the DrupalAppStore that killed drupal
This is my take on the whole "Drupal AppStore debate" that as many other good things started out on twitter #drupalappstore So instead of starting a flamewar there this demands for a decent analyze & maybe raise a red flag or 2.
If we wanna make another & better business model, theres other ways than a drupal App store, which is a very bad model, that will ultimately kill the Development Culture as we know it, and, will attract less talent to the Drupal project.
Let it be clear!
Before I dive in (and the flamewar guns get loaded) let me make it very clear that I have no problem what so ever with people making money & even getting filthy rich by making drupal "stuff". I make my living by drual & I feel blessed by that.
This has nothing to do with money vs. open source, or capitalism vs socialism, good vs. evil, foo vs. bar
This is all about the DrupalAppStore thats beginning to float around in the twitterverse & I think could end up destroying the development culture that in a lot of ways is what runs Drupal (wow that was a bit extreme statement)
To make a short summary. Appel did the App Store (and it looks like money are puring into the developers hands, well thats the story so far), Now theres open up an app store for wordpress WP plugins. (Not by the official wordpress community though) So not as a big surprise the question is, should we do the same in the Drupal Project?
The "Sexiest american boy in germany" mr. Robert Douglass is talking about this in Brussels at the Drupal Developer Days, and asked if somebody had an opinion about this...
Well I do, so heres my take on this, and why its wrong in so many ways to launch this in the drupal project:
Heres the Drupal App Store
The DrupalAppStore (DAS?) gets up and running on drupal.org.
The idea & hope is that this is gonna transfer some money to the developers so they can keep making modules, themes & tools they work hard on everyday. Thats a business model that have been tested over the years so that makes sense (...) the DAS will off course only support GPL apps, so everybody still can change, patch & make the app better. Everybody wins were still GPL so no problem with the way drupal used to work & now the developers gets paid (Drupal off course gets it 30%)
So now you wanna make a spanky new website & as the song says you go and download drupal
So with the credit card in hand you get what you need:
- wysiwyg editor: 5€
- File & image module: 6€
- Theme that does html5: 9€
- Token: 2€
- Drupal7 Core: 0,- (priceless)
Thats a lot of cool stuff for a little amount of money. the site is build - you're happy - the clients happy so whats the problem dude? why are you screaming up against this business model & claiming it will destroy the Drupal project. "Its how the world works" right
By having an app store a lot of the motivation for doing anything in Drupal will be centered around getting paid, not to getting a common problem solved, not to fix bugs in another app - its all about getting paid. Off course there will still be developers who wont be charging, So the free as in beer still stands, but our basic value of sharing the love (em code) will change.
How did this work for mambo-joomla?
The first question I got when I claimed that I was gonna go 102% Drupal 4 years ago was by a local joomla/mambo developer here in copenhagen He couldn't understand how i was gonna make money on drupal - we just "gave it all away"...
That was kinda the litmus test i needed to be very sure that I was in exactly that community I should be in, It didn't mattered that the joomla/mambo was easy on the eyes & Drupal looked like a nerdy geek project (drupal 4.7) the basic foundation of Drupal was right, and more important the basic idea was very clear "Building a cms that sucks less than the rest of 'em".
Maybe it works for the joomla project to have a "we pay for everything" else than the core kinda thing, I would be pissed of not beeing sure when I had to pay, and when not to pay & even more pissed if the app didnt do what i hoped it would.
Another local which I later helped move to drupal, was tired that he felt it was impossible to figure out which apps was good or bad, and that every time he had to check anything out, he had to find his credit card - and then use 3 hours to maybe getting it to work. It gave the feeling that everything around joomla costed him money, and a lot of it was "useless" (didn't do what he hoped for) Even that it was small amounts everytime, that was the feeling he got, not the wow this is amazing, but a goddammit now i need to pay again.
joomla peeps I have no idea if its still that way in you community, so easy with the flames ok ;)
Turn up the Noise!
Besides of a change in the Drupal open source culture that will change from the "Hey check out how awesome this is" to a well we work together but if you wanna look at my code: pay up.
This will also raise some problems that will fill up the community with a lot of bitter fights and unnecessary noise, take the Twitter flamewars over the last 2 years and multiply them with 666.
Some of "fun discussions" that pops up in my mind is these:
- Moving the extremely popular "Epic" module into core.
That will be taking a lot of potential money out of the hands of the developer - if its decide to do that anyway, it could make developer pissed off.
- If I do a patch to "epic module" , then why don't i get paid for it? it made your app better.
- Im gonna copy "epic module" and change the name to "epic next generation", and now sell it for 1$. Then wont the epic module developer become a bit pissed of, flamewars on forums and all that?
- I don't wanna merge my "epic module" with "awesome module" its mine and i feed my kids by making it.
- Why should I use time to work on core, I make my money on "epic module"
- Devs in X country only need 2$ to live for a day, I need 200$ to do the same, so how do we set fair prices ..
The list goes on & on The amount of noise this can make, and the cracks in the community is gonna be larger than we think, we have enough noise allready ;)
Don't change a winning team.
I joined the drupalistas cause it was a free, clearly open source project that had a kick ass community, was driven by the idea of making a tool to build web stuff on (A quick hand up if you did your own awesome-epic-cms before moving shifting to drupal)
I still thinks that "We wanna make the best motherfucking cms in the world" it maybe dont sound so pretty at the dinner table, but thats whats its all about. So let me clean it up a bit "Make a tool thats like everything else sucks a bit but not as much as the rest"
We could just try it out & "Let the market decide which model would work" (if you believe that theory) well hasn't that already been tried out: 1200 developers in Copenhagen this sommer, kinda made that statement pretty clear, or the 400+ that goes to brussels in 2 weeks, or the trillion of drupalcamps & meetups that goes on all around the world. Those arent there because
A golden rule is to not change a winning team, to have an app store in the drupal project would imho be like to exchange Aron Rodgers with jay Cutler (ups, sorry coudn't resist ;) )
apps is already being sold
"But theres other out here selling drupal stuff already, why fight it? the drupal project could benefit from it & make some $, wont that be a good thing?" you might ask...
There is other ways to do this and still keep our development culture, that so far have made the project move forward to a place none thought possible. Its simply not worth it to destroy that by building an app store on top of it.
So now what?!
While writing this post I had to think in broader spans than the twitter sized messages like "#drupalappstore you suck" and other non constructive comments (that would be misunderstood in 2 seconds)
Some changes I could see happening inside the Drupal Project, and that can help developers could get paid, without screwing up with the ecosystem of Drupal.
Support a modules
It would be neat if it was easier for the developers (& others) of a project to tell the world: Hey i make custom versions & provide über support for this module.
That way you can provide support for the project & we keep the development / sharing love as we have it & loves it.
Today its hard on the drupal.org site to figure out where & how you can support a project. Having a unified ways of doing this would make it more obvious for the developer & the "users"
The Drupal KickStarter
What about an KickStarter inspired program, that platform sounds in my ears like a thing that could work within the Drupal project.
im still jaw dropped over the LunaTik watches
I have the first 1000€ for those who can make one image solution that works with (cck)fields & textfields, wysiwyg, imagecache / resizing.I brained about it 3 years ago ... I dont have the brainpower, but i would really love to see this happening, like RFN
Building AppStore's outside the Drupal project.
Just go ahead we already have a ton of those, they are called "drupal shops" some are large others are 1 man shops and others even have hosted solutions.
The first theme shops are allready here, but its not build inside of the drupal project.
Distributions, services, hosted solutions etc thats all good, and should be looked into. But ending up building with a credit card in hand while working with project, would mean the death of drupal as we know it
That was my 2 danish krones worth of opinoin.
Otherpost about this subject:
* Earls post about this same subject from another point of view: http://www.angrydonuts.com/contributing-to-open-source