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22nd and 29th April 2021

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Confidently unusual – Random Mutterings

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Another month comes and goes, and I have been left wondering where did it go! It has been a very quiet month for me on the content side, I have been slowly making changes to my own site, with a new security section as well as getting as many of my talks up as possible on the site. I have also added a new page “Supports” inspired by my friend Ross who has a similar page (and eerily similar causes).

For July I intend to carry on putting out more security content in my “Back to Basics” series however I have noticed it really is not a basics series and as such I will be renaming the series “Confident Security” which brings them back into a broader project I have been working on for the last few months.

However, in terms of things published I have published a couple of articles:

WP User Sentry also had version 1.1 pushed out with support for WooCommerce GeoAPI.

Finally, for the round up, I have been getting back into speaking albeit virtually, with a talk at WP Leeds; you can grab the slides here.   

What have I been reading?

Hopefully a bit of light reading, and some not-so-light reading, for all. 

System Administration and System Productivity

WordPress & Web Development


Writing and content production

Security

Business & Productivity

VIDEOS and Talks

So, like the last couple of months, my reading/listening to books have been limited so, instead, I want to highlight a couple of great YouTube channels and talks.

Mike Little, my beginnings in tech – Mike is the co-founder of WordPress and in the running for the nicest human being in the universe. If you have not heard his life story take a few minutes from your day to watch. 

Jeff Geerling – Jeff is a Drupal user and system administrator, who now probably best known for his Ansible work with a book on Ansible for DevOps. Over the last few months he has been doing Ansible101 live Streams.  

Alain Schlesser – Live Streams on Twitch but you can find the archive on YouTube, he has just completed a series on redeveloping his personal home page to be AMP first. He also has WP-CLI office hours every Wednesday on Twitch.

Amazing Tool

This months tool is *gasp* a WordPress Plugin, which I think is a first for this section. My friend Matt from Wholesome Code launched Wholesome Publishing a plugin to make the editing experience in WordPress, well, better. Its main feature is its Google Doc-like commenting system, which allows multiple people to collaborate on a post. I’m not the only one to think so, he got a lovely write up in WPTavern as well. 

I can see this becoming an essential part of many people’s workflows, and for many, including me, the potential final push away from Google Docs especially when combined with Iceberg

News and Opinions

ManageWP.org closes down

Not to be confused with ManageWP.com, the .org version of the site was a community-driven site for submitting WordPress content, its launch came at the time sites like Digg were waning and for a while it was a great source of content, I was even briefly a moderator/admin. However, the site’s weird relationship with the .com and some changes within the .com team ultimately leading to the GoDaddy purchase doomed the site. I’m surprised it lasted this long. With a door closing another opens and my friend Iain has started wpcontent.io with similar goals.

WordPress bumps recommended version of PHP to 7.2

This is a reasonably major milestone, any site with less then PHP7.2 will start seeing a warning message in their dashboard and while as of WordPress 5.4.the minimum version is still technically PHP5.6 starting with WordPress 5.6 this will jump to PHP7.2.

Happy days!

Apple goes all ARM Macs

In what was pretty much the most widely anticipated thing in computing recently Apple at their recent developer conference confirmed they are moving to 64bit ARM Macs. Why is this important? 

If you’re a Mac user things are going to be interesting for a few years; moving architecture is never easy. One of the few places that it does work, however, is Linux systems, though ARM doesn’t have the same number of packages available on most distros many do support ARM and ARM64 (Including a Raspberry Pi) so again why is this important? There has been a slow shift to low-powered ARM devices in server racks but an oddly weird hesitation by the general public (developers) to use them. The Apple shift hopefully triggers a cultural shift and we will see ARM servers appearing more in datacentres, lowering power consumption (yay environment) and potentially reducing costs. While I doubt MacBook Pros are getting cheaper soon, the knock-on is over the next few years your hosting might. 

Other quick bits:

  • Ash aka DrizzlyOwl shared with me the successor to their WP Deploy tool called PackerWP which uses deployer and Capistrano and looks great. 
  • The folks at Highrise Digital are continuing their wp cafe live streams and you should go check them out.