Caldera has been acquired by Saturday Drive, the makers of Ninja Forms. Acquiring competitors can make sense in a consolidating market, but the Saturday Drive folks don't have plans to blend the two products. Instead, they see Caldera as a developer-focused product and Ninja Forms as a more user-focused product.

I am a bit surprised by that, and I wonder if those plans will change over time. Building separate developer- and user-centric products might be a great challenge to take on, but to my mind both markets need to be served side-by-side, in one product.

Josh Pollock is joining Saturday Drive as the VP of Engineer Experience — a role I'm sure he will be great at. A few other folks who worked on Caldera Forms will be joining the new team as well. Congrats to everyone involved.

Sarah Gooding did a nice job summarizing the changes Jetpack is testing for paid block upgrades. It is controversial in the community as it fits within the gray zone of what should or should not be allowed. I appreciated Jeremy Herve's comments to the post.

I think it's fair to say I support good user experiences for paid upgrades in WordPress. I also support a level playing field where Jetpack or anyone else does not have special privileges on where and how to promote paid products. I think that's obvious, but it can be easy to add drama to the situation. I trust the plugin team will help Jetpack fulfill both criteria, like they would for any other large player in the field.

John James Jacoby released the initial version of BerlinDB, a “collection of PHP classes and functions that aims to provide an ORM-like experience and interface to WordPress database tables.”

John touched on these concepts in his talk at WordCamp Europe about advanced database management for WordPress plugins. 🔌

The New York Times explains how they built a proprietary “collaborative editing CMS” for their newsrooms. It's an impressive piece of software, but it's a shame how much cool engineering goes into closed systems. Would the Times sharing this effort as an open-source project limit their business opportunities? 🤐

Grzegorz Ziółkowski tweeted to announce that “unifying text-based blocks” are in development for WordPress core. He also asked whether there is is a valid use case for centered or right-aligned lists in LTR languages.

Scott Bolinger rebuilt his WordPress blog in Gatsby and wrote about his experience, which was mostly positive. However, there was a learning curve with some challenges along the way, such as adding images to a page (“ridiculously difficult”) and forms.

Scott is also quick to point out that static sites aren't suitable for all projects, especially those with “with complex relationships between users and other data.”

More from Scott: I have really been enjoying his new podcast for The Product Business. I've listened to every episode and gotten a lot from them.

In BuddyPress 5.0.0 you will be able to tidy your BuddyPress blocks in a separate BuddyPress block category.

Carolina Nymark announced the theme review team will require all themes to implement keyboard navigation in “five weeks time.” (This puts the deadline in early September.)

This new requirement goes beyond navigation menus: “All functionality should work using a keyboard only.” ⌨️

In Carolina's announcement, there are some tips and resources to help theme developers comply with the new standard.

Dealing with dates in programming isn't always straightforward, which is why I appreciated this reminder on how to take a timestamp and convert it into a formatted date in JavaScript. 📅

Gary Pendergast announced a “baby step” toward a better contributor experience in WordPress Core.

Custom Docker images are now available for running WordPress on PHP versions 5.2 to 7.3. These images aren’t intended for hosting Docker-based WordPress sites but instead should be used to create a local development environment for WordPress.

Video and Podcast Picks of the Week

📹 Here is my recommendation for video watching this week:

🎙️ Podcasts I've appreciated in the last few days:

  • Presentable is a new podcast hosted by Jeff Veen with a focus on design. I liked a recent episode with Mike Monteiro that tackles the problem of enforcing ethical standards in the design industry. (~45 minutes.)
  • The php[architect] podcast did an interview with Maura Teal of Pagely, who is also giving a talk at the php[world] conference.