HTML Logo by World Wide Web Consortium (www.w3.org). Click to learn more about our commitment to accessibility and standards.

Moving forward with Composr

ocPortal has been relaunched as Composr CMS, which is now in beta. ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.

Head over to compo.sr for our new site, and to our migration roadmap. Existing ocPortal member accounts have been mirrored.


Commercialism discussion (split from "Need some free support?")

Login / Search

 [ Join | More ]
 Add topic 
Posted
Rating:
#96141 (In Topic #19106)

Non-joined user

hi ocp-community, hi chris!

for about 3 hours i spend time on this site and i wasnt sure whether i should take some time and spread the word of honesty. well, as u see, i do.

i dont want to hurt anybody, but sometimes the truth out there seems unreachable, maybe a question of self-reflection and empathy, and last but not least sure even more a question of todays strange society. not to forget: operational blindness.

first:
i didnt really test the ocp-software. i only took the demo and read some thousands of the million words on this website.
i also read some topics of the forums and the "blog" of the "managing director".

it seems to me, that something is going wrong with this project. it seems to me, that the days of the project are gone, but nobody has "the eggs" to tell the "managing director" that he is probably the main problem - or, in other words: the soultion. ;)

chris, dont take it too bad, but please take it by heart and think about i have to say: you dont have understand the philosophy of open source.
it may be that some of your users dont understand it, too. for sure.
but, the point is: they dont have to. because you are the one who decided to go open source.

the forums here are huge. your other contents, too. but the most i read in about the last 3 hours was an "hurt soul" postulating cash and making the users a bad feeling while using open source software and support without giving back something.
in fact, chris, THIS IS NOT THE MEANING OF OPEN SOURCE!

the board telled me that something about 50users are online here next to me.
if you dont have money, place adsense etc. on this site.

if you would take money from users, place flattr- and paypal-donate-buttons on a global area at this page (on the edge for sure;).

if you dont want to spend your hole time with support, bann the ticket-system and your fat "i'm the leader"-banner from your user-profile.

i would also bann the staff-links everywhere. you cant tell about collective intelligence based on internet/o.s.-spirit etc. and on the other side you place absolutely unnecessary symbols of hierarchy. these show-elements had their times, sure. they had.

and when you once clean up here, you should have to quit writing out now: do you realize the quality of your contents<->usability?

best practise: less is more. ask your "professional designer" about whitespace, product-branding, typo and go on deleting the overdressed self-describtions of you, your staff, your company and your project.

sure, you could mention ocp as yours, but the conclusion should stay at the listeners site.
"self-praise smells", k?

if it is the best product, everybody knows that.
stop telling what is good or bad. its up to the users, so go ahead using 90s-claims when declaring s.o.t.a. etc.

if you wanna have projects, take care about your company, but dont remix your company-stuff with the "open source project ocp"!
"rtfm!", or better: read your f****** button at the top of this site - it says: "PROUD TO BE OPEN SOURCE"!

what you do, isnt the proud spirit of open source! its only abusing a good label for some paper which has no truth and no soul.


if you want dev-contributers, just make "good" software. your software seems not attractive enough or the problem is "only" about your social skills. not to forget content/usability and strange communication about contribs/cash with users.

normally no one have to "ask" users for contrib on such a way you do. if the karma is good and the software fits the needs of the people, the community regulates itsself.
to optimize the project-karma, just create a character for your project, give it a soul.

the same is about "FREE support". give user-forums to them, make some of them to moderators and let they take care about an FAQ or other helpfull features.

collect feature-requests and dont let the users wait. i sayd: features, ok? define "features". it means little things that optimize the users workflow by using your software.

and hey, whats up with you? bann this stupid money-idea from the requests-area…
not because you are not allowed to earn money for personisations or some other, bigger-than-feature-stuff! no! thats not the point!

next:
when the feedback goes away, at first asking yourself, reflect yourself, look at you and your project and compare it with your more successful competitors, instead of writing contraproductive blogs like "Proof that our competitors suck".

the world has changed, chris. and its a good path the people has taken. come on and go with us or strip the "open source"-brandings off and stay the egomanic "CEO…Managing Director…" of a one-man-show from yesterday.




personally i dont think your project sucks or is out to date. okay, for the normal-user, its overloaded (and so results more support-tasks, too), but thats not the fault.
when i take a look at your competitors (e.g. dolphin) your site&project looks like windows 3.11.

so next-time (before "borrow" design-process-grafix… ;D) take the actual freebees from the webdesign-depots or zurb-foundation etc. and give your product the presentation that fits to your pretension.
check dolphin - they have tons of software-parts, too. but there is no need to write 10.000 words per site, chris.
let visuals tell your features, f.e..

and, among us nerdy codewhores my friend, proof your mediated logic: you cant tell your users that you dont have time for support when you write essays all the time instead of focussing on topic.

and dont tell the people your project costs you so much money… reflect yourself and realize that not only you knows about "what it really costs you". ;]



tl;dr/summary:

- instead asking for votes, start some polls to make sure that your product fits the needs also today
- stop denigrating other projects, especially cms… that has no style and cms also are not your main competitors
- bann the essays from evrywhere, dont do this anymore…
- find a workaround to push your social skills to the open source spirit or take an other license-modell thats not agile and fits your character
- bann the "what this project costs"-lies (shame on you btw)
- bann your company-stuff from the opc-portal, also the "pro"-offers
- bann the tickets
- bann the "how to use support-forums"-essays and give away some tasks to your users (mods, pr, usabilty… look at mozillas way of organize e.g.)
- "less is more" & "usability instead of DONT!s"
- monetarize a lil bit, e.g. with adsense or blogging
- let a dedicated offspring-designer (with knowledge about corporate identity (design/branding/typo)) perform a s.o.t.a.-look'n'feel for product&product-website
- dont harass YOUR community with your money-needs or other strange ideas, stop making them bad moods till they do "something enough" for you. they dont have to do anything…! but they can.
- stay informed (e.g.: where is your content & seo for an alternative to google-reader? that was a good chance for your project last week, derp!)


ocp may be your product, your baby, chris.
but you are a software engineer, not a antique-shop-owner.
all in one i would say: your project needs a new concept. but i dont looked the techsite. so maybe there is more to do.



btw, i came to this site while following your blog-comment on a joomla-review at a review-website.
your review at the comments there gave me an small impression of what i have to expect here.

take my words as good-meant, they coming from heart. and they coming also from a dev-guy who also knows about understanding-problems like the ones you mentioned here or at your blog. and i'm also not richy rich.





maybe the internet is us humans first & last real chance to beat the millennial injustice.
but for that, we the people need to optimize our visions to participate in highspeed and setting us up to the next level of evolution. collective intelligence starts at yourself. thats all about open source, crowd funding, networking. but not without heart, agile-skills and honesty,- even in situations like this one. ;[

hope i could help. sry for my kraut-englisch.

have a good time ocp-community and best regards from the Bananenrepublik /;-#(

andy
Back to the top
 
Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by sholzyLiked by JeanLiked by thelocalmc)  
Rating:
#96143
Avatar

Hmm, Andy, you tell me about my lack of charm, but you did it inside what was a pretty vicious personal attack against me. Who is the one who lacks charm again ;)?

I've been publishing free software for about 15 years, and this includes a number of Open Source projects that were entirely non-commercial and never intended to be commercial. This includes a couple of games, and a suite of free software applications for Windows. In-fact, ocPortal is the first commercial project I worked on.

You seem to mistake "Open Source" for "anti-capitalism" and "anti-establishment" though. That is absolutely not the case, and I'd invite you to read up more about the origins of these, and also take a look at some of the most successful Open Source groups out there. Dotnetnuke, SugarCRM, and webkit, all come to mind. Your tone is extremely negative, and you come across as a bit of a left-wing fanatic I'm afraid to say.

ocPortal is an application I care a lot about, and I think it is important that we differentiate ourselves by the fact that we can be serious about developing a great project for people in an ordered environment. It's designed for complex sites, complex use cases, ambitious people, it needs this level of planning and control around it for that. Yes, I'm a dictator to a large extent, and yes, things are nowhere near as collaborative as in some other Open Source communities – but this has led to a huge project that is very well structured. We'd like to encourage more collaboration though, which is why we created a page showing how people can help out – to me, that's a positive thing; perhaps the language could be adjusted to be a bit more opening than asking, specific notes on what to change are very welcome.

Part of the commercial aspect is about sustainability. With a support system, people know they will get an answer. Take a look through some forums of some non-commercial CMSs, see if their 100% free support leads to a high rate of questions being properly resolved. Part of it is about giving a clean managed experience, and throwing adverts all over is not a nice experience, and it really sells users short; ads make a tiny amount of money compared to their annoyance, so to me it's really a last resort of business models. We may put some ads on our documentation, to support the development there though; I think there's some sense in this, if they go across the long-tail and don't get their teeth into the community or main site.

As for building a community, you may have missed all the points, 'likes', ranks, and leaderboard functionality we have going on here. It really makes the forum a pleasurable place to be.

I actually rail against the negative side of commercial interests a great deal. For example, I've made my position on being against proprietary software on cmsreport very clear – I called it flat out unethical. I rail against large organisations that I see as having become corrupt all the time.

I am actually proud that we have developed advice for people on our sites that other organisations don't give. I'm proud we don't make people muddle through things and actually bring them information about the business side of the web, and about web skills in general, as well as using ocPortal. If you don't want it, you don't need to read it – I'm not sure why you're complaining, nobody made you read my blog.

I am not a "hurt soul", but sometimes I do feel the need to put a point across to help move things forward – what percentage of websites do you think meet the goals their founders had? I think it's important to try and help people move themselves forward, to assist and encourage people, and that sometimes does mean presenting a lot of cold information. I don't remember lectures at university or school lessons being particularly fun either, but I don't regret getting my education; I'd imagine most other people trying to achieve some objectives feel the same way.
If I'm so bitter, how do you explain this? https://twitter.com/occhris/status/312677732599341056
I'm a combination of jolly, and trying to shake things up via pointing out how things can be improved. Sometimes that probably does come across as negative, but it's all for a reason. Hopefully at some point we can expand the staff team and find someone to balance me out ;).

I'm very aware that we don't have the really compact identity that a lot of hip companies have. We're always trying to simplify things, but I'd just go back to saying, ocPortal is a tool for complex sites, it's not a consumer-app designed to solve a very specific use case (Dropbox being a great example of something like that). In fear of being rebuked for asking for help, I'll say, perhaps you'd like to start some polls here asking the community their opinion on what should be removed? I'm actually all for it, I did it a while ago regarding stripping some features out of ocPortal, and we actually acted on that already for the in-development v10 version.

If you think the days of the project are gone, I would invite you to take a look at all the activity on github and the tracker. Things are moving forward faster than ever.

As for the design of ocportal.com, yes we could do with a refresh, I wouldn't argue about that. If I say one is under way, people will probably ask when it'll be done – so I won't say anything ;).

As for selling the virtues of the project over our competitors, well actually before we did it I used to get business people all the time telling me that we should. Either way you go, people think it's a mistake ;). I think we will revert to a more self-selling kind of approach for our next design though, and that's actually for one of the things you discussed – trying to cut down the amount of communication. In a sense selling our benefits in multiple ways is redundant, and for that reason I think we should stop doing it – we have too many other things to say. We are the underdog though, so I have no moral qualms about doing it.

you cant tell your users that you dont have time for support when you write essays all the time instead of focussing on topic.

I wrote most of the "essays" you are talking about within about a space of one week and published them on a timer. Background writing is something I spend very little time doing. Occasionally I feel I want to express something though, it feels good to write a good long rant doesn't it ;).


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#96144
Avatar

bann the "what this project costs"-lies (shame on you btw)

Oh yes, I forgot to reply to this one, and this was a pretty vicious attack on me, calling me a shameful liar. I don't know specifically what you are referring to, but there are a number of places we've talked about project costings, and I do make a point about being realistic about how much things cost when done in a business context (i.e. when everyone is expecting to be well paid). You can get things done for very low cost, but you need to factor in the market value time of the implementor(s) who is doing it off their own back – and I think you'd then find any costs I give are very normal. Or, simply look at the agency rates of a web development team of more than 10 people in the city you're in. Or, here's a great article recently that has nothing to do with me whatsoever:
Four Features You Should Know about the Top Five CMSs --- CMS Critic


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by sholzyLiked by Jean)  
Rating:
#96148
Avatar

At the risk of replying too many times like some kind of "hurt soul"  :lol:

I do think about these kinds of issues, which is why I am replying. I can see the point that some people would not find the commercial aspect of the project welcoming. I do see that many projects split things into a foundation and a company.

I do welcome discussion and criticism, so I am hoping some more balanced people can join this debate and add their 2c (I mean, their contributions – let's keep money out of this).

I think there is a feeling of "Have Your Cake & Eat It" about this. Let's look at some of the alternatives to the ocPortal approach (I know, I know, I'm being negative…)…

Drupal – the community is pretty chaotic, and basically people are successful on ambitious projects there only if they're extremely technically adept. Meanwhile, the really good programmers have gone off to extremely high-budget corporate work. So if we were to do this – we'd have a combination of a chaotic poorly supported community, and a business that only caters to elites (I know about the excellent Drupal Gardens, but you may notice that Acquia's focus has since focused on the enterprise much more than that kind of thing).

Wordpress – I actually think Wordpress is excellent as a blog and simple website solution. But they don't need to raise users to a higher level to get the results they need, it caters to the lowest denominator.

Dolphin – the wonderfully designed competitor to ocPortal (ocPortal being evil for being partly-capitalist) – is a 100% commercial project.

Also with Wordpress and Drupal, they've taken huge amounts of venture capitalist money, which makes me very uneasy.

So, basically there are a few bad things that could happen relating to de-commercialising the ocPortal ecosystem:
  • Lack of funds to subsidise it robustly as a product with full time dedicated staff. E.g. if I find a hole in the docs based on someone's forum discussion, I fix it. Does that kind of thing really happen with such rigour for non-commercial projects?
  • Splitting community and company actually creates a barrier between the most talented developers and listening to the needs of regular users. Even if we can't help people for free often, we at least are here listening – while elsewhere, elite programmers would simply leave the community entirely to its own devices and focus on enterprise.
  • Temptation to dumb down and focus on lowest-denominator, to try and side-step the problems of support being a complex thing to give.
  • Taking VC money really risks being pushed away from the needs of the little guys, by greed and problems of external influence – to again, to chase the lowest denominator and hence have an uninspiring product.
Going fully commercial would allow us to not have to explain so much that people won't be satisfied if they need free support, but there's obviously a huge down-side to that.

The thing I find most difficult, is if I answer someone's question for free, or give out an email address, 9 times out of 10 I will get an ongoing stream of questions from them. I have to stop it starting by having a process to begin with, otherwise I have to appear quite rude or ignore people, and I really hate that. I simply can't answer question streams from multiple people in a community without it taking hours a day, and I can't create a workable structure without having to find a way to keep salaried staff active. There's just no way around it.

So yeah, I see problems whichever way we go. I know, I can be a downer sometimes, and explaining what we can't do seems unkind and unhelpful, but really it is more to do with helping than not – if I explain I can't help when directly asked, or set something explaining the processes of it all, what I'm also doing is not ignoring someone, which is what happens in most communities. It's about having an environment where people actually have a structured path to success in achieving complex projects without needing VC money themselves, and that's not 100% ponies 100% of the time.

So yeah, discussion on how we can do things better is very welcome. I just wanted to explain the reasoning.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by sholzyLiked by Jean)  
Rating:
#96149
Avatar

Community saint

I feel the need to chime in here so I will.

First I think Andy your language barrier probably makes your comments even harsher than maybe they were meant? Maybe not but wow they sure were harsh and like a direct attack at Chris.

I will say from my observations Chris is absolutely nothing like you've described. He is friendly, extremely patient, extremely helpfull and gives WAY MORE of his time than he probably should to helping users out freely. The site ENCOURAGES users to give back in whatever way they can. Sponsorship of features, write commmunity documentation, help other users, contribute code but none of this is required it is only encouraged and there is nothing wrong with that. Many of the big competitors have commercial companies behind them making money in many ways so why shouldn't ocProducts. Just because ocProducts main product is opensource doesn't mean they can't find ways to put food on their own tables and let me tell you the way I see it:

Development, support, bug-fixing, response times are higher here than I have seen on MOST other CMS projects. If there is a bug Chris fixes it right away and posts the fixes in easy place to find and then roles out a patch release faster than I have seen most places. Unlike another place (I won't mention but will say the users brag about the free support) that has recently released their first patch release in almost 2 years (a small incremental version) of which they have had many many bugs with fixes you have to wade through forum after forum to find. In that time ocPortal has gone through at least 2 Major version releases and UMPTEEN patch releases. So this is one moving project by far in comparison.

I will also say I enjoy Chris' essays and wish he'd write more. He is a good writer and has some deep insights. And there is nothing wrong with him doing that. Why should have to have his head only burried in code?

Now to address your other points:


- instead asking for votes, start some polls to make sure that your product fits the needs also today

It has been done and they listen. But personally I do like the voting feature and it has proven to be a good thing I think. At least from the communities perspective as we have gotten to choose what we want worked on first and they developers did that sometimes for Free and sometimes with community support of credits. Nothing is wrong with that at all!



- stop denigrating other projects, especially cms… that has no style and cms also are not your main competitors

Well I have also read where Chris gives credit where credit is due and he points out fairly often ocPortal is not for everyone and you should asses your needs and if a competitors product meets your needs better use it. I don't think he is wrong here at all

- bann the essays from evrywhere, dont do this anymore…

HECK NO! I like them and want more. Don't read em if you don't like em!

- find a workaround to push your social skills to the open source spirit or take an other license-modell thats not agile and fits your character

Chris has excellent social skills from what I have seen and I have watched him for a lot longer time than a 3 hour read of some posts so I think that qualifies me to tell you you are wrong wrong wrong here and he needn't change a thing. He has Outstanding Character and it fits welll with his model, well maybe not perfect as his business model is slightly more rigid than his generousity allows which could be seen as a conflict of interest to some but being on the benefiting end of that I am certainly not going to complain! lol

- bann the "what this project costs"-lies (shame on you btw)

I have never witnessed Chris lying about anything? Not saying he never does as I believe EVERYONE does sometimes. But the Project costs he posts about are projected from ohloh or others and it is their evaluation not Chris although maybe I read some where he does some theoretical evaluations too I am not sure but I do know that if someone were to pay what should be paid for all the code he has written those projected costs are probably not that far off. But they are interesting numbers to look at and there is nothing wrong with posting them. Sorry they offend you. They don't me.

- bann your company-stuff from the opc-portal, also the "pro"-offers

Why should he? He has a company to run and I would rather him work full time on ocPortal than part-time where the project would likely die like so many others. To work full-time on it he NEEDS to put bread on his table and keep his roof!

- bann the tickets

People need support. He gives free tickets alongside paid ones. no need to get rid of it.

- bann the "how to use support-forums"-essays and give away some tasks to your users (mods, pr, usabilty… look at mozillas way of organize e.g.)

The one place so far you are closer to constructive criticism but I wouldn't "Ban" the forums and users already do help users but sure here there is probably always room for improvement.

- "less is more" & "usability instead of DONT!s"

People just love that "less is more" quote but in reality "more IS MORE" sometimes. I get a lot more from here than many other places. Mind you the less is more could apply in some spots here. A little fat could be trimmed in some places and maybe make improvement but this is a big system and there's a lot to cover.

- monetarize a lil bit, e.g. with adsense or blogging

OH I hate this suggestion! The web (the whole world for that matter) is just too crowded with "ads". It is very refreshing to have a site to go to that doesn't plaster you with that. But again if he felt the desire to do so I would not hold it against Chris for adding them to the site but I am very glad he doesn't!

- let a dedicated offspring-designer (with knowledge about corporate identity (design/branding/typo)) perform a s.o.t.a.-look'n'feel for product&product-website

I think the site looks very professional. Might be a little crowded in some spots and I would have to agree not the easiest to navigate at all times but it certainly not sloppy looking.  Not saying a refresh and a trim down wouldn't be good though but if it takes away from the team adding to the product I am happy to keep it the way it is! hehe

- dont harass YOUR community with your money-needs or other strange ideas, stop making them bad moods till they do "something enough" for you. they dont have to do anything…! but they can.

This one is probably the most laughable of your comments! I've never seen Chris or any other ocPortal team member EVER harrass someone! Myself and and a couple other community members may have but not Chris or his team. Encouragment to help out is not harrassment and he never pushes for money. But he is honest and if he can't afford to throw you free time on something that is not his fault he will tellyou and that is his right and no-one should have the right to tell him otherwise!

- stay informed (e.g.: where is your content & seo for an alternative to google-reader? that was a good chance for your project last week, derp!)

Well this ones easier said than done. The Mechanic never fixes his own car as often as he should either. It would be good advice though if it was put more nicely. I think Chris does his best (and a good job of it) at staying informed even if he can't capitalize right away on everything he should.



Anyway thanks for stopping by and sorry ocPortal didn't meet your needs. I am sure Chris will consider your feedback and if there is anything worth considering it he will make the best of it. May you find hapiness in your future!
Back to the top
 
Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by sholzyLiked by Jean)  
Rating:
#96153
Avatar

I think the ocPortal-ocProducts relationship is a positive one. Not only does it help to keep development on ocPortal constant and fresh, but it also means that we can educate people on the development industry so they know that they shouldn't expect something-for-nothing when it comes to programming (as we find that a lot of people do expect this!).

Chris actually does a lot of work for free, like: support, the development of new features, absorbing partial costs for sponsorship of especially beneficial features. But even so, the key to ocPortal is that anyone can jump on board and help develop for it. We make it really easy for them to do this, and we would never turn a good programmer away. We provide extensive programming documentation, and Chris always helps potential contributors hone their code to ocPortal's standards. If that's not adhering to the ideals of Open Source software, then I don't know what is.

However, Chris can't work for free all the time. He has to feed, house, and entertain himself, and he has to think about the future. Chris is the best programmer I have ever seen, and he's got one of the sharpest minds too. He could easily get snapped up by one of the 'big players' in the programming world, but he truly believes in ocPortal and the business model that we've worked hard to sculpt.

We do undertake professional projects for clients, yes. When a new enhancement is added to ocPortal via one of these client projects, we usually merge that code back into the public release of ocPortal so that everyone can benefit from it. Even our commercial work is still Open Source!

We also have a great system of 'feature sponsorship'. People can sponsor the development of specific features either individually, or as a group. To me, this is saying "I'm not a programmer, but this is my contribution to the software". They're paying someone who can programme, to programme on their behalf. As long as people are contributing, in some form, isn't that good?

We may not be a "here's the codebase, have at it" project, but I think that's a good thing. Just look at the end product - an up-to-date, secure, and feature-filled CMS with great support and a growing user base.


Like ocPortal on Facebook:
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#96154
Avatar

I appreciate the support guys :).

Let's make a constructive practical thing of this now.

I think there's a kernel of truth in a few areas here:
  • Design – we're always chasing this, because design standards have moved on so fast and because a large flexible is hard to make small and beautiful – but we can spend more time here. And yes, getting external designers is important. I feel our project probably suffers a little for not having had someone like me on the design side spending as much time on design as I do on coding and structuring/managing the project – I suspect the difference may be that some other projects do.
  • Simplicity – again, we're always chasing this. But I think we've come forward in leaps and bounds since v2 (which is when the project because one for making much more complex flexible sites) – there are some things I'd like to do to make forms less imposing, and to modularise stuff more, and provide a cleaner default install – but I can't say I have a tonne of ideas that will make much difference, so they're welcome.
  • Footprint – I think there's a legitimate case to be made that we can remove some stuff from our site, and bury it in tutorials. For example, perhaps parts of my blog, some pinned stuff in the forum, etc, can be compressed into tutorials and buried in the library, for people to find only if they are looking for it.
  • Negativity – Some people like to be surrounded only by positivity, while we do compare ourselves to weaknesses we see in competitors, I do hold the large companies to account, I do try and point out things like how developers of stuff in the Linux stack need to simplify. Thoughts on this? My view is that it is positive to be negative sometimes, it helps forge direction and give a kick in the butt – but maybe it should be a bit more buried? Any specific cases of toning it down?
  • Charm – A complex project for people to do complex things is hard to make charming. I've tried to commission designers and so on to make our site fun, add little jokes and design flair. I'll get more into this with my closing paragraph…

I think at this point it's worth a discussion of psychology. I do believe from what he wrote Andy above is of the spread the love, do away with money, left-wing, hippie kind of viewpoint. But psychologically, perhaps we make him (and others) feel disenfranchised? Perhaps a system where money is featured/discussed (albeit not required) feels emasculating on some level to some people who are either not happy with it or not flush with it (take that word in a gender-neutral way – can equally apply to female members)? Is there some way we can frame things so that we keep our goals of getting measured cost-coverage on things, without it feeling disenfranchising/emasculating?


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by Jean)  
Rating:
#96157
Avatar

Community saint

I understand this dicussion no problem, but I can say in short to this, the way ocPortal has choosen their way is to me to best way a open source cms could go.

I have used almost every cms in the world, but never found a better Framework (cms) then ocPortal. Not only the product itself, but what more imported is the support from the team behind, the way they listening to the backend users. This Andy makes a good product!!!

And also, nothing in this world will come from nothing. If you can live without food or other things you would be a god. You are not. So don't claim to others what they do or the way they choose.

my 2cents.

Harry


http://digiflash.nl Photo community  (dutch)
Back to the top
 
Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by Jean)  
Rating:
#96164
Avatar

Community saint

I get the psychological part of it Chris and that could definitely be where Andy is comming from.

I could be called that left wing hippy too.  I am not happy with the Capatilistic operations of the world today either. Sometimes I wonder if my view on this is only changing cause I am not at the top of the heap and would I feel differently if I were? I don't know?

What I do know is that as is I think the system is dangerous and poorly designed. It breeds corruption and explotation. I do not have an answer for "What is the alternative?" but I sure wish I did. But I am reminded of the fireside chat near the beginning of the movie "The Appocolypse" where the cheif of the tribe sat around telling the story of how Man was unhappy so all the animals gave him their best parts so he coulds see far run fast etc etc but in the end when he had everything he still was unhappy because Man has a hole in him he can never fill. This is so true.

Today more and more I look around me I feel like the "Amish" have it right. They have a real sense of community and whenever I see them they always seem happy.  They don't have (or at least don't express them) desires for all the useless crap we "normal" citizens do. They live life simply and, I believe, more fully than we do.

I think there may be a lesson to learn from them that will only be learned when it is too late. When man has finally destroyed himself or this planet we share.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#96168

Non-joined user

While criticism is generally good, I think any constructive points andy may have made have been lost in his railing against the existence of job titles....
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#96170
Avatar

Community saint

Here is my take on all of this:

I wrote a long rant about education and a lack of it, but I do not really want to get involved with people like this at my age, so here is the short of it:

Pay absolutely no attention to any of it, it is not worth your time, nor mine!

I decided to stay very polite and removed the rest of what I wrote for the last hour. :ninja:

I would suggest that any of the commentaries written by Chris and others, full of positive ideas and observations be moved to another thread and this one closed with just a small observation to move the scope of this discussion outside of this post in order to limit its false premise.

Jean
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#96171
Avatar

Well Jean, Im not really offended by this topic. It gives me a chance to be introspective, and I think an external viewpoint helps with that sometimes. I obviously don't agree, but I think it does bring out some room for discussing how we might better accomodate different psychologies. I'm not sure we can in all cases, and how one approaches a problem always involves some kind of trade offs – but I think there's a discussion to be had and I want to hear people's ideas.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by FletchLiked by Harry-SLiked by Chris GrahamLiked by Jean)  
Rating:
#96172

Non-joined user

Having worked with Chris a lot, I have to say that he's pretty much the opposite of who andy believes him to be.  andy's caricature is almost comically wrong.

Typically, instead of just thinking 'troll', or (quite understandably) just ranting back, he's actually taken the time to try and pick out any constructive criticism hidden within andy's post.

I did notice this, though:

Chris Graham said

Is there some way we can frame things so that we keep our goals of getting measured cost-coverage on things, without it feeling disenfranchising/emasculating?

And thought maybe 2 totally separate sites?

1 - ocPortal.com: Front page very simple.  6 big pictures pictures and a tiny bit of text highlighting the 6 most popular features.  (Note, not best or most impressive, but most popular - I'm guessing blogging, galleries, links to Facebook, etc.)

A big 'Get ocPortal' button - installs a pre-themed (ideally choice of 2 or 3 themes), very lightweight, Wordpress style blog version.  This comes with the main features that are needed to get 90% of sites going pre-configured, and everything else switched off.  (All ocPortal features are still there, just hidden or disabled.)  A big 'demo' button alongside, so people can try before they 'buy'.

All this on the front page, as close to the top as possible.  Most people will get everything they need from here.

Underneath - a 'Want even more amazing features like forums, etc.?' button.  This links to a page that is again picture based, but less fluffy, showing all the more technical stuff that ocPortal has as standard (catalogues, forums, etc.)  And a big 'Get ocPortal Pro' button that installs 'full fat' ocPortal (i.e. what it does now).  Clearly states that you can go 'Pro' at any time from within normal ocPortal for free.

Other page on the site would be the forum, tutorials, and onefor themes, add-ons, etc.  Just the core pages needed to install ocPortal, get documentation and interact with its community.  All for free.

People like Andy need never leave this site.

2 - ocProducts.com:  For any commercial aspects.  Linked to clearly throughout ocPortal.com.

On the ocPortal themes page: "Want a professionally designed site?"

On the add-ons page: "Want the team who created ocPortal to build a site to your exact specifications?"

On the forums: "Need instant, 24/7 support from the people who built ocPortal?"

etc.

If it involves money, job titles, official support tickets, whatever's 'commercial', it goes on ocProducts.com.

Talking of job titles, I wonder if people would prefer maybe 'Founder' instead of Managing Director?

Or Geschäftsführer?  ;-)

All this is just a thought, though.  One age to get casual users going, one for more in depth, and a seperate site for people who need projects.  May be too similar to what's already out there.

Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#96173
Avatar

Community saint

I do like Guests suggestions! That really makes sense.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by Harry-SLiked by Jean)  
Rating:
#96175
Avatar

Duck said

I get the psychological part of it Chris and that could definitely be where Andy is comming from.

I could be called that left wing hippy too.  I am not happy with the Capatilistic operations of the world today either. Sometimes I wonder if my view on this is only changing cause I am not at the top of the heap and would I feel differently if I were? I don't know?

What I do know is that as is I think the system is dangerous and poorly designed. It breeds corruption and explotation. I do not have an answer for "What is the alternative?" but I sure wish I did. But I am reminded of the fireside chat near the beginning of the movie "The Appocolypse" where the cheif of the tribe sat around telling the story of how Man was unhappy so all the animals gave him their best parts so he coulds see far run fast etc etc but in the end when he had everything he still was unhappy because Man has a hole in him he can never fill. This is so true.

Today more and more I look around me I feel like the "Amish" have it right. They have a real sense of community and whenever I see them they always seem happy.  They don't have (or at least don't express them) desires for all the useless crap we "normal" citizens do. They live life simply and, I believe, more fully than we do.

I think there may be a lesson to learn from them that will only be learned when it is too late. When man has finally destroyed himself or this planet we share.

I try and avoid talking politics or anything controversial on ocPortal.com because we have the complete range of views here. You should see my work Facebook account (ssh, don't tell Facebook I have two) – it's a jumble of extreme left and right wing views in many cases :lol:.

I'm sympathetic to left wing views (and I can say this, because I'm a European not a USA-American :lol:), but I think extreme viewpoints usually are really overly simplistic and naive. While right-wingers hold onto the silly belief that the market will sort everything out, left-wingers hold onto the silly belief that all people are noble and believe work is its own reward. So I'm pretty much a centrist, not the ardent-capitalist that the original poster may think I am ;). I'm sympathetic to the range of political views, if they lead to a fair and workable system with the right incentivisations.

I think whatever economic system there is, people at every level of the social ladder will find ways to abuse it. I think our economies right now really suffer greatly from a lack of checks and balances on things, and that the worker strength gained during the industrial revolution has been eroded by automation and globalisation, and we're back in feudalism now without people having caught up to realise it yet. It annoys me that politicians refuse to engage on this, because they're all tied up in the interests of the powerful, and out-dated dichotomous thinking that was devised in a world very different to how it is now. I could list of various economic measures politicians could try and enact, but I'm not going to get specific on here ;).

I do think we're pretty much at a crossroads. We may continue to feudalism, or citizens may actually get together and use technology to their advantage to organise some sensible change, or things could go darker. (Ha, I don't think you'll get many "Managing Director"s saying this kind of thing – I'm supposed to suck up to the corporate interests aren't I…).

All that said, ocPortal is not politicalActionPortal, nothing will be served by me sacrificing my life in a vain attempt to change the world through a CMS. I'm a practical guy, and I have my own and other salaries to pay and I have to create reliability and stability.

If people want change, pretending the Internet is a communist state is not going to achieve it. I'd suggest those people get politically involved, do some deep thought, and to do some campaigning.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#96182

Non-joined user

Chris Graham said


If people want change, pretending the Internet is a communist state is not going to achieve it. I'd suggest those people get politically involved, do some deep thought, and to do some campaigning.


So what you're saying is that I should restart the Red Army Faction?

Understood - I'm on it!  ;)
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#96184
Avatar

Haha, well, people should fight for what they believe in (after considering whether it makes sense I'd hope). If people want communism, go for it. If people want a tea party, go for it. If people want something new, go for it. I think a huge problem right now is apathy, I think people have got very comfortable with the system we have had in the 20th century and forgot that actually we need to move forward and question old assumptions as things change. If people do nothing, it's the special interests who will define policy (and they have been…).

(I'll reply to the suggestions above later on when I've had some time to give some proper thought)


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by Chris Graham)  
Rating:
#96188

Non-joined user

Chris Graham said

If people want something new, go for it.

Agreed, but I'd be slightly more specific - something new that has a chance of actually working.  Otherwise we end up with, say, this:

Consensus Decision-Making Hand Signals Explained at #OccupySF - YouTube

(Just to be clear, I mean the process outlined in the video.)

10 out of 10 for effort.  0 out of 10 for considering any form of real-world practicality.

If you are going to go for it, being realistic helps everyone.

Anyway, I call an end to politics on this thread.  I have the power.

Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#96189

Non-joined user

Andreas said

I have the power.

He-Man I Have The Power - YouTube

 :offtopic:  Sorry.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#96194
Avatar

Talking of job titles, I wonder if people would prefer maybe 'Founder' instead of Managing Director?

Well, the reason I have always quoted the job title managing director is because I am :lol:. When that was set, it was just a case of being literal, not some big-headed thing like the original poster thinks. It's an opportunity to be playful and not something I'd given any thought before, so I've changed the sig ;).

1 - ocPortal.com: Front page very simple.  6 big pictures pictures and a tiny bit of text highlighting the 6 most popular features.  (Note, not best or most impressive, but most popular - I'm guessing blogging, galleries, links to Facebook, etc.)

I think we'll be doing something similar, but it'll more be differentiating factors, rather than features. A bit more of a top-down benefits view. Most marketing people say "sell benefits not features", which has some merit, but mainly is I think there's too much to pick and choose on a feature basis, and it doesn't differentiate us anyway as loads of people have those features.

A big 'Get ocPortal' button - installs a pre-themed (ideally choice of 2 or 3 themes), very lightweight, Wordpress style blog version.  This comes with the main features that are needed to get 90% of sites going pre-configured, and everything else switched off.  (All ocPortal features are still there, just hidden or disabled.)

Underneath - a 'Want even more amazing features like forums, etc.?' button.  This links to a page that is again picture based, but less fluffy, showing all the more technical stuff that ocPortal has as standard (catalogues, forums, etc.)  And a big 'Get ocPortal Pro' button that installs 'full fat' ocPortal (i.e. what it does now).  Clearly states that you can go 'Pro' at any time from within normal ocPortal for free.

In the product:

I see no need to have a separate pro thing really, I think probably we should have the default being simple in all cases. I have just updated our plans on the tracker regarding this, it is generally in line with what I was already thinking. The Setup Wizard is designed to let people choose an install profile that suits them, so that's where you'd essentially "go pro".

On the site:

I think it's important to consider we're not Wordpress, so we're not going to really convert people by simplicity for a cut-down product, we're not going to really be able to match Wordpress in that regard. For that reason, I wouldn't want to limit the presentation of scope down, scope is where we win out.

If it involves money, job titles, official support tickets, whatever's 'commercial', it goes on ocProducts.com.

It's always been hard to create that kind of strict division. It might seem a bit hokey, but I think an interesting take might be to actually have a "commercial/no-commercial" toggle and thus keep a single site. Maybe right at the top we have a little toggle button that turns off any commercial bits so people can just shut it up. I think that'd be kind of fun too :).


I have adjusted our Mantis tracker a little to make it clear that sponsorships are only an option to people. I have changed the simplified tracker view to be a little softer and more playful, particularly where the project cost figures from Ohloh are quoted.


I have reviewed our contribute page. I think it actually already opens in quite a charming way, I don't think it comes across as demanding at all. Still, it's hard for me to necessarily see what others see – so if I'm wrong, or any other parts of the site seem meanly worded, please bring it to me.


I just turned 30 btw ;).


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
There are too many online users to list.
Control functions:

Quick reply   Expand