Issue #6
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This week in WordPress

The (frustrating?) State of the WordPress economy

"Who does the GPL benefit since everyone seems to be !@#$ed in one way or another?" asks Vlad Olaru, CTO and co-founder of Pixelgrade. In his 17-minute read, The State of the WordPress Economy, Vlad highlights that the WordPress economy—an important part
of the overall ecosystem—is experiencing "some severe growing pains." "Long ignored imbalances, obsolete beliefs, and governance vacuums, to name a few, coupled with monopolistic and polarizing tendencies of the greater digital economy, threaten to completely change the nature of WordPress," he writes, pointing to problems with the GPL, the corporatization—not the democratization—of publishing, and the demise of premium plugins and the dismantling of themes.

WordPress has "...reached a point where the market economy is clearly leaning toward big corporations," tweets developer Bèr Kessels in response, while IT consultant Dave Hall points out, "If they’re not happy they can fork and slowly replace all the GPL code with new code licensed under the MIT or BSD license. It reads to me like a rant from someone who doesn’t have a good business model."

Rant or not, Ionut Neagu, founder of ThemeIsle, tweets, "Good points! Themes had a lot of leverage by being perceived as 'site builders.' Due to page builders the trend is downwards now, and with w.org as gatekeeper for ‘official repo/themes,’ I saw that is quite hard to go that route."

2020 Roadmap

Moving on... Josepha Haden, Executive Director of WordPress, has provided an update on the nine priorities Matt Mullenweg set as the focus in 2019. WordPress only managed to ship two of the nine primary projects—port existing widgets to blocks and merge the site health check plugin into core. As Justin Tadlock from WP Tavern points out in Progress on WordPress’ 2019 Projects Sets 2020 Roadmap, "This means that the focus in 2020 will be much the same as the community continues building on the progress it has made toward the existing projects."
The 2020 to-do list includes creating a block for navigation menus, building a WordPress.org directory for discovering blocks, and forming a triage team to tackle the 6,500 open issues on Trac.


"This is massive. shareablock.com," tweets developer Andrew Vincent. He links to ShareABlock, a new community site for sharing block designs and templates. Justin Tadlock from WP Tavern explains in Creator of EditorsKit Launches Community Block-Sharing Site that Jeffrey Carandang’s new site allows visitors to download block files directly from the site and import them into the block editor. Users can also sign up to share custom block designs and full-blown block templates. All downloads are available for free.

"Trying my best to provide help and ease the Classic editor to Gutenberg transition. Thank you for the appreciation 😊" tweets Jeffrey. “And that's why you need to take shareablock.com for a spin if you're thinking of using #Gutenberg for #WordPress just that," tweets Ben Townsend from LyrWP, pointing to Jeffrey’s tweet.
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