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Mods Or Add-On's Anyone Every Feel Guilty?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Victor, May 24, 2011.

  1. Victor

    Victor Active Member

    Just curious if other members who are not qualified to make them ever feel guilty when you can't really afford to donate to them. Do you feel guilty using them?

    I just wonder cause usually all of the people ask for donations. I have donated to a few than when I do and the mod or addon is disregarded or isn't being produced quickly it kinda gets upsetting. I know it must be really hard work for these people to do them in the first place. I just was curious sometimes I don't use a lot of them like I would like to cause I just can't afford to give to help support there efforts.
  2. SchmitzIT

    SchmitzIT Well-Known Member

    I'll happily donate if a mod or style is useful. I have not done so for every add-on I use, but definitely plan on doing so as my budget allows. I also plan on sending some love over to helpful coders and stylers in other ways.

    Like you, I also made a donation and then received next to zero support in return, with PCs going unanswered and requests for support being ignored, so the coder in question really shouldn't be wondering why I am unwilling to donate more.
  3. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

    Not a big fan of the "donationware" model tbh... I have donated here to mods I have used, but I would rather buy a quality well supported mod than donate to the author who may or may not be committed to updating or following through.

    Free or Paid is what I believe works best ... one is done for pure love of the product, love of the community, or love of coding/styling etc. The other is a lovely simple business relationship, I buy, you support.. you have financial motivation to keep it up to date, and we all win.

    I don't believe donating works for either party myself.
  4. Panupat

    Panupat Well-Known Member

    Frankly speaking - no I don't feel guilty. I feel very thankful to the creators and feel very strongly that I want to contribute, too.

    Doesn't mean I'm not donating.
  5. iTuN3r

    iTuN3r Well-Known Member

    I am using only few Add-on's released here which are updated frequently and i have donated for each Dev's & also for the style i am using :)
  6. Onimua

    Onimua Well-Known Member

    I think, at least here for XenForo, it's a mix of challenges that come with producing an add-on. I don't want to speak for other add-on authors here, so please read this more of how my experience has been here.

    When I was creating the blog I obviously had to decide whether or not to charge for it. I was inexperienced with XenForo, and generally speaking I had never managed a proper add-on of any kind (even on vBulletin), nor had I any real experience with PHP besides "minor" scripts I made and very light extension of vBulletin's framework. Factoring this in, I decided not to charge anything as the blog was nothing more than an initial experiment. As I found my footing things got better and now Beta 3 is a very strong release over its predecessors, with Beta 4 planned to take that even further.

    Now, would I charge for the blog at this point? Yes, but there's a problem.

    XenForo encourages us to release our add-ons here, and with the future resource manager add-on that will be deployed here shortly, it will definitely help us organize things and support the add-on for the end-user and as a developer. However, there is a slight problem with it already and it's that there's no payment support for it. There may be such a feature in the future, but from what Kier [or Mike?] said it won't be there initially.

    I could still charge for the blog, but then I'm stuck with managing payments on my own, handing out copies to customers (no longer just "users"), and keeping track of all that information manually. At this point I might as well just host the blog on my own domain somewhere and manage it through subscriptions or something, but then I lose the benefit of being hosted right here on XenForo's company site and losing exposure by being located elsewhere, not to mention it would require people to register in another place.

    So what did I end up with? Leaving a donation link for people to support the add-on if they'd like to. It was really the only way I could think of that would simplify things for me, by allowing a small amount of income from my work but not requiring me to juggle far more than I'd like to and allow me to focus more on developing the add-on itself.

    I guess in the end that's the point of what is being talked about here. Would you pay if you had the choice to or would you pay if you were forced to? Do not take this as some sort of cry or plea, but so far I will say that it seems a lot more will probably buy the add-on if they had to without complaint than simply download it for free with the option to pay whatever amount they like (or not at all).

    I do understand the worry about donation-based/free add-ons, but at the same time it's that fear that also ends up being the death of the project because the author has to abandon it for something that will actually pay the bills because people are afraid to support the author for fear they may flee. And, if you're thinking making them paid-only prevents such a thing, I've seen the same thing happen there too.

    I don't want to instill fear or anything, but yes there's a risk involved but it's on both sides, not just one. Making a free/donation add-on is just as risky as making a paid one, though there are differences, and for users it's always going to be an unsure thing one way or another. I guess with money on the table they feel more secure, but that doesn't mean it's nonexistent.

    Look at it another way: XenForo came out with two lawsuits against it by a much larger corporation, and yet there are a bunch of us still willing to put out money to buy more licenses, unsure 100% that XenForo will survive. I'm not saying blindly throw money at something, but seriously consider the add-on or product you're looking at before you immediately write it off as something you'd not risk just because it's free or requires a payment.

    That said, I think it's time I get back to working on thingsā€¦ ;)
    Lisa, Fuhrmann, Renada and 14 others like this.
  7. Sadik B

    Sadik B Well-Known Member

    The way I see it, as with most any product, service or work of any nature, one has to learn to spot Quality. A guarantee for a future version of product is never 100% present. Onimua mentioned XF's lawsuits. What is to say, that sometime from now, Internet Brands does not feel that VBulletin is a loss making product and should be abandoned? So one should make a decision to use a product or service, based on the Quality and fitment which is present on the table rather than a future promise.

    On XF and VBulletin, I use very few addons. It is only because I want to use addons from people who i think have produced products of genuine quality which deserve to be used. I would prefer that these addon coders make their excellent products as paid, not because that gives any automatic future guarantee but because practically that makes matters serious for all parties.

    In my personal opinion, there should be a Gradation system for addons with top addons qualifying for being as paid. All that is of course hypothetical and it's early days in the history of Xenforo. I feel with time, and with the expertise and experience of Kier, Mike and Ashley they will surely devise some format which works for majority of people. Give them time people, they have shown that they are quite capable at meeting demand.
  8. Kier

    Kier XenForo Developer Staff Member

    A few thoughts on the subject of paid add-ons.

    As has been previously intimated, our resources manager won't handle payments with its initial roll-out. The primary reason for this is simply a lack of time to implement the system rather than any sort of idealistic imperative.

    In the future, we would like to allow people to charge for resources that they post here on XenForo.com, but we have some concerns about the implications of doing this, so I'm happy to put those concerns out there to solicit some feedback.

    It's well established from the Apple AppStore experience that there is a gaping chasm in terms of uptake between apps that are free, and apps that cost $0.01. The difference is far greater than the difference between apps that cost $0.01 and $1.00 - anything that is not free severely limits its potential for uptake and distribution.

    Now, I'm not suggesting that all resources should be free - far from it. Some of the add-ons posted on XenForo.com already are more than worthy of a charge. However, I fear that if we introduce a system whereby authors can easily charge for resources posted here, you may find that suddenly everything has a charge attached to it, which would be bad for XenForo and its users, as it may have the effect of stunting the add-on community and make the platform less attractive to potential customers as a whole, which would have a knock-on effect for those charged resources as well of course.
  9. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    As you said, the biggest flaw with allowing paid add-ons is the risk of everything becoming paid only. This is one of the major drawbacks of IPB (Unless it has changed) where almost everything was paid, and the lack of free resources limited the platform.

    In contrast vBulletin has always had a wide variety of freely available modifications and styles on vB.org, which is its biggest asset and why many people I know prefer it.

    Speaking as someone who intends to release paid and free add-ons, I'd love to be able to sell add-ons here and minimize the headache of doing so on my own site. It would also successfully negate the fragmentation that occurs with vBulletin.

    On the other hand as Kier stated, theres the chance where many add-ons become paid which would negatively impact the platform. We already see small add-ons be released as paid only which has caused many people (developers included) to speak out against it. All developers and designers appreciate and love it when they make a profit or at least get some expenses covered from their work, but donations rarely cover this. Users tend to donate once and then never again, and donors are usually a small percentage of the user base.

    Another issue I can see with allowing paid add-ons is that developers and buyers will expect some form of protection to be provided by XenForo. This is a risk for XenForo as they're only playing the middleman and have no actual involvement other than providing the marketplace.

    Another problem might be that people generally believe a paid add-on means its more stable, has better support or is of higher quality than a free alternative.
    Onimua, Kim, Kier and 1 other person like this.
  10. Sadik B

    Sadik B Well-Known Member

    And that is why I said,

    What I meant was there should be system of Qualification, which classifies which addons can be sold as "Paid Addons". Now of course, the million dollar question is what can that qualification system be? I have no perfect answers, but in my opinion, Add-On authors who have demonstrated an excellent past record, whose code demonstrates Quality and not dirty short cuts can be few of maybe several criteria to choose them as XF Addon "Partners", who get the privilege of posting their addons as paid. Of course, it still means that Addon authors still have the choice of posting them as free if they want. This would be because once they make an addon as paid, there should also be a condition to fix security issues and bugs in their addons, while not placing on them any condition to produce new releases. I am a very lazy person by nature, as I suspect many others are. If there is a condition that whether or not you release new versions, you HAVE to fix bugs and security issues found in your addon if you make it Paid, else the paid privilege will be removed, I will most likely release it for free.

    These are my thoughts, and they may or may not be viable, but I hope it helps in some way.
    akia likes this.
  11. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I released my xentrader addon as free to test the water so to speak. Despite various people telling me when it was released they would donate me $x, I have only had one person actually follow through and give what they said they would.
  12. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    That could also drive away developers by being overbearing, and it requires even more responsibility by XenForo.

    That tends to be the general issue with freemium models.

    It also happens when you try to do custom add-ons that people say they'll chip in for paying for, but they rarely do.
    Kier likes this.
  13. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    Could the resources manager allow both paid and free downloads (same as App Store)?

    That way the add-on author can decide.

    The advantage of using the resource manager for all add-ons (both free and paid) would be the stats and payment support for the author, and a central place to download and get support for us board owners.

    Would the proposed resources manager have an XF.com based support thread for each add-on (much like vB.org / IPS Marketplace)? or would the add-on discussions be at the author's web site only?

    I think the idea of having the marketplace for add-ons under XF's official wing is a great idea and will add kudos to the add-ons and give the authors a captive market, but do the XF team really want to get involved in the problems that running such a marketplace might involve (purchases not delivered, unresolved/non-existant support, delays in add-on updates, add-ons not working as they should, authors not responding, etc.)?

    It's a great idea that could really work well in XF's favour but it needs to be well managed. What about a sister site such as xenforo.org? or is that too much like vb.org?

    Shaun :D
  14. Markos

    Markos Well-Known Member

    Agree with Kier. Personally, only major and maybe "very low request" mods should be paid. That's my idealistic vision. But i'm also agree with Kim, i don't like the donationware system because many times you are "obliged" to donate to have a minimum support! There are not a problem on little mods, but can be a great problem on major mods (this is the reason because i prefer to pay for the "major addons"). I personally prefer to pay for a mod and have a minumum of guarantee of support and updates. I have said: minimum. I like when the devs creates a external support board (like borbole and ragtek).

    IMHO is good to wait for a marketplace. It's better to wait for have the most important mods coded (in majority free) and when there are a sufficient number of addons, creates this. With this if a coder wants to create a premium addon, there are in majority of cases already a free addon. The coder should create something better of the free addons for attract customers. Paid addons is very good when there are free alternatives. Like vb.org. IPB Addon system= FAIL.
    borbole likes this.
  15. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    They intend to have paid modifications supported in the future, we just took it off topic and were discussing the issues with having paid modifications ;).
  16. Victor

    Victor Active Member

    See this is just the reason I don't want to use them which than limits my boards as being what I would call "Crappy"

    Most people like IBP has almost limited everything to pay. I can't afford it and I really can't even donate due to my limited income. $600 USD a month isn't a lot of money to live on when you have to pay 425.00 USD just to pay your rent.

    And with all Respect, I have been taught as well that we should pay our own ways. I understand that. I have maybe 5 addon's so far, I have yet to contribute to the ones from here except for one and I feel that was a huge mistake. I don't want to talk to much more about that. So I suppose if the addon's went to pay I would be selling my XenForo software I was thinking about doing it anyway.

  17. borbole

    borbole Well-Known Member

    One wonders if you can't afford 10 dollars to buy a mod, how can you afford to pay 140-150 dollars to buy a paid forum software, not to mention the costs of the server.
  18. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    um... you save a little here and there til you have enough. I have a lot of experience with that, being a single mom of a special needs child, living on a very fixed income.
    Lisa and Victor like this.
  19. jmurrayhead

    jmurrayhead Well-Known Member

    A possible solution: allow addon authors to offer paid addons based off their activity creating, supporting, votes, etc, for their free addons in the resource manager. If their activity with free mods falls, then their account status is changed and they are no longer able to charge for addons. All existing paid addons would be locked. This would possible promote a good amount of free resources as well as allowing addon authors to make some cajeesh.
  20. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    My biggest issue with donating is most developers only accept PayPal.

    Not everyone can use or access PayPal. An Alternative would be Google Checkout, Alert Pay, 2Checkout.
    Peggy likes this.

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