WordPress’ biggest challenge over the next two years, and where we’re focusing core development, will be around evolving our dashboard to be faster and more accessible, especially on touch devices. Many of our founding assumptions about how, where, and why people publish are shifting, but the flexibility of WordPress as a platform and the tens of thousands of plugins and themes available are hard to match. We might not always be the platform people start with, but we want to be what the best graduate to.
By Jeffro on April 17, 2012
By Jeffro on December 27, 2011
Intriguing interview conducted by Gihyo.jp which is a Japanese focused developer resource site.
As your experience straddles both, where do you think open source excels? And where is it weak?
The open source model is probably best in the world at bringing together hundreds of people, from casual passersby to those who are deeply involved, to make constant, incremental improvement to core software. For projects with a clear goal―like the Linux kernel or Wikipedia―having an efficient method for people to contribute outstrips anything any proprietary company could do. The weaknesses are that it’s harder to make radical changes and do design. And those two are very much related. Open source is best at incremental improvements of things you already do, as well as responding to user requests. But with open source, it’s a lot harder to move the community to do something that users have never imagined they want. The problem is not impossible to overcome. But it means that whoever is leading the change must lay out the case as a compelling direction for the future―and to do it before a single line of code is written.
I can imagine those who have witnessed the development of WordPress for at least the past two years may take exception to the last sentence in that quote. In my opinion, that is not how most WordPress development works. I might as well cite the classic example known as the Capital_P Dangit function. The so called compelling direction was laid out after the change was added to WordPress 3.0. The change occurred without a trac ticket attached to it which further illustrates the point that sometimes, the compelling case to add something to WordPress never happens before one line of code is written.
While I’d definitely like to see dialogue occur between users and developers on certain proposed features before one line of code is written, it’s often been said to me that we’ll end up talking in circles with no lines of code ever being written. It’s easier to talk than code. So where does the balance come into play? WordPress history shows us that plugins appear to be the balance makers. Additions or reverts to core are often remedied by someone releasing a plugin, after the fact. This is the road WordPress development has chosen to go down more often than not. It’s definitely annoying at times but I’m happy to see that WordPress has such a large user base that someone, somewhere, will most likely develop a plugin to right the wrongs of WordPress. Those wrongs are considered from a per user basis as even I realize WordPress can’t hit the sweet spots for all users.
In the life of WordPress, there are both good and bad milestones. One year later, I still consider the addition of the Capital P function as a big mistake that will go down in my history book as a bad milestone. I chose to use this example as it best reflects the complete opposite of Matt’s response to the original question. I’m hoping that things change and that at some point, what Matt says becomes the norm for how WordPress development works, not the other way around. We need to see more events like this complete with published results and open discussion about those results.
By Jeffro on December 1, 2011
One comment I have that applies to all of the e-commerce plugins I tried out is this: the initial setup process is quite overwhelming. During my toying process I set up the basic Quarterly sales items and process for each plugin on a testing location. Without exception, each plugin presented me with options I never ended up needing, or didn’t even care about. I realize that WPCandy’s shopping cart needs aren’t as complicated as some, but that made me wish for a simplified setup process even more.
It would be great to see these plugins take more of a “decisions over options” approach. When that isn’t possible, stashing less vital options in an advanced section would lessen the initial impact of a screen full of checkboxes and dropdowns.
Ryan Imel explained in-depth how he created the sales page for the WordPress Quarterly magazine. Within the post you’ll find his thoughts on the various e-commerce systems he tried, code snippets to produce the page, and much more. Definitely worth a read.
By Jeffro on February 5, 2010
Having said that, Mullenweg believes that if he had to do it all again starting in 2010 he would do it differently.
“The trajectory (of WordPress) would look very different because the software world is different now. The blog market is more saturated and social tools are a lot more important so, yeah, maybe it would look different and maybe one of the first features I’d build in would be a Facebook integration or something like that, whereas five or six years ago this wasn’t even on anybody’s mind.”
Source – SiliconRepublic There’s life in the old blog yet
Overall, a great writeup of Matts keynote presentation at the Web summit that was recently held in Dublin, Ireland. Blogging is not dead and it won’t die for a considerable amount of time, if ever. I think Matt hits the nail on the head.
“Ultimately, it is on their own domain, which is something they own and control in perpetuity no matter what Facebook, Google or Twitter does. That is always going to valuable.”
I also found this part of the article quite interesting. I’m sure some of you might disagree but I think in the bigger picture, what Matt says is true.
As an open-source platform Mullenweg says that WordPress’ innovation is driven by staying close to the community and listening to people.
“Sometimes they’ll tell us if they are really passionate about a feature or functionality and we start to think about the best way to do that. It’s something I think about a lot – we are mostly driven by the same things our users ask for.”
By Jeffro on January 12, 2010
Although I’ve thought about this issue endlessly, including most of the issues raised here, there are some things brought up in the comments that I haven’t thought about before. More importantly, you could be right.
That’s why we’re doing this whole thing as an experiment; not the Large Hadron Collider type that could potentially destroy the universe, but more incrementally with just three initial plugins.
Now if in the course of working on these three plugins it looks like we’re going to cause the end of WordPress as we know it, we’ll change course. It’s not that big a deal, and we’ll figure something else out. The only dangerous course of action is doing nothing at all.
That Matt guy. Always showing up in interesting conversations related to something dealing with WordPress with a calm, cool head. How does he do that? It must help when you know for sure what is going on. His comment is the first I’ve heard of Core Plugins being an experiment. It’s also the first time I’ve heard someone clearly spell out three different types of core plugins that will be part of the experiment. An abandoned plugin, a newly created plugin, and functionality taken out of WordPress and put into a plugin.
So far, the discussions surrounding core plugins have been as if everything is set in stone. We now know that is not the case. There is no guarantee that core plugins are going last or if they will prosper. The way Matt presents how core plugins are going to be used brings me back to a calmer state and I think we should watch the experiment take place and see what happens.
By Jeffro on August 3, 2009
While browsing through my feedreader this morning, I had a chance to read a bunch of the feedback related to the 2.0.x legacy branch of WordPress being retired. However, one site I came across which I’ve seen many times before in my feedreader, Globalgold.co.uk published a hilarious press release of sorts.
Custom web hosting provider WordPress has announced the retirement of one of its software packages.
In a blog on the company website
Ok, I don’t need to go into details reminding people that WordPress.org is not a web hosting provider and that WordPress.org has a development blog for the software, not a company do I? Oh wait, I just did.
By Jeffro on July 27, 2009
Unfortunately, I bet this is a common question. I should browse the WordPress.com forums to see how many people are inquiring about the recent security upgrade.
I have read that there is an important security update for the WordPress blogging software. Do I need to upgrade my blog www.anopensource.wordpress.com, if so how can I do this?
Taken from ComputerInteractive.co.uk
By Jeffro on March 31, 2009
Now we’re heading into the summer of 2007, and the company found itself at a crossroads. Says Hirshland, “During this period, WordPress really hit that point in the curve where growth was very noticeably accelerated.” Major media firms noticed as well, and “all of a sudden took a whole bunch of strategic interest in the company,” he adds. “So Matt had some decisions to make. They were hard decisions.”
One suitor was particularly serious—a major company wanting to acquire Automattic. (The name of the firm has not been released, but I can’t help but guess that with CNET being an early investor, it would be logical for it to take an interest: the NYT is also a possibility, but somehow I get the feeling it was waiting for another way in, hence the small investment). After a lot of discussion, Mullenweg decided to sell.
Hirshland, the supposedly conservative East Coast VC, calls the decision frustrating. “I said to Matt I felt very strongly he shouldn’t take the offer, and we should invest and build,” he recalls. Mullenweg resisted, arguing that it would be good to be part of a larger business and not worry about funding and other resources. So he accepted the offer, and the two sides began negotiating the details, a process that lasted until early last fall.
But as the negotiations continued, the doubts apparently grew in Mullenweg’s mind. Says Hirshland, “I think Matt did some really hard soul searching, thinking of the value of what was being built.” He remembers a poignant meeting last fall where Mullenweg told the group that he had come around to the idea that the right thing to do was to stay independent and go for it.
Hmm, where do you think we would be now if the acquisition actually occurred? Quote taken from the excellent piece by Xconomy in early 2008: Automattic Connection: How an East Coast VC Got Behind WordPress, the West Coast’s Hottest Blog Platform
By Jeffro on March 30, 2009
As per a conversation in the WordPress IRC Development channel discussing the GSoC project revolving around creating a theme framework.
okay, fine, you guys have convinced me. I’m doing this for GSoC
the NEW kubrick
perhaps you can change the future, and wrong matt on his prediction
he said the future of wordpress themes were blue with rounded corners lol
Pft, since when has Matt been right anyway? ;)
jeffr0: Please quote DD32 on that. :P
By Jeffro on March 30, 2009
As per Bradley Potter on Twitter.
If Content Management Systems were operating systems then WordPress would be Mac OS X, Joomla would be Windows and Drupal would be Linux. @bradleypotter