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AlexC_
September 7th, 2006, 11:53 AM
Hey,

Past 4-5 months I've been working hard in my spare time to create a PHP Content Management System ( Think Mambo, but easier and better hehe ;) ) - it would be great if I could get something back from it and it would help me a lot.

I just can't see how I can keep it Opensource and Sell it, because if it's Opensource and people can freely ( as in speach ) edit/modify/distrubute the code as they wish - then I could only have one sale and the person who brought it could give it to others for free ( price/speach ).

Is there a license that means I can keep it OpenSource but they _cant_ resitrubite it, EG they can edit the code as much as they want for them selves, help find bugs and fix them and tell me about them etc - BUT they can not re-distrubte it.

Gah I'm confused =(

jimcooncat
September 7th, 2006, 12:09 PM
There's a lot of different license types out there -- pick one or make your own.

I know as a user I wouldn't have much motivation to contribute bug reports or workarounds if redistribution is restricted. You either have a community project, or you don't.

You could also combine your system with a hosting service, and sell that as a package. Most people don't want to host stuff themselves. Then releasing the code becomes a separate issue that doesn't impact your bottom line so much.

frup
September 7th, 2006, 12:11 PM
and how do you expect people not to edit the code even if you told them they wern't allowed to with php? its not like its binary... also why do you think people would buy yours as opposed to using the other which are free... why not try get donations and then offer custom add ons for $$$...?

AlexC_
September 7th, 2006, 12:13 PM
I know as a user I wouldn't have much motivation to contribute bug reports or workarounds if redistribution is restricted.

I know and I don't really want to put restrictions on users - but how else could I sell it? Like I said I could get one person buying it and he redistrubites it for free ( price ) to everyone else. That means I would have lost out.


You could also combine your system with a hosting service,
I was also thinking about this! Though setting up a Hosting Company to go with it would be tricky - But if I can do it, then the CMS would be 100% free ( Price/Speach ) and you only pay for hosting.

AlexC_
September 7th, 2006, 12:14 PM
and how do you expect people not to edit the code even if you told them they wern't allowed to with php?

Oh no, They can edit it as much as they want - Just I was thinking they couldn't redistrubte it. Maybe that's a bad Idea.


why not try get donations and then offer custom add ons for $$$...?
I could do I guess

Vidar
September 7th, 2006, 12:28 PM
Hey,

Past 4-5 months I've been working hard in my spare time to create a PHP Content Management System ( Think Mambo, but easier and better hehe ;) ) - it would be great if I could get something back from it and it would help me a lot.

I just can't see how I can keep it Opensource and Sell it, because if it's Opensource and people can freely ( as in speach ) edit/modify/distrubute the code as they wish - then I could only have one sale and the person who brought it could give it to others for free ( price/speach ).

Is there a license that means I can keep it OpenSource but they _cant_ resitrubite it, EG they can edit the code as much as they want for them selves, help find bugs and fix them and tell me about them etc - BUT they can not re-distrubte it.

Gah I'm confused =(

Easy, you charge for support and custom features. Add donations to that and it can get big, quickly. :)

Paid support is often a critical feature for many companys looking into these kind of projects.

DoctorMO
September 7th, 2006, 12:32 PM
It's a bad idea, if your using just 1 component from php that is GPL your new lience would be incompatable with the GPL and you wouldn't be able to sell it to anyone with violation.

You best option is to gain money from services, you know your code best and companies are always going to want you to install it on some new hardware or set up a website they can't be bothered to do.

Don't worry about people that use it for free either, because your frowning on people doing the exact same thing you are. e.g. using Free and Open Source software without paying the developer.

If your software is good and people use it for free, I guarentee that someone will pay you a lot of money to install it, configure it, manage it or create some such extra widgety thingy. how do you think RMS survived all those years sleeping in his office?

AlexC_
September 7th, 2006, 12:34 PM
Vidar, So say a user downloads my CMS - but there is a module that doesn't exist which they want, I could charge them the service of me making that custom Module for them?

That's probably a better idea actually.

For hosting, do you think I would be better of buying a Reseller Account or actualy buy a Server in a Data Center my self?

pufuwozu
September 7th, 2006, 12:51 PM
It's a bad idea, if your using just 1 component from php that is GPL your new lience would be incompatable with the GPL and you wouldn't be able to sell it to anyone with violation.

That is completely wrong. You CAN sell GPL software.

Here's a quote taken straight from http://gnu.org/:


Since free software is not a matter of price, a low price isn't more free, or closer to free. So if you are redistributing copies of free software, you might as well charge a substantial fee and make some money. Redistributing free software is a good and legitimate activity; if you do it, you might as well make a profit from it.

If you really want to sell free (sometimes confused with open source) software then please have a read of this:

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html

Tomosaur
September 7th, 2006, 12:54 PM
Yeah, the best idea would be to charge for specific customisations and support. Some also charge for the user manual.

AlexC_
September 7th, 2006, 12:57 PM
If your software is good and people use it for free, I guarentee that someone will pay you a lot of money to install it, configure it, manage it or create some such extra widgety thingy. how do you think RMS survived all those years sleeping in his office?
But it's so damm easy to install and setup - and if people want help I have a forum to, and it will be heavily documented. IT's not like they will need hlep Configuring Sound or getting it to connect to the internet like an OS - There really isn't _much_ to have support for.


If you really want to sell free (sometimes confused with open source) software then please have a read of this:

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html

Yeah I read that before posting this.

mehaga
September 7th, 2006, 02:21 PM
I've used linux for couple of years now, almost exclusively (used xp just for games). I developed a few applications with qt, played with gtk and some other stuff...
Recently I was interviewed for a job, in a company that was looking for a .net developer. My qt experience wasn't very interesting to them. I said I could easly get used to .net, and since only few people applied for the job, they took me. That is when/why i unistalled ubuntu.

I wanted to tell that little story because it made me come to a conclusion that the main reason linux is not widely used is because people and companies who make living from software developement in any way, can't really make it if they do it with linux.

It is ok to have a right to open source or give away something you coded. But, if you want to get paid for your hard work, it will be nearly impossible if you code for linux.

DoctorMO
September 7th, 2006, 03:19 PM
I seem to make enough money developing perl, I think your completly wrong about that.


That is completely wrong. You CAN sell GPL software.

I know you can sell GPL software, what you can't do is link in GPL software with non GPL software which prevents the buyer from having the 4 freedoms. erg violation. nothing to do with price.

AlexC_
September 7th, 2006, 03:27 PM
It is ok to have a right to open source or give away something you coded. But, if you want to get paid for your hard work, it will be nearly impossible if you code for linux.

Not at all. Just because your coding for Linux does NOT mean it has to be open source. You could do exactly the same as most applications on Windows or Mac and just not release the source code and sell it - Linux does not mean you have to be open source,

Anyway my CMS will be able to run on any OS that can use PHP/MySQL - so it will make no difference.

mehaga
September 7th, 2006, 05:06 PM
Not at all. Just because your coding for Linux does NOT mean it has to be open source. You could do exactly the same as most applications on Windows or Mac and just not release the source code and sell it - Linux does not mean you have to be open source,

Anyway my CMS will be able to run on any OS that can use PHP/MySQL - so it will make no difference.

I don't remember saying it has to be open source or free.

You CAN sell software developed for linux, or cross-platform software, and it does not have to be open source, we agree on that. But, you'll meet at least two problems:

1. If you want to work for a software company you'll have trouble finding one looking for linux developes,

2. If you are developing a software outside a company, you'll have trouble findig customers for it.

Bottom line is, in practice, there is a very small market for linux software, compared to windows or mac. That is why there aren't many companies doing linux software. As an idividual, you have to be doing something else for a living, working on your SW in your spare time, make it good enough to sell, find customers for it...

It is not impossible to sell linux software and you are in no way obliged to release the source or give it for free, but you have to be either a genius or extremely lucky to sell it.

Don't take me wrong, I love linux. But I want to code for living, and I didn't find a way to achieve that with linux.

Try selling a desktop application, if selling a CMS is not hard enough for you ;)

AlexC_
September 7th, 2006, 05:24 PM
How about Luxology Modo ( When released for Linux ), or Autodesk Maya, or Softimage XSI? These are all HUGE companies in the CG industry, all of these have Linux versions. People code these applications for a Living and have most probably got a dedicated Linux team, so you can code for a living while coding for Linux.

Also I'm pretty sure Adobe Photoshop would get a lot more sales if it was coded for Linux, that's another example of Coding for a Living while coding for Linux.

Anyway this is kinda drifiting off topic.


2. If you are developing a software outside a company, you'll have trouble findig customers for it.

I don't see how that is any different to Windows or Mac?

Edit; AFAIK Canonical hires coders to help code Ubuntu - There are plenty of ways you can code for a living, and code for Linux.

kripkenstein
September 7th, 2006, 05:29 PM
1. Starting a hosting company - no easy task. I know people in that business, it is not simple to make a profit. Since anyone from anywhere in the world can set up a hosting company, competition is cutthroat. I would reconsider this.

2. As for making money off of Open-Source software: sure, you can't make much money off of selling copies, but the benefits are larger than the costs, I think. Among other things, you can: charge people for support and/or consultation; set up forums and such on the official website for your product, and make some money off of (minor, non-annoying) ads; accept donations; sell copies burned on CDs along with a manual (yes, people will pay for the convenience of nicely-printed documentation and a burned, official CD). I am sure I'm missing many more.

AlexC_
September 7th, 2006, 05:34 PM
Kripenstein, I can't really put it on CD.... well I could, but it wouldn't be worth it. If people havn't got the internet to download my CMS, there is no point in them having it as it's entirly web based and its not as if they have to download a 600MB ISO file then burn it .... at the moment it's only 2-3MB!

The hosting, yeah I know every man and his dog can own a hosting company.Why did people Invent Resller Accounts? The internet is packed with hosting companies now that all do the same.

jimcooncat
September 8th, 2006, 03:49 AM
About my hosting company suggestion: I rent a UML based space on the web, and run dapper on it. Apache is easy to split up into separate domains. Get a domain for yourself your customers can use, and a dns provider (like zoneedit.com) to simply manage the dns. Run firehol to set restrictions, and monit to alert you if something comes up. Set up ssh from your home machine, and download your logs and backups with a cron job.

I do pretty much the same thing for my boss's company, only I just do it for them and not clients as yet. I'd put a wecome site on another host (free) that would inform your guests of downtime and other administrative stuff. Register an IRC channel on freenode, and be on it as much as you can.

Then you can rent out your software as you see fit. Starting with a base cost of $25 a month or so. About the cheapest business I've seen to run (and I deal with a lot of startups), getting the word out would be the most time consuming and/or expensive.

Paul Hawken says in his book, How to Grow a Business, "Be the most complete." One way is to provide your software in as many methods possible. There are lots of ways to distribute nowadays, especially since Ubuntu is so very simple to install. Provide the whole package -- OS included. A little service over Gaim, and if your stuff's good, techs at small businesses like mine will spread the word among themselves.

Vmware images with a link to thier player; Qemu images, Live CD's. Even whole computers with a network jack -- that would make a great presentation.

A few vnc'd user machines at a booth all showing the same browser on your machine (with DHCP and vncserver running on :0), and plug your whizbang into the switch. Show them how easy your stuff is to configure and do what they want.

Show the ones really interested how to minimize the VNC window, fire up firefox, and have them configure their own account and play with it.

Market to guys like me -- busy entrepeneurs with few employees. You can reach us best with a personalized fax to our small business posted on our websites. Start local and show where you're from pominently. I'd pay attention a lot more to someone from Maine than Georgia because I like supporting my close non-competing startups.

Point me to your demo and if I like it, I'll show it to the boss. If the boss likes it, he has the choice of supporting you or having me clone it, which will cost him $500 of time I don't have.

Start a business -- on Ubuntu!

jimcooncat
September 8th, 2006, 03:59 AM
[deleted] Ooops, got a little carried away!

curuxz
September 8th, 2006, 05:44 AM
Can we actauly see some screenshots of this new cms system or a demo, as someone who uses/codes cms systems everyday I would love to see something new. Ill also give you a freindly warning that if your hoping to sell a CMS it sure as hell better beat the opensource/free ones like the soon to be released Joomla 1.5 based on AJAX else your trying to sell something inferior which no one, execpt maybe windows users who do this for a past time, would be stupid enough to buy.

AlexC_
September 8th, 2006, 09:35 AM
curuxz, that was my only concern - other big OpenSource CMS's such as Mambo, Drupal and Joomla. But I think now I will keep my CMS 100% GPL and it will be free ( Price/Speach ) - I will offer services like others have suggested.

jimcooncat and curuxz - I could probably show you a demo in about 1-2 weeks, I'm doing some big changes to it at the moment and I'd like to get them working good first =) - but if you _reall_ want to see a demo now, just PM me


Provide the whole package -- OS included. A little service over Gaim, and if your stuff's good, techs at small businesses like mine will spread the word among themselves.
How do you mean by this? you want me to Bundle Ubuntu along with my CMS?:confused:

jimcooncat
September 9th, 2006, 01:43 PM
How do you mean by this? you want me to Bundle Ubuntu along with my CMS?:confused:

Yep, that's exactly what I'm suggesting. Easy for the customer, and easy for you to support since you have a default tested environment for your software to run in.

Check out what they're doing at RPath (http://www.rpath.com/corp/), Zimbra (http://www.zimbra.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2058), VMWare (http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/appliances/directory/cat/51/date+desc), OSZoo (http://www.oszoo.org/wiki/index.php/Category:Operating_System_Images)!

My ulterior motive is to sneak Ubuntu into small business, of course. ;)

AlexC_
September 9th, 2006, 04:35 PM
Hum, my CMS is to create Web Sites - like Mambo/Drupal/Joomla etc, so it can run on any OS that can run PHP/MySQL. You don't actually install it on the system like say installing GAIM or any other application.

jimcooncat
September 10th, 2006, 03:05 AM
That's fine if you're going to limit your market to people who have or can install apache, php, mysql, and maybe smtp. I've done several installations of these myself, and though they're getting simpler, I still don't have any fun doing it, and it costs me time.

Or use a hosting service with these available, as most are.

I'm afraid I misunderstood -- you're using CMS to mean Content Management, not Customer Management. Sorry about that. I was advocating the whole-OS thing because I thought you would have customer data in the database, which I wouldn't trust to a third party host.