In 2014, Matt Mullenweg challenged the WordPress community to volunteer 5% of their time towards open-source and WordPress.org.

A few months later, I ran a successful fundraising compaign that allowed me to donate 6 months worth of time towards BuddyPress & bbPress.

For 2017, and hopefully with your help, I’m going to try something a little different that I’ve nicknamed: 💯∞.

My goal is be a fully funded independent ambassador for WordPress & the surrounding initiatives, backed by many of the best companies who continue to push WordPress beyond its limits on a daily basis.

Practically speaking, I imagine this to work like a monthly retainer to work on WordPress core and Dotorg. Someone pays, say, $7500, and I get to say January 2017’s progress was brought to you by Pagely, February by GoDaddy, March by CrowdFavorite, April by Jetpack, May by WebDevStudios, June by GiveWP, and so on, forever.

(The structure is a bit TBD. Maybe it’s weekly rather than monthly, or quarterly, or something else entirely. Hopefully you get the idea.)

It’s like a podcast, but instead of airtime ad placement, it’s coretime leadership, contributor relations, and issue management.

Some of y’all who think this is somewhat unconventional may say – Why not just be a full-time employee?

That may end up happening – it may actually be the smarter move in the long run here – but I think there’s high value in being an independent, nonpartisan thought leader that *wants* to help everyone navigate the ins & outs of contributing to open-source, more specifically WordPress, et al. Since that’s where I’ve seen the most success, I’d like to put maximum effort into continuing that trend; if it’s not sustainable, then we learned something together and try something different.

This weekend at WordCamp US, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with several folks who love the idea and are… deeply… interested in making this work however they can, up to and including growth beyond myself for other individuals who are able to provide more value as an independent voice.

If you’d like to help, please email me. If you have questions, concerns, criticisms, or feedback, please get in touch somehow.

Thanks for having an open mind, and for considering investing in the future of something that really, truly means a lot. To the folks who are already onboard, I’m so excited you are willing to give this a try with me.

P.S. Have I mentioned how much better WordPress is on mobile? I wrote all of this from my iPhone without any issues, which is still so incredible to me. Great job, mobile team!

P.P.S. If you’re unfamiliar with why I think I can do this, I’ve contributed to every major WordPress release since 2.5, am a member of the security team, meta team, and have helped lead BuddyPress & bbPress since 2009. I love WordPress and want to help it continue to grow in whatever direction it needs to take. I’m going to do it anyways, and with your help we can do it together.

This super-educational video explains how ROM & RAM can be live-hacked to trick a Nintendo into executing arbitrary code to produce unintended results.

Some days helping keep 27% of the web secure seems pretty complicated, but the types of game-breaking glitches in this video would be insanely difficult to track down on the open-web.

I don’t know why, but it had never occurred to me until just now that Bjorn from Abba may have a twin who is also a sloth.

I’ve experienced (and deeply investigated) the same exact trackpad issues on my 2012 retina MacBook Pro that people are now reporting in 2016, and Im going to share my experience with y’all.

Here’s how you replicate this issue on ANY retina Mac since 2012:

  • Put the cursor on any side of the screen
  • Remember where the cursor is on the screen
  • Don’t touch your Mac for at least 5 seconds
  • With any number of fingers, and from any side of the trackpad, try to move the cursor to the opposite side of the screen
  • You will notice a split-second where the cursor jumps
  • The trackpad is listening because the cursor does quickly catch-up

TL;DR – it’s working as it’s designed to work. Some Apple employees will go to great lengths to listen and help; others will say they do not see what you’re seeing & get annoyed with you quickly.


I had these same /exact/ trackpad issues the day I unboxed my maxed out 15″ retina MacBook Pro. Before that, I had a 13″ Air and a Mac Mini which did not exhibit any trackpad delay. I even paired the Magic Trackpad from my Mini to my Pro to rule-out the onboard hardware, and the trackpad issue was persistent across both.

That rMBP had a bevy of other issues. Aside from trackpad delay from day 0, a stick of RAM died, the display was the LG that had severe image retention, the hard drive failed, and eventually a GPU, all of which led to me paying $350 for Apple depot in 2015, and Apple eventually swapping out the top half (screen) and bottom half (main board, internals, including glass trackpad & keyboard.)

I had made so many repair trips, I started fiddling with demo units, and was able to narrow down which exact PCs had this issue. I also travel frequently for work, so I started going into every Apple Store in every city I was in, to check their machines for this problem, and all retina laptops have it – not the Air, Mini, or Pro (even when connected to 4K displays.) Maybe not the iMac, but I don’t remember because I was never interested in purchasing one.

I ended up buying an 11″ Air as my daily machine to replace my lemon of a 15″ rMBP, and it was a flawless workhorse. [I now use a 12″ MacBook, and it had a rough start to life, but is now also very great (even with the cursor delay.)]

Anyways, after back-to-back trips to Apple depot for top & bottom replacements, my old laptop was now comprised of only new-to-me hardware & still exhibited the exact same trackpad delay even on the El Capitan installation screen (I checked before I left the store.)

I chucked at the (very nice) Apple employee, and told him they could keep the stupid thing – I didn’t want it anymore & I already had an Air to use. He gave me the number to Apple corporate, and I gave up – I never called, because I was the only person annoyed by this, and it  issue was much bigger than me.

So… rather than fix the issue, Apple introduces a mouse-jiggle animation to find a lost cursor instead.


The problem is palm rejection. It was originally an option in System Preferences, but Apple decided you’d never want this off, so they force-activited it & removed it for us. Here’s how it works:

  • You move the cursor to do something, and stop for a few seconds
  • Apple averages the time between input transitions to be about 5 seconds (if you haven’t moved the mouse again, it’s unlikely you’re going to soon.)
  • In software, macOS feathers the edges of the trackpad that are listening for input, to cancel out the tiny palm nudges you are bound to make on a laptop
  • If you start from the center and move outwards, the trackpad works perfectly
  • If you start from the edge and move inwards, the trackpad appears broken and glitchy
    Bigger trackpads and external displays exacerbate the was a User perceives this glitchiness

My conclusions:

  • There is no cure for everyone for this problem, because everyone uses the trackpad differently, and everyone perceives the delay differently
  • All modern retina Mac devices have this issue, but many people never notice it. Even when you show it to them, they are able to tolerate it & work around it.
  • It’s plausible there’s an old bug in the accidental palm rejection software, since this is retina only. Maybe the calculation between trackpad-size to display DPI is off, causing the larger 15″ tbMBP to make this more obvious?
  • If there’s a terminal command to turn off palm rejection entirely (or to tune its sensitivity) I never bothered with it. Maybe the old setting is still in there somewhere and users can disable it.
  • Why it isn’t disabled when using a Bluetooth Magic Trackpad seems like a bug to me, but I never filed a report to Apple aside from the numerous in-store visits and what-not.

 


Hopefully Apple is able to debug this further for an improved UX. As display technology improves and more people move towards externals for production, the delay becomes more noticeable to more professionals with high expectations on expensive hardware.

If anyone has questions, I’ll try to reply when I see them. If anyone from Apple wants to chime in, that’d be pretty neat too. ❤️

On Facebook, my old pal Josh mentioned how terrible Siri is, and it reminded me of a comparison I frequently make to my tech-informed friends:

Akismet is actually my benchmark for services like this – the promise of “getting better with age” isn’t one you can just make & walk away from, and Akismet had constant non-stop tuning done to it for several years in a row to make it as good as it is now. Siri hasn’t improved, and the snarky responses when she doesn’t understand have only gotten more irritating.

Imagine if Akismet replied with “I’m sorry; I can’t tell if this is spam or delicious commentary.” every-time it wasn’t confident.

Akismet is so good, nothing in the space really comes close yet. I think that means it’s also ripe for competition, and newer insights into machine learning & big-data help make that more possible, but Akismet has such a huge head start it would be hard to play catch-up.