Footnotes #388

WordCamp Updates

WordCamp Europe is the latest (and the largest) WordCamp to be canceled due to COVID-19. 🦠

Angela Jin has posted a list of WordCamps that have been canceled or postponed. As WordCamp organizers make further announcements, this list will continue to be updated.

Lindsey Miller noted in Post Status Slack that WordCamp Kent is still happening on May 30-31, but it “will be completely virtual.” (At the time of this writing, their website hasn't yet made this official with an update.)

My Default

The second release candidate for WordPress 5.4 is available now. The release is still targeted for March 31st.

Riad Benguella announced that fullscreen mode will be activated by default in the visual editor starting with this release:

“Note that for now, that’s a local setting, which is why it’s going to reset when your preferences do, including incognito mode. Future releases will store the setting in the WordPress database.”

This late change generated a lot of questions and pushback, especially after Matt Mullenweg took responsibility for it as his decision. 🗯️

Personally, I found the experience to be jarring after my site auto-updated to the latest beta release. I might get used to it, but I right now I feel something is missing in fullscreen mode, and it wouldn't be my default choice.

An Admin After My Own Cart

WooCommerce 4.0 was released this week with over 740 commits from 21 contributors. This includes the new version of the Admin interface, which is a “first step towards a more modern JavaScript-driven experience.” 🛍️

Note that this is a “major release” and not fully backward-compatible with previous WooCommerce versions.

Bob Dunn has a good overview of the highlights of the 4.0 release including the new Admin.

Block Test Patterns

Rich Tabor explains why block patterns are the future of page building in WordPress. He also describes what a Block Patterns API may look like. 🏗️

Right now you can copy whole templated sections of block patterns from Munir Kamal‘s block template library at Gutenberg Hub and paste them in any site's block editor. There's a Chrome browser extension to make it easier to use the block template library inside WordPress.

Justin Tadlock has a great post on Munir's work over at the Tavern.

Nick Hamze has a nifty Chrome extension too —Detective Wapuu — for identifying blocks on any site you visit. 🕵️ is using block patterns in a templated Page Layouts feature now.

Beta Quarantine

Shopify is giving its employees a nice stipend for office equipment while they work from home. 🏘️

The Canadian company already has over a thousand remote employees, but starting March 16, the whole company (~5,000 people) will be in their home offices to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

While a $1,000 stipend sounds really nice, an unexpected transition to remote work for whole teams that may have no experience with it will probably require some careful management.

, Director of People Operations at Human Made, offers some really good advice about keeping your people happy and effective when they're suddenly working from home.

As always, good, proactive communication is key. Assume best intentions, be open and transparent, and know the signs of burnout. 😫

Jeff Matson examines the benefits and drawbacks of WordPress' open source ecosystem, including the dangers of a “nulled” copy of a theme or plugin whose licensing has been stripped. ⚖️

If you are interested in how the Just In Time (JIT) compiler works in the upcoming release of PHP 8, read this very accessible post from Níckolas Da Silva. ⏰

Matt Shaw explains why delivering WordPress media directly from S3 is a bad idea. Try using WP Offload Media to deliver assets via Amazon CloudFront instead. ☁️

Due to recent changes in certain browsers, Barry Pollard advises “setting width and height attributes on your images to prevent layout shifts and improve the experience of your site visitors.” 📐

Josepha Haden hopes to see “a release squad comprised entirely of people who identify as women” by the end of 2020:

“We’ll be able to increase the number women who have that experience and (hopefully) become returning contributors to Core and elsewhere.”

If you can help realize this goal, please read this post and join in the comments.


Video and Podcast Picks of the Week

📹 Here's the video pick of the week:

  • Women in WP spoke with Birgit Pauli-Haack about her history as a developer and her involvement with many Gutenberg-related aspects of the WordPress community. 🌟

🎙️ Here are some podcasts I've listened to recently that are worth your time:

  • Solopreneurs will benefit from this episode of the Matt Report featuring Cory Miller and Brian Krogsgard on a key question: When is it a good time to get outside help with your startup? You can also learn “how the sausage is made” at Post Status. 🌭
  • Don't forget to check out Cory Miller's conversation with Ken Wallace on Masterminds: what they are, how they work, and the good they can do for you.
  • This episode of Pressing Matters has Elliot Condon in for a deep dive into Advanced Custom Fields blocks. 🤿