[wp-hackers] Proposing WP Flavours (various WordPress forks)

Harish Narayanan harish.mlists at gmail.com
Thu Dec 17 17:12:49 UTC 2009

On 17/12/2009 16:46, Callum Macdonald wrote:
> Holamigos,
> Instigated in part by recent discussion on ticket 5066[1], I think the
> time has come to create a few WordPress forks. I'm imagining a set of
> patches applied against core rolled into a tgz. I can see a few initial
> options:
> * Strip out all the update checking stuff
> * Anonymize update checking
> * Security focused patches
> * Remove post revisions, etc...
> I'm sure other people will have their own particular choices.
> Personally, I'd like to see a tin foil flavour of WordPress with ultra
> conservative privacy settings. :-)
> Rather than create a single fork, I propose to create wpflavours (or
> maybe wpflavors), a project to provide the means to maintain multiple
> WordPress flavours. I'm seeing an svn repo, patches (maybe using
> quilt[2]) and a mailing list.
> I've started a discussion[3]. If you're interested in contributing, let
> me know. I'll most likely only proceed if there is sufficient interest
> in maintaining patch sets.

I haven't any opinions on the specific flavours mentioned, but I have
one thing to add to this discussion. I have been part of a few Free
Software projects that recently migrated their development
repositories to Bazaar[1] and launchpad[2]. (The specific choices are
not important to the discussion, but the capabilities these choices
provide are.)

This was supposed to be an infrastructural change, but it had some
unintended, interesting and useful consequences. Because
branching/merging was now easily possible[3], people who had cool
ideas of their own maintained a branch (or a fork, or a parallel
version of the tree, however you prefer to call it) containing their
own experiments and pet features. Then, other curious people would
check these features (flavours, in Callum's words), and the clearly
useful changes would be merged back into the arbitrarily decreed
"primary tree."

I think considering such a development process will allow for a lot of things:

* Allowing people to easily implement and publicise their own pet
features and ideas.
* Allow others to easily try out these implementations.
* Doesn't require maintaining sets of patches Callum proposed.
* Allows the "primary project branch" to easily pull in important,
useful and cool changes from these offshoots.

If someone is interested in seeing this in action, I can set up a
mirror to the WordPress source repository on a hosted site (e.g.
launchpad, github, bitbucket, ...). Others can branch/fork/clone/...
this and maintain their pet features.


[1] http://bazaar.canonical.com/en/
[2] https://launchpad.net/
[3] It is possible in svn as well, but most big outfits tend to have a
centralised development repository much like WordPress does,
discouraging it. In comparison, check out the number of parallel
branches for a project like MySQL https://code.launchpad.net/mysql .

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