Categories
Asides WordPress

Codex Blocked

The WordPress Codex is being blocked in China.

Categories
Asides Censorship WordPress

Mixed Feelings

Richard wrote in that the Shanghai Daily has blogs like their Editor’s Desk and Buzzwords (amoung others) on WordPress. However when reading through the site I came across this FAQ: “we need to approve every comment before it is published, as required by Chinese regulations.” It’s interesting how code and features can be used for things you never imagined, both good and bad.

Categories
Asides WordPress press

WordPress for Business

eWeek says WordPress is Good Fit for Business. Hat tip: Scott Abbott via email.

Categories
Asides Spam WordPress

Stop Spam Better

Got enough testers for now. Thanks! I’m looking for a few people who do (or used to) get a lot of comment spam who are willing to turn off all of their other spam prevention methods and try a new plugin I’m testing out. Drop me a note on my contact page with details about your blog and how much spam you get. I’ve been dogfooding it for the past few weeks and it’s been working great.

Categories
Asides WordPress

Meebo IM

Meebo is IM Chat 2.0, and in the tradition of many Web 2.0 ventures they have a WordPress blog. Hat tip: Derkilicious.

Categories
Asides Microsoft WordPress

Poetry is Microsoft

Has Microsoft stolen WordPress’ tagline? (Note: I’m sure someone in 1970 probably said “Code is Poetry” at DEC or something. 😉 But it has been the WordPress tagline since day 1.)

Categories
Asides WordPress

New Dashboard

Blogs on WordPress.com have a new dashboard which highlights the community content more.

Categories
WordPress

AJAX and CSRF

When working on some new AJAX features for bbPress and WordPress we’ve noticed that AJAX requests don’t seem to send HTTP_REFERER values. We check referrers as one level of protection against cross-site-scripting, or XSS, so when they’re not set we aren’t able to use that value. How are most people using AJAX protecting against XSS? It seems the same things we’re doing to make things easily accesible in a dynamic fashion are also opening new vectors for attack.

Categories
Asides WordPress

Forbes.com Best of Web

WordPress wins Forbes.com Best of Web and Favorite award for blog tools! “In February, open source blogging application WordPress came out with its release 1.5, and we’ve found that this release puts WordPress squarely ahead of its competition.” Our number of downloads has more than doubled since that was written. Hat tip: Niall Kennedy.

Categories
Asides WordPress

Online Journalism Review

WordPress in the Online Journalism Review with a very positive write-up. Hat tip: Newley Purnell.

Categories
Asides WordPress

DB Backup

WordPress Database Backup plugin, can save to file or email it to you. Can combine with the WP-Cron plugin to run at specified intervals.

Categories
Asides Switchers

Jeff Jarvis on WP

Jeff Jarvis is switching to WordPress, assisted by his thirteen year-old son. That reminds me that we need to make the MT import process easier, which is one of the things on deck for 1.6. Hat tip: Dan Farber via email.

Categories
Open Source Search WordPress

New WP.org Search

At the last IRC meetup the WordPress community asked for better search that included both the forums and the Codex and was integrated with the look and feel of the rest of the site. When I did this before it was horribly slow and it involved several queries across several different programs and MySQL hosts to get the results from the wiki, the forums, the blog, and then splice them together somehow. Later we switched to a plain Google site-search but they didn’t like the HTML we used for the search form so we took it down. Well after the meeting I remembered Yahoo Developer Network which had some sort of API for their search with a much higher limit than Google’s.

I went to the site to see how much of a pain it would be so I could start properly procrastinating, but I was taken aback by how incredibly easy it was to get an application ID and start getting the results back as simple XML. I began hacking on it right then. It was about 5 minutes to set up a search form with URIs the way I wanted, 7 minutes to get the XML and parse it out, 5 minutes to write in some paging, and then about 20 minutes tweaking the search page to make it look a little better. The result is the new search.wordpress.org WordPress Search.

It still needs some more work. There seems to be a dupe problem, which is actually a problem with our site, not Yahoo Search. I’d like to tweak the results to highlight newer topics more, or at leats allow for a date-based weighting. Finally I think it would be nice to include some WP-related blogs like Blogging Pro and Weblog Tools Collection in the results. Most importantly we now have a clean URI structure and home for searches which is abstracted from any piece of software or particular service provider. Yahoo deserves major kudos for opening up their information in such a free way and making it so easy that it’s taken me longer to write this post than start using their API.

Categories
WordPress

Pulse of Freedom

The Pulse of Freedom is a site published by the protesters at Martyrs’ Square, Beirut, from a tent city.” This is an inspiring story: “A group of Web masters, graphic design artists, writers, and photographers stayed up all night for several nights in a row putting the Web site together.” They chose WordPress. “As far as I’m aware this is the first Web site of its kind anywhere in the world. The leaders of a democratic revolution are openly blogging about their experience from the center of the action.” Echoditto writes about their part in Blogging from Beirut. “I am writing this post from a tent city in the Martyrs’ Square in central Beirut, a place which is filled with the energy and excitement of a burgeoning democratic movement.” Hat tip: Mike Carvalho via email.

Categories
WordPress

A Response

Let me do my best to respond to the inquiries have been coming in, only some of these are direct quotes.

There is a shorter version of this available too.

Is this an April Fool’s joke?

Unfortunately not. If I was more clever perhaps I could make it a killer intro for one, but that’ll have to wait for next year.

What was your thinking behind accepting the advertising?

Categories
WordPress

Back Online

I called my sister last night to tell her about a present I found for her in the market and she interrupted me to say she saw my name show up in Google News a few times and started reading some of the articles. Before the phone card ran out she read me some headlines and my stomach sank. This is my first vacation and I almost didn’t even bring my laptop. (Luckily I talked myself into bringing it to do pictures.) I haven’t been on the internet since Monday and I obviously have a lot to catch up on. It was almost midnight when I found out and there was no access anywhere, so I woke up at 4:30 AM this morning to catch the first water bus to the airport and found some overpriced wifi, and here I am.

I have close to a thousand emails and countless blog posts and comments to go through, but I’ll try to synthesize everything and respond ASAP, I think it’s important because some people seem to be spinning things quite maliciously. If you have a specific question please send me an email and I’ll do my best to respond personally or on the blog, even if you’ve already decided I’m the scum of the earth.

Categories
WordPress

WordPress and Dreamhost

As has been reported many places, and sent to me in a dozen emails, Dreamhost have integrated support for installing and upgrading WordPress through their administration interface. For many this is not new, some systems like Fantastico have had support for auto-installing WP for a while now, but the interface was cluttered and WordPress was just one of several dozen miscellaneous scripts. What’s really interesting about this decision is their thought process, quoted from their newsletter:

Why didn’t we make it so you could just install Movable Type itself with one click instead? Somewhat because Movable Type is a commercial product, and they would require us to do some sort of weird registration for all our users with them in order to even install the free version. Also, WordPress doesn’t require “rebuilding” your blog every time you publish. Mostly though, installing WordPress was eleven times easier for us.

Tyler Brekko sent me screenshots from the entire installation process, including emails from the “Happy DreamHost WordPress Robot” and it’s kinda neat. They take advantage of a few structural decisions in WordPress and on wordpress.org to make the process very smooth. You can read a bit in their knowledge base. What surprised me the most was the sheer number of people who emailed me about this, DreamHost must have a ton of users. Here are some other posts around the web about this:

Thanks to everyone who wrote in about this!

Categories
Personal WordPress

Houston Press and CNET

(Also known as Announcements Two and Three. See part one.)

Matt Mullenweg may be underage, but he knows how to get into a bar.

That’s the opening line from the Houston Press feature called The Blog Age, subtitled “Matt Mullenweg helps usher in the real information revolution, one Web log at a time.” Modest, eh? It should be on newstands tomorrow so if you’re in Houston pick up a copy. Otherwise read it online.

Though it’s a little embarassing for me in parts, it’s a really good article that covers everything from Open Source to my fellow H-Town bloggers to political blogging at the national conventions. I’ve been talking to Cathy (the author) off and on since August and the strangest thing is how much has changed since we first met in a small coffee shop in Montrose. There are a few points I’d like to expand on or clarify but I’m exhausted from today’s travel right now.

The Other Big News

If you’ve read the article already you’ll notice that it breaks a juicy tidbit that hasn’t been published before: I’ve accepted a job with CNET Networks. That’s the reason I’m moving to San Francisco. There were a lot of ways things could have gone and honestly I wasn’t even planning on leaving Houston originally, but over the course of the past 3-4 months I’ve been talking to CNET and an opportunity came up I just couldn’t pass. As it says in the article part of what they’re paying me for is working on WordPress just like I do now. The rest of my time I’ll be working on various projects, most of them probably so top-secret I can’t breathe a word in advance.

The reason I’m excited about working with CNET is how what I’ll be doing meshes with my thoughts and ideals regarding Open Source, standards, and communities. My principles aren’t changing just because my paycheck is. You can expect the same sort of content here on PhotoMatt.net you’ve seen in the past — namely unfiltered personal thoughts, jabs, and observations not connected with any corporate entity. This is obviously a pretty significant move for both myself and WordPress so I’ll do my best to entertain any questions you may have in the comments.

Categories
WordPress

1.3 Cleanup

A few comments about some of the code changes in 1.3. Very nice to see people appreciating some of the hard work we’ve put into this iteration. In a perfect world we could stop the clock and rewrite large portions of the code from scratch, but that would take a long time and break a lot of things in the process. All programmers want to do this, it’s our weakness, but every time I get this urge I think of Netscape and how devastating their rewrite downtime was. We’re making some substantial changes but doing it gradually while introducing new features and responding to users needs.

For example, in 1.3 “the loop” is called very differently but it’s completely backward compatible with everyone’s 1.2 loop code. We deprecate things over time so any structural changes that need to be made come gradually for people upgrading, there’s nothing to drastic every time. This also saves a huge amount of time in support. (Regular users don’t want to have to redo their templates, hackers don’t want to relearn code they already knew.) Same for the new theme system we’re introducing, it adds a lot of flexibility, radically changing how the front end of WordPress operates (like plugins for templates and styles) but all the new stuff is completely optional. I’ve transitioned most of my custom code into a personal “theme” that makse upgrading a lot easier for me (which is good because I do it almost daily).

Next time you get the urge to rewrite from scratch think about the testing your code has gone through, all the edge cases that have already been addressed, the existing installed base, and how many new bugs you’ll introduce with the from-scratch code.

Categories
Asides WordPress

Download Stats

WordPress 1.2 was downloaded over a hundred thousand times. About two-thirds of that was through the new download system where we can track stats better. It’ll be interesting to see the download rate of 1.2.1 (and subsequently 1.3).