Oh dear but this is sad

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

With some of the current unpleasantness going on in the WordPress support forum and elsewhere, I’ll focus more quickly on getting the WordPress to Movable Type format export finished. This doesn’t mean I’m encouraging people to move, as I really like WordPress. And it doesn’t mean you’re locked into moving back to Movable Type: most major weblogging tools provide utilities and instructions for importing MT formatted weblog data.

(That’s why I will only support the MT format–using Atom is just a way of showing that you’re geeky. Sorry, but why focus on an export format not supported by most tools?)

However, some of the decision making can have some pretty adverse impacts on the non-geeks who just want to use a weblogging tool that works and doesn’t get them spammed. I really like WordPress, and respect and like many of the people who work on and help support the tool; but right now, there are a lot of growing pains and a little too much arrogance associated with the core community, and this isn’t good for the tool.

(I wonder if I just lost my volunteers for my upcoming tutorials?)


MT and WP Tutorials

My thanks to the two people who have volunteered their sites for conversion from MT to WP 1.3: Steve from Rodent Regatta and Loren from In a Dark Time. I’d hoped for two more, but we’ll go with these fine gentlemen. As soon as WP 1.3 releases and I have a chance to upgrad my sites and make sure all is well, I’ll tackle their moves.

I’ve also had a couple of Movable Type 3.1 folks who have volunteered installations and space, but right now this beta is all hush-hush so I’ll give them credit later.

I’ve been asked why I’ve dropped the port-a-blogging business. Part of the reason is that I’ve postponed buying my camera because of changing financial circumstances. I had planned on putting book money into the fund, but the book didn’t materialize. The money that has been donated (for which I am grateful) will go to film and development; with my Nikon 995, this will do.

However, the main reason for shutting down the weblogging porting biz is that my charging any kind of fee-based service is just not a workable proposition with WordPress. It’s not that the community surrounding WordPress is inimical to someone charging for services associated with WordPress development; it’s that if the service isn’t offered for no charge when you start, it most likely will be within a week or so after starting.

Additionally, people are now getting paid to work in the Movable Type environment, where before they did it for thanks and tips and I sometimes wonder if that hasn’t changed the perception of expectations between ‘weblog developer’ and ‘weblog community’. Movable Type has moved into the arena of the fiercely paid, with an associated expectation of service on demand; while leaving other tools such as WordPress to be obsessively free, but still competing in the same marketplace.

It’s hard to find the words to say without sounding petty, but I’ll give it a shot: I love to tinker with tech and to write, and I enjoy helping others, and don’t mind that I don’t get paid; but I don’t want to feel obligated to do things this way.

I can’t beat the cost of doing things for free, and I don’t want to volunteer to help all people with all things related to WordPress. Nor do I want to become One with the Force, as it were, in order to get legions of adoring fans. I’ve been working with tech close to 25 years now; I stopped having love affairs with my tools back when when I thought Java was hot, only to find out it was just another pretty langauge now fat and bloated by eating too many constructs.

Instead, I’ll convert this small select group of folk, and write tutorials that might help others do the job themselves. Then that will be it for my development and writing online about weblogging tools. Somehow, somewhere along the way, it stopped being fun.

I’ll still write on technology–gentle PHP and might MySQL, Internet ins and out and gotchas, and twisty techs like RDF, with other bits of this and that thrown in; but only as the interest moves me, and that way we’ll all have fun.