Mullenweg Steps Up Automattic, SixApart War of Words

Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg has escalated the war of words against competitor SixApart with a new post that further attacks SixApart following a Twitter exchange Tuesday.

Some highlights from the post:

Could you build Typepad or Vox with Movable Type? Probably not, especially since people with more than a few blogs or posts say it grinds to a halt, as Metblogs found before they switched to WordPress….

Automattic (and other people) can provide full support for GPL software, which is the single license everything we support is under. Movable Type has 8 different licenses and the “open source” one doesn’t allow any support….

Movable Type, which is Six Apart’s only Open Source product line now that they’ve dumped Livejournal, doesn’t even have a public bug tracker, even though they announced it going OS over 9 months ago!…

Movable Type once led the market, it had over 90% marketshare in the self-hosted market. Now they call “pages” and “dynamic publishing”, features WordPress has had for 4+ years, innovation and you still can’t do basic things like click “next posts” at the bottom of home page…

For the record, I’m glad they’ve taken the license of MT in a positive direction that prevents them from betraying their customers like they did with MT3, but they have a long way to go before the project could be considered a community.

Certainly SixApart’s history in relation to open source and caring about their community isn’t great (and I won’t be one to defend it). However Mullenweg’s comments are interesting given that Automattic’s biggest money earner Akismet is not open source (the service, not the plugin) and benefits from the the failure of WordPress to combat comment spam natively. Couple that with Automattic controlling WordPress as it was its own; some may suggest this a clear conflict of interest that disqualifies Mullenweg from taking the high moral ground. People in glass houses.