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Developer: Config-Driven WordPress

On Monday, September 16th, Weston Ruter, Head of WordPress Development at X-Team, will give a talk on config driven WordPress development for managing large scale WordPress implementations. Weston will share his experiences manage a team of WordPress developers that oversee the production of a large network of WordPress websites.

In Weston's own words:

"The standard pattern for configuring a server environment and its sites' themes is to define several constants, set a bunch of global variables, call a few functions, and sprinkle in a few filters into the wp-config.php and functions.php. This methodology to configure WordPress makes it burdensome to allow child themes and plugins to override settings in parent themes and for there to be environment-specific configurations across servers, from development to production. I'll talk about how we have tackled this problem for large multisite installs (e.g. dozens of radio station sites using the same parent theme) by using configuration arrays that can be merged and extended before being converted into the constants, global variables, and filters that WordPress uses at runtime. Beyond the increased consistency and convenience of a centralized configuration registry array, we'll see how using such extensible arrays allows for mixin configurations and 'step-parent' themes. We'll also see how storing all configuration in data arrays (as opposed to code) our WordPress code can be more introspective."

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  • Mary Ann A.

    Sorry I missed this. Would have been there, but i broke my arm yesterday afternoon. Thanks for posting the slides.

    September 17, 2013

    • Weston R.

      Sorry you got hurt!

      September 19, 2013

  • Weston R.

    @Zack: By the way, during the announcements after you mentioned the SASS talk, I was trying to make a pun when I said I was “LESS interested” in it :-)

    1 · September 17, 2013

    • Chris C.

      You need to enunciate your acronyms. :)

      2 · September 17, 2013

    • Weston R.

      L-E-S-S

      1 · September 17, 2013

  • David R.

    Very knowledgable, but talked too quietly.

    September 17, 2013

  • Matthew E.

    I've got to bail at the last minute. I'll be sorry to miss this, @Weston!

    September 16, 2013

    • Weston R.

      Sorry you couldn't make it! I did record a video with Photo Booth. Need to try to get the slides overlaid on the video before suitable for sharing.

      1 · September 17, 2013

  • Robert L.

    Very interesting idea. I like the notion of putting variable configuration information into an array instead of hard coding in wp-config.php or functions.php.

    1 · September 16, 2013

  • Eric G.

    The topic sounds interesting. Particularly to companies with dozens of radio stations for clients. In this situation, you can assign a small team to configuration management. But, the speakers challenge is to show how this is relevant to smaller design teams with modest resources.

    September 16, 2013

    • Weston R.

      Yes. It will be applicable to single-site installs as well.

      September 16, 2013

  • Andrew T.

    @Weston Do you happen to work with Chris Olbekson? I attended a very similar talk he did during dev day in WordCamp Austin this year. Looking forward to your take on it and seeing how the system has developed since May

    1 · September 16, 2013

    • Weston R.

      Haha. Yes. Chris and I are both X-Teamers and we work together on the WordPress team. You'll see some familiar things, but also some new stuff I've cooked up since then.

      September 16, 2013

  • Taylor D.

    I'm very intrigued about the idea of config arrays. JSON powered blog creation, perhaps?

    September 16, 2013

  • Faddah Steve Yuetsu W.

    folks - zack, matthew, daniel, all the andrews, taylor, etc., i have to beg off for this evening. a friend of mine is doing a showing of classic “twighlight zones” at the hollywood theater, along with classic commercials that aired at that time, and it's his last show of this kind there and i promised to go support him. i can't do both at the same time. i will be at the end of the month meeting. if someone could post notes on this meeting tonight, please, i would greatly appreciate it. please give my spot to someone else. thanks.

    September 16, 2013

  • Weston R.

    Hey everyone, just a reminder that this is a dev-focused talk. There will be lots of code!

    September 15, 2013

  • Betsy

    I am not a developer, I have to wait for the "user" meetup to be scheduled. But in the meantime, I wanted to say that eventually I will need some assistance with my wordpress.org webpage which has yet to be created. I seek someone who can teach me some basics for a flat fee. If interested, please let me know. For another project I seek a developer. Ideally I'd like a business partner for that, someone who see's my vision as I don't think that is a project I can pay for both developing and the marketing costs, but I do believe would be successful and benefit both parties. Thanks.

    September 1, 2013

  • Mary Ann A.

    I will be there. Hopefully I will understand what Weston is talking about.

    August 30, 2013

  • Cat

    Looking forward to learning a lot about a whole bunch of stuff of which I am unfamiliar.

    August 30, 2013

  • Zachary B.

    Weston - I am very interested to see what the hell you are talking about here - the description is leaving me intrigued!

    1 · August 29, 2013

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