During the WordPress development chat today, one of the topics of discussion centered around the suggestion of changing the Hello World post that is seen with every new install of WordPress to something that contained useful WordPress specific information such as links to the release mailing list, the codex and other helpful material. I’d like to break down how this change came about to show how easy it is to contribute to the WordPress project without writing a line of code.
It first started out as a discussion on the WordPress Hackers mailing list concerning the addition of email notifications to the core of WordPress to keep administrators abreast of new versions of WordPress as they were released. The discussion became long winded but a response by Lynne Pope provided one of those why didn’t I think of that moments.
Change the sample data – instead of, “this is a post”, provide some meaningful information. With a link to subscribe to WP-Announce. Make an entry announcing that WP-Announce is being used, so this will show in the dashboard feeds. Bloggers will quickly pick up on this and news of it will spread.
Needless to say, her idea sparked a series of kudos with other suggestions for what to include in the sample data. Then, in a WordPress development chat regarding the topic that was discussed on the hackers mailing list, it was agreed that the best course of action would be to not only revive the WP-Announcements mailing list, but to also change the Hello World! post in WordPress to something more useful. A fellow by the name of Demetris took it upon himself to create a draft of what the sample data should be. The discussion surrounding the change including links to see drafts and revisions were included in ticket number 11008. The ticket has been open for two weeks and in today’s developer chat, Demetris published a link to his draft which you can view here. There was a unanimous decision to include the sample post data into the core of WordPress starting with version 2.9. If the sample data needs editing, it will be done throughout the beta process before the stable release.
There you have it. A time line of events that happened in quick succession which provided a small change with huge benefits without having one line of code written. Let me know your thoughts in the comments with regards to the new sample data that will be provided in any new installation of WordPress starting with 2.9.