[wp-hackers] Future of wp-hackers

Austin Matzko if.website at gmail.com
Wed Sep 26 17:11:54 GMT 2007

On 9/26/07, Matt Mullenweg <m at mullenweg.com> wrote:
> Austin Matzko wrote:
> > I realized a while ago that many of the most important discussions
> > about the future of WP were happening elsewhere, because fairly
> > important changes would show up in trac without any prior wp-hackers
> > discussion (with the major exception of the new terms taxonomy).
> What's the cause and what's the effect?

It works both ways.  That's what I had in mind in talking about the
"culture" of wp-hackers.  The lead devs are understandably annoyed by
the noise, but if they leave to make their decisions in private
instead of helping to maintain the quality of the discussion, I think
the WP community at large--not just wp-hackers--will be worse for it.

> > I
> > could be wrong, but I don't believe there was any hackers discussion
> > about jQuery, PHPMailer, and canonical url redirection, for example,
> > prior to their appearing in trac.
> http://groups.google.com/group/wp-hackers/browse_thread/thread/8eece3988c2788c/96b42fc599205903?lnk=gst&rnum=18
> (also http://photomatt.net/2006/12/28/critical-prototype/ )
> http://trac.wordpress.org/ticket/3862
> http://trac.wordpress.org/ticket/4554

Those examples actually align with my point, which is that the
decision-making has often been occurring somewhere other than
wp-hackers, with its results showing up in trac.  The hackers thread
you cite started almost two months after the jQuery trac ticket
announced that we were converting, so obviously the decision had
already been made.

> What would you have liked to have seen discussed on wp-hackers, and what
> would you have contributed?

I'm not complaining about the outcome of this particular decision.  I
really like jQuery, which is why I've helped to move some of the admin
code to it from Prototype/Scriptaculous.  However, what I would have
liked to have seen is a discussion about the relative merits of the
different libraries.

It's possible that someone could have made a strong argument for
including another library, but we as a community never had the
opportunity to weigh the options and come to a consensus.  Even if
consensus in this hypothetical discussion was impossible, and a lead
developer had to break the stalemate, at least everything would have
been conducted in the open and the reasons understood (if disagreed

> Perhaps the misunderstanding is that you can contribute to WordPress
> development by posting to wp-hackers but not following the WP codebase
> (wp-svn), bugs and enhancements (trac), or any of the major news around
> the project (planet, WordCamp). It may be possible for one-offs, but not
> core functionality.

I am pretty faithful about at least scanning all the list posts, trac
tickets, and major affiliated blogs.  That's how I ran across a random
trac comment about the new admin UI shortly after WordCamp.  So I
googled it and found nothing, not even at the Happy Cog site or
Photomatt.  Now, a few weeks later, googling turns up a few blog
entries, but still not many details.  Not everyone with a serious
interest in WordPress was able to attend WordCamp, so in my opinion
something of this importance should have been at least mentioned on
one of the lists.

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