WordPress News Out Of Atlanta

Thanks to Nic who streamed the keynote for WordCamp Atlanta featuring Jane Wells. In this keynote, there is a handful of newsworthy items to mention, one of which is brand new.

WordPress 3.0 dev cycle is going through more of a formal format this time. This version will have a tight scope of features and functionality. However, the things going into 3.0 are huge such as the WordPress MU Merge.

WordPress MU will disappear without receiving a new name. It will simply be WordPress with Multi-Site capabilities.

Plugin and theme authors should closely monitor trac as there are a bunch of changes taking place at a rapid pace.

Custom post-types will be added to WordPress 3.0. Custom post-types are generally have their own taxonomies.

Media and such not going to be done in 3.0. Image editing was added into 2.9. The media section has a bunch of complications that are hard to solve thus leading to more development time. Maybe 3.1 for more media stuff.

During the presentation, canonical plugins were referred to ‘core plugins‘. This is the term people voted for in the poll and it looks like this is what they are going to be called from now on. These selected group of plugins will work closely with the core of WordPress to maintain compatibility, security, usability, etc.

The WordPress Developments blog is going to be quite busy the next few months. Make sure you are subscribed the sites RSS feed to keep tabs on the moving and shaking going on.

Two Matts are going to be working on the default theme 2010, Matt Mullenweg and Matt Thomas. (Cue how many matts does it take to make a default theme joke)

While not confirmed that it was happening, Jane mentioned that after ‘core plugins’ get rolling, she could see ‘core themes’ being worked on as well.

WordPress is going to try to get specific people to volunteer for specific features to hold more accountability and responsibility for those features. This also makes it easier to keep track on who’s doing what.

In order to get the core WordPress devs to take notice of your patch, get people behind it, write about it, spread the word, more importantly, get people to test it.

Jane Wells mentioned something quite interesting in that she may spearhead the development of a community code of conduct which would explain how to treat others within the WordPress community. She wants the WordPress community to help write it. Hopefully, this would get rid of some of the mean spiritedness that exists within the WordPress community.

The User Design/Interface aspect of the project will begin to open up to more contributors throughout the year. Look for the post on Monday for more information.

Distributed usability testing will also get going this year. For those interesting in partaking in the User Interface area of WordPress, you should join this mailing list. WP-UI

Mentoring. Jane said they are going to try and implementing a buddy or mentoring system so experience members of the community can help newcomers along. More information and feedback can be found here.

Jane will also be focusing on trying to get more Women involved with WordPress and technology in general. Some stats worth knowing: 25% Of Employed Computer Programmers in The U.S are women. Only 22% of Computer Science graduates right now are women. About 1% of the core contributions to WordPress are from women and that figure was rounded up.

The WordPress ideas forum will most likely be fixed and updated this week. The plugins running on the ideas forum behind the scenes will be updated as well. Also down the road, the Ideas forum will be integrated into Trac so that if an idea is blessed for WordPress, a Trac ticket will automatically be created for that idea. That is pretty darn slick! We can thank Mike Adams for helping to make the ideas forum usable again.

Throughout 2010, the WordPress.org website will undergo a redesign to be more of a community hub instead of a place where announcements are shared. Thanks to BuddyPress and activity streams.

WordCamps.org will have BuddyPress installed on it and the ticketing module that was used for WordCamp New York will be installed as well giving WordCamp organizers a free place to set up sites for WordCamps while also being able to sell tickets instead of relying on third parties.

One of the personal goals Jane has set out for 2010 is to convince five theme authors to go GPL.

During the Question and Answer session, someone asked a question regarding multiple distributions of WordPress and if they would be available like Linux. However, there are no plans on providing these.

Another question that was asked by an audience member dealt with the plugins from WPMU Premium Dev and putting those in the repository. I won’t spoil the answer for you, you’ll have to watch the video and see.

These are all of the newsworthy items I heard during the presentation. Give the video a watch to see and hear everything in more detail.


17 responses to “WordPress News Out Of Atlanta”

  1. 1) Just because you have a code of conduct for the community doesn’t mean everyone or even most people are going to read it or know about it. Furthermore, segregating developers or contributors because they’re a jerk doesn’t much improve situations. Well, there are different level of being a jerk. Changing ones personality or priority of code of conduct is difficult and most likely will get into more arguments over how one should attack and go off from the base points.

    2) I don’t know how Jane expects to get more women to contribute to core of WordPress. There are only so many women who program in PHP overall, so in order to get that number up, you either need to persuade women who are contributing on other projects to come to contribute for WordPress, get women to spend their time from chores, managing households, etc to work instead on WordPress (I guess the man could get off his ass and do some of it), or train more women to be PHP programmers and give them an incentive to work on WordPress.

    I think the problem is also of money, why do people expect that everyone is willing to work on a project that gives them no monetary reward for doing so. Only a small percentage of programmers are willing to work on WordPress and even then not for long. If you have someone work on WordPress for more than a year then they have commitment. I think I only contributed for 2 years before I started to think about all of the other projects I put off during those two years. A few of them that once completed could earn some money.

  2. Curious about the specifics of custom post type support. The basic nuts and bolts are already in 2.9, with a big emphasis on “basic”. Since I doubt the 100% solution will be in 3.0, I’d like to know what new aspects, exactly, are going to be incorporated. Need to read up on the latest discussions I guess!

  3. @Jacob Santos

    #1 -with an official code of conduct in place though, it will help people feel as they they *shouldn’t* tolerate nasty behavior. Right now, everyone puts up with it. If I start being “a mom” to jerks in the forum, reminding them to play nice, if there’s an official stance to point people to, it’s a whole lot better.

    #2 – this is directly related to #1. It’s not like there aren’t women out there programming in php, because they are. It’s just they aren’t contributing back to the core of WP. That was Jane’s point. Let’s make it easier for everyone to feel welcome, how about that?

    As to the money part, few people realize how making a name for yourself in the community can lead you to an income. no, it’s not direct. But the benefits are there.

    @Donnacha – LOL, nice catch. :D
    (actually, the drop probably corresponds to those women dropping out to have children.)

  4. On the code of conduct… what are we talking about? wordpress.org forums? I heard her talk about this in bits and pieces (the audio wasn’t very good so I couldn’t make out most of it) but I had no idea what she was talking about.

    As for her five theme authors, she got one yesterday I believe. :)

  5. I am quite amazed only 1% are women actually…

    There is really a job here for everyone in the whole IT community to make women feel more involved in development. I am even more surprised about women (at least in Sweden) are very much involved in using blogging tools such as WordPress. How come they are not interested in developing them then?

  6. Code of conduct: If people can’t play nice by themselves a code of conduct wont help. There are a few not very friendly people even moderators currently active in the wp.org forum at the moment I can’t see them being friendly just because there is a code of conduct. Will unfriendly but higher ups be kicked out if they break the rules?
    Personally I go by the age old “treat others as you want to be treated yourself”. Don’t think anyone wants to be called stupid.

    Feminism The whole women thing is ridiculous. If women want to code wordpress let them. No need really to try to get more of them. Not everything needs to be a 50/50 project. Personally I’m kind of sick of such projects really. They are mostly political in nature. Never do you here “We need to get more female garbagemen or dishwashers”.

    Core The core stuff is just bad.
    improve wp.org More social tools etc on wp.org is welcomed and a great improvement perhaps.

  7. @Jane Wells – I guess that makes sense although, obviously, I am somewhat disappointed that there isn’t a more ominous explanation, such as that an over-exposure to monitor glare, Wi-Fi waves and O’Reilly books is slowing transforming the nation’s female CS grads into highly confused males.

    I have heard that 83% of Perl programmers are hermaphrodites … although there is a possibility that this may not true. I mean, I haven’t conducted any checks or anything.

  8. On the topic of attempting to get more women, then good luck. What I tried to say and I left it out and went off on a tangent is that PHP community is trying to do this as well for the PHP engine as well. There are many women who are programmers and only so many of them. Majority of programmers are men, just how it is. Read what the PHP Engine developers and community has to say about this and try to get involved with them first and see how they were able to succeed or why the failed (as a guy, a female only zone is something I respect and dutifully ignore completely as it has nothing to do with me, as a man).

    I don’t see it as the male programmers being biased or insulting towards female programmers. In fact, I would be happy to see more of them, because they are such a rarity. I think that when you have them, they either feel as if they shouldn’t tell anyone they are female because of the harassment from male programmers at the novelty (who damn near ruin it for the rest of us) or because of the feeling that they might be required to “prove” themselves to their male counterparts.

    That and the real world effects it as well. Women are still expected to hold the fort and is referenced by a few (well, accurately only one woman in the PHP community) of the women in the amount of time they have available to contribute to any community.

    Again I went off on a tangent. There is already a movement in the PHP core community that can be drawn from in order for research and having an example for how to start. Learning from those that have already tried is a good way to start. All I have to say is that I wouldn’t mind seeing more female programmers in a completely creepy way if you will, but not that creepy.

  9. I was actually there to hear that. Can’t wait to see more females in the progrmaming industry. There are a lot of designers and consultants but I guess that’s not the same.

    I can’t wait for the core plugins specially for twitter. Hope they use RSS parsing rather than using Search API because search API is useless for the most part because of the limitation.

    By the way Jeff, I gave a mini presentation about WordPress Security there – http://slideshare.net/wpbeginner

    You can find it there if you want. I was hoping that you would be there. But again I won’t be at Boston WordCamp. I think I saw you are speaking, so make sure you send me ur slides on twitter ;)


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