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

Roy Schestowitz r at schestowitz.com
Thu Jun 23 08:06:30 GMT 2005

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 at 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 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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
>> --
>> Mike Little
>> http://zed1.com/journalized/
>> [1:] http://comox.textdrive.com/pipermail/wp-hackers/2005-June/001275.html
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> --
> --Robert Deaton
> http://somethingunpredictable.com

Roy S. Schestowitz

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