Proposal: how to return to safe in-person WordCamps

DeputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. that have participated in this post: @_dorsvenabili, @angelasjin, @kcristiano, @sippis, @adityakane, @nao, @monchomad, @mpc, @sunsand187, @andreamiddleton 


Thank you to everyone who has participated in our many conversations about in-person events. Your input has helped to make the current guidelines for organizing in-person meetups.

This post is a proposal to discuss how the WordPress community can return to in-person WordCamps. Please read it carefully and participate in the comments by answering the questions below, thanks! 🙂

If you don’t want to read all of this post, here’s the tl;dr:

“The WordPress community team is discussing the return to in-person WordCamps, building on current guidelines for meetupsMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. (defined in this handbook page and image below) with additional guidelines described in the section below on “Proposal for further discussion”

In-person WordPress events this year so far

  • There are 752 WordPress MeetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. groups in the chapter program in 109 countries around the globe.
  • Since February 16, in-person WordPress meetups have been held in 3 countries: Taiwan, New Zealand, and Australia using the meetup safety checklist
  • Since the latest guidelines announced on July 9, in-person events have been organized in 6 countries: Russia, US, New Zealand, Uganda, Australia and the Netherlands

The discussion so far

Deputies agree that it seems unrealistic to immediately go back to how WordCamps were in 2019. Resetting expectations for WordCamps may be necessary, as the world has changed significantly. This is a great opportunity to rebuild the program by restarting locally, and then building back up to the levels we had in 2019. Before the pandemic, WordCamps came in different sizes and scales. As a reminder, the Community Team considers the “minimum viable productMinimum Viable Product "A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future product development." - WikiPedia” for a WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. to be at least 50 people, in a room, for one day, talking about WordPress.

Additionally, the normal WordCamp application process requires that there be an active local community in place.  As the community has faced many changes this year, Deputies are thinking about how to handle this requirement. One possibility could  be more flexibility with WordCamp applications, allowing communities that had a meetup pre-COVID to host a WordCamp, even if they weren’t as active in the last year, to help build excitement and restart community activity again.

The deputies also agreed that organizers are encouraged to  experiment with format, content, and more! This is an excellent opportunity to innovate on WordCamps.

Proposal for Further Discussion

This is all new territory for the Community Team, and the input from the WordPress community is invaluable. At this time, the team is putting up for discussion a proposal for in-person WordCamps. Here are some ideas for discussion:

  • To organize an in-person WordCamp, the general guidelines would be the same ones approved for in-person meetups (you can read them fully detailed in the handbook’s page: “2021: Returning to in-person meetups”). 
  • Revise the guideline to allow all communities that had an active meetup before the pandemic host an initial WordCamp, even if the community wasn’t as active in the past year, to help re-energize the community. This new guideline would only apply to the first WordCamp back. Brand new communities would be directed to organize meetups instead of a WordCamp right away.
  • Financial: WordCamps in this transition period will need to be prepared to cover 100% of their expenses in order to happen. For greater context, the Global Sponsorship Program 2021 currently doesn’t include WordCamps, and the team currently does not have expectations set for the future of the Global Sponsorship program.
  • Venue: Venue fee should be fully refundable or should be able to be moved to a later date without penalty. 
  • Food: No buffets. If food is provided, it will be in individual portions (like box lunches).
  • Capacity: Limit in-person attendance or seating capacity to allow for physical distancing, or host smaller events in larger spaces, based on your local/regional health guidelines.
  • AccessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility)/inclusion: Sessions should be uploaded to wordpress.tv and to be livestreamed when financially possible.
  • Mandatory registration, so attendees can be contacted in case of exposure.
  • Enable refunds for in-person WordCamp tickets, as many folks attending WordCamps could back out at the last minute due to potential issues. 
  • COVID-19 measures: masks, hand-sanitizer, etc., deferring to the guidance of the relevant local government.
  • Innovation: Organizers can try new event formats, for example: deliver WordCamp content entirely online, followed by an in-person social gathering/activities, outdoors sessions/activities, etc.

Additionally, the deputies proposed creating a standard operation process of handling COVID-related issues to further support organizers.

Please share your feedback!

It would be great to get some feedback on this proposal, specifically in the following areas:

  1. What do you think about the proposal? 
  2. Is there anything that you’re missing or that you’d change? Why?
  3. Are there any ideas listed above that you’d include as guidelines for in-person WordCamps in this transition period?
  4. What could the Community Team do to assist with easier and/or inexpensive WordCamp events?

#community-team, #in-person, #proposal, #wordcamps

Proposal: Updating Community Team meetings

Few weeks ago, @kcristiano, @angelasjin and I began discussing our Community Team meetings, and how they could improve to foster more discussions and connections.

The Current Challenge

In short, we believe that there are too many meetings taking place at the moment and the format of those meetings are not catering to the Community Team as well as they could. To give you a hint where the problem lies, here’s a list of current Community Team meetings (not including working groups):

  • Community Team meeting every first and third Thursdays of month. Repeated twice on the same day to cater different time zones. Takes place in #community-team SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. channel. Meeting agenda consists mostly of going through published blog posts about current matters and important discussion.
  • Community Office HoursOffice Hours Defined times when the Global Community Team are in the #community-events Slack channel. If there is anything you would like to discuss – you do not need to inform them in advance.You are very welcome to drop into any of the Community Team Slack channels at any time. every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Takes place in #community-events Slack channel. Opportunity for community members and event organisers to ask everything from community deputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook..
  • DeputyDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. Office Hours every other week on Thursdays and Fridays. Repeated twice on the same day to cater different time zones. Takes place in Zoom. No agenda, more a space for deputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. to talk about their work and related challenges face to face. This is a new thing that started in 2021.

The basic problem appears to be hat there are many meetings, but attendance and engagement is low. These meetings are mostly targeted for community deputies that are deeply involved with the team, and not for event organisers. That feels a bit skewed, as the Community team’s ultimate objective is to work to benefit the greater community.

The Proposal

To make Community Team meetings more interesting, helpful, easier to approach and attend, Angela, Kevin and I would like to propose updating our meetings! Instead of the meetings listed above, the Community Team would move to the following ones:

Community Team meeting

Once a month for anyone currently involved or who wants to get involved in the Community Team. Still repeated twice on the same day to cater time zones and taking place in #community-team Slack channel.

Shorter agenda, more open floor discussion and personal updates from community members. Highlighted blog posts at the end of the meeting instead of being in limelight and taking most of the time. We will encourage discussion in these meetings and link to the discussions on the agenda posts for those who cannot attend to review.

We are also hoping to record minutes for these meetings and post that to the P2P2 P2 or O2 is the term people use to refer to the Make WordPress blog. It can be found at https://make.wordpress.org/. as well. A volunteer is needed to take the minutes.  This role can rotate, one need to make a long term commitment (but we’d love it if you did).

Community Local Organiser meeting

Once a month for WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. and meetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. organizers. Repeated twice on the same day to cater time zones. Taking place in #community-events Slack channel.

No formal agenda. The purpose would be to become a place where local community organisers can share how their community is doing, successes and challenges, and learn from each other. Ambition is to bring local community organisers closer to each other as well as the community team, strengthening the connections.

Deputy and MentorMentor Someone who has already organised a WordCamp and has time to meet with their assigned mentee every 2 weeks, they talk over where they should be in their timeline, help them to identify their issues, and also identify solutions for their issues. Chats

Once a month for all active Deputies and MentorsMentor Someone who has already organised a WordCamp and has time to meet with their assigned mentee every 2 weeks, they talk over where they should be in their timeline, help them to identify their issues, and also identify solutions for their issues.. Repeated twice on the same day to cater time zones. Taking place in Zoom. No formal agenda. Place for deputies and mentors to share their knowledge with each other and to talk about challenges encountered in our weekly work.

What do you think, would these new meetings make sense? Is there something that should be included in these meetings? Are some meeting types missing from the list?

Please share your thoughts and ideas by 2021-08-23 at latest.

#meetings, #team-chat, #team-meeting

Tuesday Trainings: What’s the deal with self care?

If there’s a question you’d like to see answered or a topic you’d like to see discussed, please share it in the comments or email me at support@wordcamp.org with the subject line Tuesday Trainings. Now onto this week’s topic.

Disclaimer: I’m not a mental health professional, I’m just a person who does a lot of emotional labor and cares deeply about the emotions and mental well being of others. I’ll do my best to share what is working for me and I hope you’ll share what works for you.

This week’s question: What’s the deal with self care?

Let me jump into this one a little differently. Usually these Tuesday Training posts are aimed at anyone in the WordPress community that is looking for the information I’m serving up, but this week’s post is something else. Many of the topics we bring up in this series of posts are near and dear to my heart, but this one especially is important to me. So while I intend this information for anyone who needs to read it, this post in particular is for the organizers out there. The meetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. organizers, the WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. organizers, the community organizers. This goes out to the people who activate teams of volunteers, who make our little corner of the internet a safer and more inclusive space.

This goes out to those who tirelessly give of themselves with active listening and engagement so that we can get to the root of issues when they arise or stop them in their path–before most people even notice. 

So what’s the deal with self care? Self care is important. I’m not just talking about getting a haircut, facial, or a manicure. Those are all forms of self care, sure. But I’m talking about the kind of self care that fills you up and fortifies you so you can continue to be the best you that you can be while supporting others in being their best selves. All of that allows us to engage in and build this project with authenticity and respect for one another.  

In community work we take care of other people. In order to be able to take care of other people we first must be taking care of ourselves. The clearest example I can share with you is that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Which means if you have nothing left to give, you can’t give it. That way leads to burnout. Exhaustion. Dissatisfaction. And sometimes calling it quits altogether. 

I don’t want that for any of you. I want you to continue to embrace, improve, grow, and uplift the WordPress community in the special way that you each do. So let’s talk about how to make sure our cup isn’t empty.

Say no mindfully

Be aware of your bandwidth and what you have to give; say no to taking on additional work when it isn’t the right thing for you. I never want to say no to helping others, but it has helped me to reframe it by reminding myself that when I say yes to one thing, it means there are other things I’m going to have no choice to say no to down the road. 

Ask yourself: In saying “no” to one thing, what am I saying “yes” to? Or vice versa.

For more on the importance of saying no, check out this past Tuesday Training post.

Ask yourself what you would tell someone else

I’m hard on myself sometimes. And that’s a choice I make. But sometimes I have to step back and look at everything on my plate, both professionally and personally, and realize that there’s too much. 

If I have a headache and a day full of meetings, it is my inclination to just find a way to power through. But if any of my teammates or mentees let me know that the same was happening with them, I would insist immediately that they take some time to rest and feel better. A headache or being physically exhausted or ill is an easy example, but it’s just as important to give yourself that break if you are upset, stressed, anxious, or just plain overwhelmed. 

Check in with yourself: How are you today? What would you tell a friend, teammate, or colleague? 

Give yourself the same grace you would give to someone else you care about.

Do something nice for yourself

It might be a haircut and a nice lunch out, or it might just be finding time to go on a walk, draw a picture, or straighten up your surroundings so you feel better about them and yourself. It might be sitting in a park watching nature. It might be drinking one more glass of water a day. Find something that you need to do for yourself that will help you feel better, or happier or less stressed and do it. Little things can count here just as much as big things. It might not necessarily be something you want to do. But maybe it’s something you should do. Like taking a walk, getting some exercise, having a side of veggies with lunch, or starting your day with a healthy breakfast. 

Think on it: What’s one kindness you can give yourself today?

Say something

People don’t always notice when others are overwhelmed, overworked, or burned out. Some folks handle their stress and workload silently and seem to carry it with such grace that others may not notice that they’re under stress. “Holding up” to stress doesn’t mean you should have more of it, it just means you’re good at fooling people into thinking the stress isn’t there. If you’re struggling say something. Ask others in the community to take over responsibilities that are causing the issues or aren’t right for you. Let folks know that you need a break. Ask for help getting some space or solving a problem that’s standing in your way.

Delegate: What is something on your plate that you might share with someone else to lighten the load?

Wrapping up

Taking care of oneself is absolutely a critical component of being able to take care of others and build a healthy community. I hope you all keep that in mind in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. Each of us here is critical to the success of this project, and self care is critical to surviving and succeeding over all. 

If you’d like to share what helps you, I’d welcome your thoughts in the comments below. And as always if you have any questions or topics you’d like to see addressed in this space let me know in the comments or by emailing support@wordcamp.org

#tuesdaytrainings

Invitation: help me test an idea for organizer skills development?

I apologize in advance for the short notice here! I am taking a vacation in August, but didn’t want to lose momentum on this idea.

I’m going to schedule a few times to try out this idea for an Organizer’s D&D / practice scenarios session

If you are interested, whether you are an experienced organizer, or someone considering trying to organize a group for the first time… please comment on this post with the time/day they could join!

  1. 2300 UTC on 2 August
  2. 2300 UTC on 3 August
  3. 1600 UTC on 4 August
  4. 1600 UTC on 6 August

This will be a video call, in which I will give the group challenging scenarios, and ask you to come up with ideas for solutions you would try.

My goal for these meetings will be to test whether this idea might help WordPress organizers feel more confident when organizing events or communities — anyone, no matter what experience level you have in organizing, is welcome to join.

I’ll follow up as soon as possible with those who requested to join at the most popular times, and share a video link. If you can’t make it next week, don’t worry! This is just a quick “test of concept,” and if it’s successful, I’ll invite more people to help plan out a way to make this available to more people with more time to plan. 🙂

#experiment, #meetups-2

Weekly Updates

Hello to all our DeputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook., WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. organizers, MeetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. wranglers, and WordPress Community builders! You were probably hard at work this weekend. Tell us what you got accomplished in our #weekly-update!

Have you run into a roadblock with the stuff you’re working on? Head over to #community-events or #community-team in SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. and ask for help!

Weekly Updates

Hello to all our DeputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook., WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. organizers, MeetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. wranglers, and WordPress Community builders! You were probably hard at work this weekend. Tell us what you got accomplished in our #weekly-update!

Have you run into a roadblock with the stuff you’re working on? Head over to #community-events or #community-team in SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. and ask for help!

Announcement: Incident Response Training

One of the Community Team’s goals for 2021 included creation of an incident response training course. I am pleased to share that this training now has a first draft, which has been reviewed by @andreamiddleton, @hlashbrooke, @kcristiano, @sippis, @bph, @nao, and @adityakane, all deputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. with experience taking reports and responding to incidents. Course assessments and exercises received an extra review from @arasae. Thank you all very much for getting this course to where it is today!

I’m personally very excited about this training. Historically, WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. organizers and deputies are asked to take incident reports if something happens at their events, and a handful of community deputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. have actively worked on responding to incident reports in the past. Because of the confidentiality and nature of this work, it is often difficult and invisible. It hasn’t always been clear what to do when something happens, although a recent Tuesday Training on Codes of Conduct and Reporting does an excellent job of summarizing the work.  

With this training, the Community Team makes the complex process of taking and responding to incident reports more transparent in the WordPress space, and will be able to effectively train contributors in responding to reports. This training will eventually be available to everyone, and will be of particular interest to event organizers, team representatives, and anyone interested in making WordPress a safer community. At the moment, the course covers the following four modules: 

  1. Introduction to the Incident Response Team
  2. Overview of Process and Expectations of the Incident Response Team
  3. Taking Incident Reports
  4. Responding to Incident Reports

Call for Volunteers

The training is not yet ready for public release, but feedback is needed! At this time, I would like to invite volunteers to participate in a pre-release version of incident response training, to both learn the content and offer feedback and suggestions for improvement. 

If you are interested in participating, helpful background experience includes participation as a community team deputyDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. or mentorMentor Someone who has already organised a WordCamp and has time to meet with their assigned mentee every 2 weeks, they talk over where they should be in their timeline, help them to identify their issues, and also identify solutions for their issues., or as a WordCamp organizer. I welcome other Making WordPress team reps to participate, if this is of interest. 

Volunteers for this alpha release of the training will be asked to do the following:

  • Complete two surveys to assess before and after levels of knowledge/familiarity with incident response processes
  • Complete an estimated 6 hours of reading material and quizzes
  • Offer feedback to improve or clarify course content 

At the moment, the training is in Learn WordPress as a text only course, but the final version will include recorded content. In total, I am estimating that volunteers for this round will be asked for no more than 12 hours over the next month. 

To keep this round of feedback manageable, it may be necessary to cap how many volunteers participate, prioritizing those with relevant experience and availability. However, the final course will be made publicly available, and edits can always be made in the future. If you are interested in participating, or have any questions, please comment below by Monday, July 26, 2021. You can also reach out to me in the Making WordPress Slack (@angelasjin), or email at support@wordcamp.org.

Meetup group resources: Talking points for WordPress 5.8

WordPress 5.8 is shipping soon! Beta 1 and Beta 2 are available for testing. 5.8 is a major releaseMajor Release A set of releases or versions having the same major version number may be collectively referred to as “X.Y” -- for example version 5.2.x to refer to versions 5.2, 5.2.1, and all other versions in the 5.2. (five dot two dot) branch of that software. Major Releases often are the introduction of new major features and functionality. with some exciting new features coming with it! As we approach the release, we ask that all our community members and meetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. organizers contribute:

  • Meetup Organizers can plan release-focused meetupsMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. to share the latest features in 5.8 with their community.
  • Meetups can organize 5.8 testing sprints to test the release features.
  • Organizers can email their local groups to inform members about the upcoming release.
  • Contributors can individually test 5.8 release features, share their feedback, blog about release features, and amplify them on social media. 

This post highlights some of the most exciting features of WordPress 5.8 that local meetup organizers might want to highlight to their local communities. 

Updates for Publishers and Users

New Theme Blocks and The Query BlockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience.

With WordPress 5.8, you’ll now have the ability to edit even more aspects of your site with the following new blocks: Site Logo/tagline/title, Query LoopLoop The Loop is PHP code used by WordPress to display posts. Using The Loop, WordPress processes each post to be displayed on the current page, and formats it according to how it matches specified criteria within The Loop tags. Any HTML or PHP code in the Loop will be processed on each post. https://codex.wordpress.org/The_Loop., Next/Previous post, Post title, content, author, date, excerptExcerpt An excerpt is the description of the blog post or page that will by default show on the blog archive page, in search results (SERPs), and on social media. With an SEO plugin, the excerpt may also be in that plugin’s metabox., featured imageFeatured image A featured image is the main image used on your blog archive page and is pulled when the post or page is shared on social media. The image can be used to display in widget areas on your site or in a summary list of posts., categories, and tags – along with login/out blocks and the page list block. When combined with creating custom templates, these blocks will unlock several possibilities for content creation that was not possible before! You can read more about theme blocks here.

Image showing list of new WordPress 5.8 blocks

The most powerful amongst this set of new blocks is the Query Loop block. It unlocks the ability to easily display posts from a specific categoryCategory The 'category' taxonomy lets you group posts / content together that share a common bond. Categories are pre-defined and broad ranging., allowing you to quickly create a portfolio or a favorite recipe page. Think of it as a more complex and powerful Latest Posts Block! You can read more about the Query block in GitHub.

Block Pattern Directory

Block Patterns are a streamlined way of setting up layouts of blocks through themes and plugins. With WordPress 5.8, everyone will now access a Block Pattern Directory, similar to the PluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party and Theme directories. This will let anyone create and share a Block Pattern with any WordPress user and for any WordPress user to use these patterns to make beautiful content. You can find new patterns in the Block Inserter or by browsing the patterns here: https://wordpress.org/patterns/. For now, patterns previously bundled with CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. are the only patterns available in the Inserter; in the future, all patterns in the directory will be searchable from the Inserter too!

Dropping Support for IE 11

With WordPress 5.8, Internet Explorer 11 will no longer be supported. For anyone currently using IE11, it is strongly recommended that you switch to a modern browser, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. IE11 users have been shown a warning that IE11 is considered outdated in the WordPress dashboard for the last 17+ months.

Template Editing Mode

Template Editing Mode is a feature of Full Site Editing that unlocks the ability to switch between editing the content of a post/page and the template elements that the post/page uses. Essentially, this allows you to switch between the Post Editor and the Template Editor. 

  • For block themes, users will be able to create a new block-based template and edit existing ones. 
  • For classic themes, users will be able to only create new block-based templates. 
  • Any custom block template created is theme-dependent and won’t transfer across themes.

You can read more about Template Editing mode in this dev note.

Block Widgets Editor & Widgets in CustomizerCustomizer Tool built into WordPress core that hooks into most modern themes. You can use it to preview and modify many of your site’s appearance settings.

WordPress 5.8 brings blocks to both the Block Widgets Editor and the Customizer. Users will now be able to directly edit widgets just like how they would edit blocks in a post/page. Widgets in the customizer have additional features such as live preview, schedule, and sharing – all using blocks and widgets. This feature opens up several possibilities, from no-code mini layouts to tapping into the vast block library to create content. Developers are encouraged to phase out their widgets in favor of blocks, which are more intuitive and can be used in more places. Developers can allow users to easily migrate a Legacy Widget block containing a specific widget to a block or multiple blocks. 

Widgets screen within the customizer
WidgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. customizer
Widgets screen in WP-Admin
Widgets screen in WP-Admin

Other features and UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing. enhancements

Updates for Site Builders and Developers

Dev Notes in the Make/Core blog are a great place to start learning more about the technical details related to WordPress 5.8. Here’s a summary of the advanced features shipping with the release:

Theme.jsonJSON JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a minimal, readable format for structuring data. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML.

WordPress 5.8 introduces theme.json, a configuration file used to enable or disable features and set default styles for both websites and blocks. It can be used to control the editor settings, available customization tools, and style blocks. The release comes with Global Styles and Global Settings APIs, which facilitate these changes. Theme.json provides a consolidated and canonical way to manage default styles as opposed to theme support flags. Theme.json support will be more robust in the future. WordPress 5.8 includes the following options: 

  • Set Color and Typography block presets.
  • Add custom colors to the color palette, gradient options, and Duotone presets.
  • Register font families and font sizes for blocks.
  • Add or remove support for specific block settings that were previously set via the add_theme_support function via PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php..
  • Set specific block properties supported by that block, including typography, color, width, borders, etc.

Developers can enable theme.json by including it in the active theme’s root directory. You can learn more about theme.json from the developer handbook.

Next Iteration of Block Supports

The block support mechanism allows block authors to make their blocks customizable via adding support for style properties: font size, color, etc. Under the hood, this mechanism bounds UI controls to the block sidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme. & toolbar, creates an implicit attribute for the block, and casts the implicit attribute to some DOM characteristic of the root element of the block (a style attribute or a new class). Developers working on WordPress 5.8 are encouraged to use block.json file metadata as the canonical way to register block types and define block supports.

This next iteration allows block authors to have a finer-grained control of how block supports work. As part of this, block authors don’t need to fiddle with controls and attribute flow. 

Block Design Tools

WordPress 5.8 introduces new block design tools that can be enabled through the block.json metadata file and are supported in the new theme.json configuration file:

  • color.__experimentalDuotone UI controls that allow adding duotone filters to blocks.
  • color.link. Adds block controls that allow the user to set link color in a block.
  • typography.fontSize. Signals that a block supports font-size CSSCSS CSS is an acronym for cascading style sheets. This is what controls the design or look and feel of a site. style property. When it does, the block editor will show a UI control for the user to set its value.
  • typography.lineHeight. Signals that a block supports the line-height CSS style property. When it does, the block editor will show a UI control for the user to set its value.
  • spacing.margin, and spacing.padding. Shows that a block supports some spacing CSS properties. When it does, the editor will show UI controls for the user to set values. 
  • layout. Simplifies the way themes define and style alignments. Theme devs can add layout config in theme.json and specify which containers inherit the config.

Duotone effect for images in blocks

WordPress 5.8 allows you to colorize your image and cover blocks with duotone filters! Duotone can add a pop of color to your designs and style your pictures (or videos in the cover block) to integrate well with your themes. The duotone effect is similar to a black and white filterFilter Filters are one of the two types of Hooks https://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API/Hooks. They provide a way for functions to modify data of other functions. They are the counterpart to Actions. Unlike Actions, filters are meant to work in an isolated manner, and should never have side effects such as affecting global variables and output., but instead of the shadows being black and the highlights being white, you get to pick your own colors for the shadows and highlights. This feature is accomplished with the help of a new customized color filter using an SVG filter. This is available as a “block supports” feature by default in the core Image and Cover blocks for both images and videos. You’ll be able to find it in the block toolbar settings. This can be supported in blocks from third parties and the color presets can be customized by themes within theme.json! More details in the WordPress blog.

WebP Support

WebP is a modern image format that provides improved lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. WebP images are usually 30% smaller than JPEG or PNG images and are supported in all modern browsers. From WordPress version 5.8 forward, you can upload and use WebP images in WordPress like you would a JPEG or PNG image today (as long as your hosting service supports WebP). Switching to the WebP format for your images will improve your site’s performance and your site visitor’s experience. Developers or plugins can use the wp_editor_set_quality filter to set the quality setting. You can read more about WebP support in this Make/Core blog post and Trac.

Request for feedback

What have you planned for sharing WordPress 5.8 with your local meetup group? Are you organizing an outreach meetup, or would you be interested in scheduling a testing sprint? What can we do together to help people learn all about the release? Let us know in the comments! 

The following people contributed to this post: @angelasjin @annezazu @cbringmann @daisyo @evarlese and @priethor

#meetup-organizer-resources #resources

#meetups, #outreach, #wordpress-5-8

Weekly Updates

Hello to all our DeputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook., WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. organizers, MeetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. wranglers, and WordPress Community builders! You were probably hard at work this weekend. Tell us what you got accomplished in our #weekly-update!

Have you run into a roadblock with the stuff you’re working on? Head over to #community-events or #community-team in SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. and ask for help!

Recap of the Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) on July 14, 2021

Attending: @jillbinder @evarlese @katiejrichards @tantienhime

Start: https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C037W5S7X/p1626282057071800

We talked about:

  1. Reminders of what our 3 upcoming programs are.
  2. Thinking about potential better names for “Speaker Placement Program”.
    – It looks like our current favorite may be “Diverse Speaker Support.” We would love more thoughts.
  3. Can we match up a Diverse Speaker workshop in August with upcoming WordCamps?
    – The current thought is to possibly aim for one that would be directed to Spain, Kolkata, and WCEUWCEU WordCamp Europe. The European flagship WordCamp event. 2022. TBD!

End: https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C037W5S7X/p1626285693117000

#wpdiversity