Appreciation

Hello friends. I know that this recent leaving of a valued community member is discouraging to us, but let’s not go down the road of self-pity and depression. That will only lead this community to a kind of self-destruction we won’t be able to stop.

Instead, let us encourage one another. And so on that note…

I want to thank everyone who has made any kind of contribution to the project since the very beginning. Without your input, ClassicPress wouldn’t even exist at all.

And I especially want to thank those who have been doing their very best (and have been making sacrifices) so that the project continues to this very day. You probably don’t hear this a lot… but I APPRECIATE all that you’ve done for ClassicPress.

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I don’t know who left the community. It’s probably someone who put loads of energy into trying to carry this project forwards. The relevant question regarding that fact is WHY did that person leave?

  • Lack of time
  • Lack of motivation
  • “Realizing” that this project is leading towards a dead-end.

From my perspective, I am keeping an eye on this forum to keep track of what’s going on. At some point I had this huge willpower to jump in and help, but I lost it. Anyway I still keep an eye on this forum because I actually like the idea and want to see where it goes, and maybe I’ll have some willpower again to jump on the development boat.

Why I lost willpower to help developing CP:

I want to leave a few ideas here, which may or may not reflect why this project is gaining attention or not.

First of all, WordPress is still the king and that’s what you stick to if you want to make money (and in the very end, it will always be about money/benefit). Maintaining old projects, tweaking new ones, … that’s where money goes. It’s very unlikely to get the chance to build a new website from scratch for some open-minded client who likes the idea of ClassicPress. Possible, but unlikely. They are throwing money into something and they just “want it to work”, “don’t do weird experiments with my money”.

People don’t care about the backend, they just want to stay on the “safe” road and use their favorite plugins (ACF Fields and so on…). So when it comes to choose CP over WP they will probably just go with WP because it’s THE ONE.

When a client wants to jump out of WP, they usually prefer another CMS (be it Sanity, CraftCMS, ExpressionEngine, Drupal, blablablah…). The thing is… jumping out of WP to go with a clone of WP where the only real practical difference is “We don’t have Gutenberg” is not something that happens or will happen often (unless it’s someone who likes CP and wants to support it).

So here comes the most important thing and what I really think is the main point of the situation.

It happened when trying to switch to TinyMCE V5, and it will happen with whatever relevant change that wants to be introduced into CP. As long as Backwards Compatibility is an obstacle, CP will be a boring and tedious project to work on. WordPress will keep evolving, plugins will keep evolving, and at some point CP will just be left behind.

You can’t ask every WP plugin developer to keep compatibility with CP (read WP 4.9). So that gap will just be growing as time passes.

So yeah, what’s my view on this:

CP can keep trying to be a frozen WP 4.9 and face an ever growing list of issues with modern WP plugins. I’m not hating on CP, just saying what I see.

Or CP can for once stand out and try to be something different. And I’m not talking about reinventing the wheel here, many other great CMS already reinvented the wheel and there’s no need for a new wheel.

I’m talking about: “Hey, f***k compatibility. WordPress is one thing and ClassicPress is another thing. We will be removing the so much hated technical debt, we will build our own ACF plugin and we will have a community that will support major needs, like an ecommerce solution and a few others, but we cannot make sure that the list of a megazillion WP plugins will work with CP. If you need a list of a megazillion working plugins, just choose WP instead”.

What’s the gain with this?

Many, many, many people HATE WordPress because of the mess it is. ClassicPress can target all those users who HATE WP but love PHP and the traditional way of doing things. (Yeah all this Jamstack superpower isn’t always the best tech-stack anyway!). It will take time but in the end, it will attract people who want to give “WP” a second chance. And that’s where CP has its place.

I know. CP v1 until mature enough to go with breaking for v2. It’s possible that the time for v2 has arrived… before v1 gets boring and people jump out of the boat and into other interesting alternatives.

Repeat, no hate. I actually would love to see CP succeed.

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@alvarofranz Hi. Thanks for your honest reply. I also appreciate all that you’ve done for CP. I know that you’d made some contributions to upgrading the TinyMCE editor.

In regards to the issue you’ve raised about backward compatibility in CP, my stand on it is to seek balance b/w progress and respect for CP’s WP heritage. But that’s from a user’s point of view, not a developer, and so we probably won’t see eye to eye.

CP has marketed itself as a CMS that looks and works like WordPress (but better), and we can’t just turn our backs on that promise to provide a similar WordPress experience.

In fact, I talked about not reinventing the wheel. It should actually work the same, have the same roots, base, database structure, architecture. All cool. What I mean is…

If to integrate X functionality then a bunch of WP 4.9 plugins have to stop working because of this or that, then well… that’s how it goes, just keep walking.

Anything else will just be wasting time on creating weird tools like (detector for when plugins stop supporting WP 4.9) or minor UI tweaks like “center the logo here”, “change the font there”, “make this bigger”… but I’m sorry to say that is nothing close to “WordPress but better” . It’s actually quite the opposite. :wink:

Examples of cool stuff that would make CP be something really cool. And none of those topics were started by myself, it’s people who want things to happen!

Also, none of this is reinventing the wheel and moving “away” from WordPress. It’s actually WordPress (but better) as you mentioned. The thing is that implementing some of those will break compatibility with themes/plugins. But as long as there are solid alternatives tailored for CP, like Classic Commerce, Classic SEO, etc… what’s the problem?

The only problem is: some people want to use WP 4.9 plugins… well, let them use WP 4.9 or whatever. Let’s focus on those who are on the other side, which is actually the only side that makes sense from a practical point of view.

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I mentioned this in another thread. Doing minor increments in V1 until at somepoint changing to V2 to me seems an odd way of “progressing”.
I would suggest V1.4 stays as is, with the exception of security updates as any changes will make it less compatible/interchangable with WP 4.9.
WP 5+ is moving/progressing in its own way and is away from the route of CP and widening with every update. Eventually moving from WP 5+, with blocks content, to CP will not be possible easily, assuming it still is.
At some point we will have to cut free from WP plugins and swap to CP plugins. Yes there will be a loss of functionality but this is inevitable and the longer the break is left the bigger the functionality losses will be as there will have been less CP plugin progress (not a criticism but if forking/creating a plugin is not urgent/absolutely necessary then fudging a WP plugin will continue happening with its attendent security risks, I’m guilty of this).
Although I don’t agree with all of @alvarofranz previous post he makes some valid points

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I would like to know with which points you disagree and why. Not to criticise or try to convince you, but to understand other points of view. Just saying you don’t agree doesn’t help me or others reading this.

Very well said:

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Well, like I said, balance. I’m not against progress itself. I do want progress for CP.

If the devs can find ways to implement these great features without disrupting much the user experience, then that will be good.

You’ll have to talk though to other devs. Like I said, I’m just a CP user, and I hope to contribute to the community by writing articles and tutorials (maybe by next year).

I’m bringing some points from another conversation that’s relevant for this discussion.

There are two groups of ClassicPress users. Those that want ClassicPress to move faster away from WordPress and ignore (largely) backward compatibility and those that want to maintain backward compatibility for as long as possible to ensure ClassicPress is stable and doesn’t cause problems for users like Gutenberg did when it was introduced.

Both have valid points. Both are necessary for ClassicPress to be stable, yet continue to move forward. The reality is, the core development team doesn’t have enough developers to move forward faster. Moving forward faster means more testing, more troubleshooting, and more bugs to deal with. If we had more core developers, we could do more work and move faster. We don’t, that’s the reality.

It’s a catch-22. ClassicPress needs more developers to move faster, but because it’s moving slower some developers are not willing to contribute their time. So we’re back to moving slower. Unless developers commit to helping develop the core, working on changes they want to see in ClassicPress, nothing will change. So you have to be the change. I wanted to see improvements to the login form, so I’m working on them myself after the community showed support in the changes I wanted to make.

You’re right, many items on that list are part of the roadmap, but as I said before ClassicPress needs more developers to help bring these changes to fruition.

TinyMCE v5 is already in the works. The next main thing that ClassicPress needs to begin work on is the core plugins. @MattyRob did an excellent job creating the initial research fork where he pulled out several features into core plugins. He can’t do everything himself. We need people to test and help develop these core plugins into stable, functional core plugins that can be included in v2.

So that would be a good place to start and bring the change that you desire to ClassicPress.

If core development isn’t your thing, Classic Commerce could use a lead developer.

@ozfiddler brings up a good point. Other than the roadmap, we don’t have much strategy in place. It’s a side effect of not having enough core contributors to work on a concrete plan. But also, we haven’t had a core meeting in months, if not years. I think the last meeting we had was prior to starting the work on 1.3.0 this past spring. Not sure if that’s something @james and @wadestriebel will bring back.

The core development did pick up, with weekly PR scrub meetings. So ClassicPress is moving forward, albeit slowly. But forward nevertheless.

Everyone wants version 2, but what will it actually have? TinyMCE v5 might be the feature to deliver us version 2, but that’s still in the research stage and months away because there’s only one developer working on it right now if I’m not mistaken @joyously

We were supposed to have core plugins in version 2, but other than the initial work by Matt, nothing else has been done. Unless someone helps with it, it’s not going to be in version 2.

The point is, roll up your sleeves and do what you can to help ClassicPress move forward. Talking about it won’t change anything.

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You made great points! :slight_smile:

The last thing I want to do is to waste time. I see no value in investing time to, for example, create compatibility for TinyMCE v5 with WP 4.9. Well yeah, the idea of compatibility is beautiful but when you start to even look at it… there isn’t any joy at all that can be found in executing such a task!

And that’s what happening, many things are just abandoned because trying to stick to that idea is almost impossible. On the other hand, working on things without the burden of compatibility would be easier and definitely more fun, which will also by the laws of nature attract more developers.

Sure, other things can be done too, but it’s all part of the same rocket. So I have to like where the rocket is heading to first.

So I will stay tuned and when/if the CP community part that wants to “move away from WP” as you call it gets bigger than the other one, then I will definitley roll my sleeves up, probably even tear them off the shirt. Of course I will have ideas that don’t resonate with the community goals, and I will be okay with that. But at least a small percent of flexibility has to exist, or this will just be a long and boring todo list that never gets done.

The second group I mentioned isn’t against moving away from WP. They simply want to ensure it’s done in a logical way, ensuring ClassicPress is stable for the users.

James described this well in another post, which gets to the heart of the compatibility problem:

the biggest risk to the long-term success of ClassicPress: thinking that it’ll be fine if we stop thinking about compatibility.

Think about it this way: do you want to have to re-check all the plugins on your sites when upgrading, change some of them out, and possibly migrate content for a bunch of posts/pages? We might think people will be happy to do this before upgrading, but the reality is that most people will just skip through the warnings and then complain about how ClassicPress broke their site just like WP did. And we’ll be lucky if they actually come here to complain instead of just stop using ClassicPress altogether.

Go read this if you’re still not convinced: WordPress Gutenberg – the $500 MILLION Cost to Business

No longer caring about compatibility with WP, and with existing CP sites, would be a similarly grave mistake, but smaller of course. We simply don’t have the scale or reach to survive a mistake like that.

We’ve seen this happen with WP to CP migration. People run into problems, and just stop using CP. If they run into problems upgrading, they will end up leaving. So the changes have to be gradual and stable. We’re trying to be less like WordPress when they deploy broken features like Gutenberg.

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I am proposing a logical/stable way too.

But it looks like the base issue here is not about stability but about keeping both CMS work exactly the same instead of differently: “targetting users who switch existing sites from WP to CP and expect it to just work out of the box”.

Why not target “users who like WP and want to try something better for new sites” or just knowing that switching CMS will take some manual actions? That doesn’t mean unstable or illogic, it just means that you moved from CMS A to CMS B and that you need to do something about it. If you want everything to be the same then… well, don’t move.

I’m not here to change that view but just stating that from an OBJECTIVE point of view, wanting people to be able to switch existing sites from WP to CP is a very heavy weight to carry, leading to things like this:

if ( (is_plugin_active('woocommerce/woocommerce.php'))  || 
(is_plugin_active('classic-commerce/classic-commerce.php')) ) {
...

… which is beyond crazy.

And it will get heavier and heavier as WP 5+ keeps evolving. And yeah, I don’t think such a thing can ever be successful (hope I’m wrong about that!).

You are mixing things up here. Some people had problems with making TinyMCE 5.x compatible with plugins written during TinyMCE 4.x usage. Obviously, we aren’t trying to create compatibility for TinyMCE 5.x with WP 5.x since CP is mostly WP 4.9.

I think some folks don’t really understand what it takes to integrate the Tiny code into core, because it’s so easy to throw Tiny onto any HTML page and it’ll work. The trick is to make it work flawlessly for send/receive from the database, handle all the media with the database, handle content variations such as shortcodes and embeds, be accessible (at least no regressions), be configurable for styling and functionality, work in the browsers CP supports, and be extensible through existing functions as it was in the previous version (plugins can call one function to put an editor anywhere).
It is core code (which is WP 4.9) that needs to be compatible.
I don’t know what strange ideas people have about some “technical debt” that we could get rid of when updating to Tiny 5.x, because to accomplish all of the above, we still need all the existing core code. I’d rather make small fixes in it to work with 5.x than to rewrite it all, and at the same time, that can help make some plugins compatible also with no effort on their part.

People make decisions without the facts. That’s okay; it human nature.
But do some research before arguing about it or using guesses as the basis for influence.

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I was talking about things like the great wpautop, which has been mentioned sometimes as “we should keep it to not break things”… just as an example :slight_smile:

And “technical debt” isn’t any strange idea, it’s the biggest problem on the table. Not just regarding Tiny, but the whole thing.

I am talking about the general intentions here. Again, look at this:

if ( (is_plugin_active('woocommerce/woocommerce.php'))  || 
(is_plugin_active('classic-commerce/classic-commerce.php')) ) {
...

How many versions will it take to have something like:

if ( (is_plugin_active('woocommerce/woocommerce.php'))  || 
(is_plugin_active('classic-commerce/classic-commerce.php')) ) {

   if($woocommerce_version > whatever and $today == "tuesday"){

      // special case for the special subcase in lalala ...
...

Don’t want to create hate, just look at the essence of what I’m saying.

Want a solid approach?

Make a few solid choices, decide which breaking changes are going to exist and create a version 2 with just a few plugins that are actually maintained (Classic Commerce, Classic SEO, Classic ACF …) and there you have something that can look at itself on the mirror and say: “wow, I’m an interesting project”.

I would definitley help there. And so would others. But throwing hours to keep wpautop working or saying “no we not gonna separate comments into a core plugin cuz it will break old sites” and so on… it’s way too conservative. Almost as conservative as writing a movie screenplay using MS-DOS.

image

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This particular problem has been solved for a long time, there is no need for this check for CC compatibility or any others, nor will there be in the future. See: Making Extension Plugins Compatible with Classic Commerce - #4 by james

We should keep wpautop if we want people to be able to easily and successfully upgrade their existing sites from ClassicPress v1 to v2 (or v3 or whatever version number it would actually end up being).

If you disagree with this then it shows that you have not worked on a platform like WP/CP at scale, with practically infinite variations in how it is used and what other code is frequently running along with it and depending on the current behavior, bugs and warts and all.

Do a search on the forums for “wpautop” and you will see some examples of the kinds of unexpected breakage that occurs when disabling wpautop. It can be done today; you should try it on your sites. Just not in production.

I was saying that people claiming that there is technical debt that could be removed is a strange idea. All you gave was an example that is in a plugin, not core.

Are you proposing to add plugin code into core, or to add more code (those plugins) to the burden of the project? How can either way be better handled than what we’ve got already?

It’s not changing, so it takes no maintenance. Once you change it or remove it, then you have maintenance to do!

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:slight_smile:

Lets look at the title of this post once again. Read the opening post once again. Is it an invite to discuss how we should implement code, or what should be done, or is it a post of a motivated and motivating user, expressing long needed appreciation for the folks keeping this CMS somewhat alive?

I believe it is the latter. And what happens in this thread, and happens in every single other thread is one of the biggest problems in CP.
Lots, but lots of discussions that are not related whatsoever to the topic.

One asks to create a GIT Mirror to save us some hassle, and the discussion diverges into “why people leave CP”
Someone posts about being grateful and (between the lines) suggests we should actually encourage each other instead of keep throwing negative resentments at the (public) reader, and the discussion diverges into wether we should or not remove wp-autop.

And the end of every thread or topic is then at the end that everyone expressed their valued opinion, but nothing got done.

Nothing. The bad plugins in our dir are still there, the folks who ask to get power to fix what they can fix do not get an answer, the whole point of appreciation, and being positive, is (to any reader who comes here new or old) blown in the wind and if I wouldn’t know better, I would - as a new user - just guess this is some sort of Facebook or Twitter where folks express their somewhat important or less important opinion in a very uncoordinated way. How should a new user trust that these same folks are able to maintain a CMS that should power the future of one’s online presence?

We do in fact have new features coming in V1.4
Features that are not in WP. Features that you wont find in this forum easily because they where not discussed for 3 weeks. They are here as a petition, got implemented, and most are already merged and ready for 1.4

So… thank you @arjayarana for the positive sentiment and appreciation you try to express here. I do hope this is seen, and the goal of your post is recognised. I understand the whole point of your post was to bring in some positive meaning and show that you as a user actually appreciate the work done on CP (which shows as well that there is work done. It is not dead, and folks like you do have their hopes and trust that it will continue to grow, if we only manage to not self pity ourself)
I can’t agree more, and again thanks for the words.

Thank you back for being an involved user. An appreciated Developer might leave the community behind but having users with your mind set is something we also need. It actually builds the motivation to do work on the CMS, because other than for myself, I also want to do whatever I can for those who use it.
And surely it is good to know that this is appreciated - I am quite sure this is the same for every kind of human, from time to time, appreciation makes the difference.

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Of course, what exists, exists because of those who made it happen. I appreciate the effort that has been done to push CP so far. I first heard about it on a podcast where James talked about it with someone else whose name I don’t remember.

And as I stated many times, I don’t want to create hate or push a vision. I like this discussion because it also helps me to understand stuff. I’m very open minded about the ideas that have been expressed here, and read them all with attention.

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Thank you :slight_smile:

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IMO, it is very important → to encourage each other on the way to a better future. Especially in our tough times.

After reading your words, I feel as I would like to create a good future not only for me but also for others. Thanks, man!

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