To the developers who help close bugs and develop their own addons: What brought you to Vanilla, and what motivates your open source contributions?
We met Vanilla due to another developer's decision. We needed a forum and an e-commerce platform, and all the options knew were limited and kind of "crappy" (curiously, they still are, there aren't many valid products in both fields). Since I was not supposed to write even one line of code, I let the developer choose the platforms, and he chose Vanilla. About three weeks into the job, he literally dropped the ball and I picked it up. I'm now the lead developer on everything related to Garden/Vanilla and I developed every single custom feature for our site by myself. By the way, there's a good chance that we will meet in person.
It all started scratching my own itch. Logger and Cron were my first plugins, and were meant to cover gaps that are critical for us. Then I started working on other features and, since it's quite easy to use Garden, I played around. For a short period I developed some commercial plugins, but they didn't take off, so I gave them away for free (better shared than abandoned). Apart from that, even though I'm not the most frequent visitor on the community, I to share the knowledge I have, in the hope that it might benefit junior developers in avoiding the same mistakes I made in the past (mentoring has always been a big part of my job, unfortunately I don't have many chances to do it in my current position).
My shop | About Me
About 4 other forum software brought me to Vanilla after concluding they sucked....
I was immediately drawn to the code and even though I understood very little of it at the the time, I was able to learn as I went along and suddenly one day it started to make sense more and more allowing for my own creating of themes and add ons .
My motivation to contribute, I just want to share something that can be useful to someone as it is for me. I like the idea that someone else can modify it and make it better or simply make it work for them.
I am now an addict and will be seeking professional help at the VAA (Vanilla addicts anonymous)....
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I came to Vanilla because my existing online community was looking for a better forum solution than phpBB. The old dev mentioned really liking Vanilla, so we booted that up. The design was... refreshing.
Then I needed to make some new pages. I started tinkering with some basic plugins to add these features. Whenever I encountered an issue, I searched these forums and asked questions. Good vibes happened.
Basically, this is a really rewarding environment for me since I get to learn and help other people that are learning too.
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I first went the to vanilla 1 site, because I was part of another community, where the owner is change averse, as is using really old software. I didn't have influence over that, but at the time I really liked the concept of Vanilla 1 even though it wasn't as well designed as Vanilla 2.
There was a video/intro on the splash page, and I think that was a major draw becuase it explained the concept quickly. It was also that you knew who the team was, basically Mark.
Since then I have used 2 with clients becuase it it very adaptable to their needs, and very much brand-able.
I like helping were I can, especially it is a reasonable question, as I either have the answer or I think I can navigate the core bit easier than a newcomer. Just basically enjoy it.
Addon have been a mixture of paid for/sponsor and the occasional gift. I just enjoy it, it is generally a nice framework to develop on.
Reporting issues, is about helping my interest as well as everyone else.
grep is your friend.
Some friends started a forum They told me it was vanilla. They had things they wanted changed and so did I. So I came to this forum and searched for answers and looked at the documentation. A few people answered questions, many questions remained unresolved, when I joined.
Since I don't have a day job, I figured I'd try to learn Vanilla and try to answer questions as well. I created a forum on my local server, and tried to answer questions posed, at least to myself. If I had a solution i posted it.
That was phase 1 - learning vanilla and trying to help others.
Phase 2 - was creating plugins for the community, just because I wanted to and as a learning experience.
Phase 3 - I still like to help the community, but my main hope is to receive donations by creating plugins that are freely available that may take a few days to weeks to develop. In hopes that people see the value of freely available plugins and understand that it might be 120 hours of work to create, and in turn they might decide to send a donation, if they found the plugin helpful. Maybe they could skip buying a coffee or a beer for a few days and instead use that money to send a donation. A few people have, not as many people as I had hoped.
So, in essence an open source community helps the community, but sometimes the community might consider paying back.
And that is my reason for continuing - hopes of getting donations to support my meager income.
but that may come to a close, when my internet bill comes up and donations do not pay for the bill and enable me to continue without going into the red. So thats why I squeak for donations
Personally, I think its better for community if a 100 people send $10 out of kindness, then somebody with deep pockets paying a $1000 for the same thing but not open-sourced.
I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.
Thanks for all that you folks do. I hope you can appreciate the amount of joy you bring to many, many people.
Thumbs Up Fellows!
I had a lot of fun in a community based on phpBB and ever since they went commercial (six years ago or something like that) I was thinking of copying that: build a forum centric community (I'll never do that but I will always think about it). I read a lot of news feeds and so I've came across a lot CMS/CMF/Forum/Social Network script. I'm no software developer so whenever I've installed some script, I've taken a look at how hard it would be to extend it myself. I was always looking for some satisfying solution and was never glad with what I've found.
One and half a year ago I've came across Vanilla at opensourcecms.com - don't know why I haven't seen it earlier...
I was excited to find a forum that is based on a framework which has solely been built to be the foundation for a forum. That made perfectly sense to me. And indeed, when I looked at the source of Vanilla, I could read and - even more important - understand it! That was great between understanding and "speaking" there is only a small step. At least a manageable step
Don't know... You are giving us access to a great product under a certain condition (license) and I just follow that example. If it would be common to sell plugins for $5, I guess I would also sell them...
My motivation is, that I like finding solutions and it makes me boast of proud that I could have helped making your great product even better.
To me, motivation of open source contributions is not about money it is more about satisfaction of solving a problem for self or for others.
I don't really remember why I chose Vanilla because I did so about 8 years ago. It was probably the combination of open source and extensibility that did it.
My contributions are for things that I want fixed or added for my own sites. I can fix them myself of course, but then I'd have to deal with the fixes getting blown away when I want to upgrade. Helping others is a nice bonus, but I've got enough to do that "fixing bugs for PHP forum software" is not something I'd do unless I got something out of it.