[wp-hackers] Is WordPress Development Slowing Down?

Roy Schestowitz r at schestowitz.com
Mon May 15 16:58:28 GMT 2006

___/ On Mon 15 May 2006 13:58:05 BST, [ Anne Gibson ] wrote : \___

> On May 15, 2006, at 4:36 AM, Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>> Figures seem to indicate that, based on the (admittedly poor
>> indicator  which is) number of commits, WordPress changes less and  less as
>> time  goes on. A decline from half a dozen commits per day to just  1 or  2
>> is noticeable.
> I look at this as the sign of a fairly mature and stable application. 
> If what your customer base needs is a mousetrap, you build a  
> mousetrap. It might take quite a few iterations to find a mousetrap  
> that reliably traps mice, but once it does trap mice reliably and  
> effectively to the general satisfaction of the customer, you don't  
> necessarily need to build a better one - just fine-tune the existing  
> one. Then it's time to look for the customers who need something  
> slightly different - like a web-based mousetrap - and work on  
> building their mousetrap instead.

Well,  this mousetrap, being an excellent simplification/exemplary, serves
as  defence for one side of the argument. In this case, it could  actually
defend  the state of development being idle (which it is *not* in the case
of  WordPress).  They say that your competitor is always up to  something,
never  sleeping  and only scheming to snatch a piece of your pie.  Let  us
face  it:  There are other packages out there are they stride forward,  as

The  key  to  staying ahead is to innovate rather than add  features  that
complement and complete the feature set of all your competitors (I dislike
this term in the context of FOSS). Thus, I think that WordPress could seek
to  extract  new  ideas.  Widgets, automatic  saving,  spellchecking,  and
WYSIWYG  front-end  already  exist elsewhere (by no means do I  intend  to
detract  from  the  wonderful  implementation). Bug  bounty  hunt  can  be
fruitful,  but  perhaps on par with the fruits of a hunt for ideas,  which
require more than various hooks.

> Or, put another way, imagine how much more efficient Microsoft Word  
> would be if it was just a word processor, and not a word processor /  
> html editor / brochure maker / family medical database creator /  
> template dumping bin.

Despite  my  apathy for Word (I am a prolific Linux advocate in  fact),  I
don't  think  that  feature depletion would have had any merit.  It  is  a
mature product that continues to extend and gives OpenOffice a run for its
money, piracy factors aside.

>> Could  it be time to radically extend and make WordPress an out-of- the-box
>> CMS?  Or maybe produce a separate, standalone package (a  derivative)? Many
>> people  seek CMS software. They love WordPress for many reasons,  but  they
>> eventually settle for something like Drupal. In newsgroups, I find  it hard
>> to  convince people to use WordPress as a CMS. With the number of  bloggers
>> exceeding  100 million quite soon, I suppose my point of  contension  might
>> be void.
> I think you're having trouble convincing folks to use Wordpress as a  
> CMS because it isn't a CMS. Since I don't need a CMS for my site, I'd 
> personally prefer that Wordpress stay as it is - a very functional  
> blogging tool.

Me  too, but it is sometimes difficult to teach an old dog some new tricks
(pardon  the  phrase,  it's a proverb). I would rather let someone  use  a
package that s/he is already familiar with.

> If you think there's a significant customer base for a mouse- 
> management system instead of just a mousetrap, where the reason for  
> use is significantly different than Wordpress as it currently stands, 
>  I'd think that would be a sufficient reason to branch the code and  
> produce Wordpress CMS. I'm usually one who thinks "plugin" before  
> "branch" but if you're significantly changing the basic functionality 
>  of the application then it's not really Wordpress anymore, and the  
> code should reflect that.

Yes,   I  am  aware  of  some  packages  that  integrate  a  plethora   of
sub-packages,  WordPress included. They are poorly tested and they  suffer
from  the  same issues of lesser-known Linux distributions --  principally
patching  and conflict resolvation. No doubt complexity and bloat can take
any  project  down the wrong line. However, novelty needn't  /necessarily/
carry a penalty.

Best wishes,


More information about the wp-hackers mailing list