Author: Michelle Coe

Meet the Community: Daniele Scasciafratte

The Basics

ClassicPress Slack handle: @mte90

Your social media handles: @mte90net on twitter, @mte90 everywhere else

Your website: https://daniele.tech

Where in the world are you located? Rieti, Italy; known as “the center of Italy”.  Saint Francis did the first Live Nativity here.

Tell us about yourself — your occupation, hobbies, etc.

I am Full Stack Developer but working mainly with web stuff and sysadmin right now. My friend Eugenio and I started a web agency four years ago called Codeat. We develop sites mainly using WordPress and also develop premium plugins.

I am also an Open Source contributor. I have been part of the Mozilla Italia community for 6 years, and currently am working on community management there. I am also part of the Reps program (where I served 2 years on the Reps Council) and TechSpeakers program.

I have been part of the WordPress Italia community for 5 years; I am a PTE for Italian and also a WP Rome/WP Terni meetup co-organizer. I was part of the team that organized WordCamp Rome 2018. I have contributed to WordPress core since the 4.3 version and I am also one of the maintainers of GlotPress, the plugin that lets everyone localize and download the plugin/themes localizations file. I am the creator of the GlotDict browser extension for polyglots, and one of the maintainers of Varying Vagrant Vagrants. I have attended and presented at a lot of WordCamps to talk about WordPress development and how to contribute to WordPress.

Finally, my real passions are Italian, European and American comics. I have a huge collection I started about 13 years ago.

Other than the alarm clock, what gets you up in the morning?

Before I leave the office each evening, I have a habit of writing my to-do list so the next morning I understand my priorities for the day. This helps me to wake up motivated for a good day. Of course, this doesn’t happen every day; the trick is to organize the boring stuff and, if it is possible, to automate it.

A real Italian coffee is another way to get up without any problems.

What’s your dream job?

This is not an easy question. When I finished high school in 2009 I started working as a freelancer. I liked to work with development and Linux so I began to see this as my future. As a Mozilla contributor, I strongly considered applying for a job there but I didn’t liked the way they managed their employees with yearly contracts.

Working in my web agency with a friend, having the chance to pick the best projects, and doing what I please with no boss is the best, in my opinion.

How did you hear about ClassicPress, and what made you want to get involved?

I am one of the grumpy people who has been against Gutenberg since WordCamp Europe 2017 when Matt said it would be integrated into WordPress core. This planned integration was delayed with 18 months before it was released as WordPress 5.0. This slowed progress on a lot of other proposed WordPress features.

Ignoring the opinion of the WordPress community on top level decisions like Gutenberg was one other reason for me to find a new project I could contribute to. I wanted to be part of a project where the community is at the center and I can make a contribution that matters, rather than being ignored for years.

I wrote a long article about my choice to contribute to ClassicPress that discussed the problems with technical implementation, rather than just complaining about the UX. The funny thing was that at the time I wrote it I wasn’t yet thinking about becoming part of the Founding Committee and leading the i18n team.

How does ClassicPress fit into your overall plans for the future?

I currently use it on my personal blog.

An Open Source project like ClassicPress needs more developers in order to grow, and has a need for more localization and code contributors. I am hopeful that more developers will want to join our project to help with all the backports, new features, bugfixes, and improvements the community has asked for. I am available to mentor new core contributors and am hopeful that as the community grows, ClassicPress will meet their goals.

Done fast, done inexpensively, or done well: Which two do you choose?

Good question!

When I first started as a contributor I saw usually the first approach. A lot of cool things were started without planning or considering the possible challenges. As my experience grew and my role changed, I learned to appreciate tasks that were done well but slowly because they succeed over the long term, rather than failing due to lack of planning.

Meet the Community: Andy Towler

The Basics

ClassicPress username: zigpress

Social Media Handles: ZigPress, @zigpress

Your website: https://www.zigpress.com

Where in the world are you located? Originally UK, then Malta for many years, now Philippines

What brought you to the Philippines, and how do you find the culture there to be similar or different from your experiences in Malta and the UK?

My wife and I have moved to the Philippines partly for family reasons (my wife is from here), partly because the low cost of living (compared to Europe) will enable us to improve our work/life balance, and partly because it’s a stunning country filled with amazing things to see and friendly, positive people.

The culture is not so different when you get under the surface. People are doing their best to earn a living, to provide for their children, and to put something by for a rainy day, just like anywhere in the world. Life can be tougher though – there is no free healthcare and an inadequate social welfare system – and maybe because of this, there is a strong work ethic, particularly in the younger generations, because there is a strong tradition of the younger members of an extended family supporting the older members when they become elderly.

Tell us about yourself — your occupation, hobbies, etc.

I started building websites for a living in 1999 and started working with WordPress in 2007. After working as a developer for various companies I’ve now been self-employed for almost 3 years. ZigPress started as a side gig and is now my main agency brand. Through ZigPress I design, develop and support websites and web applications, usually on the WordPress platform though I build custom web applications when a project demands it.

Other things I like to do include traveling, swimming and snorkeling, listening to music and playing the piano.

You offer a variety of products and service-based offerings. Which one do you enjoy the most, and why?

ZigPress currently has two main offerings – the ZigCare support and maintenance service for WordPress-based websites, and the design and build of new websites and web applications. Intellectually both are challenging for different reasons – with ZigCare, my knowledge of how many different plugins are coded and likely to affect others comes into play, and with design and build projects, it’s my systems architecture experience that is key.

I don’t think I can say I enjoy one more than the other – both aspects of the business are satisfying in different ways.

Other than the alarm clock, what gets you up in the morning?

My wife!

What’s your dream job?

I’m doing it.

Where do you see ZigPress in the next 3-5 years?

Over the next few years I will be working to generate an increase in the number of websites subscribing to a ZigCare plan, because that’s where I have more capacity. But I still enjoy design & build projects because each one is different. I have a Malta-based partner who helps me find new business (as well as working on SEO for my clients) so he will play a role in this.

How did you hear about ClassicPress, and what made you want to get involved?

I found out about it through the Advanced WordPress Facebook group, though I had been commenting that it was time for a fork since first learning about Automattic’s Gutenberg-related plans. After reading about the CP team’s aims and trying the early alpha I decided this was the right fork to follow.

How does ClassicPress fit into your overall plans for the future?

Recently I’ve decided to switch certain client sites over to ClassicPress – mainly sites where the client leaves the back end management to ZigPress, and also sites where all content editing is done using Advanced Custom Fields Pro (so Gutenberg wouldn’t be in the picture anyway). I will also be switching all ZigPress’s own projects over, and I will consider whether to use ClassicPress on a case-by-case basis with each new project I quote for.

It’s also worth mentioning that I develop and maintain a number of free plugins in the WP repository. All my plugins are and will continue to be CP-compatible.

Done good, done fast, or done cheap: Which two do you choose?

Good and fast. I’m an impatient perfectionist!

Upgrade your site to ClassicPress 1.0.1 now!

We’ve just released ClassicPress 1.0.1, a security release.

We recommend that you update your site(s) as soon as possible.

ClassicPress 1.0.1 is a security release to match the security changes in WordPress 5.1.1 and 4.9.10 (both released today). It is available now. The new ClassicPress release also contains one minor bugfix related to WP-CLI.

You can find more information and update instructions on our forums.

As always, we’ll be around if you need any help, just make a new thread on our support forum.

Meet the Community: Elisabetta Carrara

The Basics

Name: Elisabetta Carrara aka Aisha Zyneb

ClassicPress forums username: Elisabetta Carrara

ClassicPress Slack handle: @Elisabetta Carrara

Social media handles: Twitter: @ElisabettaC77

Website: https://elisabettacarrara.com

Where in the world are you located? Italy

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

I am a translator and web designer. I like to define myself as an adventurer because I learn best by trial and error while I make things.

I am an avid reader, cat lover, chocolate addict and yarn adventurer. In my free time I crochet or knit.

Other than the alarm clock, what gets you up in the morning?

I can summarize by saying that my passion for life, the enjoyment and pleasure I get from doing what I like at my best, my will to continue learning things and my need to have a meaning in this world.

What’s your dream job?

I would like to be able to open a digital agency offering translation/localization/web design services. I live by Confucio’s motto: “Do what you like as a job and you won’t work a single day of your life”.

How did you hear about ClassicPress, and what made you want to get involved?

I heard about ClassicPress on the net (can’t recall exactly where) while I was looking into the Gutenberg diatribe. The real truth is I felt WordPress was evolving – and that is ok, open source needs to evolve – but it was pushing this evolution on me without giving me the chance to make an informed decision. I hate to be told what to do, especially when I am told to do something that potentially breaks my site or my customers’ sites.

I decided to get involved in ClassicPress because of its community and values. I feel ClassicPress is really oriented toward the open source philosophy. I found “ubuntu” (meaning, “I am, because we are”) in it and this made me feel all fuzzy and warm inside. BTW, “ubuntu” is also the name of the first Linux distro I tried. It’s a word that means a lot to me, as a translator and as a person.

How does ClassicPress fit into your overall plans for the future?

ClassicPress fits in my future plans in many ways. It gives me the chance to give back to the community. As a freelancer web designer it allows me to build on a strong foundation. It pushes me towards learning coding languages better and more… I am helping ClassicPress growth with my two pennies of knowledge, and I am growing to be a better person in the process. I plan to support ClassicPress for the long haul because it’s a project focused on growing by giving.

Done well, done fast, or done cheap: Which two do you choose?

Wait a minute… let me break it down for you. I think that’s a stereotype. I am more of the kind “made with passion and love at best of my abilities”. That can result in done fast, or done cheap (these two words aren’t negative ones like the Italian proverb suggests, IMHO)… but will always be good.

What does “Community-led” mean, anyway?

On our “About”(1) page, our founder (Scott Bowler) explains it best: “ClassicPress styles itself as a community-led fork of the WordPress content management system. We want to get back to basics and focus on open dialogue and democratic decisions. “

There’s been some great conversations in the forum community over the past few weeks, including some sensitive discussions. It seems like now is a good time to explore more specifically what “community-led” means to ClassicPress and how it works.

Community-led means just that

Our mission statement(2) says this:

We facilitate democratic discussion and decision making

In order for community members to participate in decisions about ClassicPress, it is essential that we provide a platform that makes it easy for every member to share ideas, debate, vote, and give feedback without censorship.

To make this a reality, we facilitate these discussions via our forum and other digital communication platforms. Our organizational structure allows us to adapt to meet the expressed needs of the ClassicPress community, and we make decisions collaboratively with the overall mission of ClassicPress in mind.

So… what is our overall mission? Again, going back to our mission statement:

ClassicPress serves businesses worldwide that will benefit greatly from a more robust, business-focused CMS. As ClassicPress evolves, the features and functionalities we implement will align with our three core ideals:

Powerful. Versatile. Predictable.

And this:

We will make people’s lives better

We are sensitive to the wide variety of needs that are presented by ClassicPress users. Programmers, designers, marketers, businesses, and individual website visitors each have unique challenges that must be addressed. Stability, efficiency, security, and usability are some of the considerations we seek to address in the coming weeks and months. Ultimately, we want to ensure that those who use ClassicPress find it to be a positive experience that supports them as they focus on their own personal and business goals.

What does “Community-led” look like?

As a democratic community, we seek to ensure that power doesn’t become centralized and that every voice can be heard. We do that through conversations that take place in the forums, but ultimately it takes you — the community — to feel strongly enough about a topic to suggest a change via our Petitions website(3).

Once the Suggestion has been made, it is then open to comment and voting by ClassicPress Community members. If your Suggestion garners the minimum needed votes, it will be converted to a Topic and opened to a vote by our Voting Members. Anyone who is a part of the community can become a Voting Member, subject to the guidelines outlined on our Democracy(4) page.

If the majority of voting members vote in favor of the Topic, it will be scheduled for implementation.

There is a second way for a vote to be implemented, and that is by Referendum. There are special rules around this on the Democracy page; the most important one being that a super majority (75%) of Voting Members must vote positively in order for a Referendum to pass.

To be clear: no matter who is involved, a conversation in the forums is just that — a conversation in the forums. No changes can or will take place without the proper procedure being followed:

  1. A suggestion is made via Petition or Referendum
  2. The suggestion achieves the required Support Threshold
  3. The suggestion is then converted to a Topic and made public by the Committee
  4. The Topic is put to a vote
  5. Only with a majority vote in favor, the Topic will be scheduled for action

There are some exceptions (also outlined on the Democracy page), however it is also noted in the second paragraph of the “Exceptions” section the following:

It’s important to note that the community still has full control over all of the areas mentioned in the following list via Petitions and Referendums to address any issues with the decisions being made.

  • Infrastructure and system administration (e.g. servers and databases)
  • Accounts / finance
  • Purchasing
  • Marketing
  • Human Resources
  • Support
  • Sales & Fundraising

Our organizational structure is such that it enables all stakeholders an opportunity to shape the direction that ClassicPress takes. The ClassicPress Community leads the way forward — and if you’re part of our community, that means you have a voice, and you have a vote. How will you contribute to the future success of ClassicPress this week?

 

(1): About ClassicPress

(2): Our Mission Statement

(3): Our Petitions Website

(4): Our Democracy

Where is ClassicPress headed?

A river is an interesting study of progress in life and business. It starts with a trickle and gathers momentum, winding its way around obstacles. It forges ahead, sometimes moving quickly and at other times it appears to not be moving at all. However, even during those times when the surface water is still, you can be sure that the water is still moving toward the goal.

Such is the pattern we see as ClassicPress winds its way toward v1. Each community member contributes in their area of expertise, and daily we draw closer to launch. Sometimes that progress is clearly evident; other times it is hidden below the surface, but it’s all good progress.

More Than Just Pretty Words

The promise of longevity for ClassicPress has been a point of discussion from time to time on the forums. People want to be assured that people at ClassicPress really mean what they say, and that they’ll really do what they said they would do. As a business owner these assurances would be welcome not just for my own business, but for all the businesses I serve. Even so, without action, promises of longevity are nothing but words.

It has been said that business owners are risk averse, but I disagree. Entrepreneurialism is not for the faint-hearted and it takes a unique combination of talent, skill, luck and drive to succeed as a business owner. Business ownership teaches you plenty, but one of the most important lessons is that words are important, but following up those words with action is what really matters in the end.

Vision + Action = Longevity

In the last six months, we’ve established ClassicPress, built a firm organizational foundation, created and launched our BETA, and formed a thriving community. We continue to drive forward in the final preparations for our v1 launch. We started with words, and each day as we move past a variety of obstacles, we prove ourselves by following up our words with action.

So what comes next? And what about longevity?

ClassicPress is a community-led open source project, and the success or failure of ClassicPress is 100% dependent on that community. Our community determines the direction we take in v2 and beyond, and the choices made by the community will need to be followed up with action by the community, or ClassicPress cannot succeed.

Realistically, longevity potential can only be demonstrated over time by consistently delivering on commitments made. However, we can look at commitments fulfilled over a short period and project how things might continue, given the right circumstances. Ultimately, the greatest variable in all of this is the commitment of the community to continue donating their time, energy, and funds to the project.

Our Longevity Depends on You

Our active and enthusiastic steering committee has committed to making ClassicPress a reality. We have accomplished quite a bit over the last several months and we have a clear long-term vision for the future. However, the committee cannot do it alone. Like a river requires momentum and persistence to carve a path to the sea, ClassicPress needs the combined effort and enthusiasm of each individual contributor to lead us to our ultimate goal: to be the content management system of choice for professionals and businesses worldwide.

If you’d like to help us, jump in — the water is fine! You can learn more about all the ways you can contribute here.

 

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

ClassicPress: A Six Month Review

Did you know that ClassicPress will be six months old this month? It’s true. This month, we will celebrate six months together as an organization. It’s been a very busy six months! In addition to preparing for the launch of ClassicPress v1, we have been laying a firm foundation within the organization that will serve us well as we grow. Creating a roadmap and a more formalized organizational structure are two essential building blocks of that foundation, and we are happy to announce that they have been completed and approved by the Founding Committee.

It’s All About Community

ClassicPress is proudly a democratic community-led organization. We believe that careful planning combined with the insight and collective wisdom of the ClassicPress community will ensure the success of ClassicPress for many years to come. We want to be able to rapidly change and adapt to meet the expressed needs of the ClassicPress community. Clear roles and boundaries will help us to avoid some of the pitfalls that other organizations have experienced.

We facilitate democratic discussion and decision making via our forums, and each member has a say in how ClassicPress evolves over time by sharing and voting for ideas on our petitions website. We are sensitive to the wide variety of needs presented by ClassicPress users, and we want to ensure that those who use ClassicPress find it to be a positive experience that supports them as they focus on their own personal and business goals.

Navigating the Future

With the understanding that every organization experiences conflict from time to time, we have also created some guidelines to help navigate those challenges successfully. Ultimately, all decisions made will be an effort to serve the best interest of the organization as a whole. That has been our vision from the beginning, and we understand that it will take time and effort to make that dream a reality.

The Founding Committee is made up of many kinds of people: designers, developers, marketing professionals, security experts, plugin and theme authors, attorneys, and more. We all have a common goal — to serve the ClassicPress community by creating a powerful, versatile and predictable content management system. If you are part of the ClassicPress community, thank you for your trust, your insight, and your contributions in the forums and elsewhere! If you’ve not yet joined us, we invite you to take the time to get to know us better. We plan to be around for a very long time.

Photo by Jennie Brown on Unsplash