Working with User Settings in Visual Studio Code

If you’ve not read last weeks post (and you’re a member of the site), then I urge you to do so now as this one picks up exactly where the previous one left off.

In short, we’re going to start talking about configuring Visual Studio Code for professional WordPress development. Of course, that raises a question: What is professional WordPress development?

If you ask ten different people, you’ll probably get 8-10 different answers; however, I’d define it as using professional software development practices within the context of WordPress.

Naturally, right? But what does this entail?

Off the top of my head, I think of:

  • Using proper dependency management tools such as Composer, NPM or Yarn,
  • Debugging using breakpoints (over var_dump and echo),
  • Knowing how to format code using a given standard (PSR in the case that I’ll be using),
  • File organizational structure,
  • Using things like Sass, JavaScript linting, and so on to ease development

But before getting into all of that, I think it’s important to get the IDE set up in such a way that looks good, plays well with the way that we want, and that we understand how it works so we can further tweak it as the need arises.

So in today’s post, we’re going to look at exactly that: Understanding how Visual Studio Code manages settings and a proposed list of configuration options that will help make your experience as solid as possible.

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Properly Working with Ajax Requests in WordPress

Whenever you’re working with third-party APIs, and you’re doing so in an asynchronous nature, there is always the chance that whatever it is you’re requesting is going to return a un-desirable result.

Perhaps it’s an error code, perhaps it’s a warning, or maybe it’s a simple message saying something like “We’re still processing your request on our end.”

In each case, you can usually handle them on the server-side just fine and let the client-side know how to handle it. But if you’re dealing with the latter case, that is where you’re blocked by the third-party processing; there are other things you can do to handle this situation better.

For example, in the latter case, it’s better to wait for a little bit then make the request again to see if the API has a different response for you.

But when doing this, it requires Ajax which obviously requires JavaScript. One of the obvious, yet more dated methods of doing this is to use setInterval.

The problem with this, though, is that it creates a stack of requests and then, as the response is ready, each item in the stack will get the same response.

This can drastically impact any given server. And there are better ways to go about doing this.

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Getting Work Done at a Team Level (All of Our Software)

Periodically, I’ll be asked about what tools I use to run Pressware. And though I don’t necessarily think there’s a one-size-fits-all solution, I’ve been doing this long enough to where there are plenty of tools I’ve tried, dropped, continue to use, and recommend.

Getting Work Done at a Team Level: Pressware

So I thought it might be worth sharing both some of the digital and analog tools I use to plan my week, get stuff done with a team, and run a [very] small business.

Some stuff I’ve talked about before, others I may have briefly mentioned in passing on Twitter, but I’ll do what I can briefly outline each utility below. And then, perhaps in another post, go deeper with some of the utilities over the others.

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Dynamic Elements, Static Elements, Event Handlers and Their Complexities

Working with stacked elements on a page, some that are anchors, and others that are elements with event handlers can sometimes cause weird behavior.

Ultimately, it all has to do with event propagation, but if you’ve not had to deal with that (or event bubbling or anything like that), it can be a bit of a challenge.

And here’s an example: What if you have an image that is wrapped in an anchor. What happens when you a dynamic element that’s placed via JavaScript after the page loads that loads another dynamic element? On top of that, you want to stop the page from redirecting when the dynamic element is clicked but still direct when the image is clicked?

It might sound simple – and in some cases it is – but if you have a transparent element overlaying the entire, original image it can become a whole other challenge.

This is where understanding event targets come into play. But before going into how to solve it, I’ll try to distill everything down into a simpler explanation and diagram out how it’s rendered in the DOM.

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An IDE for WordPress Development (Regardless of Experience)

In the previous article, I walked through the process of setting up a local development environment using a package manager. Specifically, I talked about using Homebrew to install Valet and Composer.

The former offers the Nginx web server, a MySQL database server, while Homebrew allows you to install PHP. Composer gives you the ability to deal with PHP dependencies. If you’ve not read the post, I highly recommend it as this post is predicated on that entire environment.

Specifically, I’m going to be talking about IDEs. It’s a hot topic, I guess, but if you don’t have a preference then I’m going to walk you through the process of picking one that I think is best (at lest to start with), configuring it, and using it in the context of the environment established last week.

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