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The First-Ever Growth Summit Is Coming, and You Won’t Want to Miss It

Join us for The Official Growth Summit on August 11-13! At our first-ever virtual conference you will learn how to build and grow your site, from start to scale. Are you a blogger looking for ways to drive traffic and get more visitors? Are you a small business that would like to start selling more products and services on your site? Are you an artist or creator who would like to learn how to share your work? The Growth Summit will cover these topics (and many more) and provide indispensable advice to help you succeed.

The goal of this event is to inspire, connect you with the tools you need, and help you build your community. Sessions will take place across three tracks: blogging, business, and creative. You can take sessions on any or all tracks, and they’ll focus on four main topic areas: 

Say Hello to the WordPress Block Editor

At the beginning of June we’ll be retiring our older editor and transitioning to the more recent (and more powerful) WordPress block editor. Want to know how this may affect your site and what you can expect? Read on.

If you’ve launched your site in the past year and a half you may have never seen our older editor and are likely already using the more recent WordPress editor. Those of you who have an older site, though, might recognize this editing experience:

WPBlockTalk: A Free Online Event Focused on the Block Editor

Ready to explore the possibilities with the block editor? WPBlockTalk is a free and live virtual event that will bring together designers, developers, and other WordPress enthusiasts from across the WordPress community.

Topics to expect:

  • Building the block editor: what it takes to develop the block editor, what features are on the roadmap, and how you can contribute
  • Developing blocks: inspiration and ideas for developing your own custom blocks
  • Designing with blocks: learn more about using blocks to make powerful and versatile layouts and templates

If you’re passionate and curious about the future of WordPress, then this April 2 event is for you!

If you’re busy that day, don’t worry — all the talks will also be published on for you to watch (and re-watch) whenever you like.

APEX Connect – A Slightly Different Conference

I wanted to do a write-up for the APEX Connect conference that happened in Bonn, Germany, a few days ago, as it was a slightly different conference than I normally go to and a slightly different experience for me.

Friday Philosophy – Size is Relative

The below is a USB memory stick, a 64GB USB memory stick which I bought this week for about 10€/$. I think the first USB memory stick I bought was 8MB (1/8000 the capacity) and cost me twice as much.

Friday Philosophy – “Technical Debt” is a Poor Term. Try “Technical Burden”?

Recently my friend Sabine Heimsath asked a few of us native English speakers what the opposite of “technical debt” was. My immediate reaction was to say:

I’d say (sarcastically) “proper development” or “decent designer” or even “what we did 25 bloody years ago when we were allowed to take pride in the software we created!”

But my next comment was less reactive and more considered. And that was to say that I did not like the phrase “Technical Debt”:

A debt is when you owe something to someone, to be paid back. You do not owe anything to someone when you build poor systems, you are actually creating a “technical burden” – something those in the future will need to live with and may eventually have to sort out. Those who created the bad app or design will probably not be the ones fixing it – as in paying the debt.

It’s just bad code or bad design … most of the time

Some years ago I wrote an article for the UKOUG magazine called “Want a faster database – Take a drive on the M25”.  For those not familiar with the United Kingdom, the M25 is one of its busiest roads (M = “motorway”) and because it moves so much traffic, and runs so close to capacity, it has often been referred to as “the world’s largest car park”.  Many people have probably spent a good part of their lives on the M25 Smile  I used the M25 as a metaphor for how database professionals can focus on the wrong things when trying to solve a performance problem, such as:

“I’m stuck in traffic…perhaps a faster car will help”

ie, throwing CPU at a problem that is not CPU bound will not help things, or

“I’m stuck in traffic…it must be the width of the paint on the lane markings”

Why oh Why Do We Still Not Have a Fast Bulk “SQL*Unloader” Facility?

Way back in 2004 I was working at the UK side of the Human Genome project. We were creating a massive store of DNA sequences in an Oracle database (this was one of two world-wide available stores of this information, for free & open use by anyone {* see note!}). The database was, for back then, enormous at 5-6TB. And we knew it would approx double every 12 months (and it did, it was 28TB when I had to migrate it to Oracle 10 in 2006, over 40TB 6 months later and grew to half a petabyte before it was moved to another organisation). And were contemplating storing similar massive volumes in Oracle – Protein, RNA and other sequence stores, huge numbers of cytological images (sorry, microscope slides).

How you should or shouldn’t design, program for, a performing database environment

My good friend Toon Koppelaars created a cool and very interesting, learning video about how…

Messed-Up App of the Day: Tables of Numbers

Quick, which database is the biggest space consumer on this system?

Database                  Total Size   Total Storage
-------------------- --------------- ---------------
SAD99PS 635.53 GB 1.24 TB
ANGLL 9.15 TB 18.3 TB
FRI_W1 2.14 TB 4.29 TB
DEMO 6.62 TB 13.24 TB
H111D16 7.81 TB 15.63 TB
HAANT 1.1 TB 2.2 TB
FSU 7.41 TB 14.81 TB
BYNANK 2.69 TB 5.38 TB
HDMI7 237.68 GB 476.12 GB
SXXZPP 598.49 GB 1.17 TB
TPAA 1.71 TB 3.43 TB
MAISTERS 823.96 GB 1.61 TB
p17gv_data01.dbf 800.0 GB 1.56 TB

It’s harder than it looks.