It’s official – I’ll be speaking at WordCamp Edinburgh next month

I may have developing on the WordPress platform for 11 years but, as yet, I haven’t been a speaker at a WordCamp. In fact, other than at work, internally, I’ve never given a talk on WordPress at all. So, it’s with some relief that I can announce that I will “pop my cherry” next month, as I’m announced as a speaker at WordCamp Edinburgh.

But there’s a little story behind it (ssshhh, don’t tell the organisers).

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Has the ClassicPress fork of WordPress taken a wrong turn?

ClassicPress has recently been making headlines within the WordPress community – it’s a fork of WordPress which doesn’t include Gutenberg. Personally, I didn’t get it – you can just as easily install the standard WordPress Core and use the Classic Editor plugin to turn Gutenberg off.

But I have nothing against forks, per se, as Gary Pendergast (Pento) recently wrote, they are a much needed thing within the open source community. However, Pento put it succinctly when he said…

ClassicPress has styled itself as a protest against Gutenberg

However, recent proposals for ClassicPress now make me wonder what their aim really was and whether they’ve made a turn for the worst.

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Can we talk about Gutenberg and some of the toxic elements of the community?

Unlike so many of the articles on the subject of Gutenberg, I’m not going to review it. I’ve run it on my site for some time and think it’s great. As a non-JS (okay, I know a little) developer, it’s going to be a steep hill to convert my plugins but as a user, I think it’s an amazing improvement.

No, I want to talk about some of the toxicity in the community and discuss some of the conspiracy theories that accompanies this.

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Detecting per-post use of Gutenberg

There may be times when you need to detect use of Gutenberg on a per-post level – for example, a plugin that adds specific Gutenberg functionality, or maybe to display specific content on Gutenberg pages.

With plugins such as Gutenberg Ramp available, making it easy to specify specific groups of posts that should use Gutenberg, plus the fact that only posts you edit/add after installing Gutenberg will make use of its new functionality, it’s easy to see that most sites will end up with a mixed estate.

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Introducing WordPress’ Gutenberg editor to The Big Tech Question

I’ve been writing for The Big Tech Question (BTQ) website for some time now. It’s my first foray into serious journalism but it really lets me sharpen my teeth on higher quality writing – one that I can then use back at my job with Automattic too.

But the link between the two doesn’t end there. When I joined them they were using WordPress but hosted somewhere, well, not very good. I convinced them to move to WordPress.com and, now, I’ve moved them onto the Gutenberg (GB) editor. In this post I want to give a little more detail on why, how and what then happened!

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How to switch off the “Try Gutenberg” callout

When WordPress 4.9.8 hits, it will include a callout to try Gutenberg. It’s a great way to bring it to the attention of those who may not already be aware of it. However, for those who already are, it may be unwelcome.

It can be dismissed easily but if you’re managing a number of sites you may not want it to appear in the first place, save getting a lot of questions from users.

There is a plugin available to ensure it doesn’t appear but, tbh, it’s a lot simpler than even that.

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How to check for a minimum level of PHP within a WordPress plugin

Oh my. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt such hate from users. What horrendous thing did I do? I change one of my plugins so that it now required PHP 7 to work, instead of 5.3.

You know PHP 7… which itself goes out of support in the next few months. PHP 7 also being the recommended minimum level of PHP for running WordPress.

Anyhow, I’ve written a short function which, when added to a plugin, will check for the current level and fail the activation if it doesn’t meet the requirements.

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