It’s been awhile since I’ve visited WPDevel.WordPress.com which is the home of WordPress development updates and I’m happily surprised to see so much content from the folks who make things happen. The different teams that are working on various aspects of WordPress 3.4 are doing a good job of keeping not only the other team members up to date, but they are being transparent so that the public can view the progress and figure out what is going on. I hope the amount of communication on the site continues, the more transparent the merrier.
By Jeffro on February 22, 2012
By Jeffro on January 5, 2012
Contributing to the development of WordPress looks like it will be completely different than in the past. According to the dev chat notes published on January 4th on the developer blog, the team has come up with an experimental method to not only create more accountability for everyone involved, but to also try and keep things on track when it comes to schedules. Aside from the team approach, the post also highlights the overall theme for WordPress 3.4, Making it easier to make your site look how you want it to look. Those of you hoping to make a splash in contributing to the development of WordPress 3.4 should read that post and consider filling out the survey attached to it.
This process is an experiment. It’s either going to work out wonderfully or turn into a ball of flames. I hope it works out for the best.
By Jeffro on November 9, 2010
Matt Mullenweg who every now and then publishes a long essay did so today on his personal site Ma.tt, talking about version 1.0 of software and how it’s the loneliest number. In the post, he mentions how Apple is not afraid to release a first gen product that contained flaws because waiting in the wings was the iPhone 3G ready to correct the flaws and public perception of the first generation product. Matt goes on to talk about the time frame between WordPress version 2.0 which was released on December 31st, 2005 while version 2.1 was released on January 22nd, 2007. Quite a long time between releases. Although on paper it looked like the development team took a hiatus, in fact, that specific time period saw a rapid rise in developers contributing to WordPress. However, the ‘one more thing‘ problem crept up preventing a release from happening sooner.
I think that is a common problem amongst software in general, proprietary or open. I can’t recall the first generation of a product or piece of software that was perfect. One more thing syndrome is a mindset issue. Matt illustrates this perfectly within the following paragraph:
I imagine prior to the launch of the iPod, or the iPhone, there were teams saying the same thing: the copy + paste guys are *so close* to being ready and we know Walt Mossberg is going to ding us for this so let’s just not ship to the manufacturers in China for just a few more weeks… The Apple teams were probably embarrassed. But if you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.
This made me think of the slogan, ‘release early, release often‘. However, you can’t release too early and too often because it will wear out the patience of users. As a software developer, you’ll do more harm than good. That’s why as it relates to the WordPress.org development cycle, I think that 3 major releases per year is a good balance between releasing often and not having a space in-between that would allow for the kitchen sink to be added to the software. Now that software upgrades are relatively pain free with the automatic upgrade system built into WordPress, the interim releases after major releases are not such a problem anymore.
Something that I think theme, plugin and software developers in general should take to heart is the following:
Usage is like oxygen for ideas. You can never fully anticipate how an audience is going to react to something you’ve created until it’s out there. That means every moment you’re working on something without it being in the public it’s actually dying, deprived of the oxygen of the real world.
How many of you out there are sitting on plugins, themes, or little software projects of your own because you feel that they are not ready for release or that the public will consider what you’ve created to be a bunch of crap? Also, I’d like to hear your take on the 3 Major releases per year strategy for WordPress. Is that a good balance or do you think it’s too much or too little?
By Jeffro on August 18, 2010
John James Jacoby who is one of the core developers of BuddyPress has published a post on the BuddyPress development blog that talks about the future of bbPress and BuddyPress as he sees it. In fact, if you didn’t know it by now, John is leading the initiative in turning bbPress into a plugin versus stand-alone software.
Since BuddyPress 1.1, bbPress has come bundled in the package to help make the installation as smooth and easy as possible. Through a little bit of massaging we successfully integrated bbPress into a dedicated forum component to allow for group discussion, and we included a central discussion directory to help put all of these topics in one easy place. All of these ideas were great on paper but have had mixed feedback and results in practice. Making bbPress a standalone plugin will help allow for more customizable installations which is great news for anyone that’s currently using BuddyPress for the forum component, or has been holding off because of the complexity of it all.
Our goal with me giving some attention to the bbPress plugin project is to keep it tightly integrated with BuddyPress, but have them act totally independently or alone if necessary. This means in a future version of BuddyPress, bbPress will no longer come packaged in the download, and both plugins will be aware of each other being activated. When that happens, additional features will be available to you to help create the kind of community that you’d like to have, instead of forcing forums to be tucked away into BuddyPress discussion groups.
John ends the post by saying BuddyPress 1.2.6 is on its way out the door. It will contain a few bug fixes with perhaps an enhancement or two. As for BuddyPress 1.3, it should be shipped before the end of the year while bbPress 1.2 might be ready for testing around September 15th with a ship date of around the same time BuddyPress 1.3 is released.
By Jeffro on June 20, 2010
So WordPress 3.0 is now in the public’s hands but for developers, what’s changed with regards to template tags? Navjot Singh of Nspeaks.com has a fantastic post on new and updated template tags for WordPress 3.0. Among them are wp_nav_menu, add_custom_background, and comment_form. Most of these template tags are for theme developers but it doesn’t hurt as a plugin developer to know these exist.
By Jeffro on May 28, 2010
One of the more inspiring posts to read within the past two weeks. Glenn Ansley whom I met at WordCamp Raleigh and is the man behind Full Throttle development told his story on how contributing to the core of WordPress has stepped up his game overall as a developer.
Its funny how you think you know ‘who’ a community is because you’re following a couple mailing lists or a couple of opinionated talkers on Twitter. Getting plugged into the development process has opened me up to a whole new world of very intelligent individuals that I continue to learn from by listening in on their conversations. My coding has become more efficient due to the little tidbits of information I skim off of their public discussions every day.
His story is well worth the read, especially for aspiring developers looking to contribute back in the form of a patch. But the biggest lesson overall is that because Glenn made the effort to familiarize himself with the entire process of how the inner circle of WordPress development works, he has turned himself into a more efficient developer overall.
By Jeffro on April 7, 2010
Automattic recently hired yet another theme wrangler to join their theme team that they are putting together. His name is Lance Willett.
I’m stoked about my position as “Theme Wrangler” with Automattic. I’ll be working on web design and development projects, mostly revolving around themes and WordPress.com. I’m sure I’ll also use my Spanish and French skills since people all around the world use Automattic products.
Congratulations to you Lance for landing an awesome job with an awesome company.
In my post show discussion with Matt Mullenweg he mentioned to me that Lance was recently hired. I inquired what exactly the theme team was supposed to do for Automattic. The theme team is comprised of individuals that will focus initially on creating and porting themes for WordPress.com. One of the most requested items from WordPress.com users is the ability to choose from more themes. Themes that stand the highest chance of being ported over into WordPress.com are the ones found within the theme repository. However, as they have done in the past, Automattic may choose to contract out a theme design from a commercial theme company. On top of that, if a company such as WooThemes or StudioPress developed a theme exclusively for WordPress.com, Matt has no problem with the credit link going back to that companies home page.
Automattic is planning on putting together a theme team of about 5 or so people. So far, Lance Willett and Ian Stewart are part of that team. Maybe Justin Tadlock will submit his application to Automattic to be part of this team. He obviously has the skills necessary but I wonder if he has the interest in working for Automattic or if he’s even submitted an application already. At any rate, I figured I’d give you the opportunity to name your dream theme team consisting of 5 people.
- Ian Stewart
- Justin Tadlock
- Casey Lee
- Drew Strojny
By Jeffro on April 1, 2010
Gautam who is a member of the WPTavern forum recently let us know that he has setup a bbPress Developers area for bbPress developers to chat about developments in the software similar to how WordPress has one. If you are a member of the WPTavern forums and are also one of the few who decided to help regenerate the bbPress project, send him a private message with your email address and he will add you as a member to the blog.
When asked whether the site was endorsed by Matt or considered official, Gautam responded that Matt doesn’t really know about the site just yet. I imagine he will now.
While we are on the topic of bbPress, might as well provide an update as to what’s been going on. As far as I can tell, there has not been a developer chat since January 13th, 2010 and a few other people have noticed this as well. The bbPress forums are still pretty active. In fact, many people are now asking support questions regarding bbPress with BuddyPress.
There is a thread in the tavern forum specifically regarding the off and on activity process surrounding the bbPress project. In this thread, I asked two individuals that initially showed quite a bit of interest in helping to regenerate the project why their activity has faded.
Jeffro – Considering you two were part of the rally to get things back on track for the project, are you both still interested in helping out? Are you guys waiting on direction on what to do and where to go from Matt?
Ryan Hellyer – I wanted to help, but it seemed that after the first IRC meeting or so it was looking like the project was going to just stagnate again, so I haven’t taken much notice since.
Justin Tadlock – Same here. I’ve even went so far as to code my own mini-forum using WP’s custom post types and taxonomies. It’s actually not too difficult. But, I lost the code on a recent computer crash. I might revisit the idea though.
Hopefully at some point, bbPress gets the ball rolling on a consistent basis. Perhaps that will happen once bbPress is turned into a WordPress plugin.
By Jeffro on January 20, 2010
This episode of WordPress Weekly was an open mic version of the show where I was joined by Kim Parsell, Scott K Clark and Conorp to discuss the round up of news stories for the past week. Nothing too exciting in the episode other than you get to hear my voice quite a bit.
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The Idea Of Core Plugins
A New Member To The Core Team
News Out Of WordCamp Atlanta
WordPress And Multi-Site
The last version of MU 22.214.171.124
bbPress now has an official plugin
The WordPress Dev Chat For January 14th
Pick Of The Week:
Easier theme upgrades -This plugin helps make the theme upgrade process a breeze. After installation and activation, you can upgrade a theme by uploading a zip file containing the updated files. Your old theme files will be archived in a zip file that is placed in your media library so you don’t have to worry about disappearing hacked theme files or edits. The plugin is free and should be on the plugin repository soon.
On January 26th, I’ll be interviewing Aaron Brazell of Technosailor.com to talk about his involvement with WordPress over the years as well as his new book called The WordPress Bible.
Next Episode: Tuesday, January 26th 8P.M. EST
Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe
Length Of Episode: 57 Minutes
Download The Show: WordPressWeeklyEpisode85.mp3
Listen To Episode #85: