Footnotes #414

🛒 Commerce Journey

Black Friday is just 65 days away. Cyber Monday is 68 days away. It's a great time to start your journey in online sales.

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Mel Choyce-Dwan has given us a preview of the Twenty Twenty One theme, which will appear in the upcoming WordPress 5.6 release.

Twenty Twenty One is “designed to be a blank canvas for the block editor” and uses a modified version of the Seedlet theme as its base. It “will come packaged with a bunch of unique patterns” designed for it in an “opinionated” way, but “the theme’s overall design is simple.” 🎨


Jeremy Felt shared his checklist for how he would like comments to work in WordPress. Jeremy mentions webmention support, and I agree it is way overdue. I like the ideas of commenters being able to be notified of comment interactions, along with private comments.

I don't know how much attention these days are going into comments, but I would love to see more progress in this area too. 💬


😫 Developers can easily experience overload, so I enjoyed this post from Tom McFarlin about what's critical to our skillsets as WordPress developers:

“If you’re worried that it’s too hard to keep up with the various parts of WordPress, don’t. Instead, focus on the parts with which you enjoy working and then focus much of your time and effort on becoming the best possible developer you can for that area.”


Here are some tips from SpinUpWP on how to debug and fix the WordPress “White Screen of Death.” ☠️


News for Firefox and Mozilla doesn't seem to be getting better these days, which saddens people like me who currently use Firefox as their primary browser. 😟

Cal Paterson says “Firefox usage is down 85% despite Mozilla's top exec pay going up 400%” and then explains three measures that show what is wrong: overhead, ethics, and results.


Roben Kleene recently published an interesting article that shows the popularity of Visual Studio Code. 👩‍💻

I know WordPress developers use other IDEs (PHPStorm, etc.), but in my observations, the developer community has rallied behind this Microsoft product,  and Roben's data backs that up.


Jeff Starr has published a very nice guide to using code snippets that allow you to customize WordPress Sitemaps, the functionality introduced in WordPress 5.5.

According to Jeff, some good reasons to customize your sitemaps are it increases SEO, tightens security, and minimizes redundancy “to keep things as focused as possible.” 🗺️


Carl Alexander has an update about Ymir, the serverless DevOps platform he is building for WordPress. In the process, he explains how to create a WP-CLI command. 👍


A proposal has been published on the Make WordPress blog that asks for feedback on the idea of licensing Gutenberg under the GNU General Public License, v2 (GPL v2) and the Mozilla Public License v2.0 (MPL v2.0).

Matt Mullenweg notes that allowing people to embed Gutenberg under the MPL might increase its usage outside of WordPress:

“Right now it’s easy to distribute Gutenberg with web apps that aren’t GPL, due to the way browsers link and bundle things, but embedding Gutenberg inside a native app on desktop, iOS, Android, or beyond is not possible unless the entire application is also GPL.”


Speaking of proposals, here is another one that focuses on REST API Authentication. Written by George Stephanis, it proposes to integrate Application Passwords into Core. 🔒

Along with some other benefits, “Application Passwords makes it easy to revoke any individual application password, or wholesale void all of a user’s application passwords.”


Chris Coyier stops to think about the power usage of websites and whether good performance maps to lower energy usage. 🔋

Chris links to a number of good articles and experiments on this subject. At the end of the day though, “The less across the network, the less electricity. The less your browser has to do, the less electricity.” 🌩️


🌲 Pinegrowa new, commercial “web editor” and “website builder”  for Windows, MacOS, and Linux — has an extra add-on feature for building WordPress themes. You can assign “WordPress actions to individual elements on the page” and export your work as “standard PHP WordPress” theme files.

There's a free trial, and the screenshots are very enticing, so I'll probably be giving this a try soon.


Mark Seemann makes the case for why the developer community needs both young and old programmers. 👴


Jane Tracy writes an excellent guide on the vanilla JavaScript basics to know before learning React. 🍨


📅 Conference and Event Updates

  • If you are looking for a WordCamp this weekend, check out WordCamp Philadelphia which will be hosting speakers such as Joost de Valk, Marieke van de Rakt, Topher DeRosia, William Jackson, Bianca Ross, and Jackson Young.
  • The WPMRR Virtual Summit has concluded, but its videos should available for the public soon. The focus of the conference was “100% focused on helping you make monthly recurring revenue work for your WordPress business.
  • WooSesh is back again – happening October 13 and 14th. Chris Lema, Greta Galubauskaitė, Luke Cavanaugh, and Christie Chirinos are among many speakers taking the stage.
  • WP Agency Summit is going on from October 12 to 16th. A free virtual conference that shares “strategies for lead generation, sales, project delivery and a lot more that helps you grow your WordPress agency or freelance business.”

Thinking about starting a podcast? Watch Cory's webinar with Matt Medeiros, Getting Your Podcast Started. 🆓


DAVID'S PICKS 📬

Video Picks

📹 Here is my video pick of the week:

If you are in the mood to have a WordPress meetup play in the background, I would recommend this recent “Mega Meetup” — a collection of a few WordPress meetups into one event.

Michelle Schulp and I hosted this even, answering questions and talking about the block editor. Allie Nimmons kicked it off with “Maximizing Revenue Through Supercharged Maintenance Packages.” Because it was live, there were prizes and giveaways.

Podcast Picks

🎙️ Here are a few podcasts I recommend this week:

  • How I Built It: David Sparks is featured in this episode. David hosts a few podcasts, but he also has written several popular guides which he talks about here.
  • Voices Of The ElePHPant: Here's a nice interview with Sherri Wheeler that revolves around her blog post about “being a developer dinosaur.”
  • Women in WP: I enjoyed this episode that hosted Brittney Oddo. Brittney talks about being a woman of color in the WordPress community. Her business, According to Brittney, is an award-winning content and social media agency.