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 Vogelpohl: Hello everyone and welcome to Press This the WordPress community podcasts on WMR. This is your host, David Vogel Paul, I support the WordPress community through my role at WP Engine, and I love to bring the best of the community to you hear every week on press this as a reminder, you can find me on Twitter @wpdavidv, or you can subscribe to press this on iTunes, iHeartRadio, Spotify, or download the latest episodes at wmr.fm. And this show we’re going to be doing our monthly Word Around the Campfire installment. This is where we discuss important updates from around internet. In this episode, we’re gonna be covering topics like WordPress 5.6, WP-CLI, and other news and updates around WordPress. Joining me for this conversation, First of all I’d like to introduce from the very popular Torque Magazine at torquemag.io covering WordPress, WordPress kind of tips and tricks if you will. I’d like to introduce Mr. Doc Popular. Doc, welcome back.
Doctor Popular: Thank you so much David. It’s great to be back.
DV: Did I totally slaughter like the short line there for Torque?
DP: That’s not the only thing you got wrong is it’s not Mr. Doctor Popular. It’s just Coc. My dad is Mr. Doctor Popular.
DV: Okay, good. Well, I make that point of distinction with future introductions. But welcome back was always a pleasure to have you on here. We’re tracking fire episodes. Also joining us from WP Engine, Labs Team WordPress core committer and contributor and all around volunteer in WordPress and many other things like to welcome back Anthony Burchell. Anthony, welcome back to Press This.
Anthony Burchell: Thanks for having me.
DV: Glad to have you here, Anthony. And really looking forward to digging into everything that’s happening around the WordPress ecosystem. For those that have not caught the last few episodes across this, I did want to remind you that a couple of those because they’re kind of some neat content contained within them. One of them that I thought was really fun and really super insightful was the interview I did with a gentleman named Pat Ness called Creating Automated WordPress Growth Engines, I got to know each other just kind of around the way and I remember the first time he and I spoke like his obsession with automation building funnels and leveraging WordPress for this was just like next level the things he was able to do the time comes and is able to do them then we’re just really outstanding. So we had him on a few weeks ago to talk about creating automated WordPress growth engines and tap kind of detail a little bit about how he went about that. Lots of specific tips in that episode. So if you’re looking for ways to add automation to your WordPress sites, definitely check out the episode with another episode that really stood out to me was the one that he did with Ryan Kinstra. Doc, are you familiar with Ryan?
DP: Sounds very familiar.
AB: Absolutely, it makes everything easier.
DV: And those unfamiliar WP CLI stands for WordPress Command Line Interface and basically what it As you views execute functions and WordPress, from the command line either as a developer like yourself or even in automated ways, and so WP ci is super powerful, particularly for advanced developers. Now, the WP ci project was maintained primarily by a gentleman named the launch Slusher, and shout out to Ron if he’s listening sorry if I mispronounced your last name there alone, but along with other contributors around WordPress to maintain the WP COI project. These contributors either donate their time for free or sponsored by companies. Matter of fact, the longsword is sponsored by several companies, including WP Engine, a company that I work for. We actually renewed our sponsorship for the third year in a row there. Really want to mention this because there’s a lot of important things on the WP COI roadmap not just for maintaining temiz ppcli, which is in of itself a lot of wear, but also adding new features to make room dress even more powerful. Now, there are avenues for sponsoring that ppcli either monetarily like WP engine does work by donating your time to the project itself. In terms of like hands on keyboard code time. If you’d like to check that out, you can see the blog post that WP Engine posted on our blog about our sponsorship, which has all kinds of details about how you can either contribute voluntarily or contribute your own volunteer time. So if you’ve been looking for kind of unique and interesting ways to support WordPress, I think that’s a good avenue to pursue. Certainly a shout out to along and the work he and the rest of the contributors are doing keep ppcli moving forward. Another kind of interesting update in the WordPress space is that Genesis blocks which you’ve heard us talking about here on press this in the past was recently translated into Spanish and the Mexican sub variant of that yes, dash x for the polylang nerds out there. Edward Torres did that just kind of contributing to the project. So just wanted to give a quick shout out for Eduardo their work he did. In Genesis also in the Genesis universe video press, we’ll be doing an AMA Ask me anything. Genesis Framework co creator, Nathan rice of the state of the Nathan, what do you think about that name of a, you know, kind of a ama doc?
DP: I think it should be State of the Nate.
DV: Oh my goodness that’s good. But obviously, this is kind of a play on words of the state of the word, which of course, Matt Mullenweg is about WordPress every year at wordcamp, US fundamentally. And Nathan will be taking a similar approach, talking about the future of the Genesis framework, which of course, is one of the biggest frameworks of WordPress, but also more broadly on the state of the block editor. And these paradigms, if you will, that are happening within WordPress, and then really just kind of answering questions about how he thinks of it. You know, being such a huge leader in WordPress, I mean, with Nathan, and Brian Gardner and the rest of the studio press folks did by creating the Genesis Framework, and then everything that came beyond that really defined WordPress themes helped to define WordPress themes in general, but also the economics of WordPress products. And then how the community kind of embraced it live by the principles of the GPL. And so hearing his insights as to how things are changing, but also kind of reacting to people’s questions. I’m really looking forward to seeing that from Nathan. dock. I’m just curious, like how many like state of the words have you been to like dozens? A couple? Like I feel like you’re on a lot of them? Wouldn’t be dozens, but I’m trying to remember of state of the word existed when it was wordcamp. San Francisco, I think? I think it was it did. Yes. Sorry. 820 14 was my first one. All right, so you’re probably the most Uji of the three of us than Anthony. In other words, I don’t know if 2014 is as far back as I read. Want to say like maybe out there. Geez, since so far back. But yeah, it’s obviously a big deal on WordPress, so Nathan’s kind of taking a similar approach. And, you know, Matt Mullenweg, when he does state of the word, has an open q&a session. And, you know, I really have to applaud Matt getting up in front of all those people and hearing all the questions because they’re all over the board. Some constructive, some not. But I think that’s really great that Matt does that. also happy to see Nathan do the net here in the Genesis context. We’re going to take a quick break. We’re going to come back.
DV: Hello everyone. Welcome back to Press This the WordPress community podcast on WMR. This is your host David Vogelpohl. We’re in the middle of our episode word around the campfire where we talk about news from around the WordPress ecosystem. For the break, we were talking a little bit about the state of the Nathan Nathan Rice’s AMA around the Genesis Framework and future WordPress wanted to kind of start to get into more than news. Anthony. There’s something happening on October 24, which for those listening certainly was a few weeks back. But help us understand what happened on October 24.
AB: You may be looking at your website right now if you have Instagram embeds. And you may be noticing that the images are not there. But you may be also noticing that the text is still there. And it now has a link that says View this on Instagram because oh embeds are going to be a little different now because Facebook is no longer allowing to embed feature to display the image. So there are a number of things that you can do to to kind of fix this WP beginner has an article about this. It’s titled How to fix the Facebook and Instagram or embed issue. And and they recommend a couple of plugins that can actually sort of maintain the functionality. And that would be the Instagram feed plugin and the custom Facebook feed plugin. So if you’re looking for a way to restore that functionality, take a look at those plugins because you’re going to need them.
DV: Yes, I add that WP beginner has been a guest on press this in the past and you know I just said I said from around the way we’re friends to yours. But I was watching this unfold a little bit and WordPress core and how the community is reacting to it first he was to say he had worked really hard on this article and he was really thoughtful. And of course, you know, basically if you look at the recommendations there, they’re very specific and directions but I believe science team actually participated in creating some of the technology to help people get around that that and it’s actually referenced in the article. I think what WP beginner does and sayyad is an individual and his team is individuals for WordPress as a whole is really valuable. I mean they do all kinds of things around documenting things that are changing and giving people a path to overcome these issues. I think this is one of those key areas for those who are using jetpack jetpack also has an option for getting around this you can check that out as well. To kind of to look at it from that holistic view I think the WP beginner article how to fix the Facebook and Instagram Oh embed issues in WordPress. It’s a great place to start. Thank you for giving us the rundown there and I’m sure there were some people like Why are my oembeds not working like Oh my goodness. So it’s good to get information out there.
DP: I have a question. If If someone has jetpack, they might not even notice. Like if that’s installed, they might not even notice this change. It’s just automatic for them.
DV: I’m not sure how it works in the jetpack context, because I haven’t tested it or seen how it works. But I do believe there’s a little bit of extra work involved to get it functioning again, I’m not sure if that’s automatic, no pun intended. All right. Other things happening in the WordPress ecosystem. We’re camps and WordPress meetups have gone virtual I’m sure as you can imagine because of all the lockdowns related to COVID and each of the word camps and WordPress meetups are kind of tax This sometimes in their own ways, there is some consistencies like for the most part, folks are using zoom. They’re using YouTube for streaming. But wordcamp Austin, which took place in October, had a really interesting and fun aspect to it. And it was actually covered in WP or WordPress tavern. And notice it’s not WP Tavern anymore. That’s interesting. It was covered in WordPress tavern. And basically there was a V har experience there. And we’re lucky to have this group of folks talking about this news item because one of the folks behind the VR experience and keep in mind, there were many, many people involved with organizing the word camping in general. But the person that led up the VR side was was Anthony. Anthony, could you give us a quick snippet of the VR experience? And then yeah, a little bit more about the other organizers involved?
AB: Yeah so we had organizers from all over, we had 15 organizers, so it’d be really hard for me to list them all. But was not a one person show on the VR side. That’s one thing that I think was a misunderstanding. But we what we did for the event is we had a Zoom Room that was used for like the green room for speakers. And that was sort of just to keep everyone in the loop on where they need to be. And then we had a slack room for keeping attendees informed on like where they needed to be. And we use YouTube live as like the presentation layer to where where the actual meat and the content of the of the event was. And then we use the virtual reality side of things for the networking layer. And the virtual hallway track is what we called it. And, and it’s sort of, for a lot of people, it was their first time experiencing 3d or having a sense of presence inside of a 3d world. So it was really interesting to see that like people actually felt like they were at the event in a way that they have never felt in a virtual event before. And just to give you some kind of like idea of how this works is you select an avatar when you when you jump into the room, and you are in the room just the same as if you were playing like a game like fortnight, same controls to move around. And you can walk up to we had to theater rooms and a center hallway track. So if you were in the networking layer, you could actually bounce from top to talk to see if you wanted to like maybe jump into that one on YouTube. And and you could click on the video and it would take you to YouTube. And then you can start asking questions in YouTube. So it’s a really a hodgepodge of technology all coming together with a really nice, like, I guess it was a nice template I think that people can use going forward for these sorts of events.
DV: I mean, just to double down on how and to get filled. I mean, I was frankly shocked. I mean, Chris knew about it leading up to it like to go in there and to walk through your room, like walk past someone that I know, you’re like, Oh, hey, taco what’s up and start talking to Taco and then talk about ideas. And then have other folks kind of crowd around and have a group conversation and then strike up a conversation with someone I want to step away in the VR environment is it had spatial audio, so you can literally step away and have a conversation in the corner? It was it just blew my mind how lifelike it was, in that sense. My capturing that real networking feel. I know there was a the after party, of course, as well, where you had like music and first like music throughout the day. So a quick shout out just you and the other organizers. And all the work y’all did develop a successful that that was really, really a very special experience. And I know you use Mozilla hubs to do the VR experience. Right, Anthony?
AB: Yeah. And they actually invited me to do a talk for a for a meetup group last week. So that’s that’s another talk that’s going to come out if anyone wants to look at the details of how this how this was so successful.
DV: Nice, nice. Well, if you’d like to check out more details about it, go over to WordPress cavernous and fancy it that way. And check out the article it’s called wordcamp Boston 2020 find success with VR experience recession’s networking. And it kind of runs down everything that was involved with it with some links to some of the technology where I can check that out for your own virtual events. Speaking of virtual events, I was really honored to speak at wordcamp, Philadelphia, wordcamp Philly a few weeks ago. And I remember we were in, I think it was the like the virtual boot. So a lot of these word camps will have like a sponsor area where you like it’s just your Zoom Room with just your company and people that want to ask questions about you as a sponsor and services are offered as kind of hanging out in ours before I spoke at wordcamp, Philly. And there was somebody there named Courtney Roberts. And she said, David, I really wanted to talk to you. And we got to talking she was telling me about the work she does their facility with a group called code or near Philly with a group called code differently. What code differently does, it really trains and enables people, particularly those and underrepresented groups, folks, from In the black community, the Latin x community and so on and so forth, in starting their job and in technology. And Courtney works with code differently to run courses for both adults and high school age students as they start their career and learning, coding, design other aspects of technology. And what could differently is doing is they’re starting a 1000 Kids coding initiative, and they’ll be using WordPress as part of the program to do that, along with other valuable coding and technology skills. We WP Engine are sponsoring the hosting for 25 of their high school students, they can have a nice and performant WordPress environment to work on the project. A lot of these students use Chromebooks and can’t use, you know, software like local which lets you do local WordPress on your computer. So I just wanted to give a quick shout out to Courtney Robertson and the leadership team and code differently for what they’re doing to make not just WordPress better, but technology better and supporting folks in their journey and their technology career. We have a little bit more to common WordPress news, we’re going to take a quick break.
DV: Welcome back to press this WordPress community podcast on webmaster on w Mr. Sorry. So when I say it the old way, Wr. This is your host David Vogel Paul. And we’re in the middle of our episode word around the campfire talking about we’re talking about news from around the WordPress ecosystem. Right before the break was giving a quick shout out to Courtney Robertson of code differently and the leadership team there and all they’re doing to support diversity in technology. We’re now going to move on to WordPress 5.6. Just last week, beta two was released on October 27. Doc, tell us a little bit about WordPress 5.6, or at least what you’ve been covering from what you’ve been paying attention to. Yeah, well, you’re absolutely correct the the cutting edge release or the beta release, five dot six was released. And the schedule is for the final version was to come out on December 8. So this is just an early version. And we’ve seen quite a few changes from what was originally proposed. For instance, full site editing they decided they didn’t have time for that was going to be one of the big big features you know block based editing. For for your website is going to be a big feature five dot six, but that was just out of scope. Another thing they got rid of just recently is block based widgets. But we still seem to have I think pretty much everything else like some of the big updates are going to be the ability to automatically have your WordPress core update itself. Whenever there’s a new version. In five, five, they did that with plugins and themes and five, six now it’s going to update core itself. There’s still some other block editor options. braids. I get confused. On which ones are 5556? I think one of the new ones is lazy loading images is a new feature in five, six. That’s That’s correct. Right, Anthony?
DP: I think that was in 5.6 or 5.5 I keep getting them confused.
AB: 5.5 actually, yeah. one thing I’d like to note about the beta process is, this is one of the most active beta processes that I’ve seen, at least I feel like it is I think the chat rooms were just blowing up during the like the release and leading up to it even in the component that I work in. In media, we had a ton of participation. And I think actually more participation than we’ve had in years. Just Just by number of people that is, and and and leading up to it, we had people just submitting patches, and just like it was very, very active. And and media is going to have a lot of cool features and things that are just sort of like quality of life improvements and bug fixes, and some things that kind of make the experience of managing media a little easier, like being able to tell what images are header images, just straight from the media library or being able to tell what videos are header images, things like that. So this is going to be a really exciting release. I’m stoked for it.
DV: You know, I often will talk to people and they’re like, Look, I want to contribute to WordPress, but I just don’t know how, like, I’m not good at math. No, not advanced engineer. I don’t know how to translate things, or I’m trying to volunteer at events or can’t travel. And that was a thing. But like, I think one of the things people don’t realize is that testing these betas and providing feedback is contributing. You’re helping the teams just like Anthony said, like, Oh, yeah, people give me ideas and pointed out things that could be better and also contributed code. But like, my point is like testing and providing feedback is contributing, like don’t get Don’t, don’t be confused by that that is valuable to do. Because it ultimately helps WordPress become better. And understanding how WordPress behaves and lots of use cases, ultimately makes this project more valuable. Now, I think the headline on 506 for me was actually full site editing public beta being Fisher 5.7. I think that is kind of a really kind of sea change as people start to prepare for the future probably won’t affect you a lot, like on your daily, if you will. But that to me was the headline feature. So we’ll certainly be monitoring that, particularly as it relates to 5.7 providing updates here and press this. Doc, let’s bring us home.
DV: Last week, there was a day and it should have happened. It didn’t happen. What was that day?
DP: WordCamp US would have been happening. Yeah. And I was it was going to go virtual for a while and then they just canceled the whole thing. But yeah, we’ve we’ve missed that October 27-29th WordCamp US 2020.
DV: What a heartbreak. How can people scratch that itch though?
DP: Well, so Joe Casabona, has been doing WP Year in Review, which you can find it I think at #wpyearinreview or wpyearinreview.com. And basically he’s reached out to people who are going to be speaking at WordCamp 2020 people who submitted talks, and they will be sort of giving their talks via his podcast via WP Year in Review.
DV: That’s cool. I think the other way you can certainly scratch this itch is is support your local WordPress meetups and WordCamps, WordCamp, Philly WordCamp Austin, did the WordPress meetup in Chennai, India last month, but there’s there’s folks in your local community that you can learn from, that you contribute to. So please, please, please, even though you might not be consuming content from WordCamp, us are attending. Look for those opportunities to do that locally. Well, Doc, thank you so much for joining us today.
DP: Thank you so much, David. Great to be here.
DV: Awesome. Thank you, Anthony as well.
AB: Thanks for having me.
DV: All right. Thanks, everyone. For listening press this WordPress community podcast on WMR. Again, this has been your host David Vogelpohl for the WordPress community in my role at WP Engine. And I love to bring the best of the community to you here every week on Press This.