People have been bombarding my email asking me questions about Habari, and most importantly, why I joined it. I wasn’t planning on blogging about any of this until I officially became a committer in the Habari project, but after reading this post, I feel the need to share my reasons.
I’ve been a loyal contributor the WordPress project and a ardent (for lack of a more aggressive word) WP-Hacker for what seems like forever – even though it isn’t. WordPress is my first-love when it comes to blogging, you may have noticed. But yeah, I working on Habari too.
I didn’t leave WordPress. Not because Matt is the devil-incarnate nor because I’m put off that he wouldn’t hire me (not even interested), but because Habari is a challenge. It’s something I’ve always wanted to work on.
Habari isn’t about the money, the traffic, or the popularity, it’s about the code and the design. You can think of it as an experiment, The Habari Project. It’s about stretching our imaginations to the limits, using every last feature in the newest releases of PHP and MySQL to power a blogging platform. It’s about true creativity. It’s not just a means to an end, rather the journey itself is what makes it so exciting.
But more than that, WordPress has reached a stage where nothing more than bug-fixes and changing the location of a button are getting committed. Matt and Ryan are busy with WordPress.com and you can’t blame them. Habari is a chance to make all that change. Habari’s developers aren’t looking for money, they’re just looking for a way to sum up everything the world has learned about blogging in the past couple of years. Whereas other platforms didn’t have the virtue of past precedents – failures and successes both – Habari has that advantage.
Habari is about a fresh, ingenious design and crisp, clear, precise, and optimized code. If a core feature has to be delayed months to get it written in a clean way that doesn’t employ hacks and ploys, that’s not a problem. Habari is just as much a way of coding as it is a blogging platform. With a meritocracy like Habari, getting input from the community and having fun are just as important as getting it done.
That said, how can one possible not join Habari? There’s more than just a couple of reasons why it’ll fail, but if it does, so what? We all go back to WordPress and dutifully submit more patches, dream up of admin interfaces that Matt will never commit, and wait around for the next big thing.
Habari, like all “utopian” & “idealistic” projects, can easily become a victim of its own perfection. Too many chefs ruin the stew they say, and with a meritocracy, it’s not hard to imagine how that might happen. Sometimes projects need someone to set down his or her foot and declare “This is what we’re going to do,” and it’s up to Habari now to prove that’s not the case. Even more, Habari’s “extreme” software requirements make it less than ideal for the average person on a shared host. But most importantly, it’s going up against some really big names without any capital. We stand by what we said about WordPress, and that’s all part of the challenge.