I’ve come to the conclusion that to really appreciate what WordPress is (and isn’t) you have to appreciate the community effort surrounding it. In other words: the team approach to building software. The appreciation that what you’re getting is free and if someone releases a new plugin or a new theme it’s out of the love of the community and product.
I think this concept applies to other open source projects as well.
What do I mean about appreciating WordPress? Well, I’ve talked to a number of people recently who don’t like WordPress. Utterly hate its interface. Hate the lack of control (compared to Dreamweaver for example) and thought it was clumsy and needed polish. I always thought it was interesting how they would criticize parts of WordPress that I actually liked (WYSIWYG vs text editor). Then it dawned on me that some people don’t appreciate WordPress for what it is. Instead, they see its flaws. They see only themselves and not a great application. For some people it appears, an application that only serves 95% of your goals doesn’t serve enough.