BP.org – 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 BP.org 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.
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