Whether you’re brand new to WordPress or have been around the neighborhood for a few months chances are, you have heard at least one or more of the following terms without knowing their definition. As with any sub-culture, WordPress has developed its own lingo of sorts. This post will dive into some of the common words associated with WordPress and by the end of this article, you’ll be able to follow a conversation in the WordPress.org IRC channel with ease!
Codex – The WordPress.org Codex is like a portal containing all sorts of information related to the open source project. The Codex is maintained by volunteer document writers who are part of the WP.org community. When you have a problem or question with WordPress.org, the codex is the first place you should look for an answer.
Parameter - Parameters are often mentioned when discussing plugin or theme development topics. Think of parameters as hard coded options for particular WordPress template tags. For instance, if you saw the template tag
bloginfo(); and it looked like this,
<?php bloginfo('name'); ?> everything within those parenthesis would be considered parameters.
Template Tags – Template tags are used within your blog’s Templates to display information dynamically or otherwise customize your blog, providing the tools to make it as individual and interesting as you are. Once you dive in and figure out what Template Tags are and how they can be used, the sky becomes the limit as to what you can accomplish with WordPress.
Loop or The Loop – The Loop is used by WordPress to display each of your posts. Using The Loop, WordPress processes each of the posts to be displayed on the current page and formats them according to how they match specified criteria within The Loop tags. Any HTML or PHP code placed between where The Loop starts and where The Loop ends will be used for each post. When WordPress documentation states “This tag must be within The Loop”, such as for specific Template Tag or plugins, this is The Loop.
.htaccess – hypertext access is the default name of Apache’s directory-level configuration file. .htaccess is placed in a particular directory, and the directives in the .htaccess file apply to that directory, and all subdirectories thereof. It provides the ability to customize configuration for requests to the particular directory. The file name starts with a dot because dot-files are by convention hidden files on Unix-like operating systems. This .htaccess file is a main component of allowing WordPress.org to generate pretty permalink URLs.
Trac – Trac is the place to follow along with the development of WordPress. Bug reports are also kept on Trac. Trac is essentially the WordPress.org bug ticketing tracking system. It’s where all bug reports related to WordPress.org are filed and dealt with on a case by case basis.
SVN – SVN is the acronym for Subversion. The basic idea of Subversion is that the source code and revisions are kept in a repository on a server. Users connect to the repository by using a client program, which allows the user to check out, view, edit, patch, and commit changes to the source code files (depending on the client’s permission level; in the WordPress project, only a couple of people have permission to commit changes to the repository).
Trunk – Trunk is the “bleeding edge” version of WordPress that is being developed. This branch is likely to be broken and buggy, but can be useful for testing plugins and themes to see if they will work with the next release of WordPress.
These are only a few of the terms that are used on a day to day basis within the world of WordPress.org. If you have any other terms that you would like to share, please post them in the commenting section below. I’d be interested to see what sort of lingo the community has been able to pick up on.