If you’ve been at wp.org Handbook (not paying attention on which Handbook it is), found info you need and then, after a while, went to Handbook and couldn’t find that same info (yeah, usual scenario), you might missed the fact that there are several Handbooks over there.
I was a big fan of Codex. I was using it every day, adding content to it where applicable. I did notice over years that there are multiple pages on the same subject there. Some pages were full of code and some just with explanation. I didn’t really mind, just went to those with code. Easy peasy.
But then Codex started to change. It wasn’t codex subdomain any more (for the starter), code examples were missing and there was no way to edit or add them. Obviously, this brought a lot of frustration to people, including me. And this made me go there, to the Get Involved page, and try to find out what was going on. Then I saw Handbooks, all kinds of them. And I start reading and writing notes to myself because, you see, I’m a visual type of person. I have complete file tree from my computer(s) mapped in my mind. That’s the only way I can use computer without anxiety. So, I finally figured out The Handbooks Situation.
Old Codex covers everything for everyone and that’s why it had multiple pages on the same subject but with different content. It still has a lot of useful and relevant information so it still exists, but some of its content is moved to other places, build on WordPress (as oppose to Wiki on which the Codex runs). These places are corresponding to who is it for. There are 3 major groups Handbooks are speaking to. If you ever did anything with WordPress, you’ll find yourself in at least one:
- WordPress end user – writing content on WordPress installation, which may or may not be installed by themselves.
- WordPress developer – writing themes and plugins on top of WordPress.
- WordPress contributor – involved in WordPress open source community and everything that includes, from contributing to wp.org itself, over contributing to WordPress as a software to contributing in all sorts of online and offline community activities. WordPress contributor may or may not be developer and, also, may or may not be working with WordPress on their daily jobs.
This is Handbook for the first group – End users. It holds a lot of explanations and tutorials on how to create content with WordPress. Some more advanced topics cover installation and dealing with most common issues with hosting.
HelpHub is still under construction*. At this point all its content is migrated from Codex and is in process of being updated with new, relevant data and screenshots. Also, WordPress theme that is displaying all this data is still in development phase. Therefore, you’ll still find all this data alive on Codex but, as soon as HelpHub is finished, all relevant Codex pages will be redirected.
The second group, WordPress developers, have own Developer’s Handbook. This Handbook holds complete Functions reference and all the info you need to learn how to become Theme or Plugin developer. If you’re for more advanced development, you’ll probably want to learn about WP REST API. Which ever you chose, you certainly must be using WP CLI.
There are two ways, in general, to help with content in Developer Handbook. One is through inline documentation which involves local WordPress installation, writing and submitting patches to WordPress SVN; and the other is good old writing content in Dashboard. There’s a new slack channel #core-docs for inline documentation. If you wish to help you can go either there or to #docs channel, from where you’ll be further directed, depending on which part of Developer’s Handbook you’re interested in helping with.
As there is wide range of ways to contribute to WordPress as a project, all contributors are grouped in teams. Each team has own Handbook and own Slack channel(s) where team meetings and all relevant communication is held. Meetings summaries are posted in updates blog, where you can get the idea what is this team focused on at the moment.
- Theme Review
- Community – has several Handbooks
- Plugin Review
- Marketing – just a Welcome page for now
If you wish to contribute to any of these teams (and/or their Handbooks) you can check their slack channels. Just ask away and before you say “I couldn’t find it in Handbook” someone will answer.