11. State of the Word 2023


The week’s highlight was the State of the Word, internationally hosted for the first time, and it took place in Madrid, Spain.

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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 December 11 to 17, 2023.

Last Monday, the WordPress Community gathered to attend the State of the Word 2023, held outside the United States for the first time, with Spain as its first global location.

Matt Mullenweg started by reviewing 2023, with WordPress’s twentieth anniversary as a spearhead, how WordPress played a part in Taylor Swift’s announcement as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, with 100,000 requests per second at its peak, and a review of the return to normalcy for Meetup and WordCamp in terms of events, a look at WordPress.org’s design and Playground improvements, finishing with a review of the always anticipated new theme: Twenty Twenty-Four.

Then, Matías Ventura took the reins, showcasing some of the major improvements in the Block Editor and what’s being prepared with Gutenberg, mainly focusing on Phase 3, so, collaborative editing. There was also emphasis on changes to WordPress’s admin panel design, aiming for a more modern format.

The Interactivity API and the Fields API, planned for WordPress 6.5, were two of the most highlighted elements of what WordPress will allow in the future, and how WordPress and Editor performance are being considered in each step.

Another standout project was Data Liberation, a novelty of the event, making data migration much easier both from and to WordPress from other content management systems.

One of the last announcements was WordCamp US 2024, which will be in Portland, Oregon, in mid-September.

Before the event’s conclusion, a questions and answers session began, also available on the project’s website.

The State of the Word revealed two major surprises for the Community.

The first was the pause of the Slack to Matrix migration project, announced just a couple of weeks earlier.

There are two main reasons. One, already known and under improvement, is the accessibility of the tools, something Slack has worked on extensively, but not Element.

The other, perhaps more important, is Matrix’s unilateral change of its license to AGPL and the signing of a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) to contribute to the project.

The second surprise, which caused quite a stir, was the use of global Slack to host channels for local communities.

The process is still unclear, but it’s a first step toward centralizing the entire community in one place under the umbrella of a single tool and access system.

But these aren’t the only announcements we’ve had this week… after several months of work, the new WordPress events page at events.wordpress.org has been announced.

Another site undergoing improvements is the Developer Documentation page, which also receives a facelift, making documentation navigation much easier with clearer typography and improved navigation menus.

Regarding translations, we also have improvements.

The first is the real-time preview of patterns while translating, allowing for checking all texts in their final version.

The other is the prioritization of related languages, displaying translations in a more orderly manner based on format and semantics rather than alphabetical order, taking approved strings from other languages as examples.

The Themes team has defined a set of rules for the landing and configuration screens of block themes.

All notification messages must be made through admin_notices.

Themes can add sub-menus in the Appearance tab, using WordPress’s standard design and corresponding functions. This also applies to data storage methods.

And three important elements are not allowed: importing demo content, external calls, or tracking affiliate links.

The Openverse search engine has included improvements in the filter for sensitive content, such as automatically excluding sensitive text within multimedia.

And finally, BuddyPress 12.0.0 “Nonno”, named after the famous Parisian pizzeria and after a year of work, launches this version of WordPress’s social networking plugin, complete with corresponding documentation and a backward compatibility plugin. This version becomes one of the most significant in its existence.

The Rewrites API resolves a ticket that had been pending for 10 years, allowing the generation of custom URLs.

It also includes a “members-only” option to create 100% private communities.

Among the new features, we also find Nouveau, the built-in theme compatible with Twenty Twenty-Four, a 100% block theme that allows you to build your own social network using only blocks.

And updates on global events.

On one hand, WordCamp Asia is going to open invitations for Contributor Day, which will be limited to 450 attendees.

On the other, WordCamp Europe has extended the deadline for speaker applications until January 15th, and has started the call for the city that will host WordCamp in 2025.

Finally, this podcast is distributed under the EUPL license. For more information and links, please visit WordPress Podcast .org or follow the content, also, in Catalan, Spanish, and French.

Thanks for listening, and until the next episode!


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