As many know, I’m the lead developer of GlotPress. Simply because I was the only one at that time who cared about Polyglots and also had the technical skill to make GlotPress better. But by getting GlotPress a live, I was building on something called BackPress. At the time I didn’t know exactly what the status was but soon I found out it was even more dead then GlotPress. Updates did happen but no real development.
In the beginning it was pretty easy going with developing GlotPress. It was hard to get in to due to a more OOP application but everything worked out for the best. From a dying project we grow to a project which had more then 20 contributors last year. And more people give me feedback on what they like to change. I even have to say “no” a lot of times since I simply can’t build in a short time span.
So what about BackPress then. Personally for me there are three options for GlotPress to continue and one is to continue making BackPress better. This by forking it or a complete build. For me, I can live with both options. The last option would be to find another framework like Symfony or Laravel. Which I would love to do that, it would also mean that it becomes even more unfamiliar with the WordPress code base.
Currently I’m a fan of building microservices. Most of them I build in Node.js but I can see myself also building things on top of BackPress. On the moment I get to the point of hiring people, my first choice would be a WordPress developer. So instead for him learning something new, he can already fix things in his first week when needed.
What’s going on now
After some chats on Facebook, an article was released on WP Tavern. Talking about reviving BackPress from the dead. Roy Sivan and John James Jacoby have shown interest in doing this and created a Google Hangout to discuss things. I felt obligated to join, so I did so. It was a great turnout and we had some really good discussions. It started with some minor issues and some people are against us to revive BackPress. All of that can be read on WP Tavern too. My opinion on this all is that I thought that some reacted disrespectful. Mainly because we are now allowed to be critical against core but on the moment we want to do something new/cool then suddenly they start to complain.
Maybe in the end our revival end to nothing. But does that mean we should not try? WordPress needs more structure and better code and till this day it’s the core team which refuses too. Look at WPDB which is a complete mess and I have tried to make it better with WP DB Driver. I’m not saying it’s perfect but it’s also not a complete rewrite as some others want to see it. And I think that will be the power of this new initiative. Doing things the right way and then see how we can find a middle ground that it still fits inside WordPress.
Other options for GlotPress
People like the idea to build a plugin out of it (I even coded something) or find a way to integrate a part of WordPress through wp-load.php. I can see this working out but I also see the issue of having 80% dead code then. GlotPress only uses some components of BackPress and things like the router are custom build. A positive thing then would be that we can use the Rewrite API in WordPress.
For me this is not an option since GlotPress isn’t WordPress, like BuddyPress and bbPress were and still are. GlotPress should be a separate entity which can be used by other open source projects. So to me, I rather loosen the connection with WordPress then making it even closer.
Personally I’m a fan of the idea that projects like Joomla will use GlotPress for their translation management. Helping them out in making the project better for their users. This way you get some more contributors helping the project out. And to me that is the goal of open source, building something many can use.