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How Future-Safe are Your Ideas?

Will the Big Think piece you just posted to Medium be there in 2035? That may sound like it’s very far off in the future, and who could possibly care, but if there’s any value to your writing, you should care. Having good records is how knowledge builds. If we’re constantly starting over how can we pretend to be accomplishing anything other than self-promotion? Is that enough? Don’t we need more value in our thinking?

Dave Winer asks some tough questions in How future-safe are your ideas?

The Year of Accessibility in WordPress

In The Year of the WordPress Accessibility Team, Drew Jaynes pays a big compliment to the WordPress Accessibility Team and many of its members. He says:

I think as we progress in further asserting accessibility in WordPress as a priority, we’ll see even more new faces make appearances in future releases. It’s a testament to the quality of work coming out of this team that makes, for me, 2015 the year of accessibility in WordPress.

Aaron Jorbin also highlighted Drew’s post and said:

Drew is completely on target here. The WordPress Accessibility team has been rocking it lately. It wasn’t long ago that the question of if the Accessibility team should exist was floating around. They were the only team without a product, but instead focused on things across many teams. Since then, the team has stepped up big time and really is making WordPress better for everyone.

Drew led the release for 4.2 and Aaron is a Contributing Developer, longtime accessibility advocate and recently earned permanent commit access. I had a huge smile on my face when I read both of the posts because I know how far our team has come. We’re better organized, more focused and always ready to collaborate with the WordPress community. It’s showing!

But we’re just part of the reason for the successes Drew and Aaron point out. The bigger impetus for our progress belongs to the community. Everyone. All of you! When I talk to people in the community, the conversation has been less about “What is accessibility?” and more about “How can we work together to make WordPress more accessible?”

So thank you to everyone who took the time to think about, design for and implement accessibility in their workflow. We’re all making WordPress better for everyone, and I can’t wait to see what we do next!

Meet Twenty Sixteen

Today, Tammie Lister introduced Twenty Sixteen, the next default theme for WordPress, to the world. It’s designed by the Takashi Irie, who also created Twenty Fourteen and Twenty Fifteen. In his own words:

Twenty Sixteen is a modernised approach of an ever-popular layout — a horizontal masthead and an optional right sidebar that works well with both blogs and websites. It has custom color options that allow you to make your own Twenty Sixteen. The theme was designed on a harmonious fluid grid with a mobile first approach. This means it looks great on any device.

If you want to get involved, make sure you’re following the Make WordPress Core blog, and check out the meeting times for Twenty Sixteen.

WordPress Core Contributor Streak

In case you missed it, WordPress 4.3 came out a few days ago. I contributed in a few small ways to both the default themes and the Customizer. After the release, I realized something even cooler than contributing to 4.3. I’ve contributed to the last five WordPress releases! It all started with 3.9, my first “props” in WordPress.

That’s a nice streak, and one I hope to keep going.

Remembering the Everyday Developer

I listened to this Web Ahead episode today about the everyday developer, and it resonated with me. I imagine many developers would identify with it because it hits on the fact that the tool chain for building websites has become increasingly complex. It’s getting harder and harder to “get started” with the Web. Any developer can become overwhelmed by what to learn next. That said, many seasoned Web workers know two of the main messages that Jen Simmons and Rachel Andrew talk about to combat the feelings of overload:

  1. Tools are just tools, not the raw material – the building blocks.
  2. Know how to teach yourself new skills.

Those are good messages to keep pinned to the top your text notes and read the next time you want to open that new shiny thing.