Link Category: Ideas
State of CSS, 2020
Long time readers will know that I consider myself a CSS outsider. I learned how to do it about 10 years ago, and have just enough skills to get by today. So I read with interest Sacha Greif’s “The State of CSS 2020” document. While I found myself a little annoyed by the document’s “design fanciness” (particularly what I perceive as scrolljacking), the results were quite interesting.
An Overview of CDNs
If you’ve been around WordPress for long, you’ve likely heard of a “CDN.” A CDN, or content-delivery network, is one of the most common parts of speeding up a WordPress site, especially for visitors who are far away from where your site is hosted. But the way this works is often a blackbox to people I talk to. That’s where this great article over at web.dev from Katie Hempenius. She explains all the bits of CDNs I already knew, and much more beyond.
How Quick is WordPress Plugin Auto-Updating?
As you might have noticed, in WordPress 5.5 you can now tell WordPress itself to keep specific plugins up to do. This is a great feature and one that I’m eager to turn on for more than a few plugins on more than a few sites (that is: all plugins on most of my sites). The security boon of knowing that all the plugins on all yours sites are just always up-to-date outweighs my light concern about one of those sites unexpectedly breaking with a bad update. (That totally happens, but quite rarely in my experience. And usually I can quickly solve the issues.)
Why Not to 301 Redirect all 404s to Your Homepage
Our site Writers.com has a lot of 404s stretching back across its long history. As I’ve started to work to clean them up, I flirted with simply 301 redirecting every 404ing link to the homepage. (There are a few plugins that do just that.)
“Hello, World!” in 30 (Programming) Languages
I know that this is a WordPress-focused site. But I also know that programming is as central to WordPress as writing. So I thought I’d share this fun little article that simply and clearly lays out the (classic) “Hello world” program in 30 different programming languages. It’s fun to get a quick sense of how much “boilerplate” each language requires, how it chose to say “show on the screen,” etc. And because of the simple format of the post you’ll not be confused about it. Great job to the post’s author Al Muhimen. 🙂
Hack at Slack
There are a number of different reasons I wanted to share this article about the programming language “Hack” here on Shout. The first one is just that I found it an interesting and pleasant conversation of the use and benefit of the (poorly named) PHP-like language that arrived in the world when Facebook’s PHP performance bottlenecks started to bother them too much.
Block Dependent Themes
An interesting thing as Gutenberg grows is that it’s aiming to impact both WordPress themes and page builders. And to do this, we may need or want a way for a theme to say it required a specific Gutenberg block to function. I have not thought deeply about it, but I see that Mel Choyce is. So please consider and opine with her about this possibility. Here are two parts of her initial proposal:
How and Why to Make a Customer Journey Map
I’ve loved Torque Mag for a long time as a great source for both technical and editorial content based around WordPress—even if customer satisfaction data and personal experience have me feeling more lukewarm about WP Engine itself.
Don’t Just Write WordPress Code
One of the first and most powerful lessons I learned while teaching myself to code a decade ago was to read/listen/watch widely. I believe it is one of the most powerful choices you can make in learning to code (or in almost any endeavor). Because broader minds (ones which have been exposed to more things) are often *way* better problem-solvers than narrower ones. Because the solution space they can conceive is just so much bigger. But that’s enough “David’s Life Philosophy” for now.
Even on PHP 7, WordPress is not “Modern PHP”
Our friend Carl Alexander wrote a (possibly) inflammatory but true argument for Delicious Brains this week. It reflects a lot of thoughts I’ve had as I’ve spent the last few years as one of the small minority of people trying to span the roles of “WordPress” and “modern PHP” developer. In short, he’s said all I’ve thought in a fair, even handed, and useful way. While action is hardly guaranteed, helping to reach a public consensus about the state of WordPress PHP is the first step in evolving toward making it a modern PHP project (if that’s ever desired by enough of the right people, of course).