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Autor: Florian Lehnebach

WordCamp Europe 2017 in Paris


From 15th June to 17th June 2017 the biggest WordPress event of Europe took place in the beautiful French city of Paris which is famous for its art and of course the Eiffel tower. 1,900 attendees from 79 countries have attended WordCamp Europe. Approximately 1,000 people from 77 countries have seen the livestream. In total 2,900 was the total audience from 92 countries for WordCamp Europe 2017.

A team of 45 organizers and 221 volunteers made this event successful. The event was made accessible to as many people of different languages as possible with superfast live captioning in English and French, as well as real-time audio translation.

From dkd, our developers Ivaylo, Florian und Vineet attended the WordCamp.


Contributor Day 

On 14th June, the day started at 8:15 with registrations for the event and sessions kickstarted around 9 am. About 500 people have participated in the contributor day. During the keynote session, participants were briefed about the contributor day and given an introduction on how one can contribute to WordPress and how the day has been organized. Several workshops had been organised as well throughout the day to give more insights on contributing into certain areas.

For the first session, we decided to attend the workshop of «Getting Up and Running with Vanilla JavaScript». It was presented with a pretty nice insight on best practices for coding JavaScript in WordPress and looking at how things really work under the hood without the use of JavaScript or frameworks.

Since different tracks were running in parallel, we decided to split up in order to attend as many sessions as possible and later discuss the knowledge.


Session «Glotpress features for WordPress translators» presented insight on GlotPress – the translation management system for WordPress running behind https://translate.wordpress.org.

Fact of the day: "GlotPress supports 201 locales out of the box."

The next session we attended was "Keyboard navigation for accessibility" by Rian Rietveld. She presented an overview on optimising code and improving site's accessibility to make it usable with keyboards. There were live tests by the speaker on different websites. The website developed by dkd for VGF Frankfurt https://vgf-ffm.de was also presented for the test and it passed the accessibility test for keyboard navigation.


So, @vgf_ffm passed the accessibility test in a live session by @RianRietveld at #WCEU#dkd#dkdontour ~fl, vt

— dkd (@dkd_de) June 15, 2017 

The last and super interesting session of the day we attended was «Visual Data Using the WordPress API».

In this session, it was explained what kind of wonders you can do with WordPress REST API and different JavaScripts by different speakers and briefed with some examples. One of the tasks of the workshop was: The speaker asked everyone to make a comment on a page link given by him in one or two words. He then showed us a live example of visualising those comments retrieved via WordPress REST API. He then visualised them with the help of processing on a pretty nice interface.



On 15th June was the first day of WordCamp Europe. The first session of the day we visited was "Demystifying the WordPress Bootstrap Process". The session presented a detailed overview of the execution flow that launches your WordPress website on each page request. Along with this detailed insights about the order in which WordPress files are loaded, global constants, database connection, localization loading, Plugin API initialization and so on were given.


After that we attended a session which discussed the topic «Improving WordPress performance with XDebug and PHP Profiling».

The next talk was a pretty interesting talk titled "The three kinds of Design" by @johnmaeda. According to the session, the first design was called classical design. It's the most dominant one. E. g. the wedding design – you don't want to look bad on your wedding. This design technique is being around for hundreds of years. Basically, it has to do with making things beautiful and shiny.

It’s an old way of design, that much of the technology world is stuck in today because it’s what is practiced the most. The way it works is simple:

1. A feature is conceived and engineered so that it works, and then

2. A designer is brought in to make the feature pretty. This is commonly called lipstick on a pig — which means that it’s when you bring in design to cosmetically enhance that which is, underneath it all, a less palatable option.

This is the least impactful kind of design and use of design talent, and happens quite naturally when it comes to how most developers work with designers. But it isn’t the developers fault — it’s mainly the designers’ fault.

The Second one is, Design thinking which is used in businesses across worldwide. For instance, different diagrams used for understanding organizations and it is used by consultants.

The third one is, Technology design, also called computational design. This kind of technique moves with the speed of informational systems. WordPress designers are computational designers and 90% of designers are classical designers.

The session was successfully able to spark some discussions about how design can be leveraged best in the WordPress community.

Later on we attended couple of sessions regarding WordPress security.

One of them was Security is a process by Mark Jaquith. As per the session, security is not magic and neither rocket science. It's a process and mindset not a plugin merely, that you install. Along with the detailed discussions on best practices to help secure your WordPress websites.


There is no excuse of not having #ssl#certificate thanks to @letsencrypt@markjaquith ~vt #WCEU#dkd#dkdontour#security

— dkd (@dkd_de) June 16, 2017

Another talk on security was quite different than the previous talk. This talk was titled «WordPress Security For All» (http://wordpress.tv/2017/06/22/miriam-schwab-wordpress-security-for-all-you-wont-believe-how-simple-it-can-be/) by Miriam Schwab. The most interesting part in this talk was, «Going serverless in WordPress using AWS Lambda»

The benefits of going static and serverless for security are, NO database, it removes vulnerabilities, faster, more scalable, content synchronized. It would be quite interesting to learn the detailed workflow by the speaker when they launch https://strattic.com/.


Then, we attended a couple more interesting sessions such as WooCommerce Workshop, «Is Your code ready for PHP7?»

(http://wordpress.tv/2017/06/22/julka-grodel-is-your-code-ready-for-php7/) and «How to grow from freelancer to agency owner» (http://wordpress.tv/2017/06/21/david-lockie-how-to-grow-from-freelancer-to-agency-owner-2/).


Day 2

On 16th June, the second day of WordCamp Europe, the first session we attended was «People over Code» (http://wordpress.tv/2017/06/21/andrew-nacin-people-over-code/) by Andrew Nacin, a Lead Developer of WordPress who has led many major releases for WordPress and worked for U.S. Digital Service at the White House. He talked about how your interactions with others matter and how important it is to think with people, not for them.

"Don't use jargon while talking to the customer" by @nacin at #WCEU. Solution for good customer #communication? ~iki #dkd#dkdontour

— dkd (@dkd_de) June 17, 2017

When asked about WordPress security, perfectness and usability.

I would rather have imperfect piece of software that everyone uses rather than a perfect software that no one uses @nacin#WordPress#WCEU

— Vineet Talwar (@talwar_vineet) June 17, 2017

Later we attended two different sessions on accessibility, «Accessibility In The Age Of The Headless CMS» - http://wordpress.tv/2017/06/22/rian-rietveld-accessibility-in-the-age-of-the-headless-cms/ and slides can be seen at http://rianrietveld.com/2017/06/09/wceu17/.

With the REST API now in WordPress' core the sky's the limit. The way we developers work, will change: How we build themes, how we interact with the database, how we setup plugins. This will affect the way users experience a website. What about accessibility? How to make dynamic and JavaScript driven content available for everyone? This talk presented an overview of the pitfalls and give you workarounds and some possible solutions.


Second talk of accessibility was titled «Selfish accessibility» (http://wordpress.tv/2017/06/21/adrian-roselli-selfish-accessibility-3/).

Slides from the session can be found at https://www.slideshare.net/aardrian/selfish-accessibility-wordcamp-europe-2017


Did you know, «l10n means l(ocalizatio)n itself» Where 'l' and 'n' being the first and last words and middle letters are counted. So, it became l10n.

Similarly, i18n is a numeronym for i(nternationalizatio)n and a11y is numeronym for a(ccesibilit)y. The speaker mentioned, why you should implement accessibility in your website, because one day you are going to be old too, you may also have such issues. The key takeaways from this talk were a broader context for how all users are or will be disabled, whether temporarily or permanently. Basic tests and best practices that can be integrated into development team workflows to make interfaces accessible. Further, introduction to standards and tools already available.

Then, we attended an interview with Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress and founder of Automattic Inc., the company behind key WordPress products such as WordPress.com, Akismet, Gravatar, VaultPress, VideoPress, Polldaddy and E-commerce plugin WooCommerce. Matt has unveiled the curtains for the "Gutenberg" editor for WordPress at the WordCamp Europe. Gutenberg editor is released as a feature plugin and is available to be used as a plugin from WordPress plugin repository.

Gutenberg editor is set to merge in WordPress core in release 5.0. This block based editor "Gutenberg" is built by many contributors and volunteers.


The interview with Matt Mullenweg lasted nearly an hour and session can be seen at http://wordpress.tv/interview-and-qanda-with-matt-mullenweg/.

The last, but not least, talk we attended was about «Data Visualization using WordPress Rest API». The speaker, K. Adam White discussed on getting our data using REST API and doing wonders with that.

With WordPress 4.7, different REST API endpoints for core data types are gained. We saw how the REST API is being used to build new and better editing interfaces, but we also had a huge opportunity to use that API to explore the data we already have within our sites. It’s never been so easy to access WordPress content from JavaScript. So, data visualization would help us learn more about our own data. By visualizing your WordPress data, you could do many things with that, which includes data prediction. For instance, you could visualise your WooCommerce sales. You could analyze the factors affecting the sales along with data prediction about how well your new products could do in a market when launched in a certain month.

The talk also presented an overview on how we can combine the REST API with visualisation tools like D3.js to gain new insights into content. With an example app in WordPress backend building a network diagram to visualize how tags and categories are applied to posts, then discover how to use custom post types and register_meta to build a completely custom dashboard within WordPress for any type of data.


In the end, he presented a big collage app built from the pictures of all the attendees of WordCamp Europe with the content acquired from WordCamp Europes website using WordPress REST API (http://wordpress.tv/2017/06/22/k-adam-white-data-visualization-with-the-rest-api/).


We attended some other interesting sessions such as «We Are All Making This Up – Improve Lessons for Developers»

(http://wordpress.tv/2017/06/21/dwayne-mcdaniel-we-are-all-making-this-up-improve-lessons-for-developers/ ) and

«Night of the Living Style Guides» (http://wordpress.tv/2017/06/21/sarah-semark-night-of-the-living-style-guides/).


WordCamp Europe ended with closing remarks thanking the volunteers and organizers and WordCamp Europe 2018 – the 6th version was announced, which shall take place in Belgrade, Serbia June 14-16, 2018.

In the evening of 16th June, a party took place at the Pavillon d’Armenonville featuring a theme of 1930's Paris.


Key takeaways

The key takeaways from WordCamp Europe were, first and foremost, - The «Gutenberg Editor». «Welcoming community» - The community is really welcoming to all people. An attendee does not need to be a nerdy coder.

«WordCamps are all about meeting new people, meeting people that are also working with the most popular CMS of the world and obviously gaining knowledge. We have met some of the people we have met earlier at WordCamp Frankfurt 2016.

Talks were perfectly organized, and were superb in terms of quality and unique content as well. Difficulty levels fitted everybody ranging from a newbie basic user to a hard time theme or plugin developer.

There were also plenty of good ideas, inspirations and useful plugins that we took home with us.

To sum up, WordCamp Europe is not just a mere conference, I would also name it experience of a lifetime».


Other Links

All the talks are available at http://wordpress.tv/event/wordcamp-europe-2017/.

This post was written by Vineet Talwar, Florian Lehnebach and Ivaylo Kolbinger Ivanov.

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Über den Autor

Florian Lehnebach

Florian Lehnebach is Web Developer at dkd Internet Service GmbH. He develops websites based on TYPO3 or WordPress since 2013.

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