01 Nov 2014
01 Nov 2014 5:47am GMT
Desk is a new $29 desktop publishing application for Mac OS X, developed by John Saddington, aimed at simplifying the publishing experience. Similar to WordPress' distraction free writing mode, the interface disappears while in full screen mode. When you move the mouse cursor, interface elements appear on the right and lower part of the screen.
The Desk Full Screen Interface
At the bottom of the interface, information such as the time the last draft was saved, character count, word count, and estimated time to read is displayed. Blog posts can either be saved locally as documents or you can connect to an existing site.
Connecting a Site
Connecting a site to Desk is easy. When you launch Desk, click on the Share button on the right, then click the plus icon. Select which platform you use for your site. In this case, I chose WordPress.
The app uses XML-RPC to communicate with WordPress. If you're using a security plugin, make sure to double-check that XML-RPC is not disabled or else Desk won't be able to communicate with the site. Once connected, you'll be able to create new drafts, publish posts, and access content already published from within Desk.
Writing Content in Desk
When creating a new post, Desk has similar options to add post meta information as WordPress except they're not in separate meta boxes. You can add multiple categories or create a new one. You can also add tags, a custom URL, and a featured image.
Writing content is fairly straightforward. You can either style text using keyboard shortcuts or use a toolbar that appears when text is highlighted. Using the toolbar, you can bold, italicize, and underline text. You can also create blockquotes, links, bulleted lists, and edit the heading size.
You can either write content using Markdown or the built-in WYSIWYG editor. Both are used simultaneously if you're comfortable using a mixture of the two. Although I'm used to viewing a persistent toolbar, I don't find highlighting text first to be an inconvenience. Adding media files such as images is a bit clunky.
To add images to a post, you need to drag and drop them into the editor. While this task may be simple to some, I find it cumbersome. I'd like to see the ability to add an image with a button as well as drag and drop. There are a few caveats to adding images using Desk. You can't link an image to the media file or choose which size to display in WordPress. Another thing to keep in mind is that WordPress does not generate thumbnails for images added via Desk. This is a potential deal breaker for a lot of people.
What a Post Written in Desk Looks Like
Here is a screenshot of what this post looks like written in Desk in the Text view of the WordPress post editor. Below that is a screenshot of what the post looks like inside of Desk.
I'm not sure why so much extra code is being added to the post. This is an area where Desk and other publishing software have problems. If I write content in an editor outside of WordPress, I don't expect to correct spaces, missing paragraphs, extra code, etc. Even if it provides a great looking interface to write content, it's not worth it if I need to spend a lot of time fixing things. If I need to do that, I might as well stick with writing content in WordPress.
Plenty of Room For Improvement
At one point when writing my review, the images I added to the post disappeared. It's as if their relationship to WordPress was removed. By removing and adding the images in the post, I re-established the relationship.
Desk has a minimal interface, works fine out-of-the-box, but the code generated when creating content is a deal breaker to me. An external publishing application should minimize friction and make the process more enjoyable. Although Desk gets most of the way there, all of the editing I have to do in WordPress after the fact eliminates the joy of using Desk.
01 Nov 2014 12:26am GMT
31 Oct 2014
If you use WP eCommerce, you'll want to update as soon as possible to fix a security vulnerability discovered by Sucuri. According to the announcement, the vulnerability could be used by a malicious user to easily get access and modify private information on a site. Any website using WP eCommerce 18.104.22.168 or lower is at risk.
A malicious attacker could use the exploit to export user names, addresses, and other private information. It also allows an attacker to modify orders e.g. non-paid to paid. The vulnerability is similar to the one suffered by MailPoet earlier this year.
The plugin developers assumed that the WordPress's admin_init hook was only called when the administrator was logged in and visited a page inside /wp-admin/. However, any call to /wp-admin/admin-post.php (or admin-ajax) also executes this hook without requiring the user to be authenticated.
Sucuri discovered the exploit during a routine audit of its firewall service. After being disclosed to WP eCommerce earlier this week, the development team quickly patched the exploit and released an update. Sucuri states details of the vulnerability will not be published until users have had time to update their sites.
31 Oct 2014 3:07am GMT
In this episode of WordPress Weekly, Marcus Couch and I dissect Matt Mullenweg's State of the Word presentation from WordCamp San Francisco. We discuss the global focus of WordPress 4.1, renaming the annual conference to WordCamp US, and the enhancements planned for the plugin and theme directories. The plugin picks of the week round out the show.
Plugins Picked By Marcus:
Plugin Mover enables you to move plugins out of sight without having to delete them.
Widget Importer and Exporter is useful for moving widgets from one WordPress site to another, backing up widgets, and for theme developers to provide users with sample widgets.
Massive Visual Page Builder enables users to visually build Pages using a wide selection of shortcodes.
Next Episode: Wednesday, November 5th 9:30 P.M. Eastern
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Listen To Episode #168:
31 Oct 2014 3:03am GMT
30 Oct 2014
WPTavern: AppPresser Debuts Reactor: A WordPress-Powered Mobile App Creator Built with the WP JSON REST API
When AppPresser was launched in January, it was groundbreaking in terms of demonstrating the power of WordPress as an application platform. However, it was not as user-friendly as the team hoped, with the necessity of installing multiple plugins and sending your app away to get built before you can test it on mobile. Customizing the app through AppPresser often left customers, especially non-developers, confused and in need of support.
After seeing a live demo of Reactor, it seems likely that this new product will someday be the official successor of AppPresser. Reactor provides a hosted app-building experience that is far easier to use.
Reactor Will Provide a Hosted App Creation Service Using the WP JSON REST API
Ryan Fugate, an AppPresser developer involved with building Reactor, said that the forthcoming WP JSON REST API was instrumental in the decision to build Reactor. "The API allows you to create much better performance in your apps, as well as offline capabilities." Content created in Reactor is cached, stored in your app, and available offline.
Any plugin that creates its own endpoints for the WP API can easily have its data pulled in and integrated with Reactor. In other words, instead of AppPresser having to create complicated add-ons for every plugin out there, the plugins can make themselves available to talk to Reactor via support for the new WP API.
"We are currently building in support for WooCommerce and will be adding lots more plugins as they add support for the API," Fugate told the Tavern.
Since app creation with Reactor is provided as a hosted service, the team can offer a more consistent experience for its customers. "Building our own customized experience is a much better experience for the user," Fugate said. "It allows us to integrate things like the build process and push notifications, which would not have been possible otherwise."
After testing Reactor, the single most useful feature that stands out is the live preview of your app as you are building it, as you can see in the demo video below. Instead of shipping your app off to be built with Phonegap, you can actually have it built automatically and scan a QR code to download it to your phone for testing.
Will AppPresser "Classic" Be Phased Out in the Future?
Based on the live demo of Reactor that I saw, its features leave the original AppPresser product in the dust. There are so many distinct advantages to using Reactor that it is likely to render the original obsolete. Reactor includes:
- Pre-made page templates and features
- Design customization
- Build and preview your app without touching app files
- WordPress and non-WP content
- Integrated push notifications
- Automatic app building
- App stats
- Faster performance
- Offline capabilities
Those who purchased the original AppPresser product will be eager to know if Reactor will soon be replacing it. The AppPresser team is committed to continuing support for the original product and won't be retiring it anytime soon, according to Fugate:
AppPresser 'classic' is still a very useful product for certain projects. For example, the BuddyPress integration is very solid, and some people may need to load custom content that isn't available through the WP API. Projects like the Dallas Museum of Art app by Webdev studios is a great example of a project for AppPresser classic.
Reactor has a lot of advantages though, so we'd recommend most people give it a try first. We will still continue to sell and support AppPresser classic for the foreseeable future.
AppPresser may opt to grandfather in customers who purchased the original product, but the team hasn't yet announced their plans. Access to Reactor will be offered for a monthly fee.
The new service may be more cost-effective for customers who integrate push notifications with their apps, since many currently pay $50/month to a 3rd party service. Reactor integrates its own push notifications, which lowers the overall cost for apps that require them.
The new WordPress-powered app creation service is an excellent example of what is possible for developers to build using the upcoming WP JSON REST API. AppPresser continues to innovate in the app space with virtually no competition from other companies, but that may change as others discover the power of the new API. The team hopes to have Reactor launched by the end of the year.
30 Oct 2014 11:23pm GMT
During the State of the Word at WordCamp San Francisco, Matt Mullenweg announced that the event will be renamed to WordCamp US and will no longer be held in the Mission Bay conference center. The announcement doesn't eliminate San Francisco, California from being the host city but it doesn't seem likely as venues to hold more than 1,000 people are hard to come by or too expensive. The idea of WordCamp US is similar to WordCamp Europe in that it would change host cities every year.
I asked several WCSF attendees where they think the first WordCamp US will be held. The most common answers include the following cities:
- Houston, TX
- Las Vegas, NV
- Miami, FL
Houston is a likely candidate as it's the birth place of Mullenweg, co-creator of the open source WordPress project. With the annual WordPress conference not tied to San Francisco anymore, it gives him an opportunity to host it in his hometown.
Las Vegas has numerous venue locations that can hold upwards of a few thousand people. Food choices are plentiful and the weather is usually pretty nice. Miami is an international destination with easy access from Europe.
Which US city do you think will host the first WordCamp US and which city would you like to see host it? Let us know in the comments.
30 Oct 2014 9:24pm GMT
In this episode of WordPress Weekly, Marcus Couch and I dive into the news of the week. We have a lengthy discussion on the subject of niche admin themes for WordPress and what it might be like once the REST API is added to core. After discussing the news, we talked about WordCamp San Francisco and the sessions we're most looking forward to attending. We wrapped up the show with the plugin picks of the week.
The First "Rate and Review a Plugin Day" is a Success
Jason Schuller to Re-Enter WordPress Theme Market with Niche Admin Designs
Easily Edit a Post or Page Using The Slash Edit Plugin
Comparing The Photo Publishing Experience of WordPress For iOS to Facebook and Twitter
Tickets Still Available to Watch The WordCamp San Francisco Live Stream
Plugins Picked By Marcus:
Circles Gallery is a dynamic new gallery plugin that presents things in a circular view. It has three different ways to present a gallery.
CP Polls is a plugin that enables you to publish a poll into a page/post and optionally display statistics of the results. You can receive email notifications every time a vote is added or opt to receive Excel reports periodically.
Gravity Forms Entry Expiration allows you to automatically delete Gravity Forms entries older than a defined time frame.
Next Episode: Wednesday, October 29th 9:30 P.M. Eastern
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Listen To Episode #167:
30 Oct 2014 9:15pm GMT
Jetpack 3.2 was quietly released yesterday with a host of new enhancements for self-hosted WordPress sites. Following up on 3.1's total re-branding of the plugin, 3.2 comes with speed improvements and better caching for related posts.
This release introduces the new 'Site Logo' feature that was added to WordPress.com themes in late July. The goal is to increase data portability across themes and standardize the way themes present logo upload.
The Site Logo feature has been added to Jetpack's theme tools for any theme that opts to support it. It allows themes to optionally display the site's title and tagline along with the logo and brings a new way for self-hosted WordPress sites to enjoy logo portability.
You'll also find a new Site Icon feature in this release, which lets you create an icon for your site that will be displayed as a favicon. If you don't already have a favicon in place, this is an easy way to add one.
The previous release introduced the Portfolio Custom Post Type as the first of many planned custom content types. According to the changelog, Jetpack 3.2 adds a new Testimonials content type. In order to turn it on, one might expect to navigate to 'Settings' → 'Writing' → 'Your Custom Content Types', which is where the portfolio one is located. However, this feature is based on theme support and must be declared during
add_theme_support( 'jetpack-testimonial' );
The Testimonials feature was actually added in a previous release, though not highly publicized.
Additional enhancements in Jetpack 3.2 include:
- Improvements to API endpoints
- oEmbed sources (Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram, DailyMotion, Vine)
- Indicators to make it easier to see which modules are active
- Improved debug tool
- Added "Remember Me" functionality to Single Sign On
- Improved accessibility
- Additional filters added for Widget Visibility
The release notes also include a few bug fixes, most notably the removal of the Google+ module. Since Google Authorship is now officially dead, Jetpack 3.2 sheds the dead weight of the authorship feature originally introduced in its 2.5 release.
The plugin description page on WordPress.org is sporting a new tagline. Previously, it read: "Supercharge your WordPress site with powerful features previously only available to WordPress.com users."
The new tagline, "Your WordPress, Streamlined," seems to reflect an interesting language change within WordPress.com that identifies sites as simply WordPress.
As of today, the Jetpack team has not yet officially announced the release on their blog, but the 3.2 update is available to users within the WordPress admin.
30 Oct 2014 6:10pm GMT
"I will personally continue to advocate for equality for all people until my toes point up."
- Tim Cook
That's from Tim Cook's "I'm Proud to be Gay" essay in BusinessWeek today. It's beautiful, brave, and amazing, and I love that idea of fighting for something until your last breath, it's a very Southern expression. Here's to Tim's toes not pointing up for many, many years to come.
30 Oct 2014 4:26pm GMT
29 Oct 2014
The first WordCamp ever was held in San Francisco nine years ago (2006) as a way for WordPress users and developers to meet, share knowledge, and learn from one another. Since that time these informal community-run events have grown and spread across the globe, but to this day WordCamp San Francisco is considered the event of the year for WordPress lovers everywhere.
One of the highlights of WordCamp San Francisco is the "State of the Word" keynote speech delivered by Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress. Presented in two videos, here is the keynote, and the following town hall Q&A, from WordCamp San Francisco 2014.
Matt Mullenweg: The State of the Word 2014
Matt Mullenweg: Town Hall at WordCamp San Francisco 2014
29 Oct 2014 6:32pm GMT
29 Oct 2014 1:50am GMT
28 Oct 2014
Yesterday I delivered the State of the Word address to the WordPress community, and the video is already up on WordPress.tv.
Here are the slides if you'd like to view them on their own:
If you just want the bullet points, here are the big things I discussed and announced:
- There will be 81 WordCamps in 2014.
- This was the 9th and final WordCamp San Francisco in its current form. We've maxed out the venue for years, so next year we'll do a WordCamp US at a location and date to be determined.
- Milestone: 2014 was the first year non-English downloads surpassed English downloads of WordPress.
- 33k took our survey: 7,539 (25%) of survey participants make their living from WordPress. Over 90% of people build more than one site, and spend less than 200 hours building one.
- We've done five major and seven minor releases since the last WCSF, and have had 785 contributors across them.
- WordPress market share has risen from 19% in 2013 to 23% now.
- We now have 34k plugins and 2.7k themes, and have enjoyed record activity on both - including plugins passing 1,000,000 commits.
- 16 releases of our mobile apps, Android and iOS.
- Code Reference launched.
- 105 active meetup groups in 21 countries, with over 100 meetup and WordCamp organizers present at the event.
- Internationalization will be a big focus of the coming year, including fully-localized plugin and theme directories on language sites and embedded on dashboard in version 4.1, which is coming out December 10th.
- Better stats coming for plugin and theme authors.
- Version fragmentation is a big challenge for WordPress, only a quarter of users are currently on the latest release.
- This is also a problem for PHP - we'll be working with hosts to help with version fragmentation, as well as to get as many WordPress sites as possible running PHP 5.5 or better.
- Showed off 2015 theme.
- We will be testing a workflow for accepting pull requests on our official WordPress Github repository before the end of the year.
- For the first time in 11 years we're switching away from IRC as our primary communication method. We'll be moving to Slack, which has helped us set up so that every member of WordPress.org can use it. (During the keynote address the number of people on Slack surpassed our IRC channels, and is currently over 800 people.) Sign up at chat.wordpress.org.
- Five for the Future, with Gravity Forms and WPMU Dev committing to donate, and Automattic now at 14 full-time contributors to core and community.
- We need to work hard to harmonize the REST API plugin and the WordPress.com REST API.
- The mission of WordPress is to democratize publishing, which means access for everyone regardless of language, geography, gender, wealth, ability, religion, creed, or anything else people might be born with. To do that we need our community to be inclusive and welcoming. There is a sublime beauty in our differences, and they're as important as the principles that bring us together, like the GPL.
28 Oct 2014 1:28am GMT
26 Oct 2014
WPTavern: Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word Highlights Internationalization, Mobile, and New Tools for WordPress Contributors
Today Matt Mullenweg delivered his annual State of the Word address at WordCamp San Francisco, with roughly 1,000 WordPress enthusiasts and contributors in attendance and hundreds more watching via livestream.
Before jumping into the results of the survey, Mullenweg announced that this would be the last event held at Mission Bay conference center.
- WordCamp SF (@WordCampSF) October 26, 2014
WordCamp San Francisco will become WordCamp USA next year. The name of the conference, location, date, and details are yet to be determined. The event has outgrown the Mission Bay venue and the organization team wants to be make room for more people and presentations.
With the undeniable success of WordCamp Europe two years in a row, pan-continental WordCamps may become more common in connecting people in various regions of the world. In fact, Mullenweg envisions that a number of "anchor WordCamps" will surface in the near future.
- David Bisset (@dimensionmedia) October 26, 2014
Internationalization Improvements to Connect the Global WordPress Community
This year 33,000 people responded to the WordPress user and developer survey. Mullenweg stated that 2014 is likely to be remembered as a turning point for the project, noting that this was the first year that non-English downloads surpassed English downloads.
Mullenweg encouraged attendees to see locale as a wider concept that includes language, timezone, and date formats. WordPress may soon be able to provide per-user internationalization features. For example, if someone leaves a comment in Japanese, an English-speaking post author would receive the notification in English.
Language packs are coming to more plugins and themes by early 2015. Mullenweg announced that fully localized plugin and theme directories will be available in the dashboard starting with WordPress 4.1. He believes that internationalization improvements will be one of the most impactful things for WordPress' growth over the next decade.
"If WordPress is going to be truly global, truly inclusive, it has to be fully available for other languages," he said. The upcoming improvements give WordPress the potential to be a truly global experience.
The Importance of Responsive Mobile
As he has in many recent interviews, Mullenweg highlighted the continuing importance of responsive mobile. "There are now more phones on the planet than human beings. We need to cater to them or they're just going to replace us," he joked.
The future of the platform depends on having a strong mobile presence, but Mullenweg has a larger vision for how WordPress can lead the way for the next generation of the mobile web.
"Online communication is one of the great equalizers of our time," he said. This goes hand-in-hand with the WordPress mission to democratize publishing. As mobile devices now have the capacity to do more things, Mullenweg is inspired by the idea that people can always be connected. He believes that WordPress as an application platform is poised to the lead the way.
The 2014 survey results revealed that WordPress usage as a blog and as a CMS is declining every year. However, its usage as an app framework is steadily growing.
Mullenweg highlighted the WP REST API as critical to WordPress' ability to rapidly iterate in the future. The new API will pave the way for "completely bespoke posting interfaces," he said. WordPress developers have often asked him when the platform will allow for theming the admin. Mullenweg hopes that the new API will make it possible for "1,000 different WordPress admins to bloom."
Exciting New Tools for WordPress Contributors: GitHub and Slack
WordPress runs on contributions and communication. There were 785 people who contributed on five major releases since the last WordCamp San Francisco. The software recently crossed the one million commits mark. During the State of the Word, Mullenweg highlighted recent release leads and new committers, making a point to personally thank those who create the software that now runs 23% of the web.
He also delivered several announcements to the delight of contributors in attendance. After asking the audience who has used Git and GitHub, he exclaimed, "Whoah, that's all the hands!" He followed that up with the announcement that core contributors will soon be able to submit pull requests on GitHub.
For the first time in 11 years, the project will experiment with not using IRC as its primary communication tool. Mullenweg announced that the community will be trying out Slack for real-time communication for contributor teams. The tool is mobile friendly and has a number of strong advantages over IRC for asynchronous communication. If a ticket is mentioned in Slack, it will be linked with trac. The #wordpress support IRC channel will still be used. Participation on Slack is now available to every single WordPress.org contributor, replacing IRC and ad hoc Skype chats. You can visit chat.wordpress.org to initiate your invite.
The #wordpress support IRC channel will continue on. Slack will be used for contributing to the WordPress project, be it code, design, documentation, etc.
- David Bisset (@dimensionmedia) October 26, 2014
Results of the 2014 survey showed that a full quarter of those surveyed make their living using WordPress, representing more than a billion dollars of economic activity per year. Mullenweg referenced his Five for the Future post encouraging companies to support the project with 5% of their time. Very few open source software projects thrive as long as the 11 years that WordPress already has, Mullenweg said. He featured three companies that have publicly committed 5% to WordPress, including Gravity Forms, WPMUDEV, and Automattic.
"This is what is going to take us from 23% to 30% or 40%," he said. With hundreds and thousands of freelancers and companies all over the world giving back to WordPress, the project will have the momentum to continue its unprecedented growth. WordPress has now outgrown the venue of its flagship WordCamp. It has also outgrown its old communication tools. WordPress is about to explode on a global scale. Years from now we'll look back on 2014 as a year where many key improvements positioned WordPress to further dominate the web.
26 Oct 2014 11:41pm GMT
"Oh, my name is Matt Mullenweg by the way. Nice to meet you."
After the WordPress co-founder welcomed the largest WordCamp San Francisco audience ever, he introduced himself and began this year's State of the Word - the annual talk where he provides insight of the last year of WordPress and inspiration for the future.
edit: The video is now available:
The last WCSF as we know it
WordCamp San Francisco has been here in Mission Bay for 7 years, and it's the last year here. Next year, things are going to change. There will be a WordCamp US (Matt notes it's a working title) that will be modeled similarly to WordCamp Europe. The name, location and date are yet to be determined.
The annual WordPress survey
This year there were over 33,000 responses to the annual WordPress survey.
Only 23% of the survey respondents were from the United States - a 6% increase of international respondents. And for the first time ever, non-English downloads surpassed English downloads. This change is much due to the new internationalization tools in WordPress core itself.
A quarter of the respondents now make their living fully off of WordPress - 7,539 people from the survey pool. Matt estimates those people alone make up for more than a billion dollars of economic impact.
Of those people surveyed, they have between half a million and a million currently active websites they own or have developed. And 91% of those sites took less than 200 hours to make.
5 releases since the last WCSF
Since last summer and the last WCSF, we've had five major releases of WordPress. Matt spent some time going over some of the features we've gained.
From WordPress 3.6 to WordPress 4.0, WordPress has evolved an enormous amount in a short amount of time. It's better on mobile; has a better user experience; is more performant; is easier to use for both developers and end users; and is the best publishing tool in the world.
There have been seven release leads in that time:
- Jon Cave
- Andrew Nacin
- Helen Hou-Sandi
- Mark Jaquith
- Dion Hulse
- Mike Schroder
- Aaron Campbell
Additionally, Matt highlighted another 8 significant contributors and five new committers to the WordPress project.
In these five releases, there have been 785 contributors to the project. And Matt also highlights John Blackbourn - the WordPress 4.1 release lead, which will soon enter beta.
Two Drupal growth
Since last summer, WordPress has grown "two Drupal marketshares."
There have been 684 theme additions to the repository this year - a 36% increase year over year. There are now 2,781 themes in the repo.
iOS and Android
There have been two updates for Android, five for iOS, and we abandoned older platforms to focus on a better user experience. "Sorry, both of the Windows phone users," he joked.
Matt notes that there are now more mobile phones than humans on earth, and that this will continue to be a huge priority.
Noted in the last WCSF State of the Word, developer.wordpress.org is now live. A little later that hoped, he noted, but it's a huge achievement and improvement for WordPress documentation.
There are over 100 meetup and WordCamp organizers here at WordCamp San Francisco. Matt asked them all to stand, with a personal thanks to their commitment to a difficult, but rewarding task.
We have a long way to go with Internationalization, but Matt highlights some of the progress and promise for the future, including the advancement of language packs that plugin and theme developers will be able to take advantage of.
Soon - with the release of WordPress 4.1 - Matt announced that the WordPress plugin and theme directories will be fully localized, making it more accessible and fully translated for non-English speakers.
"The discovery process [of themes and plugins] is prohibitive" unless we make it a priority to offer the same discovery features that are in English to other languages.
"We have the potential - thanks to the web - for WordPress to be a truly global experience."
Better WordPress.org stats
Matt is promising a better offering of statistics for WordPress theme and plugin providers - a task that's being worked on right now by the .org team.
These are numbers people have long wanted and are very difficult to get. This is a very welcome change.
Adoption of new releases
Matt says only 25% of users are on the latest install, WordPress 4.0. While he notes that it's far better than it was in the past, we still have a lot of improvement we can make.
And he goes into the importance of removing versions from the conversation in software. Users should not know or care the version of their software. They should only know that it works.
"Our vision is that we're like Chrome. … And the hosts have helped pioneer this." But WordPress itself will eventually move to such a model; this is a thing that is controversial, but I believe it is an essential and inevitable evolution.
Matt asked how many people had been hacked - and even in a room full of professionals - it was a lot of people. This is why updates are important, as updated WordPress installs are much safer.
Relationship with PHP
Matt spent some time talking about WordPress support for more modern versions of PHP.
WordPress is notorious for being a poor supporter of modern PHP. But that's ready to change.
"We're going to start working with hosts to get everyone on PHP 5.5 or above."
The Twenty Fifteen theme
Matt is excited about Twenty Fifteen, this coming year's default theme. He notes this is our fifth year with a new default theme, and it's the same number of years that Kubrick was the only default theme. A massive success.
WordPress and Github
Matt Mullenweg says that starting this year, you can submit a pull request to WordPress on Github, "and that will not go into a black hole."
He asked how many people are using Github, and nearly everyone raised their hand. This removes a barrier to contributing to WordPress, and is a huge improvement.
He also says that all development of the WordPress mobile apps is now on Github. It's also worth noting that much of Automattic's internal projects, like Jetpack, are run on Github.
Community communication with Slack
For the first time in 11 years, WordPress is leaving IRC for primary organization communication. We're going to try a tool called Slack, built by a company in San Francisco started by the former founder of Flickr. Slack has taken over communication in remote teams, from my experience, and will be excellent.
Slack will also help us make use of integrations and notifications. Right after the talk, chat.wordpress.org will lead any WordPress.org user to a method for using Slack for communication.
This is a huge partnership, and as someone that uses Slack daily, I'm incredibly excited. I'm sure there could be pushback for using a paid tool for this, but it's certainly and interesting experiment and I'm excited to see what happens.
It appears clear to me that contributing to WordPress will now be easier than ever.
Five for the future
Matt highlighted three companies: Gravity Forms, WPMUDev, and Automattic are all now contributing 5%. Of course he notes others are doing it as well, but wanted to highlight those that have committed to doing it publicly.
Matt discussed a number of ways people can contribute, and that folks can attend sessions to learn how to contribute both here at WCSF and at most other WordCamp events.
"A contributor, by the way, is a title that no one can give you except yourself."
He called it an altruistic mentality of contribution.
The JSON REST API
"Who's excited about the REST API?"
Nearly everyone responded with enthusiasm. Matt talks about how WordPress.com has had a similar API for years now, and what they've learned, and how much potential there will be for the core version, and the importance for marrying the .com API and the .org API as they each approach 2.0.
Matt wants us to re-think "the WordPress engine" as a kernel that can a hub for building all sorts of things that are more capable to be fit into a proper architecture for the case at hand versus "shoehorning" existing WordPress features to areas that aren't really meant for it.
"Maybe what we need isn't a way for theming the WP admin; maybe what we need is a way for 1,000 WP admins to be built."
And for those admins to be able to fork each other, learn from one another, and create better and catered publishing experiences catered to specific use cases.
We can expect the core WordPress JSON API in 2015.
The continuing importance of WordPress and mobile.
Matt discussed how important mobile is to the future of the web, and therefore WordPress. "They are winning," he says about the phones, and says how phones are more available and evolving every year. "They're getting bigger and bigger," and the interfaces and methods for interacting with our phones are evolving as well.
Matt believes that WordPress can play a central role in the further evolution of mobile applications and the mobile web. As the power of mobile devices gets better, Matt believes that the web will become a bigger part of the mobile experience than it is now - when the conversation seems to be completely centered around apps.
"This is one of the ways that we can be truly global."
To democratize publishing, is the mission of WordPress.
WordPress is a community, Matt states, and accessibility from a language, device, and any other point of view is critical to the mission of WordPress.
26 Oct 2014 6:49pm GMT
25 Oct 2014
25 Oct 2014 5:24pm GMT
24 Oct 2014
WordCamp San Francisco, the original, starts tomorrow and the tweets are already starting to stream in. On Sunday at 11AM I will deliver my State of the Word address, our annual look at where we've been and the road ahead, and even if you can't make it you can livestream the SoTW and the entire weekend for just $10 from the comfort of your own home. 16+ hours of WP entertainment for the price of one movie ticket! (Or might be a sleep aid, depends on your perspective.)
24 Oct 2014 6:02pm GMT