ClassicPress is a democratic community-led fork of WordPress that enables all stakeholders to shape the direction that the project takes. This page aims to explain how we handle this process to ensure that power doesn’t become centralised and that every voice can be heard. Before continuing, please familiarise yourself with the terms we will use.
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Below you can see the groups within the ClassicPress democracy. You can expand each group to learn more about their function, rights and responsibilities.
No single person within any of these groups has the power to force through a valid Topic which affects ClassicPress. This ensures that we stay true to our goal of being a community-led fork.
A person who is not affiliated with ClassicPress or registered with ClassicPress on any official systems.
These are the current members of the committee. Their main responsibility is management of the community democratic process and to ensure that topics accepted for public vote are clearly communicated to all stakeholders. Committee Members have a term limit of one year.
ClassicPress is registered as Limited by Guarantee (a not-for-profit) in the United Kingdom. By law all companies registered must have a company Director, and these Directors have certain responsibilities that must be followed. ClassicPress has a single Director, Scott Bowler, who founded ClassicPress as a concept and as a company.
Scott Bowler retains all the rights reserved to a Director of a UK Limited by Guarantee as dictated by UK law.
A Voting Member is anyone who has registered to vote on a Topic. Anybody may register as a Voting Member, but they must use their real identity and only vote on a topic once.
The Founding Committee Members are those who formed the initial committee for ClassicPress. These initial committee members were chosen by Scott Bowler (Director) and were also nominated by existing committee members. Founding Members can make decisions prior to the launch of v1 without a public vote. This is largely to make sure we can get v1 out the door quickly. Past v1, decisions made by this Founding Committee can be overruled following the democratic process of ClassicPress.
Anybody can make a suggestion for ClassicPress via our Petition website. Once you’ve made your suggestion it will be open to comment and initial voting by the community. If it reaches the Support Threshold it will be converted to a Topic and opened to a Vote. If the majority of the Voting Members vote in favour, your suggestion will be implemented.
It’s important to note that anybody can become a Voting Member, so you can also make your voice heard on existing suggestions.
There are two ways for a vote to come to fruition:
The process for decision making is simple:
Our code of conduct is simple: Be good to one another, take criticism well and follow the democratic process.
Background: Forming, storming, norming, performing. These are the generally accepted stages a team will go through. Opensource is unusual in that people are joining and leaving teams on a daily basis, which means the team stages are in a constant state of flux.
The most disruptive stage is storming, but it is probably the most important. Relationships are formed, lessons are learned and understanding is gained during this stage. Therefore, we should both expect and encourage healthy debate. The key word here is healthy.
People will hold strong beliefs based on their life experiences. Often those beliefs will be polar opposites and sometimes both beliefs can be correct as they might be a matter of opinion (e.g. “what is the most readable code style”).
When disagreement happens we must fall back to our democratic process. Occasionally you might be on the receiving end of a decision you disagree with. It’s OK to agree to disagree and for the good of the community and the project, you need to be graceful in defeat.
On the topic of inclusion: Every person on the planet is welcome to get involved with ClassicPress, as long as they act in good faith and follow our Code of Conduct. Teamwork, respect and quality are the words we must focus on – not age, race, gender or sexual orientation. Instead, by focusing on the merits of a person’s contribution we can truly be a discrimination-free project.
Please note: We have a three strikes policy – failure to adhere to our code of conduct will result in a minimum of three warnings before a ban can be considered.
As you can imagine, if every decision required a Petition or Referendum, the community would be bogged down with an unmanageable bureaucratic process that would stifle progress. As a result, there are a number of processes and tasks that don’t need to go through the Petition or Referendum process. These include:
In addition, certain elements of ClassicPress need a degree of autonomy to function. Day-to-day decisions in the following areas won’t be created as Petitions or Referendum items. However, 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.
Lastly there are three further exceptions: