Footnotes #423

We are inching closer to the December 5th release date for WordPress 5.6! 🎁

This pending release will introduce a new user interface to make it easier to opt-in to automatic updates for major versions.

There have been some major Core auto-updates UI changes and miscellaneous developer changes to take note of as well.


The WordPress 5.6 Field Guide πŸ“– has been published ahead of the 5.6 release with everything everyone, from developers to new users, might need to know:

“As a user, you’ll see automatic updates for major core releases (opt-in), external authentication to the REST API via newly introduced Application Passwords, PHP 8 support, the latest and greatest features in the block editor, and a new AAA-ready default theme. As a developer, you’ll see 85 enhancements and feature requests, 201 bug fixes, and more!”


Joost de Valk has released his fourth biannual analysis of the CMS market share numbers provided by W3Techs. There are two winners: “WordPress (and WooCommerce β€œwithin” it) and Shopify.” πŸ†πŸ†

WordPress is the #1 CMS with a 39.0% market share, 4.2% higher than November 2019. Shopify is growing in its #2 position after overtaking Joomla, but that's “only” 3.1% of the market. πŸ“ˆ

Amazingly, WordPress's growth is still accelerating through a global pandemic and politically unstable year.

Here are Joost's predictions for the top five CMSes at the end of 2021 based on current trends:

  1. WordPress – 43.5%
    Shopify – 4.6%
    Wix – 1.8%
    Joomla – 1.7%
    Drupal – 1.3%

Tom McFarlin has shared a great tutorial centered on a mu-plugin that “demonstrate[s] how to add a custom view to the WordPress All Posts page based on a specified category.” πŸ”Œ

This is part of a series Tom is doing about useful tasks with taxonomies with code he's refactoring “into an object-oriented plugin that will serve as a utility plugin for taxonomies in general.”


This article by David Gilbert of Random Wire on Japanese web design has gone around for a while and is worth a read if, like me, you haven't seen it yet. πŸ—Ύ

David asks why Japanese websites are so “different” compared to European and Western site design. I appreciated this feedback from Stephen Cronin when I shared the article on Post Status Slack:

“It's a very similar thing with Chinese web design. I taught IT in China back in 2006-2008 which included a little (Western) web design, but the sites the students were not so secretly browsing in class bore no resemblance to what was being taught! And they haven't changed that much since then, whereas Western web design has moved on a lot.

I think there's an element of what works in the West doesn't (and shouldn't) necessarily work elsewhere. We often map our ideas onto other cultures and think they are lacking somehow, but the more we can look at differences and try to understand them, the better!”


The RefactoringUI website has a post on learning to build your own color palette. Why would you want to do this instead of using a generator? 🎨

“Fancy color palette generators produce results…. This calculated and scientific approach to picking the perfect color scheme is extremely seductive, but not very useful.”


😢 “Mainstream social media is harmful because it puts a single company in control of the human social experience and places them in the role of cultural censor.”

If this statement strikes a chord with you, then you might want to dive into Milo Trujillo‘s exploration of decentralized architecture for social networks and the social implications of network design.

Milo tweeted that he's “reading lots about SSB, Cabal, Mastodon, Keybase, etc, but resources are scattered and I wanted to gather some comparative analysis.” 🐦


Chris Coyier considers how one might create an old-school webring today. πŸ’


Zander Nethercutt thinks we are optimizing ourselves to death. πŸ’€

This is an interesting article that might require more focus than most non-technical writing on sociological topics, but I think Zander makes some good, albeit distressing points.

Will Millennials “remain the burnout generation,” as he thinks? 😫


If you had a “Yes or No” question to ask in your UI, would you use one checkbox or two radio buttons? β˜‘οΈπŸ€”πŸ”˜

Sara Soueidan asked that question on Twitter and collected the responses in a blog post. She came up with a good answer to her great question: it depends! Sara reminds us,

“as with all user interfaces, nothing beats the input you can get from user testing and research. So hopefully the answers above can at least serve as a starting point in situations where you need more to make a decision.”


WP Mayor has gotten a new look with a new logo! 🧐🎩

Gabriella Galea goes into the thought process behind some of the design decisions and takes a look at the main plugins used on the new site.


I organized a “mega meetup” on Zoom in the past week. Over a month in the making, it represented at least eight WordPress meetups, and over 120 people showed up when it started.

Birgit Pauli-Haack was kind enough to write a fine summary, which includes a list of plugins that a panel recommended to anyone building a new WordPress site.

Thanks to GoDaddy Pro, who sponsored the event and provided prizes for the gameshows. Virtual meetups need more gameshows, in my opinion. [DB] πŸ˜ƒ


Upcoming Events

  • There is a call for speakers for WordFest Live 2021 which happens online on January 22, 2021.

    The deadline for speaker submissions is November 18 at midnight UTC. Selected speakers will be notified by December 2. πŸ“…

  • On December 10 at 19:30 UTC, Yoast partner and CTO Omar Reiss and blog team lead Willemien Hallebeek will be guests on the next Gutenberg Times Live Q&A. Omar and Willemien will take us behind the scenes of the making of the Open Source Story, a richly illustrated and interactive post about the nature of open-source software from a collaborative business point of view. Omar and Willemien will share how they built the Open Source Story with the WordPress block editor, explain their approaches, and answer attendees' questions. You can register here. πŸ‘ˆ

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 to listen to this week:

  • WPMRR: In this episode, Joe and Christie ask if your business should get political and discuss Expensify’s political move during the recent election, why society benefits from staying out of politics, the political roots of every business, and how WordPress remains a political space.
  • PHP Internals News: This recent episode has guest Larry Garfield discussing a new RFC he's proposing related to PHP's Short Functions.