Speaking at WordCamps

Speaking at WordCamps was something that I did not plan to do in particular. I just started doing it. To my surprise I did not feel horrible or that scared.

I’m a typical Finn in the sense that I don’t like to talk about myself in front of a crowd. Thus my style has been to go straight to the point and not waste any time telling who I am or why you should listen to me.

I'm a speaker at WordCamp Helsinki 2017

Next month at WordCamp Helsinki I will be doing something totally different. I’m going to tell my story – using various phases of my professional life as an example how I’ve learned to motivate myself.

Now that is scary.

Väärien salasanakäytäntöjen levittäminen lisää ahdistusta

Maanantaina Helsingin sanomat kirjoitti osana sinänsä tärkeää juttua vanhusten digiahdistuksesta:

Palvelut vaativat tunnistautumisen. Pitää muistaa pitkiä salasanoja ja vaihtaa niitä.

Mutta kun ei pidä. Ei pidä muistaa eikä vaihtaa. Lakatkaa jo toistelemasta näitä surkeita neuvoja jonain väistämättömänä totuutena.

Salasanat laitetaan talteen johonkin salasananhallintasovellukseen eikä omaan mieleen. Useimmat selaimet tekevät tämän suoraan, eli mitään uutta softaa ei edes tarvita. Kunhan suojaa kaikki salasanansa yhdellä vahvalla salasanalla, ei tarvitse muistaa kuin yksi. Jos yrittää muistaa salasanansa, johtaa se vain heikkoihin salasanoihin tai samojen salasanojen kierrätykseen, koska vaikeita ei voi muistaa.

Salasanoja ei ole myöskään mitään syytä vaihtaa säännöllisesti, paitsi jos on ollut niin laiska että on käyttänyt samaa salasanaa monessa palvelussa. Näin ei ole mitään syytä toimia, jos laittaa salasanansa talteen johonkin turvalliseen paikkaan. Vaikka salasana vuotaisi jossain tietomurrossa, ei ole pelkoa ongelman eskaloitumisesta, koska salasanaa ei ole käytetty missään muualla.

Ja jos saisin päättää, voitaisiin samalla myös luopua koko salasana-sanasta. Ei sen tarkoitus ole olla mikään sana. Englanniksi on yritetty puhua passphrasesta, mutta se ei oikein ole ottanut tuulta alleen. Miten olisi “salaisuus”?

There is no IT

A self-proclaimed “seasoned IT professional” was wondering on Facebook today, why on earth is Twitter so popular. Twitter is, the IT pro said, “the worst software application there is”.

He had two reasons: it is social and there is a restriction on how many characters you can enter.

I am baffled by why I have to explain this to you in 2016. To you, a seasoned IT professional.

Dear IT pro, I wonder if you still have a job. You certainly don’t work for Nokia, because the likes of you must have gotten fired very long time ago. But way too late at the same time.

I’m sorry to be the one to report this to you, but no amount of IT skillz in the world will make you understand why Twitter is popular.

That is because there is no IT. Because everything is IT.

You can’t understand Twitter from the point of view of IT. You can’t understand any piece of software from that point of view today.

You have to understand people now. Where by now I mean you should have understood that years ago.

I am happy that the likes of you don’t pick software anymore. Instead, normal people do. Democracy won and you and your limited view of the world have been voted off.

Of course, there still are plenty of corporate IT jobs where you can go hide for the time being. But your time has come.

Oh, and Twitter is one of the finest pieces of software there is. It has a nice set of features actually and by god we all know you love features. You just have to look behind the 140 characters.

Remember when you used to laugh at iPhone because of its lacking features? You could have maybe learned something from that?

But I guess you never will.

On Twenty Seventeen

As this blog runs on WordPress nightlies (and has been so for ages), I felt it was a good fit to run the upcoming default theme, Twenty Seventeen too.

It was fairly easy project to migrate to. My old theme, which was not much to look at, did contain some code that did not really belong to a theme. So I moved that code out to a plugin. After that, I found it very easy to customize Twenty Seventeen to my needs (which is hardly surprising as this site is just a simple blog).

I did like the typography of Twenty Seventeen, but I like speed more, so the Google Fonts had to go.

One thing irritated me though. The WordPress template system to be exact. One can easily replace any parent template file in a child theme by just introducing it with the same file name than the original. But to me, this is equally bad as pluggable functions are. You will lose all updatability of the whole template code if you do so, and often you need to do just a simple modification, not rewrite everything.

In my case, I wanted to modify something there should be a filter for: get_template_part. I could have loaded a different template part in one specific case instead of replacing the whole template that calls get_template_part. But turns out there is not. It’s one of those Trac tickets that are ancient and have a lot of discussion, but they never went anywhere. Oh well.