Louis de Caunes is a director and a photographer from Paris. Being a son of Antoine de Caunes, famous French television presenter, and actor, he grew up on film sets and always wanted to make movies.
Give Twinkle, twinkle little star a rest. Learn Honky Tonk women instead.
If you want to learn how to do something, you want to learn from the best. And who better to learn how to play the piano from than the man himself - Chuck Leavell. Chuck doesn't need an introduction, but it would be a sin not to mention his rich music career.
There aren't that many musicians out there who can say that they've played with The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Chuck Berry, Train, John Mayer. And now you can have that musician teach you how to play rock piano.
Chuck Leavell joined the legendary Allman Brothers Band in the early 70's. In 1973 they released the ultimate classic Brothers and Sisters album featuring what's one of the rock instrumental masterpieces - Jessica. The solo on Jessica was what launched Chuck Leavell into rock'n'roll stardom.
Recently we struggled with a difficult issue in WordPress Multisite. We take care of a network of sports weblogs. Each is for a different sport and not all the domain names sound the same.
We have a master install at say worldrecords.org (sample name, not our client's site). Logins only are SSL and all take place at worldrecords.org. An account at any site gets you access to all the sites. Hence login and password takes place at the master domain. Most visitors are not even aware of the domain switch during login.
When people would lose their password, the password reset email would not come from skatinggolds.org or lugegolds.org but from worldrecords.org. Many people would not recognise the domain and would delete the email without clicking and finishing the password reset. Worse yet the email might be considered spam by spam filters.
There's been a lot of talk and writing about radically revamping WordPress edit experience since the New Year. It's great that the conversation has been started and many strong ideas have been shared. Matt Mullenweg kicked off the discussion on 4 January with a Coleridgian description of a new editor. Like Kubla Khan's "stately pleasure-dome", the new editor should be a "miracle of rare device".
The editor will endeavour to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.
Any "post building experience" which aspires to make "writing rich posts effortless" has my full attention. What should this experience look like in practical terms?
At Foliovision, we like to stay behind a few versions on WordPress. This means our clients enjoy stable custom code for their complex membership and business sites. What it means in real terms is that a site usually stays on the major WordPress iteration on which it was released.
Staying on security updates enormously decreases a publisher's WordPress maintenance burden. We're really grateful to the core WordPress crew for continuing to post security updates for every WordPress release from 3.7 on. On the other hand, it's extremely rude of WordPress to constantly push small publishers to do major version updates without letting the publisher know security updates are available (1). Our BusinessPress plugin solves update anxiety. We lighten up the update notifications, give you more information about what version you are running and encourage you to install the latest security update. Most importantly, BusinessPress prevents clients from pushing through a major update accidentally and breaking their site. On the Christmas holidays for instance.
A year ago PHP7 launched. Those already using HHVM ran a bunch of benchmarks and came away with the conclusion that HHVM is much faster and is indeed the secret sauce of their superior pricey hosting. While scouting for hosting for a very high traffic site, I heard this from WPE, from Pressidium and from Kinsta. Out of the three principal advocates of HHVM, Kinsta's offer was the only one which made any kind of financial sense.
Since then, we've been using HHVM for that project with no end of grief in surprise collapses in the middle of the night or the middle of the weekend. Are the instability and incompatibilities worth it? For a smaller web publisher, certainly not. For a middle-sized web publisher (think top 2000 website in the US), probably not. For a very large sized web publisher (think Facebook or another top 100 website in the US) quite possibly. Here's why.
In the past few months I have been playing around with a couple of social media tools to get better the results of my promotion and to improve the way I work. These tools are non-other than Hootsuite and Buffer. Before deciding on the winner, I tried free versions of both apps. Comparing them in their raw, naked state turned out like this.
Our FV Player VAST add-on just got a small but useful update called Silent Start. This option allows you to have the ads served with your videos start muted by default and let the user to turn on the sound if he wants.
The main benefit is that not every user appreciates to be forced into listening to advertisements, but if one gets his attention enough, he can turn the sound on. The feature works great with the Autoplay function - the video will play automatically after page load and ad with it (if it's set to pre-roll), plus it's silent, so it won't bother anyone.
Moving from bbPress 1 to 2 is a pain in the neck. It's really like migrating from one forum software product to another. It's not an evolution but a revolution. In use, bbPress 2 is not much better than bbPress 1 but since John James Jacoby pushed version two out the door in 2011, it's long since time to migrate. The issue with bbPress 1 is not with the software itself (still simple and scaleable) but with plugins.
John James Jacoby forced all the bbPress v1 plugins underground (info and plugin repository were moved over to v2). Unlike almost anything else new in the WordPress world, bbPress 2 is neither crippleware (useless free version with pro version) or serviceware, so we are grateful for bbPress.
Our free video player for WordPress FV Flowplayer featured only a single playlist style for a long time. We made the required code improvements to open the huge potential of custom playlist styles.
Default playlist style
By default you get playlist thumbnails below the player.
We are adding comment ratings to our FV Thoughtful Comments at the request of one of our clients. He likes Disqus features but doesn't like entrusting his user generated content to a third party service and doesn't like Disqus page load slowdowns. A very smart guy and successful publisher.
We've experimented with Epoch and wpDisquz and have even donated to the latter. Unfortunately wpDisquz is not fast enough either on a really busy site (measured in both page views and frequency of comments).
Multilingual subtitles are a great new feature of FV Flowplayer. This feature has been added in the Flowplayer 6 core, so finally we got around to create user interface for it.
Following video features a button in bottom right corner which allows you to pick the subtitles language.
In a conversation at WP Tavern (a Matt Mullenweg official property) about the problems with maintaining recent WordPress versions (say anything post 3.7), a very lively debate took place about whether major new features in WordPress should come enabled by default with no option to disable them.
The feature in questions was oEmbed this time but it could just as easily have been emojis or XML-RPC (which recently took thousands of WordPress websites down in a major hack exploit).
There's a wonderfully open conversation going on about the future of WordPress over at WPtavern.
It's amazing but Rainmaker can charge $1500/year for usable and secure WordPress. - and the fee just for peace of mind seems reasonable. That's how far off track core developers have gone.
If you've ever visited foliovision.com, you probably know I live in beautiful Bratislava/Hainburg region. Those who live here enjoy the Danube, great classical music, the lower Carpathians and are surrounded some of the most beautiful women in the world. I.e. it's a wonderful place to live. What we don't have since the sad demise of Last.fm's paid radio service, access to any high quality music discovery service. The last one standing is Pandora, which is US only.
WordPress's built-in commenting system is pretty weak. Comments have been left partly crippled as Automattic used to have a horse in the third party commenting race with its own Intense Debate technology. Our creative director doesn't like third party scripts for a few reasons:
- pageloads are very slow
- you lose the value of user generated content in most cases
- you are giving away quite a bit of your visitors' privacy (important for political sites)
Some of the FV Flowplayer users play guitar and teach these skills in online classes. They picked our plugin as an effective solution for their membership websites and quickly came up with an idea:
User AB loop
With this unique feature your users will be able to pick the part of the video which they like and loop it over and over again - perfect for practicing guitar "riffs" or "licks" or basically any tutorial website.
New version of FV Player Pro (0.5.4; it's the Pro extension for our FV Flowplayer licensed users) gives you ability to embed playlists created on YouTube:
Licensed users of FV Flowplayer who benefit from powerful Vimeo and YouTube embedding often ask us to convert their old video embeds into the [fvplayer] shortcodes to be able to use the same player for all their old videos and also all of our features.
That's why the new version of FV Player Pro (0.5.2; it's the Pro extension for our licensed users) gives you just the tools to do this.
After the initial difficulties with Flowplayer 6 the new FV WordPress Flowplayer is released!
FV Flowplayer 6 it out and it has some great new features:
- HLS support in the Flash engine - making the HLS playback possible in basically every browser.
- Subtitles button with multilingual support - we need to do more testing on this one
- Engine switching in playlists - making it possible to mix the video formats.
- Better skin and other improvements
- Faster than version 5
- Improved YouTube playback