Support » Requests and Feedback » Development Culture at WP

  • Hey all,
    In my very limited experience of WP and it’s people it seems a little bit hard for people to get involved in development. I’m not personally a php developer but I can see a lot of talented people on the boards producing “Hacks” and some really great css designs.
    I have a lot of experience with open source projects and have found forums to be great for user feedback and some idle contribution but you really can’t beat a development maling list as a way for people to contribute code and patches and generally get involved. Also a “Development” page on the site is invaluable to help people get started. Bugzilla is also great once a project starts to grow.
    With all of the great people in this community I’d hate to see the potential wasted. A lot of the “Hacks” on the site are really “features” waiting to be cleaned up and added and with a good templates system a lot of the css designers could contribute some really great templates for WP. Once WP gainst popularity, and it will, your gonna want some decent infrastructure so as not to miss out on the wave of potential contributers 😉
    Excuse me if I’m waffling about what I don’t understand 🙂

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
  • Mark,
    Have you actually approached the developers directly in regards to this?

    Thread Starter sisob


    Nope, I don’t know how to exactly 😉 That’s my point. There is an IRC chanel but I don’t have time right now for IRC. So I figgured I’d post here.

    u can mail them but i suppose postin here is the best way…

    No problem, bud. Check out the blurb in the FAQs about this. It’s about half-way down the page or so.
    Have a great day, Mark!

    The FAQs are interestingly… umm… mmm… funny… :0)

    sisob’s point regarding a development mailing list should not be overlooked. Communities are built around development mailing lists. That’s where the bazaar really takes place. A BB isn’t nearly as good for sending and reviewing patches, performing UI reviews, and so forth. The BB is a nice resource that has its purpose, but a mailing list is better suited to development traffic. I would much rather use my favorite email client with its editing, sorting, and filtering capabilities than any web BB. Plus, the mail comes to me, not me to it.
    Right now, I send all of my patches directly to Matt. I hope he gets them. If there was a development mailer, I would send the patches there so all interested parties could give them a look and see what people are working on.

    This is just my personal opinion, and it’s entirely based upon conjecture, and not on any discussions with any of the developers…
    I suspect that if we are patient, we will be rewarded by many things:
    – the release of V1.0
    – the acceleration of needed documentation writing
    – attention to surrounding details like development and creation of WP add-ons/mods/hacks
    My point is this–these things will happen all in good time. I know that there are many of you out there who are not only very eager, but are very capable of making substantial contributions to the WP project as a whole. Right now, WP, in all versions prior to 1.0, are in the shadow of b2. As much as we would like to see this thing “explode” and become the next big CMS on the planet, there has to be some control put on the whole enterprise. Many things are not set in place, or are not developed enough yet to provide us in the community with the knowledge of how the developers want things done. This will change soon, I guarantee you that.
    The future holds many excellent possibilities for WordPress and the WordPress community. We have a unique opportunity to use the experiences gained from other blogging communities, and as well, we can avoid some of the mistakes they made.
    Don’t give up wanting to assist in development. Keep writing standards-compliant code. Do all of those things at which you excel. Send a note to the developers. Let them know of your interest. They are not in the position to recruit right now…their heads are around the birth of baby WP 1.0, and all of its ensuing possibilities. Demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and abilities on your own sites and by helping others work on their sites. Be all that you can be…lol…
    Have you seen the movie Field of Dreams?
    “If you build it, [they] will come.” Let the crew deliver to us V.1.0, and then we will have a baseline from which to start.
    Sorry for the sermon, everyone, but I am passionate about WP and the WP community. It has struck a chord with me, and I am excited about being a small part of something that is in its early stages. I just feel that if we temper our bubbling enthusiasm right now, we will all be rewarded. Trust me, I have been nagging the developers about the documentation, but then when I started thinking about it, I realised that I was not being ignored. My comments have been noted and set aside temporarily until the guys are better able to address all of our requests and ideas. Let’s give them the opportunity to get 1.0 out the door and then move on from there. As with any baby, the future is both bright and full of endless possibilities!

    oh boy this was great stuff

    Points well taken, although you’re talking more from the user perspective. I’m talking about fixing release critical bugs and stabilizing CVS in preparation for 1.0. WP should be in feature freeze. Blue sky requests and other diversions should be ignored for now by those working to make the release happen. If Matt need helps eliminating some release gating bugs, he can let us know. I’ve fixed all of the ones that were impeding me.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think my point(s) apply to all perspectives for anyone outside of the developer circle right now. This doesn’t mean, however, that you are wrong in what you say. I think it’s a valuable thing that you have done by sending your thoughts, ideas, and even code changes to Matt. Keep up the good work.

    Rboren wrote: “Communities are built around development mailing lists. That’s where the bazaar really takes place.” Although the points in his post are mostly well-taken, I have a major problem with this statement. Why? Because it’s exactly the mentality that causes most OS projects to become these developer-heavy, ‘in-the-know’ kind of places that make them unpleasant (and unapproachable) for the average user. Have you missed seeing the community that’s being built in these very forums? In many ways I believe *this* is the lifeblood of WP. We’re all learning and having fun doing it. There’s a real sense of fraternity and fellowship here, and as Craig said, it’s exciting to be part of it.
    The ‘development culture’ as I’ve seen it has been open and responsive to requests, suggestions, and critiques by this community. I think Craig has it right when he says wait til 1.0 is out the door. Let the dev team as it currently exists, the ones who’ve led this project all the way from b2 to something new and different, finish the job they’ve started. Doesn’t it say something about what they’ve achieved that we have that kind of trust in them? Let them take breath and look around at what they’ve accomplished so far. THEN let’s talk about what to do next. There’s plenty of time and room for all. 🙂

    I agree /w Cena…. I preferr using these forums as a dev tool instead of a mailing list helps get the word out to more people. I may post something here that others may find interesting, they can then take it, modify it further as needed, and so on. If I send it to some mailing list, from my perspective it goes into a close black hole, and User-X then spends time toiling away at something that could be fixed by the code I supplied… I think it’s great to be on the ground floor of something like WP. With the community behind it and the dedication of the developers, it has great potential. Having the discussions open like this, gives everyone a chance to put in thier two cents, as well as learning how the insides work.
    Maybe this will help – a rea life example of open vs closed development. I consider WP to be open development: the developers are easily contated, and open about what is going on. When in doubt, the community is asked for assistance or input.
    A closed development community is one where no one seems to really know who it working on it, and no one knows how the innards work. It’s a black box the most, unless you’ve worked on it. I know of one such system, and it really has put a lot of people off. One person closely guarded the core parts of the system, became really anal about changes to the core, and only put in what he deemed worthy… which sometimes coinsided with the needs of the users, and other times not. It’s led to a bloated core system that no one seems to know how it works, and so writting modules to interface with it became a nightmare.
    I’d hate to see WP end up like that. From what I’ve seen, it shouldn’t, as no one wants it to be like that (I hope). While I can see value in a mailing list when trying to get code to the developers, others maybe interested in the code as well. Maybe a new forum category is needed, a place to submit code segments??? I don’t know.

    I just wanted to take a moment and second (or third?) the patience mantra. The core developers have proven remarkably responsive to suggestions from the community, however I think it is probably best to let them go about the business of debugging and getting 1.0 out the door.
    The enthusiasm is great, but at a certain point you run into the too many cooks thing. Clearly it’s not practical to give everyone interested in contributing upload privileges to the CVS and even if that was desirable, as more changes are made we begin to run into the problem of not having any one person know exactly how all the pieces mesh.
    From a user perspective, this is less than desirable. Not everyone is interested in being on the bleeding edge and the bulk of those downloading WP for the first time may not want anything more than stability, ease of use and a painless installation process — even if it comes at the cost of a few features.
    In closing, I think these forums are a fine way to pass on code, suggestions and ideas to the developers and don’t see the need for a more formal system. At a certain point, it may be best to take a step back and let the core people who cooked this thing up in the first place and likely have the best understanding of it, do what they do best. In the long term, the increased user base that the stability and already included features of 1.0 will assure, will do more to spur development than any other single factor.

    Forums are a terrible way to pass on code. Posting large unified diffs to BBs is asking for pain. That’s what a development mailing list (and bugzilla) is for. This is simply a practical issue.
    Too many cooks is a good point. That’s why you have a leader or set of leaders and their lieutenants. They decide which patches floating on the development mailer go in. Not everyone should have CVS access. I certainly don’t want it. Subsystem ownership is the way to go.
    The model followed by Gnome and most other projects is a good one. Have an active BB and Wiki site where users help each other, play with mods, talk to developers, and evangelize. However, the work of coordinating development, reviewing code, and managing releases needs a development mailer that is focused on getting the release out the door. Using Gnome as an example, the community weblog, BB, and Wike are here:
    Subscribing to mailing lists and viewing list archives is done here:
    Both of these are necessay. Everyone can engage in either one, but development lists need to stay focused and on topic.
    Cena, I’m proposing a developer mailing list as a way of making more people in the know, not less. How much do you know about the state of the 1.0 release right now? I certainly can’t tell what is left that needs to be done based upon conversations on the BB. I’m not even sure who’s actively developing right now besides Matt. In contrast, go to the gnome-desktop-devel list and read the weekly “we are here” updates (which are also communicated out to the gnomedesktop weblog so that those not interested in monitoring development list traffic can be in-the-know as well) and listen in on the design discussions. One can learn alot on those lists and quickly gauge the pulse of development. Of course, this takes time to create. That’s why these comments are just suggestions, not demands for instant statisfaction. The devs can happily do their thing while we talk amongst ourselves. I certainly don’t mean to impugn their hard work or divert them from their task. I understand they are preoccupied. That’s why I making these suggestions to the community through this BB rather than directly to the developers through their inbox. The only thing I put in their inbox is patches for bugs. Putting those on a BB is a pain, and they will probably never see them amongst long rambling discussions such as these. 😉
    Anyway, I’m not complaining. This is a good project with a good and growing community. I’m merely suggesting that a development mailing list is both a practical necessity and the best way to attract new developers and get them plugged in. It should by no means supplant the BB. Both are needed, and, in a healthy project, both are used openly and to the best of their merits.

    That last post is from me. Forgot to log in.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
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