11 Mar 2014
If it's true that the best gifts come in small packages, then WordPress 3.9 is set to be a stellar release. It's fully of tiny improvements that improve the publishing experience, especially when it comes to editing content. You can now check it out first-hand, since 3.9 Beta 1 was released today. The official release is scheduled to drop during the week of April 14th. Andrew Nacin announced the beta with the customary haiku, which nicely sums up what you'll find in 3.9:
Lots of improvements
Little things go a long way
Please test beta one
There are some exciting new features coming in 3.9, but a good portion of core development has also been dedicated to iterating on features introduced in previous releases. Nacin summarized a few of the major new items that need testing:
- Updated to TinyMCE 4.0
- Widget customizer now rolled into core for live previews while managing widgets
- WP 3.8′s theme browsing experience extended to the theme installer
- Live preview for galleries in the editor - no more placeholder
- Drag-and-drop images directly onto the editor to upload
- Multiple improvements to image editing
- New audio/video playlists
Nacin asked WordPress users what they're most excited about for WordPress 3.9 and here are a few responses from the community:
@nacin it's small, but i love the improvements to editing images and no more new windows. sometimes it's the little things.
- David Bisset (@dimensionmedia) March 11, 2014
- George Stephanis (@daljo628) March 11, 2014
@nacin the ability to position cropped images. It's a small but very useful. I'm sure others will point out the major features ;)
- Syed Balkhi (@syedbalkhi) March 11, 2014
How to Test a WordPress Beta Release
All of these enhancements need to be tested, as some are still a little rough around the edges. You don't have to be an expert developer to get on board to test the upcoming 3.9 release. All you need is a test environment. Install the WordPress Beta Tester plugin and select "bleeding edge nightlies." Alternatively, you can simply download the zip file for the beta.
If you think you've found a bug, feel free to post it on the Alpha/Beta forum. That is the easiest entry point for testing the beta and being part of making it better. If you're able to submit a bug on WordPress core trac, that's even better. For more details on the specific issues to test, make sure to check out the 3.9 Beta 1 announcement post.
11 Mar 2014 8:08pm GMT
The BuddyPress Theme Development book hit the shelves late last year and I had the chance to review it for our readers. This book is a much-needed resource for the BuddyPress community and could not have come at a better time.
BuddyPress theming has evolved over the years but it has always had a steep learning curve. Part of the reason for this is that theming practices have been in flux as BuddyPress has improved. Contributors to the codex have worked hard to make sure the basics are in place but more in-depth tutorials tend to be scattered all over the web.
Now that theme compatibility is in place to allow BP to work with any WordPress theme, Tammie Lister decided that it was the right time to make a comprehensive guide. Lister is a long-time BuddyPress contributor who now works as a Theme Wrangler for Automattic. If you're looking for an expert who will hold your feet to the fire when it comes to WordPress theming standards, Lister has you covered.
An Introduction to Basic WordPress Theming
One thing I appreciate about the book is that it does not assume the reader to already be an expert at WordPress theming. Lister takes a holistic approach and introduces the differences between social networking and building a community. While BuddyPress provides social networking features, building a community involves more than just activating the plugin and hoping people will use the site. Understanding the differences will help to shape the design process.
She starts with the basics and provides a step-by-step guide for setting BuddyPress up on your server. She introduces theming by walking you through creating a child theme. You'll learn all the basics, such as how to use your browser to inspect elements on the page in order to get the right selectors for making CSS changes.
The book then moves into a basic introduction to WordPress theming before delving deeper into BuddyPress template hierarchy. If you're familiar with WordPress template hierarchy then BuddyPress will come naturally, as it works the same way.
A Hands-On Guide to Creating BuddyPress Themes
With the theming basics under your belt, the next section puts you well on your way to building your own BuddyPress feature templates. This is necessary if you want to radically change the look of your community to customize it beyond the stock BuddyPress UI. Here's where the hands-on fun begins. Lister walks the reader through building a sample responsive BuddyPress theme with unique elements, custom fonts, navigation menus, custom BuddyPress templates and more.
If you're a developer who has just taken on a BuddyPress project for the first time and you're new to BP theme development, this manual is a must-have. I highly recommend the process Lister users for getting novice theme developers up to speed on the basics. You'll go from installing BuddyPress to creating your very own theme in a short amount of time. Experienced BuddyPress developers will also appreciate the book as a reference for the proper way to customize themes. BuddyPress Theme Development is available from Amazon. You an also purchase it directly from Packt Publishing.
11 Mar 2014 5:07pm GMT
I'm excited to announce that the first beta of WordPress 3.9 is now available for testing.
WordPress 3.9 is due out next month - but in order to hit that goal, we need your help testing all of the goodies we've added:
- We updated TinyMCE, the software powering the visual editor, to the latest version. Be on the lookout for cleaner markup. Also try the new paste handling - if you paste in a block of text from Microsoft Word, for example, it will no longer come out terrible. (The "Paste from Word" button you probably never noticed has been removed.) It's possible some plugins that added stuff to the visual editor (like a new toolbar button) no longer work, so we'd like to hear about them (#24067). (And be sure to open a support thread for the plugin author.)
- We've added widget management to live previews (the customizer). Please test editing, adding, and rearranging widgets! (#27112) We've also added the ability to upload, crop, and manage header images, without needing to leave the preview. (#21785)
- We brought 3.8′s beautiful new theme browsing experience to the theme installer. Check it out! (#27055)
- Galleries now receive a live preview in the editor. Upload some photos and insert a gallery to see this in action. (#26959)
- You can now drag-and-drop images directly onto the editor to upload them. It can be a bit finicky, so try it and help us work out the kinks. (#19845)
- Some things got improved around editing images. It's a lot easier to make changes to an image after you insert it into a post (#24409) and you no longer get kicked to a new window when you need to crop or rotate an image (#21811).
- New audio/video playlists. Upload a few audio or video files to test these. (#26631)
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 the WordPress Trac. There, you can also find a list of known bugs and everything we've fixed so far.
This software is still in development, so we don't recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site just to play with the new version. To test WordPress 3.9, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you'll want "bleeding edge nightlies"). Or you can download the beta here (zip).
DEVELOPERS! Hello! There's lots for you, too.
Please test your plugins and themes! There's a lot of great stuff under the hood in 3.9 and we hope to blog a bit about them in the coming days. If you haven't been reading the awesome weekly summaries on the main core development blog, that's a great place to start. (You should definitely follow that blog.) For now, here are some things to watch out for when testing:
- The load process in multisite got rewritten. If you notice any issues with your network, see #27003.
- We now use the MySQL Improved (mysqli) database extension if you're running a recent version of PHP (#21663). Please test your plugins and see that everything works well, and please make sure you're not calling
- Autosave was refactored, so if you see any issues related to autosaving, heartbeat, etc., let us know (#25272).
- Library updates, in particular Backbone 1.1 and Underscore 1.6 (#26799). Also Masonry 3 (#25351), PHPMailer (#25560), Plupload (#25663), and TinyMCE (#24067).
- TinyMCE 4.0 is a major update. Please see TinyMCE's upgrade guide and our implementation ticket for more. If you have any questions or problems, please open a thread in the support forums.
Lots of improvements
Little things go a long way
Please test beta one
11 Mar 2014 1:42pm GMT
During this past weekend, I attended the first ever WordCamp Dayton, Ohio. Organized by Nathan Driver and a number of volunteers, the event was held on the campus of Wright State University within Rike Hall. Other WordCamps I've attended on college campuses have gone well and this event was no exception.
WordCamp Dayton Started As A Meetup
When I asked Driver how WordCamp Dayton started, he told me it began with their local meetup. After visiting WordCamps throughout the state of Ohio, he discovered many of the attendees were from Southwest Ohio and wanted an event closer to home. He created a meetup around the Dayton area to gauge interest. "After a couple of months of debating we went for it and had our first MeetUp in October 2012″. After managing the meetup for a couple of months, Driver noticed interest grew along with memberships which is when he decided to begin the process of creating a WordCamp.
- Dustin Filippini (@dustyf) March 8, 2014
WordCamp Dayton was a two-day event with Friday featuring a beginners workshop. I was told around 65 people participated in the workshop where they were introduced to WordPress and learned about eCommerce as well as SEO. Saturday was dedicated to three different tracks of sessions covering publishers and users, power users, and developers.
New Event Filled With New Users
When Driver asked the audience how many of them were new to WordPress almost two-thirds of the room raised their hands. When he asked the audience if it was their first WordCamp, almost the same amount of hands were raised. Considering this was the first event of its kind in the area and so many people were new to WordPress, it's impressive to see how many of them discovered and attended the event.
- Chris Celek (@ChrisCelek) March 8, 2014
Cory Miller Delivers Inspirational Keynote
Cory Miller of iThemes.com gave his keynote presentation after lunch and it was filled with inspirational messages. During the keynote, I looked around the room and saw a lot of people nodding their head in agreement. It was one of the most talked about sessions of the day. Here are a few examples:
- Joseph Herbrandson (@JHerbrandson) March 8, 2014
- Daniel J. Lewis (@theRamenNoodle) March 8, 2014
- Mark Stevenson (@hsleader777) March 8, 2014
Advice For New Organizers
Organizing a WordCamp is not an easy task. It takes drive, dedication, and a team of great volunteers. Driver told me one of the most challenging aspects of organizing the event was "Finding the right individuals to have on the team and working with their schedule". While WordCamp is labeled a conference, it's not the typical event people may be familiar with. As Driver told me, "It's not about sitting in a room and listening to a speaker and moving on to the next one. It's about providing a community environment."
I asked Driver what advice would he give to those organizing their first WordCamp:
Take your time. Contact everyone. Above all, have fun. As soon as you get the green light from WordCamp Central go for it. Work through the tasks you think will be the most difficult first. Keep that momentum and keep going back to the reason why you wanted to have a WordCamp in your area. It's not about you, it's about the community.
First Time Event Is A Flying Success
First time WordCamps usually have hiccups. While we did have a schedule change and had to switch rooms once to account for the number of people showing up to certain sessions, the rest of the event was perfect. The catered food was delicious, there was plenty of time for networking, and the location was just right. I commend and thank Nathan Driver along with all of his volunteers for helping make the first WordCamp Dayton such a success. I hope it becomes an annual tradition.
Last but not least, WordCamp Dayton reminded me that although WordPress is software, it's the people behind it that make all the difference.
#wcdayton WordCamps are reminders that while WordPress is software, it's the people surrounding it that make all the difference.
- Jeff (@jeffr0) March 9, 2014
11 Mar 2014 1:30am GMT
10 Mar 2014
Dazzling is a new free theme that landed in the WordPress Themes Directory last week. It's based on Bootstrap 3, which makes it responsive and mobile friendly. The theme features an optional full-screen featured slider, which works well for customizing business or creative websites.
If you're a fan of flat design with mint green accent colors, the Dazzling theme has you covered.
After just one week in the directory, Dazzling has been downloaded nearly 3,000 times, a strong start which indicates that it's likely to become a favorite among free WordPress themes.
This theme comes packaged with its own options panel for customizing the design, including the ability to edit the footer copyright information, set up the slider, customize typography and more.
- Logo upload support
- Customizable call-to-action section
- Color customization for every aspect of the theme
- Retina ready
- Support for Font Awesome icons
- Popular posts widget
- Translation ready
- Infinite Scroll (powered by Jetpack)
- Multiple widget areas
Dazzling also includes extra optimization for many popular plugins such as Contact Form 7, WordPress SEO, Jetpack and more to follow in subsequent theme updates.
Check out the live demo to see Dazzling in action.
10 Mar 2014 9:46pm GMT
The dates and location for WordCamp Europe 2014 are now set. The event will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria on September 27-29. Sofia's National Palace of Culture will host WordPress fans from around the world. This beautiful venue is one of the largest convention centers in Southeastern Europe, with eight floors and three underground levels.
In 2013, more than 700 attendees converged upon Leiden, the Netherlands for the event, which, by all accounts, was a smashing success. This massive undertaking was made possible by the efforts of a dedicated 50-person volunteer team.
The first WordCamp Europe inspired the European WordPress community and caused them to come together in a new ways. Jenny Beaumont, an attendee we interviewed, remarked about how the event was transformative for the French WordPress community:
I really feel that something special happened at WordCamp Europe back in October, something that inspired a momentum that we're all still riding on today. People are coming together, opening up and crossing divides.
If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of the European WordPress community, mark your calendar to attend WordCamp Europe 2014. The event website has a form where you can subscribe to be notified of updates by email. Follow WordCamp Europe on Twitter for all the latest news related to the event.
10 Mar 2014 7:09pm GMT
After the rush of listing a theme or plugin on WordPress.org, the reality of providing support will soon set in. The best way to stay in touch with your user base is to subscribe to the support forums, since that's the first place people generally go when looking for answers. Subscription options vary, depending on if it's a plugin vs. a theme, so we'll cover ways to keep yourself informed for each.
How to Subscribe to Plugin Support Forums
Plugins are fairly easy, because there's a ready-made option for plugin authors who prefer email notifications for support forums. Scroll to the bottom of the support forum and you will find the option to subscribe via email.
Of course, if you feel like your inbox is a dead end, you might make use of the RSS feed. Each plugin on WordPress.org has its own unique RSS feed. Plugin authors who have multiple works can subscribe to all of their plugins at once using this feed:
Given that RSS is the only option for subscribing to theme support forums, I'll describe a few ways to utilize RSS below.
How to Subscribe to Theme Support Forums
Currently there is no option for subscribing to WordPress.org theme support forums by email. I checked with Samuel Wood (aka "Otto"), who works on the site, to find out if it's something they will add. He said that it's on the road map for the future.
In the meantime, RSS is your only option, but it actually opens up many possibilities. RSS allows you to funnel data to yourself in different ways. If you want updates by email, you can easily sign up using a service like IFTTT or Blogtrottr.
If you want to be super militant about responding to support requests, you could set up an IFTTT to route the RSS feed to SMS.
Another option is set up an IFTTT recipe to channel RSS updates to an email that is specific for adding tasks to Evernote, Wunderlist, Asana, Remember The Milk or your favorite to-do app. Since both plugins and themes have RSS feeds, there many ways to put those feeds to work for you. Bypassing your inbox entirely may help you to be more organized and efficient in providing support for your plugins and themes.
Why It's Important to Stay on Top of Support
Even if you don't have the time to commit to jump in on the forums as often as you'd like, notices routed to your inbox or to-do app will log those issues in the back of your mind. You'll become more aware of areas where you might be able to improve plugin or theme documentation. The next time you get a rainy Saturday, you'll already be poised to tackle potential issues that need updating in your themes and plugins.
Chances are that the reason you put your extension on WordPress.org was so that other people can use what you made. Staying on top of support will ultimately serve to make your users happier. This can potentially increase your ratings, generate better reviews and boost confidence for new users who are checking out your extension for the first time.
10 Mar 2014 5:42pm GMT
07 Mar 2014
PropsPress is an inspirational WordPress site that publishes posts, recognizing code contributed to the WordPress core. The site uses IFTTT to monitor the changesets from the wordpress.org trac system and re-publishes the commit messages with "props" to recognize the folks who worked on the code.
WordPress developer Kurt Payne created the site with a desire to illustrate how WordPress is built through the combined efforts of many people. "PropsPress was a fun pet project I started a long time ago when I first got involved in WordPress contributions," he said. "I thought it would be fun to have a central place to have a call-out whenever a piece of code was contributed."
When Payne first set up PropsPress, he wanted to highlight contributions in order to inspire more people to get involved in core contributions:
When I first started contributing (July 2011 or so), the core group felt pretty small and it was difficult to get people contributing. I perceived a problem of too much work (too many trac tickets, too many things needed testing), and too little knowledge (too few core members had the right knowledge of how to use trac / WordPress).
"Overall, WordPress is a much friendlier place for contributors," Payne said, which he attributed to the recent trac re-organization and refresh, as well as the addition of new group leads to help facilitate communication and representation.
Meanwhile, PropsPress has been quietly tweeting out props and publishing commit messages. "I was hoping to augment what WordPress was already doing with 'recent rockstars' but on a more regular basis," Payne said. "I didn't know where it would go, so I kinda let it bake."
A New Direction for PropsPress
Payne is unsure as to whether PropsPress actually moved the needle to inspire more contributions to WordPress but he's looking to use the website as a way to give back to the community. He's got a few ideas to add stats tracking for all forms of WordPress contribution:
Codex contributions, support in irc / forums, ticket contributions (gardening, testing), translations, monetary donations, etc. This is all in addition to the code contributions. I think these would be fantastic to track.
Ideally, Payne would like to be able to show a range of individual stats, including:
- Number of submitted patches
- Number of accepted contributions
- Number of ticket touches
- Pie chart of JS / PHP / HTML
- Pie chart of unit tests vs. core code
Payne says the idea is more for recognition and encouragement than for competition. He has reservations about adding too much gamification. "It can be dangerous to gamify it too much because then it can become less about the altruism and more about the game."
He hopes to backfill PropsPress to put each post in a tag for the users who are props'd so that the props would be queryable using WordPress taxonomies. Another interesting addition that he'd like to bring is a per-release total of "core committer code" vs "props code" in a stacked graph. "The hope is that the props code, in aggregate, is trending up!" he said.
One fun idea he has is to see WordPress identify "commit-anniversaries" and celebrate them, too.
This is easy to automate and is already celebrated on Twitter manually. Imagine if you woke up to '1 year ago, your code was pulled into WordPress 3.6. Thank you!' with a link to the ticket. That's something you can retweet and that's something that people can get excited about.
Some of these ideas have been included in past WordPress community discussions on WordPress stats, though it may not be possible to easily access this information at this point in time.
Payne said that he would love to work on this project again but he needs help. "As you can tell, I have big vision and little time. Some suggestions from the leaders in the community would help set the direction."
The Value of Knowing Where Contributions Come From
Payne believes that changes to PropsPress can help provide more information on where WordPress contributions come from, with the ultimate goal of improving the contribution experience. He poses a few examples:
What if WP knew that 90% of its code came from 10 people, and the other 10% came from 100 people … that's good to know. Or what if I told you that 80% of contributors were one-time contributors only? That's a totally made up number, but that type of metric is actionable. You can go find those one time contributors and do deep dives into their contribution experiences to find out why they aren't contributing again.
Payne is open to ideas and suggestions from the community to improve PropsPress. What do you think about the concept of the site? Does it serve a valuable purpose?
07 Mar 2014 11:50pm GMT
Ohloh is an excellent resource for tracking open source projects and their contributions. The site allows you to search 10 billion lines of code and provides some fascinating data sets for OS projects, including WordPress and many of its popular plugins.
Ohloh's analysis of "WordPress in a Nutshell" is based on the stats it was able to mine from the code and some in-house estimates. It provides an interesting perspective on the project:
- WordPress has had 25,085 commits made by 52 contributors representing 248,090 lines of code
- WordPress is mostly written in PHP with an average number of source code comments (as compared to other PHP projects in Ohloh)
- WordPress has a well established, mature codebase, maintained by a large development team with stable Y-O-Y commits
- WordPress took an estimated 64 years of effort (COCOMO model) starting with its first commit in April, 2003, ending with its most recent commit about 4 hours ago
In addition to the historical data provided about commits to the project, the assessment of the trends in recent activity is quite valuable to those working within the WordPress ecosystem.
Communicating "Free, Yet Priceless" Is Not Easy
If you've built a business around providing WordPress development services, the insight provided here can help you articulate your confidence in the stability of the project for clients who are new to OS software. The notion of using software that is free to download may be off-putting to business owners who are used to judging value by dollars and time invested.
Ohlo's estimated cost of WordPress is $3,488,557 with 63 person-years of effort, using the Constructive Cost Model (COCOMO). While software cost estimation isn't an exact science, especially for distributed open-source projects, a basic understanding of the COCOMO calculations provides an interesting perspective on WordPress' value. It also reveals the power of like-minded contributors working together toward a common goal.
When you take into account the combined personnel attributes required to engineer and maintain a project of this size, there are few corporate entities that would have the budget to produce a project like WordPress in-house for their own development needs. That's the beauty of open source software. Developers are happy to contribute to projects they believe in, and you can bank on people believing in the philosophy behind WordPress.
Visualize WordPress Lines of Code By Language
The languages summary of the code base is of particular interest during a time when the WordPress community has been enthusiastically embracing dialogues about its future. Ohloh offers a visual representation of WordPress lines of code by language:
Ohloh's graphs make it easy to visualize composite languages used in WordPress code and lets you toggle by year in order to further explore the data and follow the resulting trends.
It would be awesome if some day WordPress.org could display more stats related to its code and contributions, which would undoubtedly provide some more meaningful data on other aspects of the project as a whole. In the meantime, Ohloh is an excellent resource to bookmark for an interesting perspective on what's happening with the WordPress code base.
07 Mar 2014 10:34pm GMT
It was late in 2010 that we started laying the foundation for bbPress 2.0, the reimagining of bbPress as a WordPress plugin. Since then, we've revolutionized theme integration with theme-compatibility, added depth to topics with threaded replies, enabled users to stay connected with forum subscriptions, and added numerous other requested features (some that weren't even in bbPress originally!)
bbPress has always had a passionate community, and we want to keep everyone included in how we plan for the future of the platform. In general, we prioritize features and releases by the what we see requested in Trac and the Forums, the wants/needs/desires of myself, Matt, & Stephen, and we keep an eye on the direction WordPress goes too.
Just like we did with BuddyPress, Merci Me put together a similar survey with questions that will help the core team build a better bbPress. We want to create forum software that enjoy using, and your opinions and feedback will definitely help with that.
You will find the survey embedded below.
Thanks for taking some time out of your day to help us. We'll post the results of this survey in the next few weeks!
07 Mar 2014 7:24pm GMT
I've had a special place in my heart for comments in WordPress ever since I started using the platform. I hold comments in high regard because they often provide more insight into the topic being discussed. Comments are a validation someone's reading my content and I look forward to reading every one of them.
WordPress comments haven't changed much in the past few years. Brian Krogsgard over at Postat.us has published a list of ideas he has to improve the way comments function in WordPress. His ideas are solid and I agree with them, especially the idea to remove what one of his clients considered to be computer code from the bottom of the comment form.
This code should be removed as suggested by Brian but I'd extend the idea to replace the text with WYSIWYG buttons people are familiar with to style text. They're called Quicktags and WordPress supports them out of the box via the Quicktags API. Quicktags provide the same type of buttons you'd see when writing a post in the Text editor of WordPress. Bonus points to theme authors who style the tags to match the rest of the theme.
Comments Of The Third Party Kind
The first thing I do after I read an article is read the comments if they're available. Unfortunately, it's becoming increasingly rare to see popular sites powered by WordPress using the native comment system. Most of the comment forms I see look like this.
Personally, I don't like seeing two columns of related content underneath the current conversation. I find it confusing to figure out where a conversation ends. The bottom line is more and more sites are turning to third party comment systems because of the features they have out of the box.
Automattic Tried With IntenseDebate
Acquired in September of 2008 by Automattic, IntenseDebate was one of many commenting services launched that year including Disqus, SezWho, and JS-Kit. IntenseDebate had some cool features for comments at the time such as threaded comments and reply by email. Fast forward six years later and IntenseDebate is now on hiatus. This was confirmed by Matt Mullenweg when we interviewed him on episode 130 of WordPress Weekly.
When I asked him about the status of IntenseDebate, he replied "IntenseDebate is currently on hold. It's not actively being worked on inside Automattic. But there has been a lot of work on the Jetpack comment features such as subscriptions and interactions with social networks."
He also mentioned WordPress hasn't done a lot of things to improve areas that are user facing such as comments. The last major improvement to comments was the addition of threaded comments in WordPress 2.7 'Coltrane'. He explained, "It's very difficult to iterate comments as it's hard to get those changes to be compatible with every WordPress theme in the world." He mentioned the possible use of API's and ended his answer with "the most interesting things happening with comments are services and Automattic's work with Jetpack Comments."
Jetpack Powered Comments
I think it's quite telling that WordPress.com doesn't use IntenseDebate. Instead, it uses a custom comment system that supports using credentials from four major social media services. WordPress.com, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. If you use Jetpack, you can use the same comment system by activating the Jetpack Comments module.
The biggest problem I have with Jetpack Comments is it's not easily extendable using various comment plugins. Or, not many plugins are compatible with Jetpack Comments. At least with IntenseDebate, there is a library of plugins to add features on top of what the service already offers. Since Jetpack Comments is tied to a plugin, it's not platform agnostic like IntenseDebate.
The Future Of Comments In WordPress Is Unclear
Between Jetpack comments and IntenseDebate, it's unclear what the future holds for the native comment system in WordPress. There have been multiple discussions around the topic of removing comments from core and putting them into a plugin but the idea hasn't gained traction.
My hope is that native WordPress comments will continue to improve to the point where using a third party is counter-productive. I want to see WordPress make it as easy as possible to contribute to conversations on the web. When Matt Mullenweg published the announcement of acquiring IntenseDebate on his blog in 2008, he said the following:
Long-term, I think that comments are the most crucial interaction point for blogs, and an area that deserves a lot of investment and innovation.
I hope he still feels that way about comments and will strive to improve that area of WordPress sooner, rather than later.
I encourage everyone to read this blog post from July 2, 2013 where Erlend Sogge Heggen wrote a post on how Automattic is losing the debate. It's a detailed article that talks about IntenseDebate, Automattic, and commenting in WordPress in general. Also worth reading is the discussion that followed in the comments.
07 Mar 2014 2:00pm GMT
The code that powers the BuddyPress.org and bbPress.org websites is now open source. John James Jacoby, the lead developer for the projects, announced that all of the custom code used on these sites is now available in the Meta Subversion repository.
If you browse the repository, you'll notice that the trunk has a BuddyPress.org directory but no bbPress directory. In Jacoby's announcement on bbPress.org, he explained that the bbPress website is actually part of BuddyPress.org's WordPress installation and they share some of the same code.
Open sourcing the code for these sites makes it possible for the community to take a more active role in contributing to improvements. Jacoby hopes that contributors will be enthusiastic about working together to bring new design, features, and direction to the websites:
You're now able to checkout, review, and patch the code that makes BuddyPress.org happily hum along. This is exciting for a few obvious reasons (like security, and really putting our open source philosophies where our code is) but the one I'm most excited about is it takes enhancements to the site out of our hands, and potentially puts them into yours.
His post was essentially an open invitation to the bbPress and BuddyPress communities. Now it's possible for anyone to jump in and contribute using the same workflow that you've used for contributing to bbPress and BuddyPress software in the past. What would you like to change or add to the project sites?
07 Mar 2014 8:57am GMT
I have a few quotes and thoughts in the WSJD article At Lavish SXSW Festival, Some Avoid Marketing Circus.
07 Mar 2014 6:47am GMT
Are you passionate about mobile development? Do you want to work on projects that actively improve the mobile experiences of millions of users around the world?
Automattic, the company that contributes to mobile projects like WordPress for BlackBerry, is hiring. If you have strong programming skills, a background in mobile development, and a passion for working on and enhancing the user experience on small-screen portable devices, check out our Mobile Developer job description.
Be sure to check out the Mobile Handbook, visit the development blog for WordPress apps, and take a look at the GitHub repository for the WordPress for Legacy BlackBerry app, too.
07 Mar 2014 2:53am GMT
06 Mar 2014
WordPress core contributors are aiming to address an issue with multisite new user emails in the upcoming 4.0 release. Two weeks ago, Daniel Bachhuber opened a ticket proposing that WordPress instruct users to change their passwords when sending new account emails.
When a user is added to a multisite network and has activated his account, WordPress sends out an email that includes the new password:
Several text changes were proposed for the email to urge users to change their passwords after logging in. After a brief discussion during yesterday's core development meeting, Andrew Nacin moved the issue to the Login and Registration component.
"We're going to skip this entirely for 3.9," Nacin said. He highlighted the reasons why the incremental improvements in the proposed patches don't solve the issue, given that they:
- Only apply to multisite (emails are sent in plain text for new user registrations in single-site too)
- Only apply for the fallback email template (these are editable in multisite)
- Don't do anything in the dashboard to nag the user
Nacin proposed that the core team tackle the issue for WordPress 4.0 in a way that will clearly improve the user experience. He also suggested that this issue might be combined with work on another enhancement that would allow admins to generate and send new passwords for users.
This is a much larger task than simply changing the email text. "It'll probably require a group of contributors to storyboard out exactly how all of this should work in an ideal situation, and then we can go about coding it," Nacin said in response to the ticket. Aaron Jorbin proposed putting together a "Password Process" group to "identify some more concrete changes that we can make in 4.0 (including eliminating sending passwords via email)."
If the team can find some momentum, this issue will be getting attention in WordPress 4.0. If anyone is interested to contribute to this effort, join in on the next dev meeting and make sure to watch the related tickets for notifications.
06 Mar 2014 11:35pm GMT