WordPress 5.3 Beta 2 is now available with some further polishing of the block editor and Twenty Twenty, the next default theme to be shipped with WordPress. There are some accessibility bug fixes and enhancements to the interface changes introduced in 5.3 Beta 1. ๐Ÿ›

Of special note: the register_meta functions (including register_post_meta) now support the 'object' and 'array' data types. See Timothy Jacobspost for a code sample that registers a post meta field.

Also, 5.3 will introduce new functions to add the UGC (“User Generated Content”) attribute to links and implement it in user comments.

Anders Norรฉn has an update about the progress of Twenty Twenty: the Customizer can “automatically adapt all colors in the theme to maintain a high color contrast.” ๐Ÿ‘“

Anders reminds us that they “need all the help [they] can get with testing the theme in different browsers, on different devices, and in different languages.”

Yoast released its first “digital story” โ€” “Diversity, inequality, and prejudice; a sociological exploration.” Omar Reiss explains:

With these stories, we want to explore the possibilities the WordPress block editor has to offer for storytelling and creating rich interactive experiences.

๐Ÿ‘‹ Last week (September 27) was Brian Gardner‘s last day under contract with WP Engine and last day with StudioPress, but this is not a goodbye for Brian:

I hope to continue playing a role in its future and look forward to watching WP Engine and the StudioPress team as they move forward.

Automattic officially took ownership of Tumblr last week, so both communities should start looking for some changes soon. ๐Ÿ‘€

Two other investments and acquisitions in the open-source space might have caught your eye:

  • Gatsby has raised a $15M Series A funding round led by CRV “to drive the reinvention of website development.”
  • Vista Equity Partners has purchased Acquia (the commercial arm for the open-source Drupal project) “in a deal valued at $1 billion.” Dries Buytaert notes on his blog that “our deep commitment to Drupal, Mautic and Open Source will be unchanged” and “will in fact increase.”

Human Made has announced a new iteration of their “next-generation digital experience platform (DXP),” Altis 2.

Altis 2 features A/B testing, a new publication checklist workflow, enhanced privacy and GDPR compliance, cloud improvements, and more.

If you are still new to the term “DXP,” then I might suggest watching Karim Marucchi‘s talk, “What's All The Fuss About DXPs, and Why Should I Care?” in last week's WordSesh. The recorded video is available for members. ๐Ÿ“น

SearchWP 3.1 has been released with quoted phrase searches and “the ability to automatically suggest a revised search if the original search did not produce any results.” ๐Ÿ”

Jon Quach, a designer at Automattic, has written a proposal for creating new WordPress Style Guide resources. Jon suggests, “It might be helpful to improve the guide by building resources in a new open documentation site, one with features like instant copy/paste and code snippets where applicable.” โœ‚๏ธ

Felix Arntz has a detailed post on CSS Custom Properties and how to use them to improve UX for both website visitors and content creators. Felix is “looking forward to seeing this feature being leveraged by WordPress themes more” as “itโ€™s another important milestone for improving user experience across the web.”

Morten Rand-Hendriksen has a list of 10 trends he sees in the web community and where we are headed shortly. ๐Ÿ”ฎ

Multidots has released the Beta version of a script for converting HTML markup created in WordPress content with the “Classic” editor to Gutenberg Blocks. They are planning to add support for more HTML tags by improving the script, so “bug reports and any other contributions are welcome.”

Kjell Reigstad wrote a post for the Automattic Design blog about some of the challenges and benefits that come from working with WordPress. On the upside, Kjell reflects, “Designing in open source has been a refreshing return to that collaborative era in which I first got started.”

Video and Podcast Picks of the Week

๐Ÿ“น Here are my latest picks for video watching:

  • If you have an interest in design and have an hour to spare, this presentation from Luke Wroblewski might be worth a look. He focuses on user-centered design and reaching people more effectively on mobile.
  • This great video (~15 min) on why CSS is weird from Miriam Suzanne went semi-viral in the front-end circles this week.

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ Here are some recent podcasts worth listening to:

  • I have been catching up on episodes of the WPMRR WordPress Podcast. Check out Hans and Donata Skillrud talking about their Termageddon product, which auto-updates legal policies on websites. There's also Shane Bishop on the tech behind image optimization and Brian Richards on the work and strategies that go into online conferences like WooSesh.
  • Voices of the Elephpant recently hosted some well-known names in the WordPress community: Tom McFarlin, Bob Dunn, Roy Sivan, and Olivia Bisset. Oh yeah, and this guy too.
  • Wes Bos and Scott Tolinski cover some helpful tips for developing better habits, such as focusing on one project at a time and being more efficient with your time.
  • The Pressnomic Podcast interviewed Tessa Kriesel about her public speaking experience and how she copes with impostor syndrome.

Finally, bring some humor to your weekend with a little JavaScript and honking. ๐Ÿฆ†