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Add-on Unmaintained Waindigo add-ons

Discussion in 'Resource and Add-on Discussions' started by Jon W, Feb 5, 2015.

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  1. Jon W

    Jon W Well-Known Member

    As you may be aware, I have released 250 resources on XenForo.

    Given that I am only one person, this is a massive amount of add-ons to support and it has been noted that some add-ons and other resources are being neglected.

    I am proposing to change the way my add-ons are supported in order to help make things clearer for members choosing add-ons to download.

    I propose that any add-ons that have been contributed towards will receive guaranteed support (i.e., will never be marked as unmaintained) for at least 12 months. The only exception will be if a change in XenForo meant that it was no longer necessary to support this add-on, in which case it would only be supported for the older versions of XenForo.

    Add-ons that have not been directly contributed towards for 12 months that have known bugs or a large number of unanswered queries will be marked as "unmaintained". However, I may still decide to fix all bugs and/or respond to all requests, in which case the "unmaintained" label will be removed.

    If I receive a request to develop further an add-on that is unmaintained, the cost of bringing that add-on back into a state where it will be supportable for 12 months will be considered and may be added to the cost of any quote.

    I will also consider any requests made by other developers to take over any add-on that is currently "unmaintained" in order that it can be supported for the benefit of the XenForo community. Unmaintained add-ons will also have their license changed to allow them to be installed on commercial sites free of charge.

    For supported add-ons within the 12 month period, we would endeavour to respond to all bug reports within 24-48 hours.

    At this stage, I have not yet worked out the number of add-ons that will be affected by this policy.

    I would welcome any feedback on this proposed policy.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  2. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    I think its a good idea that you are reconsidering your support policy.
    If an addon is paid by an investor / client then it should work fully. A years support is good.

    However, I think that you need to address something far more important. Various of your addons simply do not work well. Some have dozens of bug fix releases but it doesn't help. IMHO you should place a clear warning on these addons so that people know there are significant problems with these addons. As you have said yourself some of these addons where developed while you were just beginning to code.
    Some addons seem beyond repair. Other addons can only be used by small boards, because there are problematic queries that will cause significant problems if the addon is run on a medium to large board.

    Most of all I think that you should review your Quality Assurance methods. It really should not happen that clients pay good money and end up with software they can not use on their own website. This is a waste of money, a waste of time and simply not fair.

    I have not done business with you for some time now. But in the past it happened a lot of times that you went unresponsive for many months after receiving funds. I hope this doesn't happen in the present day.
  3. Jon W

    Jon W Well-Known Member

    This is really helpful. Thank you.

    It would be my intention that the "unmaintained" prefix would effectively be saying "this add-on does not meet our quality standards".

    I've just suggested to XenForo that a "beta" prefix be added as this would really help with identifying new add-ons that we expect may have bugs but that have not yet been fully tested as a way of saying "this add-on may not yet meet our quality standards":
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
    Daniel Hood and Alfa1 like this.
  4. HWS

    HWS Well-Known Member

    I only can tell you my story. We run a medium sized XenForo board (that would easily qualify as a big board for many) but it is just our smaller board, the larger still runnig vB.

    I tried several of your add-ons in our test environment, but all of them lacked seriously in performance and also had several annoying bugs. The worst of all was your "Friends" add-on.

    After we tried the 5th add-on with the same result, we never tried any of your add-ons again. Because we lost all trust that you are able to create add-ons in a quality we would need and expect (and get delivered by several other developers).

    Could be, we tried 5 of your "not maintained" add-ons. But we'll never know.

    If they would have been marked as "un-supported" or "un-maintained", we may have tried other add-ons from you again.
    sami simo and Jon W like this.
  5. Jon W

    Jon W Well-Known Member

    Friends by Waindigo would definitely have had the "unmaintained" tag, although I have since fixed the big bug with that add-on. It still uses a lot of XenForo 1.1 techniques though. For example, it doesn't use the template modifications that were introduced in XenForo 1.2.

    I would be interested to know which of our other add-ons you tried. A lot of our "most popular" add-ons are likely to be classed as not maintained because they were coded for XenForo 1.1 and they do need work doing.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  6. Mouth

    Mouth Well-Known Member

    These should be removed from RM, IMHO. They provide no value to anyone really, and only present your add-ons and coding in negative way.
    Sure, have un-maintained add-ons that meet your quality standard. But if they don't meet them - then just removed them! Why even have them at all? Even un-supported, they still represent your products and quality.
    My $0.02c worth.
  7. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    This would help and its a good idea. But I think one of the main problems on XenForo.com is that a popular addon can have very serious issues without these being listed on the resource. Even if the issues have been reported. It would really help a lot of there would be a simple bug tracker in resources.
    Daniel Hood and Jon W like this.
  8. Jon W

    Jon W Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure I agree entirely that they have no value, but you do make a very interesting point. For example, if an add-on works well on a small board but not on a large board then it is of some value, even though it doesn't meet a high quality standard. I guess it really depends what the issue is with the add-on. But I agree that it does reflect badly on any add-ons that are well coded. I think the "unmaintained" prefix will make that distinction clearer, but it may not be enough. Perhaps it would be better to have them listed on waindigo.org only and not on the xenforo.com.
  9. Jon W

    Jon W Well-Known Member

    Just realised that the prefix is "unmaintained" not "unsupported". Posts edited. Oops.
  10. Arty

    Arty Well-Known Member

    A suggestion: why not publish those add-ons on GitHub or similar version control system? It would make it possible for forum owners to help you maintain add-ons.
    lol768, HWS, Xon and 2 others like this.
  11. Mouth

    Mouth Well-Known Member

    I think Unmaintained simply means as-is, and don't expect any bugs/issues to be fixed or further development work to occur. It doesn't represent "this is really poor and shouldn't be used" and thus will represent the standard someone can expect from your other add-ons.
    For add-ons that do not scale, and only for small boards, I think you would have to be very clear of this in the description and make a reasonable attempt to quantify what small is, and what the issue will be if used beyond that definition.
    Kaynil, Jon W and tajhay like this.
  12. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    Besides the unmaintained prefix it would be beneficial to put a red warning image or just red text in the description of problematic addons to warn people of the problems with the addon. This way people know what they are getting into right from the start. i.e.


    Such warnings are needed IMHO for addons which have significant issues in terms of quality or performance.
    Kaynil, Newt, Xon and 1 other person like this.
  13. sbj

    sbj Well-Known Member

    This is my concern.
    I am talking about add-ons that have been contributed towards.
    When Xenforo 2.0 is released, I'm afraid of you will say that we need to pay if we want them to work with 2.0.
    Jon W likes this.
  14. Jon W

    Jon W Well-Known Member

    This will almost certainly be the case. Most add-ons will require a complete rewrite.

    Edit: to be clear, in the sentence you have quoted, I am actually referring to an add-on feature being included in the core.
  15. sbj

    sbj Well-Known Member

    I got that. Of course it makes no sense to support add-ons that are included in the core.
    But I was talking about that ones they won't be included. And my concern is affirmed.
    The problem is that single persons can't cover the cost you are asking. So the whole ballast is on single persons.

    Either make your add-ons paid ones, so the ballast is spread to all payers or make a system for crowdfunding if you want to stay with your current policy.
    erich37 and Jon W like this.
  16. Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

    @Jon W why don't you stick a price tag on some of your popular add-ons? I'm sure people would rather pay a price for an add-on that works and they can openly post suggestions and bugs without the typical response of, "you could donate for that".
    Kaynil, gfc, oman and 3 others like this.
  17. Jon W

    Jon W Well-Known Member

    I am looking at all the available options for XenForo 2.0, including paid add-ons and crowdfunding. But it will have to be paid for because it is just too much work for me to take all the hit.
    Dryline likes this.
  18. sbj

    sbj Well-Known Member

    I understand that and I would happily contribute towards. But as I said, I can't cover by my own the whole cost for a rewrite. Or same for other people.
    And because there is no system to share the costs (paid system or crowdfunding), it is very disappointing for us individuals.
    Your system is not customers-friendly.
    erich37 and Jon W like this.
  19. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    You could build a system where projects are posted with a goal price and people can contribute to the project financially. When the goal is reached you will create it. If the goal is not reached within a certain time then refund the contributors. However, I would certainly consider to also charge other people for the use of some of your addons so that you get in enough funds to be able to spend time on support and updates for those addons.
    It just doesn't work to give 250 addons to people for free and then having to support those for free.
  20. Daniel Hood

    Daniel Hood Well-Known Member

    This really says a lot; it was only the past couple days that people started giving you advice on how you could improve your reputation and business model and here we are. Good job not only listening, but actually doing something about it.

    Best of luck. I still think you should look into releasing some of your add ons as paid but if this works out for you and your customers then it's a win for xF.
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