Ghost: WordPress forked for blogging

John O’Nolan, who worked as a Deputy Head of the WordPress UI Group a few years back, has jotted down his concept for a fork of WordPress. One that, in his words, will focus very specifically on blogging again instead of being a full blown CMS like WordPress itself.

I actually like some of the ideas he’s suggested in his post. I think it would be a huge undertaking to do such a fork, but it’s certainly a refreshing approach focussing on just blogging again. So what do you think, is John on the right track?


  1. says

    It certainly is interesting, not ‘wheel reinventing’ but as is said that’s the not the point of the concept (and it is just a concept at this stage). I do wonder if a fork or plugin would be the ideal there. Maybe similar to what BuddyPress does for social networking – perhaps this could do that for blogging by becoming a suite of plugins (like BuddyPress) or something along those lines.

    Perhaps ‘imaginings’ like this is what will push forward the project or at least see offshoots. I can’t help thinking I’d like more if they went the way BuddyPress did but I am biased to that format as like it and seen it work. It’s certainly a nice exploration of an idea and I do think that task based WordPress offshoots (plugins, forks.. whatever) is going to be something that happens and it already does in the sense of some larger plugins. I’m also interested to see design explorations not confined by existing code – that’s always nice to see.

    Personally I’d kind of like to see a bit more fresh thinking UI wise (I kind of like wheels being open to reinvention or at least some thought given to ‘what if…’) – it for me is a bit too much of a mashup that wise. Maybe that would change during the project creation if it happens, after all this is just the concept UI.

    The bigger WordPress is the less you want it to do everything for a site. I know recently I’ve found myself removing links in admin bars and admin – this is the first step to ‘flavours’ of WordPress.

  2. says

    An alternative to this approach is simply to yank a large proportion of the guts out of WordPress and turn it all into plugins. Remove theme editors, menus, widgets, bla bla bla and turn all that cruft into officially supported plugins. That way if someone wants a lean mean cut down machine then they can have it. At the moment you are stuck with EVERYTHING, and that everything seems to be growing unfortunately larger with each new release.

  3. Arman says

    I really think that John is on his own path. You could tell that by the way he’s come out about it. No comments under his own announcement with the copy entirely made up of images. It sounds like he doesn’t care what you and I think about his approach and I think that is good. You can’t be revolutionary by being affected by the chatter. That’s how you come out with iPad mini.

    Either way John has good credentials and his mock ups are certainly easy on the eyes. I think we should support him not to oppose against WordPress but to support its growth. After all isn’t this the point of an open source eco system where people are allowed to explore the possibilities and take control of where their favourite platform is going?

  4. Daan Kortenbach says

    John’s bandwidth limit has exceeded, I guess his proposal hit a nerv.

    Btw, I’m totally digging the admin dashboard!

  5. says

    One thing that came to mind was the fact Markdown is said to be essential. I’m not so sure beyond the techie blogger / techies if that is true. How much does the average blogger even know of Markdown or use it? I could be wrong but to me that seemed to not indicate it was fully aimed / considering the majority market of bloggers. Nothing against Markdown just further focuses the market this system is aimed at. I would also tentatively suggest to get full traction wide spread amongst bloggers some auto hosted option like would be needed.

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