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Featured Reflections Web Development WordPress

I Am A Core Contributor

Impostor syndrome. It’s a bitch.

If you’re not familiar, impostor syndrome is used freely as the in-vogue way of describing the feeling that you’re an impostor. Somehow, someone made a mistake when they hired you, picked you to lead a project, promoted you, describe you as an “expert” or something else like that. If they really knew what was up, they’d never have chosen you because you don’t really know half of what they think you know.

Yesterday, r33589-core landed. It’s a minor changeset to core WordPress—updating contextual help for the tweaked comment notification bubble. It marks my 30th core commit, i.e. the 30th proposed patch that I made/contributed to that was accepted and running on 24%+ of the top ten million websites.

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Useful Things Web Development WordPress

Press This Extended!

WordPress 4.2, released today, includes a complete revamp of the Press This tool in WordPress. It is an easy and simple way to “press” interesting articles or other webpages and continue the conversation on your own site.

Press This 4.2This version include a lot of new features: a stand-alone option that works as an alternative editor and works on mobile, auto-inserting custom crafted meta descriptions when you haven’t selected text, and a slew of filters to tweak the behavior.

During development, anytime we had an open question about what should the experience be that both sides were reasonable, the question arose—what about a filter? Let it be changed?

WordPress’ philosophy includes “Decisions, Not Options”. Press This is a simple tool. It shouldn’t have a million of settings to tweak, be confused over, and become frustrated with. Out of the box, it’ll just work.

If you want to tinker, you have to open up a php editor, know where to find the filters, and how to use them. Not all power users are to that point.

Introducing Press This Extended.

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Web Development

Why Not Open Source?

In the WordPress world, a recent piece of news is WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg cancelling his $10,000 Kickstarter pledge for Pressgram, an Instagram-style iOS app that would allow you to save your photos to a WordPress blog (that you own and control) instead of a third-party service that you don’t. Matt cancelled his pledge because Pressgram’s developer John Saddington announced that Pressgram, while free, would not be open source. If you don’t know anything about Matt, know that he is a very strong believer in open source software so this move isn’t surprising (to me at least).

The question burning in my mind, though, is why isn’t it being released open-source?

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Web Development

I’ve Made WordPress Better (And You Can Too!)

I did it.

WordPress, as many of you know, is an open-source project. The WordPress community maintains it. Anyone can report a bug directly into the development tracking tool (Trac), anyone can submit a patch. It’s great. I’ve been wanting to contribute to core (as the “core” WordPress software is known, as opposed to plugins, themes, etc) for a while now. For various reasons, I haven’t dug in, found/claimed an issue and solved it.

Until now.

I am the latest contributor to the WordPress core.

Contributors in the past has done great things.Koop made the new media manager happen. Nacin and Mark Jaquith have made WordPress do half of the things it does now, if not more. I don’t mean to brag or belittle their contributions; however, I think I top all of that.

Get ready to see the most important contribution to core in 2013 and likely for years to come:

Screenshot showing my amazing contribution to core that changes one character. The WordPress community needs everything!
I understand if you don’t understand something this complex.

Yes. I made my entrance into the fraternity of core contributors by changing the copyright date in a file that no one has likely read since it was edited in 2011.

So, I was being hyperbolic…

Obviously, I realize my contribution is extremely, extremely minor in the scheme of things, but that’s partly the point. The WordPress universe is wide enough that anyone who wants to become a contributing member of the WordPress community can do so. Whether it is something like helping out in the forums, reporting a bug against core, a plugin, or a theme, organizing a WordCamp or local MeetUp group, helping with unit tests on new code, writing a plugin, to contributing patches (of whatever size), or rising up to being the next Nacin, there is something that you, at any level, can do.

I’ve helped a little in the StudioPress and WordPress.org forums, I’ve written a plugin and helped with another, reported a couple of bugs (both weren’t bugs in the end, but not the point) and now made a tiny improvement to the codebase. For me, my next goal is to a make a more substantial contribution to the codebase within the next couple of releases. After that, there will be a new goal.

I’ve made the WordPress community better and so can you. What’s your goal in the community?

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Site Info

And We’re Live!

This weekend, I migrated this site from Nexcess (on a reseller account that I own) to WP Engine. First, I still love Nexcess. They have served—and continue to serve—me extremely well. I’ve been with Nexcess since 2006 with zero problems, issues or complaints. I’m maintaining my account with them. They’re still hosting everything not at www.brandonkraft.com for me and are still hosting my client sites. I’ll write a review of my great experience with Nexcess later—this isn’t a comparison, except the speed test.

photocredit: flickr/brunogirin

WP Engine made me an offer to try them out and I’ve heard too many good things to not explore an Austin company dedicated to hosting sites built upon the same content management system that I primarily work with now.