The second edition of the WordPress Community Mentorship Program is starting, featuring some new developments and, above all, many more participants.
Hello, I’m Javier Casares, and you’re listening to WordPress Podcast, bringing the weekly news from the WordPress Community.
You’ll find updates from January 8th to 14th, 2024.
At the beginning of 2023, a pilot program was launched in the WordPress Community focused on mentoring people to improve their entry into the Community and, subsequently, their involvement and continuity.
The Mentorship Program started small, with just a few mentors and a few mentees, not even reaching twenty. And it must be said, it was an absolute success. Many of those who participated, both as mentors and mentees, are continuing, and there’s even a possibility that these students will now become potential mentors.
The Mentorship Program is, as its name suggests, a way for people who already have significant experience with WordPress in general, or in a specific area, to help train new people, both those with no knowledge who want to volunteer, and those who have dipped their toes in but aren’t quite sure what the next step is or how to get more involved.
And now, this second edition is starting, coinciding with the launch of WordPress 6.5.
Who can apply? Both mentors and mentees, because this time the selection is expanded.
If you already contribute to the project, want to learn, and improve in a specific area, or if you’ve never contributed and want to, you just need to have a WordPress.org account and some activity, easily achievable by taking a course, translating, or uploading a photograph. If you meet these minimum requirements, you can fill out the form and apply.
Although the project is planned entirely in English, it’s likely that for some languages there will be mentors who can guide you. In any case, language should not be a blocking element.
If you want to be part of the mentoring staff, you can do that too. If you’re an active contributor, have been around for some time, and can spare one or two hours a week to help someone enter the Community, now is your chance! Even if you don’t want to be in the general system, but have a specific project for those weeks, you can also get involved.
Although there is already a large group of people who are part of the mentoring staff, you can apply to be a mentor in this new edition by filling out the form.
The forms open on January 12th and will be available until February 7th. The program will start running on February 19th and will be active until March 29th.
But that’s not the only news. Announced at the State of the Word, but now officially, is the Data Liberation project.
The idea behind this project is that WordPress should be able to import and export its data from and to practically any platform. Yes, we already had the WordPress Importer and the WordPress data export format.
Each of these guides will have its own space with its software, documentation, GitHub repository, and forums, and a review and approval will be done quickly, within a matter of hours.
Affecting Phase 3 of Gutenberg is the real-time collaboration within the Editor. For this, top-level agencies have been contacted, although the response has been quite limited.
Among other things, it was noted that collaboration is not currently a focus for large companies, which doesn’t mean it isn’t for others, and it’s suggested that in general, it’s something that will happen outside of WordPress.
What does require much more work are the revisions, which need a lot of improvement, mainly to function smoothly in Phase 4.
The Performance team is already working on integrating, possibly for WordPress 6.5, the translation cache system and the possibility of supporting the AVIF format, probably first with an external module or plugin.
The Test team has opened the possibility of starting to review WordPress 6.5, before the launch of the first beta version.
There are four elements to focus on:
- Data Views in the Site Editor
- Pattern Overrides
- More robust revisions
- And the Font Library
The Accessibility team is already in motion with the new features coming in WordPress 6.5, such as Data Views, the Font Library, the Command Palette, Navigation, or Patterns. Most of these come from the high priority of the latest versions of Gutenberg.
The Marketing team has opened a proposal for a review procedure for WordPress sites featured in the Showcase.
The current review process is quite manual, and nearly half of the sites that arrive must be discarded due to basic errors, like simply not loading, having no content, or not being WordPress sites, in addition to defects like low image quality or an excess of ads.
The rest are passed to a sheet for review and approval, and this procedure that must continue is the one proposed for better review.
The Community team has announced the five new global gold-level sponsors for 2024, including Automattic, Bluehost, GoDaddy, Woo, and WPBeginner.
Meanwhile, BuddyPress continues advancing its work and preparing a minor version to correct some errors, although its focus is already set on the next version, which will be 14. This version will be for WordPress 6.1 and above, focusing on maximum compatibility with block themes and creating more functionalities in plugin mode.
Finally, WordCamp US is on the agenda with a major update: it will have two days of Contributor Day.
Thus, in Portland, Oregon, September 17th and 18th will be Contributor Days, and September 19th and 20th will be the program days.
Thanks for listening, and until the next episode!