[wp-hackers] Lack of code savvy volunteers vs wp-hackers

Robert Deaton robert at lushlab.com
Sat Nov 25 14:43:14 GMT 2006

On 11/25/06, Michael B <miklb.online at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 11/25/06, Robert Deaton <robert at lushlab.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> > If hackers are going to be bothered to answer questions, they want a
> > question that is going
> > to pose a challenge,
> Can anyone say elitism?

Sure. Scroll down to the bold "Interesting" on this page.
Call it elitism if you want, but there's more that goes on behind the
scenes than a simple "I'm better than answering stupid questions."
(P.S., that essay is a great one to read the whole way through as
well, it might shed a new view on some of the things that I have said
and will say).

> > Sure, the other volunteers don't mind re-answering the same repetitive
> > questions day after day, but that quality is not one that is
> > widespread, especially in the typical programmer community.
> I don't like answering  the same repetitive  question, nor do  I.  For some
> ungodly reason,  I have a memory that serves me much better than most, and I
> know when I read a question if it's been asked before.  (Granted, I've read
> probably a thousand or more threads...)  Can I be sure they'll easily find
> it by a search?  No.   Have I shared my thoughts over the year plus that
> I've volunteered on how to make those things easier to find?  Yes.  Has it
> gotten better?  Yes.
> I'm not remotely asking the "hackers" to answer the common questions about
> sidebars dropping down, or how to change a header, I'm saying some bloody
> well smart folks ask some down right serious questions that would rival any
> "challenging" question I've seen posted to wp-hackers.  Generally speaking,
> they go unanswered.  I don't think it's a good idea (emphasis on I) to
> simply send them to the hackers list.  I think most folks go to the support
> forums first.  Some might be savvy enough to find wp-hackers.  My thought
> was to meld the two.

I know you're not asking us to answer the common questions, but the
fact that in order to get to the "challenging" questions we have to
search through hundreds of other questions discourages us from doing

I don't think that we should make the hackers list more available than
it is. The signal to noise ratio of support questions to discussion on
the future of WordPress will skyrocket. If someone can find a way to
truly separate the good questions from the ones that the hackers don't
want to answer, like I believe I said before, you may get more help on
the forums.

Now, to continue what I wanted to write last night, there's a few
other reasons that drove me personally away from the forums when I
used to volunteer. Some can be fixed, others can't.

First, the problem existed then and the problem exists now, the codex
has issues. Looking right now, over the past two hours its been down
for about an hour, and when it has been up it takes an average of 1.9
seconds for the page to start being sent back to your browser. Back
then, the codex was slow, and was constantly giving off 500 errors and
etc. etc. When you want to give help to a question that is clearly
answered on the codex and you can't do it because you can't get to it,
its frustrating to no end.

I think the straw that broke my camel's back personally, however, can
actually be pointed back here. Around the time of the 2.1 launch, the
forums and IRC were pounded with the same question, time after time.
"How do I turn off the WYSIWYG? The option in Options->Writing isn't
working." Its the best example of real-world user feedback I've seen
in WP, and the question is still almost always answered with a "In
your Profile tab, under Users. We know it doesn't make sense either,
but that's where it is."

>  Shame on me.

I don't want you to think any of this is an attack on your idea,
rather its intended to be criticism to help you get the idea done
properly, if it can be done. Just because you started the thread,
don't assume that responses that don't agree 100% are attacks on you
or your idea.

--Robert Deaton

More information about the wp-hackers mailing list