1) Set the Focus Exclusively On New Users, Not On Existing Ones
“Out with the old stuff, in with the new”, that’s the motto.
We don’t need the millions of existing WordPress users, they’re just slowing us down. To bring WordPress to more than 30 percent market share on the global web, they were useful. But now they have done their duty. We are looking for new users.
After all, new brooms sweep well. Take heart with this. The old brooms, who still know where the dirt is, only stop them. They need time and care. But we need these resources for the new.
And if someone can’t handle React, or even refuse to learn it, those won’t have a place in the WordPress community anymore. Period.
3) The Gutenberg Block Editor Is the Only True Tool, the Classic Editor and Page Builders for the Mentally Poor
If someone rejects the block editor, it merely reveals spiritual poverty, because this person simply does not understand Gutenberg’s superiority over the previous battle-tested system, which has existed for 15 years.
It is uncool to write down a text in a single editor window and then insert a few headings and images. Who please, does (still) do something like that?
Children already love playing with blocks, it’s child’s play. Gutenberg has such a superior user interface and a unique user experience. Almost dizzyingly simple, cool, just so heavenly wonderful.
And, what serious developer would develop with or for a Page Builder? “Decisions, not options” should be much more of a motto. Nobody really needs detailed visual customization. Admonish users to implement customizations via code. Only Gutenberg should provide a few options and settings. Important: Everything has to be kept very simple so that no one gets stupid thoughts.
Make sure that the millions of comfortable Page Builder users finally leave the WordPress community and look for new tools. These “implementation experts” were only a nuisance and a burden anyway.
4) Increase the Speed of Development So No One Can Follow Anymore
Create a bubble where a lifted circle self-referentially advances the development. Block yourself from feedback from the WordPress populace. It wouldn’t do any good anyway. These users live in yesterday and don’t understand the new time.
Once the pace is really up, nobody can follow anymore, the participation will decrease. That makes people get frustrated bit by bit. This is exactly what we want: to separate the wheat from the chaff. It is inevitable.
5) Be Careful About an Authoritarian Leadership Style and Prevent Transparency
It is not desired that the users and the community see through what is going on. Transparency hampers the whole project, so avoid it wherever possible.
It’s much better to create confusion so that people go astray and fewer people get involved. This strengthens the circle that wants to drive the new course forward.
Authoritarian, lonely decisions behind closed doors are always preferable to the democratic model. It goes faster and it saves complex justifications and communication. Good leadership is like a dictatorship with a feel-good factor: lull people into it and distract them with bread and games. That’s how it should be, then everything fits.
In keeping with this, many functions and offices should be filled in personal union and an interwoven organisational structure should be created that is no longer transparent. This prevents uninvited “guests” and other ambitious people from getting involved and rising up.
6) No Thanks to Volunteers – They Should Throw the Towel Exhausted and Frustrated
The hosts of volunteers from the WordPress community are the useful idiots: they do unpaid hard labor to help others or solve problems. You don’t have to thank them, the thanks of the users are sufficient. – Say a ‚Thank you‘? Say ‚You are worthy‘? Holding up their legacy? Why – they have chosen their own destiny. Why turn the nameless into heroes? Not at all!
The best thing is when they have done their duty and then completely exhausted, tired and frustrated throw in the towel. This is the most elegant way to finally get rid of them. Then there is room for unspent, new people. See Golden Rule Number One.
7) Don’t Fix Long-Standing Bugs, Just Get Over Them
Should the problems of yesterday and the day before yesterday stop us? By no means! These month- and especially year-old Trac Tickets have to be closed. Nobody will get their hands dirty and get into problems of five years ago anyway. Who else needs something like this? It only binds resources that we don’t want to (any longer) use for it.
Therefore: Close these tickets, best in batch processing to hundreds, better thousands. So you can quickly sweep out the old garbage. Let’s concentrate on something new. Again, see Golden Rule Number One.
As you may have already noted, the above post contains some bits of irony, so not necessarily something for the faint of heart.
Sometimes it is urgent or necessary to use irony to express things.
Of course I don’t want to split or destroy the WordPress community, that’s quite clear. But some things should be corrected urgently. We need a change of mentality. A paradigm shift.
I’d laugh if it wasn’t so accurate…
Thanks for your feedback, Cameron, truly appreciated!
Yep, its very frustrating right now.
But: Currently it is possible to ignore many new “trends” in WordPress. E.g. its still possible to run WP 5.x as a multisite infrastructure for many hundreds websites and still deactivate Gutenberg and all its mess.
And even if you run Gutenberg and dont want to allow everyone to chance colors and sizes of every text to their personal favorites within a corporate design website, then I still can overrule it (even if there are no decoumentet hooks to disable these functions) with CSS like
in my admin.css …
(Yes I know that there are better ways to do this, but in maintaining a theme for a corporate design for some hundreds authors I have more time to spend in teaching people to write text right, as to make brilliant codes).
I remember the upcoming discussions in WP 3.5 as some new developers inserted Google Fonts. All the argue about it were ignored too. But sooner or later, people saw, that the critic was right and so it was removed again.
Maybe the current situation is something similar: There are some people who want to test some new trends. In some ways they are right. In others they are wrong and they are ignoring knowledge from senior developers, webdevs and customer. I try to think positive in this: They will learn. Everyone will learn from it.
And if the result will be, that its time to make a real fork -not like ClassicPress, but more as the fork some could see between Owncloud and Nextcloud- then this will happen.
Thank you, xwolf for your thoughts on these topics – very good points!
I never saw it that way with Google Fonts in 3.x – great new perspective!
For ClassicPress – I follow the project and wish all the best. Hopefully it will become a valid alternative.
All accurate what you’re writing David, but I think your article will be a drop in the ocean called WordPress. Unfortunately…
Hi Dirk, thanks for your feedback, always welcomed! 🙂
Yes, I expected that and it might be just the case. However, writing down the article was important for myself to sort my mind and to also learn and improve to express in English language. So if it opens a conversation here and there or has some people thinking a bit more about these things, I would be more than happy. I had and have no higher expectations, though 🙂
Since history has a tendency to repeat itself… A fork could be inevitable. How that pans out… I couldn’t say. Great read, thanks, David.
Thanks, John! 😉
Yeah, we already have the ClassicPress fork and I watch it closely. I hope it will be a good alternative in the future.
Great to read what I feel.
Using WordPress since 2007. I am testing CalmPress to replace WP.
I love your irony! It is completely what I am thinking.
So for me, WordPress did the job you discribe in this article very well, so that I turned my back to WP…
And so I already switched about 20 customer sites to ClassicPress without any problems and I still love it…