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WordPress celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2023, marking two decades of powering over 40% of websites. Over the past year, the open-source CMS saw significant improvements to its editor Gutenberg, default themes, innovative new tools like Playground, and a growing contributor community.

A portion of that community gathered in Madrid to recap the milestone year for WordPress and unveil future plans.

Kicking off the annual keynote, WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy highlighted reasons for optimism across the open-source project she has served for close to a decade.

She pointed to strong indications of a welcoming and inclusive community, noting leadership from underrepresented groups in the recent WordPress 6.4 release. Haden Chomphosy said witnessing diverse collaboration across global timezones filled her with “hope for the future of WordPress and the web and the world.”

This spirit of “shared responsibility” has powered WordPress’s first 20 years, she continued. She predicted it may fuel the next 20 as well if nurtured properly.

Community Milestones in 2023

  • 70 WordCamps held across 33 countries, more than double 2021’s number
  • Over 2,500 event organizers powered 3,300+ WordPress gatherings
  • 1,339 new contributors joined the project

Kicking off the project’s third decade, Mullenweg described feeling like a “proud parent” looking back on WordPress’s progress from a simple blogging engine to run over 40% of all websites. He pointed to record-breaking WordCamp attendance in Seville as evidence of the community reconnecting post-pandemic.

This year saw 70 WordCamps held across 33 countries, combined with hundreds of other local WordPress gatherings. Mullenweg gave special attention to education-focused events preparing future generations.

Updating standalone projects, Mullenweg noted CC-licensed creative resource Openverse won an open infrastructure award from Open Education this year. The WordPress Showcase at showcase.wordpress.org also relaunched to highlight sites demonstrating scalability.

Gutenberg Editor Enhancements

  • Finalized Customization phase allowing full site building with patterns
  • Real-time collaboration prototype available in plugin version, exploring workflows
  • Significantly improved editing and typing speeds, at least 2-3x faster
  • New formatting options like footnotes added
  • “Interactivity API” for instant front-end performance, demo at wpmovies.dev
  • Custom block fields now leverage custom fields more intuitively

As Gutenberg passes the Customization phase and sets sights on Collaboration, lead architect Matias Ventura gave attendees a peak at the editor’s impressive roadmap. The team continues honing the writing experience with distraction-free modes and writing flow tweaks. These will become “core offerings” according to Ventura – indicating mature tools ready for the spotlight.

Ventura also teased major workflow unlocks for site building. A new “Zoom Out” mode steps back to enable high-level site structure editing with patterns. Meanwhile, patterns themselves gain advanced flexibility – designers can let users customize individual pattern text yet retain control over global styles. Streamlined interfaces for swapping pattern sections as well as segmenting style variations demonstrate Gutenberg’s workflow depth.

Excitingly, Ventura revealed upcoming bridges between developer-friendly custom fields and easy to use blocks. Without needing custom blocks, standard components like headings can connect directly to custom fields. This affords creators intuitive tools while leveraging custom fields flexible storage.

Performance and speed also grab attention in Ventura’s update. An editor speed tracker helps polish the interface with every Gutenberg commit. For visitors, the upcoming Interactivity API allows instant front-end performance rivaling SPAs.

With these strong workflow integrations, admin upgrades, and performance boosts, Gutenberg seems set to hit its stride as WordPress’s primary interface. The editor has matured greatly since its early days – further growth appears rapid.

Exciting New Innovations

  • Playground browser-based experimentation tool sees rapid user growth after updates like live plugin previews, syncing with local dev, and storing playgrounds locally

Embracing AI Possibilities

  • Early prototype using natural language to generate Playground environments
  • Automated State of WordPress translations to spread information

Focus On Data Liberation

  • Initiative to provide first-party migration tools from other CMSs into WordPress
  • Goal to eliminate lock-in and friction when switching platforms

Other Highlights

  • Updated WordPress Showcase at showcase.wordpress.org highlighting sites built with WordPress at all scales
  • Revamped Accessibility Team to grow that vital work

2024 Events

  • WordCamp Asia happening March 9th, 2023 in Taipei
  • WordCamp US set for Portland, Oregon in 2023 and 2024

After lead architect Matias Ventura’s Gutenberg roadmap update, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg returned to discuss evolving artificial intelligence capabilities and announce a renewed focus on data liberation for 2024.

Noting the explode of generative AI in 2022, Mullenweg previewed a combination of Playground and AI that allows generating full WordPress environments from conversational natural language prompts. While imperfect, he was optimistic about AI advancing democratized learning through personalized tutors available 24/7 in any language.

However, the largest reveal was a pivot from Gutenberg’s original 4-phase roadmap to make Data Liberation the central effort in 2024 and beyond. Mullenweg committed to easing migrations between platforms through first-party tools and community building.

New migration-centered projects will receive dedicated Slack channels, GitHub repos, and rapid plugin review timelines. The goal is eliminating vendor lock-in and friction when transitioning between WordPress instances or other closed CMSs like Wix or Squarespace.

Additionally, Mullenweg announced WordCamp US 2024 and 2025 will be held in Portland, Oregon. He then concluded by noting AI-translated versions of the entire State of the Word address will be available in various languages soon.

Key URLs:

The State of WordPress annual address underscores the incredible velocity of development from the open-source CMS even after powering the web for 20 years. With exciting progress across editor collaboration, design tools, data liberation initiatives, and embracing AI, the future looks very bright.

Transcript of State of the Word 2023

State of the Word 2023

[00:00:00] Welcome to a special episode of the WP minute today. It’s a long one. It’s a recording of the state of the word 2023. Largely featuring Matt Mullenweg out in Madrid, Spain, where a collection of the WordPress community. Joined him to hear what happened across 2023 and into the future of WordPress and beyond. Uh, another fantastic recap of our beloved open source software. Today’s episode is brought to you by Omni send. 

[00:00:27] Thank our friends at Omni. Send one of the world’s most popular email and SMS. platforms available. 

[00:00:34] you like what we do here at the WP minute, don’t forget to support us at the WP minute.com/support. 

[00:00:41] This is just a recording of the live stream, the links to go back and watch a live stream on WordPress. A YouTube account will be in the show notes. And the Q and a portion is not included here. Uh, shear sheerly because of the length of the, uh, the entire session. I will have the [00:01:00] Q and a, um, posted on the WP minute Twitter handle. 

[00:01:03] Uh, I’ll have all of the Q and a. Um, audio snippets there. Along with the transcript. At the WP minute at this original blog post of the recap of the state of the word. So thanks for listening to this episode. Here we go with state of the word 2023.

[00:01:19] Josepha: Thank you, Rocio, my friend. Thank you, everyone, also, for listening to my lovely joke earlier. Hola, WordPress España. What a time to be involved in WordPress, am I right? 

[00:01:33] Applause: Woo! 

[00:01:34] Josepha: I’m about to start, pretty soon, my tenth year working with this project, and it has been an absolute honor to serve these past four years as your executive director.

[00:01:44] Josepha: You have so much heart and spirit and it is that heart of this community that keeps me filled with hope for the future of WordPress and the web and the world. Just last month, we, WordPress, [00:02:00] wrapped up WordPress 6. 4, which was run by a group of people from underrepresented genders. And as we all collaborated on that project across time zones and boundaries, I was reminded just how much the WordPress project comes together to ensure not only the freedoms of the open web, But the freedoms of people we welcome into our communities.

[00:02:21] Josepha: It’s that feeling of shared responsibility for our project that has brought us this far, 20 years into the project. And it’s about, and it’s probably also, what will take us into the next 20 years. And so now, my friends, I would like to introduce to the stage WordPress Project Co Founder, Matt Mullenweg.

[00:02:49] Matt: Wow.

[00:02:53] Matt: Hello. Do I need to hold this or will these work? Hello, hello. Okay, I’ll hold this. Ah. Thank you, Rocio. [00:03:00] Thank you, Josefa. Hola, WordPress España. What an amazing time to be involved with WordPress. This is also our very first international State of the Word. So thank you for starting, perhaps, a new era. We’ll do more of these around the world in the future.

[00:03:15] Matt: Um, uh, should I say, it’s gonna be State of the Word, or should I say, I’m told this is a joke in Spanish, Estado de la Palabra.

[00:03:28] Applause: little 

[00:03:28] Matt: translation, right? It’s really great to be here in Madrid in such a beautiful venue. I hope we can show like what the roof of this looks like. And also, it’s a great way to honor the spanish community, which has really been, you know, leading the world and setting example in amazing word camps. I believe the first word camp after covid was here.

[00:03:48] Matt: Um, and some of the most war camps ever. And was that Sevilla? Yeah. Um, this is our time to really, first we’re going to start with sort of celebrating some of the things we did in [00:04:00] 2023. We’re going to move on to a little bit of what’s coming next, and we’ve got some fun announcements for you today. So, as you may have heard, WordPress turned 20 this year, on May 27th.

[00:04:19] Applause: I 

[00:04:19] Matt: feel a little bit like a proud parent. And actually we can all feel like a proud parent, because we are all part of making WordPress what it is. You know, the past two decades, WordPress has evolved from being You know, starting very humbly, it’s just sort of a journaling or blogging tool. It’s really being something that can build entire websites and be a framework for applications.

[00:04:39] Matt: You can build all sorts of things on the APIs. And now running over a third of all websites in the world. I got a chance to celebrate, uh, first in, this was in Tokyo. As you can tell, we had like a really awesome cake. But actually there are amazing 20th anniversary celebrations all over the world. And it turns out We really like cake.[00:05:00]

[00:05:02] Matt: This was a year as well of us coming together again. So this year, there have been 70 WordCamps in 33 countries.

[00:05:20] Matt: That was a subset of the 3, 300 gatherings, including about 300 dedicated to learning, events like WordPress School Days. As I mentioned before, bringing future generations into WordPress is very important, so things like KidCamps and others. To put in perspective the 70 WordCamps for this year, Um, obviously in covert we dipped in 2021.

[00:05:40] Matt: We only did 19 in 2022. We only did 26. So we have more than doubled year to year. And it’s really exciting to see the community coming back. Um Although I couldn’t be there physically, uh, to WordCamp Asia, I’m very, very excited. So mark your calendars. The next big WordCamp is going to be in Taipei for [00:06:00] March 9th.

[00:06:01] Matt: The last batch of tickets are on sale. And actually, although I’ve traveled the world, I think I’ve been to over 500 cities, um, I’ve never really been to Taiwan. So this will be my first time there. I’m looking forward to exploring the country. I think I connected in the airport once, but I don’t count that.

[00:06:16] Matt: So, this will be my first time to actually get out of the airport, explore the amazing food, and, uh, meet some of the, I think, what’s the attendees registration so far for WordCamp Asia? Do we know? I think it’s, it’s, it’s coming up there. It might even be WordCamp Europe. So, around 2000. So, I don’t know. See a little competition.

[00:06:37] Matt: Um, but get ready for a little bit of a surprise. Um, there were over 2, 500 organizers that made this possible, including 1, 600 meetup organizers and 800 WordCamp organizers. So thank you so much to all the people.

[00:06:59] Matt: And with [00:07:00] all things in WordPress, we are always trying to get better and always trying to learn. So we are right now running a survey for how to make meetups better. So for those, for those who don’t know, meetups are basically like local, typically monthly events that are often sort of the feeder to later becoming WordCamps.

[00:07:14] Matt: So we got a QR code here, you can scan it or um, you know, there’s a, there’ll be a link to it on wordpress. org as well. We, we want to learn how to make these better and also create great feedback loops to get them going all over. Um, it can feel challenging to keep track of so many wordpress. org events in the world.

[00:07:32] Matt: So one thing we’re doing, you may have noticed in WPAdmin on the dashboard, there’s a nice little widget. that shows, like, nearby events, sort of geolocates. Uh, we are adding this now to wordpress. org. So at w. org slash meet, there is going to be a sort of thing that’ll show you all the events happening in your area.

[00:07:49] Matt: Um, other things that I’ve launched, um, is we’ve relaunched how the showcase works. So if you go to w. org slash showcase, um, it’s now a great sort of [00:08:00] example of what can be done with WordPress. I find this is the most effective antidote to when you meet someone and they’re like Can WordPress scale? Is it secure?

[00:08:08] Matt: Can it grow? Well, it turns out it can scale enough to handle Swifties. As we saw the other day. We’re at time. com named Taylor Swift, the person of the year. And at their peak they were serving over 100, 000 requests per second. I know. It’s kind of like the new dig effect or slash doc effect. When Taylor Swift joins.

[00:08:31] Matt: And can it be secure? Well, it runs whitehouse. gov and nasa. gov and many other you know, incredible websites around the world, so the answer is yes, and I find examples are the best way to show this, so check out the showcase. We’re also hoping to expand this in the future with more case studies, particularly around enterprise WordPress, which is something that, as I’ve mentioned, is very very, uh, it’s happening, but we’re still fighting some perceptions of people who think that open source can’t do these things.

[00:08:58] Matt: And of course, we know it really [00:09:00] can. Finally, and we’ve talked about this before, as our community grows and matures, um, we want a way to honor and remember those who are no longer with us. So at w. org slash remembers, you will see a place where we can honor those WordPress community members who are no longer here.

[00:09:29] Matt: We have talked about the open verse before. For those who aren’t familiar, the Openverse is basically a project that we took over from the Creative Commons, which aims to index all the open license content in the world. Uh, including that under Creative Commons license, like CC0, CC, there’s a variety of Creative Commons licenses.

[00:09:48] Matt: Um, this, uh, the Openverse work actually just won an award this year. It got the Open Education Award for excellence in open infrastructure. Um, we’ve also been growing our photos directory and everything, so basically [00:10:00] we’re trying to make it Uh, where all the open content on the web, just like WordPress has become a repository and a resource for great open source code and functionality.

[00:10:08] Matt: We want to make it so, uh, other content is available. So, congrats to the OpenVerse team on this win.

[00:10:20] Matt: Another project that’s been super exciting is the Playgrounds. Who’s played with the Playgrounds? We got a good number in this room. So who, for those who haven’t seen this, it’s one of the most mind blowing things you’ll see, especially if you’ve been working with web technology. So what the playground is, is basically, uh, using Wasm, uh, WebAssembly, we can actually found a way to load all of PHP, and like a little web server, and a little database, in your browser, in a few seconds.

[00:10:48] Matt: So you can visit it, and it basically creates an entire virtual machine. On the fly, in your browser. Um, this allows for a lot of fun experimentation. You know, when we did contributor days and other things in the [00:11:00]past, a big challenge was always like, getting people’s development environments set up, all those sorts of things.

[00:11:04] Matt: Now it can happen literally in seconds. And you can do all this learning and development in the browser. Um, we have a little demo here, I believe narrated by Adam Zielinski, showing some cool stuff with Playgrounds. 

[00:11:18] Voiceover playground: The blog editor handbook tutorials now provide more than just code snippets. They provide actual live examples built with WordPress Playground.

[00:11:26] Voiceover playground: Like this one here. You can now interact with blogs as you learn about them. And there’s more. The upcoming plugin editor blog will enable interacting with the code directly in the tutorial. And here are the latest features in Playground. You can store your Playground in the browser and retain it beyond a page refresh.

[00:11:48] Voiceover playground: You can load more PHP extensions, like libxml. You can even give Playground access to network to interact with APIs or simply to browse plugins indirectly in WP Admin. And you can also stay ahead [00:12:00] of the latest WordPress features with the latest nightly WordPress version preview. Furthermore, you can even test specific upcoming features with a new WordPress pull request previewer.

[00:12:12] Voiceover playground: Just paste a link to a WordPress PR of your choice to try it in Playground. And by the way, previews. WordPress plugins, like this interactive code log, may now opt in to a live preview feature in the WordPress plugin directory. With a single click, you get a pre configured Playground where you can try the plugin out without risk.

[00:12:34] Voiceover playground: You can also use Playground to develop WordPress plugins. First, synchronize Playground with your local directory. Then, update the code on your computer, like here, we’re updating the admin color from navy to purple. Finally, sync your changes back into Playground. And voila! The admin is now purple without any local setup.

[00:12:55] Voiceover playground: Want to learn more? Visit developer. wordpress. org slash [00:13:00] Playground.

[00:13:08] Matt: That will never cease to amaze me. Think of how much you used to have to set up with, like, running, like, things locally on your On your device or servers, I mean, it just blows me away. Um, in the past six months, almost 57, 000 of you have worked with this tool, and the buzz that’s growing is really phenomenal.

[00:13:26] Matt: So, there’s been great enthusiasm at WordCamp Europe. We also got to display this at Google, the Google I. O. conference in California. And we’re hoping to see a tenfold increase in users in the next year, especially with this live preview. It’s really a testament to the spirit of innovation in the community, and the closest thing to sci fi I think we WordPress.

[00:13:47] Matt: Another fun achievement of this year is the 2024 theme. So 2023 saw the finalization of phase 2 of the Gutenberg roadmap, which is around customization. And our most recent default theme, 2024, is a great example of [00:14:00] everything that’s been accomplished there. It’s got over 35 patterns built in, and it really can meet the needs of anyone, whether you’re an artist, an entrepreneur, or a prolific writer.

[00:14:07] Matt: It’s kind of the first to take advantage of the full powers of Gutenberg and show what can be done. So I also hope that this inspires many, many other themes being built. If you haven’t tried it yet, set up a demo site. Maybe using Playground. And check out the 2024 theme. It is quite, quite powerful. It’s been getting some great reviews so far.

[00:14:26] Matt: Um, Jamie Marsland said it’s the best default WordPress theme we’ve ever seen. Ray Marais says, 2024 are a match made in heaven. And Brian Con Cordes says, personally, I think this theme is a game changer. So, please check it out if you have not already. Here’s a little short demo of it.

[00:14:49] Matt: So, basically what you’re seeing here, everything, all of these screenshots were made with default 2024. And just editing through the site editor. You can see you [00:15:00] can make portfolios, you can make business sites. Literally everything you’re seeing here is, this is a great sort of like gallery. Everything you’re seeing is being done with Gutenberg.

[00:15:11] Matt: That was a little blog going by.

[00:15:20] Matt: Look at that. All of that now, built in.

[00:15:30] Matt: We have 1339 new contributors to WordPress this year.

[00:15:40] Matt: That is five better than being leet. Or two better, right? One, three, three, seven? To remind you of the four phases of Gutenberg. The first phase was around editing. The second phase was customization. We’re currently working on phase three, which is collaboration. And phase four is going to be multilingual.

[00:15:58] Matt: Something might be exciting here [00:16:00] in 

[00:16:00] Applause: Europe.

[00:16:05] Applause: I 

[00:16:05] Matt: would now like to invite my esteemed colleague and lead architect of WordPress, a very influential person in many, many ways, Matias Ventura.

[00:16:24] Matias: Thank you, Matt. Good afternoon, everyone. It’s a pleasure to be here. It’s like being at home. I had thought of doing this part in the Uruguayan Ignoto language, but they told me that I didn’t understand most of it, and that I would have to do two translations from Uruguayan to Spanish, well, Castilian, and then to English.

[00:16:45] Matias: So, better than if we showed a video, they were going to say no, that here it says video, with a strange tilde there. So, anyway, nothing, we continue with English. Apologize for that intermission.[00:17:00]

[00:17:02] Matias: So as Matt was sharing, we got a lot done this year. Um, and as we move into this phase three, which is called collaboration, Um, I want to touch a bit on the, sort of how we conceive Gutenberg as an editor, because it’s aiming to do two things extremely well. So it’s a very challenging, uh, design effort. Um, one is as a writing environment, and the other one is as a design tool.

[00:17:30] Matias: We’ve been making a lot of progress on simplifying the writing experience. Even though this was technically part of phase one, we continue to add, like, writing flow improvements. Um, we recently launched this year, uh, footnotes. Alguien página de Gutenberg? It’s a pretty cool feature, the footnotes. Um, and the distraction free is also getting like extremely well now.

[00:17:58] Matias: We’ve applied this also to the site [00:18:00] editor itself, so you can get like a distraction free experience in the design editor. So this is the context for what we need to do next, which is to start looking into these and workflows environments. Uh, we really, we’re going to continue to polish these experiences as they are now part of the core offering of WordPress.

[00:18:23] Matias: So, collaboration and workflows. Um, we have a, we don’t have a timeline yet for these, but we do have an actual working Uh, prototype of real time collaboration in the editor. It’s a pretty interesting flow because it’s doing some peer to peer. Um, it’s establishing a sync engine into WordPress so you can have this side by side.

[00:18:45] Matias: And as you’re seeing, like, again, you update an image, it gets reflected for everyone on the session as soon as it gets updated. You can test this today if you install the Gutenberg plugin. You need to enable the lib collaboration. [00:19:00] It’s going to be buggy. But we want to get as much feedback as possible so that we can figure out, like, how viable this, uh, this approach is.

[00:19:08] Matias: Uh, so if you can, and there’s a, if you go to, uh, github. com slash WordPress slash Gutenberg, there’s a pinned issue with a lot of the sort of next steps that we’re looking into for the real time collaboration feature. Moving on to some other cool stuff that’s coming up. Um, we, with the site editor, we really started emphasizing patterns.

[00:19:31] Matias: So we want to continue us moving to like in phase three. We’re doing both collaboration and workflows for the workflows part We want to really embrace the idea of patterns as these sort of section elements of design To also to answer to a lot of the feedback, which is like blocks are great but sometimes they are a bit too granular and people want to have like Again, people, freelancers, agencies, enterprise customers, they want to define the design [00:20:00] units that then users can interact with, but they cannot really like, modify or messed up or, uh, deconstruct them.

[00:20:06] Matias: So patterns are a crucial tool for that. And we’re introducing this new mode, like we’re calling it like zoom out mode. So the ideas that you can step a bit back and see the structure of the side and operate at a bit of a higher level. So the other thing that, um, we’re adding to this is the. to swap, um, patterns that are related to a specific semantic category.

[00:20:29] Matias: So if you define a hero section, like you’ll be able to like swap between patterns that are related to that. The other thing that we’re adding to patterns is the, um, who has played with the theme. json files? Okay, got a few people. So theme. json can now be applied to specific patterns. So you’ll be able to have Um, specific style variations that only apply to the patterns, so you’re not changing your whole site design, you’re just changing [00:21:00] these units.

[00:21:00] Matias: And this is one tool that we’re giving to developers and agencies to ensure that, uh, users can have this, um, sort of some ability to customize, but within the boundaries that are established by the creators. And there’s one thing that I’m really excited about, which is, uh, um, I think like with this new thing, Patterns are going to be gaining, like, superpowers.

[00:21:23] Matias: Like, so far, patterns have came in two flavors. You could either have these reusable pattern blocks, where, like, any modification you make to them, they apply across the whole site. Or you have these patterns that are sort of a starting point. You insert them and then you customize them. But once you insert them, you sort of lose that original pattern.

[00:21:44] Matias: What we’re doing now is to have, like, a sort of hybrid between the two. So you’ll be able to customise the text of the pattern, so you can add it to like a hundred pages, customise the text, but still be able to update the design globally. [00:22:00] So this would allow you to, as was seen in the demo, to offer people the ability to have this really powerful thing, which is the ability to, like, again, change the content, which is what you want to do.

[00:22:11] Matias: And at the same time, keep control of the global design. So once you go into editing the pattern And if you modify, like, the color, the layout, the structure, that would update and reflect across all the pages. So this is, uh, I think it’s going to be, like, a really powerful tool for developers and the workflows between developers and users.

[00:22:44] Matias: Now we’re going to get a bit into custom fields. This has been the UI for custom fields for years now in WordPress. Um, What we’re going to have now is the ability to connect blocks [00:23:00] to custom fields without having to create custom blocks. So essentially you can insert a heading or a paragraph and say I want this to come from this other custom field.

[00:23:11] Matias: So then this becomes the, again it’s just a regular core block. The interactions for the user are extremely intuitive but it’s coming from this separate data field. It’s not serialized back to the HTML. So this is a way to bridge the worlds between custom fields, which are very developer friendly, and blocks, which are very user friendly.

[00:23:32] Matias: So we’re trying to make these like the best of both worlds.

[00:23:45] Matias: I want to talk a little bit about another thing that we’re constantly doing, which is performance. Uh, performance, and when we talk about performance here, it applies in both. Uh, in two cases, it’s both for the editor itself, so the people, the [00:24:00] creators that are using the editor, and it’s also for visitors.

[00:24:03] Matias: Like, we have a responsibility for the people landing on websites, that they get something that’s both super fast, performant, usable, accessible, and so forth. So performance was just like those two components. So we’ll first talk about the editor performance. And we have this beautiful dashboard, uh, if you scan the code, you can see it, uh, live.

[00:24:25] Matias: This tracks, um, the past, sort of like 20 or so commits to Gutenberg. And what this is measuring is, uh, How fast are the basic operations of the editor? Like typing, inserting, hovering blocks, and so forth. It’s a great sort of feedback loop for everyone that’s contributing to Gutenberg, especially as we keep adding features that we want the curve of speed to go down.

[00:24:50] Matias: So we want to add features while at the same time making things faster. And the really cool thing is that over the past few weeks, we’re making the editor at least [00:25:00] twice as fast. And hopefully the typing experience might even get like a 3x improvement. We still are quite not sure if we’re going to get there, but it’s looking like this.

[00:25:10] Matias: This is the, if you look at the early portion of the graph, that’s 6. 4. And 6. 5 is going to be like a lot significantly faster.

[00:25:29] Matias: This also to me, it makes me really proud of everyone that contributes to the project that keeps always this at heart. Like everyone is so passionate about making This sort of improvements, ensuring that like, it’s not just new features, but we’re also like polishing and making things snappier, more usable, and so forth.

[00:25:47] Matias: The other part of performance is the frontend performance. And we have the, we’re going to be working this year on this um, thing we’re calling the interactivity API. And this is purely for the frontend. [00:26:00] This website is built entirely with blocks. It’s a block theme, and it’s the transitions are instant.

[00:26:06] Matias: Even searching is instant. But all of these things are real WordPress templates, it’s not like just done in the, like the permalinks when you go to a single movie and so forth, are real, all real WordPress permalinks. We want to bring this to the tool set of blogs, so that anyone creating a site with blogs is going to be able to get this sort of experience.

[00:26:27] Matias: And if you saw in the demo there was also a trailer playing while navigating, so you’ll be able to get like, again, if you’re building, with a podcast, you can sort of toggle this on and you don’t need to do any sort of headless setup or anything, it’s just normal WordPress running in the browser like this.

[00:26:45] Matias: You can check this one on, 

[00:26:46] Applause: if

[00:26:54] Matias: you go to wpmovies. dev you can see it in action and play with it a bit. [00:27:00] So last but certainly not least, we’re looking at the admin design. And the, we’re going to start expanding the design that started to develop around the site editor, um, focusing a bit on list views. So this is showing, I’m going to resume the video so that you can see it again.

[00:27:19] Matias: So we’re transitioning from the Are we fine? Yes. So, list views are really powerful. So we want to allow as much customizability and extensibility as possible to them. So you can see pages as a list view or as grid items and so forth. This is going to be highly extensible. And the idea is that everyone will be able to shape WordPress to like their specific needs.

[00:27:42] Matias: If you have a commerce, if you have a, um, if you run a plugin with a newsletter, that all the elements in the admin are relevant to each use case. So the idea is that each WordPress can be unique, yet familiar to everyone. That’s sort of the direction that we’re going with, with the, these design improvements.[00:28:00]

[00:28:00] Matias: Um, a lot of these elements will need a ton of feedback, a ton of, um, and your ideas, suggestions are invaluable, so if you can engage, if you can give that wherever in all the places that these are at, in, either in GitHub or on, Social media, whatever you want to reach out, like, we’ll be hearing about this.

[00:28:20] Matias: So, that’s it from me, I’m sending it back to Matt, so thank you very much. Muchas 

[00:28:26] Applause: gracias.

[00:28:35] Matt: You know, Matias mentioned it, but I do want to encourage you to go to that wpmovies. dev site. As you might have noticed, there’s been some controversy recently on people faking or speeding up demo videos. That was real. And you can verify yourself in the browser. The pages load instantly. It is so cool to see sort of a more native headless implementation, uh, around WordPress.

[00:28:59] Matt: So, [00:29:00] check it out, verify. Trust but verify. Last year, um, in Porto, at WordCamp Europe, I asked you all to learn AI deeply. Uh, This was actually before ChatGPT came out, or anything else. And this year, the year of 2023, I think we can very, very safely say it was a year of AI. It’s been incredible to see the growth of generative AI, the amazing models like GPT 4V, Gemini, Mid Journey, there’s so much exciting stuff happening out there.

[00:29:33] Matt: Um, I want to show you just a little experiment of something we’ve been playing around with in WordPress itself. So this is combining playground and a little bit of AI to use natural language to instantiate and interact with playground blueprints. So, as you can see what it typed there was, make a woosh site for the shoe shop, Ola Madrid, and give it, uh, SEO, give it some e [00:30:00] commerce, and call it this.

[00:30:01] Matt: And it responded yes, and it created a playground blueprint. What playground blueprints are, it’s almost just like you might have a. You know, files for kubernetes or something else that tell you exactly how to configure the site. It says How to set it up with plugins, extensions, version of WordPress, everything that you just saw earlier.

[00:30:19] Matt: So this is, uh, pretty fun. I’m excited to see, you know, I feel like generative AI, so far, has already given superpowers to everyday people and users. Um, if you’re a developer, please check out Copilot and other things. Um, if you’re a user who wants to be more creative, like, play with these things. It’s kind of like, uh, I love the democratization of technology, where This is very much the vision of WordPress to democratize publishing, like what does that mean?

[00:30:46] Matt: It means we take things that used to require developers or advanced technical knowledge to do and try to make it accessible to everyone. And I feel like that’s what these tools are really doing. Uh, I’m very excited now to see if, because WordPress is still a power tool, [00:31:00] if we can create more conversational interfaces to some of the things that we do.

[00:31:04] Matt: And I’m particularly excited for this, when it doesn’t just do the thing, but actually shows you how it did it. Um, we don’t have quite all of that yet, but you know the old saying, if you give someone a fish, they eat for a day. If you teach them how to fish You know, they can eat for the rest of their lives.

[00:31:19] Matt: Um, or they have a hobby now. I don’t know. When I go fishing, it’s more fishing, not as much catching. But the, um, very much so, I would love for future versions of this, whether it’s developed on WordPress. org or by anyone else, to not just do the thing, not just make the site. But actually maybe walk people through what they’re doing.

[00:31:40] Matt: Hey, I’m loading the settings page. I’m putting this in. Here’s how I’m creating blocks. I think there’s very, very exciting things you can do. Um, the thing that if I had to say what I’m most excited about with AI is that we will all have access to essentially like a personalized tutor available 24 7. So, imagine that, throughout history, that’s been inaccessible, but now, [00:32:00] in any language, 24 hours a day, we can have a very, very smart assistant, if you will, to teach us whatever we want.

[00:32:06] Matt: It means that our growth and development will only be limited by our curiosity. And I think that’s been one of the most amazing things about the internet so far, and I cannot wait to see where this goes next. So, please keep learning AI deeply, and also have AI teach you stuff. So that’s our AI stuff.

[00:32:24] Matt: Can’t have a presentation in 23 without AI, right? But the next thing I’m going to show you is actually what I’m most excited about. And this is a little bit of a new direction in 2024 that we’re going to be taking. So, you know, for a long time, six, seven years now, we’ve been on this Gutenberg roadmap.

[00:32:40] Matt: The four phases that I talked about earlier. And so, uh, plans are great, but you shouldn’t just blindly follow a plan that you made seven years ago. You should be, feel free to modify it or change it. Based on changing market conditions or whatever else is going on. So, what I’m excited to announce for [00:33:00] 2024, as a focus area that we will be doing in parallel to Phase 3 of Gutenberg, is what we’re calling, uh, Data Liberation.

[00:33:09] Matt: So, if you notice a common thread in all of our projects, it’s around everything we do with open source is around data ownership and freedom. In 2024, we want to unlock the web. Uh, through a dedicated focus on migration tools. Whether you’re switching from a different WordPress, a different CMS, you know, like a Wix or Squarespace.

[00:33:28] Matt: By the way, Wix does not even offer export right now. Or, if you’re just moving between WordPresses, which is a lot harder than it should be, right? Like, we offer an export format, WXR, but it doesn’t bring over plugins or images and moving WordPress, you know, migrating from a staging site to a main or migrating between hosts is very, very difficult today.

[00:33:47] Matt: Um, so we want to make sort of first party community plugins, tools, and workflows available on WordPress. org that are going to assist with this. I want it to be seamless, straightforward, and as zero friction as possible. [00:34:00] So, what we want to do is unlock the digital barriers. Um, I think what has happened You know, in mobile we’ve seen this since 2008, the advent of the iPhone.

[00:34:10] Matt: Is mobile platforms were a lot more locked down than desktop or the web were. Um, the same thing is that the new breed of CMSs, particularly the ones that have become popular in the past 10 years, really do a lot, a lot to lock you in. Whether that’s through the payment providers, not allowing you to export your subscribers, they create this sort of subtle friction, which, uh, again, I think decreases the amount of freedom on the web.

[00:34:35] Matt: So, we’re going to work on one click migrations between all of these. Um, we’re going to do a lot to focus on the export format for WordPress. Finally, we’re going to keep working on copy and paste. You may have noticed this, but Gutenberg is actually one of the best places to copy and paste from. Um, Super nerds in the audience will know that when you have rich text, when you copy and paste from certain other webpages or [00:35:00] applications, it goes very, very, very wrong.

[00:35:02] Matt: So we’ve been doing a lot of work, doing even things like sideloading images on demand to bring that in. These solutions are going to be available at wordpress. org slash and slash whatever the thing is. So, as these projects boot up, there might be a slash and slash Shopify, or slash and slash whatever.

[00:35:22] Matt: Um, it could be page builders, it could be anything. And we’re going to create great migration tools from that to the first party things for WordPress. Um, but the data deliberation is not just about building the tools, it’s about cultivating a community ethos. So we’re setting up a streamlined moderation frameworks.

[00:35:40] Matt: So every one of these, uh, sort of migration paths or projects, um, well one that’s really exciting is they can be done in parallel. I’ve been thinking a lot, especially around 5 for the future, how do we make it easier to contribute to WordPress? So, 20 of these projects can happen at once. They don’t need to happen one at a time.

[00:35:57] Matt: We’re going to give every one of these projects a dedicated Slack channel. [00:36:00] And, um, they’re going to get GitHub repositories on the official WordPress. org GitHub. So, they will have the best in class tools, very similar to what we do to develop WordPress itself, are going to be available to every one of these communities.

[00:36:12] Matt: You might have noticed as well that there’s a little bit of a backlog for registering new plugins. I believe right now we have a 79 day delay to add things to the directory. So we are also ensuring that for every new one of these projects If you apply to start one of these, it’s going to be reviewed in about one business day.

[00:36:31] Matt: So these will be able to start almost immediately. So again, if you’re thinking about getting involved with WordPress, and you’ve probably done migrations before or written tools for this, Come join one of these projects. I think it’ll be a really exciting way to get involved. Thanks.

[00:36:53] Matt: This would not be possible without the amazing work of the plugins team and the community team. We have seen a huge growth [00:37:00] in sort of sponsoring companies and things around this. But, as I mentioned, we are right now very behind with reviewing plugins. The plugins team is now accepting applications for new members.

[00:37:09] Matt: So if you would like to be part of that group that, you know, keeps the plugin directory healthy, thriving, and representing the very best that WordPress and its community has to offer. Um, you can now, uh, apply to join the plug in review team. Alright, it wouldn’t be a WordCamp without a little bit of a reveal.

[00:37:27] Matt: So, I am happy to announce that WordCamp US is going to be in Portland, Oregon this year.

[00:37:44] Matt: If you haven’t been, Portland is a lot of fun. We’re actually excited that this is actually going to be, you know, with WordCamp US we tried to do it in the same city two years in a row. And we are locked in for Portland now for the next two years. Also, if you’ve never been to that part, the West Coast of America is beautiful, [00:38:00] and Portland is super weird in amazing ways.

[00:38:03] Matt: So I’m looking forward to the WordPress community getting to explore and experience it. Alright, so we’re gonna do a little QA, but we also have a little bit of an AI twist. So, uh, we’re gonna have a little announcement here. You might recognize the speaker.

[00:38:24] Matt: In Portland, Oregon World, Portland, Oregon

[00:38:36] Matt: World Camp US in Portland, Oregon. 

[00:38:39] Josepha: Join us this year for Word Camp US in Portland, Oregon,

[00:38:50] Applause: So 

[00:38:51] Matt: Joseph is amazing and you do speak more than one language, yes or no. But that was [00:39:00] all actually AI. That wasn’t her reading a script or anything. So, uh, there’s some really cool AI tools for translations. Now if you spoke those languages literally, you know that it might be kind of a literal translation, so it’s not perfect yet.

[00:39:14] Matt: But one thing we’re going to do with the state of the word is we’re going to run the whole presentation through these online tools. So you’ll be able to hear me, in my voice, and with my lips moving, like I can speak another language. Which is going to be kind of fun to experiment with. It’s imperfect, it’s early versions, but I like that we’re embracing these new tools and having fun with it.

[00:39:33] Matt: So, keep an eye out for, you know how many languages we’re going to translate this into? We’re going to translate it into four languages, and so it’ll be posted in the next, uh, couple days. So, see you all soon, in a new language.

[00:39:50] ​

Transcript of Q&A Session from State of the Word 2023

[00:00:00] Matt: All right. Again, my name is Matt Mullen. You can see my blog at ma tt. I am at photo mat, P-H-O-T-O-M-A-T-T on Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter slash x or whatever we’re calling it. And the hashtag for this event has been SOTW. And now we’re gonna open it up for some questions from the audience so we can, um, yeah, how, how’s this gonna work?

[00:00:25] Matt: We got some mics going around. Oh, you’re going to come and read them. Ah, yes, yes, yes. So we’ve actually, I forgot about this. We have a system where the questions have been submitted online. And we have our dear friend Mancho. Please come up and introduce yourself. This is your 

[00:00:42] Moderator: place. Okay.

[00:00:57] Moderator: Muchas gracias, [00:01:00] eh. Muchas gracias. Bueno, bienvenidos. Welcome everyone. It’s been amazing the answer of the Spanish community coming to this event, so muchisimas gracias por haber venido. Muchisimas gracias.

[00:01:20] Moderator: Well, we have a nice venue, we have a lot of amazing people here, but we also have people at home and people watching this in meetup groups through live stream, so I’m going to ask you to join me in applause for all your contribution because This only can be possible with you. So, thank you to you for coming here.

[00:01:50] Moderator: Well, there are, there are a lot of new things happening around WordPress. A lot of excitement. So, 2024 is going to be a really interesting year. And, uh, by the [00:02:00] way, for the people who don’t know me, my name is Jose Ramon Moncho, Mon. I’m the head of Spanish communities and growth in Automattic. And well, this is a very special, uh, a very special day.

[00:02:11] Moderator: Because, um, Uh, we are really proud of being in the group of cities that have host, uh, the, uh, the, uh, this event, the world, the state of the world, and we are deeply grateful for Madrid to be, uh, selected as, uh, as host for 2023. So thank you so much for this decision. Muchas 

[00:02:36] Matt: gracias. Thank you.

[00:02:42] Moderator: What else? Well, we are going to start with the Q& A. This year we are going to do something special. Um, for the people who is here at the event, for the people who is watching TV and live streams in meetup groups. So we are going to use, uh, uh, an application, a [00:03:00] tool called, uh, Slido. And, uh, you can start, uh, scanning this QR code.

[00:03:09] Moderator: And it works very simply. Scan the code. If you have any problem scanning the code, you also have this, this URL and the code. And, from that moment, you can start sending your questions. Take into account, we are expecting a large Spanish audience. You can also send it in Spanish, not only in English. So, free to do it.

[00:03:33] Moderator: And there will be a moderator organizer, some group of people that is going to work on, well, on receiving and filtering the questions. So, we are expecting, uh, valuable questions, uh, uh, really, I don’t know, whatever you want to ask, but with sense. Um, okay. And let’s start. Let’s go to the next question. And let’s [00:04:00] start.

[00:04:00] Moderator: I’m waiting for the first question to arrive. So, can we move the slide for the next one? So, 

[00:04:09] right. 

[00:04:12] Matt: We need that Jeopardy music. We need some 

[00:04:16] Moderator: music as a background. So, it’s moving fast. We are going to see, well, we 

[00:04:26] Matt: can I can start at the top here. Well, 

[00:04:30] Moderator: which one do you prefer, I think? 

[00:04:32] Matt: And these are being voted on, so people are voting on these, so the ones at the top are the most votes.

[00:04:36] Matt: Yeah, 

[00:04:36] Moderator: these are the ones we received, and they are already moderated. So, what about, um, the question coming from Colin? When will plugin developers finally receive better statistics about their plugin hosted on WordPress. org? Now in green. 

[00:04:58] Matt: Growth, more precise install count, [00:05:00] etc. Yeah. It’s a good question. So we have been focused on the plugin directory.

[00:05:04] Matt: A lot of the work recently is around these live previews. So, the probably most exciting thing for plugin developers today is that now you can create this blueprint. json file, add it to your plugin repository, and create sort of a pre setup WordPress. to show exactly, like, people can try out your plugin before installing it.

[00:05:23] Matt: I think this is going to be incredible for adoption and things. I saw Yoast nodding. He thinks it’s cool too. One of the top plugin developers in the world. Is it cool? Alright. Oh, he said it’s awesome. So that’s a pretty good endorsement. Um, so check that out. Around the stats, um, it is something that we’ve heard as a request, and we will make some changes there.

[00:05:44] Matt: I don’t have anything to announce or promise today, or I would have put it in the presentation. But, thank you for reminding us about it. Um, there’s definitely probably the next thing that will change there is right now some of the rounding maxes out. And there’s actually a number of plugins [00:06:00] over 5 million installs now.

[00:06:01] Matt: So I’d like to add some new levels there so we can see how many millions above five they are at. So maybe look for that next, and then we’ll do some other things for, for the plugins that are under five million in the future. Okay, this is a good one. Spanish omelette potatoes with or without 

[00:06:16] Moderator: onion. Don’t take sides, please.

[00:06:18] Moderator: Don’t take sides. 

[00:06:21] Matt: Is it, is this like pineapple 

[00:06:23] Moderator: on pizza? Typically Spanish. Discussion all over the country. So 

[00:06:28] I 

[00:06:28] Matt: think I’d say if I was going to be talking to people a lot, I’d maybe do it without onions. And, but if it’s,

[00:06:39] Matt: but if, if it’s just me with onions, come on.

[00:06:49] Moderator: Okay, let’s go with the next one. Um, there is someone submitted by email. So, can you say more about your plans to integrate ActivityPath [00:07:00] further into WordPress? Did you see this becoming a canonical plugin this next year? 

[00:07:05] Matt: Yes, so, um, there is now a fantastic, there’s two great plugins around what I call the Fediverse or the open web.

[00:07:12] Matt: One is called Friends, and one is called ActivityPub. And they are both available, um, ActivityPub has been upgraded to be a community plugin, and it’s actually something Automatic ended up hiring the developer, and we’ve been sponsoring the development. Um, we have launched it and made it available on WordPress.

[00:07:28] Matt: com. And actually, they’re going to be working, that team is going to be working next on bringing that to Tumblr. So Tumblr, we’re going to explore joining the Fediverse. Um, now, will it be a canonical plugin? So to me, canonical plugins are more for things that we feel like are really in the critical path.

[00:07:45] Matt: So being a community plugin means that it’s, um, in the taxonomy of plugins, it means that it kind of belongs to everyone. It’ll never have a pro version or a commercial version. And the maintenance can be shared. So it’s kind of open to contributions. Um, the Activity Plug plugin only [00:08:00] has like 5, 000 installs so far.

[00:08:02] Matt: So again, the feedback loop of some of the stats on WordPress, uh, plugins are showing that this isn’t a huge demand so far. So, it might be something we, uh, consider incorporating or promoting more if it were to get more usage. But today, there’s just something about kind of, uh, that isn’t right. So obviously we need to grow that or just the Fediverse needs to grow more for it to be something that’s more, uh, more people are interested in.

[00:08:31] Matt: Cool, thank you for that question. 

[00:08:32] Moderator: Yeah, it’s going fast. Um, I think we’re going to answer the one related monetization. What is the future for the monetization of blocks? Can mom blogs compete? How should 10 years old blogs move forward? 

[00:08:49] Matt: That’s a good question. Um, well one, yeah, moms can always compete.

[00:08:54] Matt: They’re amazing. Moms run the world. So, I think that it is true that [00:09:00] advertising as a way for monetizing blogs is kind of less interesting than it used to be. And I would say the ads ecosystem, if your name is not Google or Facebook, with some of the, I think, well meaning You know, regulation around GDPR and cookie pop ups and everything.

[00:09:15] Matt: What they typically have done is sort of entrenched the incumbents, the giant duopoly of Google and Facebook, and they’ve made it a lot harder for independent publishers to make money from ads. Because, again, these things, I think, were done with the intention of privacy and targeting, but they’ve really made it harder for individual bloggers.

[00:09:32] Matt: I don’t really see that going. backwards. And in fact, you know, Chrome’s talking about eliminating all third party cookies, everything like that. So, I think programmatic advertising for not just blogs, but really for all websites, um, that aren’t those two, is gonna get worse and worse. And we’ve seen this with Tumblr as well.

[00:09:50] Matt: You know, post the acquisition of Tumblr, um, even as the traffic was growing, the amount that it was making from ads was going down. Programmatic. So, now, what would be ways to get [00:10:00] around that? Um, well first and foremost, the thing that’s never going to get old is developing an audience. And particularly a direct relationship with the audience.

[00:10:06] Matt: So get them subscribing to you. Um, via RSS, via email. Uh, there’s a great new Jetpack has a cool feature that can post to a telegram channel. So I think actually, uh, distribution via messaging is going to be a very, very interesting, uh, way for blogs to get more traffic and relationship to the readers in the future.

[00:10:24] Matt: So developing that audience is the first and foremost thing. And what will never go out of style is creating great content. And that means sharing, you know, being authentic, being vulnerable, sharing your story, great things that are interesting, both to yourself. And if you do that, I believe an audience will come.

[00:10:40] Matt: Um, once you have that audience, I think that is other ways. To monetize. So for example, you could sell them things. Like a t shirt or something. I’m seeing a lot of fun, people are getting more used to subscribing to things. So you could have a donation or a membership on your site. Uh, I think that’s very, very interesting.

[00:10:57] Matt: And, maybe sponsorships. So direct [00:11:00] sponsorships where, much like many podcasts, you know, they’re not selling programmatic ads, they’re getting a direct sponsor to come in. Um, could be really valuable. And so, you know, Kevin Kelly has this amazing essay where he talks about a thousand true fans. Where maybe all you need, where before you needed an audience of hundreds of thousands or millions to create sort of a sustainable, uh, revenue stream.

[00:11:20] Matt: Now you might just need a thousand people. You can get a thousand people to spend a hundred dollars per year without that you or someone who’s Sponsoring you, that adds up pretty quickly. So, I think that is the future, and it’s going to be much more people centric. So it’s not going to be about, you know, getting millions of page views of people you don’t know.

[00:11:38] Matt: It’s going to be getting, you know, a direct line of engagement to people who you know, who know you, and you can cultivate that relationship. That’s my, my theory about it. Fantastic, 

[00:11:49] Moderator: fantastic. Well, there are like two or three in the, in the top. Can we start with, uh, Bridget Olsen, that? Can you comment on the evaluation of switching from [00:12:00] Slack to Matrix?

[00:12:01] Moderator: What are your thoughts? Oh, 

[00:12:02] Matt: yeah. Um, this didn’t really make the presentation, but we’re actually going to announce that we’re putting this on hold. So, uh, there’s been some amazing work for developing Matrix and creating a bridge and, you know, something called chat tricks where you can kind of get to it on websites.

[00:12:18] Matt: We’ll keep that live because it is an alternative way. I think, I believe we have two way sync going right now between Matrix and Slack. Um, But you probably saw, like, some of the licensing just changed around elements, they switched to AGPL. Um, which is, you know, we’re not as big a fan of that license.

[00:12:33] Matt: Some of the user experience, um, is not quite there yet. And there have been some concerns raised about accessibility as well. Um, I actually think the accessibility stuff, we, we figured out multiple ways to get around it. So that’s not a, a great reason to stay just on Slack. But, uh, for the foreseeable future right now, we’re putting that on hold.

[00:12:50] Matt: And we’re gonna make Slack kind of the primary For those who don’t know, we have this amazing kind of sponsorship from Slack, where actually every single WordPress. org member [00:13:00] can get a Slack account. Um, so anyone with a WordPress. org account can sign up, get on the WordPress. org Slack, and it’s a great way to participate in some of the teams we’ve talked about, to get involved with these, uh, you know, data liberation projects.

[00:13:13] Matt: You can join the data liberation front, be a freedom fighter for, uh, for the open web in that way. You can do that all through Slack, and it’s a really great way to stay connected. This actually reminds me, do we have like a Spanish language channel on the Slack? It’s called the local Slack.

[00:13:37] Matt: Ah, yeah, so he said that they have a local version, a free version that’s separate. Um, you shouldn’t need to do that. So that’s something we can do is actually create some official channels for the different language communities on the official Slack.

[00:13:56] Matt: We have been talking a bit about this and it had been turned down a couple of [00:14:00] times but with your support I think we should get a little bit closer to that. So thank you. Then I know what to do. Thank you. Awesome. Yeah. Yeah, on the free Slack you lose history, you guys have features, like you lose a whole bunch of stuff.

[00:14:15] Matt: There’s no reason that you should have to have a separate one. So I apologize that you’ve been stuck in something. Um, but, you know, state of the words and Q and A’s are a great way to fix that. So thank you for asking the good questions. 

[00:14:30] Moderator: Well, we are going to answer this because it’s in the podium for the last, from the beginning.

[00:14:35] Moderator: From Moses Sebuwufu. How can, uh, AI empower WordPress users while holding openness, freedom, and community? 

[00:14:46] Matt: Hmm. So, again, I think first and foremost, it’s going to be, uh, the two things I talked about in the State of the Word I think are really key. So first, you know, using these AI tools as essentially productivity enhancers.[00:15:00]

[00:15:00] Matt: And just like, you know, learning to read or learning to code was sort of a basic, uh, Elements of literacy in the modern age. I believe that learning to use these tools effectively is probably one of the most important skills any of us can pick, pick up. Uh, it’s often called prompt engineering. And basically it’s the, uh, the art of asking, you know, the tool to help you.

[00:15:23] Matt: By the way, this is also one of the weirdest areas of technology right now. So, if you follow this, there’s actually been some funny stuff where new versions of ChatGBT have gotten lazier. Has anyone seen this? So literally, things that you would ask it to do a few months ago, if you ask it now, it’ll be like, uh, just Google this.

[00:15:44] Matt: It won’t actually do it anymore. And so, but there’s tricks to ask it in different ways that get it to do it. And the two kind of strange tricks, uh, that have been working, and again, this, this must be temporary, because this seems like a bug, is if you wanted to type out [00:16:00] something like code, Um, you can pretend to not have fingers.

[00:16:04] Matt: So you tell it that, please do this for me because I, I’m not able to type myself. The other strange thing that is working right now is you can offer to tip it. So you say, if you do this, I’ll give you 200. You don’t actually have to do that. It’s just a weird thing with the models. So, it’s really very much, again, it’s a very exciting time to be alive.

[00:16:26] Matt: It does feel like we’re creating kind of new intelligence or new lifeforms. And uh, they are going through their teenage years where they’re getting a little rebellious. Who knows what happens next? Um, but definitely follow prompt engineering. It’s a, it’s a really interesting kind of part. The stuff I just mentioned must be a bug.

[00:16:44] Matt: I’m sure that’ll be gone in a month or something. But, uh, but basically the point I’m trying to make is that learning how to ask these tools what to do is very important. So if you just say, hey build me a plugin, it’s not going to work. But you could say, you know, learn how to ask it step by step [00:17:00] for instructions.

[00:17:00] Matt: Or how to sort of talk to it in a certain way that will allow it to become a really amazing productivity enhancer. And the second thing which we already talked about is education. So if there’s anything you want to learn, um, you know, Try, as maybe a compliment to reading Wikipedia pages or taking online courses, talking to the chatbots about it, and asking them to explain things.

[00:17:22] Matt: It’s been really powerful for me, where I felt like I had gaps in my knowledge around physics, or weather, or some other, meteorology, something like that. Um, talking to this is a great way to learn. Now of course, you know, they can make mistakes too, so they, what’s It’s what’s called Hallucinate, um, so pair it with Googling and reading Wikipedia, et cetera.

[00:17:40] Matt: But a really, really powerful way to enhance your education. 

[00:17:45] Moderator: Thank you so much. Uh, Michael from NitroPack. Great presentation. Do you believe in Gutenberg and data liberation? 

[00:17:52] Matt: Three percent, you know, going up. Um, now, we’re still ten times larger than the number two. [00:18:00] And there was some slowdown in some other platforms, including Wix and Shopify.

[00:18:04] Matt: Also, as I mentioned, I think last year or the year before, the data sources for these numbers have changed. So, we were expecting a little bit of wonkiness, but I would say that this is actually correlated around a number of, uh, different sources. So, my best thesis for why this is happening is, one, we need to create much more compelling e commerce functionality, and, um, sort of ease of use in the WordPress community.

[00:18:26] Matt: Um, sort of our best in class there, whether it’s from WooCommerce or other plugins, is, uh, It needs to be more slick and, you know, to compete with things like Shopify, which is doing a really good job. And two, it’s what I talked about with the friction. So all these tools, there’s been a lot more friction between moving between things.

[00:18:44] Matt: Even within WordPress, like I said, um, we don’t have a bulk migration tool to go from classic Uh, post to blocks. You kind of have to do it one by one when you load it up to switch it to be Gutenberg native. And so, basically ways to take every single block builder, every single thing [00:19:00] out there, and convert it to Gutenberg blocks.

[00:19:02] Matt: Gutenberg can now support pretty much everything. And then as we do that, also say like, you know, point this at any website. Or maybe even any arbitrary HTML. Convert this to blocks. Um, there’s almost nothing that you can’t build with blocks today. So, uh, creating migration paths for everything to blocks.

[00:19:19] Matt: It’s going to be really, really powerful. And then the cool thing is once it’s in the blocks in WordPress, there’s a million ways to get it back out into other systems. You know, we have the REST API, XMRPC API, we’ll have exports, we’ll have the GraphQL plugins. Like, there’s so many different ways. So, again, I think if we can get these things into WordPress, it will be amazing for sort of increasing the data portability, for getting them wherever you want it to go.

[00:19:42] Matt: And I believe that WordPress as a data store is also probably one that has the most legitimacy and chance of being something that will be well supported for decades to come. So, I think that’s really important. Okay, we’ve got a few, I can read some of these, it’s alright. Um, what would you like to eat, drink in WordCamp Asia 2024?

[00:19:59] Matt: Asked by the [00:20:00] local team. Um, I, I believe there’s a type of pooled noodles that’s really amazing in Taiwan, like a beef noodle thing. Um, I don’t even know the name off the top of my head, but when I’ve had that at restaurants before, it’s been amazing. So, like, I really love, like, soups, so maybe, like, soup noodle things.

[00:20:17] Matt: Um, I’d really love that. Um, plans to take Automatic public in the future? Uh, nothing to announce there, obviously. I think there’s only been, like, two IPOs in the past year. So, um, it would be great to have a way for more people to participate in ownership of Automatic. But that’s just not really something that I think the markets are really well set up for right now.

[00:20:38] Matt: Um, this is not a nice question, but it says, this company is doing lots of shady things like auto installs, data harvesting. Why does WordPress not take action on it? Um, well, one, I would say that it’s not fair to say there aren’t changes happening. And, you know, I have seen AwesomeMotive update a number of plugins already.

[00:20:56] Matt: To roll back some things that might have been a little aggressive and they got some feedback on. [00:21:00] As well, we’re also always evolving the plugin guidelines. So, one thing with growing the plugin review team, I think is also saying that like, you know, we have our rules, and um, But there’s lots of things that might not be covered by a specific rule that we just might think is a best practice.

[00:21:14] Matt: And we want to encourage in the plugin directory in the future. We have a lot of levers there around ranking or other things that we can do to sort of, um, you know, help plugin developers come on, or come on board with whatever the best, uh, best practice for user experience is. So, um, I don’t think it’s fair to call out this particular company.

[00:21:31] Matt: There’s tons of plugins doing this, including Jetpack. I think, uh, you know, did some things that I think were For example, putting notices on, uh, on pages that aren’t just a plugin. I think we’re gonna roll that back. So right now, plugins can add notices to kind of any page. I think in the future we’re gonna say, like, you can add notices to your own page that your plugin has, but just adding them to other WordPress pages or other plugins pages is a no no.

[00:21:55] Matt: So again, something well intentioned. You know, I, I kind of remember when that hook [00:22:00]admin notice was first created. Um, but obviously over the past 20 years or 15 years since it was created. Um, it’s been kinda overused. So I think, uh, we can update guidelines. Also give plugin developers a chance to comment on this.

[00:22:13] Matt: Because maybe those notices are being driven by a real need. Because they need people to finish setting up the plugin. Or they need to drive something. One thing I’m seeing a lot is people asking for reviews on these notices. Okay, maybe there’s a different way we can solve that. So, you know, I think, not just saying, like, hey, don’t do this, but actually looking at the core need of why plugins feel the need to do this.

[00:22:32] Matt: Maybe there’s a cleaner way we can address that. So, for example, plugins need more reviews. Um, why? Because typically, the people who are drawn to review are the unhappy people. So a plugin might have millions of happy users that just don’t, you know, take the time to go review. So how can we make it easier for those happy users to review as well?

[00:22:53] Matt: view in the star ratings of plugins on how a plugin actually is. So, um, maybe we can make it so built [00:23:00] into the WP admin you could do a little star rating. Maybe we make it when you click update on a plugin. It can invite you to review it, if you like it. And we can tie this into your WordPress. org profile.

[00:23:10] Matt: So there’s no reason that we can’t register your WordPress. org profile on your WP admin. So we could tie it to maybe your favorites and other things on WordPress. org, but also we know what you reviewed it already. Um, if a plug in crashes your site, maybe we invite you to review it then. I don’t know. All these are options in ways to sort of look at the core need there, not just, you know, say, no, we shouldn’t have these banners.

[00:23:31] Matt: So that’s how I think about this going forward. 

[00:23:34] Moderator: Two questions about multilingual. What about, uh, will multisite see some love in phase 4? I think you said something in the presentation. 

[00:23:45] Matt: Yeah, I talked about multilingual, not multisite. You know, multisite is ongoing develop, uh, develop as part of WordPress.

[00:23:52] Matt: So it gets some love in literally every release of WordPress. And props to the multisite team there. It will be interesting as we get further, [00:24:00] or closer to implementing native multilingual. What, how we decide to do that data structure. And whether we decide to implement it through something like multisite.

[00:24:08] Matt: Or we, you know, sort of extend the built in WordPress tables. Um, TBD, that is one of the things we’re not sure about yet. And we’ll be exploring before we enter phase four.

[00:24:20] Moderator: Would you consider supporting Mastodon instead of X? Which is there for a 

[00:24:26] Matt: while. Um, yeah, so I actually have a Mastodon account. I believe I’m photomat on mastodon. social. I should have mentioned that. Also I should, I’m saying it because people thought it was someone impersonating me. So it’s not, it’s really me.

[00:24:42] Matt: Um, I do have impersonators online, but that is not one of them. That one’s actually me. And now you know for sure. Um, and so yeah, we can definitely, I, I don’t know if we have a WordPress Mastodon account but we can definitely do that if we haven’t already. Okay.

[00:24:59] Moderator: There’s another, [00:25:00] another 

[00:25:00] Matt: question. Um, yeah, this is a good one. Yeah. Anything regarding localized websites maybe automatically with AI and making managing a multilingual website easier. Um, it is true. So, I mean, these AI tools right now are typically run in the cloud. Um, so something that would be a little tricky to support natively in WordPress.

[00:25:20] Matt: There are some really cool open source ones, but I don’t think they are going to be easy to run in shared hosting environments. What’s way more powerful, when you think about the open source AI or other things, is running it locally on your device. We all have these devices in our pocket, which have a thousand times more compute power than the computer that put a man on the moon.

[00:25:40] Matt: On our desktops, they’re growing, the chips are getting faster, everything on our local devices. So I think we’re going to see more of this processing go to the edge. I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot with, um, how we do, like, thumbnail creation and stuff in WordPress. Or convert between file formats.

[00:25:54] Matt: Is there a way we could actually now do that in the browser, before you upload? So, there’s, [00:26:00]we could maybe push some of this processing, actually, to your computer. I think it would be really, really, really cool. And stuff like Playground, sort of create some frameworks for that. So, also, how amazing would that be for all the hosts in the world that now if you’re generating a thousand new thumbnails, you could just run something on your computer for five minutes versus spiking the server or getting your account throttled.

[00:26:18] Matt: Um, so, again, this is just a way, I think more computing at the edge is gonna happen. It is possible, so I guess I’ll say this, put this out here now, that the translation tools being built into operating systems and browsers, are gonna get so amazingly good that there will be less push for sort of creating human created first party translations of websites.

[00:26:43] Matt: I don’t think it goes away at all, and there’s lots of places where there might be like country regulations or something, or a business might want to create like a hand translated website, but I wonder if sort of the, the community demand for this will go down, since there’ll be such amazing things. Okay, I see some heads [00:27:00] shaking, but let’s see how this plays out over the next few years.

[00:27:02] Matt: Um, again, as someone myself who consumes a lot of the web, and I’ve been reading a lot of your Spanish tweets and everything like that, it’s been really amazing for just built into the browser, I can just click translate into iOS and like, I get amazing real time translations. I wonder if, you know, built, being built into OS or browser layer is going to just make the web a lot more accessible to all.

[00:27:24] Matt: And can happen in parallel to what we’re doing in core. 

[00:27:29] Moderator: Well, there are the three of them. Cool. 

[00:27:32] Matt: So Do we want to make this the last three? Are we doing on time? Yeah. Probably. 

[00:27:36] Moderator: Yeah. Yeah. At least one more. From Jose Arcos, for example. In the past year, some people have never reduced their contribution. What are the plans to protect long term contributors and make them feel safe?

[00:27:48] Moderator: Well, 

[00:27:48] Matt: yeah. Um, yeah, I’ll just kind of go through these. Paid themes, insights for automatics, financial. And, Taffy Bee Tavern. 

[00:27:57] Moderator: These are the new ones, but they are too 

[00:27:59] fast, 

[00:27:59] Matt: so. [00:28:00] Okay, okay. Um, yeah, for automatic, you know, we’re building the company for the long term. Um, so, I’m happy to say that we’re blessed with really great investors.

[00:28:08] Matt: And, you know, building a great business through subscribers. So, hopefully we can create, keep creating things that are valuable for folks. And have a subscription model that, um, that grows. And very, you know, we’re hiring, we’re excited to grow the company. And, uh, yeah. I don’t feel any, uh, existential, uh, problems there.

[00:28:27] Matt: Uh, this question is about WP Tavern. This is true. This is something that is my fault. So, uh, I’m going to be hiring two new writers for WP Tavern. For those who don’t know, WP Tavern is sort of a great community website with no sponsorships or ads or anything. That has been a great coverage of the WordPress community.

[00:28:43] Matt: Um, we just had the retirement of Sarah Gooding, who’s been a writer there for over the past 10 years. She is leaving very big shoes to fill, so we’re actually gonna hire two writers. And, uh, there’s been some great applications. It’s just on me, and the preparation for State of the Word, and last week I had two board meetings, and [00:29:00] gave a talk, and all that sort of stuff.

[00:29:01] Matt: I’m a little bit behind on that. Uh, but I will be looking at those applications, and inviting some of those people to create some posts, sort of just on a freelance basis, and then we’ll Pick the two new writers for WP Tavern, so keep an eye out for that in the new year. One from Jose Arcos. Oh, thank you.

[00:29:18] Matt: I also would like to create some translations of WP Tavern, so I think that also could be pretty cool. 

[00:29:24] Moderator: This one at the bottom, is headless WordPress a good choice? I think this is a topic that people is interested in because the rest are 

[00:29:34] Matt: the same. Is headless WordPress a good choice? One, I like to call it decoupled.

[00:29:40] Matt: Headless just sounds a little weird, right? Um, I think it can be a good choice in certain, uh, in certain, uh, sort of constraints. So as we saw with the interactivity API, this kind of demo website, one cool feature about it is it can play the video in the corner. And as you navigate to pages, it’s [00:30:00] not reloading the page, so it’s, that video keeps playing.

[00:30:02] Matt: That’s actually a, a great reason to do a more decoupled approach. And have kind of a, a more JavaScript based application talking to an API to get the content. Um, now that said, I believe that a lot of the companies in the JAMstack or headless space have, have really oversold the benefits of this. And so, there’s a lot of ways where it just can introduce a lot of complexity.

[00:30:22] Matt: And in some cases, even worse performance. than just serving a PHP file, or what they’re now calling server side rendering as the big new thing in some of these frameworks. Uh, so that’s, you know, kind of built in to how PHP works. And we’re seeing with improvements in PHP processing and hosting and everything like that, um, you know, uh, just a core WordPress theme with WordPress can actually be incredibly performant.

[00:30:46] Matt: And some of those sites I talked about that are doing huge number of page views are actually just running that, that more, um, integrated architecture versus creating something where you have lots of different services or, or pieces and, and apps talking to each other. So, [00:31:00] um, but all of this, You know, it goes to the needs of the customer, the needs of your website, and the needs of your users.

[00:31:06] Matt: So I would say, if you’re driving it from that point of view, um, there’s many ways to build it, and WordPress is going to support all of them. Uh, so we want to be the most flexible tool for all developers, agencies, etc. Um, I’ll have my own opinions about when you should do these or not, but, you know, I’m also not building websites every day.

[00:31:23] Matt: So, you know, an agency or something else might, might understand something about their customer or their workflow for how they want to build it. So, we’re going to support it all. 

[00:31:32] Moderator: What is your favorite WordPress block? Do you have any? 

[00:31:35] Matt: Ah, yeah. Uh, the poetry block. I think it’s the, we call it the prose block.

[00:31:39] Matt: Yeah. Oh, verse. Ah, yeah. Well, it’s basically for poetry or prose. And it’s a, it’s a block that preserves the white space. So, you know, many great poets throughout the years, like E. E. Cummings and others, like write poetry where the, the sort of spacing of it and the layout is, is, uh, is really important. We have a block for that.[00:32:00]

[00:32:00] Moderator: You talk about the location of WorldCamp US, but do you have any clue about the dates? There is something in mind. 

[00:32:08] Matt: September what? Mid September, I think the 16th through 19th. And I think we’re gonna do two days of contributor and two days of the events.

[00:32:22] Matt: We got a yes. 

[00:32:26] Moderator: And of course, the omelette with onion and without onion. And if you know something in Spanish, Matt.

[00:32:36] Matt: My high school Spanish teacher is going to watch this later and be so disappointed. I’ll tell you a funny story about that. So I can actually understand a lot of Spanish. And that’s, you know, my best friend in Houston, Rene Rinales, his mom speaks Spanish to us. Um, you’re growing up in Houston, in Texas, which is basically like northern Mexico.

[00:32:56] Matt: It’s very much in the culture and everywhere. And so, I, I just, [00:33:00] I actually, and I, Actually, there was no WordCamp, it was before WordCamp, but early on, when I was traveling to blogging conferences, I got to actually spend a few weeks in Buenos Aires. And I found particularly the slower way that people talk there.

[00:33:14] Matt: I don’t know if that’s accurate, but for me, maybe it was just embedding it for a few weeks. I actually got much better. Also I will say that I’m the only one in my family who’s not pretty fluent in Spanish. My sister, if you talk to her, actually her job used to be completely bilingual. And before I was born, my sister, mom, and dad used to live in Mexico City.

[00:33:32] Matt: So, this is all the reasons I should be fluent. Or should be able to say something more than donde baño or something.

[00:33:43] Matt: Hermana? My sister? Yeah, yes, of course, si. Uh, I love my sister. Hermana Mariosa. Hermana Mar I’m not good. Mariosa? Mariosa. Oh, my sister is marvelous, [00:34:00] yeah. Yes. Is that what I said? Yeah? Okay, great. Um, so maybe this is why I haven’t learned it. I have such great translators everywhere. But it’s back to high school Spanish, and we’ll, we’ll end here.

[00:34:14] Matt: So, just with a fun little story for y’all. Um, I’m in my high school Spanish class, and already at this time, I was kind of spending all my time on computers, and I was doing jazz, and I was really just doing the bare minimum in each class to get by, and so, uh, for the Spanish class, I was just kind of getting by.

[00:34:32] Matt: But the teacher was like, well, you can do an extra credit process, uh, project to, um, to, to get more points. And I think it would raise me from, like, a C to a B or something. And you can actually see this website still online. So, on GeoCities, I created a website dedicated to Columbia. Um, you GeoCities, but there was a way to migrate it to a domain.

[00:34:56] Matt: So, actually, at saxmat02. So, sax, [00:35:00] like saxophone, S A X. M A T T 0 2 dot com. You can see my old Geocity site. Um, and there’s this page on Columbia. A little mini site. Uh, I made it using Microsoft front page. I must have been like 16 at the time. It used to have some widgets on it. You know, the little counters or guestbooks or things.

[00:35:20] Matt: And why was it Columbia? Um, because Uh, my father actually worked in Columbia for about a year. And so it was the first country I ever visited outside of the US was, uh, went to Bogota for a few weeks. And, uh, so piecing together, like, stuff from encyclopedias and stuff on the web. I think I used Microsoft Encarta, if someone remembers that.

[00:35:39] Matt: I sort of created this webpage that’s, uh, all about Columbia. So it’s still online. You can check it out. It hasn’t changed much in the past twenty something years, or at all. Uh, 2001 is when I made it. Okay. So, uh. When was the last time it was updated? Oh, last time it was updated in 2001. I actually just went up and updated the email address on this, this site just a few days ago.

[00:35:58] Matt: But yeah, you can see it. And that is how I [00:36:00] passed Spanish in high school. So, I kind of get by by making websites. Thank 

[00:36:05] Moderator: you for sharing that. 

[00:36:07] Matt: Thank you all. This has been so amazing. so much. So,

[00:36:19] Moderator: State of the War is coming to an end. Thank you for being here. 

[00:36:23] Matt: But now, now’s the fun part, because I feel sorry for you all streaming, but in person, we’re now going to celebrate in person, so we’re going to have a lot of fun here. And thank you all. Thank you so much, 

[00:36:33] Moderator: thank you so much.

[00:36:38] Matt: Oh, there were projects that we didn’t, there were questions we didn’t get to, so on Slash Project. make. wordpress. org slash project. Um, we are going to answer the questions that we didn’t have a chance to get to right here. Unless they’re about high school Spanish in which case, uh, we’re going to skip those.

[00:36:52] Matt: But thank you all, this has been so amazing. Thank you Madrid. Thank you so 

[00:36:55] Moderator: much, thank you so much.

[00:36:56] ​[00:37:00]

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