WordPress Openness (was Re: [wp-hackers] UI development for 1.6)

Mike Little journalized at gmail.com
Thu Jun 23 20:54:44 GMT 2005

On 23/06/05, Matthew Mullenweg <m at mullenweg.com> wrote:
> Mike Little wrote:
> > But there is a middle ground. A heads-up before something major is changed. Just
> > the chance for someone else to say, "hold on, have you thought about
> > X?", or "you
> > should take a look at Y, it may be a better starting point."
> (I think this is the core of what you're getting at.) This could always
> be more feedback, 

Yep, it is, and not for the first time as you know!

> but I would say it is done more than you give credit
> for. The results are not usually promising. Every week in the IRC
> meetups I've outlined projects outside of core WP that are too much for
> me to handle right now and look for volunteers, every week most are met
> with silence. 

I know you've done some of this, but you have to bear in mind that
something you've been thinking of for a few days, and maybe discussed
with a couple of people, then thrown out in a single request in the
middle of three other conversation might not mean a whole lot to
people.  It's no wonder you don't get people jumping up immediately.
Plus you have the other problem with IRC, if you're not there at the
time you miss it. Whilst the codex logs are great, a summary sent to
the mailing list, especially requests looking for volunteers, would I
think be much more productive.

I am aware too that I'm asking for more work to be done that I'm not
able to do myself. I wish I could do more, like the old days. I wish I
could even articulate why I can't do more, but that's not to be. I'm
working on it...

I know you throw things out sometimes. I volunteered to help with the
theme garden. In the middle of working on the first theme, I see you'd
already checked in changes for two of the three you asked me to work
I know I'm not as quick as you and I can't spend as much time as I
like working on this stuff, but I feel like I've been slapped for not
working quick enough!
I'm sure its just me being too sensitive but...

> ...Here's a sampling threads I've
> started in the past few months:
> * Let's whip WYSIWYG (asking for suggestions)
> * New Wiki Tech List (asking for volunteers)
> * 3 column theme (asking for suggestions)
> * Start of new themes pages ("Ideas? Comments? Suggestions?")
> * 1.5.2 or on to 1.6?
> * New release ("Any showstoppers?")
> * getSelection Workaround (still unanswered)
> * Making it better (community feedback on some criticism)
> * Pingback block-level awareness (request for code)
> * Category project (request for code volunteers)
> * XUL Hackers (request for volunteers)
> * Importer updates (request for volunteers)
> Of the requests about a forth turned into something finished.

I know you do this and I contribute when I feel I can, and I see that
a lot of it comes to nothing. But it's when I see things like a whole
new admin interface being checked in without any discussion (or even a
note to say "I've checked this in as a discussion point, bang away on
it and give me feedback") that I get shocked.
That's when it feels like nothing anyone else says has value and only
your opinions count.

> I understand people have other committments. However I already spend
> 5-10x more time communicating than I do coding, 

I know how frustrating this can be, but that up front discussion, if
controlled, can make the first pass at cutting the code SO much more
productive. You've already got a consensus of opinion, you've already
had the bad ideas dismissed and the good ideas you didn't think of

> I'll do it
> again because I'm an eternal optimist, but please be serious if you're
> asking for it.

I'm working on it... I get immensely frustrated just trying to keep up
the mailing lists and the dashboard and the codex, and supporting my
own meager offerings to the WP world..

Matt, don't stop what you are doing -- its inspiring. I wish I could
be as productive as you are. Just consider a little more communication
every now and then ;-)

Mike Little

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