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Yet another programmer blogging about code

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Keeping your WordPress website fast can become pretty tricky once you start installing plugins and off-the-shelf themes. Everything seems to want to load at least one CSS stylesheet, and sometimes a dozen or more JavaScript script files. Some also inject great chunks of CSS and JavaScript into every page. Luckily, there’s the handy Autoptimize plugin to help you sort all of that out.

For a while now, I’ve been using the amazing Trello to help me keep track of various tasks. Sure, I use various bug trackers like Mantis and GitHub Issues too, but for some of the more high-level tasks it’s just easier with Trello. One job it’s particularly good at is helping me keep track of plugin compatibility testing.

SWMBO has a pile of PDF documents to process and extract information from, and over 50 of them are scanned which means — NO COPY/PASTE! Unless we rescan with OCR of course. On Windows, she’d probably just use Acrobat, but on Linux…

I struck an odd problem recently with some code using closures. I use closures extensively for WordPress filter and action hooks when building custom plugins and themes for websites, and all usually works well on any version of PHP from 5.3 up. But I was finding that my closures weren’t being called on some PHP 5.4 websites. The problem was eAccelerator.

Gravity Forms is a great way to build all sorts of forms in WordPress. It can be so simple that non-programmers can easily build their own basic forms. It’s also incredibly flexible so programmers can extend it in myriad ways, even by adding some complex custom fields of their own. But as usual, there’s a trade-off — ease of use for non-programmers means lots of hoops to jump for programmers. Here’s an overview of how I built some fairly complex compound fields for a custom application using Gravity Forms.

As Pádraic Brady points out in a recent article about PHP security, there’s a whole lot of misinformation about how to deal with the error “SSL certificate problem, verify that the CA cert is OK” from curl. Nearly everyone advises that you turn CURLOPT_SSL_VERIFYPEER off (in fact, countless comments on the PHP manual page for curl_setopt tell you this). This is bad, because it allows your nice, encrypted stream of confidential data to be silently highjacked by a bad guy. Don’t do that! Instead, just fix your PHP installation so that it doesn’t get that error.