Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

Important People

I just wanted to state, for the record, that “I am one of the three most important people in WordPress.”

Also, I am a self-proclaimed Bubble-ologist.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, listen to the Mixergy interview with Chris Pearson and Matt Mullenweg concerning WordPress, Thesis, and the GPL. In it, Pearson claims that he is “one of the three most important people in WordPress”. Ahem, a bold claim, to be sure. You can also check out the #thesiswp hashtag on Twitter Search.

Here are just a few related links (there are many more):

Note, many people are under the impression that the argument here is about “the right to sell themes”. That is not the case. The other major Premium Theme vendors have switched their products to the GPL, and are still selling their products and support just fine. The GPL is not about “free as in beer”, it’s about “free as in speech”. Selling GPL software is just fine. You just have to do it with the understanding that once you’ve distributed the code, the recipient is then fully entitled to do what they want with it (as long as they, too, comply with the GPL). Brian Gardner of StudioPress went on record saying that going GPL did not negatively impact his sales, and that he has no regrets about changing the licensing on his themes to comply.

I agree with Jane Wells that taking the matter to court would be a huge suck. It would be a waste of time, money, and emotional energy which could be better spent on making WordPress an even better platform than it already is. It will distract a key segment of the community from doing the great things they do every day — being some of the most important people in WordPress.

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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14 Responses to Important People

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Important People -- Topsy.com

  2. Having been to law school, I may be biased.  Sometimes things just have to go to court because the parties involved never come to a meeting of the minds.I’m not making too much of Chris Pearson’s claim about his level of wordpress import.  Maybe its a little ego, maybe its a partial slip of the tongue, maybe there’s even a little truth to it (although I’d probably rank you above Chris and below Matt).  ;)I’ve never purchased the Thesis theme myself and never recommended it to any clients.  But I sure as hell have heard a whole lot of fan boys explain to me that the Thesis theme is the next best thing to sliced bread, Apple, the iPhone, the Internet, their own brain, their favorite sexual position(both giving and receiving), and their latest social media project or blog.  And it usually always comes in that order.  So even though I’m not a Thesis user, believer, promoter, evangelist whatever, having traveled the country several times over and talked to lots of people in different industries, I do believe that it has some heavy supporters that are not only paying for it but making money from the sites they create with it.  They are loud, proud and some even have servers in the cloud.  So I do believe Chris is ‘important’ to the WordPress community.  I think having this debate and fight about the GPL and Chris’ business plan is possibly almost as important has the contribution Thesis has made in making WordPress acceptable to entrepreneurs and businesses.  WordPress on the inside has always had an easy to use feel that gives the user the impression that it would be pretty easy to screw off and just write a blog article.  Thesis adds a layer of depth and complexity (that you can recreate with a range of plugins) that says, hey this can be a complex and ‘important’ business tool too!Now, on a personal level I’ve met Matt several times and he is a very nice guy.  Good sense of humor, and relatively humble for a guy that is probably or was probably the most important guy in the WordPress community.  I’ve met Chris once last winter at Affiliate Summit.  I like Chris too.  He’s very approachable (helps if you are wearing toe shoes but not required . . . another bias of mine) and will readily talk your ear off in a good way.  I met Chris at Affiliate Summit West in a room jam packed with about 4000 other guys who had egos that would make Chris look like, well like Matt at a WordCamp.  :)  It boils down to this.  Both guys have actually done some very very good things for the evolution of WordPress, in terms of improving its capabilities, increasing its acceptance and pushing the envelope.They’ve been butting heads over this GPL issue, and I think its a fight that does need to be fought, and probably in court (some day, probably long in the future) but it will probably need to be fought.  The rules are not black and white everywhere.  More case law is needed to tighten up the exceptions.  That’s what case law is for after all.Chris could probably take a lesson or two from Matt on how to humble things down a bit more, especially when he is debating a guy that is one of the top 6 humble people in WordPress.  Contrasting Chris Pearson to Matt on the humble meter (a rating system not so different from the Bu Meter) is always going to leave Chris in a position where he looks a little brash and possibly walks away with a part of his foot in his mouth(something that toe shoe wearers are not prone to as a class, but when it happens its probably harder to remove said foot).:)Now anyone know any good Thesis Business Development guys, designers, etc.  I’m always looking for a hard working smart person or business that designs WordPress sites using thesis to send my referrals to, because I rarely take on Thesis related jobs myself.  I get a couple of these a quarter and need a go to person to hand the work off to.

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Important People -- Topsy.com

  4. Matt says:

    You’re in my top three. :)

  5. Milan says:

    I use Thesis, because I want my site to look good and I am not a web designer. I am willing to pay, in order for it to look professional.

    The beauty of blogging is that you can write about what you know, with little obligation for technical expertise. I appreciate what Pearson is doing, because of that, but it seems a stretch to say he is super important to WordPress generally. He makes a great theme, but that is rather secondary to making the core software itself.

  6. Jaypee says:

    There ya go, it came from Mr WordPress himself so that makes it official! :DBtw, just wanna make a slight correction on Brian Gardner’s name. It’s Gardner, not Gardener. Hehe

  7. Pingback: WordPress, the GPL, and Thesis « Changing Way

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