FreelanceJam is a new podcast by two WordPress developers

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freelance jam podcastFreelanceJam is a new podcast all about freelancing, web design, and WordPress. Episode 2 (actually the third episode) airs live tonight at 8 pm Eastern time.

FreelanceJam is the product of Brian Casel and Dave Yankowiak, two WordPress developers. Brian runs the theme development company, ThemeJam (notice a pattern?) and Dave develops WordPress sites at Lift Development.

While the show isn’t explicitly about WordPress, Brian and Dave both use WordPress for their development, and are big promoters of the platform. Plus, as music fans, they open and close every show with a new artist.

I’ve enjoyed the laid back style of the first couple of episodes, and maybe you will too. So tune in tonight if you’ve got the time, or you can check them out on their website.

PS: Don’t forget to stay tuned to the WPCandy podcast as well. We like it too.

First draft of plans for WordPress 3.2 begins to emerge

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The first whispers of WordPress 3.2 have shown up on the WordPress development blog. A precise feature list is far from complete, but the first draft of ideas has been composed and discussed. The overall theme seems to be “faster and lighter”, with an emphasis on removing outdated technologies and speeding everything up. Bullet points discussed so far include:

  • PHP 5.2.4 will be required. Additional PHP 5 features won’t be added; this release is only about dropping the old version of PHP. MySQL 5 will also be required.
  • End of life for IE6 compatibility with the WordPress admin. Nothing will be removed at this point, but testing will stop happening for the admin and Internet Explorer 6.
  • A fresh implementation of distraction free writing will replace the current fullscreen implementation. Inspiration will be drawn from WriteRoom, OmmWriter, and others.
  • Upgrade improvements will be made, where only changed files will be upgraded.
  • Various speed improvements to make WordPress faster under the hood.

WordPress shaman Mark Jaquith is in charge of this release, in his words to “[make] sure people stay on target and [make] sure we don’t try to slip ‘one more thing’ in”. Jaquith says the plan is to complete this release cycle faster than 3.1, and that an improved focus will help.

Timelines and assignments will be decided during this week’s developer chat on Wednesday. We’ll keep you up to date with the course of 3.2 development, of course, but in the meantime: what do you think about the plan for 3.2, so far?

Page.ly and WPCharity are offering ways to help Japan with WordPress

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Japan WordPress theme
Page.ly and WPCharity have each come up with ways for you to help victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan using WordPress.

Page.ly released a plugin, available on the plugin repository, that will add a banner to the top of your website with a donation link to the American Red Cross. 100% of donations will go to helping in disaster relief.

WPCharity has released a Twenty Ten child theme to help. The theme is called Japan Tsunami, and is available for $1 or more. Twenty five percent of the minimum $1 price is donated to relief. For every dollar over a dollar you pay, 95% will be donated. The money WPCharity raises will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Japan Tsunami is a minimalist photo gallery theme with a live demo and an information page to learn more.

The Japanese people are in the midst of a very trying time. Tens of thousands of people are either dead or missing, and the threat to nuclear power facilities is daunting to say the least. Kudos to both companies for giving back, and perhaps each of us can help in a small way using our favorite web publishing platform.

WPCandy is all up in your Dashboard

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It came to our attention today that WPCandy has been added to Planet WordPress. The Planet is a collection of blogs, each that cover WordPress in some form, that together feed into the WordPress Dashboard via the Other WordPress News Dashboard Widget. Naturally being on the Planet will give WPCandy more exposure, hopefully a few more readers, and of course helps to validate our place within the WordPress community.

So with that we just wanted to take a second to celebrate this milestone, to thank the folks responsible over at WordPress.org, and to thank you folks for continuing to read our posts and comment on our site. We’ll do out best to continue to improve what we do!

It looks like WPTavern was added to the Planet as well, so congratulations to Jeff as well! In terms of other changes to the Planet, it seems Wordlog, WP Bits, and the WordPress Podcast were removed. The WP Nokia and WP Windows Phone 7 blogs were added.

Meet PopPressed, the latest site from Automattic and Federated Media

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PopPressed culture site aggregator

PopPressed is a new site from Automattic and Federated Media to aggregate posts from WordPress.com relating to “The freshest in culture.” PopPressed is the third site to pop up (yeah, I said that) in the partnership between the two companies. FoodPress and EcoPressed have both been launched since November of 2010.

The idea behind the site is much the same as FoodPress and EcoPressed. The editor tracks tags and categories to match the content goal of the site, and features excerpts from select articles on PopPressed. They even have a page to let users known how they can get featured.

This looks to be a burgeoning little partnership between Automattic and Federated Media. How do you feel about these type of aggregation sites? What do you think is the next niche these two companies might dive into?

By the way, John Battelle, the founder of Federated Media, is the same John Battelle that recently interviewed Matt Mullenweg at SxSW.

Preview the feminine WordPress themes coming from Allure Themes

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Lisa Sabin-Wilson, well known author and WordPress designer, has released a few teasers for her upcoming theme shop designed just for women, Allure Themes. Sabin-Wilson has been planning the launch of Allure Themes for a bit now, which she will launch in conjunction with iThemes infrastructure.

She teased three upcoming themes: Dabble, Corky, and Lightness, in a Flickr set today.

Allure Themes previews

Sabin-Wilson said that the Allure Themes site is nearing completion, and will soon launch with five or six debut themes. So who’s going to be standing in line, ready to purchase when Allure Themes opens up?

WordPress for iOS sees big 2.7 update, clears over 100 bugs

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Dan Roundhill of the WordPress for iOS team shared the news yesterday that the app has seen a big update to version 2.7, one that introduces user interface improvements and fixes over 100 bugs. As Matt Mullenweg put it on Twitter, “This is the big one, [that] should fix most crashes.”

As Roundhill put it:

The main focus of this release is to improve the app’s performance and reliability. The app has been moved to Core Data, which is a much improved way of managing information locally on the device. Also, the methods used to communicate over XML-RPC have been updated to better handle communication issues and increase reliability of the app. In total there have been 117 changes in this release.

The Post Editor interface has been updated as well. Multiple files can now be uploaded, and those attached to posts can be viewed. The Twitter-born “pull to refresh” feature has been added to the various list views within the app, and emails and URLs within the app are tappable (either to a mail form or to view the website).

According to Roundhill the app upgrade should happen gracefully, but just in case it doesn’t users can always delete the app and reinstall.

Has anyone played around with this new version? Does it improve the problems you ran into before, or are you still having issues with it?