[wp-hackers] Premium plugin protection

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at newclarity.net
Sun Dec 12 05:25:25 UTC 2010

On Dec 11, 2010, at 11:14 PM, Vid Luther wrote:
> - - Very few people, including lawyers understand the GPL or any software
> license. In the end most people care about enforceability of a license,
> law, and how effective it's going to be in getting the results you want.

So true...

> - - I don't think the "approval" matters as much for commercial plugins,
> you can't get backupbuddy, or gravityforms from .org/extend .. yet they
> are fairly well known plugins...

So if someone were to write a plugin but host it themselves, anything goes (as long as it's GPL?)

> - - I think the guidelines to be listed on .org are fairly clear, must
> pass a coding standard..

Do you mean these? http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/about/  (I googled for "guidelines for submission to WordPress plugin directory" and it took me a while to find that as it was not linked directly for that search.)

I don't see anything there that says a plugin cannot interact with services where the developer choses to architect some of the functionality on the server.  I'm not saying I'm against such a prohibition (nor for it per se) just that I don't see where it's written as an official statement that is is "Wrong(tm)."

> - - the community as a whole works fairly well, in recommending for a
> specific plugin, but there's always the issue of finding an influential
> user who will recommend it.. etc etc.. and then you go back to the
> normal way of figuring out how any open source project gets traction.

I wasn't asking about recommendation, I was asking about what in essence would be demonization by influentials for someone doing something Bad(tm) and being able to know objectively what that would be in advance  The question wasn't concerned about reactive approvals but instead proactive attacks.

> - - Which goes back to my earlier recommendation, of solve a problem no
> one has, or solve it in a fashion no one has.. aka. build something
> people want, and get it into their hands as quickly as possible.

True, build something people want and they will reward you with usage. But not necessarily a viable business.  With respect to WordPress plugins there are over 10k plugins in the repository but only 4 vendors that appear to have a viable business that we can name.  Just sayin...

Anyway, back to the thesis: Is it wrong to architect a plugin that hosts some of its code on the server? And if so, why is there nothing official written to that effect? Or is it just one man's opinion?

(Mea culpa if something has been written and I haven't been able to find it, but then I would suggest maybe it could be more prominent?)


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