Support » Requests and Feedback » Potential Improvement Projects

  • Resolved Jen


    By now most people have heard the buzz about the WordPress development team “taking a release off” to work on the site, plugins, etc. A couple of things. 1. It’s two months, not a full-length development cycle. 2. If any security issues or major bugs come up in this time, a point release would still be produced as usual. The “release cycle off” just means we’re not going to start on new feature development and enhancements for version 3.1 until AFTER this two-month community project sprint.

    We’ll be working out the process for projects to be divvied up for mini-dev teams of contributors this week, but in the meantime, we want to hear about the improvements you think would have the biggest impact. We’re considering everything from tiny text changes to major overhaul projects. That said, small, definable mini-projects that make measurable improvements to the community experience are going to be the easiest to work on.

    Here’s a list of things (in no particular order) we’ve talked about doing for the past six months. Tell us if any of these sound like they should be a top priority, or tell us if we missed the best idea ever (and then tell us what it is!). If you’re interested in volunteering on one of them, note that in your response too.

    Plugin Directory/Infrastructure

    • Better UI (including core plugins)
    • Add reviews from an appointed/elected plugin review team (text comments, rating, ‘recommended’ label?)
    • Allow user reviews
    • Create additional fields for former author/leads so that plugin adoption wouldn’t make original/former author links disappear
    • Automated system to identify plugins that have not been updated in x amount of time and contact author to find out if they are still maintaining it or if it can be put up for adoption
    • A plugin adoption process
    • A standardized taxonomy (categories) for general areas so tags can be more specific and useful (i.e., a Media category, a Widget category, etc)
    • A form for users to recommend featured plugins?
    • Add functionality to the compatibility module to require more info when someone says plugin doesn’t work (comment, other plugins installed, theme in use, etc) to help plugin author investigate
    • Make forum threads with specific plugin tag be able to be moderated by that plugin’s author
    • Mailing lists and trac for community-developed (vs solo developer) plugins (a la core plugins) to encourage community participation
    • Core plugins pilot – health check and post by email

    Themes – same as plugins for most part. Profiles:

    • Fix bugs around showing plugin contributions
    • Combine with forum profile functionality (follow threads, etc.) so there is only one comprehensive profile per person.
    • Add profile fields for interest in volunteering (design, code sprints, usability testing, etc), platforms used, etc.
    • Combine forum profile module with the new profiles, so we can use new profiles to follow thread activity etc.
    • Make profiles carry over to
    • Create point system for reputation based on contributions/involvement (will need a way to set manually for things that don’t have automated feeds we can use to measure) that can be used to give more weight to activity on site from trusted/high-authority community members (like forum responses, plugin reviews, etc)
    • Automated system to run reports each month on .org activity among users, so we can recognize people who are putting in a lot of energy aside from just patches


    • Reports on when new user signs up, makes first action on various sections (forum post, trac comment or patch, suggestion, etc) so can send automated email with links to get more involved/provide feedback (or ‘welcome wagon’ can contact by email)
    • Use profiles to identify potential mentors/mentees by self-classification of skills and interests
    • Create 2-month mentorship template for suggested scope of help and contacts

    Web site content:

    • Re-organize site IA (move themes/plugins to top level, etc.)
    • About/team page – make an actual page/section rather than just a sidebar list to put a more human face on the leads/contributors team
    • Change name of dev blog to news or announcements or something, since that’s what it’s used for and wpdevel is more of a dev blog now.
    • Move wpdevel to
    • Allow image upload on contributor blogs like the UI blog
    • Integrate twitter feed (@wordpress stream, @replies and #wordpress tweets favorites by @wordpress account)
    • Submission form for planet wordpress blog to suggest posts to feature
    • Subscribe to posts/comments functions
    • Do something more useful with Kvetch or get rid of it

    Mailing Lists – make it clearer what they’re for, how to use them, etc. Mostly just content updating.


    • Reorganize forum categories
    • Threaded replies
    • Make search better
    • bbpress plugin instead of standalone install
    • Better subscriptions (topic, thread, replies)
    • Review suggestions in forum thread

    Ideas – Use the new suggestions theme (GSoC porject being worked on by Justin Shreve) and put it at, have sections for core, plugins, themes, etc.


    • Handbooks! Start with series of 4: User, Plugin Dev, Theme Dev, Core Contributor. Could see more specific ones coming later.
    • Transition Codex to get rid of the lessony stuff and outdated screen info, make it the repository of all straight reference materials, such as lists of all functions, hooks, template tags, etc. as well as housing the handbooks.
    • Do it all in WordPress rather than wiki format.
    • Allow users to suggest changes via comments, assign volunteer editors to specific sections to stay on top of things.
    • Make handbooks accessible as pages/chapters, single HTML files, or print as PDF (entire handbook or specific chapter).
    • Use SVN or media library to manage the screenshots more easily.
    • Use login.
    • Process for handbook creation: identify 2 tech editors for each, create general outline of what’s needed, find community volunteers to write up sections, have tech editors review for accuracy, have style editor revise for consistent tone/voice.

    Training – To go with the handbooks, a series of training materials for each of the 4 audiences.

    • Mini-lectures, self-tests/quizzes, practice examples, suggested projects, graded test for each section of handbook.
    • Phase 1, just post materials, allow people to use them to teach themselves or others how to use and develop for WP (can also be used to run non-profit/for-profit workshops).
    • Phase 2, have online course on (using the gsoc LMS/BP project?) and have completion of courses added to profiles.

    Documentation and Training kind of go together, and could have dozens of contributors as opposed to a small team.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 75 total)
  • jamiegeorgemcelwain


    This sounds awesome, and I’d love to help out!

    Chetan Gole


    As I plugin developer. The first part looks very impressive. Features like plugin recommendation, reviews, categorization will be simply awesome and I am sure you will keep simple UI even if u r changing it.
    Best wishes for new changes.



    Thanks for being awesome! 🙂

    I’m in for the Mentorship program…

    I really liked all the improvements, this will help the community to grown alot.




    I like the idea of a plugin adoption process – there seem to be far too many plugins that are no longer updated which could easily be adopted by community members who still use them.



    Jane, this has been long needed and I’m excited that it may potentially start moving forward. 🙂

    Count me in!

    John P. Bloch


    I’m very excited about all of these improvements to!

    Ed N.


    When it comes to plugins, it would be nice to have a filter in the search feature that allows us to filter out plugins that are not current. In other words, I want to see only plugins that have been tested up to 3.0 (or whatever current version is available) For ideas on how this may work, look at the add-ons to Firefox where you can filter by version there.

    Same for Themes. Should be able to filter for themes that have been updated to include new 3.0 features.

    As for the Codex, this definitely needs to be updated. Possibly consider a legacy version for those still using older versions, but certainly update the details and images to reflect 3.0’s capabilities. Also, please document features better. There are a number of features that developers use that you can’t seem to find in the Codex, but have to reply on various attempts by other users, which in many cases can bloat code or open security holes.

    One final idea, this actually applies to the new menu system in 3.0 (which I love, by the way!). When you are creating a detailed menu and end up with a lot of pages in the menu, the menu system becomes cumbersome. It would be nice if the subpages could collapse (tree style) so that when I add another page, it is easier to place where I want it to be. Since it is javascript heavy, it can get a little buggy and slow when you have larger menus. It is especially evident in Internet Explorer, which I do not use, but the majority of web users still do.

    Thats it for me. I love WordPress, and love the direction things are going. WP should be the CMS of choice very soon, even if people still want to call it a blogging software package! LOL

    Oh Jane the reviews and recommended plug-ins are so needed.

    What about showing a slight difference between Automattic branded plugin and the rest of the community plug-ins.

    I love you automattic guys & gals, but I think their should be a little difference between core automattic plugins and the rest. I also think they (automattic plugins) should be review by independent reviewers not associated with automattic.

    Add reviews from an appointed/elected plugin review team (text comments, rating, ‘recommended’ labels? )

    But really I love what you are doing here. It is a great idea.

    Idea for an easier way for localizers to contribute po+mo files for plugins against a plugin’s repository, without having them all checked in via the developer. Perhaps even a method to submit translations against a plugin, with the plugin developer accepting them into the repo, would be a good first step?

    Localizing plugins, both on the localizer side, and on the plugin author side, have a lot of unfortunate barriers which I believe could be improved via the repository.

    Thread Starter Jen


    @kelton: Plugins by Automattic are not “core plugins.” Core plugins is a concept for having some plugins that are supported by the core WordPress team, and has been discussed in various channels before, including this forum. Core plugins have nothing to do with Automattic, aside from the fact that in some cases Automattic employees might be part of the community teams or they might donate code.

    It would be weird to mark Automattic’s regular plugins differently than anyone else’s, since there are other reputable businesses that put out plugins, and why wouldn’t those be similarly marked? The only special case is Akismet, since it’s bundled, but even that has been talked about — the idea would be that Akismet would be unbundled and there would be a core anti-spam plugin that could use Akismet or any of the other popular anti-spam services.

    Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to choose themes that is a little more user-friendly and emotional? I appreciate being able to choose 2-column, white, etc. but I think there’s a large % of the population that doesn’t care and/or gets intimidated by so many choices. I would extend the Theme categories “Subject” tag a little further or perhaps even dedicate another page to help people choose themes “If you’re a…..[photographer / food blogger / group blog / political blog / editorial / verbose / minimalist / video lover etc.] you might like a [ type of theme ]” and show a few sample themes, then encourage them to browse the rest, etc.?

    I think a little more hand-holding re: themes would be good to tip into the masses.

    Alex Rodriguez


    Force plugin developers to maintain the change-log some link you to another site that is NEVER updated.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 75 total)
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