WordPress to Explore Using GitHub Codespaces for Improving Contributor Experience

image source: GitHub.com

“I’m looking to make wordpress/wordpress-develop usable in GitHub Codespaces with an initial target audience of folks getting started with contributing to core on a Contributor Day. This seems to mostly be a matter of making decisions about our container setup(s).”


Users having to get a development environment up and running can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of attending a contributor day, especially with slow wi-fi, as some may have. Hou-Sandí recently experienced this at the 2022 WordCamp US Contributor Day.

“This experience reminded me that as a project we should take a look at making it ever-easier to contribute to WordPress, and a remote development option is a good thing to have in our toolkit. This allows contributors to get started with minimal setup and without the requirement of a desktop/laptop – you could patch and test WordPress from a tablet or your phone.”


WordPress developers at the event responded positively in support of using Codespaces to improve contributor experience and many of them are eager to help on the project and test when it’s ready.

Gutenberg engineer Riad Benguella said having a built-in online development and testing environment would be “a great addition to the WordPress and Gutenberg repositories.”

If, by using Codespaces, a user can reduce the friction and help people get set up with a development environment in a matter of minutes versus hours, it would significantly improve the productivity at events dedicated to contributing.

“I believe this will help not only new but all contributors. To me, using Codespaces to review PRs is such a great experience. Besides, adding Codespaces support also means adding devcontainer support, which makes it way easier to set up the local development environment for contributors who use VS Code.”

-WordPress developer Tung Du

GitHub has a limit of 60 free hours for its users that may also be used up by developers in their own projects so there may still be the need for tutorials on using other local development methods. For the occasional Codespaces user, it will be tough to beat the convenience of spinning up a development environment in seconds.

“I love this even for contributors who aren’t new. I personally would find this very handy as it removes another roadblock towards contributing. I’m all for it, I can’t wait to give it a try once it’s ready for testing.”

-Scott Kingsley Clark






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