Tag Archives: community

Capital “P”s, Communities, and Conspiracy Theories

I’m sure you’ve heard about the debate with WordPress vs WordPress. There was a patch committed to WordPress 3.0 that automatically converts it to include an uppercase P and follow the WordPress branding. This was added as as an easter egg of sorts to help the WordPress brand, and while I don’t have an issue with it, I do have an issue with the way some in the community reacted to it.

The problem with easter eggs is they’re supposed to be found by those in the community and they’re supposed to be fun. Of course, there was no hiding this one. The revision was committed in the public eye, but without a ticket. I don’t think there was much need for a ticket and public discussion because this has been in play on WordPress.com for a few years now. Of course, some argue that there was no community input because there was no trac ticket.

The one legitimate issue I could find with this patch was the fact that because the way it corrects text, it can possibly break image links and directories. I’m sure this is only in a minor percentage of cases, because as most have learned, their hosting environment is case sensitive and they use all lowercase directory and file names. This has since been fixed for trunk and 3.0.1 in revisions 15377 and 15378.

This begs the question, if this patch worked properly and didn’t break links, would we even be in this situation? Would the few squeaky wheels be complaining about Matt and Automattic doing their will and not respecting the community? Would this issue have been blown out of proportion? Would anything have even been said about it?

As usual, some in the community to complained. I’ve heard all sorts of excuses from editing user’s content (albeit just a spelling correction), to the capital P caused the BP oil spill. Yes, I’m not joking. Conspiracy theories breed conspiracy theories. There have even been parody sites made– capitalp.org and lowercasep.org

This brings about another point– I recently had a discussion with Aaron Brazell regarding the WordPress community and complaining. The point he made was that if it doesn’t affect your bottom line (income) stop complaining about it. All you do is waste your breath, waste your time, and don’t make as much money as you could. By directing your resources to other places, such as your business or contributing patches to WordPress, you can further better yourself and the WordPress community.

As usual though, there’s always a few that want to complain, and while I won’t mention them by name (they know who they are), I hope they take one thing away from this post– focus your time on making WordPress and the WordPress community better instead of complaining about this or that. PleaseĀ  stop coming up with conspiracy theories about Matt, WordPress and Automattic; they’re rarely true. Its not an issue of principal, Matt, or Automattic; its an issue of making things better. Focus your time on creating a patch to fix the filter and fix the bug. That helps improve the community.