• 59:58

Episode number: 84

2012 Year in Review

Summary

For the 2012 season finale, we discuss notable moments in the EE eco-system, with software development, community advancement, and EllisLab changes. We talk about what we’ve learned, pick our favourite episodes of the year and discuss cool geek gifts!

Happy holidays! We have a great line up for 2013!

Tags

Sponsored by

  • Focus Lab LLC
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Episode Transcript

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[Music]

Lea Alcantara: You are listening to the unofficial ExpressionEngine Podcast Episode #84, our final podcast of 2012. I’m your host, Lea Alcantara, and I’m joined by my fab co-host, Emily Lewis. This episode is sponsored by Focus Lab. Focus Lab would like to wish all of the EE Podcast…

[Music]

Lea Alcantara: You are listening to the unofficial ExpressionEngine Podcast Episode #84, our final podcast of 2012. I’m your host, Lea Alcantara, and I’m joined by my fab co-host, Emily Lewis. This episode is sponsored by Focus Lab. Focus Lab would like to wish all of the EE Podcast listeners a happy holiday season. Celebrate by joining us in a holiday word search challenge. Visit FocusLabLLC.com/wordsearch and tweet us your results for a possible prize. But more importantly, take some time off from working so hard. Spend some time with friends and family, reflect on the year and get ready for a great 2013.

Emily Lewis: The ExpressionEngine Podcast would also like to thank Pixel & Tonic for being our major sponsor of the year. [Music ends]  Hi Lea, how are you doing?

Lea Alcantara: Going through the end of the year rush.

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: I just feel like there’s a lot of things to do before the end of this year.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. I’m in the same boat. I always think that I’m always going to be able to have some time off before the end of the year, and it never happens. It’s always a naive assumption. When you run your own business, you even forget about taking time off, I think.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, I think in some ways that’s what I envy about “regular.”  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: A regular employee. My husband has the entire Christmas off, and he booked more days off too, so I’m like hey. [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: I miss that.

Lea Alcantara: I think I’ll have to work a couple of those days. The fortunate thing is, clients, I think, have that expectation that things sort of have slowed down for a while. I am still working. It’s not like they are expecting you to have a bajillion things done at the end of December.

Emily Lewis: Right, and for me, the work I’m going to or that I’m hoping to do is spend some time on my business, not actually doing client work, but getting some stuff updated. Like for one, contracts, we talked to Paul Burton a couple of weeks ago.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: And a lot of what he shared I’ve been ruminating on and thinking about, and I’m absolutely going to be updating my contract documents.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. I think that’s a really good exercise to do every end of the year to just kind of reflect over how did my business go.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: What’s should change, how do I move forward, and I think that’s something that’s been a common theme for 2012, in general, in the EE community. That even though I was only briefly at EECI, I feel like the conversations that I had with people there were a lot more business related than it was development related per se. 

Emily Lewis: Yeah, well, I have to say that most of my conversations tend to lean towards that business angle just because it’s what I’m so interested in right now so I’m trying to figure things out for myself. But I wonder if that reflects the maturity in the EE community in that folks are really solid with how to work with EE. Add-on developers are giving us some excellent functionality to add to our systems, and so it gives us the time to think about how we are managing our projects, how we are managing our business, things like that.

Lea Alcantara: I think that’s definitely true for this year.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]  So speaking about reflecting back on the year, that’s what we are going to do for today’s episode.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: Now, last year what we did is you and I basically went through the previous year news using our partner EE Insider as a point of reference.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: So I set down to do that yesterday, and it was a big difference from 2011. We basically had a point of news, if not, three or four, about pretty big information happening in the EE community or from EllisLab, in particular. This year not so much. What I noticed is that there are a couple of notable points of news from EllisLab about ExpressionEngine regarding updates, and most of the news was really about add-on developers and community activities.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, I would agree. I think that’s definitely a stark contrast from 2011, and I would say based on our last episode, the discussion over the changes in EllisLab, I think the reaction of the community and things like that is also a reflection of the changes that we saw based on the news looking back on 2012 or lack of news really.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]  Where we lacked in communication from EllisLab about what was going on there, or in comparison to 2011, they had announced that they were hiring a marketing firm. They were doing a lot of marketing in terms of they brought Marcus Neto on board. They brought James Mathias on board. News like that, that was missing from this year, but what this year did bring was a lot more meetups and ExpressionEngine events for local cities and communities, and a ton of stuff from add-on developers. Just a lot of functionality that they are bringing to ExpressionEngine with their development. That’s not so depressing, that’s kind of exciting. If EllisLab is stepping back from community engagement, which is my perception, I’m really glad that doesn’t seem to be dissuading the community itself from engaging with itself. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah, it’s kind of. We really are kind of a self-sustaining community.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: If there is something that’s lacking in the software or in some sort of communication, then we kind of pick up the slack either on Twitter or EE Insider, or even with this Podcast, we just continue on and continue making great sites, I think.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. So that’s cool. It was an interesting perspective to sort of try and put notes together and realize that things have really changed this year in terms of what was being communicated from EllisLab.

Lea Alcantara: So why don’t we go through the notables from EE Insider that we found.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, right. A couple of announcements throughout the year from EllisLab. In January, they released ExpressionEngine 2.4 and made their first announcement that their PHP and mySQL version requirements are going to change in the 2.6 release. Now, writing that down for the January note, I was like, “It’s December, are we going to see 2.6 this year?”  So I guess not. I guess that will be next year.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: But they gave everyone a full year to get ready for their PHP/mySQL changes.

Lea Alcantara: I think the one that really kind of stands out in terms of updates is when 2.5 came out.

Emily Lewis: Right, because that came with the cookie consent module to address the European Union cookie compliance issue.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: And it also came out with a native Rich Text editor which is something that a lot of folks in the community had asked for so that it could provide a text editor rather than installing an add-on or purchasing an add-on.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, so beyond that announcement in January, there was a little bit of a gap of significant EE news until EE 2.5 happened in May.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And also in May though, a couple of big EE events, EECI Leiden.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, and…

Emily Lewis: I didn’t go to that, obviously.

Lea Alcantara: No.

Emily Lewis: I absolutely love to go to Europe.

Lea Alcantara: Neither did I, and I think what was interesting about that one is they actually had Leevi Graham talk about his site generator on there.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And so that kind of spurred discussion about EE and theming in general, which I think is still a constant discussion still because it hasn’t really been answered really. I think it’s still a conflict with how do I create an ExpressionEngine install that’s kind of beginning…

Emily Lewis: Basic enough.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, basic enough and flexible enough that you can just hit the ground running, but it’s not empty.

Emily Lewis: Right. Well, and I think that’s what Leevi alluded to when we talked to him about that very topic for Episode 75, that ExpressionEngine doesn’t necessarily lend itself to having that sort of basic system that you plug and play because it’s so dependent upon – for lack of a better word – unique ways of building your channels, unique ways of putting your custom fields together. But I did like how he described the code packs that he would put together to sort of extract out the common elements that he could put together for a site and then use those to build upon.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, because I think the controversy really with the subject is the word “theme.”

Emily Lewis: Theme.

Lea Alcantara: Right?

Emily Lewis: Right. Well, it comes just to mind like WordPress themes.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, exactly, and that’s totally opposite over what ExpressionEngine is best at, which is custom design and custom development in wrapping the CMS around your own custom design. But it definitely is an issue when you’re trying to be really efficient in developing, “How do I make this as quickly as possible.”  And another thing that was great that Leevi brought up, and then I didn’t even think about that, was not only is this quick to develop for yourself, but if you’ve got a team, how can I teach my new employees how to use EE as easily as possible.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And if you have something to start off with, for me, especially when I’m trying to learn something, diving in and if there is something that’s already been sort of set up, it helps me learn faster than trying to deal with a blank slate.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]  So the discussion of theming became popular, and I guess in midyear and continued throughout the year. Another thing that I noticed that we started hearing a lot on news about around June was the Stash add-on.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: Adrienne Travis who we had on the show to also talk about Stash, she did that great article tutorial for EE Insider on template partials using Stash, and as I mentioned, we talked to her about it, but there were a number of other articles that came out around that, around midyear, that we’re talking about using Stash for the first time, and really rethinking how we were building our templates using Stash in favor, for example, of the embed tag.Timestamps:  00:10:11

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. I feel like every year, there’s like a new hotness [laughs] of how to make EE sites.

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Because when I first started creating ExpressionEngine sites, I didn’t actually quite understand how to use embeds, and then when someone actually explained how embeds worked, like everybody started using embeds.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And then people realized, “Wow, what a performance hit this takes, so what can I do to move away from using that?”

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And then Mark Croxton came along and decided – well, he wasn’t the first one to think about template partials. I believe John Wells wrote an article that influenced Mark Croxton to create Stash to make it easier for him to segment content and kind of divert the parser order as he wanted it to work, and ever since then I think it’s really kind of turned people’s minds over how to approach content in a more abstract way.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: Because I think the traditional way really is like let’s have like your header embed and your footer embed and then the content is in the middle, and it’s rendered in the order that you code it.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And it was definitely an eye opener for me to not think about it in the order that I coded it as opposed to the order I wanted it to render.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: If that makes any sense.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: And it’s still kind of a mind bender.

Emily Lewis: It is. In fact, I have tried to replace embeds with Stash. I’m not using embeds. I’m using mostly Low Variables these days for some of that stuff.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: But what I did like about the conversation about Stash is that it was so pervasive in the middle of the year, it forced me. I had to try it for something, and it became one of those add-ons that I still don’t know the full scope of what I can do with it, but it allows me to do something so narrow that I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise, that it really just sort of saved so much development time. Just using it in a sense of a variable in and of itself is fantastic.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s just…

Emily Lewis: It can do a lot.

Lea Alcantara: Yes, yes, exactly, and that’s also reflective in the following months and even now if you look at the ExpressionEngine Stack Exchange site, you’d see that a lot of solutions now have Stash as part of the solution.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And it makes me wonder, “Wow, if Stash didn’t exist, what would the solution be?”

Emily Lewis: Right. Well, I think the key is, the fundamental part of Stash, is that it really does allow you to get around the parse order. So you can do so much with it because it fundamentally does that.

Lea Alcantara: I am worried that, and this might be because like I’m always trying to use less add-ons than I need to or have to because I want to use the actual system as it was…

Emily Lewis: It was designed.

Lea Alcantara: As it was designed. That’s why I’m still resisting stuff like Structure. [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: Although I’ve used it and I don’t hate it or anything like that. I always try to use things the way it does it natively.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And I’m just wondering that because Stash exists, that people are forgetting or not trying to see a native way to do it, you know?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]  Well, there is always the reality that when you are using add-ons, when you are relying on add-ons that if let’s say ExpressionEngine updates to 2.6 sometime soon and your client is eager to make the switch right away, if your add-ons aren’t up to date with not only 2.6 but considering that 2.6 is coming out with PHP and MySQL changes, if the add-ons themselves aren’t compliant with that, you’re going to have to wait, you know?

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: That alone is something to encourage you to use the system natively, although I will say just being able to get around that parse order is so attractive, you know?

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: And really, Stash is free

Lea Alcantara: There are just so many times I have to use the channel entries tag, and it’s in the same template.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And let’s say I’m not even trying to do anything complicated like getting rid of as many embeds or whatever, it’s just like, “Oh, I just want to use the title.”

Emily Lewis: Right, that’s it. That’s all you want.

Lea Alcantara: The title. I just want to grab the title from this page, and why do I need to wrap another entries tag which takes a lot of queries and things like that when the entries tag already exists and the title could already be rendered. I just need for it to render elsewhere like in the title tag, right?

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: So something as simple as that and not having a performance hit is amazing.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: It’s a balance. You have to decide what it means for a long term maintenance versus what it means for instant development ability.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, and in terms of readability too.

Emily Lewis: Oh yeah, good point.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, because for me, I’m a designer so I should set aside some time to learn a little bit more about regular expressions and things like that, and a few weeks ago, we were doing our own updates to EE Podcast for our ads.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: And there were a lot of people who suggested using regular expressions in Stash, but in the end it was more readable for you and I to use Erik Reagan’s add-on that used regular language and pretty much did the same thing instead of using Stash, and also…

Emily Lewis: Yeah, I basically tried regular expression. I got instantly frustrated and just sent you an email and said, “It needs regular expressions, what do you want to do?”  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, exactly, and I was…

Emily Lewis: That always happens. I always turn to someone else to address that.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, exactly, and then in the end, it was kind of like, well, instead of spending hours upon hours of time trying to figure it out, and yes, it’s possible that we should probably learn it on our own.

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: It took us five minutes of using Erik’s add-on and it was perfect.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: And that’s always a balancing, I think as a developer where we’re always trying to learn new skills and doing things that make our site work.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: But at the end of the day, efficiency wins and readability wins.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, saving me time always wins. Being able to read what I did when I pick it up three months later always wins. I love to dream of the day… When I had a job, an actual 9 to 5…

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: I had a lot of time to write blog posts and experiment with technology.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: I just don’t anymore. Learning regular expression, yes, I should do it. Do I have the time to justify it right now?  I don’t, and I don’t know when I’m going to.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: Right now, I’m trying to learn new technologies, new solutions to build actual sites with.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: So regular expressions, if I can pass that off to an add-on to solve my need, then that’s what I’m going to do.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Emily Lewis: So that sort of brings us to July. We had that, or not we, but our community had that fantastic DCeers event that everyone raved about.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]  That was run by Jessica D’Amico and Kyle Cotter, right?

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, I’m really excited to see what they might be doing for 2013 because they hinted that they might be doing some other EE-related event.

Emily Lewis: Right. At EECI, I got a chance to meet Jessica and she did hint that there might be something coming up. I certainly hope that Brad Parscale who is part of Parscale Turner, or is it Turner Parscale who took over the EECI Conference this year, I really hope that he gets some input from Jessica because all of the comments from that event were so positive, and I really hope that she can bring some experience to the EECI event, and that will make it an even better event than it did in the past.

Lea Alcantara: And I don’t see why not because I feel like the community just gets stronger when we collaborate all the time.

Emily Lewis: I agree. I agree. I wish there is even more of it. I hope it grows.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, me too.

Emily Lewis: So speaking of our great community, we also had a bit of midyear blowup. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: I think that’s a good way of putting it.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, sure.

Emily Lewis: If I remember correctly, Stephen Lewis, who I think he’s Monooso, it’s his handle on Twitter. He just sort of bitched about the fact that the community itself is fixing ExpressionEngine bugs and it’s not an open source project, but a commercial project, and that while the ExpressionEngine community is loyal, the CMS should be bug free and that should come from EllisLab, not from the community and that the bug list at that time was just growing and some of the bugs have been there for seemingly a really long time.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]  Yeah, I think that definitely started stirring some things up in the community to discuss over how do we deal with this, is this really a big deal. I think the thing about close knit community is that just like with family, you care about something so much that when there is something wrong, you get really upset about it and there is a little bit of a blowup, and drama can kind of happen.Timestamps:  00:19:48

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: I’m not sure if that’s really being addressed in any real way because bug fixes are EllisLab’s responsibility at the end of the day. For me personally, I’m concerned about bugs, but none of the bugs for my projects have ever really stopped me from creating a good site. Do you know what I mean?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: So it’s one of those things where I have mixed feelings where it’s like, “Yes, I want to have a great software that doesn’t have any bugs.”  [Laughs]  Of course, a small list of bugs as possible, but none of the bugs have affected me personally.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]  I think that’s a fair perspective. I can say that I fall into that camp a little bit a well, but then there is one bug that has been persistent. I don’t even know how long it’s been there. I just discovered it when I upgraded to 2.5.3, or actually, I guess it was 2.4 and it’s still in 2.5.3, and I was so pissed off that it was still in 2.5.3 that in my mind, it goes, “Yes, I have paid for this product.”  It actually has to do with how in a channel you can set comments to expire after a certain amount of time and it automatically does.

Lea Alcantara: Yes, yeah.

Emily Lewis: Well, that doesn’t work.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: And if you have a large blog or you have a client who has a blog or a news commenting system, that’s a big pain in the ass.

Lea Alcantara: Yes.

Emily Lewis: And I do, I find it sort of silly that yes, it’s may be perceived as a small bug. Maybe it isn’t at the top of the list, but should. If you’re aware of the bug, fix it. Don’t release it into the next install. So I sort of understand when you’re paying for a product, you don’t want that bug to go into the next version and then in the next version. You want to see it fixed, especially when they acknowledge it’s a bug. They add it to their list. You’re like, “Great, it’s going to get solved,” and then months go by and it’s not solved.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that’s…

Emily Lewis: It’s annoying.

Lea Alcantara: Oh yes. [Laughs]  I don’t disagree with that at all. It’s just I feel like sometimes…

Emily Lewis: The drama.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, the drama just gets too much.

Emily Lewis: I agree.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: Well, I think I’m a little – what’s the word?  I can be swayed by a lot of people bitching like… [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: It’s like an alarm that’s something is going on and I can get dragged into the Twitter trolls and things like that, and it doesn’t actually serve the benefit of me as a developer. It doesn’t serve my business to pay attention to any of that, but it’s like the squeaky wheel. It’s hard to ignore, and then it’s hard not to recognize that things are changing in our community, particularly in terms of how EllisLab is communicating. It causes some alarm and it’s hard to remember to step back, and so these blowups that happens in our community, especially on Twitter, I’m really trying to just ignore them as much as possible. Because I think there is a fundamental problem with regard to what happened in midyear, there is a fundamental problem with bugs carrying over into different releases many times over, especially with the commercial product. But then there is also a problem with a bunch of people taking to Twitter and just alarming folks.

Lea Alcantara: Well, it’s funny because this discussion just reminds me of our interview with Anna Brown, and she was saying about how sometimes she gets so stressed out over a project, and the best advice that somebody in the project told her was, “Anna, it’s just a website.”  Right?  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: Yes, we are web developers. Yes, this is our livelihood, so of course, we should care about it. This is not me dismissing importance of the software of websites and things like that, but at the end of the day, it’s just a website. 

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: It’s just a piece of software. Keep calm and carry on. 

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Right?

Emily Lewis: Right. Right on.

Lea Alcantara: Just speaking about it like the communication issues, EllisLab kind of made that more official in August.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: They released their social media policy which basically says that they weren’t going to be using Twitter for anything, I guess, other than announcing a release, although I’ve seen occasionally they tweet out a link to a site that was built in EE or a client who uses ExpressionEngine and maybe talked about it in the process, but for the most part, they are not going to be monitoring their Twitter account for @replies or retweets or even the #eecms. So if you have questions, requests, concerns or even just if you just wanted to say hi, they want that via email.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]  I have mixed feelings about that personally.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, me too.

Lea Alcantara: But then I mean, again, if I…

Emily Lewis: It’s a choice.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, exactly, like I wouldn’t want somebody to dictate my business choices, and just because I decide that Twitter is a great outlet for me for personal and business reasons, that doesn’t mean that’s necessarily correct for EllisLab, and if that’s not where they are strong, then they shouldn’t be muddling along if it’s failing, right?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And if they do believe that they can have better conversations and information or whatever through email, then that should be what they should be promoting and continuing with, and just based on our own communications with EllisLab, Derek actually said, “You’d be surprised at how fast we’d email you back.”

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And at least based on my personal thing, they are pretty fast like if you email them about a question or something like that. Not necessarily a support question, just EllisLab in general, they are pretty responsive.

Emily Lewis: Right. Yeah, my opinions are the same that they were, and when we mentioned this earlier this year, it is a business decision. I don’t agree with it.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: But that’s their call.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah, for sure. In August, I know that’s something that I was excited about, and it’s DevDemon’s Updater. 

Emily Lewis: Right. So I haven’t used it yet. Have you?

Lea Alcantara: Yes, yes, I have.

Emily Lewis: And tell me, is it really a one-click update?

Lea Alcantara: Well, it’s a couple-click updates, but…

Emily Lewis: Okay, what’s happening…  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: It’s better than 50 clicks, right?

Lea Alcantara: But I would have to say that I’ve only tested it on like my simpler client sites. Do you know what I mean?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: The ones that don’t have like MSM and bajillion add-ons or something like that, but the ones that I have tested it on, it was just like five minutes and you’re done.

Emily Lewis: Oh.

Lea Alcantara: And you’re just kind of like your jaw just drops. That’s because normally it could take 30 to 45 minutes and that doesn’t include me doing even the backups and all these kinds of things. It’s just DevDemon’s Updater also does a backup, if you want it to all ready as long as you’ve finished the setup and give the proper permissions to all the folders and things like that, it was just like, “Wow, this is quick and it worked.”  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: Yeah, well, the update process consistently falls on that wish list that everyone seems to have, just an easier update process for ExpressionEngine. So I love that this came out. I can’t wait to give it a shot. I had heard that it does have some dependence upon what kind of like host you’re on in terms of the web server and how the host is doing their thing.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah. When I first started playing with Updater, it was when it just got released, so there were some issues with certain permissions or something like that. But I think that they’ve added more features so you can actually put in SFTP logins on there.

Emily Lewis: Nice.

Lea Alcantara: And once you have that, then it gives you like the right permissions to be able to like upload things to different folders or whatever.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: And that makes things really easy for most, I would say, hosts. I think where the sticking point is for Updater personally, and I think in general, not just personally, is that not all add-ons are compatible with Updater.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And I think it just has to do with folder structures, how they deal with how the theme folder structure is, and the actual add-on folder, they need to match names and sometimes add-on developers will have matching names or there’s certain like security permissions that just are incompatible.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: But a lot of the major add-ons do work with Updater. If you go to their website, and we’ll have a link to their site, it gives you a list of like recently checked add-ons that do work in Updater. For example, I think the majority of Pixel & Tonic add-ons work with Updater.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: And a few of Lows as well, and that kind of deals with the gamut of people’s add-ons, I think.

Emily Lewis: Well, and since you mentioned this DevDemon add-on, I think it’s also something I noticed towards the middle part end of this year is a discussion about developer licenses.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: And that’s something that I don’t DevDemon was the first to do it, but they were the first that were really promoting their developer license, and basically this is a license that lets you use an add-on on an unlimited number of sites. You don’t have to purchase it per project. I love the idea. I really do.

Lea Alcantara: As a developer licensing, yeah.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, yeah. For those add-ons that you just know you’ll use every single time at one-time cost, I love that idea.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: I hope to see more of that.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, it’s definitely interesting because for me personally, I love the idea too. But then when you talk to individual developers, they’ve got mixed feelings. I know that mithra62, he wrote an op-ed about developer licensing. Eric Lamb explained that it’s kind of like, “Well, it’s great for us, like you and I as developers, but then once the initial sales, like big sales, is done, then there is no residual continual sales.”

Timestamps:  00:30:13

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: And then that affects maybe the longevity of the add-on development because if you like an add-on and you want the developer to continue to develop, then he needs to have a continual revenue stream. But yeah…

Emily Lewis: And it’s something that’s a little bit that you can plan around a little bit.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah. So I mean, everyone that I’ve spoken to about this or read about their articles and things like that, they all had their own different opinions. Some believe that clearly DevDemon believes that their developer license is quite lucrative for them.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And they are going to continue using that. Others do not. Others have decided to do kind of a compromise where it’s still per site, but if you buy ten, you’ll get X percent off, you know?

Emily Lewis: Right. Like bulk rate.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, exactly. So it’s kind of like there’s still a continual revenue stream depending on how many sites that you make, but because of your loyalty and because of how much you buy, then you get a certain percentage off.

Emily Lewis: And it will be interesting to see the direction things go. I know personally as a consumer in the sales model of this is I like it.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah. I agree. Like especially because there is a law that people coming up with softwares or service things these days.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And it’s just I’m missing the one-time fee of things sometimes where maybe the month to month payments.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: It’s really not that big of a deal with month to month.

Emily Lewis: You can budget something that’s monthly.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, exactly, but then when you actually do add it up at the end of the year and you know it’s a perpetual fee, then yeah, that’s something you have to do with your own pros and cons list for your business.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. So that discussion from Eric Lamb about developer license sort of dovetails nicely into a topic that came up around the same time in the fall about the economics of hosting your add-ons on Devot:ee.

Lea Alcantara: Yes, yeah. So you see, this is why I mentioned at the beginning of the podcast that a lot of the discussions this year, it feels like is related to economics and business in the ExpressionEngine space.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: Again, this is a topic that’s divided the developer community. It’s essentially those who’ve decided to sell their add-ons on Devot:ee and on their site at different prices.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: Mostly because Devot:ee takes a cut clearly to make sure that the site keeps running and they can provide all the services they provide as a store for everyone else, and so there is kind of a discussion over whether it’s fair to have a different price on your own site versus Devot:ee because then there might be a client disconnect over why is this price here, and this price there and vice versa. To me, I think it’s kind of silly personally because I think that if you’re selling a product, it’s up to you to sell it wherever you want and as many places you want, whether it’s your own store or another store and to give one place a discount or not a discount, it’s completely up to you, and I personally don’t think that it’s necessarily bad to give a discount if you’re doing it on your own site, like if the only cut you are doing is PayPal. Yes, there is that client confusion or whatever, but me as a consumer, like if I decide to buy chocolates or like specialty chocolates at a retail store versus the actual place, I expect the actual place to maybe give me a little bit of a discount, maybe a bulk discount or something versus the retail which is the retail price.

Emily Lewis: Right, right, right.

Lea Alcantara: And that’s just general business no matter whether it’s software or a product.

Emily Lewis: That’s just retail.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, exactly, exactly. So there is always a retail price. There is always like a base price, and if you are going to be selling a product through Wal-Mart as well as your own store, there is going to be or there might be a little bit of a price discrepancy there.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And if you don’t want a price discrepancy, price it high enough so it’s lucrative for both sites, and then it’s win-win.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: Right?

Emily Lewis: Yeah, I mean, as a consumer, if I were to do comparison shopping on add-ons and I saw that Devot:ee had a higher price than purchasing it from directly from a developer on their site, I’m probably still going to go with Devot:ee.

Lea Alcantara: Yes.

Emily Lewis: For one, as a consumer, it’s one purchase. If I’m purchasing six add-ons for a site and all six are available on Devot:ee, I can run my credit card once. 

Lea Alcantara: Yes, yes.

Emily Lewis: It also has a really simple process of transferring licenses which I absolutely love.

Lea Alcantara: Yes.

Emily Lewis: So for me, Devot:ee offers a service that I value, so that’s where I purchase my products.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: I don’t actually comparison shop. I go to Devot:ee.

Lea Alcantara: That’s been my experience too, and it’s not necessarily because of the comparison shopping or anything like that at all, it’s mostly because Devot:ee is convenient.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And it’s easy for clients, especially for that transfer of licenses, because it’s just I buy it from them first and then I make them create their own account and then once they give me the final payment of their project, then I transfer everything easy peasy.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, it’s nice.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, and there is no issues over who owns what or whatever. It’s just there and it’s done. There is a lot of transactions, and let me tell you just personally too, there is a lot of things that Ryan does behind the scenes to just help people out with door issues. For example, if there is any credit card issues, I know my client did, they just got charged way like triple or something like it got wrong two or three times or whatever and he had to call MasterCard or Visa or whatever himself to deal with it, and I mean, that’s kind of things that he would do that you probably don’t want to do on and on. [Laughs]  And he kind of he has to handle all of that because this is his store, and this is the conflicts for his store so he has to deal with that. If you run your own store, well, then you have to deal with that yourself too.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: Right?

Emily Lewis: Yeah. It  really does become a business decision for the developer and the consumer, like I said, I prefer to just go through Devot:ee.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. October, there is a lot of big changes in the EE world. The affiliate program came to an end…

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: From EllisLab.

Emily Lewis: Now, were you an affiliate?

Lea Alcantara: Yes, I guess. Like I think you just basically had to add the affiliate code and then…

Emily Lewis: Right, through links…

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, and it wasn’t something lucrative for me like I get $10 every other month or something like that, and so it didn’t really affect me as much as, let’s say, community sites that have a ton of traffic that have those affiliate links associated to them.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: I think we had discussed this in one of the previous episodes as well, and we were saying essentially, “Well, as long as they use the savings and…”

Emily Lewis: To make a better product.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, to make a product. Yeah, exactly, then more power to them.

Emily Lewis: Right. There were some folks I think that were a bit disappointed about the income that they made from it, but again it’s EllisLab who makes the business decision, and we may not like it, but it’s their business decision.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, I think there’s just always a conflict in terms of, well…

Emily Lewis: When you take something away.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, and also you have to think about like what’s the ROI.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: What’s the ROI for this, and now they are actually not just financially, but like brand-wise and things like that, is this actually helping them, and they decided no, and so they ended it.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: But October also has a lot of EE stuff.

Emily Lewis: Good news!  Really good news.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. Well, of course, there is the EECI Conference outside of Austin, Texas where you and I had our very first live podcast.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]  That was so much fun.

Emily Lewis: I had a lot of fun. Really, I haven’t yet listened to the whole live podcast.

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: I’ve listened to the first half of it, but when I listened to it, I remember being there so I have that context. I’m really curious what it feels like for someone who wasn’t there, but was listening to the live stream.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, I was just reading through some of the tweets while it was happening

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And it’s you positive, like I was mostly worried that it wasn’t going to work technically in terms of streaming.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: So I was happy that it did. My favorite part really was kind of what’s called the game show outside just to have fun.

Emily Lewis: Right. Well, my favorite part was just being in person.

Lea Alcantara: Yes, yeah.

Emily Lewis: I mean, it’s disconnecting on some level to podcast without that connection with someone, especially you and I, it would be awesome if we could sit across from each other and talk.

Timestamps:  00:39:52

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah.

Emily Lewis: But when we have a guest, I love to interviewing the EECI speakers for the live podcast.

Lea Alcantara: Yes.

Emily Lewis: Because I could see their body language. I can make eye contact with them. I felt like I was much more in tune with what they were saying, and oh, I love that.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, for sure, and there was even like physical jokes. For example, when we had Ryan Irelan and Brad Parscale sit down. Before we started the Q&A, they pretended to do an arm wrestle.

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: And that’s just something that happens live.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: And you have to see it and you have to be there, and like that doesn’t really translate in audio, yeah, and those kind of things that are a lot more fun, for sure.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, it was definitely fun. That was also the last EECI run by Whoooz! Media.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]  And that kind of disappointed me because I’ve been going to EECI with Robert Eerhart for a while now like ever since San Francisco.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: San Francisco, New York, and then Austin. Yeah, I went to those ones, and I’ve always had a great time.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And I’ve always learned something so I was worried until Turner Parscale’s announcement in October.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: I think this is bodes really well. Brad Parscale, I think is one of the most engaging people I’ve met. He’s fascinating to talk to. He’s fun to talk to, and he’s really serious about business.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: As fun as he is and as easygoing as he seems, he’s serious about business, and so I think he’s going to bring that combination of business savvy and fun to running EECI. They’ve purchased it and they are on track for having – I think they said midyear it’s going to be this year in 2013?

Lea Alcantara: I’m not sure. They haven’t said anything out officially yet.

Emily Lewis: Right. They’ve put a survey out, I think, a couple of weeks ago where you could pick your favorite city and time of year and things like that.

Lea Alcantara: The same topics.

Emily Lewis: So it’s moving forward. I’m excited.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, me too. Another thing in October that I really liked was the Stack Exchange.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: EE proposal which turned out well because now it’s in public beta and it’s pretty active.

Emily Lewis: Those people who got it started, they’ve really been working in the community and promoting it. They’re doing a great job.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. I would have to agree, and even with the little brief interactions that I’ve had there, like I’ve had really great answers and information pretty quickly. So it really goes to show how strong the ExpressionEngine community is no matter what.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]  So basically, well, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves, but the support from EllisLab changed later on in the year, but I think the growth of the Stack Exchange site, I think we are going to have great support still, a peer to peer support, fast support. I think it’s going to fill a nice little hole that’s left by the changes that EllisLab announced a few weeks ago.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]  For sure. So I think that’s the majority of the big news of the year.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, we had on our last podcast where we talked about the latest news from EllisLab and probably the best thing is if you want to catch up on that, you should go and listen to that episode.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. Let’s talk a little bit more about what we learned then. What was the best thing that you learned about EE development this year?

Emily Lewis: I thought about it, and it’s pretty simple. We sort of talked about it earlier, but making a real commitment to move away from embeds. When Jacob Russell talked to us about what he did on the Devot:ee site, I started thinking about it.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: But this year was the first time I really made an attempt not to use embeds in how I was building my templates. I can’t think of the last time I used one, so it’s been a complete change in how my dev approaches.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]  For sure. For me, which is sort of similar for moving away from embeds but just more general, it’s making my work flow more efficient in development and deployment.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: Because that’s really a time sink to just get something up and running. So we kind of mentioned that earlier with like the site generator and things like that. For me it was kind of like digging into the config variables and maybe testing, working in multiple environments that I’m trying to move toward more. I haven’t dived into like getting anything like that in a giant way or anything, but I’m starting to develop locally a lot more and dealing with configs a bit better.

Emily Lewis: Nice. That’s nice. That’s something that I want to move forward. Hopefully, that will be the best thing I learned about next year. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, and in terms of config variables, Devot:ee has this great link where he just keeps updating the most recent config variables, because it’s technically hidden config variables.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And so he just keeps updating that document. I think we should link that in the show notes.

Emily Lewis: All right, nice. So those are the best things we learned about EE this year in terms of development. Now, I’m going to ask you what was your favorite third-party add-on this year?

Lea Alcantara: So in terms of making things more efficient, I also was thinking about that for my clients, so one of my favorite add-ons that I started using this 2012 was the Zoo Flexible Admin.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: It basically adds customization to the control panel so the user experience is just a bit better. It really allows you to customize it, the top bar, really granularly. So like let’s say, for craziness sake, you’ve got 20 channels. [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: I have a project like that right now.

Lea Alcantara: Yes, okay.

Emily Lewis: It’s insane. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: All right. So not every member group needs to see all 20 channels per se, or maybe it’s better if those 20 channels were broken up into like maybe five tabs.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: That’s something that Zoo Flexible Admin could do.

Emily Lewis: Oh, how nice. So is it just one of the member group basis or individual member record?

Lea Alcantara: It’s a member group basis.

Emily Lewis: Okay.

Lea Alcantara: So you can have like a content administrator member group. You can also make one for your super admins as well. But yeah, for example, something like that instead of just having publish in the 20 channels and then you can break it up per subject matter of whatever those things are.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: And then it will break it all up and then you could hide certain buttons which is also as important.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And you can totally rename everything. So if you don’t like the word “publish,” you can have it like content or edit this or something like that. So for example, I like to give my clients access to Low Variables so they can edit like little side bars, snippets and things like that.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: And I don’t call it Low Variables because that makes no sense to them.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: I just call it Extra Content, so little things like that is just amazing to me.

Emily Lewis: Oh, I’m going to have to try that. That sounds great. That sounds like it would be a perfect fit for the current project I’m working on.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, and the thing is it’s because you can make your own kind of menu items. You can mix and match from different sections. So for example, if you want to make a menu item, it doesn’t have to be all things from the publish section. Do you know what I mean?

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: So for example, if you wanted to combine the publish and edit thing, which is kind of the default under content, but if you want to combine it or rename it and put an add-on link for whatever reason under the same dropdown which you probably shouldn’t do, but whatever, let’s say for just discussion’s sake, it’s possible, that’s something that I really quite like, and I think that really helps people to just make the user experience better for sure.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. For me, whenever someone says what’s your favorite add-on, I always have to mention Matrix and Playa because they are so important for some of the sites that I’m doing, but this year, Low Variables is my favorite.

Lea Alcantara: Nice.

Emily Lewis: You would always talk about it, and I think, what, 2011 was the first year I started messing around with add-ons in the first place.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: So this year in 2012, I used Low Variables in June for the first time.

Lea Alcantara: Nice.

Emily Lewis: And it’s so awesome.

Lea Alcantara: I know, right, yeah.

Emily Lewis: All the things I can do with it, I’m sure kind of like Stash, I have only dug into a few of the things. But just for replacing snippets and global variables for common HTML like my shell HTML, I love Low Variables for that for the simple fact that I can save them as text files.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: And not have to edit them from the control panel. For me, that’s a nice work flow addition because I don’t like to edit my files from the control panel, and when you do build a site with snippets and global variables, maybe a global variable might contain some kind of content that you do want the client to have access to, but you might have other global variables that you don’t, but you can’t conditionally show or hide those to clients, but you can with Low Variables. 

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: I can save some variables as just for admins and others for content authors, and I love that too. It’s awesome. I love that.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, and especially in terms of the client management there, it’s got so many field types available to it too.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, you can use it with Matrix, with Structure.

Lea Alcantara: Oh, with Wygwam.

Emily Lewis: I love it.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah, and then even its own default little things too. So it’s got like its own drag and drop…

Emily Lewis: Reordering.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, reordering and…

Emily Lewis: Well, and the fact that you can use a Low Variable as a field type in a published form as well. I got this…

Lea Alcantara: Oh, I didn’t know that actually.Timestamps:  00:49:56

Emily Lewis: I have this ridiculous site that I’m working on, and the designer wanted to give the client the ability to change colors on pages like there are lots of different colors that the client can pick what color they want for a given heading.

Lea Alcantara: Sure.

Emily Lewis: But the HTML and CSS is complicated such that we don’t want to allow the client to get into the source codes, so I’m using Low Variables to let them pick the colors and then it just calls the style that gets applied. It’s so awesome. 

Lea Alcantara: Cool.

Emily Lewis: Just from the published form, it’s a dropdown of the Low Variables.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, that’s awesome. Now, that’s great.

Emily Lewis: So speaking of favorite add-ons.

Lea Alcantara: There is still time to vote in Devot:ee’s AcademEE Awards.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: And that’s where you can vote for your favorite add-ons.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. Voting is going to be up through 11:59 Eastern on Sunday, December 16th, and we’ll have the link to vote in your show notes. You do have to have a Devot:ee account, but you can vote for your favorite extensions, your favorite modules, and things like that.

Lea Alcantara: Cool, cool. So let’s toot our horn a bit.

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: What’s your favorite podcast episode from 2012?

Emily Lewis: Yeah, I really can pick just one. For me, it’s a tossup. I love our recent discussion with Paul Burton about contracts. As I mentioned, I’m already going to be reworking my contracts at the end of this year. So it’s extremely relevant to me, I almost felt like. It was also nice just to get to know Paul a little bit.

Lea Alcantara: Sure, yeah.

Emily Lewis: So I felt comfortable sending him an email personally to the effect asking him questions. But I also really like our Version Control episode with Adam Wiggall and Ian Pitts.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: And primarily because at that time I knew what Version Control did, but I wasn’t using it for my own development. But that episode alone was what got me to install Get. I bought Tower. I’m starting to use it regularly. I even have a couple of client projects where it’s integral to our work flow because I’m working with a large team.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: And I’m already seeing the benefits of it, so it was one of those episodes that inspired me and made an actual difference in my development processes.

Lea Alcantara: Very cool. I really enjoyed that episode too, and speaking of business episodes, when you mentioned Paul Burton in Contracts, my favorite episode of 2012 was Selling EE with Brad Parscale and Marcus Neto.

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: Of which was also voted by our listeners when we did our listener survey as their fave. Like I mentioned previously, there is a lot of interest in general how to run a successful EE-focused company.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: But in the development side of things, I really am a huge fan of all those Stash and DRY-related podcasts because for a front end developer and designer to have that kind of abstract developer thinking explained a little bit more fully is really fantastic, especially because we heard it direct from the creator’s mouth, Mark Croxton.

Emily Lewis: Right, yeah.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, I was pleased with our lineup this year just in general. I also liked that we started that little get to know EECMS series.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: I think those are fun. We have more of those coming next year, but they are a nice little just get to know break in the middle of some of these more deeper topics.

Lea Alcantara: Yes, absolutely. I think that was one of my favorite additions to this podcast, and a lot of that has to do with our listener feedback. So for those listening, really we love to hear from you guys. If you’ve got any suggestions and any criticisms even, whatever, please email us [email protected]

Emily Lewis: Cool. So before we finish up our podcast today, and the last one for the year, there is probably just enough time for folks who still  have some shopping to do, we wanted to continue our tradition from last year and mention some of our favorite gifts that you might want to give your favorite geek.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: What are some that you really liked?

Lea Alcantara: I have a couple of good suggestions, I think. For me, I think a GelaSkin for a phone or a laptop is a great gift for a geek, especially because it’s easy to stick and change if they get tired of it.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And there’s just so much great art work that you could choose from, and it’s kind of both protective and stylish. So I’m quite a fan of the Gelaskins.

Emily Lewis: Nice.

Lea Alcantara: And the second gift that I think would be good for a favorite geek, and especially because I’m entrepreneur, is I really think it would be cool to gift someone a Kickstarter project.

Emily Lewis: Oh.

Lea Alcantara: So yeah, yeah. But I’m not sure if all Kickstarter projects allow you to do this. With some of them, it’s like you just have to back it, and other ones allow you to gift Kickstarter. 

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: I think that would be really cool because it’s kind of doing dual things. It’s a gift to those that are trying to innovate and create something.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And then your friend or whoever gets the gift benefits in the end too.

Emily Lewis: That’s awesome. That’s a good idea.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: For me, I spotted this responsive design sketchbook earlier on in the year.

Lea Alcantara: That’s nice.

Emily Lewis: And it was completely sold out and so I’m so glad that we had to put this list together because it’s not sold out anymore and I bought it the other day.

Lea Alcantara: Cool.

Emily Lewis: But it gives you a nice grid for you to sketch out your designs for different resolutions.

Lea Alcantara: Pretty cool, pretty cool.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. It’s simple. I like sketching. I always pretty much start everything out with pen and paper before I move it into anything else.

Lea Alcantara: Pretty cool.

Emily Lewis: The other thing I thought would be awesome, and it’s partly because I live in Albuquerque and we have sunshine almost 330 days a year.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: But it’s a solar charger for your devices, whether it’s your laptop or your phone, but it adheres to a window so you just stick it right to a window.

Lea Alcantara: Oh, cool.

Emily Lewis: It charges your device straight from it.

Lea Alcantara: Okay.

Emily Lewis: The site which we will include in the show notes, you do have to translate it. I think it’s like Dutch or something, or I think that’s German. DE is German, right?

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: It’s German, but you can translate it, and then they do ship to United States.

Lea Alcantara: Cool. Very cool.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, I have one other gift, it’s a little geeky, but it’s also for someone who likes tea. 

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: It’s a little tiny robot tea infuser, and it’s basically these little square robot with these arms that hook on to the side of a tea cup.

Lea Alcantara: Oh my God, it’s awesome. I’m looking at it right now.

Emily Lewis: It’s adorable. I gave this as a Christmas present to my boyfriend last year, and I went to his office, he actually has it on his desk. He uses it every day, he loves it.

Lea Alcantara: Nice. It’s so cool.

Emily Lewis: So it’s held up all year as well, so it’s pretty sturdy.

Lea Alcantara: And we can’t end this podcast without giving a gift to our listeners, our loyal listeners

Emily Lewis: Right.

Lea Alcantara: So for those who have tuned in all the way to the end… [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: We’ve got an EE Podcast tee shirt for the first ten listeners who email us at [email protected] Put the subject as EE-Podcast Holiday Tee Shirt, and if you’re one of the first ten listeners who email us, Ho-Ho-Ho, have a happy holidays. You get an EE Podcast tee shirt.

Emily Lewis: Exactly, well, what we need you to send us is your name, your shipping address and your preferred size and style, whether ladies or men’s cut, and we’ll mail out a shirt to you if we get these first ten emails in time. I may be able to get them shipped out in time for the holiday Christmas morning opening presents.

Lea Alcantara: Which…

Emily Lewis: I will say we do have some limits on size. We will work with you in email if you do get your request in, but we may not have the exact size, but we’ll get you something that will work.

Lea Alcantara: Awesome, awesome, and if you guys can take a photo of yourself in the tee shirt.

Emily Lewis: Oh yeah.

Lea Alcantara: Just email that to us as well because that will be awesome at [email protected] with photo. You can tweet us as well at @eepodcast, we would love that.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. I get a kick out at seeing those tee shirts. Anna Brown, she got a tee shirt at EECI and she’s around town and taking pictures of herself in it. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: With the beautiful mountains on the background and stuff at the back.

Lea Alcantara: Nice, nice. So a pretty long episode, and I think that should be all the time we have for today. Before we sign off for the year, we want to thank all of our sponsors now and in the future. We are thrilled to have episode sponsors booked well into 2013, and we hope our sponsors have enjoyed the one million-plus ad impressions the Podcast has delivered.

Emily Lewis: Wow!  And thank you to all our listeners. Lea and I make the show for you guys, so if you have any questions or topic suggestions for the show, please contact us on our website, EE-Podcast.com/contact.

Lea Alcantara: Now, it’s time to thank our sponsors for this podcast, Focus Lab and Pixel & Tonic.

Emily Lewis: We also want to thank our partners, EngineHosting, Devot:ee and EE Insider.

Lea Alcantara: If you want to know more about the podcast, make sure you follow us on Twitter @eepodcast or visit our website, EE-Podcast.com.

Emily Lewis: We are going to be on hiatus for just a little while, but don’t forget to tune in next year when we’ll be talking about the newbie experience with ExpressionEngine on Thursday, January 10th, and we’ve got more great topics lined for 2013 so be sure to check our schedule out at EE-Podcast.com/schedule. We are always looking for interesting EE topics and are adding more as you suggest and we think of them.

Lea Alcantara: This is Lea Alcantara.

Emily Lewis: And Emily Lewis.

Lea Alcantara: Signing off for the unofficial ExpressionEngine Podcast. See you next year.

Emily Lewis: Cheers.

00:59:58 [Music stops]

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Emily Lewis and Lea Alcantara

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Your hosts Emily Lewis and Lea Alcantara proudly feature diverse voices from the industry’s leaders and innovators. Our focused, topical discussions teach, inspire and waste no time getting to the heart of the matter.