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Suggestions.. major problem areas IMO. (22 posts)

  1. Supergeek
    Posted 17 years ago #

    First off, let me say that I think the WP MU project is great. It does exactly what I want to do, and I'm really looking forward to using it. (After a major bug is fixed.)

    With that said, I'd like to give some feedback based on my experiences the past few days.


    1. Searching is difficult.
    2. Bug tracking and subversion access is non-obvious.
    3. Show-stopping bugs.

    More info:

    1. Yes, I realize there is a sticky at the top of the forum which gives a better search link. Unfortunately even that interface does not seem to work very well. Limited numbers of search results and unsophisticated searching options (cannot search by forum, etc.) lead to a less-than optimal search experience. This leads to confusion, redundant posts, and frustrated users.

    2. I did not see anything in the FAQ or stickies concerning the bug tracking database. It is in the README.txt, and in many posts if you do a search, but I believe it would be beneficial to have a list of all of the major links (bug track, wiki, subversion) available in the FAQ or other prominent area.

    Also, based on the responses from the developers in many posts in the forums, I think it would be beneficial to post prominently the fact that the developers expect people to use subversion or copy/paste code updates to keep up with security issues and other bugs.

    3. The current release includes a bug or design flaw that allows for redundant data in the wp_x_options tables, and who knows what else, honestly. (I downloaded the zip from the front page, then downloaded the latest trunk from the svn repository. (Per a "diff -r" the code is identical, so I'm not working with an old version.)

    This bug results in very blatant data errors on the front page of the site from day 1 (ie, My Weblog, My Weblog, My Weblog, for every blog title, instead of the true title).

    This bug is in the bug tracking database, and posted in several different forums. One of the developers has posted a partial fix to the problem, but then goes on to say "The tables need a unique index to prevent this in the future." (

    To me, it sounds like the partial fix will not prevent innacurate settings, which means this bug is a real show-stopper for me; it's the only thing preventing me from going forward and using WPMU with a project. If users (and even the admin!) are unable to reliably set options, the whole system is rendered useless, IMO.

    Please, don't tell me this is an open source project blah blah, do it yourself if you have a complaint, blah blah. I understand the realities of a volunteer development team, and I have used open source for many years, warts and all. I also believe that the developers should be open to constructive criticism, and that's all this is. Please take my points under advisement.

    Thank you for understanding. And thank you for your efforts on this project.

  2. demonicume
    Posted 17 years ago #

    this is an open source project blah blah, do it yourself if you have a complaint, blah blah.

    so you wanna use free software for a project that i'm assume is profitable to you. you want phantom developers to perfect code to make our life easier and then let it free into the wild for... wait, how much are these developers getting paid for this? i've made some meager advances that i'd share if anyone asked me. but dont install the software and come here bitchin because no one has taken the time to code it to your specs... for free. you can get expression engine for free on bit torrent. squaresoft is hella cheap. there's joomla, etc, etc on into infinity. even movabletype is coming available.

    how about this, pay me enough to quit my day job and i'll code this open source project blah blah blah to any specs you desire. and if you now of anyone who'll bugfix my blog for me free of charge, my contact page goes to my personal email address.

  3. Supergeek
    Posted 17 years ago #

    Thanks for completely missing the point. /sigh

  4. Farms
    Posted 17 years ago #

    He does have a point about the search / support approach (we've talked about it before) - as for the suitability of bug tracking / releases methodology I couldn't possibly comment.

    But (he comments ;) speaking broadly isn't the nature of the beast that we will frequently have slip ups which we then fix up? I know I wouldn't take a major release into serious production without plenty of testing & monitoring of these forums.

    That releases even exist is good enough for me...

    That they might have bugs in them is both expected and a natural part of the dev process.

    Or does non-OS software never have bugs ;)

    So maybe all we're saying is that we need to improve communication processes a bit (critical mailing list please too!)

    And we all could pretty much always improve the way we communicate with each other, always.

  5. Supergeek
    Posted 17 years ago #

    Thanks, Farms. I was not trying to be disparaging of the efforts of those involved, but communication is crucial to the success of any project. You got to the meat of my post.

    My bug complaint was really a separate issue, and perhaps I should have posted that separately so as not to muddy the waters.

    By the way, lest anyone think I am a useless leech on Open Source, I posted a potential workaround/fix to the problem in a separate thread.

  6. andrea_r
    Posted 17 years ago #

    Agreed, and your points have been noted many times. I'll clarify again, though, as it seems to either be a well-kept secret or just not talked about.

    WPMU is not open sourse. It's *released* to the open source community. There is ONE dev for this project; Donncha. He is a recent new dad, and the resulting lack of sleep probably explains some of the recent code issues. Any code changes that users in the forum here want have a good chance of not being included. and are code priorities, and not all stuff gets rolled into the released code. Any why would they release all the good stuff to potential competition anyway? ;)

    There are a few regulars and very knowledgeable people here who have no official say other than helping other users along, even if "mod" is next to their name, they have no say over the code or the site.

    Just a friendly reminder of the state of business here.

  7. drmike
    Posted 17 years ago #

    One thing the original poster may want to think about doing is stepping up and tryign to help out. Sure complaining about other people and how things are is fine and dandy but actually helping to solve the problems that they present is a much better way of doing things.

    How about someone write up a forum FAQ that we can make into a sticky?

    While I agree with supergeek, I also agree with demonicume's response. If all you want to do is complain about the issues (and I'll grant you that they are issues) then you're just causing more issues. Actually working to solve them is what's needed.

    You may note that I am no longer releasing my code here. There's a reason for that.

    edit: The search. Bug Matt. (Actually bugging the bbpress developers may be better) We've complained, Donncha's complained. We were told what is is all we're going to get. It doesn't help though when the same questions get asked over and over again. That just pushes the previous answers further anf further down.

  8. drmike
    Posted 17 years ago #

    I do note that you did hit a few questiosn. thanks :)

  9. andrea_r
    Posted 17 years ago #

    Now taking suggestions for forum FAQ here... :)

  10. demonicume
    Posted 17 years ago #

    sorry for the explosion. i come here to get hints on how to improve my own work. post that are full of complaints but offers no solutions are pointless. i thank everyone that's been open about their work - i appreciate and understand that you dont have to share anything. i aslo thank Andrea for starting the FAQ - i'll be working up my list of questions soon.

    i didnt miss your point, i've just read a similar post every month for like 6 months now. contribute, dont complain.

  11. lunabyte
    Posted 17 years ago #

    "You may note that I am no longer releasing my code here. There's a reason for that."
    -- Doc


    Minor stuff aside, the good stuff I never mention, whether it makes it to production or not.

  12. Supergeek
    Posted 17 years ago #

    The reason the same questions keep coming up is because the answers are buried in old posts, not prominently on display in an FAQ.

    If the need for more developers and assistance with the project was made a little more public, like in an FAQ or a blog or something, I bet you'd get lots of volunteers.

    It takes some real searching to find the true state of things. That's my major point. Look at the site from a newbie's point of view. A lot of things are just not apparent without digging.

    Put up a sticky asking for volunteers, or just a "state of the project" kind of thing. Heck, I might help revise the FAQ if I actually knew what to put in it. One of the things I do for a living is write tech docs.

  13. andrea_r
    Posted 17 years ago #

    And the official PTB would say "that's what the codex is for..."

    Drmike is not a dev. He's a volunteer, just like the rest of us.

  14. lunabyte
    Posted 17 years ago #

    Do we really have to hash this all out yet again?


    Anyone want to start a betting pool for when the next "revolutionary idea poster" shows up to change the world?

  15. drmike
    Posted 17 years ago #

    Demon says a month from now. :)

    Answers are getting pushed back because folks are asking the same questions over and over again.

    It's an education issue. Let's be honest. WPMu is not for everybody. We just had a thread over in land where the poster stated very specifically that they didn't want to search for their questions and wanted the answered handed to them. That's what we have here as well.

    Running WPMu means you have a basic idea of what you're are doing. Most folks who download mu think "Wholely sh*t" and take a crack at it without realizing that they're installing the next blogger or We have system admins here who are making their living off of wpmu installs.

    Perfect example: 99% of the problem posts around here, the poster hasn't looked at the server error logs. That's the first place I would look because I know how to run a server. No one should be posting here without doign that very first step. if you did that on the Apache mailing list or MySQL, you'd get very much insulted because you should be on those lists without knowing what's expected. Folks are offending when we tell them to search. Well guess what? Searching first is what's expected. I do it. Others do it. System admins do it. WHy? Because they know that's how to find answers. They know that that's why the correct procedure is.

    yes, i would like to see more folks using wpmu. But joe sixpack down the street should have at least installed a wordpress blog at least once in their life before hitting wmpu.

    What we really need instead of a faq is a "How to post a question" FAQ. May write that up as well.

    edit: As to the wordpress database error, the question was much answered. Dropped those three words, the first three words of the error mind you, into the search pulled up the answer many times during the last few months. If you can't drop three words into the search box, then maybe wpmu isn't for you.

    reedit: the search box on teh top works as well know. it just goes straight to google.

  16. drmike
    Posted 17 years ago #

    As an aside, I know some of us have that multi database fix on their boxes. I gotta admit that that is thte one major issue outstanding. Gotta admit that I wish someone would drop me the code and I'll write it up. That way you can remain hidden if you so wish. :)

  17. drmike
    Posted 17 years ago #

    Oh, that and adding a tab in the file uploader. Wasn't someone working on that? ;)

  18. lunabyte
    Posted 17 years ago #

    <whistles>Um... No?


    /aside to the aside

    Maybe they don't want it public, Doc?

    Then again, that goes along in hand with the site thing we discussed in the other thread. They (we know who you are... :P), may feel a little more comfortable in a controlled environment.

    Hence, what is possible with advanced discussions. Yep, got a special reserved thing even, or can make whatever.


  19. drmike
    Posted 17 years ago #

    Thinking about the "Is mu open source" bit up there.

    Gotta admit that there's nothing stopping any of use from forking and going off on our own.

  20. lunabyte
    Posted 17 years ago #

    Not technically, no there isn't.

    Essentially what "that other thing" did. Although I think it might be more forked from WP than MU, but same diff.

  21. drmike
    Posted 17 years ago #

    "WorryPress" maybe?

  22. lunabyte
    Posted 17 years ago #

    Well, I was going for the L-word, but it might as well be WorryPress. It's so far behind it's got more holes than Myrtle Beach.

About this Topic

  • Started 17 years ago by Supergeek
  • Latest reply from lunabyte