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#1 2006-02-22 18:15:18

Jeremie
Member
From: Provence, France
Registered: 2004-08-11
Posts: 1,578
Website

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

I disagree with the overall feeling of “off track”, mainly because I don’t think most of the points adressed here were there in the first place. And yet, Textpattern is here and alive.

However, I do agree with several points mentioned.

  • The lack of forum admin/manager : true, as I also have email several member of the admin groups and never got an answer. And easy to fix, take someone who can do it (it’s a very basic job, quite simple, all you need is some forum experience, read the PunBB doc, and answer your emails once in a while) who is not doing something else (dev, manual, etc.). It’s not critical, but it would help, and again it’s an easy one (even I can do it, that’s saying how easy it is :p).
  • Head developer : true, and with Dean away doing other things, it can be needed. However, it’s the dev’s team call, including Dean. From an external point of view, Zem seems certainly has the skills and the presence, I don’t know if he is willing to.
  • Designer team : I agree that there are some design needs, however it’s mostly one shot. I don’t see the need for a “permanent designer team”.
  • Patch submitted and then forgotten : yes and no. I don’t think is that black&white, however I agree I have seen a lot of work on the dev mailing-list not integrated. Maybe there’s a reason for that, my PHP skills are quite low.
  • Lack of roadmap : frustrating yes, because it’s very useful to everyone and don’t take long to make. But again, there never was one, and TXP is where it is now.

Last edited by Jeremie (2006-02-22 18:16:36)

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#2 2006-02-22 18:47:41

hcgtv
Plugin Author
From: Key Largo, Florida
Registered: 2005-11-29
Posts: 2,722
Website

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

Quick question, is this post a reprint of some official statement from the devs?

As for helping out, I can help moderate the forums and I will be helping out with the docs.

Maybe we just need a leader to coordinate this?

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#3 2006-02-22 19:43:37

alexandra
Member
From: Cologne, Germany
Registered: 2004-04-02
Posts: 1,370

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

> hcgtv wrote:

Quick question, is this post a reprint of some official statement from the devs?

No it´s not.

As for helping out, I can help moderate the forums and I will be helping out with the docs.

It would be lovely having more people moderating and/or administrating the board. That would have many advantages. Though who to contact to suggest someone to become moderator or admin? I personally would as well love mary coming back as admin. She did do an awfully good job.

> Maybe we just need a leader to coordinate this?

Exactly. As far as i am concerned, TXP needs a leading group or a single leader or leading administartion.
Who wants the job ;)

Seriously, TXP needs much better coordination on the long run.

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#4 2006-02-22 20:32:51

Jeremie
Member
From: Provence, France
Registered: 2004-08-11
Posts: 1,578
Website

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

Whatever this thread leads to, I’ve added a Wiki page on Textbook so that people can volunteer to specific jobs. It’s limited to the forums for now (with no kind of guarantee, this is purely the gang of four’s choice). Wiki your way in.

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#5 2006-02-22 20:51:01

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

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

Nice move Jeremie, I agree we don’t know where all this will lead, but this kind of initiative will certainly help things move forward and it’s certainly a good start !

:)


.: Retired :.

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#6 2006-02-22 20:54:02

wet
Developer Emeritus
From: Schoerfling, Austria
Registered: 2005-06-06
Posts: 3,275
Website

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

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?

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.

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

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.

Submitting patches without ever knowing whether they are considered dumb or valuable is frustrating, I agree.

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. But Open Source development for Textpattern is obviously not a way of earning your daily income.

Textpattern lacks an economy. Suggestions, anybody?

Last edited by wet (2006-02-22 20:55:02)

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#7 2006-02-22 21:01:16

Jeremie
Member
From: Provence, France
Registered: 2004-08-11
Posts: 1,578
Website

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

Agreed Wet, it’s an important point.

One first suggestion : a listing/folder/repository/whatever of professionnal that work with Textpattern. If someone need something (a website, custom code, a plugin, a theme) he can contact these people from the main official site.

It won’t solve it all, but it’s a small first step.

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#8 2006-02-22 21:17:09

alexandra
Member
From: Cologne, Germany
Registered: 2004-04-02
Posts: 1,370

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

A very good point, wet!

My ideas so far were: setting up a database for plugins with version control and charging donations or a little fee for plugins. Money should go back to the plugin devs. That would improve quality and may guarantee devs care for their plugins. I am not sure, but that were my thoughts …

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#9 2006-02-22 21:29:01

hcgtv
Plugin Author
From: Key Largo, Florida
Registered: 2005-11-29
Posts: 2,722
Website

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

I think the economy aspect of using Textpattern, or any other Open Source project, is that you can use it to build web presences for a client or for yourself.

When you do client sites, you are paid for your work, if you put up your own site, ad monies start flowing in. In order to make monies just from Textpattern, Jeremie makes a good suggestion.

Last edited by hcgtv (2006-02-22 21:29:32)

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#10 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)


.: Retired :.

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#11 2006-02-22 22:26:16

alexandra
Member
From: Cologne, Germany
Registered: 2004-04-02
Posts: 1,370

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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