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:
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.
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.