Support » Requests and Feedback » Bureaucracy

  • Before you continue this post, know that I understand what I am writing here, and it is very much opinionated, but just for that reason doesn’t mean it should be tossed aside as the rantings of some random forum poster. If you want to discuss then discuss, that is why I posted it in the forums.

    It’s funny that there is a section of this site called “Ideas”, but in this section if a so called “idea” doesn’t get any comments, it seems that it must not be a good idea. This may or may not be how it goes, but it sure as heck seems like it. Well I’d just like to say that this mentality goes against all of history. The ideas that turned out to be the best in human society were the ones that gained the most negativity within the majority.

    For anyone who posts ideas, it might be some sort of a method to let the developers know something you’ve been thinking, and let your idea be known to everyone in general. Well if that sounds like a good purpose to this section, then why does Jane just seem to love scouring the idea posts looking for things without activity just so she can close them to comments. It is almost like she is saying, “You tried, but nope, this one failed”. Kind of goes against the whole concept of an “idea” in my opinion.

    I say for this reason and countless others, that I am really getting tired of the immaturities of the WordPress community, and the politics of the WordPress team. I know to most people this means nothing, and will say I should just leave. I will not, because I know I am a damn good developer and designer, and I’ve lost my modesty in this community after attending a WordCamp in NYC. I am not going to leave because WordPress started out as an idea, that at the beginning, was much more clear than it is now.

    3.0 has taken strides in the right direction, but the development cycle is not what I’m worried about. In reality it is this whole “canonical” mentality. If Automattic would stop taking the responsibility of being the central provider for plugins and themes, this wouldn’t be an issue would it? It is really getting old that you are still trying to “own” what was given out for free a long time ago. Now you are trying to govern something open-source from a central location. This is honestly the only open source project I have ever been involved with in which terms are used like “Core Team”, “The Core”, and “Canonical Plugins”. This isn’t totally a positive or negative thing, it just goes to show you that there is leadership in WordPress but also WAY too much control.

    I guess what the community is molding itself into is a big competition. One in that plugin and theme creators are competing for fame and some kind of so called fortune. While the “Core Team” supports the competition through star ratings and featuring. For us that have been in this project for a long time, you also know that your plugin and theme will get nowhere unless you take part in the pageantry of it all.

    Basically Automattic, take a long hard look at how you lead your community that you have taken leadership of, before you start to say there is a lot of crap in the ideas section, plugins, and themes browser. Dig a little deeper, and you will notice the crap seems to float to the top.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 27 total)
  • mrmist

    (@mrmist)

    Forum Janitor

    Think this belongs in the feedback section, so moving it there.

    I’m pretty sure the entire “ideas” section is acknowledged as needing a revamp.

    mrmist,

    Thank you for the reply comment, but if you read the whole post you will notice I only mentioned the “ideas” section as a lead into my post overall.

    So if the revamp acknowledgment you mentioned is just for the “ideas” you are missing the point. The revamp should occur and begin with the management/attitude toward the community.

    You’ve given very little detail as to what lead you to form the opinions expressed above, perhaps if you go into more detail it won’t just seem like a personal rant (that’s how it seems to me).

    Example:

    I am really getting tired of the immaturities of the WordPress community

    You’re insulting the very community that you are addressing, not really a good way to start a discussion is it?

    I’m not just biting, but i’d appreciate a more detailed and less personal explanation of the issues you want to discuss, if it’s just about having a rant, then i’m inclined to just leave it at that (there’s other things i can be doing).

    t31os_,

    Thanks for the reply. No, it is not a rant, I will try to give more details as per your request post either later today or tomorrow. I have a day job I can’t ignore.

    Making a Summary (During lunch time)

    You’re insulting the very community that you are addressing, not really a good way to start a discussion is it?

    On the contrary, it is exactly how to start a discussion, in this community.

    If I had not made an insulting comment then there would have been a much greater chance to be ignored by you and your peers no? Which is why I made the stink in the first place. I have been making posts about WordPress for 2.5 years, and I get the most comments now, when I criticize.

    There is a difference between an insult and criticism, unfortunately it is all based on opinion and perception. In your opinion I am being insulting, and in my opinion I am being critical. If you can’t see a difference, I am sensing more immaturity. This is why I said in the first place that this was all opinionated.

    If this is really what you want to discuss, then yes it is a rant, but not by me.

    My criticism was just a small short part of why I am questioning the motives of WordPress as a whole. The short, quick reason being that the WordPress community is immature. If you want examples of this because you take offense to that comment, and you are sure you handle yourself in the most professional fashion as possible, then I apologize for generalizing in a negative light. But really, would you have rather me named more names? If you want details, what are these details? Are they about who and when this community was immature? I mean seriously?

    I am more interested in a debate than a discussion anyway. Get those emotions flowing, say something, be outspoken, claim I’m insulting you, whatever… Just know in the end, nothing is taken personally.

    mrmist

    (@mrmist)

    Forum Janitor

    Not really sure what you are meaning by “immature”? Do you mean immature as in young and growing, or immature as in pathetic and puerile?

    If the first then sure, I would agree, there’s a way to go. If the second, I’d agree to some extent, but there is such immaturity amongst many projects. There’s bickering and infighting and disagreements over what is “best”.

    I personally disagree with a number of directional decisions, but I stick with the product as a whole because it continues to do what I want. In many respects what you say about voting etc. is true, but it’s not really clear what you offer as an alternative way forward. How do you choose what goes in to a product and what doesn’t? How do you satisfy the millions of users, when each one of them might want something slightly different?

    FWIW, I did not find your original post “insulting”. Your tone was measured enough and I can see your point (even whilst you allude to that not being the case). If I’d have felt you were just posting trash talk, I’d have closed the thread rather than moved it. 😉

    jimisaacs,

    I simply want to understand how you reached your conclusions..

    Despite that title under my name i’m in no different a position than yourself, i’m just another member, the only difference being that i moderate content and clear out spam(etc..), nothing sets me apart from you other then a title under my name.

    I do understand what you’re saying though, generally insulting comments do grab more intention … i think that says more about people in general then specifically the WordPress community.

    Takes alot to offend me … i’m just telling you how i see it ..

    First of all t31os_ and mrmist thank you for continuing the conversation.
    I first want to just point out and remind the both of you the title of the post which was “Bureaucracy”.

    Since both of you brought up the same comment about my generalization of the WordPress community, let me try and bring it all together. There are sub-communities within the WordPress community. These may look like the following, but this is just my interpretation:

    • Noobs (In the general sense of the word)
    • Publishers
      • Noob web publishers
      • Regulars Users
      • Advanced Users
    • Designers
      • Noob Themers
      • Theme CSS Designers
      • Theme Front-end Developers (JS, HTML, CSS)
    • Developers
      • Noob Hackers
      • Theme PHP Developers
      • Plugin Developers (Plugin Advocates)
      • Core Team (Core Advocates)
      • Advanced Hackers
    • Automattic

    Notice the one that doesn’t belong in there? It doesn’t really matter what we say in the community, because it is still ultimately decided by a select group of people, and the bearing of what a person says is in direct reflection of the weight that person holds within that group. Now you can argue the fact that this is how we come to the best decision. The leadership takes all opinions into account then makes the ultimate decision. This is right, but am I seriously the only developer in this forum/community/whatever who feels like I have to jump through hoops to get my opinion heard on the same level as the publishing side of the community?

    Lets say there is a genius that has studied WordPress for years, but is really shy and does not socialize very much. Then one day he/she comes and explains everything that is wrong with the project and how to fix it with examples to one of those sub-communities. Where would he/she have to make the comment to carry the most weight, if there is any place at all?

    Is any of this making sense? I’m trying my best while doing like 10 things at once today.

    Lets say there is a genius that has studied WordPress for years, but is really shy and does not socialize very much. Then one day he/she comes and explains everything that is wrong with the project and how to fix it with examples to one of those sub-communities. Where would he/she have to make the comment to carry the most weight, if there is any place at all?

    If this shy genius merely wants to explain “everything that is wrong” and how other people can fix it, with specific examples, there isn’t really a good place for them to go.

    Seriously.

    To be convincing and persuasive with a community, one has to be more than simply logical, cogent, and concise with one’s arguments. One has to demonstrate that one understands and respects the community one is trying to address – and one also has to be able to demonstrate they are willing and able to do the work it takes to fix things. Talk is cheap. And when talk is negative rather than positive, it’s generally misinterpreted on the internet.

    One thing that your shy genius could do is produce a theme or a plugin that fixes those problems, or even a subset of them. Then, work on convincing others to use that theme based on the benefits that it will convey to them.

    That’s not particularly easy – one has to do the work to prove that they should be listened to. AND one has to demonstrate that they can play well with others before they will be welcomed into a community.

    ancawonka

    You are completely contradicting the point of my argument.

    My point is, in this community it is NOT just the work. It is how you present it, and to who, at what time of the day, etc.

    Whether you believe it or not, or believe I do or not, the right and the wrong way to do things is an opinion as well. In this respect, who ever can speak the loudest is right, and the latter is wrong.

    You also completely over analyzed my analogy. No, I am not the genius, and he/she may not exist, it really was just an analogy, which you completely disregarded that last part of, “…and how to fix it with examples”.

    I don’t ever just speak for the sake of making noise. When I say something, it is for a reason. I posted this from the result of experience. Experience with exactly what you are talking about.

    That’s not particularly easy – one has to do the work to prove that they should be listened to. AND one has to demonstrate that they can play well with others before they will be welcomed into a community.

    You proved my point right there. First of all you just described a grade school recess yard, or a school lunch. Another problem with your statement is leaving out what I’ve been talking about. Who exactly are you “proving” yourself to? Who are you trying to make listen to you? You? t31os_? The point is, that it doesn’t matter in this community. If I write better code than John or Jane Smith, and I show to the wrong person, while John or Jane Smith shows it to the right one (again “wrong” and “right” are just a simple choice of words here). What happens?

    As I said before, this is honestly the only open source project I have ever been involved with in which terms are used like “Core Team”, “The Core”, and “Canonical Plugins”. My argument is that these words needn’t exist if the politics would cease and the control of theme and plugin distribution was open to everyone.

    I myself have been in a room listening to certain unnamed people involved in the management and the development of WordPress. The question that kept ringing in my head at that time, “Why are they so concerned about how to host and provide canonical plugins? The reason this is all a problem in the first place is because they want to retain the administrative control of the APIs.”

    There is no need for canonical plugins. Did you or anyone else hear that?
    If I had said that in that room, I know I would have been bombarded with comments exactly like the one you just gave me. Yes this is an assumption, but one I am comfortable in making. I also didn’t say this at that time, because I held a different impression at that time. One that has of course changed since then.

    Who am I to make such an accusation? I’m just a guy on a rant. I’m just a guy that doesn’t know what he’s talking about because I haven’t developed enough plugins and/or themes to be added to the very problem canonical plugins are supposed to fix. I haven’t submitted my core patches to the already frozen 3.0 code.

    Seriously.

    People say the problem with open source is that decisions remain up in the air because no one wants to take responsibility, and central leadership alleviates this problem. It is trade off because the freedom of open source is the availability of making those decisions. It is a delicate balance, because yes, every open source project does need someone or something to take a central contributing role. The point is drawing a line for that person or thing, that which can’t be crossed. These are the terms of all contributor responsibilities and ownership.

    There is another open source project that has done this successfully, but I won’t be the one to bring up comparisons. Not until someone asks me to or does it themselves.

    Well that’s certainly a big write up, and i can’t say i can definitively confirm or deny half of what you say there, so i’ll simply address the areas that interest me or stimulate an opinion.

    who ever can speak the loudest is right, and the latter is wrong.

    That’s not really been my experience, my interpretation is that ideas are put forward, the ones that gain the most support make it into the core, and those that don’t still usually gain sufficient discussion, and usually don’t make it into core when they could be made into a plugin.

    The point is, that it doesn’t matter in this community. If I write better code than John or Jane Smith, and I show to the wrong person, while John or Jane Smith shows it to the right one (again “wrong” and “right” are just a simple choice of words here). What happens?

    You can submit tickets on trac like anyone else, if you want to see something in WordPress, write a patch, and submit it to trac (admittedly i’ve only ever submitted one(a bug report), but it was acknowledged within hours, and someone else wrote a patch for the bug i was reporting, very little required on my end, but there was no problem in the discussion of said problem, in fact i was quite impressed how easy it is and how welcoming the trac team was – Andy even took the time to email me to help me with my SVN/Trac noviceness).

    As I said before, this is honestly the only open source project I have ever been involved with in which terms are used like “Core Team”, “The Core”, and “Canonical Plugins”. My argument is that these words needn’t exist if the politics would cease and the control of theme and plugin distribution was open to everyone.

    If anyone could submit theme’s and plugin’s we’d have no end of unsafe and poorly written code floating about the repository, there’s some bad examples there as it is, i can’t say i agree with this at all. There are plenty of places to host code, googlecode is one of many examples, i’d prefer the repository to be managed how it currently is… it works well as is, in my personal opinion.

    I myself have been in a room listening to certain unnamed people involved in the management and the development of WordPress.

    Can’t comment on that, i don’t attend the IRC discussions myself.

    There is no need for canonical plugins. Did you or anyone else hear that?
    If I had said that in that room, I know I would have been bombarded with comments exactly like the one you just gave me. Yes this is an assumption, but one I am comfortable in making. I also didn’t say this at that time, because I held a different impression at that time. One that has of course changed since then.

    Why not bring it up? Seems you passed judgement on responses you never received, or are you only wanting to have discussions where people agree? (genuine question, not just being sarcastic) If you want to debate something, disagreement or criticism is a natural part of that process. Personally i prefer that people shoot me down and/or disagree with what i say, because it helps me understand how other people see or interpret my ideas. In my opinion it seems like you’re drawing conclusions about people without actually engaging them (please do correct me if you feel i’m wrong).

    People say the problem with open source is that decisions remain up in the air because no one wants to take responsibility, and central leadership alleviates this problem. It is trade off because the freedom of open source is the availability of making those decisions. It is a delicate balance, because yes, every open source project does need someone or something to take a central contributing role. The point is drawing a line for that person or thing, that which can’t be crossed. These are the terms of all contributor responsibilities and ownership.

    People who? You? Me? … or are you generalising? … drawing a line is all very well but what if everyone has a different interpretation about where that line is, should we just sit and debate the line, getting nothing done? … (it’s an open ended question).

    There is another open source project that has done this successfully, but I won’t be the one to bring up comparisons. Not until someone asks me to or does it themselves.

    Go for it, which project is it? I’d like to know, i’m curious now you’ve brought it up.

    Personally this is the second open source project i’ve had any kind of involvement in, and for me the WordPress community has been far more inviting and friendly toward new users than the last one i had participation in.

    I’ve only personally been a part of this community for a year, here’s a link to my original profile.
    http://wordpress.org/support/profile/1851967
    Your profile indicates you’ve been part of the community roughly the same amount of time as me, so clearly you’ve come to different conclusions then i have, so i am genuinely curious how your experience has differed to mine.

    t31os_,

    First of all thank you very much for a well thought out and genuine response!
    Pardon my “copy” of your comment style, it does suite the discussion so here goes.

    If anyone could submit theme’s and plugin’s we’d have no end of unsafe and poorly written code floating about the repository, there’s some bad examples there as it is, i can’t say i agree with this at all. There are plenty of places to host code, googlecode is one of many examples, i’d prefer the repository to be managed how it currently is… it works well as is, in my personal opinion.

    This is a great opinion, and one I’d love to hear even more of your thoughts on. I personally think the central repository structure is too constricting to single and/or groups of developers who already have servers, datacenters, or just plain development environments setup. Forcing a single location has a negative impression to many good developers out there. It also allows the contribution of many bad developers. I say bad but I realize these are either novices or just lazy people, I do know the difference. I am not saying LOSE the repository, I am saying allow for more repositories, or just allow, within the platform itself the choice. This gives advanced developers the chance to flex their muscles rather than passively turning them away for others who would rather be content with what is already done for them.

    Why not bring it up? Seems you passed judgement on responses you never received, or are you only wanting to have discussions where people agree? (genuine question, not just being sarcastic) If you want to debate something, disagreement or criticism is a natural part of that process.

    Yes, I admitted I made an assumption back then, but I also said I held a different impression back then. One that was more supportive of the concept than against. That changed, and I am bringing it up now ;). I have not been a part of very many IRC’s myself. That comment was actually referencing to an actual room, at a WordCamp.

    People who? You? Me? … or are you generalising?

    I knew you or someone one would catch me on that, I am really not good with names, and I couldn’t remember off hand. The first instance was a seminar of friend of mine attended a while back of a professor from Parsons. Others instances were Ted conference presentations. I’ll have to see if I can find some references if you would like.

    drawing a line is all very well but what if everyone has a different interpretation about where that line is, should we just sit and debate the line, getting nothing done? … (it’s an open ended question).

    The line is up to the community. Like you said, it is an open ended question, but one that can be concluded. This line is really about responsibilities, and support. Something that I find lacking in WordPress. How many times have you heard about the current support of PHP 4 and that this will change at an undetermined date? What is wrong with just saying something as simple as “PHP 4 Support will end on xx/xx/xxxx”. This is the first relevant example I could think of, but there are other more specific ones like TinyMCE auto-formatting, entry ordering, etc.. The information one can get on these kinds of topics is found currently by frantically searching for it within a very extensive trac of tickets, or the very sparse RoadMap. If you can show me some specifics of real support deadlines, I will stand corrected.

    Also, where is a real WordPress mission statement? I’ve looked for it but can’t find it. The closest thing I could find is this, simply speaking of legalities of the GPL and distribution. Here is some more. Nothing of development structure and goals, which is what I am talking about. Without some sort of “line”, yes this kind of confusion can go on forever… kind of why I’m bringing it up now. The “line” can be as simple as a mission statement, or as complex as one of those links put as a “Bill of Rights”. But pointing to the GPL in terms of development structure, practice, and motivation, is well… impractical. Example 1, Example 2, Example 3

    I thought of this analogy the other day and wanted to actually make visuals for it, but I thought never mind, I’ll just explain it. When I visualize the communities of both WordPress and Drupal, each of them take on the organic visual representation of their respective platforms’ design. WordPress can be thought of as a Uranium atom. It has a very dense core, but overall unstable structure over time. It is massive in the middle surrounded by little electrons circling at different levels of orbit. On the other hand you have Drupal which can be thought of as a Borax molecule. It is a combination of many different parts that each have an importance to the whole of the structure. The connections between the parts also have as much significance of the part itself. It can, and is, meant to be used as the base for many different creative products, but to accomplish this requires a lot of know-how.

    Now after that analogy, you might say, “Why am I not involved with Drupal?” First, I will say that I am. Second, I am not as much as I used to be because it has its problems too, and unfortunately they have grown to become far greater than that of the WordPress community. Modularity and freedom are core ideals which is great, but they disregard something of equal importance; usability, which seems like they have lost all concept of, and something WordPress holds in high regard.

    What I, and a lot of developers dream of, is something in between. The usability of WordPress combined with the freedom and modularity of Drupal. It sounds like a long shot when you just come out and say it like that, but I don’t believe it is too far off. I would love to start a discussion with you, or anyone else open to the idea based around that principal. My problem is getting passed the endless comments of reluctancy, which is where this thread and my current attitude is derived. If you want to really start discussing something like this, then lets do it! I’m not a genius, more minds are better than one, and my problem has been getting people to join in such a discussion, on the web, or in person. Who knows, it might just be my faulty conversational skills. But my question remains, why wouldn’t someone want something like this sooner rather than later, other than just plain’ol stubbornness?

    I believe actually brainstorming in this area would stop many of the other existing discussions. An example might be, “how to implement a new feature into ‘The Core’?”. Would if the core didn’t even exist as it did now? It resembled something a lot more like a Linux Kernel which is there to support functionalities, not to provide them. In my mind, it would stop so many discussions in their tracks about whether something should or shouldn’t be a part of the core. Instead these discussions would be taken to their respective “areas” or development groups, where it is analyzed and implemented similarly to how it is now, but on a much smaller, faster, and miniaturized scale.

    On the other hand, how can I even begin to discuss things on this sort of level, when I don’t even know a date when PHP 4 support will end? Also… I am a professional developer. Why do I have “prove” myself to the community by providing
    “free stuff” when this is what I do for a living? It is my living therefore it takes up most if not all my time that I would use otherwise to provide said “free stuff” happily. Instead why can’t I just discuss without the need of “proving” anything, because isn’t having a knowledgeable discussion proof in itself?

    Your profile indicates you’ve been part of the community roughly the same amount of time as me, so clearly you’ve come to different conclusions then i have, so i am genuinely curious how your experience has differed to mine.

    My only comment to that is yes, it does sound like it has differed, but I don’t think I have to explain much more based on the many comments I’ve made within this thread already.

    You are right though, a lot of this was me looking for a fight, but understand that my attitude was rooted out of genuine frustration.

    If you or anyone can answer these real questions, I’m all ears:
    When will PHP 4 support end?
    When PHP 5 support is explicit, how will minor versions be taken into account?
    Will their ever be support for installable shared libraries?
    When will pre 2.8 support end?
    When will pre 3.0 support end?
    When will IE6 support end?
    When will IE7 support end?
    When will HTML 5 support start?
    Can we start a discussion, and who would be involved in it, about an all out re-structuring of the core and overall platform?
    Can this discussion include modularity all the way down to the MVC pattern, the sharing of libraries and/or packages, an open source API for hosting themes and/or plugins, changing the code writing practice to resemble more of the overall PHP development world?

    If you would like suggestions, I’m all mouth 😉 (Within new threads of course).

    Jeff Chandler

    (@jeffr0)

    Volunteer Moderator and Voice of WP

    You make quite a few good points. Unfortunately, there is no good place to discuss improvements directly related to the WordPress software except for maybe this section of the forums. It’s very hard to get something noticed in the realm of WordPress but when you consider how large the project is now and all the difference facets associated with it, you have to give it some leeway.

    I think what sets the community back are those people who reply to ideas with “fork the project” or tell people to shut up and contribute code if they want to be heard. These are terrible ways to contribute to any conversation as joe blow may have an excellent idea but may not know PHP from ABC.

    One of the points you brought up that strikes a chord with me is the lack of a mission statement. In my interview with Automattic employee Paul Kim, I mentioned this and told him that it would be nice if WordPress had a mission statement on the website that let everyone who is involved in the project what they are striving to achieve. Right now, it’s anyone’s guess as to what WordPress is trying to accomplish outside of just being a great publishing platform. A mission statement would provide a point of focus across the entire project instead of the chaos that ensues currently.

    Back to the communication issue, it’s not that there is a lack of ways to communicate, but perhaps too many. Go here, go there, but where do you go to make sure the correct set of eyes sees your concerns or criticism? The core developers for which there are under 10 of them are constantly having their head in the code and trying to make the software better. They don’t have much time to curate the many channels of discussion to answer questions.

    I’m wondering if you have had the chance to respond or view this forum thread?

    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/269201?replies=54

    And of course, my own ideas for making things better.

    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/269201?replies=54#post-1070649

    Moderator Andrew Nacin

    (@nacin)

    1. More than half of the core commit team does not work for Automattic. There is no special agreement to sign, there is no party line to be toed, and there are no smoke-filled rooms.

    2. You’ve omitted the core contributors from your ‘hierarchy.’ I’ll group them with ‘core advocates’ for now, and point out that core plugins are meant to be community-built (by plugin advocates and core advocates). To be explicit, community != Automattic.

    3. Jane, Jeffro and others have done a great job cleaning out the Ideas forum and making it useful again, so we can identify good ideas, whether that means it has traction in the form of comments, or not.

    When will PHP 4 support end?

    As we develop new features in core, if they are too burdensome to be developed with full PHP 4 compatibility, then the feature will be degraded in PHP 4. Take oEmbed for example — if we don’t have PHP 5, we use JSON only and make no attempt to handle an XML response. Leaving hundreds of thousands of blogs in the dust doesn’t make sense, yet.

    When PHP 5 support is explicit, how will minor versions be taken into account?

    Cart before the horse.

    Will their ever be support for installable shared libraries?

    I’m not sure how that cannot be done with a plugin. As an example, my_dependent_plugin hooks into the ‘my_library_plugin_init’ hook in my_library_plugin. Then again, I may not be understanding your suggestion.

    When will pre 2.8 support end?

    Releases before 2.8 are no longer maintained. I’m not sure what support you’re referring to.

    When will pre 3.0 support end?

    I believe the idea is that we will be handling security fixes and general hardening for one legacy release, which at the moment is 2.8.x.

    When will IE6 support end? When will IE7 support end?

    At the moment, IE6 is still considered a Grade A browser, and has a significant market share (something like 20%). IE7 is cart before the horse.

    When will HTML 5 support start?

    It’s already started. It’s certainly not finished, but we are working in that direction.

    That all said:

    Any theme or plugin can use HTML 5, or require IE7+, or IE8+. Any theme or plugin can require PHP 5+, or PHP 5.2+. Any theme or plugin can choose to support legacy versions of WordPress, including pre-2.8.

    Jen

    (@jenmylo)

    Community Organizer

    @jimisaacs: You clearly have a lot of anger toward WordPress and certain people in the community, including myself, I’m guessing. Those 3.0 menu wireframes won’t finish themselves, so I’ll try not to spend too long on this response, but seriously, at the same time you decry that there is a lack of respect for a broader community, you here show very little respect for the community that is actively developing the software you use for free and seem to have some passion for.

    When @ancawonka suggested that to gain credibility in the community one should contribute to the project, show their worth, and get along with others, you compared her approach to playground dynamics. Yet in ANY professional setting, isn’t doing the actual work and getting along with colleagues a core part of getting and keeping a job? Why shouldn’t WordPress put a priority on proven talent, good communication skills, and the ability to set aside personal agendas for the good of the project? That just seems so bizarre an approach to take. In the professional world, people don’t walk into a business and get handed the job of prophet, making pronouncements about how to fix things, without proving it will work.

    As an example, people have been asking for a long time for more committers, and we recently added a few. There were a number of names that came up based on contributions, experience, skill, etc. dd32 has been around for a long time, so no one was surprised when he was given commit access. But you know what? Nacin just started contributing in November, hoping to up his chances when he applied for GSoC this summer. His consistently good suggestions, strong code, ability to collaborate and take feedback from other people without getting pissy, and lack of personal agenda for the software all worked together to get him commit access to the WordPress codebase. What’s that? Oh, less than 3 months after he began contributing! The problem is not that the lead developers aren’t willing to recognize talent and reward it, it’s that some people think that because it’s open source they should get a pass from the usual rules of professionalism and earning leadership roles.

    The ideas forum was clogged with threads that had an initial post and no community feedback at all, many 2-3 years old. Yes, I closed them. They can be suggested again, but should be done so in the context of current versions and features. With over 20 million WordPress users, an idea that couldn’t even get a handful of people interested enough to vote or leave a comment over months or years wouldn’t seem to be that important to the community as a whole, at least not right now. I want to clear it out so that people will start using it again — actually browse the suggestions and respond to them rather than getting overwhelmed by it and just leaving.

    Many of your questions have been answered multiple times all over the web, by various lead developers, core contributors, and Matt himself. For example: when will WP give up PHP4? When there’s less than 10% of the reporting user base who are stuck with it and would be crippled by being forced into a PHP5-only environment. The lead developers take all users into consideration, and try not to make decisions that target power users, developers, noobs, themers or *anyone* specific, but provide a good publishing platform that can be extended as people see fit. That said, it can’t be all things to all people. @jeffr0 doesn’t want people to talk about forking, but if someone really wants the software to go in a direction other than the lead developers want it to go, then it’s a viable option. People get so religious about the platform, but it’s not like we’re curing world hunger here. It’s code, it’s publishing on the web, and in the grand scheme of things, WordPress is doing more every day to make it easier for people to contribute and get involved. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, nor is it the right platform for everyone.

    And for the record, I turn down at least two suggestions for core by Automattic people every week and tell them it’s plugin territory, because although the request might serve their needs, it wouldn’t be a necessary feature for the bulk of our users.

    And lastly:

    Why do I have “prove” myself to the community by providing “free stuff” when this is what I do for a living

    Why? Because you are asking a community of hundreds of contributing developers, who are making this software mostly for free for you to use (and most of whom also write code for a living at a day job somewhere), to do what you want rather than what they’ve decided is the right course for the program. If you and your team made something, and someone came along and told you to change it because they thought it would be better if it was something else, and they weren’t offering to pay you to make it that new thing, are we really meant to believe that you would say, “Sure! You’re so right! I’ll give up on everything I’ve worked to create based on my team’s goals and technology opinions, and we’ll now just make something that you want. For free! And abandon our own experienced opinions and goals!”

    That’s what this is all sounding like to me.

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