Footnotes #417

โš ๏ธ Starting on October 24th, you will no longer be able to automatically embed Facebook and Instagram content in WordPress using the default methods due to a breaking change in the Facebook API. ๐Ÿ’ฅ

This post from WPBeginner explains how you may be able to resolve the problems this situation creates. To say this is a pain in the butt for many people (whether they use WordPress or not) is probably an understatement. โ˜น๏ธ


๐Ÿงช Helen Hou-Sandi announced that WordPress core is now running automated tests using GitHub Actions as a runner, in addition to the existing Travis CI and Appveyor runs.

Helen explains where this testing is headed next and shares how people contributing to core will benefit:

“By switching to Github Actions, we are able to take advantage of a unified interface, inline annotations for linting issues in pull requests, the broader open source ecosystem building and using Actions including existing work in Gutenberg, and free availability for public repositories.”


If you have a product or service company and are thinking about promoting a Black Friday deal, Alex Denning has some good advice.

Alex suggests focusing “on putting together a great sale package, rather than a headline discount.” It's best to communicate your sale clearly and early to take advantage of โ€œThe Craze,โ€ and that means you should begin your sale the week before Black Friday. ๐Ÿฆƒ๐ŸŽ„


Yoast has entered a partnership with SEMrush. SEMrush is a large provider of SEO tools and powers some features that are already found in Yoast SEO 15.1. ๐Ÿค


I spotted this tweet from Joost de Valk sharing research from a post by eMarketer where they found signs eCommerce is “jumping ahead by two years” because of COVID. ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ

๐Ÿฌ The article is worth a read, but I'm also noting Joost's thoughts on what he thinks this growth means:

“more [brick and mortar] stores will go bankrupt, commerce will change, and city centers along with it. It also means that if you want to keep your local stores, you have to buy from them NOW, either online or offline.”


Lainey Feingold makes the case that the proposed Online Accessibility Act legislation working through the US Congress is bad for digital inclusion.

Right now disabled people can now file lawsuits about websites and apps that aren't accessible to them, but the new law would require people with disabilities to go through the US Department of Justice first, before any private legal action. โš–๏ธ

As Lainey explains, this would slow down progress toward a remedy and probably result in sites and apps that don't get fixed. Instead of pretending it is about accessibility, the proposed law “should be called a bill to limit web accessibility coverage and lawsuits.” ๐Ÿ‘Ž


Joe Casabona shares his landing page checklist which includes the essentials: headline + text, 2 CTAs, a bio + photo, trust logos, testimonials, long-form text, an email subscription form (or special content in exchange for an email address), and FAQs. ๐Ÿ›ฌ


Here is a nice plugin from Kailey Lampert that checks for the existence of “do not publish” in the post title and stops the post from being published if that text is found. ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™€๏ธ


Neale Van Fleet shows off a nice trick for making a realistic motion blur in CSS in between transitions.


Sucuri has found some malware that can disable security plugins to avoid detection. ๐Ÿ˜จ

This is really devious! Luke Leal explains:

“If a user tries to reactivate one of the disabled security plugins, [the Malware] will momentarily appear to activate only for the malware to immediately disable it again. This behavior will prevail until the malware is fully removed from the compromised environment.”


Roel Magdaleno has created his first npm CLI command for getting statistics about plugins and themes at WordPress.org. ๐Ÿ“ˆ


Great Twitter thread here from Chris Herd on lessons learned from speaking to over 1,000 companies over the past 6 months about their plans for remote work. ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ’ป

Just one sample: “Headquarters are finished: companies will cut their commercial office space by 40-60%.” ๐Ÿ˜ฎ


If you have ever had a problem with dates and MySQL, then you might have had a WTF MySQL moment. ๐Ÿคฏ


Salvatore Sanfilippo has a brief but insightful take on “the open source paradox,” which is “the proportionality between the money people give you for coding something, and the level of demand for the quality they can claim to have about your work.”

On the one hand, “[t]he real right you have, and often donโ€™t exploit, is that you are the only one that can decide about the design of your software.” You don't have to take every contribution and pull request.

On the other hand, if someone shows you a defect, don't make the mistake “of reducing the interaction to a vile matter of money. You are doing work for free, they are risking their asses deploying what you wrote, you both care about quality.” ๐Ÿค—


Leonardo Losoviz has shared his discovery of Rector and transpiling in PHP. ๐Ÿ˜

A transpiler is โ€œa type of translator that takes the source code of a program written in a programming language as its input and produces an equivalent source code in the same or a different programming language.โ€

Leonardo notes that “by transpiling, we can use modern PHP features (such as union types, typed properties, and arrow functions) in themes and plugins, and release them for PHP 7.1.”


This week the Google Search On event took place, and several improvements and changes to search were presented by the company. Edwin Toonen has a summary here. Speaking of search, you can now hum a tune to search for a song. That's nuts. ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŽค ๐ŸŽต


๐Ÿ“… Conference and Event Updates

  • WooSesh took place this week on October 13 and 14th. The videos will be available soon for WPSession members.
  • WP Agency Summit also happened this week from October 12 to 16th. Videos are available until the 18th, after which you have to pay to access them.

DAVID'S PICKS ๐Ÿ“ฌ

Video Picks

๐Ÿ“น Here are my video picks of the week:

If you want to build WordPress communities, two new videos on WordPress.tv are essential viewing:

Podcast Picks

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ Here are a few podcasts for this week:

  • Distributed: in episode #24, Matt Mullenweg chats with Reena Merchant about user experience and trusting ourselves.
  • Hallway Chats: I enjoyed this interview with Emily Hunkler who is director of growth at GoWP. Emily talks about her $20/day travel blog and some other interesting life stories. (If you prefer to read this interview, there's a transcript.)
  • Sucuri Sit-Down: Justin Channell sits down with Sucuri analyst Antony Garand to talk about cross-site scripting and WordPress plugin vulnerabilities.