On Wednesday, Chris Pearson and Matt Mullenweg went at it on Twitter in a live audio debate over Matt’s belief that Chris’ premium theme Thesis is in violation of the General Public License that WordPress has in place.
Full disclosure: I am running Thesis on this blog and love it. I even said so on Twitter:
I also believe that if you do not enforce a license legally, you cannot and should not get upset when people break it. However, I think Chris and the team at DIYThemes.com need to take a step back and stop trying to piss off the WordPress community.
They are making money on the back of a platform that they did not have to build, and as far as I know, they had no hand in the actual building of the core code that runs WordPress.
To be 100 percent fair, I think Matt and the team at Automattic can be jackholes about how they run the WordPress.org project. Do we really need a section of code in the core of a CMS that forces us the spell a word a certain way?
How hard would it be for Chris to split-license his theme and still have control over his code but also play nice with the full WordPress community? But from what I have read and seen from Chris, it looks to me he would never do that, because it seems he gets too much glee out of pissing off the people at Automattic.
Everyone needs to stop and take a step back and do what is best for the community at large.
Matt, if you think the GPL is all that and a bag of chips, then back it up legally: Go to court (and if you really want to look good, do it outside the San Francisco area).
Chris, do what is best for all of us who love your theme and find a way to work with the GPL and the WordPress community. Trust me, you are not going to lose any money, and you might just get some new users.
I love WordPress. I truly believe that it is one of the best — if not the best — blogging platforms on the market today. What makes it that way is not the code we install but the hundreds of people who work on that code and write plug-ins and themes. They extend it to a point that truly makes it great, and all this little war is doing is dividing a community that needs to be unified.
In my opinion, everyone needs to just grow up and play nice.
Digging into WordPress has a quick overview of the “fight” between Chris and Matt.