How it started
Daunted by all the hoops needed to get a theme onto wordpress.org, I thought I would opt for the plugin route instead. It would let me dip my toes in the pool that is the WordPress open source community. It was just meant to be a stepping stone, not actually a thing in itself.
How it came about
I brain-stormed, with myself, for about five minutes. My requirements were:
- Custom post types
- Custom taxonomies
- Complete solution (not an extension, something fairly trivial)
- Simple and quick to understand (no confusion about what the plugin does)
That was it really. Took me about sixty seconds to think of “a glossary”. Another three minutes of searching to see if someone else had already done it. Several of the available glossary plugins at the time had not been updated for a while, others seemed obvious attempts to lead users in to a ‘pro’ paid-for version. And the rest did not appear to make use of custom post types. It seemed that my idea was just about unique enough (in execution) to permit an attempt. The last minute was spent coming up with a name. With glossary taken, I figured the simple thing would be to add the usual WordPress prefix. And so WP Glossary was born.
What I expected
Honestly? I expected WP Glossary to languish unused and alone. I figured that some people would try it out of curiosity, but ultimately move on to one of the other plugins available. It would leave me alone to just try stuff out. I mean, no-one is going to install the plugin on an actual active site. A site being used.
What happened then
Some of those crazy WordPress-using people out there decided to use my plugin. And to suggest ways to improve it. And point out bugs. Other people got involved in my plugin. Seriously, that really did blow my mind. It was interesting to see how they used WP Glossary, and to find out what they wanted it to do.
I still have quite a clear idea of what I want to achieve with my plugin. The simple custom post type approach is solid, but WP Glossary is still quite rough around edges. As well as my own goals, suggestions and ideas have come from the forums (and in comments on this site). And there are some performance (and other edge cases) to deal with under the hood. All these possible changes are refinements rather than additional features. I think the core of WP Glossary is sound as it is.
I thought I would blog a little about it, as I never, ever expected for the download counter to hit 10,000. I know that that isn’t 10,000 sites using my plugin, but it is a big enough number to show that I’ve written something that contributes back to the community. In my own small way. That has to be considered a success, right?