EP407 – A Second Helping of Governance: The PHP Foundation

November 26, 2021

This week on WPwatercooler, Morten Rand-Hendriksen will join us to talk about governance with the PHP Foundation and the many aspects of the WordPress Foundation. We spent time on the program discussing the PHP Foundation, what they are doing well, what they are doing wrong, what we can learn from them, and how we might do something similar.


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Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] Sé Reed: 5 4 3, 2, 1,

[00:00:09] Jason Tucker: This is episode number 407 of WPwatercooler a second helping of governance. The PHP foundation

[00:00:18] Sé Reed: the real black Friday.

[00:00:19] Jason Tucker: brought to you by us over a WPwatercooler. WPwatercooler.com/store. And buy a cool shirt with my last name on it.

[00:00:29] Sé Reed: It was a real, are you really exist?

[00:00:31] Jason Tucker: And Inmotion Hosting. Go to InMotionhosting.com to learn more. Check them out over Inmotion Hosting for 24/7 support affordable prices and learn how you can watch your website in minutes.

[00:00:43] Jason Tucker: I’m Jason Tucker, you can find me at Jason Tucker on Twitter. He Steve’s ain’t

[00:00:51] Sé Reed: he’s not here today.

[00:00:52] Jason Tucker: no he’s playing golf.

[00:00:56] Sé Reed: Hi, I’m Sé and I make WordPress teacher at Preach WordPress lement WordPress. Sometimes that SeReedMedia on all the things, but mostly Twitter.

[00:01:05] Jason Cosper: it’s your boy, Jason Cosper, AKA fat Mullenweg, back at it again on the world’s most influential WordPress podcast.

[00:01:11] Sé Reed: said it.

[00:01:12] Jason Tucker: of which go and leave us a review on apple podcasts, Google podcasts, and Spotify. We’d really appreciate it. And if you’re the chatting sort, you can go and hang out with us on discord. Good. WPwatercooler.com/discord to

[00:01:25] Sé Reed: You don’t have to pay a monthly for me,

[00:01:28] Jason Tucker: You don’t have to pay a monthly fee.

[00:01:30] Sé Reed: it’s pretty. And my freely mean free.

[00:01:33] Jason Tucker: All right, folks. So today we’re going to be discussing. Black Friday deals in WordPress.

[00:01:40] Sé Reed: Yeah.

[00:01:41] Jason Tucker: you for coming and hanging out with me. I just want to let you know that all you got to do is you just need to put in your field that links in the chat and we will not share them. And it’ll be fun. We’ll have a

[00:01:52] Sé Reed: We already broke Morten who obviously does not listen to the show enough do you think we got less weird? Because yeah.

[00:02:01] Jason Tucker: No, man we just added an intro to the weird we’re all good.

[00:02:05] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: And random commentary. All of the intro. You all made yourself?

[00:02:10] Sé Reed: Welcome to the show. We bring, I figured it out. Finally, we bring the great British bake-off energy to the tech field and that’s what we do. I figured it out last night. I just realized Noel Felding that I have a lot in common. Okay. Who you might better know as old Gregg tech people anyway.

[00:02:33] Sé Reed: Okay. Yeah. Everyone’s yeah. Great, okay. Let’s talk about why we’re really here today. It’s not black Friday.

[00:02:39] Jason Tucker: no.

[00:02:40] Sé Reed: No it is a really interesting news drop announcement from the PHP foundation that was this week. My time meter is like really off. I think it was this week.

[00:02:53] Jason Cosper: It’s a weird week.

[00:02:54] Jason Tucker: It was fourth quarter as fourth quarter.

[00:02:56] Sé Reed: Yeah recently.

[00:02:58] Sé Reed: Jet brains. Put out a post talking about the, basically like the next stage of the PHP, the new, then the next stage of PHP and how it’s going to be governed and run as it is an open source framework like other open source softwares. Some of you, some of us may know and love and some of us Morton may know and not love anymore, but sorry. Not funny enough. Okay. The point here is the PHP foundation is a, is B is starting a thing. And one of the really the top mentioned company I looked there mentioned first is automatic friend of WordPress.

[00:03:48] Jason Cosper: 800 pound gorilla WordPress.

[00:03:51] Sé Reed: I think it, yeah, it’s like the 800 pound gorilla in the room of WordPress is really so

[00:03:55] Jason Tucker: Are we talking about Jetpack or are we talking about WordPress?

[00:03:58] Sé Reed: Jetpack Automattic yet. So we thought it was really interesting that Automattic was like, oh yeah, we see how a structure like this could work for PHP. So we thought we’d talk about that a little bit and see if perhaps we could extrapolate that and see if there are other situations in which something that seems to be going like a good idea for the PHP foundation could be extended.

[00:04:26] Sé Reed: But first we got to understand what they’re doing. So we brought on someone who knows what he’s talking about.

[00:04:34] Jason Tucker: for once? Wow. We finally got an expert. Look at that. Hey Morten, you doing?

[00:04:40] Sé Reed: bye.

[00:04:42] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: I’m Morten. I was not featured in the spectacular intro.

[00:04:46] Jason Tucker: we don’t do that to our guests, yes

[00:04:47] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: I am no longer a contributor to the open source WordPress projects, but here’s my intro.

[00:04:55] Sé Reed: Yeah, he and you passed on your essentials training, a Baton to Allie.

[00:05:03] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: eventually

[00:05:04] Sé Reed: I can’t actually don’t know how to pronounce her last name. I just realized I was about to say it out loud and I was like, whoops. Nimmons. Is it? Nimmons.

[00:05:12] Sé Reed: Neiman’s

[00:05:13] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: I’m just guessing.

[00:05:14] Sé Reed: my apologies, Allie. I don’t say your name out loud. Ever turns out just in my head.

[00:05:19] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: believe, I believe the name is your friendly neighborhood pain in the ass.

[00:05:23] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: According

[00:05:23] Sé Reed: one’s easier to pronounce.

[00:05:25] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: as much as

[00:05:26] Sé Reed: It’s easier to pronounce that. But yeah, so you’ve really moved on, but that’s why I thought it might be cool to ask you about this one, because really what we’re talking about here is a bigger structure than WordPress. Obviously we’re talking about PHP that’s way bigger than WordPress.

[00:05:41] Sé Reed: So what are your thoughts? What were your first thoughts upon reading this? And how hard did your, I did your eyes hurt a lot or a little bit after they rolled back into your head?

[00:05:52] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: So reading that article, the very first thought that struck me was, oh my God this is like a panic move

[00:06:00] Sé Reed: For PHP,

[00:06:02] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: you read it and you go, oh, what happened was the one key link that was holding the whole thing together. Fuck it, I’m going to agree to something else. And then everyone’s ah,

[00:06:13] Jason Cosper: Yeah.

[00:06:14] Sé Reed: we really needed that guy.

[00:06:15] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: the other, how the hell did we save this?

[00:06:17] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: And they just scrambled a kiss. Literally you read it and you go okay. So this is a company that goes . Our entire business is based. It’s predicated on this thing, living on. What do we do go find some blog posts on random dude wrote eight years ago and say, this is a good idea. Cole, all the other people whose life depends on PSP for all still functioning, make a foundation commit a hundred thousand dollars to it, just off the bat, just to get some money into it.

[00:06:44] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: And then immediately say if you’re a PHP developer by all means, apply for this money right now. So all I’m reading there. The ship is burning on fire. There’s a guy with axle on the bottom, like shopping holes in the bottom of it like sharks with tanks on their face and it’s shooting at it.

[00:07:02] Sé Reed: I think there’s lava

[00:07:03] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: before this explodes, we should leave. Sorry, not leave. We should definitely try to save it. And Result of that reading, like this is pure conjecture based on the article and how it’s written result of that is they’ve done the only rational thing that anyone can do in a situation like that, which. We make a foundation. We get a bunch of people together. They all pool money together. And then we start funding contributors because otherwise the whole thing falls apart. And then to make a foundation, we go to all the companies whose business is predicated on the existence or the continued existence of this programming language.

[00:07:42] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: And we say, Hey, if you have a vested interest show up with cash, and one of the key pieces there is, if you look at the article that says that JetBrains who published article. Is committing a hundred thousand dollars. And then they say, we expect that we will have a running budget of $300,000. And there’s a list of 10 other companies that are much bigger than JetBrains yet.

[00:08:05] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Somehow jet brains is contributing one third of the money. And as say, pointed out, when you go look at the list, you’ll see that the other contributors are people

[00:08:13] Sé Reed: There,

[00:08:14] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: or small companies,

[00:08:15] Sé Reed: Here I’ll link you to the, so the cool thing about what they glommed onto is the open collective, which is basically like a shell, a pre-made shell that organizations like this. Use as their, I believe it’s is it actually the fiscal sponsor? I think it might actually be the fiscal sponsor, but it’s basically like the governance sponsor and organizational component of the foundation.

[00:08:42] Sé Reed: And so you can really, it’s all open, which is very cool. And you can go on there and you can go see who’s contributed how much they’ve contributed and it has financial contributions and I believe code contributions also. So you can see both of those things. In terms of page, besides the fact that this should probably been done a little while ago it seems like this could be really a good thing, right?

[00:09:06] Sé Reed: CHP, because this is a somewhat it’s basically crowdfunded a crowdfunded, nonprofit, a crowdfunded.

[00:09:17] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: one of the, when you’re based on the announcement, the whole purpose of the creation of this foundation is to fund open source contribution,

[00:09:26] Sé Reed: Was the guy, what was his name?

[00:09:30] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Who do the work, right? And they even say you can apply for full-time or part-time funding and anyone can apply. So what they’re saying is we have now after X number of years acknowledge that core contribution to the project has actual monetary value.

[00:09:46] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: And we are one, we want to renew my rate, the people for doing it because it’s actual work. Which is the struggle that the open source community in general has right now, which is. In large part, the internet and especially the web stands and falls on voluntary contributions from developers yet.

[00:10:06] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Somehow some companies are deriving enormous wealth from

[00:10:10] Sé Reed: Or sponsored contributions because for example, with PHP, Nikita Popov was working for jet. So I’m assuming that a hundred thousand was just essentially that person’s salary. And they’re like we’re just taking the salary and we’re going to put it over here. If we were to extrapolate how that one that could possibly work for another WordPress foundation or a similar foundation, that would really just mean taking the money that you put towards the employee that you have working on core contributions and putting that into a pool where you would have less influence. But you would, it would, in theory, be the same amount of work being done on the code since that person was being paid as if they were a full-time person and could be combined with more people doing that since in theory, it would be funded by the collective. So there would be more positions available and.

[00:11:06] Sé Reed: In what makes a lot of sense to me is that those people would then work together for the foundation as opposed to be working separately, contributing with these kind of, they work for a company, but they also have, they’re also a core contributor. So they’re also part of that team. So that real split that I feel can’t help, but split people’s loyalties, but also really leads directly into the issue of.

[00:11:32] Sé Reed: Control. And is the team being able to make the best decisions for the code or are they making the best decisions in the project or they’re making the best decisions for the company that actually cuts their paycheck. So this takes that out of the equation, by having that money go to the foundation, which then pays the contributors.

[00:11:53] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: And there’s a model for this already in the open task foundation, right? So the open areas foundation was the JavaScript foundation and the node foundation that merged in 2017, I believe. And the reason why they did that was they recognized two things. Number one, didn’t have proper models for funding, the people who are building the tools and number two, they don’t have a model for funding, the infrastructure necessary for things to keep running.

[00:12:19] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: So what they did was they said, look, we’ll collect money from the people that actually make money off JavaScript or node. And then we will take it into a huge pot. And then we’ll have a foundation that doles out that money to say, oh, you’re running some server that runs some sort of essential feature that everyone is using on the web.

[00:12:34] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Pay for that server. So then we know that it keeps running, even if you don’t want to do it anymore. Or so that you don’t have to mow lawns to pay

[00:12:42] Sé Reed: So you will want to do it more

[00:12:44] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Yeah. But it’s not the life and death of the thing is no longer contingent on a single person doing it. Because the foundation is funding it and there’ll be able to fund someone else to take over if necessary and they’ll fund the infrastructure.

[00:12:56] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: So that if there’s. flood like we’re having where I’m at right now. And then all of a sudden a server farm goes down because it’s full of water, then they’ll be like we have the money to move the data. Whereas right now a lot of these things are just, they stand and fall on individual contributors.

[00:13:13] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Willing to just contribute endless time and money into it. So this is a responsible way of dealing with the problem. And even though, like I’m saying, they can spun this up in panic and it’s very rusty and very unfinished. It’s still a very clear signal that when, like, when you have an open source project that isn’t properly governed.

[00:13:36] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: If a single key person pulls out of that project, then the whole thing might fall apart. And this type of things shouldn’t be done like this, it should be done when it’s not dangerous.

[00:13:47] Sé Reed: What were to happen? I don’t know if we I’ve never really thought about this because I don’t like thinking about the bus factor. And Steve, who’s not here today. Always likes to call it the lottery factor. If you were to win the lottery tomorrow, you would be bounce versus if you got hit by a bus and you would bounce, but the that’s really the scenario.

[00:14:07] Sé Reed: Right? That’s so that’s the bus factors. This is one person is like the one says, what’s it called the point of failure? This one point of failure gets eliminated from the system and everything falls down. I’ve never really thought about it in terms of the head, our benevolent dictator, the head of the project, but for reals what would happen if obviously the lottery’s not going, gonna affect him, but

[00:14:29] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: I’ve

[00:14:30] Sé Reed: something were to happen to him and there’s no, you know what, at the real problem

[00:14:36] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: There’s a succession plan. I’ve

[00:14:38] Sé Reed: there, isn’t a

[00:14:38] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: I’ve asked multiple people about this, who know, and they say there’s a succession plan. I don’t think anyone was clear on what it is or whoever it is, whoever knows what it is not going to say it because that in itself would be. Risky.

[00:14:50] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: But there apparently is the responsible succession plan in existence as there should be. It’s a huge district thing. And the thing is keep in mind, Matt runs a giant multi-billion dollar company. You can’t run a multi-billion dollar company without a succession plan, but the question then becomes is the succession plan tied to the company or to the open-source project.

[00:15:09] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: My assumption is.

[00:15:11] Sé Reed: What impact would that have? Obviously automatic is going to have there, there plans in place so less worried about automatic and more in theory. The project itself, which has had kind of Matt as the north star for forever. Obviously you’ve got Josepha who would, I’m sure step up, but she is already the executive director.

[00:15:31] Sé Reed: I don’t know if she’d step into the benevolent dictator spot like that. Doesn’t are we the elect a new benevolent dictator? No. But.

[00:15:40] Jason Cosper: Do you mean, do we just pull Nathan out of cold storage?

[00:15:46] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: too busy working for Facebook or the government or both, I think to

[00:15:51] Sé Reed: Probably both. Yeah. So really w I’ve talked about this to various people, not really on the air, just the idea of why the WordPress foundation doesn’t do something like this, as opposed to just holding the copyright and then having, I don’t know if there’s a name for it, maybe more than what is the name for the.

[00:16:13] Sé Reed: That we are. Is it just like public private partnership, private open partnership, like this privately funded company funded, sponsored contributor model? What is that called?

[00:16:24] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: I don’t know if it has a name. It probably does. I just don’t know what I think historically there’s a reason why the foundation doesn’t do this and it’s because the foundation was specifically created just to protect the trademark and they would have to change it. And the function of the foundation is the trademark governance itself.

[00:16:42] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: And it’s interesting because like people keep saying. Un-clarity around it. Because in other communities, the foundation does something else. So everyone’s like, why doesn’t the WordPress foundation do that? And then the answer is always the same. We’re just, that’s not what the foundation does, but they don’t, no one has ever gone out and said, look, I will explain it to you.

[00:17:01] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: These are the legal papers that say, this is what’s happening. But basically the foundation just protects the trademark and that’s its role. And the foundation is just a piece of paper in a lockbox, somewhere in a lawyer office. And it’s basically just. That just controls the trademark. And you can, we can discuss that until the end of time.

[00:17:17] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: It doesn’t matter. The bigger question is why hasn’t. If you look at what’s happening with the PHP foundation right now, that’s a foundation that’s spun up in panic, right? You are in a situation where things are falling apart. You have to do something quickly. That’s not the way to do it. The way to do it is when everything is stable and secure.

[00:17:37] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: You spin up a foundation and you start managing the project in a responsible way. If something were to happen, you already have things in place. Now, if you go back and look there’s this really interesting panel discussion about the launch of the open JS foundation that happened at the JavaScript’s what’s it called?

[00:17:58] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Like there was a huge JavaScript conference in Berlin in 2017. I was there and they had this panel discussion about open jazz foundation. In that it JS con you it’s called 2017. So in that they say one of the main benefits of creating the foundation was it provides an ability for the foundation to go into negotiations with other companies on behalf of.

[00:18:24] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Everything to say that. Oh, so we want to enter into some sort of meaningful partnership with Microsoft or Adobe or Amazon, whatever something company, the big company will come back and say, I can’t enter into a partnership with an open source project because the open source project doesn’t exist. It’s just a bunch of contributors.

[00:18:42] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: But when you have a foundation, you can have a meaningful negotiation with other entities to have collaborative partnerships. And what changed for them was. Instead of acting defensively all the time about everything they could hack, they could act proactively and say, we see a problem on the horizon.

[00:18:58] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: We can actually go and work on this before it happens. That’s one of the key pieces to this. It’s not so much about taking control away from some people and giving it to others as turning the project into a viable project that can operate within the economic framework that exists in the rest of the world.

[00:19:15] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: And then you get the whole political side, which is open source and open source project can speak for itself. So automatic speaks on behalf of work. In you

[00:19:27] Sé Reed: And they recently did that,

[00:19:29] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: of WordPress. They speak on behalf of automatic and there’s no way

[00:19:32] Sé Reed: they recently didn’t they recently actually speak wasn’t there something that just came out that. It was contributing to where they basically were the word press. We had it on your Twitter, but I can’t remember exactly what it was.

[00:19:44] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Some symposium somewhere about some online safety in the UK or whatever, but the point is WordPress doesn’t have the Mackenzie, like the mechanical framework to actually do this. WordPress has no way of doing that because they don’t have a foundation. They don’t have a way for for power to be dissociated from individuals and become power that everyone subscribes to.

[00:20:06] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: And this is what the PHP foundation is doing. This. Other open-source projects are doing because they’re realizing it’s irresponsible not to do this. Now the counter argument to this has always been, but everything is working fine the way it is. A nonsense argument because yeah, it is, but it’s not due to it’s not due to good governance.

[00:20:25] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: It’s due to a lot of luck, and a lot of the appeal of WordPress itself, but you’re also seeing how brittle that is and how easy it is for people to leave. And you’re seeing that when you start getting competitors that are actually competitors, it becomes way more difficult. And if.

[00:20:42] Sé Reed: the WordPress project has been really self-organizing the community because in this kind of tight knit friendly really community, and as it’s gotten bigger, it has gotten more fractured. There’s just too much of it to really be able to know. The all the people in it. And so the self-governance idea of controlling your own thing.

[00:21:04] Sé Reed: It’s just too big for that now. Like it just there’s too many voices and too many people that are doing so many different things and so many businesses and whatnot that are based off of it, it’s just. It was possible before, because it was so much more of a tight-knit community, but now we’re really seeing, like you just said, like the fractures that come along with it and automatic is there to step into that position and they are stepping into it just by default.

[00:21:35] Sé Reed: They’re like, okay, we’re representing WordPress here because there isn’t anything.

[00:21:40] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: It’s also in line with what Matt said. I asked him about. Ages ago in public. And he said, anyone who wants to speak on behalf of WordPress, just step in and do it, right? This is on tape. It’s from

[00:21:52] Jason Tucker: we want that though.

[00:21:53] Sé Reed: Yeah, we don’t want

[00:21:54] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: No, I know. But that is the way he thinks about it.

[00:21:57] Sé Reed: right. That’s the meritocracy

[00:21:59] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: And then when someone tries to do it, it’s look at my big hammer.

[00:22:02] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: I’m going to keep hitting you on the head until you leave with it. So it’s not it’s very much a lack of understanding of, or a refusal to accept how the world really works, because there’s an island called WordPress where everything can be different. The problem is the rest of the world is sitting outside and being moving on past

[00:22:22] Sé Reed: not really, as, we’re not as much of an island as we

[00:22:25] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: it’s what you’re seeing with PHP is what you’re seeing with a lot of open-source projects right now, which is a maturity. Of the community into realizing, oh, we are infrastructure. We need to behave properly and we need to be rational about it. The one thing I’m very concerned about is that at some point someone’s going to be like, Hey, let’s make it into a Dow. new web free. Let’s have crypto

[00:22:49] Sé Reed: Oh, no.

[00:22:50] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: bullshit on it. But before

[00:22:51] Jason Cosper: If you look at the, if you look at the state of the word announcement he does, they do say

[00:22:58] Jason Cosper: Hope not also to go back to what Morton said about Matt saying that anybody could act on behalf of WordPress. I feel like that’s such a fucking cop-out because it’s basically like throwing code up on GitHub, someone files an issue, and then you just get the response port requests.

[00:23:20] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Yeah. It’s disingenuous nonsense, right? It’s and it’s this, it’s a dissociation from how the world works. It just doesn’t work that.

[00:23:29] Sé Reed: in my eye. I I always get this conflict when it comes to Matt, because he really, I really do believe he believes in his own vision. And so he has that genuine I think he’s earnest. I think that’s real, but I so I never really want to paint him as a villain. I don’t think I’m him have him as a villain, but there is something to be said for not listening to all of these voices within the community who keeping like rattling the warning signs and being like, Hey, this is a problem.

[00:24:05] Sé Reed: The brain drain that results from that when people who are trying to point out real problems are it’s falling on deaf ears and everyone’s this is going south. And I gotta go and I can’t stay here. And I think for the project, they’re like, fine, go.

[00:24:22] Sé Reed: If you want to stay, if you want to go. That even, I think erodes the community feel even more because it doesn’t, it’s it doesn’t matter if you’re there or not, you could be this person or that person, it doesn’t matter. And so when you start feeling like you don’t matter in the community and your insights or your opinions are irrelevant, then you know, you don’t feel like it’s really a community anymore.

[00:24:44] Sé Reed: And I think that when it, at the end of the day, it’s always it’s whatever Matt says, That’s like living in a patriarchal household, real father has spoken and that is the word. That’s what we’re doing. Let me ask a question. What do you think would be the response to other companies other than automatic or other people?

[00:25:10] Sé Reed: Forming something under the open collective, if we are all able to speak for WordPress, our own selves, like forming that I know there was a push towards that, obviously with the governance project or Elisa a flag-waving in that direction. But obviously it won’t be helped by the structures that are in place because there’s no incentive there.

[00:25:31] Sé Reed: But do you think that’s possible just with your little predictor hat on.

[00:25:36] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: I like that the community can step up and make a foundation or make an organization of some kind

[00:25:41] Sé Reed: Yeah, cause, and I think that’s important. We should not necessarily call it a foundation because since there is the WordPress foundation that really just creates confusion. So let’s call it the organization for.org makes sense. Based on my experience, the response will be, this was not. I think unless it’s, unless it passes by mats, that’s gonna be stamps it for approval. It will be this, it will be discounted as something non-official and therefore something not to be considered with strong language. Because it if it’s not, if it has not been approved by the top of the pyramid, it is not official, no matter what you do.

[00:26:21] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: And if the whole community. Or a large part of it, let’s say all the other economic interests got together and did something like this. It would just create a civil war within the community. And that would result in

[00:26:32] Sé Reed: a power struggle.

[00:26:33] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: It would be, but that power struggle is already happening. You see these big hosting companies gobble up anyone who has any power, right?

[00:26:40] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: So there’s clearly something happening with consolidation of power. And this isn’t, I’m not talking about WordPress specifically here. I’m talking about open source. All these companies are realizing that open source is extremely valuable and more importantly, that having control over specific open source project can help them guide.

[00:26:56] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: The internet and specific directions, right? So they’re all investing heavily in it. And they’ve realized, instead of trying to inject people into the project, you just buy the people who already have influence. So you’re seeing consolidation of power under specific companies. You’re seeing investors that are like, cause I’ve been contacted by investors from outside were saying, Hey, I want you to speak, frankly.

[00:27:15] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: The WordPress project and whether or not we should invest in it and who we should invest in it. And I’m like I don’t touch this anymore. So whatever, I’ll tell you the history of it. So there’s clear interest from outside and that interest has nothing to do with let’s make sure WordPress is a nice, cushy place for people to work in and everything to do with how can we like up.

[00:27:34] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Our machine and siphoned as much money as possible out of it. And the best way to do that is to control the project. And because it’s an open source project, eventually you will get consolidation of control in a couple of points. And if a large group of those outside influencers start working together in a specific direction, you’ll create a civil war schism type thing, but then the community, which will be detrimental to the community, but will result in a bunch of people earning a lot of money and a way of avoiding.

[00:28:01] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Is introducing a proper governance model through some form of foundation, like thing, a way of creating a worst problem is to do something like a doubt where you say. The people who buy this is I’ve been on this Dow trade for a while now to try to explain to people how idiotic this idea is like a doubt.

[00:28:18] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: If you were talking about something where you had actual smart contracts in a system that would look through, maintain a car fleet and make sure that everyone gets paid, that’s fine. The way Dallas are used right now is to pretend that it’s not a stockholder structure while it in reality is because you then issue a voting card.

[00:28:35] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: So the people with the most money get the most control, and then you just have the same thing you already have, except it’s now crypto and therefore web three and blah, blah, blah. Like it’s. At what people aren’t seeing is that this entire conversation around all this stuff right now has to do with consolidation of power and deriving money off free labor.

[00:28:52] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: And that’s what all these investors are seeing. Tons of people are giving away their work for free. Can we make money off this? Of course, we’re going to put money into it then. How do we consolidate that power? So lack of action from the committee. During a time where nothing is happening is dangerous because at some point in the future, when something happens like a key member leaves or some infrastructure breaks or something else, someone will pose it.

[00:29:17] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Pound center, just take control. That’s depressing as hell.

[00:29:21] Jason Tucker: Sure is, but you don’t, what’s not depressing is it’s the end of the show.

[00:29:26] Sé Reed: That’s not depressing there. That’s depressing. There’s so much more to say. I did want to highlight the fact that I believe Joe Watkins from JetBrains. Correct. Someone he was from sees from somewhere he’s in the chat and wanted to yeah. Say that, that the foundation just got hurried along because of Nikki believing.

[00:29:47] Sé Reed: Regardless of whether it was a emergency or not, it’s still more than we have. Over here in the WordPress world. Oh, from PHP. Sorry. Thanks. Hi Joe. I have a bad memory anyway. So I really, I personally you just to put a happy spin on it. Cause I like doing that and it’s holiday weekend. I’d like to believe that something like that as possible, the structure’s there, the frameworks are there, automatic and Matt are obviously understand how important it is from a, for PHP. And maybe the threat of civil war or total consolidation is, I don’t know what the end game is, but I like to believe that these things are possible.

[00:30:32] Jason Cosper: We’re losing passionate people like Morton on the regular right now, but there still are a ton of passionate people out there

[00:30:41] Sé Reed: right now there are. And this time in changing with the full site editing and so much is changing, we’re really shifting code bases like, and every so much is consolidating. There’s so much change happening right now that it really feels like this is a, this would be a good time to bring this conversation up again.

[00:30:59] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Super full focused, important, all credit to the PHP foundation for doing. Everyone who’s involved in that needs credit for it, because this is a way of ensuring the longevity of a programming language. And it’s very difficult to do. What they’ve done here is an enormous amount of work. And they’re like embarking on a very difficult journey to make this work.

[00:31:24] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: But the end result will be that the people who contribute to the project will end up being paid for the work. Really big thing in opensource, and hopefully this can lead to other similar open source projects, realizing we can make funding models that actually work because one of the big critiques of the government’s project and anyone who ever drinks this up as there’s no example of how to do it.

[00:31:45] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: And no matter how many times we say by the open JS foundation is doing it, there’s always been low. It’s it doesn’t work for us. The PHP Foundation, doing it as much closer to what WordPress is and what Drupal is and what view is and what all these other things are. So it provides a viable example that you can then inspect and say, what are they doing?

[00:32:02] Morten Rand-Hendriksen: What are they doing wrong? What can we learn from it? How can we do something similar? So there’s definitely a path here and PHP, the PHP Foundation is in many ways, forging a path for others to follow. So it’s. Investing both in the foundation itself to keep it going. Also look at what they’re doing and see how it works to see what can be learned from it.

[00:32:21] Jason Tucker: awesome. That’s it. Thank you very much for hanging out with us Morton. We really appreciate it.

[00:32:27] Jason Tucker: really we really do appreciate it and thank you all for hanging out with us and chatting with us in the chat. We appreciate that as well. Talk to you later, you have a good one. Bye-bye go over to wpwatercooler.com/subscribe to subscribe to this content and all the content that we put out on the network. You can go over to apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and you keep them. Watch us over on YouTube. Talk to y’all later. You have a good one.


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