Community Summit: Contributing to WP-CLI

“Contributing to WP-CLI” was the second of two discussions we held at the Community Summit. For notes from the first, see details embedded in the feature development post.

We began the conversation by giving an overview to the current contribution process. Notably:

From the introduction, the conversation turned more free-form. In no particular order, some highlights:

  • One big challenge is that WP-CLI is a rather complex project and assumes a lot of knowledge from a contributor. When onboarding new contributors, they have to learn two things: the process for contributing, and how everything works (without reading the code). Although the internals page is reasonably helpful, it doesn’t cover the command execution flow. Having a flow document would be useful.
  • One observation is that potential contributors can enter the project in different ways (e.g. GitHub repo for a custom command vs. a third-party tutorial on how to use WP-CLI). Documentation primarily provides a linear path.
  • We’re seeing some contributors submit documentation but not a ton. It’s unclear whether this indicates the documentation is good enough, or whether the path to contributing documentation is too confusing. It’d be helpful to see more users open questions about the documentation, as a way of validating/improving the content.
  • Another challenge is that generally of WP-CLI tools is that the user knows the abstract problem, but not which command addresses the problem. Related to this:
    • It would be useful if a help command also included the URL for more information.
    • It’d be nice if you could easily see a tree of all commands.

Thanks to everyone who participated!