041: Frankenstein blogs and more with Milana Cap

In this episode, we talk to Milana Cap about getting started in WordPress by creating a Frankenstein monster of a website, her experience as an Opera prompter, and learning PHP before knowing what it was as well as the active WordPress community in Serbia.


About Milana Cap:

Single mum. Former opera prompter, now WordPress/ PHP developer at Toptal. Lives in WordPress #docs slack channel, dies for dark chocolate. And bacon.

Find Milana Cap: Freelance through Toptal platform | Twitter | LinkedIn


Women in WP | WordPress Podcast
Women in WP | WordPress Podcast
041: Frankenstein blogs and more with Milana Cap
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Transcript

Amy:

Welcome to Women in WP, a bi-monthly podcast about women who blog, design, develop and more in the WordPress community.

Angela:

Hi, welcome to women in WP, Angela Bowman!

Tracy:

I’m Tracy Apps!

Amy:

And I’m Amy Masson.

Angela:

Our guest today is Milana Cap. She’s a freelance WordPress and PHP, developer in Serbia. She lives in the WordPress docs and Slack channel and she dies for chocolate and bacon. Don’t we all. Welcome Milana.

Milana:

Hi, thank you for having me.

Angela:

We like to start off each episode asking our guests how they got into WordPress. How did you get started?

Milana:

Well, I started first with the forum script, which was PHP BB, and it was 2.9 at that time. I was admin at Torrent website. Yeah, so I had to do a few things here and there to tweak and I didn’t even know the language was called PHP. I just went there to template and find things and change, and then it happen and it was awesome. But then in 2009 I was supposed to build a blog, actually just post the blog on server for friends.

Milana:

And I was looking for all different scripts for blog, none of them work. And I asked another friend, do you know any script from log that is actually working? And he said, well, you know, you can try WordPress, you know, I’ve been testing it and I installed it. And then I found out you can have a website in your local, so you don’t break things. And I installed it and there were like five to 10 tutorials every day about WordPress. So I built everything in the same installation. I had my little Frankenstein dot blog. And from there it was just everyday WordPress.

Tracy:

I love it. The Frankenstein blog, I Frankensteined in a, in kind of a different way because I was self-taught and came from a design background. So I Frankenstein together development. So.

Amy:

I’m still Frankensteining development.

Tracy:

I still like the, what you said the, the forum script. Was that like B2 or was that, or to, to, what was the forum script that you were talking about?

Milana:

PHP, BB, sorry. And it became in 2009, it came from 2.9 to 3.0 and I was blown away like what was there? So that, that was my first love, really.

Tracy:

Yeah, I remember cause I before, so when I first made my first website, you know, and even in my first blog, it was before comments were around. So the only way of developing community was through those message boards like that. And so I remember I did run, I think I helped with like moderating some boards, but then I tried like installing it myself. And then I just, like, I think that was where I started drinking the Koolaid. I was like, Oh, I can, I can change all the colors. I can change all this stuff. I was just, yeah, that was crazy. But I mean, and that is a pretty complex program. How is that shifting from that? Like, did you find some things that were similar between that and WordPress that helped you with that transition? Or was it completely new thing?

Milana:

No, it’s a completely new thing. I did the most in, in PHP, BB forum I was creating shortcodes. I love doing that. So I was doing all sorts of things. And then I found out about HTML, but, and then I found out about CSS. I went the other way around,

Tracy:

Basically, you, you developed, you designed and created the short code. I mean, that’s what you’re saying. Right. I see.

Amy:

I feel like most people go HTML, CSS, PHP, and you like started on step three and moved back around.

Milana:

I was actually making, because it was a torrent forum and we had torrent clients and there were, you know, movies and everything, but we also had subtitles for specific languages and I was making a widget for it to take from database the file and the flag. I have no idea. Now, if you tell me I should do that in a completely unknown script, I don’t know how would I do that? But I found something similar and I was copying and pasting and then modifying, and I was like, Oh my God, this, this is this. And this is that. And it just happened.

Tracy:

I love that. So cause people always say like, Oh, well, how do you teach yourself? Or like, how, what, what classes did you take to learn web development? I’m like, I played around I’m I messed around with things like I had a Frankenstein website or maybe I had several of them, but like seeing and playing around with like, Oh, wait a minute. That does that. Oh, now I can do. Yeah. It’s so inspiring. And then when people always say to me, they’re like, Oh, I wanna, you know, start what classes, what, what education, what things I was like, I hate to say it. I’m like, I kind of feel like, just do it. And then yeah, you start learning it on a deeper level

Milana:

And it’s even better when you do it for a paycheck. So it’s pressure. You have to do it. That’s how I pick my projects. You know, if I don’t know how to do it, I will do that.

Tracy:

Yeah. So what what are you currently working on? Like what kind of projects are you working on?

Milana:

Well in last few years, I’m mostly working with integrating external APIs with WordPress. That’s kind of my love, you know, REST API SQL, and, and all of these together, going through WordPress and going from WordPress. So at the moment I am working with one company that is offering a managed Kubernetes and I’m connecting their WordPress with the system to create automatic clogging on demo. And, you know, things like that.

Tracy:

Nice. I’ve actually had I’ve had clients ask me, they’re like, Oh, well, WordPress has been around for quite a while. So is it on its way out? There’s all these new technologies and all this stuff. And I I’m so excited about things like the REST API, it gets, like you said, like integrating with, you can make this, do anything with anything.

Milana:

Yeah.

Tracy:

So the possibilities are actually now exponentially larger. So I don’t like, I can just see it’s shifting and like morphing into something bigger and you know, more platform-driven than just going away. And like, that’s what you’re doing.

Milana:

Yeah. I love those. And I I’m musician and I love classical musician. It mixed with all other genders. I’m just like Frankenstein people.

Milana:

I love, I heard the people saying, you know, reaction being WordPress and WordPress, shouldn’t be you know, you put something that shouldn’t be there. It should, everything should be connected and it should be really agnostic. Really. We should just do stuff that work.

Tracy:

I, I agree. So for me, it’s always like, well, doing user experience, it’s about the end goal. It’s like, okay, well, it’s the tools that you use.

Milana:

Nobody cares about that.

Tracy:

Exactly. I don’t care. Does this product solve a problem that I have? Yes. No. You say you’re a musician. Would you, do you sing? Do you play something?

Milana:

Well I played accordion in primary music school and high music school and piano in high music school and Academy. And I still have piano. And it’s in tune.

Tracy:

Do you still play?

Milana:

Yeah. When I have problems with PHP. Yeah, I go there and.

Tracy:

I read an article about like things that like, especially with a drummer, I’m a drummer that, that balances both the creative, both sides of your brain. I was like, that makes so much sense. I can totally see that.

Amy:

Well, people in the arts do better in, in math and science. It’s proven fact.

Milana:

Yeah. I actually switched my mouse from left to right hand and I don’t change for left to right. You know, it just, it doesn’t matter for, and many things are just, it doesn’t matter if it’s left or right.

Angela:

I noticed on your website that you’re also, in addition to just being a good PHP developer, you like to teach people, which is very special that you have that empathy of the beginner mind to help walk people through step-by-step and you have a lot of stuff on building blocks at what are your, tell us about your, your interest in Gutenberg and block building and teaching people about that?

Milana:

Well, I still haven’t teach anyone about Gutenberg specifically. I just wrote a blog post. But the thing is when I learn something new, when I started, I would forget what I’ve done. So now I have you know, process when I do something new, I just start writing, I got this error, I fixed it like that. And it’s just the documentation. And that’s why I’m in the communications team for facade. So when I go through all that, I can actually write down my process of thinking. And I found that people found that helpful. You know, not just telling them you do this like this, but telling them, okay, so you will find this an error. And this is because the system is like that and it’s working like this. And then they learn much more because they understand why, why things happen.

Tracy:

That’s so valuable. Every time I read some like documentation that it’s like it. Cause if you, I feel like if you’re further away from the problem, if you’re not doing it, like, as you’re like, you’re documenting as you’re doing things. So this is the thing I fall into all the time. I’ll forget a lot of these little things. And then I just kind of jump seven steps and be like, Oh, and then you do this. But like, Oh, all these things happen. I totally had forgotten about them. That’s really valuable.

Milana:

Yeah. I have a document. I’m learning react at the moment. And I have a document with a little things. It’s just one sentence. What PHP developer should know about react, you know, a little things, right?

Tracy:

Do you have this? Because I think I need this.

Milana:

I can,

Amy:

You’re selling it. We’re going to sell it.

Tracy:

I tattoo it on my arm because I think with a lot of documentation and you know, when I read

Amy:

Documentation, a lot of times there is an assumed level of knowledge of the person that’s reading it, which isn’t always accurate. And I feel like I’m, I’m fairly well versed in WordPress stuff and sometimes I’ll get to it and I’ll, I’ll look at it. I’m like, but, but how do I do this? Like step four, I don’t understand. It’s not explained. It’s just like do step four. Okay. Thanks.

Milana:

I, you know, yeah. So the Gutenberg specifically has a pretty outdated documentation and I’ve seen a little around the internet. People are frustrated, but we have now it’s published like last week or this week, something like that. It’s very fresh. Marcos did a tutorial on how to use a WordPress create block package to create actually block. And it’s in tutorial. So this is a very different when you have documentation, documentation is just documenting the software. It doesn’t care what you know, and how are you going around documentation, but this is tutorial. And that’s where you think about what is previous knowledge, what is the known point, and then just lead from there. So we need a lot of tutorials for Gutenberg and it’s starting it’s it will be there soon.

Tracy:

I think most of the here, the tutorials are there, are they a lot like heavy on the development or on like usage or design? Or is it, you know, just starting to come from everywhere?

Milana:

Mmm.

Tracy:

Like what’s the audience like who, how many tutorials are like coming out? Are they all development focused? Are they,

Milana:

Well, these are a development focus. But we have to consider people who are PHP developers very good, or, you know, just starting, but also people who never saw any code and they want to start doing it. People who don’t know what is JavaScript and what is react and what in Gutenberg is JavaScript and what is react and what is just Gutenberg and why is there so much PHP in w in Gutenberg? You know, and so many things are left unknown and unexplained, and it’s difficult to bridge the, the PHP and react knowledge. So this is what we are missing. And there is no official documentation on bridging those two. So we are kind of making history here. And, but that means that we are making mistakes and we don’t know yet how to do it. So patients and, you know, they’ll get there.

Amy:

So your first introduction to WordPress was building a blog for your friend. And now you’re doing API and integrations. Was there any like middle ground, or did you just jump from one straight to the other?

Milana:

Well being a musician, I, my first websites were actually for musicians and most of them are the same, you know, just musicians have events and audio and video. And then from there, I, I was actually constantly learning new things because I get bored very easily. So I don’t have permanent clients. I hate that. I hate maintaining projects. So I was learning what, what’s new, what I could do. And I was building these very complex websites that I had no use for, because, you know, it was just in my head, what I would like to have in one website. So it was from the professional point of view. It was kind of, you know websites with a lot of media. And then I switched to you know, API and because I was very interested in that, but in the middle, what I was doing privately, it was everything. It’s just everything.

Amy:

And did you ever really, I know you were building websites for friends, but did you ever build websites for clients and you know, get paid or was that you just went straight into development with companies?

Milana:

Oh, I was those, I actually haven’t built any free websites for friends. It was for clients, they were my friends, some of them,

Amy:

I can’t get myself to charge my friends any money, so I just make them websites for free. But the nice thing about that is that I don’t give them opinions and, you know, you get what I give you and you’re happy with it. So, well, you know,

Milana:

Actually that was kind of a, my friends helping me to give me money for four websites, because at the time when I started I, I was single mom and I’m, I’m still single mom, but it was very difficult with the debt one paycheck. I had mortgage and everything. So, and in Serbia, it’s really difficult for people to live from just, you know, regular, regular paychecks. So it was kind of their way to help me to you build my website will pay you and it was cheap, but it was helpful to me. Yeah.

Speaker 5:

[Inaudible]

Milana:

I just think it’s so it’s, it’s really challenging. I think for women, we found to at least maybe it’s just the, I did make a deliberate effort to find more PHP people. And that’s why you and wrote to you because she’s like, she’s a real developer and we need more women developers encouraging other women developers, right. Women to become developers because, you know, there’s a lot of real money in programming and more of the development side of things than and, and it would be great for women to have more of that opportunity. So did you I guess the question, I guess, would be, what were your stumbling blocks in learning the PHP? Do they come easy for you? Did you feel like you had to put a lot of effort into it and as you’ve moved forward you know, but set the expectation for what people really need to put into it, to get out of it, what you’ve gotten out of it?

Milana:

Well, I would say you know, if you don’t like your brain being burned, then don’t start because this was I guess I’m not a gamer, but I guess the game or fetal like that when I started learning PHP, I, I never learned to make money of it. I didn’t know there was money in it. It was just interesting to me. And it was like playing games. I was doing, you know the levels and building the cities. I dunno, it was like that’s to me. And then there was a problem and I couldn’t solve it and I couldn’t sleep. And I was only thinking about it. And, and I hated myself and why did I even start doing this? But then you solve it, then you’re the best developer in the world. And, you know, it’s just the circle and circle.

Milana:

And I guess that’s why I always pick the projects where I don’t know anything about it and I never done it. So I can go through that process again. So it’s kind of being in front of a problem that is so difficult. You have no idea. You never saw it before and now you connect things and you solve it after a lot of agony. If you don’t like that, don’t go there. If you just go there for the money, it will, it will eat you alive. You know, it’s not worth it. That’s a really good way of putting it because it’s it’s. I do remember. And it is you it’s that roller coaster of like, Hmm. I am the dumbest person alive. I am smartest person alive. Amazing. Yeah. But yeah, definitely people thrive from that. That’s a good, that’s good advice.

Amy:

I tell that to my students, they, you know, I have a lot of colleagues and students who say, I want to be like you. And I said, okay, we’ll go bash your head against a brick wall, like eight hours, you’re bloody and exhausted, and then wake up in the morning and do it again. And you can be like me. It is just a desire to suffer. And, and enjoying that suffering on some level, because the reward is so great.

Milana:

I mean, it’s a just solving task without any other means, just for the sake of solving it. It doesn’t need to go anywhere. It can stay in my local for the rest of my life, but I need to solve it. So if you don’t have that, don’t, don’t do that. You have to be a monkey. Yeah. So I was reading your, your about you. You didn’t always just do development. Did you, like, what was your background before that? Well, when I finished the Academy, I was working in opera for 10 years as opera prompter. That’s the, the little guy that gives a text right before singers should sing it, so they know what to sing. And sometimes I was conducting, sometimes I was singing and showing them where they should go if they forget. And basically, you know, the whole opera by heart, that’s impressive.

Milana:

And that’s quite a jump I feel like, but maybe not. I don’t think so. I, I wrote to article for 24 days in September, that’s from, for PHP community where I compared music and PHP. So it’s in my mind, it’s a lot to like, maybe I’m just weird that I know there are many musicians doing programming, so it’s kind of yet another language that has its own rules and its own objects and areas and everything. And you just learn how that functions and it connects different things in your brain and you get used to it. Music is actually a just a lot of variables that you, you know, converting in in time. So I guess it’s the thing that makes a lot, actually, it makes a lot of sense because, so I I studied for several years in engineering and I finished out with an art degree, literally just an art degree. And, but it makes perfect sense to me now that like, I think of, because there’s the difference between like art and design and like creating technology like we do is you’re still being creative, but you have be creative, like

Tracy:

Creating a system, something that functions. And so it is, it’s like, you know, with music, you are taking these elements and creating something out of it within the constructs of that

Milana:

In time, like loading the page. Exactly. Yeah,

Tracy:

Yeah, exactly. So that makes, I mean, that makes a lot of, a lot of sense to me. And I feel like when a lot of people like, Oh, I, I, you know, I just am just doing development and just doing this, just doing that. I’m like, but there’s so many ways to become a better like developer by like learning an instrument, like doing something like, it sounds completely different, but it actually helps.

Milana:

Yeah, it does.

Tracy:

So are you involved in the WordPress community?

Milana:

Yeah. Yeah, I am. We actually had a sort of meeting yesterday. So in Serbia community is not that large, but it’s large comparing to some other countries and we are actually very good friends. So everyone from my city in Belgrade, niche, Russia, everywhere where we have meetups, we get together from time to time and have just a zoom call to talk to. So that happened yesterday and we are actually doing we organize everything together. So when, when someone needs a city needs help for you know, speakers or something like that, we have a list of people of us who have ready talks. So if you don’t have a speaker, you don’t have a tub just call me. We will come and we go and visit each other. So yeah, we have great community in Serbia and we have a lot of fun.

Tracy:

That’s really cool. So one of the things, especially with, I mean, community and doing freelance stuff I feel like they go hand in hand a lot. Like, I don’t think I’d be able to do be doing freelance or, you know, finding clients if it weren’t for community. Is there any kind of, you know, if someone’s like, Oh, I want to do, I want to basically do my own freelance stuff. I want to do things. W what, what kind of things that you found, like finding clients you know, working with different platforms or whatever, like what what kind of advice, or what kind of things have been really helpful for you in your career?

Milana:

Well first one, I started working as freelancer. I just got job by people saying to each other, you know, you could take her and she will do the website. And it was horrible. I didn’t know how to find my clients. It was unsustainable. And then at one point in 2015, I actually went to company when I switched completely from being opera prompter to a WordPress developer. And I was there for a while. And that company helped me to realize that I am a WordPress developer. So there was this imposter syndrome because I was doing all in my home and, you know, who knows if it was good or bad, but now I was doing for company and it seems it worked. So I guess I am more friends. And and then I was asked to by recruiter for top Dell platform to come and just try and do that screening that they have for getting into the platform.

Milana:

And I said, okay, well, he promised a lot of things that, that sounded good. So I went there and I didn’t expect anything, but then it started really, you know, I could set my own rate and I choose to work four hours a day or two hours a day, if it’s enough. And there are enough clients, so you have a matcher for every client and they ask if you want these jobs. So you don’t have to go there and, and, you know sell yourself because I don’t know, I still don’t know how to do that. And then you just accept or not, and that’s it, you just code. So for how to get clients, I have no idea. But you know, today it’s kind of in, in both ways it’s easier and harder. So it’s easier because you don’t need to have a portfolio like you did before you, when you a developer, you have get hub now and you can be in open source project.

Milana:

And then people from other companies see you and they ask you to work for them. And then you say, you know, on freelancer, and then they say, okay, well, we can work at something out. So in that on that side, it’s kind of easier, but it’s difficult today because there is so much like where to go, where to start, where to there’s so much to learn and do I need to learn all of this? I spent two months to find out that I didn’t really need to know that JavaScript framework it’s not needed for my job. So it’s difficult for people to start today. But there are a lot of opportunities you have to work really good, and you can find a lot of things that help freelancers.

Tracy:

Yeah. I hadn’t heard of that. What was the platform? You said it’s top, top, top, top tell, like, I hadn’t heard of that. Okay. Yeah. Well, this is great. Yeah. Like, I, it took me several years until I saw it. Cause I, there was, there’s a couple of other, you know, you know, services like that and platforms like that that allow you like freelance, freelancers connect freelancers and stuff with, with, with client work and stuff. And like, it took me years to find one of those. Like, I mean, and it’s, it’s such a great idea, like, yeah. How did you did you have to like pass through like some sort of like a bedding for that?

Milana:

Yeah, there is a pretty strict process. It has four interviews. And you do first you, you just have a little chat, so they see that you’re normal, that, you know, English, you know, that’s kind of main thing then then you have a a series of questions about WordPress, you know, usual stuff that developers should know right away and it’s time timing. And then you get to do the live coding while interviewer is watching you. So you get the task and you do that. And after that, you get a little project. So you build a little plugin and then you have the last interview where you represent your plugin. So it’s, it’s not that easy, but I’d say it’s not, Oh, I made it the first time. I know people try and then fail and try for a few times. I think what made, made it easier for me was that I was always following a what thing, documentation I was following the best practices and the coding standards and all of that. And then, you know, you, you, if you do the things as they should be done, then there is no problem.

Tracy:

That’s really good advice. Where do you find all of your, like the best practices documentation and such, is it all on just WordPress that make WordPress, or is there anywhere else that you found has been really helpful? Well, I learned a lot,

Milana:

A lot from Justin deadlock. It was his code. The first one, when I realized I could learn by reading other people’s code, it was the, it was his code. And I dunno, I, I do read a lot of core code, you know, just open and read and I find some great functions that, that you never use because they, they were meant to do something, you know, to be helpful, but nobody’s talking about it. I don’t know. I, I read I follow some people who are like Juliet for WordPress coding standards and Rian for accessibility. So, you know, you’ll find a few people and they will share what they find. So it kind of gathers all together.

Milana:

And of course you have to subscribe to a core blog because they always have those developers notes and they explain every new feature how you could use it. And that’s really, really smart. We will have all those in the note, in the show notes, or I’ve been taking notes there, literally I have a document. I find it interesting with the different people that come on the show is that you have the people that are, you know, really into the business management administration. And then you have the people that want none of that. And just let me do my little code and my whole, and I think that you maybe fall in that latter category. Yes. I don’t even know, you know, that there is a change in law in Serbia, how you can, because Serbia doesn’t recognize freelancers yet. So we did some kind of great stuff and there are holes in law and you feel them, you know, and now everything is changing, but they still don’t know everything you can do with the answers.

Milana:

And there’s a lot of talk about that. So there is so many different there are so many different ways to do freelance work and Serbia doesn’t know how to cover it. And when people ask me, so how is your you know, business system? And I have no idea. You have to ask my accountant because she knows everything I just code. So yeah, I’m of those people. I don’t want to see another contract in my life at all. And I just want to do the code so vile. You’re not engaging on that business level. It seems like you’re really involved with the broader WordPress community. So not just the local Serbia meetups, but like you’re deep into wordpress.org and Slack and the worldwide community. What, what do you do there? And I remember doing I’m in the documentation team and I didn’t really want to go there, but when, when the commendation was on Kardex it was easy to go there.

Milana:

You’re logged in. You just said it, which one. And I started doing that in 2011 and it was great. And I found that a few times I needed something I searched and I found my own code there. And, you know, I realized that I was doing this for me, you know, to know how to do it later. And then suddenly it switched to WordPress. And I was like, Whoa, how can I work on this? Now, this is not happening. And then I went to get involved and I found out that there are some people behind and there is some Slack channel for that I know there was a, I R C a channel. And I went there once and I was like, yeah, they’re all good developers. They’re doing fine without me. Let’s just because I always felt I would, you know, be on their way.

Milana:

And then I found that the Slack and all the people there, and I wanted to really learn how to create a proper team. So we went to team review team and it was so loud. All the people talking all the time. And there was not that much talking about how to build a proper team. There was a lot of talk about licenses and what authors can do and cannot, and where can they put their links? So it was a lot of things that I wasn’t interested in. And then I went to the communication team and there was no one, there were like three, four people. And I said, okay, this is my spot. I will be here. And I’ve been there since then. So now we have a lot more people and we are engaging new people. We are trying new things and it’s getting crowded there. So I’m mostly in documentation organizing. I was organizing work computer and some local work times. And you know, my baby is contributor day in Berlin. That was my thing. And yeah,

Angela:

That’s awesome. Yeah. Cause I’ve seen your name floating around a lot. [inaudible], They’re all through Europe, she’s in Europe and here too. And I think you recently, were you tweeting out about how the documentation team is really looking at what you are URLs or domains people can link to for external tutorials? Because that’s how I got famous in a very small way, was add one tutorial and it was linked to on wordpress.org and also in a bunch of forums, but that was my claim to fame. And cause no one had written this tutorial and now a tutorial on how to move forward, press from a subdirectory to the root without actually helping WordPress. Nice. Just moving the index file or, I mean rewording the index file and that’s in the settings and that was it. It’s like a three step process. But of course, when you have end users doing this, it needs to be like 3000 words and lots of images.

Angela:

And then I actually have an FAQ post to that because people needed that. And these two posts get like, you know, 14,000 hits a month and hundreds of comments. And a lot of people have found me just through that post. But I think a lot of my page rank has come from two from a high authority domain, like wordpress.org. And then I don’t have ads on my site. I did for a little bit and I took them off cause they were just kind of a pain. But even though it made me money, I was like, well, what am I really doing this for? I worried about then my site, because it is for my freelance work and has multiple purposes tutorials stuff that I would no longer be linked to on wordpress.org. And I was just curious about how that’s going down.

Milana:

Yeah. That, that is something, you know, it’s hot topic. So I took it on myself because I’m kind of you know, don’t, don’t get too personal and I can take a heated discussions. But that really shouldn’t be people took that tweet wrong and they kind of jumped to conclusions because we still don’t have that policy. We are discussing different ways. And we, so the, the problem is we don’t want to stop people from linking, you know, we want people like you to succeed. But the thing is we, as the commendation theme the first thing on my, on our minds is user of that documentation. So all of that started when, when you were on, when documentation was on codex, you could just add your link and then moderator will come and remove it if it’s not good. And then there were Wars and you cannot just you know, maintain it’s nightmare.

Milana:

And, but everybody knew that was maintained by everybody. It was edited by everybody. But now when we moved it to WordPress, we have people with names who are responsible for that. And now we are moving it and we are reading every post and everything, and we are updating screenshots and every information and we came to links and now there was some battling and someone asked, what do we do? I’ll remove that link. And this link is not relevant anymore. So what do we do? Well, remove that link. And then you come to, to situation where you have to have some kind of policy. So we didn’t want to remove commercial links. That’s not what the point is. The point is to have relevant links. But as I said, in theme review team, they have a lot of discussions. Should it, can Outre have a link in the footer?

Milana:

And then when you open customizer, there’s another link. And if outer has another link somewhere else, it’s a problem. So, you know, there’s huge discussion over that. So over-marketing, and we wanted to just not go there at the first place and to not go there, you need to discuss everything. You need to have a good policy that covers all the possible scenarios. And then you just can apply it. You don’t have to explain in every situation, why is this like that? And we try to find some kind of, you know, template for what kind of website is allowed, but it’s difficult before you had personal blog and you had your product website, but now everything is mixed. So it’s not really the posts that actually got heated was I named it a external linking policy, commercial blog, commercial websites. And it was under codes because we don’t know what his commercial website and that post was supposed to give us some answers.

Milana:

What is commercial website? And it didn’t, it just gave us discussion. Should we do this or not? So it wasn’t helpful at all. And now we are, we are discussing all kinds of ways, how to value link. So we are probably going to go to the road with the having the same license actually compatible with GPL and then going to content without any promotions. So that’s the point because you have a end user documentation where we removed all the recommendations for plugins and teams. It doesn’t matter if it’s in repository or not. We don’t want to be the ones who say you should use this or that we are just documenting the WordPress. And following that you cannot have links to a WP beginner website because they always have something, you know, you can do this with this plugin and you can do it manually.

Milana:

So it’s promotion of that plugin. It’s a good article, but it’s promotion of promotional that plugin. So if you want to be consistent, we have to remove that from everywhere. And it’s difficult. We are really trying to do this the best way for everyone, but it doesn’t help when people are attacking us that we are trying to do. You know, I don’t know what, and I’m really sorry that you weren’t even on a WP Tavern. And it was really misunderstood people. Didn’t read all the posts that were for external linking policy. So this is discussion going on for months and we are so far away from a resolution and I would really love people to get involved and give their ideas, not, not to tell us, should we do this or not? We have to do this. So this is must, but so let’s stop discussing, should this happen or let’s help each other to, to come to something that is helpful for end user first and then helpful for people who are in community who are you know, doing things for free and giving their knowledge and let’s help them as well.

Milana:

I’m not against that. So that was really one big misunderstanding, but, you know, I, I can live with that, that, that, that makes a lot of sense. And I mean, it would probably help some smaller people who do just want to write tutorials, not have to compete with these big companies that have full staffs to do all their content development. And so long as we know what the guidelines are, we don’t have affiliate links on that page or yeah, that kind of thing. Then I think people could do that and still get the benefit of the visibility from it. As long as there’s discussion around this happening, it’s happening in on make.wordpress.org/docs. So there is a blog and there is a tag external linking policy. So you can follow that tag. I think it has three posts so far. And of course in our Slack channel, we have meetings on Mondays at 3:00 PM UTC, so we can discuss it there or any time at all, you know, I live there. So just, just come and say, you know, I think you should do this and then we can discuss,

Milana:

Well, it’s been really great talking to you today before we go. Can you tell everybody where they can find you online? So in doc’s channels also I am on Twitter. It’s wow. Would you just link it because it’s, if I say my, my handle is [inaudible], but it’s explained on my website, why it’s developed it’s somethings it’s kind of developer female in Serbian, but old Serbian. And on my website, developer.org.

Tracy:

Thanks for listening. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter or join our Facebook group. We would be honored if you subscribe to the show, you can find us on Spotify, Stitcher, Google, play, and iTunes. Finally, if you want to be on the show or know someone who would visit our website@womeninwp.com until next time.

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