During the WordPress Community Summit pre-planning sessions, it became obvious that there’s not a lot of good communication about what we do, plan, and code for the WordPress.org website itself. So, after a bit of chatter, Make-Meta was born. This is where we plan on talking about changes to the WordPress.org site, as well soliciting feedback for feature ideas. Consider it a community site; we don’t always know what the best way to make the website work is, so feedback is not just welcome, but encouraged.
In order to kick things off properly, I figured I’d announce a new feature: Reviews!
After a lot of discussion, it became clear that a “plugin review” concept was very much desired by the community in general. So we implemented reviews, but didn’t bother to limit it to just plugins. So now, plugins and themes can have reviews.
In order to keep things straight, reviews are tied to ratings. In order to rate a plugin, you must write a review as well. All the old ratings are still there and won’t be going away (we use those, after all), but if you want to change your rating in the future, well, explain it. Tell your side of the story. What’s broken? What works? What’s the best and the worst of the code? How can the plugin or theme author improve it?
Communication is important, and “support” is only half of the equation. Feedback is critical, and hopefully, the new Reviews system will go a long way to improving communication between the many millions of users of code we host on WordPress.org and the many thousands of contributors who write the themes and plugins that we all use every day. And all reviews go into our forums and can be commented on by everybody, just in case somebody needs some extra help.
(Note to Plugin/Theme authors: You can subscribe to your reviews alone via RSS feed, but the email subscription is cross-tied to the support-forum email subscriptions. If you’re subscribed to those, you will get review emails as well.)
There won’t be a lot of reviews at first, but hey, that’s where you come in! Just to get everybody started, I went ahead and wrote a couple of reviews to kick things off. So if you want to see it in action immediately, you can see them here:
These are accessible for any plugin or theme through the “Reviews” tab. Alternately, try to rate a plugin or theme and you’ll be sent to the review form as well.
Note that this is “iteration 1″ of the feature. I expect to make many visual and stylistic changes over the next couple of weeks, and perhaps add a few new features. If you have a great idea for a feature or enhancement, feel free to comment and let me know. (Don’t bother me with the visual-only stuff yet, I know the CSS needs some love. Also, reviews don’t really display all that well on profiles yet; I know, working on it.)
BTW, the majority of the code to power the reviews came from our own Scott Reilly, who is, frankly, a genius. Give him mega props.