Is wordpress 2.7 on the right track?

WordPress 2.7 will have a whole lot of new features.Weblogtoolscollection has the details on the list of features, that one might see in wordpress 2.7.

List of features:

  • comments API
  • Admin Panel Comment Replies
  • Comment Threading
  • Subscribe to Comments
  • One Click Plugin Installs
  • Default Sitemaps
  • Theme Update API
  • Widgets for Dashboard and Write Box
  • Batch Editing of Posts
  • WordPress core updates
  • In going through the above list of features, the goals/directions of future wordpress versions becomes clearer.

    • In wordpress 2.7, the focus seem to be on building into the core wordpress, functionalities that we currently enjoy by way of plugins.
    • Al lot of those functionalities are to do with comments

    Should the focus be on making wordpress feature rich?

    Any product/application vendor will focus on making their product feature rich. But what I liked about wordpress is not its readily available features, but rather its simplicity and modular architecture. WordPress made it easy for the end user to add the desired functionalities as plugins.

    The core wordpress had been neatly organized with all the custom features/functionalities grouped under wp-content as plugins and themes.The core wordpress focussed on providing administrative features/functionalities.

    To me, the main attraction of wordpress was its lightweight core and its modular and simple architecture.But I do notice from the comments in Weblogtoolscollection, that many have expressed “WoW” on reading the feature list.That was expected. But I do not agree with the masses. Here are my thoughts:

    The focus of wordpress 2.7 is on integrating the functionalities offered by several of those brilliant plugins like the Google Sitemaps Generator, WordPress Automatic upgrade, Better Comments Manager, Subscribe to Comments etc.

    Going by this trend, will the focus of future releases like wordpress 2.8 or wordpress 2.9 be on themes? Will wordpress start offering themes as part of its core? Are they necessary?

    What is it that you gain, as a wordpress user, by having all those features as part of the core? The gains might be better code.But this need not always be true. There are several brilliant plugin developers, who could offer better code and functionality. wordpress would not have become popular without their contribution

    Also wordpress seem to be building those functionalities into the core, rather than using its own modular plugin framework.This seem to be a deviation from their initial focus, which was on keeping the wordpress core lightweight.

    For eg: one of the features in wordpress 2.6, namely Post Revisions, may not be necessary for every wordpress user.Infact majority of wordpress powered blogs are single author blogs.So functionlities like Post Revisions and Post autosave are disabled by many.Isn’t it better for the team at Automattic, to build these as plugins, than integrating them into the core.If it had been a plugin, they would have made it easy for the wordpress user to enable or disable them.

    If Matt and his team, build these proposed features as plugins, it would let the wordpress developer community to improve upon them, by building variations.This would immensely benefit the wordpress users as they would have alternatives to choose from.Everyone would then reap the open source benefits.Seggregating these new functionalities/features as plugins will also help keeping the wordpress core lighter.

    What wordpress loses by building in those functionalites?

9 comments on “Is wordpress 2.7 on the right track?

  1. Good article.

  2. Interesting thought… I agree with you on the fact that some of 2.6 features should have been integrated in a better way so that they can be disabled through the admin pannel.

    Plugins are really for third party piece of codes. I mean, the core is the core. It is great to make it modular but keep in mind the incredible rythm of releases… This year, 2.5, 2.6 and 2.7. How many software editors release 3 major releases per year? Not a lot…

    My feeling is also that integrating a plugin feature into the core is a way to acknowledge its effectiveness. Some of your plugins would definitely have their place in the core from my point of view…

  3. Integrating them is fine as long as you don’t reinvent the wheel.Also i will support such integration as plugins, that can be easily switched off by people who don’t want them.Not into the core.Even wordpress can release their own plugins.

  4. Well the issue is that too many plugins makes it hard to maintain afterwards…

    I really prefer options…

  5. Guess, you are not getting me…

    If WordPress wants to introduce features, the suggestion here is to introduce them as plugins.Not very different from options but the advantage is the user can completely discard them, if they are introduced as plugins.

    So any person wanting to have a lighter wordpress can still have it without all those features provided by wordpress built plugins.Building it in the core as options, not only complicates the core and code modularity but it also becomes a necessary burden for everyone to carry (all those php files), though those code does not do anything for them, unless they turn on those options.

    Is there any rule that wordpress should not maintain them if they provide the features as plugins? WordPress can definitely make use of their own plugin architecture to indroduce features and continue to maintain them.

    And that if they desire to provide features irrespective of whether or not they are already available via some existing plugins.

    My thumb rule is that the core should have only code related to administration and security and those that are just enough to run a wordpress blog.

    If you want to categorize plugins as a space only for third parties, then wordpress could come up with another seperate folder for files that provide functionalities other than that of core, namely administration and security.But that, if you ask me, is redundant.

  6. Well, I understand your point of view, it is fair 😉

    The issue for me with plugins are these :
    1/ You need to update these regularly. So you cannot leave your blog unadministered. You need to check regularly that there is no update and if there is one to update.
    2/ Plugins are creating different setups and create conflicts. If you have a common core, as bigger as it is, it is a common denominator and every plugin writer has to cope with it. Right now, many plugins don’t work with some others because they cannot be tested and verified with all the setups, it is too time consuming (I fully understand this). So adding additionnal plugins could create additionnal burden…

  7. If you ask me, the cost benefit analysis are more in favour of providing features as a seperate lot, whether it be via plugins or some other new layer.If i don’t like a feature, my personal preference is an ability to discard it completely.

  8. If you disable it as an option, this is almost the same as a plugin 😉

  9. No it is not.You will still have the php file out there in your core.Also wordpress will check the option and decide the action based on whether the option is turned on or off.

    If it is a plugin you can delete php file (or the plugin folder) that provides the functionality.Wordpress will not even make an unnecessary check for the option.

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