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

Mike Little journalized at gmail.com
Wed Jun 22 21:32:32 GMT 2005

This is a rant, ignore at will...

First a little context:

On 21/06/05, Matthew Mullenweg <m at 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 Little

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

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