Issue #194
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Happy Friday and happy birthday to us! The Repository is celebrating four years of bringing you WordPress news ๐Ÿฅณ It's November 10 and we're covering WordPress 6.4, the cURL bug, major release timing for 2024, and more.

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This week in WordPress

1. WordPress 6.4 hailed as "one of the most important releases for WordPress"

For the first time in four years, we're quoting our publisher Rae Morey, who posted yesterday: "Holy crap, WordPress 6.4 and Twenty Twenty-Four are a match made in heaven! ๐Ÿ˜ Props to everyone who contributed. Saying goodbye to my page builder ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ฏ"

WordPress 6.4 "Shirley" was released Tuesday with the highly anticipated Twenty Twenty-Four default theme. As WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy says in her announcement, "Many of the features and enhancements in WordPress 6.4 fall in the 'small but mighty' category," and "โ€ฆ these updates help content creators and site developers alike save time and effort while delivering the high value, low hassle WordPress experience the world has grown to expect."

If you haven't already tested this release, there's much to explore. WP Tavern's Sarah Gooding added to her ongoing coverage: WordPress 6.4 Introduces Twenty Twenty-Four Theme, Adds Lightbox, Block Hooks, and Improvements Across Design Tools. For a bite-sized breakdown, Automattic-sponsored contributor Rich Tabor posted everything you need to know in an X thread with stunning videos.

At The WP Minute, Publisher Matt Medeiros says WordPress 6.4 is "one of the most important releases for WordPress." He praises what he sees as an "Apple" approach to releasing new versions of WordPress: "Meaning, just like iPhones and MacBooks, updates are iterative and not groundbreaking at every release. I see WordPress settling into a similar feature/update cycle similar to Cupertino. So when I say it's important, I mean, will this next year of development, building off 6.4, continue to bring WordPress into the future?"

WordPress 6.4 was delivered by WordPress's second-ever underrepresented gender release squad. More than 600 people from 56 countries contributed to the release. And as 10up-sponsored contributor Peter Wilson posted, "WordPress 6.4 includes the work of 170 new contributors. In the six hours since it was released, their work has been downloaded over six and a half million times. It's a pretty mind blowing first-time experience and why I find it special to give someone their first props."

The sentiment's not lost on Francesca Marano, XWP's Director of Engineering Learning and Growth, who posted, "The day after a WordPress release is my favourite. So many people are tweeting about their contribution! Whether you opened a ticket on Trac, worked on collateral material, or shepherded a new feature, YOU are making the open web! Congratulations to everyone!"

2. WordPress 6.4.1 quickly released to fix hosting woes caused by cURL bug

"Well, that #WordPress 6.4.1 maintenance release rolled out rather quickly ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ‘," posted SRH Design's Simon Harper, referring to the news that overshadowed this week's WordPress 6.4 release. Sarah Gooding at WP Tavern has the story: WordPress 6.4.1 Fixes a Critical cURL/Requests Bug.

As Gooding writes, hosting companies began reporting the widespread impact of the bug shortly after WordPress 6.4 was released, raising concerns that a change in the Requests library was leading to problems with updates on servers running older versions of cURL.

On X, attention quickly turned to why hosts were running old versions known to have security issues. "My question: is this not the responsibility of the web hosts? I wouldn't expect users to know, or care, what version of curl is installed, and rather it should be pointed out to web hosts that running a 10 year old version of something is probably __doing_it_wrong()โ€ฆ" posted Jonathan Bossenger, an Automattic-sponsored training contributor.

Automattic-owned host Pressable took the opportunity to dig at their competitors: "For those wondering if their Pressable sites are impacted by the recent cURL bug in WordPress 6.4: You're safe. We don't run ancient, security compromised versions of cURL from 2013."

At WP Tavern, Nexcess Product Manager Tiffany Bridge was on the defense, pointing out that it's common for enterprise-level hosting companies to intentionally run older versions of Linux because they are stable and predictable, but it means they often have older versions of packages, including cURL.

Long-time core contributor John Blackbourn, Principal Web Engineer at Human Made, posted, "Well it looks like the next outreach program that the WordPress community needs to do is to get Curl updated everywhere. Users running e-commerce sites who update their production site to WordPress 6.4 on the day of release but are running a decade-old version of Curl? Yowzers."

3. Three major releases proposed for 2024 roadmap

There will be three major releases of WordPress in 2024, including one allowing contributors to focus on maintenance and general polish, according to a proposal published by WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy this week.

Haden Chomphosy's schedule has WordPress 6.5 scheduled for release on 26 March, WordPress 6.5 on 16 July, and WordPress 6.7 on 5 November.

Given the general focus for 2024 will be completing the third phase of the Gutenberg project, she says "I expect that 6.5 and 6.7 will be focused on those collaborative features. I would like to propose that 6.6 be held specifically for maintenance and general polish of the software (as was wished for earlier this year)."

In other project-related news, the WordPress Performance Tream is targeting the upcoming WordPress 6.5 release to merge their Performant Translations feature plugin into core.
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In other news

WordPress community

> Topher DeRosia, who recently launched Media Forge Productions, explains how he tells friends and family what he does with WordPress (Do the Woo)

> Yumi Nishioka, the recipient of the 2023 Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship, shares her WordPress journey, including starting the Gutenberg Freaks study group (Hostinger)

> Extending on her recent opinion pieces at Post Status, investor Marieke van de Rakt talks about the growing divide between those who prioritize community-oriented contributions and those driven by commercial interests (WP Tavern Jukebox)

Business, enterprise & acquisitions

> Brainstorm Force, the company behind the hugely popular Astra theme, has invested in LatePoint, a booking plugin used by over 21,000 businesses (Astra)

> In her latest column, investor Marieke van de Rakt says it's a valid choice for businesses not to offer a free version of their pluginโ€”but choosing not to contribute to the WordPress project at all is not (Post Status)

> Solopreneur Jack Kitterhing has acquired, a WordPress helpdesk and knowledge base plugin. On X, Kitterhing hinted at starting a company after also recently buying the WP SMTP and Check & Log Email plugins (X)

> Matt Mullenweg says Tumblr has been "burning" cash since Automattic acquired the social platform in 2019. Responding to a leaked P2 post revealing plans to move the majority of the 139 people working on Tumblr to other divisions within Automattic, Mullenweg says: "We are shifting from the mode of 'surging' on Tumblr with tons of people to get it to exciting growth, to working on how we can run Tumblr in the most smooth and efficient manner." (Tumblr)

Products, platforms & plugins

> Jetpack 12.8 was released this week, introducing Jetpack Creator. The new product targets the creator economyโ€”users who want to monetize their content and subscribers by offering e-books, courses, paid newsletters, advertising, and paywalled access (WP Tavern)

> Stackable founder Benjamin Intal has figured out a way to estimate the active install count for plugins hosted at using the 'Popular' plugins page (X)

> SliceWP creator Mihai Iova (sarcastically) posted that he'd "made it" after discovering his affiliates plugin on several nulled sites, prompting Passster's Patrick Posner to share how he deals with users searching for rip-offs (X)

> Adam Schweigert, an independent media and technology consultant, has released Newspack Plugin Update Checker to help self-hosted Newspack users keep their plugins up-to-date from GitHub (WP Tavern)

> Elegant Themes founder and CEO Nick Roach says his team is "within striking distance" of releasing the Divi 5 public alpha in Q1 2024 (Elegant Themes)

Conferences, awards & events

> The second-ever WP-CLI Hack Day kicks off today (Friday, 10 November at 8 am UTC). Automattic-sponsored WP-CLI contributor Daniel Bachhuber says the goal is to finish the day with 20 pull requests merged during the event (WP-CLI)

Together with GoDaddy Pro

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Learn more: GoDaddy Managed WordPress: Setting new standards in performance & uptime


Editor's note: This section will feature a BFCM takeover over the next two weeks. Enjoy!

๐Ÿซฐ๐Ÿผ LearnDash founder Justin Ferriman's Black Friday tips for earning six figures in one day.

๐Ÿ”– The WP World has teamed up with Cirrus Influence to publish a list of BFCM lists.

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ Hostinger's Head of Content Emma Young and Cirrus Influence founder Adam Weeks discuss strategies for successful Black Friday deals on Do the Woo BizChat.

๐Ÿ’ธ Elegant Themes has launched its annual Black Friday campaign with over $800,000 in Divi prizes up for grabs.

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