Issue #73
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This week in WordPress

Yoast launches Diversity Fund 2.0

"Not everyone is in a financial position that allows them to spend time on #WordPress. Today, we launched Yoast Diversity Fund 2.0. It aims to take away that financial barrier."

Taco Verdo, Yoast's Community Manager, tweets the news that Yoast has relaunched its diversity fund. As CEO Marieke van de Rakt explains, the Diversity Fund was originally launched a year ago to help increase the diversity of speaker line-ups at conferences and since 2018 has helped 70 people attend 56 events around the world. But thanks to Covid, people aren't traveling to in-person events, making it easier for people to join virtual conferences. So Yoast has pivoted its fund to sponsor people who work on a project that benefits WordPress.

"WordPress wouldn't be WordPress if it wasn't for the people… To make that community accessible for even more people, our Diversity fund aims to take away financial hurdles for underrepresented groups," van de Rakt writes. Applications for the fund close on May 31.

"This is AMAZING! Take a look at how @yoast is promoting diversity in WordPress. I love this," tweets Michelle Frechette, co-founder of Underrepresented in Tech. "An excellent initiative by @yoast! Just one of the many reasons I love this #WordPress community! ✊" tweets Adam Warner, GoDaddy Pro's Global Field Marketing Sr. Manager.

Digital companies team up to buy Kanban plugin for $15k

Digital consultancies Alpha Particle and Flowspoke have joined forces to acquire the Kanban for WordPress plugin, a tool that puts Kanban boards into the WordPress admin, reports Sarah Gooding for WPTavern.

As part of a $15,000 deal, Alpha Particle will take over the development of the project with Flowspoke bringing its design talents. Plugin creator Corey Maass will step away from the project but "plans to continue helping us for the foreseeable future as we learn the product and niche inside and out," Alpha Particle CTO Keanan Koppenhaver writes in Under New Management.

Maass, who created the plugin in 2015, tells WPTavern he struggled to market it enough to grow beyond 2,000 users and suffered burnout. So when Koppenhaver tweeted last October that he was looking to buy a plugin business, he got in touch.

Koppenhaver says plans are underway to release version 3 of the plugin this year, along with tighter integration with WordPress and expanded third-party integrations. "Now the hard work starts!" tweets Koppenhaver.

Joomla! and Drupal move to block FLoC

Joomla! and Drupal, WordPress's competitors in the open source content management space, are planning to block Google's contentious Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC).

During a recent meeting of Joomla!'s board, it was noted the project's Production Department was looking at how to support FLoC but have it disabled by default for the release of Joomla! 3.9.27. Similarly, Drupal core developers are working on a ticket that will introduce a permissions policy header to Drupal core, also disabling FLoC by default.

"I'm guessing that WordPress will follow a similar path at some point this year," industry analyst and strategy Robert Jacobi notes in All FLoCed Up aka CASHing Out. Joomla! is the third most popular CMS (used on 3.3% of all websites) while Drupal comes in sixth (used on 1.5%).

TechRadar also reports that Microsoft-owned GitHub has joined the list of major projects blocking FLoC. Journalist Anthony Spadafora says the company recently announced in a two-sentence blog post that doesn't even mention FLoC that it will be rolling out a new HTTP header for all sites created in GitHub Pages.

For now, the WordPress Core Team is tracking the status of the FLoC origin trial in a Trac ticket and monitoring periodically after resolving to do so as a recent WordPress Core Devs meeting.

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In other WordPress news...

  • "It's back - the super friendly & always polite PAGE BUILDER SUMMIT 2.0! The block editor features quite heavily in the schedule this year. This is where the communities collide - and find love :p" tweets Digital Business Consultant Paul Lacey. He links to the schedule for this year's event, on next week from May 10-14. "If you're a #WordPress freelancer or part of an agency team, this event goes deep on modern front-end tooling in WordPress," tweets WP Engine Product Marketing Manager Rob Stinson.
  • ICYMI: "The @post_status piece on @creativecommons image search (CC Search) coming to #WordPress. Brief, but touches on Pexels & comments from Post Status Slack. Thx to @photomatt for answering a few questions," tweets developer and Post Status curator David Bisset. He links to CC0 Public Domain Image Search Coming to WordPress.
  • Registrations are now open for WordCamp Japan, the country's first national WordCamp. The week-long virtual event will take place from June 20-26. Tickets are free but only 800 people can attend. "当日ボランティアでお手伝いいただける方を募集しています😆✨一緒にWordCamp Japan 2021を盛り上げましょう!!" tweets translation contributor and WordCamp organizer つぶ. (Translation: "We are looking for volunteers to help on the day 😆✨ Let's liven up WordCamp Japan 2021 together!!" tweets Whelk.)
  • "🤩 So excited about the great proposals we've received focused on #accessibility and #WordPress in #HigherEd. One on accessible social media, another on accessible apps. One on validating Gutenberg blocks. Keep them coming. We want to hear from you!" tweets WPCampus's organising team, linking to the event's recent Call for proposals. This year's annual conference, focusing on WordPress in higher education, will be held from September 21-22.
  • In security news, Wordfence threat analyst Ram Gall is urging users of the CleanTalk AntiSpam Plugin to update to the latest version after an SQL injection vulnerability was patched in the free plugin in March. It currently has over 100,000 active installations. Meanwhile, iThemes has published part 1 of its WordPress Vulnerability Report for May 2021 and Pagely shares WordPress Security Updates for April.
  • WPTavern's Justin Tadlock says It Is Time for WordPress Theme Authors To Step Up Their Block Pattern Game. The Tavern's resident block editor writer says theme authors are not taking chances and are instead relying on "old-school tactics of upselling extra theme options." He adds: "Theme authors need to start shifting gears. Upsells need to come in the form of features that will not be available from stock WordPress. Right now, that means building unique block patterns and styles."
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