A few months ago, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Fred Meyer and David Hayes of WPShout to talk about a variety of things all related to WordPress development.

During our Google Hangout session, we talked about the following questions:

  • What does well-written WordPress code mean?
  • What’s your favorite WordPress function or API?
  • What tools do you find most useful in your work with WordPress?
  • How should people learn WordPress development?

Ultimately, it was a great discussion. Fred and David are both really nice (and incredibly smart) guys who really made the conversation worthwhile. Perhaps the coolest thing about our time together, though, is that it’s part of a larger project on which they were working targeting those who want to really get up to speed with becoming a professional WordPress developer.

But it’s far more than just interviews with myself and other developers – and for those who are interested, I also have a discount that’s applicable to any of the packages that they offer.

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Every now again, someone who’s prolific, popular, and/or who has been involved with WordPress for a significant amount of time decides to share that they are “getting out of the WordPress bubble.”

The WordPress Bubble

Generally speaking, when someone says this, they mean they’re branching out into other technologies, languages, tools, and so on in order to diversify their skill set be it for personal and/or professional reasons.

And I really like that. It’s something that I like to do (though I have to admit that it was easier when life was a little simpler – that’s just me, though) and something that I’m still aiming to do (though I’m still delayed on getting involved with it as much as it pains me to admit it).

But when someone – be it you, me, or anyone else – claims they’re “getting out of the WordPress bubble” or “moving out of the WordPress bubble,” it causes me to look at myself and my own career to determine if I’m doing it right.

Ever had that feeling?

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Yesterday, when I was sharing some thoughts on the nature of WordPress Menus and The Customizer I ended up on a tangential series of thoughts on my opinion and perspective on the nature of the social Internet.

Then I cut it if for no other reason that it was off topic.

Anyway, the original content included my thoughts on how I view reactions that we so often see on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Hacker News, Reddit, Imgur, and basically any website that accepts any comments of any type.

To be clear, not all sites are the same and the communities that are around these sites are a little different than others. It’d be wrong of me to generalize all of them into a single category and, honestly, some of them are incredibly welcoming despite many of the ideological and cultural differences that we have.

However (because there’s always a ‘however’, right?).

Online Communities

Though there are some commonalities that exist to some degree, it appears that all online communities seem to exhibit some type of behavior like this:

We’re really good at airing our grievances, and we’re really good at doing so in short, biting ways at the expense of someone else.

And I know that for some people, this doesn’t matter. After all, there’s a case to be made that this is the nature of the human race, but is that a reason that we shouldn’t strive for something better?

I mean, at least on some level?

Anyway, so here’s the short bit of content that I ended up cutting from yesterday’s post. Maybe it’ll resonate with someone else; maybe it’ll sound like a lot of nonsense.

Whatever the case, it’s something that’s slightly out of touch with what I normally write, but something I felt like publishing anyway.

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Generally speaking, I’ve no desire to get into the back and forth that’s happening right now (and that has been happening) regarding WordPress Menus and the Customizer, so I realize in writing this post that I need to tread carefully.

To be clear, I’ve no interest in stating my opinion one way or the other on the upcoming changes in WordPress 4.3, not because I’ve anything to hide or anything to share, but because I don’t think it’s productive. There are other aspects of all of this that I’d rather discuss.

Additionally, many of the people who read this blog are likely already familiar with it, though if you’re not there’s plenty of thoughtful reading on the Make blogs, on blogs from others like Chris Lema, and on blogs like WP Tavern.

Make WordPress

And for the record, don’t read into the specific links that I’ve shared – these are purely meant to bring some of you up to speed on the issue, they don’t necessarily reflect (or deflect, for that matter) my own personal opinions on the matter.

So this raises the question:

Why bother writing about this at all?

Just because I may not be taking a stance about the upcoming changes to the next version of WordPress doesn’t mean that there aren’t other things that can’t be discussed rather than “Yes, this should happen” or “No, this shouldn’t happen.”

Not everything has to be some polarizing issue that divides an audience. Sometimes, there are considerations and other points to be made that sit more on neutral ground than anything else, that gets lost in the heated debate on a hot topic, and that’s what I’d like to discuss.

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A little over a year ago, I published a small plugin for WordPress to GitHub – Title Capitalization for WordPress.

Title Capitalization For WordPress

The idea behind the plugin is easy:

Properly capitalizes post titles and heading elements in the post content.

Ultimately, it’s meant to make sure that when you enter content – specifically headings – the work will be presented in the best light possible since it will pass through a formatter than properly capitalizes your text and what not based on a set of rules.

Though it hasn’t been updated in sometime, Andy Fragen was kind enough to submit a pull request that I finally got around to merging and to discussing (sorry Andy!) and thought I’d detail it here.

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As far as WordPress-related news is concerned, I think that both Post Status and WP Tavern are two of the best places to get consistent reporting on a variety of topics that range anywhere from things for standard end-users through things with designers and developers.

I’m not really a fan of doing any type of commentary of coverage-of-coverage (so meta, right?), but WP Tavern recently ran an article that I’ve been thinking about since I read it.

Specifically, the article was titled: WordPress Plugin Developers Need to Communicate Better in Change Logs.

 WordPress Plugin Developers Need to Communicate Better in Change Logs

Though there aren’t many, I think reading each of the comments is something worth doing if you haven’t already done so.

Anyway, as far as the general topic of the article is concerned, I couldn’t agree more – both as an end-user and as a developer, and I wanted to share my own thoughts on the topic if for no other reason than to share my own perspective on the topic.

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Up to this point, a fair amount of work has been done in terms of introducing Google Maps in WordPress:

  • Twentyfifteen is setup to communicate with the Google Maps API
  • A map is being displayed in a custom template
  • There are two markers that are placed on the map
  • Each marker has its own InfoWindow used to display some information

There’s still more content that could be covered, and I’ll talk about some of the advanced content in another article but, for now, it’s time to refactor some of the code so that it’s more manageable, is organized in more of the “WordPress way,” and lays the foundation to more easily introduce new features.

Namely, all of the work that’s been done up to this point can be moved into a child theme and all of the code that’s been placed in the template can be abstracted out into its own files.

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/ June 14, 2015 / Comments Off on A One Week Break From Twitter

A One Week Break From Twitter

I rarely, if ever, make any kind of posts like this because they’ve always struck me as somewhat meta and I think that they can sometimes represent oneself as if they are more important than they really are.

So here’s a big shot of my profile to disprove that :).

My Twitter Profile

But seriously, maybe that’s what will happen from my doing that, but that isn’t my intent.

The short of it is that from the week of June 14 to June 21, I’ll be offline from Twitter and will be active again on June 22nd.

Other than the usual automated tweets of blog posts from this site and Dev Practices, this will be it. So why is this type of post any different from when anyone else offers to to share this kind of stuff?

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One of the nicest things about the markers in Google Maps is the information that we can get whenever we click on them; however, up until this point, our implementation of Google Maps in WordPress doesn’t display anything when you click on the marker.

For those who have tried, you know it doesn’t actually do anything. But that doesn’t mean it can’t [obviously]. So in this post, I’m going to cover how to create a display whenever the user clicks on a marker on the map.

I’ve covered something like this in a previous post, though it wasn’t done in the context of a series that was aiming to go from end-to-end with an implementation of the Google Maps API so if you’re already familiar with how to do this, then this particular article may not be that useful.

On the other hand, if you’ve been following along since the beginning then this is the next step that we’re going to take.

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In the previous post, we added our first map to the template that we’ve been working on throughout this series.

Through a third-party tool, we ended up getting the latitude and longitude of a city in order to center the map, and though we still have refactoring that we’ll need to do, we successfully displayed the map on the screen.

But part of the lure of using Google Maps is the feature that it offers as it relates to marking certain locations. That is, displaying one of those little red pins that Google Maps shows when you’re browsing for a location, a destination, and so on.

So starting in this article, I’m going to walk through the process of adding up to two markers.

Over the next few articles, I’ll cover how to add multiple markers, and how to do so in a way that’s efficient when it comes to loading up the map on subsequent requests so you’re not exhausting you’re API calls every single time you need to render the map.

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