[wp-hackers] Moving the Project Forward

Scott Merrill skippy at skippy.net
Wed Apr 20 19:15:51 GMT 2005

Per Matt's comments in #wordpress yesterday, I created:

There's been a lot of discussion (positive and negative) about recent
goings-on.  I've been party to both sides of the debate.  The question
gets floated more and more now: why doesn't more authority get
delegated?  And as much fun as it can be to bitch and complain, I'm
ultimately much more interested in finding positive solutions, and
moving forward.

As I see things, WordPress has reached a rather important stage in its
development cycle -- a stage which many Open Source projects go through.
 We have a large body of interested participants, eager to help make
WordPress better than it is.  A lot of people want to exert influence
(for good or ill); and the perception is that Matt is keeping a tight
grasp on the reins (which is his right, if he so chooses).

This is, in the end, a good problem to have.  It means that WordPress is
doing a lot of things "right"; enough so to attract and (so far) keep
our interest.

But we're now approaching a delicate situation.  Matt clearly has a
strong vision for WordPress' future.  Unfortunately, that vision has not
yet been clearly articulated to many of us, so we feel consternation at
what looks to be arbitrary rejection of our ideas (and we obviously
think our ideas are good ideas, else we wouldn't put them forward).

I hope the link above gets filled out in such a way as to help us
understand the principles driving a "successful" WordPress release.  The
current release model is alien to many of us -- some of whom have been
key participants in other Open Source projects, and approach WordPress
with expectations born from these other projects.

Case in point: Matt said "If we have to add an option for [AutoSave],
then we've failed."  That drew gasps from #wordpress.  I understand (and
appreciate -- indeed _celebrate_) WordPress' commitment to end-user
convenience, but that comment struck me, at least, as extremely
unrealistic.  Clearly Matt meant something by that comment, and I think
his meaning was missed by us, to the detriment of all: us because we
feel bewilderment at what sounds like pie-in-the-sky dreaming; Matt
because his passion and vision are not being shared by people who could
help realize it; and the project as a whole because these
misunderstandings affirm the suspicion that this is "Matt's project"
through and through.

A lot of pariticpants here are used to project timelines, milestones,
release candidates, and the like.  I think most (if not all) of us are
open to learning new tricks; but those tricks will need to be explained
to us.

In closing: please do not read malicious intent into anything in this
mail.  I am deeply interested in seeing WordPress thrive; and I'm eager
to do what I can to facilitate that.

skippy at skippy.net | http://skippy.net/

gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys 9CFA4B35
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