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 - 16 through 30 (of 75 total)
  • Sounds cool, and much for two months. 😛

    I would like to help with the Mini-lectures, self-tests/quizzes, practice examples, suggested projects, graded test for each section of handbook.

    IMHO… The forums here are a high-visibility area, it would be good if some focus can be put onto them in terms of the priorities. Improving their accessibility would go a long way to improving the image of as a whole, I think. (And a bbpress update would help us mods, too… 😉

    @mitcho – I think the i18n team is aiming for GlotPress to eventually interact with the plugins directory in wonderful ways.

    bbpress update would help everyone, not just the mods. I for one am hoping it is fairly high up on the list. These forums are after all a major part of and the main place people go to for support.

    I like the plugin authors having mod rights to their ‘forum’ or section of forum, be interesting to see how that pans out.

    I just hope there is enough people to do everything on that list, because it certainly isn’t short!

    Oh and a feature for bbpress I’d like to see on here – the ability to change your display name. As my requests for changing it have gone unanswered 😉

    The contribution point / reputation system would definitely add stickiness to the forum. This in itself is probably why stuff like StackOverflow are so popular (see thread lately in wp-hackers). Definitely what the forums lack most IMO.

    I think anything that can encourage contribution, whatever its form, is good, even something that’s as flimsy as reputation points. Then make cool widgets/badges to show on sites etc.

    Documentation updates are interesting

    In addition to Mitcho’s, more localization wishlist:

    • search improvement (e.g. show search within as prioritized results within that site along with English results)
    • Same as above for
    • Theme directory and plugin directory localization – navigation and translated description /tags if they have any (this is probably be a part of GlotPress integration)
    • Profile to include i18n contribution
    • A plugin translation adoption process that’s separate from the plugin itself
    • .org P2s for international teams (we’re currently on .com blog – e.g. ja documentation team)

    If you are going to do the reputation, then you need to add full rep from going back a few more years. As well as combining profiles. I did a lot as darkdragon (can’t see it though), less so as santosj, and by the time I was working with jacobsantos as my nick, I was slowly getting out of WordPress dev.

    It would be nice if I could combine darkdragon, santosj into jacobsantos and have the full contributions listed for the rep. I don’t think it is fair, that I’m at a disadvantage or some fields don’t show up that should, because the full trac feed does not show up.

    I already can’t use the profiles on a resume for a job, I would be even more upset if some guy says, “Well your rep says you don’t know what you are talking about.” When I’m the guy who did most of the work on that subject. I think it is also prejudice that I’m supposed to help on the forums, IRC, etc to be a more productive in WordPress. For the most part, I have to spend most of my time to get my patches into core and don’t have the time to help people.

    To complement Nao’s post, above, allow for sites to support more than one language (points in case: Norway, Switzerland, Belgium, etc…).

    vanillalounge, Nao: Mozilla has a case study on how they did their language support. I think it might be reasonable to look at that first. They put a lot of work into research and finding the best solution to the problem.

    I’m sorry that 90% of list wont be done this year but that’s how is going in WP.

    @mitcho, @nacin: First thing I wanted to post is about this issue. There are some progress on it already, but it is not finished. Because of that I wanted to suggest that one of priorities be to help Nikolay finish this so that developers, translators and users could finally have easy way for i18n, l10n and use of plugins/themes on local language. respectively.

    Another thing is that we finally have new version of bbPress, since almost everything for it is finished. After that, forums here could be updated to that version to have benefit of email subscriptions. It is much, much easier than forking bbPress in a plugin or making plugins for wishes for forum mentioned in Jane’s post. Very little work is needed.

    Plugin Directory/Infrastructure

    • some basic strict rules for development should be made (eg. enqueue instead of hardcoding of JS and CSS, how directory & URL paths are made, nonces & add_setting etc) and that plugins that doesn’t fix issue after warning be updated by someone else
    • making infrastructure that should be able to post localized data about plugin/theme via API, which could be used in next version of WP for plugin/theme browser/installer; to be built with in conjuction with l10n process which is mentioned above

    Plugin Directory/Infrastructure

    • Allow two different versions of a plugin to be tagged: testing and stable. Except for the handful of very popular plugins, most plugins will have difficulty getting visibility for their test version without making it the version that people see in their auto-update list. It would be good to encourage public testing of plugins before they’re unleashed on the world.
    • Stats tracking for individual plugins. I’d like to see how people are finding my plugins, etc. Google Analytics support would be nice.
    • nth’ing the i18n requests. I maintain my own GlotPress install, but having it hosted instead would be so much better for maintenance and visibility.
    Andrea Rennick


    Customer Care at Copyblogger Media and Studiopress

    #1 biggest improvement would be to fix the forum search. It would instantly make pretty much everyone very happy.

    training & docs, yes. Welcome committe, I’m in. I can bring brownies.

    Otto asked the WPTavern a while ago about what they would change, which has some good ideas: Thought Experiment:

    • Allowing users to recommend/favorite plugins and themes in their profile.
    • Tagging tickets, topics, and other pages so they can be aggregated, in order to improve the development of ideas.
    • Look at how does groups and forums. The WordPress community should be able to create groups in order to start projects and keep discussions collected.

    Once the teams are put together, it might be a good idea to allow the community to punt them ideas, after sifting through this topic, because it can be hard to build on ideas when they’re all over the place.

Viewing 15 replies - 16 through 30 (of 75 total)
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