This week’s WordPress news for the week commencing Monday 13th December 2021
Another week, and we’re bringing you the latest WordPress news from the last seven days, including…
- We talk about the ‘State of the Word’ address which Matt Mullenweg gave last week, and which Michelle was present at, and Anne was in!
- Will the next generation of theme authors do all-the-things inside the WordPress admin area?
- There’s a new Block Theme Generator app which might save you some time creating your theme.json files.
- Want a new Block Pattern every week next year? The Alara theme will do that for you!
- Did the ‘really really bad’ Log4j vulnerability affect you this week?
There’s a whole lot more than this, as there is each and every week, and you can find all that by scrolling down and clicking on the links!
This Week in WordPress #190 – “Plumbing new Christmas Depths”
With Nathan Wrigley, Michelle Frechette, Anne McCarthy and Zach Tirrell.
Recorded on Monday 20th December 2021.
If you ever want to join us live you can do that every Monday at 2pm UK time on the WP Builds LIVE page.
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State of the Word 2021: WordPress Passes 43% Market Share, Looks to Expand the Commons Through Openverse
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Plugins / Themes / Blocks
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A serious code execution vulnerability in Log4j has security experts warning of potentially catastrophic consequences for enterprise organizations and web apps…
This web-based tool can help identify server applications that may be affected by the Log4Shell (CVE-2021-44228, CVE-2021-45046) vulnerability.
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Transcript (if available)
These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.
[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: It's time for this week in WordPress episode, number 190 entitled plumbing, new Christmas depths. It was recorded on Monday the 20th of December, 2020. My name is Nathan Wrigley. And as always, I am joined by several notable WordPress guests, the first being the cohost Michelle Frechette, but I'm also joined by Anne McCarthy and Zach Terrell.
It's the last show before Christmas, we're taking a couple of weeks off and we'll be back in early January, but as always, there's plenty of WordPress things to be discussed. First up, we talk about the state of the world address, which was given by Matt Mullenweg in New York last week, our guests, Michelle.
She was there. So we've got lots and lots to talk about. We also talk about the next generation of WordPress theme authors, just in title IX piece in WP Tavern, mentions that maybe all editing will be done inside the WordPress UI. We'll see, there's also a new, a block theme called Alara, which is going to release 52 new variations block patterns.
And so on in the year to come. We also talk about David , who has a block theme generator app, which looks like a really curious and easy way to make block-based themes. 10 up. I've got a new tool which allows you to publish a media kit. There was the log for J catastrophic problem on the internet this week.
We briefly touch that. And then towards the end, a little bit more lighthearted, we have the grumpy designers, 2022 preview, which raises a little bit of a smile. There's a lovely tool called key frames app, which will help you make some CSS animations. And we also have a look back on the Kubrick WordPress thing.
It's all coming up next on this weekend. WordPress. Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello. Awesome. Hello, welcome. Welcome. There's a new
[00:02:08] Michelle Frechette: British happy Christmas
[00:02:15] Nathan Wrigley: off to a good start then. We are doing the, this weekend word pressure. We do this each Monday. Actually. That's not true because as the holiday season is coming up, I'm going to take a couple of weeks off. So this is our final little show before the holiday season properly begins. And you'll see that I'm joined by three guests today.
We are joined for the very first time by Zack Terrell. We're joined one small by Anne McCarthy and I'll do their introductions properly in just a minute. But I am joined by this week's cohost Michelle Frechette, who has had a incredibly busy week. Wouldn't you
[00:02:50] Zach Tirrell: say? So Michelle.
[00:02:52] Michelle Frechette: I've had a couple of weeks that are very crazy.
I've been traveling all over. So we'll dive into that maybe a little later,
[00:02:59] Nathan Wrigley: but Michelle BNO co-host here. Do you want to introduce yourself?
[00:03:04] Michelle Frechette: Absolutely. So I'm Michelle Frechette. I am the director of community engagement at stellar WP, which is over a lot of brands, including the events calendar, which Zach, I'm sure we'll be talking about in a moment.
And we get to work together on that project, which is pretty exciting. And we were both recently in San Antonio talking about how to move the events, calendar, and some of our other chronics forward. So along with that, I do a lot of other things in the WordPress community podcast, having fun and generally trying to be as helpful as.
[00:03:34] Nathan Wrigley: I predict in about 30 seconds time, somebody is going to wander past with a coffee, but I could be wrong. We'll see how that
give it a little bit more time. But yes, welcome the first time. Zach's really nice to have you I'll just do the introduction, the brief bio that you gave us. So Zach sack is the general manager of the events, calendar, iconic and orderable over at Stella WP. Do you want to add anything to that?
[00:04:04] Zach Tirrell: Sure.
I've been in the WordPress ecosystem for a super long time as well, having, I think, attended the second word camp way back in the day. I've been quietly in WordPress for a long time. Been managing the events calendar for six years before recently being acquired well recently it's a whole year now being acquired by liquid web and being part of this whole formation of stellar WP, which obviously Michelle is a big
[00:04:31] Nathan Wrigley: part of.
That's great. Thank you very much. It's a pleasure to have you on hopefully first of many journeys on this week in WordPress, so glad to be here. Thank you. And then finally last, but by no means least and McCarthy, a returning member of the show. She is of course the developer relations wrangle.
Automatic she's focused on the full site editing outreach program. And she makes videos for the state of the word addressed on a regular basis.
that was so good. You got, there was so much added McCarthy and that it was great.
[00:05:11] Michelle Frechette: Yeah.
[00:05:11] Anne McCarthy: I think the designers did the demos. I just heard the voiceover in the script, so mad props to the folks there, but yeah, they basically needed someone last minute to do. I was like, all right.
[00:05:20] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. And works incredibly hard for the the project specifically around the full site editing and the outreach program.
We'll get onto the state of the word business as probably our top news item this week in just a moment, but just a couple of things. If you're joining us then and you want to make a comment, then you can do that. If you. Ah, at one of these two locations, this would be the two places ready to go. It'd be WP Builds.com forward slash alive.
And if you go that, then you'll be logged into Google because it's YouTube comments. You'd need to be logged into Google for that. And if you go to WP Builds.com/facebook, that's our Facebook group and you would need to authorize restream, which is the platform that we use. If you want to us to see you, your name and avatar, go to chat, stop restring.io forward slash F B, if you want that to happen, but we'd really welcome.
Any comments that you want to make or just general chit chat is always really nice. Let's see if anybody has done so far. Oh Rob Kens. Rob, check it out. Rob, look at this, honestly, this arrived. Make sure this is Rob sent me a Christmas card, Rob. Thank you. I've got it here. Cause I literally opened it just a minute ago.
Look at that. There's Rob's Chris. Say thank you in an email or something, which is highly impersonal compared to what you did, but thank you so much, Rob. I really appreciate that. So like I said put your comments in. We'll try to put as many on as we can now. Dare I do it. This is the thing dare right?
Shallow. I'm going to go for it. It's our pre-Christmas episode.
[00:07:02] Zach Tirrell: It's not too much for them.
[00:07:04] Nathan Wrigley: For those of you that I know,
[00:07:06] Zach Tirrell: sorry.
[00:07:08] Michelle Frechette: Snowglobe with a snow falling over faces,
[00:07:13] Nathan Wrigley: Myself and Zack and have surrounded by blue. What are those things even called snowflakes? And Ann and Michelle are, their names are both covered up and they've got little snow Bluffs and some Christmas trees I'll see how long I can cope with that.
But I thought that'd be fun. Okay. It's
[00:07:30] Michelle Frechette: probably long enough.
[00:07:31] Nathan Wrigley: That's taking off. There we go. There's one for the end, but they would just a bit of Christmas flavor. I was going to wear a hat and then forgot. Nevermind. Let's get on with a sort of WordPress snuff for this week where I go in.
That's the WP built website. We don't want to see that. Let's get to this one. There is an awful lot this week, which is coming straight out of the WP Tavern. Sarah and Justin. I hope that's all right with you, but there's the first piece that I want to mention today is of course, the state of the word address, which took place last week.
I've actually forgotten what day it was on Michelle. What tables it Tuesday. It was last. Okay. So it was last Tuesday. I watched it, I watched the, I was only available to watch the actual bit where Matt spoken, as soon as that bit had finished and the Q and a portion began, I had to step away. So if there was anything, it was any juicy nuggets that came up in the Q and a, we should mention those.
But really this is just to introduce the fact that the state of the word passed this week. Matt Mullenweg stood on stage in New York. I believe it was the old tumbler building or something along those lines. And and gave, gave a sort of summation of what's happened during the last year. I don't really want to paraphrase it.
Cause there's probably too much in that. What I really want to do is go round and ask you individually one at a time, what your takeaways were. I do want to point this piece out though on posts status. That's a lovely picture, really great angle, fabulous photography there. And I think you took it didn't you Michelle?
[00:09:01] Michelle Frechette: you were right there. I was there in the front row. If you scroll down a tiny bit, I think mine is the first take of the, yeah, there I am.
[00:09:09] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Michelle, would you mind kicking us off? What was, what was your experience like? You can talk about the actual words that might spoke, but if you want to tell us about what the experience was like as well, that could be fun for a minute to the
[00:09:21] Michelle Frechette: experience was amazing.
So I received an email inviting me to the state of the word. And at that point just assumed that everybody in WordPress got an invitation and we would go into a lottery. And then I discovered very quickly that I didn't know anybody else that had been invited and everybody else had an opportunity to apply.
And I was just dumbfounded as to why I had been invited, but I was so grateful to not only have the opportunity to go, but then for stellar WP to say, yes, we want you to be. And to you know, to sponsor my trip out to to New York to do that. And it was, I think at the bottom of that, I say I was a little bit like Cinderella that my Lyft was my pumpkin and, my friends that were there because I do travel with a scooter, I am I'm mobility impaired.
And so I had all of these people who truly were wonderful in helping me navigate getting around New York and being able to plug in my scooter wherever I could. Cause it has a short, which I discovered three blocks away from the hotel. I couldn't get back, but they have these wonderful lifts where you actually get pulled right back into the, in the back of these vans in your scooter.
And so you don't want to take it apart and all of that. Yeah, it was great until the trip to the airport where I was in the back for an hour, jostling back and forth at this terrible van. But that's another story, but the state of the word was truly. I arrived, we showed our vaccination cards. And because we were all vaccinated, you could choose to mask or not, which was nice because, you could actually see people's faces and have conversations.
Literally two seconds in, I was handed a sparkling water with a lime slice in it. Matt walked over and said, hello. It was nice to see me just SEFA said, oh, I've got a space for you in the front row. I literally felt like the Belle of the ball. And it was just an amazing.
[00:11:15] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, I could confess, there was no jealousy at all from my part, not as slightly, even small, tiny bit of Jed none whatsoever at all.
[00:11:29] Zach Tirrell: I,
[00:11:29] Michelle Frechette: a hundred percent acknowledged that I was absolutely you know, experiencing something that other people would have liked and had I not been there, I would've been experiencing the jealousy and the fear of missing out that everybody else had. And I do hope that I was able to bring as much of that experience to everybody else and my excitement and I would never in a million years take an experience like that for granted, because it really was one of those, one of a kind experiences.
The highlight for me though, is that I did say to him at the end, I would love to get an interview with. For post status that I'd like to talk about the acquisitions this year. And so he said, I'll give you three or four minutes, which you, which turned into about seven and a half minutes that I was able to audio record and we put, we did put that up on post status this past week.
And he was just truly gracious as he always is. And I had a lovely conversation with him.
[00:12:17] Nathan Wrigley: That's so nice. No, I was clearly trying to be a bit ridiculous. Probably probably would have shown up if I'd been invited, but I'm so pleased that you went there and that you enjoyed it so much in terms of the talk, Michelle, as you were sitting there trying to take it all in and obviously on camera, you've got to be alert and awake at all times and can't cancel, we'll do what I did, go and grab a coffee halfway through and things like that.
What did you take out of it? What were the most important points that you recall?
[00:12:46] Michelle Frechette: I think one of the things that I, that really there's two things that struck me. One was the future of Gutenberg is bigger than just WordPress. So I hadn't thought about Gutenberg being a project that could be outside of the WordPress ecosystem.
And so that for me was something that was really eyeopening. And then the other was, questions that I asked and that Allie Nimmons asked about the future of WordPress. I've noticed and nodding. So I think maybe she has seen it too, but I've noticed that I'm not seeing a lot of younger people come into being users and being contributors to WordPress.
Yes, there are some absolutely, but not of the amounts of people that I see that are my age and thirties and forties. And so I wanted to make sure that the future of. Also takes into account the fact that we need to shepherd in the next generation, if we're going to remain who we are and a part of the ecosystem, the internet that we are as well.
[00:13:41] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. It's curious. My I children who are getting to the point where I was becoming, interested in technology at the age that they have now reached that they don't have any conception of wanting to own it. They are totally happy pouring all of their stuff into the silos. And not, not having any ownership on it.
They see it as just a disposable commodity, and, and I'm trying to persuade them. No, no, no. If you've got things that you want to say, you want to be able to have it and it's yours and you can do what you like with including just removing it at some point in the future. But I feel that's going to be a hard battle.
[00:14:18] Michelle Frechette: out to a woman who does a lot of social justice type of things on Tik TOK. And I said, you, if you want to have a blog to share what you do, I would happily build a blog for you for free, because I like what you're doing. And she said, oh, I have Tik TOK. I don't need a blog. I said, until they shut you down until they silence your voice, you don't own your platform.
When you are relying on things like Tik TOK and Facebook and Twitter, even other people can sensor you because it isn't your platform. And so one of the things that I think is super important to remember is that with WordPress, especially.org, with self hosted, you own your platform and nobody else can silence your voice.
[00:14:54] Zach Tirrell: And you see those tick talks all the time. You see those people who are doing those follow-ups after a video has been pulled or taken down. And every time that happens, I'm like can't you just also own your platform. Don't, can't you take that extra step and create a website where you could be like if you want to see this video go over here.
Cause I have it. I don't know. It just always surprises me that there's, that. One
[00:15:18] Michelle Frechette: of my TicTacs had the audio removed. So there I am talking and there's nothing there. And it was a stitch with a man who said, if you woke up tomorrow and the opposite gendered body, what's the first thing you do. And of course, people were making rude and crude remarks and mine got shut down.
All I said is I'd make 27 cents less than hour. And some man got so triggered by that. He reported my audio and I got taken down after it had hundreds of years, of course. So I'm like, oh my gosh, like I didn't swear. I didn't say anything terrible. There was no. Trademarked music going. Yeah.
So you don't own your platform unless you are somewhere like
[00:16:00] Nathan Wrigley: WordPress. Sorry, please on, sorry.
[00:16:03] Anne McCarthy: Oh, I was going to say like one of the things I've been studying, some GS gen Z research, so I'm 28 for context. I don't like sharing my age very often, but I am 28, so I got involved with WordPress when I was 18.
So it's something I think about a lot and have a lot of friends who are younger. And one of the things that's very interesting about gen Z and about friends of mine in that age range, is that owning a plot. Isn't appealing, but what is appealing is until of course something happens to them then of course they care about running the platform.
But what is appealing is this idea of open source. So there's a lot of creep factor. I'm on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, like all these platforms that increasingly there's this sense of like Ted talk feed knows me better than I know myself. Like I don't want to give them my information and there's a lot of movement actually around privacy and around does this platform align with my values?
And so I actually think one of the ways that I would love to see WordPress spend more time investing in getting the next generation involved in WordPress is saying look, we literally can't track your data. Like explaining the concept of open source, less from the ownership side, but from the value side, because that actually really resonates with gen Z, where there's studies that have shown, they will spend more money on products.
If that product isn't aligned with their values and it's made in a way that. Ethical and transparent and open on hello word press. So every time I talk to friends who are younger and explain that to them, it really resonates. And they're like, wait, what, like, how do I get started? There is very much something that clicks whenever you explain the concept of open source, but the problem is I can't spend 10 minutes talking to every single gen Z or there's a certain element of like, how do you scale that concept?
But I do think once that concept resonates, there's a huge opening, for folks to actually invest in these platforms because they, I think they will actually in the same way, they'll spend more money on a product. I think they w they will tolerate more fluctuations in the UX or a worse experience, or you know, not as streamlined where it's telling you, leave your house in 10 minutes, you want to get to the airport on time.
Because there will not be that quick factor. And I think that will actually be welcomed. So that's my hope. I've shared this with you folks. You do marketing, I'm like, please do something about this, but I've seen that, that really risks. That
[00:18:12] Michelle Frechette: makes sense. Yeah, for
[00:18:13] Zach Tirrell: sure. Thank
[00:18:14] Nathan Wrigley: you. Yeah, my, my take on that is children seem to be despite how easy it is for all of us to make WordPress exist.
They still find that barrier is more significant than they would wish. In other words, they simply download an app type in an email address and a password, and they're good to go on to these other platforms and they feel that the barrier of setting it up and making it look as if you would like it to look.
And all of that is a little bit high. And so obviously things like you're doing with full site editing and hopefully we'll make that barrier lower than it ever has been.
[00:18:49] Anne McCarthy: Yeah. Like I think having patterns where you can, it's kind like switching between themes. Yep. I think that'll be
[00:18:55] Nathan Wrigley: huge.
We've got a lot of that actually lined up to talk about later. So maybe we'll keep that one on ice just for now, but thank you, Michelle. That was nice sharing your thoughts about that. Anything come out of the state of the world address that you and you were.
[00:19:10] Zach Tirrell: You know, there's always a ton of interesting nuggets there.
Extract the one that that my team was saddest about. There's lots of great stuff in there, but seeing the translations and kind of international work pushed out to an undefined timeline was that was a little sad for us. We in our business about 40%, maybe 45% of our customers are international.
So anything that can be done to help with translations and you know, multi-lingual, those are things that when it was first talked about, maybe in one of the Gutenberg talks that that WordPress was going to take that on. We were really excited and now it's been, understandably, that's not a situation where it's oh, I can't believe they delayed it. It's more oh, that's disappointing. Cause we're really really excited about what that can mean in terms of continuing to make WordPress really great for people who aren't. Art writing or creating content purely in English.
That was a sad thing overall. I think it was great. I love what I'm seeing with the full site editor. That's that's all super exciting and interesting. And you know, we're tracking that really closely, especially with with cadence, which is the theme that we work with very closely in terms of block editor support.
Lots of great stuff in there, I
[00:20:34] Nathan Wrigley: thought. Okay. Thank you, Zach. And w what was there and you, I would imagine know what's dumb, but go for it anyway. I'll
[00:20:45] Anne McCarthy: try to avoid the obvious stuff that I was still I'm so knee deep in that, but to me, it's like not surprising. I'm like yeah.
But I have those things I will say. I love that he called out wanting. Thousands and thousands of block themes. I thought that was really cool. And it's really neat to see a call to that. Cause I, I agree.
[00:21:03] Nathan Wrigley: You said something like 25,000 or 50,000 or something big number. Yeah. Yeah, it
[00:21:08] Anne McCarthy: was really cool.
And I think style variations, if you can have like different style packs in the block theme, which is not currently possible, there's an open issue with some cool designs and some developers working on it. But I think that will open up the door to make it really easy to bust out a lot of these themes and the more tools that come up for extenders, I think will also help.
But to me, The bank call-out and I think this was recapped in the Dewey Tavern article was his call to stay humble and stay close to users. I really appreciate that from someone in tech and I do listen to a lot of other tech leaders who are not so humble and that's something I've always appreciated about Matt and about WordPress is that like we're all in it together.
We're all figuring out together. And that there is such an emphasis on those things and not turning into, let's go visit the WordPress museum, like there's a certain, I loved tagline. And then the web three discussion, I thought he handled that really well. And actually.
I've been madly, trying to read up on like web three and does it make sense? And how do I feel about it? And friends are asking me and the way he talked about how like WordPress is already living through a lot of the web rev, three principles I thought was really cool. And I think it's a good reframe.
And yeah, just generally speaking, I think it was great that was brought up in
[00:22:25] Nathan Wrigley: a dress. Yeah. Does anybody want to follow on from what answered?
[00:22:29] Michelle Frechette: Yeah. I also like that they're bringing in and I know it's us. But I'm just saying they like the code part of things and the higher up whatever, but the opportunity for more people to be involved in different ways.
So one of the things he talked about was, the open verse part of things, and I just shared a link Nathan, that you can contribute photos now. So you can contribute photos that you agree to them to be open source, the photos that you contributed, anybody can use for whatever they want.
And Angela, Jen likes my photography. So she reached out to me in advance. She's can you help us see this? And so I contributed like 200 photos and they picked whatever they wanted. To include there so that when Matt talked about it, it wasn't like there's no photos yet thing, but hundreds of people have started putting photos into this directory because that's a way to contribute that you don't have to know code.
You don't have to be a polyglot. You don't have to be a marketing genius and you can still feel like I've given back. And there's something that I can do.
[00:23:30] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, the foot for my part. Thank you for mentioning that for my part the open verse bit was actually really interesting. I really quite excited about the whole open verse thing.
To be honest, I did a podcast episode with a handful of autumn petitions. So there was myself, Zach bigot and Marcus, and we spent about half of the podcast talking about 5.9 and then the other half we spoke about open verse. And I'm really curious as to some of the sort of blue sky thinking, coming out of that.
And the, the thing that I'm really excited about with open versus imagine that there's a toggle switch in there where you just, anything that you upload, you toggle the button on, and it becomes part of the open verse. So just by having things in your media library, maybe you could do it on a site-wide basis so that everything that you upload them unless otherwise specified will become available under CC zero.
And therefore everybody's able to use it, but also the idea that it could become a repository for all sorts of things like block patterns and like theme dot Jason files and all sorts of interesting things. And you could just go and get all of these things for free. I don't know quite how that would all bolt into your WordPress install, but it's just, I just think it's a really remarkable project.
So open verse was the bit that stood out for me.
[00:24:53] Anne McCarthy: I love, I cannot wait for open for stuff to, to take off and and align with the photo directory. I'm a huge, I love taking photos and submitted some as well, but like all of these different ways of contributing I think are neat to lower the barrier to entry and get people excited about open source and thinking.
Creative comments in a different way. Yeah.
[00:25:13] Nathan Wrigley: It just feels like when the internet began, it felt like things like open verse was the promise of the internet, but all that stuff was just going to be freely available and democratized. And we seem to be going in the opposite direction because I guess money got involved and made it go in a slightly different direction.
Let's not go into that. I just, I just love this project and I'm so glad that the automatic I've taken it on and hopefully it will grow under their custodianship. So yeah the state of the word, there was an awful lot to say. We've just touched on a few items there, but there was obviously the web three stuff that was mentioned.
There was the translation stuff, which got mentioned. There was an obvious, long demo of all the things that are going to be coming in 5.9. And then there was this one. The acquisitions one. And this was another one that I wished to touch on. Cause it was quite curious. I've been covering the acquisitions because they happen.
I mean, it's, it's nearly half past two now and we haven't had one since about one 30 this afternoon, so we're expecting another one on the hour, every hour. That's what it feels like. And I genuinely
[00:26:17] Zach Tirrell: don't know what's from us today.
[00:26:21] Nathan Wrigley: Not today. I genuinely don't follow the bigger picture. I don't really like.
Much in terms of tech and who's acquiring what unmapped painted a picture where it felt like actually this is quite normal. If you look at the bigger tech landscape where there were trillions and trips, I think trillions was the right word, trillions of dollars. Use this last year to acquire various things and it's just shot up.
The graph of things acquired last year is much bigger than the previous year, but this year it went absolutely bananas. And so that kind of made me feel a bit more sanguine about it, just, okay, this is the way it's going. And this is how it's happening in the. Why the tech world for that was curious, oh, there's the graph look.
[00:27:05] Michelle Frechette: We're also an 18 year old, ecosystem. And if you look at any ecosystem, there is a cycle that happens, right? So the first few years into maybe even up to 10 years, there really wasn't much money being changed. Within our ecosystem, people weren't selling products yet. It was a, it was building the re the repo and things like that.
You move past that. And now people have started, after the first 10 years, people have really started to make some money. There is an ecosystem there's money being changed. You can buy plugins, you can buy themes, you can do all of these things. And then beyond that, people have grown it to where they're ready to either go out and do something else, or it's so big.
Now they want some help in managing their business. And so I think it's just a natural part of the growth of what's happening with.
[00:27:53] Zach Tirrell: Yeah. Yeah. I can say for certain, like I, the iconic acquisition that we did, James has been doing it for 10 years. He's been running iconic and selling WordPress plugins and building all these things.
And honestly, he was ready for a team. He didn't want to leave the iconic project, but he wanted to coworkers and some people to collaborate with. So selling his business, wasn't it, wasn't the end of something. It was him looking for, how, how can you build something bigger than it was just himself?
And I've seen that pattern over and over with certainly. All or almost all the acquisitions I've been involved with this year, which is numerous men
[00:28:37] Michelle Frechette: acquired this year. I can agree.
[00:28:39] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. Oh yeah. You've loved every minute of this year's acquisition. Yeah. It's been really positive for me.
[00:28:46] Michelle Frechette: of, instead of fewer jobs, it's actually offered more jobs. We've done more hiring because we have more resources to be able to do that. So it hasn't put WordPress people out of jobs. It's actually given more opportunities for people looking to be involved in corporate.
[00:29:02] Zach Tirrell: And hire some positions that didn't make sense for some of the businesses at smaller scales you know, your position in particular, Michelle, something that the events calendar talked about a bunch and we couldn't justify a full-time role for it.
But then when it was, you mix five or six companies together and it's well, obviously we need somebody in this role. And so you start being able to create some jobs that weren't really, you had to outsource them or contract somebody to do them or just not do it at all. In some cases.
[00:29:33] Nathan Wrigley: The one of the things that was mentioned in the row, I can't remember where, but he was talking about Matt was talking about contributing to the project. And I think this might've come out of the Q and a section, somebody maybe poses the question, what would be the best way to learn WordPress and Matt's response was that he thought that contributing to the project was the best option there.
And I think I saw an article from Joe Casabona this week, where he was saying, actually, I'm not entirely sure that's the best way, maybe, maybe actually using it as opposed to contributing to it. But anyway, that's, let's move on. That was that was a really nice address that Mike gave.
And so yeah, so that's on the WP Tavern, but if you want to go and see this piece, which obviously I I showed you a minute ago, let me just put it on the screen. You can find on the post status.com website, post status team responses to the state of the world. And they've got a bunch of the people Michelle at the top there, and then a bunch of other people given their opinions.
So you might want to go on. Around that as well. Okay. Right next to. This is again on WP Tavern. Apologies. That really is a WP Tavern festival this week, but no, no apologies. Really. This is just in Tatlock. He's written a piece, which I think is just really interesting because it makes a shift. The article is called the next generation of WordPress theme.
Authors will design from the site editor and to cut a long story short, he's basically saying that he believes that if you're new to WordPress, it might be. You don't go and download some sort of IDE and work with piece of software on your computer and then upload files and, have those files in sync.
It may be that in the future, what, with all of the things that are going on with full site editing and what have you, that you're going to be doing everything inside of the WordPress admin area. And I just thought that was a really curious shift. Obviously, you're going to be able to be looking at the screen there's option.
Create headers and footers and so on and so forth. And all of the different things will be available inside of WordPress. And if we are trying to get that new audience, that younger generation to be involved, maybe this is a positive benefit. I'm going to go to Anne first on this one. I don't know if you had a chance to read this particular article.
Oh, hang on a minute. Yes, she did. Because look there you are right at the top of the comments.
[00:31:54] Zach Tirrell: I actually
[00:31:55] Anne McCarthy: commented very quickly. Yeah,
[00:31:57] Nathan Wrigley: yeah. Yeah. So what was your, what were your thoughts on this? Do you see this as a goal? Is this an ideal, if you've got like a Chromebook or something you could be operating on your website no matter where you are in the world without any additional software, just the browser.
[00:32:11] Anne McCarthy: Yeah. No, I think like a pie in the sky, or like a big picture thinking to not use a term like that. I think there is very much this is very much the future where things are headed. I think the key is going to be, my brain immediately goes to like the technical steps. That's fine. Exporting theme. Jason is still like a work in progress.
And now I just export anything, Jason, but how do we make sure, if you make changes to the templates, how do you keep custom templates? How could you convert custom templates to like a template for your theme? There's all sorts of things to figure out as well as, if you want to have multiple style variations, can you build all of those within the site editor and what is the experience like when you link all of them together?
There's a lot of interesting challenges there. But I do think this is very much going to be the future. And I think the one big question mark in my mind is actually going to be the experience of you open the site editor, and you're trying to build a block name versus you open the site editor and you're building yourself.
And how do you make a distinction between the two? So there is like another, I didn't link to this in the comments, but there is an interesting proposal that's been there for a bit about having a dedicated styles interface. So like having a style guide where you can go in and edit like H one H two, like it shows all these different blocks you can go through and while using the styles interface, actually build out what you want your site to look like in that sense.
But I'm, I'm personally very keen on this and while there are a lot of these tools to actually bridge us bridge the gap while we get there. So I think like in a bit we'll probably have a PJ, some generator, like there are some neat things that are probably going to come up for extenders in the long run.
I definitely see this as the future. And I think that's the hope. There's also a lot to be figured out around. How do you actually add. Theme supports. So there's various things like, for example, on the site or you can't toggle on and off, if you want a template editing mode, like there's not a way to necessarily add or remove support from the interface itself currently.
And I don't quite know how we'll expose that when creating a block name, but I'm terribly excited by
[00:34:14] Nathan Wrigley: all this. Yeah. Yeah. There is a whole mess of tools that you've got to, oh, there's a flew by. That was quite an exciting there's a whole ton of tools that you need and it really it feels like a laudable goal to have everything in one place.
Doesn't it. And if you, if that can be achieved, that would be brilliant, but nice piece. I'll open it up to Zach and Michelle, if they have anything to.
[00:34:41] Zach Tirrell: And really said everything. Yeah,
[00:34:46] Michelle Frechette: no, that's great. I love it.
[00:34:48] Zach Tirrell: Absolutely.
[00:34:49] Nathan Wrigley: Okay. In which case we'll move to the next one. I'm going to change the order a little bit because of what Ann was just saying. I'm going to go to this one. First, let me just, again, pop it on the screen. This is over again. It's WP Tavern, but they're talking about really kind fun little tool, which has been built by David.
I'm going to say Guidewire. Does anybody know David? Okay. Okay. Okay. David's son name is David surname is spelled G w Y E R. So I'm going with Guidewire and the article is about his tool is called David WIA, teases block theme generator, app plans for a community of creators. And if you can see the screen, then that's pretty much all that you need to know.
This is the capability to, to create well, it's a block theme generator app. So guess what it does, it creates block themes and it creates them by you just going through this really straightforward. Panel of options where you tick boxes and you decide what you want the color to be like with selectors and things like that.
And then it spits out all of the necessary bits and pieces that you need. You are, the minute is only got the capability, as far as memory serves of throwing out the theme dot Jason file, which is all it needs. But I think there are plans to make it a much bigger thing in the future. And this just feels so cool.
It's the sort of thing that, okay, this is hard to do if you've never done it before a big impediment to the new generation would be something just like this, that would be. Difficult thing for somebody who's never used a, I don't know, web publishing software, I've never come across Jason files or anything like that.
This would be hard. And so little things like this seem like a really neat trick. The article goes into much more depth about how it all works and how the different classes and so on work. And these Justin's got a few comments about how he thinks could things could be done in the future, but I just thought this was a fabulous little tool.
[00:36:50] Anne McCarthy: Yeah. No, I'm so it's so neat to see people doing work like this. And I think, especially, I think it talks about this in the article, but the idea that you could import in, 20, 20 twos theme, Jason, and then from there, tweak it as you want and then download it and then use it on your site.
I think there's a lot of meat possibilities, including like creating salvation. So if you're a theme author and you want. Six different style variation files like to have people be able to switch through them when they install your theme in the future. This is a great way to do that with ease.
I also, one of the things that's on my mind that rich Tabor has written a good bit about is standardizing things like typography and colors and how you communicate that as a way to make it easier to switch block themes. So when you switch themes, things aren't breaking and Justin Tadlock has written about this on the Tavern as well.
And having tools like this that actually could help with standardization. As a neat side benefit as I was thinking of this, I was like, huh, this was the main way people got started. And there was a way to actually define these in a way that was like scalable and sustainable so that you could switch between themes easily.
And not just break a bunch of stuff. This could be really powerful because that is still people who are blocking authors right now have to pay attention to what's happening in order to make sure. The experience is solid whenever switching between themes. So I'm very keen to see some standardization happening in color, naming and typography.
So that, that becomes easier.
[00:38:14] Nathan Wrigley: It's got a nice take in that. It doesn't it doesn't only offer you the option to click buttons and what have you, but it would appear that once you get into the weeds of the app, as you start to tick boxes, it then shows you what the output theme dot Jason file will look like.
And you know, if you're modifying things and you change one thing, you can see it updating in real time. And you know, that maybe people that are learning how all this works through an app like this, and rather than trying to write it all from scratch or find you YouTube tutorials that you can copy and paste from, this seems like a nice way of being educated in how it works in a really simplistic way.
[00:38:56] Zach Tirrell: Okay. When I see a tool like this, I'm a little bit struck by, I love seeing this kind of experimentation from people, the, the playing around with the concepts. But I do wonder, like, who is this for? Like obviously it's for the person who wrote it and maybe that's enough. And oftentimes it is enough because fun.
But if this was the kind of functionality that was really necessary, you would think that then it would get baked in right into the, the previous article we just talked about was people building themes from the, from the admin. The idea that you would go generate theme dot Jason's in some external application, like it not being in WordPress seems odd almost, right?
Like it's not a, it's not a plugin in WordPress. You don't get to see when you change that duotone color how it actually affects your theme. It's all very conceptual at which point. Okay. Awesome. Love it. You can also just do that in your text editor, right? If it's not actually doing something graphically in WordPress, then I don't know.
It feels very abstract to me, which I'm a dev from my background. And so I love abstract, but it does I, I look at it, go who's this for,
[00:40:14] Anne McCarthy: I feel like it's mainly for people who are trying to dabble and learn about block beams. Like I can imagine that's like the window. So there's some people who are like, no problem with the theme, Jason file.
And they'll go in and they'll add the scheme up. They want make sure they're, getting validated with what they're adding. But I think there is also a subset of folks who are maybe their site admins, maybe there pressed designers and they want to get a sense of how to actually create with this.
And I think this is. I am curious to see what new people enter in, because I think we all have a very this is the WordPress community. It's there's quite a lot of people that we're not thinking of, but I don't think of on a daily day-to-day basis. But yeah, to your point, I think this is what I'm thinking of is like long-term, this'll be built into the editor will be much easier, but in the, in between period, we do actually need tools like this, because if we were to add all of this sudden to Cornell, we'd have to support it for forever.
And also it would be very confusing to end users. If they're messing with theme, it's like, how do we differentiate those experiences at building a theme versus building your site? Cause it is a different you know, what you're going to toggle on and off is going to be quite different. So I think in the future, we'll see it baked some capacity.
[00:41:21] Nathan Wrigley: I always forget that most of the people that deal with WordPress, I know I buy most, probably like 90%, they've got no interest in all of the things that I'm curious about. And, I'm really fascinated by this kind of thing is most people don't want to touch it. They just want to log in type some texts and then click publish and upload a few images and so on.
They just want to use it. And so it's, it is difficult to get out of your silo of everybody should be able to do it this way and everybody should be doing it this way. And I think it's just curious that somebody has come along with a tool like this that makes this possible. I don't know.
I don't know Zach what the, who the exact audience would be, but certainly.
[00:42:03] Anne McCarthy: That's interesting, right? Yeah, I'm all about people are like, oh, no one used it. I'm like, cool.
[00:42:13] Zach Tirrell: I actually really liked your framing and have it as like an educational tool. Cause that's actually really interesting to me because people need to learn what is deemed adjacent. What's controllable in there. And so as a educational tool, it's actually really cool.
[00:42:28] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. Wonder things like this.
Also. I think Justin wasn't just in the rope. This one. Yeah, it was Justin. I think he made the point that these third party tools sometimes just, they just shine a light on where the project should be going. If nobody uses it well, then we know that this is not what anybody needs, but if everybody starts to use it and there's lots of chatter about it, then it's okay, this, this has got legs.
Maybe we should start to think about putting something very much like this into court. We'll see. We'll see. Anyway, I thought it was a nice thing that.
[00:43:00] Michelle Frechette: I was just thinking, it's got me thinking I'm not a, I'm not a dev. So I have a plugin in the pository because I wanted to learn and I, I used hello Dolly, which is exactly what bat wrote it for.
So that people like me could be like, can I dabble? Is this something that I have an been interested? And I think that this is something that somebody like me who has started to think about what that might look like could start to use to see what does it mean? And can I bridge that gap from being somebody who's a consumer and a designer into understanding a little bit more about the background and what goes into it to see if it's something I'm more interested in learning.
[00:43:39] Nathan Wrigley: You can, you can access this. If you go to the website, it is theme gen. So T H E M E G E n.app. At the moment you've got to enter an email link, I guess it's a work in progress. And presumably Justin got his hands on a sort of pre-release version of the things. But if you're curious about this and you want to start dabbling and see what it can bring to you, theme gen.app and put your email address in there.
And and hopefully you'll get some sort of communication around that, was this very much staying on the topic of 5.9 and patterns and blocks and, or. There's a, another piece on the tub and good grief. This is just thought this was worth mentioning just because of the commitment that I'm seeing in this.
This is the Alara block theme. I confess I had not heard of it until this came along. This is just in title IX pieces says Alara block theme promises, a new pattern or design variation every week for the next year. And I went and saw that she was like, yes, get in. So this is now let me get this right.
So that the theme is called Alara and it's by the developer who's called Andrew star. I hope I'm getting all this right. Most of this is from memory. Oh yeah. See on the screen. And their developer companies called it UXL themes and they promise that literally every single week, I don't know if that means on a Sunday, every Sunday, or it means, aggregated, there'll be 52 over the year.
They're going to release something new into the community. Stare at what he's already done. He's got some novel ways of showing how things are new just by amending the, the markup in the text so that this is some sort of little star next to the new bits, because apparently there's no way of surfacing those at the moment, but it's just the idea that somebody has put a flag in the sand and saying, okay, I believe in this for the next year, we're going to put out 52 new concepts based around this one theme so that you guys can share it.
And I just thought this was totally while I'm applauding them. Basically. I just think this is fabulous and I didn't know if anybody else wanted to get in, but I suspect and does,
[00:45:51] Anne McCarthy: I'll just say, I think it's a great way to lead by example and give inspiration. Tammy Lister is a designer in the community and.
Was releasing a pattern every day for a month on like pattern separation.com or Seneca. So just seeing what people are doing, I think will really help the blank page effect where you're like, wait, what can I do right now? And I think people like this who really lead the way and are challenging themselves to, to be truly creative and use the tools at hand really help others join in on the fun.
I often have this where as a, with photography where I see someone take a photo in a new way and I'm like, that's really cool. Like I got really into taking a photo on the side view, mirror my car for a bit. Cause it would have this weird effect and things like that. I would never think to do that if I hadn't seen other photographers do that.
And I think we'll see the same with theme authors when they see experiments like this and dedication like this,
[00:46:47] Nathan Wrigley: it's going to be quite interesting because at the moment we're at that point where there isn't too much of this happening, but you feel like the Seesaw is about to tip. And at some point in the near future, we won't be able to keep up with all that is happening.
And that will be a lovely place to be in. But at the moment, this sort of stuff is making news because it's so different in a future where there are 10 gazillion patterns in the pattern directory where we might be, no, it's too confusing. We need a better way to search and filter it. For now, yeah, we are getting there, but yeah, I would agree with you and it's just nice to be shown what different people are.
[00:47:26] Anne McCarthy: If I can, I'd love to call out something that this theme does that I think is really cool is they have some full-page patterns. So I think they have two of them if I'm not mistaken from the article. And one of the things that I think it's linked to in this article is that eventually having starter page templates or starter page patterns, like whatever that might look like yeah, if you look at the starter page template system, there's like a, I would like still like WordPress to officially adopt the story page that this it's like.
Yes. I can imagine that in the future with patterns, in order to have easier content creation and helped, back to our original conversation about new folks coming in kind of like Instagram has different filters. If you can swap through different types of content when you're starting your site without having to install plugin or whatever, I think it will go a really long way.
And I'm keen, I'm glad to see a theme providing that functionality or.
[00:48:15] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, they I do, I also share your light of the fact that when somebody puts it all together and makes a page out of it, it does it's like you're hanging your coat on the coat hanger. You can see what its purpose was.
Whereas all of the little rows and the little patterns, which are, for one particular purpose, it might be for reviews or a hero or whatever it might be. It's hard to see and feel what they would look like. And this does that really well. Yeah. It's nice. Zach Michelle, anything, or shall we move on?
[00:48:49] Michelle Frechette: I don't have anything more.
[00:48:51] Zach Tirrell: Okay. Now same.
[00:48:52] Nathan Wrigley: All right, let's move on then. I didn't know if I wanted to mention this one, but I can't remember who it was just a moment ago mentioned rich Tibor. Who was it? Was it you, or did you see this piece? He put a piece together called building WordPress blog themes with the new Guttenberg pattern block.
I didn't really have anything to add, but I just thought I'd raise it and put it in the show notes. If anything,
[00:49:14] Anne McCarthy: sorry. I recommend looking at it. If you have some experience with block themes, otherwise it's going to sound like gibberish. Like it's very, it's extremely meta. Like I think he said,
[00:49:24] Nathan Wrigley: yeah, it makes the point that it's yeah.
Yeah, it does actually make that point. Does the other thing within a thing within a thing. References itself. Yeah.
[00:49:33] Anne McCarthy: I had to read it twice to like really wrap my head around. I was like, okay. Yes, I understand now what he's done.
[00:49:40] Nathan Wrigley: I read it twice and still didn't understand it. It just shows.
Okay. I'll put that one in the show notes, but I don't suppose we're going to dwell on it. Next one is more Tavern this time. It's just in, again, this is 10 op I really liked this actually, probably, maybe isn't as newsworthy as I thought it was, but I don't really have a media kit as such. I tell people what colors I'd prefer them to use, and we use the monster up font and things like that.
That's about all that we do, but I just thought this was a really curious little little plugin, which has been released by the company, turnoff and show. We've all heard of them. They've got this media kit plugin, which you can download it's on version 1.0. And essentially it just allows you to create a dead simple media kit page.
And there you go. If you're looking at it on the screen, I just thought it was. It's just quite a nice, quite nice option. And as we are going to be saying forever, it comes along with patterns. So you've got a whole bunch of patterns, which this motif perfectly, and it just demonstrates you can use patterns inside any kind of thing.
In this case, media kit, it might be that you've got a dog walking company. We need some dog walking company patterns, but for now I just thought this was a really curious and interesting little project. I think I'm going to use it. That's probably why I'm mentioning it.
[00:51:03] Michelle Frechette: Okay. I love things like this that make you not have to invent how you want something to look.
It's I hadn't thought of you can Google media kit and they're all gonna look different. And then you have to try to piece together from everybody's different media kits. What you like, as opposed to this, where it's like. This is nice. Just start here.
[00:51:22] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. That
[00:51:24] Zach Tirrell: goes that blank page effect that Ann just mentioned, like this is a perfect kind of solution to those kinds
[00:51:30] Nathan Wrigley: of those sorts of things.
I feel the blank page thing really badly. It really actually gets me and I feel that. The way that Gutenberg works at the minute, it really truly is a blank page. Isn't it? There's just a big white thing there. And so things like this where you can just click a button and you're off to the races, you can make a start.
I think we'll see more and more of this. And thank you turnoff for putting this out there and letting us all use it. My 12 year old son, her came up to me the other day. We're moving away from WordPress for a bit. My 12 year old son came up to me this week and he said, dad, what is log for Jay? And I thought, good grief, what he plays Minecraft.
And so obviously this had gone into the sort of comments of the people that he was moving around with. I'm not clever enough to know why this is catastrophically bad, but the fact that this thing made it onto domestic news outlet. So for example, it was featured in the BBC. It was featured in, regular newspapers where they are not interested in technology per se.
I don't know if this caught any of you out this week or anything that you were busy
[00:52:38] Anne McCarthy: with. I dug into it. Zach do you know, you might know more,
[00:52:44] Zach Tirrell: I'll admit that I don't know a lot. The beauty of working for a hosting company means we very much get to put our hands up. We, we, you they give us some scripts to run the events calendar has, I don't know, 50 servers or something.
So we had to go like check to make sure it wasn't there. And thankfully it wasn't there on any of our servers, which was lovely. It's mostly like a Java package, but also it's sometimes used by a patchy. So it ends up being broadly used maybe not directly, but indirectly by lots and lots of people.
So I think the biggest, it's a big vulnerability, but also just the sheer install base of the package kind of what pushes it out of our little tech bubble and into kind of general consciousness happens once in awhile with tech.
[00:53:40] Anne McCarthy: Yeah. So read something about how you can't necessarily tell when it's been taken advantage of.
So based on like the actual vulnerability, that one of the things that was coming up was that you couldn't necessarily see if it truly had been, if you had been hacked. And so that I think was one of the scariest things that I read as well as, hospitals probably use those small companies like it's one of those things where you're a team of two people, how are you actually going to keep on top of this?
And that was the part that really freaked me out that made me dig into it a bit more. I have a weird interest in security. I used to work on the vault press plugin. So there's, some of the stuff was like, Ooh, how did they, how does this work? What is this awkward day thing? And learning that it is.
Logging tool for security and like how bad it gave so much access. And then didn't leave a trail. And that part to me is really scary. If you don't have a trail that you can follow and you don't even know if someone's gotten in and they might have installed a backdoor, where do you even begin to know like where they went?
And I think that's like the part like that caught my attention. So I think the biggest thing was that it's open source. So it's this is why, we need to take care of our open-source projects. And this is why, having people who do security and WordPress, I didn't think Matt called them out in a great way in this state of the word.
But having more folks involved in that side of things,
[00:55:04] Zach Tirrell: I think Matt and the side max in the sidebars making a great point as well, which is that we often. Miss, how much of what we rely on the internet is, and I don't know, I don't know this particular one, but it might be, two guys in, in Milwaukee or something.
Like it's not it's not always a big project, even if it's good deployment or whatever. So that's we, it's easy to
[00:55:29] Nathan Wrigley: forget that. I think you're being prescient there. I don't think it's in Milwaukee, but I think it is two guys in Nebraska or something,
[00:55:38] Anne McCarthy: they? It's actually
[00:55:43] Nathan Wrigley: real. Yeah. They do this thankless job. Presumably most of the time there's nothing that needs changing, but these are the two people, again, forgive me if I've got this wrong, but these are the two people who maintain this little bit of the internet. And and apparently they've now been sponsored by.
Who knows who, but they've got a, they've got a budget now, something like $16,000 a year to keep this little piece of the internet going. And it does make you think about how resilient the whole thing is because, imagine God forbid the whole, the bus scenario where these two guys are suddenly hit by a boss and disappear, then suddenly a problem like this became becomes infinitely, more difficult to fix.
And my understanding is that essentially you could say you could more or less send anything into this and it would interpret it. And so you could send whatever nonsense you wanted. So even even a benign comment in a Minecraft, towards a Minecraft server could then be executed. And obviously at that point, you're in trouble.
Yeah, just absolutely fascinating, but it felt to me like people with great chops in this part of the internet work. We're rightfully panicking. That I saw things come out from Wordfence on. I can't remember, but it wasn't in their normal cycle of emailing. They were basically saying, look, if you have anything that might be impacted by this, go and get it fixed now.
[00:57:07] Michelle Frechette: So two things that I want to say about that as somebody who's not into development and all of that is number one. Those two buns should never be on the same plane. First when I first, we're talking about that. The second thing is if you want to scare people, put beyond code on a black background and then show it from an angle with some kind of shadowy figure in the front and we all go, oh my God, we've been hacked.
Like marketing has done its job
[00:57:39] Nathan Wrigley: on that one. Yeah. Zach, I'm curious with your 50 servers. How much time did you. I have to devote in this last week, even though there was no mitigation required what was the amount, what would you estimate roughly speaking was the amount of time just lost to this. So
[00:57:55] Zach Tirrell: thankfully some people created some really great scripts, like again, the internet coming together to just make situations like this more tolerable.
I think our, our head of engineering, Matt Batchelder, I think it took him maybe an hour or two for him to just, churn through all those servers run the scripts confirmed that we were good. You know, if he had found something, it would have turned into a much bigger thing. And certainly our nexus managed hosting team with their, thousands thousands and thousands of servers, they spent a lot more time.
I think it was pretty much the topic of the week for our hosting side of the.
[00:58:34] Nathan Wrigley: It was at some point, I think within the last 365 days where the NHS in the UK, quite a little bit of their infrastructure was taken down probably was a little bit longer than a year actually. And it does make you think we are so reliant upon this stuff, working, we just fully expect that, your medical records will be held securely and safely or your financial records or whatever else it may be.
And yet something like this comes along and really damn me. Anyway, we'll wait. I'm sure there's another bus coming around the corner to to frighten us in the next few days. Anyway, if you haven't come across this story, my recommendation would be, go and look for log for J. There may be things that need patching your part of the world.
Okie-dokie, let's go to the next one. This every year excites me. I love this. And I don't know if you've had a chance to read this, but when we get to the bottom, I think you're going to be tickled by this. So this is Spanky boy. If you've come across his his posts before, at the end of the year, he does a sort of the grumpy designers, 2022 preview, or he thinks about all of the things which are going to happen.
And and it's very tongue in cheek and he talks about how amp is going to just take off and it's going to be fulfilling and excellence and everything will work. And in order to make this happen, Google who've been paying that, who've been found with their hand in the till, shall we say, they're going to introduce dial-up mode initiated on Google search and every time you do a search, Google are going to enforce a ten second delay before the search results come.
That was quite nice. And the, the nice bit all to do with WordPress at the bottom, I just think this is brilliant, inspired writing. He thinks that in 2022, somebody is going to modify the full site editing of WordPress, and they're going to do competitor site editing. And this plugin will allow you access on an administrator level to some random other website you won't get to choose.
You'll just be able to go in and deface a competitor. That was a lovely competitor sites.
[01:00:46] Anne McCarthy: So funny,
[01:00:48] Nathan Wrigley: and the plug-in acquisition plugin, which allows you to, which allows you to once installed and put in your credit card details. And and then it randomly assigns you another plugin. And from that moment on you, oh
[01:01:09] Zach Tirrell: yeah,
[01:01:10] Michelle Frechette: He's brilliant. Do you
[01:01:11] Nathan Wrigley: know who this.
[01:01:14] Michelle Frechette: It's at the top. I said, Eric Karch,
[01:01:15] Nathan Wrigley: evac. You want, do you know him, like on a personal level?
[01:01:20] Michelle Frechette: I haven't met him face to face, but I have been following him and he's contributed to the big orange art coloring book as well. And so I was speaking with him a little bit and DMS, he just seems he's a standup fellow
[01:01:34] Nathan Wrigley: that's for sure.
I just think stuff like this makes my day. I just thought that was absolutely. You've got to
[01:01:39] Anne McCarthy: have fun with this kind of stuff. One time for April fools, vault, Preston. Restore via a mail carrier pigeon so it was like we're sorry, site on your days. Also like, we would never do that now. Like automatic. I don't think that was fine, but we thought it was funny and it was back when you know, anyone could write on the volt press blog. So I was like writing random
[01:02:06] Nathan Wrigley: stuff. I love it. Yeah. Re restore ran a half inch floppy
[01:02:13] Michelle Frechette: every year. Taylor Walden suggests that for April fools, they give pretends that we have a new plugin for donate by fax.
And every year Matt Cromwell says no, because there will be people who will think.
[01:02:27] Anne McCarthy: Yes, a hundred percent. It was we're going back and forth about what to do. And I was like, what? We have to pick something unrealistic or else we're really gonna get requests, send us your CDs. It's not going to fly.
Cause I've literally had people send me CDs of changes. They
[01:02:43] Michelle Frechette: want
[01:02:43] Zach Tirrell: Many, many years ago, me and a coworker when we were working for a university decided to put, because we ran the student portal and we decided to put on the student portal on April fools that we did the university have decided to change the mascot from the Panther to a Platypus.
And we like was a fairly skilled designer. And so he did up a whole like mascot sort of thing and put it on the site. And it was probably, I don't know, 20 minutes into the day, we got a call from the president of the university because the alumni office is being overwhelmed with phone calls.
You're pretty happy about it. And she had to make her a t-shirt. So we felt pretty good about
[01:03:25] Nathan Wrigley: that. That was this lovely non-tech story that the BBC have this program called Panorama. I don't know if it's still on, but it's a high brow look at politics. And the state of the country, it's properly in depth.
You don't watch this unless you're very interested in the state of affairs. And th back in the sort of seventies, it happened to air on on April fools. I don't know how we've got into April falls, but anyway, here we go. And they got into a story that they filmed this story of how the spaghetti harvest in Italy.
Was failing because there was a blood on these spaghetti trees and they had pictures of people literally reaching into trees and there was Getty, it was almost like the fruit of the tree. And in some ways toxic and marked and people were devastated. So good.
[01:04:23] Anne McCarthy: love a shortage
[01:04:24] Zach Tirrell: of pasta after that run
[01:04:28] Nathan Wrigley: on pasta Roldan on spaghetti because the trees were figuring, I just thought that gone down in the history of that one. Yeah, that was good. Okay. From frivolous to quite serious, actually. I want to put this message up. This is in charts. If what we're about to say in any way touches you and you feel that you can make a difference here, big orange heart.org forward slash sponsor.
Michelle is it all right for hand this one to you to talk about? Cause you're worse than I am problem.
[01:05:02] Michelle Frechette: We are in a very if you don't know, I am the board president for big orange heart and have been volunteering there for a few years now. And we are at a very difficult point in our history right now in that we do not have enough sponsorship to carry us into 2022.
And I have a hard stop at the next half hour because I have a board meeting where we need to make some difficult decisions as to whether or not we can continue into 20, 22. And if we can, how far we can actually go because we have only one sponsor confirmed for 20, 22 at this point. And, and sponsorship, we've, you we try to raise around $200,000 every year to keep everything going the way that we need to.
And without that, we cannot afford to continue to run and. We have, like I said, one sponsor, we're looking for eight corporate sponsors at $25,000 a year. 5,000 of that is technically sponsorship because we are a us charity. Now 20,000 of it is considered a donation. And, but without that, we won't be able to continue to move forward.
We do amazing things. We raise over $5,000 just on giving Tuesday this year. But unfortunately we can't do that every day. We can't ask people to give to that level every day. We don't have the people power to do that. We also can't rely on everybody just opening up their own wallets to do it.
But if every single person who is impacted by it could give five or $10, even in one fell swoop, we could raise that kind of money, but without the corporate sponsorship, it really makes it difficult to know that we can go forward. It's dire and. I'm not given to hyperbole. This is dire.
This is a resource that has literally saved lives. I cannot tell you who, because it's not been announced to me, but people who have reached out who have been at the level of suicidal in the remote community, in the WordPress community have turned around that decision and chosen life and can chosen to move forward because big orange heart was there at those crisis points to help somebody find the resources that they need to move forward in a positive way.
We have lost people. We have lost people last year, right before actually this past, this year, right before the first word Fest this year we lost somebody in the community to suicide and it was somebody that I had one-on-one conversations with. It was devastating. And to think that can happen.
In spite of having an organization like this, but knowing how many other lives have been saved because because big orange heart exists and, and not even at the level of suicide, let's say, but at the level of we can impact each other positively, we can help each other have flourishing careers and get through difficult times, even if it isn't as dire as looking at the ending, ending people's lives at their own lives.
But yeah, I don't know how to say it. Any more succinctly, I don't know how to say it. I don't know why my video just went out, but I also I don't know how to to make it better. I don't know how we can improve things like that. You know, without. I don't know what else to say. It is dire, and we really do need this
[01:08:31] Nathan Wrigley: just so that, Michelle, we can still hear every word that you said, but your video has gone.
If you feel that you want to just refresh. That's fine. Although, yeah, we seem to have a different angle. That's good. Yeah. Th the curious, one of the curious things about the, about big orange chart is that the very people that they have done great work with often that they simply can't. It's not like you can put a testimonial out there because this is not the kind of thing that you can celebrate out loud, but just be reassured.
Know Dan may be really well. This genuinely makes a difference to people and I feel it would be a great shame if by this time next year, it's something like this simply didn't exist. And it does appear at this point that they really need the sponsorship coming from organizations that have got the deeper pockets.
Shall we say the ones that are able to sponsor with the big packages? Michelle just mentioned $25,000 is what they're looking for, but that covers a gigantic amount of content. There's don't take my word for it. Go to the website. It's bigger and chart.org forward slash sponsor. It's a lot more than just the community.
That there's lots of events going on during the year, both in-person and the online world Fest, which have grown in popularity since they started then giant events. Couple of those each year and loads of things going on in the background, lots of work being done. And whilst they may not be blowing their own trumpet all the time, it's incredibly helpful to those.
Who needed it? Can I add
[01:10:13] Anne McCarthy: something real quick, just related to this, because this, as we're talking about this, it reminds me a lot of, when we talk about things like log for J where it's a super serious security vulnerability, like mental health is really serious. This is the way we can take care of the folks who are taking care of the internet.
So maybe it's not always hit by a bus, but the mental health is a real thing. I struggle with my own stuff, both with depression and anxiety, suicidal ideation. There's a lot of things that I write about personally and share out personally and organizations like this. It's really critical when we think about sustainability of the internet and building an open and open future.
So don't forget to think about the brains behind the operation, because how. To be on the internet, especially during a pandemic is very tough and having community from afar. You never know what small action might be able to help someone and to have such a big collective. It's a lot of small actions that add up.
So thank you for the work you're doing there, and I'll do everything I can at my end to advocate. And I appreciate y'all bringing this up because this is very near and dear to me. And saying that needs to not be in such a dire state, in my opinion.
[01:11:22] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Anything to others, Zach? Or should we move on?
[01:11:26] Zach Tirrell: No, just it's, it's super important. Hope that hope that big orange hearts able to find the sponsorships they
[01:11:33] Nathan Wrigley: need. Yeah. Yeah. That would be nice. Wouldn't it? So don't take the message from this though. It's only the corporate stuff. If you want to go and donate your smaller donation, you can go to forward slash donate.
So big orange sharp forward slash donate and make your contribution. And yeah, let's, let's see the fun side
[01:11:50] Zach Tirrell: of that. There's their coloring book. I just got a copy of that last week. Cool. You know, that's a way to give back.
[01:12:00] Michelle Frechette: That was a project that I suggested that I throw crazy ideas at Dan maybe, and that one stuck and I was like, oh, okay, great.
So that was a lot of fun to.
[01:12:12] Nathan Wrigley: We WP Builds. We a stupid endeavor, but it was a bit of fun. We raised a little bit of money for them this year. The WP Builds WordPress awards for 2021 are now officially over. This was you could literally buy your way into winning an award. If you donated $10 to big orange chart, you could nominate yourself to win.
Whatever category you wanted. And so here we go. I'll just run through some of these, the
[01:12:40] Zach Tirrell: one right
[01:12:41] Nathan Wrigley: there out of the gate. That's right. There was me. The best podcast called WP Builds was won by WP Builds. The most unique display advertising this year was won by Jeff Chandler. Weld-on the best WordPress tennis player, Jamie miles.
He really kicked this whole thing off. Michelle Frechette wins for being actually triplets masquerading as one person. The best WordPress boomer was Bob Don, the leading member of the WordPress community. That was me and Eric Markovitz. We've just been talking about him, the best WordPress writer who points out things, how they ought to be brilliant
[01:13:18] Zach Tirrell: the most.
[01:13:19] Michelle Frechette: I don't remember who it was, but somebody put a serious one in there. And then afterwards they were like, oh man, I didn't realize it was tongue in cheek, actually. Daniel. That's not my
[01:13:31] Nathan Wrigley: directory of WordPress. Okay. We'll get to that one. Yeah. The most traitorous podcast hosts in the WordPress community was Paul Lacey or like the best known he nominated himself for that the best known collector in the WordPress community was Leon Milton.
Who else have we got the best Mitt nitro in the WordPress. And, but anyway, the point is it goes on there's loads more. Thank you to all of you for having a bit of fun with that. We'll probably run this next year, hopefully bigger and chart still being around. And we'll get some more names on that list, but yeah totally ridiculous poll that you could buy yourself into winning.
So a thank you to anybody you guys
[01:14:12] Michelle Frechette: shy of a thousand dollars for the case. Yeah, it really was wonderful. You did.
[01:14:18] Nathan Wrigley: Man and all it took was an online form. What fun? That's really cool. Yeah. I enjoy doing that. Okay. The, what else have we got? We're very short time. We've got about 12 minutes left. Let's skip to some random stuff.
I just want to point people out. This just came across this little tool this week. Just thought it was nice. It's called key frames.app, and it allows you to create animations in a gooey. You can create some cool little shadow thing that moves around the planet. I thought that was quite nice.
And a color picker. Anyway, the best bit for me was this create an animation tool. You literally click a button. There's a timeline at the bottom and you can create some little 3d animation. Isn't it? Cool. It's like you can't not have fun on this page. So the afternoon.
[01:15:04] Anne McCarthy: Yeah, we need to get this in Gutenberg, like at least experimenting more with this kind of stuff.
I've seen some people build some plugins that can add animations within, but this is like a far I'm like, I can't wait until you can message.
[01:15:16] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, we'll get off the call and you can you can start setting key frames.app three little tools and they plan it says to build some more and they've got the coolest you, our email address is [email protected] hot to dish, which I just thought was fun, but you can go and check that out.
The other one I want to mention is that if you are a WooCommerce user, but you are looking for an alternative, you want to find something different. We had these guys on the podcast the other day, actually a guy called Kelly Muro is creating this thing called north commerce. And he is about to launch it in beta.
And if you get in now, you can get a lifetime price. I think it's $350, and they're gonna basically give you the full Monte forever and ever. Amen. Go to north plugins.com forward slash north dash commerce dash beater. If you want to find out about that, if it looks pretty good, I have to say I'm quite beguiled by it.
And I oh. Wanted me to mention this, was it you used through this?
[01:16:25] Anne McCarthy: Yeah, I just thought this was fun. I'm pretty sure it was just, was like, let's see how long I think he took the Smith hour and a half just rebuilding the Kubrick. And this is a good example of what we were talking about earlier with building a theme and the site editor.
So it has a cool screenshot and I just thought it was like a cool veer to throw back with new tools. I don't know. It just seemed like a fun thing for some WordPress dashboard WordPress nerdery,
[01:16:51] Nathan Wrigley: got to ask who, who, which of us was using this.
[01:16:57] Anne McCarthy: I vaguely remember using it very briefly before finding a much better alternative.
[01:17:03] Zach Tirrell: I definitely had Kubrick live on my website for Yeah.
[01:17:09] Nathan Wrigley: I remember seeing this all over the internet. And at that point, I didn't know about CMSs really at all. And I was just like, why the hell does everybody want to use this exact same design? You know what I mean? Come on, do something a bit original then of course, when you see
[01:17:26] Anne McCarthy: blogger blogs now,
[01:17:30] Nathan Wrigley: and I also remember seeing the little Joomla fava icon everywhere and thinking, what does that mean?
Why are all these sites? Why have they all got the same little five icon? Anyway, that is cool. Who put this together?
[01:17:41] Anne McCarthy: Riyadh. I'm pretty sure. Yeah. I think tweeted it out. Tagged
[01:17:45] Nathan Wrigley: Riyadh. There we go. Right. I think that's all that we've got time for this week. To be honest,
[01:17:53] Michelle Frechette: I wanted to give a shout out to you though.
As a result of the things that I learned at state of the word about duo tones and things that I hadn't played with yet, I actually wanted to launch community is poetry because I've been doing some poetry nights where I just tweet out if anybody wants like a Limerick or a haiku or a roast about them, or a compliment that they can just, line up.
And I spent two hours, one like giggling hysterically, as I was writing these things about people. And I, and somebody said, you should make a book. And I'm like, I don't want to publish a book, but I'll put together a website. So I didn't want to have to get hosting and do all of those crazy things. So I just built a.com wordpress.com site.
Community is poetry.wordpress.com. And I was like, oh my gosh, there's duotone. I didn't do it very well. I just went to the black and white basically, but I took my color photo and it turned into black and white, and I just linked up all of the different silliness that I created that evening. So that I can do it again and continue to detect people, you know, about, you can see what it looks like there.
If you click any one of those, you can see what I wrote about people on the bottom. Yeah. There's
[01:19:09] Nathan Wrigley: the original thing that
[01:19:12] Michelle Frechette: doesn't matter. If you scroll down from there, you can see as well, but everywhere in that says their name, that's their tweets, their Twitter handle. Yeah, I don't remember what I wrote for any particular person, but they all open.
Yeah. This guy don't know him. So I wrote a little lyric based on what I could see from anybody's profile. And if they had links to their website I discovered that I'm too kind to roast people. Cause people were like that. And then I had to dig deep and, and one person, I didn't know them at all.
And I went to their website and I saw other there. I saw their website and I said I guess your website is exciting as I could expect from a developer. Things like that because I finally, I had to learn to dig a little deeper and pull out the fire. There you go. That's the one bio on your home page.
[01:20:01] Nathan Wrigley: It's on you, that award that I just awarded you for things, three people, I take it back. It's four, isn't it? No. Where do you find the time Michelle? It is amazing.
[01:20:12] Michelle Frechette: It was a Friday night and I was, I live alone and the cats could care less about poetry. So I just tweeted it. So I'll be doing it again soon, but this was fun.
And, using wordpress.com, having a wordpress.com site allows you to go in and play with some of the things without having to have a test, spin up a test site, all of those things, because they tend to be there. You can use them there. And it's really, even if you are a.org person and you're a self hosted person, spin up a wordpress.com site and play with some of the things that are there because there's some pretty exciting stuff happening.
[01:20:48] Nathan Wrigley: Let me get you the URL. One more time. It's community is poetry.wordpress.com. And you can go and see what Michelle is doing over there. What fun? Honestly, it's a lot of fun. I'm most impressed, right? Okay. Now we often plumb, but I think we are about to plumb. This is just off the scale NAF, but I'm going to do it anyway.
At the end of the at the end of the show, we always wave, we always do a bit of this so that everybody can like download the sorry that the album art can be seen with us all waving. But this year in Christmas, we've all got to try and line our faces. Hang on a minute. Wait, set, left a bit, right?
Are you all in? Are you all in now? Why give it away?
[01:21:35] Zach Tirrell: Give it to what that is. So cheesy. That's the
[01:21:40] Nathan Wrigley: best thing I've ever seen. Thank you so much. Let me take that off. Oh, man. That was so bad, right?
[01:21:49] Anne McCarthy: At this point
[01:21:52] Nathan Wrigley: 21 for this week in WordPress on a scraping the barrel there, but thank you so much, Zach. I hope that you enjoyed it and I hope that you'll feel that you want to come on another time.
I really appreciate your time. Thank you so much. You're very welcome, Michelle. Obviously we will definitely be seeing you next year and I hope that we'll be seeing you. Thank you so much. You're going to say goodbye. Thanks for joining us. If you are watching this or listening to this, really appreciate it.
And hopefully you'll have a nice holiday period and see you in the new year. Take it easy.
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