on the founding of the founderation

Let’s have a Q & A session on the vaporware Wordpress Foundation! Here is Andreas Nurbo with the questions:

1) Any plans to make all the people involved at decision level with the foundation and their role public?
Yes. It is Matt. Next question.

1a) Will documentation of decisions, meetings be made public and easily accessible?
Matt is a busy man and cannot be expected to chronicle his thought processes in public, however I am sure that if he has any foundation-related ideas he will post them on a blog somewhere.

2) You write that you will support projects and ensure that stuff lives on.
2a) Who decides what gets support and what does that mean exactly?

Matt decides. If he likes you, he may give you money. Or a T-shirt. Or a mug. Or, if he’s feeling especially generous, a link in his blog.

2b) Which projects are suppose[d] to be “owned”, if any, by the foundation?
Wordpress. Duh. Well, not Wordpress the software, since the code is jointly owned by all the contributors and can be taken and messed about with by anyone, but the Wordpress trademark. That seems to be about it. Now the community gets the opportunity to contribute to the legal and administrative costs when Matt wants to take a WP-related domain off someone. Oh happy day!

2c) What will the foundation control, if anything, in terms of projects? Projectroles, websites, servers etc.
Nothing, unless at some point it proves financially advantageous to do so. You know as well as I do that setting up a non-profit is mostly done for tax purposes. Handing the wordpress.org website over to the foundation would hardly amount to relinquishing personal control, but changing the name on the domain registration seems an unnecessary formality if there is nothing more concrete to be gained by it than community goodwill.

2d) Will the foundation put up any rules for openness of the organization and decisions in the projects it decides to support?
Matt’s always been pretty clear about the projects he’s willing to support; their work may not be released under any licence other than GPL (other open-source licences are apparently a no-no, which seems offputtingly, well, religious), they should not be overly enthusiastic in the pursuit of profit, and they should respect his authoritah. As the plan seems to be to dole most of it out to Wordcamps, these demands should not be too onerous. Also, it would be kind of rich for an organisation administered inside one person’s head to demand openness and accountability from its beneficiaries, don’t you think?

I do not understand why even the most dedicated fanboy would be jumping up and down over this non-event. Are we meant to be excited about the revelation that Matt still runs everything and plans to subsidise selected Wordcamps? Seriously? And did anyone actually believe that this foundation would be some kind of committee that would administer wordpress.org for the benefit of the community? If they did, they obviously haven’t been around Wordpress for very long.

18 Comments »

  1. Wow, enjoyed reading it! I am sure Matt reads your blog as much!

  2. I left a link to this post there; hope it gets published!

  3. Jeffro said

    I think criticism is good and questions things is also good but out of curiosity, do you like anything that anyone in the WordPress community has done? Has Matt ever made a decision that you agree with? Is any part of the WordPress project doing something right? Is the WordPress project and everything around it just one big cluster*** to you?

    • drmike said

      The question you should be asking yourself Jeffro is do you agree with every decision or comment that Matt makes? Seems like most of the WP community just lines up behind him no matter what he says or does. If so, you’re just another fanboy with blinders on.

      • Jeffro said

        I think my postings on the web clearly reflect that I sway side to side and that I am an independent thinker. I’ve given criticism where I believe it’s due and I’ve given praise where I think it’s due. I do not get in line to kiss Matts ring nor should anyone else. My only beef is with those who do nothing but drive negativity throughout the entire community. This helps no one.

        If this site is all satire, then it would explain it’s content over the years and then I don’t worry about it so much.

        As for yourself, I hesitate on calling you out on someone else’s website but since the discussion is relevant, I’ll say that I have yet to see anything positive come from you regarding the project or Matt. Instead, it appears to me that you’ve taken every opportunity possible to bash one or the other. I have no idea why that is and it perplexes me. I wouldn’t mind hearing your side of the story as to why you’re so negative all the time when it comes to WordPress.

        • Honestly? I wouldn’t worry about this site ‘driving negativity’ when there are so many others with far larger readerships pooping rainbows and butterflies. I’m a lot less active here than I used to be since a) I haven’t used WP on my own domains for a while (the incessant upgrades got tedious) so I find it hard to get passionate about it these days, and b) the same old issues with GPL and Matt being a control freak keep popping up over and over, and I’m tired of writing the same thing all the time.

          Also, if your product has engaged people enough to care about what happens to it and who runs it and how the decisions get made, that’s cause for celebration rather than concern. I’d be more worried about my recent slide into apathy than my ‘negativity’ in the past.

          (I’m sure drmike will be along in a moment to explain his beef…)

        • drmike said

          I have yet to see anything positive come from you regarding the project

          You must have missed those nearly 8 thousand responses I made in the wp.com forums plus the nearly 2 thousand in the wp.org and wpmu support forums. The ones my credit was removed for illegally. (Those numbers are rough. I’m not going back through and re figuring them out.)

          Members of Automattic have interfered with both my company on a professional basis as well as a personal level. I’m actually surprised he came to North Carolina a few months ago for the WordCamp. If I had know about it ahead of time, I would have had warrants served on him for hatecrime.

          I have asked Matt to sit down and discuss matters with me on a number of occasions. He and Toni have refused, with Matt finally stating that he “doesn’t care” about what he’s done and said previously.

          Over and over again he has shown that his opinions only apply to others while he is free to do whatever he chooses. Next time he posts on your forum, ask him why he feels copyright doesn’t apply to him.

          I would go on but the bully has threatened me, both physically as well as legally. Plus having read your previous postings, your use of “independent thinker” is one I don’t agree with.

          I;d give links but 1) I’m buried in work and 2) it’ll just get caught again.

          • Jeffro said

            In case you were wondering, I’ve been waiting to approve your forum account but you have yet to click on the confirmation link in the registration email

            • drmike said

              No, I found one of your forum posts on the forum where you went on at some length about how running folks off from the wordpress community was a good thing and decided your forum wasn’t worth my time.

              • Jeffro said

                Ok. To each his own. Hope one day, you encounter happiness.

    • Well, Automattic have managed the growth of wordpress.com pretty well; it’s a lot more reliable than you’d expect from a free blog host, and the freemium model is a smart one (even if the upgrades are a bit overpriced in terms of what you actually get). And their acquisitions have been shrewd; inexpensive and firmly blog-centred.

      But wordpress’s success is down to being free, being PHP-based, and being around to reap the rewards of Six Apart’s licencing screwup, rather than Matt’s leadership. I don’t have anything personal against Matt, but we have fundamentally different concepts of how open-source development should work. The whole Spamgate scandal was a perfect illustration of what can happen when you let one inexperienced but charismatic person take absolute control, but what Matt learned from that wasn’t ‘maybe I should run important decisions by others before acting on them’ but ‘spam makes people angry’.

      Part of the issue, of course, is that there isn’t anyone within the wordpress project with sufficient authority to call him on stuff, the way Toni might possibly be able to within Automattic. It’s not so much that Matt deliberately marginalises people who don’t agree with him (though the fanboys certainly do) as that they burn out, get frustrated with having no influence and go elsewhere.

      • Jeffro said

        Thanks for the comment, it all makes more sense now.

        But for example, the time when 200 or so themes were removed from the repository. A number of people including myself raked Matt over the coals for that. Personally, I think WordPress could do more to work on the public relations side of things as that theme removal stuff was a nightmare.

        However, WordPress is a huge project and Automattic is a large, well funded private company. Isn’t there a lot at stake for Matt to screw up? Screw up to the point where developers for WordPress are driven away in droves to other projects which takes a large chunk out of the project and as a side effect, affects WordPress.com?

        I understand completely that Matt screwed up in the past, during the infancy of WordPress and perhaps many people don’t know about that but given that not everyone is perfect, I thought people would have forgiven him for that. He is sure to make more mistakes in the future but I don’t think anyone should hold grudges against him for it. I mean, the guy has a large responsibility to uphold and I don’t think he’s in the business of continuously screwing up.

        I don’t want to be seen as just another fanboy pooping rainbows lol. I call things how I see them. No doubt, positive stuff takes up the majority of WordPress coverage but I’ve seen a good bit of people calling Matt out as well. If the calling out of Matt or project decisions is backed up by facts instead of conjecture, I don’t see how that could have no influence.

        I have my thoughts and opinions regarding Wank, That Girl Again, and drmike but I’ve always read what you three have to say, always finding it interesting that those perspectives could be reached. I would just like to read facts surrounding some of the allegations that are raised.

        • *** Disclaimer ***
          *** Firm statements are used for dramatic effect ***

          Well I don’t know about ancient things like some spam stuff but we do have more recent stuff than the themes, the privacy matter and the core plugins. Neither of them have actually been resolved yet. And all concerns has been ignored really, noted but ignored.

          Seems the stuff works like this.
          Something is released without public discussions.
          People get annoyed and posts their concerns.
          Matt comes and says something that no one seem too know about.
          People stop discussing. Time goes even though nothing has actually been resolved and any updates on the matter has yet to be posted people don’t bring it up again.
          Well the privacy stuff first started years ago was ignored then brought up again. Currently waiting for Matt. Will it take years this time too? He has until February =).

  4. Ah, I don’t mind that she never publishes WP praise! Aren’t there zillions of blogs/bloggers doing that already?! I think it is the humour more than the criticism that I like this blog for.

  5. […] the way Andreas, how accurate do you think the answers to your questions are on this post lol. http://wank.wordpress.com/2010/01/24…-founderation/ WPTavern Twitter Account | Personal Blog | WordPress Weekly […]

  6. Hehe fun read. Its at least wordier than the reply I got.
    We’ll see what the future brings.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s