After a particularly busy month in June, things settled down a bit in the WordPress world — WordPress 4.8’s release went very smoothly, allowing the Core team to build up some of the community infrastructure around development. Read on for more interesting news from around the WordPress world in July.
Weekly meeting for new core contributors
Onboarding new contributors is a persistent issue for most WordPress contribution teams. While every team welcomes any new contributors, the path to getting deeply involved can be tricky to find at times.
This month, the Core team implemented a fantastic new initiative: weekly meetings for new core contributors as a way to encourage involvement and foster fresh contributions. The meetings not only focus on bugs suited to first-time contributors, they also make space for experienced contributors to help out individuals who may be new to developing WordPress core.
The meetings are held every Wednesday at 19:00 UTC in the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.
Increased focus on PHP practices in WordPress core
In bringing people together to improve WordPress core, a new channel in the Making WordPress Slack group named #core-php is designed to focus on PHP development in the project.
Along with this increased concentration on PHP, a new weekly meeting is now taking place every Monday at 18:00 UTC in #core-php to improve WordPress core’s PHP practices.
Sharp rise in meetup group growth
The dashboard events widget in WordPress 4.8 displays local, upcoming WordPress events for the logged in user. The events listed in this widget are pulled from the meetup chapter program, as well as the WordCamp schedule.
This widget provides greater visibility of official WordPress events, and encourages community involvement in these events. It’s safe to say that the widget has achieved its goals admirably — since WordPress 4.8 was released a little over a month ago, 31 new meetup groups have been formed with 15,647 new members across the whole program. This is compared to 19 new groups and only 7,071 new members in the same time period last year.
You can find a local meetup group to join on meetup.com, and if you would like to get involved in organizing events for your community, you can find out more about the inner workings of the program on the Community Team site or by joining the #community-events channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.
WordPress 4.8.1 due for imminent release
WordPress 4.8 cycle’s first maintenance release will be published in the coming week, more than a month after 4.8 was released. This release fix some important issues in WordPress core and the majority of users will find that their sites will update to this new version automatically.
If you would like to help out by testing this release before it goes live, you can follow the beta testing guide for WordPress core. To get further involved in building WordPress core, jump into the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group, and follow the Core team blog.
- The WordPress mobile apps have been updated with a brand new text editor.
- In a recent push to encourage WordPress users to upgrade their PHP versions, two features have been proposed – one to provide a notice to users and another to allow PHP version requirements to be specified by plugins and themes.
- John Maeda wrote a great post celebrating the freedom that WordPress offers.
- Gutenberg, the new text editor for WordPress, is in continual development — everyone is invited to test it out.
- The WordPress Meta team is starting a new initiative to bring the community together to focus on fixing bugs across the WordCamp.org network.
- Volunteer applications for WordCamp US are now open.
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