πŸ“† The proposed schedule for WordPress 5.3 development is currently:

  1. Beta 1: 23 September 2019
  2. Release Candidate: 15 October 2019
  3. General Release: 12 November 2019

In a recent chat summary, I discovered some interesting items that are being merged into Gutenberg. With these changes, you're going to see a “typewriter experience” and a “help panel” when you insert blocks.

Andrey Savchenko announced that wp_timezone() is coming to WordPress core. Andrey says it's “a game changer for the Date/Time component” in WordPress. ⏱️

Kent C. Dodds explains what JavaScript features you should be familiar with when you're learning and using React. Kent covers array methods, promises, async/await, template literals, and more.

If you work with WooCommerce but aren't familiar with the developer chats, you can read summaries of them at πŸ›’

Here's a reminder that the recently launched WooCommerce 3.7Β  requires at least PHP 5.6.20 and WordPress 4.9. It also ships with Product Blocks 2.3 for the WordPress Block Editor and comes with new features for stores running WordPress 5.1 and higher.

The WooCommerce Admin plugin was updated recently and is expected to be merged into WooCommerce 3.8. You can get it from the plugin repository or GitHub if you want to try it out or provide feedback.

Storefront, a popular theme for WooCommerce, was recently updated to 2.5.3.

Sandilya Kafle added an update about the Trusted Author Program, which was “an attempt to streamline the review process for authors who are consistently able to show they can to produce high quality code and themes.” 🌟

One of the program's goals was to reduce “gaming [reviews] by the use of multiple accounts,” but Sandilya notes that authors were still seen using multiple accounts. In addition, the Trusted Author Program revealed that not all of its members “were highly familiar with the requirements.”

Sadly it looks like this experiment has come to an end, and the Trusted Author Program program has been shut down. All submitted themes will be reviewed from the top of the queue, and theme submissions with 3+ distinct issues will be rejected. The one-theme-at-a-time and only one-submission-per-month rules still stand.

Ben Gillbanks is building a lightweight plugin called “Toolbelt” that is inspired by Jetpack but designed for speed, simplicity, and privacy. 🧰

If you haven't seen the logo for WordCamp Asia, it's an excellent example of simple branding for a conference. There's also a good article here about the thinking and ideas that were used to come up with the logo.

With Managed MySQL now available at Digital Ocean, Erika Heidi took the opportunity to write a tutorial on how to install WordPress with a managed database and Ubuntu 18.04. πŸ’§

An affiliate payouts service is coming soon to AffiliateWP, and Pippin Williamson says it took the “last year” to build it. He shows off the process in a recent post.

Existing tools that try to handle processing affiliate payouts have been, according to Pippin, “significantly lackluster or come with certain undesirable requirements.”

10up has made some improvements to its Distributor plugin, a solution that makes it “easy to syndicate and reuse content across WordPress-powered websites.” Helen Hou-Sandi describes some impressive performance gains and new support for “filtering the content available from external connected sites.”

StudioPress announced the release of Genesis 3.1, which requires WordPress 5.0+, PHP 5.6+, and an HTML5 Genesis child theme. You can read the full changelog, and developers can read the details about all the new features in the Genesis developer documentation.

Video and Podcast Picks of the Week

πŸ“Ή Here are my current recommendations for video watching:

  • Muhammad Muhsin‘s talk from the 2019 JavaScript for WordPress Conference entitled “ServerSide React for WordPressis now online.
  • I have been enjoying the recording of Zac Gordon's live stream series where he learns Gatsby by working through the official tutorial.

πŸŽ™οΈ Here's a recent podcast worth listening to:

  • Static websites are all the rage, but if you want a perspective from outside the WordPress community, thenΒ Scott Bolinger‘s conversation with Jack McDade, the CEO of Statamic, is worth a listen over at The Product Business. They touch on the pros and cons of using WordPress versus static alternatives.