Are decisions on WordPress democratic?

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 .

 participatory democracy

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 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 mullenweg wordpress

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.

 wordpress lupa

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:

  1. Free Matt from responsibilities
  2. 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.

NOTICE : this publication is from two years ago or more. If it's a code or a plugin it might not work in the latest versions of WordPress, and if it's a news story it might be obsolete. Then do not say we have not warned you.

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I do not know if it happened to you, but it constantly happens to me that every time I give a course, a lecture or just talk to friends about WordPress comes up the triad WordPressera which confuses almost everyone.

I mean the confusion generated by the fact the multiple personalities , holy trinity or mother who bore them all from WordPress: WordPress – – Automattic .

Because the saliva you have to spend to explain that WordPress there is only one (and trill), the authentic, the original, the POINT ORG, the free and open source that you can download in but of course, then someone says " ah yes, I have a blog of those, so I already know what WordPress is, and it IS NOT GRATI S NOT FREE, that you can not install things or modify code or anything, less without paying! "

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<p> Does the music sound like you? </p>
<p> But, my friend, then you go and <strong> you try to explain, and of course, you end up shitting it completely </strong>. </p>
<p> In your stupid naivety you go and tell him that <strong> WordPress was created by one Matt Mullenweg </strong>who then created a company called <em> Autom <strong> att </strong> ic </em> (yes, a play on words with its name, a very typical thing of the <em> startups </em>which are all very personal) that registered the dominants ios <em> wordpress.loquesea </em> and one of them is <strong> </strong> where they offer as a service (this with accent in "<em> service </em>") <em> freemium </em> , that is, that even certain benefits is free but you want more pay. </p>
<p> To delve deeper into madness you say yes, that <strong> is WordPress because it is made with WordPress, but it is not the WordPress really </strong>the original, but a service like that of <em> EduBlogs </em> or many others. </p>
<p> Of course, <strong> at this point you have already sunk into misery </strong> and your friends are asking for another round of reeds, the conference attendees tweeting kitten jokes and the students of the course wondering why they have paid to listen to a gentleman tell gibberish about trademarks and so on. </p>
<p> Come on, it's a mess, and the truth is that <strong> Automattic and </strong> (one of its products, which have m ás) they do not help to untangle it. </p>
<p> If you add to that <strong> when you install WordPress (the real one) it turns out that you find a plugin, <em> Akismet </em>that to activate you have to create or connect with a account </strong>in an own page of the company Automattic, that above is a service <em> freemium </em>turn off and let's go. </p>
<p> That is, the next thing we can find es <strong> JetPack pre-installed in WordPress </strong>yes, that plugin that incorporates payment modules. Or else, already put <strong> why do not we all vote ?, the same we prefer that other plugins are pre-installed </strong> – even if they are freemium or payment – like <em> All in one SEO pack </em><em> Woocommerce </em> or, you know, </p>
<p> <img src= WordPress Foundation and can not be used for commercial purposes (of course not WordPress either. com)

  • The distribution of WordPress should not include any plugin freemium like Akismet which in the end reminds me of the controversy of Microsoft and the inclusion by default of Internet Explorer and the one that was bundled by competition issues, which is not ruled out that could happen.
  • That Automattic continues to support WordPress like all of us and many others, but that does not contribute to this confusion clearly separating their private businesses, totally licit and plausible and not lacking, from their commitment to WordPress.
  • Any more ideas?

    NOTICE : this publication is from two years or more. If it's a code or a plugin it might not work in the latest versions of WordPress, and if it's a news story it might be obsolete. Then do not say we have not warned you.

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    This weekend I was interviewed on La Digital Radio Madrid an Internet broadcasting channel that issues to all Hispanic America, and among the issues that emerged in the interview I was asked about if the growth of WordPress would lead to one day turning into a commercial model payment.

    How you should already know how WordPress Help reader, I answered the only thing that can be said, and that is that the WordPress Foundation precisely was born for guarantee that WordPress will always be free and free .

    Change of ownership of the WordPress brand

    Yesterday Matt announced that the protection of the WordPress brand will now be the responsibility of the Foundation of the same name .

    From now on the WordPress Foundation will be responsible for to ensure that the name and logos are used properly, among other issues.

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<p> The entry <a rel= Change of ownership of the WordPress brand was first published in Help WordPress .