Paid Nodes Question

@hotNipi I come from the building automation industry so a Bacnet node would be a priority. Would there be enough users to contribute to get this node developed. I don't know, but I am hoping this forum is the place to start the discussion

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Based on what I can see on the page of https://flows.nodered.org/node/node-red-contrib-bacnet, it is the one.

Yes, the developer of this node has made many valuable contributions to the community, but my information is that they cannot continue to develop and support indefinitely.
https://bianco-royal.com/supporter.html


The Bacnet node has issues related to the underlying Bacstack library so is not usable in the present state. This is only my personal example, but possibly other users have similar cases. My suggestion is that if there is enough interest these cases can be progressed for everyone's benefit

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@mtoko, I didn't suggest you were.

@hotNipi, I couldn't think of a node either!

So the author of that node has made an offer to support it if he is paid to... and so far as far as I can see / know - no-one has offered to pay... so to my reckoning that means no-one so far is backing your premise that they want to pay - even for a commercial product.

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I offered this as an example from personal experience and I would be willing to contribute but cannot fund this completely. It is early in the discussion and the purpose is to "test the water" to ascertain if there is any benefit to a/some test cases. There have been many successful crowd funded projects so there is no reason why this may not apply to this community

I actually want a service where I can specify to say pay $10/20/30 month into and then split the money in micropayments to all the open source projects that I want to support

Way before Patreon, back in the days, Flattr did exactly this. No one uses it anymore, but I guess it still exists? https://flattr.com/

@krambriw - good point.

People need to know how to start having this conversation with their company. Company I work for needed a small node but didn't want to give it up to the node-red-contrib for free after paying the small amount of man hours to make it. "keep it in house" was the line; so I explained: So you have 18 out of 19 things covered by open source. You like that those 18 things are free yes??? Well its now your turn to add to the list of free things. This is why you got 18 out of 19 things free. In the end they let me publish it for free. Its hard to get companies to understand how it works.

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@meeki007 Thanks for these comments, the suggestion was that it would be better to raise this on the forum to provide the opportunity for loyal developers to receive some reward for their work rather than to go to the open market. In my view it could be crowd funded and developed on the understanding that the final node is published free of charge on NPM

I had a similar discussion here at my workplace.

While some of our custom nodes are purely for our own systems with no use to others, I still have hope to get the more common stuff out there some day. Unfortunately, it is not my position to decide that, but if it were up to me, I wouldn't hesitate.

It's a difficult topic here, especially when the resources (time and financial) for development and support would be limited. After all, this is not an IT firm, but a mechanical engineering company, so our software team is rather small and mostly busy doing the actual project-related tasks by bringing the software to the machines and production lines we build. :neutral_face:

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Larger companies, like some I have worked with, one was the german S*****s, and we would never rely on such a setup, we hired on employment or consultancy basis the sw developers & architects required for the task since we had the long term maintenance & customer support also in mind

I think this sort of suggestion might fit smaller companies, like some cases mentioned,

So those companies could easily present their specific needs here on the forum and offer payment (hourly rate) for the developer that is willing to sign on. Then we know what we are talking about, what the payment the developer can expect, the common interest in terms of number of volunteers responding and their estimated development time etc etc

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This opens up another issue: what about all the volunteers that help out on the forums and sometimes even find issues with nodes and create fixes (PR's) for nodes? Should they be paid too??

@zenofmud I would think that there are many possible reasons that people belong or contribute to an open source community like this. If regular contributors would like to receive payment and there is a user prepared to make that payment then there is no reason why this should not happen. The intention is that if the work is paid or not the node should be published on NPM for free afterwards. There are many different types of users on the forum and not all are developers, some are practical users.

Yup, I agree. I do it because I can and I like to help people and because developers of nodes are giving their time/talents for free too.

Once you start paying someone for developing a node I think you open the door for a messy situation. After all if someone is being paid to develope a node, shouldn't they handle any issues/problems people have using it?

Yes, absolutely, I think that once a developer is paid they should provide a period of support for that node as part of the payment.

Thanks for all the questions you answer on the :grinning: forum!!

@mtoko & @zenofmud & @krambriw

Sorry this is going to be a long one. As I'm really into this discussion I eagerly await your idea's.

To me this entire problem is like trying to solve world hunger. It's nice to think about the solutions that us as a community can come up with to solve the issue. Because the task is so monumental with too many moving parts it never gets solved. (the whole compensation for work thing)

Multiple people with multiple skill sets:
Out of desperation you end up with guys like me. Eager with just enough coding from back in the day to make a node but not as well polished as a JS guy could do. I would love to pay a JS skilled node developer to make the node I need or the company I'm currently contracted to help pay for the node. However cost always wins. So you end up with a node that works. Is barely supported but just meets the task needed to do the job.

The next thing is a node that is made on the side for the pure fun of it. I made a node for supporting lcd screen. It worked in node-red 0.8 or less but because the gears keep turning it became unsupported. This is where you compensation would have come in. It remained broken for over 7months. I never ended up using it again. Only out of feeling bad about all the people who kept wanting it to work with node-red 1.0 up did I make the time to pull it out of the bottom of a box to test and fix the code. Then I had a girl in india who I then sent the device to free to help out her project. Why ? so I now have no need to support the node. If it gets broken again ...... well I no longer have the device to fix it. Its a sad state but I don't have / want the time to work on something I never use for free. $8 a month total is all it would have took for me to put in the time to maintain this node.
Someday It will break again and then ......I hope someone takes up the torch and takes over my contrib.

However this is how the market works and I'm a supporter of it. If there is demand for a node then there will be remuneration for the creator. Twice when I told people would you like me to X-fer the node to you to matain they said. " I can't code." Id then say well It probably only take me a weekend to fix how about sending me $25 one time, so I can drink beer while have a go fixing it this weekend. I did not hear back from one of them and the other got upset. They said " How can you make a node and not support it. Now I can't make my device work." I tried to explain the whole “free as in speech” idea to them and then ended up having to send them to my spam folder. I feel your issue @BartButenaers

What I think people need to understand is you don't need to pay us node makers a living wage to keep nodes working. Just beer (insert your cheep vice here) once a month is enough to motivate us to have some fun maintaining it. It creates a connection to the users and I don't know about others but I'd feel to darn guilty to not work on it if I'd taken compensation.

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@meeki007 Thanks for these positive comments. In summary, my suggestion was that users could suggest the specification of a node they would like developed, they would then offer a contribution to the cost of development. If other users are interested they can also contribute. If an amount is reached where a developer is prepared to undertake the task then the node is developed. The conditions are that the node is supported for an agreed period after completion and it is published free of charge on NPM for all to use.
Developers
Developers could suggest nodes that could be developed and provide some indication of cost.

@BartButenaers
I have used your brilliant svg and svg context nodes and did not even understand that these were possible, but would gladly have contributed to the development

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I get what your saying mtoko, and you have to start somewhere and your idea is sound. However JS marches ahead with time and node's written today will break tomorrow. I'm not saying that we should not use your idea. Let me frame a possible solution to this and not just be Mr. problem.

  1. a site with user submitted lists of nodes needed. Some will be big tasks some will be small. With a button to contribute to the pot.
  2. contributions to the nodes want list will grow. A coder writes the node-contrib and submits it. He puts his package up and then submits a done request. If more than 50% of the contributors say YES! he gets the pot. Else if less than 50% vote in time he gets the pot anyway.
  3. Maintenance option. When a node breaks or has a bug that pops up that needs fixing users contribute to the pot just like above when a user submits a fix he gets the pot.

This is just an Idea. It can be improved but we have to start somewhere. I personally don't like this method. However I can't think of a better way at the moment.

I could never see myself coding for this method above. I'm too into just releasing something. However I would use it for browsing through the wants people have for a nodes and I'd contrib a buck here and there to nodes I want to see done.

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As Paul @zenofmud pointed out, many users are giving support & help that is as valuable as nodes to make the whole solution work. Could be a very complex or smart flow or other parts. How should their effort be valued?

Don't forget, it is never too late

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Thanks for this practical idea. If this is successful it could be possible to expand this to include support with complex flows and bugs @krambriw and @zenofmud. Some complex nodes may need significant development time and may never get developed unless we can get contributions from users
@meeki007
Do you think and existing crowd funding website would work or would this require a specific Node Red community site?
@knolleary @dceejay
Would you support an initiative like this ?
@BartButenaers
Where can I send my contribution for the svg nodes?