23 Sep 2009

WordCamp Philippines

Last week I was in Manila where I was lucky enough to attend WordCamp Philippines on behalf of Automattic (our parent company) and IntenseDebate.  In case you’re not familiar with it:

WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress. WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other. WordCamps are open to WordPress.com and WordPress.org users alike.

I had a chance to speak to a group of around 150 Filipinos who are really into blogging (and WordPress in particular) which was a great honor and also great fun (I was the first speaker of the day!). My trip was rather timely now that we’re working to localize IntenseDebate, and it was especially fitting since a Filipino translation of IntenseDebate came in just days before I left!

Mozilla co-hosted the event, providing sponsorship as well of one of the speakers, Seth Bindernagel, Director of Localization at Mozilla. Seth delivered a presentation titled “A quick look into the Mozilla community through the lens of localization” which was right up my alley.  I got a chance to talk to him at the event and will be spending a little bit of time with him in the near future to explore Mozilla’s approach to localization for projects like Firefox, Thunderbird and SeaMonkey. As we continue forward with our localization, we will be looking at how we can take some of the lessons they learned and apply them to IntenseDebate.

By leveraging the experience of one of the biggest and most successful open source projects (other than WordPress of course!), we’ll be able to make the localization process easier for you and us, and make IntenseDebate a more “native” experience for everyone.

Please keep an eye on our blog for an upcoming post detailing the latest progress on our localization project.

And now to close out my post, I thought I’d share one of my experiences with the local cuisine: my first taste of a balut. (I’m the one on the left. ;-) ) Check out my full post on my blog.

Posted by Beau Lebens in News

26 Aug 2009

Update: WP Plugin 2.4.2

Today we’re releasing an update to our WordPress plugin that fixes a problem some of you were having where other plugins/widgets/JavaScripts were preventing IntenseDebate from loading. This is a minor update, but we recommend that everyone upgrades. It loads your comments slightly faster, and also corrects a URL that will allow us to improve the Facebook Connect functionality in the the plugin as well. This version also displays a neat little icon while the comments section is loading. ;)

You should get an upgrade notification in your WordPress admin panel soon, or you can also go to the WordPress Plugin Directory to download it directly. If you’re not using IntenseDebate on your WordPress site yet, now is the perfect time to get started!

Posted by Beau Lebens in WordPress Plugin

5 Aug 2009

WordPress Plugin v2.4.1 Now Available

As of this morning, the long awaited version 2.4.1 of the WordPress plugin is now available for download!

I want to give a big shout-out and thank you to everyone who volunteered to help test this version and make sure there were no show-stopper bugs in there. We really appreciate your feedback and suggestions and are actively using them to drive the direction of our development.

To find out more about the new features and changes in this version, you can read the announcement about the initial beta testing. If you are already using IntenseDebate then you should get an upgrade notification in your WordPress admin panel soon. Not using IntenseDebate yet? Now is the perfect time to get started!

Posted by Beau Lebens in WordPress Plugin

21 Jul 2009

WordPress Plugin v2.4 *BETA*

Hey everyone! We’ve been studiously working on a new version of our WordPress plugin, v2.4. This latest version contains a lot of changes, and a few new features that will be extra-handy if you’re just getting started. Given all of the changes, we’d love your help beta testing to make sure it’s all smooth sailing.

So, what’s new?

  • Lots of optimizations on when/where to load ID resources (CSS/JS) to improve page load times
  • Switched to inline JS/CSS in the admin to prevent loading the WP engine again
  • Now loading ID comment UI via the script object method, rather than direct <script> inclusion
  • Removed some unnecessary options and just used smart defaults
  • Changed so that there is no backup comments template — your theme MUST have something available, even if it’s very simple
  • Made the option to reset the plugin available before import was completed
  • Added the ability to reset your import any time during the installation process if you’re having problems
  • Standardized on no-www for URLs
  • Reversed the order of comment imports (starts oldest first now)
  • Added Ping/Pong function for network diagnostics
  • Cleaned up translatable strings and now shipping with a POT file for translations (translations will be ONLY for the plugin admin interface, not for anything on intensedebate.com or on the comments themselves, yet)
  • Improved comment count links within wp-admin
  • Updated some screenshots
  • Now using a stable tag, rather than trunk, in the wp.org plugins directory

Feel free to check the Changelog for past versions of the plugin.

You may notice that a few changes have come directly from community requests/suggestions, and we love that so keep the feedback coming. We’re really excited about this release – there are some solid improvements to the whole experience, and it allows us to continue focusing on the IntenseDebate service from our end, including new features and functionality.

If you’re interested in getting in on the beta (that means actually telling us if there are any problems!), then please email us at labs@intensedebate.com, and make sure you include the URL to the website where you’re planning on installing this beta version. We’ll email you back with the plugin and some extra information to get you started. Thanks in advance!

Posted by Beau Lebens in WordPress Plugin

29 Jun 2009

WordPress Plugin v2.3

It’s that time again folks; time for an update to the WordPress plugin. Version 2.3 features several updates that correspond to a lot of work we’ve been doing on our end to improve performance, make importing more robust and generally improve your experience. Here are the details from the Changelog (which now appears in the WordPress plugin directory!).

  1. Fixed a bug where if you didn’t have a blog title configured in WordPress, you wouldn’t be able to authenticate with IntenseDebate to set up the plugin,
  2. Switched to using PHP native json_* functions where available to increase performance
  3. Limited the size of outgoing sync requests to speed up communication between blogs and intensedebate.com and avoid maxing out request/response sizes (on both ends)
  4. Added a tag to the error_log info for easier debugging/filtering.

We have a lot planned for the next version of the plugin, most of which is based on feedback from you all out there. Work has already begun on v2.4 and we’ll get it into your hands as soon as possible. You should get an upgrade notice for v2.3 in your WordPress admin panel soon, if you haven’t got it already.

If you haven’t started using IntenseDebate on your WordPress website yet, there’s no time like the present: Get started now and enhance your comments!

Posted by Beau Lebens in WordPress Plugin

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