To the Joomla Community
It’s been a rough year for Joomla. We’ve lost our way a little bit. We’ve lost a lot of talent, and we’ve lost a lot of direction.
We stand here on the eve of momentous change for our project. No matter what happens with the current structure proposal vote, a lot of change is ahead of us. Most of us are exhausted, discouraged, and on the edge of just giving up. If you have a minute or three, let me share with you what I see for our future.
When I look at the current group of people involved in Joomla leadership – when I push everything aside and just look at them as individuals – I have every faith and confidence in each member of our Joomla leadership.
We have some amazing and talented people, when you think about it; people from five continents, with a combined experience across a range of industries, who have volunteered an incredible amount of time and effort, all unpaid, and all because they believe in Joomla. This isn’t to say that every decision they make is perfect, but I do believe that they are sincerely working towards the best result for Joomla.
Whether this proposal passes or fails, we have a lot of work to do, as well as a lot of healing to do. No matter the outcome, we must absolutely rebuild trust. Our leaders must in good faith, reach out to each other, accept blame, even if they think it’s not fair; settle differences, and re-commit to working together again.
The predicament we find ourselves in today is one where we have allowed differences and hurt feelings to drive a wedge into us until we are practically split, and the distrust that hangs around everything we do is heavy.
The Production Leadership Team has almost unanimously voted against this proposal. The Community Leadership Team is split within itself, with half of the members who will be remaining past next month voting the opposite of the other half.
I don’t mean to dismiss these rifts and feelings, or say that these differences or hurt feelings are petty things. Many of them are legitimate concerns that have been allowed to live unresolved for far too long.
We’re not good with pain. We put on fake smiles at summits, and tweet #jpositive, instead of dealing with that personal pain. That’s how we got here in the first place. Unfortunately, there’s more pain ahead. There will be heated discussions and more hurt feelings. If someone isn’t nice, isn’t civil, or lashes out, we all have to commit to taking it, and not dish it back out. That is the only way this will work. If everyone commits to gritting their teeth, and keeping their own integrity intact, even if they think others aren’t, we can get through this.
Maybe I have a misplaced optimism, but I really do think there is hope. Every leadership team member has to be willing to get on board with the rebuilding process. That doesn’t mean that one side “wins”, and the other side has to just deal with it – it means that everyone has to commit and be on board with rebuilding.
Many of you are my friends. We’ve had drinks together on several continents now. We've laughed together, worked together, yelled at each other on twitter, and then laughed together some more – I think that makes us friends.
The future isn’t beautiful sunsets right now, it’s not rainbows and unicorns, it’s rather cloudy; pretty stormy in fact, with a lot of lightning. But, if we can get to the other side of that storm, all together, as a whole, I have every faith that this passionate, talented, rather brilliant, sometimes annoying, but always dedicated group of people we call Joomla, can bring the project back together, and once again make amazing things.