Footnotes #386

✨ The upcoming WordPress 5.4 release has a lot going into it:

  • A brand-new, officially supported, npm-based scaffolding package for blocks!
  • New gradient theme APIs that allow your theme to use gradients as backgrounds in the Cover and Buttons blocks.
  • Changes to DOM structure on the block editor. Jorge Costa explains the markup and style changes.
  • REST API changes include taxonomy β€œOR” relation support in WP_REST_Posts_Controller along with selective link embedding.
  • Privacy features have been updated. The Personal Data Export tool now includes Session Tokens, Community Events Location, and Custom User Meta.
  • Check out the WordPress 5.4 Field Guide for a deeper dive.

😷 The COVID-19 virus is taking a toll on communities and markets worldwide. After the cancellation of WordCamp Asia, we know the WordPress community is not immune.

The livestream that was held partly in place of the cancelled event went on as expected, and you can review the recorded presentations now. (It was done via Crowdcast, so you'll need to click “Join the Livestream” and then select the talk you want to hear from the list near the top left under “Schedule Session.”)

There has been a lot more talk about remote communications an alternative to travel for conferences and business. Zoom has gained more new users in the first months of 2020 than all of last year.

Wordfence CEO Mark Maunder has explained why his company is taking a pause on WordCamps for the time being, and why he is suggesting that WordCamp Europe be cancelled along with “all other WordCamps globally in 2020” until the situation has improved.

At the time of this writing, WordCamp Europe is still moving forward as planned, and they are keeping their site updated with the latest coronavirus news.

Several other WordCamps and community events have been postponed, including WordCamp Geneva and the WordCamp Retreat in Soltau.

Want to learn how to take your in-person event online? Get Cory's take as he joins Brian Richards of WPSessions for a 60-minute Q&A about high-impact πŸ’₯ virtual events on March 11, 2020, at 11 a.m. CST.

Joost de Valk has a proposal for improving SEO on WordCamp sites so more of them can be indexed by Google. Judging by the response so far to this tweet, it looks like this is a common problem for WordCamp organizers.

Johnny Harris asked why WordPress core doesn't support the WebP image format, and the reason might be related to Safari not supporting it. πŸ€”

Bowe Frankema made some interesting predictions about Elementor‘s plans after securing $15 Million (USD) in funding. Bowe thinks the future for WordPress businesses is not selling one-off services: “Recurring revenue is key… look to the cloud to offer up your own recurring revenue SaaS or WaaS solutions.” ☁️

Vlad Olaru wrote a lengthy post on “complex global systems” in block-based websites. People have very different expectations about what it will mean to transition to a block-based WordPress ecosystem, and I appreciate how Vlad has taken up this difficult topic. Unexplored challenges await. πŸ‰

πŸ₯« Nick Hamze made a great point about developers dogfooding their own Gutenberg blocks:

“…the best you can hope for now is that someone will have a simple blog rocking a Twenty-something theme with a vanilla set of blocks. If we aren’t excited to build with blocks, how the heck can we get other people excited?”

Chris Coyier updated his advice on where to learn WordPress theme development nowadays.

Jason Coleman posted an update about his growing Paid Memberships Pro business, which raked in $810,000 last year and is currently at $3,000,000 in all-time sales. πŸ“ˆ

“By sharing our story, I hope others can learn what to expect when launching a WordPress plugin or a paid support plan around an open-source project.”

James Huff reminded folks on Twitter that neither WordPress nor offers phone support. If anyone claims to offer such support, it is a scam. 🚨

❀️ WP&UP, a registered UK charity that supports and promotes positive mental health within the WordPress community, could use your help with a few easy things you can do to support their mission.

A product or service giveaway, a fundraiser, some proceeds of sales on eBay, Amazon Smile ( β€” and direct donations β€” are all very welcome.

The Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AG WG) has published a First Public Working Draft of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2.


Podcast Picks of the Week

πŸŽ™οΈ Here are some podcasts I've listened to recently that are worth your time: