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Christopher James Willcock

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Build Better WordPress Plugins with Unit Testing

Erik Torsner articulates his authoring of a production-ready-but-not-really WordPress plugin which reproduces the output of Matt Mullenweg’s commonplace Hello Dolly, while demonstrating and justifying his practical choices in software construction and testing; a wonderful example for others to consider and leverage.

Semantic Interoperability

When elements from independent systems of semantic interoperability appear within the same document, the semantic compatibility of the independent systems is the measure of their non-interference.

HTML and CSS have very good semantic compatibility, often appearing together in the same document.

This is on my mind lately as I consider the compatibility of web application sources with microformats, while building a utility to help identify any aspects of the web application sources which interfere with the desired interoperability embodied by microformats.

I currently describe my pre-release project as: “A utility which checks webapp sources for compatibility with microformats semantics”. Based on the foregoing, I’m considering changing the description a little. At the end of the day, the work is the program that helps find the issues in the code. I’m hopeful that someone with greater comfort discussing the topic will help me to gain some confidence in how I present the program. So long as it is providing some useful and desired outcome, I’ll be working on it for awhile longer. Hopefully work to benefit more than myself!

The working title of my project is Triage. Source code is available at the link. I posted to IndieWeb chat (#wordpress) awhile back that I would publish source as soon as it does something useful. I’ve got the core command-line utility there and it will identify semantics (and syntax) issues in CSS files. It will be a little while before I have a web-based interface to make this available to a wider audience. From there I’ll look to add other languages (HTML, PHP, JavaScript).

Semantic Compatibility in Communication

A brief paper which discusses the oft-unconsidered problem of semantic compatibility among attributes chosen to describe one object.

Great notes on a proper naming scheme for network server setups.

GTMetrix

A useful tool for self-testing website optimizations. Free for the core testing and reports.

The Aclonica Font

I saw this Aclonica font in use and noted it for later. I’m now taking the saved link I had in an unpublished draft post and moving it to a public bookmark post-kind. If I had done this in the first place, I may have captured the source where I first saw it in use, but I was still getting my head around post-kinds early on.

I like this idea and especially how the author has sketched it out! Noting here now to follow up later.

PhpCss

One more little contribution to the useful PhpCss selector parser by Thomas Weinert. In this case, the regular expressions were greedily including combinators in pseudo-class literals, instead of seeing the end of the token.

Before: it saw a:hover>span and errored, saying “there is no such pseudo-class as :hover>span.”

After: it sees a:hover>span and putters along happily with element a, pseudo-class :hover, child combinator >, and element span.

GNU/Linux – more than a name

Students of programming should learn their history. At the very least, not be given an alternative, misrepresentation of history. As important as where you are going, is where you have been. Standing on the shoulders of giants and all that.

Open Source Contribution

I have found the PhpCss library from Thomas Weinert very useful. I used it so much, I found a bug and fixed it. It’s nice that this library has unit tests so I could quickly create a new pattern and expected output, then make my little correction.

Typical programming mistake, a missing plus (+)!

Tweet Test – Tick Tock

This is a test of the Bridgy Publish Plugin.

A little adventure begins here

A Classical MetronomeMetronomes are interesting little devices are they not? All they do is tick and tock, back and forwards, in a steady beat. Well, technically they may be not doing that at any given time while still being a metronome: if they are on the shelf unused at the time or being used as a cudgel or something! But if they do anything other than sit there unmoving, it’s likely they are a-tick-tocking. In the classical metronome, there is an arm extending from a base. A small weight on the arm is adjusted farther up, away from the base to slow the beat or closer down to speed it along. Metronomes have been around for a very long time- records of early attempts at the metronome go back to the 800s1.

I have a soul full of music. Which is to say, there is a mystery in me. I know of it because when I hear a steady tick and tock, I can’t help but add something. It may come as whistle or tap, lyrics or hum. Sometimes a tune springs forth from nowhere, fully-formed and affable! My children surely enjoy it. This has gone on so long now, that even an unmoving metronome has an effect. As I listen very carefully, when the dull roar of a beard growing is not so loud in my head, I can sometimes hear a little thump-a-thump in the chest that reminds me of a metronome. I am a devout listener to this sort of thing, so I tend to feel this productive vibe much of the time.

I have a head full of technology and science. Which is to say, I believe in empirical truths about the nature of the world and my place in it. I am a utilitarian in many things, eschewing novelty in favour of diligence and productivity as a matter of course. My chosen career in software development requires an evidence-based modus operandi2 which I have occasionally applied to the subjective experiences of my daily living. It makes for some interesting Gedankenexperiment3 space, to think for myself about the cultural history of peoples and nations!

I have a little space of my own on the Internet where things I have had in mind from time-to-time are recorded for others to consider in their own quiet moments. Where I can participate in a unique culture like the world has never seen before. There are records of where I have been and what I have accomplished. Yes, it is more or less empty at the time of this writing (Jun 8, 2018 9:57 pm) and it appears I have done nothing whatsoever has changed! (May 20, 2019 2:25 pm)

But oh how empty! What a sweet slice of nothing I have. How superbly light and free from cruft; from advertising; from surveillance; from usurpation; from the not-me-ness that is in-your-face in some other places online where we may go together (or apart).

Speaking of together, have you heard of the IndieWeb yet? I do recommend you have a look, for yourself.

“There are going to be times when we can’t wait for somebody. Now, you’re either on the bus or off the bus. If you’re on the bus, and you get left behind, then you’ll find it again. If you’re off the bus in the first place — then it won’t make a damn.”Ken Kesey (1968)4

Tick-tock friendly stranger.

  1. Metronome, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metronome#History
  2. Modus operandi, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modus_operandi
  3. Gedankenexperiment, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought_experiment
  4. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Ken Kesey, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Electric_Kool-Aid_Acid_Test