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The ongoing case for open source & a story

LincLinc Detroit Admin

As the Vanilla team continues to expand, open source education is an ongoing challenge. Look at things from the sales team perspective: They are incentivized by how many folks they are able to bring onboard the cloud product each month, full stop. Every sale they can't close because someone wants "free" open source instead hurts their bottom line. Every phone call and email spent explaining to clients the value of cloud over open source is time lost to work on other deals. We have an incredible upsell (if you are a company with 1 or more full time developers, self-hosting a forum is fiscal madness compared against our pricing), so this is purely an educational issue from my perspective, but it's a challenge nonetheless.

From the dev, ops, and support perspectives, there are two sides to the coin. The negative parts are the dev time we spend supporting all the other environments we don't use, the issues created when we try to support use cases we aren't interested in as a company, or worse. Earlier this week, we had a client experience some downtime, and a significant factor was a change made to accommodate open source requests.

Given all these challenges, it's especially helpful when there are bright, bold examples we can point to and say triumphantly, SEE? This is why open source rules. This is why it is a competitive advantage.

Yesterday, I was looking at a support request that said GIFs stopped animating when uploaded with the new editor. I ultimately decided to decline to fix it as a support request and file it on GitHub as an issue for a future release. I hate doing this sort of thing, but sometimes you need to pick what to focus on, and animated GIFs not working isn't an issue that demands an immediate fix. There's only so much I can fit in my head in a week and that didn't make the cut.

So, I filed the ticket and removed it from my to-do list. This morning I see this in my inbox: https://github.com/vanilla/vanilla/pull/2878

I cannot understate what a giant, neon, flashing billboard for the value of open source it is when an issue like this gets fixed out of the blue. That got broadcast to the rest of the staff immediately, and now we get to go back to the client and say the patch is being deployed promptly.

Big thanks to everyone who continues to contribute pull requests. It really does make a big difference.


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    JulieJulie lincoln@vanillaforums.com Vanilla Staff

    As someone who spends 99.9% of her time dealing with clients and other hosted "stuff", I rarely have much of a chance to drop in and see what's up with the open source community. However, I just wanted to add on to @Linc's post and emphasize that he's absolutely right. This quick fix by @Bleistivt just helped me to totally make a client's day. I'd just informed him that he'd have to wait for a future release and then Linc told me it was fixed.

    Then I convinced him to push to our public clusters. ;)

    So thank you to all of you for your ongoing efforts. Please know they do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. You folks rock. :pleased:

    Customer Success Manager at Vanilla Forums

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