WPblab EP131 – The State of the WordPress Ecosystem: Summer Update

In this episode, Jason and Bridget take a small break in their format to chat about developments this week in the WordPress ecosystem. How will these changes affect how plug-in businesses and freelancers market if at all? Tune in.

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Jeff Chandler Leaves WPTavern

Bridget thinks his editorial voice will be sorely missed.

Journalism tries to get both sides whereas editorial content should have opinion.

Jason was more intrigued by the use of service accounts for connected services on multi user websites.

Both Bridget and Jason wonder who will now provide timely, non-biased WordPress news. “Hot takes on WPwatercooler.com” is still valid news. And, honestly, most of us who comment on WordPress are also Inside Baseball. So, we’re commenting with our own source material.

Thanks, Jeff for being awesome for ten years!

Bridget’s Trip to Montréal

Bridget loved WordCamp Montréal. It was extra special because she got to see Breann McDede’s first presentation.

Also, it was really neat to see how the WordPress community in Montréal embraces bilingualism. As Michel Bluma says, “#BonjourHi.”

PHP 7.5 — P++ Ending Backwards Compatibility

From PHP Storm.

P++ – The controversy and accusations in PHP Internals over the removal of short tags <?explicit call-site send-by-ref syntax, and other discussions eventually resulted in an unexpected proposal from Zeev Suraski – create a new PHP dialect. The working name P++ is not accidental here, as Zeev suggests creating a “sister” language, like C++ for C. PHP and P++ are supposed to be developed side by side within a single runtime. In the new P++ it will be possible to implement a lot of revolutionary improvements, to deprecate legacy, and clear things up without thinking about backward compatibility. Since the language would have new branding, it would not have this bad reputation. A “classic” PHP would get all the performance and other non-syntax features but maintain backward compatibility.” Roman Pronskiy

How does this affect WordPress?

WordPress 5.0 created an unintentional fork, Bridget says, because plugin and theme developers have three choices:

  1. Support 5.0
  2. Support 4.9.x
  3. Support Both

All of those choices are business resource decisions.

Some people say PHP’s decision to possibly abandon backward compatibility won’t affect WordPress. (Click the heading for the PHP storm article.)

“1) Shortcodes ≠ short tags
2) PHP 7.4 is already in beta and will be released later this year
3) This proposal is not suggesting abandoning the main binary. It’s more like a different interpretation mode that would be included with PHP. Everything could still work the same” William Earnhardt

Caldera Joins Ninja Forms

“That is one partnership that I feel warm in my soul about,” Bridget says. Caldera will continue to be developer-focused and Ninja Forms will stay customer-facing.

This isn’t a case where a company is being sold for parts like a WordPress junkyard.

Josh Pollock, who co-founded CalderaWP in 2015 with Christie Chirinos, will be joining Saturday Drive as VP of Engineer Experience, along with three other employees from the company, bringing Saturday Drive’s total crew number to 25. Chirinos began working as a product manager at Liquid Webearlier this year.” Sarah Gooding

Automattic Buys Tumblr

Bridget thinks Automattic is buying users so they can sell out. She is hoping after the sale of Automattic, Matt Mullenweg will focus on the WordPress Project. This eliminates the c. Maybe Automattic needed the carried loss for their taxes. But she isn’t a tax lawyer and doesn’t play one on TV.

“There’s a way to make sure [the WordPress.com] userbase goes up.” Jason Tucker

How about the articles saying “WordPress Owner?

This was a bit controversial. And it’s a real issue with who owns the trademark versus who owns the software.

Will Automattic’s Tumblr Still Allow Porn?

What about the “adult content” on WordPress? Also, what is porn? Did the LBGTQ community need this space from a psychological standpoint? WordPress is a culture of inclusion. This might be super good.

“When you’re talking about sexuality, some people consider that porn.” Bridget Willard

Will Gutenberg end up on Tumblr?

According to my friend “Ben” (whose name is actually Daniel Olsen) who spoke about JAM Stack at WCMTL, Gutenberg is a layer that you can put on any CMS.

“Gutenberg on Tumblr would kill Medium. So this is like a win-win-win for Automattic.” Bridget Willard

Short Codes and Block Editors

Dealing with short codes in a block editor world when using a page builder.

Ben Meredith with Better Click to Tweet talked about some of his frustrations on Twitter.

Proposal to Auto Update Old WP Versions to 4.7

“Apply security updates to the latest 6 versions, and auto-update insecure sites to the oldest secure version.” Ian Dunn

Update since airing:

Bridget attended the Core chat about this subject that was held 19 Aug 19. She compiled data from BuiltWith.com to show that over two million sites would be affected or about 8% of WordPress sites.

As an aside, WPBuffs responded to Bridget’s Instagram Post offering 10% of their services.


Tool or Tip of the Week

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This week Bridget and Jason are both thinking about task management and people management.

Jason likes cloze.com for relationship management.

Bridget’s into airtable.com as way to track business development communication.

Do you have any tools or tips we should know about?

We’d love to hear from you. What are your experiences with this subject?

Tell us in the comments below.

Weekly Watercooler Discussions about WordPress and it’s community.

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