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[Resolved] Potential WordPress.org Improvement Projects

  • Jen

    @jenmylo

    Community Organizer

    By now most people have heard the buzz about the WordPress development team “taking a release off” to work on the wordpress.org 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.

    WordPress.org Profiles:

    • Fix bugs around showing plugin contributions
    • Combine with forum profile functionality (follow threads, etc.) so there is only one comprehensive wordpress.org 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 wordcamp.org
    • 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

    Mentorship:

    • 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 wordpress.org
    • 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.

    Forums:

    • 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 make.wordpress.org/suggestions, have sections for core, plugins, themes, etc.

    Documentation:

    • 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 wordpress.org 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 learn.wordpress.org (using the gsoc LMS/BP project?) and have completion of courses added to wordpress.org profiles.

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

Viewing 15 replies - 31 through 45 (of 75 total)
  • In general I’d agree with most of the ideas stated within the thread, and my thoughts of (at least the main areas) were left on my blog a week ago, for the fact nothing had been written in here! 🙂

    Summary of what I said though;

    • Start using WordPress throughout the site.
    • Please stop using MediaWiki, and switch the Codex over!
    • SINGLE LOGIN (Nuff said on that!)
    • Clean up, and organise Extend.
    • Our WordPress Profiles…?

    And yes, I’d like to help out in some way or another, wherever I possibly can … but I’m not sure if I can fully dedicate hours upon hours each week, although I can be around!? (They call it life outside the interwebs apparently!)

    I’m here anyway, just give us a shout!

    I saw a mention at one point about doing some meet up like functionality on WordPress.org so users/devs can plan meet ups on the site. I’m not sure how exactly it could all work but it is a good idea. I believe there is a events GSoC project as well.

    I saw that bbpress is now making a plugin instead of standalone install.
    So What should I do? I’m on the final stage to launch my site where I’ve used almost 100 plus bbpress standalone installs.

    So here are my question?
    1. Will New plugin meet my site’s criteria?
    2. Will bbpress.org will closed after plugin’s announcement?
    3. Will bbPress Standalone shutdown after plugin’s availability?
    4. Can We will easily able to switch from standalone to plugin without data losing?
    5. is there a function to launch multiple boards like wpmu?
    because I’m using multiple installs for my various boards.
    6. will there need for integration specially ( cookies integration ) with this new plugin.
    7. what about bbPress plugins? after bbpress plugin version will they all useless?
    8. Or we will be able to use bbpress standalone plugins with bbpress plugin software?
    9. Should I launch my site or still wait for plugin availability?
    10. When this bbpress plugin version will be available for public?

    Do you people have answers for these questions?
    Do you people have any suggestions for my site?
    Do you people have any ideas how can I achieve bbpress multiuser like WPMU functionality? after plugin’s availability??

    I’m really afraid, I really don’t know what to do right now.
    I’m working on my site from almost last 10 months. I don’t want to lose everything if this plugin will be launched, Is it possible? Because I was working with bbpress Standalone Version. 🙁

    I hope you people will guide me Now what to do….
    Thanks

    Regards
    KB

    I’d be interested in helping with training and documentation. Most of these ideas are greatly needed for WordPress to become even better.

    mrmist

    @mrmist

    Forum Janitor

    @ _KB_ it’s probably best to start your own topic to discuss bbpress, possibly on the bbpress forums, as this topic has a specific purpose.

    I think this is a great idea. There are definitely some loose ends that needs to be tied.

    one suggestions for Web site content of wordpress.org:
    A page which contains links to .org related sites. ie. wordpress.tv, wordcamp, wp jobs … as well as dev links like dev blog, etc. would be good. I just noticed some of these links at the footer, but no many people are gonna to notice that 🙂
    I am not sure in other countries, but at least in Japan, although many know wordpress.org, most doesn’t know these related sites exists. I think because simply the links aren’t clear on this “official” .org site. A page with not just list of links, but with screenshot and short description of what these sites are will be, I think, particularly useful for newbies.

    Moderator James Huff

    @macmanx

    Support Team Rep.

    Forums:

    – Free coffee subscriptions for volunteers who stay up way too late.

    Thank you for your consideration!

    How about some skeleton plugins that showcase the best practices of some of the general things that most plugins do, similar to the skeleton plugin for BuddyPress. Example plugins are better than tutorials in the Codex because you can download and activate them now, without writing your own plugin, and start messing around with the code. The plugin might include creating a widget, an options page, adding in JavaScript, using filter and action hooks, using nonce, creating a shortcode, and whatever else is commonly done or miss-done by plugin developers. The code could have documentation that links to tutorials if new developers need a more detailed explanation. Skeleton plugins allow new developers to see how chunks of code, with different functionality, go together to make a fully functional and well designed plugin.

    I’d like to suggest some things towards local communities.

    – improve local codepoet (/europe is hard to read by country, really, and doesn’t bring a lot of information/verification it seems — yes, I know how hard this can be).
    – have a local version of the job board on xx.wp.org.
    – biggest request: make it possible for local communities to easily integrate xx.wp.org tools (download page, showcase, potential job-board, potential improved codepoet) on their own domain (such as in a sub-domain), so as to not have their community spread on many sites.

    I would love to help out in the Training aspect or the “Welcome to WordPress” portion. So count me in for that.

    I know in the beginning it is easy to become overwhelmed or get lost in the shuffle.

    Chris Olbekson

    @c3mdigital

    Level 12 Bug Squasher & Forum Moderator

    I would love the ability to have a unified WordPress.org profile and some sort of trust ranking and community involvement ranking.

    On the MSDN forums (uggghh closed source I know) when a Microsoft developer provides support the users provide feedback on each issue that states if the problem was solved and a rating. Encouraging this type of feedback would help cleanse the forums of un-resolved issues and encourage more volunteers to follow through until the issue is resolved.

    How do we encourage users to provide feedback? We integrate everyone’s WordPress.org profile into their WordPress dashboards. When you are logged in to your own install of WordPress you would be able to see threads you have started or that were recently responded to. All user activity across WordPress.org could be tracked and manged through their profile either logged on here or through their dashboard.

    Another idea for the users profile would be to add verified services ala the new Gravatar profiles.

    I would like to volunteer for any of the theme repository tasks and also anything involved with the support forums.

    Chris Olbekson

    @c3mdigital

    Level 12 Bug Squasher & Forum Moderator

    To be more clear I would like to suggest a WordPress.org dashboard widget.

    Another idea for the users profile would be to add verified services ala the new Gravatar profiles.

    Since there is Gravatar profiles data is public, there is no need for it, you can simply include it from over there.

    Any plans to support child-themes in the WordPress.org directory in some fashion, such as under a new parent theme tab? Here is an article on it: http://developdaly.com/wordpress/child-theme-inclusion-in-the-wordpress-directory/

    On plugins:

    For legacy plugins, I like the idea of id’ing ones that haven’t been updated after a certain period of time and of having an adoption program. Can that be separated further by the different reasons for non-updating: lack of time/interest/focus, functions of the plugin becoming folded into core, and hooks used in the plugin becoming deprecated? This is somewhat over my head technically, but is there a way to create a taxonomy of plugins by which hooks and other parts of the API they use, to make such sorting easier? Retroactively or starting now?

    Potential plugins — can we create a there-oughta-be-a-plugin-for-that list?? Maybe from ideas marked as such in the Ideas Forum, direct requests, etc.

Viewing 15 replies - 31 through 45 (of 75 total)
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