Big things to come…

WordPress Developer

Sometimes all things seem to happen at once. I have been working hard this week – creating a new WordPress template for one of our clients and slowly I feel more like a WP developer.

I had a discussion on such matter before – some years ago. This was with a former collegue and we talked about skills, skill levels and just knowing a bit more than anyone else, and particularly clients, and that is how we make a living but in the back of our heads we are scared that one day it may all come out and we will be tagged as fakes. Don’t get me wrong – I know quite a bit of everything, but I do not feel a specialist in any particular field – I like almost all work I do (which is fortunate as there are many people that hate whatever they do for a living). I have done quite some coding over the years – in several programming languages, I have done database development, I do graphics design and if you have ever visited Very Simple Designs you know I write tutorials for graphic design too. I have built and maintained quite a few websites, and I can read and breathe HTML and CSS. I worked with several CMSs, but that was more a matter of technical implementation and tweaking of existing templates. So when I got hired as web developer for a company that uses WP – I knew I had to build more skills. My motto is “yes I can” but I had to work hard to extend my skill set. Both the WP Codex as well as Google were my friends – and as I said in the first sentence – I slowly feel more like a WP developer.

It is interesting tho – I used WP for years as blogging software. This site uses it. I did not have a lot of requirements at the time and figured I could get away with the standard configuration. And I did not even bother to create or install a fancy theme – it is a very simple one – one that had a colour scheme that I liked already and I just uploaded a new header. How lazy can one be? But the company I work for actually (tries) to use WordPress as CMS. What can I say? It is NOT a CMS – it is blogging software – no matter what people claim. Its architecture is not suitable for complex site managment. For Very Simple Designs we used Joomla! which is a full fledged CMS with many more options – better configurable and certainly more suited for customizations, extensions and reusability than WP in its current state. But I am learning to overcome WP’s limitations and to cope with the restrictions that the business put upon development (as for an unsatisfactory explained reason the use of widgets is not allowed). So indeed – I am a WP developer now and there is a lot more to learn yet.

So what’s the big news?

This week both Inkscape (my all time favorite vector editing software) as well as Joomla! (a favorite CMS of mine) both released statements about upcoming releases.


The Inkscape team completed the goal for the bug hunt and is now making the final decision on items that will be included in the upcoming 0.48 release. They also announced the winning design for the new Inkscape 0.48 splash screen. The alpha release for Inkscape 0.48 will follow soon, in the mean time check out the Inkscape download page for nightly builds and feel free to experiment with the development releases and participate in the testing to make this a kick-ass release.


The Joomla team finally released Joomla! 1.6 Beta. I am very excited about this as it will bring plenty new features, amongst which a new access control system, unlimited depth organisation model (no more struggles to put subcategories under categories – the category tree can be fully user defined), a simplified process for updating extensions, and also better XHTML semantics in layouts. I will be using the beta release and migrate the VSD website to it on a virtual machine – just to see how much these new features will mess with the current content. But there is no doubt in my mind that we will migrate to Joomla 1.6 soon after production release is available.

Other things that keep me busy

  • I am customizing some WP plugins to make them more flexible (re-usable) in our projects. Some of that work may be released here in near future.
  • We managed to get tickets for the Metallica concert in November – long way ahead but we are looking forward to it.
  • The kitties are growing fast – naughty as ever. We are still a bit worried as Moogie is very particular about her food and still very skinny tho the vet says she’s developing alright. Dax is wild and eats like a beast – food disappears in seconds and then she tries to steal Moogie’s food. Sometimes she eats too much too fast and that makes her sick. She meows and announces that she does not feel well but before I finish clean up she is running around like nothing happened. The worms are gone – and nothing serious to worry about now.


Time flies! I think that almost evey article I write can start with the title “busy busy busy” – but what would that add?

I need to find a proper balance between computer stuff for fun, computer stuff for work and other activities. My dude is a hardcore computer geek – and spends more hours on his PC than anyone else I know. He tells his friends that his geek girl spends even more hours behind the pc – they shake their heads in disbelieve (geek girls are a myth apparently) – but it is true. I don’t consider us sad cases – but the rest of the world seems to think we miss out on a lot of things – lol…

I really like the job I took up – the work mainly involves development of WordPress templates and setting up wordpress for clients. After that SEO activities start and carefully selected / written content is uploaded. I learnt a lot about the processes involved – and as our main guru says .. there is no magic involved. It is a matter of a properly built website, proper navigation, useful content, relevant linking and time. Time because the website needs to build a reputation and further fine-tuning over a period of time. But without doubt the applied techniques work – and it is one of the main reasons why business is flourishing.

As I had to learn quite a few new things, I spent less time on the graphics design / tutorial writing as I like to do. I indeed prepared a new tutorial, made all screenshots and even uploaded the article to VSD – but the screenshots need to be cropped and included still before the article can be published. I know.. it is not a lot of work.. but I somehow just don’t feel like it. Perhaps this weekend?

Then it is Autumn in Oz. Temperatures are a lot lower and as I live in the Sydney area, people pretend that they won’t be exposed to winter. They simply deny it. Result: no central heating system and houses that are build to keep out the heat. I am quite fortunate as our house is fully insulated – but I really do miss the comfort of central heating. I wake up and it is about 15 degC in the house. It is not “that” cold – but too cool to be comfortable. And add to that the fact that my home is my office and you’ll get the idea. Shivering behind the PC until the sun hits the window and I finally start to warm up. Our gas heater broke down last year and as we are about to move to another house – not sure how to survive the next weeks – airconditioner on heating and a high electicity bill? Probably.

And a quick kitty update. Both our little brats are growing like crazy. They have been quite sick – first cat flu and after that Moogie started puking and had blood in her stool. We thought she might have something really bad – back to the RSPCA for check up – and as she still ate, put on some weight they suggested to bring a stool sample. Well.. stool sample from the right cat from the litterbox is not that easy, so when we finally caught her going to the box and prevented her from burying the sample in crystals – we didn’t need to bring the sample in.. they had worms. We called the RSPCA again – as we adopted them a month before and they were supposedly de-wormed. “It can happen that the treatment was not effective if the investation was too large”. Bleh… got meds from the local vet – made them poo a lot but they seem fine now.