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WPTavern: WordCamp for Publishers is Coming to Columbus, OH, August 7-9, Call for Speakers Now Open

WPTavern: WordCamp for Publishers is Coming to Columbus, OH, August 7-9, Call for Speakers Now Open

The third edition of WordCamp for Publishers will be held in Columbus, OH, August 7-9, 2019, at the Vue Columbus. This unique event is a niche-specific WordCamp for professionals working in the publishing industry. Previous locations include Denver and Chicago. In looking for a host city for 2019, organizers had a preference for cities that are “underrepresented media markets” where attendees may not see as many of these types of events. Columbus certainly fits the bill.

The call for speakers and workshop facilitators is now open. Organizers are looking for presentations from all types of professionals across the publishing industry, including writers, journalists, editors, designers, developers, data journalists, project managers, product managers, and program managers. The event will feature three types of sessions:

  • 45 minute presentations (inclusive of Q&A)
  • 90 minute workshops
  • 5 minute lightning talks

Applicants may submit up to three proposals until the deadline on Monday, May 6th at 11:59 EDT.

Last year’s event brought controversial and thought-provoking presentations, such as “Why we ditched AMP, and other UX choices we made for launching membership” and “Reader revenue and the less open web,” an interesting exploration of the implications of paywalls on the open web. All 2018 presentations are available on WordPress.tv, if speaker applicants need any ideas about the types of presentations that are relevant to the event. Last year’s theme was “Taking Back the Open Web,” but organizers have not yet announced a theme for 2019.

The first batch of tickets is already on sale. Previous years have sold out fairly fast, so make sure to follow @wcpublishers on Twitter for all the latest information.


The third edition of WordCamp for Publishers will be held in Columbus, OH, August 7-9, 2019, at the Vue Columbus. This unique event is a niche-specific WordCamp for professionals working in the publishing industry. Previous locations include Denver and Chicago. In looking for a host city for 2019, organizers had a preference for cities that are “underrepresented media markets” where attendees may not see as many of these types of events. Columbus certainly fits the bill. The call for speakers and workshop facilitators is now open. Organizers are looking for presentations from all types of professionals across the publishing industry, including writers, journalists, editors, designers, developers, data journalists, project managers, product managers, and program managers. The event will feature three types of sessions: 45 minute presentations (inclusive of Q&A) 90 minute workshops 5 minute lightning talks Applicants may submit up to three proposals until the deadline on Monday, May 6th at 11:59 EDT. Last year’s event brought controversial and thought-provoking presentations, such as “Why we ditched AMP, and other UX choices we made for launching membership” and “Reader revenue and the less open web,” an interesting exploration of the implications of paywalls on the open web. All 2018 presentations are…

Source: WordPress

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Matt: Happy Tools, for the Future of Work

Matt: Happy Tools, for the Future of Work

Distributed work is becoming a reality for more companies. Automattic has been operating in a distributed-first fashion for more than 13 years now — we’re now up to more than 850 employees in 68 countries. But even in companies with physical offices, more employees are distributed around the globe and working together. Google just shared some fascinating stats about its work culture, with 100,000 employees working across 150 cities. Two out of five work groups have employees working from more than one location:

We’re a more connected world, so it makes sense that global business wouldn’t be confined to just one physical space. I often use Google as an example because I’ve been in meetings there where people were one building away from each other but still using video chat because of the time required to walk between meetings on their campus.

With that in mind, the team at Automattic has decided to start sharing our expertise and the technology that makes it all work. Introducing Happy Tools:

Our first product is Happy Schedule, which helps teams manage flexible schedules across time zones. Right now we’re rolling it out in a consultative way with just a few early customers to make sure the team can be totally responsive to their needs. We’re excited about this and other upcoming tools, because we believe that this is the future of work. We’re excited to have other companies give it a try.

Keep an eye on this space: There’s an entire suite of tools that make up the operating system of what has helped Automattic scale so effectively over the years. I’ve always believed it’s important to invest in your internal tools, and I’m excited to release more of them. If there’s something better in the market, we won’t release a tool for it—I’d rather use something external than have to build things ourselves—but where the industry still has a gap after such a long time, we’ll throw our hat into the ring.


Distributed work is becoming a reality for more companies. Automattic has been operating in a distributed-first fashion for more than 13 years now — we’re now up to more than 850 employees in 68 countries. But even in companies with physical offices, more employees are distributed around the globe and working together. Google just shared some fascinating stats about its work culture, with 100,000 employees working across 150 cities. Two out of five work groups have employees working from more than one location: We’re a more connected world, so it makes sense that global business wouldn’t be confined to just one physical space. I often use Google as an example because I’ve been in meetings there where people were one building away from each other but still using video chat because of the time required to walk between meetings on their campus. With that in mind, the team at Automattic has decided to start sharing our expertise and the technology that makes it all work. Introducing Happy Tools: Our first product is Happy Schedule, which helps teams manage flexible schedules across time zones. Right now we’re rolling it out in a consultative way with just a few early customers to…

Source: WordPress

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WPTavern: WordCamp Europe Publishes 2019 Speaker Lineup, Contributor Day Registration is Now Open

WPTavern: WordCamp Europe Publishes 2019 Speaker Lineup, Contributor Day Registration is Now Open

WordCamp Europe 2019 is 66 days away. The event will be held in Berlin on June 20-22, occupying 13,000m² of the Estrel Congress Center. More than 2,266 tickets have been sold so far, roughly 100 tickets short of what the event sold last year.

All 59 speakers have now been announced and the schedule is published on the website. Organizers added a third track this year to accommodate the various lightning and traditional talks, workshops, and panels.

WordCamp Europe received a record-breaking number of submissions and applicants this year after making a stronger effort to improve representation of the diversity of the WordPress’ community. Organizers received 453 submissions from 267 applicants, a 20 percent increase over 2018 submissions. Approximately 1% (4 applicants) identified outside of the gender binary, 34% were female, and 65% male. The breakdown for 2019 selected speakers is 43.4% female and 56.6% male.

Contributor Day registration opened today and will close May 31, 2019. The event will take place on June 20, one the day before the main conference in the same venue. Organizers have build a new Contributor Orientation Tool to help new contributors identify one or more of the Make WordPress teams where they can apply their skills. Tickets are free for WCEU attendees but spots are limited. There were only 157 Contributor Day tickets remaining this morning and those places are going quickly.


WordCamp Europe 2019 is 66 days away. The event will be held in Berlin on June 20-22, occupying 13,000m² of the Estrel Congress Center. More than 2,266 tickets have been sold so far, roughly 100 tickets short of what the event sold last year. All 59 speakers have now been announced and the schedule is published on the website. Organizers added a third track this year to accommodate the various lightning and traditional talks, workshops, and panels. WordCamp Europe received a record-breaking number of submissions and applicants this year after making a stronger effort to improve representation of the diversity of the WordPress’ community. Organizers received 453 submissions from 267 applicants, a 20 percent increase over 2018 submissions. Approximately 1% (4 applicants) identified outside of the gender binary, 34% were female, and 65% male. The breakdown for 2019 selected speakers is 43.4% female and 56.6% male. Contributor Day registration opened today and will close May 31, 2019. The event will take place on June 20, one the day before the main conference in the same venue. Organizers have build a new Contributor Orientation Tool to help new contributors identify one or more of the Make WordPress teams where they can…

Source: WordPress

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WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.2 Beta 3

WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.2 Beta 3

WordPress 5.2 Beta 3 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

There are two ways to test the latest WordPress 5.2 beta: try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want to select the “bleeding edge nightlies” option), or you can download the beta here (zip).

WordPress 5.2 is slated for release on April 30, and we need your help to get there! Thanks to the testing and feedback from everyone who tried beta 2, nearly 40 tickets have been closed since then. Here are the major changes and bug fixes:

  • The new Site Health feature has continued to be refined.
  • Plugins no longer update if a site is running an unsupported version of PHP (see #46613).
  • It’s now more apparent when a site is running in Recovery Mode (see #46608).
  • The distraction free button no longer breaks keyboard navigation in the Classic Editor (see #46640).
  • Assistive technologies do a better job of announcing admin bar sub menus (see #37513).
  • Subject lines in WordPress emails are now more consistent (see #37940).
  • Personal data exports now only show as completed when a user downloads their data (see #44644).
  • Plus more improvements to accessibility (see #35497 and #42853).

Minimum PHP Version Update

Important reminder: as of WordPress 5.2 beta 2, the minimum PHP version that WordPress will require is 5.6.20. If you’re running an older version of PHP, we highly recommend updating it now, before WordPress 5.2 is officially released.

Developer Notes

WordPress 5.2 has lots of refinements to polish the developer experience. To keep up, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developers notes for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! The beta 3 release also marks the soft string freeze point of the 5.2 release schedule.

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.


Would you look at that
each day brings release closer
test to be ready
.


WordPress 5.2 Beta 3 is now available! This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version. There are two ways to test the latest WordPress 5.2 beta: try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want to select the “bleeding edge nightlies” option), or you can download the beta here (zip). WordPress 5.2 is slated for release on April 30, and we need your help to get there! Thanks to the testing and feedback from everyone who tried beta 2, nearly 40 tickets have been closed since then. Here are the major changes and bug fixes: The new Site Health feature has continued to be refined.Plugins no longer update if a site is running an unsupported version of PHP (see #46613).It’s now more apparent when a site is running in Recovery Mode (see #46608).The distraction free button no longer breaks keyboard navigation in the Classic Editor (see #46640).Assistive technologies do a better job of announcing admin bar sub menus (see #37513).Subject lines in WordPress emails are now more consistent (see #37940).Personal data exports now only show as completed when a user…

Source: WordPress

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WPTavern: New GPL-licensed Quirk App Open Sources Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

WPTavern: New GPL-licensed Quirk App Open Sources Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Quirk is a new GPL-licensed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) app for iOS and Android built in React Native/Expo. The app helps users challenge their “automatic thoughts,” a term that refers to thoughts that come to a person spontaneously in response to a trigger, which can often be negative.

Quirk lets users record a quick thought and will automatically narrow down a list of potential ways these thoughts are distorted. The distortions were inspired by the ones popularized in Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. The user is then invited to challenge those distortions and write an alternative thought.

Quirk demo

Evan Conrad, a software engineer at Segment, created Quirk as a non-commercial, personal project to make it easy for people to take control of their irrational thoughts using a common CBT technique. Quirk is not a substitute for a trained therapist but rather a tool for people to use on their own. Left unchecked, negative automatic thoughts can become emotional weights and lead to distorted thinking. Quirk is a simple app that helps people experience the world in a less negative way and develop more rational thinking patterns.

“It’s super useful for day-to-day stuff,” Conrad said in response to comments on Hacker News. “Take a thought like ‘I took too many hints in that interview question.’

“That thought might lead to ‘I must have failed that interview,’ which leads to ‘I’ll fail all the rest of my interviews,’ which leads to ‘I’ll never get another job,’ which leads to ‘I must be really bad at this, I should just give up.’

“Each step seemed kind of logical at the time, but one thought led to the next and now you feel awful.

“CBT is a counter measure to this; it stops you at that first point and gives you a bunch of common logical fallacies that help you recognize why your thought is overreaching. You don’t know if you really flunked that interview, besides flunking one is good practice to pass the next one.”

Conrad said these types of thought processes aren’t exactly a mental health issue but are common struggles for many people. Quirk can be a useful tool for anyone looking to recognize and remove their own cognitive biases.

The iOS version of the app currently works better than the Android one, as the author said he doesn’t have an Android phone and finds it difficult to support the app on that platform. However, fixes are being pushed out regularly and many of the issues with crashing are getting resolved.

How the GPL Protects Users in Mental Health Tech

The code for Quirk can be found on GitHub and is open source under the GPL-3.0, which is not a popular choice for licensing mobile apps. I asked Conrad why he opted for the GPL license, as opposed to other popular open source licenses.

“Mental Health tech is a really weird world,” Conrad said. “There’s a lot of folks who want to do the right thing, but end up doing really sketchy stuff.

“For example, a lot of apps collect the thoughts you’re recording for ML (Machine Learning) or NLP (Natural Language Processing). The stated purpose of this is to help better identify suicide, depression, etc. Partially because of the subject matter, many apps aren’t clearly telling their users that this is happening.

“So what ends up happening is a bunch of well intended researchers get access to your most sensitive thoughts. Which is fine, but they frequently aren’t aware of how valuable of a target they’re holding to a nefarious actor. Because it’s not like a database of passwords or credit card numbers, they tend to not think about security.

“But thoughts are super valuable and dangerous for abusers and blackmailers; plus most people would rather give you their password in plaintext than show you their mental health thoughts.

“So if I made Quirk MIT, I would worry that someone would take Quirk and launch their own version for research that tracks and stores user thoughts. Because the license doesn’t follow them, they could do it without telling a user and there would be little way for an average person to /know/ that this is happening.”

Conrad has taken an inspiring, user-centric approach to licensing and privacy that ensures users of his app (and any derivatives) will have access to the code and a better understanding of where their data is being stored. In a recent Twitter thread, he outlined the privacy principles that underpin Quirk’s architecture:

In Quirk, FOSS and privacy isn’t a focus, it’s a given. Outside the tech world, Quirk is not trying to be a FOSS CBT app, it’s trying to be a really good CBT app that happens to be FOSS. It’s not coming out and saying “hey we don’t store your deepest darkest secrets on some server somewhere.” User’s don’t care. It’s a given. It doesn’t store things on the device because it’s trying to sell you on privacy, it does it because it’s the correct engineering decision.

Regular people don’t look at the Golden Gate bridge and think about the structural quality of the bolts. They pull out their phones and take a picture. The responsibility of software is to make things frictionless and reduce the stuff someone has to think about before buying in.

Conrad said he would like to see other developers build things using the app and conduct research, as long as they do so ethically. The project’s GitHub repo has a detailed writeup of its design and engineering logic. It includes specific goals the code was built around in order to respect users’ privacy and mental health, such as:

  • Thoughts are more valuable than passwords, treat them that way.
  • Be extremely cautious about making engagement your core metric.
  • But be clear and obvious within the app about what’s going on with the user’s data.

“I really do want to see people use Quirk for research,” he said. “I just want it to follow more ethical practices of consent and data security. Someone should willingly give a researcher their thoughts and as little information should be given about the person as possible. When it’s stored, it should be stored safely and not on a publicly exposed DB for example. But for that to happen, it has to be open.”

Beyond GPL-specific licensing, making the app open source has many other benefits. Quirk has already been translated into six different languages. One of the byproducts of making a useful app open source is that it energizes contributors and speeds up the process of bringing the app to new audiences.

Feedback on the app so far has been mostly positive. One commenter on Hacker News thanked Conrad for open sourcing the app because he wasn’t able to continue in-person CBT due to the cost:

I’ve been through CBT and stopped because of the cost. I feel that an app like this can complement those of us that have had face to face time but stopped for whatever reason.

Quirk is an inspiring example of how open source software can help people with every day problems. Its carefully-considered implementation respects users’ sensitive information and doesn’t encourage an unhealthy attachment to the app.

If you like Quirk and want to contribute, you can find the app on GitHub, including directions for translating it into different languages. Mental health professionals who want to contribute are encouraged to audit the descriptions of the cognitive distortions. Users can report bugs as GitHub issues or directly to the app’s creator via email to Humans @ usequirk.com.


Quirk is a new GPL-licensed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) app for iOS and Android built in React Native/Expo. The app helps users challenge their “automatic thoughts,” a term that refers to thoughts that come to a person spontaneously in response to a trigger, which can often be negative. Quirk lets users record a quick thought and will automatically narrow down a list of potential ways these thoughts are distorted. The distortions were inspired by the ones popularized in Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. The user is then invited to challenge those distortions and write an alternative thought. Evan Conrad, a software engineer at Segment, created Quirk as a non-commercial, personal project to make it easy for people to take control of their irrational thoughts using a common CBT technique. Quirk is not a substitute for a trained therapist but rather a tool for people to use on their own. Left unchecked, negative automatic thoughts can become emotional weights and lead to distorted thinking. Quirk is a simple app that helps people experience the world in a less negative way and develop more rational thinking patterns. “It’s super useful for day-to-day stuff,” Conrad said in response to comments on Hacker…

Source: WordPress

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WPTavern: WPGraphQL Project Gains Momentum with Growing Library of Extensions for Popular WordPress Projects

WPTavern: WPGraphQL Project Gains Momentum with Growing Library of Extensions for Popular WordPress Projects

The WPGraphQL project, a plugin that provides an extendable GraphQL schema and API for WordPress sites, has been gaining momentum over the past several months. Creator and maintainer Jason Bahl put the project up on Open Collective last week after people frequently asked how the community can support the project. WPGraphQL already has five backers, an $800 balance, and an estimated annual budget of $2,687.

“Large well-known sites such as qz.com and theplayerstribune.com are in production with JavaScript front-ends that consume data from WordPress via WPGraphQL,” Bahl said. “PostLight Studio maintains a popular “Headless WP Starter” project that initially started as a React + REST API boilerplate, but recently added WPGraphQL support as well.”

One of the most important signs of the project’s growth are the extensions that developers are building on top of it, such as WPGraphQL for Yoast SEO, WPGraphQL for Gutenberg, and WPGraphQL Content Blocks. WPGraphQL for Advanced Custom Fields is getting very close to an initial release and Caldera Forms is also exploring integrations with WPGraphQL.

“The two most-searched things on WPGraphQL.com are “Advanced Custom Fields” and “WooCommerce,” Bahl said. “People are interested in using WPGraphQL with other popular WordPress projects, and WPGraphQL for WooCommerce is a reaction to the folks that are already looking for alternatives to the WooCommerce REST API.”

WPGraphQL for WooCommerce Seeks $15K in Funding

WPGraphQL for WooCommerce is an extension created by Geoffry Taylor that has started to gain some traction. Taylor is a core contributor to the main WPGraphQL plugin. He has just published a Kickstarter to help fund development of the extension and Bahl is consulting with him on implementation details and code reviews.

Taylor began contributing to the WPGraphQL project last year after discovering the repository and finding that it lacked the features he needed.

“I was looking for a solution that would allow me to create React-Apollo JS apps that could be used as WordPress themes,” he said. “And the solution couldn’t rely on a node server, because a large portion of my clients use shared hosting. WPGraphQL was a perfect fit for what I needed, but it lacked the features I needed at the time. This led to me contributing.”

Since then Taylor has also created other libraries and tools that work directly or indirectly with WPGraphQL, such as WPGraphQL Composer, a React-Apollo component library, and Oil-Based Boilerplate, a boilerplate for developing React-powered WordPress themes, plugins, and guten-blocks that use shared components.

Taylor is seeking $15K in funding for development of the WPGraphQL WooCommerce extension, which would enable him to apply 100% of his time to the project.

“The question I think a lot of people have, is what does this extension provide that WPGraphQL and WooCommerce doesn’t already?” Taylor said. “It adds WooCommerce support to the WPGraphQL server. It is being designed to match and increase the functionality of WooCommerce REST to make it as easy as possible to convert your app from the WooCommerce REST API.”

Taylor said the extension is past the initial explorations and is well into development. If a developer follows the instructions in the README they will be able to query products and their variations, coupons, orders, refunds, customer information, and (after the next update), order items from the WPGraphQL endpoint. He said that with the exception of products, none of the data is queryable for any user without shop-manager level capabilities.

“Customer-level functionality is the target goal right now, meaning customers can register/login, update the cart, and checkout,” Taylor said.

Anyone interested can follow the project’s progress on GitHub or get involved on Slack at wp-graphql.slack.com in the #woocommerce channel.


The WPGraphQL project, a plugin that provides an extendable GraphQL schema and API for WordPress sites, has been gaining momentum over the past several months. Creator and maintainer Jason Bahl put the project up on Open Collective last week after people frequently asked how the community can support the project. WPGraphQL already has five backers, an $800 balance, and an estimated annual budget of $2,687. “Large well-known sites such as qz.com and theplayerstribune.com are in production with JavaScript front-ends that consume data from WordPress via WPGraphQL,” Bahl said. “PostLight Studio maintains a popular “Headless WP Starter” project that initially started as a React + REST API boilerplate, but recently added WPGraphQL support as well.” One of the most important signs of the project’s growth are the extensions that developers are building on top of it, such as WPGraphQL for Yoast SEO, WPGraphQL for Gutenberg, and WPGraphQL Content Blocks. WPGraphQL for Advanced Custom Fields is getting very close to an initial release and Caldera Forms is also exploring integrations with WPGraphQL. “The two most-searched things on WPGraphQL.com are “Advanced Custom Fields” and “WooCommerce,” Bahl said. “People are interested in using WPGraphQL with other popular WordPress projects, and WPGraphQL for WooCommerce is…

Source: WordPress

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