So — people got a little hyped about the capital_P_dangit() filter that is activated in the WordPress v3.0 core.
For those of you that have been hiding under a rock for the past few days, this filter keeps you from “misspelling” WordPress. More accurately, it changes your “misspelling” of the word to the “correct” spelling, without letting you know that it’s doing so. It’s just a little snip of code that Matt Mullenweg himself submitted. It doesn’t seem like it should be a big deal, but well — to some of us, it is. We write our content, sometimes we intentionally misspell words. Some of us like to make a point of NOT using the “correct” capitalization for WordPress, sometimes for reason, sometimes not. But it’s our choice. It’s really as simple as that.
It it REALLY a big deal? Well, honestly — no. I don’t think it’s a huge thing. It’s something Matt wrote, probably on a whim, and didn’t take into consideration that it might change the message of someones writing. He probably didn’t think about it, cause it is just a silly capitalization thing. Perhaps he forgot that WordPress is primarily used by people who wish to express themselves and that they might be terribly bothered by someone changing ONE OR TWO letters of their content. Frankly, and I think most people will agree, it’s such a silly thing it should have simply been removed from the core for 3.0.1 — problem solved, everyone is happy, content retains it’s integrity and a straw is removed from the back of the community camel.
See — that’s where something happened. Rather than applying logic to the situation, someone decided to let ego dictate their decision. They dug in and opted to stick behind a silly decision, which is normally fine, but has no place is a large community project like WordPress.
I pretty much kept clear of the Twitter discussions, but finally had to say something. My comment:
The response to this from Andrew Nacin pissed me off:
@flashingcursor No, it’s not. You can hold whatever opinion you want, but “I hate Matt” is an invalid argument if there ever was one.
I’m not sure where @nacin saw “I hate Matt” in my comment… But that response, and the many like it, is what I find amazingly disturbing. It’s become the instant response to any resistance or comments made about core changes in WordPress, no matter how basic, civil, or well thought-out and proper the resistance.
As I said before, you are in /complete control/ of your site. It’s a single line to remove a filter. If you don’t like the filter, vote with your feet or with a plugin. If the function cause a non-trivial number of people to avoid 3.0, leave WP, or install a plugin to deactivate I would seriously reconsider it. In the absence of that, there are a 1,001 better places to focus my attention with regards to WordPress.
This response from Matt Mullenweg, quite literally, had me rolling on the floor laughing. Realistically, there are probably only 3 or 4 people who wanted to force the spelling of WordPress to its correct capitalization versus the hundreds that didn’t care for it (based on the total number of downloads of one of the “fix” plugins). In the time it took Matt to make that comment and return to the 1,001 better places to focus his attention, he could have solved the problem.
Andrew Nacin has also expended an amazing amount of time arguing his point that “it’s the correct spelling” — and I think we all understand his argument. But he’s arguing apples while we’re arguing oranges. Personally, I make an effort to spell the brand name as it’s intended to be spelled, and it makes total sense to me why it needs to be that way. The argument isn’t over that fact. The argument we’re making is that many articles have been written on the subject and, unbeknownst to the authors, their articles read like a comedy skit because, effectively, Matt and Andrew have reached in and changed their writing. We’ve stepped out of the arena of bugs and technical glitches and moved into the alterations of creative works — which is probably worse.
A few simple options:
- Get rid of the code – easy.
- Include the code as a deactivated plugin – not as easy, but it already exists, so …
Fact: I put Matt Mullenweg and the other core developers up on a pedestal. I think they’re great people and their creation has done AMAZING things for the world, the internet and for me personally. I love what you’re doing, I love that you’re doing it under the GPL and making it available to everyone. I understand that you often make decisions and prioritize things in ways that I don’t always agree with, but I know you’re doing it for the greater good of the project and I understand and respect those decisions. This is NOT one of those decisions.
Watch this little cartoon and get over your egos boys. I’d much rather laugh with you than at you.
A shorter version of the video below… Seems I went a little overboard with the first one.
To quickly remove the filter, you can add the following code to your themes function.php files:
remove_filter( 'the_content', 'capital_P_dangit' ); remove_filter( 'the_title', 'capital_P_dangit' ); remove_filter( 'comment_text', 'capital_P_dangit' );