Dev Branch

EP33 – Our 2024 Predictions

January 5, 2024

On this episode of Dev Branch, titled “EP33 – Our 2024 Predictions,” the panel, including Jason Tucker, Sé Reed, and Jason Cosper, delve into their predictions and expectations for WordPress in 2024. The discussion kicks off with a focus on WordPress’s development and the potential improvements and changes anticipated in the upcoming year. They explore topics such as the implementation of automatic update rollbacks in WordPress, the challenges with the current release schedule, and the desire for fewer, more impactful updates.

A significant part of the conversation revolves around the Fonts API, particularly the integration of custom fonts in WordPress and the possibility of a WordPress-specific font library. This ties into a broader discussion about WordPress’s evolution towards a more modular and customizable platform, catering to diverse user needs.

Another major theme is the user experience within the WordPress admin interface. The panel discusses the complexities of user role management and the need for a more streamlined, intuitive approach to handling different user roles and capabilities, especially as WordPress continues to grow and evolve.

Lastly, the episode touches on the rise of AI-generated plugins and the potential impact on the WordPress ecosystem. The team speculates on how this trend could lead to a proliferation of similar plugins, making the case for integrating more fundamental functionalities into the WordPress core.

In summary, the episode provides insightful predictions and desires for WordPress in 2024, focusing on development improvements, user experience, and the impact of emerging technologies like AI on the platform.


0:00:00 – Introduction
0:01:50 – Discussing WordPress Development and Automatic Update Rollbacks
0:03:10 – The Fonts API and Custom Fonts in WordPress
0:06:59 – User Experience and Admin Interface in WordPress
0:10:03 – AI and Its Impact on WordPress Plugin Ecosystem
0:15:02 – Modularization and Customization of WordPress
0:20:19 – The Complexity of User Role Management in WordPress
0:25:58 – Potential Changes and Improvements in WordPress Core
0:30:07 – Predictions for WordPress Development in 2024
0:35:10 – The Rise of AI-Generated Plugins
0:40:03 – Closing Remarks and Episode Wrap-up

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Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] Sé Reed: Hi! We’re here!

[00:00:12] Jason Tucker: This is episode number 33 of DevBranch, our 2024 predictions.

[00:00:18] Sé Reed: Productions.

[00:00:22] Jason Tucker: I’m Jason Tucker. Go over my website, jasontucker. blog,

[00:00:29] Sé Reed: I’m Sé Reed and I need a new picture. I do stuff at Sé Reed Media on all the things!

[00:00:36] Jason Cosper: And y’all know, who is it? Happy new year.

[00:00:44] Jason Tucker: and go over and listen to our podcasts. And you can even review it if you like on all the places that you can find great podcasts. And if you want to come and hang out with us. You can do so over on our discord. Go over to our discord at WPwatercooler. com slash discord. We also do a little after show as well, using our discord too.

[00:01:04] Jason Tucker: So we’ll see you over there.

[00:01:07] Sé Reed: We also just got a message from our discord an active our discords actually a really great place to get news these days, especially since the tavern and all the post status is going wherever it’s going. And tavern’s going wherever it’s going. The latest news though is that.

[00:01:25] Sé Reed: There was just an earthquake in Southern California, so we’re all fine.

[00:01:29] Jason Cosper: No,

[00:01:30] Jason Tucker: most, we didn’t fill it.

[00:01:31] Sé Reed: Yeah, I didn’t feel it but it was just reported in the Discord. 4. 8 in San Bernardino.

[00:01:36] Jason Tucker: Oh, sambor do.

[00:01:39] Sé Reed: I just, I, it was interesting, because that was coming through on the Discord when you were saying that, and I was like, look, this is a really this is it’s, 2024 is the year to join the Discord. Come chat.

[00:01:50] Jason Cosper: Yeah. That is that your your 2024 prediction say is that The year of the Discord?

[00:01:58] Jason Cosper: yeah, will become even more popular than it is already.

[00:02:02] Sé Reed: what, okay, not to, I’m not going to take this out of the dev branch frame, but I do want to say that the dev branch. The channel, no I don’t want to, I want to keep it clean the DevBranch channel in our Discord is actually a really great place I know some folks have been getting help with things, we can talk stuff out there’s like dev updates and news, so It’s actually it’s been very helpful as a channel, and it’s not just, we’re not all in there just chit chatting and posting hot takes.

[00:02:37] Sé Reed: There is a channel for hot takes so there, there are hot takes. But The DevBranch channel and the Happiness and Support channel have been really thriving. I think we’ve been having some really interesting technical discussions, and there are some fairly official people in there who can answer questions about various products.

[00:03:00] Sé Reed: You should come in, that’s all I’m saying. Come join the, come splash on in. That’s my plug. Happy 2024.

[00:03:10] Jason Cosper: So speaking of 2024, this is now new year, new like prospects, directions that we can take. Same old us, same old me,

[00:03:27] Sé Reed: Same old me.

[00:03:28] Sé Reed: We’re still here. What about you, Tucker? Same old Tucker?

[00:03:33] Jason Tucker: Yeah. I just, I, there’s just, there’s always something going on.

[00:03:39] Jason Cosper: Sure.

[00:03:40] Sé Reed: kitchen yet?

[00:03:42] Jason Tucker: No. We’re past that. We’re done at this point.

[00:03:45] Sé Reed: Okay, yeah it’s, so it’s same Tucker, new kitchen.

[00:03:49] Jason Tucker: Yeah, the new kitchen was awesome. It worked out great for New

[00:03:52] Sé Reed: There you go.

[00:03:53] Jason Tucker: Things went well with it.

[00:03:54] Jason Cosper: Nice.

[00:03:55] Sé Reed: I do, I have a new, if we’re being myopic at the moment, I do have a new sort of frame for DevBranch, which you heard a little earlier, that I really want to at least personally make the distinction that the the extracurricular talk of the community and the business side of stuff and all of that other kind of hallway track conversation.

[00:04:19] Sé Reed: I personally am going to try to keep that really on Watercooler and then DevBranch can really hone in on just general development and not have to have all the The kind of, I don’t know what to call it. It’s not like clutter. It’s the extemporaneous stuff or

[00:04:38] Jason Cosper: We’ve never been shy about getting in the weeds in DevBranch. And that’s Yeah.

[00:04:45] Jason Cosper: let’s,

[00:04:46] Sé Reed: Leave the weed in the water.

[00:04:51] Jason Cosper: we are five minutes in let’s let’s dive into them weeds. Shall we?

[00:04:57] Jason Tucker: Sounds

[00:04:58] Sé Reed: Wait, are we staying out of the weeds or diving into the weeds? I’m not

[00:05:01] Jason Cosper: We’re getting into the weeds.

[00:05:04] Sé Reed: All right, let’s go. The dead weeds.

[00:05:07] Jason Cosper: Yes. So 2024 like I was saying it’s a new year. The cycle on WordPress 6. 5 has kicked off. There’s some stuff that has carried over from previous years that much carried over from 6. 4.

[00:05:31] Jason Cosper: That is supposedly coming in 6. 5 I would really love to see the automatic update rollback stuff make it into.

[00:05:43] Sé Reed: what?

[00:05:45] Jason Cosper: I have been caping for that my compatriot over at dreamhost hosts has really been talking it up and is just excited for it as,

[00:06:00] Sé Reed: All the sense. Every

[00:06:03] Jason Cosper: As

[00:06:03] Sé Reed: of it.

[00:06:04] Jason Cosper: who works at a web host, who is constantly letting customers know when they have a security issue with their plugin.

[00:06:15] Jason Cosper: Who like, Hey, you got to update this like stat. It, it really behooves everyone in the hosting space to like. Have this working and everything else. And I know that there are hosts out there who lean on some kind of visual regression testing and things like that, but having something built into core.

[00:06:39] Jason Cosper: So if a core auto update fails, that it’ll roll back and. In in security, you don’t want that thing to roll back. If there’s a security patch or something like that, but keeping folks up to date on their stuff is going to be very big. And,

[00:06:59] Sé Reed: Yeah! Up to date in 24.

[00:07:02] Jason Cosper: I am

[00:07:02] Sé Reed: got to be a rhyme that I can

[00:07:03] Jason Cosper: hoping that we land that I’m really hoping that we get to and I had

[00:07:11] Sé Reed: there’s three releases. There’s three releases every year. I completely disagree with the release schedule. Especially after having been on the release squad last for 6. 4. It is not in any way conducive. to community participation, as far as I’m concerned. I understand that things need to roll on, but anyway, maybe at least two, two releases and a pickup release deal, I think maybe is more of the focus.

[00:07:41] Sé Reed: I think the turnover time is bonkers, because we keep punting things. But If there’s only two releases and we’ve got the entire year if there’s two and a half releases and we have the entire year, I feel confident that at the very least, the, what’s, it’s the plug in rollback, what is it exactly called?

[00:08:01] Sé Reed: Do you remember what it’s called exactly? Rollback plug in. The thing where you roll back the plug ins if you update them automatically. That one.

[00:08:11] Jason Cosper: core any automatic updates that happen through the rollbacks already happen. If you do an update through your WordPress dashboard. Just doesn’t do it, right? If there’s an actual error.

[00:08:28] Jason Cosper: Yeah. So if things roll or if you hit the update button, if you are actually in your WordPress dashboard, you update a plugin, you update core, anything like that, and or theme if there is an issue, it will make an attempt to roll things back. And

[00:08:49] Sé Reed: thought of it more as it doesn’t finish the installation, but I guess it’s the same thing. It does the install, something doesn’t work, and then it essentially does roll it back re rewrite it. I was always thinking of it as being, like, it didn’t take the final step of the install if it didn’t work there, but

[00:09:07] Jason Cosper: Yes.

[00:09:07] Sé Reed: don’t know how that works, honestly.

[00:09:09] Jason Cosper: that and this is maybe interesting to some, I know, Sé, you said we’d try to keep the community and our I’ll keep that. You can break that as much as you want. Yeah.

[00:09:24] Jason Cosper: Sure but this is something that Matt said in a state of the word back when we didn’t even have WordCamp US,

[00:09:32] Sé Reed: only been, wait, nine minutes and 34 seconds into the damn show. I’m talking about Matt. God. That

[00:09:40] Jason Cosper: at I think the final WordCamp San Francisco and said maybe it was that, or the second to last one where he would like WordPress and the updates that happen to WordPress and plugins and themes and everything else. So this is a long time coming,

[00:09:59] Sé Reed: long time. I remember that he said he wanted it to be like Chrome

[00:10:03] Sé Reed: It was just, everything was updated. That was. It’s like 2012 or like 2013, literally 10 years

[00:10:11] Jason Tucker: Wow.

[00:10:12] Jason Cosper: yeah. WordPress was still just a baby at 10 years old instead of 20. But so this

[00:10:22] Sé Reed: sorry. Any 10 year old will tell you, I’m not a baby, I’m a kid. So it was just still a kid does let’s not get crazy,

[00:10:29] Jason Cosper: So I am really excited for this because it will be a realization of that idea. And while I don’t necessarily agree with the full statement that was said during that WordCamp where it’s you won’t even know what version of WordPress you’re running. And most people don’t know what version of WordPress they’re

[00:10:52] Sé Reed: right? But other

[00:10:54] Jason Tucker: they can’t install something.

[00:10:56] Jason Cosper: exactly. Until they can’t install something.

[00:10:59] Sé Reed: Let’s be clear. The wordpress. com people do not know what version of WordPress they’re running. So

[00:11:05] Jason Cosper: If I recall correctly for at least for a while WordPress. com was running on trunk. So like they were getting all of the nightly. Updates and things that were going into WordPress core wordpress. com, at least for a little while. And this might’ve been like back in 2005, 2006 was like

[00:11:31] Sé Reed: at one point this happened,

[00:11:33] Jason Cosper: Yeah, I do remember standing around a WordCamp and Barry or somebody was talking about it and I was just like, you guys are what?

[00:11:47] Sé Reed: you got to look up Barry people cause I had to figure out who that was too. It’s a WordPress old school back end runner of things. These, there’s these people who are like literally we talk about like the people holding up small parts of the internet. I think there’s also people holding up small parts of WordPress, as we learned with the plug in review team, and it’s the fact that one person is was doing the work of 20.

[00:12:15] Sé Reed: I think, I hope the earthquake didn’t bother you. Yeah, so this is like really making that happen, like a possibility for because A big problem that I know a lot of us had on Watercooler we had with the automatic updates back in the day was that it would break stuff. And there wasn’t a way, you had to literally get back into the backend rename your plugins folder or whatever it was to get back in to do the thing.

[00:12:45] Sé Reed: And it all required backend access to fix things,

[00:12:48] Jason Cosper: I don’t want to name names, but there were at least a couple of Yoast. Okay. I’m going to name

[00:12:53] Sé Reed: I guess.

[00:12:54] Jason Cosper: but there were at least a couple of Yoast updates that cratered more than a few sites when an auto update ran through and people had to scramble. I remember having to support that, but

[00:13:08] Sé Reed: The 6. 4 update also scrambled a bunch of people with its automatic updates because of the the what was that? The I don’t

[00:13:18] Jason Cosper: Speaking of Barry, Barry had to fix a thing with cURL and the way that cURL

[00:13:24] Sé Reed: Pearl, that’s it. Yeah.

[00:13:25] Jason Tucker: oh my

[00:13:26] Sé Reed: On the fly.

[00:13:27] Jason Cosper: to work around but staying on 6. 5, staying on the next release and stuff this, these aren’t really predictions. This is the roadmap but Courtney brought it up and it was something that I was already going to talk about the fonts API.

[00:13:45] Jason Cosper: It’s a thing that’s coming I think,

[00:13:49] Sé Reed: hold on. When we say fonts API, are we talking specifically about the fonts manager, which was punted from 6. 4 to 6. 5, or is this an additional expansion of that?

[00:13:59] Jason Cosper: no that, that

[00:14:00] Sé Reed: It’s that, right?

[00:14:01] Jason Cosper: I believe that’s what Courtney is talking about, but a way to manage custom fonts in WordPress to a thing that I would eventually like to see the kind of thing, the way that it’s going right now. Is it will let you grab fonts from Google fonts, which has a bunch of like open license licensed fonts.

[00:14:31] Jason Cosper: It will install those fonts onto your system. I don’t love that there is something like there, there is a way also to upload your own fonts. However What if we, okay,

[00:14:48] Jason Cosper: The big integration is through Google fonts right now. And I would really like to see something that doesn’t necessarily phone home to Google anytime that I want to like, yeah,

[00:15:02] Sé Reed: that’s what I was just about to say, I was like, oh my gosh, what about a open font from WordPress, like fonts. wordpress. org, where you could go and that would be so cool! And you could also test them on there, you could playground it and be like, go test your fonts! Any of these fonts that are loaded in your playground, oh that would be so fun!

[00:15:20] Sé Reed: And also great, because it would be inherent, people could load their fonts into it, like it would be like a, like the plugin directory, or the theme directory, there’d be a font directory. And that kind of ties into the kind of open verse concept also, or where it’s the photos are available within your admin, they’re like right there.

[00:15:40] Sé Reed: So then it’d be like, here’s this amazing treasure trove of fonts. And again, with, it is available because of Google, but if we’re trying to be our own little world, that would be so cool. I love fonts. That would be really fun. And also, you know what that would speak to? The design bent that a lot of the project leadership has.

[00:16:02] Sé Reed: That could be a little fun place for them

[00:16:04] Jason Cosper: I am a web nerd of a certain age. I spent a lot of time in Adobe,

[00:16:13] Sé Reed: on my Mastodon profile now. A web nerd of a certain age.

[00:16:18] Jason Cosper: I I have spent a lot of time in Photoshop, in Adobe InDesign back in the day and making zines I, I had the So many a thousand free fonts and of course like CDs and everything.

[00:16:41] Jason Cosper: And of course only like seven of the fonts on those thousand free fonts were any good, but oh man just digging through all of those fonts. I would I

[00:16:53] Jason Cosper: That is what my bookmarks are right now is just a bunch of fonts where I’m just like, Oh, this one’s pretty. Oh, this one’s let me find a reason to do this.

[00:17:04] Jason Cosper: The WPwatercooler logo is just because I was like, Oh, I found this really cool font. Hey Tucker, I made a new logo. And of

[00:17:13] Sé Reed: Can I make something with this font, please?

[00:17:15] Jason Cosper: Yeah. Yeah. What do you think of this? And Tucker’s yeah, it’s cool. Let’s go with it. And fonts, man,

[00:17:24] Jason Tucker: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:17:25] Sé Reed: font it up. I think that would be so cool. I would love to be on a font team. That’d be neat. I think that would there’s, there are design opportunities within contributing to WordPress, but this would bring, this would really bring in a whole new world, and I think it would really really speak to the, the arty web people.

[00:17:48] Sé Reed: That are out there. And the people who also sometimes don’t want to use Google fonts for everything because of the Googleness of it. The proximity to evil. It’s really if we’re trying to like obviously we’re all attached to the Google at some, in some form or another. But I know that it’s nice to I think it feels like it’s possible to create alternatives now.

[00:18:14] Sé Reed: As opposed to before, it was just like just use the Google because you can’t you can’t, there’s no other choice. But I feel like that a font’s like its own font library, WordPress’s own font library would really speak to the community and expand, give it an expansion point to the community. I love it.

[00:18:37] Jason Cosper: So far, like I said we’ve kept talking about just what’s on the roadmap. That’s, I don’t feel like that is interesting enough to necessarily hang a show on. Tucker you were talking a little bit about how you had plenty to say this episode and you’ve been fairly quiet.

[00:18:56] Jason Cosper: I’ve been dominating the conversation. So please I would love to hear from you. I would love to hear some Tucker takes.

[00:19:07] Jason Tucker: I’ve been using, I’ve been using micro. blog as my blogging platform for my website and

[00:19:14] Sé Reed: you’ve been using what?

[00:19:15] Jason Tucker: micro. blog as

[00:19:18] Sé Reed: You are such an experimenter.

[00:19:19] Jason Tucker: And so I,

[00:19:20] Sé Reed: a tinkerer.

[00:19:22] Jason Tucker: Yeah you get burnt out on something and I’ve

[00:19:27] Sé Reed: I know that

[00:19:28] Jason Tucker: out on WordPress. I’ve been very burnt out on WordPress, to be honest, and I wanted something ultra simple and just like type in some stuff, hit submit, it makes it into the Fediverse and everything’s happy and it just, it has no frills is like the most basic thing ever for me.

[00:19:45] Jason Tucker: And I’m really enjoying it. And I think it’s a, I think it’s a great, it’s a great way to go back to what you want to do with your website, which is I just want to write content and. Put stuff out there and that’s it. It’s long form, short form. That’s it. I’m not trying to do anything else.

[00:20:02] Jason Tucker: And so it really pisses me off when I go to my other website. And I need to go and write something and I’m like, Oh,

[00:20:08] Sé Reed: You mean this

[00:20:09] Jason Tucker: no, I actually have to drag blocks around and I got to do this and that. And I got to worry about how this is going to look. And did I test this and whatever?

[00:20:17] Sé Reed: around. I really hate it.

[00:20:19] Jason Tucker: I know it’s the worst.

[00:20:20] Sé Reed: I end up using the little arrows just because the dragging is so annoying. So I’m like, I feel like it’s so pedantic, like it’s yeah, I don’t want to get into that, but I do feel like it doesn’t feel, it feels very like analog for being a tech.

[00:20:41] Sé Reed: I’m like, I don’t know how this feels analog, but somehow it does. He’s

[00:20:47] Jason Cosper: Do you want to maybe try playing around with ClassicPress and seeing if that scratches your itch too? I actually don’t want to, I don’t want to at all.

[00:20:59] Sé Reed: enough left lost causes on his plate.

[00:21:01] Jason Tucker: yeah I think what I’m finding is when in doing this is that I don’t have to worry about updates. I don’t have to worry about any extra pieces, plugins. It has a plugin technology, but it’s very basic. And so I don’t know. It’s just, if I’m going to write something, I don’t want to log in and have there’s a hundred tasks I have to do before I can actually do the thing. Cause I’m not one of those people that has to like make all the notification bubbles disappear on my phone, where I know some folks in my family are very much hypersensitive to that where I’m not. But when I log into my website, I’m just, I don’t want to see 500 plugin updates that are like waiting for me to do it.

[00:21:40] Jason Tucker: And I’m like, Oh, I gotta go take care of those now.

[00:21:44] Sé Reed: Why were there balloons?

[00:21:46] Jason Tucker: Cause you’re on a Mac.

[00:21:48] Sé Reed: What?

[00:21:50] Jason Tucker: It’s cause

[00:21:50] Sé Reed: What just happened? Did you say something?

[00:21:52] Jason Cosper: You you made a gesture that apparently your max camera picked up and

[00:21:58] Sé Reed: just happened? Sorry, I was listening intently. I was paying attention, and my computer won’t even let me

[00:22:04] Jason Tucker: Yeah,

[00:22:05] Sé Reed: trying to listen in 2024, and I’m sitting here listening, and my computer’s here’s a squirrel. What the

[00:22:11] Jason Cosper: Even your computer has ADD this completely tracks.

[00:22:16] Jason Tucker: Oh my gosh.

[00:22:19] Sé Reed: Oh my God. That’s true. I’m sorry. I interrupted you with my balloons That’s all right. So the other thing I’ve been I’ve been thinking about is in regards to like how my work uses WordPress. So we’re on like an older version of Beaver Builder, because we had a collection of different plugins and different pieces of of yeah, plugins and themes and whatnot that just.

[00:22:44] Jason Tucker: Stopped working. Oh, I hate

[00:22:47] Jason Tucker: that I was, I know. And you’re just like, what am I going to do? Do I need to like. Rebuild this whole website?

[00:22:52] Sé Reed: is why I’ve not built out anything in and I’m going to build some stuff this year, but for that same reason, if something’s not like when you do that, when you start building in a

[00:23:03] Sé Reed: And then it all you can’t trust it, it all collapses or this isn’t, you have to keep swapping things out.

[00:23:10] Sé Reed: That is just so frustrating because you get to a point where you are like, I have to basically rebuild, I can’t like back out of this choice and then you’re like transferring data and moving tables around and Oh yeah.

[00:23:23] Sé Reed: then you’ve got old tables from dead plugins that Oh, nightmare.

[00:23:30] Jason Tucker: Yeah. And the thing is like I’ve said before, like WordPress at work is like 10 percent of my job. I’m like. Neck deep and all sorts of other technologies I’m having to worry about. And so WordPress is outside of what it is, and I’m supporting a team that is our communications team, and they have their own stuff they have to worry about, and it’s just content.

[00:23:51] Jason Tucker: And so they just want their content to work. And I don’t know, it’s

[00:23:55] Sé Reed: We should talk about your next Airtable integration for that.

[00:23:58] Jason Tucker: yeah. Can help you with that, Tucker.

[00:24:03] Jason Tucker: that would definitely be the thing

[00:24:05] Sé Reed: have a,

[00:24:06] Jason Tucker: try

[00:24:06] Sé Reed: for you. Actually, this actually works with the idea of those kind of dead ends because if you can take your data Which is really funny if you’re taking your data that is your extemporaneous data out of the WordPress database and then only put in very standardized, specific things, it is much easier to manage the site than it is if people are going directly in there, because then you can I know it’s, and this is actually, this is sad because the whole idea is that you could log into your WordPress, you could do all this stuff, but you To a point now, it’s you can do too much and you have to take so many actions.

[00:24:48] Sé Reed: Like I’m always, for my various clients, I’m always like setting up all these different different roles and different permissions and different admin screens and blocking things out. So they’re not, they don’t log in and see all the notifications that make it look like it’s broken to them.

[00:25:03] Sé Reed: And so those become plugins that are managing all of that stuff. I actually had a real issue. I have an issue with that specific thing. on a site that is using User Editor Pro User Role

[00:25:16] Jason Tucker: Oh yeah. The one that you can’t buy it

[00:25:19] Sé Reed: in Russia! Yeah, and so they literally can’t update it and I have to figure out because I finally am gonna oh I should probably figure this out because it’s out of date.

[00:25:29] Sé Reed: Either I buy it directly and then they reimburse me, which is fine, but like I’m still purchasing a Russian plugin and I love the idea of, that shouldn’t be a problem, but like just in terms of, I don’t even know what that is, like having that transaction on my like

[00:25:46] Jason Tucker: I wish that was, I wish that was a little bit more built into WordPress. Like I don’t need every bell and whistle that’s in that plugin, but man, do I need some of the basic ones. Yeah. And that, and

[00:25:58] Sé Reed: something that could be on 2024’s list. That might be relevant. The way that the project leadership approaches the design of the admin is so just design based and has nothing to do with users, but I think we all know, and all the people who make sites for clients know, or even people who just want to log in and not see all that stuff, or have a different account where they could just blog.

[00:26:24] Sé Reed: Like

[00:26:25] Sé Reed: It would make so much sense to tie in user roles and admin dashboard management with the new admin update. Like that’s a real opportunity. I haven’t actually thought of that before or seen that out there,

[00:26:41] Jason Cosper: that’s something, and it seems the way that they’re pushing as we are taking, and this is something that phase three of Gutenberg, it’s something that they’re working on, they are trying to move forward with the collaborative editing aspect they’re turning, or they’re going to be turning WordPress into effectively, they’re going to turn the the editing interface into not

[00:27:15] Sé Reed: It’s not even Google Docs. Yeah. Canva?

[00:27:18] Jason Cosper: it into a multiplayer, like editing experience,

[00:27:26] Sé Reed: So that makes the permissions and the roles even more important because you want to have, say you’re working with your marketing team, you don’t want them you might have someone who’s an admin or who’s an has a higher permission than the other person. So there’s will that person be able to see live data or is it like in Google Docs where you have your viewer?

[00:27:45] Sé Reed: Your reader, your editor or your viewer, your editor and your owner, whatever, like those levels, if we’re talking about that kind of collaboration, it’s obviously on the backend, like we’re, those are separate users that have to be there managing those user roles. Should be at the when I’m thinking about it like that, should be baked in.

[00:28:08] Sé Reed: There should be a way to have some we obviously have the basic user roles, right? Whatever those are, but they are so limited. Like you still have to add in the create post. And I’m going to talk a little bit about how you can use posts differentiation to differentiate between creating posts and pages and editing posts and pages.

[00:28:29] Sé Reed: That’s not even separated by default. It’s like you can create it and edit it, and it’s just that’s actually a relief from a, especially if you’re doing smaller things or custom post types, that you need someone to be able to create something but not edit it The fact that I have to add in extra permissions specifically for that tiny, very clearly differentiated role or action or capability is what I’m trying to say, is that should be baked in.

[00:29:01] Sé Reed: Like those capabilities, there should be absolutely some baked in capability management. Into the collaboration.

[00:29:11] Jason Cosper: I and this is less of a prediction and more of a thing that I would like to see is at, since we are, and I know that we have to preserve backwards compatibility, WordPress has been pretty good about that. I won’t like, they’ve gotten a little bit away from that, especially as like Gutenberg and everything

[00:29:37] Sé Reed: going to have backwards compatibility with the admin?

[00:29:40] Jason Cosper: Okay Is that where you’re going with that? Cause I’m like, what the heck?

[00:29:45] Jason Cosper: If we’re going to start being a little more breaky with backwards compatibility, if we are going to start,

[00:29:55] Sé Reed: break friendly. We’re like open wait, break curious.

[00:30:01] Jason Cosper: Sure maybe we can break a little bit.

[00:30:05] Jason Cosper: if we are going to have

[00:30:07] Sé Reed: it, but

[00:30:07] Jason Cosper: conscious uncoupling that occurs I, but this is something though that I would like to see is that maybe we start to make WordPress more. modularized. And what I mean by this is, okay, so Tucker, you were talking, going back to talking about using microblog, micro.

[00:30:33] Jason Tucker: Yeah.

[00:30:34] Jason Cosper: If you had a version of WordPress that say a host, or you could install whatever, that all it was

[00:30:46] Sé Reed: What’s a blog?

[00:30:48] Jason Cosper: Was just the blog and the comments. You didn’t need to worry about pages. You didn’t need to worry about, you don’t

[00:30:55] Sé Reed: Like Blogspot.

[00:30:59] Jason Cosper: fields.

[00:30:59] Jason Cosper: You don’t need to any of that stuff if you wanted to add activity pub I love that. It’s like WordPress flavors.

[00:31:09] Jason Cosper: Yeah we also see people grousing about the fact that they’re like, I’m building a site. I don’t need comments. I don’t need blog posts. I just want to be able to build my thing.

[00:31:26] Jason Cosper: And I don’t want to have to worry about the blog posts that, and of course

[00:31:32] Sé Reed: Choose your elements installer.

[00:31:34] Jason Cosper: Yes,

[00:31:35] Sé Reed: do you want pages? Do you want posts? Do you want custom post types to be enabled? Do you want whatever options you want here? And then you do want comments on because you always have to do that after the install. That would make sense from like a install perspective, right?

[00:31:52] Sé Reed: Like just

[00:31:53] Jason Cosper: absolutely, but

[00:31:55] Sé Reed: Streamlines different levels,

[00:31:57] Jason Cosper: Yeah and there are hosts out there that try to give a more customized experience to say like WooCommerce where they’ll pre install and maybe even in some cases, pre configure WooCommerce plugins for people they’ll try to like GoDaddy OnBoarder feeds in content and BaseTheme does some prediction stuff for you when you fill out what you want.

[00:32:23] Jason Cosper: At DreamHost we have a thing for our shared customers that there it’s a checkbox.

[00:32:32] Sé Reed: I just used that this last week. I did it pre

[00:32:47] Sé Reed: E You can say deluxe and it gives you all the stuff. And now it was like, here are your options. And I was like, perfect. Cause I didn’t have to be all or nothing. I could just be like, great. And I just automatically had those things installed. Very handy. Really liked it.

[00:33:05] Jason Cosper: And you can change those options. It’s not like completely baked in, but we just set folks up with a good default. And I loved it. I saw your influence there in the recommended plugins, by the way.

[00:33:21] Jason Tucker: It’s patterns for plugins

[00:33:25] Sé Reed: Should be plugins. Oh yeah. Oh, I like that.

[00:33:29] Jason Cosper: basically. And,

[00:33:30] Sé Reed: If we’re going to use your language, we should use the language, right? I don’t like the language, so I might as well use it. So I don’t really understand play patterns, but Hey that

[00:33:41] Sé Reed: Layouts. Patterns is just a layout. That’s all it means.

[00:33:44] Jason Cosper: You have it actually the thing was, and the thing that we kept saying while developing both the image optimization and caching is basically taking the tenant of the WordPress project that is decisions, not options. And. Saying okay, we could just install, and we already did just install for our shared customers and for our customers on VPS who don’t have caching like they do on our managed service we’re already installing supercache.

[00:34:20] Jason Cosper: Why don’t we give them a sane set of defaults that, almost effectively matches, not quite because it’s not happening server side like managed is, but let’s give them a sane set of defaults that will basically cache their site against most traffic. And, it makes sense from both a hosting perspective, obviously a performance perspective, but mostly from a I don’t want to say customer service, but just an onboarding perspective I think that’s part of the, that has been a bit of the appeal of WordPress to a certain degree, that it was so like the same you would log into everyone’s any, you could just log into any WordPress anywhere and it would look the same, essentially, but that wasn’t always the case, because oftentimes, I would have people who had web devs who You know, I do a lot of site, fix this site, because we can’t use it that they used, actually hard coded even, like permissions in, and that they can’t see things, or they can’t do certain things on their site, so even though they thought they were You know, in charge of the site, there was stuff that was left out.

[00:35:36] Sé Reed: It’s been, that has been taken to a higher, to a a sort of a different degree in the past. But I think it would make sense to have it be standardized so we can have both of those things. You could have a standard admin interface with standardized ways of bringing those things in and out.

[00:36:00] Sé Reed: Because even now there’s 10 plugins that will help you user role management is in chaos, right? There are so many plugins, and it’s you have to pick your suite, and I don’t know which one’s gonna be around, or which one’s gonna be sanctioned by our country this particular country, next, or whatever wanna have to think about Where the plugin for my role capability, which is a very core function of the site.

[00:36:31] Sé Reed: I don’t want to have to think about where that plugin comes from. That really shouldn’t be something that I am, like, and you can manage it on the backend. You can, it’s all just putting code into your backend. So there’s no reason that couldn’t be managed within core, right? It’s not like really doing so much. Specialness, right? Like it’s really just creating new capabilities and allocating them differently. That’s not, it’s not a huge deal. I think that’s why there’s so many. Management plugins for it, but all of those different interfaces then become all of those different plugins and have different interfaces both for managing roles and for what people see.

[00:37:14] Sé Reed: So I actually in some cases have to have both like a user, a role editor and an admin like a minimize to show people what are they seeing for those roles because they don’t all offer it’s just this hodgepodge of. Everyone kind of being like, Oh, we’ll toss in role management here. And then it’s like, how do you untangle from getting that role set up?

[00:37:40] Sé Reed: And it’s then you have to switch to another role manager. Like what it’s just, this

[00:37:46] Jason Cosper: This is a thing that I’ve been saying for over 13 years now is one of the great things about WordPress is that you can build anything with WordPress. But one of the worst things about WordPress is you can build anything with WordPress.

[00:38:03] Sé Reed: Ding, ding.

[00:38:05] Jason Tucker: today,

[00:38:07] Sé Reed: situation we haven’t talked much about the plugins, like overages and the amount of time and the amount of plugins that are there, but not only did we lose our amazing half elf, but AI has really they, they were already, I know when Mika was leaving last year, they had already seen a massive uptick in AI essentially generated and oftentimes copied plugins.

[00:38:32] Sé Reed: So the fact is that We’re not going to get less plugins that do these exact same things because people are going to build out this same functionality and then slap a new different logo and a different some different branding on it and then be like, this is our user role editor plugin and that just makes it just both splits everything, splinters the community, causes the problem that you were talking about, and I say you were, we lost you, you didn’t lose yourself, we lost you.

[00:39:02] Sé Reed: Mika is saying that she’s in Bonneville. She is, she’s not in England but we lost you. Much to the detriment of us, and all to the benefit of you. But anyway apparently plugin clones have always been a huge issue, but it’s gonna be even more of an issue, because you can more easily just change a few things, and have that whole what is whose code was what, and change this code enough, chat gpt, so that it doesn’t look the same, but do the same stuff.

[00:39:31] Sé Reed: And then it

[00:39:31] Jason Tucker: derivatives,

[00:39:33] Sé Reed: Yeah, and then you so of course, if there’s a way massive uptake in this, like some of those things that are so fundamental that it spawns out of nothing. Yeah. Yeah. Thousands of plugins should probably be baked into Core.

[00:39:49] Jason Cosper: right.

[00:39:50] Sé Reed: And a lot of those plugins are free, also. They’re not because they are basic.

[00:39:56] Sé Reed: They, I think that they, it wouldn’t be like destroying an ecosystem, right? Because that’s not a huge deal

[00:40:03] Jason Cosper: You know what?

[00:40:04] Sé Reed: into Core.

[00:40:05] Jason Cosper: Destroy the ecosystems. Honestly Destroy it, right?

[00:40:11] Jason Cosper: at what the things that have already been unseeded. We had a load of plugins that did an XML sitemap. It was built into the most popular SEO plugins that do SEO or that did sitemaps. Now sitemaps are baked into core.

[00:40:34] Jason Cosper: And those plugins are still focused on their SEO stuff. Fine. We have page builders. They haven’t necessarily unseated all of the page builders out there. I’m pretty sure that over the course of this podcast, two more page builders have been launched. Like just over the course of us talking,

[00:40:57] Sé Reed: just in the last half hour,

[00:40:59] Jason Cosper: yeah there’s are obviously going to be better.

[00:41:01] Jason Cosper: Yeah,

[00:41:02] Jason Tucker: They’ll be better. It’ll

[00:41:03] Jason Cosper: yeah, oh,

[00:41:04] Sé Reed: to do it

[00:41:04] Jason Cosper: and it, and at least one of them is Gutenberg

[00:41:08] Sé Reed: to call them

[00:41:10] Jason Cosper: It respects what Gutenberg does, but it just adds the little things like that’s still going to be a cluster, but they’re trying. To make things better the talk of the way things need to go it seems like maybe our old pal Scott Kingsley Clark is going to get a fields API that we’re all going to get this fields API that,

[00:41:39] Jason Cosper: that will manage to, to shift things around. We have this whole push now this additional phase three phase 3. 5, as I’m headcanon referring to it with the whole importer plugin thing that got announced at State of the Word. Yeah. Yeah. The data liberation front.

[00:42:07] Sé Reed: I know we have to call it that, right? Don’t we have to?

[00:42:10] Jason Cosper: Yeah,

[00:42:11] Sé Reed: because front, wait, front is doing a lot of working, like a lot, that is doing a lot of lift in that, if you call it the data liberation front, it is it has a good double entendre there, I’m just saying.

[00:42:23] Jason Cosper: yes. Yeah. Oh, believe me, I’m aware.

[00:42:25] Sé Reed: Okay, good.

[00:42:26] Jason Cosper: the term. But having these plugins that I am hoping and something that has long been an issue is I would love to see work. Start happening on, okay. They want to, Matt wants to get liberate data from more platforms.

[00:42:49] Jason Cosper: If that means that there is a Twitter importer, if that means that you can pull your Facebook posts in I know David Bessette did a lot of work trying to get all of his data into one site that collects all of his social media activity and everything,

[00:43:09] Sé Reed: Do you think that’s the goal of the data liberation component? Because I feel like it’s more about Like bringing people over. It’s to me, it’s more about using the community to build a way to have all of those

[00:43:26] Jason Tucker: idea has to have

[00:43:27] Sé Reed: port into wordpress. com. Oh yeah,

[00:43:30] Sé Reed: think it has a lot less to do with, hence the front.

[00:43:34] Sé Reed: I think it has a lot less to do with data liberation and more about data come over here into our hosted plan.

[00:43:40] Jason Cosper: yes, absolutely. But I think that and hopefully this means the WordPress import plugin has long been yeah it exists.

[00:43:55] Sé Reed: It’s been sitting there. I always think it’s really funny when I have to update the WordPress importer in the import section. It’s Oh, this is, I was like, what happened? What exciting thing did you change? And then it’s

[00:44:07] Jason Cosper: there

[00:44:07] Sé Reed: every three years,

[00:44:09] Jason Cosper: for a while, Mika said it in chat, neglected. It’s been neglected. There was a point

[00:44:16] Sé Reed: of many things.

[00:44:17] Jason Cosper: Ryan McHugh was working on an updated version of the importer plugin. It was great. It was AJAX based it didn’t just, if you had more than like 30 posts, it didn’t fall over because of some sort of PHP memory limit at your shitty shared hosting plan or whatever it actually.

[00:44:44] Jason Cosper: It worked in a lot of cases importing stuff into WordPress is honestly, if you have a site that has been around for more than a year or so is best done in WP CLI, and you lose a ton of people telling them, okay, now you have to open up the command line to import stuff. Yeah. Sé is pointing it herself there.

[00:45:08] Sé Reed: Hate it.

[00:45:09] Jason Cosper: it’s not happening.

[00:45:10] Sé Reed: of me to type, delete everything in there is wait, it’s when you’re driving over a bridge and you’re like, oh, I could just drive off. Do you ever think that? They’re called intrusive thoughts, right? You’re driving on a bridge, happens a lot after you have kids.

[00:45:20] Sé Reed: And you’re like, I could just drive off this bridge right now. That’s

[00:45:23] Jason Tucker: But you could just hit,

[00:45:24] Sé Reed: off bridge. You can just be like, delete all and hit

[00:45:27] Jason Tucker: force it. Yeah. And you’re like, Oh no.

[00:45:29] Sé Reed: it. I just I feel like I might be overcome suddenly with a need to like, just accidentally delete my entire site.

[00:45:34] Sé Reed: That’s right. I have too much it’s too terrifying for

[00:45:39] Jason Tucker: I think the tough part about having that ability is the fact that People, we’ve been teaching people so much to not do this, to not do this, to like cybersecurity has been like a huge thing that I’ve been having to deal with at work and every single time it’s teaching people to not do things.

[00:45:58] Jason Tucker: And then you contradict it and you say, okay, now I need you to go do this thing. And you’re like, I need to do what now I have to open up a command prompt. And then you want me to type some things in, and then you want me to install this like software and. Yeah. It’s it’s

[00:46:15] Sé Reed: we lost our Cosper. He had to go.

[00:46:19] Jason Tucker: Alrighty.

[00:46:19] Sé Reed: weird. I was listening to you. I guess we’re going to just close it up because we were all over anyway. And Cosper wasn’t mad. At either of us. I need you to know that. He just said he had to go. No, not you.

[00:46:33] Sé Reed: Not you. I didn’t want you to know that. You know that. I wanted anyone who’s listening to know that. He had to go. Yeah. They might think that. I don’t know. I worry about people, all right. We love you all and you can come. Are we going to do Aftercooler for DevBranch? Afterdev?

[00:46:48] Jason Tucker: sure. We can do that.

[00:46:50] Sé Reed: After branch. We can finish up. Tell us your predictions. And next week, we’ll be back with the first Watercooler of the year, where we can talk about the extracurricular stuff.

[00:47:02] Jason Tucker: Yeah. So you can go over to wpwatercooler. com slash aftercooler and you can go hang out with us over there. I don’t have a little thing for the

[00:47:11] Sé Reed: Come say hi. That’s all right.

[00:47:13] Jason Tucker: here’s our outro. See

[00:47:15] Sé Reed: you next time.

[00:47:24] Jason Tucker: Go over to wpwatercooler. com slash subscribe and subscribe to this content over there. We’d really appreciate it. Talk to y’all later. You have a good one. Bye bye.

[00:47:34] Sé Reed: Bye. Happy New Year. Happy 2024.

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