At my day job, I often need to run a snippet of custom code once (and only once), and view or download the output. These snippets include things like:
- Importing data from a spreadsheet
- Generating a report about site usage
- Invalidating passwords and notifying users
- Deleting duplicates from a record set
- Regenerating Thumbnails
- many, many more…
WordPress doesn’t offer a good solution to this need, that addresses both the need for simplicity and security as well as providing a full-featured framework… So I built one.
WP Utility Script Runner
I gave a presentation this year at WordCamp Boston, titled “Picking a Page Builder”. You can see the slides here: http://gschoppe.com/wcbos2017
I’ve never really incorporated page builders into my workflow, so in preparation for the talk I decided to do a blind review of 7 of the most common page builders. I recreated the homepage for the site http://www.accessibleweb.com in each builder, without reading any documentation, or taking any tours of the builders.
I chronicled the results in the slideshow above, but I also wanted to share the raw notes i took while building in each one. These notes are not a full review, and you’ll see that some of the ones I rated highly got harsher comments when using… mostly that was because the super obvious issues that i noted in my scorecards sometimes were so bad that I wasn’t as nitpicky with the fine details.
It should also be noted that because I used no documentation and took no tours, these notes may be incorrect about some features of the various builders, and should not be taken as guaranteed facts. My notes speak more to the discoverability of features than their existence. This is simply my live chronicle of how well was I able to figure each builder out, and how far could I get in a couple of hours.
Caution: these notes are unedited, and may contain harsh language read more »
Gutenberg is the code name for WordPress’s new visual editor, which is designed to add block support to WordPress. Gutenberg is not currently earmarked for a specific release, but signs seem to point toward WordPress 5.0. It has a promising UI, and has been through a fair number of iterations already, but as work continues, I find myself more and more disenchanted with the solutions they’ve proposed. I find myself constantly taken aback by the incredible number of flawed premises that comprise the project. read more »
From time to time, I’ve needed to create a template file and populate it from a spreadsheet. In Microsoft Word, this is pretty simple, using a feature called Mail Merge. However, sometimes I’m not working with a Word document. So, I created a script that provides that same functionality for any plaintext or zip encoded file.
If you go to http://gschoppe.com/projects/universal-merge/ and upload a template file and CSV, it will replace any tags found in the template, of the form [[heading]], with the data from a matching column from the CSV, based on the column heading.
If you already know all about the WordPress editor, you can skip directly to the section on separation of concern.
The WordPress editor is a curious beast. It’s oddly tied down into the core codebase, despite being a completely external project (TinyMCE), and it has given rise to a significant number of hacks and workarounds, to try to support the various workflows of different WordPress users. Since 2017 is the year for WordPress core to focus on the editor, I thought I’d put down some thoughts, in the hopes that I might help inform some decisions. read more »