Senior Citizen Coders, .Net WordPress and ISIS WordPress Sites

Senior Citizen Coders, .Net WordPress and ISIS WordPress Sites

This week, we take a look at an 81 year old lady who’s had an app published on the iOS App store, a company that have built a compiler for WordPress using .NET and WordPress.com’s inaction against ISIS’ use of their blogging platform.

Masako Wakamiya

It’s never too late to start coding!

Most people associate coding with younger generations, imaginging the typical developer as a teenager sat in a hoody in front of a laptop. All signs point towards a growing new generation of coders thanks to the likes of coding games (e.g. CodeCombat) and cool little build your own kid-friendly versions of Raspberry Pi (Kano). But older generations are still more than capable of making a stand in tech. Masako Wakamiya, an 81-year-old Japanese woman, first started using computers at the age of 60. This year, she released an app for iPhone that she developed herself – a game that requires users to put dolls in their correct positions, according to the customs of a Japanese tradition, Hinamatsuri. The game completes when users have correctly aligned their dolls. Whilst this app isn’t likely to go viral, at least in the Western world, it’s still an achievement for anyone to get their app live on the app store. It’s also a sign that apps can theoretically be made by anyone.

Hinamatsuri

.Net

.NET your WordPress site

For the uninitiated, WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) written using PHP – a coding language. PHP is often used for open source projects, especially in the non-enterprise environments, in what’s known as a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack. .NET is a popular alternative to this stack, that uses Microsoft technologies to achieve the same type of result.

In the spirit of bringing the best of both together,  PeachPie have built a platform which compiles WordPress’s codebase to .NET. This means .NET developers can have the benefit of the world’s most popular CMS, in an environment they are familiar with. The obvious question here is why not just use the PHP framework without compiling it in .NET to avoid the higher system requirements?

The platform is still in early stages, as PeachPie is a revival of Phalanger’s efforts – which discontinued in 2014. You can download it for yourself and can apparently have a fresh install done in half an hour, although be warned – in these early stages, the system you build will be far from without bugs. The files are available here from Github and the documentation is on the main PeachPie site.

wordpress-isis

Does WordPress has an ISIS Problem?

The classic problem with technology and innovation is whether the tools you create will be used for good or evil and how can you prevent the latter, so it’s no surprise that the globally used WordPress.com has been turned into a tool for disseminating ISIS propaganda and violent videos.

WordPress has the power to remove these sites but hasn’t done so, claiming to be acting in the interest of free speech, even though these sites are in clear violation of WordPress’ terms and conditions.

“WordPress.com is deeply committed to free speech and will not take content down just because we find it offensive or disagree with the point of view.” – An email from a WordPress employee to the Counter Extremism Project.

The content consists of everything images of people who have been shot in the head and even videos of beheadings. As such, WordPress’ official statement means they have only one clear course of action:

“While our service is designed to enable users to freely express their ideas and opinions, however controversial, safety is important to us. As such, we don’t allow websites of known terrorist groups or genuine calls for violence against individuals or groups on WordPress.com.”

In any case, the content will supposedly be reviewed on an individual case.

Stephen Collins