Merging or Discontinuing? – The future of WordPress MU

Merging or Discontinuing? – The future of WordPress MU

Of all the interesting things Matt said the other day regarding us being responsible for the (supposed) failure of WordPress MU and BuddyPress and generally being ‘against the community’ in some way (although the community seem to differ)… one thing really stuck out from his second comment, namely, this:

MU already suffers from a paucity of outside contribution, it’s been a tragedy of the commons. MU runs just as many blogs as regular WordPress does, but doesn’t even get a tenth of the contribution from outside folks, which is why it’s being discontinued. (My huge thanks to people who have contributed!) [emphasis mine]

Whoa.

MU is being discontinued??? Thanks for all the fish folks but we’re outta here???

There’s a pretty big difference between ‘discontinued’ and ‘merging’, which Matt has been happy to announce at WordCamps all year (but not consign to print).

The best we’ve heard on the subject so far was from from Donncha, who said:

Basically, the thin layer of code that allows WordPress MU to host multiple WordPress blogs will be merged into WordPress. I expect the WordPress MU project itself will come to an end because it won’t be needed any more (which saddens me), but on the other hand many more people will be working on that very same MU code which means more features and more bugfixes and faster too. It also means no more marathon code merging sessions. I certainly won’t miss that.

Now that’s a merge… whereas a discontinuation is quite another thing.

Would a discontinuation mean that sites like Edublogs would still be able to upgrade?

Would it mean that MU will no longer be called MU?

If you read Matt’s comments, you can’t help but get the feeling that he’s saying that MU is being canned because of us (namely WPMU DEV) and in order – it could be argued – to get rid of us (or, as he put it, complete WPMU without us).

Is this the plan?

To delete or rename MU?

Would it be acceptable for a company with sole control over a base product used by a broad spectrum of people, to deliberately alter it in such a way that removes a competitor of theirs from the marketplace?

With that purpose largely in mind?

Lots of questions, not many answers… I think it’s about time Matt (and whoever else he’s been discussing it with… because as far as I know *no-one* in the entire WPMU community has been consulted) came out with a statement and a plan – for discussion – as to what’s going to happen and when.

Sooner, rather than later… because whether he realises it or not, his words and actions count a great deal, to a great many businesses, families and individuals.