[wp-hackers] Community Views on Now and the Future

Mark Jaquith mark.wordpress at txfx.net
Sun Mar 5 04:24:02 GMT 2006

On Mar 4, 2006, at 5:48 PM, Robert Deaton wrote:

> - How do you think the Development model of WordPress is now? What are
> its strongpoints? What are its flaws? What do you think should be
> changed and what should be left the same?

I've actually noticed a positive change in the last 6-12 months.   
When we started the whole "Bug Gardeners" idea, it was mostly just  
Skippy and I using the "bg" namespaced tags to communicate with each  
other and with Ryan and Matt.  Recently, we've dropped the  
namespacing because the entire community has been getting more  
involved with Trac tickets, so the concept of "Bug Gardener" has  
become unnecessary... the workload has been distrubuted.  We now have  
a whole slew of people who are autonomously fixing bugs, submitting  
patches, and having them committed.  Although all patches still go  
through Matt and Ryan, it seems to me that they have become more  
willing to trust other people's patches.  The community has been  
doing a great job of auditing their own patches, so I think that  
helps take a lot of the burden off the main devs.  I've also noticed  
that Matt and Ryan seem to be putting more time into the project...  
the turnaround time for patches has improved greatly.

> - What are your views on project's leadership? Are they steering us in
> the right direction, or are we going downhill? Is community feedback
> weighted enough with personal views of the developers? Are we
> interacting with people outside the coding community enough to get a
> fair view of what could be the best for everyone?

I think we're going in the right direction, for the most part.  To be  
honest, without Matt and Ryan acting as a reality check, a lot of  
"bridge burning" code would be going in (and coming out) of  
WordPress.  That might be fine for us PHP jockey types, but not for  
the general users of WordPress.  WordPress has a huge user base, and  
(perhaps unfortunately), that requires that we always be mindful of  
how our changes will affect existing users.  While I've always been  
open to a more authoritative role in development, I do not envy Matt  
or Ryan one bit for the decisions they have to make for the benefit  
of WP's userbase, against the wishes of the WP development  
community.  It's a thankless job, (and apparently one that's driving  
Ryan to the bottle!) :-D

> - Do we get too little, just the right amount, or too much feedback
> from the developers on things discussed on this list and elsewhere? Do
> you think this has a positive or negative impact on the project as a
> whole?

The Trac mailing list is one of the best things to happen to  
WordPress in quite a while.  Seriously.  And Trac tickets have now  
become places for in-depth discussions of patches.  Trac tickets no  
longer feel like life rafts hoping that they'll run into a passing  
ship.  MichaelH and Ryan (Boren) had an amazing back-and-forth over  
the course of about 4 days with nearly 30 messages posted and 12  
patch revisions put up!



As you probably know, I'm not really one to rock the boat.  But I  
really am quite happy with the direction the project is taking...  
definitely happier than I was 12-18 months ago.

Mark Jaquith

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