Anyone who has worked with WordPress knows that it’s greatest strength is also one of it’s greatest weaknesses: it’s architecture. The same architecture that makes it easy to include literally hundreds of plugins also makes it slow, resource-intensive and bulky. Unlike Drupal, WordPress doesn’t have a built-in caching mechanism. What is a developer to do?
On Friday, I’ll be presenting a webcast called “Caching for WordPress.” In this webcast, we’ll talk about ways to make WordPress perform better, including aspects of caching from the application perspective and from the content perspective. There will be a discussion of caching plugins available, as well as a discussion of the WordPress API and what it offers by way of caching opportunities.
Leaders of the open source community are always trying to encourage others to contribute. Volunteer contributors are always in short supply, and most open source projects are driven by volunteers, so recruitment is a big component of any open source project lead. Elizabeth Naramore put together a great list of reasons why people tend to shy away from contributing and did a great job highlighting some solutions. I want to add my own voice and experience about one of the truisms of open source development:
When it comes to making open source easier, architecture matters.
Recently, php|architect announced that they were extending the early bird pricing for the TEK-X conference being held this year in Chicago, IL. As someone who has been and will be going this year, this conference represnts a great opportunity for anyone who hasn’t gone to a PHP conference to attend one.
There are some good reasons that you should be attending.
Last week, Aaron Brazell posted a blog entry about the state of the WordPress and PHP communities. At the same time, Keith Casey was in Redmond, Washington, where he was experiencing the Microsoft Web Developer’s Conference. As so often seems to happen with “Aha!” moments, both men came to pretty much the same realization at the same time: the WordPress and PHP communities need each other, but don’t do nearly enough to work with each other.
Keith made his point clear when I explained to him that I agreed with what Aaron was saying in his blog post, but that WordPress supporting PHP 4 was WordPress’ “fatal flaw.” In his…articulate way…he reminded me that WordPress existed and flourished, in spite of our attempts to attack their support for PHP 4. Their use of PHP 4 was certainly not a fatal flaw, as much as our arrogance as a community seems to be.
Trac. CruiseControl. phpUnderControl. Jira. Bugzilla. These are all intensely popular development tools. And not a single one of them is written in PHP.
Anyone who reads my frequent pleas to involve yourself in the community knows that I’m a big fan of community development of open source projects. PHP is one of the world’s largest open source projects. And if I haven’t convinced you yet that you need to contribute, perhaps this will help encourage you.
Professionals (those who make their living from open source) owe it to the open source communities they utilize to give back. Anything less is akin to stealing – be it time, talent or treasure – from the community that keeps them in business.