Thanks to a recent local web design meetup group, I was informed about the debate between Matt Mullenweg of WordPress and Chris Pearson of the Thesis theme. The general debate was over the use or lack thereof of the GPL license in the Thesis license agreement. In the end, Chris has now decided to use a split-GPL agreement, whatever that means. Yet there are still some major implications of this being broken ties as well as large websites that made a switch to using a new theme on principle.
I simply am amazed that there is such a political debate about the different themes. I don’t want to be in the middle of it, I don’t want to have to choose a theme based on moral or ethical reasons. I would like to assume that the business people above me that are creating great tools such as WordPress and themes like Thesis or Genesis are doing their own due diligence. Yet, as often happens in today’s society, the love for money or power often get in the way of that very concept.
I have read both sides of the argument and feel there are some poorly handled responses from both sides. I can’t say I was impressed with Chris’s attitude in the recorded conversation on mixergy. Some other people in the blogosphere are questioning why Matt would push other premium themes.
I guess my main point is this, I think it is a shame that honest designers that have built businesses around the growing Thesis framework have to re-think their business model based on all of this. I’ve downloaded and will be learning a few new frameworks. The truth of the matter is, I would just like to have a tool set that makes using WordPress for website development simple for designers and also useful for end-users.
I don’t think the ultimate theme or framework for WordPress has been created yet. I do know that Thesis was a good step in that direction, and perhaps after trying it out I will like Genesis.
We all have to adapt and grow with new technologies, but I think it is a shame when it is forced due to the political debates of others.