[wp-hackers] Putting the P in WordPress

Matt Mullenweg m at mullenweg.com
Tue Jul 6 17:37:04 UTC 2010

On 7/6/2010 12:45 PM, Mark E wrote:
> How about making that function into a plugin that people have to enable
> - like Akismet? Seems like a more reasonable solution that forcing
> people to get rid of it by adding a plugin.

Filters and functionality, such as plugin updates, themes (at all), 
autop, texturize, URL typo fixes, revisions, canonical redirects, 
widgets, trash, WYSIWYG, and more have been included in core WordPress 
despite highly vocal objections on wp-hackers and downvotes on Trac (or 
Mosquito for the older ones) even though all of them could be plugins.

If something makes things better for the vast majority of users and 
provides an opt-out mechanism then an educated decision is made to 
enable it for everyone. This allows us to craft the best user 
experience, in our opinion, and not clutter the interface with dozens 
(if not hundreds) of additional options or bundled plugins. (A plugin 
might be just a few lines, but its presence is a cognitive load.)

For a good historical overview of things people have strongly objected 
to going into WordPress, check out a search for "disable" on the Plugin 


By their popularity, it seems that more often than not we've made the 
correct decision, but there's nothing saying we might not be wrong in 
the future and so it's worth watching the stats.

(As a statistical aside, /Disable WordPress (Core|Plugin) Updates?/ is 
artificially popular because it was erroneously bundled with Dreamhost's 
auto-install for a while, which has since been corrected.)

If someone made a similar plugin for the capital P dangit function I 
think it would be perfectly appropriate to promote that from 3.0's Codex 
page next to the line adding the feature, and I would even be willing to 
add it to the release announcement. From experience, I think this entire 
thing will blow over but I'm completely open to the possibility of being 

I hope that assuages people's alarm, and that you continue to enjoy 
Wordpress in the future.

*cough* ;)

Matt Mullenweg
http://ma.tt | http://wordpress.org | http://automattic.com

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