During CloudFest 2024, I met with Patricia Brun Torre to discuss GatherPress. Patricia recently posted a proposal on behalf of the GatherPress project to start a pilot program with a handful of WordPress meetups and use the GatherPress plugin as a replacement for Meetup.com, centrally hosted on WordPress.org.

Simon Kraft
Patricia Brun Torre


The GatherPress make.WordPress.org post

GatherPress on GitHub

GitHub issue for joining the pilot program

CMS Gardens very own Stephan Luckow (@luckow@luckow.org) explained the idea behind his project “Follow the money” for the CloudFest Hackathon.

Transcript (auto generated)

What is your project called, and what is it all about?

What is the project called? Oh, fun fact, we renamed it because it’s so complex to remember.
Website, public website, transparency, funding, money, or something like that.
And we identified a really easy name, so we renamed it to Follow the Money.
And the idea is to scan all the public sector website URLs, here for the hackers on only cities from Germany, and to identify the CMS behind to get an idea where our tax money goes.

What will your tool actually do? Like scan websites and then…

Project has a pipeline, a workflow pipeline or a technical pipeline.
Plan our domain sourcing relies on wikidata so we documented the queries which we which we throw against the api of wikidata and then sourced urls from different categories here for the hackathon with the country id germany and the urls are thrown against another api from a tim’s product It’s called versionmanager.io and versionmanager detects the TMS and also the IP address and makes a screenshot.

It’s possible to detect the version of the CMS. And then the JSON file is thrown against headless CMS called Directus.
And inside directors, we created a data structure to connect a front-end client API against the Directus API.
So on our website, follow-the-money.org, follow minus the minus money.
Oh, I have to learn.

Yep, so if you open the website in the browser, you’ll see our first crawl from last night.
We detected nearly 50% of nearly 1,000 URLs.

And our task for the morning today is to get an idea if it’s static content or is this headless CMS.
The version manager has to learn something about special German CMS like CMS Fiona or Webplication or ICIS.
So there are a few crazy, looks like not open source software.
So maybe we have to train the version manager to detect them.
So the goal of all of the money is to have a solid pipeline in the first step with maybe all the URLs from Germany, from the public sector.
But after that, we want to open up the whole pipeline and offer them to our friends from the European country.
So um i’m totally interested in comparing cms in france to italy uh to that might be interesting yeah then let’s see if maybe italy is a ploneland i have no clue from what i’ve learned today from our first um first sample of uls is germany is a type of three country so especially for our our first batch of city uls but it’s okay we are cms garden and we are kind of switzerland so we are totally unbiased and um yeah let’s see in maybe three months what we can tell you as an interested person about the landscape in germany will.

Your site also tracks changes over time? Because that might also be interesting to have like a snapshot in time from 2024 and in two or three years see like now….

Sorry to interrupt, you our plan is to have a cron job on a quarterly base so every quarter is a snapshot interesting.

Okay i guess that is it thank you thank you for taking the time good luck with the rest of the hackathon.

Oh you mean the next 20 minutes? okay yes yes thank you thank you.

Elias Hackradt from @cloudron introduced us to their project “Hack the Hackathon” at the CloudFest Hackathon.

Transcript (auto generated)

What is your project called and what is it all about?

Okay, our project is called Hack the Hackathon. The project is a creation.
It sounds like a meta project, actually.

It does, yeah.

Yeah. We had the idea of how do you do a hackathon?
What’s needed for it? What software do you need? What’s involved with everything?
So we’re from Cloud Run, and we have a platform that makes installation of force-based application on a single server very easy, like with domain management.

Backup management, certificates and everything so there was also a very easy starting point like then we just wanted to template everything and then create a one-click installer so people can use it but our project escalated very much because as they do as they do because we have quite a big group of technical and non-technical people.

And the one part is doing like the conceptual part they talked to like Carol and everyone else from the CloudFest and got everything that they need to know about like what do you have to do for hosting a hackathon what’s the pre-game what do you need to plan for and everything so there’s a lot of conception involved and now we have like I think maybe four or five A4 pages of like documentation on what you need to do for a hackathon how to get sponsors how to do like accessibility and diversity and everything and then catering with that we have the one-click installer platform that if you want to do a hackathon right now let’s say for example you are a small community of let’s say um a small linux distribution a small a small linux flavor there’s like so many and you want to do a hackathon so what you have to do you have to figure out okay how do we organize it how do we get people how do we get investors sponsors and everything then how do we do the hosting what tools can we use and what’s what needs to be be taken care of and now since we compiled everything from the cloud fest all the knowledge from all the past five six years you can actually just use the guidebook as a reference click the button and then you have all the tools you need you have the mailing client newsletters you have like the chat for everyone internal external and everything ready to go with a very comprehensive guidebook.

So let’s let’s reiterate on that you’ve not only used this hackathon to build a tool to to run hackathons, but also compile all the additional information on top, like as you said, with accessibility, what you have to do, and so on.

So the idea was that hackathons these days is not mainly 100% technical.
It can also be, for example, if you’re in the medical field or if you have a kindergarten or something like that, you can do something like that as well.
It can be a very social event and not techy at all.
So the hackathon term right now is more like a description on how you gather people together and work in groups together. So we wanted to provide a tool that is easy to use for everyone with like lower resources.
So everyone can benefit from the style of the hackathon.
And since we are the technical people here, our also goal in my mind was, if my mom can use it, it’s user friendly.
So if my mom can use it, read the guide and click the button, and then she can host the hackathon.
That would be perfect. So we tried that.

Definitely make it sound easy to run a hackathon now.
I’m very curious where this whole project will lead to. So I’m looking forward to that. Thank you for taking the time.

No problem. Thank you for having me.

Time flies when you enjoy CloudFest. It’s time for the final CF 2024 guide.


At 9:55, Automattic’s Jesse Friedman takes to the stage to discuss the pivotal role Automattic wants to play in helping hosting companies thrive.

It’s time for privacy, or, to be more precise, for the future of privacy. Don’t miss Christian Dawson’s talk at 12:40.

Before we finish the week, at 16:10, Steve Crocker, one of the key contributors to the ARPANET project, will take us on a journey to the early days in “The ARPANET: First steps toward the Internet“.

17:00 marks the official end of CloudFest 2024. 

But don’t worry. If you’ll stick around for another night, there’s a last party to attend. The BierFest will start at 19:00 at the Hotel Krønasår.

* beep beep beep * it’s time to get up, get some food, and get ready for another day of CloudFesting! 

This is what I will take a closer look at today. 


At 11:35, you can glimpse how Rob Seger explains how Malware works.

At 12:15, my friend Ronald Gijsel and his colleagues Roslyn Lavery and Matthias Reinholz are up with “Hosting Amazing Experiences: Fueling WordPress Success with Woo.

Are you ready for an hour of pitches and networking? Then you should head to PitchCamp, where Jonathan Wold and Tammie Lister will bring product creators and hosting providers together for some speed dating… eh, speed pitching.

My personal highlight of the day is at 17:30, when Eliot Higgins, the founder of the award-winning investigative collective Bellingcat, takes the stage to discuss misinformation and truth on the internet.

MariaDB’s Andrew Hutchings (@LinuxJedi) explained their Project: “Integrating MariaDB Catalogs with PHP Platforms” for the CloudFest Hackathon.

Transcript (auto generated)

Andrew, what is your project called and what is it all about?

Okay, I’m going to try and get the full name of the title correct because we got…

Everyone struggles with that.

I believe the title is Integrating MariaDB Catalogs with PHP Frameworks.
So really long, complicated title that probably doesn’t mean anything to most people. So MariaDB Catalogs is a way of containerizing collections of databases and users inside MariaDB Server.
And this means every catalog is isolated. And this means that you can do things such as have a single MariaDB Server for thousands of websites and have a single pool of memory rather than a thousand MariaDB Servers with one gig of RAM consuming lots of resources.
But also, you’ll be able to eventually do things like resource constraints per catalog.
So if you’ve got a low-tier customer, you can set a number of queries per second or something like that that they’re allowed to do versus a high-tier customer that can do a lot more.
So I think it’s great for cloud and web hosting where you’re sharing a lot of resources.
Now, to use it, you obviously need a way of being able to create the catalogs, administer them, looking at statistics of them and things like that.
App. And this is where this project comes in.
So it’s essentially a framework, a library, you can integrate with the admin systems of various CMSs.
So that when you create a new site off of that CMS.

Created it a new catalog, and you’ll be able to kind of drop the catalog with the site and everything like that.
So that’s essentially what this project is. Was that the whole question? I’ve lost track of it.

That was the whole way you answered it perfectly. So was all of that in scope for your work this weekend at CloudFest Hackathon?

That was what was originally intended.
Oh, there’s a story here. There’s a story here, yeah.
And I’ll be telling the story at the final presentation. but so readdb catalogs has not been released yet it is a pre-alpha state we were using code ripped out of founder montewidinius’s basement um in finland to actually make it work so there was no binaries we had to actually kind of create a docker image just so we could actually build the thing and actually use it and then when the guys started using it they managed to break it in ways i wasn’t anticipating them so um we spent pretty much the first day just firefighting bugs and things like that so we could actually get the thing running so i spent the first day thinking we’re never going to get anywhere but even if we don’t then watching the team use it is still feedback we can use we can learn from it we can keep moving forward and use that you know it’s still really valuable as it happens in day two we completely knocked it out the park well i didn’t They did.
We got a foundation that worked. We managed to actually build the PHP framework.
We’ve actually got it working with WordPress single site, multi-site, WPCLI and Laravel.

Four GitHub repos so far and possibly a fifth coming.
And so we managed to get there, even though we really were not expecting it at the beginning.
And we’ve opened six tickets in the really big bug tracker for all the issues we found so far.
And I’ll be talking to the rest of the developers later this week to see what we can do to make the experience a little bit better in future for people who before we actually release this as a final project later this year.

So it sounds like there’s like some follow up work to do still after the hackathon.

Oh, hell yes. Monty, Vicente, Eric and everyone else who develop it are actually going to be here this week.
So i’ll be meeting with them probably later today and going through with them how i observed it being used in reality compared to how we expect it to be used yeah and see if we can tweak things before we actually get a final release out of the of the really catalogs feature because it is actually a huge feature under it doesn’t it doesn’t look it on the outside but on the inside it’s a huge re-architecting of so many parts of marie db to make it work.

This pretty much covers was it thank you for taking the time that was very insightful.

Enjoy the rest of the hackathon …

Guess 45 minutes or so yes thank you thank you very much.

Lars Gersmann introduced us to his project “JSON Schema Field/Form Renderer” for the CloudFest Hackathon.

Transcript (auto generated)

Okay, Lars, what is your project called and what is it all about?

It’s called the JSON Schema and Forms Project, and it’s all about the WordPress frontend and JSON Schema.
Right now, frontends in, for example, the settings pages and so on are handwritten using PHP formulas.
So it’s complicated to adapt, for example, another style or even Gutenberg controls and so on. And the second thing is, because it’s hard-coded, you can change the WordPress admin dashboard.
But if you used an abstraction level like JSON Schema to define which settings are required by a form, and the settings can be rendered to the form, then you have two benefits.
You have automatically generated beautiful-looking settings pages and stuff.
And you can even change the look and feel maybe in five years or ten years if the design changes.
And even integration of plugin setting pages or even the WordPress setting pages can be adapted in different systems.
For example, in account pages from hosters and so on.
But you can use it also in Gutenberg.

So what is that sounds like? That’s not all. But it’s some of the key points.
It sounds like this is a project that will go on for some time even after the hackathon. what is it you plan on shipping by the end of CloudFest Hackathon?

Actually the dream is to actually get it into WordPress Core, in some not actually the code from the Hackathon this is just a proof but it’s amazing what we did in the last two days.
So we get a form renderer, we got inside the WordPress and preview so you type on the JSON schema, which is just a few JSON snippets, and you get immediately rendered the form, including validation and all the stuff.
We did some Gutenberg blocks and so on. So the proof says it all works.
And the next steps would be to get in touch with the right people to create clean code, which can then be contributed to WordPress or to Gutenberg code.

So your hackathon project is basically a proof of concept.



And it’s far more on completion than just a product.

Thank you for taking the time.

Thank you too.

Nils Langner introduced us to his project “CMS Health Checks” for the CloudFest Hackathon.

Transcript (auto generated)


What is your project called, and what is it all about?


It’s called CMS Health. So we are testing CMS system for their health, basically.

So there’s much more behind that, but…




Obviously, yeah. So when you normally test your website, it’s just the uptime check, right? So you do like a curl request and just check, is the server still up? But modern websites, normally, they hide their broken stuff. So it could be that things on the website do not work, but still an uptime check would say, yeah, everything’s fine.

So when we want to have more detailed checks for that, something like, okay, I can deliver data, but the database is down or the hard disk is almost full, something like this. And this was the basic idea, right? 

And then we started to think about, but this is not a WordPress problem. This is not a Joomla problem. This is not a Typo3 problem. This is a problem everybody shares. So the idea is, why not create a standard for that, that everybody can use, and just send the data to any monitoring system out there?

Yeah, so this is a problem every CMS system shares, right?

We now have somebody from the WordPress hackers in our team. We have Typo3 guys in our team. And we want to reach out to every CMS out there. So the idea is every CMS is able to create those JSON files and there’s a monitoring system, a standardised monitoring system that just can read those files and then can return the data or can then alert if something fails.


So that sounds like a bigger project that will go beyond the limited time of the hackathon this weekend.


Exactly. Exactly, exactly.


What is your near-time goal? What is the increment you would like to end up with after the hackathon ends?


So the basic idea is to have this standard. We are already having an implementation. We also have a mobile app that checks that.

So this is pretty cool. This is pretty cool and it works for TYPO3, for WordPress.

But the most important thing is the standard. I work for a monitoring system for WebPros and we would implement that standard, right? And then it would be great if we already can monitor everything out there, but therefore you need an open standard because otherwise nobody will implement it.

And we will also contribute.

Yeah. And so when the standard is out there, so everybody can take that standard and then hopefully all the monitoring systems out there, like Pingdom, like Koality, like 360 monitoring, like New Relic can take that standard and then build the monitoring on top of that.


Cool. So this is very much in the spirit of like cross open-source CMS collaboration and then also an open ecosystem basically for like different providers to hop onto this standard. Exactly. That’s super cool.


Yeah. Yeah. And it tests this commercial part, but you don’t have to do that. So we already implemented an open source system that can do that as well. I mean, all those professional systems out there, so where you have to pay money, I guess they will be better.

But for 80% of all those agencies out there, the open source solution will be enough. So, and that’s important.


Thank you for the insight into your project. Thanks for taking the time.