21 Comments

  1. Jeff Matson

    Excellent write-up and thanks for the mention. Since meeting with Chris a few months ago, I’ve had an inside look and some input in which I’m incredibly excited to see Hookr progress over time.

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  2. Sonja London

    Has there been any effort to collaborate &/or merge Adam Brown’s work with this?

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  3. Ajay

    Curious as to how to get Hookr to index more plugins?

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  4. Diogenes

    I think it would be fair to say that a monetized third-party reference wasn’t exactly what WordPress had in mind when they really started documenting the core in earnest in recent years. Especially when you consider that Hookr is piggybacking on thousands of hours of volunteer effort. Information should always be free as in beer, but not at the direct expense of one person’s volunteer effort for another’s monetary gain.

    Yes, obviously, Hookr looks to be much more than a reference for the core of WordPress, but let’s not forget where it started and will continue to heavily focus.

    How interesting that Mr. Sanford’s complete unwillingness to contribute back to the official effort that Hookr almost entirely relies on was glossed over as “friction”. That inaction sends a powerful message to the hundreds of volunteers who work on WordPress core documentation that their time and effort is more valuable than they realize.

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    • Sarah Gooding

      I don’t think that unwillingness to contribute back to the “official” effort sends that message at all. It’s beneficial to all to have different and varying resources and awesome that the work of WP core documentation volunteers can reach even more folks through multiple resources that pull from it.

      Contributing back to the official effort comes with all kinds of constraints and a larger number of people to work with as well – not everyone wants to engage in that. Sanford simply wanted to build something that he and others would like to use and to build it the way he wanted to build it, on his timeline.

      Hookr is free – it’s inaccurate to say that it was built at the expense of WP core volunteer effort – they were already contributing those docs regardless of who uses them or builds on them. If Sanford ever makes any money from it, it’s because he decided to build a SaaS infrastructure for parsing docs or sell ads or whatever he wants. He’s built a useful website with a nice way of displaying the docs included in some open source software. It’s not a crime to do so or to make money from it.

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      • Jeff Matson

        Well put, Sarah.

        @Diogenes: I see no intention by Chris to undermine anyone and capitalize on volunteer efforts. I wouldn’t have provided my insight and feedback to him if he was.

        In all reality, he’s put a ridiculous amount of time into Hookr while asking nothing in return, alone with money from his own pocket. To expect him to continue this without any monetary return would be insane.

        When discussing monetization techniques with Chris, the main focus was never to become a millionaire from it, or to capitalize on any volunteer efforts, but to simply allow him to continue his work.

        I’ve seen the work that he’s put into the project and it’s far from basic. If he does something shady, we can all call him out on it but until then, just sit back and enjoy the ride.

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    • Drew Jaynes

      Especially when you consider that Hookr is piggybacking on thousands of hours of volunteer effort.

      While this is basically true, I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to paint Hookr.io as some johnny-come-lately evildoer. Personally, I was excited when Hookr.io launched. The information is out there and the more the merrier who share it the better, imo. I think “friction” is a good word for what happened with some contributors, but that’s largely because I think they felt like we should centralize the effort, which I agree with to an extent.

      To say that Hookr is capitalizing on volunteerism is a bit of a stretch.

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  5. Hookr (@hookr_io)

    @DrewAPicture, how is offering a paid subscription to generate a source code index/documentation microsite any different from an open source vendor not charging for their premium product/source, but charging for documentation/support? It is no different.

    To assert that I’m somehow capitalizing on documentation contributors is laughable– if you recall, since you and I spoke in person about this roughly a year ago, I’m parsing source code, not documentation. Yes, now the data I gather is augmented by the community’s documentation work, but is not based on it. Again, Hookr predates any effort by the community to document WordPress Core… so how you feel slighted is beyond me.

    In terms of “friction,” I find it ironic that you use phrases such as, “unwillingness to contribute back to the official effort,” when in fact, in person at WCNYC2014, I personally offered to help you & the official code reference, yet heard nothing. In fact, my parting words were “get ahold of me.”

    The root of the problem is that Hookr can provide useful information, whether or not the source is documented, and you/community inner circle somehow feel undermined by this. There is no perfect solution, especially when it comes to what we are trying to do. That being said, source code & documentation are symbiotic; you need both to be truly valuable. However, source code can be unit tested & validated, documentation cannot.

    So, I will publicly offer my help (again). If you want to work together on getting the official code reference to where it should be, let me know. Until that time, I will continue providing useful information in a format that is easy to consume for all things WordPress, not just core.

    Cheers.

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    • Drew Jaynes

      Uhh, that wasn’t me :)

      If you’re interested in helping out with the code reference, awesome. I think we had some very interesting conversations at WCNYC last year.

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    • Rick

      @hooker,

      Not a great example. Better example:

      Lots of books exist on WP coding over the years. All such books are also construed by developers as reference materials that are paid for. Whether they contribute to core work or not is rather immaterial. Some have built names for themselves in such ways and to a seasoned developer their code looks amateur. Thats not to sound pursnootity just the case as they perhaps try target an audience or target staging it up for book part deux. There are training videos monetized on.

      Documenting is a sorta peeve in that documenting code is just required. Its not optional in any corporation. Heck, the only time is was sorta optional was VERY early in micro-computing when developers (I included) worked on PC Games and we’d not document engines. We did that so a publisher or another developer would need hire us if they wanted use said engine(s). But now-a-days its just required. Can you imagine trying to code even a decent Windows Form or Windows WPF or Windows Service application and have documentation thats spread all over? Microsoft would be long since dead.

      I do see this ALOT in PHP Open source and I dont understand it. Perhaps it was because of no real competing other computer language base for viable Web App’s short of really Java.

      Now, thats different, C# and Mono are on the scene. Take a look at Mono’s documentation. Then go, “Oh my… look at that”. Not only will you see a framework that makes pretty much all comers look like bad swiss cheese but you will immediately notice something else. This does NOT look haphazard or cobbled. This REALLY looks like some folks who have BIG BIG BIG plans and they are providing software engineers with a very solid foundation. You would be right.

      From a coders perspective its simple. If I need hunt all over for resources in documentation, if I need do web searches looking for the “right ways” and examples to do things then that is time completely wasted that I could be pumping out code. Documentation should never be a frustration area these days. 25-30 years ago, yes. Now? No. Fantastic engineer can walk into Google and say, here I am. Here’s impressive code. When they ask where the documentation is if he/she says, “I dont do that” or “I let others do that” they will be shown the door.

      It interrupts and erupts others work and workflows. The #2 reason WP crushed Joomla is Joomla’s “We want others document our work” as we float around the globe charging money for seminars in large part do to the code third parties developed that make the platform do snazzy things.

      Documenting sux. You should see how much documenting takes place with even a rather simple gaming engine. You’d go, “Oh my goodness!”. Flow diagrams, state diagrams, database, objects on and on.

      It is one of the “issues” that will kill open source when it comes to projects such as Mono. There is nothing and I do mean NOTHING more frustrating than hunting for documentation. Its time consuming, makes stress levels climb and takes away BIGTIME from workflows. For example, writing code, really having a productive session. Need find some info. 45 minutes later have it. That productive session may well be hindered immense like. Happens ALL the time to coders. One of the biggest beefs heard at suds night where a bunch of coders and others get together here local is that.

      Want really make money Hooker? Not as a hooker? LOL. Write a book. But DONT write a book thats a “Lets learn how to “functions.php” or enqueue blah blah. Write a real quick reference book for WP. The meat and potatoes are function, hook etc. references (just like any quick reference guide) and a few small sections “Plug in basics” “shortcode basics” etc.

      Then just keep updating it every year. Look at ones that Orielly has done for other languages. Do same. Contact O-Reilly firth thing Monday morning and tell them its underway. I guarantee you they will go, “Awesomesauce!” and you will make a GREAT DEAL of money.

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  6. blair2004

    The fact everything is joined together (themes, core, plugins) makes this docs more efficient. I think it’s a more improve function reference from Codex. Nice job..

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  7. Tang Rufus (@TangRufus)

    Can plugin developers submit their plugins to Hookr?

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  8. Rick Beckman

    This would make a great companion to my plugin OpenHook, which lets users customize *every* hook in every theme/plugin/WordPress from within a convenient admin panel.

    https://wordpress.org/plugins/thesis-openhook/

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