[wp-hackers] New on the list, want to clean up code...

Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson helgi at binary.is
Wed Dec 10 14:28:59 GMT 2008

Hi, y'all.

Helgi from Iceland. I'm new on the list, and a new user of WordPress. I was
a professional PHP programmer from early 2000 (back in version 3.x) until
late 2006, and I've been maintaining some of my own projects since. At the
risk of getting accused of spamming, you can see my code at
http://code.google.com/p/mijob - it's one of those "todo-list on steroid"
apps. Just download and point your browser to it. Believe it or not, it
should actually be even easier to set up than WordPress, at least on most
PHP configurations. I've also written about a dozen CMSes at various points
for various different purposes, but they're all proprietary.

I was looking through WordPress's code and I'd like to do some code
cleaning, specifically for the purpose of speeding things up. It's ranked as
number 2 on the "Ideas" list and a lot of people seem to desperately want

However, someone who sounded like a WordPress developer said that the
problem was the underlying design of the app itself, in other words that it
would require some radical changes of the "framework" (for lack of a better
word) to speed it up. Assuming he/she was correct, that's exactly what I'd
like to do. First of all simplify the code and remove unnecessary
complications which will then make optimizations easier, or preferably, a
piece of cake. For example, on the front page, even with a big theme, I find
it impossible to imagine that 3.3 seconds are required to load a single
page, which is the average time it takes to render on my 2GHz/3.5GB
computer. PHP and MySQL are both so fast that there just *must* be some
unnecessary bottlenecks around, there's just not enough functionality to
account for so much sluggishness. Still, I am aware that WordPress is a very
feature-rich app.

But as we all know, some developers can take changes to their code somewhat
personally, not to mention that I might anger someone by radical changes
that contradict what people are used to. So I figured I should introduce
myself and "warn" you all, although of course I won't submit anything unless
some of the senior developers have given me a go on it (not to mention that
first I need write access to the Subversion repository).

A couple of questions:

1. Is someone actually *against* a major code cleanup?
2. Has someone tried this before or is someone already working on it?
3. Is it okay to use PHP 5.x code?

Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson
helgi at binary.is

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