great opportunity for our meetups and WordCamps to get back to their roots and boost attendance!"

Organisers are already taking action. WordCamp Geneva has announced that they've decided "to cancel the WordCamp Genève on March 21st, or at least postpone it for about 6 months". WordCamp Retreat, held in Germany, has cancelled their event scheduled for April 30th.
On Wednesday, WordCamp DC also made the difficult decision to cancel their event scheduled for March 27th.

"Real shame about all the cancellations of #WordCamps. Was so looking forward to @wordcampdc, with many more that are likely going to be cancelled. For all the right reasons it had to be done and I am πŸ’― behind it. Let's just say, till soon, WPfriends πŸ’™" tweets Ronald from YITH, in response to the recent announcements.
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It's not just WordCamps taking extra precautions during this uncertain time. Wordfence Founder & CEO, Mark Maunder announced that their team "will not be attending WordCamps anywhere globally until COVID-19 has run its course or an effective and tested vaccine is available." but they will continue to sponsor any events they've already committed to. Human Made has also followed suit, along with GoDaddy, as communicated by Adam W. Warner on Twitter.

Andrea Middleton is spearheading the effort to provide the support and infrastructure required to livestream events. In a recent tweet, Andrea has asked for ideas and suggestions on how to make this work. But not everyone is sold on the idea of virtual events. "If WordCamps eventually go the way of being virtual events, it will be a sad day. While there are certainly a lot of benefits to going virtual, losing the in-person face-to-face interaction is going to suck." says Jeff on Twitter.

If you're planning on attending a WordCamp this year we recommend keeping an eye on the latest announcements. WordPress Community Manager, Hugh Lashbrooke, has compiled a list of resources to help you stay on top of developments.

WordPress 5.4 is almost here!

"WordPress 5.4 is shaping up to be the best WordPress 2020 has seen!" says JB Audras in the newly published WordPress 5.4 Field Guide. The new version, which contains ten (yes 10!!) Gutenberg releases amongst many other updates and improvements, is set to be released on March 31st.
If you're a plugin or theme developer, now's the time to start testing your extensions to prepare for a smooth update. Justin Tadlock has put together a guide on what to look out for, in WP Tavern.
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In other news...

  • – Topher has put together a list of inclusive scholarships available in the WordPress space, as shared by Elisabeth Klaar.
  • – As a plugin or theme developer, you can protect your business from copyright or trademark infringements, even though you sell under GPL. Freemius have created a video guide on how to protect your business against trolls. - Sponsored link
  • – Congratulations to Kinsta who welcome "tax and finance industry veteran R. D. David Young as Chief Financial Officer" announced by Yahoo! Finance.
  • – Matt Mullenweg has shared his tips on distributed work, following requests from the press amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • – MailPoet has just announced the launch of their own version of an SMTP plugin to help with the sending of transactional emails. - Sponsored link
  • – Joost de Valk has put together a proposal for WordCamp sites' SEO fixes.
  • – Voting for Torque's 2020 Plugin Madness is now open πŸŽ‰.
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