The fun of GPL

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rliskey
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The fun of GPL

Post by rliskey » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:58 am

I chose Joomla! because it is GPL and because it has a thriving community of happy and productive GPL extension developers. I've built distributed one GPL extension and plan to make distribute many more once I'm up to speed on J1.5. For me it's about the fun of learning, not the profit.

How do I make money when I'm developing for fun and giving it away? Well, first of all, I'm not trying to get rich. I'm just trying to make a reasonable living doing what I care about. Life seems too short for anything else.

My "profit" making system:

  1. I write extensions that I'm interested in and that I want the world to have.
  EDIT: 1.5: I bundle these extensions into the sites I sell. This makes money!
  2. Other J! developers give me great ideas to improve my extensions.
  3. The more I play, the more knowledgeable I become.
  4. The more knowledgeable I become, the better my services and support become.
  5. The better my services and support become, the more I can charge when I choose to.
  6. The more I can charge, the more I can give away when I choose to.
  7. The more I give away, the more I can choose to do just what I want to do.
  8. The more I can do just what I want to, the more fun I have.
  9. The more fun I have, the more creative my ideas become.
  10. The more creative my ideas become, the more new, exciting, (and potentially profitable) opportunities I discover.
  11. The more opportunities I discover, the more extensions I plan to write and give away.

I haven't purchased a proprietary Joomla! extension, and don't plan to at this point. I'm sure many proprietary extensions are great, but if I wanted to go proprietary, I'd fork out a few thousand for a mature Java/Apache application framework rather than messing around with simple PHP scripts that have been optimized for easy, Web-based, one button installs by non-techies on shared servers (with all the security and performance issues that raises!).

It seems to me this is not really the place to play the proprietary development game. At least not if your goal is to get rich.  There is a place for that, such as supporting global banks, insurance companies, publishing empires, etc. But I've been there, done that, and it's NOT fun.
Last edited by rliskey on Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

 
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rliskey
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Re: The fun of GPL

Post by rliskey » Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:16 am

All these happy users of commercial extensions make me think I missed the boat by using only GPL extensions.

Here's what confuses me: There are many very powerful and feature-rich commercial CMSs with thriving third party plug-in markets. If commercial extensions are inherently better because commercial developers work harder to satisfy their clients, wouldn't that imply that commercial CMSs are also better? If commercialization leads to better products, why bother with Joomla! at all?

This is a sincere (although maybe naive) question. I see that the GPL process has its weaknesses (lots of poor code, spotty documentation, abandoned projects, and boring meetings), but I don't see why great software can't be written this way as well.

 

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