Post by HTMLCSSNoob » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:29 am

Speaking of free vs. commercial add ons, recently i've noticed there have been a lot of instances over in the extensions section in which someone provided an add on for free, and then another person has turned around and started selling the exact same add on for profit. This is not cool in my opinion. Sorry to be blunt but I'm totally gonna call out some of these just to give some examples.
Cool: Mystifier provided this awesome free extension back in September that allowed the admin to send e-mail by customer group.
http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route ... order=DESC

Not Cool: A developer provided an extension that has the exact same functionality on November 15th, and decided to charge $12 for it.
http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route ... 832&page=2
Cool: There are numerous extensions which embed an AddThis ShareBar into OpenCart here or there.
http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route ... order=DESC

Not Cool (but they at least rectified the situation after being confronted about it): Recently a developer posted an AddThis ShareBar extension that was $10 or $16 I believe, however after I and another forum member questioned the developer as to why they were charging for something that had already been provided for free, they changed the price to free.
http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route ... ion_id=839
Cool: The Simple HTML module is one of the most popular free modules around, and the developer has given instructions on how to clone this module so that basically you can have as many duplicate modules as you like. They have also gone ahead and done the work for you for 3 of these modules, so all you have to do is download them and bam, you've got 3 HTML modules.
http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route ... order=DESC

Not Cool: A developer added a module that from what I can tell does the exact same thing as the Simple HTML module, yet has charged $16 for it.
http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route ... 808&page=4
These are just a few example of what I'm talking about. The problem is that the developers who are charging for these apparently copied add ons don't really explain how their add ons are different than the free version. Perhaps they have included some magically hidden feature or given it some really great new functionality that is not included in the free version. But if that's the case, then demos need to be provided and people need to be told exactly why they should spend their hard earned money on the paid extension vs. the free one. Unfortunatley that usually doesn't happen.

I can hear some people now saying "Well if someone is foolish enough to buy an extension without searching the extensions area first for a free alternative then they deserve it". Sorry, in my book that doesn't fly. It takes two to tango, and sometimes the names of the free vs. paid extensions are different so it's kinda hard to see which ones are identical and which ones are not.

On top of all that, there are now people who are not even posting add ons in the extension area, but posting advertisements!
http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route ... 814&page=4

My point in all this is that Mystifier is right in a sense when he posted his concern. He says that OpenCart gets critiqued for every little add on being commercial. Don't get me wrong, I'm NOT saying that developers shouldn't charge for their work. They have every right to charge for their work as long as it is THEIR work. And I'm NOT saying that there are no decent free add ons to Open Cart. On the contrary, there are quite a few free add ons that are simply wonderful. I have obtained both free and commercial add ons and they have made my shopping cart that much better off.

What I'm saying is that the extension area is starting to get out of hand and is in serious need of cleaning up, otherwise people are going to get turned off by it when they see advertisements (spam), plagiarized add ons, etc. etc.

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Post by JAY6390 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:43 am

Some interesting points, and I quite agree with all of the points - One thing to note is that it's only Daniel and Q that have access to the extensions area to moderate them. It might be worth adding a "Report this module" link or something adding to extensions. There are a few things that would be great to have added to them for people who submit them, like being updated when a comment is posted to a module. I don't check my modules every day, so sometimes I reply to a comment on a mod days or weeks later. It would make the customer service aspect of modules much better too

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Post by Johnathan » Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:44 am

I completely agree with HTMLCSSNoob that people shouldn't be stealing others' work to re-sell in the Extensions section. That's beyond tacky, it's immoral and in bad taste. The problem is that you can't know for sure if it's been stolen or just is the same functionality, unless you purchase it or have access to the code.

So I agree, there really does need to be some sort of moderation for the Extension section. The problem is that I'm sure Daniel and Qphoria are busy enough handling all the other aspects of OpenCart already, they don't really need something else added to their plate. They could bring someone else on board, even just to moderate the Extension section, but then that person has access to every piece of code submitted to the extension section. So it would need to be someone of good standing who has the time to contribute.

Unless Daniel or Qphoria stumble upon of free time in the near future (and want to spend it sifting through Extensions), Extension moderation is probably unlikely in the near future. Hopefully it's something that will be addressed in time.

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Post by imaginetech » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:37 am

Johnathan wrote:I completely agree with HTMLCSSNoob that people shouldn't be stealing others' work to re-sell in the Extensions section. That's beyond tacky, it's immoral and in bad taste. The problem is that you can't know for sure if it's been stolen or just is the same functionality, unless you purchase it or have access to the code.

So I agree, there really does need to be some sort of moderation for the Extension section. The problem is that I'm sure Daniel and Qphoria are busy enough handling all the other aspects of OpenCart already, they don't really need something else added to their plate. They could bring someone else on board, even just to moderate the Extension section, but then that person has access to every piece of code submitted to the extension section. So it would need to be someone of good standing who has the time to contribute.

Unless Daniel or Qphoria stumble upon of free time in the near future (and want to spend it sifting through Extensions), Extension moderation is probably unlikely in the near future. Hopefully it's something that will be addressed in time.
Agree and disagree.

Extensions needs a lot of work and quite frankly whoever is on the receiving end of the 20% has an obligation to moderate the extension area.

I am actually stumped as to why more effort has not been put into the extensions area considering the earnings potential it has for the developers. If a month was set aside to clean it up and create something really great looking and functional then it's actually providing a really solid financial foundation for the project as a whole.

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Post by JAY6390 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:48 am

AFAIK all money goes to Daniel, to provide hosting etc for the site. I think it's fair to say that you can't expect Daniel to do everything 8)

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Post by Qphoria » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:55 am

Honestly? I was going to use bits from the extension store into opencart. I find it to be much more advanced. What is not up to par for you? It could use some fine sanding, but for the most part it works great. We are open to new requests if you have any, but obviously since opencart isn't multivendor in itself, it can't be used for this. But the advanced filtering options are very useful.

This is a huge improvement that we made IMO... it lets active developers keep their mods at the top, while older ones that are just uploaded and forgotten fall down lower. Keeping some of the riffraff out

I am also looking to get paypal adaptive payments working with it. Then pay outs will be instant.

But what more do you want to see in it?

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Post by imaginetech » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:55 am

No one does expect him to do everything. It's entirely his decision as to whether he accepts offers of help from the community or not and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't use that as an excuse for the current state of the extensions directory.

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Post by imaginetech » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:15 am

Design wise:

http://extensions.joomla.org/ - Nice on the eye and functional.

Suggested improvements:-

1. Ratings - If I'm correct anyone who is logged in can rate a product. Why? Products should only be rated by people who have downloaded (paid or unpaid). If my assumption is correct it's pretty clear that the system is being abused as most apps are five star or zero.

2. Product listing - It's not standard practice to place the newest or last updated products at the top of the stack. Yes, new additions deserve some billing as do recently updated but i'd say it's fairly common practice to give top billing to the top rated or most downloaded products.

3. Product moderation - This is the official extensions directory of OpenCart and should be treated as such. Unless you place a massive disclaimer above each product saying these are all third party extensions and we take no responsibility for the product quality the quality of the products will reflect back on the project. Both you and I know there's some pretty lame products in there and as another posted said some blatant rip offs.

Let me just say that I'm not here trying to slag off other peoples work and I am grateful for the time and effort that has already been put in, I just think it could be so much more.

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Post by HTMLCSSNoob » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:57 am

JAY6390 wrote:It might be worth adding a "Report this module" link or something adding to extensions.
I think what you suggest is perfect! I understand Daniel and Q have a lot on their plates and probably don't have much time to be policing the extensions area on top of everything else. So why not let the community police the extensions area for them? If they added a "Report this module" link then we as the community could take on the responsibility to report any instances of spam advertisements or dodgy add ons that appear to be plagiarized.

This would not only help to solve the problem, it would also make developers more apt to explain their add ons better, provide demos, screen shots, clear documentation, etc. etc, which honestly developers should be doing anyway. I don't know how many vague add ons I've come across that have no clear documentation, demos, pictures, etc. I'm left wondering wtf the add on does! This would not hurt the developers at all, but help them sell more of their add ons. And it would prevent the dodgy people from trying to post anything shady.

I think if someone clicked on the "Report this module" link then the add on should be flagged for moderation and other people viewing it are aware that something might be amiss. Some might ask "Doesn't the star rating system kinda do this already?" I say not at all. I've seen some really crappy add ons with 5 stars because the person who posted it probably went in and voted 5 stars for themselves, so the star rating system is not really reliable for every circumstance. A "Report this module" link would be MUCH better and probably the easiest thing to implement.

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Post by Johnathan » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:21 am

imaginetech wrote:Extensions needs a lot of work and quite frankly whoever is on the receiving end of the 20% has an obligation to moderate the extension area.
Good point -- I forgot about that. :D

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Post by Xsecrets » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:51 am

I would say my #1 complaint is that you don't get emailed on new comments. Makes it a pain to try to keep up with, and I only have a couple of mods in there right now.

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Post by Qphoria » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:13 pm

Well these are good suggestions. Yea the joomla one does look pretty hot. Ok well there is some work to be done.. step by step :)

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Post by Qphoria » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:37 pm

Maybe we can add a self-cleaning community system like some of the tech blogs have. The community can "down vote" or report a mod and after it receives 5 bad votes, it auto-disables itself until we review it. Then you guys can be the "Citizens On Patrol" :)

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Post by HTMLCSSNoob » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:25 pm

Qphoria wrote:Maybe we can add a self-cleaning community system like some of the tech blogs have. The community can "down vote" or report a mod and after it receives 5 bad votes, it auto-disables itself until we review it. Then you guys can be the "Citizens On Patrol" :)
LOL, Opencart's own neighborhood watch brigade. I can see people suiting up now with flashlights and billy clubs.

I think that's a good idea about the self cleaning system, although I think 3 votes would be sufficient to auto-disable an add on until it can be moderated. I go by the 3 strikes your out philosophy...

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Post by Xsecrets » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:29 pm

HTMLCSSNoob wrote:
Qphoria wrote:Maybe we can add a self-cleaning community system like some of the tech blogs have. The community can "down vote" or report a mod and after it receives 5 bad votes, it auto-disables itself until we review it. Then you guys can be the "Citizens On Patrol" :)
LOL, Opencart's own neighborhood watch brigade. I can see people suiting up now with flashlights and billy clubs.

I think that's a good idea about the self cleaning system, although I think 3 votes would be sufficient to auto-disable an add on until it can be moderated. I go by the 3 strikes your out philosophy...
3 votes I would say is too low, even 5 might be. I could see some unscrupulous people stealing a mod then turn around and downvote the original so it disappears, or some troll just coming through and downvoting everything so that they all disappear.

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Post by HTMLCSSNoob » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:48 pm

Xsecrets wrote:3 votes I would say is too low, even 5 might be. I could see some unscrupulous people stealing a mod then turn around and downvote the original so it disappears, or some troll just coming through and downvoting everything so that they all disappear.
3 votes is not really low when you look at how many people currently use the star rating system to rate an add on. Going through the extensions area, you will see that the majority of some of the older add ons have like 2,000 views, with only between 1-3 actual votes. For example the Tag Cloud Sidebox has 3,577 views and only 4 votes right now. The Nederlands Dutch Language has 2,420 views with only 1 vote. The pattern continues on and on....

If you make the auto-disable limit too high, then chances are you defeat the whole purpose of having the self cleaning system. From what it appears not many people currently rate add ons as it is.

You get around the whole possibility of unscrupulous people downvoting mods by putting up safety nets such as requiring that a user be registered and logged in to vote, only allow them 1 vote per add on, etc. etc. Also maybe you could make it where the moderator could see who downvotes an add on and if they sense that they are doing it out of spite or for personal gain, they could ban them and remove all of their mods if they posted any.

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Post by JAY6390 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:57 pm

I agree with X, it really bugs me not being notified of new comments on a mod I've made. would probably be beneficial to people who comment on it too. Ideally I would like the ability to edit a comment too (my own of course) as mistakes do get made :)

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Post by JAY6390 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:06 pm

HTMLCSSNoob wrote:
Xsecrets wrote:3 votes I would say is too low, even 5 might be. I could see some unscrupulous people stealing a mod then turn around and downvote the original so it disappears, or some troll just coming through and downvoting everything so that they all disappear.
3 votes is not really low when you look at how many people currently use the star rating system to rate an add on. Going through the extensions area, you will see that the majority of some of the older add ons have like 2,000 views, with only between 1-3 actual votes. For example the Tag Cloud Sidebox has 3,577 views and only 4 votes right now. The Nederlands Dutch Language has 2,420 views with only 1 vote. The pattern continues on and on....

If you make the auto-disable limit too high, then chances are you defeat the whole purpose of having the self cleaning system. From what it appears not many people currently rate add ons as it is.

You get around the whole possibility of unscrupulous people downvoting mods by putting up safety nets such as requiring that a user be registered and logged in to vote, only allow them 1 vote per add on, etc. etc. Also maybe you could make it where the moderator could see who downvotes an add on and if they sense that they are doing it out of spite or for personal gain, they could ban them and remove all of their mods if they posted any.
While what you're saying makes sense, in reality it's not that hard to make 5 accounts, and vote 5 times. ip addresses can be changed easily, so theres no guaranteed way to stop it. When all is said and done, if someone wanted to do it, it wouldn't be that hard to do at all, login or no login. Makes me a little nervous of it being done this way tbh. I would say at -5 an email gets sent to a moderator, or -3 even, so that they can check and decide if its really a bad extension or not, and go from there

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Post by HTMLCSSNoob » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:30 pm

JAY6390 wrote:While what you're saying makes sense, in reality it's not that hard to make 5 accounts, and vote 5 times. ip addresses can be changed easily, so theres no guaranteed way to stop it. When all is said and done, if someone wanted to do it, it wouldn't be that hard to do at all, login or no login. Makes me a little nervous of it being done this way tbh. I would say at -5 an email gets sent to a moderator, or -3 even, so that they can check and decide if its really a bad extension or not, and go from there
Well you are right that if someone is adamant enough to downvote your extension then it's gonna happen regardless of the auto-disable limit. If I can make 3 fake accounts then I can surely make 30 fake accounts. It would be a huge waste of time though and to be honest I don't really think it would happen often.

I think It just boils down to how fast the moderators are able to get to it if it's reported. If 3 people, 5 people, 30 people, or whatever downvoted your mod and it got auto-disabled, how soon could a moderator check it out? That's really the big question.

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Post by JAY6390 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:39 pm

exactly. it shouldn't be disabled just an email alert sent to a moderator, who can then manually disable them

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