Things can only get better

John Howard Jones (born 23 February 1955)[1] is an English musician, singer, and songwriter. He had ten top 40 hit singles in the UK between 1983 and 1986, including five which reached the top ten, and his 1984 album Human’s Lib went to number one. Around the world, he had 15 top 40 hit singles between 1983 and 1992. He has been described by AllMusic as “one of the defining figures of mid-’80s synth pop.”[1] He also performed at Live Aid in 1985.[2]

Early life

Jones is the eldest of four boys. His brothers, Roy, Martin, and Paul, are all musicians in their own right. They had a band called Red Beat in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and Roy has since released a few albums of dubstep-tinged electronic dance music both under his own name and under the pseudonym Dredzilla.

Born in Southampton to Welsh parents, Howard Jones spent his early years in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, South Wales, where he attended Heol Llanishen Fach primary school and then Whitchurch Grammar School. Later in Stokenchurch, near High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, he attended the Royal Grammar School.[citation needed] He took piano lessons starting at age seven. The family moved to Canada when he was a teenager. His first band was Warrior, a progressive rock group.[1] He returned to the UK and attended the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester while playing in various bands.[1] He met Buddhist practitioner Bill Bryant, who wrote lyrics for some of Jones’s songs and was a major influence in this period.[3] In the late 1980s, Jones began practising Nichiren Buddhism as a member of the worldwide Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International; he has credited his daily practice of chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo since 1991 as “having a profoundly positive effect on my life.”[4]

Spouse: Jan Smith (m. -present) married 1977/1978

Children: Osheen Jones (1985) is now an actor.
Early career

Howard Jones appeared as a solo artist in local venues in High Wycombe, before inviting the mime artist Jed Hoile, who used to perform improvised choreography whilst doused in white paint as Jones played behind him.[5] In 1983, Jones hired the Marquee Club in London and invited record labels to come and see him perform.[6] After a BBC Radio 1 session, he obtained support slots with China Crisis and OMD before signing to Warner Music Group in mid-1983.[1]
Major record label career

His first single, “New Song”, was released in September 1983. It reached the Top 30 in the US and the Top 5 in the UK.[2][7] He made his debut performance on BBC Television’s Top of the Pops in October 1983, and he watched his tape-delayed performance on a borrowed television resting on an ironing board before a concert at the University of Kent. He subsequently had four more hits over the next twelve months and a UK Number 1 album, Human’s Lib, which eventually went double platinum. Credited with jointly writing the lyrics for six songs on the album was the lyricist Bill Bryant.[2] “New Song”, “What Is Love”, and “Pearl in the Shell” all did well in 1984.[1] Human’s Lib was certified gold and platinum in several countries. Jones had developed a loyal teen following. His parents ran his fan club.[5][8]

In the summer of 1984, he released “Like to Get to Know You Well”, which he said was ‘dedicated to the original spirit of the Olympic Games.’ Although it was not an official Olympic anthem for the Games in Los Angeles that summer, it was a worldwide hit. It reached Number 4 in the UK Singles Chart.[2] The sleeve featured the song title in ten different languages while Jones sang the title line in French and German on the extended 12″ version. The song also appeared in the film Better Off Dead (1985) and the computer game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2006).[8]

Jones’ second LP was a remix album.[8] It contained six songs, all but one of which had been previously released, but which appeared in elongated formats, including the multilingual version of “Like to Get to Know You Well”.[8] The album was certified gold in the UK.[8]

In 1985, Jones released his second studio album, Dream into Action,[1] which included backup work by the trio Afrodiziak.[8] Afrodiziak included Caron Wheeler and Claudia Fontaine.[8] His brother Martin played bass guitar.[8] He had to have an extra string added to his instrument to play some of the bass lines, which had originally been scored for keyboard. One of the singles released from this album, “No One Is to Blame”, was later re-recorded and featured Phil Collins as drummer and producer (and on backing vocals); this 2nd version appears on Jones’s album One to One. Dream into Action, Jones’s most successful album, was popular worldwide, reaching number 2 in the UK and number 10 in the US. It stayed on the US chart for almost a year.[1][5] The singles “Life In One Day”, “Things Can Only Get Better”, and “Look Mama” appeared on this album.[1] In July 1985, Jones performed at Wembley Stadium as part of the Live Aid concert, singing his 1984 hit “Hide and Seek” and playing piano.[8] He also embarked on a world tour.[8]

The EP Action Replay came out in 1986. It included a remixed version of “No One Is to Blame”.[1] It was Howard Jones’s biggest US hit, reaching number 4 on the chart.[1] However, by this time, his fortunes were changing in his native UK and “No One Is To Blame” peaked at number 16. His next single, “All I Want”, peaked at number 35, and would be his last UK Top 40 hit. Jones released his third studio album, One To One, in October 1986, which peaked at number 10 in the UK and would be his last UK hit album, despite going gold.[1][2] Stateside, however, Jones continued to fill large arenas and the single “You Know I Love You Don’t You?” went top twenty in 1986 on the Billboard chart.

In June 1988, Jones performed at Amnesty International’s Festival of Youth at the Milton Keynes Bowl.[9] Jones’s subsequent albums Cross That Line (1989) and In the Running (1992) both performed poorly in the UK, the latter even failing to chart.[5] But some of his songs charted in the US during this period, including “Everlasting Love” (1989, his second number 1 hit on US Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks, after “No One Is to Blame”), “The Prisoner” (1989), and “Lift Me Up” (1992).[7]

Jones continued to play large venues in the US during the late 1980s, and the Cross That Line tour played major outdoor venues in the US, during 1989. With his ten-year tenure on the Warner Music label at an end, a greatest hits compilation The Best of Howard Jones was released in 1993. The album peaked at number 36 in the UK, and by 2005 (12 years after its release) it was certified silver by the BPI for over 60,000 copies sold in the UK.

Jones also had success as a songwriter for other artists in the early 1990s. He co-wrote the dance music hits “Heaven Give Me Words” and “Your Wildlife” with the members of Propaganda. The tracks appeared on the 1990 album 1234; “Heaven Give Me Words” reached number 22 on the Adult Contemporary chart and “Your Wildlife” reached number 22 on the Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart.[10][11]
Independent recording and producing

After Jones’ contract with WMG expired, he concentrated on production, songwriting, and running a restaurant.[8] He started his own record label, Dtox, releasing a number of albums through the label, such as Working in the Backroom, produced in his own recording studio (‘The Shed’). The album, which sold over 20,000 copies in the first year of release, was made available only at concerts and through his official website.[1][5]

Jones toured the US and Europe over the next couple of years. Live Acoustic America came out in 1996 and People in 1998.[1]

The track “If You Love” was featured on the soundtrack to the TV series Party of Five. Jones continued to produce and write for a number of artists during the mid to late 1990s, including Martin Grech, DBA, and Sandie Shaw. In 2001, Jones played keyboards on the Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band tour.[8]

On 20 September 2003, Jones played a 20th anniversary concert at the Shepherds Bush Empire, London, commemorating the release of his first single.[12] He was joined by Midge Ure and Nena, as well as his mime artist, Jed Hoile. A recording of this concert was later released on DVD.[12] Jones continued to tour and write new music, collaborating with Robbie Bronnimann to co-write and co-produce music for Sugababes, and Jones’ own 2005 album Revolution of the Heart.[1] He toured playing gigs in the United States, Italy, Germany and Sweden and played a number of times at the Edinburgh Festival in 2006.[13] The same year Jones provided a vocal for the song “Into the Dark” by Ferry Corsten for the latter’s album, L.E.F.[14] Jones also re-recorded “Things Can Only Get Better” in Simlish, the fictional language spoken by characters in Electronic Arts’, The Sims 2.[15] Jones was also featured on Katrina Carlson’s cover of “No One Is to Blame”, which entered the US Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart in 2007.[16]
Recent activities

In October 2006, Jones released “Building Our Own Future” as a podsafe track, as one of several established artists looking to use podcasts as a new means of promoting their music and tours.[17] The song debuted at number 1 on the PMC Top10 on 29 October 2006 and spent four weeks at the top of the chart. Howard’s track “Revolution of the Heart” spent five weeks at number 1 on the PMC Top10 during 2007 and finished the year as the number 2[18] song in their annual countdown.

Jones embarked on an acoustic tour of Australia in 2007, beginning in Brisbane and concluding on 5 April in Perth.[19] The Revolution Remixed & Surrounded album was followed in November by Live in Birkenhead. Jones performed another acoustic set, with other 1980s acts at the Retrofest, on 1 September 2007 at Culzean Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland.[20] Jones also went into the studios with The Young Punx to record vocals for their summer 2008 release, “And The Feel Goes On”.

Jones is a member of Sōka Gakkai International, and is musical director of one of its choirs, the Glorious Life Chorus. The chorus performs some of his songs in its repertoire, including “Building Our Own Future” and “Respected”. He returned to Australia again in 2009, this time accompanied by vocalist Laura Clapp and music technologist Robbie Bronnimann. On 26 February 2009, Jones was at the UK premiere of Roland’s new V-Piano in Bristol, and performed “Hide and Seek”.[21] He continues to tour, and played the ‘Big Hair Affair 2009′ on 1 August 2009 at the Ryedale Arena, Pickering, North Yorkshire.[22]

Ordinary Heroes was released in November 2009,[23][24] and he toured London, Cardiff and Manchester with a string section and the Morriston Orpheus Choir (in St David’s Hall in Cardiff). A single, “Soon You’ll Go”, preceded the album’s launch.

On 29 November 2011, a UK tour was announced. Human’s Lib and Dream Into Action were performed in April 2012 across eight venues. A weekly radio series coincided with tour called Electronic 80s with Howard Jones on Absolute Radio.

In 2012, he appeared on “The Song That Changed My Life” on BYUtv, the cable station for Brigham Young University.[25]

2015 saw the release of Engage on Jones’ own D-TOX Records.

In 2016 he went out on tour supporting Barenaked Ladies as an opening act for their Last Summer on Earth US tour.[26]

He is a member of the board of directors for the Featured Artists Coalition.[27]

Jones currently lives in Creech St Michael, near Taunton, Somerset.[28]

He is a vegetarian.[29]
Jones in the media

Jones has spoken of the media’s negative perception of him. He has been quoted: “I wasn’t fashionable. I never got good reviews. But I’m proud of the fact that I wasn’t liked by the media… Pop music is so reactionary and bigoted. And I found that what’s ‘cool’ is often very shallow and transient.”[13]

Link to article:

Untitled wiki

Google Integration Push Notifications

You may already know how to implement push notifications. Are you using them well? Could you be using them better?

In 2015, a case study found that when prompted to download and install Google+, 9% of users did so. That’s an impressive click-through rate, or it would be if we were talking about online ads. The same study found that 69% of users both left the page that prompted and ignored the invite to install Google+.

Push notifications and the technologies behind them improve retention odds by taking advantage of the code that’s already on the user’s device: your web page. If you’re deploying a web app manifest, or following the principles of application shell architecture then your web pages are already more like native apps than are other web sites. Even if they’re not using those technologies, you can retain more users by using push notifications more effectively.

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Joseph Medley

Technical Writer

Original Article:

Some stats on the evolution of the WordPress codebase

Some stats on the evolution of the WordPress codebase

Jordi Cabot

May 13, 2015

The WordPress project advances thanks to the work of many people that every single day report bugs, contribute patches or help in many other ways . I believe it’s important that from time to time we take a step back from this day-to-day frenzy activity and take a look at how the project is evolving to make sure the data trends confirm we’re going in the right direction.

Today, I’ll be providing some metrics and charts focusing on the evolution of the WordPress codebase. The data has been calculated using Gitana , a SQL-based Git repository inspector. Valerio Cosentino, the main developer behind Gitana, has been kind enough to apply Gitana to the WordPress Git mirror on GitHub .

Keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are tons of interesting data that could be calculated (and not only based on the repository but also considering Trac discussions, e.g. see some of the things we can analyze for GitHub projects ). If you have a specific question/request in mind please fire it up and we’ll see what we can do. There are quite a lot of software visualization tools that could be applied to WordPress to get a different view on the project!

Time between versions

The public WordPress Roadmap says that “After the 2.1 release, we decided to adopt a regular release schedule every 3-4 months” . Well, I’d say it took some time to adjust but looking at the latest releases we’re getting good ad that.

Number of commits per version

How much work goes into each WordPress version? Quite a lot I’d say, the following chart shows that each version involves more than 1000 commits in the codebase. The number of commits per version is becoming more uniform (which makes sense given that the release cycle is also becoming more regular).

Files evolution

And what about the files included in each version? Data shows that

Number of files is showing a slight but steady growth (typical “disease” of any project)

JavaScript plays a very important role in the WordPress code (something we already discussed at large here )

Once a file gets in the codebase, it doesn’t get out. Only a very small percentage of commit actions on files are deletions, some more are insert actions and most of the time we have modifications on existing files. Note the percentages do not refer to the total number of files but to the number of actions on files. Looking at this data I do wonder if all the files are really necessary (but this is something only a, mostly, manual analysis could answer).

As a curiosity, below you’ll find the top 10 files according to the number of modifications. I guess that the most modified file is version.php should not come as a surprise. By the way there are over a 100 files that have not been modified a single time since they were added.


times the file has been modified























WordPress committers

The success of an open project largely depends on its capacity to attract an important number of contributors that decide to devote some of its time to the project. I believe a large number of such contributions should come from “external” people (as opposed to the “internal” people, i.e. lead developers and other core people with commit access rights).

The following charts shows the accumulation of commits in the WordPress codebase separating commits between the two groups of contributors (since patches from external contributor are committed by core contributors, distinction is made by detecting commits using the @props tag thanking the original submitter).

WordPress scores quite good in this “openness” metric, specially when compared with other projects . Still, there is plenty of opportunities for improvement here.

But even if WordPress is the result of the hard work of many people, there are always some people that are more deeply involved than others. So I think it’s fair to finish the post thanking the top 5 committers of the project. We show both the top 5 committers counting only commits with own contributions and the top 5 committers when counting only commits with external contributions (both are necessary, without people taking the time to review and guide external contributors the pace of WordPress would be much slower).

I find impressive that these five people are behind of more than 50% of the total project commits (even this can be considered a risk also based on the bus factor metric ).

Featured image adapted from fyrenwater .

Community , Technical Details

codebase , commit , contribution , repository

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