Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

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Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by mad4joomla » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:56 pm

I read following in the meeting minutes of the JED Team:

Updates to Listing Requirements

All extensions listed on the JED will soon be required to use the Joomla Update System. This will help to ensure that site owners are always notified of when a new version of their installed extensions is available. Keeping extensions up to date can help to improve security.

This change is a mandatory requirement and checks will be added to the JED Checker. The error code will be: US1 - update sites not present in xml file

Checks will be carried out on the latest zip file that was upload to JED, so developers are asked to ensure that the latest copies have been uploaded to their listings.
....
This new requirement will come into force on January 10th 2017.

Final warning emails will be sent out to all developers on December 10th 2016, giving a final notice of 30 days to comply.

Any extensions that do not comply after January 10th 2017 will be automatically unpublished with the error code US1. Such extensions will not be republished until they have been updated and the developer has notified JED about this in a support ticket.


So how shall this work with commercial extensions ???
Almost all subscription plans do have timely limited access to updates and service.
If this update requirement is mandatory it means that everybody has life time access to updates.

Is this a backdoor plan to ban commercial extensions ?
Last edited by mandville on Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: retitled to be more descriptive and reduce fud.
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Re: Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by mandville » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:06 pm

I dont think so.
You could do an update check and then do additional a licence check

This may help
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Re: Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by ranwilli » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:06 pm

Among "subscribed" extensions already working:
Akeeba Pro
Admin Tools Pro
JCE Subscribed Extensions
... and many many more.
No ban here of "commercial extensions"
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Re: Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by anibal_sanchez » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:33 pm

Hi,

To clarify and answer your question, free and paid extensions are always welcome in Joomla! Extensions Directory.

On January 10th 2017, all exensions listed on the JED will soon be required to use the Joomla Update System.

At this time, we are preparing the general announcement, articles, posts, documentation, etc.

You question could be related with Tim's comment in our Facebook Page about the lack of documentation for commercial developers in the oficial docs page, where only it details how to implement it in a free extension: https://docs.joomla.org/Deploying_an_Update_Server

A commercial extension must integrate a membership validation in the updating process. For instance, Tim has already published the missed link here (and we plan to update the offical page with more info and the reference): http://timplummer.com.au/38-how-to-add- ... onent.html

Please, kindly rename the forum topic to avoid confussion in our users and associate it with the upcoming change.

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Re: Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by mad4joomla » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:34 pm

@mandville:
thanks for the link.
But this is a solution which requires Akeeba release system to be installed.
I think any commercial extensions provider would appreciate if JED would porvide a proper, decent solution for checking service keys or whatever auth methods.

I mean something official by JED which is explained step by step.
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Re: Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by anibal_sanchez » Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:26 pm

Hi,

Most commercial extension developers already implement a membership management system to check subscriptions (and Joomla Update System).

From JED, we are not going to enforce or operate a particular system in this sensitive area related with business management. There are alternatives to choice from and developers can opt for the best option according to their requirements.

We can only recommend to plan ahead how to support the new requirement to developers who are not currently supporting Joomla Update System.

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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by TheMuffinMan » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:02 pm

Hi,

are there guesses how many wouldn't do that and get permanently unpublished from the JED?

I can imagine it would be like a huge purge as many wouldn't simply update their listings.

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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by mbabker » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:01 pm

Just for reference, since either 3.2.2 or 3.2.3, there has been a way to hook into the update system to apply extra data for "commercial" extensions. And as pointed out, folks like Weeblr (sh404SEF) and Akeeba have already implemented them; they were also two of the big contributors in making this feature available. Can't speak for other providers as I don't have many other commercial extensions nor have I looked into their code.

Akeeba Release System is one mechanism to help manage the entire update server process, but it's not the only way. I personally find it very helpful but I still maintain a lot of XML update schemas by hand out of preference.

When I originally wrote the documentation on deploying an update server, there was no core way to work with licensed extensions. And as with a lot of features in Joomla, they aren't well documented sadly. With that said, I'll offer you a link to the original addition as shared by Nic (Akeeba): https://github.com/joomla/joomla-cms/pull/2508

There are also some additional references linked off that pull request, I'd use those as a means to help work out documenting the system and implementing it if need be.

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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by fcoulter » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:26 pm

It seems to me that the JED, by adopting this rule, are going to make life unnecessarily complicated for commercial extensions developers. The solutions suggested so far will take a fair bit of work to implement, and so far as I can see only work for components, not for modules or plugins. It might be possible to work out something that would work for modules and plugins, but I am guessing that many developers will just think that it is not worth it.

Why make life so complicated for everyone?

The thing that is really important is that users be made aware when an update is available, and be told how to obtain it. Instead of requiring that commercial developers supply a download url, why not a bit of compromise? Why not allow the developer to simply provide the information about how to get the update, eg "log into your account at ****.com, go to the account page, download it". That is the bit that is important.
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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by anibal_sanchez » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:09 am

Hi,

From my view, "Joomla Update System" is a whole feature in Joomla oriented to provide and streamline the delivery of updates. I see no reason why a commercial developer would not support it.

On there are hand, there are many paid extensions with no updates at all... So, requirements such as "Joomla Update System" add one more point to list of what we expect from an extension developer.
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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by fcoulter » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:30 am

A commercial developer might not support it if the sheer hassle in doing so outweighs the small income generated from a plugin or module.

The problem is not that the Joomla update system is not a good thing - it is. However the way that it is has been implemented just does not allow commercial developers to support it in a straightforward way, the whole question of commercial extensions seems to have been barely considered when the system was designed.

So why not require allow commercial developers to support it in this way:-

1. They must support an update server so that the Joomla update system can check regularly for updates
2. The update information returned by the update server must *either* supply a download url, or clear instructions to the user on how to get the update.

That seems to me to be a common sense compromise. It allows the users to be informed which is the important thing. It encourages extension developers to make updates available. It should be possible for every developer to support without a prohibitive amount of work.
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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by Vimes » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:39 am

fcoulter wrote: 1. They must support an update server so that the Joomla update system can check regularly for updates
2. The update information returned by the update server must *either* supply a download url, or clear instructions to the user on how to get the update.

That seems to me to be a common sense compromise. It allows the users to be informed which is the important thing. It encourages extension developers to make updates available. It should be possible for every developer to support without a prohibitive amount of work.
+1

I'd love to use the update system to advise users of updates, but it's a nuisance. We have had user notifications of updates built into Jomres for way longer than Joomla has had the feature, so a way of checking for updates as fcoulter describes them would be fantastic.
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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by anibal_sanchez » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:47 am

Hi,

Your suggestions are sound and totally make sense.

However, current "Joomla Update System" is what we have and it has been adopted by most vendors.

There are many ideas around and only a few of them are implemented in the real world.

At the end, we have to go ahead with the current implementation and improve the process along the way.


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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by JTema » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:47 pm

May be someone should develeop a free or paid joomla component doing all this work as soon as possible. So all developers just implement that component to their system and insert their own xmls etc. :)
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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by paulsimonrough » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:52 pm

Ive never heard of this update thing at all:

"Final warning emails will be sent out to all developers on December 10th 2016, giving a final notice of 30 days to comply."

I never get any emails from Joomla at all, ever for about 2 years are there Dev's like me who are never gonna hear about this and get their extensions unpublished with no warning?
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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by Vimes » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:23 am

Ok, I've given this some thought.

Bear in mind since this announcement we've implemented functionality to use the updater, so from our point of view, we're not going to be affected by this.

I'm in two minds about it. In my home category on the JED there are about 4 pages of extensions. I've done a quick scan and I'd say probably 2/3rds of the extensions don't use the updater. Given that some of the extensions haven't been updated since 2008-2010, I think it's fair that the email addresses used may not even be monitored any more. Therefore, if 1/2 of those aren't updated by the December deadline, there's a good chance that from my category alone probably a 1/3rd of the extensions will disappear.

You might argue that that's a good thing, and from a business point of view, it is. Less competitor extensions ( because they're abandonware ) has to be good for me. On the other hand, IMO it's not such a good thing for Joomla as a whole. Potentially you're going to lose something like 2600+ extensions from the JED. At a time when Joomla needs all of the traffic it can get, this isn't such a good plan, IMO.

I did install one SaaS module that allegedly uses the updater, and checked the update address. It threw a 404, so it's clear to me that even those extensions that are supposed to use the updater don't and can't. Basically, the whole "Uses updater" rule won't seriously improve things for users. Any idiot can tick a box and build an xml file then forget their plugin.

This makes me wonder about the reason behind this decision. If it's designed to just get rid of older extensions then it'll work great. It occurs to me, however, that it would be better to simply improve the scoring (yes, that bugbear again ) so that older extensions that don't use the updater have a negative value applied to the score as a result. This would allow them to remain, thereby keeping the JED's total extensions high, whilst pushing more actively developed extensions to the fore.

Joomla have made some bad decisions in the past, it seems to be that this one is going to be another one of them.
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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by fcoulter » Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:25 am

I have to agree with Vimes. Since my previous post, with the help of mbabker's post, I have figured out a way to support the Joomla updater in my commercial extensions, until a few days ago I had no idea it was even possible.

For a component it turns out that it is not too difficult if your download links take the form of a common url which can be supplied to the updater, plus an extra bit which is unique to the customer's order. I just added an updates screen to my component, asking my customers to past their download link into a form - when it is saved the required extra bit is added to the Joomla update_sites table.

If your download links don't work that way I have no idea what you would do (although probably most do). For my stand-alone plugins and modules I am having to write a whole extra updater extension that my customers can use in order to get the required information into the joomla update_sites table

So it is a fair bit of work. If I wanted to be cynical I could have simply added an update server for those extensions, then never bothered to actually update them again. The JED would have no way of checking on it.

So while I don't mind (too much) being forced to use the updater, I think that these requirements have been very poorly thought out, and probably will not do anything to make those who can't be bothered to update actually do so. A much more constructive approach would have been to have a well thought out - and documented system - through which commercial developers can support the updater. If I had known that it was possible I would have done so before.

The JED used to have a listing for "recently updated" extensions, perhaps that could be resurrected?
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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by brian » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:33 pm

As a user I am really happy about this new requirement. Right now I never use any extension that does not use the joomla update system. As previous posters who said how terrible it is and impossible to do have all seen that it is relatively simple I am happy. If extensions do not provide updates are removed from the JED I will be happy as I am sick of working on users sites where there extensions were massively out of date but there was no way for them to know.
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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by Vimes » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:36 pm

And as both a user and a businessman, I agree with you Brian. As a Joomla supporter, I'm less enthusiastic about it.

I did some digging. In many categories, you're looking at 50% at least don't use the updater. Take RSS Syndicate for example ( http://extensions.joomla.org/category/c ... -syndicate ) 7 out of 8 don't use the updater, presumably because these extensions are so rarely updated. They just do what they do, and constant innovation for them is pointless. I, for example, will not add an updater for the Clacks plugin because it doesn't make sense to have one. It does what it does and that's it.

The problem that we have is that the JED is an incredibly hostile place for developers to list their wares, just today one of my partners was observing that 1 month after submitting a simple plugin for Jomres, it still hadn't been published. It's this kind of thing that drives developers away, so making it even harder to list and/or find plugins might not be the best plan of action without something to take it's place.

Like I said, I'm alright Jack. From a purely business point of view, this is good for me. As somebody who's trying to think of things more holistically, I have a horrible feeling that this plan will throw the baby out with the bathwater.
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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by Vimes » Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:22 pm

If the JED are going to go down this route, then wouldn't it make sense for the JED itself to periodically check that the update link listed in the xml file is still live? There's no point in writing the rule if it's not checked on an ongoing basis.

Some more digging :

http://extensions.joomla.org/category/d ... dress-book 6 of 7 don't use the updater
http://extensions.joomla.org/category/a ... in-styling 5 - 6
http://extensions.joomla.org/category/a ... er-banners 9 - 10
http://extensions.joomla.org/category/a ... a-link-ads 7 - 9
http://extensions.joomla.org/category/a ... le-preview 6 - 8
http://extensions.joomla.org/category/a ... roblogging 2 - 2
http://extensions.joomla.org/category/c ... hat-hosted 6 - 10
http://extensions.joomla.org/category/c ... ck/surveys 4 - 6
http://extensions.joomla.org/category/f ... alculators 7 - 7

Granted, I've looked at categories that are smaller and easier to count, so it might not be representative of the whole JED, but these figures suggest that something like 80% don't use the updater. JED currently has 7909 extensions listed, so if 50% don't update their plugins, you're potentially looking at removing 3160 extensions from the JED. Given that the huge majority of plugins aren't big earners, I don't think that that's an unreasonable assumption. Many will have been uploaded then forgotten about as devs move onto new projects.

This is a hell of a lot of extensions to lose.

Can I instead suggest instead we do this in a staged way? After December 2016, all extensions that don't use the updater are scored 0, and flagged that they don't use it as a big ol' warning for potential users, meaning they'll get next to no traffic. They could also not be listed in the Install from Web feature. Then, 6 or 12 or even 24 months later, if they're still not updated then remove them completely from the JED.

At the same time, instead of piling on the hoops that people jump through to get listed on the JED, perhaps we could relax some rules, thereby mitigating some of the damage? We still need to get people to add new plugins if we want to continue driving innovation in the platform.

Again, I'm not anti-change. I see the benefit of taking this stance but I'm wondering if it would be wise to make it a phased change, show developers the benefit of doing it.

Joomla's already in trouble, regardless of whether you believe in Trends or not. I can tell you for a fact that compared to 4 years ago interest in the platform has dwindled to a fraction of what it was in the past. Should we really be shooting ourselves in the foot right now?
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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by anibal_sanchez » Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:40 am

Hi,

From my personal perspective, JED has 7909 extensions.... but, in practice (for the sake of the argument) ... there are 1000 well mantained extensions.

Everyone knows that you start installing everything and, with experience, you only install 20-30 extensions. Ref: Too many extensions equals panic! http://magazine.joomla.org/issues/issue ... uals-panic. From the beginner perspective, you have to learn to navigate this sea of legacy extensions. It would be better to have have only 1000+ extensions.

The rest of these 6900 extensions are old extensions, that in Joomla 3 transition, were marked as compatible. I mean extensions with mootools scripts that don't even load the framework, not fully compatible with the latest Joomla updates, etc. For example, extensions that have the same description than 5-10 years ago. These extensions are frequently reported and follow a slow (manual) workflow to be deprecated.

I think that the new requirement of "Joomla Update System" usage is a way to improve the quality of the extensions database and focus our efforts in the right direction. Most active developers already support the system. Extensions developers who are not already on board can implement the new system. Ref: Tim Plummer wrote this handy tutorial, How to add Joomler Updater to commercial component http://timplummer.com.au/38-how-to-add- ... onent.html

PD: Also... there is a "lazy" developer case.... where the extension owner will mark the extension as compatible and implement the integration in the future... :pop


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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by Vimes » Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:57 am

anibal_sanchez wrote: From my personal perspective, JED has 7909 extensions.... but, in practice (for the sake of the argument) ... there are 1000 well mantained extensions.
You're probably being generous, I would imagine that it's probably even less than that, more like 500.
anibal_sanchez wrote: The rest of these 6900 extensions are old extensions, that in Joomla 3 transition, were marked as compatible.
But what about the babies that I referred to before? The extensions that simply don't warrant an update server because they're so simple.
anibal_sanchez wrote: PD: Also... there is a "lazy" developer case.... where the extension owner will mark the extension as compatible and implement the integration in the future... :pop
Well, what does JED propose to do about those developers?
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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by anibal_sanchez » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:21 am

Hi,

Extensions not implementing the Update System will be unpublished. There is a (minimum) effort required to keep an extension on JED.... it could be a tweak in the installer and a file upload.... A paid extension should already implemented it... If a paid extension does not worth the effort to implement the Update System server with memberships .... it could be better to have it as a free extension.

About "lazy" developers, marking entries as compatible but not implementing it.... I guess JED will validate part of the implementation...

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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by TheMuffinMan » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:41 am

That grace time might not be enough. Many extensions that aren't frequently maintained but are still useful to people will vanish. I would consider an extended grace time and at the same time, adding "does NOT use updater" very clearly visible.

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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by Webdongle » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:43 am

paulsimonrough wrote:Ive never heard of this update thing at all:

... are there Dev's like me who are never gonna hear about this and get their extensions unpublished with no warning?
  1. You know that there is in Joomla /administrator Extensions >>> Manage >>> update ... yes ? (It was also where Joomla was updated from several versions ago)
  2. Did you never wonder why some extensions were in there and other had to be downloaded directly from the developers site ?
    Do you not have a test Joomla that you have the update channel set to 'Testing' ... so you can see new features and test your extensions with the Alpha/Beta versions ?
https://docs.joomla.org/Deploying_an_Update_Server was created around 2011
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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by Webdongle » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:50 am

TheMuffinMan wrote:... Many extensions that aren't frequently maintained but are still useful to people will vanish. ...
Any extension that is not regularly maintained is a security risk is it not ? Besides which every third party extension should be tested (by the developer) with every update of Joomla.
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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by TheMuffinMan » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:57 am

Not necessarily, for vulnerability reports we have the VEL. If it turns out there is an issue, those extensions will be unpublished anyway.

But this JED update isn't directly about maintaining but the use of the updater. You can still use the updater in your extension and don't do updates.

WordPress' solution to not updating/maintaining is to unpublish any plugin if there is no update within 2 years.

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Webdongle
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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by Webdongle » Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:31 am

TheMuffinMan wrote:Not necessarily, for vulnerability reports we have the VEL. If it turns out there is an issue, those extensions will be unpublished anyway....
Users with those extensions could be using those extension long after they are unpublished from JED. Users rarely check the developers sites let alone regularly check their extensions in JED.


TheMuffinMan wrote:...
But this JED update isn't directly about maintaining but the use of the updater. You can still use the updater in your extension and don't do updates...
Agreed but you raised the point about developers not adding an update channel to their extension because they don't maintain the extension.

TheMuffinMan wrote:....
WordPress' solution to not updating/maintaining is to unpublish any plugin if there is no update within 2 years.
Another reason why wordpress is less secure than Joomla.


All in all the new JED update will be a great improvement. It will put the onus on the 3rd party developers to make sure their extensions are maintained and easier for users to keep their sites safe. One of the biggest reasons of being hacked (seen in the forum) is outdated software. Your posts are a great example why the new JED update is a great improvement.
http://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/
https://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/updating-joomla.html
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results": Albert Einstein

TheMuffinMan
Joomla! Explorer
Joomla! Explorer
Posts: 278
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 9:39 pm

Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by TheMuffinMan » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:41 am

Let's see how it pans out. Having an updater imho doesn't solve issues with unmaintained/abandoned extensions.

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Webdongle
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Re: Is JED Banning paid extensions starting 2017 ???

Post by Webdongle » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:12 pm

TheMuffinMan wrote:... Having an updater imho doesn't solve issues with unmaintained/abandoned extensions.
No it doesn't but the last update date of the extension is clearly displayed (in JED) and a discerning user might decide not to install such an extension. Perhaps a check could be run on that date ... >6months ?

There is also a Joomla <version> tag in the manifest file ... would it be possible to check that for being older than 3 versions ?

Nevertheless making the use of an update server compulsory ... is a great improvement
http://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/
https://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/updating-joomla.html
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results": Albert Einstein


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