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  • johnmyr 12:02 pm on August 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cms, handbook   

    The Handbook project 

    The new WordPress Handbook project is exiting, and I like the idea of handbooks for different user bases. I think I will volunteer to participate in the CMS handbook, as it fits with me digging into WordPress as a CMS and making CMS niche themes.

    excerpt from Janes announcement to the documentation list:

    I’ve also got a volunteer writer/editor, Doug Provencio,  who’s started on an outline for the CMS User Handbook. So for editors  I’d like to round up someone to work on end user, someone to work with  Doug on CMS, and 1-2 people each for the theme developer, plugin developer and sys admin versions. Editors should be able to create a good outline, have excellent writing skills, and be familiar enough  with the Codex to easily mine it for existing text.

    As we assign volunteer editors, I want to start regular IRC chats during the first phase of the project, so that more community members can advise on what should go into each handbook, review outlines, etc.  We’ll also have a blog set up at for  progress reports, questions, asynchronous brainstorming, etc. I’ll add  editors as authors, and it will allow comments from anyone. This list  will probably be home to chunk of discussion as well.

    The full post to the documentation list:

    The first discussion about the CMS handbook:

    • Kaplan 10:53 pm on May 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

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  • johnmyr 9:59 am on August 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: beta testing, plugin ideas, plugins   

    WordPress Beta Test plugin. 

    WordPress 2.7 branch was pretty stable, and didnt need many bugfixes. WordPress 2.8 on the other side, is already at 2.8.4 in just some weeks time and will at least be 2.8.5 before 2.9 comes. This is bad for reputation, and makes lots of extra work ( and irritation ) for people maintaining many sites.

    Rumors says that there were not enough beta testers for WordPress 2.8. That may and may not be true, but whats true is that WordPress needs better and deeper beta testing, done on “real” sites loaded with plugins, hacks and content.

    In June Peter Westwood released a WordPress Beta Tester plugin. The plugin enables you to upgrade your blog to the latest Beta or Release candidate at the click of a button using the built in upgrader.

    If we look at the stats for the plugin well see that it’s not very much used. It’s downloaded 230 times in two months, and one might think that this isnt a good idea after all.

    However, in my opinion a WordPress Beta Tester plugin is a great idea. It just needs more features to make it attractive for normal people to use. The hardcore WP devs dont need it.

    Beta testing needs to be done in an environment as close to real installs as possible, with the same plugins, hacks and content as live sites. To achieve this the plugin should include features and documentation to help and motivate WordPress users to run a cloned version of their live site on localhost or a subdomain like beta.mydomain.tld. The plugin should be smart and installed both on live site and beta site making real beta testing easier.

    Additional features should be:

    • Ability to import export mysql as the WordPress import/export have too many issues.
    • Ability to regex search/replace url`s based on a settings option with url for both sites.
    • Ability to backup content folders.
    • Documentation with best practices for beta testing and how to participate in tickets. ( Making a ticket, reproducing errors etc ) Maybe this could be included in the new Handbook project too ,with beta testers as a user group along with End Users, Theme Developers, Plugin Developers, Sys Admins, and CMS users.
    • Ability to run frontend in maintenance mode or private mode.
    • Probably something I didnt think of  😉

    There are plugins doing most of what I`d like to see, but I`d like to see a canonical plugin making features of available plugins available in one dedicated WordPress Beta Testing plugin. I believe it would make beta testing better, WordPress better, and make a lot of people happier.

    A plugin like this would also make moving WordPress around much easier, and it would be easy to recruit WordPress movers to become WordPress beta testers.

    What do you think ?

    • Peter Westwood 7:28 pm on August 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hi John. I purposely kept my plugin simple so it was a easy enable and forget tool.

      I think the kind of thing you are describing might be a useful tool but I’m not sure it is the right direction to go in – maybe some kind of tool to make it easy to synchronise the installed plugins and themes between sites would be useful but as for moving the content if you use the WXR export and import process then you wont need any of the manual db hacks.

      If anything is developed it is probably best to come up with good solutions to each individual problem than bundling everything in one big plugin.

      A plugin which allowed you to sync the installed plugin lists between blogs would be a good place to start 🙂

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