Luke Woodward: Robots Write The Docs

I get to work with some pretty smart and creative people, and Luke is one of them. He’s a Senior Engineering Manager with 10up and of the smartest guys I know.

This is his talk on using automated tools to generate human-readable documentation for WordPress (and non-WP, really) projects.


WordPress is Community

I just attended my 13th WordPress Users Group Meetup, my tenth (out of 11) in the past year. Tonight when I looked around the room, I saw another example of what I’ve come to believe about WordPress:

it’s not the software, it’s the people

Tonight’s meeting was a perfect cross-section of WordPress users. Here’s a sampling of the folks who came:

  • a woman who has never used WordPress and wasn’t even sure what it was
  • a Web developer who uses a variety of frameworks (including WP) depending on the job
  • the guy who used to have my job and is now a direct competitor in our niche market
  • an 8th grade English teacher who builds WordPress-based sites for ministries in her “spare” time (because teachers have so much “spare” time, right?)
  • an Automattic employee who works with the WordPress mobile apps (which I’m writing this on, by the way)
  • an attorney who doesn’t even use WordPress but wanted to check it out

What I didn’t see was just as important: no one-upsmanship, no disparagement, no “devs vs. designers” throwdown (although that one may be fun). It’s just a handful of folks who want to get together to share some pastries and knowledge.

Our little group is a reminder for me that while the scrumtrulescent, splendiferous software that makes up WordPress is built on open source code, it’s the openness of our community and the dedication of local volunteers that keeps it running.

And I’m happy to be a part of it.

Posted from WordPress for Android

Can’t activate iMember360 plugin in WordPress

Ran into a problem this morning where I couldn’t activate the iMember360 (Infusionsoft for WP) plugin on a local development install. Instead, I got a rather unhelpful error message: “Plugin could not be activated because it triggered a fatal error.” Okay, thanks for that.

We hates encrypted plugins, we do! (Gollum photo credit: Emmi.Kristiina)

I’m running all my WordPress development sites on DesktopServer by ServerPress. The PHP is a bit dated (5.3.1 as of v3.5.8), but it’s a good stack and simple to set up. The only problem I’ve ever faced with it is the iMember360 plugin, because of its use of file encryption. I’ll go on a rant about that ugliness in another post, but suffice it to say for now that it sucks and we hates it my precioussss. :-\

A peek at the code tells me that before it can run, it requires that the Zend Guard Loader or ionCube Loader be present and active on the server. Since neither one of those is active by default in DesktopServer, you’ll need to download and install your preferred decoder. I used ionCube for this setup.

  1. Download the loader files and extract them to the extensions folder in your DesktopServer install. Mine is at /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/lib/php/php-5.3.1/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20090626. I also downloaded the loader wizard and extracted the folder to /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/htdocs.
  2. Add the following line to your php.ini file (mine is at /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/etc/php.ini:
    ; Enable ioncube
  3. Open your browser to and follow the directions there to make sure it’s working. You may need to restart Apache from inside DesktopServer.
  4. Activate the plugin and get back to work!

WordPress broke my site!

I hear the battle cry of website owners every time WordPress releases an update: “The update broke my site/theme/plugins/heart!” Usually I ignore the wimperings with the knowledge that “good” developers test their stuff with the pre-release versions so there aren’t any surprises.

Well the surprise is on me, now 😦 The WordPress 3.6 update broke my sites.

Continue reading “WordPress broke my site!”