WordCamp San Francisco Day 1

So it’s Friday and we’re at the event. Some of us are in the conference hall, some are watching (or at least trying to watch) the live stream, others are simply following the Twitter stream. We’ll keep this post as a pseudo-live blog, we’ll try to gather the most interesting tweets, photos and things said at the conference. We won’t auto refresh the page, but rather write the stuff from top to bottom, and maybe split it in a few pages if it there’s too much. Enjoy the first day!

All times are San Francisco (PDT) timezone.

9:55 — Making Our Way In

We’ve been trying to access the live stream for over an hour now, no luck, and everybody seems to be having the same problem, including our competition winner earlier today.. Oh well here’s what we do have:

For those of you getting live stream errors —@‘re working on it! We’ll keep you posted. #wcsf

We’ll keep trying our way in and meanwhile here are a few interesting tweets we have seen so far during the first BuddyPress and the WordPress Ecosystem sessions:

4.5 million pageviews in one day. Thats alot of traffic but wordpress can manage it. #wcsf #sswc

Best way to roll out #BuddyPress to your blog readers: don’t turn everything on at once. #wcsf

10:20 — Still Struggling

No news from the organizers, only that they’re still investigating the issue and trying to fix whatever is broken. Everybody’s getting errors when trying to log in via their live stream ticket. But don’t worry, all the sessions are recorded and will be live on WordPress.tv in a couple of weeks! Oh and here’s a photo of the morning queue to the conference, just received it.

Morning Line WordCamp SF

Anyhow, eMusic.com up on stage talking about their infrastructure. Here’s what we got:

Plugins eMusic.com will be using: Batcache, bbPress, BuddyPress, Gravity Forms, Google Sitemap Generator, Jetpack, Akismet #wcsf

Who uses WP in the real world? NY Times, CNN, TechCrunch, Kanye West, Katy Perry, etc. #wcsf

I guess everyone is using SlideShare, so here are my @ slides (now surrounded by way more ads!) #wcsf http://t.co/SWPkqxK

And 14% of the web, how cool is that! Wow, I remember the figure was around 10% during WordCamp SF last year, and then Toni mentioned 12% on a panel at LeWeb at a panel together with Matt Mullenweg. That’s a great increase, well done!

10:40 — Alright, We’re Online!

There we go, the live stream seems up and running, although the picture’s a little funny (funny in Chrome in OS X Lion, Safari is okay), frames keep going back and forth. Nice option to switch between the two available rooms, and Barry seems to be the guy who fixed it :)

#wcsf livestream is WORKING. Somebody buy Barry a beer later.

11:10 — Mark Jaquith on Scaling Servers

Great talk by Mark on scaling servers. Nginx got it’s love, object cache and Memcached too. Mark talked about Cowboy Coding, scaling from 1 server to two and upwards. Very interesting topic and will be followed up on Mark’s blog. And some great questions from the audience too :)

My slides from “Coding, Scaling, and Deploys — Oh My!” http://t.co/JSJW78S #wcsf

You can’t learn this on the fly. ~ @ on scaling #WordPress #wcsf

Does anyone know WordPress and how to optimize the hell out of it better than @? I highly doubt it. #wcsf

W3 Total Cache got praised and Batcache too. WP Super Cache wasn’t mentioned :) Subversion was mentioned as an old school version control. Git and Mercurial, and most importantly:

Put everything in the version control repo, including WordPress itself. ~ @ #wcsf

David Bisset noticed at the end of the session ;)

#wcsf why is there p0rn music playing in between sessions on the livestream (room 2)?

11:50 — Multilingual WordPress and Migrating from Drupal

Both talks in two different rooms, not as exciting as the previous topic but quite interesting too. Multi-lingual tips for setup and SEO and some SQL queries on screen on the Drupal talk :) Blaming W3 Total Cache…

Multi-language in WordPress: 2 installs = more stable, more maintenance. 1 install = easier, less maintenance, less stable #WCSF

W3 Total cache actually caused issues w/ The Observer – replaced with memecached Object cache #wcsf

And then a lunch break, bon appetite!

Lunch at WordCamp San Francisco

13:00 — Just Chilling Out

Everybody (especially the ones watching the live stream) is waiting for the end of the lunch break to continue with the sessions. Meanwhile, people are walking around, talking to other people, chilling out and taking pictures. Cool!

I love that I’ve not seen a single can of soda here all day! #wcsf #health

Seems like they’re out of T-shirts, oh well! Jane said that everybody will (hopefully) get their T-shirts after the conference, including the people who bought the $45 live stream passes, and by the way the quality is awesome!

WordCamp T-Shirt Pickup

More about T-shirts, this great tweet and photo from Joachim Kudish:

I’ve racked up 3 new t-shirts already. why did I even bother packing for this trip? #WCSF #fb http://t.co/rw8HqC2

WordPress T-shirts at WordCamp SF

Lightning sessions are up next, here’s the lightning sessions schedule for Friday.

13:40 — Lightning Sessions

First lightning session we watched was about UppSite, interesting talk and approach at native mobile apps for WordPress content. Seems like Ryan from WPCandy is considering trying it out for their iPhone app:

@ I don’t think it would be tough, really. It’s something I plan on looking into, for the future of the WPCandy app.

A few other lightning sessions about another WordPress to iPhone app conversion, e-commerce analytics for WordPress from Storefront Themes and a few others. It’s all great, but I know we’re all waiting for this!

Me and @ talking about WordPress code and randomness in 35 minutes at #wcsf. Don’t miss it! :)

A great and a very lightning fast speech about bbPress :) Awesome example with Twenty Ten and Twenty Eleven, but for some reason John James used his own laptop, cheating eh?

This year: bbPress gets 5 min of love. Next year: an entire session. Make it happen people. #wcsf

God! This guy’s speaking like 200% fast! #wcsf :D

At the end of the lighting sessions in the developer track, the girls made a live demo of WordCamp T-shirts, talked about sizes and showed off :) As Mark pointed out:

Oh my. Striptease at #wcsf.

14:20 — The Otto & Nacin Show

Definitely one of the sessions we’ve been looking for, and looking good so far. Andrew and Otto are looking good and Andrew’s a little loud too ;) We loved this quote from Otto about Facebook:

“Because Facebook is very very slow” ~ @ on Transients API #wcsf

Oh and our T-shirts have arrived and seems like we already have a few lucky early adopters! Adria Richards is giving them away at the conference.

Picked up an awesome @ t-shirt from @ at #wcsf

But okay, back to the Otto and Nacin show, caching, transients, multi-site. Go:

Don’t use switch_to_blog() /cc @ @ #wcsf

Today I learned restore_current_blog() should actually be called restore_previous_blog(). Be careful! #wcsf

Damn I love Andrew’s style :) And Otto’s T-shirt. These guys really know what they’re talking about, but the question remains — why isn’t all this stuff documented in the Codex? C’mon volunteers, this stuff is great, we should write about it!

A good question from the audience — somebody asked about what is the worst part of the WordPress codebase, and after some thinking everybody seems to have agreed that the admin menus are and there’s a comment in the core code somewhere that says something like “you didn’t read this” :)

Nacin & Otto Show

#wcsf @ favorite function is media_sideload_image(). Go figure. #wcsf

It also turns out that absolute permalinks have been chosen over relative permalinks for several reasons — management costs (running a search and replace through a database dump), viewing your content in feed aggregators and on other websites and the whole directory vs. web link (rewrite) structure at some point. Andrew also mentioned that they’ll do their best to get rid of serialized absolute URLs.

Heard the Tabletracker presentation was great as well, 4 guys in 4 weeks and Github, that’s all we heard.. But we’re sticking to the developers track for a while ;)

15:00 — Deep Voodo by Andy Skelton

Great session started from the rewrite engine that powers WordPress. A short explanation of how the routing goes, regular expressions, etc, and as Andy said, that doesn’t seem that voodooe does it? ;)

Up next: @ talking about deep voodoo. He’s walking through the complicated areas of the codebase, starting with index.php. #wcsf

Then Andy talks about how bbPress does the real voodoo by adding new rewrite rules to WordPress and how luckily custom post types does most of the work for you. bbPress might be a great tutorial on how to add rewrite URLs to WordPress.

(after 90+ lines of complex regular expressions) “That’s all WordPress does to change a URL for a rewrite expression.” -@ #WCSF

“Did anybody ever want to use Drupal as a backend for WordPress?” ~ @ at #wcsf #drupal #wordpress

A question from the audience: why are custom post types so slow, does it have anything to do with the rewrite rules? Andrew Nacin shook his head, an took his attempt to answer:

“I think you might be doing something wrong” ~ @ on Voodo #wcsf :)

And finally we got a photo from Adria Richards holding up the exclusive Theme.fm T-shirt. We gave away 6 of these at the conference, rest will get super-cool bookmarks!

Theme.fm T-shirt at WordCamp San Francisco

So off to a short break after the session, a little chit chat here and there, and next up is Ask Barry (About Scaling, Servers, or WordPress.com Infrastructure) by Barry Abrahamson.

16:00 — Ask Barry

Barry set up a Q&A website on P2 and WordPress.com over at askbarry2011.wordpress.com and took questions online, I think that’s an awesome approach since the live stream attendees had a chance to ask their questions as well! About caching on WordPress.com:

“We actually do very little HTML output caching for logged-in users [on WordPress.com].” — @ #wcsf

1500 servers in 3 data centers power WordPress.com ~ @ #wcsf

Most of the questions to Barry were answered but of course there wasn’t time for all the questions that were posted during his session. Barry mentioned that he’ll go back to that website and answer all the question after the session. Ian is totally right about this:

More presentations (like, everywhere) should use p2theme.com as a question asking tool. It’s pretty darn awesome. #wcsf

So yeah, that was a really impressive talk and and insight into WordPress.com and Automattic, but the “wow” part is this:

“So… our operations team is four people, myself and three others… and we run about two thousand-ish servers…” — @ #badass #wcsf

Anyhow, we love swag and we love giving swag too, so after all the exclusive T-shirts were gone, we got out with our bookmarks which look sweet as well!

Theme.fm Bookmarks at WordCamp

16:35 — Building Custom CMS Applications on WordPress

Michael Erlewine started this quite interesting talks with examples from his experience in MIT. And from the CMS part he took the “C” and the “M” which are most important among developers too! A little bit of philosophy here too :)

Just uploaded my @ slides: http://t.co/Yg2sAYR Building custom CMS apps in WordPress. #wcsf You should still come to the talk! :p

“‘The essence of man is discontent,’ says Jose Ortega y Gasset. Well, the essence of web is content.” Laughter. @ #WCSF

And a great slide/function by Michael — Jane should not be working on the weekends!

Work for the Weekend

17:00 — Closing Remarks

Well that seems about it! Day one came to an end, we’ll see some more great stuff tomorrow and the day after. Meanwhile Jane’s giving the closing remarks (according to the schedule), but wait, Matt Mullenweg’s on stage talking about the Happy Hour :) and of course thanking the sponsors and micro-sponsors of WordCamp San Francisco!

Tomorrow starts at the same time, same places. They found the missing stickers and seems like on Saturday there’ll be a whole load of them! Doors are open at 8am, sessions start at 9.

The best part about WordCamps is the folks you meet and the connections you make. ~ @ at #wcsf

Well, seems like it’s over for today, so thank you for dropping by over at Theme.fm and hope to see you tomorrow same time same place, and same Twitter account of course. Let us know what you think of this post, the format and the content. Did you miss anything, was there something we should have mentioned or tweeted? Use the comments section below to leave a message and see you soon!

P.S. We’ve got a few photos from the event on our Facebook profile and I’m sure you can find loads more on Twitter.

Continued: WordCamp San Francisco 2011: Day 2 and of course WordCamp San Francisco 2011 Day 3