Talking WordPress With Vladimir Prelovac

vladimirlogoBack on episode 47 of WordPress Weekly, I had the chance to interview Vladimir Prelovac but due to technical difficulties, I had to edit out the interview. So to make up for that interview, I’ve asked Vladimir a set of questions from the interview which covers most of what was discussed on the show. Thanks to Vladimir for answering these and maybe next time, the interwebs won’t be so mean to us.

What got you involved with the WordPress Project?
Having just quit my job I needed a place where I can settle and find a way to show my skills. That place was WordPress. It was easy to use, fast and had a big enthusiastic community. Sounded like a good plan to me!

I remember clearly that what won me over other platforms was the famous five minutes from starting installation to writing the first post. Simply amazing.

Which has been more difficult for you? Creating a plugin or a theme?
In today’s modern WordPress installations both plugins and themes live the same life, and a theme is often created with an insight of what plugins will be used with it and vice-verse.

Themes are hard to make as people tend to react more directly to visual aspects of design.

Plugins can be even harder, as the variety of possibilities having in mind all features of WordPress and integration with third party services is simply amazing.

Optimization is a big topic as it relates to WordPress. What are some things that the WordPress team could do to increase performance of the software where end users wouldn’t need to optimize as much?
My first suggestion would be to revise the database structure. Often I see WordPress blogs struggling with just a couple of thousands post. It feels like categories and tags are currently handled in a sub-optimal way.

The second thing I think should become a core feature is caching functionality similar to WP Super Cache. Almost all other platforms offer some kind of out-of-box caching mechanism.

Third major area of improvement could be changing the current editor of choice (TinyMCE) as it just feels as not up for the job, both feature and performance wise.

And finally, ability to automatically update third party tools that WordPress uses (jQuery, RSS parser and other libs) without having to wait for next WordPress release will show immediate performance gains when these tools are upgraded.

What inspired you to write the WordPress development book?
When someone comes to you and offers you to write a first book on a certain topic you stop to think will you be up for the job. After I decided I can do it, the prospect of actually creating something that will outlast me was simply to alluring to pass. Writing a book must be one of the hardest things I ever did but I am now enjoying every moment of it.

Is the book aimed towards PHP developers or those who don’t know any PHP?
Well really both in a way. Those who do not know PHP will still be able to understand what the book is about and what WordPress plugin development can bring to them – especially first and the last chapter. Of course PHP knowledge will be a big plus for understanding all details.

For those aspiring to create WordPress plugins, can you provide some developer tips that they should follow?
I have just recently written a whole article on this topic and I think it is best if I just point anyone interested to read it here http://mashable.com/2009/03/25/wordpress-plugin-developer-tips/

What about security? Can you offer some tips on how to develop WordPress plugins using secure code?
As long as the code and hacking is concerned, WordPress has evolved into a pretty secure platform, and you can find some security tips in the above mentioned article.

However, every single plugin you that you use on your blog has the ability to pretty much do anything imaginable to your site (should the plugin author want to do harmful things), and this is in my opinion where biggest security threat to WordPress lies today. Currently the entire community is more or less relying on assumption that plugin authors have good intentions. It is little scary to me.

Is there anything else you’d like to say to the WordPress community?
Read Jeff’s and my blog for latest WordPress happenings

Thanks again to Vladimir for answering these questions and of course, for the plug.