Save the Date: May 27

What’s on May 27, you ask?

May 27, 2013 is the 10th anniversary of the first WordPress release!

We think this is worth celebrating, and we want WordPress fans all over the world to celebrate with us by throwing their own parties. We’re using Meetup Everywhere to coordinate, and will be putting up a website just for the 10th Anniversary so that we can collect photos, videos, tweets, and posts from all the parties.

The rules are very simple:

  1. Pick a place to go where a bunch of people can be merry — a park, a bar, a backyard, whatever
  2. Spread the word to local meetups, tech groups, press, etc and get people to say they’ll come to your party
  3. If 50 or more people RSVP to your party, we’ll try to send you some WordPress stickers and buttons
  4. Have party attendees post photos, videos, and the like with the #wp10 hashtag

We’ll be using Meetup Everywhere to coordinate parties all over the world, so get your city on the map and register your party now !

We’ll follow up with registered organizers  over the next few weeks with some tips for how to publicize your party and to get addresses for swag packages. To that end, make sure you check the option that lets WordPress 10th Anniversary know your email, or we won’t be able to get in touch with you for these things or to give you access to the WP10 blog.

Whose party will be the biggest? The most fun? The most inventive? Will it be yours?

Note: If you already run a group on meetup.com, making your party an event in your group is great, but you still need to post it and have people RSVP at the special party page, because regular groups and Meetup Everywhere groups aren’t connected yet. 

WordPress 3.6 Beta 1

WordPress 3.6 Beta 1 is now available!

This is software still in development and we really don’t recommend that you run it on a production site — set up a test site just to play with the new version. To test WordPress 3.6, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the beta here (zip).

We’ve been working for nearly three months and have completed all the features that are slated for this release. This is a bit of a change from the betas of previous release cycles. I felt very strongly that we shouldn’t release a beta if we were still working on completing the main features. This beta is actually a beta, not an alpha that we’re calling a beta. If you are a WordPress plugin or theme developer, or a WordPress hosting provider, you should absolutely start testing your code against this new version now. More bugs will be fixed, and some of the features will get polished, but we’re not going to shove in some big new feature. We’re ready for you to test it, so jump in there! The more you test the beta, the more stable our release candidates and our final release will be.

As always, if you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. Or, if you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on the WordPress Trac. There, you can also find a list of known bugs and everything we’ve fixed so far.

Here’s what’s new in 3.6:

  • Post Formats:  Post Formats now have their own UI, and theme authors have access to templating functions to access the structured data.
  • Twenty Thirteen: We’re shipping this year’s default theme in our first release of the year. Twenty Thirteen is an opinionated, color-rich, blog-centric theme that makes full use of the new Post Formats support.
  • Audio/Video: You can embed audio and video files into your posts without relying on a plugin or a third party media hosting service.
  • Autosave:  Posts are now autosaved locally. If your browser crashes, your computer dies, or the server goes offline as you’re saving, you won’t lose the your post.
  • Post Locking:  See when someone is currently editing a post, and kick them out of it if they fall asleep at the keyboard.
  • Nav Menus:  Nav menus have been simplified with an accordion-based UI, and a separate tab for bulk-assigning menus to locations.
  • Revisions: The all-new revisions UI features avatars, a slider that “scrubs” through history, and two-slider range comparisons.

Developers:  You make WordPress awesome(er). One of the things we strive to do with every release is be compatible with existing plugins and themes. But we need your help. Please test your plugins and themes against 3.6. If something isn’t quite right, please let us know. (Chances are, it wasn’t intentional.) If you’re a forward-thinking theme developer, you should be looking at implementing the new Post Format support in some of your themes (look to Twenty Thirteen for inspiration).

We’re looking forward to your feedback. If you break it (i.e. find a bug), please report it, and if you’re a developer, try to help us fix it. We’ve already had more than 150 contributors to version 3.6 — it’s not too late to join the party!

2012: A Look Back

Another year is coming to a close, and it’s time to look back and reflect on what we’ve accomplished in the past twelve months. The WordPress community is stronger than ever, and some of the accomplishments of the past year are definitely worth remembering.

Software Releases

We had two major releases of the WordPress web application with versions 3.4 and 3.5, as well as 5 security releases during 2012. 3.4 included the theme customizer, while 3.5 became the long awaited “media release” featuring a new uploader and gallery management tool. 3.5 contained code contributions from more people than ever, and we hope to continue growing the contributor ranks in the year ahead. We currently have native apps on 6 mobile platforms — iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Nokia, and WebOS — and saw several updates there as well.

Plugin Directory

A number of improvements were made to the Plugin Directory in 2012. More cosmetic  updates, like the introduction of branded plugin page headers, make it a nicer browsing experience, while functional changes like better-integrated support forums, plugin reviews, and a favorites system made the plugin directory even more useful as a resource.

The “Make” Network and Team Reps

2012 was the year that saw the creation of Make.wordpress.org, a network of sites for the teams of contributors responsible for the different areas of the WordPress project. Now anyone can follow along and get involved with the teams that work on core, theme review, forum support, documentation, and more. In 2013 we’ll work to improve these sites to make it easier to become a contributor. Each team also now has elected Team Reps, a new role that has already led to more cross-team communication. Team reps post each week to the Updates blog so that the other reps can keep up with what’s going on in other teams.

WordPress Community Summit

At the end of October, about 100 of the most influential and respected members of the WordPress community attended an inaugural summit to discuss where we all stand, and to figure out where we go next with WordPress. A “conference of conversations,” this unconference made everyone an active participant, and while not every issue brought to the table was solved by the end of the event, the right questions were being asked.

Meetup.com

The WordPress Foundation now has a central account with Meetup.com. We’ve brought in a couple dozen existing meetup groups as a pilot to test the system, and are in the process of working with more existing meetups (as well as new ones) to join us so that local organizers won’t have to pay organizer dues and can get more support from the WordPress project.

Internet Blackout Day

We participated in the protest against SOPA/PIPA, Internet Blackout Day, on January 18. Though we usually stay out of politics, this campaign was important, and we not only participated in the blackout on WordPress.org, we encouraged our users to do so as well, and recommended plugins to provide blackout functionality. It was deemed the largest online protest in history.

WordCamps

And finally, it wouldn’t be a recap without counting up the WordCamps! There were 67 WordCamps around the world in 2012, bringing together WordPress users, developers, and fans. If you didn’t make it to a WordCamp this year, maybe it can be one of your new year resolutions: check the schedule to find one near you!