Another reason why developing for Drupal is more welcoming than WordPress

I think we've all heard a few things about how Drupal and WordPress compare to each other. One thing I haven't heard much about is the "please contribute, here's how" factor to Drupal and its modules and the lack of it in the WordPress community. This can be seen in the site for Drupal modules and the site hosting WordPress modules.

Take a look at a WordPress Plugin page over on WordPress.org. They usually give great installation information, some stats, a changelog, and screenshots of the plugin in action. However, if I'm some developer who has been using a particular plugin for a while and made some tweaks to add in a new feature, or improve performance, there is no information on how I can contribute anything at all! Even the support queue is a lacking in comparison to Drupal's. Looking at the developers tab on a project, I can get some very raw information about the project's developmental history from the development log and can check out the code, but nothing about how I can give them a patch, or to checkout the repository, or even get a simple view of the bugs that need to be fixed!

Now take a peek over at a Drupal module page. Many modules have documentation, many do not. Some have some installation details, some don't. But what they all share is a great support queue and developer-friendly instructions. These instructions guide the developer to clone the module repository, make changes, and then help them to create a patch (along with naming conventions!) as well as stating how to submit that patch to the support queue! This is a great example of how we should provide that basic information to allow new developers to contribute!

The developer documentation helped me tremendously when I decided to submit my first patch to a Drupal module. Without it, I might have never had bothered to contribute. If WordPress wants to invest further in contributions from new developers, they might want to start by giving some basic "how to contribute" information on each plugin's page.

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