In the better late than never category: notes about plugins from core team meetup in December! http://make.wordpress.org/plugins/2012/08/18/93/
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Picking up where we left off….
We kicked off Friday with a discussion about the high-level roadmap for 2012. Using our earlier talk about process and scope, we identified areas/userflows that we could use to focus a release. Areas of interest included changing themes/customizing your site, uploading a bunch of photos, interacting with audience/feedback loop. (There were more, but let’s face it, there are too many things we’d like to improve to do them all at once.)
We all donned WordPress gear so that people would recognize us at the happy hour later.
Lunch: Went to The Sentient Bean in Savannah.
Next we went to ThincSavannah, my coworking space in downtown Savannah. We did the livestreamed Town Hall/Q&A (recording coming soon), answering questions from that forum thread I put up last week and a few that came in live from IRC.
After that was happy hour at Jazz’d. Only two people came to hang out with us (and to think we dressed up especially!), but they were two great people, so we were fine. Some drinks and appetizers later, we departed for WordPress on Ice, in which we went ice skating at the Civic Center.
Then a stop at Huc-a-Poo’s, then home.
We spent the morning talking about mobile apps and their place in the WordPress ecosystem, as well as making the dashboard a better experience when viewed in a mobile browser.
Lunch: Went to AJ’s and ate on the deck. Continued talking about mobile.Â This eventually morphed a bit into a discussion about the lines between .org/.com.
When we started this morning, we tried to at least quickly hit the things we hadn’t gotten to yet, since today was the last day. These included: Google stuff, core plugins, how leadership in core does/does not translate to leadership of the whole project, wordpress.org site, pairs (creating process to make collaborative/non-solo development the norm), and CMS stuff.
Since a lot of us were pretty interested in making the theme customization process a focus of the next release, we starting identifying what the chunks of that might look like under the new process and with people working in pairs/teams. We continued talking about this over brunch at the Tybee Island Social Club, where @nacin and @dkoopersmith drank bacon bloody marys.
Now we begin a 2nd mini meetup. Matt, Nacin, Koop, and I are staying, and have been joined by @otto42 and @chexee. The next couple of days we’ll be doing some planning and starting projects to make visiting wordpress.org a better, more useful experience. Â Tonight, though, everyone is catching up on some individual work after a week of long days.
We’ll post summaries of the specific core meetup discussions over the coming week.
As most people know, the core team (leads, primary committers, Matt) is having its annual meetup this week, packed into a house in Tybee Island, GA with an hour by hour schedule to try to get through as many things as we can. We’ll try to do recaps of everything we talk about to keep everyone in the loop (feel free to ask questions in the comments).
Matt, Mark Jaquith, Westi and I arrived (well, they arrived; I live here) on Monday and had a day to plan out the agenda topics and work out how we wanted to schedule the week.Â Â Rather than plot out a unique schedule every day, we put together a repeatable pattern for morning and afternoon that looked like this:
For the record, “Break” means “Check email, catch up on Trac tickets, etc,” not, “Hang out on the couch watching Hulu.”
On Tuesday we also took a field trip to buy a cable modem capable of handling the bandwidth increase we’d ordered. That night, everyone else arrived: Nacin, Koop, Dion (dd32), Andrew (azaozz), and Jon (duck_). We had dinner at the Crab Shack and planned an early start on Wednesday.
Wednesday was our first day as a full group. We followed the schedule fairly well, though as always with us, some things took longer than expected.
Breakfast: We went to eat at the Breakfast Club, where a bunch of the guys had Blackhawk burritos in honor of our absent member, Ryan Boren.
Our first main topic was a 3.3 debrief to discuss for about 45 minutes how the 3.3 development cycle went. (Going to split out the notes from these sessions into separate posts, or this post will be a mile long.)
After that we had breakout sessions, where the intention was for smaller groups to brainstorm/discuss an issue, then come up with a proposal/recommendation to present to the group. The two topics were QA and Updates (specifically the road to auto-updating and how we could get there). Mark assigned people to each session and half the group went upstairs. Coincidentally, that was the UPdates group. (sorry) Afterward, we regrouped and caught each other up on our proposals.
Lunch: Blackhawk burritos keep you full for days, so people just made sandwiches.
Round 2 started bringing in @ryan via Skype video from his home in Texas. The main discussion centered on our development cycle/release process/scoping/timelines. We discussed a number of things we could try to keep the cycles more consistent, reduce bottlenecks, and improve accountability.
Dinner: It was my birthday, so we all went to the Tybee Island Social Club for “Winesday” and continued our talks about everything from the wordpress.org site to growing local developer and user communities. There may be a picture of Koop and/or Nacin wearing a child’s birthday hat. Mark Jaquith has the footage.
Breakfast: Miscellaneous breakfast stuff at the house. Pretty sure there was a bunch of bacon involved.
Morning session: Plugins, plugins, plugins. You name it, we talked about it. Findability in the directory, improving the repo and developer experience, plugin review, encouraging collaboration, 3rd party repos, communication with authors, and more.
Both breakout sessions were plugin-centric. In addition to general recommendations, each subteam was required to identify two discrete action items to help us move forward in their assigned area. One subteam (Me, Westi, Jon Cave, Andrew Ozz) was focused on planning upcoming wordpress.org sites in the Make and Learn areas, while the other (Matt, Nacin, Koop, Dion, Mark) focused on improving the directory.
This day we did an actual fun outing to get us out of our chairs and away from the laptops for a bit, and went out on a boat for an hour so the guys could get a tour of the river/marsh and hit the ocean as we looped past the Cockspur Lighthouse.
After the boat, we went to lunch at North Beach Grill. There were conversations about infrastructure, performance, automated testing, and crawfish poppers. Before going back to the house, we did a 5-minute walk down to the water.
In the afternoon, rather than doing another block of heavy discussions, everyone worked on their computers. Some of you may have had some issues accessing svn etc last night, and so did we. So that took a while. After that it was general hackery and miscellaneous discussions about functions, bugs, and the usual things wp devs talk about when they are together. This lasted into the evening, so instead of going out to dinner we ordered pizza from Huc-a-Poo’s and kept working.
Today we’re having a modified schedule because Westi leaves to go home this evening, so we’re trying to get certain things finished before he leaves. We’ll be working this afternoon from a coworking space in downtown Savannah, and will be recording video responses to some of the questions on the forum thread I posted last week. If bandwidth supports it, we’ll livestream this while we record, and could possibly take more questions from people in #wordpress-dev. If we do it, we’ll use the Ustream “WordPress” user channel, and it will be mid-afternoon eastern time (maybe around 3pm?). Once we get there after lunch and can tell if the livestreaming will work, I’ll post on this blog with the verdict.
Off to Friday’s sessions! We’ll start posting the session writeups as time allows, but will get them all up there no later than the end of next week (there are a lot of notes).
- The core commit team (+me) talked with the people working on the WordPress mobile apps via audio skype chat after several attempts at video were an utter failure due to bandwidth issues. All agreed that we needed to build a stronger tie between the web app and the mobile apps. To that end, the mobile app devs will start attending our weekly dev chats to stay up to date with new developments (heh), and will occasionally post updates here on this blog to keep everyone aware of mobile app news. We’ll also get the UI group involved in mobile app UI/usability testing where appropriate. A link has been added to the Extend submenu on .org that goes to a page listing all the mobile apps and their sites, to raise visibility.
- Huge Tracfest. Sifted through awaiting review and future release tickets, talked about ways that we could improve the triage/bug gardening process. Trac-ity Trac-ity Trac-ity.
- BBQ dinner brought over by Gerald of Gerald’s Pig and Shrimp BBQ (though there was no shrimp). His business is closed for the season and he doesn’t usually cook for such small groups in the off-season, but he let himself be sweet-talked into it because he has a WordPress blog. Running Kubrick! He came over with a truck full of meat, black eyed peas, lima beans, rice, and fried okra. It fortified the guys for…
- All-night continuation of Tracfest.
- We started out the day by talking about ways to improve the plugin repo submission experience, possible ways to promote good/safe plugins and de-emphasize abandoned ones that no longer work with current version, and infrastructure that could help with these goals. We also had a knock-down, drag-out fight over the best way to deal with plugins whose authors have abandoned them if someone else wants to step up to take over. I say this not to imply there is dissension in the ranks of the core leadership, but to show that this is a group of passionate people with strong opinions about the best way to do things to further the WP project. If you’ve ever been bummed because half the core team didn’t agree with you and shot down your idea, at least take heart that we’re all in the same boat!
- Licensing. We committed to reviewed every licensing ticket opened by hakre or anyone else on Trac. We got through all of them, and wound up with a list of what to do about them/assigning people to make whatever patches were deemed necessary. Also see Mark’s post from last night, related to one of them.
- Improving updates. Talked about things like partial updates, language packs, compatibility checks, notifications, memory leaks, etc.
- Unit tests. We need more stuff. Also, Peter is going to write up Mac and Windows instructions for getting the test suite running.
- Lost time to tangents not directly related to either 3.1 release or the topics on the agenda for 2011 vision due to vocal minority/people who are convinced that their needs are more important than anyone else’s. I’m supposed to be savvy enough not to come right out and say things like that, but it’s been a long week, and lets face it: if half the core team didn’t lose so much time to the handful of people who loudly demand attention on wp-hackers, twitter, etc, we probably could have had 3.1 launched by now.
- Regained better humor (lowered due to said time suck of tangents) by invading ##wpchat and being silly. Sorry guys, for the interruption. At least our bandwidth was bad enough that we weren’t there for long!
We have a long list of things to get through today. May try to enforce a period of social media silence and make everyone close twitter etc so we can’t be distracted as outlined above. If we don’t answer you about something today, please don’t be offended — we just really need to get a lot of work done, and we only have one day left to do it.
In the meantime, since the internet connection has made doing a live town hall impossible, we could at least try to record one and post it. Feel free to post questions you’d like us to answer on video in the comments. You can ask of the general team, or ask someone specifically (people here include Matt M, Ryan Boren, Mark Jaquith, Peter Westwood, Dion Hulse (dd32), Andrew Nacin, Daryl Koopersmith, Pete Mall, Austin Matzko (filosofo), Mike Adams (mdawaffe), John Ford (aldenta), John James Jacoby (jjj) and me).
The core team meetup (affectionately referred to as #wptybee) began Sunday night with the arrival of Westi and Otto. Many flight cancellations, re-bookings, and delays on Monday saw the arrival of Mark Jaquith, Pete Mall, Andrew Nacin, Matt, Ryan Boren, J-trip, and Daryl. Tuesday brought Mike Adams and John Ford, and Dion Hulse arrived in a horse-drawn carriage (read: rental car) driven by Lance Willett. Austin Matzko arrived Wednesday.
- Monday was a travel day. Tacos for dinner, greetings, but not much work on core.
- Tuesday was spent by the lead team trying to figure out wtf was wrong with 3.1 bulk actions so we could put out RC3. It’s still going on. In the evening we had Matt’s surprise party.
- Wednesday was the first real “summit” type day, as Tuesday’s work was very similar to what we do remotely, just with some talking out loud. On Wednesday the 3.1 angst continued, but we also discussed some possibilities for 3.2 (keeping the release small, focusing on easier/better updates, PHP5, etc) and the 2011 theme (build on what is awesome about 2010, possibly add a template or two to make it more attractive for CMS use, maybe rotating headers?), and there was a group Tracfest at night over pizza and beer. This included discussion of how we might better section off tickets for: 1. Things we already know we want in the next major release, 2. Things we like the idea of, but won’t target for a specific release until there’s a good patch for it (as opposed to deciding we want it in the next release before writing the patch), 3. Things we’re interested in personally, but would like to see as a plugin first to evaluate and/or test if it’s really necessary for core (we want to start doing this a lot more). More discussion likely to ensue on that in IRC.
- Today we’ll be having a chat with the mobile team to discuss how the two groups can collaborate so there’s more continuity in the WordPress experience, how to leverage the quite-big WP community to increase participation in the quite-small mobile apps project communities, and in general how to make the mobile apps an integral part of the WordPress experience and community. No more red-headed stepchildren!
Hoping for more Trac triage today — the goal is to empty awaiting review and future release by end of meetup (possibly not realistic given late arrivals, birthday time-out, hangovers, etc) and get everything looked at and put into a more specific milestone — and some of the higher-level vision talk we originally intended for the meetup when we planned it (thinking it would be 3 weeks after the release of 3.1). Will post additional updates as we continue.
Four problems needing solving:
Problem 1. Wontfix for 3.1. Custom Bulk Actions don’t have action handlers. Even if they existed, developers would need to know that they need to call WP_List_Table::add_query_args() before wp_redirect. We need a way for this to be pluggable without burdening developers on redirecting (plus with their own query args). Problem 2. Fixed. We need a sanity check for max pages. This is #16187. Basically, this needs to be applied to any other appropriate list tables. Most major ones (posts, comments, media) are handled though.
Problem 3. Bulk Actions reset the sorting and paging. This is fixed in #16166 (posts, terms, comments, media) but we need to apply this to the other list tables.
Problem 4. Post restriction filters — categories and dates, for example, but really anything added through restrict_manage_posts — are reset after a bulk action the same way sorting and paging are. This can be added into add_query_args().
The plan at the meetup here is to break on all of this, and revisit later.
We talked about doing a town hall/q&a during dev chat time this week since most of the permanent core team are at the meetup in Tybee. However, we said that with the assumption that 3.1 would be in RC3 already, and that we’d have had 3 days together to begin talking about 2011 and the goals for WP. Instead, weather-related travel delays meant that people were arriving right up until tonight, and Austin still hasn’t arrived. RC3 hasn’t happened yet, and we haven’t started talking vision because we need to get 3.1 out the door. So!
We’ll still give the live stream a shot (barring technical difficulties), but it will instead simply be “dev chat live” — only of interest to people who normally attend the dev chat. We’ll plan something in the town hall/q&a line later in the week.
To get to the live dev chat, go to http://www.ustream.tv/channel/dev-chat-live at the appropriate time and you’ll get the chance to see the lead devs and friends in action. And yes, by friends I mean their beards.
Agenda: 3.1, 3.1, 3.1, 3.1, 3.1.