WordPress, like all open source development had its beginning from a brilliant idea, and 11 years later, that great idea has become in the most used content management system in the world, boosting no less than 25% of the entire Web .
Surely when Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg were they launched to create a friendly and powerful content management system they had no idea how far the project would go, but look where the idea worked, and we enjoy it every day.
Now, everything growth has its problems, and one of them is that currently the development orientation of WordPress seems to depend on just one person: Matt Mullenweg, for good and for bad .
Indeed there are many people that WordPr ess is a product of Matt's company, Automattic and it's not like that, your company has other products like WordPress.com or Akismet, but WordPress itself is not yours, it's from the community . Automattic is a great company, that bets on WordPress as there is no other, but WordPress is not a product of yours but on which they base their products.
Not even the WordPress Foundation is thought for this purpose, it is only limited to the protection of marks and principles.
So who decides the future of WordPress? for now Matt.
Matt has been and is a great project leader, making very wise decisions about where WordPress should go but is it good that this is so?
There are development groups of the Most of the elements and parts of WordPress, but the decisions, the leadership, is held by Mullenweg.
One of the handicaps of the dependence on the genius of a single person is that if that person is missing, and we hope not, or decides to dedicate himself to something else, then the project res will understand, at least until other leaders are found who substitute their vision. Something very similar is happening in Apple, but it is a different case, Apple is a company.
Open source projects have long experience in this regard, and many times this issue has been solved by a kind of advice advisor a group of users involved in the future of the project who make decisions about it. These advisory councils, usually, must also consult the entire community before making relevant decisions in order to obtain greater involvement of all, in addition to obtaining the necessary support.
Currently any decision on the future of WordPress takes only and exclusively Matt Mullenweg, which is not at all democratic, not even recommended . Do not forget that Matt is a person, as well as a personality, and although he has a privileged mind, he is not exempt from the possibility of making mistakes, even having personal feelings and tastes, which do not always have to coincide with the bulk of the community of developers and users of WordPress.
If the possibility of organizing a kind of advisory council were to be considered, it would cease to be the responsibility of Matt, and the decisions would be much more consensual, much more democratic and transparent, accurate or not . In any case it would never be a problem because the beauty of an open source project is the ability to respond before mistakes, precisely due to the involvement of the community itself.
Currently, beyond the debates at community meetings of WordPress users and some timely survey, there is no such thing as "voting" on the future of WordPress, the decisions are unipersonal something that we have socially overcome but, interestingly, in a development as open as WordPress we continue to depend on one, let me call it that, consensual dictatorship like the one the ancient Romans had occasionally.
Okay, we are all grateful to Matt for his decision, praise and good work, but do not we? would it be necessary to question that 11 years later the project should not advance in this sense?
Matt is a great leader and visionary but he can make mistakes, and he could even take pride of your companies to those of WordPress, had not it occurred to you? In any case it has a great responsibility, and possibly it is time to free him from some, at least in its entirety.
It is also not easy to choose to the members of a possible advisory council, because they too could be wrong, but they can take advantage of the advances in direct democracy and organizational transparency existing to provide this entity with sufficient guarantees to enable them to do their hard work at the same time to free them from excessive external and internal pressure.
We are currently faced with decisions about the future of WordPress in interviews with Matt or with his interventions in WordCamps, but is this transparent? Do we know what has led you to make these decisions? Are they subject to debate and / or approval? The answer to all these questions is NO.
I think these are issues that should be left behind and that the WordPress development process be a lot more transparent and, above all, participatory.
A decision process governed by an advisory council, as proposed by Vladimir Prevolac would have many advantages:
- The operating rules and decision processes of the council , even meetings, would be completely public, greatly improving the transparency of the project.
- It would be much more effective than just relying on the availability and good judgment of a single person.
- It would eliminate the feeling of being a personal project, that in case Matt left it would greatly harm his future and reliability .
- All the documentation generated Given the usual functioning, meetings and decisions of the advisory council would serve as tremendously valuable information for the future of WordPress.
- Would delve into the empowerment of each user of the community, an unavoidable result of the policy of open and transparent government reinforcing the involvement and commitment of the entire community.
Of course, a council of this kind would not be exempt from making mistakes, that its members also prioritize their tastes or interests to the time to make decisions, but everything would be much more transparent and accessible, being able to assess each decision and guidance.
Personally I think it has more advantages than inconveniences, and I'm not talking about getting rid of Matt Mullenweg, who of course he should be a born member of the council, but of two fundamental questions:
- Free Matt from responsibilities
- Provide transparency and democracy to decisions about the future of WordPress
I do not know what you'll think about all this, I'm looking forward to reading your impressions about it.