Introducing: Automatic Updater for WordPress

Are you sick of having to wait several seconds for your WordPress site to update? Tired of your plugins not being updated as soon as an update is available? Well, do I have the solution for you! Automatic Updater for WordPress is a light-weight plugin that downloads and installs updates as soon as they become available – keeping your WordPress site up-to-date, secure, and minty fresh!

With the hyperbole out of the way, I do have a few things to note:

  • This plugin really does update your site, without your supervision, at any time, day or night. This is awesome for WordPress Core, but may suck if a bad version of a plugin is released – at the very least, the plugin may be disabled, at worst, your site may be taken offline. Exercise appropriate caution.
  • No backups are taken. You really should be using a good backup system, whether it be one of the multitude of backup plugins, or a backup service like VaultPress.
  • If your site breaks because of this, I’m really sorry. I’d appreciate it if you took your anger and channelled it into writing up a thorough bug report, instead of plotting my demise.

Thanks, and have fun!

Proof of Global Warming

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you irrefutable evidence of global warming.

See this map of the world, created prior to global warming, Greenland and Antarctica are huge!

Now I present this more modern map, both Greenland and Antarctica have melted away to remnants of their former glory.

For the future of Greenland and Antarctica, please, do your part to stop global warming.

An Automattic Adventure

Today I officially begin my role as a TransCoder1 at Automattic. As a TransCoder, I’ll be doing new and exciting things with VideoPress, our video hosting service.

For the last 4 years or so, I’ve been working at MySQL (which was swallowed by Sun, which in turn was consumed by Oracle), based 100% out of my home office. The thread of working as part a distributed company is something I’m very happy to be continuing at Automattic.

What else is cool?

Impact is cool. Automattic is around 100 people, but is one of the top 20 websites in the world, getting millions of visitors a day. Look at that employee:visitor ratio in the table over there. Isn’t that a beautiful thing?

Getting things done is cool. The smart people at Automattic2 have done a great job of making continuous deployment scale as they’ve grown, so engineers can rapidly develop, launch and iterate features. There’s nothing quite like launching a new feature, seeing it run millions of times an hour, then tweaking it based on how people are using it.

Working with awesome people is cool. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know the folks at Automattic recently, and even meeting a few of them. When work turns from the usual day-to-day, into hanging out with friends and doing interesting things, you know you’re onto something.

The Automattic Creed

I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a company that has a creed, but I like this one.

I will never stop learning. I won’t just work on things that are assigned to me. I know there’s no such thing as a status quo. I will build our business sustainably through passionate and loyal customers. I will never pass up an opportunity to help out a colleague, and I’ll remember the days before I knew everything. I am more motivated by impact than money, and I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. I will communicate as much as possible, because it’s the oxygen of a distributed company. I am in a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how far away the goal is, the only way to get there is by putting one foot in front of another every day. Given time, there is no problem that’s insurmountable.

What will happen to my other projects?

PonyEdit development is continuing strongly. We’re working on a bunch of serious performance improvements, expect to see it out soon.

Job Manager is slowly waking up from the long winter of bug-fix releases only. With a little luck, I’ll be able to start making some serious inroads on the next feature release.

I also have some ideas I want to play around with, and now sounds like a good time to see what works. Stayed tuned. 😀

One more thing…

If you want to join in the fun, go and check out our Work With Us page, and apply! You may end up becoming my TransCoding sidekick (we’ll get superhero costumes, and our own theme music).

  1. This title is a terrible geeky pun. Blame Matt.
  2. Do you like how I implied that I’m a smart people now, too?

Avoiding HTC Locations

I recently updated my HTC Desire HD to Android 2.3, which is quite nice.

Unfortunately, HTC has used this upgrade to force its Locations app into the system – if you select an address in Calendar, then Locations will open, even if you have another mapping application set to default.

Happily, if this is something that bothers you, there’s an easy workaround for this.

  1. If you haven’t already, install a file browser app – I use ASTRO File Manager.
  2. If you haven’t already, register an account on Android Forums.
  3. Go to this post, and download the attached file, This is the default Android Calendar app.
  4. Plug your phone into your computer, so it appears as an attached drive, and copy to your phone. Once it has finished copying, disconnect your phone.
  5. Open ASTRO File Manager, and locate Select it, then use the “Open App Manager” option.
  6. Install it.
  7. Go to your Apps, and open the Calendar app. The first time you open it, it’ll crash – you can just Force Close it.
  8. Open the Calendar app again, and open an event – it will ask you which Calendar app you want to use as default, select the one with the Blue calendar icon.

Okay, so there are a few steps involved, but if you’re familiar with side-loading apps, it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes.

After this, individual events will open in Google Calendar, which does use your default mapping application. It won’t disable HTC Locations completely, but it’s the best option we have.

Finally, an open letter:

Dear HTC,

Respect system defaults.

Android users everywhere.

PonyEdit: It’s really fast

Over the past few months, a friend and I have been hard at work on a new breed of text editor that we call PonyEdit. If you’ve ever found yourself cursing over the lag of working on remote cloud servers, this is the editor for you.

It’s not just another SFTP editor…

Reading and writing files over SFTP is nothing new; dozens of text editors can do it. But it’s always slow, clunky and feels like the feature was bolted on as an afterthought. You’ll find yourself using separate shortcuts to open files locally vs remotely, and dealing with sometimes painful save times with every edit, no matter how minor.

PonyEdit gets rid of this terribly slow method of working by connecting over SSH, and using edit streaming to push changes to the server in the background as-you-type.

Head on over to to download a free trial, and let me know what you think! Oh, and…

Stand by to have your mind blown.