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Author Topic: Buy & Sell Source Code  (Read 9008 times)
Renegade
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« on: May 30, 2011, 01:22:08 AM »

This is very cool:

http://www.binpress.com/



Quote
Free & premium source-code that cuts your development time and costs.

Mature, tested, manually approved code from professional developers.
Your time is valuable, don't waste it writing code that already exists.

« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 08:16:01 AM by mouser; Reason: added screenshot » Logged

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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2011, 07:56:58 AM »

While superficially it may sound cool for commercial coding, I fear it may also signal the end of an era for the free access hobby coders (e.g. Not all of us are in it for the money - per se).

Most of the code I write is (one off stuff) done for the companies internal systems. It's not for resale, or even (due to being rigidly focused and therefore inflexible) marketable. The rest is stuff I play with, because it's fun.

So if the trend catches on (and they tend to $$$), that you can get top dollar for a program fragment ... Instead of having to waste time developing the whole thing. The comraderal support offered by the free source code sample sites may quickly dry up.
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mouser
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2011, 08:08:17 AM »

I've written about this so much I must sound like a broken record, but I think I have the opposite impression than Stoic Joker.

I think the Open Source movement/culture has done an amazing amount of good for this world, an astronimical amount of good.  But I suspect that it has done one terrible and lasting harm, which is to instill in everyone the idea that all software code should be free of charge, and no one should pay (voluntarily or not) for any software.  Paying for *STUFF* is still the accepted practice, as long as that stuff is physical or service based -- but the resistance to paying for code has become incredibly high, and i don't think that bodes well for programmers.

[I note that there is nothing irreversibly incompatible with the open source movement and the idea of paying coders for their work -- though having large numbers of collaborators does make that more difficult; that's why i always emphasize the cultural aspect of open source software, and the incredible resistance people have to contributing financially to a project if they aren't forced to].
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Renegade
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2011, 08:21:19 AM »

+1 for mouser.

I think having simple, cheap, working code to solve a problem for me is great. I don't think that they're going to kill the Code Project any time soon though. People post at the Code Project because having code there is feather in your cap. Having code for sale elsewhere? Not.

The lure of peer envy and adulation will always attract talent at some point.  Kiss
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2011, 08:42:24 AM »

I've written about this so much I must sound like a broken record, but I think I have the opposite impression than Stoic Joker.

Not so much really, you're speaking to the why/how we got there ... and I'm speaking of the what's next.

As Renegade mentions peer envy/camaraderie (however you slice it) drives Certain behavior. However. That dynamic assumes/requires that people be into a technology/field because they actually like it (/enjoy what they do) ... And people of that ilk are a dying breed. They are quickly being replaced with the monetize any & everything crowd as the InterWeb slowly (glacially) slides into the hellish despair that is cable TV.

So yes I can easily see the likes of Code Project disappearing, as the trend toward the product being less important than the profits being made off it continues.
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Renegade
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2011, 10:05:21 AM »

@Stoic Joker

I hope you're wrong.

I like free, and I like paid. They both have a place. I use free in some places, and I pay in others.

Granted, the higher the quality in the free, the less incentive there is to pay, e.g. MySQL vs. Oracle/VistaDB/MS SQL Server, ALSong vs. GDT (I can't think of a decent comparison for a paid media player right now), Screenshot Captor vs. SnagIt, Visual Studio Express series vs. Visual Studio/other commercial IDEs, etc. etc.

I like to see both. Though, I'm still partial to paid software... Feel free to call me on that one. Yes. I have a vested interest.
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40hz
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2011, 10:07:18 AM »

I think if the people that want (or need) to make a living writing code would stop trying to figure out how to turn 'open source' to their advantage and just sell compiled product or their services the way the used to, we'd all be a lot happier. And unless your product is a dev library - why do you want to provide your source code at all? (Hint: bragging rights -or- some misguided notion you'll get a lot of 'free' debugging for your commercial product.)

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (my turn! Grin ) open source is NOT a business model. It's a development philosophy.
 smiley
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Renegade
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2011, 10:40:50 AM »

@40hz

You're kind of confusing me there.

The way I see the site is that it's selling code to make your life easier, in the same way that other sites sell stock photography or vector art. I don't see it as an "open source" issue. You still have a license that you must abide by.
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40hz
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2011, 11:26:55 AM »

I'm an unrepentant open source advocate, but I'm being pragmatic here. Mixing free and 'premium' sends a mixed message. They would have been better of creating a separate site for the payware stuff.

Besides, selling source also brings its own headache for small developers.

If you 'open source' your code, it's out there and you've given up a great deal of your ability to control it. Forever too thanks to internet archives.  

Unless you have deep pockets for attorneys to go after violators - or - you've joined an organization or foundation that can do it for you. Fairness and value have nothing to do with it. People are people. And they do what they do. Doesn't mean they're bad or evil. It's just the way the "chimpanzee brain" we have operates.

So if you're an 'indy,' and it's something you need to maintain control over, then don't release your source code. Period.

I wish things were different. But for most small software developers, "open" equals "free." So if it's not something you can afford to do for free, don't bother with the open dev model. It only has the potential to be 'monetized' (oh how I hate that term) if you have a decent sized organization or business behind it. Gals and guys coding out of their house or small office don't really stand a chance of getting remunerative 'open' to work on their own. But they do have a very good opportunity to make a compiled binary earn money for them as long as it's something people see as worth paying for (an important distinction, that) and they take the necessary precautions (i.e. product activation mechanisms) to cut down on casual theft.

Guess what I'm saying is that selling source code (licensed or otherwise) isn't really a viable business for most small developers. 

Wish it were otherwise.

Just my 2¢ anyway.  smiley

« Last Edit: May 30, 2011, 11:34:46 AM by 40hz » Logged

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Eóin
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2011, 12:07:48 PM »

So if you're an 'indy,' and it's something you need to maintain control over, then don't release your source code. Period.

Too true
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2011, 12:19:13 PM »

@Stoic Joker

I hope you're wrong.
Me too man ... but never the less. That (rather dark) cloud... is (rather obviously) on the horizon.


Though, I'm still partial to paid software... Feel free to call me on that one. Yes. I have a vested interest.

Understood, and I wouldn't dream of calling you on it. But you're are talking about a finished product there. Not a piece of something, that could be something, if... (Ya know)

Hell I wish I could come up with something that people would buy. But I'm just not quite that clever. So I suffice with creating things that make me happy ... And occasionally share them in the hopes that they may help someone get something done, or at least make their day suck less.


It only has the potential to be 'monetized' (oh how I hate that term)

+1 as it was coined by the crowd that is doing their dead level best to suck the innovative spirit out of everything. Create something out of curiosity, or for the betterment of mankind? pffft hog wash - The Ferengi will not tolerate that kind of nonsense!
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40hz
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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2011, 01:43:23 PM »

^I've bummed some code over the years. But I'm not a programmer by any stretch. I do however write music - which is similar in many ways to coding.

So when people ask why I continue to write music nobody seems to have the time to listen to; or to continually put money and effort into something with small hope of ever earning back the investment, I keep thinking of this one song...

It's as different as night and day from the type of music I generally listen to or play. But its words ring true, and that's enough for me.

Maybe Kris Kristofferson's song Beat the Devil has something to say to all the coders out there too.

Because even if we can't hope to beat all the 'devils' we'll encounter, that still doesn't mean our only other choice is to join them. Maybe, sometimes we can take one of them for a free beer - and even steal their song for a change.  Grin

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viEn9KL8F6I" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viEn9KL8F6I</a>
 Thmbsup

« Last Edit: May 30, 2011, 02:16:12 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2011, 12:40:35 PM »

Dear All,

Allow me to put some points on the subject.

First, did anyone noticed that we are all programmers arguing on sale of program codes? In most cases we are not going to purchase any code from there. Take for instance myself. Instead of purchasing 'Cursor Hider', I made 'Park Cursor Aside' which functions similarly. But most users are not programmer and they will happily pay if a program fulfills his/her need.

Second, look at Apple IPad. Initial reviews in all forums, blogs etc. were full of negatives. Starting from very difficult to type holding the IPad with one hand, to neck pain due to too much bending when IPad is put on ones lap. Again all the
comments were from the programmers who were trying to do, what they do best, and failing. The user do not and did not cared what us programmers said and lapped up the IPad in such a a way that now it has become a cult.

Now come to binpress.com. Do you think I will purchase a 5$ code for converting number to word? No. But the user will. Who is user here, the developer who just got a 100$ project and sees that investing 10$ is going to save him another month or so. The company manager, who after been told that the required logic will take 3/4 months time to built, will buy the code and give it to his/her programmer to use it.

All the above I am telling from my work experience as a professional developer for last 15 years. I am not alone, as other developers here may have similar work experience.

To think that 'open source' will get affected due to 'selling of code' is wrong. Programmers who put there code for all are not inclined to sell it, as they already have earned from it, but now want some fame from it. So this will continue to happen. Selling a compiled code or source code does not makes any difference to a user. A non-programmer will happily use the compiled code whereas a programmer will like the source to make further changes, if required.

Users criticized but waited for Apple to release iOS with 'copy-cut-paste' option and paid for it.

Hope I was able to put forth the correct perspective.

Regards,

Anand

Disclaimer: I do not have any apple product and I earn my livelihood from developing Windows and DOS Apps. Though now I am getting pressure to make IPad Apps as many of my loyal clients have one.

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Renegade
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« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2011, 08:27:27 PM »

@anandcoral - I'm not sure whether you're saying that people will buy or won't buy. I know I would if there were something that I needed and it could save me time and money.
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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2011, 11:43:08 PM »

Same here. Time is money and i can't code every idea in my mind out there. Also there is issue of not re-inventing stuff. So i don't think there is any harm in purchasing code. Think of this concept as PLR content which is popular in written and video stuff. They're making some decent money with their content, why should programmers stay behind. Just make sure you release code in cheap price instead of letting it open to avoid issue of open vs paid.  Cheers to binpress.
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« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2011, 07:34:50 AM »

Hi guys,
I'm one of the founders of Binpress and I stumbled upon this thread, which is very interesting. I wanted to chime in on the conversation and offer some inner perspective on the concept of buying and selling code.

Initially, we were a software shop named Lionite which built web-services and platforms, mainly for Internet startups. After a considerable amount of completed projects, we accumulated a significant library of components we've been reusing from project to project - stuff like PayPal integration, Facebook connect, Zend Framework CMS and so forth, and we had the idea of selling those as standalone products instead of keep chasing the next project. We could sell many copies without doing additional work, and the clients would be happy with excellent components that cost them a fraction of what it would cost to custom develop it.

It then hit us that it's very likely that a lot of developers are in the same place - they have a library of code they've been reusing between projects and that has reached a very mature level, and it could benefit other developers / development projects that need those features and would have to waste time and money (development costs) to build it from scratch.

It seems to me there are several reasons developers don't usually do this -
  • They don't want to make the time investment to prepare it as a standalone product.
  • They don't believe they can make enough sales to make it worth their while.
  • They suck at marketing.
  • They don't want to deal with the related legal and billing issues.

The first and second bullets are solved once you prove that it is worth the initial time investment, and the last two bullets are things that we have a lot experience and expertise with. So we decided to build a service that would enable developers to do just that - sell their code as standalone products. This gives incentive to developers who wouldn't have bothered (or wanted) to release their code as open-source and increases the amount of knowledge available (even if it is paid). We believe it's always best to use mature, well-factored code than develop something from scratch and going through the maturation pains until it reaches a good stable state.

We've been running at full steam for about 4 months now, and we've come a long way. I think I can identify where developers would be willing to spend to buy ready components -
  • It solves a big problem - there is a different cut-off for every developer, but I think that around 10-15 hours to develop something from scratch, a ready alternative becomes much more appealing even if it is paid. Obviously, for free open-source you usually try and find solutions for even smaller problems - but when the problem is big enough you would be willing to spend to have a good solution available.
  • You need to tackle an area that you are weak in / unfamiliar with. It might be a complex API or low-level programming that is very cumbersome - in either case, you want to avoid spending additional time on research before you can even get started on development, and you are worried you will make a lot of mistakes the first time.
  • You find a good UI component that looks much better than what you can manage yourself (due to most developers not being great UI guys)

So for those cases we do see nice sales figures. We do have components that are not selling well - either a good free solution is available, or the problem is not big enough for convincing a developer he should spend on solving it. If we were completely logical machines, we would make a 5-10$ purchase even to save one hour of development (assuming our hourly rate is significantly higher than that), but developers (and me included) have a hard tough paying for something they could easily do themselves (though there are exceptions). When it's no longer easy or viable is when you consider paying for it.

And there is the case of non-developers, as anandcoral mentioned - project managers or site / blog owners that need a feature and could be saving significant money on custom development by buying something ready and just paying for integration (or even doing it themselves if possible).

Another important note is the type of language / platform we are talking about - web stacks usually have a significant amount of open-source code available, but that is the less the case for desktop development and area such as game-development and mobile development. There is still open-source there, but the needs are much more varied and there is a lot of empty space there for good components to take up space.

I've written a giant post and I hope someone will bother reading it smiley

I'll just finish by mentioning a side-project we are working on that might be of interest to you guys - a platform for starting, funding and delivering software products. Somewhat similar to Kickstarter if you are familiar with it, it would allow people (either developers or potential end-users) to start projects, collaboratively create the spec (by suggesting and voting on features), funding the project by committing a small amount (which will returned if the project is not completed successfully) and eventually launch and complete the project after it complies with the spec and a set of predefined coding standards. It could be a launching pad for new components on our site (developers are always asking what kind of components they should publish) or even for open-source projects that could receive funding to allow developers to work on it full time for the duration of the project (it's always much harder to get donation *after* the project is already available for download).

I would love to hear your thoughts about our service and what I wrote here.

Cheers,
Eran
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Renegade
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« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2011, 08:00:25 AM »

Hello Eran,

Great to see you chime in here! It's always nice to see authors/owners/founders throw in their $0.02.

I especially liked, "They suck at marketing." smiley I couldn't count how many times I've heard people struggle there.

BTW - I first heard about you through an ad on Facebook (IIRC).

I wish you and your team a TONNE of success! smiley

Cheers,

Ryan
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« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2011, 08:15:17 AM »

I want to echo Renegade in welcoming you to the site, and wishing you great success.

It sounds to me like you have a extraordinarily good grasp of the issues, including the reasons why developers often don't try to sell their code (i'd only add the reluctance to commit to providing an unpredictable degree of technical support), the benefits of a service like yours, and the kinds of code that may be hard to sell and why.

We are big fans of kickstarter here, and the idea of another similar service focused on software is a great one -- the more of this kind of group funding for software development, the better.  There are sooo many coders who are not in a position to find funding for great project ideas, and need some help in this area.  The ideas are good, the programming skill is there, but the ability to raise the initial small amount of money to pay for initial development is just not in their skill set.

Please keep us informed about your projects and best of luck to you and your site thumbs up

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« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2011, 08:42:58 AM »

Sounds like Binpress fills in the missing parts of the business equation for small programming shops and individual developers.  

Stock agencies have successfully provided a similar service to photographers for decades. And more recently, CDBaby has done the same for independent music acts.

Very cool idea - a "stock code" agency!  Thmbsup




« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 08:50:40 AM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2011, 08:51:17 AM »

Thanks guys for the warm welcome smiley

Glad to find such a professional and welcoming community. Hope to contribute as well from time to time!
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Renegade
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« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2011, 09:03:40 AM »

I like the stock photography metaphor/analogy. It makes sense.
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Renegade
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« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2011, 09:08:19 AM »

Thanks guys for the warm welcome smiley

Glad to find such a professional and welcoming community. Hope to contribute as well from time to time!

The way people are polite and courteous around here makes DC pretty sticky. I first came here after finding a review for ALZip. Jeez... Looking at the link that's #896 and this one is 26912 - it's been a while! smiley

I'll hope to see the odd post from you here and there. smiley
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« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2011, 09:15:17 AM »

I just wrapped up what I thought would be a quick visit to Binpress. In the end I spent over an hour I shouldn't have just looking around. (Yes, it's that good a site.)

I really think Eran and his team have hit on something that's been missing for both software developers and their potential customers. Much of what they're doing dovetails very nicely with some of the things that have been discussed at DC. And although they deal with code components, I could see their approach being extended to handle actual products and utilities. The commission structure makes sense, and is a fair exchange for the amount of backoffice work it saves its member developers.

Also most appreciated was the useful (and sane) information about licensing, price setting, and open source considerations. And the blog is a good read whether you're a developer or a buyer. Something for everyone. Nice!

Do yourself a favor and give Binpress a visit. Highly recommended.  Thmbsup

(And with a tip of the hat to Renegade for identifying this excellent resource.  Thmbsup Thmbsup )
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 09:30:11 AM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2011, 11:12:06 AM »

Wow, what an awesome positive feedback, really warms the heart

In fact it's so awesome, we'd like to quote it on our site smiley Is it possible to quote you as a testimonial, 40hz? we'd really appreciate it!
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« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2011, 12:04:54 PM »

@40hz you did it.  cheesy

I just planned today to visit Binpress for faq etc. and put points here, you did it for me.

@Eran thanks and I am glad that my comments could bring the positive enthusiasm. I will like to see both sides (Binpress and programmers) to benefit from this new venture.

I will suggest developers here to put forward any queries and get it clarified, before imparting on the new territory.

Regards,

Anand
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