Author Archives: Kevin

About Kevin

WordPress and Laravel developer. Founder of ActiveTrackers.com.

Retiring my iPhone 3GS

I bought the iPhone 3GS on October 6, 2009. That’s 1378 days ago. I’ve put it through the ringer and I didn’t any major problems with it until a few months ago. Now unless it’s plugged in, it will randomly shut off even with a fully charged battery. I was hoping to keep it for a couple more months, but since it’s barely functional, I decided to upgrade. My iPhone 5 arrived in the mail today.

iPhone 3GS

Before I bought the 3GS back in 2009, I used a cheap flip phone. It did the basics, texting and phoning, but that’s it. Upgrading to an iPhone was a game changer. Instead of just carrying around a phone/messaging device, I now had portable computer in my pocket. A camera, maps, weather, internet browser, games, email, calendar, and more were always within reach. For better or for worse it changed my life. Of course, there were forerunners of the iPhone like the Sidekick or BlackBerries, but for me, my first taste of a multifunctional phone was the iPhone.

RIP 3GS.

Github Gist to Find WordPress Start of Week Date

I signed up for Github well over a year ago. Yesterday I finally added some code.

For a couple of days I’ve struggled to figure out the best way to get the date for the first day of the current week. Yesterday I finally came up with a solution that seems to work. It uses the WordPress function current_time so it takes into account the timezone setting. It also adjusts based on the start of week setting.

[gist https://gist.github.com/kevmarsden/5385639]

Let me know if you know a better way to do this.

RIP Google Reader

Good grief, Google.

With the death of Google Reader, I’m starting to question my reliance on Google products. Here are the ones I use most frequently:

Gmail
Google Maps
Google Reader
iGoogle

Chrome
Google Search
Google Drive
Google Calendar
Google Analytics
Google Voice
Google Hangouts

What are the alternatives?

Feedly looks promising, but the site seems to be overwhelmed by traffic. And what’s their plan to monetize the service? I want to use a service that will be around for a while.
NewBlur also looks promising, but it’s going to take them a while to scale to handle the traffic migrating from Google Reader.

Here’s the bottom-line: I’m going to stop relying on Google services. Google doesn’t value me (or anyone else) as a customer. To them we are data they can sell to advertisers.

My first is to dump Chrome and move back to Safari.

See ya later Google.

What is Subversion?

If you’re new to WordPress or software development, you might be wondering, “What the heck is Subversion?”

You’re not alone. It took me a while to figure it out. Simply put, Subversion (or SVN for short) is a version control system for software. It tracks all your changes and is especially helpful if you have multiple people working on the same project.

With the popularity of GitHub, Git has overtaken Subversion as the most popular version control system, but many open source projects are still using Subversion, notably WordPress.org.

So if you want to create themes or plugins for the WordPress.org repository or contribute updates to the core, you’ll need a basic understanding of Subversion. If you’re working with WordPress, this page has the basic instructions: How to Use Subversion

Using Subversion to Update Plugins

I just updated my WordPress running log plugin that I haven’t updated in over two years. Better late than never…

I’m on a new laptop now, so I had to rediscover SVN.

After relearning Subversion for an hour, here’s my advice: don’t make Subversion harder than it has to be. If you are the sole editor of a plugin, you don’t need a subversion client. They make things too complicated. I tried Dreamweaver, Coda, and others, and they all make the process too complicated. I’m not collaborating with other programmers, so I don’t need all the extra features. The simplest way to update your WordPress plugins is to use OS X Terminal (or Command line on Windows). I’m no Terminal pro, but I was able to quickly update my plugin, without any extra hassles. Here’s how:

1. If you have Xcode it’s easy to install Subversion. Go to Xcode Preferences -> Downloads and then click Install on Command Line Tools
2. Now create a folder for your plugin
3. Now open OS X Terminal and change directory to your new folder. Something like this cd users/kevin/dropbox/plugin
4. Using Terminal, download the existing plugin from the repository by typing: svn co http://plugins.svn.wordpress.org/plugin-name

  • The “co” stands for check out
  • Change plugin-name to the name of our plugin
  • The plugin files will download into your current folder

7. Use your favorite text editor to edit the files as needed. Don’t forget to update the readme.txt file
8. Upload the changes to the repository by typing: svn ci -m “update notes”

  • The “ci” stands for check in
  • Change “update notes” to your notes