WordPress 5.2.3 is out. It's a security and maintenance release that includes 29 fixes and enhancements, including an update of jQuery for older versions of WordPress. ✨

The WordPress 5.3 release team has a new batch of focus leads, including Ian Belanger as Default Theme Wrangler and Anders Norén as Default Theme Designer. Anders will be designing the new Twenty Twenty theme, which will be released with 5.3 after WordCamp US in November.

This Dev Chat summary from Josepha Haden outlines the critical deadlines for keeping WordPress 5.3 development on track. ⏲️

There is a discussion unfolding at Make WordPress about the future design of the WordPress “About” page. Initial discussion points posted by Tammie Lister ask some good focusing, “what if” questions: What if the CSS system was rebuilt from the ground up using components? What if a unified style or theme for design was adopted? 🤔

Jean-Baptiste Audras started another discussion at Make WordPress about a possible frontend forms feature, possibly as a feature plugin. This would be a mechanism for handling the Privacy Data Requests introduced in WordPress 4.9.6. The next step will be to determine if Jean-Baptiste's existing plugin could be used as a base to build on.

If you use Twenty Nineteen or a child of it and you use custom CSS, be sure to check whether this upcoming change affects you.

Ross Wintle took a look at the positive side of tech communities. Ross says, “We need to tackle what’s bad in these communities. That’s SUPER important. But let’s also elevate, promote, shout about the good stuff.” 📣

If you know of anyone who wants to improve their JavaScript knowledge, Zac Gordon has a Bootcamp starting next week. He is offering monthly plans for his courses now too.

Nexcess and Liquid Web have established a “partnership.” That is an interesting word choice. What it means: “Liquid Web clients gaining access to the technology and scalability of Nexcess Cloud,” and “Nexcess clients obtaining access to Liquid Web plans and services.” 🤝

The companies will operate in a “largely separate” fashion, however. (Again, somewhat unusual wording there.)

Two projects from Bracketspace caught my eye recently. One is a custom notification plugin, and the other is — “an actual WordPress dashboard loaded” in your browser so you can quickly reference its interface elements for use in your plugins. 👍

If you are old enough to remember RSS readers (or old enough to appreciate RSS), then you might be interested in the “reboot” of NetNewsWire which is a free and open-source RSS reader for the Mac. 📰

Peter Wilson says WordPress might be making some changes soon to prevent search engines from indexing and crawling “sites with the ‘discourage search engines from indexing this site' option enabled.” Instead, they “will display an updated robots meta tag to prevent the site from being listed in search engines.”

Pantheon appears to have been working with Peter Suhm on integration with Branch, Peter's new Continuous Integration service.

If you missed our interview with Peter, you can learn more about him and Branch there.

Happy tenth anniversary to OSTraining! 🎂

OSTraining founder Steve Burge also announced the 3.0 beta for the Multiple Authors plugin is available for testing.

Initially, Multiple Authors was an extension for PublishPress built on the base of Daniel Bachuber‘s Co-Authors Plus and Bylines, which PublishPress acquired. Now, like its predecessors, Multiple Authors is a standalone plugin. 🔌

Trust, Growth, Inclusion: A Study of Women Engineers' Job-Search Priorities” is a whitepaper recently published by Automattic with the results of a user research study launched by their engineering hiring team. 👩‍🚀

The goal of the study was for Automattic to better understand how its approach to tech hiring resonates with women and non-binary folks who are experienced developers but may experience gender discrimination in the workplace.

A post at the Automattic Developers blog summarizes the study's key findings about the ways technical women navigate their careers, including some unanticipated and maybe surprising results. There's also a lot of detail given about changes Automattic has made or is making, based on what they've learned.

Video and Podcast Picks of the Week

📹 Here are my latest picks for video watching:

🎙️ Here are some recent podcasts worth listening to:

  • If you have ever thought about starting a podcast, then listen to Jeff Meyerson and Courtland Allen over at the Indie Hackers podcast. This episode (#114) contains enough tips about interviewing guests and the industry itself to get you started.
  • Roy Sivan is well known in the WordPress space, and now he's a guest on a recent episode of the Voices of the ElePHPant podcast.
  • is a new developer podcast. The first episode I listened to features a talk with Chris Ferdinandi about the damage modern “best practices” are doing to the web.
  • I always try to keep up with the Women of WP podcast, and the latest episode with Heather Acton of Helio Interactive didn't disappoint. It covers Heather's engineering background and how that translated into building a WordPress development business. There's also a video of the interview on the site. (~40 mins.)