[wp-hackers] Putting the P in WordPress

Chip Bennett chip at chipbennett.net
Wed Jul 7 12:25:40 UTC 2010

On Tuesday 06 July 2010 5:14:24 pm Matt Mullenweg wrote:
> On 7/6/2010 2:29 PM, Chip Bennett wrote:
> > How about moving the entire function itself into a plugin, and see how
> > many downloads*it*  gets?
> Because it doesn't do any harm, and is the sort of thing that's best
> when it's invisible. (Like all of the other features I referred to.)

I believe the statement "it doesn't do any harm" is demonstrably false on two 

1) As has already been documented, the function in its current form breaks 
things for many use cases

2) Modifying (especially, in an editorial manner) end user content without 
knowledge or consent is inherently harmful.

On Tuesday 06 July 2010 5:26:23 pm Matt Mullenweg wrote:
> On 7/6/2010 2:42 PM, Chip Bennett wrote:
> > 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.
> I'm sorry if my words did not convey my understanding and empathy for
> people who are against the filter -- email is not great at that -- but I
> having read every message in this thread I think I have a pretty good
> grasp of it.

I do believe you have a good grasp of the issue. You're a pretty sharp guy. ;)

And any written medium is sub-optimal for conveying the full range of emotion 
and intent underlying one's communication. Perhaps the issue is that, for 
those who have not communicated with you in person, it is incredibly difficult 
to differentiate between arrogance/dismissiveness/snideness, and humor (or 
other non-offensive attitudes)?

> > By imposing on end users your purpose - regardless of how noble - of
> > correctly spelling "WordPress" you are violating the very freedoms you
> > espouse.
> That statement is hard for me to accept because the freedoms provided by
> the GPL are completely intact and, to me, sacred. I have spent the
> majority of my adult life spreading them to millions of people and I
> feel to compare this trivial issue to removing them should invoke some
> form of Godwin's law, and I will not respond to any more messages along
> that thread.

Nobody has invoked Godwin's law - in any form - other than you. Pre-emptively 
invoking it is just as much a logical flaw, wouldn't you say?

But I think my point is valid here, too. You as the developer are imposing 
your purpose on end users, without knowledge or consent, and without providing 
any benefit to the end user. 

Emoticons provide a benefit to end users (for those who choose to use them) 
and an option to disable. autop provides a benefit to end users (for those who 
choose to use it) and an alternative (HTML editor) for those who choose not to 
use it. Etc., etc., etc. - for any other analogous function you might choose 
to bring up in an attempt to defend this capital_P_dangit filter.

> > 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).
> I think you also fundamentally misunderstand the point of Hello Dolly.

I understand that Hello Dolly is intended to be a learning tool for would-be 
plugin developer. (In fact, I used it for that purpose.)  If there exists any 
further intent for Hello Dolly, I am unaware. And if its only (or primary) 
intent is as a plugin-development learning tool, I stand by my assertion that 
it has no business being in the default download package, since it is useless 
to 99% of users.

> > 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.
> One of the hardest things about developing software for an audience as
> large as WordPress' is maintaining a balance between community feedback
> (where community > 1% of users) and developer feedback (this list, the
> ~1,200 active people on Trac).

What I (and, apparently, others) cannot understand, though, is why you seem to 
be so easily dismissing the expressed opinion of so much of that community. 
Developers and end users alike are near-universally opposed to this filter 
being included in core - as expressed here, in Trac, in the wordpress.org 
support forums, and elsewhere (blog posts, WP Tavern (and its forums), etc.

Where is the support for this filter being in core, outside of your own 
opinion and that of a handful of core developers?

On Tuesday 06 July 2010 5:27:49 pm Matt Mullenweg wrote:
> On 7/6/2010 2:51 PM, 24/7 wrote:
> > Possible Q#1: How many downloads would such a plugin need?
> I'm not sure, more than 10,000 for sure and closer to 50k to be serious.

So, a plugin to *remove* the filter needs 50,000 downloads to be seriously 
considered as a valid expression of intent of the WordPress community - but a 
plugin to *add* the filter that has less than 1% of that number gets rolled 
into core?

How does that make sense?

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