Gutenberg 7.0 🇷🇴 was released at the end of November. It included “a big number of fixes and enhancements to the Navigation block,” which is now stable. There are new APIs allowing the internationalization of strings, a new Card component, and a few other enhancements.
For Black Friday, Yoast released an update that placed an animated banner on the dashboards of all WordPress admin pages where it was installed. This resulted in some negative feedback and discussions about ad policies from plugin companies. Yoast was updated a short time later with the banner removed, and CEO Marieke van de Rakt issued an apology on Twitter.
Several consequences of this event have been positive:
- There was a pull request on the WordPress.org Plugin Directory Guidelines Github repo, which was closed two days later after some significant discussion.
- The WP Notify project (which will be meeting again in January) got some attention.
- Timothy Jensen released a plugin that “organizes admin notices for a cleaner administrative experience.”
It's not related to the dashboard ad fiasco, but Yoast released a well-made and (I think) entertaining video ad.
Currently, blocks can be submitted to the directory using the regular plugin submission form. However, you must make it clear that it’s a block in the description and/or your correspondence.
Matt Mullenweg noted that with the recent acquisition of Tumblr, the total number of Automatic employees is now at 1,146. 📈
Scott Bolinger posted a proof of concept for fetching new WordPress posts dynamically on a static Gatsby site “using Apollo and a dateQuery.”
Jean-Baptiste Audras shared his new Contextual Adminbar Color plugin which helpfully differentiates your WordPress instances (e.g., production versus staging) with color schemes and even favicons. 🍭
Jeffrey Carandang updated his guide for choosing the perfect Gutenberg plugins and themes.
PHP 7.4 was officially released on Thanksgiving Day (US). As Joe Watkins notes on Twitter, PHP 7.1 is no longer supported, and the branch is closed for modification. If you are on 7.1, consider upgrading.
Aaron Parecki shares an extensive list of home automation tools with the goal of having “everything running locally, without relying on cloud services.” 🤖
Josh Comeau has a three-part series about his experience as a remote worker and finding his first remote job.
If you are thinking about going remote or if you want to improve how you work remotely, then Josh has some informed takes for you to ponder.
“Writing open source software and staying sane while at it” is sage advice from Sebastian De Deyne. 🤪
Some highlights: Write your library's docs as soon as possible, spy on others in the same ecosystem, and tag stable versions early.
The best tip for me: Don't overcomplicate! If you don't need a feature, don't build it.
Here is a great reminder from Lucy Greco that adding people with disabilities to your team improves that team's perspectives and decision-making processes: “Just thinking about someone you know can improve the product.” 🤔
If disability is just a concept about an imaginary person who is not represented on your team or in your day-to-day associations, that is likely to be a large limit on your thinking and creativity.
Mary Fernandez at OptinMonster shares some HubSpot data related to the question, “Should blog comments be allowed?” 🗯️
Bear in mind this is data for over 100,000 blog posts. Mary concludes, “the data shows that blog comments are not correlated with increased traffic.”
BackendlessConf is a free-to-attend online conference dedicated to the frontend. It's happening on December 14 and has a great list of speakers. 📅
Video and Podcast Picks of the Week
📹 Here are my latest picks for video watching — all WordCamp US 2019 videos:
- Andrew Taylor covers the benefits of testing and automation.
- Kathy Zant discusses strategies and tools for evaluating one WordPress plugin over another.
- David Wolfpaw explains how to use WordPress and the IndieWeb to own more of your content while syndicating to social media.
🎙️ Here are some recent podcasts worth listening to:
- Thanks to Chris Coyier for the Post Status shout out on the latest episode of Shoptalk Show, where he and Dave Rupert have a good discussion about the current state of blogging, paid newsletters, and “stories.”
- If you haven't caught up lately with Michelle Ames, her latest interviews with those in the WordPress space on WP Coffee Talk include Rahul Sarker, Alison Knott, and Kyle Maurer.
- The WPMRR Podcast interviewed Jan Koch from WP Mastery and talked about online virtual conferences.
- Carl Alexander shares on the Pagely Podcast how he self-published a book that made $11k in its first week.