Tag Archives: code

Making the WordPress fullscreen editor the default

A couple weeks ago Patrick Rhone mentioned that:

It is kind of sad that, in 2012, I have yet to see a blogging engine with a post editor designed for doing the very thing we online writers go there to do… Write.

Shawn Blanc mentioned that WordPress has a built in fullscreen editor that is pretty minimal. He’s right, the fullscreen editor is one of my favorite additions from the past couple years. The new media improvements are even better.

I decided to take a crack at making a plugin to automatically enable the fullscreen editor. Turns out it was actually pretty easy to do. 6 lines of PHP and 3 lines of JavaScript later the plugin is live. I tested it in WordPress 3.5 with a few other things installed but the testing was by no means extensive. If you find any bugs feel free to open an issue on GitHub.

The code is hosted over on GitHub in case you want to give the plugin a spin. I’m positive the plugin isn’t for everyone, that’s fine. :)

Learnable Programming:

a well-designed system is not simply a bag of features. A good system is designed to encourage particular ways of thinking, with all features carefully and cohesively designed around that purpose.

This essay will present many features! The trick is to see through them — to see the underlying design principles that they represent, and understand how these principles enable the programmer to think.

So why did you make this?

Because I’m a programmer, and this is what I do.

Some people jog away from their house every day, only to jog back. Others walk on a treadmill, expending energy to get nowhere. In both cases, it may appear to others that they’ve accomplished nothing, but they’ve chosen to do these seemingly redundant activities on a regular basis to incrementally improve themselves. And it works.

Marco Arment – secondcrack on GitHub.

There was a time when nobody knew how to write literary prose. The geniuses who invented it shared their special tool with a few friends, and they relished in their private, elite communications. Eventually monks, politicians, and academics joined the club. Now, we judge a society’s overall level of intellectual advancement by the literacy rate: the percentage of people who have learned to read and write.

Long ago, it would have been ridiculous to assume a whole society could be judged by its ability to read and write prose. It feels ridiculous now, to assume that we might use computer programming as a similar benchmark. Yet it may happen.

Daniel Jalkut – Learn To Code.

The new definition of literacy

Suzi Steffen pointed me to this post by Doug McLennan earlier. I like it. Doug writes,

I think the new literate goes beyond words, and beyond making video and image and sound. I think code and meta-data are the new literacy, and that in turn leads to a new literateness. Information and ideas are multi-dimensional. Those who can take dynamic information and mash it up and mix it and find creative ways of presenting it in service of ideas have the possibility of communicating in more compelling ways than with just words or video or image.

He’s spot on. It reminds me of something Matt said earlier this year in a Q&A session with Memburn. He said,

Scripting is the new literacy, and the ability to learn and execute on your ideas without relying on anybody else is going to be invaluable as you iterate and experiment on building something. It’s good to build for yourself first, because in the worst-case scenario where no one else likes it, at least you will.

That type of individual-driven creation and publication is something schools still struggle to grasp. Our school system must move quickly to adopt new ideas of literacy beyond what’s traditional.

I particularly like that Doug pointed out it’s more than the act of creation that makes for literacy. You need to do more than write, record, or photograph. A creative form of presentation is an inherent part of his definition. Your ability to use, master, and build those tools determines how much you control your path.

Just when I think I’ve wrapped up the changes to my site I realize that there’s a half dozen CSS and content changes still left. It’s a process.