Funding plugin dev

It might be a good idea to start a fund/get donations to develop some of these plugin ideas. I, for one, would be willing to fund some plugins but I need a repository of ideas that I can look through.

I'd like to see:

  1. plugin desc: what does the new plugin aim to do? The plugin dev or nominator should create this and pitch it to the community.
  2. popularity: how many people want this plugin? A voting or rating system would do the trick.
  3. cost: how much funding is needed? Maybe a progress bar could even show how far we've come along in terms of getting 100% of the amount.
  4. time estimate: how long would the plugin dev take?


  1. Would people send funds to a PayPal account or just pledge the money without paying anything until the 100% mark is reached? If the former, how can this be refunded? Would an expiration date help solve this? For example X amount must be raised by X time. If not, all paid money will be refunded.
  2. Can the developer take donations or charge for the plugin?
  3. Are there minimum or maximum donations?
  4. Could we host this elsewhere? We all know the pains of having to search for plugins here on Elgg or having discussions about them (eg, notifications on topics, not groups)... might another solution be better?

I'd like to see more growth here on Elgg but it's obvious that there aren't enough good devs out there. We support them already by giving them feedback, suggestions, even thanks but sometimes they just don't have the time to give back to the community because they have paid work to do. Might paying them help?

I see a number of existing plugins that are good but could be even better, however, I'm quite sure that the dev can't add features or integrate the plugin better because of lack of time.

Your thoughts?

  • @Yakiv,

    I do not write plugins for a living.. Despite my posts above, I don't even think I will be writing plugins even if they were distributed commercially. I create entire websites with SN components. That's my bread and butter. And that keeps me busy enough. The only commercial I plugin I created was something I thought had a moral value as well as commercial value, namely, a messages interceptor that intercepts messages trapping children into predators traps. Surely enough, a rehabilitation center operator ordered the same plugin and from there a couple more similar websites wanted it.

    Having said that, I think every developer should contribute to the community. But to what level and at what expense is the main question. I don't know how Elgg feel about this, but I would say that Elgg would perhaps prefer that I go developing websites for my clients based on the elgg platform rather than sit here write free plugins.


  • @Carlos - I knew, from other threads, that plugin development was not your bread-and-butter.  No worries.  :-)  ...I was just responding to the basic tenets of what you said, here in this thread.  ...Also, I would say, smart business men always "diversify their investments."  :-)

  • For what it's worth I wasn't suggesting pricing, far from it. I was suggesting a graphic way of putting things to market. Coming from the "buy side" I am suggesting to "buy siders" that we find a way to consolidate ideas, add to them and offer a price we can pay, in an easy to view way, without having to read through the entire ELGG site and chase people around! I am not suggesting it's the only way on doing business and getting work done, of course not, just another way for people trying to pool resources to make an offer to developers. Prices? That's a different subject.



  • @TahoeBilly, it's a smart way, for a group of like-minded people to arrive at some common goals/needs and then try to achieve them. As has already been suggested, with regard to a community like this, people are going in different directions and have different interests.  So, a common pool is not going to work and it will highly disatisfy a whole lot of people.

    Serious plugin developers (who want to earn money from their plugins) create sites, like Elggdev, and try to have a decent, serious business.  Other serious plugin developers, put out really awesome plugins (like ColdTrick is doing) and then offer their services, putting together whole networks for customers. Obviously, their plugins are an excellent demonstration of their real talent. Who can argue with the fact that they really know what they are doing?  Other plugin developers, who can be considered serious, do it out of love for a project and for recognition and they don't want to make a business out of it.  Still yet other plugin developers are lazy and don't want to go to the work to really have a business and they would love for communities to just hand them pools of money.  I think the first two - from a business perspective - are the smartest, if you really have that talent and goal.

  • Yakiv,

    I realize the Elgg core folks are busy and facilitating plugins is not their major concern, I don't think. And what I just realized is kinda funny ( enough I laughed) is that what I am suggesting, is probably a plugin in itself! Ha ha. We could setup a Elgg plugin bizaar somewhere off site, but I think, if the powerz that be would allow, maybe they would provide space here. My thoughts are, Elgg. org would really not be involved other than facilitate space on the is site. It's essentially just a forum. Their is no deal made between and anyone, just a visual space where someone posts "plugin idea #1" etc. If I wanted a plugin I thought might cost $2,000 I still might post my idea and offer $100, because i can raise my "portion" at any time (the old raised bid!). The developers and main sponsors would basically communicated through email, not accept or reject a deal on the site. So it's just a forum to get the ball rolling, so to speak. It could be highly effective. It doesn't garantee anything. I developer could take the 10 deposits and take all year to finish. I'd suggets 1/3rd down and a timeline to complete. Vazco took quite awhile longer than he suggested for my plugin, but it is great and cheap so what can i say!

    The grid idea would be logged in users here enter their name, name the project, outline it briefly, put down their contribution, state terms of payment. Then another can fill in the next field, add comments, agrees with terms, and puts down contribution, etc, etc, maybe others can say they might pay for the plugin later to give the developer a guage on selling through more units later.

    One can go back and cancel his commitment up until the deal is reached. It isn't perfect, but it migh get some great stuff done and actually get some developers paid a little more upfront than they would have.







  • @Yakiv... your comments re Anna were absolutely not justifies or needed... they do not make you look good.  We do not need attitudes like that here or anywhere.

    @Carlos, thanks for your understanding of the coders rights... it is actually a little more involved than you say.  Anything can be agreed... of course.  However, the law does provide certain protections when specifics were not agreed as well... a useful little article re copywright  of coders and commissioners is here

    NB. Unless you have charitable status, donations are income and taxable.

    @TahoeBilly,  I still think your idea of a grid with Plugin Proposal is a strong one.  The plugin features could have been put together with some consesus from the commissioners.  Potential Developers put a bid in for the work and the commissioners decide which Developer is best for the job and meet the fee with their contributions.

    As to the potential income from the plugin afterwards, this is a question of market forces as to who wants to buy the commercial version and how much they want to pay, and whether or not the original investors get commission for the sales or whether a commission goes into a cimmunal pot for futher development etc. (why not, as we are talking about a partnership development idea here which will benefit all).


  • @all

    Anna has started a very interesting thread. From my experience, and many have voiced the same, users are willing to pay extra for a product that meets their need in a better way. On the other side developing and doing the tedious work of really finishing a product costs time, aka money.

    Could the idea, put forward by Anna, be enhanced like this:

    The community votes, elaborates on a set of plugins with a large appeal and a large customer base

    Developers (with a known track record), or even better a group of developers, catch one or several of those plugins, enhance it and offer it for a price per downloaded plugin.

    Elgg Community has a pay as you take system, where users can download "payable" plugins and pay for it. Elgg community pays the developers according to the downloaded and payed items (I would be able to sponsor such an infrastructure against a small cost.)

    I have not considered the legal implications about GPL and others, perhaps there are knowledgable peiople in the community who could give advice.

    To sum it up, I strongly support action in the direction, Anna has indicated

  • Anna is trying to solve a problem with some market functions, but she is proposing many "non market" functions. In my opinion, if you want to get indepedent developers to take on your project you had better use 100% market based goals or you are asking to somehow "oversee" your non market functions. is not going to set pricing or in any way manage the way developers do business. How could they and why would they? is already setting up their own shop. They aren't going to get involved with managing a market that does nothing for them.

    As I have suggested a few times, the only thing you can hope for is asking to provide a space to list a "flea market" type communication, of which payments and final details of an agreement are not part of their problem. The grid system I suggested is just a place of communications, not a controlled market for plugin development overseen by and any other group.

    Anna I am guessing you come from a Univeristy back ground, a government background or a something similar, because not everything is based on setting up a "controlled market" to do business. It's basically anarchy in the streets and money talks. If we want to co-op on plugin/custom dev work, we had better find a way to joing forces that attracts as many ideas and viewers as possible. These dev's don't even have time to wastr reading this blog, why would they!

    If you want to see things done as cheap as possible you/we need to-

    a) create a simple easy to use graphical web page/site that shows ideas

    b) allows as many potential developers and seekers of custom work as possible

    c) does not try to price control, manage deals or set any paramenters AT ALL!

    Otherwise, we are on our own! It's really that simple. You will be waiting for to come up with solutions when the people behind already are gearing up their own market space,!


  • Peter M

    @Anna Bitanga I find it strange that after all the bickering you set up a forum. Fair enough but you were not prepared to follow up as it's now non existent. Does not lend much credence to your previous arguments or am I wrong