Mindset For Debugging (And Why We Need It)

When it comes to writing software, maintaining software, or simply trying to understand software, a debugger is one of the most powerful tools that we can use.

But when it comes to WordPress, it seems that it’s less common. Personally, I’m not sure why:

  • I don’t know if it has to do with the nature of open-source,
  • if has to do with the convenience of echo and var_dump that are built into the language,
  • or if I’m just missing other developers who talk about it.

Regardless, if an IDE doesn’t have a built-in debugger, it’s not too difficult to set up Xdebug and get started using it. And once you do start using it, you learn much more about how a given piece of software performs regardless of if you wrote it or if someone else wrote it.

Yes, I’ve written on this topic before, but I recently stumbled across an article that I found to be a really good break down of how to shift one’s thinking into a mindset for debugging.

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Visual Studio Code TODOs, REVIEWS, and FIXMEs

I’ve not been coy about my appreciation for Visual Studio or how it performs as an IDE for WordPress, but there are always things here and there I think are worth sharing either for the sake of making it a better experience or for improving our workflows.

Case in point:

How many of us work on codebases large enough that we’re writing comments, code, or other features that yield us dropping TODOs or FIXMEs throughout the code so we can focus on the task at hand?

I think our intentions are good. I mean, we do plan to come back to these, but if they aren’t documented in some way, it’s far too easy to come back and do then.

And sure, you can always do a “find all” at the end of a sprint or before the end of a project of whenever works best for you, but there are extensions that can do this for you.

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Working with PHP Sessions and WordPress

Earlier this week, I was talking with a friend and fellow developer about how I handle sessions in WordPress. Specifically, we were talking about how we take PHP Sessions and WordPress and make them work together (or how we adapt the former into the latter).

This is occasionally a point of interest for WordPress developers since WordPress, as an application, is stateless.

The neat thing, though, is that it gives us a variety of ways to approach this problem. But we’re not the first (and we definitely won’t be the last) to come across this problem.

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UI Component Libraries for WordPress via 10up

When it comes to working with UI component libraries in WordPress, I usually look to jQuery UI. Sure, there are some components that are dated (and there are others I like such as Select2), but given that…

  • jQuery is bundled with WordPress,
  • jQuery UI is included in the application and can be easily enqueued,
  • it’s a tried and trusted library,
  • the documentation is solid and it’s easy to follow

This isn’t to say there aren’t times when issues arise, but generally speaking, it’s a solid option when it comes to working with various UI component libraries.

But last week, 10up released a UI component library that I think is worth looking into if you’re a WordPress developer.

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WordPress Batch Processing with Locomotive

WordPress batch processing doesn’t exactly sound like the most exciting aspect of programming (regardless of the platform, really). And working with large sets of data in WordPress usually comes down to one of two solutions:

  1. using WP-CLI,
  2. performing migrations with WP Migrate DB Pro.

Both of these solutions are great, and they do their job well; however, there are times when you’re working with large sets of data within the WordPress administration area that could be manipulated with a simple batch process.

This isn’t to say that using the command-line is bad, but sometimes toggling a few options to work with posts, comments, or other data types would be nice.

And that’s what Locomotive from Reaktiv Studios allow us to do.

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