Archive for the ‘OAK’ Category

Welcome WordPress 3.7 “Basie”

WordPress 3.6 Basie

Today, WordPress 3.7 was released bringing with it some impressive improvements to the WordPress platform. At OAK, we have worked extensively with WordPress, and we are avid fans of this platform. Using WordPress, we have built some amazing solutions for our clients such as Pathways to Prosperity, Impact Academy, Apollo PTC, and TiECon Canada.

We put together a quick round up of some of the new features in WordPress 3.7 “Basie”.


Automatic Background Updates
This is an interesting feature to add. Automatic updates are now available for minor version of the core WordPress, which can also be extended to theme and plugin updates by choice. For more technical details of this update, check out Codex page
Considering projects like iOS and Google Chrome have already introduced this concept, it was time for WordPress to improve their core and ensure their installations are secure.


An Improved Password Meter
We’re just going to come out and say it – everyone is worried about WordPress security. Of course, some of the obvious security holes are due to weak passwords. And to address this, WordPress is helping users pick better passwords. As well, they increased security by implementing a new password meter which uses Dropbox’s zxcvbn library, a significant improvement in our opinion.


Enhanced Search
It’s no secret that WordPress search is weak. So one of the new features of WordPress 3.7 “Basie” is an improved search functionality. With this feature, you can now tell WordPress search to return:
  • Full sentence matches in post content
  • Full sentence matches in post titles
  • Any search terms in post titles
  • All search terms in post titles


Better Global Support With Language Packs
Samuel “Otto” Wood has a great overview of this new feature. With “language packs” you can now get faster and more complete translations. These language packs are separated from the WordPress core and they are maintained independently from plugins and themes.


Data Queries
With this update, data queries have been significantly improved. Check out the WordPress Codex for more details – but essentially, it is now easier to query based on a slew of data parameters.


Accessibility has been improved in a few locations, including table rows and colour contrasts in the default themes. For more information you can check out the Make WordPress blog.


A small, but much needed improvement in Multisite. A new wp_get_sites function has been introduced to replace the get_blog_list function, which has been depreciating for a while and was in need of an update.


New functions, classes, filters & actions
Looking at the WordPress release page, we find that six new classes have been introduced, along with ten new methods of existing classes. All these new functions, classes, filters and actions will definitely help us developer better WordPress sites.


In our opinion, WordPress 3.7 is a major achievement. This update addressed issues and improved some much needed features to makes it easier to design and develop WordPress websites.

Congratulations to everyone involved, especially Andrew Nacin, Jon Cave and Dion Hulse – and the 211 other people who have helped to push WordPress forward.

10 things we have learnt about client-business relationship

OAK has been in business now for 2+ years, and we have over this time gone through a lot of crests and troughs. We have come to appreciate and loved clients who believed in us, and worked through the challenges of working with those who struggled with us. We have learnt a lot, and we are still constantly learning but we have identified a few lessons that we are happy to share our thoughts on. 


2. Never ever stop working on that lead – Treat every interaction with the prospective client as if it is your first date.

3. Invest your time into your client – Let your client know that you are prepared to give them the time that it would take you to learn their business.

4. Persist – Don’t give up on the client just because you do not like what you hear.

5. Be an extension to your client’s team – Your relationship with your client should not just be just about the contract and the contract deliverables. Step in when they need you.

6. Let the client know that you are in it for the long-term – We all love consistent stable relationships, and that applies equally well to business relationships.

7. Don’t exploit a situation, EVER – When a client is in a corner, don’t push them more into that corner. Be there when they need you, and often will least expect you to.

8. If they can’t pay you, try help them find out how they can – what matters is that you get paid, and if you can help the client raise it – BINGO.

9. Be prepared to say a “NO” to the money – esp if you know that the client either needs something simpler, or already has a minimum viable product to go to the market. Better to lose the money but keep the relationship.


OAK has a new slogan – “OPEN FOR IDEAS”

After a lot of going back and forth and putting millions is micro-seconds into the thought processes, OAK finally has a slogan. In coming up with the slogan these are some of things that we wanted the slogan to represent and celebrate:

– OAK’s philosophy towards its business, its clients and its partners

– What makes all of us extremely proud of what we do in OAK

– Our future plans, and our excitement about our future

– Our strengths in software development, and our focus on new Ideas

And …. the OAK slogan is …. drum rollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll ….. 


We are really excited about our slogan, and it truly represents each one of the above observations. “Open for Ideas” reinforces our commitment to new ideas, new concepts, software incubation, product development …. and cool partnerships. We welcome great ideas backed by visionary entrepreneurs. As we say “bring us your ideas and we will make the software happen”.

Update  (July 1, 2011): Trademark application for OAK slogan (Open for Ideas) submitted to the Canadian Trademark office

OAK LABS is born – Welcome to our Co-Creation Space

Ever since Obaid, Dave and I started working on OAK together, we have harbored a desire to have a creative incubation space that would be open to like minded young technologists/entrepreneurs who share our passion of building new amazing things.  We formally started looking for a formal office space in March 2011, and the desire to open our potential space was at the back of our mind throughout our search. We, at OAK, are happy to announce that our idea of an “Incubation Lab” – a space dedicated to technology innovation, idea co-creation and all around entrepreneurial fun is finally coming to fruition with the formal launch of our incubation space that we are calling “OAK LABS”.

We have around 850 sq feet of space at our location at 44 Byward Market that we have cut out into around 10 work spaces. OAK currently occupies about 6 of those spaces and we have 4 open spaces that we are happy to share with any other technology/software development team that is looking for some prime real-estate. We are located right in downtown Ottawa, the emerging mecca for young technology companies. For the right candidate, we are happy and willing to consider very favorable terms. If you happen to be working on a kick-ass product that in your opinion will change how future generations will interact with technology – then that definitely is worth 40 browny points. About us – we are a team of 6 talented/young/ambitious technology professionals who understand their (few) limitations while (in general) being quite humble about their awesomeness. We are easy to get along with, and we absolutely enjoy the company of freakishly talented geeky developers and designers. If interested in sharing our space with us, please send us a note at team (at) oakcomputing (dot) com and let us arrange to get together and have a chat around your dreams, your view of co-creation and your sports interests (not really).

OAK has an office – Stop by if you are in Byward Market

We have mentioned this in some of our latest tweets, but this is big enough news for us to be worth a dedicated post. We have taken a break from working virtually and moved into an office. Yes, OAK has an office now ….. and we are located at:

44 Byward Market

Suite 220

Ottawa, ON – K1N 1K1

It’s pretty crazy, we only thought of doing it about 5 weeks ago, and now we’re starting our 3rd week here. It’s a great space, right in the ByWard market, next to SWIX … a company we have come to admire and appreciate over the years. Very exciting indeed.

The space was previously with one of Ottawa’s top consulting firms before, and we were lucky to get really good terms on it. We snapped it up after one visit and a few hours of reflection. Needless to say, all of us fell in love with it the moment we saw it. We both have great bright views of Byward Market (our French windows face the flower and garden kiosks) and awesome access to more than 20 of the best bars and coffee shops in Ottawa. We have over 800 sq feet of space, enough space to easily have 8-10 desks with space to spare. It already feels much more positive than sitting on our own ends communicating virtually.

Co-working was a definite need for us. We have grown fast in the last one year and grown to a point where we needed the added productivity – both in ideation and development – that comes with co-location to keep pace with our growth. We have been together in this new space for 2 weeks, and already we feel that it allows us to act/respond to emerging needs much faster. The only downside (if we can think of one of the top of our minds) is the commute and/or the parking, but the positives more than compensate for this challenge. We are still working on the name for our office … but we already have a clear favorite. More details on that in the next post that we will dedicate to how we are setting up the office …

In the meantime, drop in if you are in the market. We always have water, juice and beer stocked and we are always looking to enjoy a beer with anyone who comes to visit while enjoying the view from our French windows … This feels like a great step forward for us, and we are sure it’s going to lead us to being a more effective team.


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