The Month in WordPress: August 2021

I really believe in WordPress’ mission to democratize publishing. And I, for one, will never stop learning about what gives people more access to the software, and what makes the software more usable, and especially how we can combine usability with accessibility in a way that puts form and function on a level playing field.

That was Josepha Haden on the “The Art and Science of Accessibility” episode of the WP Briefing Podcast, talking about accessibility and exploring how it applies to the WordPress open source software. You will find that many of our updates from August 2021 tie in closely with the core principles of access, accessibility, and usability. Read on to find out more!

Join the 2021 WordPress Translation Day Celebrations in September

Join WordPress contributors around the world on WordPress Translation Day celebrations for the entire month of September! The sixth edition of #WPTranslationDay – which is a cross-team effort led by the Polyglots and Marketing Teams, has a host of fun programs aimed at helping WordPress speak all languages of the world. Want to join the fun? Here’s how.

Join your local translation event and collaborate on efforts to translate WordPress! Can’t find a local event in your area? Why don’t you organize one on your own?Join one of our global events from September 17-30! We have exciting sessions on polyglots tools and open source translation communities, to name a few.You can help translate WordPress to your own language, in your own time, this month! Here’s how!Share what you are translating using the #WPTranslationDay hashtag on social media, to build excitement around the event! Don’t forget to amplify posts about the event on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn!

 For more information, check out the translation day website and the Polyglots blog.

WordPress Release Updates

The Core Team commenced work on the next major release – WordPress 5.9. The team aims to ship some cool features such as intrinsic web design to blocks, improved block patterns, navigation menus, better design tools, edit flows for block themes, and a new interface for theme.json. Check out the WordPress 5.9 development cycle to know more. This release is set to go out in December 2021. The team is also working on shipping a minor release WordPress 5.8.1 –– its release candidate is already out and the final release will launch on September 8.

Want to contribute to WordPress core? Join the #core channel, follow the Core Team blog, and check out the team handbook. Don’t miss the Core Team chats on Wednesdays at 5 AM and 8 PM UTC. You can also help translate WordPress to your local language – and what better time to do it, than in September, during the translation month celebrations? Another fun way to contribute would be to share about WordPress 5.8 on social media!

Say Hello to Gutenberg Versions 11.2 and 11.3

We launched Gutenberg version 11.2 and version 11.3 this month. Version 11.2 adds customizing/color options to the search block, a flex layout for the group block, and a new button for creating posts as part of the publishing flow. Version 11.3 offers a new dimensions panel (replacing the spacing panel) with more styling options, dimensions control for the feature image block, and significant performance improvements for block inserters.

Want to get involved in building Gutenberg? Follow the Core Team blog, contribute to Gutenberg on GitHub, and join the #core-editor channel in the Make WordPress Slack. The “What’s next in Gutenberg” post offers more details on the latest updates. 

Get Excited about WordCamp US 2021

The biggest WordCamp in North America – WordCamp US 2021- is barely a month away. Get your (free) tickets, if you haven’t already! The organizing team has opened up calls for musicians, contributor stories, and media partners. Check out the event website and follow the event on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to stay updated on all that #WCUS news.

Important Announcements/Updates

Support for the Classic Editor plugin will be extended for a full year until 2022!The Themes Team published a feedback summary on the proposed requirement changes for WordPress theme review, and will soon be updating the handbook and review tools. You will find more context in their meeting notes.The Plugins Team corrected inaccurate plugin statistics in the plugin directory.Check out the results of the FSE Theme Design (theme.json) survey!

Feedback/Testing Requests from Contributor Teams

The Testing Team is requesting testing help for a few tickets and patches in WordPress. The team is also looking for volunteers to audit and update Core testing instructions across different Make sites.The Community Team shared a proposal on planning online-only recurring global do_action charity hackathons. Share your feedback by September 24.The Training Team is also exploring the possibility of adding learner achievements (on learn.wordpress.org) on WP Profiles and is requesting feedback from the community.Help the Marketing Team’s outreach research by filling out this 2 question survey on how you search for WordPress release information. If you have any favorite features from the latest release (WordPress 5.8) let the team know by completing this short form.Version 18.1 of WordPress for iOS and Android are now available for testing!

WordPress Event Updates

WordCamp Florianopolis 2021 was held on August 11-12, 2021. The event, which sold 390 tickets, had 11 speakers and 4 sponsors. Catch the event recap on YouTube!WordCamp Galicia 2021 is being held from September 30 – October 2, 2021! do_action Karnataka 2021 was held from August 7-15, 2021. Check out the recap!The Core Team organized a hallway hangout to compare the ‘experimental’ Gutenberg navigation feature with the built-in core feature. The team decided to wait until feature parity with core nav menus, to move the feature from experiments to the main plugin.The Diverse Speakers Training group (#WPDiversity) of the Community Team held their first “Allyship for WordPress Event Organizers” workshop on August 19, 2021. The event had 13 attendees from 6 countries who reported a 52% increase in preparedness to help create inclusive WordPress events. Stay tuned for their next workshop in November!

Further Reading

Don’t miss this blog post on Widgets in WordPress 5.8 and beyond!The Full Site Editing (FSE) Outreach program wrapped up its ninth challenge –– Handling HigherEd Headers, on September 1. Keep an eye out for test results and future testing call announcements!The Test Team is attempting to modernize PHPUnit tests for WordPress.The Accessibility Team is testing the navigation block for accessibility feedback.The Docs Team launched a new repository for tracking issues with WordPress documentation: https://github.com/WordPress/Documentation-Issue-TrackerThe Training Team finalized brand guidelines for learn.wordpress.org. The team is also working on setting up Micro courses for Learn.The Openverse Team is exploring Multistage docker builds as a solution to better set up waveforms for audio search results in the Openverse tool. 

Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it using this form

The following folks contributed to August’s Month in WordPress:  @evarlese @meher @nao @jillbinder @webcommsat

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