19. Open Website Alliance


The initial steps of the Open Website Alliance are underway to promote the rights of open-source projects and strive to create a better web.

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Program transcript

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 February 5th to 11th, 2024.

Drupal, Joomla, Typo3, and WordPress have joined forces once again for a common cause: the creation of the Open Website Alliance. This is “once again” because they previously united in response to the Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) which could impact open-source developments.

The Open Website Alliance aims to facilitate collaboration among open-source content management projects to promote education and advocacy for the benefits and principles of open source.

The members seek to promote the rights of open-source projects and aspire to create a better web, encouraging the choice of open-source software over proprietary systems and sharing best practices to improve public perception, reliability, quality, and security of open-source software and communities.

Furthermore, the alliance is accompanied by the “Open Web Manifesto,” which declares the alliance’s commitment to an open web, seen as a digital public good based on freedom, decentralization, inclusion, participation, and empowerment.

It also emphasizes that the open web should be non-proprietary, protect personal data, allow fair competition, be resilient, and earn people’s trust through innovation, technology, and integrity.

The importance of community and diversity in finding solutions and opportunities for innovation is highlighted, ensuring independence and inclusion.

Speaking of organizations, the WordPress Foundation has presented a summary of 2023. New programs supporting hackathons and open-source education worldwide were introduced.

Meetup have been established in 748 groups that have offered 3,869 events. As for WordCamp, 76 were held, with nearly 25,000 attendees.

By the way, Mac users who create ZIP files of their plugins or themes, be aware that uploading them to WordPress will not work until WordPress 6.5 or 6.4.4 is released. Until then, it’s necessary to use a tool to generate those ZIP files, as the native system on the operating system is not compatible and will show an “Incompatible File” message.

WordPress 6.5 is on the horizon, starting with the first beta version on February 13th, and the Core team is already revealing some details to be included in the editor.

In the List View, we will have quick access to block settings. In the Content Editor, we can activate an option for template preview if we want; this way, we’ll see not just the content, but how it fits directly on the entire public page.

All patterns, when duplicated, will allow the option to be synchronized to be activated or deactivated, including those that come with the themes, which were locked.

Another announced change is in the revisions section, but now when changes are made to global styles, we’ll see a summary of all the elements it will affect.

The preferences panel will separate Accessibility elements into a distinct tab.

Another change being worked on is the new Media Library, which will have a look more similar to that of the Editor. In this version, different types of content will be separated, allowing for a specific editing system for images or videos, in addition to enabling extensibility with plugins or the ability to organize content by folders.

However, these are not the only possible changes coming. With the release of the Gutenberg 17.7 release candidate, the latest changes that could be included have been defined.

The first novelty is the introduction of the Block Bindings API, which will basically change the way blocks are extended, as it will allow the management of a block’s content dynamically, bringing in content from elsewhere, like a Custom Field.

Another novelty, already known but without a confirmed release date, is the introduction of Plugin Dependencies, which allows adding a list of plugins on which another depends. The simplest example is an e-commerce payment gateway requiring that e-commerce plugin to function.

The list of more technical novelties continues, with the definition of Inner Blocks, improvements in the WordPress Playground, greater support for the HTML API, the Font Library, the Interactivity API, and the Blocks Hooks API, or the expansion of patterns with new categories like audio, gallery, media, and videos.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

On the Developer Blog, a post has been released about visual support for grids, that system of creating a grid and organizing elements internally.

The first version was included in Gutenberg 15.5 and arrived in WordPress 6.3.

In the experimental section of the Gutenberg plugin, many more options are added than those already included, allowing for the inclusion of variations.

The developers of WP-CLI have released version 2.10.0.

Among the new features, we can highlight the creation of PHP translation files, the possibility of updating themes to minor versions, or adding or removing several user roles at once.

In the case of Multisite, it’s possible to list the sites a user belongs to.

All this is just a small sample of the 233 changes applied since the last version.

The Polyglots team is preparing for the launch of GlotPress 4.0, the new version of the WordPress translation plugin, which helps translate the core, plugins, and themes, among other things.

In addition to improving code quality and modernizing it, many details have been added. Some highlighted elements include support for translating strings coming from JavaScript, emphasizing the use of plurals, and the possibility of having plugin previews.

If all goes well, the final version will be available on March 7th, during the Contributor Day of WordCamp Asia.

The Openverse team continues to work on upcoming features. Among the ongoing projects are better search result relevance, more search views, and continuing to improve sensitive content filters.

The Support team has implemented a change in the documentation regarding guidelines for allowing reviews of commercial plugins and themes on WordPress.org, specifying that they should focus on user-oriented functionality or features. Reviews that are payment disputes or attempts to get support will be archived, clarifying that such issues should be handled privately.

Also, improvements proposed for 2024 by the team include documenting current work, better understanding the tasks performed and workload, and sustainably expanding the team.

There’s a suggestion to improve the onboarding process, introduce mentoring opportunities, and foster a community among forum contributors.

These initiatives aim to reduce team burnout and ensure long-term sustainability.

The 2023 Community Survey on Meetup has revealed common challenges, such as a lack of free venues and community information.

For 2024, actions such as collaborating with the Marketing and Training teams to increase visibility and improve training for local Meetup leaders are suggested.

There’s also a plan to improve the Community Team’s documentation and create mentoring programs for speakers and event organizers.

The Photos team has surpassed 13,000 photos and is now considering better management of image alt texts.

The focus is on the importance of providing accurate and accessible alternative text descriptions for images in the Directory, especially for those using screen readers.

Therefore, it’s advised to avoid descriptions that express feelings or are narrative and instead provide concrete and visible details in the image, considering the object, action, and setting.

And finally, this podcast is distributed under a Creative Commons license as a derivative version of the WordPress Podcast in Spanish; you can find all the links for more information at WordPress Podcast .org or follow the content in Catalan, English, and French.

Thanks for listening, and until the next episode!


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