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Episode 16: A Sneak Peek at WordPress 5.9

Posted September 20, 2021 by Chloe Bringmann. Filed under Podcast.

In addition to this episode’s small list of big things, Josepha Haden Chomphosy reviews the upcoming 5.9 WordPress release and its Full Site Editing features.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to [email protected], either written or as a voice recording.

Credits

References

WordPress 5.9 Planning 

5.9 Target Features

Gallery Block Refactor Dev Notes

The Cathedral and the Bazaar, 19 Lessons of Open Source

WordPress Translation Day

WordCamp US 2021

Letters to an open source contributor, by Andrea Middleton

Transcript

Read on for more »

Join us for WordPress Translation Day Global Events in September 2021

Posted September 16, 2021 by webcommsat AbhaNonStopNewsUK. Filed under Events, Updates.

WordPress contributors around the world are celebrating the sixth Global WordPress Translation Day throughout the entire month of September! That’s 30 days dedicated to help and encourage the volunteers that translate the software and its related resources. One of the highlights will be a series of exciting global events, starting on September 17 2021 and finishing on the United Nations’ International Translation Day itself on September 30, 2021.

Everyone is welcome to watch these events live on YouTube and to share their translation stories which will be featured during the celebrations and beyond. The global events will be in English and include presentations on how and why to you should join the thousands of translators in the project, tips and tools, interviews, and much more.

There are now 205 locales translating in what is a remarkable open source effort, bringing the opportunities of the software and its community to people in their own native languages.

Inaugural session: Introduction and latest news on WordPress Translation

Friday, September 17, 2021 at 10:00 UTC

We will start the global events with a panel featuring the latest update on what is happening in the world of WordPress polyglots. Panellists will include translators and polyglot supporters Petya Raykovska and Erica Varlese. There will be a video demonstration on how to translate WordPress, a short presentation on translation statistics, a run down of upcoming events, and more.

Watch the event live on YouTube (or click on the play button below) – sign-up for notifications in the video stream right now so you don’t miss it when it goes live! 

Friday, September 17, 2021 at 11:00 UTC

Right after the livestream, there will be a ‘drop-in’ translation sprint on Zoom video-conferencing, open to all. You can join and hang out virtually with your Polyglots friends from all around the world and translate WordPress in your own language! RSVP for the session now and get joining links!

Check out the other exciting global events

Sunday, September 19, 2021 12:00 UTC

Panel on Polyglots Tools
Join Jesús Amieiro, Peter Smits, Vlad Timotei, and Vibgy Joseph to talk about the tools they’ve contributed to or developed to help translators and translation editors.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 11:00 UTC

Panel on Open Source Translation Communities (YouTube link – opens in a new tab)
Join Zé Fontainhas (WordPress), Ali Darwich (WordPress), Michal Stanke (Mozilla), and Satomi Tsujita (Hyperledger Fabric) to learn about nurturing translation communities.

Thursday, September 30, 2021 16:00 UTC

Closing Party – Why do you translate?
Our finale event for 2021 with emcee Abha Thakor and a panel from the WordPress Translation Day Team. It will feature highlights from some of the local and global events during the month and a selection of results. Some of the nominees for this year’s polyglots appreciation will join the livestream to share their stories.

The livestream will be followed by an after party celebration for anyone who has taken part in the event or is a WordPress polyglot. Book now for the session on Zoom.

Ideas on how to get involved this September

There’s lots of ways to take part – discover this list of ideas.

You can also nominate translation contributors to be featured in this year’s celebrations.

Help us spread the word about #WPTranslationDay

For more information on the 2021 WordPress Translation Day celebrations, visit the WordPress Translation Day website.

Props to @webcommsat, @harishanker, @lmurillom, @oglekler, @meher, @nalininonstopnewsuk, @evarlese for contributing to this story.

WordPress 5.8.1 Security and Maintenance Release

Posted September 9, 2021 by Jonathan Desrosiers. Filed under Releases, Security.

WordPress 5.8.1 is now available!

This security and maintenance release features 60 bug fixes in addition to 3 security fixes. Because this is a security release, it is recommended that you update your sites immediately. All versions since WordPress 5.4 have also been updated.

WordPress 5.8.1 is a short-cycle security and maintenance release. The next major release will be version 5.9.

You can download WordPress 5.8.1 by downloading from ww.wp.xz.cn, or visit your Dashboard → Updates and click Update Now.

If you have sites that support automatic background updates, they’ve already started the update process.

Security Updates

3 security issues affect WordPress versions between 5.4 and 5.8. If you haven’t yet updated to 5.8, all WordPress versions since 5.4 have also been updated to fix the following security issues:

  • Props @mdawaffe, member of the WordPress Security Team for their work fixing a data exposure vulnerability within the REST API.
  • Props to Michał Bentkowski of Securitum for reporting a XSS vulnerability in the block editor.
  • The Lodash library has been updated to version 4.17.21 in each branch to incorporate upstream security fixes.

In addition to these issues, the security team would like to thank the following people for reporting vulnerabilities during the WordPress 5.8 beta testing period, allowing them to be fixed prior to release:

  • Props Evan Ricafort for reporting a XSS vulnerability in the block editor discovered during the 5.8 release’s beta period.
  • Props Steve Henty for reporting a privilege escalation issue in the block editor.

Thank you to all of the reporters for privately disclosing the vulnerabilities. This gave the WordPress security team time to fix the vulnerabilities before WordPress sites could be attacked.

For more information, browse the full list of changes on Trac, or check out the version 5.8.1 HelpHub documentation page.

Thanks and props!

The 5.8.1 release was led by Jonathan Desrosiers and Evan Mullins.

In addition to the security researchers and release squad members mentioned above, thank you to everyone who helped make WordPress 5.8.1 happen:

2linctools, Adam Zielinski, Alain Schlesser, Alex Lende, alexstine, AlGala, André, Andrei Draganescu, Andrew Ozz, Ankit Panchal, Anthony Burchell, Anton Vlasenko, Ari Stathopoulos, Bruno Ribaric, Carolina Nymark, Daisy Olsen, Daniel Richards, Daria, David Anderson, David Biňovec, David Herrera, Dominik Schilling, Ella van Durpe, Enchiridion, Evan Mullins, Gary Jones, George Mamadashvili, Greg Ziółkowski, Héctor Prieto, ianmjones, Jb Audras, Jeff Bowen, Joe Dolson, Joen A., John Blackbourn, Jonathan Desrosiers, JuanMa Garrido, Juliette Reinders Folmer, Kai Hao, Kapil Paul, Kerry Liu, Kevin Fodness, Marcus Kazmierczak, Mark-k, Matt, Michael Adams (mdawaffe), Mike Schroder, moch11, Mukesh Panchal, Nik Tsekouras, Paal Joachim Romdahl, Pascal Birchler, Paul Bearne, Paul Biron, Peter Wilson, Petter Walbø Johnsgård, Radixweb, Rahul Mehta, ramonopoly, ravipatel, Riad Benguella, Robert Anderson, Rodrigo Arias, Sanket Chodavadiya, Sergey Biryukov, Stephen Bernhardt, Stephen Edgar, Steve Henty, terraling, Timothy Jacobs, tmatsuur, TobiasBg, Tonya Mork, Toro_Unit (Hiroshi Urabe), Vlad T, wb1234, and WFMattR.

The Month in WordPress: August 2021

Posted September 3, 2021 by Hari Shanker R. Filed under Month in WordPress.

I really believe in WordPress’ mission to democratize publishing. And I, for one, will never stop learning about what gives people more access to the software, and what makes the software more usable, and especially how we can combine usability with accessibility in a way that puts form and function on a level playing field.

That was Josepha Haden on the “The Art and Science of Accessibility” episode of the WP Briefing Podcast, talking about accessibility and exploring how it applies to the WordPress open source software. You will find that many of our updates from August 2021 tie in closely with the core principles of access, accessibility, and usability. Read on to find out more!


Join the 2021 WordPress Translation Day Celebrations in September

WordPress Translation Day 2021 September 1 - 30, 2021

Join WordPress contributors around the world on WordPress Translation Day celebrations for the entire month of September! The sixth edition of #WPTranslationDay – which is a cross-team effort led by the Polyglots and Marketing Teams, has a host of fun programs aimed at helping WordPress speak all languages of the world. Want to join the fun? Here’s how.

 For more information, check out the translation day website and the Polyglots blog.

WordPress Release Updates

The Core Team commenced work on the next major release – WordPress 5.9. The team aims to ship some cool features such as intrinsic web design to blocks, improved block patterns, navigation menus, better design tools, edit flows for block themes, and a new interface for theme.json. Check out the WordPress 5.9 development cycle to know more. This release is set to go out in December 2021. The team is also working on shipping a minor release WordPress 5.8.1 –– its release candidate is already out and the final release will launch on September 8.

Want to contribute to WordPress core? Join the #core channel, follow the Core Team blog, and check out the team handbook. Don’t miss the Core Team chats on Wednesdays at 5 AM and 8 PM UTC. You can also help translate WordPress to your local language – and what better time to do it, than in September, during the translation month celebrations? Another fun way to contribute would be to share about WordPress 5.8 on social media!

Say Hello to Gutenberg Versions 11.2 and 11.3

We launched Gutenberg version 11.2 and version 11.3 this month. Version 11.2 adds customizing/color options to the search block, a flex layout for the group block, and a new button for creating posts as part of the publishing flow. Version 11.3 offers a new dimensions panel (replacing the spacing panel) with more styling options, dimensions control for the feature image block, and significant performance improvements for block inserters.

Want to get involved in building Gutenberg? Follow the Core Team blog, contribute to Gutenberg on GitHub, and join the #core-editor channel in the Make WordPress Slack. The “What’s next in Gutenberg” post offers more details on the latest updates. 

Get Excited about WordCamp US 2021

The biggest WordCamp in North America – WordCamp US 2021- is barely a month away. Get your (free) tickets, if you haven’t already! The organizing team has opened up calls for musicians, contributor stories, and media partners. Check out the event website and follow the event on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to stay updated on all that #WCUS news.

Important Announcements/Updates

Feedback/Testing Requests from Contributor Teams

WordPress Event Updates

  • WordCamp Florianopolis 2021 was held on August 11-12, 2021. The event, which sold 390 tickets, had 11 speakers and 4 sponsors. Catch the event recap on YouTube!
  • WordCamp Galicia 2021 is being held from September 30 – October 2, 2021! 
  • do_action Karnataka 2021 was held from August 7-15, 2021. Check out the recap!
  • The Core Team organized a hallway hangout to compare the ‘experimental’ Gutenberg navigation feature with the built-in core feature. The team decided to wait until feature parity with core nav menus, to move the feature from experiments to the main plugin.
  • The Diverse Speakers Training group (#WPDiversity) of the Community Team held their first “Allyship for WordPress Event Organizers” workshop on August 19, 2021. The event had 13 attendees from six countries who reported a 52% increase in preparedness to help create inclusive WordPress events. Stay tuned for their next workshop in November!

Further Reading

Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it using this form

The following folks contributed to August’s Month in WordPress:  @evarlese @meher @nao @jillbinder @webcommsat

An Update on the Classic Editor Plugin

Posted August 25, 2021 by Josepha. Filed under General, Updates.

Before the release of WordPress 5.0 in 2018, the Classic Editor plugin was published to help ease the transition to the new block editor. At the time, we promised to support the plugin through 2021 and adjust if needed as the deadline got closer. After discussing this with Matt, it’s clear that continuing to support the plugin through 2022 is the right call for the project as well as the community.

Still, if you’ve been putting off using the block editor, this is an excellent time to give it another shot. Since it first appeared in 2018, hundreds of WordPress contributors have made a lot of updates based on user feedback. You will be pleasantly surprised at how far it’s come!

Big thanks to everyone who has been working on WordPress, Gutenberg, and the Classic Editor plugin. And thank you to every WordPress user and tester who has provided the feedback we need to make the software even better.

~ Josepha

Returning to the block editor for the first time in a long time? You can give feedback early in the process by joining the outreach program! Looking at it for the first time ever? Get your bearings with some workshops or check out this demo!

Episode 15: A Very WordPress Blooper

Posted August 23, 2021 by Chloe Bringmann. Filed under Podcast.

Ever wonder what it’s like behind the scenes of WP Briefing? Listen in on this episode for a little levity and Josepha’s bloopers.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to [email protected], either written or as a voice recording.

Credits

Transcript

Read on for more »

Widgets in WordPress 5.8 and Beyond

Posted August 9, 2021 by Chloe Bringmann. Filed under Features.

Copy and Design by @critterverse

WordPress 5.8 brings the power of Gutenberg blocks to widget areas — which means the highly customizable layout and styling options bring you closer to a WYSIWYG editing experience. I made a test site based on the oldie-but-goodie Twenty Sixteen theme, with three separate widget areas. In this post, I’ll highlight a few cool things that are now possible to do with your widgets and where things may be heading next.

A zoomed-out view of a single post with one sidebar widget area and two footer widget areas. The site content is about Marine Park Salt Marsh. A List View of blocks floating next to each widget area shows how the design is constructed.




Create Interesting Visual Effects With Overlapping Layouts and Duotone Images

Appearance-wise, users have a lot more control over widget areas than ever before — especially through the use of blocks with customization options like the Cover and Image block. Here’s what I can create in the classic widgets editor (above) versus what I can create in the new block-based widget editor (below).

Intersperse Widgets and Custom Code Throughout Your Visual Designs

Container blocks like Cover and Columns make it easy to weave dynamic or interactive elements into your designs. While this is a given for many widgets, the block versions of widgets can be easily wrapped and layered within container blocks to integrate them into your layout more fully.

In the example below, I tried placing a Search block in front of a Cover block, which creates a nice layered effect. I also inserted Custom HTML blocks within a Columns block to display different messaging depending on the time of day. (jQuery script)

Use Traditional Widget Layouts (Or Not) With Lots of Flexibility Over Title and Structure

Classic widgets have always had a lockup that includes a widget title. One cool thing about having blocks in widget areas is that you have complete flexibility over how titles appear. For example, you might choose to have a title over every widget, you might only want one title at the top of each widget area, or your design might not need titles at all.

Note: Some themes, like Twenty Twenty-One, are designed to flow content horizontally within widget areas. If you’re having trouble with a theme splitting your layout into columns, you could try keeping the lockup together by containing it within a Group block.

Side-by-side comparison of List View of a Sidebar widget area with and without grouped/nested lockups.

Copy & Paste Existing Layouts From the WordPress Pattern Directory

While patterns haven’t been fully integrated into the widget editors yet, one thing you can do is copy and paste patterns from the game-changing new WordPress Pattern Directory into your site’s widget areas. I used this horizontal call to action pattern from the directory almost exactly as is, with minor color and copy adjustments:

Footer widget area with a black box that reads, “Become a monthly patron” with paragraph text and a “Join now” button in a separate column. A painted image of waves hitting rocks is directly below with no space between them.

FYI: Patterns have not been curated for or integrated into widget areas yet, so you may run into some unexpected behavior — consider this feature to be a preview of what’s coming next for widget editing!

The Month in WordPress: July 2021

Posted August 3, 2021 by Hari Shanker R. Filed under Month in WordPress.

WordPress is global in reach and open source in nature. And you would assume that what allows the software to be used by anyone would also enable it to be built by anyone. After all, your location doesn’t matter, and who employs you also doesn’t matter. And your relative social standing certainly shouldn’t matter. As long as you can communicate with the others contributing to the project, there should be no obstacle to your participation.

That was Josepha Haden on the “Cherishing WordPress Diversity” episode of the WP Briefing Podcast, speaking about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the fabric of the WordPress project. Her statement captures the spirit of the WordPress open source project, and we hope it resonates with you. Now, let’s dive in!


Say hello to WordPress 5.8

WordPress version 5.8, “Tatum,” came out on July 20. Version 5.8 is a major release that offers features like block-based widgets, a host of new blocks and patterns, a template editor, a duotone feature to stylize images, theme.json, and support for webP images, to name a few. Read more in the release post, the field guide, and the talking points post for meetup groups.

Want to contribute to WordPress core? 

Gutenberg Version 11.0 is released

Contributor teams released the 11th version of Gutenberg on July 9. Version 11.0, which focuses heavily on backports and bug fixes, showcases some cool features such as an editing overlay for template parts and reusable blocks, and support for CSS shorthand properties in theme.json and block attributes. Version 11.1 was also shipped this month, on July 21. The release adds custom block borders as block supports and adds “drag and drop” to the list view. 

Want to get involved in building Gutenberg? Follow the Core Team blog, contribute to Gutenberg on GitHub, and join the #core-editor channel in the Make WordPress Slack. The “What’s next in Gutenberg” post offers more details on the latest updates. 

Returning to in-person WordPress events

The Community Team kicked off work to bring back in-person WordPress events. The team recently announced that in-person WordPress meetups can be organized in a region if the local public health authority allows in-person events and if the region passes the in-person safety checklist. If the region does not meet guidelines on page one of the safety checklist, organizers can plan events for fully vaccinated, recently tested (negative), or recently recovered community members. Subsequently, the team also shared a proposal for the return to in-person WordCamps in places that meet the safety guidelines and the vaccination/testing requirements. Please share your feedback on the post if you have any thoughts. For more context, check out the “In Person!” episode of the WP Briefing Podcast

Want to contribute to the Community Team? Follow the Community Team blog, or join them in the #community channel in the Make WordPress Slack. 

BuddyPress 9.0 is out

The BuddyPress team is busy! Within barely a month of their last major release (version 8.0), the team shipped version 9.0 on July 19. Key features of the release include widget blocks and updates to the BP REST API.  Download it from the ww.wp.xz.cn plugin directory or check it out from its subversion repository. Want to help build BuddyPress? Follow their developer relations blog, check out their handbook page, or join them in the #buddypress channel in the Make WordPress Slack.

WordPress Event updates

Feedback requests from WordPress contributor teams

Please help these WordPress contributor teams by answering their research requests:


Further reading

Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it using this form

The following folks contributed to July’s Month in WordPress:  @webcommsat @chaion07 @jillbinder @lmurillom @meher

Episode 14: The Art and Science of Accessibility

Posted August 2, 2021 by Nicholas Garofalo. Filed under Podcast.

In this episode, Josepha Haden Chomphosy discusses the nuances of building accessible software, the differences between access, usability, and accessibility, and how this all applies to the WordPress project.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to [email protected], either written or as a voice recording.

Credits

References

Transcript

Read on for more »

Configuring Theme Design with theme.json

Posted July 29, 2021 by Jeff Ong. Filed under Themes.

Starting in WordPress 5.8, a new tool — “theme.json” — is available to use in your theme. Maybe you’re hearing about it for the first time, or maybe you’re testing and developing themes with it already. Either way, I’m glad you’re here because it’s an exciting time for WordPress themes.

This post provides a quick introduction to this new framework, and describes what’s possible by sharing a few practical tips and examples.

What’s theme.json?

Technically, theme.json is just a file that lives at the top-level of a theme’s directory. 

Conceptually, it’s a major shift in how themes can be developed. Theme authors now have a centralized mechanism to tailor the WordPress experience for site authors and visitors. Theme.json provides theme authors fine-grained control over global styles, block styles, and the block editor settings.

By providing these settings and controls in a single file, theme.json provides a powerful framework that brings together many aspects of theme design and development. And as the block editor matures and adds more features, theme.json will shine as the backbone for themes and the editor to work together 💪. 

Why Use it?

It’s the future! But if you’re like me, you might need something more tangible to be convinced. Here are a few reasons why you might use theme.json today:

  • Control editor settings like color, typography, spacing, and layout, and consolidate where these settings are managed.
  • Guarantee that styles apply correctly to blocks and elements across your site.
  • Reduce the amount of boilerplate CSS a theme used to provide. Theme.json won’t replace your stylesheet completely — there will be instances where CSS is needed to give your theme that extra flare (transitions, animations, etc.). But it can greatly reduce the base CSS needed from the theme.

How do I use it?

The rest of this post demonstrates a few theme.json configurations you can try out. The examples use the tt1-blocks theme.jsonthe block-based version of this year’s default theme

If you’re starting with an existing theme, you might try copying a theme.json from the WordPress/theme-experiments repository (for example, the fse-tutorial theme by @poena) and adding it to the root of your theme’s directory.

Change the typography settings of your site globally

"settings": {
	"typography": {
		"fontSize": "30px",
		...

Making the change above in theme.json would result in the following updates to your theme’s body typography styles (before and after):

Changing the base color settings of your site globally

"styles": {
	"color": {
		"background": "#ffc0cb",
		"text": "#6A1515"
	},
	...
}

Changing spacing / padding settings on specific blocks

"styles": {
	"blocks": {
		"core/code": {
			"spacing": {
				"padding": {
					"top": "3em",
					"bottom": "3em",
					"left": "3em",
					"right": "3em"
				}
			}
		}
	}
}

Set a custom color palette in the editor for specific blocks like a button

"settings": {
    "blocks": {
		"core/button": {
			"color": {
				"palette": [ 
					{
						"name": "Maroon",
						"color": "#6A1515",
						"slug": "maroon"
					},
					{
						"name": "Strawberry Ice Cream",
						"color": "#FFC0CB",
						"slug": "strawberry-ice-cream"
					}
				]
			}
		}
	}
}

Enable and disable typography controls

In the following example, the ability to supply a custom font size and line height for all heading blocks is disabled:

	"settings": {
		"blocks": {
			"core/heading": {
				"typography": {
					"customFontSize": false,
					"customLineHeight": false
				}
			}
		}
	}

What’s Next?

I hope this gives you a sense of what’s possible and where themes are going. The above examples just scratch the surface of what kinds of theme design configurations are possible, and I’m very excited to see what theme authors create.

If you’re interested in learning more, here’s the developer note on theme.json, and here’s the documentation for theme.json in the handbook.


Thanks to @kjellr, @chanthaboune, @priethor, @annezazu for helping with and peer-reviewing this post.

Older Posts »

See Also:

Want to follow the code? There’s a development P2 blog and you can track active development in the Trac timeline that often has 20–30 updates per day.

Want to find an event near you? Check out the WordCamp schedule and find your local Meetup group!

For more WordPress news, check out the WordPress Planet or subscribe to the WP Briefing podcast.

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