Jane Wells

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Homepage: http://wordpress.org/development


Posts by Jane Wells

WordPress for iPhone/iPad v2.6 Released

Attention Apple-gadget-owning WordPress users! Have you been using the WordPress iOS app for iPhone and iPad? Or maybe you tried it a while back and thought it wasn’t for you? Either way, the new release — v2.6 — will knock your socks off. Why? A bunch of reasons:

  • Video. Record, upload, attach, and play videos within the app. Yay for being able to catch your friends’ and co-workers’ most embarrassing shenanigans creative moments with iPhone video and publish them immediately for all the world to see on your WordPress site.
  • A total rewrite of the way local drafts are handled, to prevent the unintentional loss of your pending posts.
  • Autosave/post revisions. Bam! One of the “oh, thank goodness” features of the web app makes it into the iOS version.
  • Easier setup. Faster and easier process for adding your sites to the app.
  • Media Library. We’re gradually getting closer to the media management you’re used to in the web app.

There are also numerous bugfixes and performance enhancements in this release, so if you haven’t been using the app lately, you should consider giving it another try. I’m personally pretty excited to start using the iPhone version more often now that there are all these fixes and new features. Especially the video upload. You know, for those creative moments that make life fun. :)

You can read the full 2.6 release post on the WordPress for iOS blog, and can download v2.6 from iTunes/the app store. Happy mobile blogging!

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Not an iPhone user? We’ve still got your on-the-go back! Check out the WordPress apps for Android, Blackberry, and Nokia (beta). They’re all 100% GPL, of course, and we’re always looking for contributors to the development projects, so check the blogs if you have mobile dev skills and want to get involved.

WordPress Trademark Changes Hands

The WordPress community took a big step forward today when Matt announced that Automattic has donated the WordPress trademark to the non-profit WordPress Foundation. Moving forward, the Foundation will be responsible for safeguarding the trademarked name and logo from misuse toward the end of protecting WordPress and preventing confusion among people trying to figure out if a resource is “official” or not.

Summer of WordCamp

It’s been summer for about a week now. Whether you’re on vacation or burning the midnight oil, attending a local/nearby WordCamp is a great way to spend a weekend. Meet other WordPress users, developers, designers & consultants, learn a little something, maybe share a little of your own experience and knowledge, and break bread (or raise a toast) with new friends and collaborators. Here are the WordCamps scheduled for this summer, along with what I know about them.

July 3: WordCamp Germany – Berlin, Germany. I love it that they’re using BuddyPress for their event site. They have multiple tracks, and what looks to be a nice variety of sessions. It’s only a few days away, so if you’re thinking of going, get your tickets now!

July 10: WordCamp Boulder – Boulder, Colorado, USA. This was WordCamp Denver last year, but the organizers have decided to mix it up and go back and forth between Denver and Boulder, which also has a thriving tech community. This year the venue is the Boulder Theater (so pretty!), and there will sessions for bloggers and devs alike, plus a Genius Bar to help people get their WordPress sites all fixed up. The speaker lineup looks good, and I hear they’re pumping up the wifi this year. I’ll be there, likely hunched over a notebook with Lisa Sabin-Wilson (author of WordPress for Dummies and BuddyPress for Dummies) to talk about the WordPress User Handbook project, and/or hunched over a sketchbook with Kevin Conboy (designed the new lighter “on” state for admin menus in WordPress 3.0) to work out a new default WordCamp.org theme (using BuddyPress). You can still get tickets!

July 17–18: WordCamp UK- Manchester, England, UK. The roving WordCamp UK will be in Manchester this year, and is probably the closest to BarCamp style of all the WordCamps, using a wiki to plan some speakers/sessions and organizing the rest ad-hoc on the first day of the event. I’ll be attending this one as well, and am looking forward to seeing WordPress lead developer Peter Westwood again. I’m also looking forward to meeting some core contributors for the first time in person, like Simon Wheatley and John O’Nolan. Mike Little, co-founder of WordPress, is on the organizing team of WordCamp UK. Tickets on sale now!

July 24: WordCamp Nigeria – Lagos, Nigeria. Their site seems to have a virus, so no link from here, but if you’re in Nigeria and interested in attending/getting involved, a quick Google search will get you to the organizers.

August 7: WordCamp Houston – Houston, TX, USA. Houston, Texas, birthplace of WordPress! Fittingly, Matt Mullenweg will be there to give the keynote. WordCamp Houston is running three tracks — Business, Blogger and Developer — in recognition of the fact that people who are interested in using WordPress for their business may not actually be bloggers or developers themselves. This used to get labeled as a “CMS” track at previous WordCamps (including NYC 2009), but with WordPress 3.0 supporting CMS functionality out of the box, “Business” is a much more appropriate label. Who wants to bet on if there will be BBQ for lunch?

August 7 : WordCamp Iowa – Des Moines, Iowa, USA. Another placeholder page. Happening, not happening? I’ve emailed the organizer and will update this post once I know more.

August 7–8: WordCamp New Zealand – Auckland, New Zealand. They haven’t announced this year’s speakers or topics, but they’ve been running polls to get community input into the program. Of note: in 2011 WordCamp New Zealand will be shifting seasons and will be in February instead, when the weather is nicer.

August 20–22: WordCamp Savannah – Savannah, Georgia, USA. Disclaimer: I am completely biased about Savannah, since I’m one of the organizers. This will be the first WordCamp in Savannah, and it’s being held at the Savannah College of Art and Design River Club, an awesome venue that used to be a cotton warehouse or something like that. Since Savannah doesn’t really have a cohesive WordPress community yet (though a fair number of people from Savannah attended WordCamp Atlanta earlier this year), this WordCamp is aimed squarely at building a local community. We’ll have a local meet-and-greet, regular sessions with visiting speakers (lots of core contributors coming to this one, plus Matt), and on Sunday it will be combination unconference/genius bar/collaborative workspace. Oh, and a potluck! We’ll also be running a pre-WordCamp workshop for people who have never used WordPress but want to get started, so that they’ll be able to follow the presentations and conversations littered with WordPress-specific vocabulary over the weekend. Ticket sales just opened, so get your tickets now.

For a schedule of all upcoming WordCamps, visit wordcamp.org. The autumn schedule is already packed! If you don’t see WordCamp in your area and are interested in organizing one, get more information and let us know.

3.0 RC3

A weekend present, in haiku:

Last call; final bugs
Itch, scratch, contort; calmly wait
For now: RC3

That’s right. What will hopefully be the final release candidate, RC3, is now available for download and testing.

Plugin developers: test your plugins!

WordPress 3.0 Release Candidate

As Matt teased earlier, the first release candidate (RC1) for WordPress 3.0 is now available. What’s an RC? An RC comes after beta and before the final launch. It means we think we’ve got everything done: all features finished, all bugs squashed, and all potential issues addressed. But, then, with over 20 million people using WordPress with a wide variety of configurations and hosting setups, it’s entirely possible that we’ve missed something. So! For the brave of heart, please download the RC and test it out (but not on your live site unless you’re extra adventurous). Some things to know:

  • Custom menus are finished! Yay!
  • Multi-site is all set.
  • The look of the WordPress admin has been lightened up a little bit, so you can focus more on your content.
  • There are a ton of changes, so plugin authors, please test your plugins now, so that if there is a compatibility issue, we can figure it out before the final release.
  • Plugin and theme *users* are also encouraged to test things out. If you find problems, let your plugin/theme authors know so they can figure out the cause.
  • There are a couple of known issues.

If you are testing the RC and come across a bug, you can:

We hope you enjoy playing with the 3.0 RC as much as we’ve enjoyed making it for you. Enjoy!

Download WordPress 3.0 RC1

WordCamp San Francisco 2010

A week from today on May 1, hundreds of WordPress users, developers, designers and general enthusiasts will descend upon San Francisco for the 4th annual WordCamp SF. Since that first WordCamp in 2006, back when WordPress was on version 2.0 (Duke), the number of people using WordPress to power their web publishing — from personal blogs to large-scale commercial sites — has grown by millions. It’s no wonder this year’s event is going to be so great.

If you’re unfamiliar with WordCamps, here’s the skinny: the San Francisco event is the flagship, put together each year under the direction of WordPress co-founder and lead developer Matt Mullenweg, who traditionally reports on the “State of the Word” and assembles a lineup of speakers that have inspired him over the past year. This year’s lineup includes luminaries such as Richard Stallman, the father of Free Software, best-selling author Scott Berkun, and Salon.com co-founder Scott Rosenberg. As the final speaker list is finalized, the remaining speakers will be added to the WordCamp SF website, but a surprise or two is still possible.

Though the main event is on Saturday, May 1, there are additional days of WordPress goodness in store. Saturday, May 1 will be the main conference with scheduled speakers. There will be keynotes, session tracks for both bloggers/end-users and developers, and lightning talks to provide a broad mix of content, followed by a raging afterparty. Sunday, May 2 will shift location and tone, with a low-key developers’ unconference for the super-code-focused attendees. May 3 and 4 are conference-free, but a WordPress core contributor in-person code sprint will span those two days, bringing together core contributors old and new from around the globe for two days of intense hacking (and let’s face it, 3.0 bug fixes).

If you’re in the Bay Area, or can be, and want to attend WordCamp San Francisco, go get your ticket today!

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Other Upcoming WordCamps

It’s definitely WordCamp season; just check out the growing list of upcoming WordCamps over the next couple of months! If you don’t see a WordCamp near you listed here, check the rest of the schedule at WordCamp.org. In the meantime, don’t forget that many WordCamps post video of their presentations on WordPress.tv.

April 24 (today!) – WordCamp Orange County
Irvine, CA USA

April 29 – WordCamp Nashville
Nashville, TN USA

May 1 – WordCamp San Francisco
San Francisco, CA USA

May 8 – WordCamp Paris
Paris, France

May 8 – WordCamp Argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina

May 8 – WordCamp Chile
Santiago, Chile

May 15–16 – WordCamp Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark

May 15 – WordCamp Victoria
Victoria, BC Canada

May 21–22 – WordCamp Italy
Milan, Italy

May 22 – WordCamp Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

May 22–23 – WordCamp Raleigh
Raleigh, North Carolina USA

May 29–30 – WordCamp Fayetteville
Fayetteville, Arkansas USA

May 29 – WordCamp Yokohama
Yokohama, Japan

June 5–6 – WordCamp Chicago
Chicago, Illinois USA

June 12 – WordCamp Reno-Tahoe
Reno, Nevada USA

June 12 – WordCamp Vancouver
Vancouver, Canada

June 18 – WordCamp Catania
Catania, Italy

June 19 – WordCamp Columbus
Columbus, Ohio USA

Coming up on Beta 2: Sprint!

Early next week, we’re hoping to release the 2nd beta release of WordPress 3.0 on our journey toward the final version. There are still over 200 bugs in the 3.0 milestone, and we can use all the help we can get on fixing these problems. If you’re a developer, take a look at the list of bugs that still need fixing in 3.0. Write a patch, or test and give feedback on someone else’s. The tickets around custom post types and taxonomies are especially in need of help. Every little bit helps, so if you’re a developer who’s never contributed to core before, maybe now is the right time! Check out our information on contributing to WordPress core, and head over to Trac to see if there’s a problem you might know how to fix. If you get stuck, need collaborators, or have a question about the best way to approach a fix, hop into the dev channel on IRC at irc.freenode.net, channel #wordpress-dev. Core developers will be around over the weekend working on bugs themselves, so if you’re trying to help, don’t be afraid to ask questions. With your help, maybe by Monday we can knock the bug count down to half of what it is right now. How great would that be? (Answer: pretty great)

The sprint will go full force until Monday afternoon, when the lead developers and core committers will all stop to take a breath and look at the remaining bug reports to see how we did over the weekend, so don’t wait! And thanks!

GSoC Application Deadline is Today!

The deadline for students applying for Google Summer of Code this year is today, at 19:00 UTC. That’s about 3 hours from now. Still working on your application? Double check your time zone here. No late applications will be accepted.

There are a lot of potential projects on our Ideas list, so if you’ve been hemming and hawing over whether or not to apply, this is your last chance for this year. We have great people lined up to mentor the students, including most of the WordPress lead developers, some dedicated core contributors, plugin developers, the BuddyPress lead developers, etc. Google is providing a great opportunity for both students and the open source projects that act as mentoring organizations (like WordPress), so don’t pass it up if you’re an eligible student.

You can’t win if you don’t play, right? Five thousand bucks for two months of coding over the summer with WordPress hotshots. I know a lot of people that would love that deal. Oh, and hey, student girl wonders of WordPress-land: why haven’t you applied yet?

Apply now! (Don’t forget to use our application template.)

WordPress 3.0, Beta 1

Remember when I posted earlier about the Twitter account, and I said that hopefully you’d find out later today what has been keeping us all so busy? Beta testers, this is your moment: the WordPress 3.0 Beta 1 has arrived!

This is an early beta. This means there are a few things we’re still finishing. We wanted to get people testing it this weekend, so we’re releasing it now rather than waiting another week until everything is finalized and polished. There’s a ton of stuff going on in 3.0, so this time we’re giving you a list of things to check out, so that we can make sure people are testing all the things that need it.

You Should Know:

  • The custom menus system (Appearance > Menus) is not quite finished. In Beta 2, the layout will be different and a bunch of the functionality will be improved, but we didn’t want to hold things up for this one screen. You can play with making custom menus, and report bugs if you find them, but this is not how the final screen will look/work, so don’t get attached to it.
  • The merge! Yes, WordPress and WordPress MU have merged. This does not mean that you can suddenly start adding a bunch of new blogs from within your regular WordPress Dashboard. If you’re interested in testing the Super Admin stuff associated with multiple sites, you’ll need some simple directions to get started.
  • We’re still fiddling with a few small things in the UI, as we were focused on getting the more function-oriented code finished first. For example, we’re getting a new icon for the Super Admin section.

Things to test:

  • Play with the new default theme, Twenty Ten, including the custom background and header options.
  • Custom Post Type functionality has been beefed up. It’s really easy to add new types, so do that and see how it looks!
  • WordPress MU users should test the multiple sites functionality to make sure nothing broke during the merge.

Already have a test install that you want to switch over to the beta? Try the beta tester plugin.

Testers, don’t forget to use the wp-testers mailing list to discuss bugs you encounter.

We hope you like it! And if you don’t, well, check back when beta 2 is ready. :)

Download the WordPress 3.0 Beta 1 now!

Tweet, Tweet!

This post is about the @WordPress Twitter account, so if you don’t use Twitter, or don’t care about Twitter, then feel free to take the time you might have spent reading this post to go play outside (or an equivalent) instead.

Okay, so, Twitter! When all those apps started popping up using the Twitter API, things like automatically following anyone who followed you and sending an automatic Direct Message seemed like good ideas. We’re all friends, right? Wrong. That auto-follow bit us hard, and the huge amount of spam the account gets means that it’s been nearly impossible to monitor legitimate messages from WordPress users and developers who need to be pointed to a help resource. We’re sorry! Just as we needed to get the Ideas Forum under control* so that it could become a more useful resource for the community, we needed to get rid of the spam clogging our Twitter arteries. Except there was no easy way to do it.

We had wound up following over 50,000 people. If someone went to the @WordPress profile page on Twitter to see the stream of updates from people we followed, almost none of it had anything to do with WordPress or the community. Diet pills, Twitter scams, and multi-posted spam messages were the norm. Yuck! Who else wishes there was Akismet for Twitter? Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to clear this stuff out quickly (mass unfollows trigger their TOS alert, so it’s not surprising). I even contacted Twitter directly to see what the options might be, and it was suggested we use a script to clear the account. To be clear: Twitter flagged our account so that when the script was run they wouldn’t mark us as spammers for violating the TOS with a mass unfollow. We communicated with them beforehand, and the use of scripts to do this is not encouraged. Twitter was doing us a nice favor to help us get our house in order. Thanks, Twitter! Last night I ran the script and removed everyone. Extreme, but in good cause, right?

We’re now starting to re-follow real people from the WordPress community. There will be no more auto-follow. If you are a WordPress developer, designer, blogger, fan site, whatever — and think your tweets should appear in the @WordPress updates stream, then send an @ reply to us and we can add you to the new list (assuming you’re not hawking diet pills, free iPads or ways to get a million followers). This way, people who are new to WordPress and go to check us out on Twitter will (hopefully) get a sense of the vibrant community that we have. People who send @ messages to us won’t (hopefully) wonder indefinitely why they were ignored, because without all the spam, maybe we can use Twitter as it was intended to be used, as another channel of communication.

And for anyone who uses Qwitter and thinks @WordPress stopped loving them because of the last tweet they posted before the script ran… sorry! It wasn’t like that, we swear! It would be nice if the script could have done a bulk DM before the removal, but nope (otherwise we’d have included a message about this). So trust us, we still like you! And if you haven’t already been re-followed, please don’t take it personally… just send an @reply to @WordPress (tell us how you use WordPress!) and we’ll try to get you re-added soon. Later today (hopefully) you’ll find out what’s been keeping us so busy!

*Have you noticed? We cleared out thousands of old threads, added categorization, and will try to keep it to under a hundred open idea threads at a time so that they can be managed in a timely fashion. Check it out and rate some of the new ideas today!