this horse is glue

The theme sponsorship hysteria is boring me too much to blog about it properly. Here, have some links:

The implementation of a GPL-only, ad-free resource at wordpress.org/extend/themes is getting likelier and likelier, though it remains to be seen which repository’s code will get stolen borrowed and improved to do it.

[uls still broken in Unsleepable, I see]

7 Comments »

  1. adam said

    [uls still broken in Unsleepable, I see]

    at the time, neither ben nor i used lists, (and they may have been absent from k2, i can’t remember) so it didn’t seem like a bug worth fixing. in retrospect, it wasn’t the best choice. as far as wp.com themes go, though, i would think benevolence is far more in need of typographical flair.

    </random>

    matt kicking themey out of the forums is just sad. as is the insistance that use of an API somehow constitutes a derivative work. i’m surprised to learn, though, that the codex is GPL, not FDL. that does give his first assertation some weight.

  2. Oh, the codex licence is a whole other world of wank. If I remember correctly, it was endlessly debated on the wp-docs list until Matt unilaterally shoved it all under GPL. Or Matt may have shoved it under GPL and then it got endlessly debated just for the hell of it.

  3. JomFan said

    Matt is acting like a Typical Open source zealot. He should Realize that people don’t like to work for free especially designers. With this kind of Attitude no wonder Habari is being made. I guess Habari made Matt double think suddenly we have Ideas/Tags in wordpress/more frequent releases after one year of doing nothing. With the level of control Matt holds over WordPress its not good for wordpress. Either someone needs to fork it or get rid of matt.

  4. adam said

    the more i think about it, the more i wonder if the GPL is in automattic’s business plan under ‘barriers to entry’. they’ve already got the servers, and the codebase _must_ be shared, so wp.com is pretty well guaranteed that no other service can provide a competitive level of service based on wordpress, since they can’t redistribute proprietary improvements.

    and it looks like you were right. themes.wp.net seems deleted, and the nascent extend section no longer mentions themes.

  5. Panic over, theme viewer is up. Though I really, really hope Thomas is taking backups. I’m wondering whether it’s in the business plan to lure popular sites to wp.net under the promise of free bandwidth, so you can shut them down when you want to launch your own version.

    I’m increasingly troubled by the explusion of Themey from the forums. The sensible, mature, constructive thing to do would have been to post a sticky explaining to all users that they will no longer be allowed to promote sponsored themes in the forum, as opposed to singling out an individual and kicking them out for breaking rules you just invented in your head. If you spend two minutes on themes.wordpress.net you will see worse quality themes with more ads in than Themey’s. Basically, he’s been punished for being upfront about what he’s doing and how much he’s making from it, which does absolutely nothing for the cause of full disclosure.

    I know Matt doesn’t care about full disclosure because his goal is rather to wipe all sponsored themes from the face of the earth (except for a few selected pretty ones which he’s oddly happy to chop up for use here, unless of course they’re Scott’s) but the horse bolted long before the hordes caught up and beat it to death. Link ads are not going to go away now the SEO guys have cottoned on to them, and if people can’t insert them openly, they’ll resort to blackhat techniques which will be that much more difficult for users to spot and remove. This is not about protecting users from exploitation, this is about preventing anyone outside the sacred circle of Automattic profiting from WP, and such anti-competitiveness seems to me directly contrary to what the GPL was actually invented for.

  6. Root said

    I am just wondering if anyone with any kind of commercial interest is going to be banned from the forums. Where this is all going wrong is that traditionally open source is developed by for profit devs. An overlap between the two activities is inevitable and desireable otherwise all your plugins/themes are deved by amateurs. The other thing is this on running conflict between any kind of idea that WP is or ever has been any type of community. Its not. It Matt’s personal fiefdom and business replete with CEO. Nobody knows what his own business plan is. But WordPress generally (by which I include all users) is now firmly heading into paid for territory. Even Canute couldn’t hold the tide.

  7. […] — https://wank.wordpress.com/2007/04/10/this-horse-is-glue/ […]

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