[wp-hackers] Community Views on Now and the Future

Matt Mullenweg m at mullenweg.com
Mon Mar 6 01:32:07 GMT 2006

Scott Merrill wrote:
> I think it's largely a cathedral, versus the more traditional open
> source bazaar.  A privileged few drive most of the development.

Assuming you're referring to ESR's essay, WordPress is completely a 
bazaar model of development because all code is developed over the 
internet in view of the public.

I'm such a big believer in this model, that even in cases where 
functionality is developed for a specific purpose and not the core, the 
team takes the time to generalize the efforts into something that can 
benefit all WP users, like the Secure Admin plugin Ryan developed:


>> What are its flaws? 
> There is no publicly defined vision.  There is no documented roadmap.
> The "same page" used by the developers is not shared with anyone else in
> a meaningful way.

1.6/2.0 had a roadmap from the very beginning on the Codex. None of us 
are clairavoyent though, priorities change over time based on feedback 
from the community and also on what people are willing to work on.

(Examples: The media framework floundered until Andy took it by the 
horns. XML import/export.)

> This has long been a problem.  Way back in the 1.0 days, I submitted an
> ugly patch directly to Matt to provide per-user posting level support
> (like the view levels plugin now).  Rather than say "Thanks", or
> encourage me to rework the patch, Matt's word were, quote, "Does it have
> to be so complicated?".  That was my first attempt to really contribute
> to the core code, and it was rejected out of hand.  I should have
> stopped participating right there, in truth.

I'm sorry that two years ago I didn't give your patch the proper feedback.

To be fair, that is generally my chief objection to most code that is 
submitted, and I say it just as often to Andy or Ryan as anybody.

> I'm not entirely sure about what suggestions I could make; but I'm
> pretty well sure than any suggestions I provide will be dismissed or
> diminished.  My views are clearly in the minority.

Your opinions have not, and will not, be diminished simply by having 
your name associated with them. I'm not sure what gave you this idea in 
the first place

> I think there's not much leadership.  I think there's an autocracy,
> whereby one person (Matt) makes the bulk of the policy decisions.  Matt
> doesn't inspire participation.  He doesn't participate much on the
> mailing lists, when people are struggling with things that specifically
> need "official" response (see Robert Deaton's plea to squash the
> security rumors); but he has plenty of time to let us know he's going to
> hand out tee shirts at conferences.

I certainly could participate more on mailing lists, but I don't want to 
smother discussion. Some people assume me disagreeing with something is 
an outright dismissal rather than an invitation to further justification 
for an idea.

*If something needs a direct response from me, please send me a direct 

There is a lot going on and things that take up a ton of my time that 
might not be manifested in mailing list posts or public commits. That's 
okay, I'm not interested in putting my name one everything and the fact 
that everything isn't being done by me anymore is a sign of maturity of 
the project.

I'm not going to apologize for spending hundreds of dollars to hand out 
free shirts at a WordPress meetup. I was also planning on sending some 
to frequent contributors once we have shipping set up, feel free to 
opt-out. It's just something I'm doing to say "thank you."

> He was opposed to the implementation of a bug tracker
> originally.

Huh? This is not true.

> He failed to appoint anyone to tend to the bug tracker
> until it became full of stale tickets.

There were people with admin privileges on Trac before we created the 
"bug gardener" title for it.

I don't think we'll ever make everyone happy, but I think this 
discussion is important to have.

Matt Mullenweg
  http://photomatt.net | http://wordpress.org
http://automattic.com | http://akismet.com

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