Gender-fair WordPress: Fixing translation inequality at the core

At WordCamp US 2017, I took the stage to argue that it’s time that WordPress enables translators to add gender-variable translations, and that we can do this in a way compatible with our existing translation ecosystem.

The slides:

A couple of days later, during contributor day, I was joined by several amazing WordPress (and GlotPress) contributors, and we firmed the proposal which is now up on trac.

Relevant links

Right To Left in WordPress – The Right Way

Here’s the short talk I gave about languages written from right-to-left at WordCamp Europe 2017. I’m visibly nervous — this was the largest crowd I’ve ever presented to.

The slides:

While the slides make it clear that I go from talking about rtl.css — the file, used in WordPress themes, to RTLCSS — the node module, I realize that it’s somewhat hard to understand when watching the video. Sorry about that!

Helpful links:

Some relevant academic research on the effects of reading direction:

  • Influence of reading habits on line bisection – PDF
  • Reading habits influence aesthetic preference – PDF
  • Scanning direction and line bisection: a study of normal subjects and unilateral neglect patients with opposite reading habits – PDF
  • Native reading direction influences lateral biases in the perception of shape from shading – HTML


Making WordPress Better

Yesterday I helped someone write their first WordPress core bug report, and then someone else write their first patch to fix that bug.

It happened after I saw a thread in a Facebook group about an issue with WordPress 3.8.
Turns out this was a bug I was responsible for (doh!), but instead of just fixing it, I offered to tutor anyone interested in how to create a bug report and write their first patch.

Revital and Niv jumped on the offer, and so we chatted about how to test and confirm the bug, and how to write a good bug report. Then we followed with installing WordPress via SVN, running the new build process, and generating a patch.

WordPress just gained two new contributors, and this is probably the most meaningful thing I did all week.