Open Source is always lauded as an innovating way of working, but for WordPress the push forward was in fact a closed source product, Medium.
WordPress was in danger of falling behind in the editing experience for content creators and they moved forward with an experimental interface for their freemium content platform, WordPress.com.
WordPress with it’s rather cruft codebase has been very conservative in changing their base software, but they had to try something new. Whatever code is running in the background is in the end irrelevant and while developers like onanating over the latest technology it does not matter to most.
Just look at the number of people embracing iOS because of the better experience. WordPress Calypso would have not been much of a thing without it being open sourced, it would’ve just a copy of Medium’s interface, but for WordPress.com.
To maintain their dominance of the web and the being the Operating System of the Internet, Automattic had to publish the software on Github to give them a unique edge. The added advantage is that by adapting the interface, you can have a choice of platform. Hell, you can even adapt Medium to work with WordPress Calypso.
Thank you Medium for pushing Open Source to innovate. Now if GIMP would take a few pages from Adobe’s book…