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October 24, 2014

Alex King: No WordCamp SF 2014 For Me

Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to attend WordCamp SF 2014. My apologies to those who I was planning to meet up with. I’ll miss seeing you folks there – but have fun and do great work!

by Alex at October 24, 2014 04:21 PM under WordPress

WPTavern: MediaPress Now in Beta: A New Media Gallery Plugin for BuddyPress

mediapress-feature

For a long time, BuddyPress has been sorely in need of better support for media, as images, video, and audio play a major part in connecting people on social networks. BuddyPress core has adopted the features-as-plugin development model to help facilitate the development of a new media component called BP Attachments. This new Attachments API, once finished, would allow BuddyPress to store media as attachments, offering developers a standard way of extending the plugin to build media-related functionality.

With no way of knowing when or if BuddyPress will add a core media component, developers have struggled over the years to tackle media support with independent solutions. Brajesh Singh, a prolific BuddyPress plugin developer, created the popular BP Gallery four years ago to address this need, but the plugin is now outdated.

Last week Singh introduced MediaPress, his latest attempt at creating gallery/album capabilities for BuddyPress. The plugin is now in beta and boasts an impressive list of features, including:

  • User media/gallery/album support
  • Group media/gallery/album support
  • Built-in photo, audio, and video support
  • Supports privacy
  • Drag-and-drop uploader
  • Upload from Activity
  • Automatic wall galleries creation
  • Wall gallery support for Groups/Users
  • Grid layout for media
  • Playlist view support for audio/Video Galleries
  • Widgets and shortcodes to list galleries, media, playlist, audio, etc.

MediaPress adds upload buttons for images, audio, and video to the activity update box. Users can also upload from the gallery menu item in their profiles.

media-upload

MediaPress’ gallery support works very similar to Facebook. Images uploaded via the activity stream will be placed in a wall photo gallery where users can view, edit, or delete them.

user-galleries

MediaPress comes with an extensive array of admin options for controlling its features. It’s also tightly integrated with WordPress and BuddyPress, which is why audio playlists in the activity stream look similar to audio uploaded to posts.

audio-play-list-activity

Singh built MediaPress to be easy to customize and easy for other components to extend. Here are a few examples of what developers can do with the plugin:

  • Use a different storage manager (supports local uploads by default but you can write one for the cloud- check core/storage/storage-manager.php for details).
  • Add support for a new Media Type. (Check core/common/api.php, core/common/init.php for details.)
  • Write a custom media loop. (Check MPP_Media_Query in core/common/query-media.php.)
  • Write your own custom Gallery loop/list. (Check MPP_Gallery_Query for details.)

The Future of MediaPress

MediaPress does not utilize the BP Attachments API. I spoke with Singh to see what his plans are, when/if BP core adds better media support. “Yes, I will continue developing it even if BP adds its own media component,” he said. “MediaPress has a more versatile API than what will come in any media component in the next 2-3 years at least.”

Singh spent the last year and a half planning the plugin, but it was only within the last four months that he got serious about building it. “I spent most of the time planning the architecture and API. My basic goal was to make it easy for site admins as well as developers to use and extend the plugin,” he said.

MediaPress is open source and will remain free to use, as Singh’s primary goal is better community adoption. After the first release, he is planning on putting the plugin on GitHub and will also submit it to WordPress.org. He hopes to build a community around it.

Singh will be retiring BP Gallery in favor of MediaPress. “Things have changed in last 4 years – custom post types, taxonomy APIs made it into WordPress core, as well as multisite,” he said. “We needed a plugin to reflect these changes and work better with the current APIs. I did not feel updating BP Gallery will do it justice.”

There are very few media plugins for BuddyPress at the moment, and Singh said that it seemed all of them were either bloated or very limited in options. MediaPress is currently the most advanced gallery/album solution for BuddyPress, even though it’s still in beta. I tested the plugin and found its UI to be fairly intuitive. It fits in like a natural part of BuddyPress. Check out the live demo to see it in action.

In the future, Singh plans to add support for WordPress (non-BuddyPress) sites and bbPress. If you’d like to help test the MediaPress beta, you can download it from BuddyDev.com.

by Sarah Gooding at October 24, 2014 05:13 AM under mediapress

October 23, 2014

Matt: FB Rooms

We’re not trying to build the next Snapchat — we’re trying to build the next WordPress.
— Josh Miller from Facebook

Uh, okay! From the Verge’s article Facebook's new Rooms app brings bite-sized forums to your iPhone.

by Matt Mullenweg at October 23, 2014 08:15 PM under Asides

WPTavern: JSTOR Launches Online Daily Magazine Using WordPress

In a strategic effort to make academic journals more relevant to your average reader, JSTOR has launched an online daily magazine. The digital academic library offers full-text searches of 2,000+ journals, e-books, and primary sources. JSTOR Daily will serve to bring more context to current events by connecting readers to relevant scholarly publications found within the JSTOR library.

The site’s authors tackle various complex issues, such as stem cell research, marijuana and public health, world hunger, and more, by providing backstory using research from JSTOR’s wealth of scholarly publications.

“JSTOR is primarily a digital library, and we haven’t produced our own content before, so this is a real shift for the organization,” editor Catherine Halley told NiemanLab in a recent interview. Publishers of the new daily magazine selected WordPress to power the site, which currently publishes two to three short posts per day, interspersed with longer feature stories twice per week.

jstor-dailyJSTOR Daily’s design uses a slightly modified version of SimpleMag, a magazine theme sold on Themeforest. Based on a quick view of the source, you can see that the site also utilizes common plugins, such as Jetpack to power subscriptions and stats, Gravity Forms, Add to Any, Google Analytics Dashboard for WP, and W3 Total Cache.

The site is currently still in beta, as JSTOR experiments with its content strategy. Ordinarily, JSTOR serves its library content via paid subscriptions, though access is licensed mainly to academic institutions and their students. However, content linked within JSTOR daily has to be freely available to readers, since the purpose of the publication is to maximize JSTOR’s academic archive. Therefore, the publishers opted to make any timely or otherwise compelling content available for free, when linked within one of the stories. If you’re interested in getting your news mixed with a healthy dose of in-depth academic research, subscribe to the JSTOR Daily bi-weekly newsletter or add the site to your favorite feed reader.

by Sarah Gooding at October 23, 2014 06:40 PM under News

October 22, 2014

WPTavern: Unsplash Plugin Brings One-Click Stock Photo Uploads to the WordPress Media Library

Unsplash, the free stock photo site, quickly became popular with designers, due to its tasteful curating of images. All of the high resolution images on the site are carefully selected, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a bad photo among them. Unsplash gradually grows its collection by adding 10 new photos every 10 days, all of which are available under the very permissive Creative Commons Zero license.

Unsplash WP is the first plugin created to bring these images into WordPress. With one click you can upload stock photos directly into the media library without having to leave the admin. Since Unsplash photo licensing allows you the freedom to copy, modify, distribute and use the photos without permission, you can use the images in your commercial endeavors, designs, blog posts, or anywhere on your site.

Once installed, you can add Unsplash photos from the plugin’s settings page or within the page/post editor. You have a few options for setting the upload image width and height, as well as the number of images per page. When editing content, you’ll find a new Unsplash Uploader button:

unsplash-button

When you click on the uploader, the most recent Unsplash images will be displayed in lightbox. You can toggle between recent, oldest, and random to select images to upload.

unsplash-media-library

The images you select will then be added to your media library for use. You’ll have to switch back to the media upload button to insert them into your content. The plugin will need to be able to write temporary images into the wp-content/plugins/unsplash-stock-photo-library directory for image processing, prior to uploading them to the media library. If you see the little red warning on an image, it means that you will need to check your server permissions before it will work.

check-permissions-yo

Unsplash WP was created by Darren Cooney, author of the Ajax Load More plugin. After testing it, I was impressed by how smoothly it performs as well as the convenience of not having to leave the admin.

My only concern is that, with the growing popularity of Unsplash, some of the photos begin to look cliché and commonplace after you’ve seen them used on dozens of sites across the web. Ultimately, the best and most unique photographs are the ones you take, because they are tied to your own experience and perspective.

However, if you simply need to quickly prototype a design and want to have a bunch of nice images at your fingertips, Unsplash WP is an excellent plugin that will save you quite a bit of time. Download it for free from WordPress.org.

by Sarah Gooding at October 22, 2014 10:27 PM under unsplash

WPTavern: Tickets Still Available to Watch The WordCamp San Francisco Live Stream

wcsf

This weekend, the annual WordPress conference known as WordCamp San Francisco will take place. It’s the only conference to feature “The State of the Word” presented by Matt Mullenweg. If you can’t make it to the event, there are still plenty of live stream tickets available.

Live stream tickets cost $10 and allow you to enjoy the conference from the comfort of your home. However, if you buy a Live Stream Plus T-Shirt ticket for $18, you’ll receive a T-Shirt immediately following the event. When purchasing tickets, make sure you log into your WordPress.org account.

An alternative to purchasing a live stream ticket is to check your local WordPress meetup as several of them are having live stream watch parties. If you’re a meetup organizer having a viewing party, please add the event in the comments. You can also follow the event by monitoring the #wcsf and #wcsf14 hashtags on Twitter.

Sarah Gooding and I will be in attendance during the weekend of festivities so if you see us, stop and say hi.

by Jeff Chandler at October 22, 2014 09:22 PM under wordcamp

WPTavern: BuddyPress 2.2 Will Add Support for Composer

composer-support-buddypress

BuddyPress lead developer Paul Gibbs committed support for Composer to BuddyPress core this week. Developers who want to check it out can find the json file at: trunk/src/composer.json.

If you’re not yet familiar with Composer, it’s essentially a tool for dependency management in PHP. It is designed to manage packages on a per-project basis by bringing in any dependent libraries that you declare in the composer.json file. The dependencies are then automatically installed in a vendor directory or other specified location inside your project.

BuddyPress is not yet listed on Packagist.org but should be added soon. Once it’s listed there, it can easily be declared as a dependency after the next version (2.2) is released.

{
    "require": {
        "buddypress/buddypress": "~2.2"
    }
}

BuddyPress 2.2 is expected in mid-January 2015, according to Gibbs’ reply in the ticket to add Composer. He plans to configure Packagist to pull from http://plugins.svn.wordpress.org/buddypress/.

Because BuddyPress is identified as a WordPress plugin in its json file (“type”: “wordpress-plugin”), composer/installers will by default send it to the wp-content/plugins directory.

If you can’t wait two months, and you’re dying to use BuddyPress with Composer right now, there’s an alternative method. I spoke with WordPress Composer evangelist Andrey Savchenko (@rarst) regarding the news. He suggests that in the meantime developers could use wpackagist, which provides a mirror of the WordPress plugin and theme directories as a Composer repository.

{
 "require"     : {
  "wpackagist-plugin/buddypress": "~2.1"
 },
 "repositories": [
  {
   "type": "composer",
   "url" : "http://wpackagist.org"
  }
 ]
}

If you search for “WordPress” on Packagist, you’ll find many other projects, which can also be easily added into your next BuddyPress project. Composer support makes it easy to create a master composer.json file for your projects, that will save you time by allowing you to load all of your dependencies in a matter of seconds.

by Sarah Gooding at October 22, 2014 10:32 AM under composer

WPTavern: How to Increase or Decrease The Font Size in The Visual Editor

Visual Editor Font Size Featured Imagephoto credit: Mr Ushcc

If you use the visual editor to write posts or pages, you’ll know that the font can sometimes be hard to read due to its size. Some themes use a tiny font in the visual editor and unless you know how to apply CSS changes, you’re stuck with it. Luckily, there’s a plugin available specifically for the purpose of adjusting the font size in the visual editor called Visual Editor Font Size.

Developed by Nikolay Bachiyski, Visual Editor Font Size adds a meta box to the post editor. After installing and activating the plugin, check the screen options on the post editor and make sure the box next to Visual Editor Font Size is checked. The meta box has a plus and minus button to increase or decrease the font size. There’s also a sample of text to indicate how large or small the font is and the revert link resets the text to the default size.

Visual Editor Font Size Meta BoxVisual Editor Font Size Meta Box

Although it works fine in WordPress 4.0, I’d rather see the size adjusting buttons added to the TinyMCE editor. The editor is the first place I look to manipulate content in the visual editor and when I didn’t see any additional buttons, I thought the plugin was broken. This plugin is great if you don’t have the CSS knowledge or access to make the appropriate changes, but it’s not the best way to solve the problem.

If the theme you’re using doesn’t have a visual editor style applied to it, contact the author and send them this link. It’s a Codex article that explains how to add a style to a theme specifically for the visual editor. When executed well, the content in the editor will look identical to what visitors see. Stargazer, by Justin Tadlock, is an excellent example of a theme where the content in the visual editor is the same style that’s seen by visitors.

by Jeff Chandler at October 22, 2014 09:36 AM under visual editor

WPTavern: Comparing The Photo Publishing Experience of WordPress For iOS to Facebook and Twitter

Welcome Home Featured Imagephoto credit: angusfcc

In late September, WordPress.com published the first in a series of short videos that shows how easy it is to publish content from a mobile device. In the 15 second video entitled “Welcome Home,” a user is seen taking photos with an iPhone in various locations. Near the end of the video, the user taps the WordPress mobile app icon and sees a post with one of the images captured by the phone. What’s not shown is the process of publishing the photo.

The take away from the video is that it’s easy to publish photos to WordPress.com from a mobile device. With that in mind, I was curious what it’s like to perform the same task with other social networks on a mobile device. The following is my experience using WordPress For iOS for this specific task and how it compares to using Facebook and Twitter.

The WordPress For iOS Process

The first thing I do is take a photo with my phone. Next, I load the WordPress For iOS app. I tap the Pencil icon in the lower right corner and make sure to select my WordPress.com account. I give the post a title which is normally related to the image, then write some content. Writing a lot of content on the iPhone is not an ideal experience so I usually keep it short.

Next, I add an image to the post. Selecting a photo from the phone and uploading it to WordPress is an easy task. After the photo is inserted, I head into the Options area. From here, I assign a Category and relevant Tags. I preview the post and if I like what I see, I tap the Publish button.

WordPress For iOS Post PreviewWordPress For iOS Post Preview

While I’m not forced to assign a Category or Tags to posts, it’s a good practice and one I’ve already established with the site.

The Facebook on iOS Process

I open the Facebook app and select Photo. I’m given the choice to either select a photo from the phone’s media library or to take a picture. The ability to use the camera to take a photo for a post is a distinct difference between the Facebook app and WordPress. I usually have an image ready to publish but when I don’t, taking a photo within the app is a nice convenience. After selecting a photo, it’s uploaded to Facebook where I then add context for the image.

With the Facebook app, I can add other data to the post such as location, the people I was with or who are in the photo, and my mood. Most of the time, the additional information doesn’t apply to my photo. After adding some context, I tap the Post button. Boiled down to the simplest procedure, I can publish a photo post on Facebook in five steps.

  1. Open App
  2. Select Photo
  3. Choose or Take Photo
  4. Apply Context
  5. Post

I don’t have to worry about assigning a category or tags to Facebook posts.

The Twitter on iOS Process

I open the Twitter app and tap the button to write a new Tweet. I tap the button to add media and similar to Facebook, I can either choose from the phone’s media library or take a photo. After selecting an image, I add context, then tap the send button. I don’t have to worry about tags or categories.

Not The Simplest, But The Most Future Proof

WordPress For iOS isn’t the simplest way to share photos with the world but it’s the most future proof. It may be more work, but an added benefit to using WordPress.com is its Publicize feature. When a post is published, WordPress.com can send it to both Twitter and Facebook. This is an ideal way to share photos to the widest possible audience while maintaining full control of your content.

Facebook and Twitter are islands where you have no control and the carpet can be pulled out from under you. But at WordPress.com, you have a place to call your own and if you desire, you can pack up your content and leave. This is what the message “Welcome Home” means to me. What does it mean to you?

by Jeff Chandler at October 22, 2014 08:30 AM under wordpress.com

WPTavern: Initiatives Being Developed Alongside WordPress

Opportunity Featured Imagephoto credit: {Guerrilla Futures | Jason Tester}cc

While it’s easy to focus on WordPress core development, there are a handful of satellite projects to keep an eye on. There is so much happening around the WordPress project, it’s tough to keep up. This post highlights some of the satellite projects and initiatives that are being developed concurrently with WordPress.

Feature Plugin: Improve Image Editing

Led by Siobhan McKeown, the Image Flow project is aimed at improving the image editing experience in WordPress. It’s a feature that will likely not be removed, so the team is doing what it can to improve it. In the most recent meeting, the group discussed various wireframes and will be making changes based on community feedback. The group meets every Friday and uses Google Hangout to conduct meetings.

Scalable Dropdowns

Created by Helen Hou-Sandi, the scalable dropdowns project is focused on addressing some long-standing issues with dropdowns in WordPress, specifically for users and pages. An initial meeting has taken place on IRC and as a result, several issues have been opened on Github for work and discussion. If you’re interested, review the issues on Github and contribute where you’re able to. Questions related to the project can be asked here.

Meta, Date, and Taxonomy Query Improvements

Boone Gorges is leading the way towards improving WP_Meta_Query, WP_Tax_Query, and WP_Date_Query. The improvements are slated for WordPress 4.1. According to a recent project update, most of the proposed changes Gorges listed in the initial post have been made.

Inline Documentation

Shortly after WordCamp San Francisco 2013, the inline docs team began working on providing inline documentation to every hook in WordPress. The team successfully completed documented every action and filter hook as part of the release of WordPress 3.9. In a recent meeting, the group discussed options for adopting a documentation standard for core JavaScript.

WordPress Training

The training initiative is a proposed curriculum that covers everything from explaining what a theme is, to creating and altering child themes. The group is working on various training modules that make up each class. In their most recent meeting, the group discussed the status of modules in progress, infrastructure for testing modules, and a team training sign up form. If you’re interested in contributing to this project, the team has meetings every Tuesday 18:00 UTC in the #wordpress-getinvolved IRC channel.

Opportunities to Contribute

I’ve only scratched the surface with the number of initiatives available to contribute to. Whether you have a special interest in accessibility, UI, mobile, support, themes, or translations, there’s a project that could use your help. The best way to stay informed of new and existing initiatives is visit Make.WordPress.org.

by Jeff Chandler at October 22, 2014 04:06 AM under initiatives

Matt: Retina 5k Mac

imac-retina-step1-hero-2014 To me one of the most meaningful shifts in computing the past few years has been how the resolution of displays is getting higher and higher, and interfaces are starting to become resolution independent. I feel like when pixels disappear there’s less of a wall between people and the technology, it starts to blend and meld a bit more. It’s something I’ve been personally passionate about since the first retina iPhone, tirelessly beating the drum at Automattic to make everything we do shine on hi-DPI screens, or leading the WordPress 3.8 release that brought in MP6 project to make WordPress’ aesthetics cleaner and vector-based.

I’m sitting in front of a Retina 5k iMac right now typing this to you. (It was supposed to arrive on Friday but came a few days early.)

It’s the most gorgeous desktop display I’ve ever seen, breathtaking at first and then like all great work becomes invisible and you forget that there was ever a time when displays weren’t this beautiful. (Until you look at some lesser monitor again.)

I’ve been using 4k displays, the Sharp and the ASUS, with Mac Pros for a few months now, and to be honest they come close, but this takes the cake in every possible way, including the design and aesthetics of the computer/display itself which is laptop-thin at the edges. If you’ve been on the fence, and you’re okay with the tradeoffs an iMac has in general, get one. I can’t wait for them to do a 5k Thunderbolt display (but it sounds like it might be at least a year away).

P. S. If you’re looking for a gift for the iMac that has everything, consider a slipper to keep its feet warm.

by Matt Mullenweg at October 22, 2014 12:42 AM under Apple

WPTavern: Monster Widgets for bbPress and BuddyPress Make It Easy to Test Core Widgets

photo credit: massdistraction - ccphoto credit: massdistractioncc

The original Monster Widget plugin is a handy tool created by Automattic to assist theme developers with testing. Essentially, it allows you to quickly drop all core widgets into your sidebar at once, saving you the trouble of having to add them individually.

Now you can get the same for bbPress and BuddyPress, thanks to a two new plugins from @mercime, a contributor on both WordPress sister projects.

The BuddyPress Monster Widget makes it easy to populate your sidebar with all of the BP core widgets, including the following:

  • Log In
  • Members
  • Who’s Online
  • Recently Active Members
  • Friends
  • Groups
  • Sitewide Messages
  • Recent Networkwide Posts

The widgets are pre-configured to show a set number of blog posts, members, friends, etc. The list of widgets displayed can be altered by using the ‘buddypress-monster-widget-config’ filter included in the plugin.

buddypress-monster-widget

The bbPress Monster Widget plugin allows you to add all of the bbPress core widgets to your sidebar in one instance, including:

  • Log In
  • Forum Views
  • Forum Search Form
  • Forums
  • Forum Topics
  • Forum Statistics
  • Forum Replies

The bbPress Monster Widget also comes pre-configured with a set number of topics and replies displayed. The default list of widgets can be altered by using the ‘bbpress-monster-widget-config’ filter.

When creating a theme for public distribution, it’s important to make sure you know how the core widgets are going to look with your theme applied. This is especially true for community-oriented sites that utilize bbPress and BuddyPress, because the widgets often play a big part in connecting members to recent activity on the site. Download the bbPress and BuddyPress monster widgets from WordPress.org to make it quick and easy to test the core widgets.

by Sarah Gooding at October 22, 2014 12:00 AM under widgets

October 21, 2014

WPTavern: Compass: A Free Starter Theme for WordPress Built with Hybrid Core, Bourbon, and Neat

photo credit: Theresa Thompson - ccphoto credit: Theresa Thompsoncc

The life of a frontend developer has changed a great deal over the past few years, with the introduction of new technologies for authoring CSS and automating tasks. We’re starting to see that trickle down into every new WordPress starter theme.

These days you’ve got to npm install allthiscrazystuff just to get started on a project. Once you’ve gone through the setup, you’re ready to work more efficiently with many of the more boring tasks automated for you.

Compass is a new WordPress starter theme that incorporates a host of modern web development technologies to help you create themes faster while staying in line with WordPress coding standards. The folks at Flagship, a soon-to-launch theme shop, released Compass for free earlier this month, claiming that it is “the most advanced WordPress starter theme in existence.”

Note: The Compass theme name keeps with the company’s nautical vibe, but it’s not to be confused with the open source Compass CSS framework built with Sass.

Out of the box, the theme is fairly plain but, thankfully, not hideous. Obviously, it’s a starter theme, so the point is to provide the basics for getting started on your own beautiful creation.

compass-starter-theme

Sass, Bourbon, and Neat with Composer Support

Similar to the Some Like It Neat starter theme, Compass features support for Sass, Bourbon, and Neat. The theme uses Composer to manage dependencies for PHP, allowing you to declare the dependent libraries for your specific project to have them installed for you.

Grunt

The Flagship team has worked hard to create what they believe to be the most advanced and robust Grunt workflow available for WordPress theme development. You’ll need to install Node.js to run the Grunt task runner with the Compass theme, although many theme developers will likely already have it installed. Some of the tasks will also require external command-line applications, which you’ll need to install as global Node.js packages.

Once you’re ready to roll, you’ll be able to automate an amazing number of tasks associated with theme development, including things like auto-prefixing CSS properties, tidying up style.css to match the WordPress Coding Standards, generating the RTL style sheet, optimizing images, and much more. Here’s a short sampling:

  • grunt build:dependencies
  • grunt build:css
  • grunt build:font
  • grunt build:images
  • grunt build:js
  • grunt build:i18n
  • grunt check
  • grunt package

Check out the documentation on GitHub for the comprehensive list of available tasks included in the Compass theme.

Hybrid Core

Compass is built on top of Justin Tadlock’s Hybrid Core, one of the oldest and most developer-friendly frameworks for building WordPress themes. The Compass release post explains why Flagship went with Hybrid Core:

There are so many things that are going to be necessary on nearly every project, and they’re regularly done poorly in many of the themes that we’ve used and tested. Justin has done an amazing job of doing things “the WordPress way” and has been building and iterating Hybrid Core for many years.

The framework handles functionality that most themes commonly require, such breadcrumbs, grabbing media, integrating microdata like schema.org, pagination, theme layouts, and translation.

Like many other new starter themes, Compass also offers support for the Theme Hook Alliance project in an effort to provide a common set of entry points for plugin and theme developers looking to extend the theme.

Although Flagship hasn’t yet officially launched, the site shows a preview of a few planned themes that were built using Compass as a starter theme.

flagship-themes

The theme shop will soon launch with a unique pricing model that doesn’t involve bundle or theme club pricing. Each theme is priced at $199, with a $99 annual fee for support. The Compass starter theme that they use to build all of their products is open source and available to developers for free on GitHub. Check out the Getting Started guide for documentation, including video tutorials on installing the tools and working with Compass.

by Sarah Gooding at October 21, 2014 07:40 PM under wordpress starter theme

WPTavern: Easily Edit a Post or Page Using The Slash Edit Plugin

Slash Edit Featured Image

If you’re not a fan of the admin bar or it’s disabled and you want a shortcut to edit posts in WordPress, you might be interested in a new plugin called Slash Edit. Developed by Ronald Huereca, Slash Edit adds the ability to edit the following items by adding /edit to the end of a url.

  • Posts
  • Pages
  • Custom Post Types
  • Author and Taxonomy Archives

To load the appropriate editing interface, visit a post or page while logged into WordPress and add /edit to the end of the url. It can also be used as a shortcut to login to the backend of WordPress.

Huereca works in an environment where the admin bar is consistently disabled. He created the plugin to provide a convenient way to edit pages or posts without having to search for them in the backend. “I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to just add “/edit” to the end of a post or page and be redirected to the right place in the admin panel?”

Huereca doesn’t know what else could be added to the plugin to fulfill its basic purpose. “I’m not sure how much farther this plugin can go, but the WordPress community is ingenious as far as feature requests, so I’m eager to get feedback on the base feature set.” I tested the plugin on WordPress 4.0 and it works as advertised. To keep tabs on development, you can follow the project on Github.

by Jeff Chandler at October 21, 2014 03:06 AM under slash edit

October 20, 2014

WPTavern: Jason Schuller to Re-Enter WordPress Theme Market with Niche Admin Designs

pickle-preview

Jason Schuller, the original founder of the Press75 theme company, has been off the radar for a few years as he pursued experiments with alternative publishing platforms. He officially exited the commercial WordPress theme business earlier this year when Press75 was acquired by Westwerk, following a sharp decline in the shop’s monthly revenue.

Prior to selling his company, Schuller had begun to focus more on his experimental projects, Dropplets, Leeflets, and Cinematico. Over the years, he had become disillusioned with the software, as he watched WordPress become increasingly more complex. This frustration, coupled with the weight of complex frameworks that started devouring the WordPress theme market, essentially vaporized his passion for the software and pushed him out to make something new.

Earlier this year, in an interview with Jeff Chandler, Schuller expressed his dissatisfaction with trying to make WordPress do what he wanted and said that he wouldn’t be concentrating his efforts on WordPress in the immediate future.

Video Preview of Custom WordPress Admin for the “Pickle” Project

In his never-ending quest to simplify publishing online, Schuller has once again picked up WordPress to experiment with creating a radically simplified admin design for Pickle, his restaurant-themed HTML template.

Traditionally, making a template like that editable in WordPress ends up being a complex thing for your average user to navigate in the admin. The preview video shows how Schuller has re-imagined the admin for his niche one page template.

pickle-admin

He has essentially removed the admin, de-registered all the styles and many of the components, in an effort to create a custom CMS for this particular template. The result is a better correlation between the content editing experience and the actual website, with simplified action buttons.

If you watch the preview, you’ll hear Schuller summarize why he created the simplified admin:

This is my biggest issue with WordPress right now. It doesn’t scale backward for minimalist websites like this. The CMS should reflect, in my opinion, what you’re trying to accomplish with your website, and all of these unnecessary components of WordPress just really don’t need to be here unless you need them for what you’re trying to accomplish.

Schuller said that it took him approximately two days to customize the WordPress admin to suit his template. “I’m nearly finished with it. It’s going to launch as a downloadable theme first and then I’ll be launching a hosted version as well,” he said.

The theme will not be launching on Leeflets but rather on a new domain, yet to be determined, bringing Schuller back into the WordPress theme market. Why is he returning?

“With this particular project, I really just wanted to get my vision out of my head as quick as possible,” he said. “With that in mind, I couldn’t see creating a custom CMS just for Pickle, so I figured WordPress would be the best way to do that quickly. Plus, you still can’t ignore WordPress’s reach.”

I asked Schuller if the Pickle admin theme is a one time project or if he plans to create more niche admin themes to accompany his designs. “If Pickle goes well, I have a few other niche admins in mind for specific templates,” he replied.

“My goal is really simple – to help my customers/users create and manage websites. If WordPress helps me do that in an efficient way, I’m all for it. But I’ll be doing it my way this time around,” he emphasized.

Schuller’s minimalist approach to the WordPress admin is something that he hopes will be easier for his target market to wrap their brains around. The popularity of the Pickle template is what spurred him on to create an editable version using WordPress. “I wasn’t expecting much when I released the Pickle HTML template,” he said. “But it was an instant hit. There are quite a few people helping restaurants create websites with it. That’s what triggered the idea to make a WordPress version.”

At the moment Schuller is in touch with his market on a very small scale, but he hopes that it will expand with a successful launch of the Pickle theme. “My hope is that the WordPress version makes it even more enticing for businesses looking for a minimalist website/solution.”

Schuller has identified a problem that many developers are hoping to solve. WordPress core is moving towards bridging the separation between the editing experience and the display of the content, with improvements to the customizer and experimental projects like the frontend editor. Others hope that the new JSON REST API will make it easier for developers to create custom admins.

These changes cannot come soon enough, but will they be fully able to provide a more natural editing experience for users? Those, like Schuller, who have wrestled with dissatisfaction, have a decent shot at creating a revolutionary editing experience for the 10 year old platform. His inspiring work on the Pickle admin breaks WordPress out of the box and forces developers to look at the content editing experience in a new way.

A more modular admin that can easily be scaled back for minimalist websites is something that would allow developers to truly customize the CMS for any niche template or project. The WordPress admin then becomes a chameleon of sorts, able to disappear into its surroundings with the content in focus. Schuller’s Pickle experiment is a good example of this, and likely part of a trend that we’ll see more in the future.

by Sarah Gooding at October 20, 2014 10:14 PM under wordpress admin

WPTavern: The First “Rate and Review a Plugin Day” is a Success

Thanks to everyone who participated in the first “Rate and Review a plugin day”. After reviewing the #wppluginreviewday hashtag on Twitter, it’s clear that a lot of people submitted reviews to their favorite plugins. Based on an estimate by Richard Tape, 455 reviews were published on October 17th. When compared to 254 reviews on October 16th, that’s an increase of 180%. Here are a few noteworthy mentions of the hashtag in action.

Observations I Made While Submitting Reviews

It took 90 minutes to rate and review the plugins I’ve depended on for years. I noticed some of the plugins haven’t been updated since 2010. In some cases, the last review a plugin received was from 2012 or earlier.

When I announced the holiday, I asked users to browse to the bottom of the plugin’s description page and click on the broken or works box. As I submitted my reviews, I forgot about the compatibility box. When submitting a review, there is a drop down menu to select which version of WordPress I’m using. I used this in combination with my review to tell people if the plugin works or not.

WordPress Plugin Review Submission FormWordPress Plugin Review Submission Form

Clicking the works or doesn’t work button is an easy task but it’s a separate action from submitting a review. It’s also the last widget on the description page and depending on the length of the description, may be hidden from view. I suggest merging the compatibility box into the process of submitting a review so it’s one action. Even though submitting compatibility information can be as simple as pressing a mouse button, not many do it.

The Disconnect Between WordPress.org and The Backend of WordPress

Your ratings, reviews, and compatibility checks are contributions to WordPress. It’s actionable data that millions of people use to determine whether or not to use a plugin. The backend of WordPress is an area millions of users interact with yet, the option to rate and review plugins as well as submit compatibility information doesn’t exist. The plugin details modal doesn’t show the compatibility box on the plugin’s description page and although you can read reviews, you can’t rate or review plugins.

Current Plugin Details ModalPlugin Details Modal

The plugin management page in WordPress hasn’t seen a visual upgrade in a long time. Here’s what it looks like in WordPress 4.0.

WordPress 4.0 Plugin Management PageWordPress 4.0 Plugin Management Page

WordPress 3.9 revamped the theme browsing experience while 4.0 introduced a refreshed plugin install and search experience. Perhaps it’s time to refresh the plugin management page. One suggestion is to create two different list views. The management page in 4.0 could be the slim, detailed view. The enhanced view could use the card concept as seen on the Add Plugins page. Instead of displaying the crowd sourced information, you’d be able to rate and review the plugin and submit compatibility info from within the card.

WordPress 4.0 Plugin CardsWordPress 4.0 Plugin Cards

The problem with two different views is that a sub-set of users wouldn’t see the card view and stick with the default. In order to maximize the potential of obtaining crowd sourced data, the submission points have to be accessible by as many people as possible.

Tighter Integration Between The Backend and WordPress.org

In order to submit ratings and reviews, you need to be logged into a WordPress.org user account. I’m unsure on how to properly address this issue. One idea is for WordPress to provide a connection similar to Jetpack where I connect a WordPress powered site to my WordPress.org account. This could also act as an opt-in mechanism. Ultimately, I’d like to see better integration between the WordPress backend and the WordPress.org website.

I’m not advocating that I be able to browse the WordPress.org website from the backend of WordPress, that’s what browsers are for. I see plenty of opportunities to connect certain actions on WordPress.org to the backend of WordPress, such as the ability to create a forum post to receive support.

A New Annual Tradition

While you don’t need a special day to review plugins, it’s a unique feeling to do something so many others across the world are doing at the same time. I’m encouraged to see so many people who have rated and reviewed their favorite plugins. Based on the feedback we’ve received, this will likely become an annual tradition.

by Jeff Chandler at October 20, 2014 06:54 PM under Reviews

WPTavern: Some Like It Neat: A Free WordPress Starter Theme Built with Underscores, Bourbon, and Neat

photo credit: j03 - ccphoto credit: j03cc

Some Like it Neat is a new starter theme for WordPress, based on the popular ultra-minimal Underscores theme. It also incorporates Bourbon, a lightweight mixin library for Sass. On top of that it adds Neat, which applies a semantic grid framework for Sass and Bourbon, enabling you to build any responsive layout that you can dream up.

Since Some Like It Neat is a simple starter theme, there’s not much to see in the screenshot, apart from a relatively blank canvas, waiting to be shaped and styled.

some-like-it-neat

The power of this theme lies in the tools that it incorporates. Some Like It Neat expedites the creation of a modern frontend development workflow for WordPress theming with responsive grids and a few prepackaged styles. The theme offers support for the following tools:

  • Bourbon: A simple and lightweight mixin library for Sass
  • Neat: A lightweight semantic grid framework for Sass and Bourbon
  • Bitters: Scaffold styles, variables and structure for Bourbon projects
  • Refills: Prepackaged patterns and components, built on top of Bourbon, Bitters, and Neat
  • Bower: A frontend package manager

This is essentially everything you need for a Bourbon-soaked development workflow. Developers starting with this theme should already be familiar with Sass, since it’s the foundation for using Bourbon and Neat. If you need a Sass primer, Sitepoint has a great tutorial on the basics. WP Beginner also has a quick introduction to help WordPress theme designers get started with Sass.

Some Like It Neat also allows for Gulp.js task automation. Alex Vasquez, the theme’s creator, says that this feature still has room for improvement. The theme currently includes support for the following tasks:

  • gulp watch – Starts up Gulp and watches your scss, js and php folder for changes, writes them out and refreshes the browser for you
  • gulp build – Removes unnecessary files and packs up the required files into a nice and neat, installable, zip package

Additionally, Some Like It Neat adds support for the Theme Hook Alliance (THA), a community-driven project that offers a standardized set of third-party action hooks to theme developers to implement for more flexibility. THA has a growing list of compatible themes. Vasquez opted for adding it to help keep things within the theme cleaner and easier to maintain.

Why Use Bourbon and Neat?

Incorporating Bourbon and its parallel projects into your WordPress theme is a matter of personal preference. In the past, Vasquez had used frontend frameworks such as Bootstrap and Foundation, but after discovering Bourbon+Neat, he found that it gave him a more efficient approach to theme creation:

To achieve the responsiveness required of various projects, I would have to tear up my HTML, input my own selector classes and what have you, in addition to changing my CSS. I didn’t like it. I heard about Neat and really liked its approach to a grid framework. You keep your HTML structure the way you like and all of the styling in your Sass files.

If that sounds like a better workflow for you, then you may want to set aside some time to give this starter theme a try. It can be used as a parent theme from which you create a highly customized child theme. Vasquez has outlined how to get started in the documentation, which will walk you through installing Node, Sass, Gulp.js, etc. He also posted a handy folder structure as an example for how projects are structured with the starter theme.

Some Like It Neat is Alex Vasquez‘s first submission to the official WordPress Themes Directory. You can download it via your admin theme browser or from its GitHub repository.

by Sarah Gooding at October 20, 2014 06:04 PM under wordpress development

Matt: Life and Work at the Distributed Wonderland

Luca Sartoni writes How I fell into the rabbit hole: life and work at the distributed wonderland.

by Matt Mullenweg at October 20, 2014 04:26 PM under Asides

October 19, 2014

Matt: Run Better

Joe Boydston, the self-described “crazy running guy” who runs as far as 90+ miles from the airport to WordCamps or meetups when he lands, has written a bit about how to run better. At our company meetup he ran running workshops and coached a lot of people including myself, and applying his suggestions I’ve been able to do a lot better.

by Matt Mullenweg at October 19, 2014 11:51 PM under Asides

October 18, 2014

Matt: Pink Drill Bits

Fracking company teams up with Susan G. Komen, introduces pink drill bits for the cure, presented without comment. Hat tip: Kristin Grimm.

by Matt Mullenweg at October 18, 2014 11:27 PM under Asides

October 17, 2014

WPTavern: Themosis Object-Oriented Development Framework for WordPress Now Available

routes

Version 1.0 of the Themosis development framework is now available. Belgium-based application developer Julien Lambé created Themosis in order to accelerate object-oriented development with WordPress. It offers a routing system for managing WordPress behavior on an application level and also includes a Laravel-esque templating engine for view files. Last week Lambé announced that the framework is now out of beta and ready for public use.

Themosis, which Lambé describes as “a mix between WordPress best practices and a typical MVC framework,” has evolved considerably since its beta period. Version 1.0 includes dozens of improvements based on developer feedback.

The website has been updated to provide complete documentation and code examples to help developers get started. Installation is quick and easy, as Themosis uses Composer for dependency package management, so you can install and update everything needed in a matter of seconds. The framework is designed with respect to WordPress best practices and should work seamlessly with its APIs and plugins.

Themosis comes with local and production environments pre-configured in order to facilitate collaboration. Once you register your database credentials and application URLS, you’ll be able to define the different environment configurations, making it easy to move between development and production.

The framework guide contains everything you need to know to get started structuring and building your application. The route API docs cover all the conditional tags available with code samples for basic routing methods. Lambé describes the route system as “an enhanced ‘if’ statement,” which is essentially based on WordPress conditional template tags and a closure callback.

The framework includes classes for handling AJAX requests, custom post types, metaboxes, custom fields, taxonomies, options, validation, and more. It also adds a unique set of Helpers which act as framework utility functions that run on the global scope.

Lambé has now separated the Themosis studio from the framework, which can be found at framework.themosis.com. He is launching a Themosis web agency, specializing in WordPress design and development, in order to fund future development of the framework to ensure its future.

The Themosis framework is an interesting option that could be very helpful for new WordPress developers, especially those who are used to using Laravel or those who simply want to structure and organize their code like a typical MVC framework. It provides another avenue for getting started using a structure that may be more approachable for PHP developers who are new to working with WordPress.

Themosis is an open source tool that Lambé decided to share with the community, and it will remain free to use. If you want to contribute to the project or report any issues, the framework can also be found on GitHub.

by Sarah Gooding at October 17, 2014 10:27 PM under wordpress development

WPTavern: Watch The Q&A Session Between Matt Mullenweg and Om Malik From WordCamp Europe

Some of the sessions recorded at WordCamp Europe are now available to watch on WordPress.TV. The rest of the sessions will be added in the coming weeks. Included in the first batch of videos is the question and answer session between Matt Mullenweg and Om Malik.

The session is an hour long and includes Mullenweg’s thoughts on the current status of WordPress, the media library, and what the platform may evolve into. One of the questions asked during the session is the role of women in the WordPress ecosystem.

At the 47 minute mark, you can hear the infamous “we love women” comment from a member of the audience. Mullenweg responds with “come onnnnn” with applause from the audience. Helen Hou-Sandí, who lead the release of WordPress 4.0, explains why saying “we love women” can cause unintentional destruction.

Near the 53:40 minute mark, Mullenweg is asked, “How much should WordPress businesses be contributing to WordPress and involved with the project?” This is the question that prompted the 5% figure and his post, Five for the Future.

This is a great session filled with information related to WordPress, Automattic, open source in general, and the future of the platform. If you attended the session live or watched the video, let us know your thoughts in the comments.

by Jeff Chandler at October 17, 2014 06:36 PM under WordCamp Europe

Matt: Moving into Management

“The biggest misconception engineers have when thinking about moving into management is they think it’s a promotion.” — Lindsay Holmwood writes It’s not a promotion – it’s a career change. Hat tip: Gary Pendergast.

by Matt Mullenweg at October 17, 2014 06:00 PM under Asides

WPTavern: New Plugin Adds Open Source Emoji One Support to WordPress

emoji-one

Emoji One is a new open source emoji set that is the first of its kind, designed specifically for the web. The set boasts more than 840 emoji. It was created to solve the perennial problem of translating emoji code from mobile devices while legally displaying the corresponding emoji icon on the web. The idea is to avoid displaying those ugly blank squares that you see so often, as illustrated on the Emoji One website:

emoji-one-problem-1

Emoji One was also created to provide consistency across various mobile and web platforms. As things currently stand, you tend to get a slight variation in display depending on the mobile platform used to input the emoji.

emoji-one-problem-2

Emoji One is tackling both of these problems head on with its new open source emoji set. It’s released under the MIT license, which is GPL-compatible. Check out a live demo of Emoji One to see the set in action.

WP Emoji One

WP Emoji One is the first plugin to bring Emoji One support to WordPress posts and pages. It is based on work from the TypePad Emoji For TinyMCE plugin. The emoji chooser can be launched via a button added to the visual editor.

visual-editor-emoji-one

Clicking on the button opens a modal window with the Emoji One library, along with the option to choose the pixel size of the emoji inserted into the content.

emoji-one-modal

You don’t have to install anything on your mobile device to use Emoji One; just continue to use emoji as you have been. The WordPress plugin simply provides a more consistent experience for displaying emoji on the web.

I checked with the WP Emoji One plugin author to inquire about using the emoji in comments. He plans to add them to comments in the next release. BuddyPress and bbPress integration would also be very handy, as social sites are likely to derive greater benefits from offering emoji support.

Emoji One only recently launched on September 11, 2014. The team is currently working on creating the 250 new emojis that Unicode approved in June 2014, and will make those available soon.

You may have already seen Emjoi One icons in the wild here and there. The WordPress-powered Emoji One blog recently highlighted Slack’s integration of Emoji One as one of its default emoji options. As more companies and services begin to recognize the need for a universal emoji set, you can expect to see Emoji One popping up around the web in more places.

Better emoji support may someday find its way into WordPress core with enough popular support. In the meantime, you can use WP Emoji One to extend WordPress’ capabilities to provide a more consistent and colorful emoji display on your site.

by Sarah Gooding at October 17, 2014 05:06 PM under emoji one

October 16, 2014

Matt: Dave Winer’s 20th

The Observer writes Happy 20th anniversary to Dave Winer – inventor of the blog. I’ve gotten a huge amount of inspiration, help, and feedback from Dave over the years, and I’m really happy he’s still at it.

by Matt Mullenweg at October 16, 2014 10:37 PM under Asides

Post Status: Postmatic wants to revitalize your WordPress email, starting with comments

postmatic

Postmatic is a new WordPress plugin that I think is quite promising. It’s aim is to eventually change the way you utilize WordPress email in many ways, but its comment functionality is what intrigued me immediately.

Postmatic currently allows users to subscribe to comments and posts by email; but what sets it apart is that it enables reply by email functionality as well. That’s something that has been high on my list of wants for a WordPress plugin for a long time, and I wanted it without switching to a third party system like Disqus.

All in all — aside from enabling replies by email — the current feature set is quite similar to Jetpack’s Subscriptions module. Postmatic has widgets for post subscriptions and will send subscribers new posts and allow them to get emailed comment notifications as well.

I asked Jason Lemieux, a co-founder of Postmatic, if they were considering a way to import from Jetpack or otherwise integrate with it, and they are. They’re working now to make it so that your old posts using Jetpack’s subscription module for comment notifications will still work, and your new posts will use Postmatic.

I had a pretty thorough conversation with Jason and got to see Postmatic in action. For a free plugin especially, the functionality is quite impressive. I tested subscribing to comments, replying by email, and opting into subscriptions, and it is all very smooth. Here’s a sample reply notification to my email.

postmatic-email

Sample Postmatic notification email

Postmatic is already in beta with their API as well. With a little legwork, you can utilize Postmatic for a variety of custom use cases. I know I’d love to play with it to see if I could create email campaigns for custom post types or multiple lists. They also intend to monetize the plugin via a few avenues — including ensuring mail delivery and functionality add-ons.

Postmatic — available for download on WordPress.org — is and will remain completely free. At some point they’ll exit beta and they will offer paid delivery of outgoing mail for larger sites. They understand the limitations of sending email through your own server and are using Mailgun to ensure delivery. They also have an extensive — and for now private — list of features they aim to introduce to Postmatic.

The product is definitely version 1.0. Advanced list management, and more advanced campaign delivery is still not ready. But I was impressed by how good of a 1.0 Postmatic is, and how much effort Jason and his business parter, Dylan Kuhn, have clearly invested heavily into the product. For instance, subscriber importing is already possible, so you could move to Postmatic for post delivery right away. They have videos show how to do that and more already available.

They tell me as well that Postmatic is in very early stages. Right now they are working on more advanced template building and other features to help tame your WordPress emails. I think they definitely have other services like Jetpack’s Subscriptions and MailPoet in their sights.

I think WordPress email is ripe for disruption. Imagine, currently, all the ways users can get emails from a website, with little continuity: WordPress itself, Mailchimp or other newsletter provider, Jetpack / WordPress.com, eCommerce solutions, form solutions. Each of these sends email and each has their own quirks, look and feel, and otherwise.

I’d love to see a service like Postmatic help tame WordPress email as a whole, and offer a more seamless experience for my website visitors that receive email from me.

In the short term, I doubt any service will be able to do this perfectly. But I think as WordPress sites send more and more mail, continuity in this arena will be very important. I know, for me, as I prepare to enable club memberships on Post Status, it’s top of my mind to provide a quality email experience to my members.

by Brian Krogsgard at October 16, 2014 09:51 PM under Site Owners

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 166 – Interview With The Project Lead For XWP, Frankie Jarrett

Back in September, Stream 2.0 was released with some significant changes. The most notable change is the transition from a plugin into a service.

In this episode of WordPress Weekly, Marcus Couch and I are joined by the project lead For XWP, Frankie Jarrett. Jarrett goes in-depth on the decision to turn Stream into a service. He also explains why it needs to be connected to a WordPress.com ID, what the team is doing regarding the enterprise, and why record data is stored in the cloud. Near the end of the interview, we discuss the lessons learned from how the plugin was shipped and communicated to customers.

Stories Discussed:

WebDesign.com Is Now iThemes Training
Troubleshooting Handbook For New WordPress Support Forum Volunteers Is Live
How to Obtain The Total Download Count For Plugins Attached to a WordPress.org Username
Rate and Review a WordPress Plugin Day Set For October 17th
Twenty Fifteen Officially Added to The Development Version of WordPress
LoopConf: A Conference Catered to WordPress Developers

Plugins Picked By Marcus:

WC Vendors is a WooCommerce extension that lets you create your own Etsy or Amazon style marketplace, allowing multiple vendors to sell their goods. This allows other users to sell tangible products, virtual products or downloads on your site. Vendors receive the commissions you set on products they sell from your store.

WordPress Comments Fields is a plugin that allows admins to add custom fields to the comment area. These fields are saved as comment meta and are displayed under the comment. The plugin support four different field types: Drag and drop, text, radio, radio and select inputs.

Comic Sans Roulette randomly changes all fonts on your site to Comic Sans. You have a 10% chance that all of the fonts will be Comic Sans!

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, October 22nd 9:30 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via RSS: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Stitcher Radio: Click here to subscribe

Listen To Episode #166:

by Jeff Chandler at October 16, 2014 05:41 PM under wptally

October 15, 2014

WPTavern: LoopConf: A Conference Catered to WordPress Developers

 

LoopConf Featured ImageScheduled to take place May 7-8th, 2015 at Westin Lake in Las Vegas, NV, LoopConf is a conference dedicated to WordPress developers. The two-day event has six speakers confirmed with more on the way. They include:

  • Joost de Valk
  • Jenn Schiffer
  • John O’ Nolan
  • Helen Hou-Sandí
  • Andrew Nacin
  • Syed Balkhi

LoopConf is a single track conference where a bulk of the content will consist of 30 minute sessions and 60 minute developer work shops. It gives developers an opportunity to dive deep into advanced engineering and development topics in a relaxed atmosphere surrounded by like-minded individuals.

If you’re interested in speaking at the event, LoopConf is calling for speakers. The deadline to submit a speaker application is November 4th, 2014. If you’re interested in financially supporting the event, there’s a sponsor application available.

Like PrestigeConf, LoopConf is not a WordCamp or associated with the WordPress foundation. Even though it’s an independent event, there is at least one trait similar to WordCamps. One of the rules to be a speaker is to embrace the open source spirit.

We want all of our speakers to show up with an attitude to give freely. This isn’t an opportunity to pitch your company, it’s the chance to share knowledge that you’ve picked up as you’ve perfected your craft.

Event organizer, Ryan Sullivan, says the plan is to “sell 600-700 tickets in two rounds”. He also told the Tavern, “we’ll have an exclusive deal with the hotel for attendees to take advantage of. For those who can’t make it or would like to attend virtually, the event will be streamed live for free.”

Tickets have yet to go on sale as the organizing team works to complete the details. However, those who sign up to the LoopConf email list will be the first to know when tickets go on sale.

by Jeff Chandler at October 15, 2014 09:58 PM under wordcamp

WPTavern: Twenty Fifteen Officially Added to The Development Version of WordPress

The default theme slated to ship with WordPress 4.1 dubbed “Twenty Fifteen” has officially been added to the development version of WordPress. In sharp contrast to Twenty Fourteen, Twenty Fifteen is a simple, two column, blog focused theme. The typography features Google’s Noto Serif and Sans, a font family designed to be visually harmonious across many of the worlds languages.

twenty-fifteen

Here’s what the Tavern looks like with Twenty Fifteen activated. In the screenshot, you’ll notice a scrollbar between the sidebar and content. Being able to scroll the sidebar separate from the content reminds me of the Visual Editor in WordPress 3.9. I’d like to see both columns be a cohesive unit for a better experience and to eliminate the ugly scrollbar. This issue has already been reported.

Twenty Fifteen Tavern Home PageTwenty Fifteen Tavern Home Page

In Twenty Fifteen, the comment reply link is aligned to the left. While not a deal breaker, I prefer the comment link to be aligned to the right.

Comment Reply Link on The LeftComment Reply Link on The Left

On the Tavern, we routinely use the featured image as the first image in a post. This works well since the Tavern theme is configured to show only the excerpts and featured image on the homepage. The Twenty Fifteen homepage displays full posts which shows the same image twice, creating a post title sandwich. Keep this in mind if you use featured images and are thinking of switching to Twenty Fifteen in the future.

A Featured Image SandwichA Post Title Sandwich

 

Each post on the homepage is separated by blank space. Featured images that are not at least 826 pixels wide are padded by an equal amount of blank space on each side. Similar to Twenty Fourteen, images that span the entire width change the visual look and feel of the theme. Posts on the homepage look great when the image is more than 826 pixels wide, while smaller images don’t have the same visual pop.

Since featured images touch the top of the content box, smaller images give me the impression that something is broken. For example, maybe there’s an alignment issue where the top of the image is being cut off. It’s not, but that’s what I’m thinking when I see it. This is all a moot point though if you use a full width featured image.

Featured Image is Too SmallFeatured Image is Too Small

It’s Still Early

There is a long way to go before Twenty Fifteen is ready for prime time. Initial feedback I’ve seen so far labels Twenty Fifteen as a breath of fresh air. Twenty Fifteen goes back to the blogging roots of WordPress, but it does so in a modern, elegant way. Once the bugs have been squashed and the theme polished, I think a lot of people will either switch to or use Twenty Fifteen when WordPress 4.1 is released. If you’d like to see Twenty Fifteen in the wild, check out Brandon Kraft’s personal site.

How You Can Help Improve Twenty Fifteen

The Twenty Fifteen development team is holding meetings on IRC, every Tuesday at 15:30 UTC, in the #wordpress-dev channel. The meetings are opportunities to discuss all things Twenty Fifteen and to collaborate on tickets.

by Jeff Chandler at October 15, 2014 08:49 PM under wordpress 4.1

WordPress.tv Blog: The Future of WordPress: Great videos from Matt Mullenweg and Andrew Nacin

Here are some recent videos from WordCamp Europe 2014 covering the past, present, and future of WordPress development.

Matt Mullenweg: Q&A with Om Malik

Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress, in conversation with tech writer Om Malik on the WordPress past and present, as well as where we are going for the future.

View on WordPress.tv

Andrew Nacin: Post-Modern WordPress

Andrew Nacin, lead developer for the WordPress open source project, discusses the philosophy of WordPress development, and the course it should and will take to keep growing.

View on WordPress.tv


Matt Mullenweg & Om Malik: Q&A
Andrew Nacin: Post-Modern WordPress

by Jerry Bates at October 15, 2014 07:29 PM under Announcement

WordPress Planet

This is an aggregation of blogs talking about WordPress from around the world. If you think your blog should be part of this send an email to Matt.

Official Blog

For official WP news, check out the WordPress Dev Blog.

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October 24, 2014 05:45 PM
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