Google Summer of Code 2009: WordPress proposal

Objective: Create a single-file PHP installer for WordPress that will automate the downloading, unpacking, and setup of a WordPress blog.

Reason: As of right now, setting up a WordPress blog involves a lot of fiddling with files. The user must download the archive, unzip it on their computer, open a ftp connection to their server, upload all of the contents, hope that all the permissions are right, and navigate to the right directory. Since WordPress is such a popular blogging software, many people (most of whom are not familiar with a Unix shell or do not have access to one) would benefit from a single-file installer.

Deliverable: One (1) PHP file. No other files can be included with this (unless embedded), since this would void much of the advantage of such a single-file installer.

Basic procedure (a rough plan):

  1. Instruct the user on the requirements of WordPress (needs hosting with PHP, etc.).
  2. Instruct the user on downloading and uploading this installer, and subsequently running it.
  3. Check the server environment for required components, correct permissions, etc.
  4. Give the user some options on name, location, etc. and solicit other options like database credentials.
  5. Download the latest WordPress distribution.
  6. Unpack the distribution to the right place.
  7. Proceed more-or-less with the “usual” install.

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