A little over a month ago, I released the latest version of the WordPress Plugin Boilerplate. The response has been great – more than I was expecting, really but that’s a good thing – and, generally speaking, it’s been overall positive.
Over the last month or so, it’s become clear that more time and resources will be needed to focus on the Boilerplate and to continue to refine its codebase, its functionality, its documentation, and so on. The bottom line is that I want to make sure that I get the right – or as close to right – as possible during the first try.
To that end, I need some input from others (read: you).
Docs (and More) For The WordPress Plugin Boilerplate
Right now, the Boilerplate’s homepage is a single landing page linking to a GitHub repository or a direct download. Though I’m happy with the state of that right now, though it’s never been my intent to leave it as that; however, since it’s a side project and we only have so many hours to which we can devote to those types of projects, I was planning on holding off until January 2015 to focus on adding more material, documentation, and so on.
It’s becoming clearer that that’s a bit far out in the future or some. Instead, more needs to happen faster, though this is going to require additional resources. Thankfully, the latter isn’t a problem: I’ve had a number of people already volunteer their time to help with various aspects of the Boilerplate and I’m grateful for that.
At this point in its development, however, I’m being very cautious with any pull requests, changes, or even recommendations. I consider them all but I want to make sure that I’m staying true to the original idea behind the project and that I’m not just merging in various requests with no rationale or behind it.
Sometimes, this means things are merged; other times, it means that we have a discussion in the comments on GitHub until something has been decided.
Read The Manual
Right now, the number one thing that needs to occur is that documentation needs to be written. Code comments are not enough (and were never intended to be), but in order for the Boilerplate to be as big a resource as it can possibly be, then we need explanations of the following:
- The purpose of each file
- An explanation of the organization of the files (to better understand how to follow it with future cases)
- Example code for how to achieve common tasks
- …and more
All of the above need to be done in a very polished way to help make sure that the Boilerplate is as accessible to a beginner as it is to an intermediate (or even advanced) programmer. This means that there will need to be a site dedicated exclusively towards this.
I’m willing to write the documentation for the project (and have been all along) since it initially started out as my own and I was part of the core decision-making. While planning to write the documentation, I’ve been planning to setup a a separate WordPress installation and use a theme that serves as a basis for a manual.
I question that there’s enough information to warrant an actual blog. But this leads me to ask: Should there be an entire blog dedicated to the Boilerplate, or do the general updates on this site work just as well? If so, what would you expect from a blog about the project?
And Then What?
Obviously, documentation is the number one priority for the project as it’s meant to help explain how everything fits together and how to best use the Boilerplate as it stands.
But what comes next?
That is, once the documentation is written, what would be most helpful in using the actual project? Right now, I know others would like to see:
- Example code showing how to achieve common tasks like creating a custom post type
- Code generators for easily replacing all of the various TODOs
- Grunt-compatible versions,
- …and much more
To this point, I’ve been open about the project and it’s progress and though I’d love for everything to move faster, the reality is that I can only move as fast as time allows (which varies month-to-month, of course), but that doesn’t mean that we can’t focus on prioritizing other things in order to create a roadmap of sorts for this project.
So what would you like to see and why?
From here, I’m hoping to take the feedback and begin organizing how to best proceed, and perhaps grab a few people to help with the tasks. Before that, I’d like to get them outlined.
So feedback welcome. Please and thanks :).