How had I gone my whole life without having sweet tea? While my goal for attending WordCamp Raleigh wasn’t to find out how amazing it is, the fact that I did was icing on the cake. And what a delicious cake it was.
Some of the highlights:
- Doug Cone talking about best practices for plugins. It was a great first session and provided a good base for many of the other presenters. It also bookended the developer track perfectly with…
- Andrew Nacin talking about how not to write a plugin to close the developer track. Over many conversations with Nacin him and I have come to have a very similar ideology for WordPress plugins so it was great to hear him eloquently tell the developers ways that they can code better. I also can’t complain because he called out the AddThis WordPress Plugin as an example of a plugin doing things right (by hiding our post meta box by default).
- The SitePoint podcast with Brad Williams (@williamsba), Patrick O’Keefe (@ifroggy) and Stephan Segraves (@ssegraves) was a lot of fun.
I also presented on Debugging and filing bug reports for WordPress and had a blast. Hopefully helped out a few developers as well.
It was great to see many friends as well. I also loved the opportunity to talk about open source software, both the process of making it and the benefits that so many people can derive from it. I’m hoping to see a few more people contributing.
WP Candy did a great job live of live blogging WordCamp Raleigh. Check it out for a highlights from many of the speakers.
I’m looking forward to my next WordCamp. If you have never been to one, check out WordCamp Central to find one near you.
Two weeks ago I switched to primarily standing at work. I’ve found that while my foot are kind of sore by the end of the day, (though I’m hoping the barefoot shoes I just ordered help with that). I also have definitely noticed an increase in the amount of dancing I do while coding. My coworkers can attest to it.
Here is what my current setup looks like. I need to work on the cable management a bit, but for now this works well.
WordCamp Raleigh 2011 featured me talking about how to Debug in WordPress and how to file a bug report for WordPress. I talked about a number of tools that make debugging easier that everyone should check out. These tools are:
Xdebug – make your php errors look better and easier to fix
Log Deprecated Notices - Easily see in your admin area when plugins or themes are using deprecated functions, files, and arguments
Debug Bar – Firebug for your WordPress.
Debug Bar Console – add a php and sql console to your WordPress front end
Check out my slides for more information on WordPress Bugs: How to Kill Them
I’m generally of the opinion that the screen for adding content should be as simple as possible in a CMS. It’s one of the reasons I really like the new Distraction Free Writing in WordPress 3.2 (sneak peek if case you haven’t seen it). It’s why I was a huge fan of WordPress reducing the number of default metabox in 3.1.
This is why in the recently updated AddThis WordPress plugin, the meta box to disable AddThis on a post by post basis is disabled by default. While it was a feature that users requested, it wasn’t something that people were beating down the door to enable. I decided that thus for the majority of users, no reason to make the display show more than they need.
It was super simple code wise. All of this code sits inside of a class that controls all of the post meta box:
// These two lines are inside a function the hooks into init. $screen equals post and page
add_meta_box('addthis', 'AddThis', array($this, 'post_metabox'), $screen, 'side', 'default' );
add_filter('default_hidden_meta_boxes', array($this, 'default_hidden_meta_boxes' ) );
$hidden = 'addthis';
Now the addthis metabox will be hidden by default. Next time you add a post meta box to WordPress inside a plugin, ask your self if it’s one that all of your plugin users will need.
Learn more about AddThis for WordPress 2.1
At work I deal with a lot of data (i.e we deal with as much data in a day as the library of congress collects in a month) . Part of my job is making that data presentable to to publishers. I don’t deal with the actual storing of the data ( for that we have some brilliant engineers), but I think in order to do my job correctly, I need to understand the full stack that we have. The first Big Data DC meetup was an opportunity for me to learn more about the bottom half of the stack.
Matt Abrams kicked things off with an overview of how Clearspring deals with big data. Big data might be a bit of an understatement. We are talking about 4-5TB of data a day from 2.5 billion view events that needs to be processed. How much data is this? Well if it took one millisecond to process each event, it would take us 29 days to process each full day of data. To accomplish this Matt and the team have four main design philosophies:
- Speed of Safety
- Simplicity over Complexity
- At scale, small performance delta’s matter
- Close is good enough in many cases.
Take a look at Matt’s slides as he goes through these philosophies in detail and the stack that Clearspring uses to accomplish this big data task:
(Matt is also doing a series of Blog Posts about this topic. Check out the first one.)
Next up was Dave (who’s last name I didn’t catch) from Foundation DB. Foundation DB is creating a distributed key value store with transactions. Dave presented his philosophy that “The easiest way to build a scalable high performance fault tolerant application is on top of a scalable high performance fault tolerant foundation”. To do this, they have created Flow. Flow adds Futures, Promises and actors to C++. Foundation DB is entering beta soon. I look forward to seeing where they go with it.
I’m looking forward to future Big Data DC events. It’s a few days since the meetup and I’m already anticipating learning how more companies are dealing with Big Data.
Want to work with Big Data? Come work with me at Clearspring.
If you saw my twitter feed this morning, you saw the news. Clearspring (where I work) just closed a round of funding. I work with some incredibly smart and talented people, and I’m excited to see us grow even more.
p.s. We’re Hiring
I got off a train from Philadelphia, ran to a bar and listened to the Presidents speech before joining a few thousand other people at the White House. It felt weird, almost like people were celebrating someone’s death, but it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Take a look at the video below to see what the scene was like: