Issue #28
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This week in WordPress

A heck of a lineup

WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden has named the 2020 WordPress release squads, including the all-female squad that will lead WordPress 5.6, which is expected to ship in December. In WP Tavern's WordPress Names 5.5 Release Leads, Plans All-Women Release Squad for 5.6, Sarah Gooding writes the group includes women who have volunteered to participate, first by joining a "ride along" process for the 5.5 release cycle.
In November 2019, Josepha tweeted she had a "stretch goal of an all-women release squad by the end of 2020." The idea was well-received by the community and she began recruiting for the team in March. While WordPress has had women lead releases, including 10up Director of Open Source Initiatives Helen Hou Sandí and Automattic designer Mel Choyce-Dwan, Sarah says realizing Josepha's goal would be the first time in the project's 17-year history that the entire square was composed of women.

"One of the things that excites me about WordPress is that 5.5 (edit: 5.6) will have a 100% female release squad," tweets PMC Director of Editorial Technology Aaron Jorbin. "And it's a heck of a lineup. Can't wait!" adds Automattic designer Michael Arestad.

WordPress 5.5

Josepha has also named the release squad that will lead WordPress 5.5, due out in August. WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg will be release lead, with WordPress VIP Technical Account manager Jake Spurlock as the coordinator and Dream Encode full-stack developer David Baumwald on triage. This release is expected to introduce automatic updates for plugins and themes in core, and will also add the Navigation block and block directory to core.

Core team reps

Francesca Marano and Jb Audras have replaced 10up's Jeffrey Paul and Helen Hou Sandí as Core Team Reps for 2020+.

Francesca is the WordPress Community and Partnerships Manager at SiteGround. She's also part of the global WordPress Community Team and co-led the release of WordPress 5.3 and 5.4. Jb is CTO at French WordPress agency Whodunit. He became Widgets and Menus components maintainer a few years ago, has served as the Accessibility team rep for two years, took the role of release lead on half a dozen minor releases, and helped as focus lead on 5.3, 5.4 and now on WordPress 5.5.

"Genuinely delighted to see @FrancescaMarano and @AudrasJb elected as the new WordPress Core Team reps 🇪🇺" tweets Simon Dickson, ex WordPress VIPer. While Helen comments, "Finally! 😉 It was my pleasure to serve a 6 month term that started in… 2012? 2014? Does anybody even know? Happy to see recognition for the roles that y'all are filling already!"

Gutenberg and blocks

Gutenberg 8.2 Includes Editing Flow Improvements, Cover Block Content Positioning, and Pattern Categories reports Justin Tadlock for WP Tavern. This latest release focuses on a better editing flow, includes a new content positioning control for the Cover block, and adds categories to block patterns.

Meanwhile, contributors to the core-editor component in WordPress were recently asked to focus on Editor features for WordPress 5.5, writes Automattic Design Director Mark Uraine on the Make WordPress Core blog. Features set for definite inclusion in the upcoming release include a new UI design and block patterns UI and infrastructure.

Features the team needs help testing include the Navigation block, Navigation-Menu screen in wp-admin, Widget-blocks screen in wp-admin, Core block patterns, Block Directory, and Block design tools.

In other Gutenberg/block related news, Justin Tadlock Dives Into Automattic's Block Experiments at WP Tavern. The GitHub repository is a "monorepo" of block experiments in various stages of development.

"We need help. Please."

Big Orange Heart has lost more than £275,000 in funding over the past four months due to Covid-19, founder Dan Maby has revealed on Twitter. The mental health initiative, formerly known as WPandUP, provides support for remote workers.
The funding would've sustained free mental health awareness and support for two years if not for the global pandemic. It costs £10,251 per month to deliver Big Orange Heart's programs, and Dan wants to partner with 12 companies that would each donate £10,000 for 12 months.

"Please help get this message out to those that can help. My personal investment in this now equates to more than 8 companies worth and I can not sustain this any longer. We need help. Please," tweets Dan.


WordCamp Europe kicked off this week with the biggest Contributor Day event to date. Hundreds of contributors, reps from 16 Make teams, and the Contributor Day organizing team made excellent progress on several fronts, including the Community team charting what's next for WordCamps and Meetups, the Support team crushing forum topics, the Polyglots team making headway in Italian and French localization, and the Accessibility team welcoming new volunteers.

The first day of talks starts soon at 1 pm UTC (Friday). Registration has closed but the two tracks of talks will be live-streamed on YouTube and viewable on the WCEU site.

While the global Covid-19 pandemic has forced the annual event to go completely virtual, it hasn't stopped folks seeing each other's faces. Attendees are using the #WCEUFamilyPhoto hashtag to share selfies.

"The world is literally on fire, but today I am focusing on #WordPress. #WCEU Contributor Day is… I am literally crying in my living room: so many familiar faces, so many new faces. Missing people and also feeling this is a huge opportunity. Join us!" tweets Francesca Marano.

Free speaker training

In other news, "If you're from a #marginalized or #underrepresented group and have thought about speaking at a #WordPress meetup or #WordCamp, sign up for any or all of the free one-hour workshops next week," tweets Jill Binder from Diverse In Tech, adding "Please tag someone you'd love to see start speaking at #WordPress meetups or #WordCamps!" She links to WordPress Diverse Speaker Workshops and Coaching in May & June.

Jill has led the Diverse Speaker Training group in the WordPress Community Team since late 2017. Automattic sponsors 50% of her time.

The Show Must Be Paused

#BlackoutTuesday has had its critics this week, but WordPress community member and developer Phil Johnston has found a way to use the campaign to remember George Floyd and other victims of police brutality. His The Show Must Be Paused plugin, available to download from the WordPress.org repository, replaces the front-end of your website with a message of solidarity.

In The Show Must Be Paused on WP Tavern, Justin Tadlock writes, "While posting a message of solidarity with those who have lost their lives, those who are still living under 400 years of oppression, and those who are continuing to fight for justice is a good first step, it is merely a step. The next question we must allow the oppressed to answer is what we as a society, as human beings, can do next. What steps can the WordPress community take?"

Meanwhile, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg is all of us on Twitter this week: "Taking a break from Twitter for a bit. You can find me on my blog." He links to his blog.

"Can't imagine why you would ever take a break from this eden," tweets venture investor Chris Sacca, while Scalable.co founder Ryan Deiss says, "But why? It's so… uplifting…"
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Setting up a ghost kitchen

The Covid-19 lockdowns have forced the indefinite closure of restaurants and eateries around the world, with many "going virtual" to keep their business running. Fortunately, setting up a virtual restaurant in WordPress is possible, and can be achieved relatively easily.
As Maria Ansari explains, a "virtual restaurant" — also called a ghost kitchen, ghost restaurant, or cloud kitchen — is a restaurant that offers delivery options only. In Complete Guide: How to Set Up and Run a Virtual Restaurant, Maria offers exactly that — a complete guide to setting up a virtual restaurant in WordPress using the WooCommerce Product Table plugin, without having to use Uber Eats, Grubhub, or DoorDash.
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