The Week – 18th February 2019

This week note is a bit late. It’s been half-term this week so I’ve been working limited hours and haven’t had time for niceties like journalling! So here I am catching up.

I started, finished and nudged along a bunch of small thing this week, and progressed the early stages of some larger things that are coming up.

On Wednesday I tried out the new co-working space in Swindon called “The Workshed” – they’re doing a great three-months-for-the-price-of-one offer that I may take them up on to try it out. Though I found the environment quite visually noisy and distracting.

Friday was an ACE day where I actually feel I totally nailed my productivity. Hoping for more of this in the coming weeks.

Projects: what I’ve been up to

  • My new Laravel project is signed off and I’ll commence work on that next week (w/c 18th) and really get stuck in in March.
  • I started and finished a small WordPress plugin development job that involved postcode lookups. Postcodes – like dates – are trickier than they seem!
  • I nudged along a site migration to new hosting that should be simple but involves 6 parties (old IT company, new IT company, new hosting company, ultimate client, intermediary consultant and me!). Migrations – like dates – are trickier than they seem!I had a REALLY interesting call about a REALLY interesting future project that may or may not happen.
  • Started work on an interesting piece of WordPress work that will involve a small amount of front-end work, a hefty amount of back-end work, and some data-import work. The data here is pretty simple – it’s two custom post types and a theoretical “pivot” table. But I’m going to have to find the best way to get it into WordPress:
    • ACF meta using repeater fields? (With the issue that repeater fields put numbers in the meta_keys which defeats the indexing if I do a wild-carded search and makes queried inefficient)
    • Standard meta but building my own UI (Thinking about it, this won’t actually work because there’s TWO bits of data for each entry…hmm)
    • A custom pivot table – which I hate doing in WordPress. Custom tables are painful and feel out of place. You have to build your own abstractions for them or use packages that are probably overkill for this kind of application.
  • I think I’m going with the custom table option. But this actually-very-simple case highlights where WordPress can quite quickly get stuck with even simple tasks beyond simple publishing.

Posts: things I made

Pins: things I read and remembered

  • Laravel Core Adventures – Home – Interesting (free!) videos diving into the Laravel core code.
  • WPComplete – Good-looking plugin that tracks completed items in courses in WordPress.
  • cssremedy – A modern take on the CSS reset, but one that sets sensible browser defaults for modern CSS use – in early development
  • Escaping WordPress Template Functions – To do or not to do? – I asked in a Slack channel this week: “Do any WordPress functions do escaping for me? Or do I always need to do it myself?”. This has the answer!
  • Help! None of my projects want to be SPAs | Jason Goldstein – Jason explores this issue. It’s a great post full of takeaways. And this quote made me feel better: “My strategy for dealing with the absurd pace of change in web development has been as follows: ignore 99% of it and see if it goes away.
  • The Complete Guide to Lazy Loading Images | CSS-Tricks – I was asking all the questions this week. In response to Google’s page-speed reporting all changing and suddenly giving super-low scores for some sites, I asked about lazy-loading, which isn’t something I’ve done much of before. This guide is super-helpful!
  • Mycroft – Open Source Voice Assistant – Someone pointed me at this a little while back. It’s like an open-source Alexa or Google Home based on Raspberry Pi. Nice!
  • The Google E-A-T algorithm update and what it means for your site – I’m not an SEO but this is a good primer on what’s changed with Google’s algorithms recently.
  • Makerlog – My office-buddy Keiron pointed me at this this week. It’s a bit like what I wanted my Today-I project to become. BUT…I wanted mine way more private. And the imposter syndrome I feel just looking at Makerlog confirms why I wanted it private.

Have a great week!