Monthly Archives: January 2013

Adopting an OSS-orphan: Autoptimize

I’m taking over support for the venerable Autoptimize WordPress plugin. Although I started out using CSS-JS-booster first, I switched to Autoptimize for my JS & CSS aggregating and minimizing pleasure somewhere in 2012, not in the least because it was the only plugin to offer conversion of background-images to data-uri’s. I hadn’t noticed back then that Autoptimize was already pretty old and that the developer announced he didn’t use WordPress any more and that he had lost most motivation. Fast-forward to December, when, while working on a Twenty Twelve child theme, I noticed that Autoptimize messed Twenty Twelve up severely. So I dug in, found some problems and fixed some others while I was at it:

  • leave html5.js be; aggregating it breaks HTML5-support in older IE versions
  • make sure the IE-specific CSS-files are loaded after the normal aggregated CSS
  • ensure both JPG and JPEG files are taken into account for conversion of background-images to data-uri’s
  • correct a bug that resulted in aggregated files not having a hash in them (having one or more autoptimize_.php can break things)
  • stop autoptimizing for logged in users (which broke the WordPress 3.5 admin bar again)

Based on feedback on the WordPress support forums, others were still using Autoptimize as well, needing bug-fixes and support so I contacted Turl a couple of days ago and proposed that I join his one-man team. He agreed, so I’ll be taking over Autoptimize as of now. The first update (1.4.1) with the fixes listed above will be pushed to SVN soon. I’ll provide support on the wordpress.org forums as well and release new bugfix-versions if needed. New features or other major updates however, are not on the roadmap (yet). I wouldn’t want my own children, WP YouTube Lyte and WP Donottrack, to feel neglected, now would I?

And now you can even have my WordPress password!

Being slightly obsessed with security, I was delighted to discover that two factor-authentication (OTP) using Google Authenticator client is not restricted to Google applications, but is fully standardized and as such can be implemented without dependency on Google services on any system. There is code (off course varying in quality and scope) available for PHP, .NET, Java and Python (and I’m sure there are others).

As you might expect after reading the title, there is a great Google Authenticator WordPress plugin which I installed in 5 minutes time earlier today. For the Drupal-heads; Antwerp-based Attiks have a module that implements Google Authenticator OTP which looks worth checking out as well (and I’m interested in your experiences with it, actually).

Looking in the mirror: 2012 numbers, 2013 goals

man in the mirrorAs I did a year ago for 2011, here I am looking in the mirror at my 2012 numbers and 2013 goals:

  1. This blog:
    • 130 blogposts (78 “real” posts and 52 aggregated lifestream-events)
    • 109285 pageviews, the most popular individual article being 5 tips to tackle the problem with iframes (8622 views). Off all new 2012 blogposts, Fix Samsung ICS Exchange connection errors was read most with 5727 views.
    • 294 comments (including trackbacks and my own replies)
    • Main goal for 2013: carry on, I guess? Maybe some more personal posts in Dutch. I’ve always loved to write in my native language, but it can be pretty time-consuming as I tend to rewrite a text multiple times before I’m OK with wording and flow (which I’m not as sensitive to in my non-native English).
  2. WP YouTube Lyte, my WordPress plugin to do “lazy load YouTube embedding”, is doing really well:
    • 9 minor and 2 major releases including the big 1.0.0 milestone
    • 66286 downloads (passing the 100.000 downloads mark in July)
    • Main goal for 2013 and long overdue; responsiveness but also even better performance (less reliance on JavaScript to do heavy lifting, using less http-requests).
    • Moreover, I was honored to see Yoast’s Video SEO plugin has support for WP YouTube Lyte and equally proud to be able to decline a commercial proposal to have my plugin add a link next to each and every LYTE player.
  3. WP DoNotTrack 2012 proved a fruitful year for my 3rd party tracking filtering plugin:

2012 was also the year that I got to know Drupal & Acquia a lot better, the year my lovely daughter learned how to read, the year I grew scared of Europe’s economical & Belgium’s political future, the year I saw Radiohead live and the year I finally learned how to fly.