Seeking professional advice.

I’ve decided to get some professional advice as it is impossible to find a starting point with my project. I know I have access to open source for the main programs I want to integrate and I now know some of the code languages like HTML and CSS talk to each other but I also now know that the more complicated languages require me to create a ‘wrapping library’ or ‘API’ and without being a professional with great code literacy, I won’t know how to do this.

Ben’s spoken to a developer friend who gave the following advice:

“I’m not sure how much help I can give as I’m not a programmer – but I’m pretty sure she’s biting off more than anyone on Earth can chew.

It sounds like she’s trying to reinvent this which probably cost a couple million bucks to build https://securedrop.theguardian.com

Journalism + encryption is a scary hard thing because it’s easy to fuck it up and in this particular problem space – fuck-ups get people killed.

Maybe what’s worth doing is taking this advice on board, and figuring out something a bit more feasible on a personal scale. e.g. figuring out how to implement PGP encryption just for yourself, what is involved with it, and how you might be able to use it (even just via email, rather than a plugin which adds a whole other layer of complexity and security issues).”

I think given I now know my project is insanely ambitious, I’m going to see if I can do some research on WordPress plug-ins to see if I can find one similar to what I was hoping to create. This way I can either (hopefully) work out how to edit it or create one from scratch. There are a few tutorials showing how to do this like here and here, however they both look like you need to have a basic understanding of how WordPress functions and of PHP programming which is the language plugins use as well as HTML and CSS to edit the visual aspects of the plugin. I have a pretty basic understanding of how WordPress works and I know the basics of HTML and CSS, so fingers crossed I can pick it up.

Firstly, I’m going to see if I can find an open source WordPress plugin that does one of the functions I want i.e chat box or file upload and see if I can look through the code to edit sections I want to change or alter.

Secondly, I’m going to attempt building a WordPress plugin from scratch using one of the two tutorials provided. I’m assuming I won’t be able to achieve this considering I don’t understand PHP, but at least I’ll have a better understanding of how WordPress plugins work and i’ll at the very least be further developing my code literacy skills.

I’ve had to upgrade my WordPress account to allow plugin integration which has so far been great, I’ve learnt a lot more about WordPress by doing this. I now understand the basics of how websites are coded.

Hayes (2017) discusses WordPress themes being a mixture of PHP, HTML. CSS and a tiny bit of Javascript. WordPress themes set out how the website looks and functions and widgets control functions like buttons and archive settings. WordPress Plugins are zip files or specific programs that you can install to tell a website to do something or behave in an extra way like adding an e-commerce store or filtering out swear words when users comment on pages.

I’ve also been able to edit the way the website looks by using CSS.

I wanted to remove the list of posts at the bottom of the page and the side bar so I used this CSS code:

/* hide the list of posts and sidebar from home page  – nagpai # 7225456-hc*/

.home .container.hfeed {

display: none;}

BEFORE:

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 9.43.40 PM

 

AFTER:

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 9.46.10 PM

And I wanted to remove a title that came up as a ‘category’ so I used this CSS:

/*  hide the Category:title on category pages */

.entry-archive-title {

display: none;}

BEFORE:Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 9.43.04 PM

 

AFTER:

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 9.45.08 PM

 

References

Hayes, K., WP Shout, The Four Languages You Must Learn To Understand WordPress, viewed 5 October 2018 <https://wpshout.com/wordpress-programming-language/>

 

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