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Follow-up Questions from WCEU

Matias and I just finished up the discussion and Q&A for the online WordCamp Europe that is going on right now, which was originally happening in Porto.

There were more good questions than we had time to get to, so at the end I suggested that we continue the conversation here, in the comments section! Comments are the best part of blogging.

So if you have a question we didn’t get to, please drop it below. If you don’t have a Gravatar yet now’s a good time to make one.

39 replies on “Follow-up Questions from WCEU”

Was a really interesting presentation, thank you – the image manipulation features in Gutenberg look ace. Quick question – you mentioned last year at WCEU when answering a question on Trac’s usability (or lack of!) that Automattic might look at upgrading the trac UI and/or transitioning more projects towards GitHub – was any progress made with this? Still find the Trac interface a little hard to navigate!

No progress there yet, since a lot of the active development has already moved to Github and the Gutenberg plugin there’s been less pressure on migrating the Trac-based tickets and workflows.

Having in mind auto-updates (core, plugins + themes) and site-health mechanisms have everything necessary for self healing, can we expect such functionality in the core in near future. WordPress need to step up from the mud called not secure, legacy, dreaded, …

I agree! It’s totally possible to run WP in a highly secure way, but we know that a lot of people set it up and then never maintain it, and the sites become a ticking time bomb and also hurt WP’s reputation, though if you were running a 5-year-old version of iOS or Android it could be hacked as well. Right now we can get about a third of sites on a new core version within about a week, I’d like to get that closer to 80%. The situation in plugins and themes is pretty bad, people really don’t upgrade them very often, but I’d like to start tracking what % of all active plugins are on the latest version, and therefore secure.

Right now we can get about a third of sites on a new core version within about a week, I’d like to get that closer to 80%.

The self healing mechanism should target those who forgot their WP instances not updated and to continue safely to use auto-update mechanisms, that is my idea/initiative.

The situation in plugins and themes is pretty bad…

Same here, mechanism should give the same possibility, but also to enable/introduce sort of care for the plugins from its maintainers / authors in order to present the quality towards potential customers.

though if you were running a 5-year-old version of iOS or Android it could be hacked as well

I disagree with this from two perspectives and in public I’ll elaborate one of them. iOS and Android are tight up with hardware and are full OSs, contrary WP is software package that is running under www-data user on system level and here is our advantage. I can run the latest/patched version of WP on my MSI Wind laptop with Ubuntu 16.04, to show green on site health and to serve 200-300 concurrent users. Offtopic: Thumbs up for choosing comment threads for communication and questions, it is much more calm, comfortable! 🙂

I love that you mentioned Automattic supporting startups in the WordPress ecosystem. How would a startup company get in touch with Automattic?

The best would be contacting the head of whatever part of Automattic is most relevant, so if it’s VIP talk to Nick Gernert, or if it’s .org talk to Josepha. If that fails you can always ping me. A warm introduction always makes things better but don’t sweat it if it’s a cold email, just try to include more context then.

Is there a plan to nominate an official gutenberg for a react npm package? I really want one!!!

Thanks for your conversation, Matt. After watching you in WPBlockTalk, WCES and WCEU, and after asking you in WCES about what would you do with a magic wand… one of the biggest questions still remaining is…if the bell that’s always behind you is a giant one or is it a regular one on a perspective trick? ;D You should make it sound the next time!

It’s a giant one! It’s very loud so I don’t usually ring it, but maybe we can for a livestreamed release or something. 🙂

Great conversation today, Matt! I have a question about the future of WordPress:

Each day we see people talking more and more about modern web, meaning the use of technologies like React, JAM stack, web components, etc. We’re seeing a growing effort from the community into modernizing WordPress, specially with Gutenberg. What do you think about the place of WordPress in the modern web and how is this evolving?

It’s nice to see growing overlap between the WordPress world and the JavaScript community. I think sometimes when we label specific technologies as “modern” it can mistake the means for the end, which should be more about using the right tools for the right contexts. I like the fact the Gutenberg name has that double meaning — which both appeals to the impact the development of the printing press brought to humanity, as a modern invention, while also being pre-modern from our historical vantage point of view 🙂

I see it as WordPress adopting and pushing forwards new technologies when it can empower the experience of users creating with it, or people extending the software, but also remaining committed and being mindful of values such as web standards and so on.

Anyway, on a more serious note, I’d like to know your opinion on decentralized tools and their future. Do you see Matrix (with Riot or another solution) replacing Slack for the WordPress community in the near future? Do you think it would make sense to try options like Mastodon (instead of Twitter), Pixelfed (instead of Instagram) to make a better and open web and that we should adopt them and promote them? Thanks!!!

I’d love us to use a fully open source stack wherever we can. I’m personally really excited about technologies like Matrix being an amazing complement to what WordPress does. I would love to use WordPress instead of Twitter and Instagram. Tumblr is not open source yet, but it will be, and hopefully that can add an open source alternative as well.

Good times Matt! There are currently a lot of irons in the fire (Global Styles, Template Parts, Full Site Editing, G2, Patterns, & general UX improvements). How do you feel about our current pace and do you think we should center our focus more to get some of these out the door?

There’s a lot going on, indeed! I’m personally quite happy with the pace and balance between improving what is already there (the main editor experience and design, the APIs, bug fixing, block tools, etc) and furthering the progress on the larger projects. There’s a lot of overlap between them — for example, global styles without some of the infrastructure of full site editing and the block design tools is less appealing — which means they often need to advance a bit in tandem. These feedback loops between projects are useful to make more informed decisions, the same way the feedback loop with theme builders is crucial. That said, I think it’s possible to reduce scope sometimes and get a piece of the puzzle out earlier. Patterns might be a good example where that has been working fairly well since we first released the infrastructure, then the previews, then the inserter UI, and the patterns themselves can be iterated upon.

That said, I sometimes wish we could have a full team dedicated just to something like “reusable blocks”, which hasn’t ben touched in a bit but has a lot of further potential. If folks would like to contribute to any of these areas and help push them further along, please, let me know!

I concur with Matias that part of the reason there’s a lot going on is the parts depend on each other, but once these interlocking pieces start to solidify it will provide a really strong foundation to build on for the long term.

An introductory tutorial would have the most impact if it was able to interact with your own WordPress installation (like a guided tour).
I believe a bundled plugin like “Hello, Dolly” would work best for this.
Highlighting the CORE_UPGRADE_SKIP_NEW_BUNDLED constant (perhaps by collaborating with one-click installers like Softaculous and Installatron) would respect the webmaster’s agency and allow them to tailor their experience to their own (diverse) needs.
Using a bundled plugin approach would also help reduce bloat and improve performance by allowing those who don’t need it to remove it without the need for core edits, or adding even more code to disable it.

I strongly believe that the increasing popularity of Shopify and Wix is due to the fact that there has been a gap(s) in the WordPress ecosystem as it relates to e-commerce.
Both those entities allow some limited e-commerce functionality on their free plans. WordPress.com requires a business subscription, or higher, in order to install plugins and cannot be used to develop an e-commerce store “risk-free” / without upfront investment.
That is why I was delighted to see WooCommerce partner with GoDaddy during April 2020 to offer a 3 month subscription for $1, with access to premium WooCommerce extensions.
The problem is that this offer does not appear in search results on Google when searching for terms such as “start e-commerce store”. Those searches are still dominated by the above-mentioned entities.
Incidentally, when searching “subscriptions WordPress.com”, the first search result is for support -> subscriptions and newsletters. There is no price plan comparison on the first page of my search.
WordPress.com has been a crucial entry point into the entire WordPress ecosystem for non-developers-turned-webmasters-hobbyist-coders.
It is my belief that the mentored BloggingU courses contributed greatly to the growth of the WordPress ecosystem as a whole. While the courses are still available as self-paced courses, they have lost their main value, which was the private P2 blogs where bloggers could network and build a community.

I believe that in order to reach WordPress’ full e-commerce potential, all e-commerce plugins within the WordPress ecosystem, including WooCommerce need to:
– Create migration plugins to lower the barrier of entry;
– Offer more flexible solutions as small businesses scale to medium and medium businesses to large;
– Place the necessary emphasis on user privacy (which is a whole topic on its own);
– Support the necessary audit trails that would be acceptable during control testing for both internal and external audit.

Matias, thank you for such a quick response. I was naively searching npm for Gutenberg. Should have thought to search WordPress. Now I have work to do. I am so excited about what this means for developers and the world. I agree with Matt M. that the Gutenberg editor is becoming my favorite place to write. I find myself in Google Docs trying to hover and find tools that just are not there 🙂 Be proud of your achievements. Take time to be grateful. Such a moment to be a part of!

Hi Matt, you mentioned back in April that there are an estimated 2000+ blocks available for Gutenberg. My finger in the air estimate is that one in ten plugins deliver blocks. Some deliver many blocks, others just the one. I’m trying to create a catalogue of all known blocks associated with plugins on wordpress.org. So far I’ve documented a quarter of your estimate ( over 500) in 10% of the plugins that are associated with blocks. Can you disclose how you obtained that information? And maybe how I can get the list?

Regarding WordPress 5.5. I believe it’s time to start producing end user documentation that will be delivered at the same time as the core release. The #docs team need some support to a) get all the core blocks nicely documented b) get all core editor functionality documented and reviewed and c) to facilitate the translation process. What can the #core-editor and #meta team do to help with streamlining the overall process?

I love the dynamic between you and Matias, What an entertaining way to connect with an audience! My questions didn’t get any attention, but it’s dear to my heart.

On the documentation team we use Google Doc to collaborate on articles about the Block editor. It’s an easy way to onboard new contributors, too. The Copy/Paste parser is brilliant and smart, however most of our articles also have a ton of screenshots. Images are not automatically imported into the Media Library, they link back to the contributors docs, and hinge upon the Google Doc stay available so the images won’t go dead. This adds a ton of extra work to a documentation team, that could use a solution.

It’s not only the documentation team, but it’s every other writer who works in a team of editors and doesn’t have a separate person to publish content. The GitHub issue for this has been open for since August 23, 2017 (#2515) – It would be wonderful if it could make it into WordPress 5.5.

Glad you enjoyed the conversation, Birgit. I totally agree we need to improve the flow of hotlinked images. It has also been discussed in the context of patterns. Hopefully we can have a solution implemented for 5.5.

It’s absolutely amazing what you do and how you try to change the internet. And it’s absolutely brilliant that you succeed every step of the way. I would therefore like to thank you and wish you many more successes in everything you do!

Hi Matt! I love the ideas behind P2/o2, but it seems that they not receiving major updates in a while, is there any plan to continue these projects? If yes, could you share a little more about them? Thanks!

Hi Matt! Inspirational talk, thank you very much!

When we can hope to see multilingualism in the core and how to start to contribute to this to make it happen faster?

Many countries have several official languages and many site owners want to have websites at least in both the local language and English at the same time.
Many popular multilingual plugins don’t work with Gutenberg and it’s difficult to switch to another plugin. We may suspect that it will be complicated to switch to the built-in functionality either, but for new sites and to those who do not have additional languages, this will be a great feature.

Thanks Matias! I too don’t think that “modern web” means necessarily using a specific framework, library or tool. Looking forward to see how WordPress can keep pushing the web forward.

As a graphic designer I loved when “Gutenberg” was chosen as the name of the project 😀

Hi Femy, during in-person WordCamps quite a few cities also help Kids Camps. If you are interested in contributing the Youth Event Working Group meets regularly for a chat in the #community-events channel (next meeting June 11 – 21:00 UTC / 5 pm EDT)

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