[wp-hackers] GSoC 2013 Proposal: Enhance Profiles.WordPress.org

Otto otto at ottodestruct.com
Sat May 4 07:09:10 UTC 2013

On Sat, May 4, 2013 at 1:23 AM, Bryan Petty <bryan at ibaku.net> wrote:
> On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 4:46 AM, Mert Yazıcıoğlu <merty92 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> http://www.mertyazicioglu.com/2013/05/02/gsoc-2013-proposal-enhance-profiles-wordpress-org/
> It's also probably worth pointing out that the code powering
> profiles.wordpress.org is not actually public right now. Hopefully it
> is soon (supposedly this is planned), but since it isn't, the code you
> would be working on doesn't meet the Summer of Code requirements, so I
> don't see how this could potentially be an accepted project (at least
> this year anyway).

To be fair, I agree with Nacin in that such a project would be
basically starting from scratch with a fresh start. The current code
powering it is a bit of a mess, to be frank.

But realistically, I think the scope he's proposing is far too large
for a three month project. Nothing wrong with thinking big, but that
whole thing is just a lot bigger job than it seems like, really.
Better to narrow the focus, find one or two pieces and try to do that
really well, with emphasis on scaling it right and how to bring the
data together from all the various sources for it. Whatever comes out
might or might not be used later on, but that isn't really the point
of GSOC, I think.

Some good ideas I see in the proposal:
- Using plugin banners on profile pages. I have thought of this one,
but decided against it because it's reusing something designed for a
different purpose. I'd probably allow authors to define a different
image specifically for that page, at a different size/ratio.
- Showing latest blog posts from a personal blog: Never thought of
that one, but I see scaling as a real problem there, along with spam
being an issue if we're pulling other people's content onto the site.
- Allowing people to showcase/reorder their plugins: I'd prefer not to
allow this level of customization, but to instead auto order them by
popularity or something. Might be better in the long run.
- Gamification via badges: This is planned, but long term. A number of
other things have to come together first. The problem is that we don't
want to have to manage the badges, but to have them automatically
displayed for all sorts of things... and not necessarily just for code
contributions only.

Things I think are not the best ideas:
- Individual social media links: Which ones do we include? I hate
forms with dozens of social media options and then the ones I use are
not listed, or the ones listed I've never heard of. This is a terrible
user experience. I'm not saying a free-form field is any better, but
at least it gives you a bit more control. There's improvements here,
certainly, but a big screen full of text inputs fields for URLs is
crappy. IMO.
- Following people: Following via what? RSS? Email? Instant Messaging?
And if we're displaying lots of information in this way, then scaling
this becomes a bit of a problem too. This needs to be well-designed
and thought out before implementation.
- Profiles Homepage: Good idea, but needs the badges idea first to be useful.


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