21 Jun 2018

feedWordPress Planet

Matt: Atavist & Automattic

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, and an interview about on the WP.com blog, Automattic has acquired the Atavist platform, magazine, and team. Looking forward to working alongside the team: we're keeping the magazine going and it'll complement Longreads, and integrating the best of the platform's CMS and publisher features into WordPress.com and Jetpack and after that's done providing an upgrade path so all of its publishers can move to being WordPress-powered.

21 Jun 2018 7:14pm GMT

WPTavern: Matt Mullenweg Unveils Gutenberg Roadmap at WCEU, WordPress Agencies and Product Developers Sprint to Prepare

photo credit: WordCamp Europe Photography Team

At his WCEU keynote address in Belgrade, Matt Mullenweg laid out a detailed roadmap for Gutenberg to land in WordPress 5.0 within the next few months, garnering mixed reactions from attendees. Gutenberg's timeline is one of the most pressing questions for those who work in the WordPress ecosystem.

The Gutenberg team has sustained a rapid pace of development over the past year with 30 releases since development began. There are currently 14,000 sites actively using the plugin and Mullenweg plans to roll it out to WordPress.com users in the near future. He announced that the WordPress 5.0 release could be ready as soon as August. In the meantime, the Gutenberg team will continue to refine its current features according to the roadmap Mullenweg outlined in his keynote:

June 2018

July 2018

August 2018 and beyond

Mullenweg said he hopes to increase Gutenberg usage to 100,000 sites with 250,000 posts made over the next few months. WordPress.com will be instrumental in that goal with a call to action for opt-in that will appear on several hundred thousand sites. In July, WordPress.com will switch the Gutenberg editor to opt-out. Mullenweg said he hopes to gather data from how users respond, especially those who have third-party plugins active on their sites.

Switching between editing posts in the mobile apps currently breaks but Mullenweg anticipates this will be resolved by August, with full mobile versions of Gutenberg available by the end of the year.

Mullenweg opened his keynote by drawing attendees' attention to a new "Public Code" link in the footer of WordPress.org. This campaign, organized by Free Software Foundation Europe, aims to require any publicly financed software developed for the public sector be made available under a Free and Open Source Software license.

Mullenweg also announced St. Louis, MO, as the next location for WordCamp US in 2019-2020. The local WordPress community in the city spans two states with members from both Missouri and Illinois who have hosted seven WordCamps since 2011.

Developers and Agencies Double Down on Gutenberg Preparation, "Playing for Keeps"

The process of getting products and client websites ready for Gutenberg is a leap for nearly every company and freelancer invested in the WordPress ecosystem. Mullenweg said he cannot guarantee a specific date for release but thinks that "5.0 is going be ready within a relatively short time frame."

Although many WCEU attendees expressed skepticism about the accelerated timeline for Gutenberg's inclusion in core, most recognize the importance of working towards making their clients and products compatible with the new editor.

Gutenberg technical lead Matias Ventura said it's too early to tell whether the WordPress community will be ready by the time Gutenberg is included in core. "I think people have already been trying to get ready and we're already seeing many major sites being launched using Gutenberg," Ventura said. "From what we've seen with plugin authors building compatibility for Gutenberg, it seems there's already enough momentum going on that it could be achievable."

Brad Williams, CEO of WebDevStudios, said his company's team of engineers has been actively preparing for Gutenberg since late last year and is "very excited about what it means for the future of WordPress publishing." Williams assigned two Gutenberg Leads internally to head up everything related to the new editor and conducted internal training with staff. WebDevStudios also built and released its own Gutenberg add-on framework called WDS Blocks, a framework that includes new custom blocks that many WDS clients use.

"Having a potential release date, even if it's only a target month, is incredibly helpful," Williams said. "This gives us a goal to work towards with each of our clients to verify we are ready for the release. I expect the majority of our clients will not enable Gutenberg on release, but we still need to make sure we have an upgrade plan ready for WordPress 5.0. We are working closely with each of our clients so they understand what is coming, the benefits Gutenberg can provide them, and what a potential roll-out plan will look like. We are also making sure any new leads coming in the door are aware of Gutenberg and the impact it will have on their new WordPress project."

Gary Jones, plugin developer and WordPress engineer at Gamajo, expressed apprehension about the timeline. He also plans to make use of the Classic Editor plugin to opt sites out of using Gutenberg.

"With 737 open issues, I think the August timeline may still be a little short," Jones said. "That's only for the 'critical issues' to be resolved but introducing such a massive change to the basics of managing content like this needs more than just the critical issues resolved; it needs all of the workflow to be very smooth as well."

Jones said he doesn't think the typical rhetoric of getting a '1.0' release out the door applies in the case of Gutenberg. "There's too much riding on it for it not to make a great first impression for the user base who haven't been following its progress," Jones said. "A plugin can have a much quicker release turnaround time for non-critical improvements and fixes than what WP core would have."

Jones said he plans to wait until the merge proposal before tackling plugin compatibility and will wait until 5.0 is out to start improving the experience for his clients. He said this may require creating custom blocks or installing plugins that add custom blocks clients might need. "By then we'd also know how ACF, Pods. and other plugins we use, and the Genesis theme, are supporting Gutenberg editor (or not)," Jones said.

Jake Goldman, President and founder of 10up, said his company already has an internal mandate that all new public plugins and major plugin updates must have at least "beta" support for Gutenberg. 10up's Distributor product is already Gutenberg-ready and the company has several Gutenberg-ready plugins and updates expected to ship in the next 1-2 months.

"Clients are trickier," Goldman said. "We have two big client projects started in the last couple of months that are using Gutenberg, and some pretty complicated custom blocks and extensions. We have a couple of other customers who are curious or in the exploratory phase. Two big client projects have us a bit gun shy about adopting [Gutenberg] as the 'standard' on newer projects until it matures a bit more and begins to focus a bit more on the 'enterprise use case / user stories' - there are some real challenges with those user stories."

Goldman also said he was encouraged to hear that Calypso will adopt Gutenberg in the next couple of months, because he hopes it will address some of the confusion and fragmentation issues.

He doesn't anticipate Gutenberg actually landing in August, however. "I don't see August, frankly, because I don't think the core team has a clear vision for 'how' an upgrade with Gutenberg will work," Goldman said. "That said, I suspect Matt is knowingly putting timeline pressure on the team - a bit of 'if I say August, we can probably hit November' type mentality."

Mason James, founder of Valet, said he is confident his clients and products will be ready after testing Gutenberg on hundreds of sites. His team is watching a few products that have compatibility issues but he is hopeful these will be resolved soon.

"The timeline of August seems a bit optimistic," James said. "I'd be surprised if that is met, but our clients will be in good shape if that happens. We've also been sending information to our clients via email, a whitepaper, to try to mitigate any surprises ahead of time.

"We decided last year that Gutenberg was a tremendous opportunity for us to reinforce our value proposition to our clients," James said. "It's an ongoing important initiative for us this year; We're playing for keeps."

Carrie Dils, a WordPress developer, consultant, and educator, has also jumped head first into getting her products compatible with Gutenberg ahead of the new timeline.

"I'm feverishly working to get an updated version of the Utility Pro theme (my primary product) out the door," Dils said. "The Gutenberg updates are just one part of a larger overhaul (including a minimum requirement of PHP7 and WP 5.0+). I've also made the decision not to incorporate Classic Editor theme styles. All looking forward, no looking back."

21 Jun 2018 4:37pm GMT

Matt: WordPress in Uber

I really love this thread and the replies sharing stories about Val Vesa's experience talking about WordPress in an Uber / Lyft ride:

My @Uber driver last night, going home from airport asked me where was I coming from.
Told here about #WCEU
- what is that, she asked.
- the European Conference for #WordPress, I said.
Her eyes sparkling, she grabbed the wheel firm, looked in the rear view mirror at me and said,

- Val Vesa | Social Media & Travel Photography (@adspedia) June 18, 2018

21 Jun 2018 5:20am GMT

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 321 – Recap of WordCamp EU 2018

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Milan Ivanović who helped organize WordCamp EU in Belgrade, Serbia this past weekend. Ivanović describes what it was like to organize such a large event, challenges the team overcame, and a few details related to WordCamp EU 2019 that will be held in Berlin, Germany. John and I finished the show discussing Matt Mullenweg's keynote presentation and Gutenberg's proposed timeline.

Stories Discussed:

Gutenberg Team Panel Talks Release Timeline, Theme Building, and Customization at WCEU
WordCamp Europe 2018 Contributor Day Posts Record Turnout Amid Wi-Fi Outage
Mullenweg announced Gutenberg Roadmap
WP Rig - A WordPress Starter Theme and Build Process in One

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, June 27th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Itunes

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Listen To Episode #321:

21 Jun 2018 1:31am GMT

20 Jun 2018

feedWordPress Planet

HeroPress: Proving Geography Doesn’t Matter

Pull Quote: Time passed, and I fell more and more in love with WordPress.

Map of Kansas with St. Lucia overlaid.Almost exactly two years ago I was looking at Google Analytics Realtime and someone from St. Lucia popped up. St. Lucia isn't a very big place. In the map on the right you can see a little pink dot in the center. That's the size of St. Lucia compared to Kansas. The entire country has fewer people than my city. I wondered who that was, so I tweeted out to the world, asking if anyone knew who that might be. A friend from Themeisle said "Our man Uriahs lives there, maybe it's him!"

I looked up Uriahs, and sure enough, it was him! I was fascinated to learn what a WordPress community would look like on an island that size. As it turns out, he's fairly alone in WordPress geographically. When I met him, he had never been off his tiny island in the Caribbean.

Uriahs' essay is about learning and finding a career in a global workspace, having a GOOD job, all while living someplace where that job didn't even exist.

A Minority Amongst Minorities

The post Proving Geography Doesn't Matter appeared first on HeroPress.

20 Jun 2018 2:06pm GMT

19 Jun 2018

feedWordPress Planet

Matt: Link Roundup

19 Jun 2018 10:24pm GMT

Akismet: Version 4.0.8 of the Akismet WordPress Plugin Is Now Available

Version 4.0.8 of the Akismet plugin for WordPress is now available.

4.0.8 contains the following changes:

To upgrade, visit the Updates page of your WordPress dashboard and follow the instructions. If you need to download the plugin zip file directly, links to all versions are available in the WordPress plugins directory.

19 Jun 2018 6:35pm GMT

Mark Jaquith: Making ScoutDocs: Build Tools

Continuing my series about ScoutDocs and the process of building it, this week I'm talking about Build Tools.

What is ScoutDocs? ScoutDocs is a WordPress plugin that adds simple file-sharing to your WordPress site.

Coding in React involves JSX, a bizarre-but-wonderful XML syntax that you dump directly into the middle of your JavaScript code. It feels exquisitely wrong. Browsers agree, so your JSX-containing JS code will have to be transpiled to regular JavaScript. This can involve using a complex maze of tools. Babel, NPM, Webpack, Browserify, Gulp, Grunt, Uglify, Uglifyify (yes, you read that right), and more. You have decisions to make, and you will find fierce advocates for various solutions.

For ScoutDocs, I decided to go with Grunt for task running, because I was already comfortable with it, and I needed it for grunt-wp-deploy. Use a task runner you are already comfortable with. Even if it is just NPM scripts. You're learning a lot of new things already. It's okay to keep your task runner setup.

Next, I had to choose a JS bundler which would let me write and use modular code that gets pulled together into a browser-executable bundle. After deliberating between Webpack and Browserify, I chose Browserify. Webpack is really complicated. It is also very powerful. I recommend you avoid it until you need it. I haven't needed it yet, and found Browserify to be easier to configure and use, even though it's a bit on the slow side.

As I was building ScoutDocs and tweaking my dev tools, tweaking my Grunt file, and writing code to search/replace strings etc, I began to feel like the time I was spending too much time on tooling. Was I becoming one of those people who spend all their time listening to productivity podcasts instead of… being productive? I can see how someone could get sucked into that trap, but putting a reasonable amount of time into configuring your development tools can pay dividends for you beyond simply the time saved. It can also prevent mistakes, keep you in coding mode more often, and increasing your confidence in your code builds. Spend the time up front to make your tools work for you.

Other posts in this series:

19 Jun 2018 5:59pm GMT

WPTavern: WP Rig – A WordPress Starter Theme and Build Process in One

Morten Rand-Hendricksen, Senior Staff Instructor at LinkedIn Learning, has released WP Rig. WP Rig is a WordPress starter theme and build process combined into one. The starter theme provides a minimal set of templates with the ability to drag-and-drop files from the WordPress template hierarchy.

It contains a heavily optimized code and file structure, support for lazy-loading images, and documented helper functions. The build process requires no configuration and provides a modern foundation to develop on top of.

Although WP Rig ships with a starter theme, the build process works with any theme you choose to use. WP Rig uses Gulp to manage and optimize files, BrowserSync to immediately preview from inside the browser, and ES2015 to parse JavaScript. Babel, PostCSS, and CSSNext is used to parse CSS. The WordPress Coding Standards and ESLint are used to check code quality.

VS Code is tightly integrated with WP Rig but developers can use any code editor they choose.

Rand-Hendriksen says the goal of the project is to provide a starting point where developers can write accessible and performant code from the start using best practices.

"WordPress and the web it lives on has evolved," he said. "So have the tools we use to build experiences and interactions on and with the web. WordPress theme development is no longer 'just' about writing PHP and CSS and JavaScript.

"It's also about accessibility and build processes and coding standards and performance best practices and and modern coding languages and browser support and a myriad of other topics.

"WP Rig bridges this gap by building accessibility, performance, coding standards, and modern coding best practices in by default."

LinkedIn Learning donated Rand-Hendriksen's time to WP Rig. In collaboration with XWP, Google, and other members of the WordPress community, it was released as an open source project that is maintained by him and Rachel Cherry.

"It is not owned or branded by any company, nor beholden to a company goal or ideology," he said. "The purpose and goal of WP Rig is to provide the WordPress community with a theme development rig that puts accessibility, performance, and modern best practices in the front seat to the benefit of the end-user and the web as a whole."

You can download WP Rig for free from the project's site or on GitHub. To learn how to use it, LinkedIn Learning is offering a free course entitled "Build WordPress Themes with WP Rig." The course covers a myriad of topics including, configuring the VS Code workpace settings, Templates, and AMP integration.

For more information about WP Rig check out the project's official announcement.

19 Jun 2018 1:19am GMT

18 Jun 2018

feedWordPress Planet

WPTavern: WordCamp Europe 2018 Contributor Day Posts Record Turnout Amid Wi-Fi Outage

WordCamp Europe hosted a successful contributor day in Belgrade despite a wi-fi outage during the first half of the day. The event posted record numbers with 529 attendees registered to contribute across 24 teams.

Contributors had the opportunity to make connections and conversations with team members and representatives from other teams while the wi-fi was down.

Had the chance to meet @aaroncampbell and discuss WordPress core security with him and a couple of attendees on #wceu contributor day. Thanks for the amazing chat folks!

It is my first WordCamp Europe and it definitely won't be the last!

- Bojidar Valchovski (@bdvalchovski) June 14, 2018

Had an awesome #WCEU contributor day today. Had some great conversations and made good progress on a few patches to improve the development experience despite the WiFi issues. Was also very proud to see SIX @Yoast'ers lead different contributor teams! #WordPress #family

- Omar Reiss (@OmarReiss) June 14, 2018

Contributors submitted patches and made more progress online later in the day when the wi-fi resumed.

So proud of the WordPress Coding Standards team at #WCEU contributor day. Look at all the patches which are flooding in!!!!@flipkeijzer @GaryJ @fimdalinha @Wonderm00n @niq1982 @moorscode @vladilie94 @MCiufudean pic.twitter.com/lchrR4ZmHX

- Juliette (@jrf_nl) June 14, 2018

Look at all these lovely people contributing to #WordPress at #WCEU Contributor Day ❤❤❤

Thank you, you rock! pic.twitter.com/LtRlyolYPL

- Milana Cap (@DjevaLoperka) June 14, 2018

Attendees worked on a variety of different projects from improving the project's coding standards to documenting best practices for hosts working with WordPress.

Evangelia Pappa traveled from Greece to attend her first WordCamp Europe, joining the community team to get answers about helping her local deaf community.

"In my country you have a lot of deaf people who want to attend WordCamp and also the meetups that we do for the Greek WP community," Pappa said. "We have found a way to assist them while they are at WordCamps with sign language, but are still struggling with meetups, so I am trying to find answers here in order to help other members of the community."

Rocío Valdivia traveled from Spain to attend her 6th WordCamp Europe and also joined the Community Team for contributor day, creating documentation and mentoring WordCamp organizers.

"I've been having a meeting with the WordCamp Nordic organizing team," Valdivia said. "We are talking about the next WordCamp Nordic, a large regional WordCamp, that will be held next year in Helsinki in March."

The Hosting team was also able to work, despite the wi-fi outage, bringing together representatives from different countries and hosting companies.

"We've been going through and writing some best practices and documentation," Michael Schroder said. "We've been making some good progress on the performance area of the docs, so I feel pretty good about getting some of that committed today."

The Contribution Area is being put to good use at #WCEU . First time we're using a dedicated room to allow for a continuance of Contributor Day. pic.twitter.com/lTgR8OdLBf

- Remkus de Vries (@DeFries) June 15, 2018

For the first time, WordCamp Europe also set aside a spacious, designated room for attendees who wanted to continue collaborating on contributions during the main conference.

Wifi outages are a common occurrence at WordCamp Contributor days. While many attendees I spoke with said they were frustrated and inconvenienced by the inability to be productive, others expressed happy sentiments about the opportunity to be together in one place.

"The most important thing about contributor day is talking to people, getting to know each other, face timing in real life," Polyglots team lead Petya Raykovska said. "These are always very useful connections to have, learning everybody's name, asking questions about their experience contributing, and them asking you questions about general experience with the team. It's actually been great. I feel like it's given people a chance to talk to each other. No time is lost in contributor day, really."

18 Jun 2018 11:23am GMT

15 Jun 2018

feedWordPress Planet

Post Status: Productizing your service business, with Brian Casel

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

In this episode, Brian is joined by guest-host Brian Casel. Brian runs Audience Ops, a productized service that offers all aspects of content creation for companies. Brian has been in the WordPress community for a long time, and for years has worked on creating processes around his business to enable him to get beyond a freelancer work life and into treating services like products.

Before Audience Ops, he ran Restuarant Engine - a niche WordPress site provider, where he really honed many of the processes his company still uses today - which he sold for six figures.

We dig in to why he decided to make a transformation with his businesses to be so process oriented, and how he turned that into the 30-person organization it is today, as well as the various courses and communities around Productize and Scale.

By the way, if you like this interview, Brian has an active job posting on Post Status for a blog content writer for Audience Ops.


Sponsor: Yoast

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15 Jun 2018 6:11pm GMT

WPTavern: Gutenberg Team Panel Talks Release Timeline, Theme Building, and Customization at WCEU

The Gutenberg team took questions from a full room users and developers this morning before diving into the specifics of the editor's design, block creation, and how to further extend the new interface. The first question they addressed is the one everyone is asking: When will Gutenberg land in core?

The team said the editor is pretty close to feature complete and should achieve that in the next few months when version 3.3 is released. At that point the focus will be on refining the current experience. They estimate this to happen in June or the first week of July but also hinted at more information coming in Matt Mullenweg's keynote address this afternoon.

Developers also asked about the criteria that will be used to decide that Gutenberg is ready for a WordPress release. The project has a scope and features MVP issue on GitHub that provides an overview for the major functionality that will be introduced in the first version of the new editor. It shows which features have already been shipped and which ones are remaining.

The team explained that many of the final features have come from developer and user feedback. Some features were not necessarily planned for V1, but it became more apparent that these were needed because they improved either the developer or user experience. For example, within the past four or five months the team found that the child blocks would be necessary to allow developers to be more expressive in extending the editor. A few of the remaining issues include inline images and post locking for concurrent users, but the team doesn't anticipate any major new features on the horizon before V1 is released.

Gutenberg engineers also assured workshop attendees that the project is being built with backwards compatibility in mind. One person asked what will happen when the 5.0 release lands. The team explained that the Gutenberg update will not change all the content on WordPress sites. When users open a post in the editor they will have the option to convert that content to block format so it will work with the new editor. If it doesn't quite work, users be able to fall back to the classic editor.

The team said they took great lengths not to alter how WordPress deals with data. Gutenberg does not change the content structure. One of the cornerstones for the project is providing an update that will not fragment the content structure. There will be a lot of resources available ahead of the release for helping everyone move forward together.

Gutenberg engineers said they are working to be conscious not to delay the project, because the longer the delay, the more potential users WordPress is losing because the software is not easy enough for them to build and customize content and websites.

How Will Theme Building Change with Gutenberg?

Gutenberg designers and engineers also tackled questions about how the new editor will change the theme building experience. Design lead Tammie Lister emphasized the importance of theme developers first getting better at creating themes that do not try to do everything. The basic purpose of a theme is to style the frontend and provide an editor style. One potential way forward for theme developers is to provide additional features by releasing a suite of blocks via a plugin. Lister said she hopes that themes will become a lot lighter in the Gutenberg era and encouraged developers to utilize style guides.

The team also said that existing themes will continue to function and redesigning a theming API, without the hassle of editing a bunch of PHP files, may be possible in the future. However, it's too early to know what that will look like. For now, the rendering engine is not changing. Theme developers interested in Gutenberg compatibility should start looking towards deconstructing their themes into individual elements and learn how to express a theme as a list of blocks.

How Will Gutenberg Handle Customization?

Attendees asked several questions regarding the specific plan to implement customization, or live previewing, after Gutenberg is in core. The current phase 1 handles content editing and puts the infrastructure in place to support customization. There are some issues on GitHub for transforming widgets into blocks, which will be a step towards the site building experience. The team has already implemented direct manipulation on the WYSIWYG road but phase 2 will cover more aspects of customization.

Gutenberg is not ready to replace the Customizer anytime soon, but the next phase will explore what a block-based experience of customization will look like. When asked if Gutenberg will "kill off some of the page builders," the team said the goal is for page building type applications to be able to use Gutenberg as a springboard for different implementations that extend the editor in ways that benefit different types of users.

An attendee asked how the team plans to enhance adoption once Gutenberg lands in core. The team said they are working on an experimental feature called 'tips' that offers a story walkthrough of the publishing workflow. It includes helpful nudges to assist users in getting better at navigating the interface. The wider ecosystem has already responded with courses and tutorials to help developers get on board. The WordPress training team is also working on some training materials to use at WordCamps with tutorials for developers to learn how to convert existing plugins and themes to be Gutenberg-ready.

15 Jun 2018 11:18am GMT

14 Jun 2018

feedWordPress Planet

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 320 – Building a Sustainable Web

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Jack Lenox, Software Engineer at Automattic, to discuss his new project, SustyWP. Lenox explains how he built the site so that it only has 7KB of data transfer, what sustainability on the web means to him, and the relationship between sustainability and optimization to create a better user experience. We end the show discussing the latest WordPress headlines and share information on how you can watch WordCamp EU for free.

Stories Discussed:

BabaYaga: The WordPress Malware That Eats Other Malware
Ten WordPress Plugins By Multidots For WooCommerce Identified As Vulnerable And Dangerous
Plugin Detective Wins WordCamp Orange County's 2018 Plugin-a-Palooza

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, June 20th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Itunes

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Listen To Episode #320:

14 Jun 2018 2:04am GMT

WPTavern: Watch WordCamp EU for Free via Livestream

WordCamp EU 2018 is scheduled to take place this weekend in Belgrade, Serbia. Although the event is sold out, you can watch the event for free via livestream. Simply visit the WCEU tickets page and register a livestream ticket.

Sessions begin on Friday, June 15th. To see a list of sessions and speakers, check out the event's schedule. Note that there is a six hour time difference between Eastern Daylight Time and Belgrade, Serbia.

As we near the halfway point of 2018 and no imminent release of WordPress 5.0 on the horizon, it will be interesting to see what information is shared during Matt Mullenweg's keynote.

14 Jun 2018 12:35am GMT

13 Jun 2018

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HeroPress: By Helping Others, I Save Myself

Banner for OSMI, Open Sourcing Mental Illness

I think I met Ed Finkler at WordCamp Milwaukee in 2016. It was at the speaker dinner, and he sat across from me for a while. He seemed like a pretty normal WordPress developer and several weeks later I asked him to do a HeroPress essay. His answer surprised me. "Well sure, that sounds pretty cool, aside from the fact that I don't really do WordPress anymore".

As it turns out, he had mostly retired from active WordPress development. His every day world was now filled with working in different frameworks and languages, amongst people who help WordPress in disdain. But Ed's view fascinated me. For all that he was working with more modern frameworks, WordPress is what made him a great developer. The empathy and compassion for the user that WordPress holds so dearly carried over into the rest of his life.

So what was he doing at WordCamp? Spreading the word about his cool new organization, which I will leave for you to read about.

How WordPress Taught Me To Be a Better Developer

The post By Helping Others, I Save Myself appeared first on HeroPress.

13 Jun 2018 1:14pm GMT

12 Jun 2018

feedWordPress Planet

WPTavern: Plugin Detective Wins WordCamp Orange County’s 2018 Plugin-a-Palooza

WordCamp Orange County, CA, took place this past weekend and the winners of the Plugin-a-Palooza have been crowned. Nathan Tyler and Natalie MacLees took the first place prize of $3,000 with their submission, Plugin Detective.

Creating a new case in Plugin Detective

When it comes to troubleshooting WordPress, disabling and re-enabling plugins is one of the first steps in the process. This is time consuming and involves browsing to the plugin management page multiple times to turn a plugin on or off.

Plugin Detective simplifies the process by quickly identifying the culprit. Once installed, a Troubleshooting quick link is added to the WordPress Toolbar. From here, users can open or continue a case. When a case is opened, a bot named Detective Otto asks users to navigate to the page where the problem is occurring.

After the location is identified, users inform Detective Otto which plugins are required for the site to function properly. Interrogations is the act of of disabling and enabling plugins. Multiple interrogation attempts are made until the culprit is identified through the process of elimination. The following video does a great job of explaining and showing how it works.

It can also be used to identify and fix White Screen of Death errors caused by plugins.

Plugin Detective is partly inspired by a software program from the 90s called Conflict Catcher.

"I used 'Conflict Catcher' to troubleshoot conflicts between system extensions on my Mac," Tyler said. "I thought the concept was cool and would often run it for fun to try to figure out how it worked. Eventually, I learned that the computer science concept is a 'binary search.'

"Applying the concept to WordPress plugins seemed like a good approach to the plugin conflict problem we all experience."

Tyler developed the functionality and MacLees is credited with the plugin's design, user experience, JavaScript, API calls, etc. The duo plan to establish relationships with plugin authors to help get them better bug reports.

"Basically, if an author opts-in, we can help the end-user file a support ticket right there in Plugin Detective after we've identified the problem," he said. "The support team gets a helpful bug report with notes from the customer, along with system information, other installed plugins, active theme, etc."

If you troubleshoot sites often or want an easier way to figure out which plugin is causing a conflict, consider adding Plugin Detective to your toolkit. Plugin Detective is free and available for download from the WordPress plugin directory.

12 Jun 2018 2:12am GMT