Use a global .gitignore file to ignore commonly ignored files

Accidentally committing sensitive information to a GitHub repository can have costly effects. This tweet of someone committing their AWS private keys in an .env file by accident, surfaced only a couple days ago. I’m sure something like this has happened to so many people already. It’s easy to commit a file that you do wish to remain private, simply forgetting to add it to your .gitignore file. Continue reading Use a global .gitignore file to ignore commonly ignored files

How to effectively report bugs on GitHub (and what not to do)

A lot of open source WordPress plugins and themes have a GitHub repository, usually on the side of their main download website. Most developers also use the issues available in each repository to keep track of issues. It’s often not clear what kind of issues should go in there, but I think almost all developers will agree with me that it’s not the best place for support. So I have to close lots of issues that are actually support requests.

I even have a snippet nowadays that I use to close an issue (more on this below):

This is not a support channel. You can post this kind of questions in our public support forum: http://wordpress.org/support/plugin/woocommerce or in case you are a WooThemes customer via our support portal: http://support.woothemes.com

We have a lot of issues being opened on our GitHub repository, that are just support issues. Requesting support is tricky enough already, but filing a proper bug report is even more complicated. People often ask what the difference is between reporting a bug and asking for support. In the end, both are aimed at solving a problem. Continue reading How to effectively report bugs on GitHub (and what not to do)

Moved my WordPress plugins to GitHub

Some people love Git, others hate it. I’m part of the first group of people. I love the way decentralized  version control systems work. Git was the first I ran into, only using SVN by that time. At first it was hard to switch from my habits in SVN, to a more flexible version control system like Git. But once you make the switch, start using everything that makes Git the great system that I think it is, you will dislike every time you have to use SVN again.

Since Git works with a local repository and remote repositories, you can commit changes to your local repository without pushing these commits to the remote repository. That makes Git fast and more flexible. You can even have complete branches on your local environment only, without publishing them. That way you can work on large parts of code without having to be connected to the central remote repository all the time.

That is just one of the many advantages Git (or any other decentralized version control system) has over centralized version control systems. If you need more information on why Git is so popular, check out the recently updated Git website and documentation. Continue reading Moved my WordPress plugins to GitHub