WP Briefing: Episode 67: Openverse & Photo Directory Rewind

WordPress Executive Director, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, returns to a recent episode of the WordPress Briefing, which discussed two resources for openly licensed media in the WordPress project– Openverse and Photo Directory– and how they differ from one another!

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@WordPress.org, either written or as a voice recording.


Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes


[00:00:00] Josepha: Hello everyone. And welcome to the WordPress Briefing. The podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks.

I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

[00:00:28] (Intro music)

[00:00:40] Josepha: Today, we’re going to take a listen to last year’s episode about Openverse and the Photo Directory. A lot has changed in that project, well in, in both of those projects since then. For instance, the Photo Directory just passed a 10,000 photo milestone. And Openverse, in the past year, got their own URL and have been hard at work strengthening the reliability of their APIs.

[00:01:03] Josepha: But for some folks, it might still be a little unclear just what the difference is between these two projects. So let’s take a listen, and don’t forget to catch the updated small list of big things at the end of the episode. 

[00:01:13] (Music interlude)

[00:01:21] Josepha: About 18 months ago, the Openverse project became part of the WordPress open source project, and at roughly the same time, we also welcomed in the Photo Directory.

Since that time, we’ve seen growth of teams supporting both of these initiatives. But if you’re not involved in the day-to-day, it can be hard to know how those two things fit together or if they fit together at all.

[00:01:41] Josepha: Today, let’s take a brief tour of those two projects and why they came to be. In my timeline, work on the Photo Directory started before the work on Openverse, so that’s where we’ll start.

For as long as I can remember, the WordPress community has raised the need for WordPress-first ways to have and host GPL-compatible photos for use in themes, site builds, and marketing efforts as a whole. As recently as 2016, that was still coming up as a question at various flagship events and among the career photographers that contribute their time to WordPress.

[00:02:13] Josepha: So, in 2017 and 2018, as attention started to turn toward rebuilding the CMS using blocks, it dropped down the list of priority items. But it never really went away as a thing that people were hoping we could do for the project as a whole. So in 2019, it was becoming clear that having open source-first tools of all varieties for people whose businesses were built on our software would help broaden the availability of the open source freedoms we believe in.

This began the work on the Photo Directory with the intention of providing a GPL-friendly, community-driven repository of images. It has since launched, and we have photos in it now. We have a whole team around it. It’s wonderful. But that is how that all kind of came to be. 

[00:02:58] Josepha: Openverse, on the other hand, was launched as CC Search in 2019 with the laudable mandate to increase the discoverability and accessibility of open access media.

Late in 2020, while work on the Photo Directory was underway, Matt shared with me that the team was looking for a new project home. When I first met with them, they shared an overview of the product, which they shorthanded as an open source search engine that searches openly licensed images. We were working on a repo of openly licensed images, so clearly, this was all written in the stars. And so you might be asking yourself at this point, great, how does it work together?

I think for most of us, the timeline there kind of covers the question of what is the difference between these two things. 

But because I never know which of you will want to strike up a conversation about open source on an elevator, I’ve also got the elevator pitch version as well. 

[00:03:52] Josepha: Openverse is an open source search engine that searches, indexes, and aggregates copy left media from across the web using sources such as WordPress’s Photo Directory, Flickr’s CC Tagged Media, and Wikimedia, to name just a few. 

Another key difference between the Photo Directory and Openverse is that in order to contribute to the Photo Directory, now that it’s all built, that’s mostly done by submitting photos or reviewing photos. So, you don’t really need to be a developer to join in. 

Openverse not only is a developer-centric contribution opportunity, but it also uses a different tech stack than WordPress as a whole. So, it’s a good place for folks to go if they’re looking to broaden their horizons.

[00:04:37] Josepha: So that’s your elevator pitch of what is Openverse and how does it use the Photo Directory. 

You have a couple of ways that you can get involved with these two projects. For the Photo Directory, as I mentioned at the start, you can always contribute photos, and they could always use more photo contributions.

I’ll include a link to the submission guidelines in the show notes below, and as I mentioned, it is a no-code way to give back to the WordPress project. So, no code is required, no development environments, no testing skills. The Photo Directory team also could always use more contributors to help with the moderating of photo submissions.

And so I’ll link to their making WordPress page in the show notes as well so that you can get started there. 

[00:05:22] Josepha: And as I mentioned before, Openverse is an aggregator, so it doesn’t host any media itself, but it is always accepting suggestions for new GPL-compatible media providers. I’ll link the area where you can leave suggestions in the show notes as well.

And if you are more code-inclined, there’s an open issue for adding Openverse browsing to the block editor right now.  

So I’ll link that issue in the show notes in case you thought to yourself, gosh, that sounds like my most favorite thing to do. That is where you can go. 

[00:05:53] (Music interlude) 

[00:06:01] Josepha: And that brings us now to our November 2023 small list of big things.

[00:06:07] Josepha: The first thing that’s on the small list of big things this week is that the countdown is on for this year’s State of the Word. If you missed the initial announcement a few weeks ago, you’ll want to mark your calendars for December 11th, 2023. State of the Word will include a Q&A session, and if you want to participate, you can send your question to ask-matt@wordcamp.org. Or, ask during the event via the Q&A app Slido. A QR code for your submission will be provided during the event live stream, so if you’re choosing that option, don’t worry; there’s not anything to do right this second. 

[00:06:40] Josepha: The second thing on the list is that WordCamp Asia has extended their call for sponsors for the conference that is slated to take place in Taipei, Taiwan, March 7th through 9th, 2024. The new deadline has been extended to November 30th, 2023, and so if you have been on the fence about whether to sponsor that event or not, for one, please do sponsor it, and for two, you still have a little bit of time to get over there and show your support.

[00:07:05] Josepha: And then the last thing on the small list of big things is that the documentation team now has a new GitHub repo created for end-user documentation and its translations into all locales. For more information about this, come check out the show notes. I will have a link right there for you. And that, my friends, is your small list of big things.

[00:07:26] Josepha: Don’t forget to follow us on your favorite podcast app or subscribe directly on WordPress.org/news. You’ll get a friendly reminder whenever there’s a new episode. If you liked what you heard today, share it with a fellow WordPresser. Or, if you have questions about what you heard, you can share those with me at wpbriefing@WordPress.org. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Thanks for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks. 

[00:07:51] (Music outro)

WP Briefing: Episode 66: Advocating Open Source Solutions

WordPress Executive Director, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, speaks to the strategic approach to integrating open source solutions within your company and offers insight into initiating open source advocacy conversations. Tune in for a session that could redefine your company’s technological approach.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@WordPress.org, either written or as a voice recording.


Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes

  • Small List of Big Things
    • WordPress 6.4 “Shirley” – The final major release of 2023 launched on November 7 – WordPress 6.4 “Shirley.” Download and check out this empowering release.
    • The Training Team recently published several new Learn resources for training guides to support Meetup Organizers. From lesson plans to online workshops, there are several ways to help you in your goals as a contributor to WordPress.
    • The Diversity Team recently published a new Diverse Speaker Training page, providing resources for new and experienced contributors to bring more diverse speaker lineups and inclusive, diverse WP events for official WordPress Meetups and WordCamps.
    • If you have a story showing how WordPress has impacted what you are doing or what people you know have done, record something and send it to wpbriefing@WordPress.org. We’d love to hear from you.


[00:00:00] Josepha: Hello everyone. And welcome to the WordPress Briefing. The podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

[00:00:28] (Intro music) 

[00:00:40] Josepha: Today, we’re talking about something I used to have a lot of experience with in my career before WordPress. I worked at a marketing agency. I wasn’t a developer. I was in data and strategy sorts of things. But part of the work heading into every project was an evaluation of what software was best. There were always a variety being considered, but WordPress was frequently one of them.

Now, I don’t know if any of you have had that moment where you’re having to talk open source with a CTO or a CEO, but it can be nerve-wracking, to say the least. And it makes sense, right? Open source has a PR problem, especially when you’re speaking to leadership inside a business. And it doesn’t really matter the size, right?

You’re advocating for something that requires a completely different mental model. It doesn’t fit into accepted concepts of what makes a business thrive or what makes a bet a sure thing. There were three, maybe four, concerns that came up every time I had this conversation. So, I’m going to share those concerns with you and a few possible counterpoints to get you started.

[00:01:48] Josepha: First and always is the concern around security. I believe that this particular mismatch is rooted in an idea that controlled equals secure, which isn’t always the case. So the talking point is this. Since open source has a transparent development process, it is often more secure than proprietary software, contrary to what you might hear.

That transparency allows vulnerabilities to be identified by independent researchers and community members and then patched quickly because you aren’t limited by who or what you know personally.

And if you’re not having a conversation where you’re having to defend the security in open source and you just want to bring it up yourself, here is a conversation opener for that. Security is a top concern for all of us. Surprisingly, open source solutions often have stronger security measures due to the collaborative nature of their development. It’s a proactive approach to minimizing risks. 

[00:02:43] Josepha: A second thing that frequently came up was questions around innovation and future proofing of open source products. I think this mismatch is fully rooted in the Cathedral and the Bazaar methods of advancement. So the talking point for that one is this. Embracing open source fosters innovation. We can tap into the latest technologies and stay ahead of industry trends that way. It is specifically because we have a diverse set of viewpoints that we can make sure to quickly account for future risks, along with taking advantage of future opportunities. And by our organization being more active, we can potentially get exactly the solutions we need for our clients long term.

And the conversation opener for this, if you are the one bringing up the topic, is I’ve been thinking about our long-term goals and how to keep our technology stack relevant. Open source not only keeps us current but also positions us as innovators in our field.

[00:03:40] Josepha: And finally, the thing that seems to make or break the decision is the concept of independence. Part of any good business decision, especially around software, is determining upfront costs to getting started, long-term effectiveness of the chosen solution, and long-term mobility should circumstances change. Open source can address these from multiple vantage points.

So here’s a good talking point for that one. Open source liberates us from vendor lock-in. We’re not tied to a single vendor’s roadmap or pricing changes, providing us with more options that suit our needs our clients’ needs. Also, given how ubiquitous WordPress is in particular, there will always be a disaster recovery option should a senior developer leave.

And beyond all of that, clients can own all of the content, audience attention, and clientele that we have all worked so hard to help them earn. And again, if you’re not defending things and instead choosing to bring them up as somebody who is trying to affect change in your own organization, here is a good place to start for that.

Considering the dynamic nature of our industry, having the freedom to choose solutions independent of a specific vendor makes sure that we are always in control of our destiny.

[00:04:59] Josepha: So, those are the three most frequent things I encountered when I was having conversations about which software to choose and what software was the best choice long term for both our organization and our client’s organizations.

If you have been in the midst of this type of conversation and have been longing for some counterpoints, I hope this helps. But if you have been feeling in your heart of hearts that your company or organization would be better off using open source software, and of course, in my context, particularly WordPress as that software, but you’ve been worried about bringing it up, I hope this gives you the courage to get out there and be an agent of change in your organization. You can do it, and I know you can.

[00:05:44] (Music interlude) 

[00:05:51] Josepha: All right, my friends, that brings us now to our small list of big things. 

[00:05:57] Josepha: First on the list, big, big thing. We launched WordPress 6.4 on November 7th, about a week ago. Be sure to download and check out the latest update on this monumental release. And while you’re doing it. Be sure to check out the new default theme that came out with it. It has a lot of patterns in it. I know I’ve talked about it quite a bit over the course of the year, but it’s really beautiful, and I think that it’s worth a good, strong highlight. So WordPress 6.4, you can get it on WordPress.org/download or inside your own host, probably. 

[00:06:29] Josepha: The second thing that we have is that the training team recently published several new Learn resources to support meetup organizers. So we’ve got over there some lesson plans, tutorials, online workshops. And there are also new materials that help you figure out how to accomplish your goals as a contributor to the WordPress project.

[00:06:49] Josepha: And we also have a recently published new diverse speaker training page. It provides incredible resources for new and experienced contributors to bring more diverse speaker lineups and inclusive, diverse WordPress events for official WordPress meetups and WordCamps. 

[00:07:06] Josepha: And the fourth thing on our small list of big things today is that I would love to get a few voice recordings from you all, from folks who are listening to the WordPress Briefing, or folks that you know, to learn more about how WordPress has impacted you. 

One of the things that I miss the most from my days as a WordCamp organizer is that annually, I got to see people who had shown up, once at a meetup, you know, to learn what WordPress was, and then came back year after year to our WordCamp with these new goals and new successes and I got to watch their businesses change over time. And so if you have a story like that where WordPress impacted what you are doing or what people that you know have done, record something and send it to wpbriefing@WordPress.org.

So that, my friends, is your small list of big things.

[00:08:04] Josepha: Don’t forget to follow us on your favorite podcasting app or subscribe directly on WordPress.org/news. You’ll get a friendly reminder whenever there is a new episode. If you liked what you heard today, share it with a fellow WordPresser. Or, if you had questions about what you heard, you can share those with me at wpbriefing@WordPress.org. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Thanks for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks. 

[00:08:31] (Music outro)

WP Briefing: Episode 65: Little Sun Success

Join WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy as she looks at a recent WordPress success story, the clean energy solution Little Sun, and learns about their WordPress story.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.


Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Special Guest: Romane Guégan
Special Guest: Ashley Mrozek
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes

  • Website: Little Sun
  • Small List of Big Things
    • State of the Word – This year’s annual keynote, State of the Word, will be on December 11. Save the date to hear the WordPress project’s co-founder, Matt Mullenweg, share reflections on the project’s progress and aspirations for the future of open source.
    • Celebrating 10,000 Photos in the WordPress Photo Directory – On October 11, the 10,000th photo was approved! The Photo Team is one of the newest ways to contribute to the WordPress open source project.
    • Community Team Training #11: Using the Translate Live tool – Uncover the potential of the “Translate Live” tool, which is ideal for presenting at local meetups to engage and onboard new translators for your native language. If you’re organizing a WordCamp, consider introducing this tool during your Contributor Day.
    • A New WordPress Showcase – The journey to update WordPress.org continues with the launch of a new Showcase design. The Showcase is a natural starting point for visitors arriving on WordPress.org, and it both inspires creativity and demonstrates what’s possible with WordPress.


[00:00:00] Josepha: Hello everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing. The podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

[00:00:28] (Intro music) 

[00:00:40] Josepha: Today, I’ve got a special guest with me. I have here a couple of folks from Little Sun, a nonprofit organization that recently moved its entire online presence to WordPress. And we’re talking everything from their mission statement and donations all the way to their blog and shop.

Welcome both to the WordPress Briefing. 

[00:00:59] Ashley: Thank you.

[00:01:00] Romane: Thank you. 

[00:01:01] Josepha: We have with us Little Sun today. Can you start by introducing yourselves and your organization? Just tell us a little bit about what you all do. 

[00:01:08] Romane: Hi, my name is Romane Guégan. I’m a Senior Press and Communications Manager at Little Sun. 

[00:01:14] Ashley: And I am Ashley Mrozek. I’m the Senior Digital Manager. 

[00:01:17] Josepha: So what does Little Sun do for the folks who are listening and maybe don’t know about it yet? 

[00:01:22] Romane: Little Sun brings full power and light to communities that live off the grid, with the focus on sub-Saharan Africa because most of the people who lack access to electricity and need them. And we also inspire people to take climate action globally. 

[00:01:39] Ashley: So access to solar energy helps kids who don’t have electricity and study at night. They can complete their homework at night. If their schools are in a more rural area, they will have a light to kind of guide them back home.

We also work on a lot of electric vocation projects and hospitals. So we’re, we’re kind of supporting labors that are, are taking place in the evening, after the sun goes down, among other things. 

[00:02:07] Josepha: Yeah. It’s, I, I think that that is one of the things that folks, probably most of my listeners, probably take for granted, like the easy access to light. And as we all know, the sun is around a lot. And so that is one of our most readily available resources other than potentially wind power. But I think that that is a great mission. And I really think that that’s wonderful work that y’all are doing.

So, is there a particular reason that you focus on sub-Saharan Africa? Is that where you find a majority of people who don’t have access to that kind of resource are? 

[00:02:43] Romane: Yeah. 70% of those people actually need in sub-Saharan Africa, where solar is actually a viable source of energy. Actually, it’s only 1% of solar, of the solar capital of the generation when we actually deliver solar energy there because there is so much potential.

[00:03:04] Josepha: That’s amazing. So you said that you all were funded in 2012. I imagine that your business has evolved over time. So, obviously, you all are WordPress users. That’s why we have you here with us today. But before we get into the questions about WordPress itself. Why don’t you tell us a bit about how your business needs evolved over time and how you wound up needing a solution that did use WordPress?

[00:03:31] Ashley: So I would say our focus and kind of the different initiatives that we’ve taken on since 2012 have shifted a lot based on various reasons, where our donors are, where we’ve kind of found the most need, and where we can be the most impactful.

And I think as we go into those new geographies, our online presence has become more and more important. 

[00:03:55] Josepha: So, before you all switched to WordPress, I understand that you had several sites that you had to merge into one. And so I assume that as you evolved the business and your focus has changed, you realized you needed something a bit more streamlined. So, how was that transition, that migration from a lot of different sites to one big site? 

[00:04:17] Romane: Yeah, because we started as a global project. And then, with the time, we evolved, actually also getting new donations. And in the past, we used to have one website where we have our webshop and our mission, our vision, all of our project descriptions.

But then we had another website only for the foundation. And then you had another foundation in the U.S. So it was the question, okay, how do we put everything together? So we actually switched from littlesun.com to littlesun.org with WordPress, and it was amazing to see how we managed with the team to create an ecosystem approach, including impact, but also sales, and fundraising. 

[00:05:02] Josepha: That was a big footprint that you all had, and you kind of consolidated it into one. And for all of our folks listening on the podcast, I’m going to include some links, not only to their site but then also to a few other things that we’ve mentioned in here today. So, since you made that change, how has it, how has that impacted the way that you all work with your site or with your online presence?

[00:05:27] Ashley: Yeah, I think using WordPress and having access to WordPress has been hugely valuable for us. We’re a small team, we’re a nonprofit, so it is pretty scrappy. Everyone is kind of doing a lot of different things. We don’t have a dedicated development team. And so being able to easily customize our pages and create new landing pages or make adjustments on the site without that development help has been valuable.

[00:05:55] Josepha: Yeah, so you don’t have a developer team now. Did you have a developer team when you had all the sites? 

[00:06:01] Romane: We just still work with freelancers. 

[00:06:03] Josepha: Okay, yeah. I am also not a developer, for what it’s worth, and have been working with nonprofits for a while. And I understand that problem where you have all these things you need to do and want to do, but there are also things you absolutely have to focus on in order to make your mission possible and your vision come true.

[00:06:23] Ashley: Yeah, and I think, I think WordPress has given us a lot more, like a lot more flexibility to kind of produce new content quickly. And because of that, it’s just been a lot more efficient, too, for us, you know. 

[00:06:38] Josepha: And you all are using Blocks? Are you, like, the best Block builders?

[00:06:42] Romane: Yeah, I love Blocks. 

[00:06:43] Josepha: Blocks are a fairly new innovation for the history of WordPress. WordPress has been around for 20 years, so we’re a nice, mature project. And we’ve really only had blocks as a functional part of the CMS for probably the last five or so. We’ve been working on the project a little bit longer. And it has been fascinating to me, like, in my own work that I have done with WordPress, kind of outside of my work with the project, to see, like, how much autonomy you get to have back as somebody who is not a developer, maybe isn’t a designer, but you do know exactly what you need to have on your site today, right?

And having to stop and find a freelancer or stop and find some set of developers who can make those changes. For me, when I was specifically working on nonprofit stuff. That was always kind of a moment where I was like, well, I guess I’ll just go to Facebook and put that on there or something because I was faster than trying to find someone to come help you. And so, I’m so glad you love the block.

[00:07:48] Ashley: We’ve created many a landing page. 

[00:07:50] Josepha: Also, your site is adorable, and your brand is adorable, in case no one’s mentioned that lately. Super cute. Super cute.

[00:07:58] Josepha: So, we’ve talked about how you kind of took a bunch of stuff and made it into one big thing and how that’s been easier for you all to manage it. But from the standpoint of just, like, somebody who’s running a nonprofit, someone who’s running an organization, how has that transition been for your team? I know you said you don’t have a huge team, but was the move toward WordPress a net benefit over time, or was it immediately beneficial? Like, how has that been for your team? 

[00:08:27] Romane: So what’s interesting actually is that we have a team that is spread also all over the world. And so we have teams in Berlin and in U.S., and New York. In Zambia, too. What was really interesting was how people identify to the new website because now we have to really think, okay, what is the content we want people to see, but also we want our critics to see. And so it kind of unified all of our content at Little Sun. And it was much more like much easier to understand afterwards. 

[00:09:03] Josepha: Yeah. 

[00:09:04] Romane: And it was because we also work at the intersection of creative communications, impacts, fundraising, technology, and to be able to put everything and have it on the front. And then have the stories to tell the stories from sub-Saharan Africa, from universities who got either a Little Sun lamps or solar systems, and then we have the donation page, so basically everything could be integrated in a super easy way, and it could target different audiences easily, either it’s someone who wants to partner with us, or a donor, or just someone who wants to be part of our solar training.

[00:09:46] Josepha: Yeah, and I mean, I think that no one will be surprised to hear that if you have multiple things that you have to get everybody to, it really increases the amount of marketing that you have to accomplish, rather than having one place for everyone to go too, and they can see everything that they might want once they arrive. So, that’s wonderful.

[00:10:06] Ashley: I think I was just going to say, or kind of echo what Romane said about the fact that we have so many different audiences, we have partners, we have donors, we have people who are just coming to learn about solar energy, or who are interested in purchasing a lamp. I think prior to this, it was a little bit confusing for those different audiences to kind of navigate to where they were intended to go to on the site, and now it’s much more cohesive. And we often hear that from people where it’s like, it’s quite easy to, to kind to find what they need to find on the site. 

[00:10:39] Josepha: I define the WordPress community as anyone who is using WordPress, regardless of whether they know it or not. And so you all, in my mind, are part of the WordPress Community. And I just wondered if being part of that community has changed your approach to the way that you manage your content online or the way that you have chosen work with your business as like an online entity that also does on-the-ground, in-person thing?

[00:11:06] Ashley: I think definitely. I think we’re kind of going back to what I said before. I think we’re much more efficient now. I think in the past, it’s the idea of, like, well, getting this web page live or publishing this is going to be, you know, we have to think about a huge timeline, that’s, is going to require a lot of resourcing, a lot of different types of expertise and people, and everything now feels like something that we can, we can launch pretty immediately, which is really wonderful too.

I would also say just like being a part of the WordPress community too. It’s the sort of support that we’ve gotten from your team. It’s always really tailored. And I think as a nonprofit working with a, like, a much bigger business, you can be apprehensive sometimes, feeling like you won’t really get that personalized support. 

And I think that’s something that’s been so nice with WordPress. Is really feeling like the people we’re working with are understanding our business and taking the time to understand our needs. And I think that makes us think differently about our online presence as well because then we feel like we have that additional support, which is great.

[00:12:12] Josepha: I’m always a fan of hearing that people who are passionate about WordPress are also passionate about helping others with WordPress. That’s one of my favorite things about us. That’s not true. I have like 25 favorite things about us. And so I need to stop saying that I have one favorite, but I never will.

Okay, well, do you all have any last thoughts that you just want to share with me or podcast listeners that we have? 

[00:12:36] Ashley: Yeah, I think the, the plugins and integrations have been really useful for us. I think it can be really intimidating to bring on, like, a new tech solution or tool and feel like everything that you are already working with or have is going to become outdated or obsolete in some way. And I think it’s just been really nice to work with WordPress and have all of those transitions be really seamless for everything to connect really well. Yeah, I think that’s been. That’s hugely helpful too. 

[00:13:07] Josepha: So, was that part of the decision-making process? Like, do I know that this software will be around in the future so that you’re making an investment in the site now and know that it’s going to hang around now you can find people help? Like, was that part of the decision-making process?

[00:13:21] Ashley: I think so. I mean, I guess I wasn’t completely around during the time, but I would say, like, that’s definitely something that we’re considering in any kind of tech that we’re thinking about is it can require so much work to, to kind of bring something on with such a small team. So we want to ensure that, yeah, it’s going to last, it has longevity, and it’s going to work with the tools that we already have. So I think all of that is really important for sure. 

[00:13:48] Josepha: Well, thank you both so much for joining me. Like I said, we’ll have a link to littlesun.org in the notes so that you all can learn more about their project and see their beautiful site with their beautiful little solar sunflowers.

Thank you both for being with me today. 

[00:14:04] Romane: Thank you so much. 

[00:14:05] Ashley: Thank you so much for having us.

[00:14:07] (Music interlude)

[00:14:11] Josepha: What a wonderful organization. I’m so glad that they found WordPress and that it works for them. Let’s continue our tour today with the small list of big things.

Item number one, it’s time to save the date: December 11th, 2023, for this year’s State of the Word. State of the Word is the annual keynote address delivered by the WordPress Project co-founder Matt Mullenweg. Every year, the event shares reflections on the project’s progress and aspirations for the future of open source. And so, if that is something that you like to tune into, December 11th is your day. 

Second thing on our list is that we are celebrating our 10,000th photo submission. So, on October 11th, the 10,000th photo was approved. The Photo Team is one of the newest ways to contribute to the WordPress open source project, and it feeds all of those photos into Openverse as well.

The third thing on our list today is that I want to tell you about a community team training module that just came out. It’s specifically about the Translate Live tool, and it is ideal for presenting at your local meetups to engage and onboard new translators for your native language. If you’re organizing a WordCamp, consider introducing this tool during your Contributor Day. I will leave a link for this in the show notes so that it is easy to find. 

And item number four, the journey to update WordPress.org, continues with the launch of a new Showcase design. The Showcase is a natural starting point for a lot of visitors who are on WordPress.org. It inspires creativity and also demonstrates what’s possible with WordPress. So, stop on by there, it’s WordPress.org/showcase, and give it a bit of a look.

[00:15:58] Josepha: And that, my friends, is your small list of big things. Thank you for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. And don’t forget to follow us on your favorite podcast app or subscribe directly on WordPress.org/news. You’ll get a friendly reminder whenever a new episode drops. And if you like what you heard today, share it with a fellow WordPresser. Or, if you had questions about what you heard today, you can share those with me at wprebriefing@WordPress.org.

I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks. 

[00:16:24] (Music outro)

WP Briefing: Episode 64: Patterns in WordPress

Join WordPress Executive Director, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, as she goes back to the basics and offers some insight into block patterns for WordPress. Don’t miss this exciting insider’s look!

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.


Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes

  • Using Block Patterns
  • Pattern Library
  • Taking Advantage of Query Loops
  • Small List of Big Things
    • The WP Annual Survey is available! Each year, the WordPress community (users, site builders, extenders, and contributors) provides valuable feedback through an annual survey.
    • WordCamp Asia is searching for volunteers for the upcoming WordCamp on March 7–9, 2024. They are looking for Contributor Stories, Event Volunteers, Emcee support, A/V Team Crew, and even designers to help create the official Wapuu for the event.
    • Local WordCamp Meetups! Use this opportunity to find upcoming local events or volunteer to help at the next one. They are an excellent opportunity to meet with others in the community.


[00:00:00] Josepha: Hello everyone. And welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

[00:00:28] (Intro music) 

[00:00:39] Josepha: Today’s briefing topic is going to take a bit of a back-to-basics look at block patterns. Block patterns are one of my favorite enhancements that came through the Gutenberg project, and they’re pretty much exactly what they sound like. Groups of blocks that are arranged together. These patterns can be as simple as a block that holds a series of social sharing icons, but they can also be as complex as an entire landing page, complete with a call to action and interactive gallery.

They can be used as a starting point where you activate an entire pattern and then modify the pieces that don’t quite work for you or as a sort of inspirational catalog of design elements for you to build your own patterns from. 

So, where do these block patterns come from? Who created them? As with most things in WordPress, the answer is lots of places. Some patterns are included with WordPress by default, and there are also sometimes specialized block patterns that are bundled with a particular theme or plugin. There’s also a pattern library that includes both curated block patterns and all the patterns that are created and shared by the WordPress community itself.

So from the CMS, from themes, from plugins, from designers, from hobbyists, from people who just like love creating things and putting it out in the world, that’s, that’s where those patterns come from. But you can also create and curate your own block patterns, either to share back to the community as some folks do or because you are a site administrator and everyone needs to be able to add, I don’t know, an author block or something. But you don’t always want to be the one that has to put the photo on the page. 

There are a few blocks that have their patterns built into settings, most notably the Query Loop Block. I’ll share a tutorial about how to work with that in the show notes, but ultimately, what’s important to remember here is that block patterns are a really powerful tool with a lot of ways to implement them. You can start as simple as you want or as complex as you want, but either way, getting familiar with this concept in the software will give you a leg up on your next project.

[00:02:53] (Music interlude) 

[00:03:00] Josepha: That brings us now to our small list of big things. 

First up, the annual survey is available. Each year, the WordPress community, so users, site builders, extenders, contributors, artists, you all provide valuable feedback through an annual survey. And every year, I look into the results to get a sense for what areas need the most attention in the project. So click the link in the show notes to take the 2023 survey and help co-create WordPress. 

The next thing on our small list of big things is WordCamp Asia is currently searching for volunteers for the upcoming event on March 7th through 9th, 2024. They’re looking for Contributor Stories, Event Volunteers, Emcee support, A/V Team Crew, and even designers to help create the official Wapuu for the event. I’ll include a link to applications for that in the show notes as well. 

And finally, I think it’s important to mention that if you don’t really know what a WordCamp is, so you don’t really understand why you should volunteer to help this one, or why you would want to, then head over to your local meetup. If you look in your WordPress dashboard, there’s a widget in there that tells you when the next local event will be. And I know that they will all be delighted to have you there. And who knows, maybe your city will be the next to host a WordCamp. I’ll also include in the show notes just a list of all of the meetup groups that we have in the world. And so if you don’t trust your dashboard or you don’t share your location there for some reason, you can just find it on your own.

And that, my friends, is your small of big things.

[00:04:32] Josepha: Thanks for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. Don’t forget to follow us on your favorite podcast app, or subscribe directly on WordPress.org/news. You’ll get a friendly reminder whenever a new episode drops. If you liked what you heard today, share it with a fellow WordPresser. Or, if you had questions about what you heard, you can share those directly with me at wpbriefing@WordPress.org. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Thanks again for listening, and I’ll see you in a couple of weeks. 

[00:05:00] (Music outro)

WP Briefing: Episode 63: A WordPress 6.4 Sneak Peek

Join WordPress Executive Director, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, as she offers an exclusive preview of the upcoming WordPress 6.4 release, accompanied by special guest Sarah Norris, one of the Editor Tech leads for this release. Don’t miss this opportunity for an insider’s look!

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.


Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Guest: Sarah Norris
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes


[00:00:00] Josepha: Hello everyone. And welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project some insight into the community that supports it. And get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go!

[00:00:28] (Intro Music) 

[00:00:39] Josepha: I have with me today, Sarah Norris. She is the Core Tech Editor in the WordPress 6.4 release. Welcome, Sarah.

[00:00:47] Sarah: Oh, hi, and thanks for having me.

[00:00:50] Josepha: First, I should give everyone kind of a concept of what we’re doing.

So this is the WordPress 6.4 sneak peek episode of our podcast, which means that we’re going to talk a little bit about like the stuff that we are excited to get into the release stuff that we’re hoping is actually going to make it into the final release. But also, we’re going to talk a little bit about like stuff that we wish people knew.

That we were working on. Things that are going to be really cool for users or developers or plugin authors, theme authors, things like that, that otherwise people would miss because it’s just hard to see. And so before we get started on all of that, is this your first release where you’re part of a squad like this?

[00:01:31] Sarah: Ah, so, it’s actually my second. I was part of 6.1 as well. I led the default theme of 2023. But I am finding that the experience is a little bit different. So I’m still learning probably just as much. 

[00:01:42] Josepha: Yeah, absolutely. Well, and in 6.1 versus 6.4, for one, the themes are very different. Like the default themes are very different, but also the tasks involved with leading a default theme are very different from like leading things happening in the core editor in that Gutenberg plugin.

[00:02:01] Sarah: Yeah, there’s so many different tasks. Yeah, like, I guess maybe there’s such, there’s maybe just like a set of tasks for every part of the release squad. But they’re so different. And much more involved.

[00:02:12] Josepha: Yeah, absolutely. And as of the time of this recording, we’re recording this on September 27th. It comes out a little bit later. But as of the time of this recording, like we just wrapped up beta 1 for WordPress 6.4 yesterday. But I understand that, like an hour ago, you wrapped up a final release of the Gutenberg plugin as well.

So you’re just kind of everywhere with us right now.

[00:02:36] Sarah: Yeah, that’s exactly right. Yeah, we tried to make the beta 1 for 6.4 and the latest release of Gutenberg quite close together to make it easier to, to merge those latest changes for beta 1 of 6.4. So yes, that’s why it’s so close together, and fingers crossed, they both went really smoothly, so I’m really happy about that.

[00:02:53] Josepha: Now we all sit around and watch the support queues and hope. That part, the sitting around and watching the support queues, is both my most favorite and least favorite sometimes part of releases. Like, it’s a little bit my most favorite because I get to talk to our support folks. I’m like, hey, is anything happening? But also, it’s my least favorite because it’s like the Schrödinger’s cat of releases. You’re like, as long as I don’t look at it, it could be all well or all bad, and I just don’t know.

[00:03:23] Sarah: I hear you. I’ve just been doing something similar with watching test releases.

[00:03:27] Josepha: Yeah. Just waiting and waiting and waiting. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

Well, let’s talk a little bit about 6.4. So WordPress 6.4 is our third major release of 2023, which is kind of a big deal for one because, like, three major releases a year is always exciting. But this particular one is, on the one hand, much larger from a feature standpoint than we kind of expected it to be, or so far, it looks like it’s going to be a bit larger than we expected.

But also, it is our second iteration of an underrepresented gender release squad. Which I am very excited about. It’s a way for us to kind of bring in a lot of voices that otherwise we don’t see in the space. And so we’re going to just kind of talk through both of those things today. But let’s start with first: what are the things that are going into the release that you personally are most excited about, that you are most interested in making sure that we get all the way to the end of the release cycle?

[00:04:27] Sarah: So, ones that I am particularly excited for. So, the first one on my list is the Font Library. This is looking really good to include as well. So it’s gonna do your way for users to manage fonts across their site regardless of their active themes. So similar how to how their media library works at the moment for images and other media.

[00:04:44] Josepha: And if I recall correctly when I was looking at the prototypes for that, like the early demos of it, that has a lot of local font management as well, which helps us with GDPR concerns that we have had with font management in the CMS for a while. One, is that still correct? And two, does it look like it’s going to make it into the release?

[00:05:04] Sarah: Yes. Yeah. Both correct. Yes. Yeah. Very easy. Yeah, that’s exactly right. So yeah, all the fonts will be managed locally. So, including things like Google Fonts. And any of the popular libraries and the way it’s been built, as it calls its files like this, it’s been built with extensibility in mind. So yeah, hopefully, the possibility should be endless for any number of font collections to be added.

[00:05:23] Josepha: Yeah. Yeah. I, I know, for folks who are listening to this later, hopefully not much later, but if you are listening to this between when beta 1 came out and between and beta 2 is coming out, we didn’t get as much of that into beta 1 as we expected, but beta 2 should have a good chunk of it in there.

So get out there and test that.

[00:05:43] Sarah: It’s also just been released with Gutenberg 16.7 as well. So, I guess for anyone that you just mentioned listening in between. 

[00:05:51] Josepha: I’m one of those folks that has not; I don’t run trunk because I’m not that good with like preventing WordPress from falling apart. I’m not a developer, but I do run the nightlies and for the major releases for Core, and I run also the beta of Gutenberg. And so, I got both updates done this morning and started going in and looking at everything because I don’t run trunk. I didn’t have some of the weird edge cases that I saw reported over the last few weeks, which is probably good. 

[00:06:21] Josepha: But also, if anyone’s running trunk and is running all of the nightlies of anything, let us know where the problems are because there are not a lot of you. It feels like, like, a thousand people in the particular combination. What else is in there that you are very excited to see?

[00:06:37] Sarah: I’m also looking forward to, so we have a new feature called Block Hook, and for anyone who follows Gutenberg, you might have heard it’s called Auto Inserting Blocks, but we’ve renamed it to Block Hook. And yes, this is another powerful feature that expands the extensibility of block themes. And so it allows plugins to automatically insert blocks into content relative to another block.

And so, a good example that we’ve been using is automatically adding a like button to the post content block. And so yeah, I think it’s a, it’s maybe a more developer-centric feature. 

[00:07:09] Josepha: So, like, it detects what block you have and suggests bits and pieces that otherwise would make sense there that other people are usually using in those blocks.

[00:07:20] Sarah: Yeah. Yeah. So you can add all through JSON as well. You can add a block that will automatically be added.

[00:07:25] Josepha: All right. Excellent. That was part of the Interactivity API, or is, is early parts of it rather, I guess.

[00:07:35] Sarah: Yes, that’s right. Yeah. Yeah. It’s the start.

[00:07:39] Josepha: Another thing that is a part of the Interactivity API, which we’ve been working on, folks. I think everybody knows for like a year or two. The other part that is shipping in 6.4 is, I think, the Lightbox for images. Is that right?

[00:07:55] Sarah: Yes, that’s right. Yes. And yeah, that’s due to be included with 6.4 as well.

[00:07:59] Josepha: I’m going to just tell us all a weird story. So, for maybe my entire life, like I understand what a lightbox is from a image and photography standpoint, but for the majority of my life, I thought that lightbox referred to those like big initial letters in old manuscripts. I don’t actually know what those are called if not lightboxes, but in my mind, that’s what they were.

[00:08:22] Josepha: And so when we first started talking about this, I was like, that’s what we’re shipping is like the drop capital letter, like the big one, but it’s not. In case anyone else also was confused about what a lightbox is, it’s the image-based concept of a lightbox.

[00:08:37] Sarah: I think it’s an important one because previously you would have to install, maybe a third-party plugin or, or build lightbox yourself so. It may sound like a, oh, it’s a tiny feature that’s been included, but it’s actually pretty awesome. You don’t have to include even more extra code. 

[00:08:51] Josepha: Speaking of things that we have been working on for two years or so, I think that every sneak peek for the last year, the folks of WordPress have heard me say that I was super excited about navigation and how we’re managing it, but it turns out that is a very complicated thing. Like we know that, managing menus, managing navigation on a site is complicated from just like a philosophical standpoint. When our users of WordPress, when consumers of WordPress like go through that process, that is the hardest one to explain. And therefore, very hard to manage as well. 

We have had like a requirement that you know three different admins in order to manage your menu, manage your navigation on your site, but we shipped some early components for it in 6.3 and in 6.4. I believe that we are planning; I’m crossing my fingers no one can see it, crossing my fingers. We’re planning on getting an updated treatment for the toolbar out. Is that correct?

[00:09:53] Sarah: Yes, yeah, I was a little bit worried because I didn’t know too much in detail, but I did know about the toolbar. So, yes, yes, I believe that is planned to get into 6.4.

[00:10:01] Josepha: Yeah. So, and the point of that, because for folks who have not tried this out yet, the point of that is that the navigation is kind of, when you look at it, individual components, it’s like a bunch of little blocks together, and then we wrap it as like a collection that shows up as the navigation block, but because it’s a bunch of little blocks and each of the little blocks has their own like toolbar that goes with it, it took a lot of work to kind of figure out how to get all of those toolbars to have a primary expression with the navigation. Versus like every single thing that you put into your navigation has its own toolbar, and good luck to you.

[00:10:44] Sarah: Yeah, it’s a really, really complicated problem, and I guess maybe it always has been, and hopefully we just keep improving and all the time, and we probably never will stop improving because it’s, yeah, it’s just such a complicated thing to edit, and I think particularly in an editor without using any code.

[00:11:00] Josepha: Yes.

[00:11:01] Sarah: We’re getting there, it always, it always is getting better.

[00:11:04] Josepha: Yeah. Before we move into the question of like things that you wish people knew about the release that maybe they’re not going to know, I do want to stop and talk about the default theme a little bit. Everyone loves the default theme at the end of the year. But every year, Matt and I talk about, like, what would it look like if we didn’t have a default theme.

What if we just were like, all themes are great. Just do whatever you want, which seems too difficult, frankly. But the way that this default theme is envisioned is so different. It’s got basically three different focuses. Do you know much about this year’s default theme?

[00:11:41] Sarah: Yeah, a little bit, so I, yeah, I know, I don’t know, I think it’s shaping up to be a really good starting point for so many different types of projects. So, I know that that is maybe the aim of every default theme. But we usually show off a lot of the features that are going into the release, like via the default theme.

I know we did that last time as well, but this time, we’re doing that stealth. But we’re also creating like a great baseline for so many different types of projects. And I think maybe in the past, we’ve maybe only hit like one type of project. And, like, this is a good example for this one very specific thing.

But yeah, this time, I know that that’s always like, especially working with other themers, they’re like, what’s the best base theme for this type of thing? And I’m hoping Twenty Twenty-Four is going to be the new answer for so many people.

[00:12:23] Josepha: Yeah, yeah, I looked at the early designs for that with the, because what it has, and these, we’ll put a link to this in the show notes to the repo about it and the Figma file and all those things. But what it has is like a really robust set of default patterns for anyone who’s wanting to have like a big commercial site with a lot of things that are required, a really complicated site. Then we have a suite of default patterns that are shipping so that artists and people who are focused primarily on visual assets on their site have the specific patterns and blocks and things required for that and then one that is specific to people who focus on the content in their site.

I am one of the people who specifically focuses on the content in the site. I was delighted to see that, but it kind of has three different levels of varying complexity based on what it is that people might, might want to have to, oh, not want to have to, might want to be able to do on their sites. And I think that’s kind of cool.

[00:13:31] Sarah: Yeah. Yeah. It’s super cool. And I think while we’re still in the development cycle as well, for 6.4, this is a; the default theme is a great way to jump into contributing if people are looking for good ways to jump in.

[00:13:44] Josepha: Yeah, it runs in a separate repo. And so it has a little bit of a different process, but also it feels like a little bit of a faster process. It kind of runs independently of the release cycle that we have for either the plugin or core. And so it kind of goes a bit faster.

[00:14:03] Sarah: Yes.

[00:14:05] Josepha: Yeah. Excellent. So, then, obvious next question. What Is happening in this release that you wish people knew about?

[00:14:15] Sarah: Yep. Okay. So, I think maybe things that are difficult to fit into the bigger categories that will be easy to shout about when we talk about the release when it’s been released. There’s a lot of accessibility enhancement that are going to be included. So there’s things like better button placements and upgraded spoken messages, especially in site health.

There’s also so many performance improvements that are scheduled to be included, so I know there was many performance improvements included in 6.3. We are continuing that for 6.4. There’s many more improvements to block themes and classic themes in the way the templates are loaded. And we’ve also got a we’re including a usage of the new defer and async loading strategies as well for script.

So these are sort of like, nitty-gritty detail sort of things that will be included that don’t sound too exciting but are actually really, really cool. 

[00:15:07] Josepha: Yeah. I understand the whole like, this is not very exciting. This doesn’t sound interesting but trust me, it is like, sometimes it feels like half of my job is that I’m like, I know that nothing I’m about to say sounds cool, but trust me, it’s amazing. We’ve been working on it for a long time, and it’s cool.

That’s great. That’s great. And so. For those things, it sounds like a lot, this is going to particularly be of interest to folks who are developing for other people using WordPress. But also obviously a little bit of, of benefit, maybe invisible benefit, but still benefit for our end users as we go.

[00:15:46] Sarah: Yeah, yeah, that’s right, exactly.

[00:15:48] Josepha: So those are kind of the sneak peek items that we’ve got going into the release. As always, with this particular episode, we’re not promising that any of those things will 100 percent for sure get in there. There is part of being a release squad that kind of doesn’t really get talked about outside of WordPress but is probably worth mentioning, which is that the release squad has the really unpleasant job of saying no at the last second for things that are breaking something, things that are not actually a better user experience.

Like we have the uncomfortable job of saying like, no, it wasn’t good enough. Sorry, thank you. Come again in the next release cycle. And so, like, all of these things are things that are currently in and being tested, but in the event that we discover it breaks 10 percent of the sites that we have on WordPress, like, we’re gonna, we’re gonna pull it.

So, right now, that’s all in there, we hope, and if listening to me for a whole year get excited about the changes in navigation, and then also not getting them in didn’t teach you anything, just because I want it in doesn’t mean that I get to have it in either. So, but yeah, so that’s exciting. The other exciting thing about this release, we mentioned it a bit at the top of the discussion, is that it is a gender-upresented, gender-underrepresented release squad. Not upresented, because that is a, not a word. And so this is the second one. Did you participate in the first one?

[00:17:22] Sarah: No, I didn’t no. Yeah, but I have read all about it, especially in prep to this release as well.

[00:17:28] Josepha: Oh, did you learn anything from it that you brought into this one, or was it just like, I need to know what I’m getting into kind of reading a lot about it? 

[00:17:36] Sarah: Yeah, basically, yeah, I was trying to prep myself, ever since I was involved in 6.1, I’ve tried to be, I’ve tried to follow along closely with the releases. But sometimes, there’s just so much going on all the time. Sometimes it’s a little bit much. But yeah, I just wanted to see if there was any, any big differences.

There shouldn’t be, right? So yeah, it’s all good.

[00:17:54] Josepha: I think all of the differences were in that boring part where people don’t, they’re like, that sounds so un-fun, we’re going to just stop listening. But it was like, in the planning and preparation for it, and the way that we did all the training, like the initial one had like an 18 month period between like, we’re gonna do it, and now it’s done, where we did a lot of additional work to get everybody in there.

[00:18:18] Josepha: And this time, we were like, get in here! That’s all we did. So, how has your experience been on the release squad? I know that you did one before. You did one in 6.1, but is this particular squad any different compared to your last experience of it, or what you expected?

[00:18:35] Sarah: So, I would say everyone is equally as amazing as every release and, including the resource they’re involved with. I think that the biggest difference for me, and maybe this links to something you just said, is that I, I knew I was going to be involved in the release squad a lot earlier, especially compared to me for 6.1, but I think I’ve heard other people say that as well. So, I think that’s a great thing for this release. We all have had some time ahead of the release and including during this 6.3 release as well, so I was able to watch particular people in, not in a non-creepy way, and make sure I knew which, like what the processes were.

Yes, to try and get my head around when when I’d be doing it. And, and obviously, the big help was that I’d be doing it immediately after they’d just done it as well. And the previous release squad has been a massive help as well when I’ve come across either very, very complicated issues or like super silly issues; I can write them and answer your questions so that I think if we could carry that forward with the future releases as well.

[00:19:28] Josepha: Yeah, absolutely. So this time around, we had almost 50 percent new folks that that, like, let us know that they were participating, probably quite a few more than that. But, like, of the people who let us know that they wanted to participate in this release, we had like 28 out of 50 people, something like that, who are brand new to contributing to WordPress in some cases, but certainly, all of them are brand new to contributing to a major release like this. Have you, cause this is not your first time doing this, but it is your first time in this type of release. Have you found that, like, you’re feeling able to help new people see what’s happening also, like, do you feel seasoned enough for that? Or are you just like, nope, I’m also new.

[00:20:17] Sarah: Maybe a little bit of both. I guess I, yeah, I’m fortunate to have at least experienced, maybe, like how the deadlines roll. Actually, especially the point we’re at at the moment, where the weekly beta cycles happened. Last time, it took me by surprise. I was like, oh wow, okay, we have a week. Until the next one, and then a week, and so yeah, I feel a bit more psyched up for that this time around.

And hopefully, I can tap that on you to the new folks as well. But yeah, I also noticed we have a lot of new people. We have, especially from a core editor tech lead; I think we have nearly 30 people who are sort of officially following us along or shadowing us.

So yeah, yeah, but it’s really cool. I hope we can teach so many more people if they want to get involved with the next release or even just contributing in general. Yeah, it’d be amazing.

[00:21:00] Josepha: Yeah. If you are listening to our podcast, and you think to yourself, well, I’m here. And I wonder if anyone knows because I’m just watching everyone in a non-creepy way, like feel free at the next meeting that you’re watching to, to raise your hand and say, I’m new. We want to know that you’re there.

Not because we feel creepy otherwise. But also because we just want to celebrate that you exist new folks that are scared of us. Don’t be scared of us.

Oh, man, I feel compelled now to tell everybody about the first time that I led a core chat. So the core chat, I watched that without telling anyone I was watching it for like a year before I had to actually lead it, and I just didn’t tell anybody I was there like I didn’t even participate in the waving part at the start where it’s just like, Hey, everyone, I exist, like, when I was just silently watching it all go by and so when I got announced as part of a release squad. It was shocking for everyone, I think. And there is a public record of a moment where I was panicking. I felt like everyone was asking me a thousand questions, and I didn’t know the answers to any of them. And I just told all of them, like, there are a million of you and one of me, and you’re kind of scaring me, so would you stop?

And so there’s a public record of me calling out every developer that existed in WordPress at the time. I felt bad about it in the moment, but also like, whew, that was, I don’t think we have experiences like that for new contributors anymore, but it was, it was quite a moment. I remember distinctly, so Jeffrey Paul, he’s like one of our, I think we have three or four like self-declared project managing people.

He is a project manager person in WordPress that I really rely on, and I was DM’ing him in the background in a full panic. I was like, I don’t know the answer to any of these questions. What am I supposed to do? And he was like no is also an answer. So, like, just tell them no. Tell them you don’t know. That’s fine. And I was like, Oh, God! So, I think that we maybe don’t have too much of that happening anymore, but I also understand that I wouldn’t see it if it were happening. No one’s coming to me to be like, is this normal? Should I panic? They’re probably coming to you with that.

[00:23:21] Sarah: I think it’s a sort of good, I’m not good for you, maybe, but good for observers especially. You know, to see you go through that as well. I can really relate to, like, not even showing, like, a wave emoji because I’ve totally been in that situation. I think maybe we’re similar in that regard, like, it, sometimes I just feel really nervous even just showing an emoji.

And I think, again, shouting out about that and to, to those people who also feel like that, who are watching yeah, yeah, wave if you, if you feel like you want to, and don’t wave, it’s also fine just to watch. 

[00:23:48] Josepha: Once you’ve been to 52 meetings, then you can wave. Oh, it’s so hardworking in open source that way because, like, there is a lot of, like, basically faith in other people because trust comes with, like experiencing things together. But initially, you do just kind of have to have faith that no one’s going to laugh you out of the room or say that your ideas are stupid or that you are like even remotely understanding the problem, and so that’s a, it’s a part of the new contributor experience that I always find so interesting I used to routinely give presentations about like this is how you get started first get ready to be uncomfortable I don’t give those presentations very often anymore but probably probably I should ask someone to get out there and be like, It’s scary for everyone, including you!

Come be scared together! Cause I think that’s important to normalize. Fear’s normal. When you first started contributing to WordPress in general, let alone like being on a release squad, what is the team that you first joined through?

[00:25:02] Sarah: So, I guess, full-time contribution, it was themes. I was very involved with themes, and I still am as well; I really love themes, especially block themes. And also with the editor. But, like, years and years ago, I guess it was still themes. I used to build themes.

But that was very much; I was a forum user, and well, actually, I guess it goes back to me being very nervous and not wanting to admit the question that I wanted to ask, so I would hunt the forums, but afterwards just so helpful.

Like, yeah, I know this is a lot of people’s story, but yeah, the forums and just chatting amongst other community members is so, so helpful. So yeah, when I became a full-time contributor, I really, I love talking to other people who are trying to get help or, yeah, reaching out any way they can because I was like, I feel that I was you and still am you as well.

[00:25:50] Josepha: I mean, the good thing about it, like, we will always feel like we’re learning something because we are, but in my experience of folks in WordPress, and I haven’t been new in a long time, obviously been doing this for like eight years now which is ancient by technology standards, but like my favorite thing about folks in WordPress is that they are wanting to like learn enough to probably not break it forever.

Like it’s the probably is in there, and the forever is in there like I want to. I want to know just enough to be mildly dangerous and then bring everybody with me. Let’s go be dangerous together. And I think that is really charming in a way because it’s like we know enough to sort of break it. But not break it a lot.

So let’s go see how we break it a little bit to make it better. I think that’s such a charming attitude for some reason because then we all just get to kind of learn and be a little bit messy together, which is the nature of openly collaborating on a half-written software—all the time. But yeah, I think it’s kind of neat.

[00:27:05] Sarah: Yeah, yeah, exactly. It’s exciting too, like if you’re staying, you’ve got that enough red push and edge that you’re just like, Ooh, I might break something. But then there’s so many people that help you out that, you know, just before you could actually break something important. 

[00:27:18] Josepha: Exactly. The one time when I did a very breaking thing because I didn’t know to ask about it and fixed it immediately was that I mentioned in the middle of a core chat that we were about to have a security release. But it wasn’t about it wasn’t like in the next 15 minutes, it was like three weeks away, which is not what you’re allowed to do like you are not allowed to mention that you have a security release coming in three weeks, and then hope that nobody figures out what it’s patching.

Yeah, I got so many messages in such a short amount of time from it felt like every lead developer of WordPress. That was my, my worst moment.

And I fixed it immediately. So that was good. But also, I don’t remember if we had to like move up the, the timeline for that release or what. I don’t; I have no idea what the outcome was because I was just in an outright panic about what I had done incorrectly.

Anyway, so that’s the; I’m just going to tell everybody my most embarrassing early contribution stories today. That’s what I’m doing. Excellent. Well, Sarah, before we head out of here, is there a final thought that you would like to share with either our listeners here or future potential contributors to WordPress?

[00:28:37] Sarah: Please help test 6.4, especially through the next few cycles of beta. It would be amazing to have everyone and anyone who would like to help. That is one of the best ways you can help is to test. And then, yeah, if you want to get involved a little bit further, then yeah, I guess, please reach out wherever you think you fit, which I know sounds a bit fake, but there are a lot of different places, and I’m sure there will be somewhere you fit as well.

00:28:59] Josepha: I will leave in the show notes a link to the page that has all of the upcoming meetings on it. You can probably go to almost any meeting and say, I think this is where I would like to contribute, but also, this is the kind of thing I can contribute, and they will be able to head you in the right direction if you’re not already in the right direction. But also, like, sometimes your skills that you have are going to be applicable in places where you’re not aware of yet. And so, go to any meeting—wave to the friendly WordPressers that are around, the Sarah Norrises that exist in the project. 

[00:29:36] Josepha: Sarah, thank you so much for joining me today. This was a delight.

[00:29:39] Sarah: Thanks so much for having me on; I really enjoyed it.

[00:29:42] (Music interlude) 

[00:29:42] Josepha: That brings us now to our small list of big things. First thing to know is that tomorrow we have Beta 2 for WordPress 6.4. This is our final release of the year, as you know because we’ve been talking about it for the entire episode. But, just like Sarah said at the end of our conversation, we absolutely need people to help us test it, make sure that it is working in as many places as possible so that we can have the best release possible. So keep an eye out on the core channel in the Making WordPress Slack, and of course, keep an eye on WordPress.org/news as those releases get packaged and ready to go. 

So the second thing is a proposal for documentation translation localization process update. This is an initial step to consolidate all of that documentation into a single easy-to-reach location. So we need some feedback on it. Head on over there, leave a comment to share your feedback about where that should possibly go, where is most useful and valuable for you. 

The second proposal that I have is actually sort of a tangentially related one, but so it’s not specific to WordPress but does need some WordPress input. There is a call for proposal for Interop 2024. There’s a post that has a lot more information about it than I do, but we would like for any WordPress developer who’s interested to head over there and submit a proposal for what they could speak about at Interop, I believe. You can leave your thoughts on the post itself as a comment, or there’s also a GitHub repo where you can interact as well.

The next thing on our small list of big things is that the WordCamp US Q&A, the questions that we didn’t get to because there were something like 87 or something in the queue. The questions that we didn’t get to, the answers have been posted. They’re over on make.WordPress.org/project, but I’ll include a link to those to that post in the show notes. 

And the final thing on the small list of big things, I’m actually quite excited about. We are hosting now accessibility office hours. In an effort to improve accessibility knowledge in the WordPress project in general, the accessibility team will be holding office hours every Wednesday at 14:00 UTC.

That started on September 20th. And so it’s been going for a couple of weeks now. And the purpose is to make sure that we have a dedicated space and time to discuss accessibility principles and best practices as we go through those things. 

[00:32:29] Josepha: And that, my friends, is your small list of big things. Thank you for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. I’m your host, Josepha Hayden Chomphosy, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks. 

[00:32:38] (Music interlude) 

WP Briefing: Episode 62: Enterprise Clients and the Business of WordPress

Join WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy as she discusses the role WordPress Enterprise plays along with the WordPress community.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.


Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes


[00:00:00] Josepha: Hello everyone. And welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it. And get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go!

(Intro Music) 

[00:00:29] Josepha: In our last episode, we talked about the Community Summit and some trends that I was seeing. I’ve spent a lot of time since then summarizing the notes from each session, and I was processing notes from the session about aligning WordPress Enterprise and WordPress Community, which is a session that explored the various strengths and weaknesses of WordPress from an enterprise perspective, but especially when it comes to contributing to or communicating about WordPress.

Now, my vantage point on analyses like these is generally pretty different. Since I work mainly in an operations space for the project, I’m almost always looking at the health and safety of our ecosystem, product excellence, funding, things like that. So, I especially like to attend sessions that are from the vantage point of people who are much closer to the work than I am.

[00:01:15] Josepha: When I looked at the brainstormed list of things from the session, my first inclination was to catalog the relationships between what we saw as a positive or a negative and the things that we saw as intrinsic to us versus part of the environment. But the more I look at it, the more I see that there’s confirmation of what I have always known to be true. That WordPress is a valuable starting point for web-based solutions of all sizes and any purpose. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest themes that shine through from that session. I was able to distill them down to about nine primary themes, but I especially want to focus on some that come up year after year in talking with our community.

[00:01:57] Josepha: The first, of course, is the community and ecosystem. If you’ve listened to this podcast 62 times, then you’ve heard me say at least like 60 times that the community is what sets us apart from other open source projects. But, I would encourage you to expand that understanding to include the ecosystem that the community provides.

The community not only helps to plan and create WordPress, our primary software, but it also makes it distributable through the Polyglots team and Accessibility and Docs and Training. It also makes it extendable through plugins and themes and all of the work that goes into reviewing plugins and themes and the support that’s provided to people who come to the WordPress.org site, trying to figure out how to make this thing work for them.

And we also, this community, make it knowable, not only through the community part with our event series but also in marketing and the videos that we provide on WordPress TV and all of the training and learning cohorts that we provide on learn.WordPress.org, all of those teams make WordPress learnable and knowable and easy to use and usable to more people and available across the world, regardless of whether you speak English or not. And so yeah, the community and the ecosystem are some of the things that makes WordPress valuable for enterprise, but also WordPress valuable in general. 

[00:03:24] Josepha: The second is the software’s usability and flexibility. I said at WordCamp US that we exist for as long as people want to use our software, and that’s a funny little two-sided coin for us. WordPress remains very usable for folks who come to it in the same way that I came to it, which is as a user who is trying to accomplish a goal unrelated to WordPress. I didn’t start using WordPress because I wanted to figure out how WordPress worked or because I wanted to figure out how to contribute to WordPress. I came to WordPress because I was trying to market something, and WordPress was the best choice for that. But it’s also flexible for our brilliant developers out there who are doing things like building a suite of sites for NASA or creating bespoke social networks. So, our usability and flexibility, both of those things working together, are certainly one of the things that make me know that WordPress is incredibly valuable for anyone who needs to use it.

[00:04:22] Josepha: But the final thing is WordPress’s longevity or our resilience. So, I used to work at a marketing agency that served enterprise-level clients. And any time we pitched a new site build to a client, one of the main elements of discussion during decision-making was how long the decision would last. Do you want a page that you can launch in a day, run a six-week campaign through, and then abandon it forever? Or do you want a site that can take up to six weeks to build but can be yours to refine and hone for years after that? I know this seems like a silly example, but when you’re looking at the potential for a long-term bet, what you’re worried about, what you’re asking is, is this a software trusted in my industry? Is it time-tested by those companies I aspire to be? Is the available workforce composed of seasoned professionals or flash-in-the-pan peddlers of the latest craze? And of that workforce, how many will still be doing this in five years?

The question of how long we’ve been doing this and why it matters that WordPress has been here for 20 years and has no intention of going anywhere should be so much higher on everyone’s list of reasons to use this software. Yes, the WordPress software is powerful enough to be everything you might want it to be someday, but the WordPress ecosystem brought to us by this community has shown resilience through major breaking changes in 2008, 2016, 2018, 2020, and probably a lot of things between there that we have forgotten. So, if I were hoping to hedge my bets on a long-term solution, I would absolutely place those bets on this community, this ecosystem, and this software. 

(Music interlude) 

[00:06:17] Josepha: And now, it’s time for our small list of big things. I actually have a very big list today, so I’m just gonna break it out into two chunks. The first chunk is that we actually have a lot of calls for feedback and testing right now. We have six calls for feedback and testing that I really could use your input on.

The first one is that we still are having that discussion about how to evolve the FSE outreach program. That program started as a way to get faster, more fluid user feedback, specifically about full site editing inside Gutenberg. But there is a question now about where it needs to exist, how it’s serving current project needs, and what the future project needs will be. And so stop by that one. That should be a good, lively discussion. 

[00:07:06] Josepha: Speaking of discussions that are lively, we also have an update to the field guide. We have a proposed update to the field guide. This is not something that we’re looking to put in place for WordPress 6.4, just because that is coming so quickly. But it is something that we want to look at for future iterations of the field guide that come out with every major release. We want to make sure that we’re getting valuable information to the right people at the right time without having so much that it’s overwhelming but also without having so little that we miss really important things. 

[00:07:47] Josepha: There is another request for feedback, which is about additional ideas on the future of WordPress events. I brought this up in the past. I think I mentioned it on one other small list of big things, but there’s still time. So, if you’ve been shy about sharing your ideas, let this be your sign to get brave. Go share your thoughts on what events of the future should be for us. 

[00:08:03] Josepha: There’s also a proposal for updated support guidelines. This proposal comes out of a discussion that was had at WordCamp US, and so there is a summary of the discussion and then also the proposal that’s out there. I think that for all guidelines like this, support guidelines, and probably all things that require some review from ourselves, we always could stand to take a look at where those are, what brought us to where we are today, and what we can use to be better and more current in our client’s needs and our customers needs users needs as we are looking through those guidelines I think that the deadline for feedback on that is around the middle of September as well. 

[00:08:47] Josepha: And then the final bit of feedback/call for testing is on performant translations. That is a testing call for feedback. Contributions to that can be made on GitHub as well if that’s something where you test it and you immediately know how to offer some patches to make things better. That’s great, but you can always just leave your feedback in a comment or a new support topic. 

[00:09:19] Josepha: Okay, so that was the first chunk of the small list of big things. We have the second chunk of the small list of big things, which is to say that if all of that was new to you and sounds a little bit daunting and, you need some support to get started. There are also a couple of kind of group things that you can do in the coming weeks to get you started on that. 

There is a new WordPress diversity training session that’s happening. It’s a two-day workshop for women, specifically in India, but other countries are welcome to join us, too. We’ll be thinking about how to pull together your first presentation proposal, I believe.

The next one is that the WordPress community team is looking for folks to learn more about organizing meetups. And so, I’ll include a link to that in the show notes as well, but if you’ve never done this before and that did not sound like a getting started thing, trust me, organizing meetups not only is something that is easy to do because it’s kind of casual, you can get people together like in a coffee shop to talk about WordPress, but also the team over there has excellent onboarding. And so give it a try; at the very least, give it a read. 

The third thing on that set of things is that there’s a new group called WP Includes working to pair women in the WordPress community with one another for support and advice along their career paths. I will include a link to that in the show notes as well.

And then the final thing is that there is a meetup event that’s focused on flagship events coming up on September 21st. It will recap WordCamp US and host an open discussion for ideas for WordCamp Europe as well. Like I said, that’s going to take place on September 21st. I will include a link to that in the show notes as well.

[00:11:04] Josepha: If you don’t know where the show notes are, if you, sorry, if you’re listening to this on, like, Pocketcasts or Spotify or any other thingy, and you don’t know what I mean when I say the show notes, and you’ve literally never seen them in your life. You can go to WordPress.org/news/podcast, and there are transcripts and show notes with every podcast I put up, and that’s what I mean when I say that. WordPress.org/news/podcast, and then you get a bunch of links. It’ll be great. 

That, my friends, is your small list of big things. Thank you for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks.

(Outro music)

WP Briefing: Episode 61: Community, Summit, all at Washington D.C.

Join WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy as she discusses the latest from the Community Summit and her takeaways from the 2023 event in Washington, D.C.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.


Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes


[00:00:00] Josepha: Hello everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

[00:00:28] (Intro Music) 

[00:00:39] Josepha: We are back and catching up from our midyear break. And in true WordPress fashion, we’re just going to start off running. The WordPress Community Summit happened a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been talking about it on this podcast for a few months now, but if you’ve missed it and you want a refresher, go ahead and give episode 49 a listen.

At the Community Summit, there were 125 people, if I remember correctly. And we covered a wide array of topics that were brought to us directly from the community itself. While the event is small, it is specifically designed for gathering and sharing information. So, I’ve got some top-level trends that I noticed that I’m going to share with you all today, as well as just like a reminder of what happens after a Community Summit.

[00:01:27] Josepha: So there are three, maybe four, big trends that I noticed. The first one that I noticed is that we have a lot of discussions right now about contributor acknowledgment. That also, for what it’s worth, came with an unresolved question around whether acknowledgment and recognition are the same. I don’t think they are the same.

But it also was part of a conversation around whether we treat those two things the same. And if they are not the same, should we treat them differently? And et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. For folks who’ve been around for a bit, you know, that we spent a lot of time working on our contributor recognition a few years back and had really made quite a bit of difference in just reported feelings about how the community felt they were being recognized for their contributions.

And so a lot of the conversations that we ended up having were around whether or not the project as a whole has changed the way that we provide that recognition or acknowledgment. Or, as an alternative, if the community that is supporting WordPress has changed how they would like to be recognized.

[00:02:32] Josepha: There were also some questions about whether or not making sure that contributors can see their impact. Like they can say, I contributed 10 hours last month, and these are the two things that I got accomplished over there, and that everyone else can see those things too. So, how we can do that more easily while also not having so many metrics and making the metrics so prevalent that we start to close out the people who are truly just doing this for fun.

Like many of the problems that we have at the Community Summit, this is a bunch of pretty much unsolved mysteries at the moment. But it did; it came up across probably five or six different sessions that I heard about, quite a few that I went to myself, and so contributor acknowledgment and recognition is on our minds again.

A second thing that I noticed across multiple sessions, and this one honestly is not a surprise at all, is that there were a lot of questions about what the next big thing is after Gutenberg. I always love when people are asking big questions about what comes next because it means that we all still believe that there will be a next.

[00:03:43] Josepha: And so I never hesitate when I hear these questions to give some ideas about what I think might be coming. But a lot of the discussions that we were having were around, we think this is coming, but now that we think this is coming, what should we do now to make sure that we are ready for it? One of the biggest assumptions that we all had is that for the CMS, for the software itself, probably our next big area after Gutenberg is going to be something about artificial intelligence.

Matt pointed out in his presentation that he has told us twice to learn something deeply. One was in 2016 when he said, learn JavaScript Deeply. And then one was in 2022 when he said to learn AI deeply. And so we all kind of are guessing that that is our future area. And so that’s an area for everyone to spend some time in. Make sure you understand it. Make sure you know it a bit. 

The second thing that came up as like a future, where are we going here? It was kind of on the business-y side. It was on a lot of questions about enterprise and are we selling properly to enterprise. Can we sell, can we appeal to enterprise? Whose job is it to sell any of these things? Questions like that. So, lots of business questions again. This is not something that I have any concerns about. I’m very excited to see that people are talking about it. That’s been a topic of conversation since, I want to say, February of this year. And so it also wasn’t a surprise inclusion today. And, and I was excited to see, am excited to see what we get out of those conversations over time. 

[00:05:17] Josepha: As far as like questions around what’s next for the community, I’m going to address that separately because it was a huge question for everyone. So I’m going to discuss that as soon as we get finished with this chunk about like the big thing that, that is coming after Gutenberg.

But, from an ecosystem perspective. Like a WordPress project operations perspective, this came up a couple of times. Never in as clear a word, a set of words as that, but the question about, like, what are we doing with our tools? Are we making sure that we are keeping the tools that our contributors use maintained and still in an excellent space with features that are useful and, necessary, and requested?

And so that is a big question. I do have a lot of questions about that. Also, there are so many tools that I have wanted in order to make organizing the WordPress community better and easier, but also making contributing better and easier. And hopefully, here soon, we have an opportunity to get to some of those.

[00:06:16] Josepha: So, the third big trend that I kept seeing at the Community Summit is actually about the community itself, specifically about events. So I was part of or listened to many, many, many conversations over the course of the week that were specifically focused on what we’re going to do with the future of our events. Like are meetups still sustainable? Are WordCamps still sustainable? And that’s from not only the idea of sustainability that we all tend to know from like an ecological standpoint but also, you know, checking in on the resources. So the kinds of questions that folks had were, is it time to continue having many small events, or is it time to move to a few giant events?

Should we bring back midsized, WP-adjacent events like PressNomics or LoopConf? And if we are bringing those back, do we want to have them be part of a semi-official thing along with a clearly WordPress event and like do joint sales in there? Try to figure out how to get people from one to the other, so that it’s not just WordPress people that we’re talking to, but also business people and advanced developers, things like that.

There was also a lot of discussion about whether or not we have gotten too big, should we double down on our grassroots efforts? Just go all the way back to, like, BarCamp style, WordPress in a forest kind of thing. 

[00:07:46] Josepha: And yeah, and among all of these conversations, there were questions about the resources that we need. Do we have what we need now? Do we have plans for how to maintain those resources in the future? Do we have enough time? Do we have enough money? Do we have an expertise? The people? So many questions, so many questions. And on the community side of things, we also had a lot of questions that are routine in open source. Like, do we have a pipeline for future maintainers, for future team reps, for future leaders in the project? All of the questions. 

So, those are the three slash four, depending on how you break it out, really big trends that I saw across the conversation at the Community Summit. And I don’t necessarily know the answers to all of these things. Like, I know what my gut tells me, I know what I believe the answer to be. From my own perspective, but as you’ve been told many times with many eyes, all bugs are shallow. And so here is what happens next with a Community Summit. So we’ve gathered all of these things together. We’ve had these conversations, and now all of the notes from every conversation that we had will be put on make.wordpress.org/summit. 

[00:09:10] Josepha: There, you can do any of the following three things, but at least do one before we get any further. I think it’s important to remind everyone that no decisions were made at the Community Summit. There are a few things that will come out of the Community Summit where the answer the way forward is really obvious. And so those probably will get done quickly thereafter because it’s just an obvious thing to do. It makes sense for everyone in the project. It makes sense for everyone who’s using WordPress. Whatever reason. 

So those things will probably move quickly, but mostly not even mostly there were no decisions made. And so if it looks like something is moving quickly there, it is because it makes sense after the fact. So there’s that. But the three things that you can do in order to take part in this information gathering and sharing that happened at the Community Summit. 

Number one, head over to make.wordpress.org/summit and just read the notes. There are a lot of them you can pick and choose based on the teams you contribute to or the topics that are specifically interesting. Or if you have been assigned to read one of these things, obviously, go ahead and read that. But find the notes read them. Take a look at the discussion as far as you can tell it happened and get a sense for what the essential question is.

The second thing that you can do while you’re there is that you can join in that discussion right there in the comments if you would like to. You can, if you feel like your perspective is not quite accounted for in that, obviously leave some comments and let folks know. But also, if you feel like your perspective was accounted for, but there’s also a very specific question that was not necessarily answered or not even brought up, share those as well. That’s stuff that we would like to know as we are working through this. 

And then the third thing that you can do is you can take those conversations, and if there’s anything that looks like it’s particularly relevant to your local WordPress community, absolutely take those there and have those conversations with them.

[00:11:23] Josepha: And once you’ve had those conversations, let us know what you thought also in those comments, or take it directly into your weekly teams’ chat, either way. We want to hear what you think about the questions that were brought because you brought them to us. And so you should have an opportunity to tell us what you think.

[00:11:39] (Music Interlude) 

[00:11:48] Josepha: That brings us now to our small list of big things. My friends, there’s nothing but big things left for the rest of the year. And so here we go. Number one, uh, I mentioned it quite a bit. There’s a conversation, an ongoing conversation about the future of events for our community. Right now, there is an open call for ideas, new features for our NextGen WordPress events, especially on the page that exists on WordCamp Central.

So, we want to find the most useful and desirable features for a future homepage on central.wordcamp.org that would host a list of all of our upcoming WordPress events. And so we want your opinion there. Please let us know what would be especially useful to you as you are looking for WordPress events to attend.

The second thing is that we introduced 2024, the default theme that is coming with WordPress 6.4, was announced. We have had, I think, 32 contributors to it at the time of this recording. And yeah, it’s beautiful. It’s got a lot of different implementation options, a lot of default patterns, and curated patterns so that you can get exactly what you want out of that theme. I think it’s going to make a great default theme, a great starter theme for our final release of the year. 

And then, speaking of 6.4, with the release of 6.3 behind us, we are working hard on bringing 6.4 to the community. You can get involved with the development of that. There is a core chat every Wednesday. It happens. I want to say at 21:00 UTC, but I don’t actually know off the top of my head. I just go when my calendar tells me to go, and I live in the central time zone. And so, my UTC conversion is not the best, but we will leave the actual information about that in the show notes so that you can see it. But you can also go over to make.wordpress.org, and then there’s a little card on that homepage that tells you exactly when those core meetings are, including the new contributor meeting, which happens every two weeks. 

And then the fourth thing is that there is a successful WordCamp US behind us. That is our final flagship event of the year, which is always exciting. If you missed it, for one, we missed you. And for two, we have you covered. We’ve got a recap of the event. There is a link to that in the show notes as well. 

[00:14:05] Josepha: And that, my friends, is your small list of big things. Thanks for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks.

[00:14:15] (Music Outro) 

WP Briefing: Episode 60: Sneak a Peek at WordPress 6.3 with Special Guest Mike Schroder

Join WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy and Core Tech Lead Mike Schroder as they discuss their favorite new features and enhancements coming in WordPress 6.3.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.


Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Guests: Mike Schroder
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Nicholas Garofalo
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes


( Intro music )

[00:00:00] Josepha: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks.

I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

( Intro music continues )

[00:00:39] Josepha: We have with us Mike Schroder. They are on the WordPress 6.3 release squad, and I believe, Mike, that your role there is the Core Tech Lead.

Is that right?

[00:00:50] Mike: Yeah, that’s correct. I’m one of the tech leads along with Andrew Ozz and David Baumwald.

[00:00:56] Josepha: Thank you so much for being able to join me today.

[00:00:58] Mike: Thanks for inviting me.

[00:01:00] Josepha: This is our 6.3 sneak peek, and so it has a little bit of a “What do you wish people knew about the upcoming release?” aspect to it, but it also has like a “What do we find most interesting about the work that we’ve been doing in this release so far?”

As the Core Tech Lead, what currently is like your favorite thing that y’all are getting into the release or the thing that’s the most interesting or happiest to finally be done with it?

[00:01:27] Mike: Yeah, I think there are a couple of things. So I was playing around with the release in anticipation for this, and one of the favorite sort of user-facing features that I played with was the live preview for Block themes. And it just makes it feel so intuitive to open up a new Block theme and play around with Styles and different designs and see how it looks.

I really enjoyed it, opened it up on my personal site and started messing around with different color palettes and things like that, and it was a lot of fun.

[00:01:55] Josepha: Like it’s a live preview, but also with all of the content they already have on your site.

[00:01:59] Mike: It does use the templates and so it, it shows some of the live content from the from the homepage, for instance, and some of those blocks, and some of the other areas are editing the templates rather than the live content. But yes, it was neat to play around with it and see my blog content in the background and yeah, some real-time design. That was really fun.

[00:02:20] Josepha: And has that been a big focus of the release? Was it something that you and the other Tech Leads both for the Core side and the Editor side just had to focus a lot on in this round of the release?

[00:02:33] Mike: So I was not a part of a lot of that work. So I’m not gonna take credit for it. I think that is the culmination, all of those different things together of a lot of the things that the Editor team has been working on for some time. And it was just, it was really refreshing to see it.

The other feature that I had in my head, if it’s okay for me to talk about a second one, is something that has been trying to get landed in Core for quite some time, and that has to do with automatic rollbacks. If plugin updates or theme updates start to happen and then they fail in the middle of that update, then it will automatically restore the previous version of the plugin or theme. And that’s a pretty big improvement over the previous behavior, which could result not as well.

[00:03:16] Josepha: Right. Where you would just have a site that was like, “Best of luck to you,” and emails that told you what kind of probably was broken. I shouldn’t be sassy about that. The WSOD protection that we put in really was a huge leap forward for the way that we handled that in the past, but this is great news.

[00:03:34] Mike: Yes, I was so excited when that landed, and this is I guess the next part of that. And it’s been, yeah, it’s been in the works for a long time, through testing and there was an entire team that did a lot of work on it in a future plugin. And I’m very excited to see it land.

[00:03:49] Josepha: That’s great. That’s one of those things that we hope a WordPress user never has to know exists. Like it’s always our hope that the plugins work perfectly and the themes work perfectly. And so unless something is going really wrong you won’t know that’s a feature. Surely it tells you like, “This didn’t update by the way. Go figure that out.”

[00:04:08] Mike: Yeah, the whole idea of this particular feature is to make it feel more like everything is smooth and one site continues to work, and the underpinning of it has been going in for a couple of releases. The whole idea is to make the experience more smooth for users.

[00:04:21] Josepha: Cool. That auto rollback actually was not on my radar as a thing to keep an eye out for in this release, so that’s really neat. One of the things that I saw as I was doing, I don’t do any complicated testing. I mostly do like testing of what users would expect with the workflow with my eyeballs and a mouse.

[00:04:40] Mike: Well, that’s, that’s wonderful.

[00:04:42] Josepha: I’m not doing any of the fancy testing with like code, but one of the things that I saw as I was working through my general, just regular test, my spot check click around test was that it looks like there’s some consolidation, some consolidation of the navigation in the Editor.

So, it had I think maybe Pages and Templates in there before, and now there are five things in there. Do you have a bit of a concept of what went into that, what we’re hoping everybody’s gonna be able to accomplish there now?

[00:05:13] Mike: So I, I was not involved as much in the later stages of this, but I was in a couple of the first couple iterations of this particular feature, and I think this is, I don’t want to guess the exact amount of times that this has been sort of reworked so the experience is good for users, there been so much effort that’s gone into helping navigation be a comfortable experience for people to work with within the site editor.

And what I have heard is that everyone that’s worked on it is very excited that it’s landing and that users will be able to experience it and more easily work with navigation.

[00:05:46] Josepha: Yeah, I think that navigation is one of those things, both like creating good navigation as a software designer, but then also as somebody who’s like putting together a website. Good navigation is hard to do. And it’s design where everyone’s, “Good design is invisible,” and we don’t actually mean that.

We don’t mean it’s invisible. We mean it’s not intrusive, it doesn’t get in your way, it acts in the way you think it’s going to act, and it knows or has a good guess about where you’re trying to be, what you’re trying to do in that particular moment on a site. And so like the fact that we’ve had probably hundreds of people working on navigation inside the software is no surprise to me, but I bet it’s gonna be a surprise to a lot of people.

They’ll be like, “It’s like folders, right?” Turns out it’s not.

[00:06:33] Mike: Yes, it was, incredibly, incredibly difficult to design. I know there was, the couple instances that I was most involved with, I know there was so much discussion about how folks are used to working with navigation within WordPress and sort of what expectations are for menus and what expectations are for, you know, users both that have been using WordPress for a long time and users who, who are new to WordPress, and the Site Editor. And having all of those considerations from the various stakeholders just makes it a really difficult design problem.

[00:07:03] Josepha: Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, not for nothing like the WP Admin itself, that dashboard inside the WordPress software, like that’s been due for an update for quite some time. This is the same one that I think we’ve had since 2008, which was also very disruptive in its way. And so like it was a good disruption, but we really haven’t made any substantial changes to it since then. And part of it is because there are so many use cases for WordPress, and we don’t have a good concept of that because we don’t have a lot of tracking in the software. We don’t take anyone’s like data about what field they work in. We don’t do any of that.

And so it’s hard for us to account for all of the use cases and get a really excellent design for a majority of the people that are gonna be using it. Because like we don’t actually build software for robots around here. Not yet.

[00:07:54] Mike: ( laughs ) Yeah.

[00:07:55] Josepha: No, I don’t think we’ll ever be robot-building software.

[00:07:57] Mike: I doubt it, but I also don’t wanna predict the future. No, I agree. And I think that is absolutely one of the super tricky things about building WordPress. I’m really glad that WordPress doesn’t collect any of that data. And it makes it so that the sort of testing that, that you were talking about, in user studies and things like that, are incredibly helpful for figuring out what the best approaches are.

[00:08:21] Josepha: Yeah, absolutely. Since we’re just in the zone of like things that Josepha likes and that she saw, I’m gonna also do this other thing. In one of the last couple of releases, the Style Book came out, which was such an exciting thing for me. It’s great to be able to see whether or not all of the style choices you’ve made in various parts of the admin or in the code, depending on how you’re doing things.

It’s nice to make sure, in one big set, that like everything is coherent. Everything that you thought you changed did get changed and it looks the way that you wanted it to look in concert with everything else in there. And it looked like we now have revisions specific to styles, like styling things across the site, have revisions.

Is that right?

[00:09:06] Mike: That’s correct.

[00:09:07] Josepha: I think that’s a super big deal because as somebody who is just, I’m filled with techno joy. I don’t always want to look at a manual. I just want to do stuff until it breaks and then hope I can fix it. The hoping you can fix it part ( laughs ) can sometimes be really nerve-wracking if what you’re doing is creating a site for a client or you are working on your first big theme and you wanna make sure that’s all together.

And so style revisions to go along with some of the Editor revisions I think is a great change.

[00:09:39] Mike: Same. Absolutely. This is not a feature I have, done too much particular playing with, at this point.

[00:09:44] Josepha: You’re a very skilled developer.

[00:09:46] Mike: I appreciate that. That’s very kind. I think that adding revisions to anything that folks regularly change in posts or pages is, really important. And making it very easy to get to both make forward changes and also to realize, “Oh, there was this other change that was, you know, there was three clicks ago that I really loved. How do I get back to that? How do I see the history?” And that’s what I love about that sort of feature. Being able to really easily see, “Okay, when did this happen? In what series? How can I jump back and get to that spot that felt right.”

[00:10:19] Josepha: Yes. Anytime that we can have that kind of historical layering of things, I think is good. I went to a meetup. I like to go to meetups that are 101 content, because that’s like the folks that really need new refined processes the most. But I went to a 101 meetup a couple years back, and I remember that the presenter was saying like, take a theme that you pretty much like and make some changes until you have a theme that you love.

And people kept saying like, “Yeah, but what if I break everything?” And he said in the middle of that to everyone, not knowing who I was because who cares? He was like, “Yeah, WordPress is not gonna let you do anything that will completely destroy a theme or completely destroy your site. There’s an undo button and you can just undo it. It’ll be fine.” And I was like, “Yeah, that is true now.”

[00:11:15] Mike: I love that.

Gosh. I mean, I remember when I was playing with my first WordPress site, and even to make really small changes with navigation or with menus, I had to go in and make changes to the PHP code, and none of that was protected.

[00:11:31] Josepha: You’re like, “This is free-range me out here.”

[00:11:34] Mike: I love, absolutely. I love that is just no longer the case anymore and it’s super easy to go in and play with a theme and make changes without worrying about any of that. And, I mean, I may be a developer, but that’s the way I would prefer. That’s the way I go in and edit my sites now too.

If I wanna mess with a theme, go in, and it was the Customizer and now it’s the Site Editor, and it’s great.

[00:11:58] Josepha: Yeah, it’s a leap forward, I think, leap forward.

So another thing that I ran into, I guess it’s two things that I ran into while I was wandering around in there recently, and it’s possible that I ran into these two things because I just personally love them the most, but the Footnotes block looks like it is potentially going to land.

I have been so excited about this block for no reason. I have dreams about it. I wish that were not a true statement. I did recently have a dream about it. I dreamt that it didn’t land in the release, and that I went to talk to Ella about it and she was like, “Oh, yeah, publishers have given up on footnotes and they’re just doing end notes now, and so I decided not to ship it.” Like this is a dream I had.

And so I’m a little worried, but tomorrow I’m gonna be like, “Hey, Ella, friend, what’s happening?” And she’s gonna be like, “Yeah, end notes are where it’s at.”

And then the other block that I’m personally very excited about is what I like to call the “Spoilers block.” I know it is not “Spoilers”, it’s the called “Details,” but anytime I’ve ever used that after like early, early times in my career, early in my career, I used to call them accordions and I don’t know why, but now I call them “Spoiler blocks.” But I know it’s actually called the “Details block,” where you can put in a piece of information at the top, essentially a title, and then expand it to get more information in there.

So are both of those actually gonna land or am I gonna be heartbroken?

[00:13:24] Mike: As far as I’m aware, yes. I know that I haven’t checked recently on the latter, but I was just playing with the Footnotes block, and it’s really cool. I really like the interface. I think that it makes it really simple to add quick footnotes to, anywhere in the site, and everything feels very automated and simple.

[00:13:46] Josepha: As someone who every, almost everything that I’ve ever written, I want to have an aside in it, which essentially just becomes a footnote. One of the weirdest parts about Gutenberg at first is that like, the asterisk way of doing it, where you just put one after the word and then put one at the start. The asterisk makes it into a list block, and for a long time you also couldn’t escape it, and so I had to do a lot of fancy footwork to get my footnotes to work for a while, and so I’m excited for that.

[00:14:15] Mike: I think I had similar discouraging moments with lists and I was really encouraged by the way the footnotes select, and I’m sure there are other ways to do it too, but select, right-click, footnote, and they all automatically go to the bottom order, all of it. It’s a really smooth process.

[00:14:31] Josepha: Yeah. I’m really excited about it. I know that like for the last two or three major releases, a bulk of what we’ve been offering to folks is like, design stuff, and we’re just like, “It’s a bunch of design things,” but this release actually has over 500 different tickets that were marked as features or enhancements that are going into it.

And so, you and I have talked about seven things so far, but I also understand that there are literally 500 tickets or so that were marked as “feature” or “enhancement.” And so we are definitely not gonna catch everything that goes in there, but there is kind of a group of another group of enhancements to the design tools because of course this wraps up the bulk of phase two so that we can all move into the collaborative editing phase.

And so like, do you have a sense for, like is this just mostly polish for those design and like image media management kinds of things? Or are there big features that are coming in those also?

[00:15:29] Mike: My understanding is that it’s all of the above. I think that there are a lot of new features being added along with polish to those features. And I think the neatest thing is that there are also a lot of enhancements that are focused on bringing all of those things together and making it feel like more of a connected experience. And so I think that’s my favorite part so far in testing that I’ve been doing of, the many, as you mentioned, so many additional new features that, that we’re added this time. And, I have a huge amount of respect for, you know, everyone that works, for the huge amount of folks that work on it across the project.

[00:16:07] Josepha: Yeah. Yeah, you’ve given a couple of answers where you were like, “I wasn’t personally involved in that,” but on the one hand, I was like, “Everyone knows that we’re not all personally involved in it,” but on the other hand, not everybody knows how many people touch all of these tickets and features and bugs and tests as we get them ready to be put into the release.

Last year, I was super worried that like, post active fear of Covid, and now everyone just like deciding that they’ve done their best and they’re going back out there. Like I was really worried that everyone was gonna be having so much fun out of the house, that they would stop contributing.

[00:16:43] Mike: ( laughs )

[00:16:44] Josepha: I know, but we actually had one of our most active years for contributors last year, which means that especially for the releases that are coming this year, the people who worked all the way through last year, like almost 2000, I think, contributors, just to code, that’s not even like the contributors who worked on reigniting the community and putting together events, all of those things like all of the other things that we do.

It’s, it is remarkable to me that when we look at any feature it is definitely been looked at or worked on, or at least passed through desks of easily a hundred people, even for small little things. And I just love that, the depth of the work we do.

[00:17:29] Mike: Absolutely. Same. I remember wondering about that too, about your same sort of concerns. And it’s been really great to be a part of the community as it’s essentially, as it’s grown together again, I think is maybe the best way I can think of to say it. That’s been quite wonderful.

[00:17:46] Josepha: Yeah, absolutely. Mike, this has been an absolutely delightful conversation. Is there anything you would like to leave us with before we move on to our small list of big things today?

[00:17:58] Mike: The release candidate for 6.3 comes out tomorrow, and what I would love the most is if anyone in interested in testing, anyone, whether it’s testing exactly like this sort of testing that you were just talking about, with loading the RC and clicking around and seeing what works the best and what doesn’t work and what feels good and what doesn’t, or if it’s testing, if you’re like a plugin or a theme developer, testing with those things to see how things work and looking for backwards compatibility breaks that are unexpected so we can fix them before release.

If you work at a hosting company or you make sites for folks, helping test that to see that it works really well on your platforms for folks that you work with. I think all of those would be super helpful, and there are testing instructions that can be found on the release candidate announcement page.

[00:18:43] Josepha: Perfect. Wonderful. Mike, thank you so much for joining me today.

[00:18:47] Mike: Thank you so much. I’ve really appreciated the time.

( Musical interlude )

[00:18:49] Josepha: That brings us now to our small list of big things. It’s actually kind of a big list of big things today. So first on the list is that WordCamp US has a Contributor Day and we need your help. So the WordCamp US Contributor Team has contacted all of the team reps asking for help with a new approach to organizing this year’s Contributor Day.

The hope is to make the initial steps to contribution easier. And so they’re asking teams who will be present to help participate with that process. I will have a link in the show notes to the post that has more information.

Also second thing related also to WordCamp US is that I would like to put out a call for art and music, especially that is related to open source and the freedoms that it brings. So one of the things that makes WordPress so fantastic in the world is not only that like we’re creating opportunities for folks, we’re offering economic, and I don’t know, philosophical freedoms to people, but we frequently do think about that in the vein of, you know, commerce and work and the economy, and we rarely think about it in the obviously related subset of arts and music. And so I also would like to put out a call for any open source related arts or poetry or music that you all have created.

I would love to be able to display some of that at WordCamp US this year. I don’t think I have a link quite yet for a call for that, but as soon as I do, I’ll send it out on social media and other places.

The third thing on our small list of big things is that, as Mike mentioned, tomorrow is the RC1 release date for WordPress 6. 3, and you can help us to test that.

It’s always good for us to test any release as it’s working its way through the process, but certainly by the time it gets to RC, that’s when we are pretty sure it’s going to be as stable as possible. We’ve done some soft string freezes and feature freezes-ish. And so that’s about as stable as it’s going to get. And so I encourage everyone to get out and test that as much as possible. And in all the ways that Mike shared.

Item number four, we are also reaching a milestone. So, a couple weeks ago, we reached the one year milestone for the start of the Meetup Reactivation Project.

We have about 50% of our Meetup groups reactivated. If you are listening to this and you are a Meetup organizer and you haven’t heard from anyone from WordCamp Central or the community team, I’m going to put a link to the notes, or rather, a link to the post in the notes so that you can also learn more about that.

You don’t have to hear from us in order to get your meetup group going again. But, if you are interested to know what has gone into that process, or always just want to know what’s going on in the community side of things, that’s a good place to start. So there will be a link to that in the show notes as well.

Number five, WordPress event organizers in general, but also anyone. So there are two different events coming up on Thursday, on July 20th.

First, there is the WP Diversity Workshop. This is added workshop for us to help promote the ideas of building diverse and inclusive WordPress events. And so, this is not necessarily one of those events for people who want to increase their skills in speaking so that they are able to, to speak confidently at a WordPress event. These are for people who are organizing WordPress events and want to make them more inclusive and more diverse from the start. I encourage any organizer to go to it, regardless of whether you’re doing WordPress events or not, but certainly for WordPress events that is something that we care about and want to have included in our entire event series.

The other thing that’s happening on Thursday, because like I said, two things happening on Thursday, is that we have a WordPress 6. 3 live product demo. We’ve been doing these for the last few releases, and you get a couple of people from either the release squad, or like folks who do that kind of developer relations work in WordPress, who sit down and just do a general click-through, a general run through, a public demo of what we expect to land in the release.

And so that also is on Thursday. I will also have a link for you in the show notes. If you are listening to this not on WordPress.org and you don’t know where the show notes are, don’t worry. The show notes are on WordPress.org. You go to WordPress.org/news/podcast and in the transcript there are show notes that have links to all of these things.

And that, my friends, is your big, small list of big things. Thank you for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. Thank you again for my guest, Mike’s, time. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks.

( Outtro music )

WP Briefing: Episode 59: A Polyglot’s WordPress

Join WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy in the 59th episode of the WordPress Briefing. Today she invites guest speaker Alex Kirk to discuss Polyglots’ work to continue to help bring translation to WordPress.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.


Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Guests: Alex Kirk
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry and Nicholas Garofalo
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes


( Intro music )

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:00:10] 

Hello everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

( Intro music )

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:00:39] 

I have with me Alex Kirk, who is a longtime WordPress contributor and who has been instrumental in recent innovations in the Polyglots’ work. Phase four of the Gutenberg project is native multilingual support, and so I see this work that is being done as instrumental, not only for our global community but in support of what’s to come in that specific roadmap.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:00:59] 

So without further ado, Alex Kirk, welcome to the WordPress Briefing.

[Alex Kirk  00:01:03]

Hello, how are you doing? 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:01:05]

I’m good. I’m good. Can you, let’s, because I bet that not a lot of people know who you are, can you first start by just telling me a bit about your work with WordPress, and then let us know what GlotPress is, for those of us who don’t know yet? 

[Alex Kirk  00:01:19]

All right. So, Automattic sponsors me to work in the WordPress project on the Meta team and on the Polyglots team. So I spent time on improving or helping improve the software that powers the translation on WordPress.org. But I also work on the meta team on things like Matrix and evaluating if it would be a good fit for WordPress to switch to Matrix for their chat system.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:01:46]

So a lot of really big projects that you work on, all of that kind of stuff that has no easy solutions anymore, is where you are right now. Huh?

[Alex Kirk  00:01:56]

Yeah, there’s no clear path, but it’s our mission to find it. So that’s part of what makes things interesting.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:02:05]

Cool. So for folks who don’t know too much about the Polyglots team or generally translating WordPress, the software, can you let us know a bit about what GlotPress is?

[Alex Kirk  00:02:16]

Right. So the translation system that powers WordPress.org is called GlotPress. It used to be a standalone software that was developed a couple of years ago, and it was transformed into a WordPress plugin at some point, and now powers the translation that happens on WordPress.org. So we translate WordPress core there from English to other languages, plugins, themes, block patterns, and it all happens through this software called GlotPress. There are a couple GlotPress installations around the world, but I think the WordPress.org one is one of the bigger ones.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:02:55]

Probably, WordPress.org is pretty, pretty massive. Also, I think it’s great that you said that GlotPress was created a couple of years ago, like that, that indicates to me that you’re working on a really different timescale than a lot of folks are in WordPress. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:03:10]

So Alex, tell me a little bit about what it takes to ship translated WordPress software. So, I mean, for people who don’t need translated WordPress, like obviously we don’t have a good idea of what it takes to make sure that WordPress is available in so many languages. So what goes into the work of making sure that that happens?

[Alex Kirk  00:03:32]

All right, so typically the WordPress software and plugins and themes are primarily created in English. And for it to be available in other languages, it needs to be translated. And for that to be able to happen, the programmers need to make the software translatable. Basically, they’re providing each English string for the translation software to be available to be transformed, so to speak, into another language and to what it’s being transformed to. This is what the translators do. So they go into the GlotPress software and see the list of texts that need to be translated and translate it to their language that they speak. Typically there is a process around this.

[Alex Kirk  00:03:32]

So, we’ve got people who have lots of experience in translation. And specifically in translating WordPress or WordPress plugins. And they’re kind of the, the people who help ensure good quality of translation. So anybody who’s working the WordPress project, so basically who has a WordPress.org account, can come in and address the translation. And that translation enters the system, so to speak, in a waiting state. And then somebody who we promoted to be a Translation Editor will come along and take a look at your translation and will approve it or will give you suggestions how to do the translation in a better way, or come up with maybe even a better translation.

[Alex Kirk  00:05:03]

You know, when you have like a small thing that’s just not right, like a missing full stop or something like that. They might just add it for you. And well, as soon as the plugin or software is translated to a certain level of translations those translations will be shipped out to the WordPress installs.

[Alex Kirk  00:05:20]

So, for example, for a plugin, you would reach 90% of translated strings. Those translations will then be basically packed up into zip file, a language pack and delivered to each WordPress so that you can have the translations available there.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:05:35]

And is 90% the threshold for plugins only, or is that also the threshold for like themes and the CMS itself?

[Alex Kirk  00:05:34]

Well. We strive for 100%, I would say. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:05:47]

Good. ( laughs )

[Alex Kirk  00:05:48]

And, 90% more of a motivational point. To be actually honest, I’m not sure if the threshold is 90% for every project or even if it’s actually 90%. It’s different between different GlotPress installations and it’s basically something that is made as a setting that can be changed. There’s, it’s an arbitrary number. Typically you’d actually want to make sure that the most important strings are translated first. So the ones like, if you look at the whole picture, software usually consists of many parts, many of whom are not encountered by people on a regular basis. For example, error messages that could be like obscure error messages, and you could argue that those might be not as important. Or even sometimes you could even say like, do they need to be translated? Because if you encounter an error message and you search the internet, wouldn’t you probably want everybody to search for the English one to find the solution? But that set-aside, it’s important to have like the headline of the plugin or like the most important strings translated, and typically translating those most important strings will take you to a pretty high percentage so that we can then say it’s good enough to be shipped.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:07:02]

Gotcha. I see, I see. Okay. Well, we talked a bit earlier about GlotPress’s timeline. It has been around for a bit, I know. But with that kind of in mind, have there been any notable changes to GlotPress recently? 

[Alex Kirk  00:07:19]

Yeah, so I think for GlotPress there’s been a bit of an up and down over time in terms of engagement and progress on the software. But in, in the recent year, I think we’ve added a couple of things that have been very helpful for translators. So one of them was adding the commenting functionality, so yeah.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:07:35]

Super helpful. Shocked it wasn’t there before. Sorry, translators. Sorry, all of our polyglots.

[Alex Kirk  00:07:40]

Well, it can be like there was when GlotPress was created there, there is like the, a big part of GlotPress are these states, like the waiting state when you enter translation, and then there’s approved state, which basically a translation we say it’s set to current, and there’s all sorts of process around it. So if the software is updated or translation might get fuzzy. But also like, if somebody submits a translation that doesn’t fully conform to what’s the translation editors, or like what the standards of the translation community have been set to, then you would have to need to reject it.

[Alex Kirk  00:08:16]

And that has been something that we felt wasn’t a very good and enticing way of telling people like, we appreciate your work. It wasn’t just quite right, but it’s more of a rejection. So this is how we came up with this like, let’s give people the option to say what was wrong and give them a chance to try again without making them feel rejected.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:08:38]

Yeah. Sort of a “No, but…” as opposed to a, just refusal to receive it.

[Alex Kirk  00:08:45]

And other things that we’ve worked on is, like, with the recent search of AI, like getting help from AI on translation and also on reviews. So, there’s some interesting things that you can do with AI in that regard; that one important aspect of translations, it’s also that we’ve got glossaries for each language where people, basically the translation community, identifies certain words they want to translate them the same way every time. And with the AI, you can basically add to the prompt, like, please translate those words to those translations when you give me a translation for that. And as it can change over time, you can always adapt this to the prompt, and that has been proven quite helpful.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:09:25]

That is great. That’s one of those things I know that AI has been like a really popular thing to talk about. And AI, specifically for translations, I think has caused some concern that maybe we’ll just like translate it all and hope that computers get it right when we know pretty certainly that computers don’t always get the translations right. But that’s not what you’re talking about, right? What you’re suggesting is that AI would suggest what could be translated and what it could be translated to, and then human beings have to confirm that that’s correct, right?

[Alex Kirk  00:09:59]

That’s exactly it. So basically, we give suggestions to the translators, and then they can modify a translation before they press save. It’s more of a, like supporting them in getting the translations, like looking up words more quickly and all of that.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:10:16]

That’s wonderful. So is that the major sort of next step that is coming for GlotPress, or are there other things that we should keep an eye out for in that software?

[Alex Kirk  00:10:27]

So one direction that we’ve been taking GlotPress is basically making use of the fact that GlotPress is WordPress plugin now. And you know, typically, you would just use a GlotPress install. So on WordPress.Org, there’s like GlotPress installed, there’s translation projects created, something that we call “translation sets”. So for languages, you want to translate it to, it’s all pre-configured, and if you would install GlotPress to plugin on your own WordPress, it would be empty and not very useful. So what we’ve added is a way for you to basically be able to translate the plugins and themes that you’ve got installed in your WordPress into the language that you’re interested in.

[Alex Kirk  00:11:07]

So you might have a non-English website that you want to use certain plugins with, and they might not be fully translated at this point, so obviously, you could go to WordPress.org and help translate them, and that’s the way to, that’s preferred. But you could also now go install GlotPress on your own website and translate there. And then you have the translations there right when you enter them. And you can then contribute those translations back to WordPress.org.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:11:35]

So that’s with local GlotPress?

[Alex Kirk  00:11:37]

That’s something that we call local GlotPress. And you know, since we then have all these translations in the local database, it means we can do even more with those translations. So typically, language packs would be delivered to WordPress, but with local GlotPress, you’ve got like all the GlotPress software there.

[Alex Kirk  00:11:56]

So we can do things like inline translation. So, on your own WordPress and wp-admin, for example, we can highlight all the strings that can be translated, and those strings just have to right-click them and enter your translation, and that way, you can basically go about and translate the whole ui, seeing your progress, as you’re making, basically turning the screen from red to green.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:12:20]

Yeah. Yeah. So that’s something now that you can do in your local WordPress installation. 

[Alex Kirk  00:12:26]

Basically, it’s completely independent of WordPress.org. We would ask you to contribute the translations back when you have them, but being independent also allows you to translate like premium plugins, which could not be hosted on WordPress.org or doing something like that we call like hyper-local translation. So, for example, I speak Austrian German natively, but even inside Austria, we’ve got different dialects or like special words that we use. And if I wanted to create a website that’s targeted at the Viennese market, for example, I might want to use those specific terms. And this is something I would have to argue for those translations to be accepted on WordPress.org because it’s a, it’s like a very targeted market. But if I have a local GlotPress, I can do those translations there.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:13:11]

That seems awfully beneficial, especially as dialects. I’ve been having these conversations. I have, in my extended family, many children, and they are all learning languages and one of them has been having kind of thoughts about, like, dialects and how dialects are almost another language. And if so, like how do you know what everybody’s saying when you’re speaking all the same thing, but it’s kind of a little bit it sounds a little bit different.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:13:37]

That’s certainly a thing in the US, the distinct dialects across our country. And so I imagine that that’s gonna be a really beneficial sort of implementation for countries that have a lot of different regional variations and certainly smaller countries that have technically the same language as somebody else, but a lot of regional differences, regional specific things.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:14:01]

Is that the same or different as the live translations, Translate Live, that we talked about at the WordCamp Europe a couple weeks back?

[Alex Kirk  00:14:12]

Right. So, Translate Live is kind of the next step after local GlotPress. It’s like this happy marriage between the WordPress Playground and local GlotPress. So the WordPress Playground is also something that has come up a lot. It’s basically a way for you to run WordPress inside a browser window, so in JavaScript. And at first, it seems like mildly interesting, I would say. But when you combine it with other things like local GlotPress, it can lead to really interesting opportunities. So with inline translation, for example, on WordPress.org, you would typically find for every plugin, the UI would look the same. You would have a table of strings, and all that makes you realize you’re translating this certain plugin is that in the header of the page, it says this name of the plugin, but other than that, it can look really all the same. 

[Alex Kirk  00:15:07]

And now, with WordPress Playground, you can put up a WordPress and run this plugin inside that Playground. And now, if you add local GlotPress to the picture, you can also do the inline translation of that plugin inside the WordPress Playground. So you’ve got inline translation. We add the glossary so they do make sure that you translate things the same way that they’re expected, and you don’t have to install the plugin.

[Alex Kirk  00:15:33]

And still, you can see what the translations will look like. You can see the strings next to each other, and what I think is most important, you will start with the strings that you see first, which are the most important ones. When you’re in the table view, those strings might be somewhere buried in the middle, and yeah, it’s really hard to see progress if you start with kind of obscure error messages, for example, versus just starting with the things that you see first.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:16:02]

Yeah. So, moving translations away from table-based translations where you kind of have to know what you’re looking for. So the Translate Live, along with local GlotPress, along with WP Playground, is going to make it so that it’s easier to see visually what needs to be translated, where, what’s most valuable to translate for your mid users and your end users, basically.


[Alex Kirk  00:16:30]

That, and also like for plug-in authors, it can be really good to see, you know, you can switch the languages in the Playground to another language, and you can quickly see like what’s the state of the translation in this language or in that language. And even things like, you know, Arabic as an RTL language rights to left language. The sidebar will change to the right, and you can also just switch language and see like, what’s my plugin like in this environment. I mean, this is not technically something that’s related to local GlotPress, but in this translation live ui, it’s very easy to change languages and see your plugin in another language.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:17:06]

I mean, it’s not specifically related to, to Translations Live, but also, I think that if we’re saying that WordPress not necessarily is going to lead the way with translations and native multilingual support in our CMS because, of course, it’s still a little bit far out on our roadmap. We certainly have an opportunity to have the best implementation of that.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:17:27]

And even if like that specific use case that you’re talking about isn’t related directly to what it is that you are working on for Polyglots and inside GlotPress and all of that, I do see that having more streamlined, more easy to see and access opportunities to like test the way that our software looks across varying environments, especially those that change it substantially from what we typically work in day-to-day for any individual developer or any individual WordPress site implementer.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:18:00]

Like, I think that that is a big step forward for all of us and certainly for anyone who is having to use WordPress as not a native English speaker. And so you say it’s not related, but it still is a big, a big benefit for WordPress overall, I think, to have this kind of work happening so that we can have those benefits to the folks who are using our software. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:18:22]

So there were a couple of different things that you mentioned over the course of our conversation. We’re gonna put some links to the show notes for all of those. But one thing that you mentioned that just kind of went by, and we never really had an opportunity to talk about it. You talked about the, I think it was GTEs, Global Translation Editors, the folks that are like approved as final approvers of translations. If there is someone who’s listening to this podcast who wants to become a GTE someday, where would they go to do that?

[Alex Kirk  00:18:54]

So the path to GTE is a PTE. ( laughs )

[Alex Kirk  00:18:59]

So, we’ve got different levels of translation editors. Basically, you start, you could say you start off as a translator, and this is how you can kind of show that you can do good translations or that you’re very firm in your language. And this might make you be noticed in the community.

[Alex Kirk  00:19:16]

So we’re always looking for people who like to help with translations. And you might be then promoted to be a Project Translation Editor. Basically, it means that for a single language in a project, you’ll be able to approve translations. So, you’ll be the one who says, like, this translation is a good one and this conforms to the to the rules that we have stated as a translation community.

[Alex Kirk  00:19:42]

And further down the path then is the GTE, where you basically are allowed to approve translations across any project on translate.WordPress.org in your language. And that’s, usually you’ll be in, in that position with other GTEs.

[Alex Kirk  00:20:04]

So there is, like, in each community, there is like, we’re people based. We talk about what might be a good translation. We talk to each other, try to find rules that maybe prevent common mistranslations, or set the standards for how we want the software to be translated. And this is something where you get a voice as a translator, but as a GTE, you get into a position where you can actually make the changes or find consensus on how the software should be translated in your language.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:20:35]

And if folks are not familiar where the Polyglots team works and meets, where would they find you all?

[Alex Kirk  00:20:41]

At make.WordPress.org/polyglots.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:20:45]

Perfect. Alex, this has been such a fascinating conversation. Thank you so much for joining me today.

[Alex Kirk  00:20:50]

Thank you very much. 

( Intermission music )

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:20:59]

So that brings us now to our small list of big things. First, WP Campus 2023 is taking place July 12th through the 14th. That’s a nonprofit three-day conference with topics that focus on the growth of higher education, accessibility, WordPress, and anyone who works in higher education.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:21:17]

It’s a hybrid event. There is an in-person component on the beautiful campus of Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. I’ll add information about that in our show notes for anyone who would like to join in person or online. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:21:32]

The second thing is that the mentorship program pilot that I have been talking about a little bit over the last few months has been formally launched.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:21:39]

If you are interested in contributing more to the project but not sure where to begin, take a look at this comprehensive onboarding experience. It’s cohort-based. It has some personalized one-to-one mentorship. There are guided courses, live workshops, all of that. So read more about it in our show notes and sign up for one-on-one team mentorship.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:21:59]

And then, finally, Matt mentioned at WordCamp Europe an idea that he had been thinking of for some time a Make team dashboard that would sort of help define team metrics and help identify for individual contributors what should indicate team health and where they can find the most impactful projects to work on.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:22:20]

A post has since been published on make.WordPress.org/meta calling for additional feedback on that idea, so that we have an understanding of what this could be, how the dashboard can kind of come to be. And so stop by and add your thoughts there in the comments. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:22:38]

And that, my friends, is your small list of big things.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:22:42]

Thanks for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks.

( Outro music )

WP Briefing: Episode 58: A New Wave for WordPress Events

Join WordPress guest host, Chief of Staff and Head of Operations, Chloé Bringmann, and special guest Head of Programs and Contributor Experience, Angela Jin, in the 58th episode of the WordPress Briefing as they discuss the next generation of WordCamps.


Show Notes


(Intro music)

[Chloé Bringmann 00:00:10] 

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your guest host Chloé Bringmann. And here we go.

(Intro music)

[Chloé Bringmann 00:00:40] 

So I have the privilege of guest hosting this episode of the WordPress Briefing. And today I have with me a very special guest. The Head of Programs and Contributor Experience, Angela Jin. Welcome. Before we dive into all the questions, can you tell me and our listeners a little bit about your role in the WordPress community?

[Angela Jin 00:01:01] 

Yeah, happy to, and thank you so much for having me. I’m very excited to be here. I am the Head of Programs and Contributor Experience, and I provide oversight and guidance for our WordPress programs, such as our events programs, training, and Five for the Future, with an eye toward ensuring their sustainability and growth. I’m very fortunate to work with our contributors across many teams around the world. In addition to troubleshooting and helping folks figure out how to move forward, I also spend a good amount of time exploring with others what could be in our programs.

[Chloé Bringmann 00:01:41] 

We just got back from WordCamp Europe in Athens, Greece. It was such an energizing event for me, but I’m curious about what your impressions were of the past week.

[Angela Jin 00:01:52] 

Yeah, it was fantastic. I’m always really inspired by what a group of like-minded people can achieve together. There’s a lot of passion for this particular WordCamp, and it made for a really wonderful WordPress experience. Full of lots of great connections and memories; I have a million follow-ups and probably even more thoughts to reflect on. So it’s great. There were a lot of new WordPressers there. So it was lovely to meet them. And I’m really excited to see how many exciting new projects and ideas that we have in the space.

[Chloé Bringmann 00:02:27] 

Same, you said it perfectly. Josepha also mentioned in the flagship’s keynote, the proposal for the next generation of WordCamps. I’m curious about what the main ideas and goals, as discussed thus far, are of that proposal.

[Angela Jin 00:02:42] 

For sure. So WordCamps have been fundamental for the WordPress community for a very long time. And while they have continued to grow larger and reach more places around the world, it’s also undeniable that the way that people meet has changed since 2006. 

[Angela Jin 00:03:01] 

And so, just as WordPress itself iterates we’re looking at iterating on WordCamps so that they move from fundamental to indispensable for the WordPressers of today and tomorrow. So event attendees today are looking to learn essential skills, make connections that lead to neat opportunities, and more. 

[Angela Jin 00:03:23] 

So to that end, we put forth an updated purpose for our events, which is that WordPress events spark innovation and adoption by way of accessible training and networking for users, builders, designers, and extenders. We celebrate community by accelerating 21st-century skills, professional opportunities, and partnerships for WordPressers of today and tomorrow. 

[Angela Jin 00:03:47]

So the goal here is to create events that are more clearly defined – who these are for what you will gain from attending. We are looking to see events that take a deeper dive into content, or topics and provide more advanced content. And let’s try out some different formats and see how that shapes our event experience. And so it is a big shift. And change is always hard. 

[Angela Jin 00:04:13]

However, the feedback that I’ve gotten so far, and certainly at WordCamp Europe, is that this is a very welcome evolution. And the Community team has already received over 60 proposals. So I’m very excited about that. In fact, a WordPress Community Day in Rome has already been announced and is focused on providing meet-up organizing and community management skills. So that’s pretty cool.

 [Chloé Bringmann 00:04:37] 

Wow, that’s incredible. I love that we’ve gotten 60 suggestions already and that we already have an event in place. That’s fantastic. In that blog post, too, it’s mentioned that WordCamps should prioritize inclusivity and diversity. How can organizers ensure these values are upheld in the next generation of WordCamps and beyond events? Into our day-to-day project involvement?

[Angela Jin 00:05:04]

Excellent question. So while WordCamps themselves are changing, some of our core values, like prioritizing inclusivity and diversity, are non-negotiable. For the whole project, we have a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement, and a Code of Conduct that lays out how we expect our community to engage with each other in this space. 

[Angela Jin 00:05:27]

And on top of that, our programs do focus on providing resources and training like how to create a diverse speaker roster. And we have diverse speaker training workshops on how to organize a diverse and inclusive WordPress event. And we also have a great list of third-party resources as well. And so, with so many events, we create a lot of opportunities to grow as a visible contributor, whether it is a speaker, a volunteer, or an organizer. 

[Angela Jin 00:05:56]

And so with the next generation of events, we could more intentionally create these spaces for groups that historically have been underrepresented. Even long before my post went live, the BlackPress meetup group, for example, wanted to create an event that connected with historically black colleges and universities. And an event like that that really invites a specific group to learn all about WordPress would be a really great experience and a wonderful way to celebrate that community and a great connection to the broader community so that we can intentionally get to the diversity that we want to see. 

[Angela Jin 00:06:38]

And I also want to add that the people who are underrepresented in our community are more likely to need financial sponsorship. And so even though we do keep our ticket prices low so that our events are more easily accessible, the cost of travel continues to increase, not to mention the time and energy required to participate in these events. So an excellent way that companies can help is to sponsor somebody’s time and somebody’s contributions, which we’re always trying to encourage through the Five for the Future program.

[Chloé Bringmann 00:07:11] 

Beautiful. So, with that in mind, how do you foresee the next generation of WordCamps impacting the WordPress community, that larger ecosystem? So, what changes do you hope to see regarding community engagement, learning opportunities, and best practices?

[Angela Jin 00:07:31]

I foresee us evolving our tried and true event format into a dynamic wealth of community-led opportunities. I know that online events were pretty exhausting during the worst of the pandemic, but there is a ton of unexplored opportunities there. And community research is also showing that online is a great way to create more inclusive and diverse events. 

[Angela Jin 00:07:58]

The Training team, with their learn WordPress online workshops, have really led the way with our online events. And there are so many more people that we can reach there. 

[Angela Jin 00:08:08]

And so in addition to providing more advanced content, I also hope to see content around broader tech and business trends that influence WordPress, and conversely, how WordPress can shape those trends as well. And with all of that, I really hope that we can bring in more community members that otherwise wouldn’t be interested in what we currently offer, especially a younger generation that will help us drive the next generation of WordPress, the open source project.

[Chloé Bringmann 00:08:39]

Very excited to hear all of this, and I bet our listeners are too. I’m curious how they and community members can provide feedback or get involved with this next generation of WordCamps.

[Angela Jin 00:08:50]

I’m going to encourage everyone, please come chat with the Community team and comment on the current posts. We really welcome your feedback to help us get our events to this next iteration of what they will become. There are two posts, in particular, one is to suggest ideas of event formats and topics that you would like to see. And the second is if you are an organizer, we’re inviting you to hear some recommendations for improved tooling that would be helpful for your event site. And we’ll include links to those posts in the show notes.

[Chloé Bringmann 00:09:26]

One final question for you, Angela. Any thoughts as we prepare for WordCamp US and the Community Summit, which will be in National Harbor, Maryland, in August?

[Angela Jin 00:09:37]

For the Community Summit in particular, if you want to attend and you haven’t already applied, please please do make sure to apply as soon as possible. And encourage somebody else who you think should attend to apply as well. 

[Angela Jin 00:09:53]

And if financial constraints are a blocker, we are aiming to help with the cost of hotel and or flight. And so one way to help support the diversity and inclusion of this event, and really to the whole project, is to also contribute to the Community Summit travel fund. You can find information about all of that on the Community Summit site. 

[Angela Jin 00:10:15]

And next, if you have a topic in mind that you think needs to be discussed at the Community Summit, please please also share that information with us as well. And last but not least, I am, I am so excited. I’m not going to spoil anything. But I have been working with the WordCamp US organizing team and looking at some of what they have planned and some of the content. It’s going to be a truly incredible event, so don’t miss out.

[Chloé Bringmann 00:010:41]

Oh, wonderful. Thank you so much for joining me, Angela. And I can’t wait to see you and the WordPress community in August in person.

[Chloé Bringmann 00:010:58]

Which brings us now to our small list of big things. First up is the proposal and establishment of a new WordPress contributor team, the Sustainability team. Coming into WordCamp Europe, a proposal was put forward to create a team that would embed sustainable practices and processes in the ecosystem to ensure the Project’s longevity, both socially, economically, and as well environmentally. At WordCamp Europe, this proposal was confirmed, and the Sustainability team is now officially the 22nd contributor team that WordPressers can support with their contributions. Head on over to their making WordPress Slack channel, #sustainability, and join the conversation. 

[Chloé Bringmann 00:011:39]

Second, I would like to call your attention to the 6.4 development cycle post that was published on June 5th. 6.4 will be the third major release of 2023 and supports our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts by being led by those contributors that identify as underrepresented gender. This release will also be the first to kick off phase three of the Gutenberg roadmap, which is collaborative editing and workflows. I’ve included a link to the post in our show notes and encourage anyone who is interested in being part of this momentous release to join us in making this both impactful and meaningful. 

[Chloé Bringmann 00:012:16]

Finally, WordCamp US, as discussed, will be upon us before we know it starting on August 24th at National Harbor, Maryland. While tickets may be sold out, volunteers are still very much needed to make the flagship event run smoothly. So stop by us.wordcamp.org, raise your hand, and join us in August for engagement, inspiration, and learning. And that, my friends, is your small list of big things. I’m your guest host Chloé Bringmann and thank you for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing.