[wp-hackers] Is WordPress Development Slowing Down?

Matt Mullenweg m at mullenweg.com
Mon May 15 14:45:04 GMT 2006

Roy Schestowitz wrote:
> To  clarify in advance, this is a benign case of curiosity; not a rant.  I
> have  been  meaning to ask this for a couple of month, but was too shy  to
> say anything. Figures seem to indicate that, based on the (admittedly poor
> indicator  which is) number of commits, WordPress changes less and less as
> time  goes on. A decline from half a dozen commits per day to just 1 or  2
> is noticeable.

I think the raw numbers may be misleading. We used to commit thing 
willy-nilly, often with typos that would be caught minutes later or with 
obvious bug-fixes that went in a few hours later.

Now with our much more mature use of Trac, that sort of thing is much 
less common.

Two things to note:

Feature-wise, I think 2.1 is shaping up to be really kick-ass. We've got 
some absolutely killer things like spell check and XML import/export 
that have been on the TODO forever. To top it off, it's going to be 
faster and more secure than any previous WordPress, and it includes the 
work of more people.

Second, I think if you talk about the speed of development, you have to 
look at things outside of core commits that have happened in 2006:

* New logo and redesign of WordPress.org (and server move)
* Long-awaited forum improvements (bbPress)
* Tons of plugins, including some that might be core candidates
* New theme/plugin download infrastructure and stats
* Codex stability
* Making MU not such an ugly cousin

And yes, personally I have spent a fair amount of time on Akismet and 
WP.com development.

There are a lot of things that could be done on the code side to benefit 
the folks that help out on the forums and Codex every day, but there 
isn't a lot of overlap between those folks and the hackers.

When I look at things that need the most work, it's not the core code, 
it's in the support services around it.

* The forums need more luv
* Theme directory, download, discovery, update notification
* The same for plugins
* Dev blog posts
* Actually using our newsletter with 50k+ subscribers
* Internationalization of WP.org, forums, codex, etc
* Making documentation less verbose
* Support, support, support

I think what we do need is more people with commit to WordPress.org, as 
that'd benefit the community in a very direct way.

Matt Mullenweg
  http://photomatt.net | http://wordpress.org
http://automattic.com | http://akismet.com

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