I gave a talk at WordCamp Montreal 2014 about fear: the power that it has over many aspects of my life, and what I do to try and tame it during my workday.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Theming in the Future

This past Thursday, I gave a talk to the Vancouver WordPress Developer Meetup called “Theming in the Future”. We covered the joys and challenges of working with the coming core REST API and the React UI library, all in the context of an Underscores-based starter theme called Tango.

The talk took the form of mostly discussion, code tours, and demos; below are links to the examples, code, tools, and resources that were mentioned or came up in chats afterwards.

One point I should make is that, even with all of this talk of full JS interfaces, build tools, APIs and such, PHP theming is not going anywhere. Thanks to core’s dedication to backwards compatibility, PHP themes will remain strong for a very long time to come, and a theme developer’s current skills will not by any means become obsolete. We’ve simply been given opportunities to expand our thinking of what WordPress themes can be and do, while growing our toolkit to include all the best modern web development has to offer. These are very exciting times for WordPress theme development 🙂

Thanks to everyone who came out for a fun night, with plenty of questions, crystal-ball-gazing, and food for thought. I’m still very new to all of this myself, and the ways forward are nowhere near determined, so please feel free to hit me up in the comments or on Twitter with questions. Talk to you soon!



Tools and Workflow


Let’s Tango

The past few months, I’ve been playing with Facebook’s React UI library and the coming REST API, and having a blast considering new possibilities in WordPress theming.

I recently started building up a starter theme called Tango, which attempts to bring everything we love and expect from Underscores, into a React-based and API-driven environment. Ultimately, I’d like it to become a sort of library of its own, that could be dropped into existing Underscores-based themes and handle as much (or as little) as a theme developer wants on the front-end.

Tango also relies on a little plugin called WP-API Theming, which fills some holes the current API lacks at this point when it comes to theme development. Anything theme-related specific to the API I’m just dealing with in there for now.

The coming API (and the modern development tools it allows us to use) is going to usher in an exciting new generation of WordPress themes, and I can’t wait to see what people do with it.

MEMP Stack on Yosemite

This is a great article on getting a MEMP stack running on OS X 10.10 Yosemite:

Personally, I skipped everything with regards to phpMyAdmin, since I use Sequel Pro for interacting with MySQL databases. You may notice that there’s a known bug with the current stable version of Sequel Pro (1.0.2) on Yosemite, but if you don’t need user management, you’ll be fine.

New Theme: Twenty Fifteen

My favourite default theme in quite a while. Congrats to all involved!

The Blog

It’s that time of year again. The snow has started falling in northern countries, friends are gathering together to exchange presents, and it’s time to launch a beautiful new annual theme for WordPress.

Hello World, Twenty Fifteen is here.


Twenty Fifteen is all about the details. Everything you publish is elegantly set in Noto Sans and Noto Serif, keeping the design harmonious and balanced in multiple languages around the globe. That polylingual pixel perfection is matched by its responsive design. From device to device, Twenty Fifteen will look smart and polished.


The attention to detail is reflected in the menu design. Check out the descriptions under the links in the demo and the screenshots above. Learn how to add menu descriptions on the theme showcase page.

The fine details and strong structure make Twenty Fifteen look even better with a bit of customization. We have five featured color…

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On API Correctness

Great summary pointing to the heart of working with APIs.

Developer Resources

Developing APIs is hard.

You pour your blood, sweat, and tears into this interface that bares the soul of your company and of your product to the world. The machinery under the hood, though, is often a lot less polished than the fancy paint job would lead the rest of the world to believe. You have to be careful, then, not to inflict your own rough edges on the people you expect to be consuming your API because…

Using APIs is hard.

As an app developer you’re trying to take someone else’s product and somehow integrate it into whatever vision you have in your head. Whether it’s simply getting a list of things from another service (such as embedding a reading list) or wrapping your entire product around another product (using Amazon S3 as your primary binary storage mechanism, for example), you have a lot of things to reconcile.

You have your own…

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