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Re: WordPress Openness (was Re: [wp-hackers] UI development for 1.6)

  • To: wp-hackers@lists.automattic.com
  • Subject: Re: WordPress Openness (was Re: [wp-hackers] UI development for 1.6)
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <r@schestowitz.com>
  • Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 12:46:45 +0100
  • Delivery-date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 12:46:46 +0100
  • Envelope-to: r@schestowitz.com
  • In-reply-to: <42BA74BE.8020801@farook.org>
  • References: <7235ce780506221432335171ce@mail.gmail.com> <a491f91d05062300425561470c@mail.gmail.com> <20050623090630.0tixs1fp5tis8k4o@banana.catalyst2.com> <42BA74BE.8020801@farook.org>
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To add context to my original post, I thought it was outrageous Mike Little was
had been denied committal, but of course this could simply be a fluke. Judging
by The Internet Archive, some current developers have not been around as long
as Mike.

I became a bit worried about the direction WordPress had taken. The link
exchanges are nothing to sneeze at, with potential rewards under the table.
WordPress 'articles' did not help credibility either.

It often seems as if WP is an impenetrable development community. Many
suggestions (including several of mine, which were definitely constructive) are
ignored and additional code is labeled "plug-in" and added to a 'graveyard'. The
community makes some independent decisions (without polls) and while it's
XFN-friendly, it is not very professionally friendly (read: open). In the
spirit of the GPL, what was open must remain open. Until some months ago, b2
was not even acknowledged properly.


Quoting Fahim Farook <fahim@farook.org>:

    First, the disclaimer - I don't know anybody in the WP "community" -
in fact, I stay as far away from most "communities" for reasons such as
this :p I don't know Matt, I don't know Ryan and I certainly don't know
the people who've written before and I mostly lurk on this list and
don't contribute much - except for one plugin that I've written for WP.
This is simply my opinion because I felt that *I* had to say this.

    When I first saw Mike Little's post, I wanted to say this but I kept
quiet since it might be simply a storm in a tea cup. But others have
voiced their own opinions since then and I feel I must voice my own. I
have been part of open source projects before where people begin to feel
an undue sense of ownership. Sure, everybody contributes in their own
ways but to always feel that you are so important that all decisions
have to be passed through you (not talking about anybody who wrote
before mind you - this is a collective "you") and that every damn thing
has to be collectively nitpicked and agreed upon before it is
implemented is just plain ridiculous. Democracy is all well and fine but
if you want to make it work and still get software out, you really have
a herculean task on your hands :p We love to argue and that is a fact
and everybody can stand around and discuss/argue the merits of one
option versus another or somebody can simply take the lead, make some
decisions and do something and if it doesn't work, then fix it where
necessary. I believe that's what Matt's been doing.

    You need a leader for a project like WP. Somebody who has a vision
and who will go ahead and implement it. Sure, if user input was listened
to and implemented, it would be good but in the end, it is the developer
who is putting his time in and he's not getting paid for any of this
darn it. Plus, this is open source - if you want a different
implementation and don't like what Matt is doing, go ahead and do your
own thing. Nobody is stopping you. Sure, you'll get the cries of but
that will fragment the community, we don't want to detract from WP and
so on - but what it comes down to is that if you don't like the way
somebody is doing something, do your own thing. Don't criticise somebody
for actually doing some work instead of waiting around for a committee
to make the decisions - we have enough committees for everything as it
is :p That's my two cents from a place where two cents have disappeared
a long time ago!


Roy Schestowitz wrote:
I was reluctant to be the first person to follow-up Mike's comments. I think one
has to consider the issues with openness. For example:

-Geography: it would always be hard to communicate changes unless there is one
central site.

  -Authority: being able to control nasty changes to pages or breakage of

I don't want to go as far as comparing the WordPress 'panel' to the tyranny of
Linus, who often refuses to incorporate bits into the kernel (even when all
world professionals in a particular field support a certain move).

An application expands owing to its users. Its direction must be defined by the
the users, using open discussions which are the iron fist.


Quoting Robert Deaton <false.hopes@gmail.com>:

As much as I hate to say it, I have to agree about the last bit, and
props to Mike for being the first one out of the many who I'm sure are
thinking it to say it.

I hope that Matt realizes that there is an entire community out there
that would love to be a part of all of this, as well as some people
that are already said to be "developers." And the community extends
well beyond just coding and 1.6 development. There are so many people
out there that would be willing to work on adding stuff to
wordpress.org/extend/, to fixing up the forums, to help make sure
everything runs smoothly. Everyone realizes that WP is becoming a
difficult thing to maintain, and everyone would love to help. If I'm
getting what Mike Little is going at, maybe a little feedback from
everyone in the community should be considered..

On 6/22/05, Mike Little <journalized@gmail.com> wrote:
This is a rant, ignore at will...

First a little context:

On 21/06/05, Matthew Mullenweg <m@mullenweg.com> wrote:
> Terrence Wood wrote:
> > Google is my friend, but I've got agree with Mike on this one... like I
> > said in my first post the Shuttle project is pretty much underground.
> A group of people said "we want to donate our time to redesign the WP
> backend" completely independent of WP development, I said "Cool, let me
> set up a mailing list for you so I can keep track of what's going on."
> Why is it "underground"? I don't know, maybe because more people find
> time for arguing rather than coding. Shuttle is still separate, I just
> stole some of their ideas and mixed it up with a drag-n-drop thing I
> found. This list is entirely appropriate and relevant for discussing any
> and all development of WP. Right now we're in an alpha stage where
> EVERYTHING is flexible and open for discussion, no decisions have been
> made about and nothing is set in stone.

My point was that, once again, there is NO visibility to discussions
(if any) about the design. Instead the code is *already in* WordPress.
That looks like a decision made to me.

*Now*, there is some discussion about the nuances of this new
interface. *You*, Matt,  may have been following along on the mailing
list you set up for the Shuttle team, but no one else to my knowledge
saw any of this before the decision was made and the code committed.

Similarly, there has been a interesting, constructive discussion on
this list about
overhauling the user permissions system [1] over the last week or so.
There has been no contribution from you Matt, yet you have been
*committing changes to the user system*. Are these changes related?
Have you taken any of the ideas raised on board? Could you at least
contribute to the thread? "Hey guys, I've already started implementing
your great ideas" or should it be "Don't bother discussing it, I've
decided what I'm doing."?

I didn't see any discussion about removing the textile and markdown
plugins, but they are gone. You claimed "Far too few people use these
for them to be included by default. To possibly be replaced by more
useful plugins after a survey."

Where do you get the figure of "far too few" from? Perhaps it would
have been better to have the survey *before* the decision is made.

Don't get me wrong, I think WordPress is a *great* product, I'm proud
to have been part of it. I will continue to help and contribute when I
can. I also promote it at every opportunity.

But when I see major decisions made with no visible discussion, when
long constructive threads on design and future direction seem to be
ignored, and when I know that some of the other original developers,
myself included, were refused commit permissions to the new subversion
repository. I can no longer kid myself that this is anything other
than a one man development project (sorry Ryan).

Mike -- Mike Little http://zed1.com/journalized/

[1:] http://comox.textdrive.com/pipermail/wp-hackers/2005-June/001275.html
wp-hackers mailing list

-- --Robert Deaton

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-- Roy S. Schestowitz http://Schestowitz.com

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