******* I am not trying to teach you people how to live your life -just trying to make the point.
All my experience with Magento/Varien is that i
- installed the software (without any problems, which is already a good sign), went through settings and understood about 60-70% of functionality
- looked through Varien’s portfolio (good stuff - the company has potential)
- made one proposal regarding Universal 3rd party merchant affiliate feed parser
- tried to find if there are any plans to add functionality allowing to sell digital content and couldn’t find anything about it
Magento - Open Source eCommerce Evolved
It is really nice that someone finally decided to do something in this niche. Anything that could allow a non-programmer to add /upgrade store’s functionality without making manual changes to the system’s core by trying to follow “upgrade” instructions “open file ....find line 20432 , add ..., save, open file..” (hello osCommerce!) is going to be a big step forward…
- Adding Wiki will definitely help to support this application.
- Adding blog is a nice way of showing that the development team is still alive.
What else evolved?
Despite all your good intentions and positive first impression from application, reading your “big plans”, i already see that the project already contracted “monstrosity” virus, which is just a little annoying now, but has all potential to evolve into something more problematic.
What is Varien’s business approach for Magento? How do you make money?
Choosing Open source model is nice move in terms of application’s availability, which greatly helps to company’s positioning on the market. We’re all know that it is not enough for project’s success: things like application support and commitment are crucial. What makes you think that in 1-3 years you will have the same enthusiasm and passion as right now?
Well, your roadmap provides some answers:
“...priorities can change and features may be moved to later releases”
“ ... we advise you to not make any serious business decisions”
For Magento users (store owners, solution providers, project managers, entrepreneurs) eCommerce is about business decisions, money, time and commitment to their customers.
“We are committed to providing the best eCommerce solution possible, and this roadmap is intended to keep our users up-to-date on where Magento is and where it’s going. This commitment to transparency extends to any changes we may have to make to the roadmap”
How is it even possible to talk about “the best eCommerce solution possible”, when Magento’s developers cannot commit to anything specific
It seems like Varien has a limited (possibly incorrect) understanding of transparency .
- making public all development-related costs?
- being specific about development-related schedules?
- “success rate” of being able to keep promises?
1. To stop development of all new features.
2. To go back to what has been released and remove all “extra” functionality that could be removed. Only a “bare minimum” should be left - something that no store could function without. It must be easy to install, easy to configure and easy to understand.
3. To establish business relation with community: Invest into yourself first (as a company) before trying to invest into others and do what you do the best: write software that works and enables business. So please
- 3.1 Remove current roadmap and this forum ("Feature Requests"). Both things are useless “As-Is”
- 3.2 Enhance Magento community site by adding the following functionality
- 3.2.1 Implement something like a “Feature Request Board”, allowing users to post their functionality proposal requests (including description of functionality and the price, which this user is comfortable to pay to have this functionality to be developed: $1, $10 , $300 $whatever.) All users in need of this functionality will be welcome to support this request by placing the amount they’re personally comfortable to contribute for development. No money - no vote. Nobody uses eCommerce application for fun. People use it as a tool to make money and they will be glad to pay money for functionality that will make them money. Nothing could be as objective as an offer based on free will. Polls, number of beggars, marketing research - this is all waste of time. “Affordability” and communal involvement - this is what differs open source development from everything else.
The board should notify Varien’s sales representative when proposal gets certain # of offers, or when the total amount of offers exceeds $xxx. Sales rep should reply by posting an official estimate of development costs / time. When the total amount of offers equals or exceeds estimated costs, the board submits an invitation to all participating users to pay the amount they proposed. When the full amount has been collected, the project manager posts development schedule and the work starts. Price, time, and success rate - this is the transparency i am interested in.