WordPress 4.6 Beta 1 and feature freeze

Hey! WordPress 4.6 is cranking along, and a feature freeze and beta has dropped.

There are two big sub-projects in this release: Font Natively and Shiny Updates.

Font Natively reverses what I’ve always considered the mistake of linking to Google Fonts in the WordPress admin pages. One of my essential plugins has always been either Remove Google Fonts References or Disable Google Fonts, to remove those links. I am very happy this embarrassing mistake is being fixed.

Shiny Updates make the experience of updating themes, plugins and WordPress core a more enjoyable and straightforward process, in line with expectations for modern software. This is polish, follows WordPress’ principles of “designing for the majority, and striving for simplicity”. It will also make it a slightly better experience for those of us that run updates habitually (though I’ve largely moved to using Advanced Automatic Updates or WP-CLI myself).

This will be a fun update! Do you have any wish(list)s for future WordPress releases? I am always curious what folks are looking for. ^_^

WordPress Theme Review Team revising review process

WordPress is an amazing volunteer project, with real bodies working to keep the Theme and Plugin repositories online, as well as the support forums humming along. With so many users on the web using WordPress, it is a big job.

The Theme Review Team knows they are behind in reviewing new themes, and have a (action!) plan to reduce the queue. There is a revised workflow presented, as well as a plan to develop a theme check plugin on GitHub.

I am very grateful for this work to be done, and I’ve considered joining the theme review team myself. I’ve heard it is a good way to learn decent theme coding standards, and I intend to release a theme to the public repo (eventually, no timeline for that!).

If you are interested in theme development and how the WordPress infrastructure supports it, follow the Theme Review Team make blog. ^_^

GNU/Linux desktop usage may have hit 2%

Linux Desktop Marketshare Just Passed 2 Percent, or so one study claims. That article goes on to explain that the numbers are not reliable, but generally folks believe it hovers between 1% and 2.5% of marketshare on desktop computers. Also, I am guessing “desktop” in this instance includes laptops.

I am surprised! I thought it would at least be around 10 percent or more. But of course I live in a (apparently tiny) bubble. Even though I have three “desktop” computers, two of them run GNU/Linux systems.

Of course, it is close to the inverse for servers, and anyone visiting a website is likely using a Linux-based system in that moment. Still, ~2% desktop usage is kinda depressing. I figured we would have shown more folks the usefulness of their computers by now.

Are the same market forces at work here? Of course Android is technically Linux, so if it just folks moving away from desktops that caused adoption to stagnate? Or maybe the old standby of practically no marketing budget going into it? How do we get more folks into GNU/Linux?