Jetpack does the opposite of the core WordPress philosophy

Eric Mann has published a post on his blog titled Bundling and Bloatware, in which he describes his frustrations with the Jetpack plugin doing a lot of the exact opposite of what’s in the core WordPress philosophy:

The epitome of everything opposite of this drive to pare WordPress down to a barebone feature set was Jetpack by Automattic. […] It began to add more and more features as the Automattic team brought other projects into the fold, though. Today, Jetpack bundles 33 discrete features, each of which could ship (and in many cases has shipped) as a separate WordPress plugin.

This goes well with the post I wrote a little while ago, about lean and mean plugins. It’s also something that I struggle with every time I use Jetpack (3/34 features enabled here on this site). I’m all for a modular approach in Jetpack, so we can load just the modules that we need on our servers. Heck, I would even prefer them to continue to release all these plugins as actual separate plugins.

When you go read the post, be sure to check out the comments as well. Some of the Jetpack development have joined the conversation there and more or less defend the decisions the Jetpack plugin has made. I can’t say I agree with them, but at least this post opened up the conversation again.

Yes, you should learn to use Git from your command line

This is a topic that I’ve talked about with a lot of people in the past couple years. I’ve used a GUI myself for a while, but always came back to the command line application. It is simply faster, it’s scriptable and supports all the goodies in Git, while a GUI only exposes a subset of its features.

There is definitely a bit of a learning curve, but it’s not as steep as it might seem. Once you get the hang of the three basic commands (statusadd and commit), you will notice that you can keep track of your own history already.

As soon as you feel comfortable to move on, there is stuff like push and pull to remote repositories (like GitHub), viewing diffs and branches. You can start using these new commands at your own pace, there is no need to learn everything right from the start. Continue reading Yes, you should learn to use Git from your command line

Our first Google Day

Today we did our first Google Day. For those of you who don’t know the 20% time offer, Google offers her employees 20% of their time to work on side projects. We decided that the side projects we work on are preferably projects that benefit the company in the long run, but can be anything.

At first I wanted to (finally) dive into some other programming language, like Ruby or finally get my hands on some Node.js. None of this all happened though, as we discovered during some discussion that we really needed a project management tool and we never took the time to properly set things up. Continue reading Our first Google Day

It doesn’t matter what PHP framework you choose

I see this question over and over again. With the amount of PHP frameworks being available, it’s not hard to imagine how confused a learning PHP developer must feel when they try to pick the right framework. While in reality, it doesn’t really matter what PHP framework you choose. Laravel, Symfony, Zend, all are really well thought out and maintained frameworks. They are different, of course, but you won’t hurt yourself by picking one over the other. Continue reading It doesn’t matter what PHP framework you choose

Why I don’t do full time WordPress work anymore

Earlier this year, I made the decision to stop doing full time WordPress work. In my new day job, I still work with WordPress though. The big difference is that I now have a bigger toolbox to select the best tool for the job at hand from.

Working on just WordPress projects for a couple of years was great. In fact, I would do it again right away if I had to. For me it was great though, to step out of the WordPress bubble and start using different frameworks and technologies that are better suitable for the project. Continue reading Why I don’t do full time WordPress work anymore

My first ever vlog…

Last night I published my first ever vlog. After discussing it with them for a while, Daniel Espinoza and Matt Stauffer had started publishing their first vlogs already, so it was time for me to step up and do what I announced earlier.

Making this video was the most awkward thing I have done in a long time, but I’m happy it’s out there now. It feels like future videos will be easier to make now this first one is done. Continue reading My first ever vlog…

Vlogging as a developer

For a while now, I’ve been trying to think of ways to do more with video. At the top of my todo list is something called “the vlog experiment”.

I asked on Twitter why I didn’t know of any developers who post vlogs. I got a lot of responses, but nobody was able to name someone. Finally, Jeffrey Way’s response gave me the push I needed. The fact that there are no developers out there posting vlogs, probably means that there is room for someone to start doing this (or it means that it’s a bad idea, but let’s not assume that’s the case…). Continue reading Vlogging as a developer

Premium WordPress plugin developers, can we have access to your version control please?

We’ve been telling customers to always be on the latest and greatest version of everything WordPress related. It has become the de facto answer to any bug report: “Are you running the latest version of plugin x and y?”. That’s fine, for most use cases. But what if I’m in a situation where I can’t be at the latest version? Or what if I find a bug in the latest version and have to restore to an older version?

Of course, we run our version control for websites. We can restore older versions of plugins after we find a bug. This requires us to have the premium plugin in our own version control, writing our own history. While this works fine, there are a couple really big downsides to this. Continue reading Premium WordPress plugin developers, can we have access to your version control please?

Finding the right php.ini file

I’m not a sysadmin by any means, but I like to think that I know how to setup a little server environment. Having used Vagrant for a long time now helps, it definitely lowered the bar of getting into it.

One thing that has puzzled me for quite some time, is so silly that I wanted to document it. Maybe I can have a good laugh about it when I look back at this in a couple months. Long story short: PHP uses a different php.ini file for each program it loads in. This can be in the command line, or anything really.

So if you want to install the mcrypt extension for example (in my case on Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install php5-mcrypt) and wonder why it isn’t loading when you use PHP on the command line; make sure the extension is loaded in /etc/php5/cli/php.ini. In case you use PHP-FPM as well, make sure to load the extension in /etc/php5/fpm/php.ini as well.

I have spent hours to find it, only to forget this is a thing a couple weeks later when it showed up again. Call me silly, but a quick Google search learned me that lots of people are struggling with this issue as well. If this post isn’t just going to give me a good laugh when I find it in a couple months, maybe it will help someone who stumbles upon it.

Related Posts for WordPress review, now it is premium

Ever since Barry announced that he’s working on a related posts plugin, I’ve been keeping track of the project. Now that it’s available, the reviews for the free plugin have been five stars all the way, so there must be something good in it, right?

The one thing that has always been a challenge for related posts plugins, is performance. Related Posts for WordPress makes a bold statement about that:

Related Posts for WordPress won’t lag your server!
We don’t think having related posts should slow down your website. That’s why Related Posts for WordPress creates its own cache and does all the heavy lifting in the admin panel, keeping your website fast as it should be!

So it’s free, gets five star reviews all the time and is not making my site any slower? Sounds too good to be true? Well, the new premium version of the plugin adds even more juice. It offers related posts for all (including custom) post types, support for all (custom) taxonomies and themes for the output of the related posts (no coding required). Continue reading Related Posts for WordPress review, now it is premium