Issue #52
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This week in WordPress

WordPress 5.6 Field Guide now available

The WordPress 5.6 Field Guide is out. It offers a tidy overview of what to expect in the next version of WordPress, which is due out in just over a week.

As Michele Butcher-Jones, the documentation review lead for WordPress 5.6, explains, this release features external authentication to the REST API via newly introduced application passwords, PHP 8.0 support, new features in the block editor, and the default Twenty Twenty-One theme.

It also introduces a new UI for automatic updates for major core releases. WordPress Core Team rep and Whodunnit CTO Jb Audras offers a detailed look at this feature, the scope of which change during the Beta phase of WordPress 5.6.

Michele, who's the Lead WordPress Technical Specialist at Thrive Internet Marketing Agency, also highlights that "An all-women and non-binary release squad lead the development of new features and resolved defects that benefit users and developers alike. πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’»πŸ‘©πŸΌβ€πŸ’»πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»πŸ‘©πŸ½β€πŸ’»πŸ‘©πŸΎβ€πŸ’»πŸ‘©πŸΏβ€πŸ’»."

This release includes 85 developer-focused changes and 201 bug fixes. Daisy Olsen, a developer relations wrangler with Automattic, shares a rundown of Miscellaneous developer-focused changes.

Tip us off! πŸ‘€ Share your news tips with The Repository anonymously β†’

WordPress and PHP 8.0

PHP 8.0 is in the final stages of its release cycle and as core contributor and Bluehost WordPress developer Jonathan Desrosiers explains on the Make WordPress Core blog, WordPress 5.6 will be compatible. In WordPress and PHP 8.0, he shares a breakdown of how PHP 8.0 is different from other PHP releases and the changes that will directly impact WordPress theme and plugin developers.

Developers are being urged to test their plugins and theme, but as Pro Theme Design's Ben Gillbanks points out in the latest MasterWP newsletter, there's not much information available on how to do it. Fortunately, Castos lead developer Jonathan Bossenger shares some practical help at WPTavern: Getting Your WordPress Plugins and Themes Ready for PHP 8.

Wordfence threat analyst Ram Gall also shares What WordPress Users Need to Know about PHP 8.0 from a security standpoint.

Parler hacked because of WordPress? TL;DR: no

"Oh great. Now WordPress is trending because Parler may or may not have used WordPress (improperly) and gotten hacked," tweets WP Buffs Community Manager Allie Nimmons.

ICYMI, Twitter lit up this week with claims that Parler, a new social media platform popular among U.S. President Donald Trump's supporters, was hacked β€” and that Parler runs on WordPress.

Parler's CEO John Matze has been in damage control, posting to Parler: "The alleged 'Parler hack' is a screenshot from a WordPress website that has been circulated repeatedly over the past 6 months, despite Parler's multiple responses that we do not use WordPress products, nor WordPress databases."

So Parler doesn't use WordPress? "Amusingly P claims they don't use WP while having a job posting for a plugin dev," tweets Mika Epstein, who’s a full stack WordPress developer at Dreamhost for DreamPress and manages the WordPress Plugin Review Team.

So was Parler hacked? Snopes has debunked the rumors. What we do know is the rumor originated in a now-deleted tweet from conceptual artist Kevin Abosch, who has used Twitter in the past as part of his art projects. And this could be another of his projects.

Post Status publishes mega Black Friday round-up

"This Black Friday #WordPress list is like Christmas came early .... making a list of what I want to buy," tweets Post Status partner Cory Miller, linking to the site's mega post: 2020 Black Friday & Cyber Monday WordPress Deals.

As far as 2020 BFCM round-ups go, this one tops the lot. "Big ol' list of Black Friday + Cyber Monday deals for WordPress users, courtesy of @post_status. My credit card is already screaming in anguish from the new house + reno, but 50% off all @gravityforms plans? Hnnngggh... 😭," tweets GoDaddy Pro Senior Community Manager Andy McIlwain.
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In other WordPress news...

  • – With WordPress 5.6 due out soon, WordPress Core Team rep Francesca Marano has put a call out for WordPress 5.7: What's on your wishlist? WPTavern's Justin Tadlock wants to be able to save block editor settings per user. Other feature requests beneath Francesca's post include fixing the media library, better menu management, and other changes to the block editor.
  • – As he does every six months, Yoast founder and CPO Joost de Valk has published his analysis of the CMS market for November 2020, based on W3Techs's public statistics. WordPress is the most popular CMS with 39.0% market share β€” 4.2% higher than November 2019. Shopify, meanwhile, overtook Joomla to become the second most popular CMS this year. It has increased its market share by 1.4% in the past 12 months to 3.1%.
  • – In other Yoast news, partner and CTO Omar Reiss and blog team lead Willemien Hallebeek will join a Gutenberg Times Live Q&A on 10 December to talk about the making of Open source: Better solutions and a more inclusive society. The richly illustrated and interactive page is about the nature of open source from a collaborative business point of view.
  • – Gutenberg 9.4.0 was released this week with many small improvements to existing features, while work on full site editing continues, reports Sarah Gooding for WPTavern in Gutenberg 9.4 Introduces Button Width Selector and Typography Controls for List Block.
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