4 Comments


  1. But with open source, it’s a lot harder to move the community to do something that users have never imagined they want.

    I’m pretty sure he was referring to the developers, i.e. the people that would actually have to implement those changes in Core or those who would have to upgrade their plugins and themes. That’s why backward-compatibility is so important.

    So, from this point of view, Capital P fails as a counter-example, since it was trivial to implement and had no back-compat implications.

    The only thing you have to convince end-users to do is upgrade to the latest version.


  2. @scribu -Jeff didn’t use the Capital P example in the context to which you are referring. So saying that the Capital P example fails is just wrong.

    So, from this point of view, Capital P fails as a counter-example, since it was trivial to implement and had no back-compat implications.

    In the end it did however break things for some users. It was also unnecessary and was just an egotrip on the part of Matt.


  3. Regardless of the Capital P controversy, I think Matt’s comment rings true to my own experience.

    When you have a largely democratic process for development, any significant changes are ALWAYS met with a huge backlash from some percentage of the populace (see flyout menus). In a private company, decisions can be made by a single leader that can be dramatically different than the original intent of the software.

    It may well be that “benevolent monarchy” is the way of the future with open source – see Ruby on Rails as a good example of this in action. A core team led by DHH makes controversial decisions seemingly with every release. It’s not a democracy on major decisions, but perhaps that’s why it’s so successful? I tend to think so.

  4. Ted Clayton

    In the military, one is “stationed” at a particular Base, or with a Command, for some nominal period of time, and is then arbitrarily uprooted and reassigned elsewhere. And so it goes for one’s entire career, always being shuffled from one place to another … always about the time one is getting nicely settled.

    The longer folks remain in a given role/situation, the more comfortable, the more empowered, and ultimately the more “entitled” they feel. Or, “are”. The French Revolution was considerably more driven by exactly this dynamic, than we like to acknowledge. (Because it means that some of our fondly-held ideals, are both unlikely, and counterproductive.)

    Matt Mullenweg will have to become Mr. Mullenweg, if he is going to “take” or “drive” WordPress … pretty much *anywhere*. The more the project comes to “belong” to the “community”, the less traction & authority Matt will be able to exert. Or, “have”.

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