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Abandoned modifications support

Started by jsx, November 27, 2021, 05:16:00 AM

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jsx

Hi,

There are some nice mods for SMF 2.0.x, but some mods are no longer supported by the author because the author is no longer active on support. Examples of modifications: Say Thanks, @mention members - It's good that @GL700Wing released some fixes to the @mention members mod in the support topic, thanks to her fixes this mod works fine. Unfortunately, no one can update a mod with these patches and add a fixed package because the mod belongs to a different developer. Team SMF, have you ever thought about it? Is there a law at all that allows another developer to take over modifications to fix bugs or an update to SMF 2.1? I mean that if a mod author abandons mod support and abandons support activity, there should be some right that another SMF developer may be allowed to update that mod.

I don't want you to misunderstand me. SMF 2.1 is the future and it's a pity that many of the cool mods from SMF 2.0.x won't work in SMF 2.1 because they have been abandoned by the authors.

Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

The problem is basically all legalese, we can't just hand over a mod to someone else because we don't own them.
Everything comes down to the licensing of the mods, and as it stands many old mods have issues in this department - either licenses aren't clearly defined, or they are too restrictive to allow someone to simply take over.  If however the license allows for it, I see no reason we'd stop anyone from forking a modification.
A Finnish Project Manager (Support Specialist)
 Happily running multiple SMF 2.x installations.
  Fooling around with i7-10700 @ 2,90GHz-4.80GHz / 16Gb / RTX-2070 Super / 3840x2160 / Win 10 x64


How you can help SMF

"Before you allow people access to your forum, especially in an administrative position, you must be aware that that person can seriously damage your forum. Therefore, you should only allow people that you trust, implicitly, to have such access." -Douglas

jsx

Aleksi,

Thanks for the clarification. For example, this modification Say Thanks has a CC license, and as I understand correctly, someone can modify this modification without the consent of the author of this modification?

Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

A CC-BY or a CC-BY-SA license is perfect for just this, anyone is free to adapt it and release a modified version as long as they retain the same licensing (for -SA) and give appropriate credit to the original author.
A Finnish Project Manager (Support Specialist)
 Happily running multiple SMF 2.x installations.
  Fooling around with i7-10700 @ 2,90GHz-4.80GHz / 16Gb / RTX-2070 Super / 3840x2160 / Win 10 x64


How you can help SMF

"Before you allow people access to your forum, especially in an administrative position, you must be aware that that person can seriously damage your forum. Therefore, you should only allow people that you trust, implicitly, to have such access." -Douglas


Doug Heffernan

Quote from: jsx on November 27, 2021, 05:44:47 AMAleksi,

Thanks for the clarification. For example, this modification Say Thanks has a CC license, and as I understand correctly, someone can modify this modification without the consent of the author of this modification?

It is not only the license issue imo. Other factors are at play too. Developing mods and supporting them is quite time consuming. And it is a thankless job too.

If you check the mods here, in almost all their support topics, you rarely see a thank you post to the author for all the time and hard work that he/she put in. All posts are either asking for more features being added or asking for support. This is a big put off, at least for me that is the case. After all the mods are free. The least one can do is say a simple thank you. Or hit that Like button if you are the strong silent type :D

Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

I have no doubt that is true as well, but as I understood the question was more about the possibilities for someone willing to take over support for a modification, than it was about finding someone willing in the first place.
A Finnish Project Manager (Support Specialist)
 Happily running multiple SMF 2.x installations.
  Fooling around with i7-10700 @ 2,90GHz-4.80GHz / 16Gb / RTX-2070 Super / 3840x2160 / Win 10 x64


How you can help SMF

"Before you allow people access to your forum, especially in an administrative position, you must be aware that that person can seriously damage your forum. Therefore, you should only allow people that you trust, implicitly, to have such access." -Douglas

jsx

Doug Heffernan,

I know this is time consuming and thankless job, but programmers who release their free mods know and accept it. If you want to release a mod for SMF members, you accept it that more people will complain than express gratitude. People all over the world have trouble expressing the word thank you. I know it's annoying to a mod author when he doesn't get the word "thank you", but that's how people are. They are little grateful. I understand, but support is due to mod users, and feature requests are just suggestions and can be pretty good. :)

shadav

also keep in mind that quite a few people are waiting for smf 2.1 to be finalized before updating their mods as they don't wish to deal with keeping up constantly with rc versions
so while there may not be an update yet, doesn't mean that the mod author won't update once 2.1 is finalized

Diego Andrés

I sometimes get bored and work on other stuff until I regain energy/mood to fix/update certain mods.

SMF Tricks - Free & Premium Responsive Themes for SMF.

Suki

Quote from: Doug Heffernan on November 27, 2021, 06:20:12 AM
Quote from: jsx on November 27, 2021, 05:44:47 AMAleksi,

Thanks for the clarification. For example, this modification Say Thanks has a CC license, and as I understand correctly, someone can modify this modification without the consent of the author of this modification?

It is not only the license issue imo. Other factors are at play too. Developing mods and supporting them is quite time consuming. And it is a thankless job too.

If you check the mods here, in almost all their support topics, you rarely see a thank you post to the author for all the time and hard work that he/she put in. All posts are either asking for more features being added or asking for support. This is a big put off, at least for me that is the case. After all the mods are free. The least one can do is say a simple thank you. Or hit that Like button if you are the strong silent type :D


Change the focus then.

I, like many others before and after, started doing mods to help out the community and felt just like you when they were received by a wall of thankless users asking for more and more.

What I did and have worked for me over the years is changing the focus. Instead of focusing on getting recognition/thanks from users for the time you spent doing supporting mods try to focus on learning something new out of the mods you create, even if its something simple like trying a new design pattern or try to use some functional programming instead of procedural or try to use react instead of jquery, etc etc. Can be whatever you want as long as you learn something out of it.

The point is to focus on you and what you can learn, releasing the mod becomes a secondary thing, a side effect of what you already achieved.

This way you don't get down if an user doesn't thank you or if people just wants more stuff from you because you already feel great for learning something new and the whole thankless culture suddenly becomes a lesser issue if not completely gone.

If people want more stuff then you have 2 options:

- Do it at your own pace/rules
- Don't do it.

Remember, when it comes about free mods: YOU are in charge, you decide if you want to do it or not, if you decide to do it then you also get to decide how to do it, want to learn the new shiny stuff in PHP 8.1? add a new feature to your mod that explicitely uses those new features, you will learn about it while working on a good "real life" example (to me the best way for learning something is go and try it yourself) then you can also decide if you want to release the new feature or not, if you do add a note saying this mod now requires PHP 8.1. Done. You don't need to do anything else or defend your decision against anyone.

This is what I've been doing in recent years and so far so good, its not about suddenly not caring anymore. Its more about focus on yourself and what you can learn instead of focusing on pleasing everyone else. This really helps in all aspects, not only on your mental health but also on your coding skills.


As for support, there isn't something 100% bullet proof you can do but what I learned over the years is: less edits === less support questions.
Disclaimer: unless otherwise stated, all my posts are personal and does not represent any views or opinions held by Simple Machines.

Making tough decisions, so you don't have to.

Doug Heffernan

Quote from: Suki on November 29, 2021, 12:32:35 PM
Quote from: Doug Heffernan on November 27, 2021, 06:20:12 AM
Quote from: jsx on November 27, 2021, 05:44:47 AMAleksi,

Thanks for the clarification. For example, this modification Say Thanks has a CC license, and as I understand correctly, someone can modify this modification without the consent of the author of this modification?

It is not only the license issue imo. Other factors are at play too. Developing mods and supporting them is quite time consuming. And it is a thankless job too.

If you check the mods here, in almost all their support topics, you rarely see a thank you post to the author for all the time and hard work that he/she put in. All posts are either asking for more features being added or asking for support. This is a big put off, at least for me that is the case. After all the mods are free. The least one can do is say a simple thank you. Or hit that Like button if you are the strong silent type :D


Change the focus then.

I, like many others before and after, started doing mods to help out the community and felt just like you when they were received by a wall of thankless users asking for more and more.

What I did and have worked for me over the years is changing the focus. Instead of focusing on getting recognition/thanks from users for the time you spent doing supporting mods try to focus on learning something new out of the mods you create, even if its something simple like trying a new design pattern or try to use some functional programming instead of procedural or try to use react instead of jquery, etc etc. Can be whatever you want as long as you learn something out of it.

The point is to focus on you and what you can learn, releasing the mod becomes a secondary thing, a side effect of what you already achieved.

This way you don't get down if an user doesn't thank you or if people just wants more stuff from you because you already feel great for learning something new and the whole thankless culture suddenly becomes a lesser issue if not completely gone.

If people want more stuff then you have 2 options:

- Do it at your own pace/rules
- Don't do it.

Remember, when it comes about free mods: YOU are in charge, you decide if you want to do it or not, if you decide to do it then you also get to decide how to do it, want to learn the new shiny stuff in PHP 8.1? add a new feature to your mod that explicitely uses those new features, you will learn about it while working on a good "real life" example (to me the best way for learning something is go and try it yourself) then you can also decide if you want to release the new feature or not, if you do add a note saying this mod now requires PHP 8.1. Done. You don't need to do anything else or defend your decision against anyone.

This is what I've been doing in recent years and so far so good, its not about suddenly not caring anymore. Its more about focus on yourself and what you can learn instead of focusing on pleasing everyone else. This really helps in all aspects, not only on your mental health but also on your coding skills.


As for support, there isn't something 100% bullet proof you can do but what I learned over the years is: less edits === less support questions.

Thanks for this. Very well said and I agree completely with what you said here. It certainly makes a difference.

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