This post is part of an ongoing series called Ask Jeff. This is where I’ll take a question someone within the WPTavern or WordPress community gives me and provide my thoughts/answer to. This weeks question was submitted by community member andrew.
Which current WordPress feature do you think is most likely to be a contributing factor in the eventual demise of the platform, and which feature that has not yet arrived do you believe is most likely to be its saving grace?
My goodness. Could these questions get any tougher? Good thing I like challenges. The first question is especially difficult to answer because a feature that becomes a contributing factor to the demise of WordPress should never make it into the core. But you did say which CURRENT feature so while thinking about the question, I determined that the post editor could certainly be a leading contributor to the downfall of WordPress. When three of your top 5 voted ideas for WordPress revolve around the behaviour of the post editor, that alone makes quite a statement. Add to that, these three ideas were submitted over two years ago and so far, doesn’t look like any of them have been addressed. I don’t know if they are being ignored, if there are no resources dedicated to fixing the problems, or if there are no solutions to the problems, but I can easily see a large group of people catching wind of these three ideas and making the case that they should have been addressed a long time ago. I can also see this large group of people using those ideas as the poster child for a ton of negative publicity on not only the software, but the entire development process. How likely is all of this to happen? I’ll say low but it is concerning to see three ideas which over the past two years, the WordPress user base has made their case known that they want these issues addressed but to no avail.
Now, onto your second question. I’m not sure I would call this a feature but a saving grace to WordPress could be to apply the ideas centered around the WordPress back end redesign for 2.7 and extend that line of thinking to all areas of the back end. WordPress 2.7 re-enabled end users to shape the back end so that it worked best for them. However, I believe this could be extended to the point where end users are not limited by having things in a certain location. I think if the back end could be modularized to the point where the core components behave like widgets, this could become the saving grace as it would empower normal end users to really shape the entire administration portion of WordPress so that it best fits their needs. WordPress can’t be all things to all people and I think the more ways that WordPress provides end users the chance to configure things that best suits them on a personal level, the better.
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