Stricter guidelines for WordCamps

May 20, 2010 | No Comments Yet

There are a lot of helpful tips for organizing a WordCamp that can be found at the official WordCamp how-to site, but what’s got people buzzing is the announcement of stricter guidelines about who can and can’t be associated with an event, from individuals to companies in various roles as organizers, speakers, and sponsors. This all depends on whether they comply with WordPress philosophies.

Lately there have been a number of WordCamps accepting speakers, sponsorships, door prizes, etc from people/companies acting in violation of the WordPress license (GPL v2) with regard to their themes/plugins. It is the official policy of WordCamp that WordCamps not provide publicity/a platform for such individuals/businesses. They are welcome to attend, but WordCamps may not have non-GPL-compliant people as organizers, sponsors, or speakers.

It’s only fair that WordPress stand its ground on matters relating to the GPL, WordCamps included. For participants who aren’t as familiar with the software, its community, and philosophy, WordCamp is the perfect venue to discuss those things.

I’m curious to see if any part of this controversy will affect the upcoming WordCamp Philippines 2010.

The complete list of guidelines can be found at WordCamp Central.

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WordPress Plugin: Vote for Plugins

May 18, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Vote for Plugins lets you help contribute to the WordPress.org plugin ratings without having to leave your admin panel.

The WordPress.org plugin directory has a neat rating system that lets users rate plugins both on overall quality and on compatibility with specific WP versions. However, its usefulness is stymied by poor integration with WordPress itself. To try to remedy that, I’ve created a plugin that lets you vote on plugins directly from your Dashboard.

Once installed you’ll be asked for your WP.org account details so your vote can be counted. Then at the plugins list, you can indicate whether a plugin you’re using works or is broken, and give it a rating from 0 to 5 stars.

Vote for Plugins is an easy candidate for canonical plugin or even a core feature, considering the useful information it can add to the community.

Download Vote for Plugins

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Mark Jaquith on WordPress and web hosting

May 17, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WordPress lead developer Mark Jaquith sounds off on the state of web hosting companies and their lack of support for the publishing software. He emphasizes two of the biggest issues WordPress users have when it comes to maintaining their installs: caching and security.

People ask me for hosting recommendations all the time. I have a few decent hosts that I’ll recommend, but I don’t have any hosts about which I can say “use them, because they know how to host WordPress, and they’ll support you.” I’d like nothing better than to have a dozen such hosts to recommend by this time next year. WordPress is here to stay, and it’s time for web hosts to adapt!

This is just the first of many voices from WordPress community leaders cementing an initiative for better WP support, as mentioned in the State of the Word at WordCamp SF 2010. I think the greatest lesson here is never to settle with just any web host. With so many choices out there and your own site and brand on the line, choosing a proper, WordPress-friendly host should be top priority. You can’t afford not to.

As for the web hosting companies themselves, it’s a great opportunity to improve their game and offer specialized services that help with the upkeep of their respective client websites. A win-win for all.

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Reasons you should and shouldn’t use WordPress

May 13, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Killersites.com points out several advantages to using WordPress in building websites as opposed to purely static webpages:

If you haven’t guessed it already, using WordPress in your day-to-day web work WILL have major economic advantages – in a nutshell, you will be able to provide a lot more for your clients for a lot less work! This will lead to you landing more web design contracts and making more cash because the extra WordPress skills will allow you to charge more for your time.

On the other hand, WP Fun emphasizes its disadvantages in back-end maintenance, which is technically a whole other job outside of building websites, but is slowly merging with it anyway.

Which of these two win the argument? While I agree with WP Fun that you shouldn’t just go into a project hastily deciding to use WordPress, using static HTML files is not the only alternative solution, especially if a web designer’s concern with clients is ease of use. There is no interface to deal with in static webpages but you can use lighter and/or hosted CMS solutions too.

That’s just one factor to consider. Other factors like extensibility with plugins, security, support, community, etc. should definitely affect your decision to choose a publishing platform. WordPress tends to win out because of those.

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More on the Automattic Theme Team

April 16, 2010 | No Comments Yet

More details emerge about the newly-formed Automattic Theme Team, led by Ian Stewart. In his newest post at ThemeShaper, now the home of all things A-theme-team-related, he explains their goals for themselves and the WordPress community. Here’s one of six:

Every WordPress.com user should feel like there’s a theme that fits them perfectly, that is exactly how they want to present themselves to the world, that they’re excited to show to their friends.

The team would also like to encourage the best coding practices and reinforce the spirit of giving back to the whole community, helping WordPress theme authors (premium or 100% free) and WordPress theme users alike.

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WordPress in Google Summer of Code 2010

March 30, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WordPress is once again participating in the annual Google Summer of Code, whose application period just opened. For the unfamiliar, GSoC gives initiatives for student developers to work on open source projects (such as WordPress) in preparation for their foray into real-world software development.

Here is this year’s list of ideas for WordPress:

  • BuddyPress
  • GlotPress
  • bbPress
  • Media
  • Widgets
  • Blog Import/Export
  • User Roles
  • Template Versioning
  • Comment Moderation
  • Move WordPress
  • Enhance Profiles.WordPress.org

The WP GSoC also gathers some of the biggest names in the community to act as mentors to the participants. IRC chats will be held on March 31, April 3, and April 7 to interact with them.

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The WordPress community sounds off on WPShout

December 30, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WPShout.com has published answers from the most prominent members of the WordPress community to four big questions about WordPress:

Fantastic reads which couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s the end of the year which means evaluating the year that was; then, between the latest WP release and the big 3.0 dropping next year, we’re also looking forward. Whether you’re new to WordPress or a veteran, there are a fair amount of insights to be had, and it’s a great glimpse into the state of WP and its community.

(Via Weblog Tools Collection)

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Discuss features you’d like to see in WordPress 3.0

December 26, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Even during Christmastime the WordPress team is hard at work planning for the next version of WordPress. Version 3.0 will definitely be a big release with the merging of WordPress MU into the core, but they’d also like to map out as early as now other features to be included.

Easy blog menu management, dynamic image resize/crop, media upload UI redesign (begun in 2.9 but postponed for implementation due to technical issues), photo albums, custom content type UI and API, supercharging queries (cross-taxonomies), categories/tags for pages, auto-taxonomy UI, custom fields UI (possibly to be registered by themes or plugins for something to be displayed), settings UI redesign, improve the upgrade process (inc. distros for specific use types), SVN awareness, canonical plugins and a UI for displaying them, plugin page redesign, themes UI redesign, comments UI touchup, decouple language updates and files, new default theme, choose your own start page, caps lock detection, accessibility admin theme, mobile admin theme, synching custom fields > taxonomies, exif refresh, role management simplification, credits page in app, default custom types (microblog, galleries, asides), admin bar, front end comment moderation, front end posting (a la P2), better importers, widget installer, importer installer, more inline documentation, built-in “Welcome to WordPress” guide for 1st time admin use/checklist (set settings, add profiles, set up comment options, dashboard modules, add widgets, pick a theme, etc) with ability to dismiss as you move through, better help tab, more template tags, better zone selector, new code editor, XSL for RSS feeds (pretty feeds), bulk user creation (lazy load importer?), below post widgets, image importing, HTML validation, customizable comment form, Twitter and Flickr importers, WordPress capitalization catcher, configurable QuickPress configurable (add categories), more dashboard modules, easy linking to internal content when writing new content in editor, audit of error messages and updating them to be clearer revisions for custom fields and taxonomies… the list is endless, really, because there are so many cool things we could do. But which ones *should* we do? And specifically, which should we do in 3.0? Discuss!

Whew, what a huge (and not so readable) list! The important thing is to figure out what should go into the core and what can be better served as a plugin. Discuss it in this thread. And if you’re interested in joining the weekly IRC chat, the topic for the next one will be the same. It’s great to see that no time is wasted looking ahead and to the next iteration of WordPress.

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The WordPress core team meetup

December 15, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Here’s an introductory video that tells the tale of the recently held WordPress core team meetup, which lasted for 3 days. Some of the biggest names in the WP community are featured: Andrew Ozz, Mark Jaquith, Jane Wells, Peter Westwood, Ryan Boren, Matt Mullenweg.

And here’s the list of topics they covered in the meetup:

Topics: Direction for the coming year(s), canonical plugins, social i18n for plugins, plugin salvage (like UDRP for abandoned plugins), WordPress/MU merge, default themes, CMS functionality (custom taxonomies, types, statuses, queries), cross-content taxonomy, media functions and UI, community “levels” based on activity, defining scope of releases, site menu management, communications within the community, lessons learned from past releases, mentorship programs, Trac issues, wordpress.org redesign, documentation, community code of conduct.

As you can see from above, there are tons of exciting things going on with the WordPress project right now, not just with developing new features for future versions, but also on improving the WordPress community as a whole. More than talk of new features, it’s even better to know that one of the strongest aspects that makes WordPress what it is today is not forgotten but brought to the forefront. Onward with the community, WP!

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Rise of the WordPress “canonical” plugins

December 9, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Over at the WordPress Development blog, a poll is being held to see which term the community prefers to call “canonical” plugins, which are developed closely with the WordPress core.

Canonical plugins would be plugins that are community developed (multiple developers, not just one person) and address the most popular functionality requests with superlative execution. These plugins would be GPL and live in the WordPress.org repo, and would be developed in close connection with WordPress core. There would be a very strong relationship between core and these plugins that ensured that a) the plugin code would be secure and the best possible example of coding standards, and b) that new versions of WordPress would be tested against these plugins prior to release to ensure compatibility. There would be a screen within the Plugins section of the WordPress admin to feature these canonical plugins as a kind of Editor’s Choice or Verified guarantee. These plugins would be a true extension of core WordPress in terms of compatibility, security and support.

The issue is that the term “canonical” may be confusing for a lot of people, so the development team would like to know if there’s a better suited name for this class of plugins. Voting ends on December 10 at 11:59pm UTC time.

I’m more excited, though, about the actual existence of these plugins because they’re setting high standards for the WordPress project. More importantly, they address the issue of how many features should go into the WordPress core before it succumbs to bloat, if it hasn’t already.

I’d love to see examples of such plugins in the coming days. They could be things we’ve already installed on our WordPress sites, or cool new ideas we’d find useful all the same.

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WordPress 2.9 media features survey results

August 3, 2009 | 2 Comments

Results of the WordPress 2.9 media features survey are out. Aside from the detailed breakdown of votes for each feature, what’s interesting is the list of alternative plugins you can use right now while these proposed new features have not been implemented natively.

But rest assured that the development team is attending to the WordPress community’s requests:

The top-voted feature, standalone photo albums, is being worked on as a Google Summer of Code project by Rudolf Lai, under the mentorship of WordPress Lead Developer Mark Jaquith. The “pencils down” date for GSOC is in less than two weeks, at which point we’ll be assessing the state of Rudolf’s project. Hopefully, we’ll be able to incorporate it with 2.9 development, do some testing, amend the code and/or UI as needed, and have this launch with the 2.9 release (in core or as plugin TBD). Undoubtedly, additional functionality will be contributed by core contributors who have also been working on media plugins.

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WordCamp Philippines theme and plugin developer profiles

June 19, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Calling all Filipino WordPress theme and plugin developers! WordCamp Philippines is compiling a list of developer profiles and plans to feature them on a special section on their website.

As part of our activities running up to WordCamp Philippines 2009, we’d like to feature you right here. Wouldn’t it be great to have a section on this site containing all Filipino contributors to the further development of WordPress? Once we have enough of you guys in the database, we’ll publish a Philippine WordPress Developers section on WordCamp.ph.

Tangkilikin ang gawang Pinoy! This is a great next step in strengthening the local WordPress community. Sign up here.

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WordPress plugin developers still need good business model

June 16, 2009 | No Comments Yet

There’s been a lot of talk about how to earn money from WordPress themes, including whether or not such methods comply with the GPL it possesses. Now it’s the plugins that need addressing. Kevin Eklund of ToMuse discusses this issue in depth.

Many developers reach a point at which they are simply unable to continue long-term support their plugins. This is largely due to the maintenance and support costs incurred for their plugins which far exceed the revenue generated by the donation based business model which most plugin developers utilize.

He then lists alternative business models for developers: premium, freemium, paid support, and ad-supported.

WordPress is a flourishing community and a potentially good source of income, so we have high hopes for the hard working folks who have made the publishing platform as beautiful and flexible as it is today.

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Top 5 podcasts about WordPress

May 10, 2009 | No Comments Yet

PimpMyWordPress has compiled a comprehensive list of the best WordPress-related podcasts out there today, complete with iTunes subscription links and everything. What’s more, most of them are done weekly, so just imagine the amount of dedication these WordPress fans have. Doesn’t it make you love the WP community even more?

If you can’t get enough of WordPress and want to take things to the next level, or if you’re dying to get to know some of the more revered members of this community, check out these WordPress podcasts.

(Via wpazo.com)

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Vote on the WordPress admin header and navigation design tweaks

April 30, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Several members of the WordPress community have volunteered to make tweaks to the WordPress administration panel and now it’s time for you to vote.

For those who haven’t been keeping track, read this background story.

Okay, so here’s the deal. Modifying the nav/header to be a little nicer is was a last-minute design idea, and if it can’t be worked out in the time we have left before 2.8 (which is very little), we’ll just wait until 2.9 to work on it. But! If someone comes up with something the community really likes and it doesn’t break any of the design guidelines for the rest of WordPress, we could sneak it in.

The poll will close at 8pm New York Time or 2am UTC. Here’s another chance to have a say in the development of WordPress!

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Pinoy WordPress designer names dog after Kubrick theme!

March 4, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Filipino WordPress theme designer Gail Dela Cruz-Villanueva just got a new pet shih tzu and named the pup Kubrick, after the default WordPress theme. How cool is that!

They actually thought of naming him after Matt Mullenweg too! Even Michael Heilemann, developer of the Kubrick theme, picked up on this and reported it on his blog.

While it’s not as drastic as, say, a tattoo, this shows just how supportive and dedicated the WordPress community is.

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The death of WordPress?

February 21, 2009 | No Comments Yet

How about bringing up the unspeakable for a change: Jeff Chandler at WordPress Tavern looks into the possibilities of WP’s demise. Here’s the shortlist:

  1. Third Party Support Disappears
  2. Change In License
  3. Just A Pile Of Bloat
  4. Someone Else Does It Better
  5. Security Blunders
  6. Leadership Heads South

A lot of the points in the article have been raised in different avenues before, but it will take a combination of several factors for WordPress to really decline. It’s the way the world works; change is constant, and we always move towards something that performs better.

However, I wouldn’t mind the day it becomes much less popular than it is, as long as the dedication of the developers and the community remains. And this is really one of the best features of WordPress today.

(Via WP FUN)

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WordPress 2.8 feature ranking survey

December 24, 2008 | No Comments Yet

With over 600,000 thousands in just a few weeks, WordPress 2.7 is a sure hit. And that success has a lot to do with the active participation of its community.

Automattic continues to acknowledge this, and they are moving on to develop for the next version of WP, they’re enlisting our help once more in deciding the key features to include in its release.

Right now, the lead developers are thinking the top priorities for 2.8 will be widget management, theme browser/installer and performance upgrades. The rest of the development time will be taken up with bug tickets and additional features/enhancements from a prioritized list. To that end, we’ve posted a new survey for you to help us prioritize features for 2.8. The list pulls from the developers’ “2.7 leftovers” list as well as the most popular features from the Ideas forum. Just rank each feature and tell us your top pick (up to three). You also have the option of adding comments or additional suggestions, but this is not mandatory. For your response to count, you must rank all of the features in the list. The survey has only one page.

Take the survey here. Deadline is on December 31.

Other miscellaneous announcements from the above post:

  • Lead developers will resume IRC chats and discuss weekly progress on feature development. Everybody is invited to participate in these chats.
  • You should submit your ideas for new WordPress features to the Ideas section, not the Trac.

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WordPress.org’s Showcase section promotes WP-powered sites that push the envelope

November 1, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Those who wonder whether WordPress should be used for more than just blogs might think twice with the launch of Showcase, a new WordPress.org section which features “some of the best and brightest WordPress users, who are using it to do a whole lot more than blog”.

WordPress.org, WordPress.com, WordPress.com VIP, and WordPress MU users are all welcome to submit their sites. Screenshots are updated almost in real time.

This is definitely a gallery-type site I’d want my site to be featured in! It’s great that WordPress is adding more features to strengthen its user community. I sure hope many Philippine sites make the cut.

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2nd Mindanao Bloggers Summit a success!

October 30, 2008 | 2 Comments

The people behind the excellent WordCamp Philippines have gone back to their homeland and did it again: the 2nd Mindanao Bloggers Summit was bigger and better the second time around.

Through our efforts as a community, more bloggers are now more aware of their unique role as messengers of peace and truth. Young Mindanaoans and (ahem!) more mature ones alike are all in agreement that there is a responsibility to present Mindanao truthfully and aggressively to the whole world via blogging.

Even bloggers who live outside Mindanao flew south to show support for MBS2. You can read more about it on their website.

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NurseAko

July 17, 2008 | 1 Comment

NurseAko - A Filipino Nurses Community

It’s nice to have an online community that celebrates our modern day heroes in the business of saving lives. One where they can describe their experiences whether they live abroad or here in Manila, still in school or already practicing in the real world.

NurseAko is calling all Philippine nurse bloggers to stand up and be counted in its blog round-up.

Visit NurseAko.

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Welcome to WordPress Philippines!

November 21, 2007 | 4 Comments

I’m a firm believer that the Internet has rendered the world flat. And it has served like a glue, sticking far-flung peoples across geographic distances together. Also, I believe that blogging is not just about content and design. Monetization? These are just secondary when it comes to blogs and blogging.

One other important aspect of blogs is community!

A blog thrives on the support of its readers. And most probably a blog’s readers would be those that have the same interests as the author, or those who belong in the same community as the author (whether ethnic, geographic, etc.). In this regard, the inter-linking between blogs, the writing of comments, and the general similarity of topics being discussed makes a group of bloggers a community in a sense.

WordPress Philippines

While blogging is not such a hot concept with majority of the country’s citizens, I believe that blogging is playing a big role in the lives of many, whether they know it or not. Many of today’s big issues–politics, social issues, news, business–are being discussed, deliberated, and acted upon in blogs. Many of today’s well-established bloggers and business/professional bloggers hail from the Philippines. And with the Filipinos’ good grasp of the English language (written and spoken), blogging may yet be the next outsourcing boom in the country (after call centers, medical transcription services and other outsourced business processes).

How can you be a part of WordPress Philippines

Here at WordPress Philippines, we have set up several great ways by which you and your blog can be part of the community. Of course, you can always join in on the discussion by keying in your comments on any of our posts and updates.

First is the community forums. This part is being set-up as of the moment. But we envision this forum to be an area where all Filipino bloggers can convene and talk about everything WordPress, whether it’s about design, content, setting up, plugins.

Second is by submitting themes and plugins. Here on WordPress Philippines we will regularly feature plugins and themes created by Filipino authors.

Third is by tagging your posts as wordpressph. The “latest entries” column below, which appears on the front page and on every page on this site, comes from Technorati. So as long as your blog is indexed by Technorati, any post that is tagged as wordpressph will appear as a link under that column.

Fourth is by saving links on del.icio.us and tagging these as wordpressph. Those items will automatically appear under the “news from the Philippine blogosphere” column.

So WordPress Philippines is one good opportunity to market your blog. Just be sure to have yourself linked here through those means above.

Again, a warm welcome to WordPress Philippines!

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