What Dev4Press Thinks WordPress Needs

Everyone has an opinion as to what WordPress needs and Dev4Press recently shared theirs on what they believe WordPress needs with regards to features. Any time I read a post like this, it’s as if I can hear the core team in my head yelling out “patches welcome“. But you know, just because you dedicate time to produce a patch that includes the functionality you would like to see in core that works flawlessly with WordPress does not guarantee that the functionality will end up within the core of WordPress. So in that sense, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Of course, there is always the plugin route.

I agree with Dev4Press when they mention that the built-in search functionality in WordPress sucks and needs a major overhaul. It’s something that many users have requested for over two years. Unfortunately, due to complexity or lack of resources, we have yet to see any overhaul on this part of WordPress. There are plugins that enhance this ability but nothing within the core that makes it better. The other issue I wanted to address with the post on Dev4Press concerns their request that Akismet be removed from the default WordPress package as they think it’s a commercial plugin and thus, unfair to commercial plugin authors. In my opinion, as long as Akismet has the free option, it’s not a commercial plugin. However, I’d still like to see it and all other plugins removed from the default installation package just to tidy things up.


16 responses to “What Dev4Press Thinks WordPress Needs”

  1. @Otto – I agree.

    I developed a habit of keeping multiple tabs open for the same backend due to the broken menus (read: flyouts). And yet – my fingers hurt after a long day with WP. Tiny fonts and bad contrasts do the rest. I have clients who *rely* on external tools just to write a simple post.

    So before anything will be added we need basic accessibility and usability. Features are useless if you can’t use them.

  2. Something which seems more and more important about the development of WordPress is that, in common with most GPL software (most software, for that matter), it has simply gone on, year-in year-out, revising, fixing and improving. But nobody seems to be saying, is that it? Is that the best we can do? Is that what we really want? If we started with WordPress as an idea today, would we build this ~ what we have now?

    Now of course I don’t know that’s the case, since I am not on the team, I just imagine that’s the way it is. Just keep your heads down guys, mend things that are broke, add a few bells and whistles now and again.

    I don’t mean this as a criticism of the team or what they have produced. But as an analogy, think of what’s happening in developing countries with mobile phones, for example, a far larger and more complicated problem to fix. I think its a lesson WordPress should take on-board because if Automattic doesn’t do it, its for damn sure somebody else will.

    They are not re-inventing and maintaining better land-lines, installing whizzy new infrastructure and extending the lifetime of what went before. They’ve just taken a look at what’s on offer, what their experience tells them is needed for the future, and thrown the rest away. Along with the time it takes to fiddle around with and the cost of maintenance etc. In other words, they took the view, since we’re starting today with our telecomms infrastructure, what do we need to maintain all that crap for. Mobile devices is all we need. Let someone else do all that.

    I don’t want to get into the semantics of arguing what’s more or less broke, but save to say, there are some huge holes in WordPress. Some big enough to drive a truck through. And despite all the bru-ha-ha and hype it still falls far short as a modem CMS. Even with all the plugins created to fix stuff that’s needed but isn’t there, workflow management and the WYSIWYDG editor are painful, to say the least!

    Isn’t about time Automattic ditched all the baggage and developed a brand new WP2? More like Adobe Contribute CS5?


  3. @Terence Milbourn

    You are right, and the point of my wish list article cited here is that WordPress needs a lot more work that can’t be fixed with plugins as some have suggested. There are plugins for WP to replace the whole admin side, but that ain’t the point. It is clear that there are features that must be part of the core.

    I don’t care about the look of the admin screens and if they are green or black or red. I don’t care about theme customizer that is next to useless for most purposes. I don’t care about searching WordPress themes repository. And most people that use WP for business don’t either. They need a solid core that has all the things to deal with data, they all use custom themes they don’t plan to change for year or more, and they need usable admin screens that can do what they are suppose to, regardless of their color or pixel positions.

    I know that features I talked about are not easy to do, and that is exactly the point. Some of them are long overdue for rewrite and are becoming a laughing matter when WP is considered, like useless search.

    My point from all this, is that people leading WordPress Core development need to take a long hard look at all the problems WP has, at all the features that need to be in the core, and to make a plan for a long development cycle that will cover most of that. Making new WP every 3-4 months is a bad decision, and it needs to stop for the sake of WordPress. Take a year and give us better WordPress. Better WP core will bring better plugins and themes, and that will give us better websites.

    And with any open source project, if they don’t, someone else will. I would hate to see parallel WP development, but it can happen if the current development trend continues.

    Look at the adoption rate of latest 3 WP versions and you will see that current development cycle is bad, and that most of the users will not upgrade to a WP that brings nothing that important.

    Milan Petrovic

  4. The sad thing is, what obviously takes huge amounts of time, skill and imagination often translates to yet another so so feature most people didn’t know they wanted, or perhaps didn’t even notice now they’ve got it.

    But my impression is, the things they are crying out for get hardly/if any attention because they are not interesting to do, there’s not enough time left over after screwing round with all the other more “interesting” stuff, or they’re just too difficult to fix within the existing framework.

    The joys of GPL software. So what else is new?

  5. Team WordPress of course pays considerable attention to “developers”. The developer community is not, and isn’t about to be, ignored.

    True, they don’t ignore developers, per se. But they do effectively ignore key functionality that is important to developers. I could delineate those but I think Milan has already created a pretty good list.

  6. @Mike Schinkel

    Millan in particular has contributed strongly to WordPress. Users, other developers and Team-WP all benefit.

    Developers differ/vary a lot. They are both ‘coming from’ and ‘aiming for’ different places. They would not/do not agree on the merits & ranking of functionalities “important to developers”.

    And how could it be otherwise? Users – whom develpers server – are themselves ‘totally all over the map’, representing a huge range & diversity of motivations & objectives. Different developer-shops try to build businesses with different parts of a spectrum of sometimes sharply contrasting user communities & needs.

    The WordPress Team has a very complex scene to take in, and balance. I myself – gasp! – do not agree with every call they make.

  7. I am not a coder but totally rely on WordPress as a primary platform for all my sites but, yes I totally agree that WordPress search sucks badly, It needs a lot of improvements and I hate using plugins for every second needs.


Subscribe Via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.