Is the roadmap still alive?

There have been some good discussions on Slack recently in #marketing about trying to raise CP’s profile, and @1stepforward made a post in Reddit replying to a user’s thoughts about the direction of WordPress:

But I was especially interested in the reply by a Reddit user called limerobot that followed.

He/she echoes some of my concerns - nothing seems to be happening re V2 or the plugin directory, and with respect to the committee there isn’t (or I can’t easily see) a visible, dare I say charismatic, leader. Every major software project needs a figurehead or personality, and unfortunately we lost Scott.

There are other things that concern me too - the Roadmap page on the CP main website is buried in a dropdown menu when it should probably be top level, and the Roadmap page itself should be less conversational and more formally structured (“achieved” vs “planned”) - with dates.

I certainly wouldn’t agree with limerobot’s comment that CP looks like another dead fork, but it seems the momentum is in danger of being lost.

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Yes, I’ve read that too.

I actually find it quite an encouraging post. I completely understand where they are coming from but the fact that they say

I had the impression (at least until now) that ClassicPress was another dead fork.

to me, is a good thing. At least our post on Reddit has shown that CP is still active. But I think we need to build on this.

They ask questions about Scott, which is only natural. They see that he is no longer with CP and probably assume he got bored and did a runner. So I think some clarity on that would help.

They are also of the impression that CP has not been receiving updates when James has been well on top of this.

So, all in all, there are quite a few misconceptions here and it’s a good opportunity to straighten things out.

I think maybe an “official” response to the post on Reddit would now be helpful, now that we’ve got a dialogue going. Maybe @BlueSkyPhoenix or @james could take this forward?

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Yes, I think that would be helpful. My perception (which may be wrong of course) is that nothing has been happening regarding V2 and the plugin directory for several months now, and I’m not sure why.

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Yes, that’s a concern to me. We now have to push for team leaders to supply updates. I don’t know if this is all due to the current world health issues but I’ve started considering alternatives to CP.

The current global crisis has undoubtedly had a significant impact. It certainly has for me. I’ve been struggling to get motivated (not just with CP, but with everyday things) and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. Everyone deals with these events in their own way.

I think given current events, everyone needs to be given a little slack.

I know you’ve said this before and it’s probably only action (not words) that will make you change your mind but I personally do not believe that CP is a dead end. I’ve moved all my WP sites (bar one) over to CP and I’m in the process of moving several other non-WP sites to CP too. That’s an awful lot of work and I wouldn’t be doing it if I thought CP wasn’t going anywhere.

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If I’m not wrong all the fixes to make CP PHP 7.4 compatible are already rolled out.
Releasing a version with such fixes could be a nice message from the community.

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Yes that’s fair. But some official output from the committee would help us all to keep the faith, even if it’s just to give us a rough idea of what to expect in the coming months (for example, 2020 Q3: version 1.2, 2021 Q1: plugin directory, etc).

There have been no blog posts on the CP main site since March, and social media isn’t exactly being saturated. I think there’s scope for a lot more evangelism to be honest.

I’m very keen for CP to succeed and have moved over 40 sites to it, as well as developing several free plugins to help the project and raise awareness, and I tweet relevant things regularly, but I’m only one guy.

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This is something @BlueSkyPhoenix, @james and I have been chatting about.

Regarding team updates, I’m going to push for updates at the beginning of every month. We can’t force teams to provide updates, but it should send a clear message that we expect progress.

Talking personally, the current world situation has also really taken a hit on my motivation for everything as well. I have pulled back on most volunteer work (except CP) and have pulled back on mentorship I was providing to young entrepreneurs. I’m hoping I can get back into the swing of things and have started making progress towards getting back into the right mental space, but I do agree with @1stepforward I think a little slack is needed. At the end of the day this is still a volunteer position for all of us and I hope everyone is doing well and we can all get back into the swing of things.

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That’s great and will help us non-committee members (but keen CP developers) to feel that we’re kept in the loop. It will also help the wider WP community to see that CP is active and pushing forward.

Yes, these are strange times and everyone is affected differently. Personally I’ve been more productive (most of the time) but motivation has been a challenge at times.

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That’s a fair point and sounds reasonable enough to me.

This is great. Regular updates are crucial, although I wonder if maybe every two months would be more practical than every month?

I personally would like to see this as a requirement of being a team leader. I know we’re all volunteers but if you’re a team leader, you take on and accept a certain level of responsibility on behalf of ClassicPress. Even a “nothing to report” is better than a no-show imho.

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I agree, though I think while we get back into the swing of things monthly may be okay. I’ll do another Team Update in July and then we can discuss maybe every 2 months after that :slightly_smiling_face:

I agree, to be honest I thought it was understood but I think maybe it needs to be clearer. Having the Team Updates also gives a good way for the community to see if a committee member is actually worth their vote next time around - at the end of the day I still think a lot of this comes down to growing pains and we will figure it all out along the way :slightly_smiling_face:

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I think there is a number of reasons for this – some of it is perception, because it’s hard to notice progress when it’s not 100% visible. Some of it is inadequate communication.

Scott never wanted to be the figurehead, and when the Founding Committee started all of this in 2018, they all agreed that no one person should have all the power or be the figurehead. For better or worse, that’s the path that was chosen. There were very strong feelings that there should not be another MM situation… not even the vague whiff of it.

The website has gone through a few iterations at this point and each one has been an improvement on the last. Anyone in the CP Community who wants to suggest further updates and/or enhancements to the website is welcome to take that on.

I’m not sure how to get more clear than this… suggestions?

Perhaps. I’d prefer to see @james continue to drive the project forward, which leaves this to me, I suppose. I don’t spend time on Reddit but could set up a ClassicPress account; I just don’t want to see it become yet one more platform that needs to be managed when there are too few people to keep an eye on it.

I know for myself, I’ve had to really focus on keeping my business afloat. I’m trying to keep the lights on, here – not just for me, but for my clients as well.

@ozfiddler I am very sorry to hear you are considering alternatives and I hope that by trying to do better (via regular updates), we can win back your confidence.

I don’t disagree and can own that as team lead. I’ve said a number of times here on the forum and in Slack that I would welcome some help. Having team updates so that marketing actually has something new to talk about, will be helpful.

That said – that doesn’t negate the need for more help on the marketing side of things. There’s only so many hours in a day… and as Wade said, we are all volunteers.

I too was under the impression that it was understood by team leaders. However, I want to offer the benefit of the doubt and believe that the lack of communication has been much more to do with the world crisis at hand, rather than a lack of commitment or responsibility. Time will tell and certainly, Wade does have a point – if you’re not present and communicating; if you’re not pulling your weight and producing… then when it comes time to vote, the Community will take care of the issue. And there are no exceptions to that.

I will have a Reddit account set up before the end of the week and prepare a response. I can’t provide an answer to all of his comments but will do my best.

Thanks to all for your comments.

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A link to that thread has been posted on Reddit. Maybe there also needs to be a link to it in the Our History section on the About page on the website?

That’s a fair comment and I’m not trying to add to your burden but the Reddit post was brought to our attention and it seemed like it warranted a response of some sort. I agree that it shouldn’t just be your sole responsibility. Maybe we could assign a particular platform to interested members of the community?


On the subject of Reddit, a “Sun-Shiney” has posted a response. It rambles on a bit in a style that seems all too familiar, written by someone who seems to be fully aware of what’s been happening at CP and someone who is very pro-marketing. Someone who is probably very well known to these forums. And I suspect that the “one person” they refer to may well be one and the same.


I would just like to reiterate that anyone and everyone is free to comment on Reddit and elsewhere. If you want to add your voice, go ahead.

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Wasn’t me! :grin: On Reddit I’m u/zigpress. But their thoughts about herd behaviour (and reading between the lines, about momentum being self-perpetuating) are spot on.

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No, sorry. Should have further qualified my earlier comment by saying that it’s someone who is no longer active on these forums. Or at least, hasn’t been active for a while. That’s my theory anyway :slightly_smiling_face:

How about giving u/frogsgob some upvotes then? :wink:

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Free software is a participatory effort.

Many people in the ClassicPress community understand this very well, but one thing that is still lacking from my perspective as core/development lead is help from developers who understand how to code and deliver the features we need without breaking the existing ecosystem or otherwise damaging the ways users can use ClassicPress.

I had hoped that the release and maintenance of a stable version 1 would be enough to attract many more contributors of this type, but that hasn’t happened to the extent needed to implement our full roadmap.

Given the current situation, both with ClassicPress and the rest of the world, I will continue making progress on our outstanding items as I’m able. I do have a lot of other demands on my time these days, but in the meantime, ClassicPress is ready for production use and it will remain stable.

I know that not everyone in our community writes code, and that’s fine. There are many other ways to get involved and help ClassicPress keep growing. Here is just one example: Discussions: Should ClassicPress become involved?

As far as improvements to the site and the roadmap, we have also stated multiple times that any suggested revisions to documentation and other site content are welcome. I think it would be a good idea to make some of the pages on the main site available for revision under this system: Contributing to the ClassicPress documentation However, this is another thing that we’ve set up for contributors but has received very little traction from the community.

Finally, about the ClassicPress leadership structure, we had very good reasons for avoiding a “single figurehead” approach at the start of the project, and these reasons are still valid. There is definitely room for improvement here though. So far this year, the committee is not fulfilling the responsibilities that it has set out for itself. The committee hasn’t met since January, and in that meeting we approved some good rule changes for the management of the project, but no one has taken the initiative to document them publicly. Also, we have multiple teams which are not making progress on any of their stated goals or at least not communicating any progress. This suggests to me that we need to change our approach.

I’m also optimistic that regular updates from all team leads will begin to help improve this situation, and you can all expect one from me in the June updates thread by the end of this week.

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I’ve been thinking about this over the last few weeks/months. It seem to me that the original idea for ClassicPress was a noble plan, but there simply isn’t the necessary following and support that is needed for such an undertaking. I’m sure we are all aware of the constant requests for more help, more developers, more coders, more input, more everything. But it seems the same half dozen people end up doing all the work. And they are obviously getting stretched very thin.

It occurs to me that there are similarities with my clients when I design a website for them. They start with grandiose plans for lots of amazing features, but when they come to the reality of the work involved it rapidly prunes down to a few basics. Maybe ClassicPress needs to rationalise its approach as well. The roadmap seems to be more for Los Angeles, when we don’t even have enough workers for Outer Mongolia. If expectations are lowered then it may end up being more achievable.

I don’t know where this is all going any more. I do know I’m really happy with Classic Commerce and I want to use this well into the future. But I can’t see it being much more than a simple ecommerce solution that will have limited support for any “extras” in the way of the usual WooCommerce plugins and extensions.

Perhaps ClassicPress (and Classic Commerce) need to focus more on providing something like a basic “CMS framework” that developers can use to extend in any way they want. So it would be more like Perch, for those who know that CMS. I’m starting to think that trying to come up with some sort of parallel alternative to WordPress is like taking on Facebook. You can’t ever compete in that market, so it might be better to move in a different direction.

Sorry for the negativity, these are just random thoughts and probably not all that constructive.

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For me, ClassicPress has been a life saver, as WordPress digs itself a bigger and bigger hole. CP is stable, dependable and a reliable fork of classic WP.

I know CP will simply work for me and can use the majority of WP plugins. This is its biggest selling point.

However, it seems that issuing security patches is the only thing the CP core has done since its inception. To the general public, that would also appear to be the impression.

We have team members who are experts in the fields of programming, marketing and legal. But we do not have a charismatic person as the public face of CP. While I understand that was a deliberate choice, I think it is a mistake.

As much as Matt Mullenweg is despised by some, he is still the figurehead that represents WP. We need someone to promote CP to the world. That person needs to be at arm’s length from the day-to-day work going on behind the scenes. As such, they can concentrate on promotion, which CP sorely needs.

The last six months have been a trying time worldwide, stretching everyone’s workload. But if we don’t have the resources to move on to bigger and better things, then we need to focus on selling what we do have - a very good fork.

Scott used to talk about Gutenberg being the “Elephant in the room”. It still is and CP is still as necessary now as it was at the beginning. If we, as users, are becoming disillusioned, then how can we expect people to choose us over WP?

It is no good simply saying we don’t have the manpower, we need to capitalize on what we do have. We have the basis for a WP alternative. Let’s sell it for what it is - not what it may one day be.

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At this point I would probably rather live in Outer Mongolia than LA. Stability and quality of life. Extending that analogy to WordPress vs ClassicPress is an exercise left to the reader.

Perhaps ClassicPress (and Classic Commerce) need to focus more on providing something like a basic “CMS framework” that developers can use to extend in any way they want.

The simplest answer to this is “it already exists”, and many developers are already very familiar with that system. Custom post types, taxonomies, etc.

I’m open to trying this. I like the idea that this person would not determine the direction of ClassicPress by themselves. Who’s going to do it?

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This.

In fact this relates closely to a point in my opening post.

Also this.

Every day I am grateful for the existence of CP. The fact that it is not continually trying to reinvent itself is an absolute boon and saves me hours every week.

But it needs a lot of creative and charismatic PR and marketing to build momentum, and it sorely needs a plugin directory.

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