[wp-hackers] Making it better

Owen Winkler ringmaster at midnightcircus.com
Thu Apr 21 19:51:53 GMT 2005

Podz wrote:
> 1. Like David has just said, and I too have voiced, what IS wp ? Unless 
> we know that, we do not know the target and we must define that. Does it 
> blog ? Does it CMS ? Does it do anything you want it to ?

As the project gets bigger and receives more contributors, I do think 
it's important to have a defined roadmap.  As with any planning, this 
begins by asking, "What are we trying to accomplish?"

> 2. Get people blogging that wp is NOT about PHP. We get stupid posts in 
> the forums where people just want to alter a link size but can't 
> "because they don't know php". There may be some php knowledge IF you 
> want but the myth needs killing. No-one says "Can't use MT cos it's Perl".

I agree that the notion that PHP is required for WordPress is a myth, 
but we must also accede on the level at which a user's desire for 
customization excedes the capabilities of the default software.

Every comment I've seen made about how WordPress requires PHP is 
prefaced by some crazy notion of customization that no other system 
would be able to support without additional coding in its native 
programming language.  Should we even entertain these outlandish 
customizations as a failing of WordPress?  If so, then it's also a 
failing of any other blogging software that doesn't read a user's mind.

> 4. Everything spread over the place. Could be considered bad but wp.org 
> still times out and if everything is there isn't that equivalent to 
> putting all the eggs in one basket ?

These resources should be distributed.  I don't mean just that there 
should be many individual islands of resources, but that the islands 
need to start sharing data.  Yes, I mean support/plugin/theme 
distribution by RSS/XMLRPC -- syndicated resources.  I could select the 
site with the presentation I like best, and obtain all of the same stuff 
that any of the other guys have.  When one goes down, all of the same 
resources are available on one of the "mirrors".

> 5. Forum help. Dead right, and Craig and I have been saying this for a 
> LONG time. newbie ? no problem. Middle-ish problem ? Okaaay if we've 
> seen it before and remember. Deeper ? not a chance unless a coder 
> wanders in. Those I have flagged up to this list have been looked after 
> (Thanks !) but I could do that every day - and then that defeats the 
> object as they would be ignored. the amount of help that Kaf, MdaWaffe 
> (and others) have given is amazing.

The reason why I don't bother with the forums:  I don't often need help 
because I know what I'm doing, and I don't want to sift through a ton of 
posts that other people have already answered.  It's also a waste of 
time to review posts that someone with non-developer knowledge could 
answer.  So create a flag that marks posts as "need dev help", and start 
marking posts.  Give me a page I can see them, and I'll stop by now and 

For the record, every post that you (Podz) have posted to wp-hackers, I 
have looked at, and if someone else didn't answer first and I knew the 
answer, I replied.  This method *works*.

Would we consider a payment model for support on the forums?  Something 
like ExpertsExchange?  Users contribute a few cents into a pool.  Users 
who post answers that the original requester approves receive a share of 
the pot.  That way, support contributors are compensated for the 
successful work they perform.  (I expect that this suggestion will meet 


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