Here’s a nice lengthy profile of Matt Mullenweg in the Houston Press by CATHERINE MATUSOW. Matt (aka Photomatt) is a bright young developer who has been leading the wordpress blogging software project. Note: I switched to WordPress in June 2003 and remember being shocked that a local boy was running the project. Now, it seems that many important people are using the software (if only because it is open source and GPL).
Matt has done a great thing. Besides being a great developer, he spent his time reusing stuff from an older cms system and then organized a great discussion site to support the project. At the time, movable type was dominant (for reasons I could never fathom), while wordpress contained a more open license. WordPress used to be buggy, and it still has some kinks in the version I am using for this weblog (only because I haven’t had the time to upgrade to a more recent version). But it’s easy to install on a web host, and you can easily put each weblog into a separate database.
Also, the php/mysql combination turned out to be easier to manage that the perl db Movable Type started with. However, even movable type moved over to mysql eventually (no surprise, because it came installed by default at most webhosting companies).
For a while I entertained the notion of trying to put my literary project entirely under wordpress. It certainly had that capability, and Matt was ensuring that there was support for pingback, XFN and RSS (often, well before Movable Type). Nowadays, the new hot php-CMS seems to be mambo server, which looks pretty snazzy, better even than postnuke. I should mention that it’s easy to bump into these developers at South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin (which occurs every March).
Finally, Matt told a hilarious story at Fray Day Houston 2003 event I organized. I am still looking for that red button, Matt.