The premiere meeting of the Seacoast WordPress Developers group occurred on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at the Portsmouth Public Library from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Four people attended, a modest but promising showing. All four – Amanda, Jesse, Kevin and I – had experience with WordPress and relatively advanced computer experience, as befits a “Developers” group rather than a “Users” group. We did a round on introductions and discussed what we’d like from the group. There was a lot of meta-discussion: how to organize the group, when to meet, what features to offer attendees, etc. We talked about what we had done with WordPress and what we were looking to do. We shared some advice on resources and plugins we’d had success with.
I mentioned the Joomla’s recent 1.6 release and Barry North’s CompassDesigns.net pointing out we have a lot of good options in CMSes out there, and we talked about some of the hybrid solutions: some of this and some of that.
Jesse’s been working with Expression Engine and is interested in the CMS capabilities of WordPress as an alternative. I pointed out that Expression Engine is built on the CodeIgniter framework which I’m currently working with.
We spoke about a lot of related groups and hope to share contacts and exchange publicity with the New Hampshire Ruby Rails Group, the Greater New Hampshire Linux User Group, SLUG, the Seacoast Linux User Group (meeting in Morse 301 on the second Monday at 7 Pm for the past 11 years). Amanda and Kevin recalled the GNHLUG meeting featuring Linus Torvalds, attended by over 200 people, on 31 Jan 1996 (accoding to GNHLUG’s list of past events), We mentioned other meetings, such as NHUPA: New Hampshire Usability Professionals Association (now NHUXPA) the last week at the Press Room, the New Hampshire High Tech Council and the and Boston WordCamp
Amanda was the organizer of the meeting, and had the most experience with WordPress sites. She has developed and released a number of sites, modified plugins and worked with other developers to get the features she needed. Amanda was interested in learning more about WordPress’ CMS abilities. She’s interested in the Magic Fields CMS Add-On, and extending WordPress with the WP 3.0’s Custom Fields. Amanda brought two books for show-n-tell: Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog by Thord Daniel Hedengren (Smashing) and Professional WordPress by Hal Stern, David Damstra and Brad Williams (Apress/Wrox)add-on, the
This was a great start to a good group, and I’m looking forward to future meetings. Thanks to Amanda for organizing the meeting and the Portsmouth Public Library for the fine facilities. Stay tuned to the meetup group for announcements on future meetings.