Today’s release of WordPress 3.8 is revolutionary in the history of WordPress—and a clear sign of things to come from the popular content management system. Sporting a clean new interface, tons of new features, and a new development philosophy, the 3.8 release is a milestone for the WordPress community in many ways. We’re already hard at work updating our WordPress Essential Training course to reflect WordPress 3.8, but there’s a lot to notice in today’s release beyond just what ships in the code.
Deadlines are not arbitrary
Establishing the current WordPress philosophy “Deadlines are not arbitrary,” WordPress cofounder and project leader Matt Mullenweg made a series of bold announcements at WordCamp San Francisco back in July. First, he stated that WordPress 3.7 and 3.8 would be developed in parallel, with firm, preannounced release dates for each. Furthermore, he announced that all new features slated for version 3.8 would be developed as stand-alone plugins first, and only built into the WordPress core code once they were stable. Finally, Matt announced that he’d be personally leading the development team for the 3.8 release.
Learn how to spice up your boring backgrounds with patterns. While Adobe InDesign doesn’t have a built-in pattern fill feature, in this episode of InDesign Secrets, David Blatner shows you how to download PatternMaker, a free plugin from Teacup Software, and fill any object with one of its three free built-in patterns. You can then customize the pattern to your heart’s content—making a pattern that’s completely unique to your design. Watch the free video below to get started and learn more about transferring your patterns to Illustrator and expanding your pattern options with Teacup’s PatternPack.
Published by Jim Heid | Thursday, December 12th, 2013
Getting together with family over the holidays? Take advantage of all that togetherness by holding a scanning party, and scanning your vintage family photos, as Ben Long describes in this week’s installment of The Practicing Photographer.
It was inspired by an experience I had recently. During a trip to my hometown in Pennsylvania, a couple of family members showed me some photo albums containing riches that I’d never seen before—and that I wanted copies of. It dawned on me that every member of my family probably has an album of photos they’ve curated from their unique perspectives. So while I was in town, I ordered a $49 flatbed scanner from Amazon.com and had it shipped to my mom’s house. Then I told my family members to bring those albums over, and we sat around the dining room table as I scanned and scanned and scanned.
Published by Todd Dewett | Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
The business world has a long-standing love/hate relationship with the creative process. Managers regularly profess to embrace creativity, but they’ve usually been trained to avoid failure—and accepting and learning from failure is key to a successful creative process.
The good news is that a small but growing number of adventurous business professionals do recognize that failure must be embraced. They still value the need to work faster, smarter, and cheaper, but don’t run from failure or the lessons that can be learned from it. They accept that no great invention ever materialized out of thin air, but required attempts, trials, and experiments. Each failure provides valuable opportunities to teach us what we need to know in order to succeed. My first tip this week will help you understand how failure can become your best friend.
After 20 months of anticipation from the product community, FileMaker Inc. finally unveiled its next-generation platform for business productivity: FileMaker Pro 13. Having worked closely with FileMaker 13 for several months prior to launch, I can tell you there are plenty of improvements to satisfy any level of FileMaker developer or end user. For new FileMaker users, the platform makes it much easier than ever before to create beautiful app-like databases—and it offers some long-awaited features that FileMaker fans won’t be able to live without.
Chief among the more than 50 new features are
The marquee feature of the new FileMaker 13 is a web-sharing technology called WebDirect, which allows you to share your FileMaker database through any HTML5-compliant browser—with no web development skills required.
Howdy, Deke geeks! Are you staying warm? Because it’s minus 2 degrees in Boulder, Colorado, home base of Deke’s Techniques. But neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night keeps Deke from the swift completion of his appointed rounds. This week, he’ll show you how to use a custom Adobe Photoshop brush to paint an eye from scratch. This technique teaches you so much. Learn how to align two layers while keeping one layer stationary. Adjust roundness and angle of a brush. Paint with dynamic layer effects, lock the transparency of a layer, and select, scale, and rotate a custom brush—all in order to produce the final “eye-catching” effect: a beautiful flecked iris.
Explore Monday Productivity Pointers at lynda.com.
In this week’s Monday Productivity Pointers, we’ll focus on speeding up your home wireless network. In the first video, I’ll tell you how to identify your home wireless network’s weakest (and slowest) link.
You’ll learn how Internet data speed is measured. Then we’ll examine the components you need to connect to the Internet via wireless, such as a cable or FIOS modem, wireless adapter, router, and your wireless configuration—and how they all need to work together to give you faster home wi-fi connections.
It’s the discussion that never gets old: How to find good investment opportunities. If you look online or speak to a financial advisor, you’ll likely hear about the most common and popular investment options. They all follow the same pattern of low return for low levels of risks and increasing returns with increasing risks. But there’s one risk-free investment opportunity that yields double-digit return—and most of us already have access to it. It’s repaying your own debt. Do you want to take a second to read that last sentence again? That’s right, you heard me, repaying debt is one of the best investment opportunities out there, if not the best.
Not losing money is like making money
How can repaying debt be an investment? Well, not losing money is actually the same as making money. In both cases, you end up with more money at your disposal than if you’d done nothing. For debt repayment, it’s all about the interest rate; the higher it is, the more money you lose, which in turn makes paying down your debt an even better investment opportunity. I’ll save you the math on it, but repaying a 15 percent credit card debt will save you the same amount as you’d earn with a 12 percent return-on-investment (ROI) opportunity—and those types of opportunities don’t come by often.