Moving on

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Sam Moffatt

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Dec 23, 2012, 10:51:42 PM12/23/12
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With events of recent days, it is clear that its time to move on. As a
part of transitioning, I have wanted to write an email on where I feel
the next steps for the project should be on a number of fronts, in the
hope that someone will be interested or see the value on the topic. In
a sense it's also a last word on various topics as well.

It is even more so when you realise that you can't post to the public
joomla-leadership group with your resignation note detailing forwards
steps to move the project. I guess there are people that want me out
of here quicker than I realised. If wonder if they are so curious to
jump into my grave.

But not to let a good email go to waste.

# Long term strategic projects

## Identity Unification and Centralisation
One of the long standing things I've wanted to do is start a process
of identity unification and centralisation. I've started working on
figuring out a process for this in the past but it's a lot of time and
effort to get completed. Connectors for the various tools we use would
need to be built, potentially a new site to handle SSO transactions
for children. Ideally, I feel this should be backed by an LDAP
accessible directory because that will increase the chances to
integrate the child sites (all of the Joomla sites will work, as will
JoomlaCode but I'm not so sure about some of the other sites like
MediaWiki and phpbb3 though I would expect them to have LDAP
connectors somewhere).

What this gets us is a single username and password that can be used
across any Joomla property, simplifying registration across multiple
properties and starts to facilitate better directory services in
general for identifying people. Such a directory could also handle
contact detail information which would make handling contact details,
at least for leadership, relatively easy. Having this would provide
the basis of many benefits.

The process of merging everyone together into unique identities would
not only require an amount of development to build the infrastructure
but would likely require some level of moderation support, perhaps
offered by the CLT similar to how forum moderation works except around
disputes of unique username. Email could be used as the login instead
which is more likely to be linked to the same person on all sites, but
that may not necessarily be user friendly either as there are places
where the username is publicly displayed (e.g. forum).

## Joomla Personal Dashboard/Achievements
With a single username across all sites, it's easy to track down who
someone is everywhere and link them together. This provides a
potential platform to build a Joomla "dashboard" or "achievements"
page that then aggregates metrics about people: how many posts they
have on the mailing lists, how many forum topics they've started or
replied to, how many patches/pull requests they've submitted. It
starts to provide the project with deep metrics in contribution across
various channels in a way that can be easily measured, while also
providing a fun aspect around achievements. To an extent, the forum
does this but I think it'd be cool to have it extended to all sites.
The primary precursor to this is identity unification to ensure we
know who someone is across all domains, however it isn't necessarily a
requirement - however, similar work in "linking" accounts will be
required in both cases.

This area also has the potential to expand out with handling real time
data which would put the project on the cutting edge of technology in
this space and really drive a new use case for the project and the
platform that doesn't presently exist. This I personally see as cool
and something that the project could get a reasonable level of
marketing exposure as well.

## A Joomla-wide ERP
At the 2010 summit I came to the realisation that what was missing in
the project was technological support for centralised management. In a
large enterprise, a system like this is relatively common to help
support what is happening. If we look at the cut off for medium sized
businesses being around 500 people, then the Joomla Project in terms
of people who are regularly contributing time is likely coming close
the top end of the medium business definition and easily knocking on
large businesses depending on where you draw your lines.

Now while Joomla doesn't need what a normal ERP would provide for a
business, if you look at what OpenERP lists on their website
(http://v6.openerp.com):
- CRM - with a unified identity system as a base, we can also expand
out a CRM to include people who are interested in the product but
haven't registered on our sites, we can then create marketing
campaigns around this.
- Accounting - while not a major burden for our organisation, as we
already have a solution for this, an ERP would potentially help link
this better.
- Project Management - the organisation has repeatedly expressed a
need for project management and an ERP like this would offer that.
- Human Resources - this is potentially useful in a few ways, one is
for re-imbursement around travel expenses for Joomla events and people
we are supporting; another is for supporting recruiting for our teams;
and finally if we go down employing people pathway, it could support
that as well.
- Marketing - this could support marketing campaigns to allow us to do
more marketing around stuff like releases and getting there. It would
be great to be able to send notifications for major releases, create
developer segments that get notification of items like beta releases
and track all of that.
- Invoicing - not majorly something we do but could work in with some
of our sponsorship programs and
- Payroll - should we wish to hire people again, this may be something
useful if they aren't paid as contractors.
- Application Builder - this is potentially the most useful feature of
an ERP - the ability the define and build custom data input systems
and workflows.

There were a few on that page I removed like Point of Sale, Purchase
and Manufacturing which aren't relevant due to our organisation ,but
if I look down the list above each of those are areas where some extra
technology support would certainly help. HR recently struck me as
useful for the Community Developer Manager instead of having people
email stuff to Mark, we could have it structured and recorded for
posterity.

OpenERP community edition is AGPL licensed, which means that any
extensions we would do to the product would have to be shared (AGPL
sits on the other side of the GPL) but it stands as an example of an
open source ERP that could help support the projects need. OpenERP
have just released their latest version (v7) which has an online demo
to play with.

## An Org Graph
The reality of our organisation is that we're not a tree, we're a
graph. People are all over the place working on things in different
parts of the project and modelling this in a tree is not going to work
properly, a graph is more appropriate. This, when tied with the
central identity system, can also be used to support the
dashboard/achievements while also helping to provide insight from
leadership about who is in a given team at any given point in time.

## Better knowledge management
This is in a sense coming with the wiki as a place to store
information but it is something that I feel overall needs work. We've
had internal wiki's in the past that have died off over time. Figuring
out this problem is a hard thing to do and many organisations have
failed with plenty of expensive solutions out there to "solve" the
problem. The advantage I see for us is that most of our business is
conducted online through email which can help us in pulling
information out, though we'd need a reasonable effort to pull
conversations out of Skype and ensure appropriate security measures
are in place.

## Discovery layer/search systems
The final piece of all of this is a discovery layer/search system. Of
course Google is a great example of this, however this goes beyond
simple search, but requires features like security controls for search
results and the ability to build in structured data. To build this
properly, it would be best to utilise something like Solr, but a
simple search engine is just the start of something like this - a
great tool would be able to handle security implications as well as
being able to display abstract information if a reasonable
representation is easily available. This solves the problem once
you've gathered all of this information, how do you find it again.
This is the hardest task to achieve of all of the strategic projects
but ties together everything.


# Observations

## Culture
When I joined Joomla! in 2005, it was more of a "do-ership" than a
"leadership" per se. You worked on improving the project and perhaps
looking after something (hence why I'm still looking after
JoomlaCode). Bothering people and demonstrating that you were helping
out or trying to build something often meant being asked to join the
"do-ership". I feel that to an extent this has caused a problem where
the perception is that you have to be in the PLT to do anything. There
is still this obsession with the "core" team being the excuse for not
doing something or not contributing when realistically I feel it's
more a reflection of engagement problems: where people are not around
during decision making and then disagree with the decision.

More disturbingly for me is the slight attacks from members of the
community when others in the community seen to be taking initiative
are responded to with the statement "you're not in leadership" or more
specifically "why are you doing this? You're not in the PLT". I am
disturbed by the notion that someone has to be in leadership to take
the initiative because it discourages people from doing precisely
that. This helps to re-inforce the delusion that there is a core
development team somewhere that builds items. To an extent
ideas.joomla.org also helps to propagate this concept ("it wasn't
posted on ideas.joomla.org, why was it done?") though that is
potentially a reflection of the nature of our user base. Increasingly,
I've seen more demanding style emails on the mailing lists which
worries me further as well signalling a stronger shift there than I
would have expected. It does seem to me it feels like there is a more
corporate expectation of the product than what really exists.

This corporate expectation that there exists some group of people who
will complete things and that others shouldn't be doing something is
mildly worrying. I cringe every time someone says "I'm in charge of X,
run everything past me" when people are working on things. While I
acknowledge when it comes to making the final decision that's a
reasonable request, when ideas are coming together I feel that it's
just going to get in the way of progress. The downside of working as
such a remote team is that we don't get the advantage of having a
corridor to go down to talk to people or run into hallways talking
about what they're doing. I worry that there is a hesitance for people
to take the initiative because of this, as well in part due to these
barriers to communication and a tendency for people at time to try to
make statements like "everything must come through me". We need to be
careful around this that we don't have arbitrary bottlenecks but that
we're also keeping clear lines of communications. We also need to make
sure we're not undermining other people in leadership.

The corollary of this is that there are times when we're less engaged
and decisions are made when we aren't around or available to comment
(or didn't comment for other reasons). I've learned over the years
that I'm either active, engaged and having input in a discussion or I
have to accept the decisions that others have made. At times I've
disagreed with how code has come together, but if I wasn't around to
comment on it then I generally accept that the burden is on me to help
improve it, not to complain it should be taken out. Frighteningly, the
amount of time on our developer mailing lists spent on people wishing
to undo earlier decisions is increasing and getting more heated. This
is a worrying sign for our contributors when the work they put into
building a feature is attacked a month or two after a release once
people start to engage.

Finally, a feeling I got out of our last summit is that we should be
going around asking people to contribute to the project instead of
what has for the most part sustained the project to this point, which
is people just contributing because they feel like it. I find it
curious that there are members of our community that have explicitly
expressed that they need to be asked, which to me belies a level of
arrogance and degrades the work that many other people in this project
do without requiring to be asked. It was expressed to me that the open
source attitude is typically that you take the initiative to do
something and that a more corporate attitude is to be told to be doing
something - with the open source ideal of taking the initiative being
the more desirable goal. Perhaps I'm wrong here, but to me it marks a
depressing note because it belittles the person who has to ask and
belittles all those who contributed without asking.

## Exodus
I think for me, the most telling thing about the exodus thread were
the two themes that came up. In my mind:

1) That people are leaving Joomla to go to a Wordpress site.
2) Joomla makes it too hard for third party extensions to keep up to
date and a site hard to upgrade.

What I feel is most interesting is that the association of those two
statements and the reality that the first is likely not necessarily
caused by the second. What I find most interesting is that if the site
is hard to upgrade, in part because extension developers aren't
keeping up due to the changes, then they are moving to a Wordpress
install. Something here doesn't sound right because I don't feel that
Wordpress offers the same level of extensibility that Joomla! does and
while we may be losing some ground here to Drupal, their barrier to
entry for site builders is far higher than ours, which would be the
prime segment for this group.

While this is an interesting correlation and potentially even a
causality, it belies a far more worrying trend: for those sites that
picked Joomla, Wordpress is a far more viable option. While Wordpress
as a tool has become more extensible in recent years, I don't feel
that it still reaches parity there. This potentially means that people
are discovering that with other services being available, they don't
necessarily need all of their bells and whistles in a Joomla site. You
can use a far simpler platform (Wordpress) to build the core site and
the reality is that you need to go to places like Facebook or Twitter
to engage, which replaces the forum on your website. That leaves
e-commerce as another reason to have Joomla, however there are simple
Wordpress solutions available as well that might be enough to meet the
needs and if you want something more complex, one of the open source
packages specialising in e-commerce is available.

There are certainly aspects of development that can be improved and
compatibility made, but in updating my own extensions with 2.5/3.0, I
noted many of the things that broke were in a backwards compatibility
mode in 1.6/1.7 already. Nothing I ran into in particular had newly
changed in 2.5's release, but the backwards compatibility shims had
been removed. This is in a sense consistent with the 1.5 -> 1.6
transition where the 1.5 legacy support for 1.0 had been removed.

## Target Audience
A while ago it was pointed out to me one of the struggles the Joomla
CMS has is that it has no target audience to help guide its
development: the target audience is everyone. The problem is that
being something for everyone is hard because everyone has their own
opinion for what should be included and would be useful. I think this
will continue and ties into the exodus discussion, however it also
underlines another problem in how to prioritise the development of
features.

Joomla sits in the middle between the other two major CMS's. Drupal
appears to have taken the high end space because it has specialised
the consulting there and you need to write code to get anything useful
done in the system sooner or later (many Drupal folk consider this a
positive). Drupal, in a sense, encourages this level because of the
complexity that has historically been involved in deploying out a
site. The FUD I see from the Drupal folks is that if you need to do
integration you have to use Drupal, which is silly, because if you're
doing a custom integration, you're already writing custom code and the
libraries make all the difference (so just write it in Symfony which
is what Drupal will shortly be anyway). At the other end of the scale,
Wordpress started out life as a very simple blog tool that did
blogging very well. It's grown up a little to have a plugin system
that allows some extensibility, but hasn't seemed to have figured out
extensions on the level of Joomla or Drupal. Wordpress have very
heavily focused on making their UI great and smooth, making it easier
for end users to customise templates in a way that is familiar to many
Joomla users, but with a significantly better UI (again) and has made
updating relatively easy. That said I haven't tried to upgrade a
Wordpress site with a plethora of plugins (extensions in Joomla)
installed and this is our prime problem with upgrading a Joomla site -
cross compatibility.

So the dilemma for the project is to work out what it's target
audience is because "everyone" isn't a reasonable target. Does the
project concede the lower end of the market to Wordpress or does it
attempt to build a competitor in that space that matches the
capabilities and simplicity? In that case do we re-tool ourselves to
abandon the low end of the market to retarget towards the higher end
of the market? Or does Joomla attempt to retain the middle ground that
is slowly eroding as both Wordpress and Drupal grow? Joomla's
disadvantage against both of those competitors is that they have large
VC backed companies heavily invested in ensuring they succeed. There
is a community backlash when we try to pay developers to focus on the
project, so how do we compete with the likes of Wordpress with over
100 paid staff (many working on product development) at Automattic?
How do we compete with Acquia with 250 employees helping in part to
push Drupal forwards?

## Paid Development
This brings us to paid development and related topics. There are two
areas: organisations "sponsoring" developers or funding developers to
work on the project through OSM. There is then matter of OSM paying
people directly to work on the project (sponsored or funded through
other sources). The first seems to have had less of an outcry than the
second example, which is perhaps more a jealousy statement than
anything else.

The primary problem in my mind with the first is the dichotomy between
the open source ethos I was talking about earlier (taking the
initiative) versus the corporate one (management determining
direction). This is where the sponsored development program has some
issues in terms of organisational fit for the project. There were also
issues with the skill level and needing to train some of the
developers, which meant a different sort of structure needs to be in
place. Not only does there need to be a manager to fill in that
organisational role (tell them what to do), but there also needs
someone who can spend the time in a mentor role to ensure that we can
skill developers up quickly to be able to contribute. If we're to do
this properly, I feel that two roles should be created: one manage the
item in general and set direction plus another person to mentor the
people and provide guidance. There is a small chicken and egg
situation here where you need these support people to help make the
developers effective, but without the developers you don't need the
people. In part, the community development manager can handle the
management aspect but with enough people both of these become a
significant time burden to do properly (not to mention for mentoring
potential time difference issues).

The next problem is much harder to solve, particularly when the target
audience is everyone: what do they work on? For the most part, the
entry point was the standard one: working on issues in the bug squad.
While the bug squad is great and getting those issues resolved is
certainly a useful thing (sheer testing alone would likely help us),
sooner or later someone is going to suggest they implement a feature -
or at the very least ask why features aren't being built. Perhaps the
most logical choice is to have them work on the top priority items
from the ideas list. The problem here becomes is that the top three
items on the ideas list are the following:

- Build a native CCK
- Build a native forms component
- Multisite

Apart from the fact that nobody can agree what multisite actually is
about (there are around three distinct possibilities), neither of
those tasks are particularly small. A seasoned developer would take at
least a month (if not two) to build some of those out properly. Given
the level of talent we're receiving to help do this, I don't feel that
this would be a reasonable expectation to assign these projects to
these people.

A potential solution is to find someone from the community with more
skills, perhaps through a tender process since directly contracting
our top two developers was heavily attacked in the community. The
evaluation of the tender becomes a process that requires a level of
openness and a clear criteria for evaluation. Doing so not only
improves transparency in the process, but hopefully provides a
decision that can be defended. More importantly, whomever is selected
needs to be defended by their managers (the Board of OSM) in a
reasonable way, instead of what happened with the last two paid
development positions. Another major issue is around accountability
for the delivered product. What happens if the code doesn't pass code
review? What happens if testing finds major issues with the code and
the decision is made not to merge the code? How does that play out in
terms of cost and how does that work with the rest of the community
who are working items?

If OSM is to do paid development again, then it certainly needs to
look at working out what measures it needs to feel comfortable
supporting and defending their staff from any criticisms from the
wider community. As I note elsewhere, I feel it's important to
determine the target audience prior to re-engaging this pathway as
this will help guide decisions as well.


## Organisational Structure
One of the other advantages I see with both Wordpress and Drupal is
the Benevolent Dictator for Life (BDFL) model. They retain a Founder
role that everything can bubble up into, ultimately can dictate
direction and makes the decisions. Joomla on the other hand doesn't
have that entity: we are a project formed by committee and at this
point essentially run as a committee of committees (grossly
simplifying three committees for handling production, community and
legal/fiscal).

There were discussions around removing the ad hoc committee of
committee's to instead unify the leadership under a single grouping or
board and then have everything report up through this single board. It
stood as an interesting final evolution to help unify the many aspects
of the project in such a way that we'd perhaps get away from
situations where one of the three leadership groups is undermining the
other.

## The Future of the Development

### CMS
The CMS needs to work out what it wants to be. The CMS that we have
today is architecturally fundamentally over a decade old. What evolved
from Mambo, starting with Joomla! 1.0 and through to today is very
much the same. While under the hood much of the code has been
rewritten and doesn't look like it did back in the Joomla! 1.0 period
of time, the structure of the CMS hasn't changed. The limited content
model of essentially articles has remained and whilst there are
improvements to layouts, menus and a reasonable nested category
system, fundamentally this is window dressing on the basic model. On
the extension side improvements for installation and various support
tasks have been improved and extended (menu's and layouts, JForm, etc)
the design to the extension system really is much the same.

The core design of the infrastructure needs to be revisited and to be
turned into something service driven that can better meet the needs of
multi-platform content delivery strategy and application development
strategy. While the Platform has provided the basis, the CMS is going
to need to pull together to work out how that looks. There is a
potential that the inertia to keep it the same will stymie attempts to
improve the CMS and that's a struggle of change versus stability.
Fortunately we have a vibrant extension developer market but the CMS
runs the risk that newer (or even other) CMS projects comes up and
proposes a much better value proposition.

And with that in mind unless the CMS finds a way to re-invent itself,
it will die of stagnation.


### Platform
The Platform provides a great place to encourage and drive innovation
within the project with a mechanism to protect the CMS from some of
those changes. The Platform I feel has contributed to our GSOC success
this year and I feel will continue to help deliver a source for
innovation within the wider Joomla Project. The Platform is still
trying to find it's identity and I see the LGPL discussion as a part
of that.

The future of the Platform is to continue encouraging the development
of Joomla native libraries that expand our ecosystem. This has a flow
on effect that these changes then become available in the CMS at a
later date and benefit the wider community. My personal favourite here
is the JTable compound key improvements that were contributed to the
Platform because eBay had a need for that and which will hopefully one
day help out CMS developers with similar problems.

### Mentorship
One area I feel that is missing is a strong mentorship progam within
the project. While we've done reasonably well with GSOC, I feel that
developing a mentorship program to help move people through picking up
the project and improving code would be good. I expect in part David
Hurley, in his role as Community Development Manager, to start helping
out with this in part and to an extent this has been done in an
informal way. However I feel a more formal mentorship system would
help however that takes time and effort. In a sense what I feel the
mentor needs to be is available as much as possible to help. To an
extent this occurs within JBS and within the pull requests for the
platform but this is presently based on the timing of volunteers being
available. If volunteers aren't available then these people suffer. If
anything is paid in this project, I feel paying people to help mentor
others is one of the best investments in time available. A formal
mentorship and development program could help contribution and improve
the on boarding process for our new developers.



# Time to move on
It's clearly time to move on, so as Louis said: so long and thanks for
all the fish.

Cheers,

Sam Moffatt
http://pasamio.id.au

Sarah

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Dec 23, 2012, 11:18:42 PM12/23/12
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I only read the posts with topics relevant to me so I don't know what all
this moving on is about but I am sure many more will be sorry to see you go
than those who are sorry to see you stay.

One thing that does concern me right now is centralisation Though it is a
great thing for some I hope joomla doesn't go the same way with this as it
has with so many other things. Leave the choice up to the administrator.
Don't take away the administrators ability to make the decision based on the
type of site they are building. Google and facebook have been trying to use
a central login for all of their services and make people use their real
identity to do so for some time now. There are reasons why large numbers of
people don't want to be forced to do that and both companies are beginning
to suffer as a result.
For instance, I run an adult services site. The professional people who
advertise on my site don't want their real name and identies revealed to the
world. They want two accounts but keep their email address private and use
the one email address. I can't give that to them because somewhere along
the line some bright spark decided to force the setup to accept unique email
addresses.

A brothel has many girls working for them and wants to advertise every girl
on the site but have all emails go to the owner so the owner knows whats
going on. It also helps privacy I can't do that because of the unique email
process being enforced. Why on earth can't I be the one to decide what is
right for my site?

People like choice. The people who make the tinymce text editor that is
included with joomla are the same. They force 2 line breaks when people
press the enter key because they are too conceited to go with convention.
They fail to see that in every other situation since the invention of the
typewriter, using the carriage return/enter key produces one line and should
do. They insist on retaining their 2 line for childish reasons, the main
one I think is that they are too stupid to admit they are wrong and do what
people want.
Joomla appears to be heading down the same path and that is going to help
kill it more than any other problems you are talking about.

good luck

Sarah
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Gary Mort

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Dec 23, 2012, 11:32:07 PM12/23/12
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On Sunday, December 23, 2012 11:18:42 PM UTC-5, Sarah_au wrote:
world.  They want two accounts but keep their email address private and use
the one email address.  I can't give that to them because somewhere along
the line some bright spark decided to force the setup to accept unique email
addresses.


Some other bright spark created a standard way of routing multiple email addresses to a single address.  Add a plus to your address.

Everything before the plus is the "real" address, everything after the plus is just a label.

To MOST systems which look for unique addresses, they each are different so it's fine.  IE


Last I knew Joomla will accept these.   Almost every standards based email server, postfix, exim, sendmail - as well as major web providers like gmail - accept these addresses by default.


Just figured I'd point it out in case your own use case can accept a solution that works rather then the solution you specify. 

Sarah

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Dec 23, 2012, 11:36:14 PM12/23/12
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Thanks Gary I will look into it.
 
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Niv Froehlich

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Dec 23, 2012, 11:51:08 PM12/23/12
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Sam,

I'm entering into Joomla! just as you are exiting.  I have read your email - there's a ton of information - too much digest in one sitting, but I'll print it out and review it.

It seems you've put a lot of effort and compassion into the email to detail pertinent issues - and a lot of life blood and sweat into Joomla! for all of our benefit.

I would like to

a) say that I'm most grateful for your contributions; and
b) ask that if you are ever in Toronto, Canada (or alternatively Fort Lauderdale, Florida) that you look me up and allow me take you out to dinner.

Wishing you the best,

Robert Vining

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Dec 24, 2012, 3:19:51 PM12/24/12
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I have to say I'm a bit surprised to see yet another Joomla leader leaving the project. I know you will be missed by many people.

What you have shared here is quite alot to take in. I'm going to break this down into bite size chunks to respond with my own thoughts.

Thanks for all you have done for the project Sam.

Alonzo Turner

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Dec 24, 2012, 5:21:01 PM12/24/12
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Thanks so much for all your hard work. Best of luck in all your future endeavors.

Andrew Eddie

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Dec 24, 2012, 7:26:25 PM12/24/12
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It's certainly a shame you couldn't get to post this on the leadership list - it would have been fitting.  Some things never change I guess.

Sam, good luck with everything.  Now doubt we will be realising how much we took you for granted for many months to come when bits of the Joomla machine break down :)  It's also a shame that the Aussie representation is dwindling.

As Robert says, it's a long post with a lot to unpack - I only hope when I finally come to my autumn post it will be as comprehensive ;)

I will say one thing though: to the don't-ers (and I know who you are), bite me! :D

Regards,
The Masterchief

Ian

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Dec 24, 2012, 9:16:33 PM12/24/12
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Sam, it has truly been an honour working with you on the Joomla project.  You have been a major contributor longer than most and have picked up a lot of the pieces are often never noticed untill they don't happen.

For all of us who have griped over the years about JoomlaCode, at least we didn't have to deal with its underbelly and trying to make it all work as well as it has.  Many do not realize that the installer and updater logic that we have is the fruit of your labour and hard work.  You have collected countless titles over the years, have stuck with the project through a lot and have seen your share of the ugly humanity that the Joomla project has brought out at times.  You have shared your wisdom and insight with leadership and have helped to make this project what it is today.

Thanks for picking up a lot of the pieces that would have been neglected otherwise and for making the release process a whole lot less menial.

Your wisdom and insight are invaluable and I appreciate you sharing some of it as you part ways.  It is a real shame that things have had to end on a note where you feel less than appreciated and valued.  You were doing active directory with Joomla before most and did pioneering work with authentication integration.

Sam, thanks for being a doer and being an inspiration to many in this project.  You have made significant contributions that have played a major part in getting the project to where it is today.

I have hugely valued the opportunity to work with somebody as talented as yourself and am very sad to see you go.

Best of luck and I hope I have the chance to work with you again!

Alan (instance)

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Dec 25, 2012, 5:22:38 PM12/25/12
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On Sunday, December 23, 2012 10:51:42 PM UTC-5, Samuel Moffatt wrote:
With events of recent days, it is clear that its time to move on. As a
part of transitioning, I have wanted to write an email on where I feel
the next steps for the project should be on a number of fronts, in the
hope that someone will be interested or see the value on the topic. In
a sense it's also a last word on various topics as well.

Sam, I can't thank you enough for your contributions to the project. I think of you as glue... hard to see but keeping all sorts of things together. I know we're going to miss that, and that we'll discover many things that you do that need attention, which will make us miss you even more.

We've also shared the same view of the project and the same sense of humour. Bantering with you has made me laugh at times when laughter was sorely needed, and I'm going to miss that a lot. sorry to hear that you can't post to joomla leadership. I guess you're truly out of the cult. On the other hand it's not a bad thing that you had to post here, because I actually get to see  it!

Some of your points hit on things that are on my list. I'll try to respond as succinctly as I can.


# Long term strategic projects

## Identity Unification and Centralisation

As an optional feature, particularly inside joomla.org properties, completely agree. But it can't be a requirement unless we support both partitioned and centralized user spaces.

## A Joomla-wide ERP 

General purpose ERP is a big interest of mine. There are so many uses for it. The potential to do this is one of the reasons why I've been taking a strong stance on keeping Platform GPL. I'd hate to see a killer proprietary ERP built on our code that makes it harder for the project to play in the space.

I've done a lot of thinking on the CRM and financial sides of ERP. If there are others out there who are keen on working on this, get in touch.
 

JM Simonet

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Dec 26, 2012, 2:19:36 AM12/26/12
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Sam,
I will miss you. You tooke the time to teach me a lot of stuff, even
though you kept joking about the uselessness of non-English languages
;)
Thanks for leaving here a last will of sorts, making hopefully people
think about the present state of the project and giving important
hints for the future.
This is precious.
Take care

JM
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Chris Davenport

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Dec 26, 2012, 5:53:59 AM12/26/12
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Sam,

Thank you for all your contributions to the project, many and varied as they have been.  Not only have you contributed some of the most important pieces of code in Joomla, you have also willingly undertaken the thankless task of keeping Joomlacode on the air and other infrastructure-related jobs.  Not to mention your long-term and highly-valued leadership role in the Core Team, the COC, the PLT and as a platform maintainer.

You will be missed.

I wish you well in whatever endeavours you choose to pursue.

Chris.



On 26 December 2012 07:19, JM Simonet <infog...@gmail.com> wrote:
Sam,
I will miss you. You tooke the time to teach me a lot of stuff, even though you kept joking about the uselessness of non-English languages ;)
Thanks for leaving here a last will of sorts, making hopefully people think about the present state of the project and giving important hints for the future.
This is precious.
Take care

JM
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Wilco Jansen

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Dec 27, 2012, 10:40:15 AM12/27/12
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Sam,

Your contribution to the project stands in the history for a long time to come, and the project will miss you certainly. You will do fine outside the joomlasphere. Working with you was always a pleasure, though it has been a while since we have actually done that ;-)

Good luck in all future endeavours.

Regards, Wilco
On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 12:10 AM, Amy Stephen <amyst...@gmail.com> wrote:
Sam -

It is obvious from your note that you care very deeply about this project. I appreciate all the work you have done over the years. On a personal level, I have a lot of appreciation for your help when I was getting started in the Bug Squad. I'd have to say, for me, that period was the height of my satisfaction with the project and the period of time where efforts were most focused.

In response to all of the issues you raised, many of which I found myself nodding my head in agreement, others of which I felt maybe you still aren't seeing another perspective, the prevailing theme I heard you describe can be summed up in one word, and that is: direction. There is no clear direction.

Steve Jobs is often quoted as saying "focus" is one of the reasons Apple was so successful. They only tried to do a few things, but they tried to do those things very well. Everything not central to these items were eliminated so as to not distract from the mission.

A few years ago, when the project put together its Mission and Values, I objected to infusing concepts like freedom, equality, trust, community into our key values. My point was that Joomla's key values should be producing good code. http://www.joomla.org/about-joomla/the-project/mission-vision-and-values.html

Today, it seems like the project is more of a social club than it is an organization focused on producing good code.  In fact, it's a common call "Joomla is not just about the code" as people celebrate #jpositiv.

I believe the project has lost it's way and would do well to refocus. As a base number, it'd be interesting to see what percentage of time various members of leadership invest in primary or secondary contribution areas. My guess is, very little time is actually spent producing and sharing good code. If everyone was open and honest about it, it is likely most time, energy and passion is spent engaging with one another in crisis and debate, and even then, I doubt many of those discussions have anything to do with the code.

You've carried the torch a long time, Sam. Can't wait to see what you do next. You've learned a lot about what does and does not work. Put it to good use and I hope you are able to zone in on learning and creating good code. If you can do so, I believe your personal satisfaction will grow exponentially and you will have some pretty amazing results to show the rest of us.

Cheers.
Amy

PS - I still think you have the most amazing sense of humor.


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Russ Winter

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Dec 27, 2012, 6:11:33 PM12/27/12
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Sam,

personally, as with many the departure or reduction of activity with many of the project long-termers ( and characters :D ), I am very sad to see you leaving, I have valued not only your friendship, good humour and patience (with me) but also your time and efforts immensely over the years. I have learnt much from you, technically, professionally and personally.  For this I will be in your debt for years to come.

I wish you well in all your future endeavours, whether they be personal or professional and am sure you will continue to be a success in all you do.

Whilst I realise I have been one of those extracting themselves from the more public view, I have certainly never made such a huge difference or influence on any item within the Joomla! world as yourself and other long-term friends on the project. Nor have I had to manage as much public and private hassle over the years as you have, and I am sure I would not have handled such things as well or in such good grace as yourself, this is testament to your character, resolve, dedication and professionalism. 

Gonna miss you being around mate....   Take great care, keep in touch and most of all, have fun,
Russ


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Donald Gilbert

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Dec 27, 2012, 10:54:33 PM12/27/12
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Sam, you're pretty quick on the draw with removing all your joomla related github repos - I was hoping to be able to fork it before you removed it. Does anyone on this list have a fork I can fork?
someone who can spend the time in a mentor role to ensure t...<br><a href="https://groups.google.com/group/joomla-dev-general/msg/cae7ed2db2bae5cd?dmode=source&output=gplain&noredirect">Show original</a>

Donald Gilbert

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Dec 28, 2012, 12:02:40 PM12/28/12
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For those wondering, I was finally able to find one without modifications here - https://github.com/simpleenigma/jwc2012-tasks

Andrew Eddie

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Dec 28, 2012, 8:27:30 PM12/28/12
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On 27 December 2012 09:10, Amy Stephen <amyst...@gmail.com> wrote:
In response to all of the issues you raised, many of which I found myself nodding my head in agreement, others of which I felt maybe you still aren't seeing another perspective, the prevailing theme I heard you describe can be summed up in one word, and that is: direction. There is no clear direction.

That, of course, depends on what direction you are expecting.  I don't think 3.0 would have been possible without a lot of key decisions being made from about 2009 onwards (the Development Strategy can hardly be considered a lack of direction; quite a few other things come to mind as well).  Sam's point, if I've interpreted is correctly, is that the direction is set by the do-ers.  This is never going to be a project that has a rock solid roadmap of features that the volunteers are forced to conform to.  The systems are deliberately hands-off and merit based.  But that does not mean there is a fundamental lack of direction - it IS the direction.

Regards,
Andrew Eddie

Ronni KC

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Dec 29, 2012, 4:51:35 AM12/29/12
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Hi Sam,
 
In so many ways i agree on most of what you write except in 1 area - where i really think you dont see it.
 
Today to contribute, in many ways, you need to be a developer, communicator, politician, writer etc. to have a chance to contribute.
 
On top of that you have to have the vision and the ideas to implement too.
 
Now - we have a huge community of willing developers - and other types of people (designers, users, integrators, managers, etc.) that may not posses all of these skills at once.
 
Consider that some of the best developers on the planet are sitting in a basement somewhere with a score in communication on -2 - would we like to offer the empowering platform for them to also be able to contribute to Joomla?
 
I mean consider that the PLT focuses on setting up concepts and goals and then spends time on facilitating contribution - thereby not per say having the PLT be the source of actual code contribution per say (and addressing another of your points) but instead being a leadership team that has the responsibility of taking the leadership role by facilitating the processes and empowering the contributors.
 
I believe that we have an ocean of talented developers out there that would be contributing if they saw a vision of who, why and where.
 
So i think that the change of role from the PLT from being primarily of Do'ers to Lead'ers will actually address multiple of the other points you raise and thus it becomes part of the solution not part of an arrogance - i think on the other hand that you have uniquely identified serveral points that is the problem with having a leadership group in such a big organization as ours being percieved as Do'ers only (or the only Do'er) and so it needs a solution.
 
Ps. enjoyed meeting you at JWC12 and our little talk on SSO/LDAP hope to see your commits on it soon :)
 
Ronni K. G. Christiansen
someone who can spend the time in a mentor role to ensure t...<br><a href="https://groups.google.com/group/joomla-dev-general/msg/cae7ed2db2bae5cd?dmode=source&output=gplain&noredirect">Vis original</a>

Nick Savov

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Dec 30, 2012, 1:18:50 AM12/30/12
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Hi Sallie,

Thanks for taking the time to provide feedback! There's a lot of good
feedback in there, which I take to heart. However, I just wanted to set
the record straight on a few things, as WordPress too often gets away with
things and Joomla is often misunderstood due to our poor communication
skills (which we're actively working on :P and hope to improve drastically
for 2013 ).

1) To the best of my knowledge, Sam's frustration is not directed at the
development community or the Production Leadership Team (PLT)...he was
apart of the PLT, by the way.

2) Joomla 1.5 to any other Joomla version is a big migration (it's an even
bigger migration to Wordpress, by the way). Those are the old days
without a one-click upgrader, though. However, going from 1.6 to 1.7 to
2.5 to 3.0 are all one-click upgrades for the Joomla core and you just
have to make sure your extensions are compatible. 1.6 should have been
better named/numbered 2.0, as 2.5 is a direct upgrade of 1.6/1.7, while
1.6 is a migration from 1.5. Confusing, right? Thankfully, everything
is now finally getting back on track and people are starting to understand
the development cycle. Basically, every 2 years we're going to be
releasing a new major version (e.g. Joomla 3). The series will be
supported for over 4 years (there's a new leadership post coming on that
soon :)

3) <pedantry>Most extensions are not commercial, but rather most
extensions are non-commercial :) ...at least those on our Joomla
Extension Directory (similar to Wordpress.org's plugin directory) are,
since we don't have a count of the number of templates (themes) which are
commercial/non-commercial.</pedantry>

4) I agree with you that Wordpress is very extensible, but I also agree
with Sam that it doesn't offer the same level of extensibility as Joomla
does (and I might add flexibility). In both Wordpress and Joomla, you can
mostly find a plugin/extension (respectively) for mostly everything,
however in my experience, you can generally do a lot more with Joomla
extensions right out-of-the-box than you can with the parallel Wordpress
extensions.

5) Yes, you might need to wait a week to be sure there are new versions of
the plugins, but you might also need to wait a lot more than a week :)
There's a reason that Wordpress has the "This plugin has not been updated
in over 2 years [paraphrased]" warning on its plugin directory. And
there's a reason it has the "X number of people say it's broken" on its
plugin directory. The reason is that Wordpress suffers from the same type
of issue that Joomla does, in that developers don't update their plugins
in a week and when new version of Wordpress are released, they potentially
break things. Which leads me to the next observation...

6) Wordpress 2 to Wordpress 3 is a difficult migration for plugin
developers, correct? (sorry, I wasn't around at that time so I don't
really know for sure). And plugin developers have also had issues
upgrading between minor releases, correct? (e.g. 3.0 to 3.1).

In short, I feel that Joomla and Wordpress are experiencing the same type
of growth issues, however Wordpress has done a better job, up to this
point, at communicating and managing (for one, by getting a core upgrader
a lot sooner and for another through documentation) those growth issues
within their community, at the very least the "appearance" of things.
Part of the reason its done better at communicating and managing is that a
single company drives Wordpress' direction.

At Joomla things are 100% community driven and more bottom-up, rather than
top-down, than Wordpress is. I've learned to really like it that way :)
and I want it to remain that way, however a 100% community driven project
does have its natural disadvantages, which we, especially those of us who
are relative newbies to Joomla, need to identify and turn into advantages
or at least neutralize. We also have a great leadership team that's been
doing a fantastic job during my time here at Joomla, however we do need to
get better at communicating to the masses (which as I mentioned, we're
working on :).

I feel that Joomla has the best software around and its best years are
still ahead of it. I'm really excited about what the new year holds for
Joomla and especially with all the new projects that are starting to come
to fruition. I hope that Wordpress will continue to grow as well and that
we can continue to learn from each other.

Thanks again for sharing! :)

Kind regards,
Nick


> I mentioned on Twitter that Sam seemed to have some misconceptions about
> WordPress, and he asked me to post clarifications here.
>
> First, I met Sam in 2010 at Joomla Day West, and he seemed both
> knowledgeable and dedicated. I have no idea what it is that's been going
> on in the Joomla developer community, but it doesn't seem to me like a
> good sign if a key person is departing in frustration. I may have more
> personal affinity for WordPress than for Joomla, but I still want Joomla
> to find its niche and succeed.
>
> Anyway, I can't speak to most of the points in Sam's message, and won't
> try. I'll stick to this part:
>
>> ## Exodus
>>
>> 1) That people are leaving Joomla to go to a Wordpress site.
>
> <pedantry>That's "WordPress" with a capital "P." Someone actually wrote a
> function to enforce that on WordPress sites.</pedantry>
>
>>
>> 2) Joomla makes it too hard for third party extensions to keep up to
>>
>> date and a site hard to upgrade.
>>
>>
>>
>> What I feel is most interesting is that the association of those two
>>
>> statements and the reality that the first is likely not necessarily
>>
>> caused by the second. What I find most interesting is that if the site
>>
>> is hard to upgrade, in part because extension developers aren't
>>
>> keeping up due to the changes, then they are moving to a Wordpress
>>
>> install.
>
> Well, I was intimidated by the possibility of moving a site I was
> responsible for from Joomla 1.5 to 1.6, and I noticed that when I wasn't
> looking Joomla went from 1.7 to 2.0. It definitely seemed harder than
> upgrading WordPress, but one would think that Joomla consultants might
> have a nice little sideline in maintenance if this were the only issue.
> Until recently, at least, Joomla didn't put out major upgrades as often as
> WordPress does. (I moved the site to WordPress instead and am about to hit
> the button to upgrade it from WP 3.4 to 3.5, once I've checked to be sure
> all the plugins devs have produced upgrades.)
>
>> Something here doesn't sound right because I don't feel that
>> Wordpress offers the same level of extensibility that Joomla! does
>
> Okay, this is the part where I metaphorically choked on my coffee. One of
> the pleasant surprises for me when I went to Joomla Day West was that
> Joomla did actually seem to be as extensible as WordPress, even if most of
> the extensions are commercial. (That's actually an advantage, if you're a
> plugin developer: people are in the habit of paying for what you do, and
> don't expect to get it for free. With more than 22,000 free plugins in the
> WordPress plugin directory, WordPress users are accustomed to getting
> things for free.) Certain Joomla extensions may be slightly more mature
> than parallel WordPress plugins. In other cases, one platform handles in
> core what the other needs an extension/plugin for.
>
> But yes, WordPress has forums (most notably bbPress, which is used for the
> WordPress.org support forum), social networking (BuddyPress), ecommerce in
> various flavors, event management, forms, membership sites, and pretty
> much anything else you could name, and if it doesn't exist yet, you can
> build it with custom post types and custom taxonomies. Plus, of course, it
> still does blogging.
>
>> updating relatively easy. That said I haven't tried to upgrade a
>> Wordpress site with a plethora of plugins (extensions in Joomla)
>> installed
>
> It's not usually a problem. You might need to wait a week to be sure there
> are new versions of the plugins. I generally update the plugins first,
> then WP. (And backups are your friend. There are some very good backup
> solutions for WordPress.)
>
> Joomla still has core features that WordPress needs plugins to accomplish.
> Y'all do better user access management, by far. And you have a built-in
> contact manager and might be in a good position to integrate some level of
> CRM, which could appeal to a lot of business customers. You can set
> articles to un-publish after a set date. You have banner management.
> Having your entire 3.0 version be responsive at both back and front end is
> a great move. (Now if only the 3.0 admin didn't appear to work just like
> the 2.0 and 1.5 admin in terms of lots of long confusing lists of things.)
>
> WordPress has become very good at a number of things that you used to need
> Joomla in order to do, while still being good at what people originally
> used WordPress for: search-engine friendly blogs. (Categories, tags, and
> permalinks in the %postname% format.) It might be a good idea of some of
> the core Joomla team learned enough about WordPress to know what it is
> that remains exclusive to Joomla, and what is still easier with Joomla,
> and got creative about how to handle the areas where Joomla is less
> competitive.
>
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Sarah

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Jul 17, 2012, 4:40:21 AM7/17/12
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A lot of good points raised and addressed. With all the downpoints about
Joomla I have persevered because as nick points, it does more out of the box
than anything else that is around.

There is however one feature that I would like to see and that is the
ability for a user to deactivate their account for a while and also to
completely delete not only the account but all images associated with it.
I realise a lot of the image galleries and things are third party extensions
but it could be a rule that an extension has to have that ability, or the
ability for joomla to be able to do it, before it is added to the JED.

In todays world people need to be able to totally control their accounts and
yet there are so many cms, galleries forums etc where there is no way for a
user to actually delete their account. Sure they can stop using it and if
they have the time and energy go through and delete every image they have
uploaded by hand but surely it is fairly easy for someone to develop
something to do it in one fell swoop. I closed my facebook account a year
ago and will not open another even though every business on earth seems to
advertise their promotions and things through facebook.
Many others are also closing their accounts because of a lack of the ability
to control images and postings etc. Google is another beast who is
following along facebook lines.

At the moment if a person wants to delete their account on my website they
would have to send me a mail requesting for it to be closed and then I have
to find all their images, if I choose, and delete them.
Not something I want to do so please try and work something into the core
that allows users to do this.

regards

Sarah

Niv Froehlich

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Dec 30, 2012, 11:42:10 AM12/30/12
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Hi Sallie,

You wrote:
I think it would be good for the CMS communities [WordPress & Joomla!] to talk to each other more

100% agreed.    This is the spirit of open-source.   On recent posts, I have noticed a 'competitive v. collaborative theme, "WordPress is way better and the best! (conversely), "Joomla! is way better and the best!"

It's great to have two very competitive CMS's.  The competition fosters many benefitis.

But I agree that there is

a) too much talk from both sides about which system is better, with contributors not having a thorough understanding of each system (hence how reliable are the comparisons?); and 

b) not enough sharing of 'best-practices' between WordPress and Joomla! communities.

For example, MVC is a huge reason to invest in the Joomla! learning curve and development of extensions, although WordPress seems to have some implementations (although I, as native now to Joomla! cannot intelligently compare and contrast each others approaches to MVC implementations).  (I could mention Template Overrides too - esp. in terms of ease of migration and upgrades - which seems to leave Joomla!'s painful migrations as thing of the past (hopefully!)).

Importantly, and taking a step back, neither Joomla! nor WordPress started out with the goal 'being better than the other system,' but rather, 'to develop the best open-source and CMS and platform possible.'   This is a significant difference.  

Whereas a) above has lovely benefits for one's ego, b) above has benefits for us all (both communities), and there is certainly a lot we can learn from each other.

My wish for the New Year, for both our communities, is to foster a collaborative spirit and a focus on 'best-practices and knowledge sharing' between Joomla! and WordPress.

Another wish, in light of Sam's email and the departure of some long-time and dedicated contributors is that our posts and threads take much less of a political tone and fully focus, instead,  on project goals and objectives.  

For those that are departing the Joomla! world, your contributions have given me and so many others the tools to earn a living (for me, the ability to earn that living from my laptop, wherever I may be in the world (and I like to travel - so thank you!!!)).  You have helped me to be a million times better at understanding the relevant technologies, to stay current with emerging best-practices, provided much needed help and assistance whenever asked and infuse me with enthusiasm about the future. 

For that I am forever grateful to you and wish you nothing but the best in life!

Best for the New Year to all!

N

On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 11:02 AM, Sallie Goetsch <sal...@wpfangirl.com> wrote:
Hi, Nick.


On Saturday, December 29, 2012 10:18:50 PM UTC-8, Nick Savov wrote:
Hi Sallie,

Thanks for taking the time to provide feedback!  There's a lot of good
feedback in there, which I take to heart.  However, I just wanted to set
the record straight on a few things, as WordPress too often gets away with
things and Joomla is often misunderstood due to our poor communication
skills (which we're actively working on :P and hope to improve drastically
for 2013 ).

I think it would be good for the CMS communities to talk to each other more, as well as doing general PR for their products. Some people do actually have expertise in multiple platforms and just say "Joomla is better for X, WordPress is better for Y, Drupal is better for Z" in a practical way, but there are others who criticize the "competition" (which I suppose we are in some senses) without ever having used it or knowing what it can or can't do. I learned enough about Joomla to conclude that it was a product that deserved my respect, but not one I had an affinity for, and I refer out any requests I get for Joomla sites.

2) Joomla 1.5 to any other Joomla version is a big migration (it's an even
bigger migration to Wordpress, by the way).  

Actually, I did migrate that site to WordPress. Which was a big job, but mainly because I converted most of the content to custom post types for easier data entry on the admin side, and added event management and a lot of things the old site didn't have. The organization that owned the site decided to go WordPress even after I reported that we COULD do everything in Joomla, since Joomla had more features and extensions than I'd been aware of. The plain fact was that not enough of us knew Joomla well and everyone felt more comfortable working in WP. (I was building it, but they were all going to have to add content to it, and others after us.) Simply transferring the content to WP was easy thanks to a plugin someone developed for importing any SQL database or CSV file. 

However, the fact that we had a lame Joomla site wasn't the fault of Joomla. If the person who first created the site had built us a really awesome Joomla site, we would never have considered switching.

Those are the old days
without a one-click upgrader, though.

I remember hearing that such a thing was coming, and I'm glad it has. I've had to do manual upgrades of WordPress on occasion and they were not a terribly big deal, though if I'd also had to manually upgrade every one of two dozen plugins at the same time, it would have been a nuisance. But I felt intimidated about doing a manual upgrade of Joomla because it was unfamiliar to me, and even once I'd installed Akeeba backup (great tool), I wasn't sure about restoring.

Basically, every 2 years we're going to be
releasing a new major version (e.g. Joomla 3).  The series will be
supported for over 4 years (there's a new leadership post coming on that
soon :)

Good to hear and possibly (heresy, I know) a better path than our three-major-upgrades-per-year cycle. 

 
3) <pedantry>Most extensions are not commercial, but rather most
extensions are non-commercial :)  ...at least those on our Joomla
Extension Directory (similar to Wordpress.org's plugin directory) are,
since we don't have a count of the number of templates (themes) which are
commercial/non-commercial.</pedantry>

I remember looking at the extension directory, but the extensions that people kept talking about seemed to be the commercial ones.
 

4) I agree with you that Wordpress is very extensible, but I also agree
with Sam that it doesn't offer the same level of extensibility as Joomla
does (and I might add flexibility).

Hmm. Maybe we need to define "extensibility." It could be my ignorance of Joomla, of course, and particularly of where Joomla has gone since I last actually worked with it. My understanding of "extensibility" is basically "If you are a developer, you can create a plugin to make it do anything." And developers have created plugins that do make WP do practically anything. 

I do suspect that, for instance, JomSocial is more mature and easier to use (at least for those who know Joomla well) than BuddyPress, though the BP team is making great strides and we are all looking forward to the 1.7 release when it will work with any theme.
 
5) Yes, you might need to wait a week to be sure there are new versions of 
the plugins, but you might also need to wait a lot more than a week :)
There's a reason that Wordpress has the "This plugin has not been updated
in over 2 years [paraphrased]" warning on its plugin directory.  And
there's a reason it has the "X number of people say it's broken" on its
plugin directory.  The reason is that Wordpress suffers from the same type
of issue that Joomla does, in that developers don't update their plugins
in a week and when new version of Wordpress are released, they potentially
break things.  Which leads me to the next observation...

Well, since a lot of people have developed plugins as a hobby, they end up abandoning them because they get a day job or they can't keep up with the support or whatever. So you learn to choose your plugins and your plugin devs wisely. It is one argument in favor of commercial plugins: they are more likely to be updated, because the company that makes them can afford to keep up with them.
 
6) Wordpress 2 to Wordpress 3 is a difficult migration for plugin
developers, correct?

Nobody in their right minds would be migrating from WordPress 2.0 to WordPress 3.0. Major versions in WP go 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, etc., though there was a big jump in there when 2.5 came out. Since then, however, we've marched steadily along. Bug fix versions get appended to that, so 3.4 was a major release but 3.4.2 was a security fix. So the upgrade was 2.9 to 3.0. Yes, a few things broke. A few things almost always break, but usually if people are using themes or plugins that are REALLY out of date, because if said theme or plugin was updated for the last version 4-6 months ago, chances are pretty good it's still compatible. So unless there's a plugin that's essentially been abandoned anyway, it will probably either be upgraded or tested with the new version soon and given a "Works with versions up to" rating.
 
In short, I feel that Joomla and Wordpress are experiencing the same type 
of growth issues

Well, as my husband, who is a commercial software developer, likes to say "It's open source." I'm pretty sure the Drupal community experiences the same things, too. (I've heard upgrading Drupal is a nightmare, from people who are otherwise quite fond of Drupal.)
 
however Wordpress has done a better job, up to this
point, at communicating and managing (for one, by getting a core upgrader
a lot sooner and for another through documentation) those growth issues
within their community, at the very least the "appearance" of things.
Part of the reason its done better at communicating and managing is that a
single company drives Wordpress' direction.

Well...not 100%, but very substantially, despite taking care to make legal divisions between Automattic and the WordPress Foundation. By no means all of the WordPress core developers work for Automattic or its subsidiaries, though. I think there is some increase in efficiency. It doesn't seem (from the outside) that anyone is blocked from joining that team if they have the skills and desire to do so, but it's certainly not the same as having a completely community-run organization.

On the other hand, we do have a huge community. 
 
At Joomla things are 100% community driven and more bottom-up, rather than
top-down, than Wordpress is.  I've learned to really like it that way :)
and I want it to remain that way, however a 100% community driven project
does have its natural disadvantages, which we, especially those of us who
are relative newbies to Joomla, need to identify and turn into advantages
or at least neutralize.  We also have a great leadership team that's been
doing a fantastic job during my time here at Joomla, however we do need to
get better at communicating to the masses (which as I mentioned, we're
working on :).

I don't know what kinds of funds the project has, but there are such people as PR professionals who could at least provide some guidance. Actually, there's probably someone in the broader Joomla community who works in that capacity. But I'd recommend paying him or her, because it helps ensure the task gets priority.

I feel that Joomla has the best software around and its best years are
still ahead of it.  I'm really excited about what the new year holds for
Joomla and especially with all the new projects that are starting to come
to fruition.  I hope that Wordpress will continue to grow as well and that
we can continue to learn from each other.

I'd certainly much rather we learned from one another than exchanged insults. It will make both products better and give those of us who work building websites a clearer idea of when to recommend which platform to our clients. 

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Nick Savov

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Dec 30, 2012, 1:00:18 PM12/30/12
to joomla-de...@googlegroups.com
Hi Sallie,

I agree; it would be great if the communities could communicate more. I
know personally I'd love to have the opportunity to ask questions of some
of the developers and coordinators. For example, right now we're in the
process of implementing a pre-upgrade check for the Joomla core and also
for custom extensions. I only recently found out that Wordpress has a
similar system implemented and it would be really nice to be able to ask
some questions about what they like about it, what issues that have with
it, and if they had another try what they would have done differently
based on what they know now. I'm sure that there are areas that
Wordpress' developers and coordinators would like to question us about as
well.

Yes, we usually end up picking the system with which we're most
conformable and familiar. We also have extensions for data import (in
fact, many good ones) that make migrations easier . We even have one
specifically for Wordpress to Joomla migration :)

Akeeba Backup makes it easy to restore a site and they have extremely good
and comprehensive documentation too. You can read more about the restore
procedure at:
https://www.akeebabackup.com/documentation/akeeba-backup-documentation/restoring-backups.html

By the way, I feel the same way about BackupBuddy as you do about
AkeebaBackup :) even though I know they have some decent documentation
too.

As to release schedule, I guess it depends on what you consider
major/minor. Joomla 3 and Wordpress 3 would be the major version in my
eyes, while Joomla 3.1 and Wordpress 3.1 would be minor versions. So I
think our cycles are very similar now.

Ah, yes, a many of our really good extensions are commercial or have pro
versions. However, many of our really good extensions are non-commercial
too. It just depends.

As to extensibility, ah, OK. Yes, definitions are good. I took Sam's
statement of extensibility to be in reference to the available
extensions/plugins, since he was talking about site builders within that
context. Yes, I agree that both systems allow developers to create what
they want. Based on my experience, Joomla's parellel extensions are
generally more feature rich and flexible out-of-the-box, but I've been
very impressed by Wordpress' plugins as well. Perhaps/likely its because
Joomla's extension ecosystem allows for commercial extensions, which
provides a good opportunity for developers to continue to improve their
extensions (i.e. products). There are commercial Wordpress plugins that
have become well know even without being listed in the plugin directory
(e.g. BackupBuddy), but they few and far between (percentage-wise).
Joomla's ecosystem gives commercial developers a better opportunity to
thrive.

Yes, it's the same with Joomla extensions. A lot are hobby extensions,
testing-the-waters extensions, etc, which often end up being abandoned for
the same reasons. We also learn to choose our extensions and extension
developers wisely.

Sorry, I didn't mean Wordpress 2.0 to Wordpress 3.0. I meant the
Wordpress 2 series to Wordpress 3 series :) Thanks for giving a quick
explanation of the Wordpress versioning. Looks like we're in a similar
boat now with our new timed-releases. A new major release (series) is
released every 2 years and every 6 months the minor version is
incremented. So for example:

Version 3.0: September 2012
Version 3.1: March 2013
Version 3.2: September 2013
Version 3.5: March 2014 (LTS release and is supported for 2+ years more)
Version 4.0: September 2014
Version 4.1: March 2015
Version 4.2: September 2015
Version 4.5: March 2016 (LTS release and is supported for 2+ years more)

Backward compatibility is at least maintained through every series and we
allow for backward compatibility breaks when the x.0.0 version is
released. For example, in Joomla 3.0 we allowed for the new Bootstrap
markup which requires template markup to be tweaked (depending on how they
created the templates and how closely they stuck to the core).

It took a while for us to get used to this new release schedule, but
things appear to be finally stabilizing within the community and people
are getting confortable with it.

Question for you, when Wordpress 2.5 came out and there was a big jump in
there, what was the response from the Wordpress development community?
Did people handle it pretty well or were they frustrated by the changes?

Cool, that's good to hear about the Wordpress development community and
the openness.

Yes, we've been working on our PR and marketing. 2013 will hopefully be a
very good year for us in those areas now that we have the ball rolling.

Thanks again for the dialogue and I think it adds an interesting
perspective to Sam's observations.

Kind regards,
Nick

> Hi, Nick.
>
> On Saturday, December 29, 2012 10:18:50 PM UTC-8, Nick Savov wrote:
>>
>> Hi Sallie,
>>
>> Thanks for taking the time to provide feedback! There's a lot of good
>> feedback in there, which I take to heart. However, I just wanted to set
>> the record straight on a few things, as WordPress too often gets away
>> with
>> things and Joomla is often misunderstood due to our poor communication
>> skills (which we're actively working on :P and hope to improve
>> drastically
>> for 2013 ).
>>
>
> I think it would be good for the CMS communities to talk to each other
> more, as well as doing general PR for their products. Some people do
> actually have expertise in multiple platforms and just say "Joomla is
> better for X, WordPress is better for Y, Drupal is better for Z" in a
> practical way, but there are others who criticize the "competition" (which
> I suppose we are in some senses) without ever having used it or knowing
> what it can or can't do. I learned enough about Joomla to conclude that it
> was a product that deserved my respect, but not one I had an affinity for,
> and I refer out any requests I get for Joomla sites.
>
> 2) Joomla 1.5 to any other Joomla version is a big migration (it's an even
>> bigger migration to Wordpress, by the way).
>
>
> Actually, I did migrate that site to WordPress. Which was a big job, but
> mainly because I converted most of the content to custom post types for
> easier data entry on the admin side, and added event management and a lot
> of things the old site didn't have. The organization that owned the site
> decided to go WordPress even after I reported that we COULD do everything
> in Joomla, since Joomla had more features and extensions than I'd been
> aware of. The plain fact was that not enough of us knew Joomla well and
> everyone felt more comfortable working in WP. (I was building it, but they
> were all going to have to add content to it, and others after us.) Simply
> transferring the content to WP was easy thanks to a plugin someone
> developed for importing any SQL database or CSV file.
>
> However, the fact that we had a lame Joomla site wasn't the fault of
> Joomla. If the person who first created the site had built us a really
> awesome Joomla site, we would never have considered switching.
>
> Those are the old days
>> without a one-click upgrader, though.
>
>
> I remember hearing that such a thing was coming, and I'm glad it has. I've
> had to do manual upgrades of WordPress on occasion and they were not a
> terribly big deal, though if I'd also had to manually upgrade every one of
> two dozen plugins at the same time, it would have been a nuisance. But I
> felt intimidated about doing a manual upgrade of Joomla because it was
> unfamiliar to me, and even once I'd installed Akeeba backup (great tool),
> I
> wasn't sure about restoring.
>
> Basically, every 2 years we're going to be
>> releasing a new major version (e.g. Joomla 3). The series will be
>> supported for over 4 years (there's a new leadership post coming on that
>> soon :)
>>
>
> Good to hear and possibly (heresy, I know) a better path than our
> three-major-upgrades-per-year cycle.
>
>
>
>> 3) <pedantry>Most extensions are not commercial, but rather most
>> extensions are non-commercial :) ...at least those on our Joomla
>> Extension Directory (similar to Wordpress.org's plugin directory) are,
>> since we don't have a count of the number of templates (themes) which
>> are
>> commercial/non-commercial.</pedantry>
>>
>
> I remember looking at the extension directory, but the extensions that
> people kept talking about seemed to be the commercial ones.
>
>
>>
>> 4) I agree with you that Wordpress is very extensible, but I also agree
>> with Sam that it doesn't offer the same level of extensibility as Joomla
>> does (and I might add flexibility).
>
>
> Hmm. Maybe we need to define "extensibility." It could be my ignorance of
> Joomla, of course, and particularly of where Joomla has gone since I last
> actually worked with it. My understanding of "extensibility" is basically
> "If you are a developer, you can create a plugin to make it do anything."
> And developers have created plugins that do make WP do practically
> anything.
>
> I do suspect that, for instance, JomSocial is more mature and easier to
> use
> (at least for those who know Joomla well) than BuddyPress, though the BP
> team is making great strides and we are all looking forward to the 1.7
> release when it will work with any theme.
>
>
>> 5) Yes, you might need to wait a week to be sure there are new versions
>> of
>> the plugins, but you might also need to wait a lot more than a week :)
>> There's a reason that Wordpress has the "This plugin has not been
>> updated
>> in over 2 years [paraphrased]" warning on its plugin directory. And
>> there's a reason it has the "X number of people say it's broken" on its
>> plugin directory. The reason is that Wordpress suffers from the same
>> type
>> of issue that Joomla does, in that developers don't update their plugins
>> in a week and when new version of Wordpress are released, they
>> potentially
>> break things. Which leads me to the next observation...
>>
>
> Well, since a lot of people have developed plugins as a hobby, they end up
> abandoning them because they get a day job or they can't keep up with the
> support or whatever. So you learn to choose your plugins and your plugin
> devs wisely. It is one argument in favor of commercial plugins: they are
> more likely to be updated, because the company that makes them can afford
> to keep up with them.
>
>
>> 6) Wordpress 2 to Wordpress 3 is a difficult migration for plugin
>> developers, correct?
>
>
> Nobody in their right minds would be migrating from WordPress 2.0 to
> WordPress 3.0. Major versions in WP go 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, etc., though there
> was a big jump in there when 2.5 came out. Since then, however, we've
> marched steadily along. Bug fix versions get appended to that, so 3.4 was
> a
> major release but 3.4.2 was a security fix. So the upgrade was 2.9 to 3.0.
> Yes, a few things broke. A few things almost always break, but usually if
> people are using themes or plugins that are REALLY out of date, because if
> said theme or plugin was updated for the last version 4-6 months ago,
> chances are pretty good it's still compatible. So unless there's a plugin
> that's essentially been abandoned anyway, it will probably either be
> upgraded or tested with the new version soon and given a "Works with
> versions up to" rating.
>
>
>> In short, I feel that Joomla and Wordpress are experiencing the same
>> type
>> of growth issues
>
>
> Well, as my husband, who is a commercial software developer, likes to say
> "It's open source." I'm pretty sure the Drupal community experiences the
> same things, too. (I've heard upgrading Drupal is a nightmare, from people
> who are otherwise quite fond of Drupal.)
>
>
>> however Wordpress has done a better job, up to this
>> point, at communicating and managing (for one, by getting a core
>> upgrader
>> a lot sooner and for another through documentation) those growth issues
>> within their community, at the very least the "appearance" of things.
>> Part of the reason its done better at communicating and managing is that
>> a
>> single company drives Wordpress' direction.
>>
>
> Well...not 100%, but very substantially, despite taking care to make legal
> divisions between Automattic and the WordPress Foundation. By no means all
> of the WordPress core developers work for Automattic or its subsidiaries,
> though. I think there is some increase in efficiency. It doesn't seem
> (from
> the outside) that anyone is blocked from joining that team if they have
> the
> skills and desire to do so, but it's certainly not the same as having a
> completely community-run organization.
>
> On the other hand, we do have a huge community.
>
>
>> At Joomla things are 100% community driven and more bottom-up, rather
>> than
>> top-down, than Wordpress is. I've learned to really like it that way :)
>> and I want it to remain that way, however a 100% community driven
>> project
>> does have its natural disadvantages, which we, especially those of us
>> who
>> are relative newbies to Joomla, need to identify and turn into
>> advantages
>> or at least neutralize. We also have a great leadership team that's
>> been
>> doing a fantastic job during my time here at Joomla, however we do need
>> to
>> get better at communicating to the masses (which as I mentioned, we're
>> working on :).
>>
>
> I don't know what kinds of funds the project has, but there are such
> people
> as PR professionals who could at least provide some guidance. Actually,
> there's probably someone in the broader Joomla community who works in that
> capacity. But I'd recommend paying him or her, because it helps ensure the
> task gets priority.
>
> I feel that Joomla has the best software around and its best years are
>> still ahead of it. I'm really excited about what the new year holds for
>> Joomla and especially with all the new projects that are starting to
>> come
>> to fruition. I hope that Wordpress will continue to grow as well and
>> that
>> we can continue to learn from each other.
>>
>
> I'd certainly much rather we learned from one another than exchanged
> insults. It will make both products better and give those of us who work
> building websites a clearer idea of when to recommend which platform to
> our
> clients.
>
> --
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> "Joomla! General Development" group.
> To view this discussion on the web, visit
> https://groups.google.com/d/msg/joomla-dev-general/-/n573_fBV25sJ.

Christopher Reimer

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Dec 30, 2012, 2:59:58 PM12/30/12
to joomla-de...@googlegroups.com

Greetings,

I'm a long time lurker and an occasional Joomla developer (usually when I'm unemployed from a tech job). This particular thread has a lot of big ideas that I have no particular expertise to comment on. But there is one tiny piece of the Joomla vs. WordPress debate that I think most people tend to overlook.

Joomla isn't a great blogging platform.

My personal website ran Joomla 1.5 from 2008 to 2010 with a blogging component that I paid for. This was adequate but I didn't like using it. When it came time to switch over to Joomla 1.6, I balked at buying a new license for the blogging component and started looking at alternatives. I fell in love with WordPress because it made blogging so easy and didn't require a new license fee when the underlying platform got updated.

If I'm setting up a general purpose website, I'll use Joomla. If I'm setting up a blog, I'll use WordPress. If I need to blend the two, I'll use a matching theme on each one. :)

Thank you,

Chris Reimer

Nick Savov

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Dec 30, 2012, 3:54:48 PM12/30/12
to joomla-de...@googlegroups.com
Hi Chris, et. al,

If you need to blend the two (website and blog), you should consider
trying EasyBlog for Joomla, which is the blogging Cadillac of Joomla :)
http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/authoring-a-content/blog/12630

It's commercial, but at least it would allow you to have full integration
between your blog and your site and save on buying/developing an extra
theme. Plus, some people feel that EasyBlog significantly better than
Wordpress :) For example, just check out the reviews for it and references
to Wordpress. Here's a small list of the ones that I checked:
http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/authoring-a-content/blog/12630#rev-119013
http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/authoring-a-content/blog/12630#rev-117667
http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/authoring-a-content/blog/12630#rev-116443
http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/authoring-a-content/blog/12630#rev-110552
http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/authoring-a-content/blog/12630#rev-98610
http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/authoring-a-content/blog/12630#rev-94568
http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/authoring-a-content/blog/12630#rev-93921
http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/authoring-a-content/blog/12630#rev-93190

All that to say, one of Joomla's strengths is its great extension
ecosystem. That's why I'd be in favor of having a lighter Joomla core
with a built-in extension installer/directory to help users find good
extensions from within their admin.

And now to transition it back to Sam's observations, I've always felt that
Joomla's target audience should be site integrators / do-it-yourself-ers
(though we need a better marketing term :). i.e. we should focus on
people that want to install an extension, go through and enable the
options they want, and have it working the way they want it without
getting into the code.

We should provide the tools for developers/designers to provide the
products (i.e. extensions, including templates), which can be used by
non-coders who want flexibility and power without learning PHP, CSS, etc.
We're already doing that, but it would be nice to officially acknowledge
that that's the direction we want the CMS to go (if we do want that) and
for everyone to get on board.

Kind regards,
Nick
> --
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> "Joomla! General Development" group.

Roberto Segura

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Jan 2, 2013, 6:48:34 PM1/2/13
to joomla-de...@googlegroups.com
Hey Sam,

I only wanted to thank you all your contributions and all the tests done on others contributions. As I told to Louis you both are a great example of people working hard to keep Joomla! up.

We will miss you and will continue your work maintaining Joomla!

I hope to see you back someday.

Niv Froehlich

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Jan 5, 2013, 7:59:57 AM1/5/13
to joomla-de...@googlegroups.com
Nick,

Just catching up on my email.  Your post below, and the subject matter, would perhaps be better served on a different thread.

It's great and timely stuff!!!  Not long ago, on our Joomla! User Group Toronto - FB page, we had Joomla! v. Wordpress debate.


I am adding your comments to that post as it is highly relevant and helpful given the FB post thread!

Cheers,

N

Amy Stephen

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Jan 5, 2013, 12:10:16 PM1/5/13
to joomla-de...@googlegroups.com
Nick's post was very relevant to this discussion.

Given the fact that he is a member of the PLT, he's someone in a position to address some of the issues Sam raised. Other than a quick piece of advise to responder on how to take advantage of Joomla Extensions, which I personally thought was friendly, the more important of what Nick had to say, below, is of interest.

There are a lot of comments folks make as they defend a point of view, saying things like "Consider the Target User." The problem is that's really never been defined and agreed upon. I agree with Sam's point that Joomla can't continue to provide a CMS for everyone and expect anyone to be very happy with it. Nick's response provides the first real glimpse I've seen on how at least one member of leadership might be viewing that definition.

I do hope that a focus is selected. I tend to agree with Nick's recommendation, but, I think what is more important is that it is defined. Not everyone will be happy with it but having some clarity will better direct the project's efforts.
 
From Nick's post:


And now to transition it back to Sam's observations, I've always felt that
Joomla's target audience should be site integrators / do-it-yourself-ers
(though we need a better marketing term :).  i.e. we should focus on
people that want to install an extension, go through and enable the
options they want, and have it working the way they want it without
getting into the code.

We should provide the tools for developers/designers to provide the
products (i.e. extensions, including templates), which can be used by
non-coders who want flexibility and power without learning PHP, CSS, etc.
We're already doing that, but it would be nice to officially acknowledge
that that's the direction we want the CMS to go (if we do want that) and
for everyone to get on board.

Kind regards,
Nick


Niv Froehlich

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Jan 5, 2013, 12:18:59 PM1/5/13
to joomla-de...@googlegroups.com
:-)  Thanks Amy allow  me to rephrase:

Just catching up on my email.  Your post below, and the subject matter, would perhaps be better served on a different thread.

should have appended - "...so as not to get lost or buried in a thread entitled 'moving on' as it pertains to Joomla! for blogging vs. WordPress."

Nick - hope no offence - I posted your comments on our local user group's FB page in the relevant discussion on exactly that topic.

Sam - wishing you all the best!

N

Andrew Eddie

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Jan 5, 2013, 4:52:25 PM1/5/13
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On 6 January 2013 03:10, Amy Stephen <amyst...@gmail.com> wrote:
Nick's post was very relevant to this discussion.

Given the fact that he is a member of the PLT, he's someone in a position to address some of the issues Sam raised. 

It depends on what "some" covers, but I think your statement is way off the mark in general. The "leaders" are not the [only] do-ers in this community.

It's so, so easy to find the people that can make a difference and "address the issues".

Look … in … the … mirror!

The PLT is not going to address any issues. They are simply there to facilitate how the community (aka "you" who is reading this) could "do" it. This is so frustrating because we've spent years breaking down the barriers of entry only to have people try and build up the walls behind us again. We left the Mambo years behind a long time ago when the only way you could make any change was to petition the "core team". And what happened to Mambo?

Let me make it perfectly clear. Anyone has the capacity to make a difference on any issue raised in this thread or any other discussion related to Joomla for that matter. It just takes people willing to do the work, and probably to take a risk in the process.

Regards,
Andrew Eddie

Amy Stephen

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Jan 5, 2013, 5:17:38 PM1/5/13
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Andrew -

On this particular point, I agree with Sam when he called for the leadership to set a focus for the CMS on target audience. He's right that facilitating those discussions and setting direction at that level has to be coordinated and is a function of leadership. It would not be possible for an organic community group to do so and have it translate to focus within the project, guiding decisions of working groups, and so on. So, disagree with you on this, going with Sam here. I think he's right.

On the broader point, though, I definitely agree with you and have advocated community engagement for some time.

In fact, as I just commented yesterday on the Joomla Community Magazine Translators article that those responsible for Open Translators are a great example of the initiative that what Sam is calling for and you are reinforcing in your comment. Those folks should be an example for the rest of us. They didn't whine that these translation services for extensions aren't provided by the project. They didn't wait for the leadership of Joomla to organize an official solution. They just got it done.

Now, there are hundreds of translators working together and, as a result, extensions are available in many languages, which serves to extend the value of Joomla further into the world.

You are right that many times, community sit waiting for leadership to make decisions and organize efforts. In the case of establishing a target audience for the CMS, I agree with Sam, setting direction is a function of leadership. But, I agree with you that in cases where effort to produce a result is required, the community should act and involve and engage and collaborate, knowing we support and applaud their efforts.

Thanks.



--

Niv Froehlich

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Jan 5, 2013, 7:20:48 PM1/5/13
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Sallie,

Nice to be on the same page!  My approach, for better or worse, was to bet the farm on one CMS and vest all my time and energy learning that system.

The reason being, I have my hands full, as many do, just keeping current - taking the time to learn both Joomla! and WordPress is not a luxury that I have.

Stepping back, and making an evaluation on which to focus on (Joomla! vs. WordPress), what really got me at the time were two things

1)  The spirit of the Joomla! community; and
2)  Looking at the available template mills, Joomla! at the time appeared to have some more robust functionality.

Whether or not these assessments were correct, I had to pick one focus.

I guess it's equivalent to having to buy a laptop - do you go PC or Mac?  It's hard to justify purchasing both - the serious programmers tend to be PC - the hardcore designers tend go with Mac.

At the end of the day - it's nice to have options - and I wouldn't feel deprived, just in strange waters for a bit, if I were forced to use a Mac instead of my PC.

Things seem simpler on a Mac - that's a benefit - I still prefer PC (personal choice) - I guess the same goes for WP v. Joomla!

Cheers,

N

On Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 9:35 PM, Sallie Goetsch <sal...@wpfangirl.com> wrote:
Hi, Niv.


a) too much talk from both sides about which system is better, with contributors not having a thorough understanding of each system (hence how reliable are the comparisons?); and 

I think there are some people who will do this regardless of any facts, about everything from sports teams on down, but that shouldn't stop us from
 
b) not enough sharing of 'best-practices' between WordPress and Joomla! communities.
 
For example, MVC is a huge reason to invest in the Joomla! learning curve and development of extensions, although WordPress seems to have some implementations (although I, as native now to Joomla! cannot intelligently compare and contrast each others approaches to MVC implementations).  (I could mention Template Overrides too - esp. in terms of ease of migration and upgrades - which seems to leave Joomla!'s painful migrations as thing of the past (hopefully!)).

I confess I had to look up "MVC" in the Joomla documentation. It sounds both logical and complicated. The difference may be primarily one of terminology, since the basic principle seems to be the same in WordPress: your data is in one place, your function is in another place, and your design is in a third place. Though then there are arguments about how much function to build into a theme and whether you should put things like custom post types and widget areas into "functionality plugins" so that you can transfer them from theme to theme. There are places where it's pretty difficult to disentangle form and function.
 
Importantly, and taking a step back, neither Joomla! nor WordPress started out with the goal 'being better than the other system,' but rather, 'to develop the best open-source and CMS and platform possible.'   This is a significant difference.  

Goddess help us if we start defining ourselves by someone else's product. 
 
My wish for the New Year, for both our communities, is to foster a collaborative spirit and a focus on 'best-practices and knowledge sharing' between Joomla! and WordPress.

Hear, hear. 

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Andrew Eddie

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Jan 5, 2013, 10:02:20 PM1/5/13
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On 6 January 2013 08:17, Amy Stephen <amyst...@gmail.com> wrote:
On this particular point, I agree with Sam when he called for the leadership to set a focus for the CMS on target audience. He's right that facilitating those discussions and setting direction at that level has to be coordinated and is a function of leadership. 

Yes. The PLT owns the "process" or the facilitation and are responsible for making the final decision. I totally agree with that.

However, I took your comment to mean that only the PLT has permission to, for example, talk about the focus of the CMS.  I think everyone has the right to have their say about any issue, particularly that one, but obviously the PLT or similar needs to be involved to make it "policy" if that's the appropriate outcome.

It would also help with we had a role/job description for a PLT member :) That would also help with expectation management in my opinion.

Regards,
Andrew Eddie

Amy Stephen

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Jan 5, 2013, 11:08:58 PM1/5/13
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Thank-you, Andrew.


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Nick Savov

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Jan 9, 2013, 12:46:09 AM1/9/13
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No problem, Sallie! I dropped off for a bit too :)

Thanks! That's a lot of great information. I'll look through the
handbook when I have some spare time.

Here's a link to our Joomla User Group in San Francisco:
http://community.joomla.org/user-groups/north-america/united-states/california/joomla-users-group-bay-area.html

Maybe you can meet up with them. They are a very active group to the best
of my knowledge.

Hope your week's going well!

Cheers,
Nick

> Hi, Nick.
>
> Sorry to drop off the planet there.
>
> On Sunday, December 30, 2012 10:00:18 AM UTC-8, Nick Savov wrote:
>>
>> Hi Sallie,
>>
>> I agree; it would be great if the communities could communicate more. I
>> know personally I'd love to have the opportunity to ask questions of
>> some
>> of the developers and coordinators. For example, right now we're in the
>> process of implementing a pre-upgrade check for the Joomla core and also
>> for custom extensions. I only recently found out that Wordpress has a
>> similar system implemented and it would be really nice to be able to ask
>> some questions about what they like about it, what issues that have with
>> it, and if they had another try what they would have done differently
>> based on what they know now. I'm sure that there are areas that
>> Wordpress' developers and coordinators would like to question us about
>> as
>> well.
>>
>
> Well, I can't speak for them, but I've found everyone helpful. You can hop
> over to http://make.wordpress.org/core/handbook/ for the quick and dirty
> on
> just about everything, including who's who, so you know where to direct
> specific questions. (They're all on Twitter.)
>
> I'm certainly happy to share as much as I do know with anyone who wants to
> ask. I run a WordPress meetup in Oakland, California, and think it would
> be
> interesting to do a joint session of some kind--not sure yet just what or
> how, but something that would allow WP users to see the strengths of
> Joomla
> and vice versa.
>
> By the way, I feel the same way about BackupBuddy as you do about
>> AkeebaBackup :) even though I know they have some decent documentation
>> too.
>>
>
> The thing I like best about BackupBuddy is how easy it makes it to migrate
> sites from local to production servers, or from one domain to another.
>
> As to release schedule, I guess it depends on what you consider
>> major/minor. Joomla 3 and Wordpress 3 would be the major version in my
>> eyes, while Joomla 3.1 and Wordpress 3.1 would be minor versions. So I
>> think our cycles are very similar now.
>>
>
> Um, no. There's no special significance to a .0 version of WordPress,
> hence
> no specific relation between 2.0 and 3.0. Don't blame me. I didn't make it
> up:
> http://make.wordpress.org/core/handbook/project-organization/version-numbering/
>
> Though in terms of the number of new features per new release (whatever
> you
> call it), that might indeed be about the same.
>
> It took a while for us to get used to this new release schedule, but
>> things appear to be finally stabilizing within the community and people
>> are getting comfortable with it.
>>
>
> I'm glad to see it moving ahead. It seemed as though Joomla was stuck at
> 1.5 forever.
>
> Question for you, when Wordpress 2.5 came out and there was a big jump in
>> there, what was the response from the Wordpress development community?
>> Did people handle it pretty well or were they frustrated by the changes?
>>
>
> I wasn't as closely tied into the development community then as I am now,
> so I can't really say. I suspect that some people were frustrated at the
> number of changes and updates they had to make, but most of what I
> remember
> hearing was "Wow, this is cool" from users. I was running a few sites and
> don't remember anything really major breaking. I do remember that the
> then-most-popular podcasting plugin broke with 2.6, because of the
> introduction of post revisions, but within days someone had put out a
> plugin to patch that.
>
> Cheers,
> Sallie
>
>
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Nick Savov

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Jan 9, 2013, 1:06:00 AM1/9/13
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No problem at all, Niv! Go for it :)

By the way, just so it's clear, those are my own opinions as a community
member and they are not official stances. It was just my feedback on one
of Sam's discussion topics that interested me. I don't know where anyone
else stands on who our target audience should be (or if we should even
have one), other than what's been discussed in this thread. Sam had a lot
of great feedback and I'm still thinking through a lot of it as time
allows, as well as trying to keep up with everyone's comments :)

Kind regards,
Nick
>> *And now to transition it back to Sam's observations, I've always felt
>> that
>> Joomla's target audience should be site integrators / do-it-yourself-ers
>> (though we need a better marketing term :). i.e. we should focus on
>> people that want to install an extension, go through and enable the
>> options they want, and have it working the way they want it without
>> getting into the code.
>>
>> We should provide the tools for developers/designers to provide the
>> products (i.e. extensions, including templates), which can be used by
>> non-coders who want flexibility and power without learning PHP, CSS,
>> etc.
>> We're already doing that, but it would be nice to officially acknowledge
>> that that's the direction we want the CMS to go (if we do want that) and
>> for everyone to get on board.
>>
>> Kind regards,
>> Nick*

Niv Froehlich

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Jan 9, 2013, 6:14:43 AM1/9/13
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Hi Nick,

Thanks for your email!

IMHO - Re Target Audience - good discussion and much needed!

Here are my 2 cents:

Imagine we were auto manufacturer and tried to produce 'one car' that would suit everybody's needs and wants.   We'd end up with some monstrosity and likely go bankrupt.

Instead, the trick is to identify specific target clients (Families = Minivans and cross-overs, Construction Workers = Pick Up Trucks / Vans, Sports Enthusiasts = sports cars/muscle cars), and so on.

The 'same engine' and often the same chassis, can be used across multiple models, although tuned differently.  (i.e. you'll often find the same engine in a work truck as you would in a sports car - just with a different camshaft and different tuning).

--

I know it's not a perfect analogy, but to highlight a few of examples as they may apply Joomla!, here are some 'target audiences'

'The Blogger' -  (I've picked this one because it is the most common example I've personally found among people who are new to Joomla! - which relates to previous response re your response on EasyBlog!).  

'The E-Commerce Store Owner' -  How many e-commerce stores are out there?

'Magazine/Newspaper Publisher' - Is there any CMS/Platform better than Joomla!?

'D.I.Y' Web Site Owners - No technical skills.   Want a web site, and to manage it, for their own business(es)

Professional Web Site /  Extension Developers - Build all sorts of web sites, strong technical knowledge, wants to mass customize the Joomla! system for specific client needs.

--

All of these are valid target audiences.    In fact, even something as simple as establishing Joomla! User Groups, focused on the above 'topics,' as opposed to 'geographic areas,' might go along way to building an even stronger OS community that can deliver added value to it's members - because those resources, clinics, workshops, discussions now because focused on helping achieve  the "targeted audience's" business goals.   

At the end of the day, a Joomla! user/designer/developer is much more concerned with how well the system (and community) meets their specific business goals.

Anyways, that's some food for thought on the topic of 'target audiences.'

Importantly, I don't see that formally defining anyone of the above as 'a' target audience would preclude any others - but it certainly would give a more 'targeted focus.'

It's a good discussion!!!  And as the saying goes, "He who aims at nothing hits it with remarkable accuracy!"

Answering the question, "What exactly are we aiming for?"  (and this could be multiple targets), to my mind, is much more a sign of solid leadership - and effective management - than to try to appease everybody by not defining specific goals and targets and resorting to the "well...we want to be everything to everybody" approach.

Anyways, like I said, IMO.

Cheers,

N
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