Jake Caputo prohibited from speaking at WordCamps, sparks guideline discussions

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jake-caputo-blackballed

Jake Caputo is the developer behind DesignCrumbs, and you might also remember him from a ThemeThrift feature we posted last year. Caputo makes and sells WordPress themes, and does so via the ThemeForest marketplace. Last week he received notice that he was no longer allowed to speak or to volunteer at WordCamps.

Caputo wrote up a post in response to the news, which as of this writing has drawn in over 120 comments — including thoughts from a number of smart, experience developers and Matt Mullenweg himself.

The bit of the guidelines that Caputo ended up butted heads with is on the “Representing WordPress” page and reads:

If distributing WordPress-derivative works (themes, plugins, WP distros), any person or business should give their users the same freedoms that WordPress itself provides. Note: this is one step above simple compliance, which requires PHP code to be GPL/compatible but allows proprietary licenses for JavaScript, CSS, and images. 100% GPL or compatible is required for promotion at WordCamps when WordPress-derivative works are involved, the same guidelines we follow on WordPress.org.

Sellers on ThemeForest are not allowed to list their themes as 100% GPL, and Caputo said the Foundation told him that even if he found a way to do so, any participation at all on that network prohibits him from WordCamp speaking and volunteering.

Note that this is not about license compliance in a legal sense. Envato would argue that their stance is entirely legal, and the WordPress Foundation seems to agree. It’s not as simple as legal compliance — it’s about a special rule set for WordCamp speakers and volunteers by the WordPress Foundation.

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Photos taken at the 2012 WordPress Community Summit

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Last weekend was the WordPress Community Summit in Tybee Island, Georgia. I stayed in a house with some of the coolest folks I know — WordPress or otherwise — and we all took a bunch of photos during the trip. I’ve included a few of them below.

I’ll be publishing further thoughts on the WordPress Community Summit, as well as a special recording we did during the event, real soon.

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Recap: Matt Mullenweg’s 2012 State of the Word

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Matt Mullenweg gave his ninth State of the Word presentation at WordCamp San Francisco this weekend to a standing room only crowd at the Mission Bay Conference Center. He recapped the year’s highlights, reflected on projections from last year, and named a few challenges that WordPress faces at the moment.

A number of the things he covered won’t be news to many of you who read WPCandy often, but some of it well. Check out the full recap below (or the blow-by-blow from the weekend’s liveblog) for all the details.

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WordPress is nine years old today

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On May 27th, 2003, Matt Mullenweg announced the availability of the first release of WordPress, version 0.7. He and Mike Little became the co-founders of a little project that, in the years since, has made a big impact on web publishing.

A lot has happened in the last year. If you have the desire to reminisce a bit, browse through our post archives starting last May and see just how much has happened since then.[ref]Speaking of which, check out the eighth birthday post for another blast from the not-so-distant past.[/ref] The WordPress community is a busy one!

If you’re in the mood to thank people today, you can thank WordPress co-founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, the hundreds of contributors to WordPress core over the years, support forum moderators and the theme review team, anyone who has made a theme or plugin that you’ve used, or maybe even the person who first introduced you to WordPress.

And looking forward, don’t forget that Mullenweg has made some interesting goals for the next year of WordPress development.

For the comments below, let us know how long you’ve used WordPress. Have you made decent progress in your career or hobby in the last year? What do you want to see the next year bring? And just think, as Ryan Duff joked on Twitter, about what we have to look forward to as WordPress approaches that “defiant teenager” age.

Outside the /wp-admin box: Mullenweg on a radically simplified WordPress for mobile

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Matt Mullenweg thinks that in order for WordPress to truly embrace mobile it will need to be re-imagined and simplified radically, beyond “responsive stylesheets or incremental UX improvements.” He discussed the project’s emphasis on mobile, or what he sees as the fourth major phase WordPress has been through, during an interview at the GigaOM/PaidContent conference yesterday in New York City.

Mullenweg laid his thoughts out a bit more on his blog, where he said that he spends a lot of time thinking about a very simplified version of WordPress for mobile devices. The paidContent blog quoted him saying WordPress “is a complex tool, it’s like the back of a digital SLR… but that doesn’t work on a phone.”

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Moody Ques WordPress BBQ booth sketch

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The above sketch for the Moody Ques BBQ team booth building includes the WordPress banner, since it’s a booth sponsored (and heavily attended) by the folks at Audrey Capital. Matt posted a sped-up video of the building’s construction.

I like seeing planning sketches like this, and it’s cool that to see the WordPress banner drawn in. Otto told us all about the BBQ week during WP Late Night and (crazy long) Aftertaste last night.

WordPress.org plugins can be favorited, improved forum integration

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If you spend any time on the WordPress.org plugin directory (or heard us talking about it on any of WPCandy’s podcasts last week) then you likely noticed a few updates. Matt Mullenweg described the tweaks himself over on the WordPress.org news blog, which is worth reading if you want to know the thinking behind the changes.

Briefly, the updates included:

  • Support forum threads are now pulled into their own tab, complete with the plugin’s header graphic at the top (assuming your plugin uses one of these).
  • Logged in users can now favorite plugins, which will display on their WordPress.org profile page.
  • Plugin authors are back in the right sidebar, and styled a bit nicer than before.
  • The plugin sidebar also includes the number of forum threads resolved in the last couple of weeks to help and point out active plugins.

If you’d like to take a look at these updates in action, check out the BuddyPress plugin page for an example, complete with header image.

The WordPress.org team completed the updates last week (along with the latest addition to Audrey Capital) during a BBQ week in Memphis. As Matt said in his post:

This is why WordCamps usually have BBQ – it imparts magical coding powers.

Had you noticed the updates to the plugin directory before seeing the announcement, or this post? Let us know what you think of them in the comments.

Scott Reilly (aka coffee2code) joins Audrey Capital

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WordPress developer and self-described “prolific plugin developer” Scott Reilly has joined Audrey Capital, Matt Mullenweg’s angel investment and research company. Reilly joins Audrey’s other developers Andrew Nacin and Samuel (Otto) Wood to work on WordPress.org and whatever other special projects come their way.

Reilly has contributed to WordPress since 2004, both by contributing patches to core and by developing and releasing many, many plugins. Odds are you’ve used at least one of his slew of plugins at one point or another — I’ve certainly praised his plugin work time and time again.

Developers at Audrey Capital, put simply, work on whatever projects Mullenweg assigns. Their work often includes work on WordPress.org (the website) and other community initiatives. The work often coincides with the consumption of barbecue, as it did this past week.