Jay Hoffmann

Books, movies, and code


  • Show Don’t Sell

    Take credit for what CSS has done. Don’t say: “Web standards did this” Do say: “We’ve set up a system that will automatically format the page whenever you update it.” Let the client think you’re smart and give you more business… Show don’t sell – Jeffrey Zeldman I was doing a bit of research on…

  • This used to be our playground

    Design got its seat at the table, developed a business mindset, became increasingly inclusive, and finally grew up. So much to celebrate and so much distance travelled, and yet design seems relatively passive and polite; acquiescent in a build-by-numbers assembly process. I find myself returning to the same bit of circular thinking that Simon Collison…

  • WordPess.com Launches New Website Service

    Mullenweg responded to them, saying he is “100% certain this will drive more up-market consulting in the future” to consultants who handle larger projects and potentially bring more business to plugin and theme developers. He also noted that Bluehost’s full service product is a similar solution and that services like Web.com have been competing in…

  • Interview with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal

    And we did a lot of work — Stacey Abrams, Latosha Brown, so many activists across the country in Arizona, Georgia, who built infrastructure — to convince people that they should give us one more shot to trust that the government will step in and do something that matters. We’ve got to deliver. As I…

  • Death of an Open Source Business Model

    Mapbox found themselves in a similar position to Mongo and Redis: they were subsidizing R&D for a handful of trillion-dollar tech giants. In the Death of an Open Source Business Model, Joe Morrison laments at the new licensing restrictions of Mapbox, a reversal from the company’s previous business model, which he labels as “open core”…

  • The Rise and Fall of Getting Things Done

    The knowledge sector’s insistence that productivity is a personal issue seems to have created a so-called “tragedy of the commons” scenario, in which individuals making reasonable decisions for themselves insure a negative group outcome. An office worker’s life is dramatically easier, in the moment, if she can send messages that demand immediate responses from her…

  • The Education of David Stockman

    He didn’t much care for Pickle’s proposals, because the impact of the reforms stretched out over some years, whereas Stockman was looking for immediate relief. “I’m just not going to spend a lot of political capital solving some other guy’s problem in 2010″ Greider takes us through the story of David Stockman, and the at-the-time-still-recent…

  • Big Lessons from History

    Part of what’s made Covid dangerous is that we got so good at preventing pandemics in the last century that few people before January assumed an infectious disease would ever impact their lives. It was hard to even comprehend. The irony of good times is that they breed complacency and skepticism of warnings. Morgan Housel…

  • Taking Back Our Privacy

    There’s a lot I like about Anna Wiener’s look at Moxie Marlinspike and Signal, and she frames it in a modern context couched in the beliefs of Marlinspike, who has done some great things. There’s a lot of strong assertions about privacy which are needed. But I was struck by this passage, which is kind…

  • The Hidden Power

    I recently had a chance to go back and read Jane Mayer’s incredible profile on David Addigton, Cheney’s right-hand man during the Bush years. She outlines the power-play that Cheney and Addington engaged in, pulling from a Reagan era playbook to expand the powers of the Presidency to extralegal judicial rulings and commissions, and even…

  • Force Maejure (2014)

    A fantastic distillation of the male ego, picked apart and dissected in a way that’s visceral and real. They really make you feel it, the arguments and the embarrassment, and the intimacy of the use of visuals and sounds adds to that. Details

  • Reply to Tantek.com

    In reply to http://tantek.com/2019/171/t1/happy-14th-microformats-org. Finally converted my site (https://jayhoffmann.com/) to microformats in celebration! Next step, POSSE 🙂

  • Editing Crop in WordPress Images Before Upload

    For a recent project, I had a need for a pretty simple workflow. I had a couple of image sizes, which I added with the add_image_size function which required a hard crop to a certain aspect ratio. The workflow for authors I was looking for was: Upload Image Edit the crop for these special sizes…

  • Using Gravity Forms with Bootstrap Styles

    I use Bootstrap as a starting point for a lot of the themes that I build as a great starting point for reusable components. But one of the problems I’ve run into is trying to integrate Gravity Forms with Bootstrap. By default, Gravity Forms does not include Bootstrap classes, so the two don’t end up…

  • That Time the Internet Broke

    RE: The Plight of NPM, etc. I won’t pretend to be an expert on NPM, package managers or open source. But last week, something really interesting happened. And it brought into view two issues that have been swirling around in the ether: the dependency tangle that is the Node / Javascript community and the problems…

  • Chose Your Metric

    I went to Wordcamp Lancaster this year. It was a great time. I gave a talk on Javascript and after the conference, I was perseverating about one of my favorite things: what the f%c Javascript framework should I use. Rami Abraham (who organized the crap of out of WC Lancaster by the way) was quick to…

  • Changing Field Keys in Advanced Custom Fields

    I recently ran into a problem when using the Advanced Custom Fields plugin which is a bit esoteric. In the previous iteration of the site I was working on, fields were registered programmatically, using acf_add_local_field_group and acf_add_local_field. In the new version, we decided to move these back into the GUI on the admin panel. For most of…

  • Hemingway’s Advice for Coders

    I’m an avid reader of Brain Pickings (check it out if you haven’t heard of it), and one thing caught my attention a few weeks ago. In the mid-1930’s a young writer by the name of Arnold Samuelson caught up with his hero, Ernest Hemingway. Rather then cast him away, Hemingway took him on as a sort of…

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    First Steps with Javascript and WordPress

    It starts with a simple maxim. Learn Javascript Deeply. That’s what Matt said. And it’s good advice. Javascript underpins everything we do, and it’s becoming more and more advanced every day. It’s not just the future of WordPress, it’s the future (and present) of the web. Of course, Matt mentioned this right around the time…

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    Gulp, LiveReload, SASS and WordPress

    For a little while now, I’ve been using Gulp in my WordPress themes to automate my front-end workflow and add some handy helpers along the way. For those unaware, Gulp is a slick JavaScript task runner, which can be used to concatenate JS and CSS files, lint files, and generally automate your front-end workflow. My…

  • Adam Phillips on Missing Out

    We refer to them as our unlived lives because somewhere we believe that they were open to us; but for some reason – and we might spend a great deal of our lived lives trying to find and give the reason – they were not possible. And what was not possible all too easily becomes…

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    Bringing Back the Personal Site

    There have been quite a few articles recently about the importance of the personal site, and the blogging community. It’s a sentiment I’m super excited about. Rian Van Der Merwe has probably the simplest point. Blogs are the front page of the internet, and it’s their freedom that gives them their strength. All this to say that…

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    The Responsibility a WordPress User

    Last week, WP Tavern posted an article about how Matt Mullwenweg was addressing concerns over WordPress development moving too quickly. Matt more or less shrugged the question off in his State of the Word, but it is still a rising sentiment. And it’s not just a concern in the WordPress community, but in the larger web…

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    The Magpie Developer

    Jeff Atwood wrote this article seven years ago but it holds true: These so-called thought leaders have left a virtual ghost town before anyone else had a chance to arrive. I became a programmer because I love computers, and to love computers, you must love change. And I do. But I think the magpie developer sometimes…