Zac Gordon, Andrew Taylor and I are hosting a "first impressions developing blocks for Gutenberg" livestream/hangout/thing this Friday (1/19) at 2 pm Pacific. We've each tried our hand at writing a block — some things went well and others were disasters.
Curious what it's like to build a custom Gutenberg block? Have experiences of your own to share? Register here for the cage match and help us debate the merits of ES5 over ES6 on Friday at 2 pm Pacific. Leave a comment if there are any questions you'd like to submit in advance.
In honor of Nat Torkington’s Four Short Links, I present you: a massive list of links.
- Saving the Free Press From Private Equity (Robert Kuttner & Hildy Zenger) — Scathing critique; never did I realize how significant of a role financiers played. Makes me bullish on the opportunity for local media businesses.
- When is a Dollar not a Dollar? (Leo Polovets) — Excellent set of evaluation criteria for determining where your service/product fits within your customer's wallet (or whether it does at all).
- Romanticizing the Hunter-Gatherer (William Buckner) — Not actually the original affluent society, as we’re led to think.
- These 6 Cities Are Smarter Than Portland About Housing (Willamette Week) — Useful set of reference points.
- CSforALL Consortium — Computer literacy/CS education initiative. "8% of STEM graduates are in CS, yet 71% of all new STEM jobs are in computing."
- How to tell if a CEO is worth working for (Claire Lew) — Great questions to ask (e.g. “What would an employee who’s left the company say it’s like to work for you?”).
- Mr. Money Mustache, UBER Driver (Mr. Money Mustache) — No surprise: a highly competitive market means race to the bottom for compensation.
- How Shopify Grew From a Snowboard Shop to a $10B Commerce Ecosystem (Hiten Shah) — Answer: clear alignment between business model and customer success.
- The World’s Foremost Expert Explains How To Value Stock (Bloomberg Odd Lots) — Such a clear, understandable explanation.
- Recession-Resistant Investing & the Benefits of Buying Shopping Centers with David Puchi (BiggerPockets) — Growth trend: buying out individual owners at the end of their careers, and then doing the rehab work they didn't want to do.
While working on wordpress/gutenberg#4072 today, I was inspired to do some data analysis on the WordPress.org plugin directory.
To prepare, I populated a
plugins table with data from the WordPress.org REST API via this plugin-stats.php script. Download the SQL file to avoid needing to re-fetch the API data.
Based on the initial API request, there are 49,749 total WordPress.org plugins.
Of the entire data set, only 18,002 plugins have 200 or greater active installs. The remaining 31,747 plugins represent an inconsequential number of active installs compared to the total.
The 18,002 plugins represent 182,296,500 total active installs. A WordPress install can have multiple active plugins, so this total isn't unique WordPress installs. Also, we can ignore the remaining ~32k plugins because they would only represent 3,174,700 additional active installs if each plugin had 100 active installs.
Of the total active installs, 168,623,000 (92.5%) are represented by 3,440 plugins with >=5000 active installs. For that matter, 159,720,000 (87.6%) are represented by 2101 plugins with >=10000 active installs.
It'd be interesting to know what percentage of WordPress installs have a plugin not tracked in the WordPress.org plugin directory (e.g. premium or custom).
Mike Perham and I started a SW Portland Tech Meetup because Portland has too much traffic to drive all the way downtown.
Our first Afternoon Chat/Hack is scheduled for Wednesday, January 17th at the Well & Good Coffee House. If you (or someone you know) can make it to Tigard on a Wednesday afternoon, come join us!
Fortunately, Feedbin is two steps ahead of me! You too can use Feedbin's "Subscribe to Email Newsletters" feature to move your email newsletter subscriptions into RSS. Simply:
- Copy your secret newsletter email address from feedbin.com/settings.
- Add your secret newsletter email address as a forwarding email in Gmail.
- Configure a Gmail filter for each newsletter to auto-forward to Feedbin (and mark as read / archive).
Three principles to live by:
Humans come first. Software exists to serve humans, not the other way around. Design software for your end user, because they are holy and nothing else is sacred.
Pragmatism over purism. Consider for whom you’re optimizing, not for what ideal. Software ideals are false gods when they don’t serve the humans they’re meant to reflect. Choose the most pragmatic implementation over the most correct one.
Simplicity over complexity. The elegance of complex systems is a dangerous mirage. Complex systems are more difficult to maintain over time, more difficult for new people to understand, and more likely to succumb to entropy. Only choose complexity when it yields significant, durable advantages.
Variety of assorted programs:
An idea I'd like to throw in the wild.
Open source is software businesses use to shorten time to market and accelerate their product. Some businesses build and collaborate in public because it's a leverage strategy to get more from less. Most businesses maximize their use of open source software because they get it for "free".
Debt is the financial term, stolen for the sake of illustrating a concept.
Open source is debt because:
- Open source software is not a sellable asset. It's both priceless and devoid of monetary value. What counts is the business value it enables.
- The liability, and effort required to service this liability, grows as: 1) the software gains users, and 2) those users become more dependent the software. Support is a variable accelerant to the liability (e.g. it can grow the liability at an exponential rate).
- Maintainers hold the debt liability. Their ongoing labor is required to service the debt. Typically, maintainers can only escape the obligation by declaring bankruptcy: "it's done" or "I'm done."
This idea could be helpful framing for:
- Businesses to understand their dependency on open source in CFO-friendly terms.
- Communities to understand the debt burden carried by maintainers, and general health of the project.
Another, possibly more correct, way of thinking about this is: "every line of source code, open or closed, is a liability." Businesses own 100% of their closed source liability. They like open source because they would rather own 0% the liability.