In episode 24 of the WordPress Briefing, the Project’s Executive Director reviews three big-picture goals for the year: Increased Gutenberg adoption, support of all open source alternatives, and stewarding the open source ethos.
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Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:00
Hello everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project. Some insight into the community that supports it and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go!
Josepha Haden Chomphosy 01:07
A couple of weeks ago, I published a post about the big picture goals for the WordPress project in 2022. As I was thinking through our planned releases for the year and looking out toward what would spell success for WordPress over the next three years, three things really lined up in both sets of answers for me.
Josepha Haden Chomphosy 01:23
I provided some detail on how we can work toward these goals in the post, which I will link for you in the show notes, but I also wanted to take some time to explain why I feel we have to work toward these goals this year. So these all build on one another. To refresh your memory of the three big focuses, they are one to drive adoption of the new editor in WordPress, support open source alternatives for site building necessities, and three, open source stewardship.
Josepha Haden Chomphosy 01:52
So the first one; is driving the adoption of the new WordPress editor. Early on in the start of the Gutenberg Project, folks could not go two days without hearing me talk about the phases of adoption and how those line up with the phases of Gutenberg, and who would need our support the most in each of those phases.
Josepha Haden Chomphosy 02:09
I have always believed that what we would be shipping at this point in our project would prove the plausible promise of what we were doing in phase one. That’s definitely what I’m seeing from what was shipped in 5.9, as well as what we plan to ship in May with 6.0. And the people who need the most support right now are absolutely our users, your clients, no matter whether they were not keeping up with WordPress developments or simply were waiting to see what all the fuss was about.
Josepha Haden Chomphosy 02:37
There will be people who look to you as someone who has been here a while to help them make sense of what they’re seeing. And what I find so exciting about this adoption, sort of, work in the WordPress project is that this is the time when we as practitioners of WordPress, no matter whether you are a designer or a developer or builder, business coach. This is the time when we get to guide others through the hardest parts of our learning processes.
Josepha Haden Chomphosy 03:07
The process of helping people to learn new technologies relies not only on your hard-won expertise but also on the belief that the future is worth fighting for. Enabling someone’s success is an investment in the future and investment for that person or for WordPress or your community. All investments are welcome here.
Josepha Haden Chomphosy 03:28
Fortunately, table stakes are just that you care. And speaking of future investments, the second focus is open source alternatives for site building necessities. So things like images, forms, stores, themes, etc. It literally just things you need to build a site. I would like to start by saying that I am completely aware of the fact that 99% of WordPress users will never care about open source freedoms and philosophies in the same way that WordPress maintainers and contributors care about open source freedoms and philosophies.
Josepha Haden Chomphosy 04:04
You could substitute the name of any other open source project right there, and the statement would still be true. And yet, I will always believe that people should have the rights and freedoms that open source brings to them even if they do not know they are there. And so it makes all the sense in the world to me that as a project and open source community, we should strive to make choosing Open Source as easy as possible.
Josepha Haden Chomphosy 04:33
And finally, open source stewardship is one of the focuses for this year. This one is obviously about supporting open source as a concept and maintaining WordPress as a project. But I also think that it is relevant to our current global circumstances. Open Source suddenly became very visible to the public eye last year following the Log4J vulnerability, and ever since then, I’ve been hearing consistent concern over how We make sure that WordPress is sustainable moving into the future. Fortunately, this is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. And I have been delighted to see so many community members bringing that conversation to the forefront.
Josepha Haden Chomphosy 05:14
There is a lot that is done in the WordPress project to keep us from the tragedy of the commons. But that work honestly never ends. Not only does it not end, but as we get bigger, there is more and more that we can and should be doing to keep us around for the long term. And, of course, for the keen readers of my posts, there’s a bonus focus.
Josepha Haden Chomphosy 05:39
The bonus focus is, of course, that WordPress turns 20 years old next year. This year, we will also be seeing some preparatory work for that major milestone as well.
Josepha Haden Chomphosy 05:56
So that brings us today to our small list of big things. There is a redesign of the News Page coming. We’ve been talking about this over on make.wordpress.org/design for a bit since like June of last year or something. But it’s coming in the next few weeks. I’ll share a link to the GitHub repo in case anyone has any specific things that they see as they are reading through all of our many news stories that come out on that particular page. I think it’s beautiful, and I’m very excited to take a look at it.
Josepha Haden Chomphosy 06:30
The second thing is that planning is underway for WordPress 6.0; that release that we’re doing in May. I’ll add the project page link to the show notes. I’ve had a few raised hands for that release squad. But if you’re interested in participating in the release, I encourage you to keep an eye out on make.wordpress.org/core for updates and any news about how to get involved.
Josepha Haden Chomphosy 06:53
And my third thing is actually that, in general, there are a lot of opportunities to contribute right now. There are discussions about projects, goals, and dreams happening all over the place. I’ll link in the show notes below the unofficial project “firehose” where you can see all the headlines and quickly find discussions that might be interesting to you.
Josepha Haden Chomphosy 07:18
And that, my friends, is your small list of big things. Thank you for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. I’m your host Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks.