oEmbed specification

oEmbed has been around for a while and there are some really nice implementations of it.  For example, in WordPress, where pasting a URL to YouTube video, Flickr photo, Twitter tweet, and a number of other services, will result in a nicely formatted embedded snippet from an external site.  WordPress does not only consume the oEmbed, but also provides embeddable content.

For a while now, I’ve been thinking about ways to utilize it.  There are quite a few applications of oEmbed that make sense for our projects at work.  For now, I’ll just leave you here with the link to the oEmbed specification.

On React and WordPress

I have a great deal of respect for Automattic in general and Matt Mullenweg in particular.  They have done an amazing job with WordPress, which is now used by more than a quarter of all websites.  But they are also a great example of how companies can work in the Open Source software space.

It’s not all just business.  Automattic raises the ethics bar quite high.  And today there is an excellent example of how they do it.  Check out this blog post by Matt on why WordPress will be moving away from the React JavaScript framework developed by Facebook:

I think Facebook’s clause is actually clearer than many other approaches companies could take, and Facebook has been one of the better open source contributors out there. But we have a lot of problems to tackle, and convincing the world that Facebook’s patent clause is fine isn’t ours to take on. It’s their fight.

Respect!

Plugins spring cleaning

I’ve done a little spring cleaning of some plugins installed and activated on this site.  You shouldn’t notice much of a difference, except, maybe, fewer quirks and issues.  Here are some of the plugins that were removed:

  • Smart YouTube Pro – it was only used in a couple of posts for easier embedding of YouTube playlists.  Since I installed and used this plugin, WordPress got much better at embedding videos, so I don’t need it anymore.
  • Smart 404 – I think I used it with one of the previous themes on this site, but I can’t even remember last time I saw it working.  The 404 page of the current theme features a search form, which I think is good enough.
  • PayPal Donations – this was an experiment I tried ages and ages ago.  No need for this at all for quite some time now.
  • Related Posts By Tags – I used this with one of the previous themes, but it’s been ages since, and I think even the plugin is discontinued now.
  • Social – the plugin has been discontinued and the functionality was moved to JetPack.  I had this one disabled for quite some time now.
  • WP-Polls – this was yet another experiment I tried years ago.  There were a few polls with a few votes, which prevented me from removing this plugin.  But today I thought I’d do a compromise.  I replaced all polls with the screenshot of voting results for the purposes of data preservation. :)  Now I don’t need the plugin anymore and it’s gone.

That’s 6 plugins fewer – not bad.  Especially considering that some of them were quite heavy on the rendering side of things, and they were inserting useless CSS and JavaScript assets into every page of this site.  I think I should do it more often.

How to defend your website with ZIP bombs

How to defend your website with ZIP bombs” has been making rounds on the Internet for the last few weeks.  It’s both sad, that we have to resolve to such measures, and funny as to how tongue-in-cheek this approach is.

Whether you are going to implement it for your web host or not, it’s well worth reading, for a better understanding of what’s going on online, in places, that you are probably not looking at.

WPBloggerTricks – The Real Blogger & WordPress Tricks

It looks like blogging is coming back.  At least in the world around me, there is quite a few new blogs spawning up, and the old ones being resurrected.  I don’t know what’s causing that, but I see it as a good thing.

I’ve been answering a lot more basic blogging questions from all sorts of people recently, so I thought, let me link to one of those tips and tricks sites that have plenty to offer.  You know, just to save myself a bit of time.

WPBloggerTricks seems like a good choice here.  It has plenty to offer to the new and return bloggers.

Choosing a future JavaScript framework for WordPress

WordPress in general, and Matt Mullenweg in particular have been pushing for JavaScript for a while now.

So, it’s not surprising that WordPress developers are chatting about the JavaScript framework that they’ll use for the WordPress core JavaScript needs.

The discussion is far from finalized right now, so it’s particularly interesting to see how it develops, both in IRC/Slack chatrooms and in Make WordPress p2 comments.

So far, there are two primary contenders – React and Vue.  I have zero experience with either one (or pretty much with any JavaScript frameworks, trying to avoid JavaScript as much as I can), but I’m still interested in the reasoning that goes behind the choice, especially so, from the people who know so much in this domains.

What Is WP-CLI? A Beginner’s Guide

WP-CLI is a super useful tool, which I use on a daily basis, and I wish more people knew about.  Gladly, there is now “What Is WP-CLI? A Beginner’s Guide“, which explains what it is, how to install it, how to use it, and where to go from there.

The Ultimate WordPress Security Guide – Step by Step (2017)

WPBeginner, a website for beginner guides to WordPress, has published an updated and comprehensive guide to WordPress security – “The Ultimate WordPress Security Guide – Step by Step (2017)“.  Most of the things are well known to seasoned WordPress users – keep things updated, use strong passwords, remove unnecessary plugins, make sure to pick the right hosting, add security enhancing plugins, etc.  But it’s a good place to start for  people who are not too technical and those who don’t think about security implications of having a publicly accessible website on a daily basis.

There are plenty of questions, answers, simple explanations, and links to other resources in the article.  So even if you are an experienced WordPress user, you might find a useful thing or two in there.

You might also want to checkout my earlier blog posts:

Announcing JSON Feed

Straight from the JSON Feed homepage:

We — Manton Reece and Brent Simmons — have noticed that JSON has become the developers’ choice for APIs, and that developers will often go out of their way to avoid XML. JSON is simpler to read and write, and it’s less prone to bugs.

So we developed JSON Feed, a format similar to RSS and Atom but in JSON. It reflects the lessons learned from our years of work reading and publishing feeds.

See the spec. It’s at version 1, which may be the only version ever needed. If future versions are needed, version 1 feeds will still be valid feeds.

Sounds interesting…