[wp-hackers] Plugin update & security / privacy

Amy Stephen amystephen at gmail.com
Mon Sep 24 21:17:24 GMT 2007

On 9/24/07, Computer Guru <computerguru at neosmart.net> wrote:
> Transparency is the key to trust. Also the strong
> resistance to this transparency, given by Matt (who is more or less the
> voice of WP), is actually making a stronger argument for this
> transparency.
> When Matt said if you don't like it then "use another product, start a
> fork", it really gave a sense that he has something personally to
> profit/gain from this feature.
> Now for a question.
> I haven't looked into the code enough yet, but how effective will this
> plugin to remove it be? You can't install the plugin until after you
> install
> the product. By that time hasn't a check already been done, or does a wait
> a
> predetermined amount of time after an install/upgrade to check for
> updates?
> Jamie Holly
> http://www.intoxination.net

Well, let's be fair, Jamie Holly. Matt is not just the voice behind WP, he's
actually put a bit of his back into it. I'm not aware of your contributions.
Would you mind a little sharing, even at the risk of self promotion?

I must say, it catches my breath to hear this accusation "it really gave a
sense that he (Matt) has something personally to profit/gain from this
feature." within FOUR WORDS of an admission that "I haven't looked into the
code enough yet."

*breath, Amy, breath!*

It is not uncommon to run into people who do not get the concept of "freely
offered." Open source is still so new, we are all learning the rules. Yes, a
fork is a legitimate choice and one should not take that as a negative
option. It's not like we are "forced" to use WordPress, lest anyone forget!

What isn't legitimate is for end users to develop a sense of entitlement
where we start to believe we have the right to call the shots and developers
must respond lickity split to what we say. They freely offer their code. We
can choose to use it. We can choose not to use it. If we like most of it,
but not all of it, we can even change it! We can even distribute our changes
to others. Get this - we can even charge for that distribution. I kid you,

25 years in Information Technology and I pinch myself each and every single

Now, I also want to warn against wandering into close proximately with
and libel <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slander_and_libel>. When ill intent
for personal profit is suggested, without evidence that such accusations are
actually true, one's reputation can be damaged. If such claims turn out to
be false claims, nearly every country in the world will find the victim was
defamed. In written form, the impact is considered to be more permanent by
the courts, resulting in a judgement of libel.

So, one must be very careful to not falsely accuse someone, and even then,
to never do so without having all of your ducks in a row - before committing
such an accusation to electronic form and distributing it broadly to those
on a mailing list and to anyone else who happens upon the Piper mail website
- whether that happens as a result of intentionally going to that site,
being linked there by others, or by scooping up the accusation in an
innocent Google search. Just try to delete it! There are Google archives,
too! Today, when we press send, it's forever!

Anyway, food for thought.

In closely, let me say, people often ask - how do we build more contributors
in our open source projects? As a "just off the top of my head" response,
might I suggest we not attack key contributors - at least so viciously?

Amy :-)

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