Random tinkerings

The other day I started another random little project. I’m actually very excited about this one because I know that I will be using it from time to time. The other reason I’m happy is because it can be a useful one for others as well.

For quite some time I’ve been doing a lot of support related things and I love it. I do. There are moments when I feel a little out of touch or behind but that’s probably imposter me thinking. Anyway, from time to time I have to share or ask to share some information and at times it can be a thing like a password. Now, there are some services available in the wild but at work it doesn’t always mean it would be a good thing.

The thing on that is that using a 3rd-party system can be sort of a bad thing since you don’t have control of the data. This can mean maybe creating your own version of said thing. Well I did that. I took a repo ( PrivateBin ) and am slowly building out a site for what I hope to be mostly internal use.

It was a little to get things up and running at first because this was somewhat new to me. I had to dive into some of the code to see how things work, which I haven’t done in a really long time. That’s the one thing I really do like doing too. The other part is getting it all styled to the way I would like. That’s the part I’m really looking forward to the most now. I have an idea of what to do and use so I’ll have to look at how to handle that. I did see the code and do understand how it gets loaded too so this really will be fun for me.

And the other part is also that I’m trying to follow that mini community as well and other projects that I try out or have so far. The other day I even tinkered with Stage and Sage because I wanted to understand more of how the framework did things. It was super neat to see how all the things loaded and how it broke. Yes, I broke things along the way.

It was fun doing that.

This project so far has been pretty fun. I’ll have to keep that momentum going too if I really want to get this fully going. The next thing is getting the template going. Time to open up Photoshop and Illustrator now.

Using MySQL on here

Today I went to try and clean things up a little bit since I haven’t really done that in some time. At least it feels that way to me. I looked at the comments and realized there were some in the trash. I didn’t think much of it since you know it’s just trash.

There was one time where the comment was from a real person so that was also part of the reason I went and looked.

I saw there were quite a few being posted on images. I thought a little odd but not too crazy since those are to an extend considered posts. Or at least a post type. Yeah. About that.

So I wanted to see how I could just mass disable all of those without having to resort to a plugin because that’s always the solution, right? Not having to use a plugin is the best thing in the world. You would think.

Anyway.

So I set to figure out a filter and of course there was one. I didn’t want to go that route since I honestly wanted to try something a little different. So I tried to see if it could be done using a query. A database query to be a bit more exact.

The cool part was that I really was able to do that and for my site it really only took about less than a second to do. There were only about 75 or so media files that had an open setting. Well, attachments to be precise on that.

The reason I say “attachment” is because that’s how WordPress stores that information in the database. For those who may want to do the same, the query I ran was:

UPDATE wp_posts SET comment_status = "closed" WHERE post_type = 'attachment' AND comment_status = 'open';

The cool part was that it ran really quick since it was directly connecting to the database. The even better part was that I didn’t have to create a plugin for that though I think I may have to at one point down the line if I forget to change that setting when I upload another image.

I don’t know.

Creating a plugin may just be quicker down the line too. I just don’t want to do the maintaining thing I guess.

On learning languages

The other day I wanted to start a new project, experiment thing to to learn how something worked. I got totally distracted and forgot what I wanted to work on. This seems to happen more and more lately too since there are so many things I really want to learn. I get so distracted with reading about those things that I forget to actually even start the thing.

I did finally start the one thing I did say I wanted to start though and that is to learn a new programming language. For the last 3 months I’ve wanted to dive into something new. A lot of that being because I actually like to know how things works and communicate. That was one of the bigger reasons I wanted to learn PHP and JavaScript.

The other day I jotted down on a piece of paper what I wanted to learn and because the way my brain decided to work the next day I wound up looking up random NodeJS things and that wasn’t even what I wanted to look up. It was in fact the Go language.

I began a course on it and what is super nice is that I am glad I did. There are somethings that I felt very comfortable with and some which were new to me. This was a great feeling. I do miss that.

The part that really caught my attention the most was I had already completed two courses on the site. One was SQL and the other being React. To be honest I forgot I even took the React course so that made me chuckle a little bit.

I think the reason I really liked it was because I do see a lot of the similarities between all the other languages I’ve wanted to learn and have learned.

I was able to get through at least half way done with the course today so that was a good thing. I’ll have to get back to it throughout the week and hopefully do more down the line too.

Temp theme

The other day I swapped out the theme here because the upcoming Twenty Twenty One theme was introduced. It is still being developed and worked on so that means I do expect some of the things on here to break. I’m used to things breaking though.

For those who do want to either follow along with the development or contributing then I would recommend going to: https://github.com/wordpress/twentytwentyone

The other thing I’m trying to do is follow along with the notifications project. Reason being I do want to contribute to this one more. The WordPress notification system is something that has been needed for a long time. If you want to contribute to that, please go to: https://github.com/WordPress/wp-notify

The team does also meet every Monday morning in Slack if you wanted to chime in as well.

Reading other things

The other day I was trying to understand something and began to search the web. This lead me to a random rabbit hole because isn’t that usually the case with a lot of things too?

The thing I wanted to understand more was MySQL because there are things I know I don’t really know. I want to know more though. I do.

So I went and began to search for a book to read or even a video to help me understand a bit more. I wound up getting a book. I went and got Understanding MySQL Internals. I’ve read the first two chapters so far and am liking it so far. Part of the reason is because it dives more into the code of MySQL. The functions, the classes, and files used.

It really wasn’t what I was expecting but I love that. I guess you can say it almost rekindled my passion for reading those books again. It’s been too long since I’ve read a book like that and it’s been because I just didn’t think much about it.

Honestly, that is the biggest reason I haven’t read much either when it comes to those type of books. The other being that some are just not my type of read. I need to pick up more of those books though. I still haven’t finished reading one from a few years ago. Not sure I will though.

Being a guinea pig

The other day I was wanting to experiment with FSE.

Sigh.

Yeah. A bit of a weird term. Acronym really. More to the point another thing that may just confuse a few more people. The reason I say this is because it stands for Full Site Editing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to this. I am. The reason being is that it may help a lot of people in creating their sites to suit their wants. The how is the part I’m kind behind on. I haven’t completely kept up with many of the things being done.

Why now?

The reason I’m posting this now is because some time ago I was reached out to by member of the Theme Team. I haven’t done a theme review in a long time. I mean that too. I haven’t actually looked at theme’s code for things in quite some time. Part of that is because I do have a few other things I was doing. I spent most of my free time just relaxing. It’s something I haven’t really been able to do. The other reason being that I never really set a schedule for outside of work so any free time would be anything.

With that being said, I went and tried to setup something on my local installation. This hurt a little because I opted to not install a lot of things. I wanted quite literally the bare minimum to just get up and running. I installed XAMPP and boom. Got things working in under maybe 30 minutes.

I mean it wasn’t much.

  1. Install Gutenberg
  2. Activate Gutenberg
  3. Enable Full Site Editing

Not much to it. Now the other part that took a bit longer was actually seeing how I could maybe partake in contributing with either docs or code.

Let the fun begin

This part was a little more. More time. Okay, like almost an hour of trying to install one thing to make everything work. Now, you’re probably asking or even wondering, but Jose, why not use something like VVV or Docker to set up your environment?

Again, I wanted the bare minimum to just start. This is where things actually took a bit of a turn. I did already have NodeJS installed so that was sorted. I already had Git because that was one of the other things I installed when I got my Windows machine fully built. The things I needed were:

  1. NodeJS
  2. Git
  3. Python

Yeah. Python.

In all honesty I’m not sure if that was one thing I did the first time I set up my local machine which a very long time ago when I was first starting with WordPress. I might have done it when I wanted to learn random languages I know that much but don’t really recall doing that times after that. It might be because after switching to something other than Windows, Python might have already been installed and running.

Anyway.

The part I that I really wanted to experiment on was following the guide on getting the Full Site Editing experience going. Part of that reason I do still like dabbling with code when I can. At least when it comes to WordPress theming code. Plugins I still just love to look over how they work and break more than anything.

Now, I’ve been doing things like this for some time but it really did feel like something was missing when I was following the steps. It really almost felt like I was out of the loop with how things worked. There were some things I had to actually read in order to understand what was going and how to do it.

The part I am really looking more forward to is being able to use HTML template parts. I think it is that inner part of me that loves the simplicity of it. I love knowing that it does have a low barrier of entry. It is part of that reason I genuinely love WordPress.

That is the biggest reason I love code too.

Random spring cleaning

Today I spent some time on the support forums answering some questions and just trying to help some people out.

I also cleaned things up a little bit on this site. The one thing I did was clear out random tables from the database and just tinkered with other things along the way. I was able to fiddle around with a little Drupal as well so that was really nice.

The one thing I liked was looking at metrics. Part of the reason is I like looking at numbers. The first thing I noticed was the size of the overall database. It was just under 7mb which really isn’t much when you think about it. I ran a few commands on them and they sort of helped. A little bit but not like super, crazy, insane good.

One thing I liked doing was running two queries. The first one to get all the posts because I wanted to see how fast it would be and now many there were as well. I ran:

SELECT * FROM wp_posts WHERE post_type = 'post';
/* Affected rows: 0  Found rows: 166  Warnings: 0  Duration for 1 query: 0.172 sec. (+ 0.312 sec. network) */

I found it pretty cool that I do have 165 posts on here. The other cool part is that it was able to retrieve all of those in well under a second. Now granted that is how many databases are and function as well. Pretty quick when doing those directly.

The one part I was happy about was being able to reduce the size a little because I realized that there were a few tables from plugins I no longer used and some rows that were also removed that I know I won’t be using ever again. Many of those were just widget settings from random themes I had tested on here.

Did I need to do that? Not really. It was mostly because I wanted to practice things. It really has been way too long since I’ve even done anything like that. I’ve been enjoying that since that’s what I spent most of my day on.

The other thing was tinkering with JavaScript and some JSON responses. I was having some fun with the WordPress api and just getting some things to actually render properly on the page. Not using any external libraries as well so that was pretty fun to do.

I have a post right now in draft that actually does go a bit more into frameworks too. Or at least the ones I’ve read some documents of and have tried. This is the part where I just say if there were more hours in the day I would be able to explore all of them.

Hopefully I can look over more things next week.

Darn command line

I don’t remember when I did this but I did find it a little funny. I wanted to install SVN on my Windows machine because I clearly like to torture myself. Right?

Okay, but really.

I wanted to install it because WordPress is still using it for now. I do think it is a good tool to learn first when getting started with version control. Or really any version control system for that matter before jumping into Git. That’s me saying that.

Anyway. As I was glossing over the pages I had to try and recall what I had done the first time I had even done that. I had to think back to 2011. Yeah. That long ago when I actually tried to do that. At least I think it was. Might have been a little later but around that time.

I couldn’t recall what I had used to I did the super trusty method. I overflowed that stack and then recalled that I used TortoiseSVN.

Sweet!!

Super easy and not hard to install. I ran the thing and boom went that dynamite. I had SVN installed on my computer. I opened up my Git bash instance and tried to checkout the trunk repo and was met with failure. The command wasn’t recognized.

I swear, I had done it right.

I look up the path settings. It wasn’t there. So I try to add.

Nothing. Still fails.

I restart the computer because you know support and resetting things.

Nope.

Okay. Now what?

Had I actually missed something?

🤔

I clicked the installer again and began to read all the screens. Yes. All of them.

And yep. I had missed something.

I forgot to click the add command line checkbox.

Sigh.

Let me repeat that. I read all the screens.

Yeah, even I will sometimes forget to actually check the things.

Oh well. The good news is that SVN is running fine and I can break my machine even more with

Editing and creating

I have been using Gutenberg since it was announced. I haven’t honestly typed a lot with it in the last year unfortunately. Again, it has boiled down to time. I haven’t put that time aside to create posts here.

I just haven’t.

I do need to change that and I hope I can pretty soon too. There are so many things I do want to learn along the way. I think the biggest challenge may just very well be in the how.

I have slowly shifted in doing WordPress related things a little and I do feel good about that. It may sound a little strange for some but it is very true. When I began working at Pantheon, I knew there would be a lot of things I would need to learn. Drupal being one. Now, I want to say this because this is exactly how I feel, I like both of them.

They each have their positive and negatives. Each is a tool that can be used and just like any tool it does take time to master it. I am by no means a grand master on either one but I do want to get more familiar and comfortable with each one.

When I created this site it really was to tinker with WordPress and get comfortable with code. I added the tagline, “Life. Code. WordPress,” because that was what I would write about. Life being the first, code second, and WordPress last. Over the years I did a lot of code and WordPress posting and from time to time life events. As much as I would love to be able to have a post every week I just can’t do it. At least not yet.

Hopefully in a few weeks I can share some news and more information as well. For now, I’ll keep drafting things and just publishing when I can.

Too many ideas

Here is the deal, I’ve been reviewing themes for quite some time and I really haven’t made one for myself. I’ve made a child theme for this site but that’s about it. It’s nothing super fancy but I know that I could do more.

The biggest reason at the moment is that I really haven’t been visually inspired.

I have been sidetracked. Not going to lie about it.

There have been other things that I’ve prioritized as well. I will say though when I do finally get enough time I will be grinding away on that side. It really has been great just exploring other things in the mean time.

I think that part of it is also that I haven’t really used this site as much as well. That part has just been sort of neglected for too long. I would love to be able to post more things but I’ve hit a mental block it feels like.

It also has been way too long since I looked at core code to see how things have changed. I may need to do that one of these days to get a better clue on what I really want to be doing as well. I know I have some posts that go over some functions, some hooks, but what I really want to be doing is perhaps a little more than just that.

Themes and plugins are and always will be super interesting to me. I think a lot of it is also that I haven’t really had puzzles I personally want to solve. I need to get on those forums more often and just dig more.

Sigh.

All in time, I guess.