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XF: take more control of Resources

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by ibrian, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. ibrian

    ibrian Active Member

    I know this won't be a popular opinion, but I'm becoming increasingly frustrated with the resources section.

    This is not least because I'm somewhat shocked at how many developers are less interested in developing community and supporting overall development, as much as seeking to personally profit from every little modification they offer.

    I accept there are large addons that take intensive development and arguably need to charge to maintain support. IMO any ex-vBulletin owner accepts that.

    But too often all I perceive is small tweaks being charged for to exploit the Xenforo community.

    Even worse, members charged for software how to register on developer's personal forums to pay and download; we're expected to promote the developer's branding or links in every second addon, even when paid-for; and some developers are pushing for subscription models for minor tweaks.

    XF is a great piece of software, but still immature in some areas. While vb3 owners may see XF as more attractire to vb4 or 5, there are still features that were integral to vb3 - now 5 years out of date - that have not made it to XF - except as a paid-for resource. Thus too much of the cost of XF is actually hidden.

    I know some people will see this post as flaming, and they will tell me that if I don't like something I don't have to pay for it, lol, etc - while refusing to justify why the Xenforo community should be treated so different to really successful community platforms such as vb3 or Wordpress.

    I'm simply expressing an opinion, and providing feedback.

    At the very least, I think XF needs to rein in the resources section and put it under more direct control - all payments and all downloads from Xenforo.com at least - and exercise some judgement as what can be considered as acceptable demands by developers - so that XF can ensure it can be seen to be looking after the interests of both itself, and its own paying community.
    worrorfight, sami simo, Neal and 5 others like this.
  2. Brent W

    Brent W Well-Known Member

    People's time is valuable to them. If you want to take the time to learn the talents that allow the people you are referring to to be able to create what you feel is over priced or should not be charged for in the first place then go for it. Then you can support that on top of it after releasing it to tens of thousands of people.

    You bring up Wordpress. I can't even begin to count how many Wordpress plugins I have used over the years that were free and were abandoned, leaving me to have to remove functionality or pay to have it recreated.
    wang, 0ptima and Jeremy P like this.
  3. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    I can't disagree with much of your post except for the last paragraph. XenForo is not immune to this phenomena even with some of its premium plug-ins.
    Xon likes this.
  4. Brent W

    Brent W Well-Known Member

    Not immune but I'd be willing to bet the abandon rate for paid Addons compared to free ones is quite drastic in difference.
  5. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    Fair enough
  6. Daniel Hood

    Daniel Hood Well-Known Member

    A big issue is that non-coders constantly try to explain how simple an add on is to make. If it's so easy to reproduce and you'd rather rebuild it than pay $5, 10, or even 50, go for it. Nobody is forcing you to buy these things. If it's not worth it, don't get it. If you want it, recognize that somebody took their time to build it and deserves to be compensated. You might think it only took 5 minutes, it may have taken 30 which still isn't much time but if it's only $5, that's comparable to the USA's minimum wage which is significantly less than what developers make elsewhere. Also, lets pretend it did only take 5 minutes. That person still has to have a method of selling it, pay whatever fees (paypal, credit card, whatever), spend time justifying the cost to people like yourself, and possibly spend time supporting it in the future (even the simplest thing can be messed up by a core change and have to be fixed).

    Assuming I don't have a community of my own, when I make an add on for you, that's done in time that I could be:
    • Relaxing
    • Spending time with my family
    • Playing games
    • Working on other things that are going to make money
    • Etc.
    So pardon me for expecting to be compensated for my time. I don't know what you do for a living, but I'm sure you wouldn't want to go over to everyone of XenForo's member's houses and do a similar task for no cost on your time off.
    Divvens, wang, mistypants and 10 others like this.
  7. New Joe

    New Joe Active Member

    For me coming from vB com and vB org it is kind of confusing and also missing lost of things while trying to read what's going on here.
    As this site Xenforo is an all in one site.

    Where as vB has 2 separate sites, vb com and vb org

    I never used the vb com site, i was more interested in the mods and template stuff you get on the org, so spent most of the last 5 years on there.
    The admin and mods run it tight, keeping on top of what's happening there, which isn't a lot really as vB is slowing right down.

    For me, i think it could be a wise move for the development and future of Xenforo to separate the 2 things like vb com and vb org does.
    I see by doing it that way both sides will improve a lot more for everyone, as in the software development and the add ons can clearly separate.

    I think Mike, Kier and Ashley should really sit back and talk about this.
    It's just what I think, maybe others don't agree, but there you go, I said how I see it through my eyes.
    ibrian likes this.
  8. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    - Resource providers have a life.
    - Sometimes minor code changes/tweaks are warranted that some people may feel are insignificant. (Bug fixes, feature fixes, security fixes)
    - This is more of a fact and related to a thread I recently involved myself in. PEOPLE EXPECT THE EARTH from resource providers. #fact
    - Resource providers time/expertise/product delivered vs WHAT YOU PAY - 99% of the time your getting a bargain near to the point your stealing the add-on. Example - Chris Deemings Notifications - Anyone that owns this, stole it imo.

    I could go on but I'll stop right there since it becomes boring after a while. The only exploitation I can see around here is against resource providers, READ THE MAJORITY OF THE RESOURCE DISCUSSIONS. Today seems to be Caps Locks day for me.
  9. Ridemonkey

    Ridemonkey Well-Known Member

    I have absolutely no issue with developers charging for add-ons. The reality is, once you get done testing it, packaging it, uploading to the RM and filling everything out, maybe taking screenshots, answering questions, etc., a $5 add-on is really a trivial amount of money to charge. I think the same thing about mobile apps for my phone that people seem to frequently demand for free.

    If I can't do it myself, that means someone else has an expertise I don't possess. That takes money and time and they should be compensated for it. Otherwise, you need to either learn the skills, or hire someone - and hiring someone is virtually always more expensive than buying an off-the-shelf product.

    After all, I don't put my phone number on this site for people to freely call me with networking or server questions when they need it.

    To the OP's point, though, I would prefer that the resources actually be hosted here so I don't have to deal with half a dozen different distribution methods. Accounts at various forums, some of which are XF resource managers some of which are not, and at least two add-ons that are distributed via emails that sometimes don't get sent when there's a new version. It would help the product feel more polished and cohesive.
    0ptima, Jeremy P and Daniel Hood like this.
  10. Daniel Hood

    Daniel Hood Well-Known Member

    While I get the point of this, it's not feasible. For XenForo to handle the payments/distribution would cause them to be liable. Something they don't need to be. I get that registering on numerous sites to download your add ons is inconvenient, it's the best way though.
  11. Ridemonkey

    Ridemonkey Well-Known Member

    Sure, I wasn't really suggesting that it was a simple solution, just that a central marketplace is definitely a value-added feature.
  12. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I don't usually comment on these threads - one seems to come along every few months.

    What's worse is when custom requests are posted and the princely sum of $5 is quoted.
    I just have to shake my head at those threads.

    If developers actually charged what they should be charging, a lot of the more complex add-ons would be significantly more expensive.
    katsulynx, wedgar, Jeremy P and 4 others like this.
  13. Ridemonkey

    Ridemonkey Well-Known Member

    Depending on where you live/work, $5 is not even enough to employ an average developer for 15 minutes. And that 15 minutes would have to include communication about the requirements, testing, answering questions... it's insane. There's a reason a lot of professions have a 1 hour minimum labor charge.

    I work hard and get paid a fair salary for that work. I can't possibly expect people to respect my time while demanding someone else work for free, even if I think it's a "simple" task.
  14. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    Developers are partly to blame. They set the price so low when it comes to pricing it makes me wonder if they show any value in their work due to the low costs they provide and the high quality they give.

    Brogan makes a great point, probably one that is so overlooked many people will miss it. x person will release an add-on, heck this applies to all resources is you'll release a resource and then the custom requests come in (people will never be happy) and want more. Whenever I release a image pack that is exactly want I want to do but discussion threads will have members requesting sql files (it wasn't enough you designed nearly 300 custom moods) spritesheets and xml files for smilies (again wasn't enough that they got hundreds of additional smilies) they post constant messages digging at you for not providing a xml file or sql (too lazy to add them manually i suppose) but yeah, the little subliminal digs keep on coming. makes me want to punish myself more and purchase windows 8 and then go out and purchase windows 10 - Call it the new age present day equivalent to the crucifixion.

    Yeah, I guess blood is what they want. Well I guess I'll end by saying you want cheap stuff, go to china. *removes avatar in protest at low price expectations* Nah, I like my avatar, as with the demand for low cost (my arse is so tight) mindset, My mission is to demand Branding removal for free because I deserve it, and expect it for free for no solid good reason at all.

    *blames walmart*
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
    Divvens likes this.
  15. Ingenious

    Ingenious Well-Known Member

    I don't mind paying for add-ons if they are critical to my forum. The eco-system here is, to me, sufficiently competitive to allow some authors to charge and others to offer them free. The one good thing about paying is you do support the developer and also get some level of support in return. I also think there are a huge number of add-ons available free of charge - some quite complex - which for me really undermines the argument that we are being exploited.

    I agree with Brogan; if developers charged a realistic and fair amount (for them, in terms of development time) for some of the bigger add-ons, they would cost significantly more.

    If we all expect free add-ons then what's the incentive for the developers? Sure, some are real diamonds and clearly devote hours to code for free, but this is not sustainable in the long term.

    Being on the brink of a major upgrade to 1.4 means I am having to clear off all my installed add-ons and start from scratch so I have spent more time than most in the Resource section over the last few weeks. At no point have I thought there was any problem, that I was being exploited, forced to buy anything or that the charged-for add-ons were nothing but good value. So working as designed for me.
    Jeremy P, Steve F and Daniel Hood like this.
  16. Teapot

    Teapot Well-Known Member

    It does have to be said that in the world of professional development, even the bespoke prices charged here are actually extremely cheap. Once you get down to paying well under fifty bucks for all but the largest or most niche add-ons, you really are getting an awful lot for what you're paying for.
  17. dawg

    dawg Well-Known Member

    I don't get these threads. I have like 17 add ons and only like two are paid. The most important add ons i use on my forums are absolutely free. I came from VB also and the improvement of the resources here over vb.org is staggering. Also, there are less security leaks here and less programmers taking advantage of customers like on vb.org. I disagree with most of what you say except for the part of being forced to join forums. When a developer requires registration at their forum i move on to another add on similar. I have no desire to join anyone's forum, and i will not. I dont have the time. sell the add on here and support it here and i will purchase it.
  18. John L.

    John L. Well-Known Member

    I guarantee you that you'll kill pretty much all incentive to develop for XenForo and succeed in driving potentially good developers away.

    I would much rather see XenForo developer custom RM code that allows users to rate developers individually. This way people can see how well developers are regarded here and their reputation could affect who buys from them. Just a crazy thought I had (kind of like eBay, but specific).
    mistypants, Sunka and Shelley like this.
  19. Daniel Hood

    Daniel Hood Well-Known Member

    Most of the time the add ons are still supported here, the other site is just used for accepting payment and allowing you to download. XenForo can't/won't process orders/payments so we are forced to use an outside solution. Some people use paypal and email updates, I think that is more difficult for everyone involved. If you disagree, that's fine.
  20. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    In general they can be summed up with - "tldr; I want free add-ons."

    You may find that becoming more prevalent now that @Chris D has released XPM.
    I for one will be using it on my own support site for any future add-ons as it makes life a lot easier and allows for management of upgrades, renewals, etc.
    Jeremy P, Liam W, Shelley and 3 others like this.

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