Interesting Tidbits From The Keynote

WordCamp San Francisco has come and gone but there are a few things in the keynote by Matt Mullenweg that I wanted to focus on.

When Matt thinks of WordPress, he doesn’t think of it as a software project, he thinks about it as a creative artwork project. Matt would like the mobile applications and WordPress itself to be a lot more fun to use. More humanized.

Think about that for a second. He doesn’t think of WordPress as a software project yet, that’s what it is. But after hearing him say that and then explain why various easter eggs are within the software, it explains why Hello Dolly exists, the culture of Automattic as a company and why certain things are the way they are, despite protests from users and developers. The easter eggs and funny comments found within the software could easily be removed but if they were, WordPress would lose its human nature. These are small tidbits but it makes the software more human and not so dull. Plus, I think for many up and coming developers, it’s FUN to find these injected pieces of humor.

They are going to take a major release cycle out. Used to be three major releases a year. Now it will be two per year. The reasons for this are historical. This year, they are going to try a 3-4 month cycle and focus just on plugins,, and the API.

For as long as I’ve been using WordPress, the team has done a good job releasing three major versions a year although that streak ended in 2009 when the only major releases occurred on June 10th, (2.8) and December 18th, (2.9). I think going down to two major versions a year is an excellent idea. Not only is it easier for all of us to keep up, but it allows for time to do things not exactly code related such as working on other projects, the website, etc. There are quite a few small problems that exist across the various islands that make up the project and it’s nice to see that time will now be set aside to address all of those.

Roughly 74% of WordPress sites are being used as blogs and content management systems. This is up from about 40% last year. It’s the fastest growing use case of the software. About 80% of people are making money from WordPress. 22% WordPress is their day job. 18% from custom development and hosting, 12%.

I’d like to know how Matt or anyone else knows this? Was there a poll conducted somewhere or can this be determined via WordPress sending data back to the mother ship?

These are just a few of the things I felt needed some more attention.


2 responses to “Interesting Tidbits From The Keynote”

  1. Ugh creative artwork project? Really? Is this some sort of I don’t want to be computer geek I want to be an artist instead? Gah do what all tweens do release a YouTube video of you singing, don’t make code into art. Its not art and never will be.
    Honestly I don’t think weird comments in the code is “fun” per sé. Up and coming devs will probably be annoyed with the confusing source code instead. Maybe the “fun” comments are suppose to alleviate that? Also Hello Dolly should be removed. Only reason its so widely activated is probably because some ppl think they have to activate it.

    Release cycles and plugins. I mostly curious about the 10-15 core plugins idea that he talked about. I know Jane seems to want core themes as well. I’m totally a lost in this whole core plugin/theme stuff.

    Last part I have no idea of where the stats comes from. Most likely not from the callback. Hard to see who makes money of WP using those stats =). Wouldn’t say there are 80% that makes money of WP. Those numbers seems very very strange.


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