where it isn’t due

I take a couple of days off to go Christmas shopping and watch Happy Feet, and when I come back Adam is filling in for me, by chronicling the Garland affair in more detail than I could have probably have mustered. This is great. I would not want you to be deprived of wordpress wank because I had temporarily prioritised dancing baby penguins.

I’m afraid I don’t have vast amounts of sympathy for drupal here. If your new design is really important to you, you should keep it under wraps until it’s ready to unleash on the world, because if it’s as great as you think it is (or even if it’s not) then people will steal it. I love how a piqued Matt is now dissing said theme and implying it isn’t all that:

the adoption numbers for the theme haven’t been as high as I expected. People who like it like it but I think it’s missing some key elements to make it a popular theme.

Hmm, maybe the missing element is originality? I suspect that if the screenshot used red instead of blue it would be attracting more attention from casual users who look at screenshots rather than blurbs and already have a dozen other big blue headers to pick from. Or maybe it’s because the port is yet another of those rush jobs that leaves out most of the functionality? (see also k2 ‘lite’, unsleepable, or basically anything more advanced than your standard ‘two-columns and a big blue header’ job.)

Also, this?

where it isn't due

Tacky. Just tacky. If I’m porting a theme the original designer always gets the credit. They’re the designer. I’m just the technician who did the tedious job of messing with the code. Yes, that is in some cases almost as arduous as making the thing from scratch, and the coder does need to be mentioned so that bugs and support questions relating to the port get to the right place. But it’s like I was saying when Bryan got the boot: designing original stuff and porting someone else’s original stuff are not the same thing. The difference between coders and designers is that coders don’t understand this even when it’s explained to them multiple times, whereas designers don’t need to be told.

8 Comments »

  1. Alan said

    Dancing baby penguins are clearly superior to wordpress drama. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar.

  2. k0ma said

    The Garland designer should’ve known better than to release the theme under the GPL, but Mullenweg is being a real jerkoff here, especially plastering his name all over it. “Tacky” is an understatement.

    I can’t wait till this shit comes to a head and someone forks WordPress just so Mullenweg can’t have his dumbfuckery stinking up a good thing.

  3. ventureskills said

    Try taking a look at what the Drupal community have to say rather then a vocal blogging minority who lets face it are the internet equivalent of paparazzi, barring the breakdown in communication in the timing their is no real story here.

  4. ventureskills said

    My above post came out harsher then intended, I simple meant to imply that the majority of the story surrounding the theme has been whipped up by a vocal minority and is not the opinion of the Drupal community as it has been made out to be.

  5. I’m less interested in the views of the Drupal community as a whole than in the views of the guys who actually made the thing, to be honest. I’m guessing the majority of the Drupal community cares about this as much as the WordPress community cares about its themes getting ported to Drupal. That is, it doesn’t.

    I just re-read the email Steven Wittens sent Automattic in response to their initial approach to him, and it’s pretty clear that, while he knew perfectly well that under GPL he had no right to stop them porting it, he’d have much preferred it wasn’t done at all. This temporary delay that everyone thinks is so noble? It’s just a damage-limitation exercise and makes no real difference to anything. The theme is still out there, and most of the wordpress.com bloggers who are using it think Matt designed it himself.

    It’s sad that Automattic thought being the first to offer the kewl colour-changing theme was more important than respecting the wishes of the designer, or the desire of some members of the Drupal community for their CMS to have a distinctive visual identity. It’s even sadder that the wordpress community is apparently incapable of producing kewl colour-changing themes of its own; but they wouldn’t work properly on themes.wordpress.net anyway, so why should we bother?

  6. ventureskills said

    I think that’s a fair comment the theme was chosen by the Drupal developers rather then one individual so (as I understand it) was never designed to be the de facto Drupal 5.0 theme it just sort of became it anyway after the development team made their choice and it couldn’t be anything but GPL to sit in with the Drupal CMS I can imagine the stink now if they had a private theme in there!

    The fact Matt after several days hasn’t changed the author bits is well frankly a bit off, but it does have the original authors names on the template itself so it is only WordPress.com users that see the offending bit I think though I may be wrong.

    Anyway have a nice day

  7. Root said

    Is WordPress so hard up for decent themes / designers that they need to populate their selection in this way. ?

  8. […] lack of any denial that stealing and relicensing other people’s stuff is OK with Automattic. We all knew that was the case anyway, but it’s depressing to have it confirmed […]

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