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WPTavern: Gutenberg 3.3 Released, Adds Archives and Recent Comments Blocks

WPTavern: Gutenberg 3.3 Released, Adds Archives and Recent Comments Blocks

Gutenberg 3.3 is available and continues the trend of refining the user experience, user interface, and tools. Two new Widget blocks have been added, Post Archives and Recent Comments.

Archive and Recent Comments Widget Blocks

If your archives span across multiple months and years, you can configure the block to display as a drop-down menu. Otherwise, the list may be too long and look unwieldy on your site.

Video blocks now have attributes users can can configure for Autoplay, Loop, Muted, and display Playback Controls.

Video Block Attributes

There are a number of enhancements in this release that you can view via the change log.

Considering Gutenberg 3.2 released earlier this month generally completed the MVP or minimum viable product feature set, users can expect more of these types of releases to tie up loose ends and prepare Gutenberg for merge into WordPress 5.0 later this year. 


Gutenberg 3.3 is available and continues the trend of refining the user experience, user interface, and tools. Two new Widget blocks have been added, Post Archives and Recent Comments. Archive and Recent Comments Widget Blocks If your archives span across multiple months and years, you can configure the block to display as a drop-down menu. Otherwise, the list may be too long and look unwieldy on your site. Video blocks now have attributes users can can configure for Autoplay, Loop, Muted, and display Playback Controls. Video Block Attributes There are a number of enhancements in this release that you can…

Source: WordPress

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WPTavern: Karachi to Host First WordCamp in Pakistan Following Cancellation of WordCamp Lahore

WPTavern: Karachi to Host First WordCamp in Pakistan Following Cancellation of WordCamp Lahore
photo credit: Bilalhassan88

WordCamp Karachi is happening on August 4, 2018, and organizers are expecting more than 400 attendees. Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan with a population of more than 30 million people. Its airport connects the country to other international cities and smaller cities within Pakistan are available by rail or bus. Organizers behind the camp are overcoming a rocky history that has plagued the planning of WordPress-related events in the country for the past several years.

At the close of 2015, Pakistan was on track to host its first WordCamp in Lahore, building on momentum from the phenomenal growth of the local meetup group. Muhammad Kashif, one of the organizers, was averaging 200-500 attendees at meetups and his team’s application to host WordCamp Lahore was approved for 2016.

The meetup events, which attracted young students, developers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs, had grown so large that Kashif was having to close registration ahead of time because they were exceeding the capacity of the venue. Organizers expected 400-500 attendees at the WordCamp before it was cancelled after several delays near the end of the planning stage.

After contacting the WordPress Community team for the reason why it was cancelled, I received an official response from representative Hugh Lashbrooke:

Sometimes a WordCamp doesn’t make it all the way from pre-planning to being an actual event — occasionally due to logistical challenges, but other times because of broader concerns. In this case, once the WordCamp planning was underway, some tense dynamics arose within the local team. Everyone worked really hard to reach a positive solution, but we weren’t able to move forward with the event in the end.

Cancelling an event is never anyone’s preference, to be clear, but it is also a customary response when it’s clear that collaboration isn’t possible in the short term. Local organizers are always encouraged to reapply as soon as the barriers to collaboration have been resolved.

Lashbrooke also cited issues with the camp’s budget for the venue organizers selected. He said the situation was thoroughly investigated before the camp was cancelled and that they would never take that kind of decision lightly.

WordCamp Lahore organizers gave me a different report on what happened and were disappointed with the decision from the Community Team.

“Representatives from the Foundation cancelled the camp in the last stage based on a complaint from one person out of a community of 3,000 people,” Kashif said. “The Foundation made a direct decision of cancellation without giving me a chance for explanation as the Primary Organizer. I suggested the Foundation conduct a survey from the whole Lahore community to know the facts but they had already made the decision to cancel.”

Kashif claims there was no disagreement between the organizers, because the community member in question, Ahmad Awais, was never part of the original organizing team.

One member of the planning team agreed to speak to me anonymously about why he believes the camp was canceled. He claims that Awais fractured the team after his request to be given a prominent position in the organization was denied.

“Ahmad Awais started hijacking Kashif and his team,” he said. “He was not a lead organizer at all, but on the planning team. Instead of contributing, Ahmad wanted to speak at every meetup and didn’t spend time with organizing team. He broke the team and started pointing fingers at Kashif and the existing organizing team. He was NOT there until WC Lahore was approved. He joined the team after that.”

Multiple leaders from WordCamp Karachi’s 14-person organizing team, who wish to remain anonymous, have reported that Awais also requested to be named keynote speaker and was unhappy with the team after they told him that speaker decisions do not work like that. Several said they feared his retaliation against the camp, given they previously had no recourse with the Community Team after the experience of WordCamp Lahore getting shut down.

Awais is not attending WordCamp Karachi and has declined to answer any questions about WordCamp Lahore due to personal reasons.

Kashif received hundreds of messages from the community after the event in Lahore was cancelled. He had been working since 2013 to bring a WordCamp to the area. He said that while the Community Team was helpful with other queries he had, he was disappointed with how quickly the camp was cancelled.

“I worked tirelessly for years to get a WordCamp to Lahore and grew the community from 430 to 2600 in one year but the Foundation didn’t even give me a chance to explain before canceling WC Lahore, Kashif said. “I am a bit disheartened by that action.”

Kashif is now helping with other WordCamps, including Karachi and NYC. He is also willing to work to re-establish a WordCamp Lahore in the future.

“Like me there are lots of other WordPress enthusiasts in Pakistan who want to participate in WordCamps but not everyone can do that outside of Pakistan due to financial or visa reasons,” Kashif said. “I was accepted as a volunteer in WordCamp Europe but couldn’t join due to visa issues. I have seen so much excitement for WordCamp Karachi in the WordPress community across the whole country. Everyone is willing to help to make it a successful event so that there are more frequent WordCamps in Pakistan. The first one is so important as it will set expectations of outcomes of a WordCamp for people who are new to these events.”

WordCamp Karachi Organizers Aim to Make a Positive Impact on Pakistan

WordCamp Karachi organizers are attempting to move past the Pakistani WordPress community’s checkered history of contention. They are also eager to distance themselves from the conflict that took down WordCamp Lahore.

Usman Khalid, lead organizer of the camp, said he has put in a lot of effort asking organizers and volunteers to work together, regardless of the credit they will receive, and focus on the community.

“I want to spend time on having a positive impact for this country, avoiding any kind of noise,” Khalid said. “The Pakistani WordPress community is vibrant in many ways. We have around 6,000 plus WordPressers in our community, with people who are selling their products and services worldwide.”

Khalid said there are many users in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawer, and Faisalabad who are doing well with WordPress but are not yet connected to the community or participating in meetups and events. People from all over Pakistan will be attending the event as their first exposure to the WordPress community. Sessions will mostly be conducted in English but a few will be mixed with Urdu, the regional language.

Khalid has experienced many growing pains in bringing the event to a community that is new to understanding how WordCamps work. In a country that is notorious for its censorship, WordPress’ mission of democratizing publishing has the potential to change many lives.

“Since this is first Wordcamp, many people even don’t know about it,” Khalid said. “Those who know want to be a speaker, or any lead role that can promote them. When we tell them it doesn’t work like this, they are mostly get annoyed.”

Tech publications around Pakistan have not been exposed to WordCamps either. Khalid said several of them have asked for money in order to cover the story of the event, unaware that the purpose of the camps and meetups is not to translate everything into business but to give back to the community.

“I am simply working to actually deliver first and prove that this community can create a positive impact,” Khalid said. “I am sure after Wordcamp Karachi, the entire community within Pakistan will flourish, regardless of what happened in Lahore.” He said he hopes the next camps will be even more interesting in the future and that WordCamp Karachi will help to create new jobs and more businesses in Pakistan.


photo credit: Bilalhassan88 WordCamp Karachi is happening on August 4, 2018, and organizers are expecting more than 400 attendees. Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan with a population of more than 30 million people. Its airport connects the country to other international cities and smaller cities within Pakistan are available by rail or bus. Organizers behind the camp are overcoming a rocky history that has plagued the planning of WordPress-related events in the country for the past several years. At the close of 2015, Pakistan was on track to host its first WordCamp in Lahore, building on momentum from…

Source: WordPress

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Post Status: Why the makers of Ninja Forms are getting into eCommerce

Post Status: Why the makers of Ninja Forms are getting into eCommerce

Welcome to the Post Status Draft podcast, which you can find on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and via RSS for your favorite podcatcher. Post Status Draft is hosted by Brian Krogsgard and co-host Brian Richards.

In this episode, I bring on James Laws and Kevin Stover — cofounders of Saturday Drive, the parent company of Ninja Forms — to discuss why they are entering the world of eCommerce. I found this especially interesting given the market dominance of WooCommerce for general WordPress-based eCommerce needs.

Saturday Drive purchased Exchange, the plugin initially developed by iThemes and then handed off to A.J. Morris, with the intention of making a play for the eCommerce market, much like they did successfully once already for the somewhat-saturated forms market.

Episode Links

Sponsor: Sandhills Development

Sandhills Development makes a suite of excellent plugins to power your WordPress website. Whether you need to sell digital downloads, restrict content, create an affiliate program, or manage an events calendar, they’ve got you covered. Thanks to Sandhills for being a Post Status partner.


Welcome to the Post Status Draft podcast, which you can find on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and via RSS for your favorite podcatcher. Post Status Draft is hosted by Brian Krogsgard and co-host Brian Richards. In this episode, I bring on James Laws and Kevin Stover — cofounders of Saturday Drive, the parent company of Ninja Forms — to discuss why they are entering the world of eCommerce. I found this especially interesting given the market dominance of WooCommerce for general WordPress-based eCommerce needs. Saturday Drive purchased Exchange, the plugin initially developed by iThemes and then handed off to A.J.…

Source: WordPress

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WPTavern: WordPress 4.9.8 Will Significantly Reduce Memory Leak

WPTavern: WordPress 4.9.8 Will Significantly Reduce Memory Leak

WordPress 4.9.8 Beta two recently shipped and although much of the focus will be on the “Try Gutenberg” call-out, there’s a patch included that addresses a memory leak that was quite a problem for some users.

When WordPress 4.9.7 shipped, the WordPress.org support forums saw an increase in reports of memory exhausted errors due to the wp_is_stream function.

The bug is actually in PHP and is related to the stream-get-wrappers function. WordPress 4.9.7 increased the number of times it calls the wp_is_stream() function generating the error more often.

After thoughtful conversations within the trac ticket, a patch was created that after further testing, was committed to core. According to Gary Pendergast, the patch does the following.

Bailing if the path isn’t a stream. This isn’t perfect: it’s still possible to trigger the PHP bug, but it does significantly reduce the chances of the bug being encountered. For many WordPress sites (those that don’t have plugins that use streams), it reduces the chance to zero.

If you encountered memory exhaustion errors after installing or upgrading to WordPress 4.9.7, try WordPress 4.9.8 Beta 2 to see if it fixes the issue.

Aside from coming up with a solution, Trac ticket #44532 is a bit refreshing to see. In open source, tickets or issues can get bogged down with suggestions, hypothetical scenarios, and bike-shed commentary.

In this instance, the issue was identified and folks from the community along with core contributors worked together in a focused fashion to create a fix in time for the next point release. The ticket is a good example of what it’s like when open source is firing on all cylinders. 


WordPress 4.9.8 Beta two recently shipped and although much of the focus will be on the “Try Gutenberg” call-out, there’s a patch included that addresses a memory leak that was quite a problem for some users. When WordPress 4.9.7 shipped, the WordPress.org support forums saw an increase in reports of memory exhausted errors due to the wp_is_stream function. The bug is actually in PHP and is related to the stream-get-wrappers function. WordPress 4.9.7 increased the number of times it calls the wp_is_stream() function generating the error more often. After thoughtful conversations within the trac ticket, a patch was created that after…

Source: WordPress

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Donncha: WP Super Cache and Cookie Banners

Donncha: WP Super Cache and Cookie Banners

More sites use cookie banners now that the GDPR is active but some are finding that their banners are misbehaving once they enable caching.

This is a similar issue to the one that happened to some page counter plugins in the past. The page counter wouldn’t increment.

When a cookie banner is clicked a cookie is set in the browser so the website knows this visitor has agreed to accept cookies. If the cookie is set then the cookie banner html is not sent to the browser.

I suspect the main issue is that the code that sets and checks if the cookie is set is PHP. Unfortunately because the page is cached then no PHP code is executed, and the cookie banner is displayed because it was originally cached that way.

Since WP Super Cache only knows about certain WordPress cookies it assumes everyone who doesn’t have those cookies is a first time “anonymous” visitor. It doesn’t know about your cookie banner cookie.

You have two options:

  1. Rewrite your cookie banner so it’s completely in Javascript. Do the cookie detection in Javascript and also set the cookie in Javascript. If the cookie banner has been clicked then you need to trigger an action, and other Javascript that is hooked on to that trigger will run and load the tracking cookies.
  2. Modify WP Super Cache so it knows about the cookie your cookie banner uses. Caching won’t work quite as well as before as it’ll be split between visitors who have clicked the cookie banner and those that haven’t. One cached file will display the cookie banner, and the other will not but it will have ad tracking Javascript.

Using Javascript completely is a better solution because it runs in the browser on every page load but that might not be possible every time.

Otherwise, use PHP to get WP Super Cache to play nicely with your existing code:

  1. You’ll need to write a WP Super Cache plugin.
  2. You need to hook into the wp_cache_get_cookies_values cacheaction and add the value of the cookie banner cookie to the end of that string.
  3. Caching can only be performed by simple caching now, unless you’re willing to edit mod_rewrite rules in your .htaccess file.

Something like this will do. Make sure you note the warning about $wp_cache_plugins_dir in the link above about writing these plugins.

function add_cookie_banner_to_cache_cookie( $string ) {
    if ( isset( $_COOKIE['cookie_banner'] ) ) {
        $string .= 'cb,';
    }
    return $string
}
add_cacheaction( 'wp_cache_get_cookies_values', 'add_cookie_banner_to_cache_cookie' );

Substitute the name of the cookie for your cookie name, change the name of the function, and the text it adds to the string. There is an intentional PHP fatal error in the code above to discourage copy/pasting.

Your cookie banner plugin could automate setting this up, but it may have unforeseen consequences if not done correctly. It should check if $wp_cache_plugins_dir is set already, and use that location, otherwise it will have to make a directory and update the WP Super Cache configuration, where ABC is the new location for the plugins.

wp_cache_setting( 'wp_cache_plugins_dir', ABSPATH . 'wp-content/ABC' );

The new code can be copied into a file in that directory. The files in the original WP Super Cache plugins directory (found at WPCACHEHOME . 'plugins') should be copied into that directory too and a warning shown to the user. They may need to set up one of those plugins again.

The reason it is this convoluted is because this code will run before all of WordPress loads. You can’t rely on blog options or most of the nice configuration tools WordPress provides.

When your plugin is uninstalled it should of course restore the plugins directory to the way it was before.

For future reference, since cookie banners will hopefully not be around forever, here’s what they looked like in the deep, distant past of 2018. 🙂


The LA Times just gave up and don’t show anything to EU visitors.

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More sites use cookie banners now that the GDPR is active but some are finding that their banners are misbehaving once they enable caching. This is a similar issue to the one that happened to some page counter plugins in the past. The page counter wouldn’t increment. When a cookie banner is clicked a cookie is set in the browser so the website knows this visitor has agreed to accept cookies. If the cookie is set then the cookie banner html is not sent to the browser. I suspect the main issue is that the code that sets and checks…

Source: WordPress

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WPTavern: First Look at “Try Gutenberg” Prompt in WordPress 4.9.8 Beta 2

WPTavern: First Look at “Try Gutenberg” Prompt in WordPress 4.9.8 Beta 2

WordPress 4.9.8 Beta 2 was released today, featuring the new “Try Gutenberg” prompt that will appear in user dashboards when the official release drops at the end of the month.

The prompt invites users to install Gutenberg if they want to try the new editor or install the Classic Editor to keep using the current editor until they are ready to make the change. WordPress contributors discussed variations on the design and wording of the callout and finally settled on what you see in 4.9.8 Beta 2.

Even if users don’t get involved in Gutenberg testing, the callout serves to inform them that the new editor will be enabled by default in the next major release of WordPress. It includes a link to the Gutenberg information page so users can learn more about the project.

Contributors agreed that they wanted to clearly communicate three important points in the callout, as per designer @kjellr’s suggestions on trac:

  1. Gutenberg is coming in the next major release.
  2. If you’re worried about compatibility, there’s a plugin to help ease the transition.
  3. The plugin lets you use the editor you’re used to until you’re ready to switch.

The prompt is clearly geared towards encouraging users to test Gutenberg, as that section has a more prominent, colored button. If your clients’ installations are not ready for users to act on the “Try Gutenberg” prompt, now is the time to install a plugin that will disable it. Clients with free-range of the WordPress admin, in sites that are running Gutenberg-compatible extensions, are better candidates for testing the new editor.

The Classic Editor Addon is one option that will suppress the prompt and automatically suppress Gutenberg when it ships in WordPress 5.0. It was also recently updated to auto-install the Classic Editor plugin as a dependency so users don’t have to install two plugins as part of the process.

A release candidate is slated for July 24, and the official 4.9.8 release is scheduled for July 31st. The Gutenberg plugin is currently sitting at 10,000+ active installations and the Classic Editor at 5,000+. After 4.9.8 is released, changes in these numbers will demonstrate how WordPress users across the globe are responding to the call for testing.


WordPress 4.9.8 Beta 2 was released today, featuring the new “Try Gutenberg” prompt that will appear in user dashboards when the official release drops at the end of the month. The prompt invites users to install Gutenberg if they want to try the new editor or install the Classic Editor to keep using the current editor until they are ready to make the change. WordPress contributors discussed variations on the design and wording of the callout and finally settled on what you see in 4.9.8 Beta 2. Even if users don’t get involved in Gutenberg testing, the callout serves to…

Source: WordPress

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