Sometimes I really hate Twitter. For all that it is it’s still very limited in many, many ways, especially when trying to hash out or discuss opinions. Or have an argument (or two). It’s just not healthy and it’s far too contextually-unaware for my taste.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve used Twitter as a platform for argument and it’s never worked out very well. You may be better suited, but oh no, not me. It just fails in that way. That’s why I much prefer blog posts. It’s cleaner, more concise, more accurate, and can be edited post-publication for clarity.
A perfect and current example of this is Pippin’s recent post on jQuery. Pippin Williamson, among many others, has tossed his perspective into the ring about whether one should or should not load jQuery outside of core calling it irresponsible of developers to do that:
Since WordPress loads jQuery in noConflict mode and plugin/theme developers (who are doing it right) rely on jQuery being loaded that way, choosing to force WordPress to use a Google library that is NOT in noConflict mode is hugely irresponsible as it can often result in jQuery errors getting thrown when plugins expecting jQuery to be loaded as default from WordPress are used.
He goes on to add that this is not just bad form but creates a massive headache for developers who are trying to support plugins and themes, especially the former in Pippin’s case, because a theme will boot jQuery externally. He adds later that it’s not just irresponsible, it’s ‘despicable.’
The result? Customers blame the plugin developer for the problem rather than understanding the true source of the issue.
The comments have already picked up in the post with more than a few agreeing with Pippin’s stance and adding corrections and even more context. I particularly like Chip’s addition (and challenge) to theme developers to prove that their decision to replace the core-bundle is, in fact, beneficial:
For Theme developers who claim that replacing the core-bundled jQuery library doesn’t have any adverse impact: show us your unit testing that proves that assertion true. What configurations did you test? What Plugins did you test? What core versions of WordPress did you test?
This community-led conversation (on blogs and Twitter) is exactly why I love the WordPress community so darn much – we are generally unafraid of discussions best practices and seeking collectively for better solutions.
Now, I know that this is a sensitive topic for many (and even the word choice for some) but I think the principle discussion is worth noting – there’s a level of ignorance for many developers that have made decisions without considering all the implications of those decisions.
Our job, as a community, is to educate and provide valid and proven examples to back those points up so that we all can benefit from a better understanding. We all started from square one, so I don’t think it’s fair to “beat up” newbie developers but instead taking them carefully by the hand and showing them a better way of doing things.
Thanks Pippin for doing us, as a community, a favor by speaking up. The “noise” the other day via Twitter was too hot to handle so I didn’t jump in (Twitter is almost useless for having a logical discussion or debate, as I’ve mentioned before) so posting your thoughts concisely and clearly was a good move.
If you’ve got an opinion, it’s ok to tweet about it but far better, in my honest opinion, to spend the time to create a cohesive argument on a blog post. Then open the floodgates for trolls and flames. At least you can moderate.