To Merge Or Not To Merge?

Well, what can I say other than plenty of other people throughout the community picked up on the same message I did from WordCamp San Francisco regarding the merging of WordPress.org and WordPress MU. In fact, there is even a slide that goes with the presentation that says: WPMU and WordPress.org … merging. After that slide was presented, take a look at what anyone paying attention saw on Twitter.

#wordcampsf WordPress MU and wordpress.org are merging. For those of you who are into MU, these must be interesting news.

WPMU and WordPress.org are merging! The codebases are being combined. (per @photomatt) #WordCamp

This was on top of all the websites that reported on the same thing announcing that perhaps by the time WordPress 3.0 would ship (speculation regarding version number) that the codebases between WordPress MU and WordPress would be merged.

Today, we learn from Lorelle on the BlogHerald.com that we possibly tuned into the wrong message. According to Lorelle:

While I’m waiting confirmation, my understanding from Matt’s announcement is that the long time home of all things WordPress, known by many as the WordPress dot org site, will become a WordPressMU site, with nothing impacting the downloadable versions of WordPress.

So, I dived into the WordPress Developers IRC channel to see if anyone had any inside knowledge on the announcement. Most of the people who responded didn’t quite have the answers I was looking for, that is until Donncha chimed in. I ended up having a little conversation with him to see if I could get the details regarding the announcement and this is what he had to say:

donncha – Sure, MU will be merged into WP. That’s basically the whole story
jeffr0 – Majority of people believe a merging of the two projects. WordPress and WordPress MU into one project with a rumored completion of WordPress 3.0. Now posts like Lorelle’s on the blogherald are creeping up suggesting no, WordPress.org will be powered by WordPress MU or something like that. No one knows anything
donncha – It’s just MU -> WP. Everything else is speculation.
jeffr0 – So WPMU becomes WP and that’s that?
donncha – basically, yes.

So how it will happen or when is still up in the air but at least it looks like most of us who jumped the gun and believed that the announcement meant the merging of both projects into one was correct. However, it will be interesting to see what Lorelle comes up with after she receives her confirmation to see if her post changes to match Donncha’s answers.

26 Comments


  1. That still isn’t very clear. Now I have a headache. :)

    I’m just going to wait and see.

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  2. I caught the post that Lorelle made earlier myself, and if I’m being honest, both outcomes could be right! I know there was talk of WordPress.org becoming more of a community site, and I was also aware of BuddyPress becoming just the single plugin! – Until anything official (as such) comes to light, all we can do is speculate! ;)

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  3. Merging codes, as understood at first, is much more exciting news than what Lorelle got on 2nd read. Yay for merging!

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  4. Well, this sums it up. Got this from Jane Wells which is the complete message Andrea_R linked to.

    To anyone from the 3 am discussion: what Matt said in his keynote is that WP and MU would be merged, so that multiple blogs would be an option right in WordPress. No timeline given. Separately, later in the talk, he did a preview of new wordpress.org profiles, which will be the first step in bringing BuddyPress to the project as a communication tool. If Lorelle or anyone is reporting that he announced/meant MU was coming to wordpress.org the site, that’s not correct. There will be a post (or series of them, depending on how long they turn out to be) on the dev blog within the week, summarizing everything Matt said.

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  5. This whole subject could have been communicated clearer from the get-go. Then again, part of the confusion is keeping WP.org and WPMU separate in people’s minds — we’re techy/bloggy/WordPressy enough to know what exactly is meant when someone utters the phrase “WP.org”, but a greater public might not.

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  6. A few points …

    One, to me donncha is WPMU; and, his comments make the announcement very simple to understand. The first question that came to mind when I read about the merger was: I wonder what Donncha will be doing? Then it occured to me: he appears to be on vacation.

    This leads to my next point that has me thinking this has been an event already long in the planning … did not Donncha tweet a “hello” to WCSF shortly before the announcement?

    Another point, would this be part of the reason why 2.8 has been so long in the pre-release cycle; is the new code being confirmed to be valid in the new WP/MU codebase?

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  7. “is the new code being confirmed to be valid in the new WP/MU codebase?”

    Eh, not really. If you look at trac, WP 2.8 code is being rolled into WPMU, not the other way around.

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  8. I was there, it was clear. Many just turned it into something else. Just wait for the write up on the dev blog for final clarification.

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  9. “is the new code being confirmed to be valid in the new WP/MU codebase?”

    Eh, not really. If you look at trac, WP 2.8 code is being rolled into WPMU, not the other way around.

    Um, isn’t that what I said?!

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  10. I don’t think this merger has anything to do with 2.8 taking so long. You can blame WordPress 2.7 for that. I’m not sure what code has been merged over from one into the other just yet. Hopefully we find out these details in the dev blog post.

    However, I think back to when Andy Peatling said BuddyPress would be available for stand alone WordPress but at a much later date. So I wonder, if he knew way ahead of time that WPMU and WP would be merging together and thus, that is how BuddyPress would end up running on the stand alone version of WordPress. Hmmm

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  11. @Edward Caissie

    Sorry for being unclear. :D I meant the new code for wp 2.8 is currently being merged in trac of WPMU and is untested.

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  12. This is really not any different than what’s been happening for years now…

    Let me paint a picture…

    Every new version of WordPress that comes out is promptly followed by a supplemental version of WordPressMU, which introduces all of the new .ORG changes into MU. All that will eventually happen, is that .ORG and MU will join up and have 1 installation that asks “Would you like one blog, or many blogs.” And I suspect the answer to this question isn’t permanent, considering it’s totally possible to install WPMU and only have 1 blog.

    So maybe “merging” isn’t the right word to use when talking to developers that want to know how it’s going to impact them. The answer is that it really won’t. The audience that just wants one blog will continue to have the same plugins working the same way they do now. Users wanting a community with more than one blog will want to use plugins that focus on the USER on the SITE versus the BLOG, just like BuddyPress does.

    Really, as soon as the 2.8 changes make it into WPMU, I suspect that wordpress.org code will just turn into MU code, but still be called .org.

    Clear as mud? Haha! This is all just my speculation at this point, but I think from a developmental standpoint this makes sense, and would even make sense if you were looking at this from a long term perspective…

    Branch apart MU, to figure out a way to make one WordPress installation support many blogs. Okay, got it pretty well mature and figured out. Now, merge it back in and have the new more intelligent code replace the old stuff. Done.

    Then again, dogs and cats could be living together, and this could be mass hysteria; I really have no idea. :)

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  13. I’m not sure what all the confusion is about! It’s as simple as this one sentence:

    “The multi blog features of WordPress MU will be merged into the standard WordPress software, after which the standard WordPress software will have all the features of MU and MU will be phased out.”

    The timeline is yet to be announced.

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  14. It makes perfect sense and I’m pretty happy about it.

    In the earlier days of WordPress MU it was a complicated installation followed by complicated management. WPMU has proven much easier to install and manage over the years and some of the bug fixes to WPMU went directly the WordPress Core.

    Basically the code that makes WPMU work has been getting smaller and more compartmentalized, so I could imagine that the effort to maintain a WordPress Fork for Multi-blog functionality starts to become a huge complicated waste of time. With a merge you can have Donnacha and the WPMU community working with WordPress Core. So instead of reporting a WPMU bug or feature and finding out it needs to be reported to WordPress Core you just report the bug in one place. Nice!

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  15. Having just recently migrated to MU I have mixed feelings. I liked being a part of an “exclusive” group that actually took the time to get to know MU. Yet at the same time it will be nice to see more info and support for the program I use!

    All in all I think this is a good thing.

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  16. I sure wish i knew about wp and wpmu merging afew months ago, I went thru some big time hastles getting my site to behave the way i wanted, but finaly i’ts ready, and then I find out wp and wpmu are merging chek out my site to see what i did, it’s not to compicated once you look at it now. but i was really stressing about not loosing all prevous post and comments.

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