Learning JavaScript with Treehouse

Every time I say I am “learning JavaScript,” it feels funny because of all the experience I have with the language. I also feel uneasy using those words because I’m pretty sure people think I already know it.

The truth is I can only edit JS when I need to. I very rarely write it from scratch.

This is nothing new for most developers. Those of us who are self-taught were most likely to have time periods like this with each language that we now write fluently. It’s just part of the natural progression when you understand coding philosophies that stretch from one language to another but vary in syntax.

A couple of months ago, I decided to create an account with Treehouse. I’m very pleased so far… mainly because walking through the JS courses have opened my eyes to my own issues that keep me from progressing like I should.

If you ask me right now if I write JS, I’ll probably tell you I don’t. But every time I sit down to study JS, it seems that I don’t learn anything new. What’s going on there?

I’ll tell you… it’s called psyching myself out. I convince myself that I don’t know JS because I never write it from scratch. No more of that mess.

I’m going to finish this course with Treehouse because it’s cool and I like the lessons. But it’s time to officially add JS to the list of other languages that don’t scare me away every time I have to write them.

Can you relate?

Look Through Your Old, Active Code

Honestly, I don’t know if I’m talking to everyone or just myself. It doesn’t really matter, though. Every developer needs to go back and look at his or her old code if it’s still in use and supported.

I don’t know about you all but I code something every damn day. That means I learn something new every damn day. While not everything I learn requires a change in the way I do things, the culmination of things learned over time change the way I approach code.

I go back and look at some of my old code and have no choice but to switch it up a bit. It’s not only because I don’t like my old approaches, but also because I’m still supporting that old code.

Why create more work for myself in support? Why maintain funky knowledge when it can be a thing of the past? It just doesn’t make sense to ignore.

If your overall setup can afford to be updated without a bunch of customers protesting outside of your development shop, go back, look at your old code, and make sure it’s what you would have written today if you had the same tasks.

You’re only making things better for everyone and you’re getting more coding reps in.

Alright, back to work.

I Submitted My Plugins to WordPress

Woopty-fucking-doo, right? I know. Screw you for agreeing… but I know.

I’ve been hanging around WordPress for a while now. From tweaking frameworks to freelancing web design to building standalone themes and now shifting focus to plugins, I like growing in this space.

Just recently I decided to launch a new site called Build WordPress Yourself (BWPY). I wanted to launch with two themes and a plugin. None of them existed when I came up with the plan so I had to create them.

I had a lot of motivation for creating the plugin. I actually needed to use it on BWPY so it was being built no matter what.

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How to Clear Facebook’s Cache

Have you ever posted a personal URL in a new status on Facebook only to realize the auto-populated information is not what you expected?

Sometimes it grabs an image you don’t like or you realize that the page title has a typo… any number of things can go wrong.

It’s pretty easy to ditch the new status, go adjust your web page, then start over with another status.

The problem is Facebook caches what you’ve posted. So when you try to post the URL again after making your adjustments and you can’t seem to “fix” the original mistake, this is why.

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Chronicl Brought Back to Life for Kolakube

Who remembers the days when I used to work the support forums on Kolakube.com? I was a Thesis user back then.

Since that era, I’ve grown to focus more on my own products and services. Alex, the creator of Kolakube, is still my homeboy, though. That’s why I’m thrilled to see his latest and greatest work released to the world.

Yesterday, Alex took one of his previous Thesis skins and turned it into a standalone WordPress theme… his first.

If you know Alex, you know he’s an intelligent fella with a unique way of creating products for his users. Now you can see that mind in action with no limitations or restrictions.

I must say, I’m impressed. It’s fun. It’s built with intent. And guess what? Options are kept to a minimum. Plug ‘n’ Play, baby. Check it out.

Chronicl by Kolakube – WordPress 3.8 Ready

WordPress Framework State of Mind

Shortly after finding WordPress I was exposed to theme frameworks. Like every other blogging noob, I read all I could from Problogger in one sitting.

I couldn’t help but notice the post footer advertisement for the Genesis Framework… so I checked it out.

I did all the research I could. Based on information I don’t remember, I decided that I needed to use a framework. It was between Genesis and Thesis. I chose Thesis.

I’ve used both frameworks over the last 4 years and I’ve even built my own. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to try WordPress without a framework.

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A Message to Budding Developers Using WordPress

I’m a noob. There’s no doubt about it. I still run to Twitter for help with what most developers consider basic. I’m cool with that, though, because I know something that other budding developers don’t.

You don’t have to know shit to build an application for WordPress. All you have to do is be resourceful.

Before going any further, understand that I am not supporting crappy work. This is not an excuse to slap something together without any thought just to make a quick buck.

What I’m basically saying is that you don’t even have to know PHP to build something for WordPress.

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Underscores Full Width HTML Starter Theme

Who uses the Underscores starter theme by Automattic? I do.

Yup. I have my own framework. I don’t use it for every WordPress theme project, though. I only use it for the jobs that call for its features… as you should with your framework of choice.

Getting back to _s, every time I use it I have to tweak the HTML just a little bit before I get started with anything else. That’s annoying and I’ve done it for the last time.

I made my simple adjustments and uploaded it to Github for everyone else to take advantage of. A description of the changes are in its README.md file. Enjoy.

Underscores (_s) Full-width HTML Starter Theme

Wrap Article Headings In Anchor Tags

A problem I used to run into was having linked, multi-line article titles allowing an unanchored gap between lines. The problem came and went depending on the font.

In HTML5, you can wrap inline elements around block elements. This means you can wrap article headings in anchor tags.

<a href="#"><h1>The Super Long Article Title</h1></a>

When you do that, the entire block level element (the heading) becomes clickable.

I do it this way on my personal sites now. Use your browser to inspect my anchored post titles.

Bring on the drama, old HTML doctypers.