Jazz up your WordPress generator tag

A couple of years ago when I was in the throws of the Filters of the Day series, I wrote an example for the get_the_generator_{$type} hook that supplemented WordPress’ default generator tag with the jazz artist that release was named after.

The concept is simple: say you’re running WordPress 4.5.2 on your site. The default generator meta tag would output “WordPress 4.5.2” in your site’s source. This plugin supplements that to instead say “WordPress 4.5.2 to the sounds of Coleman Hawkins”. It matches the jazz artist whether you’re running a major or minor release. If you’re running trunk (like on this site), you’ll get a generic “WordPress X.X to the sounds of jazz” string.

In the years since Filters of the Day, I’ve referenced this particular example several different times in WordCamp and meetup talks, and yesterday, I decided to turn it into a plugin and submit it to WordPress.org: Jazzy Generator Tag.

To see Jazzy Generator Tag in action, it’s active on this site right now, just view the source code. If you’re interested in my other plugins, check out my plugins page, or my profile page on WordPress.org.

Shout out to Dominik Schilling (ocean90) for helping me make this plugin translatable for jazz artists of different genders!

WordPress can learn a lot from Apple CareKit

Earlier today I watched an Apple town hall event that announced, among other things, a couple of new devices and a new IOS app called CareKit, part of Apple’s “Health” initiative. As an Android user, I don’t usually pay much attention to IOS-related announcements, but the CareKit launch made me sit up and take notice.

In Apple COO Jeff Williams’ CareKit presentation, I was really struck with the level of innovation this new app – and its previously released companion app, ResearchKit – imbue.

Think about this for a moment: Apple took what was already a strong product with a targeted base, and leveraging its strengths as a mobile input device, introduced a completely new level of usefulness in the form of health data collection.

ResearchKit has empowered health institutions to aggregate massive amounts of health data never before collectable, which in turn has made it possible to draw more informed conclusions about common diseases and disorders.

This new CareKit app more closely targets personal care rather than aggregated care by building a direct bridge between caregivers and patients.

I feel like these two apps constitute a life-changing innovation, which in my opinion is a feature so profound and yet so simple, that we wonder how we lived without it.

And it’s there, where I think WordPress can learn a lot from Apple on the innovation front.

WordPress has always striven to make the process of content publishing easier. At the same time, new features are often great and useful, but also occasionally gimmicky or fickle to the latest fad.

In some respects, there are already solid examples of WordPress being used as a vehicle for success in the worldwide community. In fact, a recent HeroPress post by Raghavendra Satish Peri, Finding Hope In The Darkness, is evidence enough that there is great promise in pursuing the line of thinking that WordPress can be a game changer in people’s lives.

If we’re to aim for that elusive 50 percent market share Matt Mullenweg so publicly espouses, we’re going to have to think more critically about what WordPress can do to change how people think about it as a platform.

Perhaps it’s time we turn our idea of success on its head, and leveraging its strengths, find ways for WordPress to innovate in making people’s lives easier.

Then I think we’d really be off to the races.