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Speaking at WPCampus

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be speaking at WPCampus! It’s the conference “Where WordPress Meets Higher Education”. My presentation is titled ‘The Modular Web For WordPress’.

WPCampus 2016 is the inaugural conference for the WPCampus community, a gathering of web professionals, educators and people dedicated to the confluence of WordPress in higher education. The concept for WPCampus is an education focused, non-profit event which will allow people to share and learn about WordPress in the world of higher education. So if you’re into WordPress and/or higher education and/or the web in general, it’s the place for you come July. Get a ticket to a wealth of knowledge and ideas.

wpcampus-speaker-confirmation

I will be presenting on a topic that I’ve thought a lot about and have become pretty passionate about. I’ll discuss Modular Web Development and specifically how to integrate a modular development mindset into a WordPress development workflow.

Here is the official session description:

WordPress the CMS, meets the Modular Web. We need to stop thinking about a website as a collection of pages and templates, but as a set of modules and a system to manage them. Modules, like Legos, are interchangeable and can be combined fairly quickly to create an infinite number of results all while both showing variety and remaining consistent. With this modular paradigm shift, our workflows improve, our websites improve and our very well-being improves. Let’s explore how to use WordPress to manage site content using modules. We’ll see what this does for our development process and programming as well for our content management via the admin. We’ll discuss how to build and maintain a module library, and use it for every site you build. These principles have been immensely helpful in each team or project where I’ve put them into practice, so we’ll even take a look at a few examples and point out where to learn more.

legos

While this may not be a topic specific to higher education, I think it very relevant in that having a smart process helps projects be more flexible, more on time and more on budget. I’m happy to be able to contribute to WordPress in education as well as WordPress ideas in general. I will be speaking on Friday, July 15th (I’ll try to update this with a time once it’s decided and announced). As I said, tickets (early bird even) are available now so go get yours. And if you’re interested check out my other presentations.

Recapping WordCamp Atlanta 2016 – Day 0 – The Dev Workshop

Just off a busy but enjoyable weekend of WordCamp Atlanta @wordcampatl. I was able to attend the friday developer workshop and the Saturday sessions of the conference. Though I was a speaker at WordCamp Atlanta in 2012 (From Photoshop PSD to WordPress Theme), 2013 (Your firstborn child theme. Child themes 101+2), and 2014 (Custom Post Types or Choose Your Own Adventure), I couldn’t make it in 2015, I wasn’t selected this year as a speaker. However, I was also able to volunteer to help out and to take some photos and staff the Happiness Room. I also volunteered a couple weeks ago to speak at a WordPress meetup group (Modifying Your Theme’s Design – Learning CSS), so I feel like I was able to still give back.

2016-03-18 12.46.19

Overall

TLDR; It was a great conference and like always, talking to people was the best part, though there were some great informative and even entertaining sessions I attended.

Beginner WordPress Development – Workshop

Micah Wood Aaron Reimann

2016-03-18 09.16.25

The workshop was a great way for many to get started with WordPress development. Micah and Aaron went over from the basics of development through child-theming. I stepped up to help others get started, since we were all installing mamp to get a local wordpress install setup. Even with the famous 5 minute install it was taking most people a long time to get setup, though we can blame the wifi for most of the issues I believe. We then cloned Micah’s child theme demo from github into our theme dir and he get started through the demo. Follow along by reading his blog post length commit messages. It was great to help out! I even learned a few tricks about some WordPress hooks, the loop and template hierarchy.

I’ll share one tip many might not have realized when dealing with child themes. The difference between get_template_directory_uri and get_stylesheet_directory_uri.

I’ll post an update on Day 2 when I’ve had time to digest some more of the great presentations.

 

Modifying Your Theme’s Design – Learning CSS: Atlanta WordPress Users Group Presentation

Here’s my presentation for the Atlanta WordPress Users Group to continuing their discussion on theming. The meetup gives you a first hand look at modifying your Theme’s look and feel. We’ll be showing you how to make typical changes to existing themes. We will not be showing you how to create your own theme from scratch, though we will have a meetup later in the year to do that.

During this meetup we discussed:

• What is CSS and why do we use it?

• What are ‘typical’ modifications to themes and how to make them

• Using ‘inspect element’ and/or ‘firebug’ to find and test

• Correct way to change Fonts

• Simple color theory and design

Here’s the slide deck for the presentation

The presentation overviews the internet, teaches us how to spell HTML and other web programming “languages” that come together to form a WordPress website, like HTML, CSS & PHP. We even discussed web development tools like FTP clients and which text editors to use. We went over what makes up a wordpress theme and then the concept of child themes. Discussed the process of creating your own child theme with just a couple files and that you can create a child theme for any theme out there. We demoed how to view source and dissect any website, but more importantly, how to inspect elements on your site and live-edit the css for any element. Then to write these CSS rules to our theme to lock in the edits in your child theme.

If you have any further questions that you would specifically like reviewed, leave them in the comments below and I’ll respond.

We created a child theme for twentysixteen

We created our own child theme and discussed the benefit to creating a child theme over other ways to modify a WP theme. Our twentysixteen child theme did wonders for the look:

Screenshot 2016-03-10 08.32.56

We explored the code to create our own WordPress child theme

Here are the code snippets for review

How to Add a class to the WordPress comments submit button

This WordPress feature slipped by me, but since the release of WP 4.1 there is a great and simple new filter that I’ve been watching for a number of years here. Interestingly this ticket was opened 5 years ago today, so some have literally been waiting years! The commentform.php file now has a couple more options available as explained in this changeset.

add_filter( 'comment_form_defaults', 'circlecube_comment_form' );I have been using foundation and bootstrap on sites and have struggled with the best way to add a button class to this button since I wanted it to inherit the frameworks styles for a button. I’ve seen a few ways to go about doing this, like using javascript (ug), or adding an extra button and hiding the original button with css (meh). But now it’s a simple little filter to add to comment_form_defaults.  Just add your desired class value to ‘class_submit’ in the args. I’ve put it into a simple little gist to add a ‘button’ class to my input type equals submit:

How to fix “The called constructor method for WP_Widget is deprecated since version 4.3.0!”

Have you updated WordPress recently to find notices warning you of something related to your Widgets? These notices will show up if you have your site in debug mode (which you should in your local environment, but not on your production website) with the setting in wp-config.php.

Notice: The called constructor method for WP_Widget is deprecated since version 4.3.0! Use

__construct()

instead. in /wp-includes/functions.php on line 3457.

Screenshot 2015-09-17 13.19.49

Here is an example of what you likely have currently in your functions.php file to register your existing widget(s) (in old functions.php on the bottom) and then an example of how to update the widget class with the _construct update (in new functions.php on the top).

Every Browser is the New IE (to me) – daverupert.com

Maybe one day the Web will be perfect and complete and I will not need to reach for polyfills. However, if that happened I think I’d stop being interested the Web because it would then be a stagnant pond and not a surfable ocean.

Source: Every Browser is the New IE (to me) – daverupert.com

Screenshot 2015-08-03 08.19.16

Dave brings up that as web developers, we’re quick to complain that that shiny new feature doesn’t have enough support to rely on it and that there should be some sort of global consensus or priority of features so that the most important new features are added to browsers and make all our lives easier. That quote at the end hits the nail on the head though, if it were easy and uniform, then we’d collectively get bored. We thrive on solving problems so much it seems we’ve created more problems.

URL Structure FTW – Pretty and Readable Permalinks

I noticed that the clearleft.com site has very clever url structure. You can read the urls like a sentence. Like their about section is “/is” and their capabilities is ‘/does’, and their portfolio section is “/made” , so clearleft.com made code for america. Check the urls listed here and you’ll notice that they read like a sentence. These urls were made intentionally for humans!

Screenshot 2015-07-31 14.15.00

 

Although they are missing an opportunity I think, their blog is clearleft.com/thinks/, but then they just use a post id for the url. http://clearleft.com/thinks/298, I was hoping it’d be clever. If it had the title of the post, it’d make more sense.

Something to think about as we create sites.

I then looked around a bit and found a talk about some of this, here it is and the relevant bits:

If you really want to take this content-first approach to its ultimate limit, something I like to do, if I ever get the chance to do this on products is I like to start with the URLs; really bring it down to the most basic webiness of what you’re building is, what is the URL structure, which is something I think people don’t think about enough. And yet, URLs are so, so important. Some people treat them like an implementation detail of the web, like, “oh yeah, we’ve got native, we’ve got the web, web has URLs, whatever,” whereas I think it’s the most powerful part of the web. In fact, once you have the name of something and once you have the address that you can pull up on any device, as long as it’s connected to a network, that is amazing. That immediately makes it part of this huge, big, chaotic mess of a web. It was Tim Berners-Lee who said, when you have a URL, it’s part of the web, it’s part of the discourse of humanity, this giant Library of Alexandria that we’re all collectively building.

URL design as a skill is something I feel we’re losing, which is a real shame because I will admit, I’m a URL fetishist. I love a good URL. But I think, rightly so, because they are this fundamental unit of the web. Kyle Neath who works at GitHub—where they have beautiful URLs—he said:

URLs are universal. They work in Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, cURL, wget, your iPhone, Android and even written down on sticky notes, they are the one universal syntax of the web.

That’s so important to remember: written down on sticky notes, written on a Post-it. They’re for humans. URLs are for humans. Yes, they’re used by machines to fetch a resource, but they’re very much for humans to use. URLs should be hackable, guessable, readable.

 

Adactio: Journal—Instantiation

There needs to be a cultural change in how we approach building for the web. Yes, some of the tools we choose are part of the problem, but the bigger problem is that performance still isn’t being recognised as the most important factor in how people feel about websites (and by extension, the web). This isn’t just a developer issue. It’s a design issue. It’s a UX issue. It’s a business issue. Performance is everybody’s collective responsibility.

Source: Adactio: Journal—Instantiation

Great article (as always) by Jeremy Keith about why the web is so slow and painful to use… hint, because we built it that way!

human_time_diff « WordPress Codex

Determines the difference between two timestamps.The difference is returned in a human readable format such as “1 hour”, “5 mins”, “2 days”.

Source: Function Reference/human time diff « WordPress Codex

Used this little known, but nice gem today. It’s a core WordPress function that gives human relative time from any other datetime in “U” format. Like so:

human_time_diff( date("U", strtotime($twitter_data[$i]->created_at)) );