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WordPress Foundation

Posted January 22, 2010 by Jen. Filed under Meta.

It is with extremely great pleasure that I point you to the first post at the new WordPress Foundation site. Not only am I excited about the things that will happen under the auspices of the Foundation, I’m excited to see a site running the 3.0 development version and the nascent theme called 2010. Go check it out for yourself.

2010 Open Source Design Plans

Posted January 13, 2010 by Jen. Filed under Community, User Interface.

2010 is the year we dive into open source design. We’ve dipped our toes in this pool before (icon contest, graphic design component for Trac tickets, header refresh contest, etc.), but this year we’re going to cannonball and make a big splash. Here’s what you need to know if you want to get involved.

A list for all seasons. Developers have the wp-hackers mailing list to discuss core and plugin code. Sometimes UI/UX stuff comes up and gets discussed there, but there is a whole universe of discussion around navigation labels, gradients, button styling, layouts, alignment, etc. that would be clutter on wp-hackers. Designers need a list to call their own, and now we have one. You can sign up for the wp-ui list to discuss ways to improve the interface or user experience of WordPress, and to discuss progress on design-related projects for the open source project, like the design challenges we’re going to have.

Design Challenges. We learned a lot from the icon design and header refresh contests, and we want to do these kind of open design challenges on a regular basis to give UI/UX designers who want to contribute to the WordPress open source project more opportunities to do so. If we could do one per month, that would be ideal, keeping the challenges relatively bite-sized to allow potential contributors an easy way to get involved at first. As each challenge is posted, people can use the list to bounce ideas off each other and work toward optimal solutions. I’m hoping the design challenges will evolve to be less contest and more collaboration. We’ll announce the first one before the end of January, so if you’re interested, please sign up for the list! (Hint: one will likely be a touch up to the Right Now dashboard module, to improve the information design, and there will be a couple of screen layout challenges coming up as well.)

Distributed Usability Testing. We started to try this out last year, and several dozen usability professionals volunteered to help get the program going, but a combination of scheduling and infrastructure issues combined to stall the progress. Having the “UI/UX contributor team” infrastructure in place, starting with the mailing list, will make it much easier to get this project going again.

Chit-chat. The weekly developer chats in IRC at #wordpress-dev have been very productive. We’ve created an IRC room at #wordpress-ui on irc.freenode.net so that we can have the same kind of “water cooler” for UI/UX contributors as for core code contributors. In addition to being a place where you can drop in and discuss core UI/UX (note: this room will not be a place to discuss the design of blog themes, it’s to discuss the design of the WordPress application itself), we’ll set up a weekly chat. Choosing a day and time for the chats will probably be the first discussion on the mailing list.

A blog of our own. Once again, taking a page from the code contributor infrastructure, we’ll set up a blog for UI/UX updates, announcements, progress reports, etc. This will be on wporg.ibadboy.net in the nearish future, and will be announced to the mailing list when it is live.

So, if you want to become a contributor to core WordPress by using your design skills, join the wp-ui mailing list and get ready for a fun year!

WordPress 2.9.1

Posted January 4, 2010 by Ryan Boren. Filed under Releases.

After over a million downloads of WordPress 2.9 and lots of feedback from all of you, we’re releasing WordPress  2.9.1.  This release addresses a handful of minor issues as well as a rather annoying problem where scheduled posts and pingbacks are not processed correctly due to incompatibilities with some hosts.  If any of these issues affect you, give 2.9.1 a try.  Download 2.9.1 or upgrade automatically from the Tools->Upgrade menu in your blog’s admin area.

Early 2010 WordCamps

Posted by Jen. Filed under WordCamp.

Rested up from the holidays? I hope so, because the new year has begun and a lot is going to be happening with WordPress in 2010, and you definitely want to be a part of it. Later this week the scope for version 3.0 (featuring the addition of MU functionality to the WordPress codebase) will be decided in the IRC developer chat*, based on feedback provided by users like you. But it’s no fun to live by IRC alone, which is why we love WordCamps. Attending a WordCamp gives you a chance to meet people in your local community who are working with WordPress, as well as core contributors, theme designers, plugin developers, Codex writers, support forum moderators and other WordPress volunteers who’ve made WordPress what it is today. Add this New Year’s Resolution to your 2010 list if it’s not on there already: Attend a WordCamp, meet at least 5 new local people, learn something new, and if you have the chance, buy a drink for someone who’s volunteered their time and expertise to the WordPress open source project. To help you keep your resolution, here is a list of the upcoming WordCamps for the next three months, followed by what I know so far about each one.

January 8–9: WordCamp Atlanta
January 23: WordCamp Boston
January 30: WordCamp Greece in Thessaloniki
January 30: WordCamp Indonesia in Jakarta
February 27: WordCamp Fukuoka
March 6–7: WordCamp Ireland in Kilkenny
March 27–28: WordCamp Toronto

NORTH AMERICA

January 8–9: WordCamp Atlanta. First WordCamp of the year, and it’s already sold out — twice! They changed to a bigger venue based on demand, from Georgia Tech to the Atlanta campus of Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). They’re still letting people onto the waitlist, if you’re interested. A guaranteed way to get in would be to sponsor the event, and they’re taking last-minute sponsors right now. Atlanta will have sessions on Friday evening and all day Saturday. I’ll be opening the Saturday program with WordPress Resolutions: What to Expect in 2010. After a day of design, development and content track sessions, Lead Developer Mark Jaquith will take the closing slot for a Town Hall-style Q&A. The attendee list (follow link, scroll down) includes a number of WordPress core contributors, theme/plugin developers, and support providers as well as proof that Atlanta has a strong WordPress user base.

January 23: WordCamp Boston. I think WordCamp Boston is trying to one-up every WordCamp the organizers have been to, including the awesome NYC from November, and it looks like they might succeed. From Doc Searls and David Weinberger as keynote speakers to the multiple-track, unconference and Ignite sessions to the sweet-looking venue and the party plans, this one has got it going on. I credit it in part to the fact that they are one of the few WordCamps to follow the advice of having an organizing team of more than just 2 or 3 people, so the work is better distributed. I see a number of familiar names on the attendee list, but even more that I don’t know, so I’m looking forward to meeting the Boston WordPress community. They’re still selling tickets, so if you’re in the northeast, you should try to make it. I’ll be at this one also, talking about how the merge with MU will affect the WordPress admin (by then we should have started figuring it out!).

March 27–28: WordCamp Toronto. The last two Toronto WordCamps have been really good. I heard there would be one in March, but their site right now is just taking emails for notification. I’ve contacted the organizer to see what’s up, and he says the site will likely go live this week. They’re looking for volunteers to help organize this year’s event, so if you’re interested, it would be a great opportunity to get involved. Believe me, volunteering at a WordCamp is one of the best ways to make sure you meet a lot of other attendees.

ASIA

January 30: WordCamp Indonesia. WordCamp Indonesia will be in Jakarta again this year. I love how they worded the beginning of their sessions page. “Come in, we’ll get you breakfast and coffee, you’ll register, there’ll be networking. It’ll be great.” There will be a single track of sessions, but there are several time slots set aside for ad-hoc discussion and breakout sessions.

February 27: WordCamp Fukuoka. WordCamp Fukuoka is just getting its site up, too, so check back periodically a little later for more information. One of their visiting speakers will be Noel Jackson, developer of the Press This bookmarklet as well as themes like P2 and Monotone/Duotone.

EUROPE

January 30: WordCamp Greece. WordCamp Greece will be held in Thessaloniki, and they expect about 100-150 people to attend.The program includes regular sessions on the usual topics (how-to, programming, SEO, multi-language sites, etc) as well as “QuickRounds,” which will showcase Greek projects based on WordPress. I’m especially intrigued by the “WordPress vs. Expression Engine” session. Whenever people compare different publishing platforms, it’s interesting to see which features they highlight. I hope someone gets video from this one and posts it to the WordCamp section of WordPress.tv.

March 6–7: WordCamp Ireland. WordCamp Ireland will be in Kilkenny, and for such a geographically small country, it’s got an impressive list of speakers, including Donncha O Caoimh, lead developer of WordPress MU. The program includes three tracks: Intro, Blogger, and Developer, and I think this will be the first WordCamp I’ve heard of that is deliberately family-friendly, with on-site child care. They’re also going to have a charging station for mobile devices, which is clever. It’s not confirmed yet, but I think I’ll be at this one, too.

If you want to attend a WordCamp but don’t know of one near you, check out WordCamp.org for the official list (updated frequently). That’s also where you would start if you wanted to organize a WordCamp in your area.

*Developer chats are held Thursdays at 21:00 UTC in the #wordpress-dev channel at irc.freenode.com.

See Also:

Want to follow the code? There’s a development P2 blog and you can track active development in the Trac timeline that often has 20–30 updates per day.

Want to find an event near you? Check out the WordCamp schedule and find your local Meetup group!

For more WordPress news, check out the WordPress Planet or subscribe to the WP Briefing podcast.

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