WordPress and Typo3

Nuclear Moose has a bad hair day because of WordPress:

WordPress is a tremendous tool. It’s being developed by an outstanding group of people but it is the master of the community, not the servant like it should be.

Actually I never heard of Nuclear Moose before, and I only came across his blog because of one of the many “wonders” which blogging has to offer to me. This time it is pubsub’s, something I came across due to a hint of Mark. Again.

I wrote before about the striking similarities between WordPress and Typo3. What Nuclear Moose now pointed out in a rather disappointed way are the dissimilarities between those two open source projects.

Yep, there’s the Codex, and drDave’s plug-in site, and the developer-friendly-but-user-unfriendly-official-wordpress-plugin site, not to mention some avid community members who have extensive lists on their own sites.

This is actually the single most obvious thing which occurred to me during my first few days with WordPress. In Typo3, you have the TER (Typo3 Extension Repository), a single resource where all public extensions reside. The extensions in the repository can be accessed from within a Typo3 installation with a simple click. Everybody is invited to create new extensions. If they are intended to be public extensions (or may become public at a later stage), you need to register an extension key, which allows you to upload the extensions into the TER. Extensions get assigned alpha/beta/stable status flags as well as version numbers. The documentation to each extension is available online inside the TER and can be annotated by any user. The TER automatically creates a forum for each extension, and registered translators can start translating any newly uploaded extension, so that the extension author can use the translations for the next release. When I wrote my first own extension it got translated into Finnish within the same day.
Of course this centralized TER has its drawbacks too: the server load increased tremendously over the last year, so that the bandwidth needed to be increased and a concept for synchronized decentralization needed to be developed. And we are talking about an unfunded open source project!

How very different for WordPress! What comes closest to the Typo3 extension repository is the WordPress Plugin Database by dr Dave. He actually made the attempt to create a plug-in manager for WordPress, but unfortunately the project is on hold for the time being:

People… sorry if I may sound a bit crude, but WPPM is currently off-download and off-support (has been for the past month): the latest version had many things broken, and I simultaneously realized that I just didn’t have the time to take care of it any more.

WordPress reality is, that every extension author hosts his work on his own site. There are a few sites which try to host copies of the plug-ins or at least keep a concise linklist, but they are all far from the Typo3 TER and – as Nuclear Moose said:

What an utter waste of time and energy this has become. WordPress has become the choice of personality types who live for *nix operating systems. If you want to spend all of your time trying to get something to fucking work, then fine, fly at it.

As a final comment of reconciliation let me point out again, that Typo3 and WordPress are in fact very similar. To me it seems that they are cousins, maybe even brothers. The WordPress community may gain quite a lot from the professionalism of the Typo3 community. And in return, Typo3 may benefit from the living proof of the word-smiths who use WordPress because of its simplicity – something Typo3 has not quite mastered. Yet.

So why not profit from each other? I’m sure Kaspar and Robert and all the other core guys from Typo3 would be more than willing to talk to whoever wants to do a WPPR (WordPress Plugin Repository). I’m sure the source code for the TER is not a Danish state secret. I’m sure whoever feels inclined to invest time and work only needs to ask politely to get a copy. Go for it! Profit from each other!

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