Fall Conferences – PHP Madison and WordCamp NYC

Today I get to announce two conferences that I’m speaking at this fall. The first is here in NYC and is the 2015 WordCamp NYC.  I’ll be giving a talk entitled:
Lessons from Science Fiction and Fantasy we can use in Creating Websites.  Here is a short synopsis.

Science Fiction and Fantasy can teach web creators many valuable lessons. From seeing how Daleks with too narrow of a goal always fail to understanding the Klingons value of honor, to hundreds of other we can become better web creators by borrowing lessons from Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Next, I’ll be traveling to Madison, Wisconsin for the first time in almost 10 years to present “How Not To Build A WordPress Plugin” at Madison PHP.  A short synopsis of this talk is

WordPress has a powerful plugin architecture that enables you to build almost anything on top of WordPress. This power though can lead to anti-patterns that slow down sites, confuse users, and make it hard to scale. Let’s look at the wrong way of building plugins so you can avoid these traps.

Tickets for both events are on sale.  If you are either one, make sure to say hi!

The Year of the WordPress Accessibility Team – WerdsWords

This year has seen a lot of positive change in the WordPress contributor community, especially in the area of accessibility.

Take for instance, the appearance this year of two new faces on the credits screen as of WordPress 4.3:

Source: The Year of the WordPress Accessibility Team – WerdsWords

Drew is completely on target here. The WordPress Accessibility team has been rocking it lately. It wasn’t long ago that the question of if the Accessibility team should exist was floating around. They were the only team without a product, but instead focused on things across many teams. Since then, the team has stepped up big time and really is making WordPress better for everyone.  While Drew highlights the work they do for core in his post, they also have:

  • Created the Accessibility Ready guidlines and tag for themes
  • Helped to improve the accessibility of wordpress.org
  • Helped WordCamps have more accessible sites
  • much much more

Kudos to the WordPressAccessibility Team.  WordPress, and thus the web, is better because of the work they do.

Apply for the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship to attend WordCamp US 2015

I’d like to ask everyone reading this to take a moment to remember Kim, and to remember that it’s up to all of us to make people with different backgrounds feel welcome and included at events like these. Let’s do her proud. Apply for the Kim Parsell Memorial Travel Scholarship

Source: Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship | WordCamp US 2015

 

Kim Parsell was a friend of mine even though we only met in person twice. Seeing her at WordCamp San Francisco last year, she was happier than nearly anyone I’ve ever met. Especially after Matt highlighted the work she had done for WordPress over the last year. At the contributor work days, she made a little office for herself on a couch and held court, bringing contributor after contributor over to discuss documentation, though I think the two of us spent almost as much time chatting about photography and how much she was enjoying WCSF.

This way of remembering Kim is one that I know she will be proud of and one I hope continues. Kim knew that WordPress benefits from having a diverse group of contributors, and that diversity comes in many ways. Let’s keep Kim’s spirit alive. If you are a woman who never attended WCSF, is an active WordPress contributor and needs help in order to attend WordCamp US, please apply for this scholarship.  WordPress needs your voice.

Following up on WordPress in a Next Generation PHP World

In April, just as WordPress 4.3 was beginning development, I started a conversation about WordPress, PHP7, and HHVM. Now that WordPress 4.3 has been released, I’m glad to say WordPress is looking great as far as PHP7 goes.

I’m planning on spending some time during the 4.3 development cycle focused on these next generation platforms.

The PHP core team did a solid job of not introducing many breaking changes with this release, which really helped to make the transition easier. The two major changes that WordPress needed to make in order to have passing unit tests on PHP7 were to deprecate PHP4 style constructors and updating some variable variables.

Screenshot of Travis-CI showing WordPress tests passing on PHP7

The final commit of WordPress 4.3 has PHP7 tests passing and running faster then any of the other PHP versions.

In 4.4, I intend to continue to focus on PHP7.  The release schedule targets Mid October 2015. I hope to move PHP7 out of the Allowed Failures bucket on Travis-CI the day it is released.

Next up is getting the unit tests passing on HHVM. Onward!

Alcázar of Seville Photos

In addition to my time walking around Seville, I spent the lat morning/early afternoon in the Alcázar. It was one of the most stunning places I have ever been. I wandered around for about four hours finding new stunning views and amazingly designed creations around each corner. It was so majestic and inspiring I even wrote poetry for the first time in years. If you go to Seville, make sure to plan at least half a day here.

Seville Photos

While I was in Seville for WordCamp Europe and spent most of my time at the conference (and practicing my speech for the conference), I had a bit of a chance one afternoon to walk around and see some sites with Tammie Lister who also took some great shots. It was great being able to chat with a WordPress person I had only had a few passing conversations with while also getting to know a city foreign to us both.

I really liked the architecture of Seville. It was a great blend of hundreds of years of styles. From the little plazas to the grand cathedral, it was stunning. I really want to head back, not only to see more of the sites, but also just to be able to relax in the plazas. Though I think I would prefer it being a bit chillier than the extreme heat of June.

The WordCamp Video You Need to Watch

Cory Miller is one of the nicest, strongest people I know and this talk of his about mental health is incredibly important. His utter honesty about his own demons and challenges is inspiring me to take some steps in my own life.

Watch this video today. You might cry (I did), but it’s worth it.