Quo vadis, Joomla?

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sozzled
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Quo vadis, Joomla?

Post by sozzled » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:21 pm

As with any collaboratively-authored open source software project, you can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. The Joomla 4 project (and the discussions I've read here on the forum and in GitHub) is a fairly typical example. As with any project that runs overtime—perhaps because there's a failure to obtain consensus on the design specification or the development methodology (who knows?)—there usually reaches a stage where people—mostly people who reside outside of the project—suggest the way to fix the problem is by injecting money into it.

As a person who has a long history in managing software projects, when people ask the question, "Would more money fix the problem?", this underscores their complete ignorance of project management into an over-simplification of the solution ... that money can fix everything. There are three things a project manager needs in order successfully manage a project: (1) you need to have control of the people who are involved in the project deliverables, (2) you need to have control of the financial budget and (3) you need to have control of the information that determines how much time and money will be spent and who does what. If you remove or constrain any of those elements the project is doomed to fail.

Although, I should add, there is an adage in project management that says, "As soon as you put a dollar sign in front of the answer, the solution will become immediately obvious."

I can't be exactly sure when J! 4 kicked off but I think it was about 2 years ago. The J! 4 CMS product is still in design stage. If I've misrepresented these facts then I'm happy to be corrected.

I am not a person who gets involved in alpha testing; I'm more of an architect: an "ideas person" rather than a builder.

Against this background, I've read the growing criticism and complaints—some of which are justified—about the failure-to-launch J! 4. It's depressing reading. But it doesn't surprise me that people who have no skin in the game use this forum to criticise, to complain or to suggest overhauling the project. I don't have any skin in the game; I haven't invested a single line of code, input into Github discussions or a single cent of money into the J! 4 project. However, whether J! 4 sees the light of day or not, nothing will diminish my respect for those who volunteer their time to Joomla and nothing will diminish my feeling that Joomla (as a CMS product) is not the best way for me to practise my webcraft.

I want to take this opportunity to examine the use of this forum in terms of the respect shown towards it by a large proportion of its subscribers.

Today there are over six hundred thousand "registered members".

Less than 15% of forum accounts have ever posted anything on the forum; 85% of all accounts are either unused or banned for violation of the forum rules (usually spamming).

Of the 15% of forum accounts that have posted something on the forum, more than half of these have not posted anything for more than five years; the chances that they will continue to use the forum are remote. Of the remainder, we know that some people have created more than one account (even if the forum rules prohibit this). This means that there may as many as, say, ten thousand people who have posted something on the forum within the past five years.

We can't pretend that there's strong show of support for Joomla 4. Therefore, the suggestion of levying a download tax of, say, $10 for Joomla (as a means of crowdfunding ongoing J! development) is pie-in-the-sky. I don't know how many times a year other people download J! but I probably do it 20 or 30 times. Implementing a download tax would also have unintended adverse consequences such as birthing third-party or black-market suppliers of J! software. Why pay $10 if you can get something for free off the back of a truck?

What we could do, perhaps, is to levy a forum account joining fee of, say, $1 and an ongoing forum subscription fee of $1 per account per year. Assuming that a universal EFT model can be implemented, this would not raise much money: after administrative costs—handling fees, etc., the scheme might raise as much as a couple of thousand dollars in the first year. Only financially sound, subscribed, members would have posting rights; anyone and everyone can read what is posted on the forum.

However, applying a financial cost to the use of the forum would achieve three other important and necessary reforms: (a) to reduce, if not completely eliminate, forum spam, (b) to focus attention on serious and current issues and encourage people to use their time more effectively, and (c) because people are actually putting some skin in the game, forum users feel like they have a stake and should feel more confident that their comments (including criticism and complaints) will be taken more seriously in future.

I don't seriously believe that a forum joining fee or annual subscription fee—even at the paltry amount I've suggested—will be implemented. There are far too many people who object to making change let alone those who might even consider making change.
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https://www.kuneze.com/blog
Former member of Kunena project team
If you think I’m wrong then say “I think you're wrong.” If you say “You’re wrong!”, how do you know?

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sozzled
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Re: Quo vadis, Joomla?

Post by sozzled » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:20 pm

I note that the criticism about J! 4 has not abated. If anything, the level has increased.

Further to my previous post relating to suggestions—or urgings—to offset the development costs associated with bringing J! 4 into reality in the near future, I would also remind supporters and critics that they already have the capability to contribute to the project by scrolling to the bottom of this page and observe the link that I've highlighted in the following screenshot.
crowdfundJ!.jpg
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https://www.kuneze.com/blog
Former member of Kunena project team
If you think I’m wrong then say “I think you're wrong.” If you say “You’re wrong!”, how do you know?


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