WordPress.com Still Messes Up Tags and Categories [en]

It pains me to say it, but much as I love them, they still don’t quite get the difference between tags and categories. Yes, WordPress.com now makes a difference between tags and categories (and have been doing so for quite some time), but they are still missing part of the equation.

  • Categories are big pre-defined drawers to sort your posts in. They’re local.
  • Tags are labels you stick on posts after you have written them. There are tons of them and they’re messy and they’re global.

Logically, links on tags should point to the general WordPress.com tagspace (they do) — and links on categories should point to the local category pages of that particular blog. Only they don’t always.

The “Categories” widget works the way it should. But the rest is a mess. Examples.

  • Look at the Coworking Léman site, which uses the Mistylook theme that I personally love. This article‘s category links to the general WordPress.com tagspace (wrong), whereas this one‘s category links to the local category page (right).
  • The La Muse site, which uses Ocean Mist, makes article categories link to the general tagspace (wrong) but at the bottom of the page, lists categories with the correct links to category pages.

I could find more.

In general, the problem seems to be that article category links are made to link to the tagspace just as tags do. I mean, what’s the point of having a difference between tags and categories (an important one, if you ask me) if you make them behave the same way in the templates? This is a major problem for me. I hope Automattic are listening and will do something about it. (I contacted support but was told, basically, that it was a feature.)

So, please, Automattic: make the links on category names link to local category pages, and the links on tag names take us to the global tagspace.


SWITCH Conference, Coimbra: José Fontainhas [en]

Running notes from the SWITCH conference in Coimbra. Are not perfect. Feel free to add info in the comments, or corrections.

Jazz and the art of Chaos

About how José became a better musician. Everything not in English at Automattic has something to do with José. But first and foremore, he is a drummer.

Where it began: a few years back, José decided he wanted to be his own boss. Wanted to develop ideas that don’t thrive well in the online world. Generic websites. Found WordPress: open source, easy to use, and named for jazz musicians. Started WordPress-Portugal.

Playing solo doesn’t work for all musicians. Freelancing felt a bit like playing solo, studio work. He came across Automattic.

Automattic does WordPress.com, but many other products: Akismet, BuddyPress, VideoPress, etc. 11 mio blogs on wp.com.

1200 servers running across a whole bunch of data centres. The service speaks more than 60 languages, and this is where José comes in. Portuguese is the third most popular language after English and Spanish.

He sent in his application, and a few months later got an answer. Whee! Felt like getting a positive response from Mick Jagger saying he’d love to play in the band or something 🙂

He thought they would be like other companies, but they’re crazy! Same kind of craziness as him, however.

  • work is completely distributed, everybody works from home (50 people!) — 12 US states, 10 countries
  • everybody sets their own work hours
  • no offices (Pier 38 in SF though, but it’s more a space/lounge rather than an office) — used as a coworking space, open to others
  • communicate using p2; IRC channel, conversations logged, indexed and archived, but it became too busy => but afterwards, moved to p2 (they use e-mail, but really not that much)
  • in-person meet-ups every six months or so, to see each other’s faces, etc.; weeks with fun activities and small projects and workgroups to be delivered at the end

Point: the system is chaotic. No titles. No diagrammes. No PAs. But there are responsibilities. Each person needs to be grown-up enough to find his or her place in the journey.

They push code changes live to production upto 20 times a day. Direct from dev to live.

It’s a jam. Embrace the chaos, don’t fight it. Improvisation. Be a better musician. He is the master of his instrument, and his band mates know he is and trust him to use it the best.

*Here’s a video of Zé’s talk (minus a little bit when my memory card was full, oops!) if you want to listen to it.*