Footnotes #398

Markdown on Ice

Rich Tabor and Jeffrey Carandang have announced the release of Iceberg, which describes itself as a “beautiful, flexible writing editor for crafting posts with the WordPress block editor.” In other words, install the plugin and open the block editor to bring up a minimalist authoring environment that supports Markdown. 🐧

The Iceberg website has a live demo you can try, but if you want to see it being in WordPress, Brian Krogsgard posted a video with his thoughts about the Iceberg experience.

Iceberg has three price tiers: single site ($49 USD), unlimited sites ($99 USD), and lifetime ($199 USD). It's an impressive product, and I wouldn't be surprised if quite a number of WordPress professionals grab an unlimited license for multiple sites. I'm sure we'll see some enhancements to Iceberg down the road as well.

If you like using Markdown editors and posting to your WordPress sites remotely, check out iA Writer 5.5 for Mac and iOS. I like the copy that promotes its focus on WordPress integration:

“If you run a self-hosted site, you can publish straight to it using the slim IndieAuth plugin instead of the Swiss-Army-Knife that is JetPack.” πŸ‡¨πŸ‡­

If you like using Markdown editors and posting to your WordPress sites remotely, check out iA Writer 5.5 for Mac and iOS. I like the copy that promotes its focus on WordPress integration:

“If you run a self-hosted site, you can publish straight to it using the slim IndieAuth plugin instead of the Swiss-Army-Knife that is JetPack.” πŸ‡¨πŸ‡­

The Full Site Editing project (FSE) is on track to enter WordPress core later this year. That's going to mean a lot of changes for the Customizer and core Customize component. If you'd like to participate in a discussion about the road ahead with the component maintainers, join #core-customize in WordPress Slack at 16:00 UTC Thursday, May 28. πŸ’¬

Anne McCarthy posted a list of the many ways you can keep up with FSE as it speeds along. πŸ’¨

Automattic Invests in New Vector

“One thing WordPress and have in common is a strong, abiding belief in the open web, a rare thing in a world that is dangerously moving towards walled gardens” β€” and that's why Automattic is hiring a Integrations Engineer after investing $4.6M in's parent company, New Vector.

Matrix is an open decentralized communications standard used by New Vector's chat app, Riot. On their blog, the Matrix team describes where this partnership might lead:

β€œImagine if every WP site automatically came with its own Matrix room or community?Β  Imagine if all content in WP automatically was published into Matrix as well as the web? Imagine there was an excellent Matrix client available as a WordPress plugin for embedding realtime chat into your site?”

Natasha Lomas has a deep dive into this story at TechCrunch, noting Matt Mullenweg was an early supporter of Matrix via Patreon in 2017. They've been seeing their growth triple each year for the last two years. πŸ“ˆ

WooCommerce recently launched the WooCommerce Payment feature β€” a native solution powered by Stripe. With it, you can control payments directly in the WordPress back end. It adds a new payment tab that lets you view charges, issue refunds, and deal with disputes. You don’t have to connect to your Stripe account or any third-party site. πŸ›’

If you ever need to migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce, then this guide from Nexcess might come in handy. 🚚

Joshua Strebel explains PHP workers and what they mean for WordPress hosting. He also shares some test results and what to take away from them. For example, “You want to tune the number of PHP workers to consistently use 80-100% of your available CPU capacity.” There are some good tips on general performance issues in this post too. πŸ‘·β€β™€οΈ

Birgit Pauli-Haack shared a big list of Women in WordPress to follow on Twitter. πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»

If you still visit Facebook, then this guide from Michele Butcher-Jones will help you find the better WordPress Groups on that social network. πŸ§‘β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘

Michele recently published an interview with Allie Nimmons, a Support and Customer Success Buff at WP Buffs and a GoDaddy Speaker Ambassador.

Maddy Osman shares some of the most interesting COVID-19 business pivots she has noticed lately “in hopes that they give you some ideas to help you prosper during this time.” 🦠

I can speak from personal experience that I have taken advantage of recent changes and expansions online in the supermarket and restaurant industry. 🍽️

Dries Buytaert has been talking about the power of Open Source in the fight against COVID-19:

“In every crisis, Open Source has empowered organizations to do more with less. It's great to see this play out again. Open Source teams have rallied to help and come up with some pretty incredible solutions when times are tough.”

Github recently introduced CodeSpaces, which is described as “a full Visual Studio Code experience” in the browser. If you code on your iPad or tablet, this is might be something to take a closer look at.

Blocks and Themes

The Themes Review Team has been renamed the Themes Team. πŸ“›

WordPress 5.5 will include checks for PHP and WordPress core version requirements in the theme installer. Users won't be able to install themes whose requirements aren't met. πŸ™…β€β™‚οΈ

BuddyPress 6.0.0 has been released. It includes new blocks for the block editor. πŸ“¦

GenerateBlocks, from the maker of GeneratePress, is a new plugin for building your own blocks inside WordPress using the block editor interface. It's versatile and “insanely lightweight” according to Brian Jackson of ForgeMedia and the Perfmatters plugin. πŸ”Œ

The ACF 5.9 beta is available for ACF PRO customers now. There's a lot coming in this release: a refreshed interface, a lot of new features (row duplication, block editor validation, quick delete), developer treats, and support for InnerBlocks.Β  πŸ†•

Upcoming Events

Take note that WPCampus 2020 Online has changed its dates to July 29-31. πŸ“…

Other event reminders:

  • WordSesh Americas 2020 is coming on May 27th. Registration is free and the lineup looks excellent.
  • The call for speakers for WordCamp US 2020 (October 27-29) has been extended. The new deadline to submit your application is Sunday, May 31, 2020, at 11:59 pm CT (UTC -5) / 4:59 am Saturday (UTC).
  • The JavaScript for WordPress event is happening from July 8 to 10th.
  • On Friday, 29 May 2020 Yoast will be hosting the YoastCon Webinar. This event will be 3 parallel sessions in separate zoom meetings with talks and sessions including a panel in each sessions that is going to review websites.

Video and Podcast Picks of the Week

πŸ“Ή Here's my video pick of the week:

πŸŽ™οΈ This week's podcast and audio picks:

  • Gutenberg Changelog: A wide-ranging discussion around Gutenberg 8.1, upcoming WordCamps, full site editing, community contributions and active development.
  • Ladybug Podcast: Learn all about building developer communities with guest Kim Maida, Head of Developer Relations and Community at Gatbsy.
  • Matt Report: Matt devotes a solid half-hour to “two competing roles in our WordPress community” β€” the builders/programmers and the implementers.