Category: Updates

  • I just passed my first night as a resident of the United States. More precisely, yesterday I took my overseas flight to San Francisco, California, which is where I’ll be living now, at least for the near future. It is certainly still surreal that I am here now and not going to leave in foreseeable time, and it will probably be a while until I have fully grasped it, let alone fully settled in.

    If you’re wondering now, I am still a Developer Programs Engineer for Google, and I am still working in the CMS ecosystem, mostly WordPress. And my primary focus is still going to be engineering the Site Kit plugin. Only from now on, I’m going to work from the offices in San Francisco, in person with the team that is located here.

    So how did this happen?

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  • It’s been a while since I have posted on my blog. In fact almost 2 years now. But it’s been even longer since I have significantly touched the foundation of my website; other than the regular updates, adding a small plugin here or there, my website had been using the same infrastructure and theme since 2019. A lot of it even already existed the same way in 2018. My website had gotten really out of date, in terms of both content and technology. Some of the blocks I had implemented years ago were no longer working, so part of me was even afraid to open the block editor.

    A few weeks ago, I finally decided to change that and modernize my website. But it didn’t just came out of nowhere. Specifically, I wanted to update my website to use a block theme. I had been excited about them since they were in the exploration stage already in 2019, pretty much as far back as when I was rebuilding my website, “the old way”. The opportunities for enhancing performance due to the new block theme paradigm seemed extremely promising to me.

    Now that we’ve already had 3 major WordPress releases to establish and refine the new infrastructure, I decided to really give it a try. In this post I’ll share my experiences with you as well as the outcome and how it is impacting performance.

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  • It is tempting to rely on closed platforms and their native apps: They integrate well with your device’s capabilities and offer easy-to-use features for improved social engagement with your audience – however at the cost of locking you into their proprietary infrastructure and owning your content.

    But the open web has been catching up: A myriad of capabilities has been made available in the past few years through new standardized browser APIs which enable you and your audience to leverage the modern features they expect while remaining decentralized and under your control. To name a few:

    • Add to Home screen: You and your audience can add your website to their device’s home screen so that it shows up there with an icon, the same way they can install a native app, but without all the extra implications of that installation. Enable Add to Home screen in WordPress
    • Offline browsing: No longer will you see your browser’s ugly “Offline” page when losing the network connection, but you remain within the website’s / web app’s UI and can keep browsing content that was previously downloaded. Get offline browsing in WordPress
    • Engaging and replying to content from other websites: What closed social networks have been offering for seemingly ages has now finally come to the open web as well – with the difference that the data remains under your authority. Use webmentions in WordPress
    • Sharing content from your website: You can share content from your website to any other application, relying on your device’s integrated sharing UI – with the extra benefit of not requiring privacy-invasive sharing scripts from other platforms for it. Share content in WordPress

    Another capability which you are probably used to from native apps is sharing content from one app to another. While the last bullet point above covers sharing content from your website (via the Web Share API), it is now also possible to share content to your website (via the Web Share Target API) in the same integrated way, which is what we’re gonna focus on in this post.

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  • This past weekend, my girlfriend and I walked the 17 mile-long San Francisco Crosstown Trail, which spans from the southeast end to the northwest end of the city. It was an amazing experience and I can totally recommend it to anybody living in or visiting San Francisco. It presented completely new areas of the city to us, and I’m sure that it will even allow long-term San Franciscans that haven’t yet walked it to rediscover their city.

    With all our impressions and photos taken, this made the perfect case for a web story – the open web version of those visual stories we’ve all come to know through platforms like Snapchat or Instagram. If you are interested in creating this kind of immersive content as integrated part of your website as well, try the Web Stories editor plugin for WordPress.

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  • Moving Continents

    I just passed my first night as a resident of the United States. More precisely, yesterday I took my overseas flight to San Francisco, California, which is where I’ll be living now, at least for the near future. It is certainly still surreal that I am here now and not going to leave in foreseeable time, and it will probably be a while until I have fully grasped it, let alone fully settled in.

    If you’re wondering now, I am still a Developer Programs Engineer for Google, and I am still working in the CMS ecosystem, mostly WordPress. And my primary focus is still going to be engineering the Site Kit plugin. Only from now on, I’m going to work from the offices in San Francisco, in person with the team that is located here.

    So how did this happen?

    Read more