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Thread: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

  1. #1
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    Default The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

    First of all, Thanks to the developers of Open Realty and thanks for the recent support I got while trying to download the new version. I think the support was excellent especially considering I was just getting the free version to test my addons with.

    I, personally, don't use OR except with the site I have for my addons. I have installed it for a couple of clients, in which case, I billed them for my time spent customizing to their needs...templates, small code changes for their mail preferences, notification preferences, etc. Some of it was simple editing of the language file but most was editing the code itself to obtain the result my clients wanted. I believe one of my clients purchased the license for OR but I couldn't swear to it. One of my clients needed a way for folks to pay by PayPal, so my PayPal addon was born. Since then, I have sold a lot of addons through the years. With my addons, I give support because they are commercial addons and I don't give the money back if they can't install it correctly or understand the docs. During that support, I have very often ended up supporting OR itself or templates. Actually, a large percentage of my addon support has not had anything to do with my addons, but with OR.

    My financial status, like many around this globe is struggling. Always has been. I appreciate the ability to sell my addons and I appreciate those that have paid for it. I also appreciate knowing OR is there if I get a client wanting a site that fits it. Although now, I am mainly a farmer. Killed a diamondback rattlesnake on my front porch just last night. If my dog, Shadow the wonder dog wasn't there, my wife probably would have got bit. So, I can't run my own servers out here like I could in Houston.

    Have I contributed to Open Realty? I hope so. I have supported many that are in this community directly and not by these forums.

    I haven't read everything here and I'm not sure where the "free beer" came from, but I would say that may come across offensive to many. Open Realty is world wide. From Sarajevo to Israel and everywhere in between. I know because I have supported it all over. It hasn't been any free beer for me. Besides that, it has been offered as free software and so people have used it that way and have had questions about it. Some folks expect more, but they're in every bunch...free or not.

    Just like so many companies rely on the Microsoft or Apple OS, there are many folks that have come to rely on OR as a source of income in one way or another. Many of these folks will not be able to use the encrypted version. The great thing about Open Source is that the source code is Open and many developments can come from it. OR is no longer Open Source. Microsoft and Apple have a lot of developer resources. Standing alone and without the many additions that are available by third parties would make both OS's worthless or just word processors and internet gateways.

    With the new encryption, I can't see where my addons got broke. I relied on being able to see the code or I never could have made any addons that could do what they do with OR. I think the addon system will be left mainly to TT and will fade away for any third party developers.....reducing the value of OR as a "one size fits all" and largely affecting it's value by limiting it only to TT and their addons, updates, etc.

    Now, the ugly. That opens up liability for TT. Some folks, as we have seen with Microsoft and others, will say they were shut out and can no longer operate the same way under false pretense such as a third party addon system, etc. We've seen it happen many times before. I'm not one of those, but it can happen.

    I'm still going to see what I can do to make my addons work with OR, but I don't think it will be very possible to write them to work hand in hand with the OR code because I can't see it.

    That being said, with this economy, I understand some of the reasoning behind it but I think it closes the book on third party development of OR for any real sophisticated addons. I appreciate OR but I can't use it any more the way I have in the past...as a customizable developer friendly product. I also appreciate the ability to post my addons on the addon site and as I have in these forums. I will continue to try to offer my addons as best as I can and thanks to OR for allowing that.
    KP

    You can put your boots in the oven, but it don't make 'em biscuits!


  2. #2
    the_sandking's Avatar
    the_sandking is offline hadron remnant - Moderation Fachmann
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    Default Re: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

    Long time no see. Haven't seen you around in over a year at least, welcome back!

    Quote Originally Posted by kpearson View Post
    I haven't read everything here and I'm not sure where the "free beer" came from,
    It primarily came from the fact that so many people were/are earning a significant living from OR while demanding support and new features, yet the annual amount of financial contributions TT received would not pay to operate these forums for more than a couple of months. Code contributions were almost non-existent except for a very few generous individuals. Ryan has kept very good stats over the years.

    If someone bought one of your add-ons only to incorporate it into a product that they then market and resell worldwide in direct violation of your license, and then tried to justify their actions by calling it a "fork" while improperly using your registered trademark to generate traffic to their web sites, you'd start to look for ways to stop it, both legally and physically.

    Quote Originally Posted by kpearson View Post
    During that support, I have very often ended up supporting OR itself or templates. Actually, a large percentage of my addon support has not had anything to do with my addons, but with OR.

    Open Realty is world wide. From Sarajevo to Israel and everywhere in between. I know because I have supported it all over.
    Supporting OR for people in other countries yourself using your own resources, while quite admirable and very respectable IMHO, it did not directly contribute to the OR project. It's the direct contributions (code and/or $$) that was mostly at issue. I am not sure what your arrangement was, but a lot of add-on developers have claimed that a percentage of their sales go back to OR, but this was just another marketing gimmick, because Ryan can certainly tell you that was not happening.

    Quote Originally Posted by kpearson View Post
    I think the addon system will be left mainly to TT and will fade away for any third party developers.....

    I'm still going to see what I can do to make my addons work with OR, but I don't think it will be very possible to write them to work hand in hand with the OR code because I can't see it.
    Actually, it should be easier, the add-on system is now better than ever, and it will improve even more over time. Once things settle-down with the new release, TT will release developer documentation specifically for the add-on and hook systems' API. If you have a Pro license, you can also work directly with TT's developers to assist you with your add-ons should you need to. The add-on site was created specifically to help developers with marketing their add-ons, and the add-on manager was created so people did not have to be developers themselves to install add-ons.

    I've created add-ons/plug-ins for commercial (closed) software many times, and have never had to see any source code to do it, because the APIs were well documented. Lots of people even make a living doing it, consider Photoshop if you want an example.

    Quote Originally Posted by kpearson View Post
    If my dog, Shadow the wonder dog wasn't there, my wife probably would have got bit.
    Now that's a good dog!
    "Much of what looks like rudeness in hacker circles is not intended to give offense. Rather, it's the product of the direct, cut-through-the-BS communications style that is natural to people who are more concerned about solving problems than making others feel warm and fuzzy."

    "We gotta' go to the crappy town where I'm a hero!"
    -Hoban 'Wash' Washburne 2485-2519


    "When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front-row seat.."
    -George Carlin 1937-2008

    New to Open-Realty® and need help? Check the:
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

    Thanks, sandking. I understand the reasoning behind it. As far as contributing code or $$ to the project itself, then I haven't been a contributor. I just offered a product that made OR fit the needs of a lot of folks. Still, with this economy, that has all but come to a standstill.

    The api's would be handy for those of us that can't offer any support or fixes for those that upgrade OR and have purchased our addons. Without that, further development or upgrades are completely stopped or is a long guessing game. Support might be able to help with development, but I can't work that way. That involves hours of waiting and explaining and not understanding the answers and so on.... I like to sit down, work the code, test it, work it again, test it, troubleshoot it, etc. To throw in a middleman between me and the code would be too much time and frustration.


    That IS a good dog! He surprises me all the time. I strongly suggest an Australian Shepherd for anyone in the country!
    KP

    You can put your boots in the oven, but it don't make 'em biscuits!


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    Default Re: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by kpearson View Post
    Thanks, sandking. I understand the reasoning behind it. As far as contributing code or $$ to the project itself, then I haven't been a contributor. I just offered a product that made OR fit the needs of a lot of folks. Still, with this economy, that has all but come to a standstill.
    Don't take this personally because its not directed soley at you. That was one of the big problems with Open-Realty; so many people were developing add-ons, selling them, making money off them and feeling that they've contributed to Open-Realty since they helped somebody obtain a feature they needed. In the mean time, neither the add-on developer nor the client contribute to Open-Realty. Either because they felt the other person should or because they felt they did their part, or were just happy to get something for nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by kpearson View Post
    The api's would be handy for those of us that can't offer any support or fixes for those that upgrade OR and have purchased our addons. Without that, further development or upgrades are completely stopped or is a long guessing game. Support might be able to help with development, but I can't work that way. That involves hours of waiting and explaining and not understanding the answers and so on.... I like to sit down, work the code, test it, work it again, test it, troubleshoot it, etc. To throw in a middleman between me and the code would be too much time and frustration.
    Quote Originally Posted by kpearson View Post
    I'm still going to see what I can do to make my addons work with OR, but I don't think it will be very possible to write them to work hand in hand with the OR code because I can't see it.!
    There will be a comprehensive list of Open-Realty's functions, the data they expect and what the function will return. As far as continuing to write add-ons for Open-Realty while encoded it shouldn't be that much more difficult. The only time it will be more difficult is for developers who rely on copying Open-Realty functions to their add-ons and then modifying them to suit their needs in their add-ons. It certainly is quicker and easier than writing code from scratch. This will eliminate some of the add-on developers who do nothing more than take an Open-Realty function, make a few tweaks to it for a new layout and then sell it for profit without actually creating anything unique on their own and without any actual skill in programming.
    Open-Realty 2 Documentation

    ~The Difference Between an ORDEAL and an ADVENTURE is ATTITUDE~

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    Default Re: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

    Thanks Mick. I'm certainly not here to argue with you guys, but it seems that part of the big picture is left out. Free Enterprise is what makes the great USA roll. There are several parts to the development of software and it is generally aimed at the end user with consideration to developers. I think that monetary contributions are always welcome but rarely seen in anything. My understanding was that TT has been profiting from OR in several areas including hosting, licensing, and addons and has not been a not-for-profit endeavor. You said it is not solely aimed at me which suggests it is partially aimed at me. I never knew that was OR's stance. I haven't contributed monetarily to OR simply because at the end of the month, I'm still short and have been for years. I'm not wealthy and don't see it in my near future. Any big software company (or any company for that matter) will tell you, if they are being true to themselves, that the end user and third party developers have contributed to their success. Take Google for instance....how much money does OR send to Google for using their API? Are a percentage of OR's profits given to Google because of the transparent maps income? Would Google be a success if nobody used it or contributed thoughts and ideas to the developers. How much have you developed Google or Apache? Is that getting something for nothing?

    If folks have to write their own functions for functions that already exist in OR, isn't that considered excessive and unneeded code? Good coding is less coding. To say someone doesn't have skill because they use functions from OR is quite a statement. If I go to install a stereo in my truck, I use the existing wiring instead of having to rewire the whole electrical portion when the wires are already there. No sense in reinventing the wheel. My addons use very much of my own code and rely on the OR code and functions also.

    I don't think it is productive to take that stance, but it isn't my baby. I'm not telling anyone to change anything. I hope the best for OR. If it was my baby, I would have made sure the API's were ready for third party developers at the time of the release rather than leaving them and their clients (which are OR end users) in the dark about what to do.

    Thanks!
    KP

    You can put your boots in the oven, but it don't make 'em biscuits!


  6. #6
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    Default Re: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by kpearson View Post
    Thanks Mick. I'm certainly not here to argue with you guys, but it seems that part of the big picture is left out. Free Enterprise is what makes the great USA roll. There are several parts to the development of software and it is generally aimed at the end user with consideration to developers. I think that monetary contributions are always welcome but rarely seen in anything.
    I'm not sure what you mean by that. "Free Enterprise" is by definition a business run for profit where its success depends on the demand for their product or service and without government intrusion. I'm not sure if you mean that Transparent Tech shouldn't be allowed to profit? Or perhaps they're profiting too much? (Which I can almost assure you isn't the case).

    Quote Originally Posted by kpearson View Post
    My understanding was that TT has been profiting from OR in several areas including hosting, licensing, and addons and has not been a not-for-profit endeavor. You said it is not solely aimed at me which suggests it is partially aimed at me. I never knew that was OR's stance.
    I'm not a part of Transparent Tech and don't speak officially for them or Open-Realty so I can't speak as to their profit situation. Yes, they are a business trying to make money, and trying to make ends meet in this economy. While they make money and profit on various hosting/licensing/services/addons etc they also LOSE money on Open-Realty. Yes, it was partially aimed at you but I didn't mean it as a direct personal attack on you. Just a general, casual observation that upsets me primarily for the reason below.

    Quote Originally Posted by kpearson View Post
    I haven't contributed monetarily to OR simply because at the end of the month, I'm still short and have been for years. I'm not wealthy and don't see it in my near future. Any big software company (or any company for that matter) will tell you, if they are being true to themselves, that the end user and third party developers have contributed to their success.
    Yes, I completely understand being short at the end of the month. As a guy who is struggling to keep his house out of foreclosure and having to have his family move to some rental, away from their friends, schools and employers I totally understand. However, I have, and continue to contribute monetarily, with forum support and code contributions to Open-Realty. The way I figure it is that if you make $100 that you wouldn't have otherwise made thanks to Open-Realty... then even a 5% - 10% contribution of that shouldn't hurt you since you wouldn't have had that money without Open-Realty.

    Quote Originally Posted by kpearson View Post
    Take Google for instance....how much money does OR send to Google for using their API? Are a percentage of OR's profits given to Google because of the transparent maps income? Would Google be a success if nobody used it or contributed thoughts and ideas to the developers. How much have you developed Google or Apache? Is that getting something for nothing?
    I'm sorry but you're generalizing the comparison way too much between Open-Realty and Google. Google is a search engine company whose profit comes, almost exclusively, through search revenue. By providing the Google Maps API (And other API's) it allows people (like me) to develop software that uses THEIR services in my application. This places THEIR advertising in MY application and thus, they make money and profit through my application. So, YES, Google is receiving profits thanks to TransparentMaps, as well as every one of the 10's of thousands of applications using their API's. Furthermore, Google did not have to spend any money on development of TransparentMaps, or any of the other 10's of thousands of applications using their API's that they provide for free.

    Honestly, if EVERY person that is using Open-Realty donated just $0.25 to Open-Realty I am pretty sure that this whole situation wouldn't have happened. Sadly though, despite some people making thousands of dollars a month in part thanks to their Open-Realty site, Open-Realty hasn't seen hardly any donations.

    Quote Originally Posted by kpearson View Post
    If folks have to write their own functions for functions that already exist in OR, isn't that considered excessive and unneeded code? Good coding is less coding. To say someone doesn't have skill because they use functions from OR is quite a statement. If I go to install a stereo in my truck, I use the existing wiring instead of having to rewire the whole electrical portion when the wires are already there. No sense in reinventing the wheel. My addons use very much of my own code and rely on the OR code and functions also.
    I agree that good coding is less coding, however in most of the add-ons I see I only see people copying Open-Realty code and functions to do something Open-Realty already does. For example, you can use Open-Realty's function for listing field values to get the value of a specified listing field for a specified listing ID, however I frequently see people either copying the existing function into their own add-ons, or writing a bunch of SQL queries to accomplish the same thing. There is no reason you can't rely on Open-Realty's code and functions. In my opinion this will actually be better once the functions are documented. Most of the average add-on developers don't seem to understand, or take the time to look through all the source code to see what existing functions they can utilize for their purpose. Having this documented should actually help this situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by kpearson View Post
    I don't think it is productive to take that stance, but it isn't my baby. I'm not telling anyone to change anything. I hope the best for OR. If it was my baby, I would have made sure the API's were ready for third party developers at the time of the release rather than leaving them and their clients (which are OR end users) in the dark about what to do.
    I agree and it would have been ideal to have those documented before the release. However, knowing there were going to be a lot of growing pains it makes sense to get it out there for people to play with, get used to and get over the closed source-ness of it. I don't really like the whole closed-ness of it now but I do totally understand and feel Transparent Tech's pain and will support Open-Realty pretty much whatever the direction is that it goes.
    Open-Realty 2 Documentation

    ~The Difference Between an ORDEAL and an ADVENTURE is ATTITUDE~

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Mick View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean by that. "Free Enterprise" is by definition a business run for profit where its success depends on the demand for their product or service and without government intrusion. I'm not sure if you mean that Transparent Tech shouldn't be allowed to profit? Or perhaps they're profiting too much? (Which I can almost assure you isn't the case).
    Why would I say that? Simply stating this country runs on free enterprise does not imply anything about how TT should profit. Of course they should profit as much as they possibly can just like anyone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mick View Post
    The way I figure it is that if you make $100 that you wouldn't have otherwise made thanks to Open-Realty... then even a 5% - 10% contribution of that shouldn't hurt you since you wouldn't have had that money without Open-Realty.
    What if I made aftermarket Dodge truck parts? Should I then offer 10% of my profits to Dodge because their existance made it possible for me to make money? When I had to have a bedliner and nerf bars, Dodge referred me to aftermarket manufacturers that were not affiliated with Dodge and did not pay Dodge for their referral. Dodge simply wanted a satisfied customer with different options. It didn't hurt them. It helped them that those options were available. Had they not been available for Dodge, I would have gone to Chevy.

    I thought that the available third party addons made OR more appealing to many people trying to make a decision whether or not to use OR. I have had folks choose Open Realty simply because my addon was an available option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mick View Post
    I'm sorry but you're generalizing the comparison way too much between Open-Realty and Google. Google is a search engine company whose profit comes, almost exclusively, through search revenue. By providing the Google Maps API (And other API's) it allows people (like me) to develop software that uses THEIR services in my application. This places THEIR advertising in MY application and thus, they make money and profit through my application. So, YES, Google is receiving profits thanks to TransparentMaps, as well as every one of the 10's of thousands of applications using their API's. Furthermore, Google did not have to spend any money on development of TransparentMaps, or any of the other 10's of thousands of applications using their API's that they provide for free.
    Generalizing the comparison? So, when you do it, you're contributing but when I do it, I'm not. My addon is designed for Open Realty and can only be used in Open Realty. My website that sells the addon advertises for Open Realty and has the Transparent Tech banner on it. My search engine results have Open Realty in the name. My addon license says thanks to Open Realty. My addon is not a stand alone program. It depends on OR and PayPal to work. PayPal is appreciative because it uses their product and therefore gets more folks to them. Then I'm told by this community that I'm getting something for nothing after many, many hours and months of working on it and supporting it because I don't contribute $$ or code to OR. That's not right. That's hypocrisy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mick View Post
    I agree and it would have been ideal to have those documented before the release. However, knowing there were going to be a lot of growing pains it makes sense to get it out there for people to play with, get used to and get over the closed source-ness of it. I don't really like the whole closed-ness of it now but I do totally understand and feel Transparent Tech's pain and will support Open-Realty pretty much whatever the direction is that it goes.
    Most developers call that beta testing and let folks know it is beta as well as allow developers to know what steps will need to be taken to be ready for the final release.

    Like I said before, I appreciate OR. What I don't like is to be thrown in as being drunk on free beer or implied that I don't contribute or that I am less than a skilled developer because I prefer to see the code or at least have good documentation of how to fix my broken addons after spending a lot of time on them. I've waited to do updates and improvements on my addons while waiting to see the new version that I didn't know would no longer be open-source. Basically, they are at the very least temporarily shut out from the new version. I don't know what code has changed that has caused it to break. I would think that would aggravate just about anybody.

    You would feel the same if Google suddenly changed their map API but wouldn't tell you how to fix it and implied you were just getting something for nothing anyway and you really don't matter if you don't send money.

    I would bet that you had to change code in your addons for the new version, but knew what changes had to be made.
    KP

    You can put your boots in the oven, but it don't make 'em biscuits!


  8. #8
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    the_sandking is offline hadron remnant - Moderation Fachmann
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    Default Re: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

    /gets popcorn
    "Much of what looks like rudeness in hacker circles is not intended to give offense. Rather, it's the product of the direct, cut-through-the-BS communications style that is natural to people who are more concerned about solving problems than making others feel warm and fuzzy."

    "We gotta' go to the crappy town where I'm a hero!"
    -Hoban 'Wash' Washburne 2485-2519


    "When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front-row seat.."
    -George Carlin 1937-2008

    New to Open-Realty® and need help? Check the:
    -OR DOCUMENTATION -

    Important: Read this at least once in your lifetime
    How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

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    Default Re: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

    Ken,

    I would have loved to have a fully documented API ready at release, we also have about 100 other features on the todo list most of which I wish we had done already. As I have said I am working on some better docs for the addon developers to help you guys out. In the meantime, if you are have trouble upgrading an addon to work with 3.0 send me a PM and let me know and I will be more then happy to assist you. I have always had a open door policy when it comes to addon developers, if you need help just ask.

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    Default Re: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

    Great! Thanks, Ryan. I appreciate that!
    KP

    You can put your boots in the oven, but it don't make 'em biscuits!


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