Descartes, De Horses And Jumping The Gun

Jump… to conclusions!It looks as though I may have spoken too soon yesterday. Owen has posted his thoughts on the [dis]continuation of the Philly WordPress Meetup — I probably should have solicited his honest opinions before posting as I did.
I can definitely sympathize with Owen’s concerns — it stinks to be coming in from out at the end of the Main Line for a relatively dismal turnout of people that are looking to talk about something you have little interest in at this point. I like his notion of a BarCamp-esque mega Meetup — it definitely has some potential. However, I see value in pursuing the monthly WP meetups and I certainly would like to see them continue.
I do think that Owen has been one of the most outspoken critics of the WordPress development process thus far and so his “API shifting every 90 days” comment is certainly coming from a position of knowledge. I would temper that comment, though, with some hope. In a recent discussion on the wp-hackers mailing list, a large chunk of code committed by Matt Mullenweg was deemed to be a bad direction for WP to head. He was voted down on the list by the vast majority of users and the other SVN committers, leading to the delay of WP version 2.2 and a stripping of said code from the 2.2 branch of WordPress. An alternative was suggested by Ryan Boren, one that had a great deal of flexibility and future-proofing built in. It was actually pretty amazing to watch in action. Matt has previously gotten a bit of a rap as a unilateralist when it comes to WordPress development. Whether this reputation is deserved is left up to the reader, but the WP community is slowly but surely getting to a good development model. Many of the concerns that Owen and the others associated with Habari have had about WP development are slowly but surely being worked out. Here’s to hoping that the trend continues.
I guess it comes down to this: I’m once again excited about the directions that WordPress is heading and really want to continue meeting with others that will be similarly excited.

A Call To Philadelphia WordPressers

Philly Skyline
Those of you that have attended Philadelphia WordPress Meetups in the past were probably notified by the folks over at Meetup that Owen Winkler has stepped down as the Philly WP organizer. This makes a good deal of sense, seeing as he has moved the bulk of his efforts over to Habari these days and thus isn’t exactly in the best position to be heading the WP Meetup.
I want to continue the Philly WP Meetup tradition and, although I haven’t been to one in a bit, it would be a shame to see it peter out. However, I am loathe to pay Meetup $19/month for the “privilege” of organizing these events and so I want to throw this discussion out to the entire Philly WP community. Should we stick with and pay their fees (looks like the Philadelphia Bloggers Meetup will continue using Meetup) or should we strike out for other alternatives? (I’ve taken the liberty of reserving a group over at Upcoming which appears to have the distinct advantage of being free) Or should we simply merge with the Philly Bloggers Meetup group and forget the whole thing? Is there an advantage to maintaining a separate group or has the time passed for that?
I’d really hate to lose the group, but we obviously need buy-in from a substantial number of bloggers for any effort to work. I welcome any thoughts, opinions or suggestions that anyone may have.