Long Time Coming!

It has been quite sometime since I have posted anything to this site. It has always been just a mash of my ramblings and at my age most do not want to hear them. My intention with this site was to post my travels learning how to code at the age of 53. Why do I call this page DumDumDev? I had no knowledge when it comes to code and making websites when I started this. I have taken the path of learning on my own over the internet for a few years now but have not gotten very far.

In this day and age of Cancel Culture and Empathy on Eleven I think maybe DumDum bothers people. We can no longer say certain things for fear of brittle feelings getting hurt and the thousands of people searching for something they can get but hurt over while allowing them to get a popular Tweet. In this day if you can not handle reading words from someone you have never met or will never meet you have bigger problems and are in dire need of a Therapist. The thing that surprises me most is the fragility of this generation. I would think in the age of constant attention and instant information it would be just the opposite. Funny how things change. I personally blame Twitter and the character limit. How anyone can take anything said on Twitter and refer to it as gospel or expect correct grammar is beyond my comprehension.

Enough of my rambling. In the beginning I had read in many places the best way to retain information and to avoid overload was to write it down. I actually remember this from school. When I write things down it is much easier for me to bring it back. I can visualize that writing much more easily. It also fools my brain into thinking those things are more important because I took the time to write it down. I am now at a point where I have accumulated more knowledge on how to learn than actual learning to code. Armed with this new found realization I am ready to venture into the deep one more time with my better understanding. I now know what I want and or should learn plus, more importantly, how to learn it. I am more relaxed about it than in the beginning.

Where do I go from here? I first need to set a schedule to write one blog post a week and do it on the same day and same time no matter what I learned that week. I need to block out that time not allowing anything else to get in the way. this time should be when it is easy and also when I think i will be most likely undisturbed. It’s looking like that time will be on Sunday evenings after everyone has gone to bed. I also need to have a direction, a concrete path. My path will be to learn Javascript and to learn IOS and Flutter. I know this seems like a lot but I have a longer timeline than a few months and I also have the luxury of not needing to get employment right away. My knowledge of JS is closing in on an intermediate level but I need to practice much more allowing me to nail down some of the more complex concepts. I have just a cursory knowledge of Flutter but the more I look at it the more I see it as a cross between Html/CSS and JS. I know that it’s written in Dart and a great understanding of that language would be truly helpful but to put a simple App together would not need a deep understanding of Dart. A lot of copy/pasting will get you a long way there. Leaving IOS or Swift as the last part of my trifecta. A side note here is that I feel that all three of these languages are very similar. With the release of SwiftUI I believe there is even a greater similarity. If you look at Flutter and Javascript you see a huge similarity and then put Swift next to those and I think you’ll see what I mean.

WordPress Governance -Really?

You don’t like it then fork it!

I am looking into making WordPress Templates which has me looking at lots of documentation. While looking through the documentation and forums I found out about the WP Governance Project and curious, I decided to read a little about it. In my quest to learn more about WP I also started listening to many podcasts and came across a few on this very topic this first week of February.

I’ll let you in on a little secret right at the beginning of this article. I am not a fan of this tactic. I think a large group of people who have invested a lot of time and resources are worried and upset that WordPress is not going in the direction they would prefer. The web is changing fast and Javascript is taking over. WordPress wants to take that ride but some don’t want to go along. In my opinion get over it and yourself.

Listening to a few different Podcasts on this subject has reinforced this theory. The last few WordPress Weekly casts make me not want to listen anymore. You have people who are just pissed that WP is changing and whine for over an hour about how an open source library, I’ll say that part again because it’s important, an Open Source code base is not going in the direction they would like so they are creating a body of people to take over!

Open source doesn’t mean that you get to direct it’s trajectory just because you merged a few things or decided to use it and invest time into it. It’s open so if you don’t like the course it’s taking fork it and start your own. Of course, this would be idiotic because they could never create the same buzz or grab much of the user base to make it worthwhile. They know this so instead they are trying a power grab and wrestle the control of the project. By the way it isn’t really open source anyway.

We can also surmise that the people behind this governance group think that they should have been the ones that Matt picked to help move WordPress forward. Problem is he would have never picked them because they donot want it to move forward they want it to stay just like it is. They do not want to lose the foothold they have worked so hard to get. I do not blame them but it isn’t their call. The web is moving forward and will always move forward. Javascript is better and will always be better than Php. Php is a complicated version of Liquid and Front matter which plays very nicely with Javascript and the way the web is moving. I feel sorry for them but they are picking the losing team. It is right there in front of their faces but they just don’t want to accept it.

The first war waged against Matt is written on the Governance site for all to realize. “The scope of stage 1 of the WordPress Governance Project is WordPress and its communities.” I read this as they are first going to try and get as many people on their side as they can. They know that Automatic doesn’t have the time to combat this kind of attack. They plan on getting their voice out and scaring people into believing that things are changing for the worse and not better. WordPress as they know it will be forever worse off. I don’t believe this.

The second sortie is also written there. “Stage 2 of the project will focus on how WordPress can take part in the governance and evolution of the wider web through policy and representation.” I read that they want control on how WordPress will move forward and not only do they want control of WP but of the web itself! Does this sound like open sorce ideals to you?

These people want to regulate how you can build a site on WordPress. The exact opposite reason we are drawn to open source projects and continue to help/update them.

Think of it like this. You spend 15 years of your life developing software and one day a group of people decide they don’t like the way you are doing things. Instead of just forking the code they decide to remove you completely. What a crock of shit! If I was Matt I would be super pissed. After listening to these podcasts and reading up on this I find no other way to believe anything other than they want to control. No matter how they try to spin things it still comes out the same. They do not want things to change except for the little part of about taking over the project.

The people starting this coup are of some significance in the WordPress community so one should not take this lightly. I can see this getting some traction and Matt just saying forget about it! Why would he need to go through something like that? He could just move on and then WordPress wouldn’t be worth the pot I piss in. Why do these people think it has gotten this far? We started to use this software because it has a great CMS that is FREE! People start using it and realize they could make some money, create a business and everybody is happy. Remember, this shit is FREE and you are using FREE open source software to make all the money you are making. Are you giving any to Matt? Are you paying him a tax? No, you got all that for free didn’t you and now you want more. Never good enough for some people I guess.

You don’t like the way things are going then fork it like all good programmers do.

I may be a DumDumDev but I ain’t stupid. Keep your code Open and Dry folks!

Twitter is Full of Morons

Yes, the title is clickbait! Do you like it? You have to admit that at some level it’s very accurate. I am talking about Crypto Twitter and all the people posting moronic statements. I follow quite a few people on Twitter that are related to Crypto because I try to keep up on what is going on in that ecosystem. Twitter is the best place to get a feel for price movements. Of course, there is Reddit but I hate that site, and it is hard for me to spend anytime there. We also have Telegram channels filled with people shilling their wares — a bunch of people who are trying to get a particular coins price to move but don’t have much to add to the conversation.

These are my opinions as you may have an opposite view, please leave a comment. That is perfectly fine. I know of a lot of Discord groups that are pretty much the same as Telegram groups — a bunch of people trying to get their coins price to move so they can dump them. Crypto has become synonymous with scam. It’s a hole they have been in before and have dug out of, but I wonder if this time is different.
It has become very apparent that most of the people I had thought were on the up and up are not. It turns out they are being paid to spread the word about shit-coins. I knew this was true all along with the likes of McAfee, but there are some who are not so transparent. They spout all this tech-speak making them sound like they are developers in it for the long haul but we find out later they were in it for the money all along and could care less for the tech. I’m talking about you, Charlie Lee. Is that a bad thing? Of course, it is called insider trading.
Litecoin is an excellent example of a guy scamming everyone on Twitter and making a fortune. Charlie Lee was all over Twitter and posting about the significant benefits of his coin. Litecoin shoots to the moon. One morning we open Twitter to find out Charlie decided to dump all his coins or stock. It sounded very suspicious to me and turned out it was a total scam. Charlie had inside knowledge of what was to come for his coin. He moved his whole position. I mentioned this on Twitter, and many people said they didn’t care. You are a thief and should not sugarcoat what he did. Insider trading is a crime and not OK.
I saw a post recently where someone was telling of being ripped off for a trading scam by someone else on Twitter. Are you sending money to people on Twitter? Someone you never met? If you are, you deserve to lose your money. I can’t say more about that; it is straightforward. If you don’t understand this, you shouldn’t be trading at all.
I will say in closing that of course there are some people on the up and up, but I do not know them personally. Even if I do respect what they say and seemingly trust them I am not betting my money on them. Not at least until I meet them or there is some system in place to get my money back if they turn out to be a crook. I think this is the problem with crypto. There are no safeguards. If you send your money and you typed incorrectly you lose. If you have a contract with someone and they do not live up to there end of the deal, there is no recourse. Until these types of things are worked out, anyone who says this is the future is an idiot drinking way too much of the Koolaide.

Twitter is for Morons

Google Analytics Trial

Google Analytics is free and absolutely worth it!

I wanted to see if the traffic on a site was coming from who we thought. The site is on a CMS or Content Management System other than WordPress. They have a stats page that is very minimal that we have been using but once we started to want to get somewhat more granular than just how many hits to the site on a particular day we had to look around. We landed on Google Analytics.

A Large Undertaking

I had no idea how large of an undertaking this was actually going to be. Of course, we know there has been a whole sector of web development that has cropped up around SEO. I was unaware of how large and important this has become. Now that I need this information I am glad there is Google Analytics. It is actually very easy and it is also free. They even have an academy that has many tutorials for you to browse teaching you everything you need to know. The academy is also free!

screen shot 2019-01-20 at 1.21.15 pm

I know there is a lot to Google Analytics because when I first found the page I was dumbstruck by the number of options and didn’t have any idea on where to start. Luckily they have great documentation for us to peruse and learn. I think if you take the time you can get a great idea on how to help your site grow. The statistics available to you are quite extensive.

When I first decided to use Google for analytics it was because my current situation wasn’t going deep enough and getting any kind of data that was useful. The only thing I am getting from the CMS that I currently use is minimal and only the amount of views. At this current time in the age of the internet, you need much more information to get you anywhere near the first page of search results. The fact that Google is constantly changing tactics doesn’t help you either. I always thought that SEO specialists were just a career made up to make money off of people who wanted a place at the top of search results. I know that is a bit cynical but that is what I thought.

Analytics Work

I am a believer about the specialty of SEO. I realize how much you actually need to know and the work needed to get a site get noticed in the search results. It is not easy, I have just scratched the surface. I have already increased the traffic and rating of our site! By adjusting the keywords and adjusting some content I have increased our traffic from search. I realize it has only been a few weeks and the fact that I have been using Google Search and Analytics apps might have everything to do with the increase. We shall see, I have a few more moves up my sleeve and I am hoping I can get on that front page. I have no money for adds at this point but if I can get us moved up considerably we might think about investing in some adds.

In this first post about this topic I realize there isn’t so much practical knowledge other than Google Analytics is great. I hope to in the future write a few more posts that are a bit more detailed and can help others increase their own search status. Until then I may be a DumDumDev but I ain’t stupid. Keep your code open and dry folks!

Alexa is (?)

Do you like Alexa?

Are you a fan of Alexa? Do you have any of the Alexa devices?

I am a big fanboy. I love being able to control things with my voice.

I do think we are at the beginning stages of the tech and it’s still a little wonky but for right now it works good enough. I personally have two Echo dots, a Spot, a Fire TV Cube and a Fire Stick. I also have a couple kids tablets for the boys. They recently released Alexa voice control for the Amazon Music App on IOS which seems to work better than Siri. Siri has always been a big fail for Apple. The failings of Siri is for another article.

Alexa is on a Million devices!

It is no mistake that Alexa is grabbing the largest market share in this area because it just works better. I will say that Amazon has also done a better job at marketing and getting third parties to adopt. Being guarded is only going to hurt you. The skills app is also a huge factor in allowing Alexa to smash the market. Amazon has made a big push in making it very easy for developers to design and code skills. I’m not even sure if you can for Google and Apple has just started to make a push in this area. The biggest factor is how easy it is to develop a skill. I think anyone could do it not just a developer. They have great documentation and step by step tutorials.

I am a fan of Amazon even though it may not be the cool kids thing to do. I like their service for Prime and I like their music app ten times more than Apples. The devices Amazon sells work as expected and are very inexpensive. I mean look at the Homepod. Are you kidding me Apple? 300 bucks to get a speaker with Siri! It is downright idiotic especially when there is such a limited amount of third party items you can use with it. Plus of course Siri sucks at understanding you and this comes from an Apple Fanboy. I have multiple Apple products. A few Computers and phones as well as a couple Apple TV’s. Not to mention the iPads and the Airpods.

I can only see better things for Alexa. They are making their skills easy to develop and monetize and they are also making sure you are getting the marketshare. What could be better than that? What do you think?

I may be a DumDumDev but I ain’t stupid. Keep the code Open and Dry Folks!

Once Upon a Time and the MacBook Pro 

In my opinion, the MacBook Pro is dead and a shell of a bygone era. I say this because of my recent exploits over the last couple weeks. The funny thing is I am writing this on a new MacBook Pro 15″. I’ll start this by saying I never believed the hype that Steve Jobs was that important but as time has shown us it is oh so freaking bang-on.
A few months ago this began with me running into a little extra money and needing a new computer, or so I thought. I had a maxed out 2011 iMac 27″ and it seemed to be getting past it’s prime. I was having issues with Photoshop and Dreamweaver and especially with doing anything in 3d. So with my newfound pile of cash, I decided I was going to get a new iMac. My typical process is to go to the MacSales site and buy a year old refurbished or reconditioned model and then sell my old one. This way I am only out a few hundred clams but with my new better than expected cash flow situation I decided to buy a brand new one at the Mac store. So off I went money burning brightly and a head full of fast rendering 3d files. I don’t know about you, but I love getting a new Mac and that feeling of cracking it open with all the new workflows and functionality available to me. I loved that feeling, and I thought it would be much better than getting a current model instead of a used couple year old one. You may have noticed that I used the word love in the past tense because I did not get that fix sated and I am very disheartened with everything Mac right now.
Back to the story, I am at the Mac store, and I see the MacBook Pro 15″ “TouchBar” and man that machine is gorgeous! I do some tests on that and the iMac 27″. I am getting near the same frame rate playback while editing 3d titles in Motion (Apple’s video application for Final Cut Pro titles and transitions) and I like what I see. I am about to go away for Christmas, and with all the hype about the new MBP I end up buying that instead. Big mistake and a bad buy. I’ll tell you this right off the bat.
I am psyched, I get it home and get it all charged up. I crack her open, and it takes well over three minutes to boot up. I chalk that up to it being new and the first time turning it on. Guess what? This happens a few more times and never starts up instantly like in all the commercials. It is fast yes but not instant like the commercials, not over $3000’s worth. It just kept getting worse from there. I do not know if you have heard about the battery life issue. It lasts about 3 hours and Apple’s fix is to take the numerical counter off the battery life icon. I was crazy mad about that. That is their fix? Are you kidding me! I spend at least a thousand dollars more than any other machine, and that is the fix! An icon change so now I don’t even know how long I have left! Especially when the battery life is much less than half of what is advertised. I also had issues with it giving me a blank screen after trying to use Photoshop and Dreamweaver with a browser open for testing. It was crashing! A brand new model, the second to best one offered and a week old crashing all the time. Someone on YouTube commented that you just get lemons sometimes, get over it. Really? Get lemons sometimes! I do not expect to deal with Lemons when I pay a Premium price for an item. I should be 100% satisfied and not have to take it back the first day. Am I asking too much? I don’t think so. We haven’t even talked about the gimmick of a touch bar. That thing is useless and only good for its ID feature. I liked and used that but all the touch bar does is make you realize how much Apple failed. By not putting a touchscreen on your device just on the keyboard it makes your brain think still think touch and you end up touching the screen constantly. There is more, but I won’t go on. For that price, it should be a no-brainer.
I take back the machine and have no problems doing so. The Apple store is nice about it but I suspect I wasn’t the first one doing so and they had a lot of practice. I decide not to try another one and go back to my original plan of getting the iMac 27″. I get that home, and it works as it should, but you know it isn’t that much better than my 2011 iMac. It isn’t that much faster, and it doesn’t give me that new computer smell I used to get every time I got a new Mac. Very discouraging and depressing. At this point, I am seriously thinking of moving to Microsoft and Windows and be damned all the virus protection issues. That was the reason I switched to Apple in the first place. It has to be better by now, and the machines they are putting out give you that feeling I used to get when I cracked open a new Mac.
I played with the Surface Pro 5 and the 28″ Studio at Adobe Max. That is a machine! If you didn’t know it, you would have sworn that Apple had developed it and probably would have if Steve Jobs were still running things.
I just want to mention how entrenched and how much of a “Fanboy” I am. I have two iMac 27″s. A MacBook 2008 still running strong. A MBP 15″ 2017 “Touchbar.” An iPad Air, an iPad Pro 12″ with Apple Pencil that is awesome but the iPad Pro is totally overrated, definitely not worth the money but the Apple TV is. One older Apple TV and a New Apple TV. Not to mention the 2 iPhone 8’s and 2 iPhone 6’s that do work well. Two sets of Airpods that sound like a ten dollar pair. Oh, let’s not forget about Siri which has never worked and is still a bust. So you see it will be expensive for me to get out but at least Mac’s do re-sell well and maybe now is the time to get out? I won’t miss iTunes and it will be cheaper to go with Amazon Music, plus they give you more space for less money. Alexa voice control works freaking awesome compared to Siri. Google Now for voice control on my iPhone instead works way better than Siri because she doesn’t understand a damn thing even when using the prompts Apple tells you to use. No, I do not have a speech impediment. My mind may be slow but my mouth works just fine! I think I should jump before everybody else realizes what I have and decides to get out and resale value tanks. Just like Harley’s did back in the early 2000’s Apple is failing. The next time I am writing maybe it will be on a Surface Pro, I will let you know. I may be a DumDumDev but I ain’t stupid! Happy coding dumdums!

WordPress Dev

Hey everybody, yesterday I wrote a rant about how bad WordPress is and wanted to clarify a few things this morning. Last night I was going through the documentation and watching some YouTube videos. The topic, the WP Loop which is confusing and had gotten me frustrated. What I wrote wasn’t wrong but I finished the article with a statement about how there has to be a reason why so many sites are built on WP. I will try to answer that question today.

Why so much market share?

WP has so much market share because it is great at on boarding. By on boarding I mean getting people to download. Not the actual on boarding experience itself but getting people to commit. Once you look at all the so-called benefits of the CMS you think this has to be awesome. You want the easy editing experience and the fact you do not have to mess with code. It also has the advantage of being first. I think this last point is the biggest. These are the only reasons I can come up with why anyone would want to put themselves through this pain. If you can not tell I hate the set up that WP has. The bloat and amount of files are incredible to me. Why can’t you separate the CMS files? Why are development files and the CMS so coupled? Why is there not a way to have your theme files on your machine and when you connect to the internet/host you have one copy of those and the CMS/Platform files you interact with on WordPress or host? Am I doing this wrong? Have I missed something?

It all seems Archaic!

In this day of JavaScript eats the world you would think it would force WP to do something with this mess. It seems like I am being time warped back to the nineties. How have they spent two years changing the CMS? Is everyone is ok with that? I believe they are still in Beta!

I was listening to a few Podcasts and it blew my mind that people are upset things are changing. I am dumfounded that anyone who uses WP on a regular basis wouldn’t want this mess to be changed. I am also perplexed at anyone thinking it is a good idea to continue down the road to plug in hell. Have they ever even looked at other systems? Have they taken their eyses off their keyboard? I know that CMS’s on other platforms allow you to do as much as WP are much more expensive. I think this is going to be short-lived and I would bet in 2019 we will see change. If we look around one can see JavaScript CMS systems coming online that are very good. The biggest thing is their ease of use. Not only are they fast to develop on they are super fast and light to load. I wonder how much data is loaded when we go visit WP site. It is something I want to look into. I will be curious to see how much data is loaded onto my phone when I browse a WP site. In my neck of the woods and with my plan it doesn’t really matter except for my impatience. It does matter in most other parts of the world where data is at a premium and 2G is still a thing.

Why are you here?

I am using WordPress because of its market share and the CMS. Yes, i do admit the CMS is good although overly complicated. I have a friend who needs help with his site. I presently have the time and will try to help him. I do not know much about the ecosystem and is why I haven’t really talked about it. I have heard the term “Plug In Hell’ though. I believe this is one of the big sales points and seemigly gives an easier use case scenario. I do not see it. This last statement would be a great topic for another article. Until next time. I may be a DumDumDev but I ain’t Stupid. Keep your code Open and Dry Folks!