WordPress Digest #41

This bi-weekly serves to inform and enlighten our minds on latest happenings in the sprawling countryside we call WordPress Land. In a shocking breach of diplomatic decorum, when asked to shake hands by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the president of WordPressLand exclaimed, “friends don’t shake hands…friends gotta hug,” while lifting the visiting dignitary off the ground.

Release News

  • As I mentioned last issue, WordPress core contributors are debating dropping support for older browsers to allow development of more modern features. They are currently weighing options for how to provide fallbacks for users stuck on older browsers, a much more rational and systematic approach than my personal “kill old browsers with fire and dance on their ashes” approach.
  • WordPress core contributors are putting a lot of focus on making the editing experience better, and to aid in that they put out a survey asking how people are using the editor. I didn’t see the option for “publishing original dog-theme beat poetry” but I’m sure I just overlooked it.

Extending WordPress

  • Apple Pay is now available for WooCommerce, making it super easy for people to checkout with Touch ID. Great. Another thing to worry about when someone cuts off my fingers.
  • Google is retiring its official Adsense WP plugin. Now if only we could convince them to retire banner ads entirely.
  • A new WooCommerce addon allows you to sort users by how much they have spent on the site, making it easy to identify those most likely to buy the latest release in your aromatic toilet seat line.
  • Torque has this nice article outlining the benefits of using the WP-CLI, which is somewhat ironic given that Torque is owned by WPEngine, who doesn’t allow direct access to the command line in their managed WP hosting environments.

Grab Bag

  • Surprise, surprise, people still hate that Gravatar is the default method of managing user avatars in WP. (It’s not surprising, it’s a terrible interface).
  • Norwegian broadcasting company NRKbeta is building a plugin (you’ll need to translate that link) that makes users answer questions about an article before they can comment. If they get the questions wrong, they cannot comment on the article. Their goal is to try and set the bar a little higher in order to elevate the level of discourse on a topic…well…at least higher than visceral-reaction-to-headline territory most comment sections find themselves in.
  • The tech industry isn’t exactly a shining beacon of gender equality, and WordPress is no exception. Marie Dodson at Torque interviewed three women whose careers span various aspects of WP on why it is important for women to be involved and how to get begin to tackle the inequality hurdle. I may have mixed some metaphors there, but seriously, hire more women.

“The fastest way to Make America Stupid: Cut funds to programs that support education. The fastest way to Make a America Weak Again: Cut science funds to our agencies that support it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, 3/19/2017