Already done that

Maybe I’m ready to grow up now. After 5 years living on the road in a general sense of retirement I might be ready to put the gloves on again.

We’ve done a lot of the retirement checkboxes:

  • RVing around the country for 5 years and not slowing down
  • Taking up photography and videography and getting paid for some of it
  • Half Ironmans, marathons
  • Built a retirement compound

There might be something else I’m missing but that shouldn’t be a surprise at this point in life. While we aren’t yet financially independent we are focused on that next. If it happens sooner than later we are ready regardless.

I’d like to inflate my ego and think there’s a book or online course to learning our secret. The reality is that we are really happy to be with each other. After that we have been able to deal with each other figuring out what we want to do when we grow up.

Scripting News: Saturday, May 11, 2019

Scripting News: Saturday, May 11, 2019
— Read on

Dave Wiener is one of the co-creators of RSS. A technology that few understand, some have heard of, yet we all use it everyday. Facebook would not exist if it weren’t for RSS.

It should be no surprise that Dave has been blogging pretty much everyday for over 18 years. Today he is talking about how much the web would be different if Apple had opened up its networking API’s in 1985.

That year Apple started adding network connections to all of its computers. This was revolutionary and typical of their history of being well ahead of the tech industry curve.

Unfortunately, according to Dave’s article linked to above, writing software that could access the network hardware was almost impossible. Unless you knew someone on the inside or were a mad genius there was no way to write software that travelled along the network.

This was in 1985. 1985. Again 1985.

If you were over the age of two in 1985 you might remember the state of technology. There was an internet. If you were at a major university, in a basement somewhere. The term network applied to a semi popular movie about a television news room. Modem? Sorry hardly knew him.

In 1985 Apple could have taken over the Internet and built the World Wide Web 6 years before Tim Burners-Lee created HTML to handle data sharing at CERN. Dave argues that this would be a massive deviation from what we experience on the Web today.

To begin we would have had a What You See Is What You Get(WYSIWYG) from the start. WordPress wasn’t available till 2003 and took till 2019 to get a usable interface.

Dave brings us forward to today and Facebook. Facebook is a massive influence on the Internet. In some parts of the world it is the only Internet. Facebook has taken what it started on;an open and free technology used to share information with others quickly and easily, and is quickly turning it into a walled garden.

The web is based on the hyperlink. A simple snippet of hypertext that allows you to share information with anyone else on the web. When you click on a link there is no cost and no barrier. Unless the website the link is taking you to has a paywall, you can view the content for as long as you have power. You can also share this link by putting it on another website or sending via another internet protocol.

Facebook does not work this way. It hasn’t always been this way but around 2008 is when they shut off their public RSS feeds. At that point FB turned of the waterworks of content being created and shared on its platform. By doing this FB made it so that if you wanted to consume content created on FB you had to go to FB.

Then FB convinced major news publications that they should use FB to share their content and then FB would send them more traffic. At the start it was great for everyone. The publishers got a lot more traffic and FB gained prestige for being a place to lie to each other about the state of our lives and read mostly unhelpful News.

Publishers were so desperate to get traffic and ad revenue that they completely missed the giant whales mouth they were swimming into. Within a few years FB again turned off the waterworks and the publishers ad revenues dried up.

There are fewer places to make a living sharing information (journalism) than in my whole 42 years of riding this rock. The journalism that we are being left with is more mokumentury than documentary. The need to create clickbait has consumed the entire profession from print, web, radio, and TV. News has to be outrageous or we will look somewhere else. The movie Idiocracy was set some hundred years in the future where the most popular TV show is “Ow my balls”. I’m pretty sure CBS already cancelled that show for not being outrageous enough.

The web has an amazing capacity to help us help each other simply by sharing. This morning I made savory grits from an independent website operated by one person using various services to enable the amazing technology required. They were delicious and a combination I hadn’t considered. Smoked Paprika.

All I had to do was type a question into a search engine and there was a link. I clicked that link and made a delicious breakfast. It wasn’t a flashy site. The author had written a considerable amount before showing the actual recipe. I can deal with scrolling a little bit and sometimes read some of what they have written. There can be good cooking techniques shared.

Facebook is a very successful company today. Apple was a pretty successful company in 1985. If we consider how Apple’s decision to be closed with networking to how FB is acting today does it mean we have to wait 22 years for FB to hit its stride? Does it mean there is another evolution of technology that is going to be delayed 10 years until mass adoption? What if we all stopped using FB and started our own websites?

Managing WordPress in the Enterprise – #wcatl presentation

For the first time in 5 years I attended a WordCamp. My current employer, Pressable, sent me to WordCamp Atlanta 2019 to sell our wares. Actually they sent me to enjoy myself and represent Pressable when appropriate.

One part about WordCamp’s is that none of the speakers are getting paid to present. This can result in a wide variety of topics and quality of speakers and presentations. It is really nice when someone has a killer topic and delivers it professionally and effectively.

There were a few presentations that met that criteria, but one in specific really stood out for me:

The purpose of the presentation was to give us all some insight into how a large org like Dow Jones is using WordPress with Gutenberg. Yes that’s right the Wall Street Journal and other Dow Jones properties are all powered on the backend by Gutenberg. Today. They use a headless implementation so the designers are able to work in whatever they want. Since all the content is now in Gutenberg they are all available via JSON and can be implemented however they like.

My favorite metaphor that he used was that you want your website to be a fleet vehicle and NOT a race car. Meaning that you want to be running software that is inexpensive, easy to maintain, etc. Yet everyone wants and in some ways has a race car. These are custom, tend to be more expensive, and require specialists to maintain.

When I was in a more sales role, I would get a prospect who was going to launch the next MySpace. I would quote him what that looks like in a budget perspective and suddenly the scope shrank a lot. I would always be thinking: This guy thinks he wants to go to the moon, but he can only afford a ham sandwich. Creating a proper scope allows you to set budget and other guides to keep your projects on track.

It sounds like Victor has a pretty solid gig going and he is very passionate about teaching others. Thanks again Victor!

Using Blocks to Blog Better

This is a paragraph block. It allows you to write basic text. You can add bold, italic, or both attributes. You can also add strikethrough if a correction was made. Also you can add a link to your favorite content management system. You can also add a drop cap to a paragraph and have a large initial letter, as shown above.

You can also change the color of the text and the background of a block. These colors can be removed or adjusted to only show approved colors for the site.

Since this is a post about blocks here is a link to the Block definitions page.

  • This is an unordered list block
  • There are no numbers just bullet points
  • You just keep
  • hitting
  • enter
  • for
  • a
  • new
  • item
  1. This is a numbered list
  2. As you can see
  3. There is a number
  4. At the start
  5. of
  6. each
  7. item
This is an image block. Image blocks have caption areas where attribution should be located. You can also add bold, italicized, or both attributes in here. Also you can strikethrough if a correction is made. Also a link can be added. Photo by Roger Williams

This is an H2 Heading

This is an H3 Heading

This is an H4 Heading

This is a quote

And this is the citation for the quote

This is a paragraph again but since I aligned the image gallery to the left this block is filling the gap to the right.

This is an audio block for a Fresh Air episode titled: ‘PEN15’ Revisits The Awkwardness Of Middle School
You can either upload an audio file or link to one on the web. It would be nice if you could just add the link to the page of the audio file and the block found the audio file for you.

This is a Cover block

This is a video block. You can upload a video or link to something like a Youtube post. Which is what I did here.
//This is a code block. Use it to show users code in your post
function greet($name, $color) {
    echo "<p>Hello, my name is $name and my favorite color is $color.</p>";

greet('John', 'blue');
greet('Jane', 'green');

This is the classic block. If you convert from the classic editor to Gutenberg your existing posts and pages will be moved to this block. Otherwise you don’t need to use it.

This is a custom HTML block

Use this if it is easier to write in HTML.
This is a preformatted block. It is similar to the paragraph and code blocks in that it is for displaying text.
Unlike the paragraph block the preformatted block keeps any spacing or line breaks exactly as they are entered.
Unlike the code block you can still bold, italicize and add links.

This is a pull quote block. Use it to pull quote.

If you need to cite the pull quote you can do that here.
atable block. Its kinda funky to use TBH.
This is a verse block
its where
can   add                spaces



breaks within the block.

You should learn how to call blocks by using a /then the name of the block you want to call. So you can call an image block with /image.

Image by Roger Williams
(This image has been aligned full width.)

This is a paragraph block located in the left column of a 4 column column.

Then there is an image, a slideshow, and finally a button.

You can only add one block to each column. You can adjust the number of columns from 2 to 6 with a slider in the right side Block settings tab.

Bill and Kate glam shot sailing on the river
Bill and Kate glam shot sailing on the river

This is a media/text block.

It creates a 2 column block with an image and a paragraph block.

The first paragraph block has a larger font.

It appears there is no way to have a caption under the media in this block. The photo here has a caption in its Media Library attachment settings.

Read more block – use this to truncate your post on its archive page