All too often we are faced with roadblocks, hurdles and limitations within everything we do. Whether it’s in our personal, work or digital lives, there are often items which stand in the way of us achieving our goals. Success, however, comes flooding through when we remove or refactor these limiting beliefs.
Today, I’d like to share the story of how I removed a limitation, and submitted my first patch to WordPress core in the process.
This week, I’ve begun doing a rotation with our support team at Automattic. Every Automattician does this as part of their on-boarding, as this helps to learn the systems, tools and users we’re interacting with every day. For me, this additionally helps to learn more about the users we’re building products for, which is a huge added bonus towards our user-centric approach to product development. Through this week, my work time demands 100% of my focus to be on the support rotation. I take this very seriously and am 110% focussed on learning as much as I can. This means, of course, postponing or moving any meetings I have on my calendar. This brought about some interesting and exciting results, which I’ll be exploring further here.
For the past few months, I’ve been following the “Advanced WordPress” group on Facebook. I joined the group thinking I would be exposed to advanced questions around WordPress development work.
What is it that they say about assumptions, again? 🙂
Through observation, it is apparent that the group is more focussed around advanced uses of WordPress for client websites, rather than development topics. I figured I’d keep following the group in any event and see what comes up.
As a developer in an industry where trends and languages grow and evolve at pace, it is virtually impossible to keep track of all the latest happenings. Thus, developers tend to specialise in certain languages or platforms which they watch. For example, while I keep tabs on developments within the PHP and WordPress communities, and I’m aware of what’s happening with CSS3 and HTML5, I may not keep a hawk-eye on CSS3 and HTML5, and certainly don’t know all the latest trends (simply because I don’t use the technology often enough). The converse would apply for a frontend designer. If this is the case, shouldn’t we constantly be striving to increase and better our knowledge in both the areas we are in touch with, as well as those which we aren’t?
I’ve been working with two websites in particular in my quest to further this goal- Code School for learning and Smarterer for testing and validating skills learned. The ways in which I’ve used them may not be obvious though.
As WordPress users soon come to realise after setting up their website, a few defaults are loaded in. These defaults include a test “Hello World” post with a comment from Mr. WordPress, a “Sample Page’ with some text and instructions and the “Uncategorized” category, amongst the various default “Links” data and “Blogroll” category.
Having given this some thought, the “Uncategorized” category doesn’t really seem correct in that the term is a category in itself. It’s almost a full paradox to say that a post is “uncategorized”, meanwhile it is in fact in a category.
A few weeks ago, I blogged about styling the tinyMCE editor in WordPress to resemble your WordPress theme’s content area. On this post, I received a comment from LA, asking if it’s possible to style the tinyMCE editor for specific posts or post templates. Folks, it’s WordPress… anything’s possible!
With my mission at hand, I set to work. I’d been thinking about this for a while after writing the initial blog post and am please to say that I have found a solution. Please be sure you’ve read through the initial blog post, as the main points are covered over there.
There are a few steps we need to go through here. They’re pretty straight forward, so bear with me. 🙂
With WordPress’ easy to use nature and user interface, content management of websites is accessible to a vast range of users, from the Bill Gates’ of the world right through to users who discovered this “internet thing” just yesterday. Once the concepts of “what is a content management system?” and “Okay, so this is the ‘backend’ and the website is the ‘frontend'” have been grasped, the usual question arises: “So, why does the backend content look different to the frontend content?”. To this question, we are about to say one thing: “Question… be gone!”
With the introduction of the wp_list_comments() function, WordPress enabled users to easily list comments on the websites without having to manually run a series of loops and queries to get the comments into neat XHTML. This function outputs default code with a selection of options for how this code is structured. Today we’ll be customising how comments are displayed in our WordPress theme, and adding a few extra enhancements to our comments while we’re at it (one of them being the Twitter username we added before). Lets start with the callback, shall we?
We’ve all seen this before when commenting on a blog post we’ve just read. The standard comment form on a WordPress-driven website asks for a user’s name, email address (not published), website address and their comment. What if we could get some other information from the user*, and later integrate that into their comment? Why not get their Twitter username and link back to their Twitter profile as well as to their website? This tutorial will explain how to do just that.
* While this tutorial uses a Twitter username as an example, virtually any additional information supplied by the user can be stored along with their comment (a rating, a selection of their social media profiles, etc).