A Fork of WordPress With A Future.

I recently wrote about what I considered to be a flaw in the publicly-announced structuring of the ClassicPress project. That was back on the 19th February. My concern was that the ClassicPress project was basically one person with a few volunteers, and that if something happened to the owner of the company, the ClassicPress project might have some issues with continuing.

I was also concerned with the seeming lack of forward planning on the part of Scott Bowler, the owner, with regard to the survivability of the CP project. You can read that post here.

Well, today (yesterday in some parts of the world) Scott made the announcement that he has always planned for ClassicPress project to be run under the idea that “. . . democracy rules and no single person could change the direction of ClassicPress without oversight and checks and balances.”  Now, it seems Mr. Bowler has made the much-needed decision to publicly announce he has added three members of the CP community and founding committee members, to his company as directors.

This is a significant move on Mr. Bowler’s part. I (and a lot of others) applaud him for making this decision or rather, publicizing it. As shown here he actually made the appointments on March 25, 2019 and filed them April 07, 2019. This makes ClassicPress project a viable company in the eyes of a number of people.

I consider a company to be “viable” that can last beyond the single owner, should some unplanned event occur, and the owner of the business is no longer able to lead or direct.

This whole thing about having directors, founding committee, and many other “official” sounding positions may not matter to a lot of people. However, many more people are very concerned about these things because, a project with the goals Mr. Bowler has set for CP are very high. Without some plan for sustainability beyond the life of one person, I venture to suggest that there is a ceiling that exists well below the aspirations expressed by Mr. Bowler.

I find this development to be a very significant one. Two of the three directors he’s chosen have my respect. The other is pretty good at starting things. All in all, that’s a very good start, in my book.

One or two people may ask, “Why does this matter?”

I don’t mind answering from my own perspective.

It matters because there are millions of people and businesses potentially affected (who depend on the WordPress platform) by what appears to be a major shift in the WordPress community which has left many website owners wondering how to go forward. There seems to have been a series of decisions made unilaterally to adopt a plugin into the core of WordPress software that changes the way publication is done, thus damaging sites which website owners weren’t aware were going to be affected.

It matters because for years, the plugin team over at WordPress repository, where tens of thousands of free plugins are hosted, has come under fire for their practices and policies which seem to be unfair toward a significant portion of developers who provide functionality via plugins.

It matters because strong discontent seems to be a frequent byproduct of the way in which free plugins or freemium plugins are handled by those who run the plugin repository for WordPress.

It matters because Mr. Bowler and his committee(s) and directors (pretty much the same team) have implied promises not to do business in the same way WordPress has recently chosen.

It matters because ClassicPress is aiming for more transparency and democracy in their decision making with regard to their roadmap.

It matters because ClassicPress is something that still works the way WordPress promised it would, as long as the majority of users believed it should work that way. WordPress seems to have abandoned their stated mission and philosophy.

ClassicPress seems to have promised to take up and keep those promises. It takes more than one person to run a company that spans the globe. It takes a company with more than one head to grasp the significance of what is at stake. I believe at this point, ClassicPress is embracing the future WordPress seems to have abandoned.

I believe now, that ClassicPress is alive. I believe ClassicPress is catching on. I believe ClassicPress has opened the doors to opportunities that WordPress recently slammed shut on a lot of people.

I believe it is time to take ClassicPress seriously.