Dev Diary #1

Dave Hilditch
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So, this is the first in a long series of development diaries I’ll be keeping. The primary aim here – from my point of view – is to try and reduce how many support questions I receive about when such & such will be ready, when will X, Y, Z be worked on. If you would like something to be worked on sooner, you should find the feature request for it and vote on it.

Overview of our prioritisation process

We have multiple plugins that require continuous development so they can evolve and cater to your growing demands.

Generally, the time allocated to each plugin is related to how many sales there are of that plugin. So, the plugins that receive the most amount of focus are: External Images, Faster Woo Widgets, Scalability Pro and Price Comparison Pro. This work generally happens in a round-robin fashion, but once we have enough development work for the other plugins these are scheduled in.

We prioritise development work as follows:

  1. Critical bugs – these take priority over everything. If a critical bug turns up, and there is no workaround, we will drop other work to work on this.
  2. Sponsored features – if a customer has decided to sponsor a feature, these get prioritised over all other feature requests. Sponsoring a feature involves paying money (at a subsidised rate) to get features released more quickly and gives you a chance to direct the development how you’d like to see it go.
  3. Non-critical bugs – these are bugs that should not exist, but which either only disable a secondary feature of the plugin, are an inconvenience rather than a site killer or have a workaround.
  4. Feature requests – these are submitted to our site and voted on. You can see feature requests here: We submit our own feature requests and ideas to this list, and you can too (if you’re a customer). The more a feature request is voted on, the more likely it will be included in the next round of development.

Overview of our release process

Pretty much we identify the bugs for a plugin and try to get them all fixed inside the next release. We also pick a feature request or two, normally based on the number of votes, and aim to get them included in the release too.

Whether or not these bug fixes and feature requests make it into each release is largely down to time constraints and the complexity of the problem(s). For bugs, mostly we just delay the release until the bugs are actually fixed, whereas with feature requests we largely delay the feature requests so we can release the update including the bug fixes.

So – no dates we give are set in stone. If you message us and ask us, when will X be ready, the real answer is going to be ‘it depends’. The best we can tell you is what we are currently working on. Hence, these dev diaries are going to become a weekly thing so we can tell you what we are working on this week. Normally, whatever we’re working on will lead to a release or multiple releases through the week.

Faster Woo Widgets upgrade

My primary focus this week is to get the next release of the Faster Woo Widgets plugin released. We have the following items in development that are going through the fix-test-fix cycle right now:

External Images upgrade

External Images is continuing to be one of our most popular plugins, but it’s not working out of the box for everyone so this upgrade will aim to solve that.

Up next

Currently, the items pencilled in for next week include Scalability Pro and Price Comparison Pro. With Scalability Pro we’re adding more scalability-busting-detection coding to help you identify scalability bottlenecks and with Price Comparison Pro we’re improving the documentation to help use the price-scraping debugging tools.

Let me know what else you’d like to see, and remember to submit your feature requests and vote on existing ones.

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  1. Hi, when is the FWW update coming out?

  2. The first week is over, bugs are two months old. When can we expect FWW update? Sorry to rush you, but I’m getting impatient.

  3. Maybe it would be even better to create a roadmap on trello?


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