Paid Extensions // Marketplace

Added by Natalie Klinke over 4 years ago

Isn't a Marketplace where you have to buy Extensions is a total opposite move to what TYPO3 is.

TYPO3 is OpenSource. Our Motto is "Inspire to share". We all have participated from that, and exactly because you get such a great Product for free, you are willing to give something back. This will is what have made TYPO3 what it is today.

So my Topic to discuss is:

Isn't it better to establish a Guideline and Rules and/or Support for Croudfunding-Calls instead of a Marketplace?

Here are some reasons:

- Croundfunding is open to everybody, not only TYPO3 involved People. The range of participants is bigger.
- Croundfunding is unpolitical and anonymous. private persons, freelancer, small company or big player, all of them can influent the success of the call.
- Croudfunding makes it possible to realize extensions and get the developer paid for it, but makes it also possible to give the developed extension to the community for free.
- the success of a Croudfunding Call depends in parts of the popularity of the people behind, maybe it is an indicator of how the people behind the call are engaged with TYPO3, or how much they contribute. That means that people who contribute a lot, does not only get paid for there commitment, they get fame on top. To get fame and popularity is a good motivation for others.
- because Croundfunding is open to everybody TYPO3 is protected only get developed by the same people with the same interests. So young developers have the same chances as old developers and TYPO3 will get fresh input.


Replies (12)

RE: Paid Extensions // Marketplace - Added by Jo Hasenau over 4 years ago

Natalie Klinke wrote:

Isn't a Marketplace where you have to buy Extensions is a total opposite move to what TYPO3 is.

TYPO3 is OpenSource. Our Motto is "Inspire to share". We all have participated from that, and exactly because you get such a great Product for free, you are willing to give something back. This will is what have made TYPO3 what it is today.

So my Topic to discuss is:

Isn't it better to establish a Guideline and Rules and/or Support for Croudfunding-Calls instead of a Marketplace?

Well as far as I read the proposal it says:

We want to establish a Marketplace for Extensions AND introduce the concept of paid extensions.

So on the one hand there is a market place and on the other hand there are paid extensions as just one part of that market place. Of course this says nothing about the price, the type of contract and the method of payment.

While there might be free (as in free beer) extensions, paid extensions and even crowdfunded extensions, one thing they must have in common for sure: They have to be based on an OpenSource license compatible to the one used by TYPO3 and therefor the code will usually be free (as in free speech). So even paid extensions will not be exclusively available for paying customers, since no one can stop any customer from publishing the source for free (as in free beer).

To me it seems to be similar to other projects with commercial OpenSource versions like RHEL, which is available for free as CentOS. Paying customers get more service, packages instead of plain sources and maybe early access to development versions.

Regarding TYPO3 extensions Gridelements is a good example, since it has been a paid extension in the beginning, then it has been crowdfunded to be developed further and now after some individual sponsoring by some clients it is available for the whole community in a much more reliable version. Without the start as a paid extension it would not have been there at all.

So IMHO this still fits the slogan "Inspiring people to share".

RE: Paid Extensions // Marketplace - Added by Jigal van Hemert over 4 years ago

A "Marketplace" suggests that there is some form of payment involved. There can be marketplaces where both paid and free things are available. However, if it was about distributing free (zero cost) extensions we already have TER. I think it's safe to assume that it is about creating a place where (licenses for) extensions can be bought (for money).

At first it seems logical to provide some form of compensation for the efforts of the extension author. The spirit of TYPO3 has always been that the CMS and the extensions are available for free (no money) but that people can make money from consultancy, custom programming, designing, support, etcetera.
If there is not one party that pays for the development there can be many solutions as mentioned before (crowd funding, early access programs, ...). However, the end result should be available for free IMO.

During the last years efforts have been made to make the core lean and clean, and move extra functionality to extensions. This has always been the argument against including functionality such as news, speaking urls, templating tools like TemplaVoilà and so on in the core.
There is hardly any website in the wild which has been created without any third party extensions. If the most used extensions become paid extensions then it's virtually impossible to create a TYPO3 CMS website without paying someone. I don't think that this is in the spirit that Kasper meant when he made TYPO3 a free, Open Source system.

"Inspiring people to share" can been seen in different ways. Just like "free" can be free as in "free speech" or in "free beer", "share" can bee seen as sharing an apartment (two people paying for it) or sharing knowledge (I tell you what I know without expecting something in return). In the TYPO3 world it has always been used in the second meaning: give what you made to the rest of the world and you can use what the rest of the world made. (This not only applies to extensions, but also translations, snippets, ...)

It has always been a sales argument that TYPO3 can be used without paying a license fee. Once paid extensions are introduced this is not true anymore (the customer doesn't see the core separate from any extensions that were used). And once paid extensions have been introduced with a one time fee there is no reason to expand this to a yearly fee.

Introducing extensions with a paid license fee means that TYPO3 (not just the core, but the entire product as received by customers) is effectively no longer FOSS.

In my opinion it would be an extremely bad move to introduce a market place for paid extensions.

RE: Paid Extensions // Marketplace - Added by Jo Hasenau over 4 years ago

Jigal van Hemert wrote:

And once paid extensions have been introduced with a one time fee there is no reason to expand this to a yearly fee.

Just to clarify that sentence - could it be that there is a "not" missing?

And regarding the license: IMHO paid licenses can not work for the mere code of an extension, since TYPO3 extensions have to use a license, that is compatible to "GPL v2 or later" as soon as they make use of the TYPO3 API. So the fees could only cover what you already mentioned: Consultancy, custom programming, designing, support, etcetera. and no one could prohibit giving away the code to others for free.

To stay with the RHEL example: The code is still FOSS, you just don't get the additional stuff around it and you have to compile it yourself. On the other hand - according to the Wikipedia article about the company - Red Hat is the largest corporate contributor to Linux and the first 1 Billion Dollar Open Source company. So it seems that paid development and customer support can work out even in FOSS projects. It is similar with Drupal and Acquia, even though the company is a lot smaller than Red Hat.

So to me using commercial FOSS based products as a motor for the whole project seems to be a much better idea than the current "piggy bank" approach of the T3A, since many of the potential bigger sponsors tend to hesitate as soon as they don't know what exactly they will get for their money.

RE: Paid Extensions // Marketplace - Added by Alain Veuve over 4 years ago

I value all the input. I share some concerns. What really made me pro-marketplace was when I realized that several companies (4+) already have fully fledged personalization, device-simulation, FE-Editing, e-commerce etc. ext and ext frameworks that are just great. Look great and work greatly.

In some cases we are talking about 200+ mandays of work plus maintenance etc. When I ask the companies why they do not share the answer is that they built this in order to make TYPO3 a better product for their customers and that they are considering these exts as a competetive advantage as well as they must amortize their investment. We would all benefit tremendously from this kind of functionality. What is happening now is that some bigger companies can provide a TYPO3 CMS that is not comparable to what is i. e. in the introduction package.

All of these companies agreed to sell the usage of these extensions in marketplace. By doing so we create motivation for companies to come up with high quality extensions for various stuff. This again will enable all agencies to implement great functionality in their installations for their customers at a fraction of the cost. This is a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Still, FOSS is not touched. You still can use free exts only. You just have to cope with all the disadvantages that might bring like bad documentation, no updates, security issues etc. One must face the ext quality is not best (which is nothing we must worry about imo).

So, a marketplace would not distroy something that is already here. Rather it would add an additional layer of exts that are now kept under the hood.

RE: Paid Extensions // Marketplace - Added by Christian Müller over 4 years ago

From a ivory tower point of view I dislike a marketplace, but I know it will enable things and I wouldn't expect that suddenly all extensions will change to be pay only. I guess some will, but that might also improve their quality. But definitely we will see some extensions that previously were not available at all. That makes planning of projects that need such functionality easier, because you have a fixed price tag for this functionality. Additionally looking at other projects that seems to work out as well without suddenly everything becoming payed.
I just want to add to what Jigal/Jo said. "GPL v2 or later" is not incompatible with paying for the extension BUT everyone that payed is free to share the code with the world afterwards and the seller of the extension cannot do anything against that. So I just hope that people remember that it is absolutely OK to share when someone payed for it and that this is no reason for shitstorms ;)

RE: Paid Extensions // Marketplace - Added by Georg Ringer over 4 years ago

I am absolut a fan of a marketplace. IMO there are 2 major target groups:

  • Big extensions like mentioned with 200+ man days which will be sold with a price 1000€+
  • Smaller extensions which will be sold for < 200€.

I would love to have a marketplace e.g. for EXT:news and its friends.

RE: Paid Extensions // Marketplace - Added by Natalie Klinke over 4 years ago

But wouldn't a crowd funding concept offer a solution for both, the quality of extensions and the money? what exactly speaks against it?

And isn't the reason why some good extensions are not in the TER is not because the extensions are not paid as they where kept as advantage in the market from companies?

And if just some companies build good extensions and get paid for it, where is the competition? Didn't we need a competition to grow better?

RE: Paid Extensions // Marketplace - Added by Jo Hasenau over 4 years ago

Actually the payment method does not automatically change the habit of the people being paid. If people want to keep something for themselves, they will do it anyway. And the GPL allows them to do so. But the more people bought extensions, that have been keept secret until today, the higher the possibility, that there will be someone willing to share, which is why IMHO the market place will increase the amount of shared code.

BTW: just because crowdfunding is a good idea, this does not mean, other payment methods could not be good ideas as well. And it does not implement that code funded by a crowd will be shared later on.

A good example is the Mask project, which has been crowd funded on Start Next and is currently far away from being publicly shared. They started with a kind of closed source and a video about the possible outcome and up to the current date, there is nothing available in the TER. Only people who gave a certain amount of money got early access.

After all it is not about the payment or the place, where you can get the code, but about the people producing the code making up their minds, which is something you can not enforce one or the other way.

RE: Paid Extensions // Marketplace - Added by Boris Hinzer over 4 years ago

PRO for a marketplace. Everyone would benefit from it:
- customers, could find a centralized location for high quality extensions and support
- freelancers and agencies - could offer professional support and make a living out of it
- new companies - e.g. theme creators could also be attracted to port thousands of existing WP templates to TYPO3 and make a living out of it

Take a look over at the Magento marketplace. They still offer free extensions over there and instead of integrating a payment system they integrated the review stars, a short internal review process and solution provider campaign and just forward to the developers site or shop. See how fast it grew over the last few years and still is growing.

Finally, I don't really get it:
We paid for code, accounting, administration, community management and now also for enhaced LTS support and it's ok, but a marketplace is a bad idea?!
Come on guys, are you kidding me?

best regards,

Boris

RE: Paid Extensions // Marketplace - Added by Gisèle Wendl over 4 years ago

The marketplace is a good idea, but the path to get there, this makes me think bit more.
This infrastructure first needs to be created and extension developers need to be involved such their extensions fit in the store.
This is a project with yet unknown schedule, unknown response of the involved people - it is actually a huge community project.
Now the TYPO3 community, is it able to follow a project like this? It will be a big task for communication, organization and coordination.
So for me this is a long term goal, achievable in some years.

What we could try, at a short-term base - is to bring up existing crowdfunding- and donation-entrypoints to our software itself.
Compared to most of the free Androidapps, which are polluted by adds when you use a free version and there's a commercial version available - compared to this, our "OpenSource Freebies" are real saint angels!
I think it's ok to keep free extensions add-free, but I think it's no crime to place links to crowdfunding- and donation-entrypoints in the extensions themselves.

I'm preparing this for the next version of my extension toctoc_comments - It will contain a system using so called donation-keys.
A donation-key will enable the donator for support and will show a registered donator message in the plugin-backend, instead of the donation request.

The finalize my reflections concerning marketplace: The path will be long and we must not wait with other actions until this goal will be operational.

RE: Paid Extensions // Marketplace - Added by Alf Drollinger over 4 years ago

We are currently developing a set of extensions named MOOX. We love to create free Open Source, but as we are in a very bad financial situation through 2 years of development, we need to refinance some of these extensions.

Maybe the discussion about a TYPO3 Marketplace is a discussion about making much $$$ for some commercial companies or problems concerning the GPL-licence, but there is even more. Maybe there are small companies developing a dream (making TYPO3 working for smaller businesses and agencies, not only well-situated big players, so called Enterprise, like today) and maybe beeing a little bit clumsy creating the needed income. For us this is a real situation.

As an example we want to release MOOX Mailer (a really complete mailing framework and easy-to-use newsletter tool in Extbase), but how?

- Donations ... not very easy in Germany as we are a company. Explain this to our tax authorities.
- Crowd funding ... needs investment in a marketing campaign. As we already ran out of money, this is not possible for us, we’re coders.
- Projects ... yep, we make projects and we won customers for our kind of Open Source program. But we are too small to refinance it all.
- EAP-Version ... we payed to much for the SOLR-Extension some years ago. I am sorry, but I hated it.
- TYPO3 funding ... we were too late this year and we will not survive 2015 without any refinancing.

Our last chance to keep the development of MOOX running is to create an own "MOOX Marketplace" and sell templates there. I really don't know, if we are able to make this working. We are about to develop MOOX Shop and MOOX Payment now, but this is high risk. I really don't know if we outlast this mad decision.

So if there will be a TYPO3 Marketplace I see a big chance for us and other developers to bring TYPO3 to smaller clients and not only the enterprise world. I think this is more fair than every EAP or kind of forced-donation model today and I see a way to compete with other projects like Joomla and Wordpress. I personally see no risk, that our code will be shared illegally because of the GPL-licence, this is about fairness and trust. Last but not least I also see no problem that TYPO3 will be less “inspiring to share”. There are several ways like EAP or forced-donations that appear less trustworthy than a marketplace ever will.

Just my 5 cents.
Alf

RE: Paid Extensions // Marketplace - Added by Dan Untenzu over 4 years ago

Actually the payment method does not automatically change the habit of the people being paid.

Maybe a appropriate example for this: We had a „sponsor this bug“ feature attached to tickets for some years. This was dropped because it was rarely used and somehow it felt a bit „wrong“ for this FOSS project (or am I wrong on this one? It's a while ago).

What we could try, at a short-term base - is to bring up existing crowdfunding- and donation-entrypoints to our software itself.

I am a huge fan of crowdfunding and donations. Sadly most extension dont make use of this. On the other hand, even if extension do offer tools to donate (PayPal, Flattr), then users seem to be very reluctant to use them.
From my personal experience at work I can see why a marketplace is a good solution to eliminate this problem (altough I personally dislike the whole concept). Paying some euros on a centralized platform to install a theme, extension, plugin is very convenient for both sides.

But then again, this convenience may be accomplished as well with a „marketplace“ that focuses on donations instead of payments (which would allow to still have public repositories etc.). I remember a discussion on the Flattr mailinglist right now, these quys dislike the term donations, but also call it payments, although the payments are done voluntarily.

Btw: The marketplace is speaking of »extensions« only. What about packages (Neos/Flow)?

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