Jayvie Canono who operates the blog OneFineJay.com has published his personal encounter with Jane Wells during WordCamp Raleigh. Upon the announcement of the revised WordCamp Guidelines, Jay was one of the vocal opponents with a number of good questions. Jane responded to those questions in a comment which is all Jay needed.
I’ve got to hand it to Jane. Not only is she in a position where she has the impossible job of pleasing the community and trying to make sense of it all, but she is a woman operating in a male dominated open-source project. I’ve spoken with Jane on a few occasions and she admits that it was tough going when she first started to get involved with the WordPress project but since then, she has done a good job of not taking BS from anyone. There are a lot of people that get very emotional about certain aspects of WordPress whether it be decisions relating to code, guideline changes, etc and those emotions sometimes make people say things they really shouldn’t. The thing I like about Jane most is that she will go face to face with her critics to figure out why those people feel the way they do. Instead of combating people, she’ll have a chat with them and just might even buy them a drink. It’s funny in a way because while certain people will publicly denounce her and call for her to be fired, those same people sing a different tune when they are speaking face to face with her.
I hope that many in the WordPress community, especially the inner circle of developers will read the following from Jay’s post and perhaps reflect upon his words to see if they can take a similar path towards conflict resolution.
I’m moving on from the matters of GPL debates, and the conflicts between the “WordPress leadership” and other developers. I still commit to serve the truth, but the truth in this matter is that even my most fair and intellectually honest analyses will always be used as ammo by smaller minds.
No idea exists in a vacuum, and at this point, it’s better for me to channel my energy and ideas to other matters. I’ve asked Jane how I can help, and I’ve signed on to helping out with the UI/Design team. I requested no special treatment, and I fully intend to earn my keep.
This doesn’t mean I’ll be some shill with non-stop rah-rah “Automattic/WordPress/Matt/Jane/name-your-developer can do no wrong” cheerleading. Everyone makes mistakes, and I’ll hear and see things that I disagree with, but I know there are better means to address them, and taking it public should actually be the last, not the first, means of resolving an issue.
I’m glad that I had the chance to meet Jay in person.
Jay’s a good guy. I hope to have the pleasure of chatting with him sometime – over drinks or otherwise. (There’s always that cross-country trip he’s planning…)
And, who has called for Jane’s resignation? I must have missed that. Certainly, Jane and I have had disagreements, but I think she’s a great person for the role she fills. (Though, I wonder why her being female would cause anyone to question her ability to develop either WordPress UI or the WordPress community. That makes no sense to me.)
Further, I would assume that Jane would be just as willing to chat with me over drinks as she has several other people recently. That’s the thing: I don’t assume that, just because I have a disagreement with someone that we can’t be cordial, or discuss and/or work out our differences. Jane appears to hold the same belief.
If only more people did, as well.