My Problem With WordPress

It’s really simple actually, Matt.

Well, no, Matt isn’t causing any actual problems with the software. I have problems with Matt and his running of WordPress. In case one doesn’t know, even though WordPress is open source and many people submit code and help fix it, Matt controls it. If he doesn’t like something, it doesn’t happen, even if it would be for the better for WordPress.

Don’t get me wrong. Matt, up to know, has done a wonderful job. He forked the original software and created WordPress and has made it to what it is. The problem is now Matt=Wordpress. He would like to say that’s not true but, I’ve been using WordPress for a long time and there have been all sorts of little things pop up that really show that Matt runs WordPress like Bill Gates ran Microsoft.

That sort of command is a good thing for open source projects, I believe, because it can give a project focus. It can give a project drive. The downside is that, well, if you don’t like what Matt wants, you’re shit out of luck. For the vast majority of people, and up until now, me, it’s been ok.

So what’s my problem? Here’s my problem.

After a heated debate between the founder of WordPress (Matt Mullenweg) and the creator of the mighty Thesis theme (Chris Pearson), it looks like cooler minds have prevailed with Pearson finally embracing GPL for Thesis via a split license.

There is no doubt that Pearson would have lost in court had Matt actually sued. The problem is that Matt threatened to sue in the first place. My problem with that is that he only gets like this when there is someone that doesn’t, for lack of a better phrase, bow down to Matt. This isn’t the only case. It’s happened before and I expect it to happen again. That’s really my problem with WordPress. Matt is turning into a bully and throws his weight around.

Don’t believe me?

As I said on Twitter, if there’s another premium theme you’d like to try out I’m happy to buy you a copy, just send a link and your info to my contact form. It’s better to choose a solid platform now rather than put it off until later. (Matt Mullenweg)

He was willing to cut Pearson off at the knees and threaten his income by offering this bargain. Granted a lot of people probably wouldn’t take Matt up on it but that’s the part that’s sucky. Hey, you want to go on about GPL, just sue the bastard. He had it coming. But instead, Matt decides to try and gut the guy’s business instead of focusing on the GPL issues.

And as for the GPL issues, I still don’t not believe, not agree that the GPL was ever meant to be viral like Matt and Mark Jaquith state. Both Matt and Mark are infinitely smarter about their software and it’s licensing. But I’ve been around Slashdot and Reddit enough to have read about other people who’ve had GPL issues. Pretty much they all prove, that, well, because WordPress is GPL does not necessarily make themes or plugins automatically GPL.

So how does this directly affect me?

Not at all.

I neither make plugins nor themes, for myself or others.


And it’s the but that’s the issue. Do I really want to invest any more time or effort to a platform that is controlled by one person who can decide to ruin you if he chooses? Not really. It’s not helping Microsoft, not sure why it’s ok with WordPress.

While I think WordPress has so far, been a decent publishing platform, I believe it’s time to start looking around and see what else is out there.

The Newspaper Industry Doesn’t Get It Either

You’d think, if you were an industry from the 18th century, you’d look at other industry’s that successfully moved into the 21st century and copy them. Instead, like the luddites of the RIAA and the MPAA, the newspaper industry has decided to sue their readers into oblivion.

Since Righthaven’s formation in March, the company has filed at least 80 federal lawsuits against website operators and individual bloggers who’ve re-posted articles from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, his first client.

Now he’s talking expansion. The Review-Journal’s publisher, Stephens Media in Las Vegas, runs over 70 other newspapers in nine states, and Gibson says he already has an agreement to expand his practice to cover those properties.

And, in my opinion, the newspaper, cowardly, declined to comment as to why it was suing its readers. I’m sure we know why they declined, because it’s damned awkward explaining how suing your users is a good business practice.

After the complete and utter waste of money that the RIAA has wasted, you’d think these other luddite industries, would get a clue. And boy has the RIAA wasted their cash.

The RIAA’s lawsuits weren’t a money maker, though — the record labels spent $64 million in legal costs, and recovered only $1.3 million in damages and settlements.

Gee, imagine if the RIAA had spent that on developing talent. Or putting out music that people like. Just think of how much money they could have made with an investment like that. Instead, they tossed that money down a rat hole. They could have done something positive for their customers, instead they made a bunch of lawyers even richer. Genius move for the RIAA.

Nice to see someone’s copying them than the other way around, right?