open source

Why Open Source is so Important

This is the transcript I gave for the above talk. View the slides here.

Have you ever been on Spaceship Earth in Disney World? It’s “The Golf Ball” in Epcot Center and it’s one of my favorite rides on the property. If you haven’t, Spaceship Earth is not some crazy thrill ride like a roller coaster you’d find at Dorney Park. It’s a journey through the history of Earth; specifically how we communicate.

WordPress and .gitignore

Updates have been added after the jump!

In the coming weeks I’ll likely put a lot of my own personal code (as in, not code people pay me to write) in public repos on Github. A lot of my work is WordPress related so I’ll make a local repo at the root of some WordPress install as to not complicate things. In order to make sure I don’t put up something unintentionally (like say, my wp-config.php file), I’ve created a more thorough .gitignore than what I have seen from automatic generators. If you’re interested, I put it into a Github Gist, so you can just copy and paste it. If you think I’m missing something or am wrongfully excluding something, leave a comment on the gist!

Github Gist: wordpress-ignore

Projects Roundup for February 7th.

I’ve had quite a productive week as far as new work, releases, and new projects go and I’d like to share them here on the blog. A few weeks ago I made a decision to revamp the way I work, learn new things, and even adjusted my work schedule a bit to make me more productive. This is the first full week where things really came together and I think it’s shown!

Sass, Sublime Text, Github, and Changing my Development Workflow

When I left the full time freelancing world 2.5ish years ago, I had a very specific way I did things and I enjoyed it; however, admittedly, it wasn’t the best. I was using Coda, not making local copies, not using any form of version control, and my frameworks were becoming stale. I’ve been going to lots of WordCamps lately, talking to a lot of coders, listening to a lot of podcasts, and I came to the conclusion that the way I did things when I left the freelance world, the things I still do today, are not only outdated, they are slowing me down, and are dangerous (in the case of data loss). I decided to change  that.

I’m on Github!

I know it’s something I should have had for a while but I generally don’t feel my code is up to snuff. Seeing as I’ve been promising people my code, however, it makes sense. My username on @github is jcasabona. You can get to my repo using the link below.

My Github Repository

Right now you’ll find 4 of my own projects: My WordPress Boilerplate theme, my “Professor” plugin (mentioned at WPSummit and NEPAWP), a simple Flexslider plugin I use (may release a pro version of that one), and a Reading List plugin.

In most cases, I will upload in progress or abandoned projects here in hopes that someone will pick them up. I must apologize for one thing however, and that’s my code isn’t documented very well. I may try to do that when I have time.

Happy Birthday, WordPress


I know this is about a day late, but I want to wish WordPress a happy birthday. You see, I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. In college I spoke with my friend @smekosh about creating my own CMS as I was writing a few for clients, and he pointed me towards WordPress. That was in 2004; since then so much has happened (listed after the jump), and for that I need to say Thank You, from the bottom of my heart.

PC Starter Kit

Let me start by saying I suck for not bring my PC charger home over break. No worries though, I have a back up PC with none of my files and stuff on it. But it is enough to get by. Unfortunately, this is a bare bones PC with none of my regular software on it. I have to rely on freeware, both new and old. So, here is a list of the software I am using to get by. Eventually I want to make all the installs part of a .bat file so I can run that one script and everything I need will be installed!

First and foremost, I need a good browser to get all my other stuff. Firefox, without question.
For all of my Instant Messaging needs
In my opinion, the best text editor. Supports many languages and it’s very lightweight.
I will always be doing FTP/Web Stuff, and for that, I have FileZilla.
For my photo editing needs
Open Office
When I don’t have MS Office handy, this is the next best thing
Fox It PDF Reader
I know Adobe Reader is free too, but Fox It reader is 100x better.

And there you have it. My quick and dirty list of stuff I constantly use, no matter what PC I am on. You can find a huge list of freeware here too. Later!

3/5- GAIM

So, I know that I haven’t posted for the software series in a while. And I know I said some registry cleaner would be next, but I used it once and well, Gaim would be a better review, and better for most people. So, without further ado, Gaim.
Gaim is an Instant Messenger clone that isn’t just for AOL Instant Messanger. You can pretty much combine all your buddy lists from IM/ICQ, MSN, Napster and some other ones. With Gaim, you can also set up aliasing (screen name = real name), set yourself idle, make all the fonts the same color/font type, etc. It has tabbed IMing, go invisible, fix up your buddy list’s look and all that. Plus, since it is open source, you can get Plug-Ins. All in all its a nice little program, though I do have trouble transferring files from time to time. Later!

Up next: Picasa2