Expressionengine has been a revelation for me; purely and simply a life changing piece of software.
In 2006 EE bounced me from producing static html sites - where I outsourced *any* dynamic, complex, database-driven work - to empowering me to feel like I could build just about anything. Really, anything.
I have much to thank EllisLab for; my career, my family’s lifestyle, the toys that my kids play with, my home, my car, a plethora of computing equipment and - most importantly - my enthusiasm for the internet.
So I’m feeling a little saddened, and perhaps angered, by the changes I’m seeing within the ExpressionEngine community. Is it dissent? Or even hatred beginning to boil for the product?
No. I think it’s just the realisation that EllisLab’s focus seems to be moving away from the little folks, and that they’re wanting to cut it in the big leagues.
The recent announcement to stop 3rd party developers distributing and supporting their wares on the EE forums has felt a little like a kick in the nuts. Those forums have seen @markhuot release his first add-on. @leevigraham threw many add-ons out there, @low, @brandonkelly, the guys at @buildwithstructure, and countless others all started out as EE noobs hacking, poking, talking and sharing.
Now, we have a line in the sand drawn by EllisLab that’s basically knocked all of this nurturing on the head. That’s how I interpret it anyway.
This is my perspective…
I make some EE add-ons, hashed together with my limited brain power. I’m not selling them, I’m not asking for anything in return. If you find them useful, go ahead, fill your boots and finish that job off. Got a problem or a feature request? Get in touch and I’ll do my best to set you right. If I can’t help, I’ll let you know without wasting your valuable time.
I’ve built this handful of add-ons out of a genuine interest to learn, with a genuine desire to give something back for the years of support I received from users on the ExpressionEngine forums. Users whose advice and interest was not included as part of my ExpressionEngine purchase agreement.
Now I’ve got to find somewhere else to provide support for the add-ons…
or do I?
Do I want to help folks out and answer their questions, or implement some code that someone contributed to my add-on?
Do I need to find somewhere to curb the level of emails I now receive, where I can provide answers to people that other folks can learn from?
Do I need to find somewhere where other users can help out folks, before I get the chance to check my inbox?
Maybe I’ll just not bother anymore, and pray to Jahova that other developers aren’t gonna do the same, because I know they can be bothered going through all this in their spare time to share their add-ons.
Today, I had the pleasure of witnessing something quite spectacular… One of the most well known ExpressionEngine folks around said that it’s getting to a point where he won’t use free add-ons anymore.
How can it come to a point where a CMS community is dissatisfied with free add-ons? Where something being sold for $18USD is immediately, and unquestionably assumed to be better, than something which is free and on an open license to do what you see fit?
Am I the only one who finds this incomprehensible?
GitHub. Git Fucking Hub.
I’ve seen recent comments saying GitHub is not a good place for developers to throw their free add-ons out to. Yep, I agree that it’s a developer’s site and getting around isn’t easy. That “Download Source” button can be really hard to find.
FREE FRICKING ADD-ONS people.
Its not like we’re getting anything out of this, other than a feel good factor which you’re kind enough to piss on with your fleeting comments.
Why should anybody willing to throw free add-ons out there even bother anymore? Let’s not forget how much commercial and non commercial add-on development has assisted in pushing ExpressionEngine forward for the last two years, all while not a single, new, noteworthy, feature was added to the base product.
Now that we’re rocking 2.1, lets forget all that and start afresh. Fill your boots add-on devs, and get your wallets out Mr and Mrs paying customer because I feel this is just the beginning of a whole new era of add-on whoring.
Gimme a break
Before you jump down my throat and give me the rundown of why commercial add-ons are better than free ones… please, don’t treat me like an asshat. I know commercial add-ons are vital and that nearly every add-on out there with a pricetag is worth every dime/cent/penny.
I know because I purchase them regularly. And I post this with utmost respect to each and every commercial add-on developer out there. I’m just bitching, and feeling a little let down by the crew at EllisLab right now.