[wp-hackers] Putting the P in WordPress

Chip Bennett chip at chipbennett.net
Tue Jul 6 18:42:40 UTC 2010

I don't see a great deal of *respect* being shown for the quite valid and 
myriad concerns expressed by the community regarding this function being added 
to core.

Cutting-and-pasting an earlier email response I wrote but didn't go through 
(on that note: does the wp-hackers mail list not accept GPG-signed emails?):

I believe that the issue here involves equally the underlying impropriety of 
the filter and your perceived attitude toward those who are asking for the 
filter's removal.

As for your justification for this function's inclusion in core: I find it 
somewhat hypocritical with respect to the stated philosophy of WordPress to be 
Free Software. May I remind you of this statement, which is part of GNU's 
definition of free software:

"The freedom to run the program means the freedom for any kind of person or 
organization to use it on any kind of computer system, for any kind of overall 
job and purpose, without being required to communicate about it with the 
developer or any other specific entity. In this freedom, it is the user's 
purpose that matters, not the developer's purpose; you as a user are free to 
run the program for your purposes, and if you distribute it to someone else, 
she is then free to run it for her purposes, but you are not entitled to 
impose your purposes on her."


"it is the user's purpose that matters, not the developer's purpose"

By imposing on end users your purpose - regardless of how noble - of 
correctly spelling "WordPress" you are violating the very freedoms you 

(And no: this issue has nothing whatsoever to do with protection or violation 
of trademark.)

Saying that the imposition can be easily changed with a two-line plugin is 
entirely irrelevant for the vast majority of users who do not have the 
technical competence to write such a plugin. Adding a plugin to Extend is a 
poor man's alternative to what is the only (technically and philosophically) 
right course of action: if the function must be in core, expose a 
configuration and set it to disabled by default.

As for the function itself: I find it difficult to reconcile adding such a 
frivolous function to core, given the general philosophy of keeping so much 
out of core. As such, its inclusion appears to be incredibly pedantic.

This function should have been written as a plugin from the very beginning. 
Bundle it with core if you must (surely it is - at a minimum - more useful 
than Hello Dolly, after all).

But it is less the function itself, and more the attitude in response to those 
calling for its change/removal, that concerns me - and that prompts me to 

Matt, it is your attitude - in turns arrogant, condescending, dismissive, and 
snide - that is exacerbating the situation. You are the one who is 
needlessly increasing the emotional appeal in this matter.

Can I suggest that perhaps this issue is best discussed devoid of snide, 
arrogant, and dismissive remarks (from all parties)?

As for me: what concerns me most is the "slippery slope" consideration of the 
core development team's response to community outcry regarding this function 
being added to core. How does the decision to add this function to core (and 
the response to the community) in any way indicative of concern or respect for 
the needs, desires, and *freedoms* of the WordPress community?

Chip Bennett
chip at chipbennett.net

On Tuesday 06 July 2010 12:39:33 pm Matt Mullenweg wrote:
> On 7/6/2010 1:30 PM, eric at eamann.com wrote:
> > Some time ago I wrote a patch in response to a user's request that we add
> > Skype and Facebook and LinkedIn and other fields to the profile page ...
> > it was rejected because "There's a filter there, which means a plugin
> > can easily control all of this." (ticket #11367)  It makes sense that we
> > not include additional (trivial) functionality like this into core ...
> > it made sense there and it still makes sense now.
> For what it's worth, I think it would be nice to modernize those fields,
> and even go a step further to authenticate them where possible. I would
> have said so if I had seen that ticket.
> > It doesn't paint a pretty picture of the core teams' opinion of the rest
> > of the community ...
> One of the core tenets of Open Source development is that people can
> disagree, strongly, but still respect each other.

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