The 2nd annual Wordcamp, a gathering of WordPress users, will take place this weekend in San Francisco! The agenda looks quite interesting and I wish I could be there amongst some of the Internet marketing speakers, not blithering idiot blog readers. It’s awesome that every business keynote speaker is a WordPress user! I hope some folks will come here and post live stream URL’s Saturday morning so folks can tune in.
It’s also interesting to note that Google blog search shows 583 posts on this while Technorati shows 541. You might want to check out my post on “The Death of Blog Search” and politely encourage Mr. Matt Cutts to put the blog search on the home page of Google. 😀
I do think the conference falls short on what is truly needed – a long, heart to heart conversation about he overall health of WordPress platform and it’s future direction and stability, driven more by usability and stability needs than it is at present.
So without further delay I say hello to my fellow WordPress users and present my WordPress wish list for the era between now and the next Wordcamp in 2008 – I strongly encourage blogosphere discussion of the current state of self-hosted WordPress and desired future state of WordPress.org.
Current state of self-hosted WordPress:
– Lack of stability/testing of newly released versions – over the past year, see WordPress (version 2.0.6) and plugins see Podpress (version 7.7) have been released to the user community that broke feedburner feeds.
– Lack of testing of security in new WordPress versions – See WordPress 2.1.1 dangerous, Upgrade to 2.1.2
– Constant changes in WordPress’ core structure are frequently not backward compatible with old plugins. This often causes immediate and time consuming break downs and make upgrading WordPress a major chore instead of the low maintenance joy that it should be. (I’m presently running WordPress 2.1.3 because Podpress apparently has several conflicts with WordPress version 2.2.1 in an effort to prevent this)
Proposed self-hosted WordPress User Bill of Rights:
– As a WordPress self-hosted user we both respect and understand your time is valuable and that you deserve to have a low maintenance experience when installing plugins or upgrading versions and that the WordPress open source community should prioritize changes based on user suggestions based on functionality.
– Users have a right to expect fully tested software before release and appreciate those efforts greatly. We realize and hope for less frequent, more stable releases are strongly preferred as more and more WordPress users utilize WordPress for mission critical functions and do not have time to debug these items.
How do I suggest we get to this desired future state and what’s on my wishlist?
– Make releasing stable versions with coordinated releases of all plugins a priority for each new release. Maybe even develop a robust testing checklist?
– Integrate popular plugins into the core functionality of WordPress to prevent the above problem. Ideally, I’d love to be able to post podcasts, videos (especially Youtube) , pictures and other media without reposts and glitches. Plugins I’d like to see integrated include Viper’s Video Tags, Podpress, Trackback Validator 0.7.1 and Feedburner Feed Replacement 2.2
– Make RSS feed compatibility – images, videos and formating an area of focus. I have one friend whose images do not consistently show up and I had a major formatting problem for a long period of time due to the Podpress 7.7 feed problem of which I was not aware.
– A WordPress dashboard allowing people to check if all plugins currently in use are safe for the latest version based on a centralized database of reports of issues.
– Make it so trackbacks are standard in all WordPress themes.
These are my main areas of concern, I’m sure you can think of others that I may of left out, but I just wanted to post my top few items. Again, I’d like to hear from others on their desires for the future of the customer experience and advancement of WordPress.