Week in review: Beta 2, refinement, transparency, Do Action, apps, and more

week-in-reviewWelcome to the fourth “Week in Review” on Post Status, where I hope to offer up some of the things you may have missed in the last week or so.

There are a lot of great reads to catch up on this week:

WordPress Beta 2 is ready for testing

Self explanatory but important — WordPress Beta 2 is out and it's time to test. I think this release is shaping up to be quite excellent. With multiple new admin views, a smoother editing experience, and the language features — there's a lot to love.

Refinement is under-appreciated

Pippin Williamson highlighted the lack of appreciation that comes with refining existing features.

We notice ways that we could have made a process more performant, or a UI more streamlined.

Unfortunately, going back and refining a feature or improving an API is often not very high on the priority list. There are too many awesome new features to build instead!

Refinement is excruciatingly difficult, especially when also striving for complete backwards compatibility.

I for one love what is coming in WordPress 4.0. If you do too, take a moment to thank Helen and everyone else involved for their superb work in making WordPress better and better.

Well said, I believe. Definitely check out the whole post.

Automattic transparency

I don't think it's new, but it's new to me. Automattic has a website all about transparency. It includes information requests they get from governments, takedown demands, and national security request disclosures (where they can).

This is a great website, and an awesome show of transparency and how many other companies could do it, but don't. Good job, Automattic.

WordPress charity hackath0n, and a great name

The fine folks that plan the Cape Town WordCamp and meetup have another fun event up their sleeves: a charity hackathon called Do Action. Ah, so nerdy but on point; I love it.

The idea is simple – as a community we will spend one day building brand new WordPress sites for 9 deserving charities that are based in Cape Town. We will start and complete every site on the same day and, at the end of it, the 9 charities will each have an awesome new online presence so that they can get on with what they do best.

This is an awesome idea. I say we fork it and do this type of event all over the place.

WooCommerce on iOS

WooCommerce and SkyVerge have teamed up for a new WooCommerce iOS app. Right now it's mostly grabbing information for view, but they have plans to integrate store management features soon. You can also connect multiple stores, which is a great feature.

The app screenshots look really slick, and at $4.99 this is a no-brainer to have your store at your fingertips.

Google Analytics app

Speaking of apps that are handy for website owners, Google Analytics finally has an iOS app, and it includes real time data. If you're like me, and addicted to your stats, this is important.

I may be pathetic, but hey, we all have our vices.

My favorite framework, 2.0

Justin Tadlock has released Hybrid Core 2.0. Hybrid Core is a drop-in framework, and my favorite theme framework if I use one.

With 2.0, Justin continues to embrace simplicity and is deprecating a lot of stuff he doesn't think needs to be in the main framework any more; he's moving those features to their plugin counterparts.

Also of interest is that Hybrid Core now has Composer support, and may be the only framework out there that can say that.

Speaking of frameworks, new entrant Themosis looks fun

Themosis is a new framework that's been getting some coverage (SitePoint and WP Tavern picked it up), and it looks pretty interesting.

SitePoint tl;dr's it pretty well, and shows some code of it in use:

Themosis is, quite literally, an MVC powered Laravel-ish WP plugin itself that’s used to write other plugins. It also has its own router so you can define routes Laravel-style, and its own templating engine – Scout – that’s similar to what we’re used to in Laravel and Phalcon – with some added extras for built in WordPress support.

Seeing WordPress theming in an MVC context is intriguing and I'm sure will have its technical challenges. What's certain though (outside the context of this particular implementation) is that theming will continue to be hacked on, especially as the WordPress JSON API hits core in 4.1.

How much do you follow up with clients?

Curtis McHale is one of my favorite bloggers. He writes about what's on his mind, and uses real-world examples. In this post, he has a great reminder that we should be following up with our clients; and that if we're not, it's likely costing us money.

Curtis also released a new product last week for restricting WooCommerce content that looks pretty nice.

I hope you found some new things in this week's review.

Be on the lookout for WP Sessions today. They've got a sweet giveaway where they're sending someone to WordCamp San Francisco, all expenses paid (it's worth a couple thousand dollars). Oh, and also, Matt Mullenweg needs an assistant in Houston and the job ad is pretty funny (mostly because of the Dvorak preference). And another fun and weird read: A brief history of bloggering.

One final note: I didn't post much last week, but I'm proud of what I did publish. I hope you've listened to my interview with Chris Coyier and read my post about pricing, which has gotten a ton of great feedback.

Have a great week, everyone. I'm off to jury duty. Wish me luck.