Exploration: improving DevHub

Recently some of us on the MetaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. team did some experimenting with hypothetical changes to the WordPress Developer Docs, especially the function reference. As developers and frequent users of the docs, we’re aware of its shortcomings and potential for improvement. In order not to risk breaking anything and give ourselves freedom to make significant changes, we forked the codebase into an experimental repo.

The changes we came up with turned out to be quite solid and sensible, and I think most of them are good enough for production. Since they were made as unilateral experiments, we’d like to hear feedback from the +make.wordpress.org/docs/ team and community in general as to what should happen next. You’ll find an outline of some of the most notable changes below.

A local development environment

We started by setting up a fresh repository with a fork of the necessary code, including the Handbook pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party, phpdoc-parser, and the current theme. The repo contains a complete local Docker environment, so you can run a copy on your local machine to develop and test changes. The local environment imports function reference content by parsing phpdocs just like in production; and it also imports some handbook content from GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/. It doesn’t import all handbook content, but there’s enough for testing purposes.

Visible changes

Here’s a typical function reference page you’ve probably seen before: get_posts(). I’ve highlighted some of the more visible things we changed:

Before
After

And below the fold on a function like wp_authenticate():

Before
After
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#devhub, #docs