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Software Freedom Day + Hackathon

Posted September 15, 2011 by Jen. Filed under Community, Development, Events, Testing, WordCamp.

Saturday, September 17 is Software Freedom Day. To that end, a few announcements about this weekend’s hackathon and WordCamp Portland.

3.3 Hackathon

WordPress 3.3 is about to hit feature freeze. This means it’s the last chance to squeeze in features that haven’t quite been finished, and enhancements and fixes that no one has had time to address yet. Around this time, there are often dozens of tickets that have patches, but the patches have not been tested enough to be committed to core. Then the contributors who worked hard on the patches are disappointed that their code doesn’t make it into the current release. You can help us prevent this!

This weekend, we’ll be running a has-patch needs-testing marathon for the 3.3 milestone. Basically, we’re looking for people who can help test patches and/or refresh patches that need updating. Lead developers and core contributors will be hanging around in the #wordpress-dev channel on irc.freenode.net to answer questions as needed, and will be committing patches as they get enough verification. As you test the patches, report your findings on the trac tickets in question. If all developers who make a living working with WordPress helped out for even an hour or two this weekend, we could clear the 200 tickets or so that are in this situation. To make it fun, why not get together with other WordPress devs and have an in-person hackathon meetup?

WordCamp Portland

At WordCamp Portland this weekend, some of the WordPress core team will be in attendance, including me, Nacin, and Koop. In addition to giving presentations and participating in the unconference sessions, we’ll be involved with a couple of other cool things at WCPDX:

  • Hacker Room. There will be room set aside for people to work on core bugs and features slated for the 3.3 release. Hopefully PDX developers will hang out in here some of the time helping with the marathon.
  • Welcome Free Software Projects! Normally WordCamps are 100% focused on WordPress, but in light of Software Freedom Day, the WC PDX organizers, in conjunction with the WordPress Foundation, would like to extend an invitation to all free software projects to participate in WordCamp Portland. There are a couple of rooms set aside that can be used for unconference sessions and/or hacker rooms for other projects. It would be great to have local representatives from a bunch of projects there — almost a micro version of OS Bridge or OSCON — to maximize the free software love and cross-pollinate ideas. Developers from other projects are also welcome in the WP hackathon room if they’d like to pitch in. Saturday will also feature the Software Freedom Day Happy Hour at the end of sessions. For more information or to get your project involved, contact the event organizers via the WordCamp Portland website or email support at wordcamp dot org.
  • Usability Testing of 3.3 Alpha. As mentioned, we’re about to hit freeze, so we’ll be giving WordCamp Portland attendees a sneak peek at 3.3, seeing how they adjust to the new features, and getting feedback to help us with our last round of fixes before we get to Beta. There will be a signup sheet to participate.

So, if you live it the Portland/Seattle area and haven’t already bought a ticket to attend WordCamp Portland, hurry up, as it’s going to be a great celebration of Software Freedom Day and WordPress.

A Tale of Two WordCamps

Posted September 14, 2011 by Jen. Filed under Community, Events, WordCamp.

This coming weekend, two WordCamps will be going on simultaneously — yep, it’s WordCamp season again! This weekend will be the first of many this autumn with multiple WordCamps. Tomorrow (not quite the weekend but close enough) is WordCamp Cape Town, and then this weekend, first-time WordCamp Albuquerque coincides with 4-time returning champ WordCamp Portland, a cool juxtaposition of a more established local community with one that is just getting started. If you’re anywhere near the Portland area, you should try to attend. The WordPress Foundation will be sponsoring some special activities around Software Freedom Day, and some members of the core team (me, Nacin, Koop) will be there.

Is there a WordCamp coming up near you? Let’s find out!

Sep 15: WordCamp Cape Town Cape Town, South Africa

Sep 16-18: WordCamp Albuquerque Albuquerque, NM

Sep 17-18: WordCamp Portland Portland, OR

Sep 24: WordCamp Lisboa Lisboa, Portugal

Sep 24: WordCamp Germany Koln, Germany

Sep 25: WordCamp Sofia Sofia, Bulgaria

Oct 1: WordCamp Louisville Louisville, Kentucky

Oct 8-9: WordCamp Sevilla Seville, Spain

Oct 15-16: WordCamp Jabalpur Jabalpur, India

Nov 5-6: WordCamp Toronto Toronto, ON

Nov 5-6: WordCamp Gold Coast Gold Coast, Australia

Nov 5-6: WordCamp Philly Philadelphia, PA

Nov 12: WordCamp Caguas Caguas, Puerto Rico

Nov 12-13: WordCamp Kenya Nairobi, Kenya

Nov 12-13: WordCamp Detroit Detroit, MI

Nov 12: WordCamp Richmond Richmond, VA

Nov 12-13: WordCamp Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark

Dec 17: WordCamp Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV

Feb 3-4 WordCamp Atlanta Atlanta, GA

There are also a number of WordCamps still in the early organizing stage that do not yet have dates set. These include: Ft. Wayne, IN; London, UK; Edmonton, Canada; Baku, Azerbaijan; Oslo, Norway; Sacramento, CA;  Birmingham, Alabama; Pittsburgh, PA; Omaha, NE; Orlando, FL; Tokyo, Japan; Paris, France; Zagreb, Croatia; Nashville, TN, Washington DC, Baltimore, MD; Bangkok, Thailand; Istanbul, Turkey.

Hope to see you soon at a WordCamp near you!


Vote for WordPress Sessions at SXSW

Posted September 2, 2011 by Jen. Filed under Community.

Each year, members of the web community from around the world submit session proposals to the South by Southwest Interactive conference, an event that played a role in the birth of WordPress. We head to Austin every year, do a BBQ or throw a party, but despite the fact that almost 15% of the web is powered by WordPress, there aren’t many sessions related to WordPress on the schedule. This year, more than 3200 proposals are competing for about 350 slots, and who has time to read through, vote, and comment on 3200 proposals? Out of those 3200+ proposals, only 8 relate to WordPress! I thought it would be handy to post a guide to the WordPressy proposals for SXSWi 2012, so that if you would like to check them out and vote on them it woud be fast and easy. Leaving a comment in addition to your thumbs up/down vote helps the staff and advisory board know which sessions are likely to have an interested audience, so make sure to leave comments on the sessions you think would be cool (remember, they also publish the podcasts afterward). Voting ends in about 24 hours, so if you want to weigh in, now’s the time. Thanks for helping spread the word!

WordPress-specific Sessions

This list is based on searching for “WordPress” in proposal titles, descriptions, and tags. Clicking the proposal title will take you to that page in the SXSW PanelPicker, where you can vote and comment. Names that are linked go to those people’s wporg.ibadboy.net profiles.

Blog Wars: Movable Type vs. WordPress Revisited

Mark Jaquith – WordPress Lead Developer
Byrne Reese – Endevver
These days people tend to pit us against Drupal rather than Movable Type, but looking back at the early rivalry and learning from the positive and negative aspects of it would be cool as we position ourselves in competition with new platforms. I like seeing Mark present at conferences, he always prepares well and does a good job. Though I’m guessing these guys will be all friendly and collaborative, I might take a nostalgia hit and imagine them in a fistfight just to liven things up. 🙂

Designing WordPress

Jane Wells – WordPress User Experience Lead
Disclosure: This is me! Balancing the desire for truly open and participatory design processes against the often more efficient and consistent results of a more curated design method is something we’ve been working on for the past year or so in WordPress core. I’d use the design process for several recent core features (like the UI refresh and internal linking) to illustrate the issues we’ve faced and the results we’ve achieved.

Open Source Social Networking

John James Jacoby – BuddyPress Lead Developer
J-trip (as John James Jacoby is fondly known by many in the community) is the lead dev for BuddyPress and the new bbPress plugin. He’s proposing a panel discussion among reps from several open source social network platforms. It’s always cool hearing more about BuddyPress, but it would be even cooler to figure out how it fits in with and/or stacks up against other platforms.

Welcome to the Chaos – the Distributed Workplace

Nikolay Bachiyski – WordPress Core Developer, GlotPress Lead Developer
Lori McLeese – Automattic
This one isn’t about WordPress per se, though using WordPress as a communication tool is one of the topics and Automattic is obviously a WordPress-based business. The main reason I think people should vote for this session is because Nikolay, core committing developer for internationalization and lead developer of GlotPress, our translation tool, is an awesome speaker. He is hysterically funny when he presents. I would bet money this presentation will involve a bear.

Deploying WordPress: From Zero to Ninja

Grant Norwood – Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
When Mark Jaquith says a presentation on security and deployment is on his short list, I’m impressed. (He said it in the comments on the proposal.)

Beyond the Theme – Using WordPress as an API

David Tufts – kickpress.org
Obviously a hot topic in the community right now, seems like a no-brainer to choose.

Local Government Online: WordPress Beats Drupal

Jase Wilson – Luminopolis
There was a presentation at WordCamp San Francisco this month on moving a news site from Drupal to WordPress. More and more the question comes up of which tool is best for various situations and requirements. And obviously getting government to use more open source software would be a cost-saver in these tough economic times.

WordPress website built live in 45 minutes

Glenn Todd – Dvize Creative
Live walkthroughs are always fun, and help prove to the uninitiated how easy WordPress can be.

So: go vote on these session proposals and help spread the WordPress love. If you know of any WordPress-related proposals that didn’t come up in my search, let me know in a comment and I’ll update this post. Thanks, and maybe we’ll see you in Austin in March!

See Also:

Want to follow the code? There’s a development P2 blog and you can track active development in the Trac timeline that often has 20–30 updates per day.

Want to find an event near you? Check out the WordCamp schedule and find your local Meetup group!

For more WordPress news, check out the WordPress Planet or subscribe to the WP Briefing podcast.

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