I have a long list of podcasts I listen to on a regular basis, one being the WP Watercooler. Many times I’ve listened to that show and others and hear something that peaks my interest and I will look into. In WordPress, podcasts are a great resource for digesting news and information on the go or even while you work. In the latest episode, “EP450 – Phase 3 of the WordPress Enigmatic Gutenverse“, the show discussed the direction of phase 3 of Gutenberg and who is it actually built for. If I’m being honest the show sounded a bit like an hour long gripe session. There was a “who moved my cheese attitude” wrapped up in what amounted into a “they didn’t ask me” pouting attitude. They continued the narrative that floats around in the WordPress world of calling Matt Mullenweg the “benevolent dictator”, all because they didn’t like the way things are currently going. I know my assessment probably sounds harsh, and maybe even offensive to some but hey, they didn’t mind sounding off in their episode either. I want to give a bit of a defense of Matt and the direction of the gutenberg project as a whole, and offer some alternative solutions to those who may not agree.
WordPress topped 40% of the CMS market share earlier this year. Millions of websites rely on WordPress every single day. That attests to the job that has been done to this point by the developers behind WordPress over the past 20 years. Decisions aren’t made in a vacuum, and while you may have a loud, widely distributed voice against some of those decisions it doesn’t mean you have the only voice in the conversation. Decisions have to be made to keep WordPress moving forward and not just to a groups current development practices. If you don’t innovate, you fall behind and with that innovation will no doubt come some growing pains. Has the block editor development gone smoothly, not really, but it has gotten better, has been adopted by other projects and is a pretty useful tool as it’s grown.
WordPress has multiple avenues for involvement through https://make.wordpress.org/. If you want to influence WordPress, get in and contribute more and more. If you still don’t like the direction of WordPress keep in mind it’s open source, it can be forked and you can make it your own similar to what has been done at ClassicPress.
WordPress is a great tool that is going through growing pains no doubt. With pains will come aches and moans, but ultimately the project is a useful tool that continues to grow in both functionality and usage. I’m interested in seeing where the next phase of development goes and where the dust settles before the next round of innovation begins.