Paid items in the Oxwall Store: price vs quality

We have a forum user who touched the topic that we are very sensitive about, so in the process of writing the reply I understood we should make our position clear to everyone.

Here’s the original topic: http://www.oxwall.org/forum/topic/6787

Here’s my reply:


Ebony,

You are right. Oxwall needs more free plugins and themes. The long-term project success is based on building enough of a product of superior quality that will enable users run their projects on Oxwall.

The project needs exactly this type of developers and designers — those working for the idea of giving away people excellent software and seeing what happens. That’s how an open source project works before gaining critical mass. Only then people will use software for viable community projects and more people will learn about Oxwall and the demand in software will increase.

But.

All of this is only possible if the resulting product quality is good. Meanwhile, the best developers and designers know the price of their time and only spend it accordingly.

We think the best scenario for Oxwall is to have A LOT of free items and some excellent paid items. So, solving the problem here is not to make bad plugins cheaper but to develop very good plugins and charge what’s reasonable. As for bad plugins, we are on a mission to not let them in and to push them out. If you buy an unsatisftory plugin on the Oxwall Store, give it low rating. Enough low rates will remove the item from the listings.

Too bad, not many of current developers understand that there’s no point in creating a heap of cheap items. Impulse purchases do not create trust and long-term value. Developers and designers should create less items and focus on their quality. It’s just a better business model.

In the end of the day, if there’s excellent free software with necessary third party items of high quality, the end user will not care that much about their price. If price is their only factor of choice, they are not really Oxwall’s target audience. I’ve never seen viable online community projects from people who value the price of software plugins more than their time and their users’ experience. Open source is not about the $0 price tag. It’s about accessibility, options, and trust.

Our position regarding the third party items in the Oxwall Store:

  • We will encourage more free items;
  • No matter free or paid, they will have to be of good quality;
  • We choose “less but better” strategy for the Oxwall Store;
  • We do not plan to drive the item prices down. Open market will decide.

Increasingly, it will be possible to find more plugins outside the Oxwall Store. This is fine, it’s open source after all. It’s just that we plan to maintain the high standard on the official resource for the mainstream users.

Thanks,
Emil

10 thoughts on “Paid items in the Oxwall Store: price vs quality

  1. I’m willing to make tons of free plugins. The only problem I have is your documentation. There needs to be documentation for any overall plugin, not just an example. Which files the developer needs to make, and what strings to include, and how a Database table will be set up in the plugin, etc. The first few plugins I’ve tried are confusing, because the crash course and examples are only for a certain plugin, and do not describe the overall needed files, folders, etc.

    • Reasonable remark. We perfectly understand the need and are getting down to create full-fledged documentation base after this release. Thanks.

  2. I am always with the principle of Open source.

    Ratings and reviews in the store is a good initiative from Oxwall which will help developers to improve. I personally have felt that.

    On the side of developers, development requires time which needs to be paid off. Personally I do not charge much for my work. People who has worked with me closely knows about that.

    I have reduced the prices of some plugin when people PM me about that. Even I have made few plugin free on request.

    • I can back up Purusothaman Ramanujam’s statement. I’ve not been disappointed with his plugins yet! I’m looking forward to see what else he comes up with.

      I also have to agree with the documentation statement. I was going to make my own plugins, as I’m a DBA, but couldn’t make heads nor tails out of exactly how to do it, where the info was in the DB, and what strings and so forth to use so my plugins would continue to work, regardless of upgrades. Certainly, I can hack stuff together, but that’s not a long-term plan; just a short-term crutch.

    • I have bought and installed seven plugins developed by Purusothaman on my Oxwall site. I have been very happy with all of them and most of them are absolutely essential to my site.

      I initially had issues with configuring one of the plugins, but after contacting him, he was able to quickly tell me how to correctly configure my site to use it. I had not set up my Cron job correctly, which is required to run an Oxwall site successfully.

      On another occasion I discovered an issue with plugin. After describing the issue, he was able to research the problem and provided a new version of the plugin in a timely manner. I appreciate his focus on pleasing customers and developing high quality plugins that are extremely useful. The Oxwall community needs more developers like Purus.

  3. Purusothaman Ramanujam – I’m with you, but it is good to have people around that make sure you are on the top shelves of things eh ? hehe. A little communication will solve many problems. This page is good – it’s how things WOULD work. Let bygones be bygones but to reader of this post just an idiom I learn somewhere – don’t jump the gun, always find a more desirable solution first.

  4. My only issue is integration instead of a very limited knowledge base to making plugins how about making an integration documentation so that more plugs can be made.

    • Thanks for notifying us about the matter, we have since changed the wording on the page. Note that Oxwall Foundation is not responsible for Wall.fm operation, since it’s a separate project running on the Oxwall software by Skalfa LLC. In any case, if you notice any other discrepancies, don’t hesitate to drop us a message at http://www.oxwall.org/contact.

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