Traditionally in open source land, we come up with an idea for something, we sit in a room and talk about it (it’s kind of like flirting), we make some code, and we test it. Many, many, times we do this in isolation, and we do it in our free time, hoping one day to have the time to make it awesome.
What if we didn’t? What if, instead, we looked at history and remembered that some of our greatest works were brought about by patronage.
“Artists from Michelangelo to Shakespeare all received support to create the works of art that we know today.”
Now, finding a patron isn’t easy. It’s harder and harder to find fancy philanthropists who want to fund you for a while to write something awesome. And worse, trying to ‘schedule’ inspiration is hard. But in reality, we do this all the time. The inspiration is there for many of us, we just need the time not doing the other things.
Aaron Jorbin’s giving this a stab by crowd-raising the money to improve WordPress Post Forking.
WordPress Post Forking allows users to “fork” or create an alternate version of content to foster a more collaborative approach to WordPress content curation.
That sounded weird the first time I read it, but let me explain it differently. Have you ever written a post, published it, and then wanted to edit it and have someone else check it before you post the changes? WordPress can’t do that. Once a post is live, you can’t save a change without making that change live too. But what if you could? What if someone could ‘fork’ your post, make edits, and you could review those edits and pull them in? It would be like tracking changes on a Word Doc, only cooler.
I hope that other developers, who have great ideas, follow this patronage model going forward. After all, I never have a problem with paying for great code. I just have a problem paying for crapy code.
ETA: It seems fitting I should repost this pic here: