[wp-hackers] Developer portal

Beau Lebens beau at dentedreality.com.au
Tue Dec 15 18:41:22 UTC 2009

> I think the docs should be powered by WordPress. We can 'invite' people to
> write tutorials for WordPress.org as 'guest authors/bloggers' with a nice
> author's bio box on the page. This will address the point about personal
> recognition and we'll be able to use the comments to improve the page.

I agree with this (specifically powered by WordPress, of course!), and
I think there are some elements that could make this really cool.
Here's a more detailed braindump of some ideas, a lot of which is
covered in Codex or other places, but could use some consolidation:

- General introduction to hooks; this concept takes a bit of a mental
shift for a lot of people I find, but once you have the idea, and can
look for hooks, you're up and running
- Definitely some sort of broad flow chart or diagram or something
that tries to explain the way WordPress loads, some of the major
sections of code which are included and some of the core hooks which
are called (init, the content, etc)
- Pages (or Posts) for major concepts, specific functions, particular hooks, etc
- We could auto-generate/populate the documentation with stubs for all
known hooks etc, so that we have a starting point to work from.
- Comments enabled so that people can add information/show examples
etc (moderated, as per PHP.net). This allows people a lower barrier to
contributing *something* useful to this new resource, without having
to write a whole tutorial or something
- Invite people to write on there using their WP.org accounts, and
then their posts could be credited back to those profiles and could
help build their reputation. We could also include a bio box on each
"guest post" with a link back to their site, short bio, gravatar, etc.
If a post is significantly modified over time, I suggest we either add
more "bio blocks", or remove them (indicating this post is not the
work of a single person any more).
- I think both comments and larger tutorials/documentation need some
sort of moderation/editing most likely, so whoever is doing that
(community volunteers!) would be able to make judgements on when to
change a post over to being "community written" vs individually
- Tag all Posts/Pages with the WP versions they apply to, so for
example if something applied to every version from 1.5 through 2.9, it
should be tagged with each major version number between those 2 (but
perhaps we only display <=2.9 or something?)
- I think a hook database would be very helpful, including a short
description of when/where the hooks are used, what the parameters they
are passed contain, etc
- Broader tutorials/subjects like "How do I modify the output of a
Post or Page" (covering the appropriate hooks, linking to details of
shortcodes etc) should have their own section. This could include
things like Working with Users, Shortcode API, HTTP API, Working with
Feeds/RSS, Custom Post Types, Database access, Postmeta, Commentmeta,
WP options, Dashboard widgets API, Widget API, Theme functions (loop,
author, post, comments, etc) )
- Obviously something detailing where and how to get more help:
Mailing lists, IRC, Forums
- Coding Standards
- Theme development stuff (theme hierarchy, major hooks/filters,
conditionals (is_tag() etc), the loop, custom queries, etc)
- Compatibility Considerations (dealing with PHP 4.3, what you can't do in core)
- How to make a patch (for core or otherwise)
- How to submit a bug report/feature request etc (on trac)
- Getting Started with SVN
- Data Validation and Security Gotchas
- How the Plugin/Theme directories work (readme.txt, stable tag/headers, etc)
- Guidelines for theme and plugin directories
- How to get your theme/plugin listed

Hopefully something in there is useful to this discussion :)


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