Footnotes #413

Entrepreneurship and mental health may have a lot of overlap. Dr. Sherry Walling is working with Dr. Michael Freeman to understand the mental health needs of entrepreneurs in a new research project you can help them with. 🧑

They have put together a 4-minute anonymous survey and are trying to get it in front of as many people as possible. Ultimately, they need 1,000 entrepreneurs to respond. Please share it and take a minute to complete it. πŸ™


The Gutenberg 9.0 release is out with a focus on navigation screen improvements. It has a new look and supports drag and drop inside the list view now. The query block has gained search, filtering by author and support for tags. πŸ†•


BuddyPress 6.3.0 is out with some bug fixes, so make sure you are updated. According to the latest dev chat notes, we might see a 7.0 release in October. πŸ‚


Thierry Muller has a proposal to opt-in to large image previews by default when the β€œSearch Engine Visibility” setting is turned on in WordPress.

That would allow search engine results “to display large images resulting in an enhanced user experience and CTR (click-through rate).” πŸ–ΌοΈ


As noted by M Asif Rahman, the WordPress Plugin Directory now has a release confirmation mechanism for new commits. Following a commit that updates a plugin's stable tag value, the committer receives an email with a link they must click to confirm the release. πŸ”Œ


Ryan Welcher announced in Post Status Slack the launch of the GoodFirstBugs Twitter bot that finds issues tagged as “Good First Issue” in Gutenberg as well as Core Trac tickets. It's a pretty great concept, and I would love to see more people spread the word about it. πŸ›


HeroPress has some insightful lessons learned by Tijana Andrejic as she breaks down the five things that helped her start a freelance career. Some good advice for beginners: question your motives, develop your WordPress skills, and plan ahead.

Tijana also shares some tactics that helped land her first freelancing job, but in a twist of sorts she decided to pursue a completely different path:

“It’s just important to stay focused on your goals and to be open to new opportunities… If you were wondering why I’m not a freelancer anymore, this is where the answer lies. By constantly being interested in different opportunities, I realized that freelancing is not the only way to achieve my goals.”

Never assume your current goal is your ultimate destination. πŸ₯Ύ


Dave Rupert writes about the value of browser diversity and narrows down his feelings about it to two major value propositions:

πŸ‘‰ Browser diversity keeps the web slow deliberately.
πŸ‘‰ Browser diversity fosters consensus and cooperation over corporate rule.

While the slowness has downsides, it also has benefits. Dave concludes:

“If we do see a major reduction in browser diversity, I think we lose the intentional slowness and the cooperation mechanisms we have in place. Who knows what will happen, but my hope is that just like iron can sharpen iron, maybe chromium can sharpen chromium.”


Lars Wikman shows how you can use CSS to track users that have JS disabled, and asks if this is “evil.” 😈

“The ugly side is that there are things that you can do to indicate every single link your users hover, even if they are blocking all JS. You can absolutely use this to do things I consider somewhat of an overstep that are probably just table stakes in the analytics space.”


Iain Poulson walks through development environment setups for WordPress β€” how to install WordPress locally, wrangle the database, and start debugging. It's nice a comprehensive guide for anyone starting out or retooling. πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»


Now that Restrict Content Pro has been sold to iThemes, the transition team that will be working on it has been introduced by AJ Morris. πŸ‘


Github CLI 1.0 is now available. With it, you can “run your entire GitHub workflow from the terminal, from issues through releases.” πŸ”§


After years in the making with funding by the Google News Initiative, The Membership Guide has been released by The Membership Puzzle Project and The Lenfest Institute. πŸ—žοΈ

The Membership Guide offers best practices, case studies, and practical advice for creating and maintaining relationships and memberships with readers. While this material is geared toward online journalism that engages its audience as a community of supporting members, it has a lot of clear relevance to open source communities, writers and publishers, as well as digital product owners.


πŸ“… Conference and Event Updates

  • The first rounds of speakers for the first WP Accessibility Day have been announced. This conference is a 24-hour global online event that will begin on Friday, October 2, 2020. The organizers are looking for volunteers and sponsors. πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ
  • The FemTechConf is an event “for empowering women in the tech world” that is expecting 30,000+ attendees on September 25th. Mary Job might have a few free tickets available if you are a woman and interested in attending. πŸ’ͺ
  • πŸ’Ό WPMRR Virtual Summit (September 23rd and 24th.) Free, online. The focus will be “100% focused on helping you make monthly recurring revenue work for your WordPress business.” Scroll down the homepage where they publicly list the MRR (monthly recurring revenue) numbers from the speakers who will be participating! πŸ’Έ

DAVID'S PICKS πŸ“¬

Video Picks

πŸ“Ή Here are my video picks of the week:

Podcast Picks

πŸŽ™οΈ Here are a few podcasts I recommend this week:

  • Women in WP: I enjoyed this interview with Milana Cap who has a background in opera and β€” more familiar to my own experience β€” some websites that are “Frankenstein monsters.” 🧟
  • Syntax FM: Wes Bos and Scott Tolinski explain how you can improve your CSS.
  • The Matt Report: David Darke is featured in this episode. He talks about his process for connecting with clients at Atomic Smash, especially in a COVID-affected world.
  • Think Like A Hacker: New to me, this is a weekly podcast about WordPress, security, and innovation that covers recent news stories. Episode #86 covers the File Manager plugin zero-day vulnerability discovered about a week ago.
  • WP Hacker Cast: I highly recommend this great talk with WordPress lead contributor Helen Hou-Sandi. According to Jonathan Bossenger, Helen is “the reason this whole podcast exists.”