Sara Cannon On Responsive Web Design At WCSF

Sara Cannon‘s talk on responsive web design (resizing the page to suit different client devices) was spot on. Her slides are below, but she also recommends this A List Apart article on the matter, as well as Less Framework and 1140 CSS Grid (especially as alternatives to 960.gs).

My WordCamp NYC Talks

Authentication Hacks My first talk was on User Authentication with MU in Existing Ecosystems, all about integrating WP with LDAP/AD/CAS and other directory authentication schemes, as well as the hacks I did to make that integration bi-directional and deliver new user features. My slides are online (.MOV / .PDF), and you can read earlier blog […] » about 200 words

Systems Wrangling Session At WordCamp Developer Day

What is the current status of web servers…Is Apache 2.x “fast enough?”

Automattic uses Lightspeed (for PHP), nginx (for static content), and Apache (for media uploads). For WordPress-generated content, all server options are approximately the same speed.

What about APC?

Automattic uses beta versions of APC, and provides a 3-5x performance increase. It’s tied closely to the PHP version, so Automattic recently switched from PHP 4 to PHP 5.


MySQL scales well and is easy enough to use that there’s little reason to consider other DBs for WordPress content. Other applications may have different needs. Note: FriendFeed uses MySQL to store schema-less data. Single-table key lookups in MySQL are faster than getting the data from Memcached.


Automattic uses Batcache for full-page caching (.002 to .003 second), Memcached persistent object cache, very limited MySQL query cache (never larger than 256MB), sufficiently large key buffer.


HyperDB solves DB scaling problems.


User-data backed up every hour, if something changed. Every blog backed up every 12 hours. Dedicated MySQL slaves do LVM snapshots for backups.

Andy Peatling on BuddyPress

Why BuddyPress? “Build passionate users around a specific niche.”

Do you have to become a social network? “No, look at GigaOM Pro,” a recently launched subscription research site based on BuddyPress.

But, yo do get “BYOTOS: bring your own terms of service.” That is, you get to control content and interactions. And your service won’t be subject to the whims of a larger network like FaceBook (or vagaries of their service — think Ma.gnolia)

It’s pretty easy, Andy says, to create a custom BuddyPress component, and there are already a number at the BuddyPressDEV Community.

Google’s Matt Cutts On Building Better Sites With WordPress

90% of WordPress blogs he sees are spam. But for those who aren’t spammers and want to do better in Google…. “WordPress automatically solves a ton of SEO issues…WordPress takes care of 80-90% of SEO.” Still, he recommends a few extra plugins: Akismet — reduce spam comments Cookies for Comments — reduce spam comments FeedBurner […] » about 400 words

2.6 Million Self-Hosted WordPress Sites And Counting

The huge problem with open source software is that there are no sales numbers to show how many people are using it. We know that WordPress.com hosts over three million blogs. We know EduBlogs powers nearly 200,000. But how many sites are hosted using the original, downloadable, self-installed and managed version of WordPress? Now, the […] » about 100 words

Global Voices On WordPress

I hadn’t heard of Global Voices Online, a community generated global group news blog, until Jeremy Clarke spoke of it at WordCamp. And I didn’t think the site, with it’s do-good premise, worked until I actually explored it for a while. But, well, it’s a bit fascinating. Global Voices grew out of a one-day conference […] » about 300 words

Quercus PHP To Java Compiler vs. WordPress

Emil Ong is the Chief Evangelist and a lead developer for Caucho Technology, the developers of the Quercus PHP to Java compiler. The idea, I guess, is to write in PHP, deploy in Java, which some people say is better supported by the “enterprise.”

Ong claims 26% performance improvement over Apache + mod_php + APC. That sounds great, I suppose, but it’s less than what Chris Lea suggests is possible if you simply replace Apache with Nginx.

Chris Lea On Nginx And WordPress

“Apache is like Microsoft Word, it has a million options but you only need six. Nginx does those six things, and it does five of them 50 times faster than Apache.” —Chris Lea.

Why? No forking. No loading of unnecessary components. Fast CGI. And to prove it’s not as complex as you might think, he’s installing it live. The session has eight minutes left, can he do it?

Yes, he did. The big concern is in managing permalinks without .htaccess, and it turns out it’s not so difficult. Does he have a cookbook for this? Darn, no time left for questions, I’ll have to ask later.

Mark Jaquith On WordPress Security For Plugin Developers

I’ve been pretty aware of the risks of SQL injection and am militant about keeping my database interactions clean. Mark Jaquith today reminded me about the need to make sure my browser output is filtered through clean_url(), sanitize_url(), and attribute_escape(). Furthermore, we all need to remember current_user_can(), check_admin_referer(), and nonces. » about 100 words

Will Norris on OAuth and DiSo

Will Norris talking about things OAuth, OpenID, and Diso at WordCamp. Demonstrates/fakes an OAuth authentication and authorization process with WordPress for iPhone app. Does this matter? OAuth support is slated for WP 2.7, and people are finally getting smart about linking all this stuff without throwing passwords around “like confetti.” » about 100 words

Aaron Brazell On Blog Search And Findability

Aaron Brazell at WordCamp is talking about search and finability “not SEO.” Riffing on Ambient Findability, he asks:

  • Can people find your blog?
  • Can people find their way around your blog?
  • Can people find your content and services despite your blog?


  • Your blog serves as a nexus for information about you.
  • You serve as the nexus for trust and relevance.

Going Further? Make your social content outside your blog searchable, findable via your blog. Brazell conveniently recommends using Lijit, which does just that.

Liz Danzico on WordPress Usability

Liz Danzico of Happy Cog Studios spoke today about her consulting with Automattic on the design of the WordPress admin interface. As with so many of the presentation today, I’m really hoping the slides will be published soon, as there are some great ideas coming out. Liz spent a lot of time watching WordPress users […] » about 200 words

Scriblio Goes To WordCamp

Scriblio is based on WordPress, an open source content management system, and the community that uses, supports, and builds it is what makes it great. WordCamp started last year, when the community was about 750,000, and it’s even more important now that it’s grown to nearly two million.

The first day of the schedule focuses on how to better use the software, and included a great session by Lorelle VanFossen. Tomorrow is more technical, with discussions about performance, usability, and development.

What’s it all mean to Scriblio? Part of the Scriblio design philosophy is to make it easy to take advantage of advances in technology and practice that are serving all internet users, not just library users. The community has ramped up the WordPress development and release schedule, by building on top of that we get to spend our time figuring how to use the technology to serve our patrons without having to build a library-specific version of it.

[tags]WordCamp, WordCamp 2007, WordPress[/tags]

Designing the Obvious

Robert Hoekman, Jr is speaking now on Designing the Obvious, his book and philosophy: These principles include building only what’s necessary, getting users up to speed quickly, preventing and handling errors, and designing for the activity. I just added the book to my must read list, but what I’m hearing here sounds like instructions to […] » about 100 words

Two Events, Two Coasts

Matt Mullenweg announced WordCamp in San Francisco, then ten days later Abby announced the LibraryThing cookout in Portland (Maine). Both are set for August 5. The LibraryThing event promises free burgers and potato salad, while WordCamp attendees will enjoy both free BBQ and free t-shirts. I’d like to go to both, but rather than have to make some decision about which one I’d most like to go to, I’m leaning on the fact that I’d already bought my flight to SFO when the LT event was announced.

Anyway, it’s casual Friday here, so this post is really just an excuse to (again) link to the funniest BBQ-related video I’ve seen in a while.


As noted here, I’m going to WordCamp in SFO in early August.

Matt describes it as a BarCamp-style event (where “’BarCamp-style’ is a code phrase for ‘last minute’”) with “a full day of both user and developer discussion.” I’m just going for the free t-shirt, of course, but I can imagine a number of folks will get a good value out of the sessions and discussions that will likely run, especially all the developer stuff.

Also, if you’ve got some suggestions about what else I should be doing in San Fran, leave a comment or contact me with any suggestions.