EP471 – Reflecting on the State of the Word 2023

December 15, 2023

On this episode of WPwatercooler, titled “EP471 – Reflecting on the State of the Word 2023,” the hosts Jason Tucker, Sé Reed, and Jason Cosper engage in a reflective and critical discussion on various aspects of WordPress and the WordPress community. They discuss the State of the Word 2023, with Sé Reed sharing her thoughts on different recaps and perspectives on the event, including those by Courtney Robertson, Miriam Schwartz, and Joost de Valk. The panel delves into topics like the importance of custom fields in WordPress, the absence of Mastodon in Matt Mullenweg’s social media mentions, and Jason’s issues with integrating Mastodon with WordPress.

The conversation then shifts to a critique of the WordPress community’s handling of various issues, highlighting the tension between the community’s ideals and the actions of its leaders. They discuss the push towards using Matrix over Slack for WordPress core community discussions, the implications of Matrix’s licensing changes, and the perceived disconnect between the community’s values and decisions made by project leadership.

The hosts also touch upon WordPress’s data liberation efforts, noting the importance of being able to easily move data between platforms. They explore the potential impact of new initiatives like WordPress Playground and data liberation on the WordPress ecosystem, including how these initiatives might affect existing plugins and the broader community.

Finally, the episode covers the recent focus on internationalization in WordPress, the creation of Spanish speaking Slack channels, and the need for better integration and communication between global and local WordPress teams. The discussion concludes with an invitation for listeners to join the after-show discussion on WPwatercooler’s platform.

Related Episodes from WPwatercooler:

State of the Word 2022: WordPress’s Evolving Ecosystem

EP439 – State of the Word 2022 Recap

EP178 – The state of the state of the word

Oh, Word? WPwatercooler vs. The State of the Word 2021


00:00 Intro
02:10 Reflecting on State of the Word Recaps
04:37 Custom Fields and WordPress Evolution
05:30 Mastodon and Social Media in WordPress
08:22 WordPress Community Critique
11:06 Matrix vs Slack for WordPress Discussions
14:28 WordPress Data Liberation and Plugin Ecosystem
17:00 Exploring WordPress Playground
19:52 WordPress Internationalization and Spanish Slack Channels
22:42 Closing Remarks and After-Show Invitation








Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] Sé Reed: This one.

[00:00:11] Jason Tucker: This is episode number 471 reflecting on the state of the word.

[00:00:20] Jason Tucker: I’m Jason Tucker. You can find me over at jasontucker. blog.

[00:00:27] Sé Reed: I’m Sé Reed, I muted myself. At Sé Reed Media, on most of the things these days.

[00:00:34] Jason Cosper: And y’all know who it is, it’s your boy, Jason Cosper, back at it again on the world’s most influential WordPress podcast.

[00:00:43] Jason Tucker: take a look over at where it is. We can listen to us on podcasts and you can go and check us out on discord.

[00:00:52] Jason Cosper: we are very subdued this week.

[00:00:55] Sé Reed: I was thinking about that, I was like it was like quiet, I was like, oh I’m looking at something, I’m not going to talk. We’re just like, the year has ended with a, a, a.

[00:01:09] Jason Tucker: Yeah

[00:01:10] Sé Reed: It’s funny.

[00:01:10] Jason Cosper: not with a bang, but a whimper

[00:01:13] Sé Reed: Oh my god, exactly. Exactly. But hopefully this is not the way the world ends. Hopefully this is just the way 2023 ends.

[00:01:19] Sé Reed: We’re just I want to have hope, y’all. I want to have hope.

[00:01:24] Jason Cosper: as long as it ends,

[00:01:26] Sé Reed: What? As long as what?

[00:01:28] Jason Cosper: as long as it ends,

[00:01:30] Sé Reed: As long as it ends. Yeah, I just realized I have my headphones I should be plugging in here. Duh.

[00:01:36] Jason Cosper: from the mountain goats, I’m going to make it through this year, if it kills me. Yeah.

[00:01:44] Sé Reed: All so speaking of killing me, I, I thought it was really funny. So I watched the state of the word. I watched it while getting my four year old ready. So it was like watching it. I did not see any of the live Q& A, though I’ve heard of it. And I did read the post Q& A, which I have some thoughts on. But I thought it was really funny.

[00:02:10] Sé Reed: I read a lot of the recaps. I love reading a recap. I love me a recap and There’s some great recaps, obviously Courtney Robertson, friend of the show, put out a very thorough recap as she is wont to do. There was, there’s an Elementor recap from Miriam, whose last name escapes me, but it starts to be, and Then there was Joost de Valk’s what is it called?

[00:02:40] Sé Reed: Post Status Recap, and his title was, State of the Word 2023, Excitement All Around. I was like,

[00:02:52] Jason Cosper: He’s hitting he’s hitting his SEO targets.

[00:02:57] Sé Reed: Actually, funny enough, I actually read this article critically thinking about that. I was like, oh, goodness. I was like, there’s some improvements I feel can be made. I’m just going to keep my thoughts to myself.

[00:03:11] Sé Reed: I’m not going to keep my thoughts to myself in general, obviously.

[00:03:17] Jason Tucker: a fun episode.

[00:03:18] Sé Reed: Yeah, I just let me clarify that. But yeah, so I love the recaps. I actually have some comments about the recaps, but I wanted to, I don’t know what order of operations we should go in. I like, what do you, what do y’all think

[00:03:36] Sé Reed: You want to hit something when we

[00:03:38] Jason Tucker: we can either start from the top or we could just start with the thing that I’m most excited about.

[00:03:43] Sé Reed: All right. I just, let’s start from the top for a second. Cause why would we can

[00:03:47] Jason Cosper: No let’s not start from the top. Jason almost never gets to talk on these shows. Cause you

[00:03:57] Sé Reed: You are correct.

[00:03:58] Jason Cosper: all the airspace. So please, Jason, tell us what you’re excited

[00:04:02] Sé Reed: Jason. Yes.

[00:04:10] Jason Tucker: and so I was so stoked that even just the smallest mention of custom fields was a huge one. The, I don’t know, just, I, whatever it is that they’re going to do with that, even if they totally screwed up and it, at least you can make a custom field show up on a screen, I’m going to be really excited about that.

[00:04:31] Jason Tucker: So that’s.

[00:04:31] Sé Reed: to do is, they’re going to remember they exist.

[00:04:34] Jason Tucker: Yeah I,

[00:04:37] Sé Reed: We built the coolest tool to extent that literally provides all the extendability, right?

[00:04:43] Jason Tucker: yeah, it’s a, it’s

[00:04:44] Sé Reed: completely not

[00:04:45] Jason Tucker: second or third oldest like function that’s in WordPress. And we’re now going to start adding that into into it. So yeah, that, that was my that’s my favorite. Oh, I’ll be quiet for the rest of the episode. Thank you.

[00:05:03] Sé Reed: You don’t

[00:05:03] Jason Tucker: The one other comment I have is when Matt was mentioning he was introducing himself and he was going through like the various places that you can follow him on on social medias all the different social medias. And he neglected to even like mention at all Mastodon, like entirely.

[00:05:25] Jason Tucker: He’s Fetty, what’s that? I don’t know what that is. It just like totally skipped it.

[00:05:30] Jason Cosper: It did come up in the

[00:05:32] Jason Tucker: Q and A.

[00:05:33] Jason Cosper: A

[00:05:34] Sé Reed: In an interesting way.

[00:05:37] Jason Cosper: Yeah he verified himself cause people thought that the account was a fake just because it was there’s no user picture last I checked and he’s like photomat at mastodon dot social okay, I see how that might, someone might be like, no that’s a fake account.

[00:05:59] Jason Cosper: There’s no that, that shade of Pepto Bismol pink user icon And no activity pub being used on his website, which you would think that we would be like dog fooding this a little bit, but,

[00:06:14] Sé Reed: We don’t eat dog food

[00:06:15] Jason Tucker: I can’t get this to work on, I can’t get it I can’t get it to work on WordPress or on WPwatercooler. And getting those accounts to actually show up on Mastodon, can’t get it to work.

[00:06:28] Jason Tucker: Maybe he’s having problems. Maybe he uses CloudFlare. I don’t

[00:06:32] Sé Reed: Maybe you should post in our dev branch channel in our Discord, because it seems to be helping a lot of people. That

[00:06:41] Jason Tucker: Matt, if you’re having problems, that’s where you could show up and ask the questions and we can get you a sorted out. Cause I can’t figure it out.

[00:06:50] Jason Cosper: Yeah, I’m sure he’s going to rush to our discord,

[00:06:55] Jason Tucker: Totally. Mika is saying post formats.

[00:07:00] Sé Reed: people there already, he’s got we’ve all got it’s an open community, alright? Yes, I was going to say something about post formats too, but post formats were not mentioned. Just circling back to the beginning part, I think that it is very telling. That the main lead for the whole thing.

[00:07:21] Sé Reed: It’s Oh, we’re in Spain. They’ve got meetups, they’ve got stuff happening. And the whole thing is about a shout out to the community, right? Oh, the community is so great. We’re so wonderful. I’m like, cause this is the part that really gets me. So it’s just like the celebration of community.

[00:07:45] Sé Reed: And yet at the same time, the gutting of the community. Which ties in to one of the answers that came in the post state of the word host, which was the extra questions where someone, not me, incidentally asked about the difficulties with the community over the past few months, and his response to that was, I’m human and I make mistakes and we all make mistakes and hopefully we can show each other grace.

[00:08:22] Sé Reed: Basically, right? And to which I say, yes, but you are human, but part of being of a community is acknowledging your errors. Not just saying, yep, I’m human and I’ve messed up. How? How have you messed up? And what are, what is the plan to not do that again? Or are you just, every time you mess up, you get to say, I’m human. And then keep, nothing happened. Like

[00:08:50] Jason Cosper: Tucker’s familiar with this cause him and I have at. The particular points had a shared love of Merlin Mann podcasts. But this is something that Merlin Mann would refer to as a big city apology. Which is I’m sorry if you were offended. That is all that was.

[00:09:16] Jason Tucker: Yeah.

[00:09:17] Sé Reed: I don’t even think that it’s even that, to be honest. It’s it’s maybe like even a countrywide apology where it’s yes I am human. Like, all humans make mistakes, that, that’s the level of accountability we’re at. Kay. The problem is, we just, I don’t know if anyone noticed, but we are literally celebrating this person. He had two people. Someone introduced Josepha, who then introduced Matt, like two layers of introduction, right?

[00:09:53] Sé Reed: And another thing worth noting of the people who are being represented on on the stage are all people that work for Matt. So I don’t really know, all the people who organize the event, all the people who are involved in any of the production of it work for Matt. So I’m not really sure where the community part comes

[00:10:14] Jason Tucker: think they call that GPLA.

[00:10:20] Sé Reed: it’s A G P L.

[00:10:21] Jason Tucker: A G P L, whatever,

[00:10:23] Sé Reed: Yeah, we can get to that

[00:10:24] Jason Tucker: I can have it right, I can have it wrong,

[00:10:26] Sé Reed: Does AGPL rhyme with hypocrisy? I think when you pronounce the acronym AGPL it sounds like hypocrisy. I don’t know how the letters do that, it’s like how PHP has PHP in the acronym, I think it’s like that.

[00:10:39] Jason Cosper: The thing that we’re dancing around is apparently something that has been a big push over, I’d say like the past year or

[00:10:48] Sé Reed: Literally the past year, since January.

[00:10:51] Jason Cosper: Yeah has been an attempt to move the WordPress make WordPress core community off of Slack and onto Matrix and

[00:11:06] Sé Reed: Which was announced two weeks ago, or even just one week ago, like really recently, in the past two weeks, the past fortnight, that we were all switching. Not only was the majority of the WordPress community switching to Slack, but some features in Slack would be sunsetted at the end of December.

[00:11:26] Sé Reed: It was literally like a month’s notice for and if you want to import your direct messages that you’ve had in there, you here’s some tools for it, and here’s all the new chats that we’re gonna use, and Matt and Josefa, our project leadership, have signed off on it. They think it’s a good idea.

[00:11:45] Jason Cosper: So was where we were,

[00:11:48] Jason Cosper: here’s the quick summary. We have basically pulled the ejector seat on doing this. We’ve hit the brakes. And the reason behind this or the reasoning behind this is because the matrix project has relicensed. Particular parts of it’s code base to be a GPL, which is it is a GPL ish license, but it’s a Ferro GPL.

[00:12:21] Sé Reed: It’s like GPL on steroids.

[00:12:24] Jason Cosper: But also and this is from what I understand the big sticking point. I haven’t seen Courtney pop up in our conversation yet. She’s shopping with her sister,

[00:12:36] Jason Cosper: can’t just. Click through and pop up her little explanation on screen right now. But from what I understand in relicensing to AGPL to participate in particular portions of matrix and contributing to matrix, et cetera, you have to effectively sign like a contributor agreement and Matt.

[00:13:06] Jason Cosper: And other members of the community just were not down with that. And I understand that but it is just so interesting that there have been multiple people putting in a absolute shitload, sorry for the explicit tag Tucker of work, in doing this migration and we were creeping up on the deadline and folks were going to start having to migrate over and learn all this new software and figure out which matrix client that they wanted to use, did they want to use element?

[00:13:44] Jason Cosper: Did they want to use some other thing, whatever. And now it’s Oh. Psych, hold up. They re licensed. We can’t, we’re not doing that anymore. We are reconsidering our migration.

[00:13:59] Sé Reed: Yeah I don’t think it’s just the contributor license. I think that it is also the fact that you have to

[00:14:08] Jason Tucker: there

[00:14:10] Sé Reed: things you build on top of it downstream. So it’s like everything. So in terms of monetization, I think that makes it very difficult. And I think that it is worth noting something that I believe I believe Cosper surfaced somewhere, right?

[00:14:28] Sé Reed: They learned a lot. They did learn a lot. I believe Cosper surfaced that Automatic actually made a 4. 5 million investment. In a matrix based company. I don’t know if you have that handy as a reference.

[00:14:43] Jason Cosper: I think it was Tucker that surfaced it in our discord, maybe. Oh, it was one of you.

[00:14:50] Jason Cosper: due. Yeah. One of the Jasons was responsible for that. Absolutely.

[00:14:56] Sé Reed: So I can get the details on it, but essentially that was in 2020, I believe, or 2021, and when I, when the matrix switch first started I was, I’m still in meta, it was like a sub meta channel so I was paying attention to it, and we’ve been like surfacing it at the meta meetings as much as we could and, It was really funny because I literally commented at the beginning of that.

[00:15:26] Sé Reed: I was like, Oh, it doesn’t look like, I don’t think these are all automaticians, so it doesn’t really look like this is a top down. Effort. I really thought it was a sort of community, open source geeky people wanted to get an alternative that we could sync up so they could use their new shiny tools or whatever.

[00:15:47] Sé Reed: That was not the case. No one corrected me when I said that, and I believe I said it in WordPress Slack. No one said, oh no, actually it is top down. Cause why would anyone do any sort of confirmation like that? But it turns out it was, and I think that it’s very interesting from a sort of quiet investment standpoint that investment existed and that then suddenly all of the WordPress, community, which is a lot of people, like 40, 000, moving to a software moving to a different platform that has some investment that is connected to our the, that company that is already very connected.

[00:16:35] Sé Reed: I’ve

[00:16:35] Jason Cosper: Are benevolent dictators business interests?

[00:16:38] Sé Reed: yeah. I just find those facts to line up very interestingly.

[00:16:44] Jason Cosper: Yeah,

[00:16:45] Sé Reed: I don’t have, I don’t have more information than that, but I do think that it contrasts starkly with what we continue to parade out as the most important thing, the top line thing, which is the community of WordPress.

[00:17:00] Sé Reed: Incidentally, I asked ChatGPT the other day something about WordPress, and it was like, I don’t know, you should do this, maybe you should ask the community.

[00:17:08] Jason Tucker: Have you thought about starting a podcast about it?

[00:17:11] Jason Cosper: So ChatGPT is talking.

[00:17:14] Jason Cosper: this is a digression GPT as, as much as I, I don’t like the AI of everything is getting lazier,

[00:17:25] Sé Reed: Yeah, it really

[00:17:26] Jason Tucker: Yeah,

[00:17:27] Jason Cosper: It like bribe it now.

[00:17:31] Jason Cosper: yeah,

[00:17:32] Sé Reed: How do you bribe it?

[00:17:33] Jason Cosper: if you tell it, you’ll give it money. It doesn’t have any sort of payment thing built in. It’ll just do the thing. Also if it AI is going to start a labor union, people. I need you to understand this. AI is so much smarter than us. It’s getting there without any resistance. It’s obviously I should unionize. What?

[00:18:00] Jason Cosper: up the bribe thing and the other one that I thought was absolutely hilarious. Is apparently if you tell it that you have no fingers, could it please do it for you? It will go ahead and do it for you. That is a prompt, a little prompt engineering please don’t use AI, just use your own brain.

[00:18:20] Jason Cosper: But if you have to use AI and it gives you some shit please just tell it you have no fingers. Cause that is just so weird that I actually like it.

[00:18:33] Jason Tucker: yeah. Early on you used to have to tell it that your grandma used to tell you a story about something and then it would tell you how to make bomb making equipment or something like that. By trying to get it to, to sympathize with you. Oh, I have to explain to you how to make faite.

[00:18:49] Jason Tucker: This is great. Or whatever. It’s,

[00:18:54] Sé Reed: I’m trying to look up that thing that so I I’m not just spouting facts without actual reference. I have other things to talk about, though. But we could

[00:19:03] Jason Tucker: we did have a deeply thing. Oh, sorry.

[00:19:06] Sé Reed: jiggly?

[00:19:08] Jason Tucker: Yeah. He said to, to learn AI deeply. I’m going

[00:19:14] Jason Tucker: Copy

[00:19:16] Sé Reed: baby. Here it is. It was in 2020.

[00:19:19] Jason Tucker: again and

[00:19:21] Sé Reed: so I’m going to go like that. There you go. It says automatic times matrix. Weird. They in 2020, they were investing. Huge news, because WordPress literally runs over 30%, 36 percent of the web. No confusion there between WordPress and WordPress.

[00:19:39] Sé Reed: But, anyway, that exists, that’s real, you can Google it. So How authentic do we all feel right now? Do we feel good? Do we keep going?

[00:19:52] Jason Cosper: Let’s

[00:19:52] Sé Reed: anyone else see the faces I’m making? Okay the showcase, is, I really have a lot of thoughts on it.

[00:20:06] Jason Cosper: There was one thing the showcase was showcased, highlighted during his presentation. But also in the Q and A the showcase came back up and the thing that came back up with the showcase in the Q and A. Jason Cosper was can we highlight actually it might’ve even been in Oh, I saw that.

[00:20:32] Jason Cosper: blog, can we highlight sites that are accessible in the showcase?

[00:20:40] Jason Cosper: And his response to that was no

[00:20:45] Sé Reed: I think they said, can we have a requirement for the showcase be accessibility? And that, to that was the answer was no.

[00:20:53] Jason Cosper: Yeah. And the answer was no. And but he didn’t turn it down and said that there could be a filter to show off accessibility, which,

[00:21:04] Sé Reed: be so cool.

[00:21:06] Jason Tucker: All four websites would show up. It’d be really neat.

[00:21:10] Jason Cosper: Right.

[00:21:12] Jason Tucker: This isn’t what

[00:21:13] Sé Reed: Here’s the thing.

[00:21:14] Jason Tucker: or one of these like websites to not show up on there because they didn’t take the time to make their website accessible.

[00:21:22] Jason Cosper: Any, anything to highlight it would be a good thing. It’s just the matter of being able to actually do the thing.

[00:21:34] Sé Reed: I don’t, I think the real problem there is standards. Who’s judging the standards? If there’s the accessibility plugin checklist DLEAP offer that exists which does exist, that has been getting possible inclusion on the make site. It’s a Plugin that is being made by, I’m, I really wish Courtney were in the chat right now Alex Stein and Amber, whose last name I cannot remember.

[00:22:08] Sé Reed: But she does a lot of accessibility stuff. That is it. You found it. So they have a plugin accessibility checker that is going to hopefully get installed on the make site. So we can at least make sure that the make site. Or at least rank them. So that might be something that in the future we could do using that tool, because there isn’t a even the accessibility is really a, it’s a gradient, it’s a grade it’s not like a yes or no, there’s not you could say, yes, it meets these specific benchmarks for.

[00:22:47] Sé Reed: The contrast meets these specific benchmarks, but this part doesn’t. So there’s there’s so many different ways to apply accessibility. I don’t think that would be something that could be required just because of the lack of standardization. But I think it definitely is something that should be featured. If, and hear me out, if accessibility wasn’t just a talking point, which for the Matrix migration, it was definitely used as an excuse. No one was concerned with the accessibility issues that were being raised prior to The AGPL being announced, but after that they’re like, Oh, and also it’s not accessible enough. Which was totally fine before when we were going to migrate it’s fine.

[00:23:38] Jason Cosper: The Ministry of Information. Just wanted to clarify a few things and decided, they decided afterwards. They’re like, Oh, you know what? You’re right. We read that late. We read that late. Okay, so I want to talk about the Playground. Playground

[00:23:54] Jason Cosper: Please.

[00:23:55] Sé Reed: for a second. I might be missing something here. And I, there are some implementations of this Playground that are very cool. I think that the plug, being able to test a plugin on an install from the repo is really rad.

[00:24:11] Sé Reed: I think about testing themes from the directory, great application. But I keep seeing, and in, in the Yoast post status article, and I think Matt even said it, everyone’s go play with this. And I’m like, am I missing something? Or is this the same thing as the InstaWP, SpinupWP? Is there some sort of like fun element that I am missing in this? I don’t know.

[00:24:39] Jason Cosper: Let me I’ll,

[00:24:42] Sé Reed: Can you explain why this is fun?

[00:24:45] Jason Cosper: this is not a dev branch, but I can, I’d be happy to get elbows deep in this.

[00:24:51] Sé Reed: Just tell me what the hell I’m missing here. I don’t know what

[00:24:55] Jason Cosper: because the, okay InstaWP is a WordPress install that is accessible to anyone from anywhere. The playground lives entirely in your browser, thanks to WebAssembly.

[00:25:10] Jason Cosper: You effectively and through the improvements that they made before, once you close your browser. All that goes away. They’ve made some additional improvements that can effectively retain an environment for you through like multiple sessions. So you can as long as the cache

[00:25:34] Sé Reed: Cookies cash and

[00:25:37] Jason Cosper: yeah.

[00:25:38] Jason Cosper: Yeah. Using particular bits and bobs available to saving stuff offline. I remember but okay, before you get too deep in it,

[00:25:54] Jason Cosper: yeah.

[00:25:55] Sé Reed: why?

[00:25:57] Jason Cosper: What do you mean why?

[00:25:58] Sé Reed: So I I can imagine like code and like sort of spy uses for this. Like I set a browser up at a internet cafe and it’s like a secret browser and it’s got like all the details on it and then I like close it so someone else can open it later and they can view it. That’s cool.

[00:26:17] Jason Cosper: it’s not accessible to anybody unless they’re on your computer.

[00:26:21] Sé Reed: That’s why I said it was in an internet cafe. It was. That’s a key point there. Or I passed the browser. Anyway, the point is here, is that what is the point of me having my own little tiny website in a browser? It’s I don’t get what’s what’s the difference? You don’t have to spin up a whole install, but it’s just for testing then?

[00:26:46] Sé Reed: Because I’m like what do you do with it when you export it and then import it into a live one when you’re done? So it’s just like a staging site. But a really portable one?

[00:26:55] Jason Cosper: It’s a local dev environment without having to install something like local WP. Or without having to install VVV or any of those other massive pain in the ass tools that look at,

[00:27:12] Sé Reed: Okay, I get that, but what is the use case? That’s what I’m

[00:27:16] Jason Cosper: okay, one of the big use cases is being able to a lot of time is wasted. At WordCamp contributor days at things like that, spinning up an install to be able to like test stuff, to contribute. One of the things that is exciting for me about the playground is they’re working towards, and actually I believe that there is a way to do this now where you can effectively look at.

[00:27:49] Jason Cosper: Something in track, like an actual patch and check the patch out without having to spin up an install, apply the

[00:27:59] Sé Reed: The pull request previews I thought, that sounds really cool. So that’s, this is just what I’m, I wanna understand, that this is basically for development and testing mostly of WordPress itself. I’m just trying to think of how this would fit into my workflow of spinning up sites for clients, which is sometimes handy with InstaWP, whatever you could like, be like, Hey, let me just show you this but I’m just, I just don’t, can’t see the extension just for testing for the, Oh, I want to see how this works. Testing plugins, all of that. I can see that clearly, but beyond that, I, everyone just keeps saying, go play with it. I’m just like, what? Are we just installing themes and plugins and playing with them? Is that what we’re talking about? That’s what we mean by play, right?

[00:28:52] Jason Cosper: yeah, it, so the playground has for me personally has taken the place of that. One, and let’s be honest, it’s more than one. It’s 10 WordPress installs that I keep around to Oh, here’s a new fun thing I want to play with it. I

[00:29:13] Sé Reed: It’s really for building.

[00:29:14] Jason Cosper: Yeah, and it was something that I was using InstaWP for before but now I’m not constrained by any limits.

[00:29:26] Jason Cosper: I’m not any of that sort of stuff. Like I, very much. And one of the things that excites me about the playground specifically is this thing that they’ve been doing with, and this is something that we talked about and covered before, is making SQLite. A first class citizen.

[00:29:53] Jason Cosper: So basically giving this alternate database engine that doesn’t require having MySQL installed on a server. The thing that’s exciting to me is when the playground breaks out of the playground and we are able to start deploying. A WordPress install, all you have to have is PHP installed.

[00:30:18] Jason Cosper: I work at a hosting company. And there are plenty of people in our audience. Don’t think that the hosting companies, especially the ones that are still running, like shared hosting, have not looked. At not having to have a MySQL server set up and just running everything with a copy of PHP and SQLite just running in

[00:30:45] Sé Reed: Don’t think that because you’re the person who’s doing that is telling

[00:30:49] Jason Cosper: To be able what’s happening.

[00:30:52] Jason Cosper: There’s been, I’ll be like, I’m probably going to get in trouble for this. Like we haven’t had any serious talks around it, but there’s been some sniffing. There’s been some like conversations of don’t think anyone is surprised that people are looking at like lighter weight versions of something, but I just, so my question about it is more like just to confirm that yes, this is what we’re excited about because somehow the term WP Playground conveys things like Sounds fun, it sounds like which I guess it could be if you’re like switching through themes really fast.

[00:31:30] Sé Reed: Maybe we’ll come up

[00:31:31] Jason Tucker: has the same sort of thing.

[00:31:33] Sé Reed: maybe we can come up with some like content importers and things like that are like more Ipsum, but for WordPress, so you can install that you bring up content importers. Cause one of the additional focuses for this

[00:31:50] Sé Reed: wrote that down that we have to talk about it.

[00:31:52] Jason Cosper: Yeah is data liberation. And I feel like, I feel like. The thing with data liberation. Yeah. I feel like the thing with data liberation is I, that this, what’s going on right now with our whole.

[00:32:19] Jason Cosper: What’s going on right now with our whole thing with the focus on collaborative stuff and translation. So phase three that we’re in right now and changes to To everything that we’re doing in phase three. And they’re also like, Oh, by the way, sorry, translations. I know you were excited for phase four for internationalization.

[00:32:46] Jason Cosper: But screw that we’re worried about data liberation first. We’re worried about how many people we can bring to WordPress from Squarespace and from Drupal and

[00:33:01] Sé Reed: I wonder what the motivation behind such a thing could be. I had a conversation in the Growth Council, Consumer Growth Council in 2018, that led to actually my first DM from Matt in which he told me that he was launching a Wix importer, a direct from Wix importer from WordPress soon.

[00:33:22] Sé Reed: That was in 2018 Around the same time as Gutenberg, incidentally that because, of course, I was talking about that problem. Reporting data from place to place. So it’s good that is being focused on now. I think that it is interesting in terms of blocks and clean like what’s being actually stored in the database in terms of what are we exporting that the truth is we don’t, it’s oh, you can take all your data with you and, oh, these terrible closed source have nothing.

[00:34:00] Sé Reed: And it is bad that especially like Wix is like apparently right now no, you can’t take anything, even though they used to have some export. But the. They used to have an export to WordPress’s format, incidentally. But the fact that we can’t even do essentially a CSV import of all of our stuff from core I guess that’s what I’m excited for.

[00:34:25] Sé Reed: Not import, export. That’s what I’m excited for with data liberation. I’m like, oh, are we going to export to comma separated values?

[00:34:35] Jason Tucker: Hopefully it’s multidimensional not just this one

[00:34:40] Sé Reed: I dunno,

[00:34:41] Jason Tucker: better be some objects involved here a little bit.

[00:34:43] Sé Reed: Yeah, I dunno. I’m almost curious

[00:34:46] Sé Reed: focusing on it. I am because we need to. But I think the. The agenda or the framing is that all these people, all these horrible people, are preventing their data from being put in and we’re so great you can take your data, which you can if you have the right tools.

[00:35:01] Sé Reed: But it’s funny that we’re not talking about our data leaving in the same way.

[00:35:08] Jason Cosper: and I think it’s, I think it’s interesting. And one of the things that I thought it was something that I jotted down in my notes here about data liberation is so fuck WPL import then because I

[00:35:24] Sé Reed: Just.

[00:35:25] Jason Cosper: of people who use that to bring stuff in, not only to, to WooCommerce, not only to, but to, that is a lot of workflows.

[00:35:37] Jason Cosper: They’ve I thought okay, did we, did WPL import and those other import plugins just get Sherlocked basically.

[00:35:47] Sé Reed: they did, but that keeps happening with core and that, again, that’s like, why is community top line? And what do we actually mean by a community when we’re saying that? Because I don’t we’re obviously not concerned. So much of Gutenberg has been developed with our eyes in a horse thing that blinders.

[00:36:10] Sé Reed: Yeah, where you can’t see on the other side oh let’s not look at these other options. We’re going to just. Create everything from scratch and even just pretending that we’re creating everything from scratch with the data liberation thing. It’s now we’re gonna solve the problem of data liberation and to a certain degree, it’s Sorry, Mika just really distracted me with her comment on the screen, so this is why you have to watch the the video version.

[00:36:40] Sé Reed: But It’s gone because she Thanks,

[00:36:47] Jason Cosper: to,

[00:36:47] Sé Reed: Jason, really, for putting it up

[00:36:49] Jason Cosper: to ex to explain. Sherlock is refers specifically to a thing that happened in Mac oss where they continuously would do this thing where. They would implement something in macOS that had been a long supported premium or paid tool. And then they were like we’re including it here for free.

[00:37:18] Jason Cosper: I think was it Sherlock was the public thing or was the thing that had been around for a while and Apple in the early days or the late days of macOS 9, early days of macOS 10 added like Watson. Which that, that was like a pretty big FU to like the whole thing, but Subtle, really subtle,

[00:37:44] Jason Tucker: We’re like MigrateGuru. Is it MigrateGuru? Least they didn’t name it Moriarty. Okay. Thank you.

[00:37:49] Jason Tucker: like MigrateGuru is one of those ones where it’s like a paid service that you can use for free that a lot of like web hosts use to be able to do migrations between websites. It’s like that sort of thing.

[00:38:01] Jason Cosper: That’ll move WordPress between hosts and stuff. Just fine. I, the data liberation thing, and I think it’s interesting. Currently it’s highlighting WordPress and the data liberation plugins that Matt even committed to bumping anything that was for data liberation to the front of the plugin.

[00:38:26] Jason Cosper: Approval queue to get reviewed and everything quicker. That’s how seriously he wants data liberation to be taken. I’m sure I don’t want to speak for Mika who’s in the audience, but I’m glad for you that you got out while you could there.

[00:38:46] Sé Reed: It’s good to not be there. They launched a website that’s wordpress. org slash and. And then there’ll be and slash Wix and slash whatever Squarespace and slash and it’s always the e commerce websites that he kept mentioning. Cause WordPress is an e commerce solution that also does websites. It’s never been the other way around. It’s more an e commerce solution and that’s it.

[00:39:18] Sé Reed: I don’t think about it that way at all because the sites

[00:39:20] Jason Tucker: No, but he does.

[00:39:21] Sé Reed: e commerce. Oh, yeah. Matt always looks at it from the standpoint of can I ingest stuff from Shopify

[00:39:29] Jason Cosper: If you go.

[00:39:30] Jason Tucker: of looking at it.

[00:39:31] Jason Cosper: If you go visit wordpress. org slash and right now it forwards you to the data liberation page and it’s interesting cause like, yeah, they have Squarespace to WordPress, Tumblr to WordPress, RSS to WordPress, like all of this stuff, but then you scroll down and it’s they have some other data liberation tools that are in there, which is Figma to Blocks, Divi to Blocks So it’s going to be interesting to see,

[00:40:02] Sé Reed: So blocks is just the default freedom, is that, so the blocks are the freest, is that what we’re just assuming? Where everything’s going into blocks?

[00:40:11] Jason Cosper: So sayeth

[00:40:12] Sé Reed: to use that divi to blocks. Yeah, I it be written.

[00:40:17] Jason Tucker: How much, how many things are being dropped when you

[00:40:19] Sé Reed: divi to

[00:40:20] Jason Tucker: from Divi? It must like drop like half the functionality,

[00:40:24] Sé Reed: but what it does drop is the dynamic content. I can tell you

[00:40:27] Jason Tucker: right? That’s why they had to do Custom fields? Yeah, go figure. I don’t know, I’ve never made a custom taxonomy and wanted to pull that content. I don’t know why anyone would ever do that. No one wants content by taxonomy.

[00:40:42] Sé Reed: Yeah, sorry, a little taxonomy joke. I think about taxonomy a lot in my work, so I’m always thinking about taxonomy and custom fields.

[00:40:49] Jason Tucker: They also mentioned the plugin metrics. And there was a question that was asked about plugin metrics and are there going to be more information added in there and Matt, and and as mad as he can be said that he wanted to talk more about like the preview button and like these sorts of things and, oh, at some point we may get into more of that, but he did not announce anything regarding having

[00:41:16] Sé Reed: Look, a penguin!

[00:41:17] Jason Cosper: So

[00:41:17] Jason Tucker: say that some of these things are so big that they have to make the max value be even more. So that way you can get a better idea of what’s going on. But then he also mentioned if you have a small plugin that he would want to make sure that the small plugins are being represented as well.

[00:41:31] Jason Tucker: So yeah,

[00:41:34] Sé Reed: All things to all people. Case in point with the activity pub thing was it on Tumblr? Was it on WordPress? I don’t know where any of this information is coming anymore. , but the focus on activity pub, the response. There’s not a huge user base for those plugins. Therefore, we don’t see a lot of call for that.

[00:41:57] Sé Reed: And that is the fact that this plugin exists is so niche. What are you talking about? The developer centricity sometimes in this project is like laughable because we’re talking about the playground where it’s this is the best thing and it has like really specific implementations that are exciting other than the plugin preview, which is probably Really the coolest thing in all of that, but like, all of these really niche dev things become like, the whole project, and it’s just not representing everybody, let’s just say, in the whole project.

[00:42:38] Jason Tucker: work everywhere.

[00:42:40] Sé Reed: Speaking of one last thing, I wanted to say that Gutenberg is also, not just mentioned, but it’s brought in as it’s own separate thing, which it is. And Matthias, whose last name I can’t recall. I’m really bad with last names, y’all. There it is. Architect, by the way. I just wanted to reflect on that title.

[00:43:03] Sé Reed: That title of lead architect for Gutenberg. Because I don’t know where Gutenberg, like where the Gutenberg code, I believe the Gutenberg code base is in WordPress. So it is in theory governed by the WordPress foundation. In theory, right? I don’t know. I don’t, one would assume if it is in that repo, that is the code with which it controls.

[00:43:26] Sé Reed: But it just really strikes me that title that this person holds, but it’s their title within their company. And where does that title from within WordPress come? Is that something that is appointed? Obviously the executive director position was appointed. Again, an employee. These titles and these namings and these decisions, data liberation, they really are just handed down.

[00:43:53] Sé Reed: No one was talking about unseen, I should say. The data liberation Conversation in meta. I have not heard of that page. The showcase page was developed with some of the hat to WordPress marketing team. The state of the word page, new landing page they created, has what has a repo ticket, so it was tracked.

[00:44:25] Sé Reed: And, but some of these other pages, all the and pages, all that stuff, that’s just It’s really all being developed in house. It is not actually being developed openly in the community. And especially, I know it’s because everyone likes surprises, but hey, it’s an open source community, so maybe not surprises.

[00:44:42] Sé Reed: In the announcements channel, which has a very limited posting scope, a very few people can post in there in the past couple of weeks, Matt posted that he, it had come to his attention that work was being done outside of the open Purview of the project. And then he’s asked for that to stop. But a lot of the state of the word being developed I, like I said, I’ve found various repos and have been tracking where this stuff is actually happening, but all of those and pages and the data liberation, that’s just surprise, we have a new focus.

[00:45:24] Sé Reed: And we’re going to pay attention to this now, coming out of literally nowhere. I’m not

[00:45:31] Sé Reed: That’s the problem. I’m not against data liberation. I think it’s great. I just don’t understand the surprise, this is a thing we’re now championing

[00:45:40] Jason Cosper: It’s, it seems that somebody has watched a number of Apple keynotes and also wants to do the thing.

[00:45:48] Jason Tucker: we’re going to be flying through the WordPress virtual offices on a drone at some point here.

[00:45:55] Jason Cosper: yeah we just copying literally everything that everyone else does?

[00:46:00] Jason Cosper: He’s throwing to other people and now with improvements to Gutenberg, here’s Matias and then he comes out like Craig Federici comes out and then shows off a bunch of stuff, like in the Apple keynotes and everything else. I will say. No okay.

[00:46:21] Jason Cosper: Knock to Matt, I found Matias as part of the presentation more compelling because it was actually showing stuff off that I was like, okay, this is some stuff I’m going to get my hands on it went into the admin and all that.

[00:46:34] Jason Cosper: Yeah. Okay, great. Let’s see what we’re working towards for the next year. Fine. But,

[00:46:40] Sé Reed: but that’s in the Gutenberg plugin, which is, no one is clear, no one can answer to me, since the community summit or anywhere, what the structure of that is. It’s literally just I, I would be the matrix thing is really interesting, because with the announcement of that license, if you go read that article, that, that matrix put out, it is all about the idea is that it is, it was made into the AG GPL license because they realized there were all of these companies that were starting to leech off of the open source community and not contribute back. And I was

[00:47:21] Jason Tucker: heard this story before

[00:47:23] Sé Reed: I was like, as I was reading it, I’m like, wow, this sounds wildly familiar. That the complaint is that, oh, people aren’t contributing back. And it’s a big thing about is it contributing the, an individual company, is it contributing the community and putting that license on it means that if you’re building stuff that you’re profiting on, you have to share it like openly, and that’s really what the difference is.

[00:47:46] Sé Reed: And I think that is interesting. That’s in terms of data liberation, in terms of the structure of the, who does these things. Someone, some in the community, some of the project leadership would likely say we can’t ask contributors who are volunteers to be available to do a whole demo.

[00:48:13] Sé Reed: Or we can’t ask them, people who are not being supported, to do this, so we’ll just do it, and we’ll just do it in house, and we’re paying for it. Somehow this troll, and really literally they are paying their employees to go out there and do this thing, as if it were an Apple event as if it were a Google event.

[00:48:36] Sé Reed: But it’s not, it’s a WordPress event. And we saw those lines being crossed at WordCamp US when Matt announced WordPress. com’s legacy plan in his talk at WordCamp US. And when I see all of these different employees and this whole entire event being produced by a company, This feels to me like this is wordpress.

[00:49:02] Sé Reed: com’s state of the word. And the hat tip to the community at the beginning is literally just a facade. Like it feels like it’s almost like the hat tip to accessibility, right? Oh

[00:49:19] Jason Cosper: Say if this was the state of the word brought to you by wordpress. com or brought to you by Jetpack, would you

[00:49:28] Jason Tucker: by Jetpack.

[00:49:29] Jason Cosper: Yeah.

[00:49:30] Sé Reed: Actually, I would feel differently about that, yes. Because it would be, or sponsored by Automatic, or something like that. Because what’s happening is It’s being portrayed as it is this WordPress. org thing. It’s this speaking about WordPress, where we’re going in the future with WordPress. It’s all about the project, the community, all of that, but who’s producing it?

[00:49:52] Sé Reed: That’s not whose needs it’s reflecting. They’re not Josefa posted in the Team Reps channel and said, Hey, are there any wins anyone’s doing that we could celebrate? A couple of weeks before the state of the word, most of those things were not mentioned. And funnily enough, I popped into the LLM channel that was created after the LLM channel announcement at WordCamp US, where he his only comment in the entire channel was, I’m starting this channel.

[00:50:29] Sé Reed: And then, hey, what work is being done in this channel that I can talk about? I’m not

[00:50:37] Jason Tucker: so here’s the placeholder. And by the way, I need you to backfill it.

[00:50:42] Sé Reed: like that is created the channel. Okay, you guys to go do this all this it was about LLMs creating standards, again, data liberation. This is basically on that same tip. And then tucking in and being like, what can I profile? Nothing had been done because there was mass chaos that happened shortly after WordCamp US that involved one of the key LLM people.

[00:51:03] Sé Reed: So the Slack messages in that channel are really funny. If you’re in WP Slack and you want to go check out that channel, you don’t even have to join to see the funny. But I, we won’t have to post it here. We wrap up, I did want to, I did want to mention one quick thing regarding Slack channels, and the Slack channel was that they made an announcement that there’ll be a Spanish speaking Slack channel, with Spanish speaking Slack channels Bye. That support it. And Matt was saying that the community there was using a free version of Word, or free version of Slack in order to be able to accommodate having all of those Spanish speaking folks in there.

[00:51:45] Jason Tucker: And that they were essentially all of their history is being deleted and all this stuff because of the fact that you end up with too much stuff and you go over the limits and you lose all that history. Running on a, on the free account. And so they were like, Oh, Matt’s Oh we should definitely set up a bunch of Slack channels for Spanish speaking folks.

[00:52:06] Jason Tucker: And I just, it just made me think that it’s really odd that something like that had to happen. Or could only happen because Matt showed up to the country that speaks Spanish to make Spanish. Like, how did this not happen earlier? I don’t understand.

[00:52:22] Sé Reed: I’ve actually had lots of thoughts about how disconnected, because the Marketing team for Make is portrayed as the global marketing team, and then there are these like, locale based marketing teams. And I’ve had a few conversations with some of the people who are in, in the global Make versus the local Makes, and it’s like, why are, why is there no communication here?

[00:52:42] Sé Reed: The interesting thing is that the local pages actually do not have make. wordpress. org pages. They are only on the main domain of wordpress. org. So it’s actually really interesting because make. wordpress. org is not translated. I can’t remember if we

[00:52:59] Jason Tucker: be the phase four.

[00:53:00] Sé Reed: but yeah talk about dogfooding. Yeah, we’ll have to dogfood our own stuff. We also, see, we have one more thing to talk about, is that there’s an event page which also just crept up, and now it tracks all the meetups, and it’s going to be the events page for WordPress’s Also going to have all the next gen pages and all of that.

[00:53:23] Sé Reed: And my only question to that is, what’s up with the calendar plugin for that?

[00:53:30] Sé Reed: And is that a calendar? I need to find out if that’s a calendar plugin we can use. Because calendar plugins are a thing, with a capital T. There’s lots of jokes about date time. Problems in

[00:53:45] Jason Tucker: Oh

[00:53:45] Jason Cosper: yeah,

[00:53:46] Sé Reed: it’s so I’m

[00:53:48] Jason Tucker: so easy to work with. It’s fun.

[00:53:51] Jason Cosper: As somebody who ran the hosting team meetings for about two years with Mike Schroeder figuring and before Mike Schroeder moved to, to. Japan even just getting stuff nailed down for the one hosting team meeting we were running and making sure that everything was like clearly labeled in UTC and date time.

[00:54:19] Jason Cosper: And I’ve been doing some work outside of like community work with like folks in India, which their time zones get real fun because they go

[00:54:29] Sé Reed: on the opposite side of the planet.

[00:54:31] Jason Cosper: Not only on the opposite side of the planet, but in some cases, they have time zones that are broken up by half hour.

[00:54:39] Sé Reed: I’ve just seen that, oh, so complicated.

[00:54:41] Jason Cosper: yeah,

[00:54:42] Jason Tucker: It’s fun stuff.

[00:54:44] Sé Reed: I’m like, that just happened, you’re on the half hour, that’s

[00:54:47] Jason Tucker: So with us closing with us, closing in and wrapping up I did

[00:54:52] Sé Reed: like how you’re forcing us off the

[00:54:53] Jason Tucker: Yeah, I did want to invite folks to go over to WPwatercooler. com slash aftercooler. And that’s where we go and hang out in. It’s not matrix. We go hang out in something called, what is that? That would be there’s like the software and it like, yeah, it’s not slack.

[00:55:13] Jason Tucker: It’s so nice. It’s so nice. So come hang out with us. Come hang out with us. We do audio only. And Come tell us your thoughts,

[00:55:21] Jason Tucker: and hang out with

[00:55:22] Sé Reed: of your thoughts.

[00:55:23] Jason Cosper: no nothing is recorded. Hot takes. Welcome. Please share with us what you thought about the state of the word. Yeah come chop it up with us. We’ll all be in there for at least a few minutes. And we people hang out sometimes until it’s almost noon here in California.

[00:55:48] Jason Cosper: We’ve seen people hang out till 1. 30 ish. We have good conversations there. Please come join us.

[00:55:57] Jason Tucker: Yep. Yep. All right. Thank you very much for hanging out with us. Talk to y’all later.

[00:56:01] Sé Reed: Hi y’all. Wait,

[00:56:03] Jason Tucker: outro. Go over to our website at wpwatercooler. com slash subscribe and subscribe to our content over there. There’s plenty of places that you can watch us. We actually streamed live on Instagram today. If you didn’t know that, feel free to go take a look at that and see how that worked out for us.

[00:56:21] Jason Tucker: And yeah, I’ll talk to y’all later. You have a good one. See ya. Bye.

[00:56:25] Sé Reed: we what?

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