+44 0330 223 3428
Call Us
+44 0330 223 3428

WPTavern: WordPress 5.0.2 to Bring Major Performance Improvements, Scheduled for December 19

WPTavern: WordPress 5.0.2 to Bring Major Performance Improvements, Scheduled for December 19
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

WordPress 5.0.1 was released yesterday as a security release with fixes for seven vulnerabilities that were privately disclosed. It includes a few breaks in backwards compatibility that plugin developers will want to review.

WordPress 5.0.2 will be the first planned followup release to 5.0 and is now scheduled to be released December 19, 2018. Gary Pendergast posted a summary of this week’s dev chat that includes the schedule and scope for the upcoming release. It will include Gutenberg 4.7, Twenty Nineteen bug fixes, and a few PHP 7.3 compatibility fixes.

Slow performance as compared to the classic editor has been a commonly-reported issue with Gutenberg. The project has a label for it on GitHub with 26 open issues. 140 performance-related issues have already been closed so the team is making progress on speeding it up. 5.0.2 will bring major performance improvements to the editor, particularly for content that includes hundreds of blocks.

“The cumulated performance gains are around 330% faster for a post with 200 blocks,” Matias Ventura said in an update on the editor. “This might be even bigger for certain setups and plugin configurations — seeing the same test post be 540% faster with Yoast, for example.”

These changes are already in version 4.7 of the Gutenberg plugin, which users can run alongside WordPress 5.0.1 to test the latest.

RC 1 for 5.0.2 is planned for today and RC 2 (if necessary) is targeted for December 17. The official release is scheduled for December 19.

Gary Pendergast also outlined the scope and schedule for WordPress 5.1, which will be led by Matt Mullenweg. Pendergast proposed a relatively short release cycle with an official release February 21, since there are already more than 200 tickets fixed for 5.1. Focuses for the release include the REST API (particularly authentication solutions), core JS, and core themes. Beta 1 is planned for January 10, with RC 1 following February 7.


Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset WordPress 5.0.1 was released yesterday as a security release with fixes for seven vulnerabilities that were privately disclosed. It includes a few breaks in backwards compatibility that plugin developers will want to review. WordPress 5.0.2 will be the first planned followup release to 5.0 and is now scheduled to be released December 19, 2018. Gary Pendergast posted a summary of this week’s dev chat that includes the schedule and scope for the upcoming release. It will include Gutenberg 4.7, Twenty Nineteen bug fixes, and a few PHP 7.3 compatibility fixes. Slow performance as compared…

Source: WordPress

Tagged

WPTavern: WordCamp US 2019 to be Held November 1-3 in St. Louis

WPTavern: WordCamp US 2019 to be Held November 1-3 in St. Louis
photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Dates for WordCamp US 2019 were announced today, less than a week after wrapping up a successful camp in Nashville. Unlike all previous years held in December, next year’s event will take place November 1-3 in St. Louis, Missouri.

For the most part, community reactions to the new dates were positive. Early November dates place the event well ahead of the end of the year holidays that attendees had previously bemoaned.

“I love this date set better than the previous one. It’s so much easier to attend/speak pre-Thanksgiving,” WordPress developer Mitch Cantor said.

There is always a conflict for some demographic of attendees. This year the hardest hit are parents of small children who will likely miss taking their kids trick-or-treating due to traveling on or before Halloween in order to make it to the event. WordCamp US is a family-friendly event but bringing children to a WordCamp can be extraordinarily challenging, even when the event includes childcare. (This particular event doesn’t.) For a few attendees, missing Halloween with their children is a deal-breaker.

One possible solution for the parents who feel they have to miss WordCamp US because of their kids, might be for the organizers to schedule the contributor day as the first day of the camp. That might enable people to fly in on an early morning flight and still get to experience part of the contributor day and all of the main event.

In a community this large, with many other holidays and WordCamps already on the calendar, it’s difficult to find a date for WordCamp US that doesn’t have conflicts. This is a good problem for the community to have. Matt Mullenweg shared during the State of the Word that the community has experienced 50% year over year growth with more than 350K members in 687 meetup groups and more than 5,000 meetup events. With this rate of growth, the community can expect more regional and local camps to spring up in the coming years, which means more conflicts but also more options for getting together in the future.


photo credit: Wikimedia Commons Dates for WordCamp US 2019 were announced today, less than a week after wrapping up a successful camp in Nashville. Unlike all previous years held in December, next year’s event will take place November 1-3 in St. Louis, Missouri. For the most part, community reactions to the new dates were positive. Early November dates place the event well ahead of the end of the year holidays that attendees had previously bemoaned. “I love this date set better than the previous one. It’s so much easier to attend/speak pre-Thanksgiving,” WordPress developer Mitch Cantor said. #WordCamp US, November…

Source: WordPress

Tagged

WPTavern: WordPress Plugin Directory Now Features a Curated Section for Block-Enabled Plugins

WPTavern: WordPress Plugin Directory Now Features a Curated Section for Block-Enabled Plugins

If you visit the plugin directory, you will notice a new section at the top featuring block-enabled plugins. WordPress 5.0 has been downloaded more than 8 million times, just one week after its release, and users are looking for blocks to extend the new editing experience. WordPress.org is highlighting plugins to push the block ecosystem forward and will soon be doing the same for themes.

There are currently 94 blocks in the featured section. In a post on make.wordpress.org/plugins, Samuel (Otto) Wood invited developers to email the plugins team at plugins@wordpress.org if they have a block-enabled plugin that they want to be included. The basic requirements are a plugin that introduces or improves blocks.

I asked Otto how they select from submissions. He said the plugins team is curating the list manually and adding those they think are good or interesting.

“It’s not a high bar; if it has a neat block, we’ll add it for now,” Otto said. “We may raise the bar depending on how big the section gets, and the section is not final by any means. We’ll change the inclusions according to how it works out. The goal is to promote neat and cool integrations, but there aren’t a lot of those yet. It’s new.”

Assigning a tag to block-enabled plugins that authors could opt into would eliminate the need for manual approval on the section, but Otto said they are currently handling it more like a showcase.

“Letting the plugin authors just add a tag would reduce the available tags (it’s already limited to 5) as well as reducing the value of curation,” Otto said. “We may change that as well in the future, somehow. Nothing is set in stone right now, we just want to see people making cool blocks and see what happens with that.”

A directory devoted entirely to blocks may also be coming to WordPress.org next year. In a recent post, Matt Mullenweg identified 9 Projects for 2019, including “building a WordPress.org directory for discovering blocks, and a way to seamlessly install them.” This is a much larger task and requires WordPress to answer a few questions: Will plugins continue to be the primary delivery mechanism for blocks? Or will WordPress.org implement a system where users can download JS-only blocks, similar to the Gutenberg Cloud project?

Three months ago, Otto commented on a post about Gutenberg Cloud, saying that js-only blocks are likely only suited to frontend enhancements.

“I remain unconvinced that js-only blocks have a place which is meaningful other than the trivial layout based things that blocks can do,” Otto said. “Yes, you can build great looking blocks with JavaScript only, and since it’s an editor, that is a really big deal. But without any actual support on the backend to ‘do stuff of substance,’ it is just visual glitter.”

Offering JS-only blocks through WordPress.org might also complicate block discovery if users don’t know whether to look for blocks in a plugin or via the JS-only block delivery system. There are a lot of unknowns in the block era that will require WordPress to make some decisions. Meanwhile, the ecosystem of block-enabled plugins will continue expanding as more users adopt the new editor and especially as widgets and menus are ported to blocks in phase 2 of the Gutenberg project.


If you visit the plugin directory, you will notice a new section at the top featuring block-enabled plugins. WordPress 5.0 has been downloaded more than 8 million times, just one week after its release, and users are looking for blocks to extend the new editing experience. WordPress.org is highlighting plugins to push the block ecosystem forward and will soon be doing the same for themes. There are currently 94 blocks in the featured section. In a post on make.wordpress.org/plugins, Samuel (Otto) Wood invited developers to email the plugins team at plugins@wordpress.org if they have a block-enabled plugin that they want…

Source: WordPress

Tagged

WPTavern: Interview with Rachel Cherry: Automattic Pledges to Fund WPCampus’ Accessibility Audit of Gutenberg

WPTavern: Interview with Rachel Cherry: Automattic Pledges to Fund WPCampus’ Accessibility Audit of Gutenberg

While at WordCamp US, I had the opportunity to catch up with WPCampus director Rachel Cherry, who is coordinating an audit on Gutenberg for the organization she leads. WPCampus launched its crowdfunding campaign at the end of November and more than $10K has come in towards the $30K goal.

The day before WordPress 5.0 was released, WPCampus announced that Automattic has pledged to ensure WPCampus’ accessibility audit of Gutenberg is fully funded.

“I think that they [Automattic] see that it is important,” Cherry said. “Even when they said they weren’t going to do it, I don’t think it was ever ‘We’re never going to;’ it was just ‘Not right now.’ For us, we couldn’t necessarily wait for ‘maybe we’ll do it later,’ so that’s why we jumped on it and got the ball rolling. I think they saw an opportunity where they could step in and have the means to move this along even further. They see the value and I think that’s why they wanted to jump in. They also saw all the community effort going on.”

In the interview below, Cherry discusses how leaders in the WPCampus community rallied to get the audit in motion. The organization has received seven responses from vendors and is currently in the selection process. She also shared a little bit about her conversation with Matt Mullenweg during his community office hours and their discussion about how WordPress is used in higher education.

Cherry’s strategy in advocating for accessibility is to focus on slicing through the confusion surrounding accessibility problems with an emphasis on education and communication. Although WordPress has set accessibility standards, the project has fallen short on enforcing them. In addition to putting automated accessibility testing in place for core, Cherry said she would also like to get more support for helping theme and plugin authors meet accessibility standards. This would help ensure that the code WordPress.org puts on the web is more accessible for those who are creating customized sites.


While at WordCamp US, I had the opportunity to catch up with WPCampus director Rachel Cherry, who is coordinating an audit on Gutenberg for the organization she leads. WPCampus launched its crowdfunding campaign at the end of November and more than $10K has come in towards the $30K goal. The day before WordPress 5.0 was released, WPCampus announced that Automattic has pledged to ensure WPCampus’ accessibility audit of Gutenberg is fully funded. “I think that they [Automattic] see that it is important,” Cherry said. “Even when they said they weren’t going to do it, I don’t think it was ever…

Source: WordPress

Tagged

WPTavern: State of the Word 2018: WordPress Embraces the Block Editor

WPTavern: State of the Word 2018: WordPress Embraces the Block Editor
photo credit: WP Tavern

WordCamp US kicked off in Nashville over the weekend, following the release of WordPress 5.0. In the first 48 hours, 5.0 had been downloaded more than 2.8 million times. It passed 3 million Saturday night.

“There’s been a lot that’s been going on, so I’d like to allow WordPress the chance to re-introduce itself,” Matt Mullenweg said during the preamble of his State of the Word address. He invoked the four freedoms as the project’s constitution and called the community back to its roots.

“It’s the reason we’re here,” Mullenweg said. “WordPress isn’t a physical thing; it’s not a set of code. It’s kind of an idea. WordPress is backed by the full faith and credit of every person and company that depends on it.”

He reiterated the project’s mission to democratize publishing and recast his vision for advancing the open web.

“Like I said a few years ago, we’re building a web operating system, an operating system for the open, independent web and a platform that others can truly build on,” Mullenweg said.

WordPress’ 32.5% market share and its commercial ecosystem, which Mullenweg estimates at $10 billion/year, give the project the resources to make a powerful impact on the future of the web.

Mullenweg Builds a Compelling Case for the Block Editor

photo credit: WCUS Photography Team

Mullenweg drove home the necessity of Gutenberg by showing a selection of videos where new users struggled to accomplish simple tasks in the old editor. Their experiences were accompanied by painful commentary:

  • “This feels like writing a blog back in 2005.”
  • “This was very finnicky; this does not work.”
  • “How would I add a caption? I have no clue.”

Mullenweg described how he used to effortlessly switch back and forth between the visual and HTML editors prior to WordPress 5.0 but realized that not all users are able to do this.

”This has been our editor experience for over a decade now and many of us have learned to deal with it,” he said.

He followed up with a video demonstrating how much easier these tasks are in the new block editor and identified blocks as the way forward for WordPress.

Some attendees commented after the fact on how the user testing videos, paired up against an expert using Gutenberg, seemed unbalanced and they would have liked to see videos of new users attempting the same tasks in the new editor. The goal of that segment, however, seemed to be more aimed at communicating the need for Gutenberg and the possibilities it opens up once users have had the chance to grow into it.

Mullenweg Urges Attendees to “Learn Blocks Deeply”

Millions of early adopters have already embraced the block editor during phase 1 of the Gutenberg project, which closed out with 1.2 million active installs and 1.2 million posts written. There have already been 277 WordCamp talks on Gutenberg, 555 meetup events focused on the new editor, and more than 1,000 blog posts discussing it.

Blocks are taking over the world of WordPress. Version 5.0 shipped with 70 native blocks and there are already more than 100 third-party blocks in existence and 1,000 configurations related to that.

“Blocks are predictable, tactile, and can be simple like a text block, or as rich as an e-commerce interface,” Mullenweg said. He described them as the new DNA of WordPress, from which users can create anything they can imagine.

Mullenweg showcased two sites built using the block editor, the Indigo Mill and Lumina Solar. These beautiful sites open the imagination to what Gutenberg is capable of bringing to websites.

WordPress.org will be highlighting plugins and themes to push the block ecosystem forward. There are also more than 100 Gutenberg-ready themes available to users on the directory and a new Gutenberg block tag that is currently live for plugins. It will also be available for themes soon.

Mullenweg highlighted tools like the create-guten-block toolkit, Block Lab, and Lazy Blocks that are making it easy for developers to create their own blocks. Block collections and libraries are also emerging. He said one of the priorities for 2019 is to build a WordPress.org directory for discovering blocks and a way to seamlessly install them.

Building on the homework he gave to WordPress developers in 2015, to “Learn JavaScript Deeply,” Mullenweg urged the community to “Learn Blocks Deeply.” Blocks provide a host of opportunities to improve the user experience beyond what Gutenberg’s creators could have imagined in the beginning.

Gutenberg Phase 2: Navigation Menu Block, Widget blocks, Theme Content Areas

Mullenweg announced the next phases for the Gutenberg project. Phase 2 has already begun and focuses on site customization, expanding the block interface to other aspects of content management. This includes creating a navigation menu block. Reimagining menus is will be challenging, and Mullenweg said they may even get renamed during the process.

Phase 2 goals also include porting all widgets over to blocks and registering theme content areas in Gutenberg. An early version of phase 2 will be in the Gutenberg plugin so anyone wanting to be part of testing can reactivate it.

During the Q&A time, one attendee asked a question about how this phase seems to include very little about making layout capabilities more robust. He asked if Mullenweg plans to let those the marketplace handle those layout decision or if core will define a layout language. Mullenweg responded that it may be more prudent to see what others in the ecosystem are doing and cherry pick and adopt the best solutions. He also remarked that it would be exciting if users could switch between different page builders in the future and not lose their content.

Gutenberg Phases 3 and 4: Collaboration and Core Support for Multilingual Sites

Mullenweg announced that Gutenberg phase 3, targeted for 2020, will focus on collaboration, multi-user editing, and workflows. Phase 4 (2020+) is aimed at developing an official way for WordPress to support multilingual sites. When asked what that will look like from a technical standpoint, given the many existing solutions already available, Mullenweg said he didn’t want to prescribe anything yet, as it’s still in the experimental stage.

Other major announcements included a highly anticipated bump in the minimum PHP version required for using WordPress. By April 2019, PHP 5.6 will be the minimum PHP version for WordPress, and by December 2019, the requirement will be updated to PHP 7.

WordPress releases are going to come faster in the future, as Gutenberg development has set a new pace for iteration. Mullenweg said he would like WordPress to get to the point where users are not thinking about what version they are on but instead choose a channel where they can easily run betas or the stable version.

Mullenweg Acknowledges Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned in the 5.0 Release Process

WordPress 5.0 was one of the longest and most controversial release cycles in the project’s history. Those outside the inner circle of decision-making endured a great deal of uncertainty, as dates were announced and then missed, with secondary dates thrown out in favor of pushing 5.0 out with just three days’ notice.

“We were scared to announce a new release date after missing our previous one,” Mullenweg said, acknowledging the controversial release date. He said this seemed to create a lot of fear and uncertainty until they announced a new date. The dates seemed to come out of the blue and were stressful for the community.

Mullenweg highlighted the lessons they learned in the process of releasing 5.0:

  • Need the various teams across WordPress working together better
  • Need to keep learning JavaScript, even more deeply
  • Importance of triage and code freezes
  • Always announce release dates

Mullenweg noted that WordPress 5.0’s beta releases were tested 100 times more than other releases, which he said contributed to Gutenberg becoming more robust before landing in 5.0. However, these positives seemed to be overshadowed by several critical breakdowns in communication that many feel betrayed the community’s trust.

He noted that people used the plugin review system as a way to vote on Gutenberg and that perhaps the community needs a different medium for expressing those kinds of things. Users did this because they felt it was one of the only feedback mechanisms where they had a voice. Negative reviews piled on in the early days of the plugin’s development but they continued steadily throughout the feature plugin’s journey into core. After 5.0 was released, negative reviews on the Gutenberg plugin have continued to pour in, and its rating has fallen to 2.2/5 stars.

Growing Pains and a Call for Transparency

photo credit: David Bisset for Post Status

Mullenweg said that Gutenberg development happened entirely in the public eye, surfacing many challenges associated with developing open source software in public. The code was public, but the most important decisions were made behind closed doors. This was compounded by the developer community voicing frustrations during core dev chats and on social media.

During the Q&A segment, several audience members called for more transparency in the release process, noting that most of the posts and announcements regarding 5.0 came from Automattic employees. Morten Rand-Hendriksen, who has become somewhat of a community firebrand at WordCamp Q&A’s, received applause for his question regarding the use of the word “we” in connection to posts on the make blogs. He pressed Mullenweg for more insight into where these decisions are made.

Mullenweg said the “we” he meant in regards to 5.0 release dates referred to a private channel where the release leads discussed it. He said with so many people showing up to the dev chats, the discussions became difficult.

“I don’t just go in a cave and come up with these things,” Mullenweg said. “A lot of people were showing up [to dev chats] who had never contributed to WordPress before and were crowding out the discussion of the core team.” He also said the private conversations were “every bit as feisty as the public one,” except there weren’t any drive-by opinions.

To those on the outside, these meetings appeared to be secret, as they were never referenced or summarized on the make blogs. This left the developmer community wondering where these decisions were coming from and whether or not they had a voice.

During the Q&A, Mulllenweg said he listened to vigorous discussion and diverse viewpoints from release leads coming from different companies, while gathering as much information as possible from reading reviews, blog posts, and comments from the community. He described this process as part of the art of trying to make sense of all the different things people are saying and balance that.

Supporting a BDFL-led project requires a certain amount of trust that the leadership is listening. Over the past several weeks Mullenweg has made a strong effort to keep the channels of communication open.

The painful user testing videos Mullenweg shared demonstrated how desperately WordPress needed to grow out of its old editor. It isn’t often that core makes changes that affect nearly every corner of the WordPress ecosystem at the same time. This experience came with its fair share of growing pains. Despite communication missteps during the 5.0 release process, Mullenweg has successfully navigated the project through this rocky transition. Although WordCamp US attendees seemed road weary after 5.0, they were united by a shared desire to move forward and continue working together with the leadership that has kept WordPress on the course of growth and improvement for the past 15 years.


photo credit: WP Tavern WordCamp US kicked off in Nashville over the weekend, following the release of WordPress 5.0. In the first 48 hours, 5.0 had been downloaded more than 2.8 million times. It passed 3 million Saturday night. “There’s been a lot that’s been going on, so I’d like to allow WordPress the chance to re-introduce itself,” Matt Mullenweg said during the preamble of his State of the Word address. He invoked the four freedoms as the project’s constitution and called the community back to its roots. “It’s the reason we’re here,” Mullenweg said. “WordPress isn’t a physical thing;…

Source: WordPress

Tagged

WPTavern: AMP Plugin for WordPress Version 1.0 Introduces Gutenberg-Integrated AMP Validation

WPTavern: AMP Plugin for WordPress Version 1.0 Introduces Gutenberg-Integrated AMP Validation

Version 1.0 of the official AMP plugin for WordPress was released on the eve of WordCamp US, after two years in development by contributors from Automattic, XWP, and Google. This first stable version has a massive changelog with 30 people credited for their contributions. The plugin is now considered ready for production and is active on more than 300,000 sites.

Version 1.0 interfaces with the new editor that landed in WordPress 5.0. It will display warnings for AMP-invalid markup on a per-block basis, so users don’t have to guess what content is generating an issue.

This release also introduces a compatibility tool that offers detailed information on AMP validation errors. It functions like a debugging page where users can see which URLs are generating errors, along with the site component (plugin, theme, or core) where the markup originates.

Version 1.0 includes granular controls for selecting which templates will be served as AMP. This allows for a more gradual adoption across a site. Users can also opt for Native mode to have the entire site served as AMP.

The plugin has been updated to support four of WordPress’ default themes, including Twenty Fifteen, Twenty Sixteen, Twenty Seventeen, and Twenty Nineteen. The documentation for how AMP was added to these bundled themes serves as an example for how theme developers can make their own themes AMP-compatible.

WordPress users who opt to use AMP on their sites will have a more successful experience with this version, thanks to the improved UI for handling AMP validation errors and the new interface for limiting AMP-support to certain templates.

The AMP for WordPress project is also sporting a new website that features a collection of AMP-ready plugins and themes and a showcase of sites using AMP. It also has extensive documentation for implementors, site owners, and developers. The site provides a central place for news and resources related to the project and its expanding ecosystem of compatible extensions.


Version 1.0 of the official AMP plugin for WordPress was released on the eve of WordCamp US, after two years in development by contributors from Automattic, XWP, and Google. This first stable version has a massive changelog with 30 people credited for their contributions. The plugin is now considered ready for production and is active on more than 300,000 sites. Version 1.0 interfaces with the new editor that landed in WordPress 5.0. It will display warnings for AMP-invalid markup on a per-block basis, so users don’t have to guess what content is generating an issue. This release also introduces a…

Source: WordPress

Tagged