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.
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: http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/19978.
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 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).
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.
I attended WordCamp San Francisco this year—my third time in a row. Thoroughly enjoyed the speakers and sessions, networking with partners and friends—plus meeting new folks. Following the main conference, on Sunday, I was part of a very productive Dev Day where 17 (seventeen!) of us hacked on the new default theme for WordPress, Twenty Twelve.
Here are a few photos from the weekend.
If you haven’t been to a WordCamp—I highly suggest it, find here a list of upcoming WordCamps.
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.
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.
This coming Tuesday (June 26, 2012 at 6:30 PM) I’m giving a talk on WordPress themes, as part of this month’s Portland WP User Group.
My talk is titled Theme Busters R Us—theme breaking is one of my passions, so it’s a logical choice.
Breaking themes for fun?! Crazy talk. Busting your WordPress theme – on purpose – can be both fun and useful. The process is a crucial part of building sites with WordPress, whether it’s for a client project, a personal blog, or releasing an awesome new theme to the world.
Testing is often considered a dirty word; we either have no time to do it, or we think it’s boring and tedious. Breaking stuff should be fun and something we are excited to dig into. Even better if the breaking means pushing your theme to extremes to simulate real usage, with a goal of making it the best it can be: the best quality possible, and the best experience for people using it.
See details, location, and RSVP at Portland WP User Group. If you’re in the Portland area, hope to see you there.
Thanks to Daniel for the invite.
Matt Wiebe linked up a piece of required CSS reading from Nicholas Gallagher.
I had a terrible hour or two last night where my laptop screen went bonkers, no color contrast and my usual color schemes in TextMate and Terminal weren’t working. My eyes hurt trying to make out the text.
At first I thought I’d triggered something with a new application, or maybe my monitor’s brightness was wonky. That led to checking my color calibration, taking eyglasses on and off, and asking for a second opinion from my wife, “Does this look faded or washed out to you?” She confirmed it. “That looks really hard to read.”
I slept on it, trying to think of what apps or settings I’d tweaked recently. After a quick Google search this morning, I found out I’d accidentally upped the system-wide Universal Access contrast with a keystroke combination of
Cmd-Opt-Ctrl-,—via this result. Turns out that with the Dvorak keyboard layout this keystroke combination is really close to
Cmd-Opt-Ctrl-e, the keys used with window-resizing app called Divvy—an app I invoke often.
If you see whitewashed, faded colors in Mac OS X chances are you also turned on the “Enhance contrast” settings in System Preferences → Universal Access. To fix it go to that pane and change the slider back to “Normal”—or hit
Cmd-Opt-Ctrl-. (with a period instead of a comma).