As you know, more than a month ago we introduced Oxwall.com — the supported Oxwall solution with the help from our friends at Skalfa.
The reasoning was simple — to stop confusing the majority of people coming to Oxwall. They want to launch their own community websites but do not know their way around technical aspects of that.
Now after a month it’s obvious that those who come to the livechat at Oxwall.com are still confused. Typical questions we get:
- How is Oxwall.com different from Oxwall.org?
- What is the difference between these 2 versions of Oxwall?
- Can I buy this version and then install plugins from the .org version?
The thing is, Oxwall.org has always been (with mixed success) the destination for two types of audiences at once: some looking for a product, while others needed a platform. The introduction of Oxwall.com highlighted this discrepancy. Some people still think that Oxwall.org is a product destination and thus assume that there are free and commercial versions of Oxwall.
To counter that confusion with a natural next step, we will separate the two destinations. The former Oxwall.org will now become developers.oxwall.com. Oxwall.com will serve mainstream users who want product, developers.oxwall.com will serve developers and tech-savvy users who want platform. The site URL speaks for itself.
By making Oxwall.com the main destination for all things Oxwall we aim to achieve the following things:
1) Most people (those needing help) will be able to get it right away — see demo, features, ask simplest questions, buy the supported solution with free installation;
2) Those having special needs with custom projects will also be able to talk to the Oxwall.com team representatives;
3) Those who just want a free copy of Oxwall and know what to do with it, will click “Download” or “Developers” link;
4) Developers will just bookmark developers.oxwall.com for all platform-, repository- and store-related things.
Basic needs of the majority are covered right at the door, sophisticated needs of the minority are a click away.
By having a dedicated developers’ resource, we’ll be able to further optimize it as such. We are planning to:
1) Open up the Github repository for the community strategically (something that existed in a shadow form before), provide all necessary Oxwall repo instruments for contributions and feedback;
2) Implement StackExchange-like forum which is a proven superior formula for question-answer types of communities instead of free-form discussions;
3) Offer nightly build downloads for plugin developers and enthusiasts.
This will be possible without the risk of increasing confusion for non-developers and non tech-savvy users. Hopefully, this is going to serve both parts of the community better.
From now on we will maintain both, the main blog (consumer-oriented, for product news), and developer blog devblog.oxwall.com (for platform news, beta releases and all things technical). You can expect these blogs to appeal to these separate types of audiences, removing the unnecessary confusion.
Open source projects start with communities but thrive on infrastructure. If the examples of Linux/RedHat or Drupal/Acquia are any indication, we need to make sure that both of our audiences are served well in their own distinct ways.
Since Oxwall project is past the stage of early adopters, we need to change to accommodate the needs of mainstream consumers. We strongly believe that this will help to reinvest more funds into Oxwall development, streamline serving developer community needs, and ultimately, create more quality sites built with Oxwall.