In Case You Missed It – Issue 26

In Case You Missed It Featured Image
photo credit: Night Moves(license)

There’s a lot of great WordPress content published in the community but not all of it is featured on the Tavern. This post is an assortment of items related to WordPress that caught my eye but didn’t make it into a full post.

Birgit Olzem Could Use the Community’s Help

Birgit Olzem has encountered some financial hard times due to multiple illnesses and paying for acupuncture treatments and osteopathic therapy which are not covered by her insurance. Olzem fell ill earlier this year which prevented her from generating income as a self-employed person.

Olzem has translated WordPress, compiled release packages for de_DE, organized Meetups, WordCamps, answered support questions and has been part of different make/WordPress teams, some of them as a team-rep. She’s also contributed to WordCamps as a Speaker, Volunteer and Contributor day team-lead.

To learn more about her story and to donate, please read her request to the community.

Liam Dempsey’s Take on Gutenberg

Liam Dempsey describes what he likes and doesn’t like about the new WordPress editor.

Defending the Right to Publish Open Source Software in the UK

The EFF and Open Rights Group have submitted comments to the UK government defending the right to publish open source software.

Moreover, source code is a form of written creative expression, and open source code is a form of public discourse. Regulating its publication under anti-money-laundering provisions fails to honor the free expression rights of software creators in the United Kingdom, and their collaborators and users in the rest of the world.

Why Is It Important to Give Back to Open Source?

JC Mae Palmes on Twitter asked, why is it important to give back to the WordPress community? Here are a few responses. To see all of the responses, check out this Twitter thread

WordCamp US Speaker Selection Process

If you’re wondering how speakers are being selected for WordCamp US this year, check out this post by the Programming Team. The team is using a new process that includes, limiting the number of submissions per speaker to two instead of unlimited, reviewing submissions based on the organizer’s sphere of experience, and using blind reviews. Speakers who are chosen are scheduled to be notified by the end of this month.

An Easy Way to Make an Impact in The WordPress Community

David Bisset shared the following idea on Twitter and while a few companies have started doing this, I think it will catch on with individuals more than businesses.

That’s it for issue twenty-six. If you recently discovered a cool resource or post related to WordPress, please share it with us in the comments.

WordPress Spanish Translation Team Now has Meta Sites, Apps, and Top 200 Plugins 100% Translated

The Spanish WordPress community hit a remarkable milestone with translations this week. Polyglots volunteers have now translated the meta sites, WordPress apps, and the top 200 plugins at 100% completion, with no pending translations to review.

The size of the team is a major factor in reaching this milestone. According to stats Naoko Takano shared at WordPress Translation Day 4 last month, Spanish is the locale with the most translation contributors (2,863), followed by German (2,399), Italian (2,190), Dutch (1,584), and Russian (1,515). It is also one of the top non-English locales installed, with 5.0% of all WordPress sites using the translation. WordPress.com reports similar numbers, where Spanish is the second most popular language for blogs at 4.7%.

Rocío Valdivia, a Community Wrangler at WordCamp Central who lives in Spain, gave us a look at what is behind the team’s extraordinary growth and momentum. She identified several key factors that have contributed to their success in working efficiently and sharing useful information among team members during the past 2-3 years.

“We created a Slack instance some years ago, but at the beginning it was common for people to join and ask for support questions,” Valdivia said. “Now we have some protocols: the general channel is an only-read channel. If someone ask for support, we send them with a kind predef to the es.wordpress.org forums, where they get answers in a few hours. There are no questions in the forums waiting for longer than six hours ever, as we have a very active support team that coordinates in the #support channel of our Slack.”

Valdivia said that removing the noise of support requests has given the team very productive channels for translations, plugin and theme translations, meetups (where Meetup organizers share tips and resources using a shared Google drive folder), and WordCamps (where WC organizers share info, tips, answer questions in Spanish, and share resources like email templates.)

“Besides all of this, we’ve worked very well passing the philosophy of the project to the new members from the most experienced ones,” Valdivia said. “For example, people do very soft transitions from one lead organizer to the next one.”

Although some WordCamp attendees have complained in the past that not much is accomplished at Contributor Days, the Spanish community has had success using these opportunities to transfer knowledge to new leaders and contributors. The community hosted 10 WordCamps in 2018 and Valdivia estimates they will have 9-10 in 2019. WordCamp Barcelona 2018 and 2019 had 400 attendees and 180 people at their Contributor Days. WC Irun 2019 had 220 attendees and 100 participants at Contributor Day. WordCamp Madrid 2019 sold out with 600 attendees and approximately 200 participated in Contributor Day.

Although the Spanish community has experienced contributors across several WordPress.org teams, such as WPTV, Community, Support, and Polyglots, Valdivia said they are a bit thin on Core contributors.

“We’re lacking people with experience contributing frequently to Core,” Valdivia said. “We have some of them who have contributed several times, but still need more people with more involvement to be able to pass all this info to newcomers.”

Strong local meetups are another factor in the Spanish community’s success at keeping translations up-to-date. In addition to the largest team of translators in the world of WordPress, Spain has the second highest number of meetup groups and events per month. Spain is running 64 local meetups, with a population of 46 million people, compared to 201 groups in the U.S., which has 7x the population size (327 million).

“The language barrier has been an issue for years, as not everyone speaks English and not everyone feels confident following conversations in English,” Valdivia said. “So, being able to train our own teams of contributors in our own language and having our own shared resources and channels, has been very useful.”

WPWeekly Episode 356 – Gutenberg, Governance, and Contributing to WordPress with Jonny Harris

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Jonny Harris. Jonny describes how he discovered WordPress and some of the core projects he’s been working on including, Site Health Checks, fatal error protection, and Multisite. We discuss WordPress’ focus on users vs developers in recent years, Jonny’s experience contributing to core, and his thoughts on a WordPress governance model.

Stories Discussed:

WordPress Is Borked So Enjoy This Glorious Plant That’s Taking Over the Internet

WP Engine Launches DevKit Open Beta

Drupal Gutenberg 1.0 Released, Now Ready for Production Sites

BuddyPress 5.0 to Update Password Control to Match WordPress

Transcript:

Episode 356 Transcript

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, June 19th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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Pika Project Launches New JavaScript CDN to Serve Modern, ESM Packages

Pika CDN logo

Fred Schott, a software developer and former Google employee on the Polymer team, has launched a new CDN for his Pika project. Schott’s mission with Pika is “to make modern JavaScript more accessible by making it easier to find, publish, install, and use modern packages on npm.” Pika provides a searchable catalog of “module” packages available on npm – packages that use the more compact ES module syntax (ESM), which result in smaller Javascript bundles.

npm currently lists 59,851 ES modules. This makes up approximately 7% of total packages on npm are exporting an ES module, but the number is steadily increasing:

Pika makes it easy to search for these packages and the results will only include those that have a defined “module” entry point in their package.json manifest. Each listing consolidates the relevant information on one page, highlighting the important details.

One of the chief advantages of using ES modules is that they run natively on the web, without the need for a bundler. In a post titled “A Future Without Webpack,” Schott contends that JavaScript developers are “so steeped in the world of bundlers” that they overlook the possibilities of using ESM dependencies that run directly on the web:

Over the last several years, JavaScript bundling has morphed from a production-only optimization into a required build step for most web applications. Whether you love this or hate it, it’s hard to deny that bundlers have added a ton of new complexity to web development – a field of development that has always taken pride in its view-source, easy-to-get-started ethos.

@pika/web is an attempt to free web development from the bundler requirement. In 2019, you should use a bundler because you want to, not because you need to.

Schott created @pika/web to make it easy for developers to use ES modules, even when they don’t have compatible dependencies. It provides an install-time tool that is not exactly a build tool or a bundler but works to output web-native npm dependencies into a single ESM .js file:

@pika/web checks your package.json manifest for any “dependencies” that export a valid ESM “module” entry point, and then installs them to a local web_modules/ directory. @pika/web works on any ESM package, even ones with ESM & Common.js internal dependencies.

Installed packages run in the browser because @pika/web bundles each package into a single, web-ready ESM .js file. For example: The entire “preact” package is installed to web_modules/preact.js. This takes care of anything bad that the package may be doing internally, while preserving the original package interface.

Here’s a demo of how that works:

This week Schott announced the availability of a new Pika CDN for delivering modern ES module packages. It uses the pikapkg/web package builder to work with any ESM package and the CDN will automagically handle any non-ESM dependencies of that package. Pika CDN automatically detects the visitor’s browser and serves JS that is optimized to the environment, eliminating polyfills and transpiler bloat wherever possible.

“Pika CDN leverages your browser’s natural caching abilities to give your pages faster dependency load times, especially on first visit,” Schott said. “0ms first-loads are even possible (for your dependencies at least) if all packages have been seen before.

“With our CDN, package authors can distribute more modern, unminified packages without worrying about how to serve them directly. Instead, our nifty package-builder automatically resolves each package — and any legacy sub-dependencies — into a single, minified, ready-to-import JavaScript file.”

Schott recently left his position at Ripple to work full-time on Pika, a project that he believes will move the JavaScript ecosystem forward.

“Leaving my team was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, but I know that I’m needed here,” he said. “I’m so excited to be a part of the future of the web, whatever it ends up looking like.”

Pika is looking for corporate sponsors. For now, Schott is funding the server costs using Patreon.