[wp-hackers] Making it better

Carthik Sharma carthik at gmail.com
Tue May 3 20:45:52 GMT 2005

Sorry for butting in late, and you should really excuse me if the
opinions below are not even close to those that you may have. I was in
my verbose mood/mode when I typed the following out :)

I think we are fast getting to the point (if we are not there already)
where maintaining and supporting what's present is more complex than
creating something new. This is true of themes, plugins, the support
forums, documentation, mosquito, and the source.

Themes and Plugins:

Depending on end-user/creator initiatives alone won't quite cut it for
maintaining a resource of all available themes or plugins. I beleive
that it should be possible for others (other than the creator) to
check in or add themes and plugins to the repository, with control
over what's added being handed over, or extended to the creator later,
if requested.


Keeping up with whats happening is far more difficult now, and gone
are the days when I could check the support forums twice a day and
answer all the concerns (the main page at the forums used to have
10-24 hours worth of "new" posts), in a few hours, which is part of
the reason why I don't hang around there too much anymore. Kimmo's
idea of having people volunteer to act as the last stop for problems
of a specified nature, and directing those technical problems to such
folks sounds good, and very reasonable. If someone could give me a
list of issues that I could best address, I would spend some time on
it, everyday, if so required. What worked very well prior to WP
v1.3alpha for the support forums may not be working too well now, and
it's mostly because of the bloat in the sheer number of forums
questions. Old regulars are not so regular anymore. Kimmo's suggestion
sounds good, but there must be other options too worth exploring.

From time to time, I have had people offering to pay me to solve
WordPress problems. I do these jobs when I can, charging as little as
I can, only when the work is extensive. So the option of decentralized
paid support, without full-time employees, on a profit-sharing basis,
at extremely reasonable conditions for the users might be a good thing
to think about now. I am not saying that paid support is THE way to
go, or anything of that sort -- just that a venue for paid support,
where the supporter-users gain as much, if not more than the project
itself, would not be fundamentally evil, or anything of that sort.
Free support should always be there. Even if development can be
community-driven, the needs of varying kinds of folks may not always
be satisfied by a community. Other projects often have commercial
ventures backing them up, or providing services - maybe it is time for
WordPress to step up, anticipate the need, and start early, as opposed
to being reaction-oriented.


Fortunately, we have always had more than just a pair of good hands at
work at the documentation, throughout, and with a few more volunteers,
I think that part of the show can keep running.

Bugs and the Source:

I think as of now, the development effort is supported quite well by
the community.

Much of the frustration experienced by new users seems to be due to
the difficulty (and element of luck) involved in getting the right
people to respond to forum posts, and finding paid support. A few
steps should correct these.


On 4/22/05, Mark McKibben <mark at coffeebear.net> wrote:
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone -- 老子 Lǎozi

University of Central Florida
Homepage: http://carthik.net

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