The other day I saw and really enjoyed the great Searching for Sugarman documentary, which I’d recommend. While reading more about the entire story of Rodriguez I found that tragically the director of the film, Malik Bendjelloul, took his own life this year. The Observer has a look into his life and his other work, as well as the situation surrounding his death.
Automattic is participating in Movember for the first time this year, and so to join I shaved for the first time in the better part of a decade. (Before and after pictured above.) For those not familiar with it, you shave clean on November first and grow and groom a mostache (no beard, goatee, etc) through the course of the month, and when people comment on how ridiculous you look you encourage them to donate to Movember which is a non-profit which has raised over $500 million and funded over 800 programs in 21 countries. (Wow!)
I doubt I’ll be able to match the ‘stache of some of my more hirsute colleagues, but it’s for a good cause and seems like good fun as well. If you’d consider dropping a few dollars in the hat to support men’s health, here’s the link to the Automattic team page where you can donate to support the entire team, which is currently ranked #163.
“I will personally continue to advocate for equality for all people until my toes point up.”
— Tim Cook
That’s from Tim Cook’s “I’m Proud to be Gay” essay in BusinessWeek today. It’s beautiful, brave, and amazing, and I love that idea of fighting for something until your last breath, it’s a very Southern expression. Here’s to Tim’s toes not pointing up for many, many years to come.
Yesterday I delivered the State of the Word address to the WordPress community, and the video is already up on WordPress.tv.
Here are the slides if you’d like to view them on their own:
If you just want the bullet points, here are the big things I discussed and announced:
- There will be 81 WordCamps in 2014.
- This was the 9th and final WordCamp San Francisco in its current form. We’ve maxed out the venue for years, so next year we’ll do a WordCamp US at a location and date to be determined.
- Milestone: 2014 was the first year non-English downloads surpassed English downloads of WordPress.
- 33k took our survey: 7,539 (25%) of survey participants make their living from WordPress. Over 90% of people build more than one site, and spend less than 200 hours building one.
- We’ve done five major and seven minor releases since the last WCSF, and have had 785 contributors across them.
- WordPress market share has risen from 19% in 2013 to 23% now.
- We now have 34k plugins and 2.7k themes, and have enjoyed record activity on both — including plugins passing 1,000,000 commits.
- 16 releases of our mobile apps, Android and iOS.
- Code Reference launched.
- 105 active meetup groups in 21 countries, with over 100 meetup and WordCamp organizers present at the event.
- Internationalization will be a big focus of the coming year, including fully-localized plugin and theme directories on language sites and embedded on dashboard in version 4.1, which is coming out December 10th.
- Better stats coming for plugin and theme authors.
- Version fragmentation is a big challenge for WordPress, only a quarter of users are currently on the latest release.
- This is also a problem for PHP — we’ll be working with hosts to help with version fragmentation, as well as to get as many WordPress sites as possible running PHP 5.5 or better.
- Showed off 2015 theme.
- We will be testing a workflow for accepting pull requests on our official WordPress Github repository before the end of the year.
- For the first time in 11 years we’re switching away from IRC as our primary communication method. We’ll be moving to Slack, which has helped us set up so that every member of WordPress.org can use it. (During the keynote address the number of people on Slack surpassed our IRC channels, and is currently over 800 people.) Sign up at chat.wordpress.org.
- Five for the Future, with Gravity Forms and WPMU Dev committing to donate, and Automattic now at 14 full-time contributors to core and community.
- We need to work hard to harmonize the REST API plugin and the WordPress.com REST API.
- The mission of WordPress is to democratize publishing, which means access for everyone regardless of language, geography, gender, wealth, ability, religion, creed, or anything else people might be born with. To do that we need our community to be inclusive and welcoming. There is a sublime beauty in our differences, and they’re as important as the principles that bring us together, like the GPL.