I check my blog stats every few days. There I said it.
When I was checking for the Feed Stats option on the wordpress.com Dashboard and realized it was gone. After some digging, I found this post from Matt at WordPress:
“(It’s) important to us to be constantly adding new features and functionality for you guys, sometimes we have to retire or prune things that just didn’t work out or that we don’t have time to focus on right now.”
From the 2 replies (out of 200+) I read, half seemed to understand and half were upset with the decision.
It would be nearly impossible to do something like this in the traditional software world. Products and features rarely die without a replacement/alternative nearby. Paying customers don’t want to use your software if they can’t trust product/feature continuity with releases.
In the open source world, it’s much more common to add a feature, only to drop it in a future release. Or to add two implementations of the same feature and see which one users like more. For example, Apache Geronimo recently passed 100% of the JEE5 TCK tests using the CXF Web services stack. However, I hear they’re planning to ship CXF and the Axis2 Web services stack when a JEE5 certified Geronimo 2.0 ships later this summer.
The “see if it sticks to the wall” approach used within most open source projects helps drive innovation. It can also be a pitfall for a customer that picked a “didn’t stick” technology/feature. Sure, you have the code, so you could support yourself on the technology/feature, but that’s not realistic for most enterprises.
Definitely a double edged sword, but still very cool to see in action!