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Bottom – Us vs Them

  • One of the biggest threats to an open source project is when a “us vs them” attitude takes permanent hold. In the beginning it can be helpful or even necessary to have a mentality that we know better than you. But, as things progress it can become very corrosive.

    Before I go any further it is important to point out that the views expressed here are not from someone that expects free software to do everything they ask, nor is it from a frustrated newcomer. It is coming from one of you biggest supporters and users. These sentiments have also been expressed to me privately by some of the very sites you often hold up as examples.

    BP has become a closed circle where things are viewed in terms of us and them. Us being those in inside the development circle and them being anyone outside of it. This is very common with these sorts of projects, perhaps its within the DNA. It’s not hard to understand that when a small group does the majorly of the work resentment can build towards those that may be critical of it.

    I can list many examples of this, but specific examples kind of miss the point. It is the undertow that encompasses the entire project and the site design itself. It is about how things are prioritized, responded to, or not responded to.

    This is not about excepting new ideas, it is about being open to them. It is about engaging ideas not dismissing them. It is about welcoming inexperienced users not telling them “learn to walk before you run,” as was recently expressed.

    The BP team needs to take a hard look at what the end goal of BP is. Not in terms of code, but where it’s place will be in the world of WP and beyond. They need to decide if it is going to remain an exotic plugin for advanced users or if it going to be what it should be, a tool to change the way a new generation websites are built. If it’s the later BP needs to be spending an equal amount of time embracing it’s user base as it does its code.

    If you take this post as a hostel act not only did you miss the point, you proved it.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 29 total)

  • Tammie Lister


    I am simply going to comment once here and won’t reply as I’ve had my fill of debates like this. Part of me just feels I shouldn’t even comment anymore but you certainly have got the wrong end of the stick. I for one want you to get involved more – I have lost count of how many times said that now. I still do and my hope was that you step into the community with more involvement not tred on it with a statement like this, so with that intent I shall comment.

    You’re not the only one active in the community speaking to users, many say positive things. As someone that is like everyone else whose not a core contributor and by your definition an ‘us’ not an them (horrible definitions with too much negative weight to be used with bias), I can say that I couldn’t disagree more with your attitude exhibited in this post and also in other posts. There is no conspiracy, there is nobody against anyone. The mods aren’t out to get anyone either… they are simply doing their job in the forum.

    If you look at the facts you will see actually a far more open community effort has been done in 1.7 where the core team have opened the doors by asking event or UI contributions for the first time ever in the history of the project. These were open to absolutely everyone and still are. You, me, him, her.. anyone can do a wireframe and it will be discussed. Anyone is also encouraged to be part of this process. I am not a kid by any means, I have lots of work to do, a husband, a life outside of BuddyPress – do you truly think I and others like me who aren’t part of the core team would get involved in this project when it was going to be pointless to be involved?

    In 1.6 there was even a theme project and yet again calls were made out for people to join. I did, so did others and you know what – we had an amazing time, were welcome and never had any agendas forced on us.

    Whilst, out of context to your statement here, I shall mention briefly the apparently trigger word for you of ‘veto’. You took offence at my use of one word ‘veto’ in relation to a technique suggested for drag and drop feature by a member of the core team, claiming this was a sign of an agenda by the core team – I still encourage you to look at the logs I linked for the developer chat to put that statement into context. Then I think you would see no agenda as there wasn’t any. Perhaps as you state ‘if you take this as hostel you proved it’ you should look without bias before jumping at a word.

    I have before and I will again simply ask you to turn up the developer meetings and get involved. There is no point writing posts like this without looking for solutions. Negative breeds negative and gets peoples backs up. You say don’t take this post as hostel, way I’d not take it as hostel would be to see you step up and be a positive influence and get involved in the community. Then you truly are putting the community first and making sure by being part of the solution there is no agenda.

    You walk into a room with open arms and smile – you get a welcome. You walk into a room, you talk to people, you start conversations and engage positively – eventually you’re at the center of that room’s conversations and integrated. You walk into a room with folded arms and a grumpy face – you get no welcome. You walk into a room, stay a while and endlessly complain about the room and all the people in it – people stop talking to you, back off and the room becomes very lonely. You walk into a room, stay a while then start lashing out your arms and swearing – people ask you to leave. I hope you open your arms and become a part of the solution.

    Noel Tock


    FIQ, don’t be a d–k. BP is not some secret society, neither are you entitled to any sort of influence after a few code contributions posts. I don’t contribute to BP, so I stfu! Just enjoy the software, and if you want more, you know where their trac is.

    BP contributors, keep up the awesome work :)

    @karmatosed You are replying more about what you think my motivations are for writing this and not the larger points I was trying to make. I can be like a bull in a china shop at times. I realize that, but this isn’t about wire frames or even my posts or replies to them, which for the most part have been positive. This is about what I and others have been seeing as a whole beyond that. This is about the marketing of BP, which starts on this site.

    @noel_tock Stop trolling.

    This was an honest attempt to discuss important issues in a productive way. The hostility expressed just underlines my point.



    @FIQ, i believe i understand what you’re saying here and on other treads in the past days, but i’m affraid you use the wrong maner.
    “The hostility expressed just underlines my point.” sounds like victimization of yours, a kind of moral harassment against the BP users simply coming here for help or questions.

    Rome wasn’t buit in one day. Learning how to use BP needs time, try outs and heavy headaches in some situation. And similar to other situations in the real life, you can’t go faster as the lowest BP user.

    “My point” is your’s. Everybody here has his own point of view i guess. ;-)
    If you want to help on this forum, write answers.
    If you want to express your personal opinion, write on your own blog or elsewhere you want.
    If you haven’t the time or the skills to do so, read only.

    So what happens to you appened also to other i guess
    – discovering buddypress
    – learning the software
    – enjoying it
    – becaming familiar
    – viewing the dark side
    – burning down the idol (your actual statement ?)
    – taking back
    – viewing global
    – acting local

    So please, calm down, you’re not alone. :D

    @chouf1 It wasn’t victimization or moral harassment. It was a response to being called a d–k.

    This isn’t about me. I can afford to hire developers, etc. I have been working with BP since it was in beta. I have answered questions here. I have contributed where I can etc etc.

    I am calm.

    I went out of my way to write this post in a productive way. It just seems I was talking on a completely different level. This isn’t about mods, locked posts or any of that other stuff. It was about the BIG PICTURE.



    @All no bad words here, those have been edited, Stay cool.

    Here is my point again, before things get too sour. This isn’t an indictment of anyone. This is about the problems with open source communities and hopefully how to avoid them.

    BP lacks a marketing vision. This is typical when there is not central ownership.

    There are basic steps that can be taking to improve this. You should bring in outside writers to the Blog to create tutorials, tips, tricks, highlights etc. not just a place for press releases., The showcase should be updated and expanded like other showcase sites. The theme showcase should be incorporated into it instead of a separate area (especially after 1.7). I could go one but by far the most important thing is to embrace it’s users. People that may have never written a line of code in their life should be embraced not cast aside or ignored. They should be nurtured and supported. That’s how you build long term strength and loyalty.



    @fiq I hear where you’re coming from. I appreciate the fact that you care about what happens with BuddyPress as the reason you’ve have been posting in the different threads. You have some good ideas there. We all need to keep common courtesy alive here in the forums even when others get tough, demanding, oppressive or condescending. Good ideas can get vetoed all the time depending on project requirements, you know that. If the way the idea was vetoed was not civil but brusque, then forgive those who did so and let it go.

    As for the Codex, those have been volunteer efforts from the core devs, forum moderators and some active and generous members of the BP community. All are welcome to contribute to the Codex.



    All of which you complain of has a feeling of “somebody should do all these things so I benefit” not “I want to help by doing all these things” and it’s coming off as anger.

    I once felt similar as you do in regards to the potential. I felt things did not progress as fast as I’d like. I even went as far as saying I’d never write BP code again. Then I took a breather and rethought how I fit into the project and moved on.

    Many of my suggestions here get vetoed all the time, I can point you to the trac tickets, but then I just turn those ideas into plugins that get download thousands of times. I smile because I get the feature I need and learn more about BP code.

    My advice is if something isn’t being done and you think it should be then do it. You want more tutorials then write some. There is a tips and tricks section in codex you can add links to posts that are about BuddyPress.

    Also, you have been negative in the wireframe threads. Stop being negative and attacking others ideas. Nothing there is stone. It’s just everyone’s ideas. Those ideas get discussed in the dev chat and decisions are made by popular vote. You don’t like it but everyone else does and idea gets voted in. That’s life my friend. Not all our wishes come true. And you sure as heck can’t sway popular vote with negativity or attacks at the ideas being presented.

    See you in the dev chat!

    @modemlooper I don’t understand your hostility.

    First this has nothing to do with the wire-frame topics. I think I’ve said that 3 times now. But because you brought it up…. I didn’t attack anyone. I stated why the designs where flawed. Gave my own opinions why they where, provided links to outside opinions on why they where flawed, offered alternative ideas, provided links to other ideas, posted pictures of examples we have built, etc. Is that your idea of being negative? I have no problem with any of them being “vetoed.” My only issues was that the impression was given that they where vetoed prior to asking for feedback so that effort was wasted.

    Now back on topic. I’m not asking for others to do the marketing work I described. But the simple truth is I don’t have the keys to the site. Where can tutorials be submitted to the Blog? Is the blog willing to change how it is currently being used? Where do users submit sites to be included in the showcase? Are you looking for sites to be submitted? etc etc. Those are things only the developers can control. Empower your users and you maybe surprised at what they can contribute.



    You don’t have to add tutorials to the blog here. Create your own blog. You don’t need permission. Others have created their own sites. Then go to codex tips and tricks and post up your link. Or you can always post a how to here in the forums. I contribute to BuddyPress and I don’t have the keys, so can you.

    I’m not trying to sound hostile, just speaking my mind.

    @modemlooper I can respect that. Forums are a poor medium for debate. Often people read into things that may not be correct due to the lack of inflection in print. I myself must admit that my direct way of speaking may be off putting to some. But if I didn’t care I wouldn’t be writing this.


    Yes, of course members can and should create their own sites if they feel they can give back. But, that’s not my point. My effort here is to provide suggestions on how BP itself should be marketing its product. BP should not rely on outside sites to do it for them. I believe the marketing of BP is as important as the code to its future success.

    Just look at the replies I get for the suggestion that BP should be more open to inexperienced users…


    @FIQ You really should listen to what @modemlooper is saying. If you want something changed then take your own initiative to learn how you can change it. If you want coding tutorials then make a blog and embed youtube video’s cause there is loads of video tutorials all over the place. If you want functionality then make a plugin it will make you feel less confined to BP default behavior. In all honesty if you wanted to make a version of BuddyPress that can do whatever you wanted then go for it. That is what open source is for. You can take the code that is there and change it around to do what you want. Nobody is stopping you but you! Liberate yourself and do what you need to do instead of telling others to do it for you because that smack doesn’t fly and I was kinda guilty of it myself at one point and I got tired of waiting for others to do it for me so I did it myself. Now I am grateful for the existing work because I don’t have to start from scratch. I can take whatever and change it to what I need it to be. Just saying!

    @shawn38 Thanks for proving my point.

    This is not for me. Not only am I a expert at what I do, I have a team of them at my disposal. We have done things with BP that some said was impossible. I have also built marking programs for some of the largest internet companies in the world. If you would like to compare resumes I would be happy to oblige. I figured if we are going to use this code we should be involved, perhaps that was a mistake.


    @FIQ BP is opened for inexperienced users. For example I have not used BuddyPress as long as @modemlooper so his expertise is far greater than mine. I wanted the bp default to do stuff it didn’t do so I made a plugin and shared it because I thought it was a a function that was relevant. The point is instead of complaining about it then do something. Post a wireframe, a plugin, or whatever. If you want something done a specific way then do a wireframe and post it and stop complaining. Its kinda rude and disrespectful to people the way your behaving. Your like a child tattle telling because you take things just a little too far!

    So anyone that disagrees with something is complaining and anyone that agrees is contributing? I don’t understand that logic?

    I have posted many code examples our ours and others.


    @FIQ Your resume is irrelevant to me. Pardon my language but I am not trying to have a pissing contest with you. You are as bad as newpress about being a confrontational. You have a negative attitude about almost every topic you contribute too! Re-examine your behavior. Its not rocket science as to why people are offended by the way you come off!


    @FIQ Well I am glad you have code samples! :-) Your point is what I am in question of!



    Okay @fiq since you have everything I don’t have, then why don’t you make a website that helps out inexperienced people and so when someone has a question you have a solution for on your site then you can provide a permalink on the forum to the article that supplies the solution. That is not sarcasm, its encouragement for you to do something a lot of people would find helpful.

    I do. We have 2 million visitors a month and another 10 million on Facebook. It’s just not BP related.


    @fiq Then I applaud you for taking initiative! Add a link to solutions you have on the forum from your site. It could be a positive thing!

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 29 total)
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