Support » Requests and Feedback » Potential WordPress.org Improvement Projects

  • Resolved 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 - 46 through 60 (of 75 total)
  • I’m up for helping out with pretty much any area. I see holes in docs, plugins, profiles… so where ever I’m needed is fine.

    I have a very small, specific feature request for plugin pages: make readme files linkable with #hash-style URLs. The current readme syntax works something like this:

    == Section == -> <h3>Section</h3>

    Here’s how I’d like it to work:

    == Section == -> <h3 id="Section">Section</h3>

    I would propose we also update the IRC chat log pages to allow it to:
    Show logs across ranges of dates
    Show dates with activity beyond joins/aways/returns/quits.
    Filter out all of the joins etc.

    It is really tedious to catch up on the slow channels.

    Chip Bennett

    (@chipbennett)

    Theme Review Admin

    +1 to Child Theme support in the Theme Repository!

    So many good ideas…

    For plugins/themes that are no longer maintained by their creators, it would be nice if there were a way to mark them as such along with the ability to add the reason why. It would also be nice if unsupported plugins/themes would show up as such in the admin pages of the users installs, possibly with an ‘adopt this’ link and/or a link to search for similar plugins/themes.

    I dearly love the idea of handbooks and tutorials as well as a forum reworking. Sorry I don’t have many ideas for that.

    WordPress.org could create a forum for each plugin, similar to what BuddyPress does. I guess we do have tags, so maybe just a link to the tag from each plugin’s directory page.

    We should allow plugin users to better use Trac. It would be cool if plugin authors and their users could use Trac in the same way Core does. Right now it’s just doesn’t feel the same, i.e. to much noise and not enough done for you filtering. If a plugin author wanted to use like core, there is a steep learning curve for new people. Linking to a plugins Trac could be better, e.g. link to new ticket for this plugin and link to a list of all open tickets for this plugin from the plugin’s directory page.

    How about a PressThis like feature on every WordPress.org page. Visitors would be ask what their WordPress blog URL is or it would be fetched from their WordPress.org profile. Below that would be a quick summary of the page, which they could edit, and a publish button. It would then publish a new post on their website, linking to the article, codex, plugin, or theme page they were just reading. Some websites have twitter, Digg, Facebook, and other sharing links, why not make one that works for any WordPress install. The only difference is that you have to fill in your URL, instead of just redirecting to a predefined website. While it might seem redundant since all WordPress installs have PressThis, it would introduce people to the feature.

    Mark

    (@codeispoetry)

    This is sort of tangentially related. The link between WordPress.org functionality and the Dashboard could benefit from some attention — I’m thinking especially of the plugin compatibility info. This idea proposes to show plugin compatibility of currently installed plugins with new WP version — data that is already there, but not easily available.

    All the forum suggestions are great. Would love to see those done.

    Also I would like to volunteer for learn.wordpress.org

    Id like to get involved in that if its creating tutorials, videos, or whatever is decided. I’m a certified instructor in the US Navy. 🙂

    Please contact me if you are looking for more help in this area.

    I’m a little late to the party, but definitely willing to help with the documentation, editing or writing. I was an editor/reporter with McClatchy newspapers for 10 years before leaving for the tech world … and if there was one thing we did right in that time, it was use WP to power our blogs.
    I think it’s great the WP community is taking a cycle off to address some of this stuff.
    Look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with.
    I like the idea of bringing in WP news and the Twitter feeds to .org in hopes of making it a hub for WP news, events and happenings. That’s what community is all about, right?
    Thanks.

    A huge improvement for the plugins and themes search function would be the ability to sort results. For example, sort by # of downloads, date updated, rating…

    I would *love* it if there was a feature for each plugin (or theme for that matter) that allowed users to upload their translations.

    As a plugin developer, I find it overwhelming to try and maintain all of the different languages and versions.

    It would allow the wonderful translators to upload their plugin and associate it to a certain version. It could work very similar to the current “does it work with version x” rating on the plugin page.

    It would be great if there was a rating and/or comment system too.

    Anyway, just a thought. Something I would be thrilled to see.

    Jane, could you write a follow-up sticky that shows where we stand on each of the to-do list items? Thanks.

    I really wish there was a way for me to communicate directly with moderators once in a while, and vice versa. Be it PMs, private threads, safe e-mails or what-have-you. 24 hours ago I post my site to Your WordPress. At the end of my post I wrote a paragraph that was kind of a job ad. A moderator promptly linked to the WordPress jobs board and closed my topic.

    Now, I can appreciate these rules. My problem is, I’d rather have my small ad-paragraph removed so the thread could stay open, but there’s no way to communicate that directly to any moderator, is there?

    I am absolutely willing to help.

    Being a tech phobic who can still fumble my way through as lot of wordpress, I’d sacrifice myself to benefit the cause overall.

    It might save actual save someones life (okay over dramatic) or at
    least someones (maybe my) sanity in the long run.

    Just say the word and I’m in WORDPRESS ROCKS !

Viewing 15 replies - 46 through 60 (of 75 total)
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