Issue #2
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This week in WordPress


"It’s an explosion of #WordPress releases today." That’s WordPress all-rounder David Bisset’s reaction to bbPress 2.6 – Better Great Than Never. "Well holy shit :D @JJJ," adds former WP Tavern writer Jeff Chandler, acknowledging John James Jacoby's long-standing dedication to building bbPress.
"And of course even bigger news than Tesla's new Gigafactory in Berlin is WordPress 5.3 'Kirk' being released!!!" tweets developer Paul Vetter. This week, the latest release of WordPress dropped. Named in honor American jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, the update includes the new default Twenty Twenty theme, user interface improvements aimed at accessibility, and new block editor features. Justin Tadlock has the full rundown at WP Tavern: WordPress 5.3 "Kirk" Released, Brings New Default Theme, Editor Improvements, and UI Tweaks. "📢 Join me in thanking the 645 contributors (largest group of contributors to date 😮) and their families, spouses, support groups, and pets for hard work on #WordPress 5.3. 💯" David Bisset also tweets, but we’ll give Mika Epstein the last word: "KIIIIIIIIIIIIRK!"

And another release… "Welcoming the all new #WooCommerce 3.8 with much more powerful enhancements 🤩" tweets CedCommerce. If you’re a store owner, take a moment to read Add Powerful New Blocks with WooCommerce 3.8 courtesy of WooCommerce.com. This update delivers new WooCommerce Product Blocks and a few enhancements for store owners. "Blocks! Blocks! Blocks! EVERYBODY!" tweets Andy McIlwain from GoDaddy.

Is WordCamp dying…?

To clickbait or not to clickbait? We’ll let you be the judge of this next post, which adds to the debate around whether WordCamp U.S. has lost its grassroots vibe. Freemius Head of Marketing Brandon Ernst asks Is WordCamp Dying…or Not, but what he's really sharing are Valuable Takeaways from WCUS 2019 in St. Louis. "… does the decrease in positive sentiment from some folks mean the end of WordCamp? I say—hardly!" he writes.

"Personal hot take on #WCUS: It feels more like an 'official' partner summit, and less like a volunteer-run community WordCamp, with each passing year. I love our local WordPress events -- that's why I've been an organizer for 10+ years—but WCUS is a different beast," tweets Andy McIlwain again. "I believe it can be a mix of both. Yes, it’s huge and has that feel. But for us who don’t travel from one to another, it gives us the opportunity to connect and reconnect with a lot of friends, old and new. It still has community," reasons Bob Dunn aka BobWP.
"Let’s end this on a more positive note, huh?" writes Allie Nimmons a tech support team member at GiveWP. The title might be understated, but her post My WordCamp US St. Louis Recap is one of the most honest and insightful wrap-ups of WCUS yet.
Also: “"your calendars, folks. WordCamp US 2020 will start on a…Tuesday," writes Justin Tadlock at WP Tavern. The WordCamp US team has announced next year's event will happen in the middle of the week, from 27-29 October. For more: WordCamp US 2020 Date and Location Announced, New Weekday Schedule.

Collaborative editing

Google Docs-style collaborative editing is on the roadmap for the block editor. But can we achieve it? Steve Burge from PublishPress thinks Collaborative Editing is a Really Difficult Challenge in WordPress but it's possible. He lays out the next phases of Gutenberg and the possibilities for team editing.
In other Gutenberg-related news, developer Leonardo Losoviz looks at Exploring New Ways To Manage Content In WordPress courtesy of Smashing Magazine, while WP Engine has released Atomic Blocks Pro: A Premium Collection of WordPress Content Blocks. It's in beta and adds another 20 section blocks and 15 full-page layout blocks to the free plugin’s 25 essential WordPress blocks.

Is a one-theme future possible?

WordPress needs a solid front-end design framework. That's Justin Tadlock's take in Themes of the Future: A Design Framework and a Master Theme over at WP Tavern. He admits it's a loaded statement: "If you put 20 designers in a room and ask them to discuss design frameworks, it could be a recipe for fisticuffs. I tend to be an optimist and hope the debate provided results." He adds, "Gutenberg has pushed us partially in this direction, but it does not quite go far enough. With full-site editing in the future, there is a need for a more holistic approach in tackling this problem."

Adding to the conversation, WordPress engineer Mike Schinkel writes: "Imagine if — starting with version 6.0 maybe — the WordPress team chose to actually deprecate themes, and then in their place added modules and components as first-class extensions instead?" in WordPress should deprecate themes — a modest proposal.

In other news

Also on WP Tavern, Oklahoma Watch Becomes First U.S. Publication on Newspack; 34 Pilot Newsrooms Announced for Second Round. Justin Tadlock explains the Automattic platform is designed to bring WordPress to newsrooms.
Publications such as the Hong Kong Free Press, MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, and The Daily Yonder are a part of the second round and most are small or medium-sized publications focused on local news. The full list is available on the Newspack blog. "Very grateful to @automattic, @Google, @spiritedmediaco and other Newspack partners for the opportunity to be involved in shaping the future of news publishing tech," tweets Joseph Owino from Kawowo Sports.
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A few more..

  • - There's a New Home for Broken Link Checker Plugin. GoDaddy Product Marketing Manager Marko Tanaskovic explains WPMU DEV has been chosen to take the reigns due to its WordPress contributions and history of maintaining free plugins in the repository, especially back in 2018 when they offered a whole bunch of plugins for free.
  • - Looks like Automattic has wasted no time integrating the Subscriptions extension, now called WooCommerce Subscriptions, after acquiring Prospress in May. In A New Way to Earn Money on WordPress.com Artur Piszek, a cognitive engineer at Automattic, announces recurring payments are now available for WordPress.com and Jetpack-powered sites.
  • - Congrats to WebDevStudios Co-founder and COO Lisa Sabin Wilson who tweets: "Signing on to a contract soon for the 9th Edition of my #WordPress For Dummies title. 'It’s surpassed Wine For Dummies, which is only in its 7th Edition'…. does this mean WordPress is more popular than Wine? 🍷 Put THAT in your proposal and drink it!"
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