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#11 2006-02-22 22:11:32

davidm
Member
From: Paris, France
Registered: 2004-04-27
Posts: 719

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

<em>My post took so long writing that many things said earlier have not been taken into account… I’ll try to update it accordingly. Anyway : Jeremie, Alexandra, great ideas ! hcgtv, hakjoon : I am totally in agreement with you ! </em>

wet wrote: In the long run, one has to make a living. So for me, the key question is: How can one make a living by contributing to Textpattern instead of doing billable work for clients?

Nobody said Dean was wrong in wanting to build a business with Textpattern. I was one of the first people buying into TextDrive for VC. I have been expecting TextBase (the hosted textpattern service) for a long time. And I am pretty sure Joyent is a very smart venture.

Yet opensource communities bring value to developpers by making suggestions, reporting bugs, writing plugins… etc. Software doesn’t bring money in itself, service does. You can either sell hosted software, webdesign or whatever…

Who earns money from blog software? The Trotts do, apparently. So does Matt Mullenweg. Textpattern is the only one of the “Big Three” blog apps which has no commercial aspect. That may sound appealing for open source purists but it results in consequences.

Well I am a big pro-opensource guy, but to me making a living and going opensource is not incompatible. WordPress is opensource. Matt is selling services, and hosting too. Automatic is a fairly recent business, if I remember correctly…

Dean Allen decided to find a way of spending his time while getting paid for it. It was not Textpattern which he chose.

And as we said, it’s not a problem per say, I quote : <em>The fact that Dean has naturally been less present in the community and progressively dropped out of textpattern’s development in itself would not have been cause for concern had this transition been anticipated and transparently managed. We think that for a number of (at the time valid) reasons it was not.</em>

The problem is the community going adrift with the project…

Alex Shiels said: “Textpattern is driven by supply, not demand. The dev team members each write code for their own needs”. IMHO, that’s the point that tells it all. Textpattern is a product which enlarges its feature set because one of the devs needs a feature for a client project. I suppose that’s why there is no roadmap: Zem cannot forsee the future (though his avatar may enforce such a misconception) and what he will need for his next client that will be worth being built into Textpattern with all the documention and bugfixing obligations stemming from that.

I think this kind of reasonning is a dangerous shortcut : while it’s certainly true lots of opensource dev start with the aim of developping a tool that fit their own needs, it most definitely don’t stop there. Plugins writers (such as yourself) are also contributing new code for the same reason or sometimes because enough users need a given feature. But there is something missing in this reasonning : the whole point of opensource is benefit from users, designers and other coders point of view to improve the software.

End users expressing needs are great helpers because they have similar perception your clients will have. Despite one might think, they are like children asking the stupid but right on target question. Designers expressing the need to have greater control over design and help remove hard coded styles will help making it easier to style, or making forms more accessible… etc. Coders submitting patches or bringing simpler, more secure code to the core… etc.

This being said, in the case of Textpattern, let’s remember Dean had a philosophy, a vision when he launched textpattern, lots of it being user-oriented. Read textpattern.com again : <em>“When it comes to publishing on the internet, beginners and experts alike are met with a bothersome paradox (…)” “(…)Textpattern is a web application designed to help overcome these and other hurdles to publishing online, and to simplify the production of well-structured, standards-compliant web pages.”</em>

That’s what attracted me to this software : the vision, the philosophy and then the community. The code was built with a vision in mind and it took into account users and designers, not only php-savvy…

As a personal sidenote: I’ve written a number of plug-ins of which at least wet_slimpattern proved quite popular as far as I can judge from the referer logs and the download counts. Total donations so far: USD 10 minus PayPal fees. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in it for money.

I remember Ryan Trash telling me recently “Donations is not a business model”. I guess it’s unfortunately true… I am totally for the donation system for big plugins that require a lot of dev time, and I have often contributed those DropCash operations…but yes it’s true it does not cover the time spent and skills involved.

But Open Source development for Textpattern is obviously not a way of earning your daily income. Textpattern lacks an economy. Suggestions, anybody?

I don’t think this is necessarily true : anyone can sell services based on textpattern, or build a hosting service, or anything they might imagine doing with it. Textpattern is not different than WordPress you mentionned. Matt is not selling WordPress. I am not sure Automatic is already making big cash either… Movable Type is something else, not being opensource.

Last edited by davidm (2006-02-22 22:26:27)


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#12 2006-02-22 22:26:16

alexandra
Member
From: Cologne, Germany
Registered: 2004-04-02
Posts: 1,368
Website

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

TXP should be able to grow from all members of the community that make additions to the system for to meet their needs

Even in my native language i couldn´t express it in a better way than hakjoon did above :).

EDIT
Ups where is hakjoon´s post????

Last edited by alexandra (2006-02-22 22:28:18)

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#13 2006-02-22 22:29:08

davidm
Member
From: Paris, France
Registered: 2004-04-27
Posts: 719

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

alexandra wrote: TXP should be able to grow from all members of the community that make additions to the system for to meet their needs Even in my native language i couldn´t express it in a better way than hakjoon did above :)

Agreed but what happened to Hakjoon’s great post ?
Deleted ?


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#14 2006-02-22 22:29:08

Skubidu
Plugin Author
Registered: 2004-10-23
Posts: 611
Website

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

> wet wrote:

> In the long run, one has to make a living. So for me, the key question is: How can one make a living by contributing to Textpattern instead of doing billable work for clients?

Well, that’s a general problem of OpenSource. I think it’s becoming easier with more people caring about different parts of the core of Textpattern so that there is not only one person the development is depending on.
There are many people contributing plugins – there is some really good stuff. I think it’s important to not only increase the number of plugins but to improve Textpattern’s core features. I think it’s not the problem that there are to less people having time to develop new features, but there is no guideline how to contribute.

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#15 2006-02-22 22:31:22

Skubidu
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Registered: 2004-10-23
Posts: 611
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Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

> alexandra wrote:

> TXP should be able to grow from all members of the community that make additions to the system for to meet their needs

I agree with that, too! I think this could be the roundup of our initial posting.

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#16 2006-02-22 23:57:59

hakjoon
Moderator
From: Arlington, VA
Registered: 2004-07-29
Posts: 1,631
Website

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

I deleted my post. Last time a discussion like these happened a lot of my thoughts got interpreted completely wrong and things went in a direction that almost had me going elsewhere. After I posted I feared it potentially going that way again, so I decided to remove it.

Plus I thought davidm hit my points better then I had.

Last edited by hakjoon (2006-02-22 23:58:36)


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#17 2006-02-23 00:28:54

davidm
Member
From: Paris, France
Registered: 2004-04-27
Posts: 719

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

Thanks for making your deleting your post clear, hakjoon.

I thought your post added complementary ideas and interresting point of view, but I respect your second thoughts. This debate could get rough and sometimes you’re not in the mood for the potential b*llshit around that… this being said, your post was a testimony that we’re not just a bunch of 3 people running amok here ;) (though I have to admit the user name I came up with for the collective post was provocative humour, txpERT not standing for txp experts but for txp <strong>E</strong>mergency <strong>R</strong>esponse <strong>T</strong>eam ;p)

Last edited by davidm (2006-02-23 00:35:40)


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#18 2006-02-23 01:16:11

hakjoon
Moderator
From: Arlington, VA
Registered: 2004-07-29
Posts: 1,631
Website

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

I definitely agree with the thoughts behind this initiative and I see it as a testimony to how much the users care about TXP, so count me as a 4th person running amuck :)

I didn’t want the valid issues that are being brought up sidetracked because I didn’t chose my words correctly.

Also on this subject

anyone can sell services based on textpattern, or build a hosting service, or anything they might imagine doing with it.

This seems to be exactly what Stuart is doing with FreshlyPressed which I think is a fantastic idea.

Last edited by hakjoon (2006-02-23 01:20:59)


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#19 2006-02-23 03:08:13

neutrino
Member
From: East of the Diablo Range
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 134
Website

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

I’ll toss in my two cents reminding you all that I’m sort of a teenager in my relationship to the community and TXP (I haven’t been around TXP or CSS all that long—less than a year). My short response is that TXP feels very scattered to me.

I’ve seen a hundred great ideas (like the plugin respository and the redesign of the resources site) but there seems to be a general lack of cohesiveness in direction (I’m totally guilty here, myself—I drop in and out) both to the software and to the communal effort.

From my limited perspective this forum still feels like the core of TXP (it’s where I come to find the links to the manual and the FAQS and the Resource site (shouldn’t textpattern.com be that place?)), though numerous other TXP-related sites exist, many very important to our collective knowledge base and all “part” of the community.

What’s my point? A suggestion perhaps. Some one thing should tie TXP together for the uninitiated. A web site, one (collaboratively designed and developed) website that was a knock ‘em out, drop dead killer design AND a kick butt demo AND the numero uno PORTAL/table of contents for ALL THINGS TXP could possibily bring some cohesiveness back and at least give focus to wet’s TXP economy and a home to alexandra’s database and advertisement to developers and designers. Just simply discussing what all would go on that one site might be an interesting exercise. i.e. what would the ultimate TXP sitemap look like? I assume that was the original vision for the resource site.

I am glad you all brought this up—it was a vague icky feeling (especially after Mary left and now appears as that cat that doesn’t quite trust the food being offered (hi Mary)) but now feels like there’s hope (or at least a diagnosis) again. Very cool, txpERT. Of course, some of it really is work for all of us (the HUD auditors have been in my office for weeks).

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#20 2006-02-23 03:14:20

TheEric
Plugin Author
From: Wyoming
Registered: 2004-09-17
Posts: 564

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

Hmm. This particular subject has come up many times in regards to Textpattern.

I don’t think it’s something that is ever going to change… At least, not under the Textpattern name.

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