Matt Mullenweg State of the Word, 2016

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Written By Brian Krogsgard

15 thoughts on “Matt Mullenweg State of the Word, 2016”

  1. Some initial, quick thoughts:

    As a one-dev theme/plugin shop owner, the past 2 or so years of releases has been tough on me. I’ve felt like features have been all over the place, and we’ve all just been chasing the deadline. I don’t have time to actually use a feature I just learned before several new, unrelated features are ready to learn.

    A tighter focus on major features seems like something that’d get me excited about core dev again.

    • It takes a lot of time to edit the videos and to upload them. Also, I think, a lot of WordCamp organizers, in non-english communities, think that they can’t upload videos if they are not in English.

      So, there is a lot of work to do in that aspect and that’s why there is a WPTV team in for helping on it.

    • Some talks are really are just discussions. It would be hard to turn all that into features or/and they are surely prioritising even if a specific feature is considered in an upcoming release.

    • As with all things WordPress, it depends on volunteers. WordCamps have to make sure the talks are recorded to get submitted to, which means either using sponsorship money for a Videographer or getting someone to volunteer. Then you also need to get those videos uploaded to somehow. I’m sure as WordCamps grow in size and popularity this will become more prevalent, but 26% is a pretty high number.

    • I can’t say for sure, but I have two thoughts:

      1 – Not all WordCamps record the sessions. I would think most do at this point, but some don’t.
      2 – I don’t know if Meetups are counted in that number, but very few Meetup talks make it to WPTV. Case in point, we record all of ours but have yet to submit any to WPTV (though we hope to in 2017).

      If someone else has more concrete info about why, I’d love to hear it.

    • In some cases it could be man power. It takes volunteers to process the video and I often see calls out for more help.

  2. It was great to be a part of the event.
    Best wishes to the WordPress Team for the JavaScript upgradation to WordPress. I am quite positive about JavaScript’s usage in WordPress in coming days.
    I have also set a target to learn JavaScript myself.

  3. “we need to be candid about our shortcomings with WordPress so that we can more effectively move forward”

    This is huge. This basically means WP is the only software (ever to my knowledge) to broach this honestly and directly, rather than constantly down-play critique.

    Not only will this mindset improve the product if genuine, but it may be the secret sauce to ensure it’s around in 10 or 20, even 50 years because it has larger aspirations and is not going to go full-limpet pretending things should never change or be done the way they are now.

    I’d love to see WP facilitate becoming part of a wider architecture

    * more content types (perhaps even deferring handlers for uploaded types so core-team stays lean)
    * working on some form of hook consolidation system, or re-factoring hooks to use queues (so in dev hooks run like they run now, but maybe it unravels the loop for production, maybe it stores end output of shortcodes that are static, etc)
    * admitting that live is not the way and enabling sites to produce static sites with dynamic features (JS & CSS is huge for this offloading to the front-end keeping servers leaner, there is tonnes to do there)
    * cleaning up & improving the code-base docs (already happening)
    * improving integrations capabilities
    * allowing SSO or similar “enterprise ready” features like multi-site orchestration without WP multisite.
    * multi-search functionality (granted already hugely enabled through ajax and rest API endpoints with WP_Query)
    * import & export functionality, maybe lower-level features like buying wp-cli and investing in that

    I’d also love to know how Automattic is going to steer WooCommerce since acquisition as it’s a great product, I’d love to see it grow and replace magento (because that is a pile like Joomla was for CMS, now Joomla who?).

    I suppose at the end of the day it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon and it’s lovely to be witness to.

  4. I’m slightly worried that the new release system will hold smaller new features hostage until the major features are ready for release.
    Eg, it sounds like Matt wants to have a release focused on REST API improvements, like maybe 4.8. So if someone adds a patch that makes some minor improvement (but not critical bug fix) to an action, when will that get released? Will it be put into a security release? Probably not. Will it just sit on 4.8 release until the REST API improvements are considered “done” (which can be moving target, especially with the inevitable feature creep).
    This different release process sounds like it will help focus on those major features, but hold other smaller features hostage until they’re done. Am I missing something?

  5. Nice write-up on the State of the Word! One part about Twenty Seventeen is technically incorrect.

    WordPress includes a new default theme that with a multi-section home page that’s a brand new WordPress feature.

    The multi-section home page is powered by options available only in Twenty Seventeen, not WordPress. Lots of people worked hard to bring something similar for core this release, but it wasn’t quite ready. See #37974.

    Hopefully, thanks to all the great momentum created during 4.7 around themes, work on theme-related features and improvements can continue in a big way.

  6. First, thank you for the quality of this report (as usual I might add). It seems that caring about the current growth trend of WordPress is definitely a good thing. Being able to say that what we’ve done until now may not be what we have to do in the future is also great. My experience tells me that the UI of WordPress is one of its major advantage over competitors. I understand that stability along with retro-compatibility are also very attractive to WordPress users. But from time to time, we have to innovate. However, another great advantage of WordPress may be endangered in this process: its extendibility (ie. the capacity to extend WordPress with plugins with a very low technical cost). I have been surprised that State of Word didn’t mention at all what is a major contributor to the WordPress success: its ecosystem (including paid products). I hope that coming features will take in account the needs of the numerous companies proposing great plugins and addons. It would a pity to break the plugins and themes ecosystem. That said, I find that using the API for admin would be a great way to solve the issue of the WordPress legacy code (which drives so many non WordPress developers to say that it has to be rebuilt from scratch – which BTW I don’t agree at all).

    • 90% of the plugins & themes my customers use have to be replaced or augmented; because quality is in the toilet! This is often more expensive and time-consuming than it needs to be for them and for us (as we get paid and need to pay staff and suppliers too). Marketplaces including big-players like envato and the WordPress plugin repo have huge quality issues, and customers are suffering as a result. Actually I’d like to see WP clamp down on plugin and theme quality as I think it would raise their profile a lot, but also more resources for buyers so I don’t have to be the boring expert conducting pre-works checks to see what we are working with!

      Looking at a 300 line constructor for a plugin object, I see one thing first. Why is it 300 lines? Each line is a place for that code to have a problem. When themes bundle 99 different functions, there are 99 places for that to go wrong. All this and why are plugins built into the themes and not offered as optional extras? (more revenue, easier to test and support)

      WordPress itself is very clear about why a plugin is great, and why a theme is great and popular plugins like WooCommerce show their maturity by allowing the plugin to have elements theme overridden, providing hooks for filters and actions. At the end of the day you may still have to augment, but at least chance is lower. This should be a thing for plugins also. Sure thing support WooCommerce (after all they own it now), but also promote what they have done well, what others should learn from. Educate that ye a $15 plugin might cost $2000 to rewrite or augment because off-the shelf leverages economies of scale that bespoke cannot!

      We just had to augment “WooCommerce – Gift Cards Pro” WP-Ronin and “WooCommerce Currency Switcher Pro” realmag777. Gift cards edits was largely using hooks, which is cool, we love well authored plugins that do weird things (in customers eyes), but can easily be filtered, extended and augmented. I absolutely do not wake up and think (gosh I’d like to alter someone else hard-work today). The currency switcher was atrocious! For the record we didn’t re-build either. It’s not our responsibility if the plugin had an in-built problem, just our responsibility for the bits we add; but in-order for us to add these it seems a lot more work and it’s another plugin, more hooks which eventually makes a websites performance suffer, even if as we do you use transients, cache a lot etc. Also the person that installed that plugin… They are and should be on the hook for it’s operation. The author often is not as they just shrug and respond every N days. There are two-sides and WordPress has to support both, but the assertion plugin devs do a lot to support themselves (even premium) I find false.

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