What’s The Quickest Way To End A Conversation About WordPress?

One thing that can be frustrating at times to talk about regarding WordPress, is what should be added to the core. I equate it to kids fighting with their parents. They want something and are explaining every which way as to why it would be a good thing for them to have and the parents dish out variations of NO. I’ve participated in my fair share of cool conversations that were abruptly ended with the words Patches Welcome or There’s A Plugin For That. I don’t know which one is more of a conversation killer as they seem equal to me but I’m sure I’ve heard the Plugin line more than the Patches Welcome. If neither of the poll choices suits you, feel free to add-on in the comments what you think are good WordPress conversation killers.

[poll id=”40″]

12 responses to “What’s The Quickest Way To End A Conversation About WordPress?”

  1. Well patches is the answer to a bunch of suggestions. If you want to improve how the project works overall, give input on their lack of communication etc.
    It all ends with “if you want to affect how things work contribute”. But contributing is pointless really if you want to change things. because those that gets the possibility to actually change things all think alike anyway. So if you want to improve the project, in a no code way, just keep your mouth shut, they don’t like critique.

  2. So if you want to improve the project, in a no code way, just keep your mouth shut, they don’t like critique.

    Yeah, that pisses me off. Contributing ideas is just as important as contributing the actual code. Sometimes someone with no idea of the complexity (or lack there of) to the code has the best ideas.

  3. What’s really bad is when the sales people in my studio say “it shouldn’t be that hard, there’s a plugin for that” and they have no idea what they are talking about.

    I would like to tell them what uncomfortable place they should stick that plugin.

  4. @Ean Schuessler – Yeah but you can’t improve communication of the lead devs with the community or improve the transparency of the descission process by writing core patches. Do you know how many different communication areas WP has? Theres no single hub that integrates them all.

  5. @Andreas Nurbo – That’s where the “there’s a plugin for that” response really has some merit. If someone comes up with a really important idea and embodies it in a plugin then it is going to get a lot of attention and be on its way to becoming a core component. Sometimes that new functionality should be embedded (ie. multisite) and sometimes it may make more sense for it to remain a plug-in (ie. buddypress).

  6. Personally I find both the choices to be valid a lot of the time. Obviously they can be used by jerks to shut down people who don’t have the skills to write a patch or plugin, but at least between two developers (i.e. people who have the knowledge to assess ideas from a technical as well as ideal perspective) “patches welcome” and “there’s a plugin for that” can be a natural way to continue a conversation, steering it in an important direction.

    In both cases the speaker is saying “your idea is relevant, and can be easily taxonomized into a development category”. In one case the category is “interesting but not something the core team is going to tackle without someone championing it on trac” (is that you?), in the other the category is “useful idea but so far we are treating it as extension rather than core material” (couldn’t a plugin solve your problem?).

    IMHO you can always debate the plugin one because if the plugin is popular then maybe it deserves to be in core. If someone says “patches welcome” then the conversation can move into what would be involved in getting a patch rolling and what considerations would have to be borne in mind while working on a patch.

    On the other hand, here is the conversation killer that drives me nuts. It’s not a full expression, but merely a keyword that can, in 1 second, kill a conversation about a development idea: Bikeshed. The accusation is that your idea is trivial and a matter of taste, and that discussing it is a waste of time. It’s a useful concept when a topic has been debated to death already (WP-Hackers being the bikeshed-debate-HQ for WordPress), but in personal conversations it can be really insulting, especially when you are pretty sure that your idea hasn’t been talked to death yet. Once ‘bikeshed’ has been whipped out you are not only faced with the challenge of explaining your idea, you have to first defend the entire topic against the accusation of being a waste of time. Depressing.

    Great poll by the way! I hope everyone can take to heart that both options are not necessarily attacks, but can be a healthy part of your morning developer discussion ;)

  7. Another concept that, while certainly legitimate, can also be abused as a means to stop debate, is meritocracy. (The abuse of this concept often correlates to abuse of the bikeshed concept.)

    I believe that I have observed improvement in this regard, however. It is more likely today that non-traditional (i.e. non-code) contributions are considered more favorably with respect to one’s merit than such contributions would have been considered a year or two ago.

    Even still, I don’t think the contributions of, say, Ipstenu, ESMI, and Zoonini (et al) as WPORG Forum Moderators is valued as highly as it should be, with respect to meritocracy. So, there’s ample room for improvement, but I can honestly say that I’ve seen some improvement.

  8. Definitely some good answers to the question that I didn’t think of when I wrote the poll. Since the poll is closed, looks like (There’s A Plugin For That) wins by a long shot. In fact, one of the other comments reminds me that even people who are not vaguely familiar with WordPress often say, there is a plugin for that lol.


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