I just watched Matt Mullenweg's interview at Le Web 2012. For the second time I heard him say that the focus for WordPress over the next four years will be turning WordPress into a web application framework. In my opinion, WordPress as a web application framework, makes zero sense. WordPress in it's current state sucks as a Web Application framework, and it should. It wasn't designed to be a web application framework, it's a blogging platform that can work well as a CMS. I think shifting focus from these two primary functions (blogging and managing content) into building web applications will hurt WordPress.
WordPress will lose focus on what its users want
WordPress is a blogging platform that can work well as a CMS. It currently doesn't do either of those two things that well. WordPress is feature heavy, the admin is bloated and confusing, and the software is slow. Don't get me wrong. I'm not bashing WordPress or saying it's terrible software. I'm simply stating the facts, WordPress is great but it has much room for improvement. Automattic should focus on what WordPress already does, and do it a hell of a lot better. That means being smarter about what gets loaded and when, simplifying the admin, cleaning up the current code, improving the documentation, and trimming the fat.
WordPress will never compete with CodeIgniter or Ruby on Rails
CodeIgniter and RoR are the two best web application frameworks I've used. They are designed for one thing and thing only, make awesome web applications quickly and efficiently. Because they only focus on one thing, they do that one thing very well. Great web application frameworks share common features such as MVC architecture, REST, and migration support. None of which are supported by WordPress. We could start talking about "what if" WordPress supported this or that, but that is not the point. The point is WordPress will become a molotov cocktail of code. Break the glass and the whole thing will burst into flames. Even if WordPress tried they could never catch up to Rails or CI. Those two projects are way too far ahead at this point. Why can't WordPress be happy doing what it already does and focus on doing it better?
There is no shame in being a great blogging platform
When I hear Matt Mullenweg talk about WordPress as a Web Application Platform I can't help but feel that in some way he believes that being a great blogging platform isn't enough or is somehow inferior. Blogging is a large part of the web and great blogging software will be needed for a long time. Why doesn't Automattic just focus on building great blogging software? The more they lose focus on blogging the more room they leave for another company or open source project to come up and replace them.
What do you think? Is WordPress heading in the right direction with the goal of being a Web Application framework, or should they focus on being a blogging platform and CMS?
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