The WordPress.com 2012 annual reports are live, this year with a snazzy fireworks motif.
Here’s an excerpt from the report for the simpledream blog:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 19,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals
Click here to see the complete report.
Extra! Extra! The latest WordPress release is fresh off the presses.
If you’ve been around WordPress a while, the most dramatic new change you’ll notice is a completely re-imagined flow for uploading photos and creating galleries. Media has long been a friction point and we’ve listened hard and given a lot of thought into crafting this new system. 3.5 includes a new default theme, Twenty Twelve, which has a very clean mobile-first responsive design and works fantastic as a base for a CMS site.
Did you read that right?! Yes. New media flow. Totes awes, batpeople. There is much more in this release but that alone should be enough to make you go update to 3.5 right this moment. WPCandy has a nice run-down of what’s new in 3.5. (Note: if your site is on WordPress.com you’ve been using this for a few weeks already. You are a future-living geek and didn’t even know it.)
Big news in the Tucson coworking scene this week. My favorite coworking spot, Spoke6, is changing hands with founder and owner Tim Bowen handing over the reins to the excellent folks at GraphicFusion.
No major changes planned, according to GraphicFusion—our bi-monthly WordPress meetups will continue to meet there. (Next WordPress meetup is Wednesday November 7th, 7–9 PM.)
Read the full story here.
Amazing first trip to South America, a week in Montevideo, Uruguay. A highlight of the week was visiting Dodecá—home base for my coworker Matías Ventura.
Related: My colleague Sheri posted a few photos of Montevideo on her photoblog and also two fun panoramas on Facebook.
Twenty Twelve is a WordPress theme I’ve been working on for over 9 months, and yesterday it finally launched for everyone via the WordPress.org themes directory.
The theme was designed by Drew Strojny, with a mobile-first approach using responsive design techniques. The result is an elegant, beautiful, and readable theme that looks great on any device. If you’re interested in more about the design, Drew blogged about it over on The Theme Foundry and I also highly recommend watching his overview of the process, presented with humor and wit: How not to design a default theme.
Joining the team in July 2012, Konstantin Obenland contributed many hours of testing, code changes, and expertise. Self-described as a perfectionist and a native of Germany, his keen eye was crucial to nail down all the edge cases and make sure the theme works well for all users. Read Konstantin’s story.
Many more people contributed to bug reports, testing, theme-breaking, documentation. It takes an army to launch a new version of WordPress, and a new default theme is no exception. At the WordCamp San Francisco 2012 hack day, 17 contributors joined me during one of the most efficient and amazing group hack days I’ve been a part of. Looking at the photos from the event you’ll see the energy of the day.
If you’re interested in more of the philosophy behind default WordPress themes—and why they are named after the year (Twenty Ten, Eleven, Twelve …) read Why Default Themes Change Each Year.
And for history’s sake, the core Trac ticket that kicked it off:
I hope you enjoy Twenty Twelve as much as we enjoyed making it.
Thank you to Sheri Bigelow for the photos of WCSF 2012.
Forge is a tool for quickly developing a WordPress theme built by the fine folks at The Theme Foundry.
Forge is a free command-line toolkit for bootstrapping and developing WordPress themes in a tidy environment using front-end languages like Sass, LESS, and CoffeeScript.
During the early development process of this year’s default theme for WordPress, the Twenty Twelve team—Drew Strojny and myself—used Github and Forge to build the theme (view the archived source).
I would like to share my thoughts on using Forge during this process now that the theme is back in the core WordPress environment: Subversion and Trac.
In summary: Forge is too restrictive for general theme develpoment.
This is so awesome—you can now generate your WordPress starter theme based on _s with one click: Underscores.me — The Best Way To Get Started With The _s Theme.
Evan Solomon: Premium Themes are a Lie
Interesting post and follow-up discussion on an old but still very important topic. Premium themes, just because you pay for them, doesn’t guarantee any code or design quality.
Coworking at PIE (short for the Portland Incubator Experiment) was a highlight for me during a month spent in the lovely green Pacific Northwest. I shared a desk area with Automattic colleagues Daniel and Andrew, going in twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. PIE is a glorious twistup of coworking, startups, tech heads, and advertising executives.
The vibe is energetic and the people are interesting, the inside feels airy and spacious due to high ceilings, natural light, and white desks and tables.
If you’re in Portland I recommend you swing by and check it out.
Andrew and Daniel at PIE.
Andrew and Daniel’s workspace.
Food carts are the bomb.
As I happen to love coworking spots, I’m adding here a brief review as if it were a full-on coworking spot. It’s not, but what the heck—I’m giving it 4 out of 5 stars.
- Centrally located in the trendy Pearl District.
- Great vibe and energy.
- Top-notch amenities as a workspace: phone booths for private conversations, fast internet, whiteboard walls, full kitchen, high ceilings and lots of natural light.
- Lunch at Food Carts or Whole Foods, both a short walk away.
- Great coffee nearby, Caffé Umbria or Barista
- Kegerator with local brew on tap. ‘Nuff said.
- Can get a bit crazy when the startup classes are in session; which would be a plus if you’re involved in PIE on a regular basis.
- Bathroom is a bit of a hike. Great for a stretch and break from the desk, though.
- If you need ultimate concentration and quiet, it’s not a great fit. You’ll need headphones as there’s a buzz of conversation depending on who is around.
- More an office than coworking spot; I’ve expanded on that below.
The day-to-day folks at PIE are busy cranking on their apps and services, meeting with partners and clients, and more. I didn’t expect to make instant friends going in, but thought I’d meet more people. I ended up with my headphones on a lot and head down in code and work.
A quick welcome tour and more conversation with the regulars would have been nice bonus—and would give this space 5 out of 5 stars in my book. In this sense it’s less like other coworking spots I’ve experienced. I was disappointed that over 8-10 visits only one person approached and asked me who I was and what I was doing there. Spoke6, my home spot in Tucson, does a much better job in this respect, though in all fairness Spoke6 is set up differently and is fully dedicated to coworking.
All in all, PIE a sweet place to work, and next time in Portland I’ll be back for another slice.