WordPress.org

Ready to get started?Download WordPress

Forums

The WP Forum search function - what gives? (22 posts)

  1. nimmolo
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Does anyone find the forum search function useful in the least? There is no sorting results by date. There is not even a forum-specific searchbox on most forum pages. Just that "Search WP.org" box, which gives you the kitchen sink every time.

    Tonight I was looking for suggestions for using the WP export/import feature in a way that might actually, say, export and import a WP database and its media files accurately, and the first 10 threads returned were from 2-4 years ago!!! YEARS!!! ...And that's not including the many results that were not even forum threads.

    No wonder there are 1,000,000 duplicate threads. Who would wade through all that stuff just to find a relevant thread?!?

    Folks, what year is it? Please, don't anybody even dare to pretend this is close to contemporary standards of efficiency. Why doesn't somebody at WP fix basic stuff like this? It helps people help themselves! It promotes the platform! I would gladly even pay for access to a useful forum - as it is it's a royal waste of time.

    It's often hard to find the answer to a very basic question here. I have only been moved to post this after months of frustration trying to understand what I might be doing wrong in my searches.

  2. Rev. Voodoo
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    IT's on a VERY long list of things to be fixed, and has been acknowledged as 'painful' by many.

    The search used to be a bit better, but I believe the system it ran on is defunct.

    As a stop-gap, Google search was plopped in place. So yes, the search pretty much is hosed ... and it is on the list of things to be fixed ... but that I know of, there is no timeline.

  3. The search used to be a bit better, but I believe the system it ran on is defunct.

    Yeah, Yahoo turned it off.

  4. nimmolo
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Ok. How is anybody supposed to develop on wp without a functional forum!!?

    Don't take it personally but What TF? This is the type of thing where in a functional organization you write a check and get it done. I don't even want to hear a spiel about volunteer software authoring. WP.org has expenses like any other organization - server fees, etc. This is basic.

    Like you said, the to-do list of obvious stuff seems waaay too long at wordpress, this is obviously one piece of a very large logjam. But consider how this one thing slows down so many other things and exhausts your resources and time, as mods (and probably potential developers)! No one can tell me there's not money somewhere available to the core WP leader people, like Matt for example, to start putting people on payroll to clear the backlog.

    It's starting to make me question the platform, and that should not happen. Tons of people make their living with WordPress, so there is a natural base of people who would pay to speed basic core functionality development. Starting with me.

  5. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    How is anybody supposed to develop on wp without a functional forum!!?

    Most people manage. Frankly I can find most things I need via the search here or via Google.

  6. nimmolo
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    No way esmi. It's a half hour minimum searching for the answer to a simple question like the one I mentioned. It's so wasteful it's not even funny, and this is supposedly the best cms in the world.

    We're talking about prolly 8 hours of a developer's time to save thousands of hours of forum user's time. An organization that can't execute on a choice like that is dysfunctional. Sorry.

  7. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Possibly because you were looking for the wrong thing? The export/import function does not import a database - just a site's content (including attachments if requested. A search on "import" gives me http://codex.wordpress.org/Importing_Content as the first result - which leads to http://codex.wordpress.org/Importing_Content#WordPress

  8. nimmolo
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Yeah I know that, thanks. Sorry for the terminology slip.

    It's the wordpress CONTENT import plugin that is extremely dodgy, as many threads will attest, and I was looking for obvious problems and workarounds besides the server file upload size limit.

    None of those links is even slightly helpful for real troubleshooting of the reliable problems of wp import, and I read through them three times before posting in exasperation - about my inability to help myself via the forums, which is still the topic of this thread.

    But I think we can add "the ability to reliably export the contents of one wordpress install and import them to another" to the list of things that should have been fixed yesterday, if you like.

  9. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I've used the import plugin quite a lot and haven't found any issues with it so far but then I've been importing a test unit file. Have you tried looking through http://wordpress.org/tags/wordpress-importer?forum_id=10 ?

  10. nimmolo
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    esmi you are patient! thanks. Your link does indeed point to a dead thread describing my problem, it's this one, fwiw.

    I just wanted to acknowledge with the above that your search technique, using tag links and forum id, is better than the raw search I was using.

    But the issue is that it is not at all obvious how to make a search like that of this forum, with both tags and forum_id, if not by typing the url yourself. I do see that the tags on pages like this, at least, are clickable search terms, as they would be in any WordPress install.

    I was attempting to bring up a larger issue, though, and keep it away from the particulars of my current issue. This other thread in the search results you sent perfectly illustrates what I see as a much larger problem at WP.org - maybe I should make a different thread with this issue explicitly in the title.

    Check out this exchange between moderator Jon and OP Marikamitsos.
    She's asking about a basic missed functionality of WP Importer/ WP export: why the internal links don't update. It hasn't been fixed and the answer is no one has time.

    That means it's time to break out the checkbook. If you mods haven't thought of raising this issue with the WP money people, and I can't fathom why not, I'm willing to raise it for you.

    Jon
    WordPress Dev
    Posted 3 weeks ago #

    > Don't you think it should though? Any plans on that?

    Yes, ideally it should. I couldn't say when though. It requires someone to write a patch and think about any edge cases where it wouldn't work or break something.

    > BTW, how does it work with mapped domains? [...] would we have to deal with any known issues you probably are aware of?

    It should work fine. So there are no issues that I am aware of.

    marikamitsos
    Member
    Posted 3 weeks ago #

    > Yes, ideally it should.

    I am glad we both agree. :)

    > It requires someone to write a patch and think about any edge cases where it wouldn't work or break something.

    Sorry, I thought you were the developer. Meaning the right person to address when it comes to caring about updates, bugs, new features and suggestions.
    After all we are talking about a plugin with almost 2.5 MIL downloads (an average of 7.000people daily-WOW) and actually the only one for exporting/importing a WordPress site.

    I wish the developer(s) will take a note of this so needed functionality.

    Thank you for your time,
    marikamitsos

    EXACTLY. We're talking about a product with millions of users, including millions of paying users at WP.com and the various premium themes and plugins. At some point all of these users are, if not making a living from wordpress, receiving value. WordPress as an organization, also, IS NOT EVEN NEARLY BROKE. There is no reason why basic programming development in the core shouldn't be taken care of promptly.

    Or, for example, a broken forum search. Jeez, my own WP blog has better search.

  11. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    including millions of paying users at WP.com and the various premium themes and plugins.

    None of which has anything to do with wordpress.org. wordpress.org develops, distributes, supports and documents the WordPress application but receives no direct income from any themes, plugins or wordpress.com services. Everything - and yes I do mean "everything" - is volunteer & community based.

    Now whilst this does mean that WordPress is -and always will be - free, it does have one drawback. It relies heavily on people being able to donate (sometimes quite large) chunks of their time to develop WP itself as well as maintain all of the other services on WPORG.

    Take this forum as an example. It's a highly customised version of the original standalone bbPress. Because it's so customised, there are only a few people around with the necessary level of experience working with it. Add in the fact that the forums have to be available pretty much 24/7 and you end up with a ready-made log jam when ever a major new feature is wanted/requested. Hence the very big ToDo list that Rev Voodoo mentioned above.

    Yes - the forum search sucks. Trust me - whatever you say about it, you can bet that the forum regulars have already said it twice as loud and possibly a lot more graphically. We do feel your pain. But right now, we're stuck with it until the right skill set and the right time happen to coincide. Until then, it remains very high on the list.

  12. nimmolo
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Esmi thanks for your response over on the wp importer thread, i'm going to try what you recommended.

    None of which has anything to do with wordpress.org. wordpress.org develops, distributes, supports and documents the WordPress application but receives no direct income from any themes, plugins or wordpress.com services. Everything - and yes I do mean "everything" - is volunteer & community based.

    This is indeed the official doublespeak around here, but it's simply not true that wordpress.org has nothing to do with wordpress.com.

    Everything, and I do mean everything, at wordpress.com and all the premium theme houses is directly dependent upon the quality of the code done at wordpress.org. The dividing line between work done on this free open source software that is compensated, and work that is not, is entirely arbitrary.

    I believe in free and open source software and I also believe in critical parts of it being developed by devoted full-time coders who are compensated for their efforts. The adoption of new versions and forks can an should remain a democratic process, regardless of whether it's done by sleepless overworked people with children or trust-fund kids or - horrors - people adequately paid to develop it. But I'm saying it's too important not to have people paid to work on it. I don't care if somebody gets paid to advance code that is ultimately not accepted because a volunteer made something better. What I do care about is this gigantic backlog of obvious stuff that's not getting worked on because nobody has the time. I don't know if you've heard, but there is an economic recession on planet earth. Coders need money to prioritize things too.

    Right now WP only seems to have a few people, but buckets of money. I'm saying let's get this show on the road, clear the backlog, and fix these obvious flaws!!

    If Mullenweg and the Super Friends suddenly stepped in and solved a bunch of these problems, everyone would be fine with it - but guess what, they're paid... to work on WordPress. All day. Think of it as an in-kind donation from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, in the form of work done by the principals. What on earth is the difference between Matt fixing something and a paid coder fixing something?

  13. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Everything, and I do mean everything, at wordpress.com and all the premium theme houses is directly dependent upon the quality of the code done at wordpress.org. The dividing line between work done on this free open source software that is compensated, and work that is not, is entirely arbitrary.

    It isn't in terms of income. wordpress.com is a sub-division of automattic.com - a private company. wordpress.org isn't a private anything.

    Right now WP only seems to have a few people, but buckets of money.

    I repeat - wordpress.org is not a commercial entity. There is no money - in buckets or otherwise.

  14. nimmolo
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    esmi - you're making a distinction equivalent to me saying "sorry i can't code right now, i'm wearing my cook's hat." It's the same people, in a lot of cases.

    The distinction between work done for .org and work done for .com is particularly artificial, because all work done for .org is also effectively "work done for" .com and indeed "done for" everyone else who makes money on wp. Not paying people to work on wp core has the sound of certain religious taboos - but my inner wp_rabbi says as long as the software remains free and open source, it doesn't violate the law if a sugar daddy pays someone to work on it. How would anyone know if core development was currently compensated, anyway?

    Look - wordpress.org has a resource allocation problem that is not going away. As wordpress becomes more popular and expertise in wordpress becomes more of a marketable skill, obviously many many people who could be spending time advancing wordpress core are devoting time to other projects because they need to earn money. I am not a wordpress expert but if I were, I can assure you I would prioritize work that would make me money, good grief. I am quite poor.

    If Matt - and let's face it, he does have the BBQ money - hires a bunch of people tomorrow to sit and secretly work on wp core as "voluntary" contributors to the wordpress code - that would solve the problem, but violate the taboo you're imagining.

    If anyone, realizing that their business depends on a platform they're getting for free, and that that platform could use a bit of work, and in fact already has a ready-made to-do list, were to set aside a bunch of money to pay people to knock the top 100 things off the to-do list "on a voluntary basis", that would be what i'm talking about.

    With WP.com I'm sure it's already happening - I'm sure the same people "change hats" all the time. There just aren't enough heads to put hats on.

    I do not understand why the people who make huge bucks off wp don't invest in core development.

  15. nimmolo
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I guess what you could say I'm advocating is "WordPress Research and Development Stipends." They'd be like 6-month stipends, endowed by the moneybags at WordPress.com, or even profit-making entities like codecanyon and woothemes, and awarded to key volunteer devs to give them help prioritizing the continued development of wordpress.org.

    See what i mean?

  16. Jen Mylo
    Key Master
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Esmi asked me to step in and try to clear up the confusion between .com and .org as it's being discussed in this thread, so here goes.

    WordPress.com is a property of Automattic. Automattic donates about 20% of its total employee time/resources to the open source project. This means people like WordPress lead developers Ryan Boren and Andrew Ozz, committer Daryl Koopersmith, and I are all donated full time to .org. Additional people from wordpress.com teams work on various patches, plugin repo management, themes, what have you. Matt's investment company, Audrey, also pays several people to work on WordPress.org. That's Nacin, Otto, and Scott. Between this small group of paid-by-Matt people, a big chunk of work gets done. But WordPress.com is not in any way responsible for WordPress.org. Donating a group of people is just a choice Automattic makes, not an obligation. There are no "secret paid volunteers" -- everyone who is paid by Automattic to work on core is more than happy to claim that status since it is hard to come by, being representative of being among the best in the field.

    Other companies that are in the WordPress ecosystem have (for the most part) not yet taken up the sense of responsibility to the platform that would lead them to contribute resources. There are a couple of exceptions. 10Up donates some of Helen's time (core code contributor), as does Dreamhost with Mike S (same). If every business of, say, five or more employees started donating 20% of their employee time to the project, we could probably move faster. If every independent consultant donated 20% of their time, we could probably move faster. When Automattic was that size, every employee was contributing to WP. Saying "write a check" is not helpful, because Automattic would hire more people if it could find the talent. The level of expertise needed for some of this work, as Esmi mentioned, is rather high. Lots of highly qualified people would prefer to make buckets of money as a consultant or run their own company. Lots of people running companies would rather maximize billable hours and internal productivity rather than investing in the platform. These things means highly qualified people are hard to find. Everyone's looking these days, not just Automattic.

    To reiterate Esmi's point: WordPress.org is not a company, and cannot hire people, as there is no legal or financial structure to do so. The WordPress Foundation is an educational charity, not a trade association, so it can't hire developers either. But hiring them isn't the problem. It's finding people who are good enough and who are available (and/or getting other companies to donate some of their best and brightest the way Automattic does).

    Resources is a big issue, yes. But frankly, it's just as big an issue that we have a fairly convoluted infrastructure, and making big changes is a lot more complicated than it looks. The forums, on an outdated standalone bbPress, haven't been updated to the bbPress plugin because of x, y, and z. The WordPress.org site itself runs on flat files rather than WordPress, in large part. There are a lot of infrastructure issues that need to be solved for meaningful change in these areas, and there is a group of people working on ways to update these systems. Decisions are made every day about which bits to update and improve next. Forum search (ditto Codex search) comes up a lot. Using old versions of bbPress and MediaWiki makes these two parts of the site harder to deal with than some of the others.

    If Matt - and let's face it, he does have the BBQ money - hires a bunch of people tomorrow to sit and secretly work on wp core as "voluntary" contributors to the wordpress code - that would solve the problem

    It's not a matter of money, it's complexity. If you can find "a bunch of people" that are actually qualified, send 'em over to apply at Automattic, Audrey, or other WP-based companies that have committed to contributing to the project. But they need to be really good if they're going to get the keys to WordPress.org.

    I do not understand why the people who make huge bucks off wp don't invest in core development.

    You and me both, my friend.

  17. Helen Hou-Sandi
    WordPress Dev
    Posted 2 years ago #

    As an aside about searching, since it is currently driven by Google, it may help to include more:recent4 as a keyword, which will sort heavily by date. You can also try recent1, recent2, or recent3 to see how those work out. No guarantees, but I find specifying that to be useful from time to time. Not making excuses, either, although I wouldn't want to be tasked with writing a search engine and don't really wish it on anybody else, either.

    I do not understand why the people who make huge bucks off wp don't invest in core development.

    As Jane mentioned, some of us do, actually. But it could (and should) be more. http://ma.tt/2012/05/wp-businesses-and-contributions/

  18. Samuel Wood (Otto)
    Tech Ninja
    Posted 2 years ago #

    FWIW, I'm currently sitting at a table with Nacin, Scott, and Matt. Matt just arrived, but me and Nacin and Scott have been working on nothing but this website (dotorg) all day today. We will be doing so for about half the week (then, admittedly, attending a BBQ Festival for the other half).

    We do work on .org, but frankly, we have priorities. If you're having problems then and we understand and want to help. But other people have problems too.

    As to specifics, the WordPress Importer is open source. You have the code. It's public, GPL, and free. If you or anybody else can figure out what the problem you're having is specifically, then send it to me and I'll be happy to fix it immediately.

    But a lot of stuff on this site (WordPress.org) is not public and it needs some TLC too (today we've looking at the plugins repository and how it interfaces with the support forums). Our time is limited, we have to focus on areas that we think will maximize impact to the whole community.

  19. nimmolo
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Well this is generating some enlightening replies.

    Helen - thanks. Noted!

    As a matter of clarity, I have to say: No one in this thread said wordpress.org should hire anybody. We all know there are no hypothetical secret paid volunteers. I've read the wp.org website over and over. We all get the difference between .org and .com as clearly as the difference between a living room and a bedroom.

    But - thank you Jane and Otto for confirming - just as I sometimes snack in my bedroom, of course it's true that the WordPress geniuses at .com devote time to development of the core open-source project - and I now see it's not a trivial amount of time. As well they should though - otherwise there wouldn't be much forward momentum in wp core. It's the workhorse of the entire ecosystem, and the ultimate engine for wp.com's revenue.

    As an outsider/participant who admires wordpress but is conscious of the marketplace of choices, I have to insist: it seems like the resources devoted to known problems in wordpress core are presently not quite enough. I'm addressing this statement to the WordPress.com devs. Not because i think you should do all the work, but because Automattic is in a unique position to take the lead and rally resources from the Strong Businesses and the Great Coders in the WP Galaxy.

    You are in a position to shake some people down, if you will... To make it rain. Rain code. :) Yes I know it's not that easy, but it's got to happen, or some other CMS is going to eat wp's lunch. I like wordpress and I want it to thrive. Here's where I'm coming from: in my personal quest to make working websites for people, I have often been embarrassed to discover that such and such a basic function is a bit lacking in WordPress. Like, say, the Media manager (ouch!). Or the importer, as mentioned.

    The people who have led me to whatever wordpress enlightenment I have found have been mods and other unpaid altruistic angels of the forums, usually. And that's good. As little money as I make with wordpress, I do also now pay people who helped me on the forums as consultants. I should - I owe them! But I've heard the reply a few too many times that "[that thing you're talking about that thousands of people want] is on a long to do list and I have no idea when anyone will get to it".

    The only possible answer to that, in a software ecosystem where plenty of designers, developers, theme makers and whatnot are making money, is that somebody needs to rustle up the resources to get those problems worked on.

    WordPress leaders just need to figure out how to incentivize the development of core as highly as, say, themes. Right now themes are incentivized way more than core development, and what do you have? A million themes, and a backlog in core dev.

    You can't tell me that's right. I'm trying to motivate wordpress to be as awesome as it can be - to incentivize the right things.

    Big love, nimmolo

    PS I do want to add that I appreciate that theme development is rather easy compared to revamping this bb, or changing something in the way wp exports WXR files, or changing the architecture of WP in a backwards-compatible way. Still, I think these problems are all solvable; I think the talent is probably already visiting these forums if not moderating them, and I think developers need to be paid by somebody when they work all the time. And I think the money to pay them is certainly out there in the hands of people who ultimately need this work to be done. If you WP guys don't figure out how to channel sufficient resources into your core open source development, I think somebody else will figure that trick out - and if they do, they will unleash a torrent of maybe-even-more-amazing creativity.

  20. That means it's time to break out the checkbook. If you mods haven't thought of raising this issue with the WP money people, and I can't fathom why not, I'm willing to raise it for you.

    That was you. Back when you implied that .org and .com were the same. We took it to mean you thought .org should pay. If not, sorry. It was a seemingly logical follow through :)

    Look, no ones making an excuse. We know it sucks, we all hate it, and we'd love if it was fixed. But if you haul me down a dark alley and tell me I get the guys who CAN fix it for 48 hours to write anything for WP I want... Well, search is low on the list because we have google. (And if I was going to get a fire in my elf hat over anything on .org it would be something else entirely, like plugins or other tools to make a mod's life easier, and thus keep your experience better.)

    The explanation for it is that time is limited, it's on the list, and no, this isn't a throwaway answer. If everyone had all the free time and money in the world to throw at problems, we'd be better off all around. We don't, so we eat the elephant one bite at a time. We may even be at the front knees, hard to say. It's a moving target.

    I think developers need to be paid by somebody when they work all the time. And I think the money to pay them is certainly out there in the hands of people who ultimately need this work to be done.

    I do get paid. Just not for WP. It has nothing to do with my 'real job' (ebook aside, which paid for my car insurance this year). Even if I sat and did nothing but WP all day, programing is as much art as music is, and it waits for the right mix of inspiration and passion and skill. We have to create something out of nothing. We have to visualize it and feel it, or we write bad code that doesn't please anyone, least of all ourselves. Code can only solve the problem you can solve. But that's a philosophical rant for another day :)

    (Internal links don't update because there's no way to know if they're internal or not. Logically, if I move from Lpstenu to Ipstenu, there remains the possibility I want to keep some content on Lpstenu, and so anything that points there may still be legit. It's only me, with my brain and awareness, that can possibly know my intent. Our computer overlords still do exactly what we tell them. Use grep wisely ;) )

  21. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    it seems like the resources devoted to known problems in wordpress core are presently not quite enough.

    Then, without trying to be the slightest bit facetious, join and lend a hand. You don't have to be a code guru. Anything that you can do will help and it will have a knock on effect by perhaps freeing up a little more time for those with the technical skill sets. Automattic contribute a great deal and they're not the only ones. Other do too - from larger companies right down to freelancers.

    Right now themes are incentivized way more than core development

    I'm not sure that's quite true. Core development and themes are handled quite separately. It's just that the recent developments in WPORG themes generally have so much more visibility and even that is down to a very hard-working group of volunteers (aka the Theme Review Team) over a period of two years.

    Core development, by its very nature, moves slowly if you want to maintain a stable system with a reasonable level of backwards compatibility for 18 million plus users. Got a problem with a theme or a plugin? Drop it and use another one instead. Can't do that with core.

    Then there's the "you can't please all of the people all of the time" syndrome. Sure there are things in core that you'd like to change or enhance as a priority but ask the developer next to you and s/he will have a slightly different list of priorities. All of this has to be balanced and mapped out. As a result, I'm not 100% convinced that throwing more resources at core development would result in the kind of progress/changes that you'd like to see.

  22. nimmolo
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Well, points taken.

    You've also impressed upon me that in my imagination, I write much more clearly than in real life.

    By "theme dev is more incentivized than core dev" I was talking about the incentive of money. The moolah to be gained by coders when selling a premium theme, not the incentives for the wonderful salaried work of Ian Stewart, which I'm sure is its own reward. :) I was imagining my popularly-awarded stipends "incentivizing" core dev work.

    I'd just like to say that I do not approve of eating elephants, Ipstenu. Either as a cultural practice or a practical emergency.

Topic Closed

This topic has been closed to new replies.

About this Topic