Semaphore Bull Memorial

I joined Easy Forex back in 2012 to work on a rather complex project – migrate main website of the company from a really outdated version of DotNetNuke to WordPress.  WordPress, even though it is an absolutely amazing platform, turned out not to be the right tool for the job.  But we’ve managed to deliver anyway.  One of the annoying practices that we had to employ though was a semaphore flag for the database changes – only a single developer could work on the database at any given time.  (Again, this wasn’t a WordPress limitation, but rather specifics of our environment at the time).  That was the time when we introduced the Semaphore Bull to our development process.

Semaphore Bull

 

It worked out quite well.  But being a soft toy, it got abused a lot along the way.  It lost a leg, which was screwed in for a while.  Then it nearly lost the whole butt.  Then the head.  Beaten, barely alive, it still stood its ground and did the job!  At some point it got so bad, that we’ve had to place it into the plastic container, where it survived for a few more month.

Today we’ve finalized our migration of the main website from WordPress to CakePHP.  The system is so simple now that we don’t even need a database  anymore.   And with that, the job of the Semaphore Bull ends.   Gone, but not forgotten though!

Because of its huge contribution to our work, because it saved us from countless painful hours of resolving SQL conflicts, we’ve decided to create a memorial.  Ironically, the memorial to Semaphore Bull is built out Semaphore Bull itself, and the container it lived in.  For the future generations to remember the deed, we’ve printed out the snippet of the developer’s manual and embedded it into the memorial together with the dates.   Here’s how it looks altogether now.

Semaphore Bull memorial

Thank you, Semaphore Bull.  You’ve done us a great service.  Rest in peace.

WordPress 3.9 “Smith” released

A brand new and shiny version of the best CMS ever – WordPress – has been released.  Version 3.9, code-named “Smith” brings quite a few noticeable improvements.  Mostly, these are around the post editor – a new version of TinyMCE, previews for galleries and playlists for audio and video, in-editor image resize and drag-n-drop file uploads.  Also, widget settings were much improved, especially with the live preview before save.  Watch the quick release video and read more here.

Cryptic changelog messages

Being a developer myself, I’m of course also guilty of an occasional cryptic changelog message.  But this one, from the latest update of the SEO Ultimate WordPress plugin, puzzled quite a few people I showed it to:

Version 7.6.4.3 (April 14, 2014)

  • Bugfix: Rich Snippet Creator’s “Place” search result type address fields appearance fix

What is that all about? How many nouns can you use one after another in a single sentence?

WordPress themes : Houston

I’ve covered the simple, but very functional p2 theme for WordPress, that helps one to create an Intranet  in five minutes or so.  One thing that p2 lacks a bit though is eye-pleasing beauty.  It’s simple and functional alright, but it’s not much to look at.

It turns out that people all around the globe were working to solve this  problem, mostly with a variety of child themes.  Today I came across one such project – Houston.

houston screenshot

 

Now I can’t wait to try it out on one of my upcoming projects.

WordPress plugin : Google XML Sitemaps 4.0 significant changes

One of the most popular WordPress plugins – Google XML Sitemap – has recently been upgrade to version 4.0, with some significant changes.  Here is the quote from the changelog:

New in Version 4.0 (2014-03-30):

  • No static files anymore, sitemap is created on the fly!
  • Sitemap is split-up into sub-sitemaps by month, allowing up to 50.000 posts per month!
  • Support for custom post types and custom taxonomis!
  • 100% Multisite compatible, including by-blog and network activation.
  • Reduced server resource usage due to less content per request.
  • New API allows other plugins to add their own, separate sitemaps.
  • Note: PHP 5.1 and WordPress 3.3 is required! The plugin will not work with lower versions!
  • Note: This version will try to rename your old sitemap files to *-old.xml. If that doesn’t work, please delete them manually since no static files are needed anymore!