Progressive Enhancement is Still Important

Jake Archibald makes a compelling case that progressive enhancement is still important, not because of users who’ve chosen to disable JavaScript, or because of outdated accessibility concerns, but because of graceful error handling and faster page rendering. He also dispels some myths, pointing out that building a progressively-enhanced application doesn’t have to require duplicating server-side logic and templating on the […]

Continue reading...

Progressive Enhancement with Backbone.js

I’m mostly focusing on back-end development these days, so I’m a bit behind the curve on a lot of the recent front-end practices, but I’ve been playing around with Backbone.js a bit, and one of the things that’s been nagging me is the hard dependency on JavaScript for the core functionality of the site. Looking around for some […]

Continue reading... Developer Presentation Roundup

I’m one of the mentors for WordPress’ SupportPress project in this year’s Google Summer of Code, and I wanted to put together a list of videos to help introduce Varun to the WordPress community and some development best practices. I figured it’d be good to save it for future reference, so I’m also posting […]

Continue reading...

Hide PHP Warnings and Notices from Poorly Written Plugins

Update: Zack Tollman wrote a plugin called Ostrichize that does an even better job of this, so I’ve reverted my version out of my functionality plugin skeleton and will use his in the future. Pro tip: search for existing code before writing new code ;) * * * There are a lot of WordPress plugin and theme […]

Continue reading...

The Right Way to Customize a WordPress Plugin

Video: I presented on this topic at WordCamp Dayton 2014. It’s very common for developers to customize and extend existing plugins to fit their own needs, which is one of the great advantages of using open-source software. They often do it by making their changes directly to the plugin, though, which creates a security vulnerability […]

Continue reading...

Notices are Errors

One of my big pet peeves with WP plugins and themes is that so many of them trigger PHP notices and warnings by failing to check if array indices exist before referencing them, or checking if a file exists before including it, etc. It may seem trivial, but even if you don’t care about the […]

Continue reading...

Using Singletons in WordPress Plugins

Eric Mann and Mika Toppa have been creating a interesting conversation about the use of the Singleton pattern within WordPress plugins. Eric started it with his article in defense of the pattern, and then Mike wrote a thoughtful response. Both make compelling cases for their position, and both avoid the teenage dickery that often accompanies […]

Continue reading...

Creating Object-Oriented WordPress Plugins That Implement MVC

I’ll be giving a presentation at the Seattle WordPress Developers Meetup tomorrow about how to write WordPress plugins that are both object-oriented, and implement the Model-View-Controller pattern.

If you plan on attending, you can follow along with the slides and download the lab files.

Designing Object-Oriented Plugins for a Procedural Application

Note: This was originally a post to the Seattle PHP Meetup mailing list, but I’m reproducing it here to generate a discussion about the topic with people outside the meetup. * * * * I write a lot plugins for WordPress, and I like to make them object-oriented, even though WordPress itself is mostly procedural. […]

Continue reading...

(Well Organized) Options, Not Decisions

The “Decisions, not options” philosophy argues that giving users too many options can make tweaking a piece of software a difficult and frustrating experience. When a user wants to make a small change, and they find themselves presented with five pages of disorganized options, many will simply give up rather than wade through each one […]

Continue reading...

Why Short URLs are Evil and You Should Never Use Them

Ok, so maybe that title was a bit of a hyperbole, but this is one of my biggest pet peeves on the Web right now. Joshua Schachter has a comprehensive analysis of the concept of Short URLs and the myriad problems associated with it, but the biggest one for me is the fact that the […]

Continue reading...

Why “Click Here” is A Bad Practice

Using “click here” as anchor text is considered a bad practice because it doesn’t tell the user what the link will direct them to by itself, without users having to read the surrounding text; because “clicking” is irrelevant in many situations (assistive devices, smartphones, etc); and because it is meaningless to search engines indexing the page.