David Artiss recommends blocking CP for developers

Just saw this on David Artiss’ blog. Only his opinion, but is disturbing nonetheless.

According to his blog, David Artiss is an Enterprise Happiness Engineer at Automattic, working on the WordPress VIP team. He provides front-line support to enterprise clients.

He is a WordCamp speaker and volunteer as well as a long-time contributor to WordPress, having assisted with Core, Documentation, Support and WordPress.TV

He is also the author of a number of free WordPress plugins.

In essence, he says:

"As a plugin developer, I donate my time and energies to the WordPress community. I make it clear that I don’t support anyone modifying my code or running it on a non-standard variation of WordPress – this includes forks.

Although not the most popular WordPress fork, ClassicPress is getting a lot of publicity and interest at the moment. And for those developers who may wish to detect and, even, block use of this fork, ClassicPress themselves have made this something that is easy to achieve."

I find it interesting that he has disabled comments for that particular post :grinning:


Maybe he should watch this.

“Classic”. Excuse the pun.

I think that guy is Dedoimedo, who does reviews for Linux distros for example. He has a wicked sense of humour and really says what he thinks about them.

Definitely a market for budding entrepreneurs to make money by installing the classic editor plugin to “fix” websites :grinning:

This article was shared in Slack a few days ago and discussion ensued… David also took part as he is a registered member of the workspace, for whatever reason. He’s very entrenched with Automattic, so the opinion isn’t surprising. He went on to accuse us of being an angry group of white men, which has since been deleted from the article. It’s my opinion that he was attempting to drive wedges in the community by using those hot-button words and it really had nothing to do with helping anyone – the “tutorial” was just a thin wrapper for it. Maybe it was his plan to sit back in Slack and just watch it all blow up into a big thing. It didn’t, just for the record. In fact, his disagreement was welcomed.

Anyway, with a fork comes brand new opportunities – opportunities to make new connections, to find new revenue streams, to innovate with fresh eyes, to avoid the mistakes that the original software perpetuated, and to shed the technical debt of yesterdecade. I fully support everyone’s “right” to miss out on these great benefits.

I hope that the ClassicPress project (and community) gets to a place where its not focusing time, energy, and clicks on these types of articles and personalities…they only sap momentum, foster negativity, and make people waste their precious time in argument…like they’re intended to.

…just my .02¢ worth…


I realize David is heavily biased because of who he works for/with, as I’m sure most people would be if they went to his blog. But I also think it is worthwhile knowing what other people are saying about CP.

While I agree that negativity serves no useful purpose in itself, I do think being able to remain detached, but informed, makes us that much stronger for it. Blinkers may keep our vision focused, but they also make us ignorant of what is going on around us.

Maybe we could have a private category in the forum that visitors can’t see. It’s not that we have anything to hide, but we don’t have to air all our laundry for all the world to see.

We all appreciate the time and effort the team is putting into CP and my post was not intended to undermine that. In fact it was not aimed at the team at all, but merely to illustrate the lengths some people will go to in an effort to protect WP.


Your points are well-taken. I don’t think anyone will feel your post is aimed at the team. :slight_smile:

I agree that it’s important to know of/about the negativity. Indeed, it’s very important to proceed without blinders – I think the Gutenberg project is a great testament to that. I certainly do like to “gauge the weather” on how people feel about ClassicPress, but also feel it’s wasteful of resources to engage in debate, in some cases – some are merely looking for an argument, rather than a substantive debate.

Re: private forum for dirty laundry… I like the transparency of these types of discussions and when people stumble across them later they can see that the CP community are a level-headed group, truly intent on reclaiming the community aspect that WordPress left behind, and moving the project forward in a positive way. I believe having these discussions visible benefits the community.


Yes, posts in private categories eventually get leaked anyway and once people know they exist, they wonder what we are talking about. It then encourages spam registrations so they can see the hidden content, defeating the purpose of having it in the first place.

I also agree the team should not get involved in public debates that are only ever designed to create arguments. As for us regular members, it is different because we aren’t seen as “staff” for want of a better word. A bit of humour can often be quite refreshing as well as informative.


I read the brief article and would take him at his word. He works for Automattic, and certainly Automattic would not like someone forking WP even though it is GPL (still).

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We don’t have any plans for a private forum, however with Discourse we do have a “Lounge” for users who reach Trust Level 3 :slightly_smiling_face:

We likely will never have a private forum because we stand by open discussion where all are welcome regardless of views.


“I make it clear that I don’t support anyone modifying my code or running it on a non-standard variation of WordPress – this includes forks.”

I find this sentence interesting, because it is ambiguous. Did he mean “support” as in “provide assistance with using”, or did he mean “support” as in “approve of?”

If the former, that would certainly be his prerogative because who wants to support a plugin for free anymore than they have to?

If the latter, it would seem rather hypocritical, as his employer is a zealous enforcer of the GPL, unless of course he differs from Automattic regarding the GPL, which seems unlikely.

Too bad he wrote that sentence in an ambiguous way; it would be nice to know if he is hostile towards ClassicPress or just disinterested in supporting his plugins on ClassicPress in addition to WordPress.


At the risk of adding to the negativity, I am pretty sure he meant the latter.

This sort of tactic is completely unnecessary. As we have said from the beginning, all ClassicPress v1.x releases will be fully compatible with WordPress 4.9.x.

More info: Longevity for CP

From a strictly strategic perspective, I think it would unrealistic not to expect anyone working for Automattic to be against ClassicPress and to do what they can within reason to discourage its use.

I’ve seen this first-hand, attending a local WP meetup group conducted by an Automattic employee who quickly and severely dismissed my concerns about Gutenberg. The same person began attacking my comments on Facebook WP / Gutenberg forums, calling reasonable concerns ridiculous and unfounded and refusing to address concerns. So the animus is clearly there and real. Of course we don’t have to return that in kind. It’s not healthy and it’s not necessary. But I do think it makes sense to know what’s going on out there.


There’s a saying that floats around the planet periodically: If you are not making someone angry, you’re probably not doing the right thing.

I’m for a private area for periodic use but no time to discuss it right now. All I know is that in my lifetime, I’ve run far too many groups, orgs, biz etc. where there are times when privacy was exactly what the doctor ordered and in its absence, too much humaness got in the way. That does not mean a loss of democracy. It is just common sense, sometimes. As I said, busy, busy… but would like to revisit this at some point.

Actually, my old hero Voltaire once said that you should judge a man not solely by his friends but by his enemies as well. The implication (that I clearly would agree with) is that if you’re not ticking off someone, you aren’t living as boldly and as “out loud” as you can. I’ve ticked off many a person at WP meetings before I discovered ClassicPress with my opinions regarding Gutenberg. And I’m proud of it. I don’t strive to be gravel in the machine as opposed to oil, but I can’t agree with something I believe is ethically wrong and just addle-headed.

I think as far as privacy is concerned, I would concur once things get moving with CP a little more rapidly in terms of development. If WP is against CP, (which is to be expected of the company that created the ethical dilemma in the first place), I wouldn’t knowingly provide details on how I planned to fork the product going forward. I’d have open forums as are here, and keep in-depth development plans, what I call “how to,” confidential for obvious reasons until someone is thoroughly vetted for that level of understanding.

And in saying that, I may be excluding my own humble self, knowing my technical limitations (at present) in programming; but it’s the point of valuing the work being done in the project to want to continue its growth into perpetuity with as little attendant drama as possible.

As Dennis Miller says, “of course, I could be wrong.” Just how I feel right now.

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Re privacy – the path that I’ve always found efficient was to have a small, well-informed, enthused group of people do some back-forth arguing on paths forward for x and then, when a proposal state is arrived at, bounce it back to the larger community for comments. I’ve always found that seems to make things move faster then alternative methods. You are right, thogh, re size of community. Stages … stages… stages…

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I think the important thing to remember here is that people like David 1) feel superior to the average WP user, 2) feels that the code they writes is “theirs”, 3) feels threatened and angry that us ungrateful WP users have dared to create a fork that goes against the direction of WP, 4) deeper down, is facing fear, acceptance and forgiveness issues.

The biggest thing I think the collective “we” could is keep the discussion / narrative focused on what CP is providing that WP 5 w/Gutenberg no longer provides.


Completely agree, and I think our community and democracy is a big factor there :slight_smile:

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