[wp-hackers] Long term suckage

Baki Goxhaj banago at gmail.com
Fri Jun 18 15:55:08 UTC 2010

Really good points Matt.

It's a shame to ask for LTS old software when upgrading WordPress has ended
up being a fun thing to do.

Baki Goxhaj
www.wplancer.com | www.banago.info | www.lintuts.com

On 18 June 2010 17:49, Matt Mullenweg <m at mullenweg.com> wrote:

> On 6/17/2010 5:12 PM, Dan Gayle wrote:
>> I once again wish that Wordpress would adopt a two-pronged release
>> strategy.
>> Yes, go ahead and release the latest, greatest bleeding edge version as
>> your
>> main release. But please, PLEASE, start a long-term-support (LTS) branch.
>> Backport all the security fixes and keep something stable for at least the
>> previous release version.
> I used to think this was valid, hence the 2.0 LTS branch. Now, after
> working with hundreds of the largest companies and media properties in the
> world, I am philosophically opposed.
> While I like the theory of LTS, what happens in practice is it covers up
> the incompetence of IT or developers because they put off small slightly
> painful upgrades until they get so out of date of trunk (3 years? 5 years?)
> and you have to go through a giant, painful, screws everybody over upgrade.
> At a deeper level, it's disrespectful to your users. A good example is
> WYSIWYG, which we improved dramatically in the releases following 2.0. I
> would run into businesses who were sticking on 2.0 because it was LTS but
> their users were HATING WordPress because "making the WYSIWYG not suck"
> wasn't backported as a security fix.
> I would rather have them hating some other out-of-date CMS. I would rather
> the IT department do two hours of work every 3-4 months than a two-month
> death upgrade project every 5 years.
> Not backporting is a conscious decision. I would rather invest 100 hours in
> backward compatibility in a new version than 2 hours in backporting a fix to
> an obsolete version of WordPress. Plus, as noted by everyone else,
> backporting was often impossible because it wasn't one or two line fixes, it
> was architecture changes that would touch dozens of files. The LTS was
> actually *less* stable with these "fixes" backported because it had almost
> no one using it. Why?
> So if we had been able to stick to the 5 year cycle for 2.0, you would
> still be on something roughly like this version of WordPress:
> http://wordpress.org/wordpress-2.0.11.zip
> Please download it. Install it (someplace private). Make a post. Edit a
> theme. Upload a photo gallery. Use a custom post type (oh wait). It sucks.
> It's embarrassing we used to promote this software. We've learned so much,
> gotten so much better, and we're going to continue to.
> You don't even need to go that far back. Use 2.6 for a month. It's only
> about 2 years old.
> The best thing we could do for the savvy people inside these big companies
> is to give them a scapegoat they could blame the constant upgrades on (those
> open source hippies! keep making new software.) all the while they know it's
> really best for their site and their users.
> Plus, this is wp-hackers, we know upgrades aren't that bad. Half the people
> here run trunk. So does WP.com a good chunk of the year (and all the major
> sites hosted there).
> As the wizards of WordPress, the question we should be asking isn't how do
> we trap people in the jail of old versions for years at a time, but rather
> how do we make upgrading as easy, safe, and painless as possible to the
> point where we could even start auto-upgrading.
> --
> Matt Mullenweg
> http://ma.tt | http://wordpress.org | http://automattic.com
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