wp glossary

To understand WordPress we’ll need to understand its terminology and, perhaps, its history.  It started out as a blogging framework.

The Codex History page states:

“WordPress was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL and licensed under the GPL. It is the official successor of b2/cafelog. WordPress is modern software, but its roots and development go back to 2001. It is a mature and stable product. We hope that by focusing on user experience and web standards we can create a tool different from anything else out there.

2001 – b2 cafelog launched by Michel Valdrighi.

2003 – Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little fork b2 and create WordPress.”

So, to understand WordPress, we need to come to an understanding of the word “post“.

post  –  It is a little confusing at first because this word is used in 2 ways:  1.  as anything that is published.  or  2. as a format type (you may have a post type, a page type, or any number of custom types).

template  – a php file that will be used to display a certain type of file.  For example, if you just stuck to the two basic types:  post  or page, you might have one template for post data and another for page data.

tag – a tag may be thought of as an attribute.  The Codex states:

Unlike Categories, Tags have no hierarchy so there is no Parent->Child relationship like that of Categories. But like Categories, Tag names must be unique.

category – a category is a grouping, or, in mathematical terms, a set.  Categories are like a book’s table of contents, while tags represent the index.

the loop – the loop is where the code gets and displays data from the database. Underlying everything is the mySQL database. This is where the posts, pages, and custom pages live — i.e., in the database.


What is a Front End Developer?

Generally speaking, the “front end” has to do with what the user or “client” sees and interacts with. The “back end” is the server side of things. Accessing database data. Delivering data to the front end.

The front end is often divided into design and coding. This separation does not have clear boundaries and the designer often does coding and the developer often does some design work. Sometimes the developer is also a designer.

I was a java software engineer for ten years and did a great variety of things: administered some servers, worked with different operating systems, XML, Perl, and the html world, including javascript and css.

It’s beginning to look to me like a front end developer has just as hard a job as someone doing straight Java. Java is homogeneous, simple, and object oriented. The front end world is almost the opposite; it’s the wild wild web. You’re dealing with multitudes of different devices and many different browsers: everything is talking to everything else. The world is connecting itself together in a mesh of chatter. This is where the Front End Developer comes in.

Content ultimately comes from the client. Without content there will not be a web site. (generally speaking)

There may be a person who gets the content, makes a content inventory, and shows the design team.

The designer(s) work(s) with the developer(s). It could be the same person(s).

Front End is what people see, hear, and touch. HTML, CSS, JavaScript.

Frameworks. Skeleton. Various grid systems. Libraries. jQuery. jQuery-mobile.

Many different browsers interpret your code differently. You may not see your site on every device in the device universe, but you will try to hit the major ones that the majority of your users will use. And occasionally your site may fail on a particular device. You, the front end developer are responsible. You fix the problem and move on. You adapt. You respond to a new situation. (Responsive Web Design) You learn and you pass that learning on to your program and, hopefully, future programs.

The front end developer often must deal with many more contingencies than most other types of programmers and, therefore, should be treated with the same respect and appreciation as programmers in other fields or environments.