When I was first starting out with WordPress, I was rather confused by the fact that there seemed to be two versions. I had previously built websites from scratch with Notepad and a FTP client, so the world of content management systems was new to me. And before I had even started – before I even had a particularly good understanding of what WordPress actually was – I had to make a choice.
I’m going to start you guys off with a quote today, signed the always excellent Konstantin Kovshenin:
Is it considered “cool” to copy/paste all my plugins into my theme’s functions.php file?
Now why would he write something like that? It is part of a paragraph (obviously) that makes fun of all these “paste this code into your theme’s functions.php file” tutorials out there. Sarcasm all around, and you all know how I love that shit. And irony, irony is also great fun. Ironing, not so much.
Any seasoned WordPress plugin developer will tell you that life would be a lot easier if people kept their WordPress installations up to date. But unfortunately, it seems that the vast majority do not. So what is a plugin developer to do – should they spend considerable time making their plugins backwards compatible so that they can maximize their potential user base, or should they be more ruthless?
I’m no developer. The closest thing I’ve got to plugin development is designing a laughably simply little tool that allows you to embed links to pre-populated tweets within your blog posts (if you want to see how simple it really is, click here).
So I know very little about the hardships of being a plugin developer. But I know enough to have a rudimentary understanding of how difficult it is to produce even the simplest of plugins. And I also happen to know quite a few developers.
The State of Play
Amidst the good and the bad things about WordPress, it is easy to forget about the fact that there are other things in the world. I know, chocking right? What else could there be but WordPress?
Besides sex, booze and not getting up before noon, that is.
Rock n’ roll lifestyle aside, it is easy to forget about the alternatives to WordPress. The platform’s competition if you will, although that is a boring way to look at it, I must say.
Last week I did something awful, namely a list post. Luckily it wasn’t one of those linkbaity things that way too many blogs publish to get some extra eyeballs, but still. It was a list and therefore I loathe myself right now.
And I will continue to do so, because this week we’ll, or more accurately I will, talk about what’s bad with WordPress. Last week was apparantly TDH is being nice week so those of you who thought I was replaced by a doppelgänger at the WPMU.org office (is there one?) can rest easy. Your favorite asshole is back.
Has it been that long already? Yep – around one year ago, the infamous Jetpack plugin package was launched by Automattic. At the time, it attracted its fair share of adulation and controversy. Our very own James Farmer was revealing in his own opinion of what it meant for WordPress users and developers.
Sometimes I come across as a negative bastard, always bitching about what’s wrong with the world today, or WordPress at least.
And you know what, that’s true, I do point out a lot of messed up things in our ecosystem. I do it because I care, and because I’m paid to raise as much hell as possible. Which isn’t exactly true, but wouldn’t it be grand if it was? I’d expose you all as open source hippies, for smoking too much pot, and for being whiny little bitches.
A few days ago Twitter acquired Posterous in a move that surely was and is all about securing awesome developer talent. After all, what would Twitter want with Posterous, unless they are aiming for Tumblr in some weird distorted way? I’m not seeing that, I’m not seeing that at all.
Perhaps you already knew this, but Tumblr, the hosted blogging platforms come social network that “inspired” the post formats for WordPress, have recently seen a number of updates to its interface. Someone told me Tumblr only employs one (1) designer to fiddle with these things, which I won’t bother to fact check but just leave there for you to stare incredoulysly at, given how design-focused Tumblr is and all.