[wp-hackers] GSoC Proposal: Ideas Forum

Justin Shreve justin.shreve at gmail.com
Sun Mar 21 00:41:07 UTC 2010

I have a second Summer of Code proposal for something else I want to see.


The WordPress Ideas Forum is an often under looked area of the extend
section on WordPress.org. As the WordPress project continues to change so
should the outlet for feedback and ideas.

*Project Proposal*
*I propose to re-write the WordPress Ideas forum with new features and a new
focus on feedback and taking action.

The new ideas section would be based on a feature set similar to that of
Ubuntu’s brainstorm (http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/) or Dell’s IdeaStorm (

The system would run on a customized install of WordPress so all the
features would be plugins/theme changes to WordPress itself and could be
released individually as open source code.

The following features would be included as part of the project:

*Promote/Demote System (Promote/Demote)
The new Ideas Forum would contain a promote/demote system instead of the
current star rating system. Users would click a thumb up icon to show their
support for a specific feature or a thumbs down if they think it is a bad

*Visual Posting Editor + Attachments
Not everybody that uses WordPress knows HTML. A visual editor like the one
included with WordPress (TinyMCE) would make it easier to add some
formatting to the idea posts.  Only tags like the ones allowed now would be
allowed through and the editor would degrade if JavaScript was not enabled.

The posting screen would also allow users to post some kind of screenshot
with their posting so they could propose a UI screen or show visually what
they are talking about.

*Improved Comments System (with Solutions System)
A new comments system would be included that would allow two types of

1) A normal comment giving general feedback on the Idea or additional ideas.
Just text with some possible formatting or link.

2) A specific solution to the Idea which would be displayed above regular
comments. See Ubuntu BrainStorm. A solution would allow attachments and
would have the ability to be voted up and down just like the main idea.  An
example use: A user suggests better export/import with a couple feature
ideas. A second user votes the idea up and has a specific solution in mind.
They mockup a screen quickly and want to post it as a solution for the Idea.
Other users can come in and vote this solution up and down or post their

*Integration with Trac*
*Once a ticket reaches a significant amount of feedback, solutions, comments
or popularity there should be a way to automatically generate a trac ticket
with a link back to the idea. This feature could be either for moderators or
for the creator.

*Idea Statuses*
*Currently there are about 10 different types of ideas (implemented, under
consideration, etc). I propose condensing them into the following:

   - Latest Ideas
   - Popular Ideas
   - Ideas in Development (If they have been finally posted to trac, may
   have a patch or if a plugin or theme developer is working on it)
   - Implemented Ideas (For ideas implemented either in core, a plugin or a

Only a moderator can change a status but users can “suggest a change” if an
Idea has been implemented but the status is not updated. This is the
equivalent of adding a “modlook” tag on the current system.

*Report System*
*Instead of replying (and bumping a topic) and applying the tag “modlook”
users will be able to report a topic which moderators will be able to see in
a report center.

*Popularity Weighting*
*The system would take into account the number of up votes, comments,
solutions and views for a popularity score. The ideas with higher popularity
would be show on the popular section and home page of the Ideas section.

If an idea is linked to in a blog (track-back) then the popularity will

Additional Idea: A tweet this option where retweets would be included in the
popularity rating.

*Better Category System*
*Right now almost all the ideas are posted in the General category.
Categories like Email only have 2 ideas posted in them.  The project would
take a look at what the current ideas could be categorized as and come up
with some new categories.
Ideas should be able to be marked in more than one category at a time.

*New Ideas Homepage*
*The new homepage layout would be similar to Digg with popular ideas being
featured with as well as the Vote Up/Down options.  We should also make sure
to give an equal number of space to some “new ideas” so the recently
submitted ideas get some exposure as well.

A tag clould will be displayed so that the tagging system that we currently
have can actually be browsed.


Does anyone have some comments on this proposal? I tried to think of a fun
and social way the ideas forum could be run (and how the could could go back
to WordPress) but I'm sure there are some other great ideas out there.
Thanks for your time!

- Justin

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