Welcome to Press This, the WordPress community podcast from WMR. Here host David Vogelpohl sits down with guests from around the community to talk about the biggest issues facing WordPress developers. The following is a transcription of the original recording.
David Vogelphol: Welcome to the Press This WordPress community podcast on WMR. This is your host, David Vogelpohl, I support the WordPress community through my role at WP Engine, and I love to bring the best in the community to you here every week on press this as a reminder, you can follow me on twitter @wpdavidv, you can subscribe to press this on iTunes iHeartRadio, Spotify, or download the latest episodes in wmr.fm. In this episode we’re gonna be doing our monthly segment where around the campfire where we discuss news from around the WordPress community it’s been kind of a juicy month for news. We’ve got updates to WordPress 5.5 and it’s kind of trials and tribulations but also some excitement. You got at the store drama with Apple and WordPress though it’s been a fine line, and a lot of other big happenings with the WordPress block editor and joining me for this conversation as always, like your first introduce from WP Engines labs team, Mr. Anthony Burchell, Anthony Welcome.
Anthony Burchell: Hello, thanks for having me again.
DV: All right, good deal and also regular here on Word Around the Campfire. From torquemag.io, Mr. Doc Popular.
Doctor Popular: My friends just call me Doctor Popular.
DV: I was gonna ask you to like do you prefer Doctor or Doc. Is it like a Dave David situation?
DP: Well I’m just saying I didn’t go to popular school just to be called Mr.
DV: Oh, gotcha, Mr popular, I like it. So you went to doctor school for popularity.
DP: I went to a popularity school to get my doctorate. Yeah, I can see where the confusion comes from but yeah my friend call me Doc, and we’re friends so could call me doc.
DV: Thank you. We are friends. All right, good I feel much more validated now Thank you, Doc. Awesome. So let’s go ahead kick off right again talk about news from around the WordPress community. Kind of kicking these episodes are talking a little bit about prior episodes of press this, mainly because there’s kind of some interesting points people end up bringing up and these, I think two of the recent ones that stood out to me was the interview with Matt here I pronounce these names correctly when we recorded the show but now I forgot that but it’s Matt Query and Larry Volmer. And these two gentlemen are with an agency called ROI DNA, and they specialize in marketing SaaS based businesses, using WordPress. And that was really interesting to me because they’ve had so much focus in their agency and of course they had some tips and tricks, if you will, about leveraging WordPress to grow SaaS companies. But it was really interesting also to hear that kind of side of their story about like focusing on one particular area that’s been a strength for them. The other one that stood out for me from our recent series of episodes was the one with Jonathan Wold. Doc I’m pretty sure you know Jonathan wold is right.
DP: I saw your interview with him. But I actually did not know him before that.
DV: Gotcha gotcha gotcha. What about you, Anthony Have you run across Jonathan at a WordCamp.
AB: We’re actually we’ve put on the WordPress Brisbane meetup recently so.
DV: Really Jonathan Wold from the US but on the Brisbane, Australia meetup?
DV: Wow, he really gets around. Yeah Jonathan’s, a longtime figure in the community leader in the community. He works for automatic, and in particular with WooCommerce, and we did an interview with him really around this notion of like why do big stores choose WooCommerce. And I know WooCommerce has a reputation if you will for small e commerce stores but there’s some pretty big online stores that use it. And it was interesting to hear Jonathan’s perspective of like, Well, why and where do they find success that’s a really cool interview check that out w mr.fm. Moving on to the rest of the WordPress community. One thing I was able to do essentially on Tuesday, August 25 was participate in something called the Genesis community live cast it’s a Video Broadcast for the Genesis community. And you can actually go to StudioPress dot blog if you want to check out the episode, but it was basically discussing the contributions of the black community to WordPress and also to Genesis, but also of course the challenges, the black community continues to face in WordPress technology and even Genesis itself. And this was the episode one of the reboot for this thing for the Genesis community. And we had some very special guests. One of them this person named Anita Carter, and she’s what’s called the Genesis shaper, and this is basically an advisory board, if you will, that helps to shape the future of Genesis and the community. Also, by the way her WordPress origin story. She started using WordPress in 2005, do you know how many years that it was after the invention of WordPress, Anthony.
AB: What is it like three years?
DV: Two years. It was version Not seven of WordPress which actually version one, I’ll tell you why in a minute. That was 2003 so she got into WordPress just five years or two years after it was released. And she had started using Genesis before it was even called Genesis. It was called revolution beam back in the day for those old school, school folks who remember all that. Also joining us there was Sandy Jackson leader and longtime member of the Genesis community. And then we also have kind of her title guest. Who’s gentleman named Mike Liddell. I know this is a setup question Anthony and Doc, but we’ve been what makes Mike Little special.
DP: He has a great accent.
AB: He does but no, he’s the co-creator of WordPress he’s the reason we’re all talking here right now.
DV: I know that’s right so in the interview Mike shared how basically back in the day he was using the blogging framework, v2, and the lead contributor of v2, a gentleman named I’ve been saying it, Michael, but it’s Michelle baudry key had stopped maintaining v2, and then Matt Mullenweg posted a blog post saying hey who wants to help me fork and continue to maintain v2 and Mike was the first maybe even the only person to say yeah I’ll help. And so, Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg kind of went on a journey there to create. You know version what he said not to seven of WordPress and the reason why it was in version one was because they had used the v2. You know points, basically to guide that so v2 is coming off point six so they went to straight 2.7. But it was really interesting to hear Mike and Anita and Sandy’s perspective, Doc. I know you were able to listen live. What did you learn or what were your observations from that discussion.
DP: Well, first off, there was a lot of fun tidbits and just just lots of trivia, especially in the beginning. Mike little, I think does a lot in the London meetup scene WordPress meetup seen, but I’ve never met him or seen him speak anywhere so it was sort of a kind of a weird chance to hear someone other than Matt talk about the history of WordPress so there was, there was a lot of just fun trivia in there as well. But, you know, the speakers who asked. I think each of them when when they were getting into WordPress, who could they have to look up to that look like that what black mentors did they have, and I can’t remember really any of them having an answer they were all kind of saying it was it was it was tough especially getting started to find another another person that look like them in the community and how tough that is in general to kind of feel like an outsider. And you know trying to try to be part of something that was that was interesting.
AB: Yeah, I was just gonna say that from from that so I did one of the points that they made is is not just seeing people that look like themselves in the community, but seeing people that look like themselves in a form of leadership. And I think one of the common themes that I, we realized is like what is what does it mean to be the leader, right, like, there’s presidents of groups and there’s there’s leaders that just lead by their actions and, and, and it kind of highlighted how we need to make sure that the representation is there so that they feel like, so that people feel like that they can get into those positions wherever.
DV: Yeah, I think that team was over and over and over again during that discussion. You know, it’s also kind of interesting to hear I need to talk about what Mike Liddell was actually one of my inspirations and mentors in a kind of, in that sense, and I think he kind of mentioned doc that kind of got some good trivia points if you will, from some of the talks that Mike was talking about. I would encourage everyone listening to if you only remember one trivia point from this part of the discussion. It is that WordPress was absolutely co created by a member of the black community. And I think that’s something we have recognized enough, I think it’s a really cool part of WordPress history, and it was really cool to hear Mike’s perspective but also needed Sandy’s perspective as they were talking about how you know yes we’ve made progress but there’s still a lot of people that feel unwelcome for some really valid reasons. And so if you’d like to check her out about that you can go to StudioPress dot blog there’s a blog post there, linking to that discussion, maybe we’ll even have Mike on the future version of press this week get word this time.
DV: Hello everyone and welcome back to press this WordPress community podcast on w m r This is your host, David Fogle poll we’re in the middle of our episode word around the campfire discussing WordPress news with our very own Anthony Michelle and Dr popular although he said he could, I could call him doc because we’re friends, which is cool, Doc. If there was some interesting news that kind of developed over the weekend. I guess it would have been the 23rd their 22nd around Apple and the WordPress iOS app, could you it by the way please keep the conspiracy theories to a minimum but could you help people understand kind of what was going on and why this was impactful.
DP: Absolutely. I mean, first off I think we have to say that Apple has had a few antitrust issues lately in the App Store. Earlier in the week. Epic the creators of fortnight launched the lawsuit and had a very public fight with Apple over what they thought was unfair pricing. And then, near the end of the week, Matt Mullenweg tweeted that Apple is preventing any future updates to the WordPress iOS app, which is a totally free app. Unless WordPress, the iOS app added in app purchases, so that Apple could collect 30% of those purchases. So in that tweet Matt seemed unclear and what he should do and he seemed to be considering in app purchases for.com plans. But after his tweet went viral, and the verge ran a big story on it. Apple then reversed course and offered one other extremely rare apologies to Matt, and the WordPress team. It seemed that it seemed from Apple’s side, that the confusion was really around some phrasing that was an older version of the WordPress iOS app, which, again, it’s just a free app, but does tie into WordPress. coms kind of free, free pages where you get like three gigabytes of, you know, free WordPress hosting. And in the older app, there was a mention of the paid subscription services for wordpress.com. And even though there wasn’t the link to purchase just having a mention of something like that in, in a free app was against Apple’s rules. So, in Apple’s apology and kind of clarification they stated, since the developer removed the display of their service payment options from the app, it is now a free standalone app. It does not have to offer in app purchases, we have informed the developer and apologize for any confusion that we’ve caused so as it stands at the moment. Matt, did offer to run in app ads for wordpress.com just just so Apple would let the app start updating again, like 30%, but Apple has said that the pending issue has already been fixed. And no further changes are necessary from the WordPress iOS team.
DV: So, that totally makes sense I know I remember when I saw that story hit, I immediately pulled out my WordPress app and I was like where this purchasing they’re talking about because I didn’t recall seeing that were mentioned of the.com plans and there weren’t, there’s just the verge reported on this where she could just go look at the app even now I’m guessing can see it in the same state, but there was no purchasing and the version that had the mentions of the plans I don’t know the exact date it was changed, but on the verge they reported that they had gotten a hold of a very old copy that was months and months old and had seen it there but it says senior renewed so it seemed like a bit of, you know, maybe internal friction or something over at Apple about, you know, recognizing that it had already been changed and then, but it’s still kind of holding that the requirements that were no longer valid data you probably watch this quite a bit. Any other observations.
AB: No, I think it just is a good thing that they they reverse course on kind of pushing that in app purchase. I think one of the things that led to this probably not understanding what WordPress is right like WordPress itself is software and wordpress.com as a service. So I think that that kind of highlighted one of those things where the communities kind of had friction in defining what that is and explaining to people on the outside of the community what that is. So, just another example.
DV: Yeah, it was funny watching the coverage on it kind of develop as the reporters started to learn more about how it all works. It was like the first version was like totally off base on outwards and then it got way more clarity there I thought the verge did a good job though of dialing in. Over the course of that story developing chain. Moving on to our next topic here. Another interesting thing that’s happened in that community this week. This has been a huge deal in the Genesis community. For those that follow that community or a part of it might realize that Genesis, other than complimentary plugins has never released anything major in terms of a product or plugin or theme on wordpress.org. And that’s something that’s actually been changing in the very first plug in major plug in that, you know, quote StudioPress Genesis have released, was released on August 25, and is available in wordpress.org. So if you go to wordpress.org, and Google Genesis blocks. So this was one of the kind of first via that were agreed though contributions to to WordPress as a whole the.org for Genesis as a big deal so if you’re into the block editor we’ll learn more about that and go check out Genesis blocks versus a lot of other green block plugins that were agreed about. Speaking of releases, we have a big release coming up in December doc version 5.6, what makes it a special release.
DP: so 5.5, just came out, 5.6 is already beginning and although there’s a lot of big updates in 5.6, the most exciting bit of news is probably that five dot six will feature a woman led release team.
DV: I know that’s big news I remember when Josepha Hayden had kinda, she was the originator of the idea, but as they were developing that idea. She was reaching out to people in the community to see who we might want to nominate for the release leads team. And it was really interesting to hear about Tanya Mork is one of the release leads. She’s just one of the best engineers I know huge huge huge influencer and thought leader in the Genesis community so she’s a good friend of mine, or, you know, a good friend of mine a big fan of what she does. To set the Hayden also of course she’s also one of those release leads, just happened. There’s so much WordPress. And then entity WP Engine person is one of these release leads.
AB: Yeah Sarah Ricker. I mean, it’s amazing like I remember when we were. This was pre COVID when we kind of met and we were talking about how she can get involved in the core core team. And, and it’s amazing that like, after that conversation she just took off and ran with it and I was actually surprised by the news I didn’t actually know that she was a pursuing the release lead role, and it’s so cool to see that she’s going to be leaving such an important component accessibility. So, yeah, go Sarah.
DV: love it I love it so yeah part of your for the listeners of course part of your job is helping folks at WP engine with their contributions to WordPress at large. It’s really great to hear Sarah just kind of take that ball and run with it, and then Doc y’all chatted with some folks from the release as well on your social hour Who did you get to talk to you about that.
DP: So we had Allie Nimmons part of the WP buffs team. She is going to be working on documentation, and she was telling us how how exciting and what an honor this was to be to be part of the, the release team with something that seems pretty unattainable. You know, a year ago. And yeah, she was on our social our last week and next week we’re gonna have Sarah Riker on to talk about accessibility and some of the, there’s going to be a big ally, the accessibility kind of online group, they’re having a big meeting this week so we’re going to find out what came from that and what new features to expect in five dot six. You mentioned Jessica Hayden had this idea. She isn’t 75 women on this five, six team. And this was something that she, you know, said like less than a year ago. Her goal was to have a woman led release team, and it’s probably going to end up happening by December 8. So, within a year from kind of like talking about this idea, it’ll, the official version should be out.
DV: Ah, that’s really cool. I love having you on for these episodes, Doc because like i was i was flapping in the wind over his idea was, and all I do is it you said this in a slack dm is like, help me find some good folks for this. And I love how you have just like every detail of the backstory through your work into are so amazing.
DP: It’s cool. It’s like a superhero comic or something it’s like this team has formed.
DP: Welcome back to Press This WordPress community podcasts on WMR. This is your host David Vogelpohl we’re in the middle of our word around the campfire episode, talking about news from around the WordPress community, right before the break we’re talking about WordPress 5.6, which will be released, we believe in December, all women release lead release and want to talk more about WordPress core a little bit, and in particular WP CLI Anthony what is WP CLI stands for or what is it.
AB: Command line interface for WordPress, all of your typical commands at the ready.
DV: Yes yes yes for those heavily involved in building with WP SEO I’m sure that’s details you already knew but for those unfamiliar it’s essentially a way of speeding up your development workflow leveraging WordPress by using the command line interface. Okay. Gotcha. So, along from Belgium is actually the lead of WPC align WordPress core. And one of the things that one does is he actually, this was actually organized by folks at automatic and a few other companies. And we basically all get together and provide a sponsorship for a long to spend, you know, the lion’s share of his time working on WPC Li. We also saw WP beginner launch his specific roles for this kind of thing within their company. companies like Yoast automatic GoDaddy so to so forth do similar things. But there’s a group of companies that kind of get behind along. And that’s something, certainly I’m proud to participate in. But you know it Alon needs, other than sponsorship, which is largely okay but you know what else he needs, Anthony, I load yes repeaters he needs contributors Yes. So, if you are an advanced developer and Alon can kind of direct you on the kind of skill sets needed to contribute. He’s very supportive individual I’ve already connected him with a few folks after he let me know he was looking for contributors. But if you can, you can go to the channel for WPC ally and wordpress.org slack. There’s also guides on how to contribute I know Anthony did an episode of press this not long ago, kind of tips on how to go about that. But if you are looking for contribution opportunities I think WPC is one of the more exciting areas to focus on. So check it out. And maybe we can get along. A little help here, Doc. We also saw the release of WordPress 5.5 in the last month ish from the broadcast of this. Could you give us a quick recap of the major like the headline features.
DP: Sure, mostly for my experience I’ve been seeing the post editing features and the new Gutenberg features. So what we have are, you can now find Gutenberg blocks from within a post, you don’t have to go to like a separate tab or page you can just like in the middle, your post. Do a search and find the Gutenberg block that you’re looking for. Another big update was auto updates for themes and for plugins. So you can just kind of like, tick, you know this this plugin to automatically update and this one to be a manual update, you know, you don’t have to turn it on for everything. But this is probably leading the way for five, six which is going to have auto updating for core, as a feature. So they’re starting with themes and plugins and then kind of working their way up. There’s been also like a few changes to making the post editor, a little bit more minimal by default. So it sort of looks like a nice blank page, ready to be written on rather than you know filled up with tabs and columns on the side. There’s Yeah, a lot of a lot of improvements to the post editor and and as well to page editors but I haven’t had the chance to mess around with that quite as much.
DV: I think the other thing that kind of popped up with 5.5 was really the jQuery problems. You know, and so what ended up happening is a lot of sites had elements on the page elements of the site that ended up breaking I wish we had more time to go into all the explicit details. There’s a great article by my gentlemen goes by Marty bester over at Search Engine Land and then I teams has a wonderful article about it. I themes.com Ford slash WordPress dash five dash five dash braking dash website dash house dash two dash fix, I need to get a short URL that next time I do this, and it was such a wonderful article definitely, definitely, definitely want to check it out. And that’s really all we have time for today definitely a lot going on in WordPress thank you all for listening to press this WordPress community podcasts on WMR. Again, this has been your host, David Vogelpohl. I support the WordPress community through my role at WP Engine. And I love to bring the best of the community to you here every week.