Xojo Plugin Crowd Funding Site

[quote=84287:@Phillip Zedalis]Bad assumption #2: All who could ‘invest’ in MBS development for a particular feature wouldn’t prefer keeping rights to said code. This would be possible if others joined with them. This would take a platform/site/channel of some kind to organize.
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You’re gonna need deep pockets or a very altruistic add-on developer to get that. Our community’s experience with the latter hasn’t generated too much historically.

[quote=84294:@Phillip Zedalis]I’m saying thats a pretty negative outlook on the community.
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It’s realistic. But I’ve said over and over I’d be more than happy to be proven wrong and will applaud any and all who come forward for that mission. But my hands are in my pockets :-).

Please dont think that I am critisising anyone on this forum by my posts, that is not what I would want people to think. Also for my personal desire for additional features, in some respects are not really part of the original reason for the post as it was more that I felt their may be a need generally. To give you an example, I recently purchased MBS Web Starter Kit (brilliant product) and with it came the Signature plugin. I had no reason for needing this until I started playing around with it and am now going to use it on the project I am working on. Sometimes as developers we dont know we want something until someone else asks for it, just look at Kickstarter et al and you will see lots of things that you think, “wow that would be really useful” but before you looked you didnt even realise you need it.

I do wonder if the fact that their would be a way for developers to make money from “plugin” development outside of the Xojo community might actually increase the number of plugin developers. As an example I use a team of guys in India to do work for me, I have a great relationship with them for over 12 years but none of them have Xojo plugin knowledge but they are great C programmers so it would not be difficult for them to do stuff if their was a monetary incentive. If the idea would allow developers to sell the final plugin then this might work well. Take a look at http://www.snowcovered.com which is a DotNetNuke (CMS) modules site that has built up extensively over the past few years. My guys have modules on here that started with a seed of an idea by me and we did a join promotion to share the sales revenue, it works really well as a concept and it has increased the number of DNN developers of modules extensively.

The primary issue that I see is the “professional” elite or ‘10%’ are perfectly happy with the status quo.

I personally want to see everyone here become a Pro. There’s an endless supply of new users. What we need is more people willing to build new things we can all benefit from.

If that takes an organization with a kickstarter-clone to get going then so be it. If that disappoints, annoys, or amuses the incumbents then that is unfortunate. More unfortunate is every other reply is always:

“won’t work - tried it - history shows us most are incapable - well of course except me of course - but I’m not going to help - have you tried my plugin? - cheaper to pay me”

Some just want to learn to be Pro and would happily contribute for the experience and opportunity.

Whilst I understand where you are coming from I do feel that all the developers on the Xojo forum are genuinely wanting to help others (I have yet to experience any negative on this forum). Refering back to my DNN modules example, you will see lots of cheap, more expensive and really expensive modules and other developers create modules that are not listed but are still available for purchase elsewhere. I feel that if the side thing was available for Xojo but with the added benefit of being able to crowd fund development then this could be a really cost effective way for non plugin developers to get what they want whilst at the same time plugin developers writing something that people actually want and allow them to do things like this is/when they have slack times. And dont forget at the end of it all the plugin developer has a product that he/she will sell it is just that it has been initially funded by a group (1 or more people).

As an aside, by having lots of add-ons for Xojo is in Xojo Incs interest as it allows them to get coverage by the fact that the plugins are available.

Not disagreeing you at all. I guess I’m just irritated that its always the ones selling add-ons reminding everyone else how hard it is and not worth it.

If you took them at face value then it sounds like MBS is so essential that Xojo should just acqui-hire Christian.

I either want no add ons or TONS of add ons. Not less than a handful charing their pass-go tax while simultaneously discouraging newcomers from trying new ideas.

[quote=84300:@Phillip Zedalis]“won’t work - tried it - history shows us most are incapable - well of course except me of course - but I’m not going to help - have you tried my plugin? - cheaper to pay me”
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You’ve created a bit of a composite character here, and it’s a really unfair representation of both of the two you mixed. But whatever. Look, I value actual available code/solutions over good intentions. We have no shortage of the latter. The former… well, we wouldn’t have all these discussions if there was a plethora of it.

Nathan, I don’t feel you’re criticizing anyone, and hope you didn’t get that idea. I don’t really have a good way to quantify the lifecycle costs of plugin development, but I feel like you’re assessment is off by a significant factor. Truth be told, the crowd-funding idea is a big step up from what typically gets proposed to solve this problem. But costs are costs, and the lifecycle ones are high and don’t all come from $/SLOC in this space.

[quote=84308:@Phillip Zedalis]I either want no add ons or TONS of add ons. Not less than a handful charing their pass-go tax while simultaneously discouraging newcomers from trying new ideas.
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So much wrong with this. I’m glad we’re all free to offer what we want to offer, including, AHEM, services that directly compete with high priority Xojo services, AHEM without some add-on/service czar deciding what’s appropriate. Despite Phillip’s repeated incorrect assertion, I’d encourage anyone to create add-ons and make them available. I’m always going to be honest about the costs I’ve run into, because they are part of the business equation.

One of the greatest things about the .NET community was the enormous amount of components/libraries you could utilize. It was fantastic as a developer being able to choose from so many. Plus there was a great community of open source advocates as well.

I understand that its difficult to build an add-on business like MBS. I’m saying if I can somehow assist even just a few more people creating helpful add ons whether for sale or not then I feel my efforts were a success.

What I hate is when the realists come out in full force saying how difficult it is. They usually reference how ‘small’ the Xojo community is. Well how do you propose to make it larger? It’s a chicken and egg problem. Xojo has to have controls and libraries to do the things native apps can do.

A toolbox of generic outdated controls is nice (but they are NATIVE) but Xojo could be so much more. That benefits everyone. The irony that the established players who do most of the nay saying is just something to laugh at for me. I’m sorry if I offended you.

Maybe we need to differentiate between MAJOR plugins, and relatively simple, useful add ons?
For example - I would like access to:

  1. An OS X search field, without having to wade through (the excellent) MacOSLib documentation.

  2. A Popup Help control, so I don’t need to use the standard Help Tag,

  3. A Clock / Date Picker control, although I believe Mike Cotrone has recently provided exactly this.

These are a few examples which I would imagine, are relatively easy for a full time professional developer to make in his spare time, over a period.

On the other hand, a major plugin, like the above discussed cross-platform video control, would probably take a reasonably long time and the cost may be prohibitive?

The smaller ADD-ONS may work under this model, whereas the major PLUGINS, may not?

[quote=84318:@Richard Summers]Maybe we need to differentiate between MAJOR plugins, and relatively simple, useful add ons?
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yes!

Well, the xojo market is small. Even I make most of my money in consulting. Having a huge plugin offering helps to bring in the money to pay the maintenance for it. Don’t expect anyone to make a lot of money just because they offer a component.
I do have Cocoa controls like search field and date picker.

Christian - I have already purchased almost ALL of your controls, and yes, they are excellent, and bridge many gaps which the IDE does not directly provide.

I personally, do not really want to get involved in a “developer making money from making plugins” discussion, as that is a discussion in which 2 opposing views will probably never agree on :slight_smile:
The developers will demand a decent price, and rightly so - but there will also be the opposition who say they can not afford such a price (which is also fair comment).

If I was capable of making small add-ons, I personally would make them available for free (or a minimum charge), in order to further the advancement of the community and the product itself.

The more little add-ons which are made available, the more people (especially novices) can do with Xojo - and thus the better reputation and more end-users Xojo receives.

Major Plugins is a different kettle of fish, and I will leave the more capable developers to fight this one out :slight_smile:

So many of xojo community initiatives seem to fall by the wayside. History has shown this again and again. Arbp, xibbits, rb garage to name a few… Where are their supporters??Who has talked about them lately? I’m not taking away credit from those who start these initiatives because I like the idea of them and I am sure a lot of people do as well. But most people don’t “buy in”. Which is exactly what this thread is calling for.

I think it’s because the professional developers are too busy making a living on (their) projects. The hobbyists with visions of making some side money at this (such as myself) are too busy making a living at our day jobs and have little time to contribute. The only successful xojo community endeavor that has stood the test of time is actually sponsored by xojo and of course I’m taking about this forum.

I hope one day something will take off because again I like the idea. Is it possible that the majority of xojo users are casual passers by or they uninterested or don’t have resources to contribute??

[quote=84314:@Phillip Zedalis]What I hate is when the realists come out in full force saying how difficult it is. They usually reference how ‘small’ the Xojo community is. Well how do you propose to make it larger? It’s a chicken and egg problem. Xojo has to have controls and libraries to do the things native apps can do.
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You grossly misread intentions. Nathan is relatively new here and seems to actually have a mind for business. I think he’s adult enough to both want and weigh facts, data, and opinions that might run counter to his proposed narrative.

[quote=84325:@Richard Summers]I personally, do not really want to get involved in a “developer making money from making plugins” discussion, as that is a discussion in which 2 opposing views will probably never agree on :slight_smile:
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One particular view is backed up by data such as my income statement and bank balance. There are a couple of us here in this thread that are being way more forthcoming with such data than anyone deserves :-).

Richard / Christian, I am at a bit of a loss with your comments as the very nature of what I was suggesting is to make more money for plugin developers whilst costing individuals less or the same but ending up with more in the plugin. Your comment about big plugins not being ideal for this type of idea I think is totally wrong, as it is simple economics and the concept of supply and demand in that if someone comes up with an idea for a plugin and lots of people say they would like to be part of it then the amount each person has to pay could be less or the same which makes it even better for a plugin developer.

As I stated before this might also get more people involved in developing plugins thereby increasing the interest in Xojo itself which is a self perpetuating cycle because the more users of Xojo you have the potential for plugin developers to sell the plugins that were originally crowd funded.

I dont know if you have bothered to look at the Snowcovered website but one of the major reasons that DNN has grown is because the add on modules have increased thus creating a cycle of interest. If this idea did not work then why would any of the large companies create APIs to access and create systems to integrate with them. They dont do it for fun they do it as a way to market their service in many cases for free as the developer of the addon does much of the marketing for them and it hasnt cost the API owner anything financially. I appreciate this is very oversimplified but is being used so demonstrate that this type of model has worked elsewhere.

Just read your post as I was about to finish but thought I would respond.

Much of what drives semi/professional developers to do things is a need for it to be financial viable as with anything in life. The concept of crowd funding works on the principle of the economies of scale thereby allowing the plugin developer to commit resources because they know they are going to get paid and the investor to get what they want because they know that if the developer does not deliver then they get their money back. For this model to work and for it to run the course the site itself has to make money e.g. a commission on sales and on the handling of the funding process etc. If you dont have this then the whole project becomes unworkable as nobody can do things for free. I am afraid that I dont believe in community coding when it comes to the development of these types of things.

Thank you for the kind words, my background stems many areas one of them being assisting companies with income stream modeling and thinking outside of the norm. I have done many things over the years having started my own Internet company in the early 90s selling bodybuilding supplements and other what would now be considered gray products but from this I built the business up to 8 different companies which I sold off in early 2000 before the dot com bust. What this taught me and has shown me over the years is that often it is better to be part of something small and sell lots that trying to sell something big as it reduces your risk but also maximizes your spread and often minimizing your sales / marketing costs which is often the kill for the best ideas.

I have no idea if this project will ever come to fruition but I really feel saddened when I see Xojo being such a great product but does not have the add-ons that could make it more appealing to others. This is why I truly believe that DNN got the model right when they made a framework that allowed lots of people to create add on modules.

Brad,
I didn’t quite understand the forthcoming part ? :slight_smile:

What I was saying is that a developer who is capable of making such major plugins, would rightly have to charge a reasonably high price, in order to make it worth their while financially, as they only have a limited amount of spare time.

Likewise, there will also be the general users who may not be able to afford those prices (even if the cost is divided by a few interested parties) - therefore I prefer to refrain from the money making part of this discussion.

Nathan - I totally agree with you?
I said may not work under that model - as if the developer requires $1000 dollars, and there are 10 people interested in this plugin, then it will cost $100 dollars each - which MAY be too costly, resulting in a higher amount for the other 9 to pay.

if the developer charges less, then others may be able to afford their share of the total cost, but the developer would make less financially. It is for this reason that I said I would refrain from the money making side of the conversation.

I totally agree with your idea and would love for it to work. Hope that made more sense.
:slight_smile:

Jean-Paul,
I was already considering buying your plugins :slight_smile:

Do you have a screenshot of your Splitter control - I couldn’t see one on your site?