[wp-hackers] GSoC Proposal: Installation System Enhancements

Justin Shreve justin.shreve at gmail.com
Sat Mar 20 21:06:54 UTC 2010

Hello All,

I'm currently working away on some ideas for the upcoming summer of code.

I just finished writing a draft proposal for one of my ideas and would like
some feedback. Go ahead and suggest anything else you would like to see, not
see, etc. Any comments are appreciated.

Here is the introduction and proposal:


WordPress is already known for its famous and easy to use “five minute
install” but enhancements could make the installer even easier to use.
Additional help could be offered to newer users and more advanced users
could take use of extra options and tools.

*Project Proposal*

I propose to improve the WordPress install system by adding new enhancements
to the existing installation system. These improvements are outlined below.

*The method of kicking off the installation*

With my proposed changes, users will be able to start a WordPress
installation via one of two ways:

1) WordPress users will be able to download a single PHP file and upload it
to their server. The installer will check that you have the required
conditions to run WordPress (minimum PHP version, etc) and then the user
will be asked which folder they would like to install WordPress in.  The PHP
file will pull the latest WordPress version from the server and
automatically unzip the contents (Similar to how automatic update features
work). They will then be directed to the beginning installation screen.


2) Users will be able to download a WordPress package and browse to the
directory as they currently do now. This way a user isn’t “forced” to use a
certain version.

*A step-by-step help system*
*The new installation system will include an option that should popup a
(LightBox like) screen.  The help system will be mentioned to the user when
they first start the installation but more advanced users will not be
required to read through the steps.

If a user chooses to use the help system (by selecting a button or icon) a
popup will display relevant documentation on what is required for the screen
the user is on.

Example: If the user is on the screen for entering database details they can
click the help option and a popup will display walking them through finding
out their database details on various configurations.

The help system should be interactive so they can select various documents
depending on their configurations.

There should be an option to close the help system at any time or to read
further on the WordPress Codex.

*Automatic plugin, theme and language installation*
*Additional screens will be added to the installation wizard.  These screens
will be to install plugins, themes and to install a different language pack

Plugins: Users will be given the option to browse the
wordpress.org/extend/plugin directory for plugins compatible with the
version they are
installing. They can check multiple ones and the plugins will install and be
ready for use before first login. Automattic plugins, core plugins &
featured plugins would be displayed first. This system would allow for
WordPress to easily allow users to add features that seem to add too much
bloat to core.  The system would also make it much easier for users to learn
about plugins from the get go.

Themes: Similarly users will be able to choose either from the WordPress
default theme (in this case twentyten ) or by browsing the
wordpress.org/extend/ theme directory. It provides the same benefits as the
above plugin screen and allows users to start customizing their blogs first

Language: Like plugins & themes, a user should be able to choose their
localization from the installer if they haven’t already done so through
other means.

*Installation Progress*
*To go along with the additional screens and settings a progress system will
be displayed at the top of each step in the installation. The progress
system should show the current step and what the other upcoming steps are
called so users can monitor their progress.


Thanks again for taking the time to read my proposal and give some feedback.
I'll try to start doing the same for any other proposals!

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