WP Builds Weekly WordPress News #118 – WordPress 5.4.2, PHP is 25 and so much spam

WP Builds Weekly WordPress News #118 – WordPress 5.4.2, PHP is 25 and so much spam

This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 8th June 2020:

WordPress Core

WordPress 5.4.2 Security and Maintenance Release

WordPress 5.4.2 Patches Multiple XSS Vulnerabilities

Premium WordPress hosting for everyone, small or large

Matt Mullenweg and Matías Ventura Demo New Image Editing Tools Coming to Gutenberg

Community

Happy 25th birthday PHP!

Mental Health and Remote Work

AB Split Test plugin - the fastest way to create split tests in WordPress

AsBlocks Project Uses Gutenberg to Create a Collaborative Writing Environment

Begin Prepping for Full-Site Editing With New Course on Block-Based Themes

WP Engine Makes Genesis Pro Available to New Customers Via StudioPress

Plugins / Themes / Blocks

WP Café to Host Live Discussion on Gutenberg Theme Development

Build Versatile Layouts with the GenerateBlocks WordPress Plugin

Introducing Multi-Step Form & Lottie Animations

Biggest Lesson You’ve Learned Selling WordPress Plugins and Themes – Experts Corner Episode 1

Stackable – New Advanced Blocks and Load More Blog Posts Button

Deals from this week

Get the WP Builds Deals emails delivered to your inbox!
and
The WP Builds Deals Page

Security

The WordPress security process; Test, Harden, Monitor, Improve

WordPress Vulnerability Roundup: June 2020, Part 1

WP Builds

WordPress Plugin Startup = from 0 to 10k installs

183 – How I have evolved my Wallace Inline WordPress plugin

WP Builds LIVE UI / UX review with Piccia Neri

Jobs

Strattic – Director of Marketing

We’re Looking for a React Developer to Join Our Team

Not WordPress, but useful anyway…

Google Finds Over 25 Billion Spammy Pages Every Day

Top 5 SaaS Tools for Customer Support

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group.

The WP Builds podcast is sponsored this week by…

Kinsta
and
AB Split Test – The fastest way to create Split Tests in WordPress
and
The WP Builds Deals Page

We thanks them for their support of WP Builds.

Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

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Hello there. Good morning. And welcome to this. The WP Builds weekly WordPress news. This is episode 118. It covers the WordPress news for the week commencing the 8th of June, 2020. And it was published on the 15th of June, 2020. My name's Nathan Wrigley and a few little bits of housekeeping before we begin.
If that's okay, please head over to WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe. That will keep you up to date with everything that we do on the WP Builds network. And we do rather a lot, a couple of podcasts each week. This one and the regular one on Thursday, which is often an interview or a debate. Plus we produce the WP Builds live WordPress news.
That's at 2:00 PM UK time. You can find out more about that by going to WP Builds.com forward slash live. But on the subscribe page, I mentioned a few moments ago. There's options for you to subscribe to us on your favorite podcast player. Join our very, very friendly Facebook group of over two and a half thousand WordPress's and also subscribe to our email lists to keep in touch with everything that we do.
Another notable mention is WP Builds.com forward slash deals. It's a 365 days of the year, black Friday tights type of page coupon codes for all sorts of plugins and themes and so on. So if you're in the market for something this week, go check that out. I would also like to say that on the news this week, we have myself Paul Lacey, Leo Mindell and Bernard Grinnell.
So like I said earlier, come and join us at 2:00 PM. WP Builds.com forward slash live, and also something a little bit interesting. I'm starting a new show with Sabrina Zayden, and we're starting that this Tuesday, if you go into our Facebook group, you'll be able to see posts about that. I've linked it to the top.
I've made it one of the announcement posts. So it's sort of sticky at the top of the group and Sabrina and I will be chatting about what it's like to launch a new plugin and go from zero to hero. The idea is. That we're coming from a place of ignorance. We were not trying to impart knowledge that we've already acquired.
We're just trying to give you things that we figure out along the way. I'm helping launch a, uh, an AB split test plug in with Tom Carless, and she's got her own speed guard plugin. So we're just going to go through the process of what it's like, how we're finding it wins that we had mistakes that we made and so on.
So go and check that out. WP Builds.com forward slash Facebook to join that Facebook group. And you can find out about that in the announcement post. The last one is advertising WP Builds.com forward slash advertise. If you would like to have your product or service put in front of a word, press specific audience a bit like these guys did.
Are you tired of unreliable or slow hosting? If so, check out. Kinsta takes managed WordPress hosting to the next level powered by the Google cloud platform. All their plans include PHP seven SSH and 24 seven expert support. You can try a free demo for 60 days today at Kinsta dot com. And AB split test. Do you want to set up your AB split tests in record time?
Like a couple of minutes, use your existing pages and test anything against anything else? Buttons, images, headers rows, really anything the best part. It works with elemental BeaverBuilder and the WordPress, a blog editor. You can check it out and get a free demo@absplittest.com. Okay, let's get on with the news this week.
Shall we? We always divide our weekly news up into different sections. And the first section should we have any is always the core section, WordPress core and a few bits and pieces for you this week in that section. So the first one is over@wordpress.org. It's a piece entitled WordPress, 5.4 0.2 security and maintenance release.
And it is just to say, as you can. Probably noticed WordPress has now updated to version 5.4 0.2. This is a security and maintenance release. 24, no 23 fixes in total of which quite a few of them were security releases. And we'll come onto that in just a moment. But if you haven't been updated, I suggest that you do that every time I hear the word security, I think.
Update. So go and get yourself updated, but there's very little in terms of features here. So I'll just move on to word fences article entitled WordPress 5.4 0.2 patches, multiple X S S vulnerabilities. Now we've talked about these as they have arisen over. The last few weeks, but Wordfence goes into a little bit more detail.
They've got a couple of paragraphs about each, but an example of which is one of the things that was fixed was an asset X S S issue where authentic authenticated users with low privileges are able to add JavaScript to posts in the block, editor and X S S issue. Where authenticated users with upload permissions are able to add JavaScript to media files.
And there's a couple of more so for example, another XSS issue via the theme uploads. And like I say, a couple of more, you should of course, updates to version 5.4 0.2. But if you wanted to know any more about the security, I suggest you click on the link in the show notes and go to the word fence article.
Right. The next piece I've got for you today is on WordPress Tavern. Sarah Gooding, writing a piece entitled Matt Mullenweg and Mathias, Ventura demo, new image, editing tools coming to Gothenburg. Now this is a portion of a video that was taken at WordCamp Europe just last week. And it's already gone on to WordPress TV.
The suggestion is that you. Pause this and go and look at that video. The video is right near the top of the post and start it at about eight and a half minutes and watch for about 10 minutes. Um, there's an awful lot shown in here. So it's a whole new load of capabilities that are going to be added into the next release of Guttenberg as a whole load of stuff based around, um, Gradients and a whole load of stuff based around inline editing, dragging, and dropping blocks, copying and pasting blocks, which I know if you've tried to shift things from one column to another, it's probably been a bit of a headache until now.
So that's really exciting, but possibly the best feature is the ability to edit images in line. And so you put an image into your, um, Post page, whatever it might be. And then you simply use the provided tools to flip it, zoom on it. You can do all sorts of things and it's all done in line. And, um, my monologue makes the point that, goodness me, how many times have we gone off to external tools to do just a simple thing?
Like change the aspire tiny amount, the position of the image, the idea will be that there'll be. Extensibility added into this image editing suite. So that for example, first party developers might be able to add things in who knows what that'll mean, but the tools look really great. They're right there on top of the images.
And so you'll be able to use them almost immediately. And importantly, it's not just adding the CSS to the images so that it. Changes the way that the image looks, it's actually changing the original image itself. So we'll see how that's handled, but this looks honestly very exciting and possibly another reason just to start using Guttenberg.
The next section is community, and I've got a very cheery one to start with it's over it. make.wordpress.org. And it's just to say, happy birthday to PHB. The article entitled happy 25th birthday PHP. It says that on the 8th of June, 1995, Danish Canadian born programmer Rasmus learned off. Posted an announcement on the Usenet group saying that he'd created something called a personal homepage tools version 1.0, obviously since then it's evolved massively lots of different features added in the zenned engine in version four, there was also a object orientated programming added in version five speed, performance and whatnot.
In version seven and we're expecting a whole load of different and exciting things to be happening by the end of the year, when version eight finally comes around at the time of writing, according to this article, 78.9% of all websites worldwide run on PHB and 37.2% of that 100% are running on WordPress.
So yeah, a massive debt of gratitude. The article says, and I would agree. PHP without you, WordPress would be nothing. The next one is a more personal piece. This is by Alex junk, pallets. This is an, a piece entitled mental health and remote work. It's a fairly long read. It might be one that you want to put to one side and have a little look at it at one point or another.
And it's all about the mental health and how it is affected by remote work. He tells his story about how he got into remote work. What he views as the pros and the cons are. And why, if you are a remote worker, especially at times like this, when you're more remote to, than ever, you might need to take care of your mental health.
Now, Alex, as I am is a big advocate of big orange heart, formerly WP and up. And he goes into that story as well, how we got started on it and how it's been able to help him. And so if any of them. The, any of the things that he mentions in this article about his own journey with his mental health ring, true to you, or you're interested further, please go and check out the big orange heart website to find out more and how you can contribute.
This next one looks really genuinely very exciting. It's a piece on WordPress Tavern called as blocks. Project uses Guttenberg to create a collaborative writing environment. Now, I can only describe this as the first iteration into collaborative writing akin to, well, let's say Google docs. There's a lovely short video.
It will take you no longer than a minute to watch where a side by side. The developer of this particular plugin, uh, whose name is Riyadh Benguela he, he pastes some different blocks onto the page. So for example, he writes a title. He then adds a paragraph and adds a placeholder for an image and some lists.
And then he opens that up in a show with a share link in a. Like an incognito window. And then he starts to type in the incognito when, and you can see the changes reflected on both sides. In other words, it's real time in line editing, uh, collaborated on with, in this case two people. But I guess the idea is it could be more.
Now you have the opportunity with this, excuse me, set up to. Share so that people can view, which would be highly useful or share so that people can edit, which perhaps is going to be more useful. Now, the idea is to bring something just like this in phase three of Gothenburg, in other words, into the core version of WordPress, but at the moment, nobody knows if it will look like this, but certainly this looks like a really.
Great. First attempt, 30 of the blocks are available in this iteration and he's planning to add a whole bunch of other stuff. So for example, comments, live chat selection, carrot indicators, document outline counts, local save button, local storage, persistence. Yeah. Because you do have to save it. It doesn't save in the same way that Google doctors, you have to actually click the button and it sends an encrypted piece of data up to the original server so that, you know, it's nuanced.
It's not quite as straightforward just yet as Google docs is. But anyway, really interesting. Those of you that are collaborating on content, who at the minute are forced to rely on things like Google docs and then have to figure out cloogy ways to get that Google doc into WordPress. This may be something you want to keep a close eye on.
For those listening who are involved in creating themes. This may be of great interest just in Tadlock in WordPress Tavern, writes beginning prepping for full site editing with new course on block-based themes. And this is to say that Carolina nine Mark has created a full site editing course. Because in a few short months, December, so late to this year, six months or so hopefully full site editing will drop into WordPress.
And it is felt at the minute that the, the knowledge gap is kind of looming. There's obviously those people that are designing this feature who know all about it, but are iterating on it really fast. And then there is the rest of the theme developer community who are not really able to keep up. So she's developed this course at the moment.
It's completely free, but she's hoping to get sponsorship. However, she has said that if the sponsorship doesn't become available, it might turn out to be a paid course. So you may either wish to sponsor it or go and get a free version or wait until it's more mature, um, and pay for it because it's not mature at the moment because simply because there's so much still in flux, there's so many things that are changing.
And so even if you were to download it or get access to it right now, Then you would discover that it's not entirely finished for obvious reasons. It can't be finished. Anyway, this is just a promotion for this really. I feel this is really worthwhile enterprise and something to support. Get yourself on board with it.
Start to upskill in this area, the course is broken down into a few sections. There's an introduction. There's all about blocks, block based themes. And the site editor, most of which have a short video and transcriptions are available as well. So maybe go check that out. Those of you using Genesis will no doubt know that it was acquired or studio press was acquired by WP engine a little while back.
And they came out with something called Genesis pro, which has been kind of bolted into your WP engine account for some time now. Well, there's a new article today over on WP engine's blog entitled WP engine makes Genesis. Pro available to new customers via studio press. And it's simply that if you're beguiled by the suite of tools, which Genesis pro offers, you can actually go and check this tool out at it's studio, press.com forward slash Genesis pro.
There's a short video you can watch, you can now get this as a one time subscription per year, $360 enables you to access all of this. Plus it says you get one free year of WPN gins hosting a. Don't think that's going to roll over. It says limited time only in brackets, but nevertheless, it's obviously a very popular theme.
Certainly was very popular at one point, and maybe you're still using it and would like to access all of these lovely features inside the Genesis pro version. The next section is all about the WordPress community. And we have a piece today over at WP Tavern, entitled WP cafe to host live discussion on Gothenburg theme development.
And it is to say that this is all taking place beginning on the 11th of June 11:00 AM. UK time. It's a live discussion. Talking about, well, all of the things to do with WordPress theme development in the era of the block editor, it's being organized by high rise, digital, which is a UK agency. And the aim is to help other professionals with the challenges, solutions, and ideas for developing on top of WordPress.
The first episode, which is going to be out on that date is entitled developing themes with Guttenberg and the panel includes. Ben Gill banks, Diane Wallace, Michael Bragg, and Keith Devin. If you go to the WP Tavern article, I've linked to in the show notes, you can find all about it on the company's YouTube channel, why they're doing it.
And of course, they're really just trying to back pedal and turn back the clock. So a little while ago, when Gothenburg all started, it was felt that really, there was a bit of a disconnect between theme developers and the team developing Gothenburg. And so hopefully some of this we'll readdress that balance.
You'll be able to find out what other people are doing and how people are going about creating their themes best. Okay. Looks like a good one. We've spoken about generate presses generate blocks before this is a project by Tom Osborne to try and make it easy for you and I to create complicated layouts with Gothenburg.
Well, just in Tadlock has finally got his test environment up and running and he writes an article. Entitled build versatile layouts with generate blocks. WordPress plugin. I reckon this piece will take you about five or six minutes to read. And the short answer is he recommends it. Absolutely. There's one glaring caveat for him, and that's the ability to create full width layouts without tumbling this via your own.
Theme. He would prefer a different solution, which meant that he worked in every single theme. But apart from that, he's very, very happy with it. He took it for quite an extensive test run and he likes what you can do with it. Versatility out of a very tiny amount of different blocks available far you've in total.
There's options for typography, spacing, colors, background image, background gradient. There's a whole bunch of advanced options and icon options as well. And so he basically says yes, absolutely. He would recommend with this, with the caveat of the full width container block issue, which I've just highlighted.
So really nice. Go check it out. If you're in doubt, if you're thinking of switching over to Guttenberg, this feels like a really good place to make a start. This one shouldn't take too long because we mentioned it a couple of weeks ago, because a couple of weeks ago, the guys at element, or we're looking for beta testers for multiset forms and lots of animations.
Well, as of the 9th of June, those have been added into element or pro the official release that's version 2.1. You can click on the link in the show notes to find out more about it. Multistep forms. You've seen this before on countless parts of the internet. I'm sure where you can turn a simple one page form into multi-step.
So you, you finish a portion of the form and then you click next and you go to the next page. And so this can now be handled entirely inside elemental forms, and they give some examples of how this could be used to increase. Well increase the user experience, shall we say, and make the forms work better for you.
But perhaps the most interesting thing for me is the interactive nature of their Lottie animations. Now, the, the demos that they're giving on the website look really, really rather nice. It's done with SVG images and JavaScript, and apparently it's very lightweight that of course remains to be seen by people testing it out.
But yeah, you, you can do an awful lot with this. The intention is to make the. The websites stand out more to out, more animations, to add more transitions, to make it look more interactive and fun. Obviously this needs to be used with a little bit of a conservative isms. I would imagine not spreading it everywhere on the internet, but it's really, really nice.
Congratulations to elemental added these ones successfully. I hope that people start to use them. I confess I haven't watched this one, but I'm going to bring it to your attention anyway, because it is a new series by freemiums and titled expert's corner. And there's a video. The first one is entitled the biggest lessons you've learned selling WordPress plugins.
Themes experts, corners episode one. And really it's just to get you onto the subscriber list of this. If you fancy it, if you are a plugin and theme developer, and you want to learn from free misses experience, free music, of course, is a platform for helping people sell their WordPress products. So for example, themes and plugins, and I feel that they are probably in a good position to offer some expertise in this area.
So if that peaks your interest and you like watching video content around this area, then click on the click on the link. It takes you to a YouTube video. And if you feel like it, you could subscribe to that channel. Have there been at WordPress's a wash with news about different block production companies.
And one of them is stackable and they've had an update this week and there's a post entitled new advanced blocks and load more blog posts button. And it is to say exactly that they have a new. Couple of blocks. The first one is the advanced heading block. And as you might imagine, it offers you the capability to create advanced headings.
There's an animated GIF on the website, which we'll explain in greater detail. Exactly what's possible, but it's things like adding top lines, changing the font, easily, changing the font, color, adding a subtitle and so on and so forth. And then they've got a new advanced text block. The most notable feature seems to be the ability to on the fly, create different widths and Heights and different amounts of columns and add spaces and padding and so on and so forth.
So that looks really nice. And they've also got a new load more button, which enables you to simply load more blog posts. So yeah, well done stackable looks like a really nice update. Every week we have a deal section. And in that section, I attempted to bring some new deals that I've heard of at the top of the deal section, I linked to our WP Builds.com forward slash deals page.
We can find out about WordPress deals, um, the ones that plug in theme authors and so on have given to us with significant discounts. Like I said, at the top of the show, it's there every day of the year. Go check it out. But also there's an email links that is to say, there's a form you could fill out to join our deals list and.
If you join that list, which many people have done, you get notified as soon as I hear about a WordPress deal. So there are six things this week. Most of them are repeats, but there's one new one which is worth mentioning. The repeats are the Emilia book in plugin 49 for life WP resets, which is a sort of reset to your WordPress.
Plug it up website by clicking a button plug in that's 49 for life happy deals. Again, sorry, happy deals. Happy forms. 49 for life, give WP, which is a donations plugin. And then we need to take donations on your WordPress website, 40% off and quotas, which is available for creating proposals for your WordPress projects.
That's 49 and there's a new one not available for very long. So you'd have to take, you have to take note of this right away. I think you'll probably get a couple of days to get this one. It's 30% of cobalt apps, instant ID, which is an ID, which you can upload to your server. Um, and you can then obviously interact with your WordPress website to do all of the stuff that you would do with your desktop based IDE, but it's all online and I'm the guy that's developed it.
Eric ham has made it as secure as possible. It looks really good. I know a few friends of mine are using it. So 30% off if you click on the link in the show notes. Each week we take a very light touch on WordPress security. I've obviously mentioned the security fixes that came with the latest update, the WordPress core, but we've got a couple of bits for you here.
The first one is over on WP white security.com. A piece entitled the WordPress security process, test harden, monitor, and improve. And really this is a kind of one Oh one for people who are starting out with WordPress. If you're an experienced WordPress user and you've got your security stack. Completely intact.
This is not for you, but for those of you who are new to it, it's broken up into different sections. So it's testing WordPress security, how you might harden WordPress, the advice on running less plugins to make it more stable and well less of an attack surface offering as few privileges as you possibly can, how you might monitor WordPress with activity logs and so on and other options for improving your WordPress security.
So just a little light touch, five minute read and maybe worth looking at. And the other one is over on I themes. It's the regular, they produce this monthly. This is the June, 2020 version. It's that scrollable list of plugins where you can just look at the icons and say, Oh, I recognize that I must go and check out my WordPress websites because I think that one has been installed somewhere and I ought to go and update it.
The blatantly self-promotional WP Builds bet to this week, featuring three things. The first one I mentioned at the top of the show that we were doing a new series with Sabrina's iden, uh, entitled WordPress plugin startup from zero to 10 K installs. Well, I'm linking to Sabrina's article where she mentions exactly.
While we were doing this and what the intention is, and I'm very much stressing that. It's not about us telling you all the things that we've learned along the way, because we simply haven't got that far yet. We're trying out some different things and iterating as we go and hopefully giving some useful information, but also getting information from you guys.
So you can join us live for that. That's on this coming Tuesday. Um, and just go and check out Sabrina's articles so that you know more about it. Click on the link in the show notes. There's also episode 183 of the WP Builds podcast. This was my chat with Bradley Kirby for his Wallace in line plugin. We had a chat probably well over a year ago.
And so I felt it was time to revisit that. And so we chatted about his iteration over the last year. What he's done, what he's added, there's new Gothenburg supports there's element or support in a sort of basic way. And I mean, we just talk about exactly what it is that he felt needed to be added. Things like ACF fields and are working properly and so on.
So if you want to hire your clients to edit things in line on the WordPress website, you can use this plugin and it kind of locks them out of anything that you don't want them to be able to edit on the actual page itself. So that's really nice. And the other one that I want to mention is that this week, this past week I recorded an episode of the live UYUX review with Pete urinary and I'm linking to the YouTube post.
So you can go and see that we, we looked at two websites this week. We looked at AB split test, which is the website that I've been promoting lately. And we also looked at lifetime mode as well. So you can go and see the bombs of information. That's Peacher drops. It's always really useful. I always find just really interesting because she knows a ton about UI and UX.
And a lot of this stuff is just not natural to me. And I find that I learn quite a lot. In the jobs section this week, there are two, which I found the first one is a director of marketing at static, Miriam Schwab, who was on the live version of the news last week. And I noticed that she had a new job available.
Basically, if you are into marketing and you've got a history of marketing things successfully, then go and read this post. It says Jerusalem Televiv, but it is in fact a remote job, but you can find out more about that role click on the link in the show notes. And another one is WP mayor are looking to hire a react developer to join their team.
And again, exactly what you'd expect from one of these posts. Just go click on the link and you can find out what the rights and responsibilities are. A very tiny foray into the non WordPress news this week only two articles. And I'm only gonna mention them briefly. The first one is at search engine journal and check this title out.
Google finds over 25 billion spammy pages. Every day. Wow. Now it isn't very often that I click on click on a link in a Google search results page and end up somewhere, which I feel is out and out spammy. And that's because they do such a tremendously good job of filtering out the spam. But the level of this really took my breath away.
The idea that they were taking. 25 billion pages, which were indexed and categorizing as spam. Just amazing. Just imagine what the internet would look like and the difficulty we would all find in getting useful content where it not for people like Google, taking that difficult task on for us. Amazing, just to making 25 billion a day.
And the last one, this is just really a talk that I want to open up on the WP Builds live. And it's about customer support and I'm interested to know what kind of things are useful in customer support. Now, customer support could be anything. It could be that your agency needs customer support, or you need to support your plugin.
And this article from WP source thinks about the five different tools that. Ought to make up a good customer support package in this era. And they say really that should involve some kind of live chat, some sort of knowledge based support, some kind of phones support. I'm not quite sure that I agree with that one, a ticketing system of support so people can write emails and get.
Tickets answered and so on. And then some kind of support forum. Now, I don't know if you feel that any of those are necessary, but obviously I mentioned earlier, I'm going to be talking to Sabrina about launching plugins and how that was done and just interested to get the conversation going. I'll probably talk about this in the WordPress news on Monday.
Right. That's all I've got for you this week. I really appreciate you sticking around and lending us your support. It's very, very helpful. Indeed. Speaking of support, this episode was supported or sponsored by Kinsta. Kinsta takes managed WordPress hosting to the next level powered by the Google cloud platform.
Your site is secured like Fort Knox and it runs on speed, obsessive architecture. You get access to the latest tools such as PHP seven SSH and staging environments. And the best part is their expert team of WordPress engineers are available 24 seven. If you need help, you can try a demo for free it's 60 days at Kinsta dot com.
And AB split test wants to set up your AB split test in record time, the new AB split test plugin for WordPress. We'll have you up and running in a couple of minutes. Use your existing pages and test anything against anything else. Buttons, images, headers rows, really anything. And the best part is it works with element or BeaverBuilder and the WordPress block editor.
Check it out at AB split. test.com. And we thank our sponsors for helping us to put on the WP Builds, weekly word, press news. Speaking of news, we'll be there at 2:00 PM UK time doing it live. Like I said, this week, our guests will include Paul Lacey, Leo Mendell and Bernard Grinnell. So join us@wpbelts.com forward slash live failing that maybe we'll see you on Thursday for the podcast or back here next week.
Bye bye for now.

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