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.

Busy busy busy…

Cat update

Our poor kitties have had serious down moments and one night Dax had serious respiration problems. My mate took her into the bathroom, opened the hot water tap to generate steam and ease her breathing. Next morning we both took them back to the RSPCA vet. They checked them out, yups it is the flu. We got some anti-biotics and some eye ointment that should help them a bit. That happened last Saturday.Today, Tuesday they are back to being VERY lively cats and it is clear that they missed the excercise as they are racing through the house and ran us over a couple times already.

Cat vs Man

Moogie had to figure out what we do with the toilet. My mate experienced how she dived into the bowl between the morning visit and the flush. Cat and Bathroom got a wash. It was disgusting but funny nonetheless 😀

Dax does not care how she reaches her favorite sitting spot. She uses our bodies as climbing tree without regards of being fully clothed. My mate got quite some scratches from her climbing along his bare legs. She attacks and jumps from the floor to about thigh level. No fun when you just wear shorts 🙁

Job update

The job is fun – currently I just perform small tasks but there are quite a lot of things ongoing. I have to be careful in my planning as time flies. Currently reviewing website designs and making small modifications to wordpress plugins. I have not coded that much in PHP so I need to look up quite a lot, but I am getting there 🙂

Very Simple Designs

With Easter, sick kitties and a new job I have not had too much time to work on new tutorials for the site. I poked Dakka a bit and he told me he would chip in a bit – so hopefully we see some new additions by him soon.



Poor kitties

As I wrote in my previous post, we went to the RSPCA and picked up the 2 cutest kitties. They are awesome! Moogie is very well adjusted and a bit more reserved but loves to cuddle, gives happy nudges and has a purring engine that would make a Benz jealous. Dax is WILD. She was not properly kitty litter trained so that resulted in a few not so nice surprises, but that was corrected relatively easily. Now she seems only a bit confused in the mornings but there have been no accidents over the last 5 days as I dump her in the litterbox first thing after we get up. She is also a bit confused about her role. She likes to be a lap cat, but is seriously considering a job as parrot cat. For some reason she loves to sit on my shoulders while I work. And as she is still tiny it works – but I am sure that won’t last long.

Cat Flu

Then last week Dax started to sneeze. And as my mate says – she sneezes like me: a few careful whisps and sneezes and then HATSJOE! HATSJOE! HATSJOE! HATSJOE! HATSJOE! 5 or 6 times sneezes that turn you inside out. Afterwards she looks likes she just survived a hurricane and shakes her head to try and put everything back in place. When we were at the RSPCA they informed us that they had cats with cat-flu, and those with symptoms were treated and recovering in an isolated cat house. But they also told us that whilst the kittens we selected were vaccinated, they may have picked up something that is in incubation time.

Well.. the poor kitties have cat-flu. Clogged eyes, sniffing, sneezing, diarhea and low energy. I called the RSPCA-vet early this week, and they told me that as long as they eat and drink and not go in total lethargy that we should let it its run. So it is with ups and downs. Some days they feel not so good, others they seem back to full rascal mode (altho it is only till their energy runs out). We give them their kibbles and they eat wel, and entice them with some tuna as that is very smelly and reaches them even with their blocked noses. Poor sweeties.

Cat versus Man

  • missed the litterbox 5 times
  • destroyed a headset by chewing the cables

My New Job

My new job is seriously cool. This week was a short one, as it is just before the long easter weekend. The first day was quite uneventful as I got some time to set up my new development environment and everyone else was too busy with whatever they were doing. In the following days I had training sessions in the morning and some small development tasks in the afternoon. An easy week – probably the easiest work week I have experienced in the last uhm.. 18 years or so. But a good start. I like the people that work in this place. We only have a virtual office – so I only know them from online interaction – but sofar they all seem to be great and I feel very welcome.

Downside is that I did not do much work on my tutorials site for this week. I am a bit too busy taking in new information and adjusting to a full workday again to sit relaxed at night and write out some tutorial. It was a short week however and now I enjoy already a long weekend – so that will give me some opportunity to work on new things to publish.