WordPress Digest #65: Mostly Gutenberg Stuff But Also a Nordic Metal Reference

This bi-weekly serves to inform and enlighten our minds on latest happenings in the sprawling countryside we call WordPress Land.

Release News

  • The release of WordPress 5.0, with Gutenberg built into core, has been pushed back to November 27 from its originally planned release date of November 19. The decision was made in order to fully address some user feedback and make sure things are fully buttoned up. There’s still a lot of controversy around the release and Matt Mullenweg addressed some of that in a Q&A at WordCamp Portland. The basic gist is this though: it’s coming so you can either adapt or use the old editor but in order for an open source project to succeed, feathers necessarily get ruffled from time to time. He did admit that the process between the Gutenberg team and accessibility team could have been better and that there is room for improvement there…not sure how that really helps the actual product to be more accessible on release, but we shall see. Considering the accessibility team recently made an official statement that stating they cannot recommend Gutenberg to anyone using assistive technology, that would seem to be a red flag to me.
  • In the meantime, if you are really itching to try out WP 5.0, the Beta 4 release dropped yesterday. I was going to rehash the same joke I always make about installing betas onto production sites, but really, how many different ways can I phrase that?
  • The support window for the Classic Editor plugin has been announced: official support through December 31, 2021 with the caveat that at that time they will determine if that needs to be extended based on popularity of the plugin. My prediction is that the plugin will be VERY popular out of the gate but as Gutenberg becomes more accessible and the problems it has now clear up over the next few years, the Classic Editor will wane in usage.

Extending WordPress

  • For those developers who have been too busy to dive into Gutenberg and determine what it really means for their products, there’s going to be a bit of a learning curve, but nothing super crazy. This post on the Make WordPress Core blog caught my eye in that it outlines how to activate (or conversely de-activate) Gutenberg for specific posts and custom post types.
  • WordPress.com and the JetPack plugin have released a new activity feature that shows administrators a running feed of actions and changes initiate through the WordPress admin. This is pretty awesome and a huge plus for sites with lots of content editors and user roles. Keeping tabs on who is doing what is usually cumbersome or required other plugins, but since many sites already make use of JetPack, this is a great new feature. This bullet point was not about Gutenberg.
  • A pretty exciting aspect of Gutenberg is the Gutenberg Cloud project. As part of that project, a new Cloud Blocks plugin has been released. This plugin is a connector to the project, making it possible for users to browse and install open source Gutenberg blocks. This is pretty huge. Also, despite the jokes I make about Drupal, the fact that this project is CMS agnostic is really great too and really in the spirit of open source.

Grab Bag

  • WordPress will now have JavaScript language packs, which is pretty important given the rampant assault on my sensibilities in the form of overuse of JavaScript frameworks… but hey, who asked me, right?
  • WordCamp Nordic tickets went on sale and are selling like gangbusters. All the sponsor packages sold out super fast but none of this really matters to me. I want to go because the hero image on the website paired with the WP logo with the little spike on the top is the most heavy metal thing I’ve seen relating to WP in a long time. If I show up in corpse paint, you think anyone will mind?

Blame it on the rain.” -Milli Vanilli