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Replacement marketplace
Started by richard11 Feb 15 2020 12:19 PM

16 replies to this topic
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#1

richard11

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Following the announcement earlier this week that Coronalabs would cease trading in May and that the current marketplace would be closing, and as per my post early on in that forum thread, QWeb would like to offer up the development of a new marketplace.

 

Full details in the link below, but in a nutshell we feel it's important that Corona continues to have a central marketplace, and that this could be a good opportunity to generate revenue that could be used to help fund core development and potentially marketing campaigns. We'd of course intend to take a cut from the revenue this generates ourselves too - this wouldn't be an entirely selfless act - but the intention is that if the service is earning QWeb some income, it would be in our interest to help make sure the Corona software continues to be updated and actively used and the best way for us to do that is to give back some of this income.

 

To the point, we're a busy company and while I'd absolutely love to just get development underway immediately, we need to be sure there's enough of a call for this first. For all I know, everybody might just be moving on and leaving Corona completely for other frameworks which would render a marketplace somewhat useless! So please have a read through the below link and if this is something you'd want to use, sign at the end. With enough registrations we'll get to work with the aim to get the initial service, albeit probably in a minimal state of completion, up and running within a few weeks. This list will ONLY ever be used to determine how much interest there is in a new marketplace, and to notify registrants when launched. We won't be using this as a marketing list and won't be sharing any details with any other party.

 

https://campaigns.qweb.co.uk/h/i/456F965EC1EB1A6C

 

Lots of thanks to those who have already signed, and to everybody who follows.


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#2

richard11

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There does seem to be a reasonable amount of interest in this, and it looks from the other thread like people are generally switching from looking at other frameworks to now actively supporting Vlad and feeling positive about the transition.

We've therefore decided to go ahead with this development, (although I've still to iron out a couple of details with our accountants... We're used to building these kinds of things but not so used to operating them!), and hope that even if it's a financial failure, it becomes a useful asset for the community.

I'll post back here when there's something online, and we'll send an email out to those who have registered in the above link too, so do keep those coming please.

The initial service will likely be a fairly minimal development. Conscious that the current marketplace is now closed for submissions and getting something online again is the priority here, not necessarily something all singing and dancing.

Exciting times, I hope!
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#3

emmanuel.guerin

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There does seem to be a reasonable amount of interest in this, and it looks from the other thread like people are generally switching from looking at other frameworks to now actively supporting Vlad and feeling positive about the transition.

We've therefore decided to go ahead with this development, (although I've still to iron out a couple of details with our accountants... We're used to building these kinds of things but not so used to operating them!), and hope that even if it's a financial failure, it becomes a useful asset for the community.

I'll post back here when there's something online, and we'll send an email out to those who have registered in the above link too, so do keep those coming please.

The initial service will likely be a fairly minimal development. Conscious that the current marketplace is now closed for submissions and getting something online again is the priority here, not necessarily something all singing and dancing.

Exciting times, I hope!

 

Thank you for this initiative, Richard11. Sounds promising.


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#4

Michael Flad

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I think it's a great idea but I'd also suggest (if not done already) get in direct contact with Vlad (and maybe Rob) to see what they have in mind to not end up with a conflict in ideas/plans. They probably have thought/planend for the transition for longer than we know alrady.


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#5

richard11

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Already in communication with both Rob and Vlad as I'm hoping to be able to work it so that those who have already purchased plugins through the old system don't have to purchase again through the new in order to receive updates so I think we're good there - there's been no mention of conflicting interests yet.

For the record, the current store will remain online until May as far as I understand it, and I absolutely don't want to step on any toes with that but at the same time, new submissions to the current store have now I believe been disabled so from that perspective we're wanting to get something up and running quickly. It night be that we only allow free submissions until the date the current marketplace closes. Happy to abide by any requests Coronalabs make with this.
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#6

sporkfin

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Thanks Richard, I'm feeling really positive.  There is a lot that can be done to keep and improve Corona if everyone contributes what they can - money, time, open source additions or brainstorming followed by work.  Thanks for thinking ahead!


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#7

richard11

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I'm not about to pretend this is an entirely selfless act - it's a potential revenue stream for us too at the end of the day. But it's something we can build that'll hopefully benefit the community and help keep Vlad & co going, and that's genuinely the primary goal here.

I'm excited now to be able to do this and to already see a positive response from everyone. Thanks for the encouragement.
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#8

gamebit.labs

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Thanks Richard!

 

Ben


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#9

jdsmedeirosbr

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I liked your proposal to help Corona Richard11, as for the means of monetization, in my opinion, it would be more valid to charge a percentage of each app created equal to Apple and Google, so the developer would pay for the sales flow of his app, in the same instant that it would leave him free to create the apps without any restrictions or force to use splash screen with advertising. I love Corona very much, I don't see myself creating apps with other tools and I am also willing to help Corona with whatever is necessary.

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#10

richard11

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A cost per app mechanic wouldn't really work because once a plugin is downloaded, there wouldn't be any way to enforce that it isn't copied into more than one project. As a vendor you could potentially have a key based activation system though - i.e. release your plugin as a free download but run an online service to create paid-for keys that enable its functionality within an individual app. I doubt this would ever be an offering by the marketplace directly though, I'm afraid.

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#11

carloscosta

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the only real solution that I can think of and will benefit all is, is creating the same system corona did.

for that you need to convince corona to integrate your store in corona simulator like the current marketplace is working.

The only cons I can think of is that corona simulator can't be 100% offline like they are saying that will be. It needs to connect to the marketplace to check plugins, and download updates if needed and to check if the plugin is still valid.

 

any other solution have cons much higher than this.



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#12

richard11

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I'm going to quote myself here as the response I posted to your other thread is relevant:

This isn't particularly a new issue. Once an app is compiled, that's the end of the authentication check. You could at the moment subscribe to a pay-monthly plugin, compile your app, and then immediately end your subscription. Your app would still work as an app indefinitely despite not paying for the plugin any more. If you later want release an update you'd have to subscribe to the plugin again and compile, at which point Corona would drag in the latest plugin version.

With offline builds it would still be possible to subscribe to a plugin, download the files, and then unsubscribe. Granted with the new approach you'd then be able to build as many times as you like but still, you'd have to resubscribe to download the latest version of that plugin.

Personally as a plugin vendor myself, I think a plugin should only really warrant a monthly charge if the buyer gets something every month for that charge. Plugins updated often warrant this, and plugins that provide a service which consumes remote resources such as chat room functionality warrant this. Again updates wouldn't be available without the maintained subscription so that example is covered already, and for service based plugins my advice would be to build activation keys in to that service and charge a monthly fee for those keys rather than for the plugin itself. This just seems like a better modal to me.

For plugins that really are just a one off download that adds functionality that'll continue to work indefinitely without any communication with remote servers, I honestly don't see that a monthly price is fair. Value that plugin appropriately for the amount of work that went into it, divide that value by the number of developers you'd expect to grab it, and that's your fair one-off price.


As for convincing Coronalabs to integrate another store into the simulator though - with Corona being open source, anybody would be able to push that integration themselves. It's entirely possible that eventually we'd build such integration in, but that's something I'm in two minds about myself and if it happened, I wouldn't want it to be a mandatory step in the build process. More of a manual "Update plugins" button.
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#13

richard11

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Nothing exciting to see yet, but just in case anybody wants to bookmark this for later: https://www.coronamarketplace.com/


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#14

sporkfin

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Of course the web guy snags the good url  :)


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#15

richard11

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Surprised it was available!

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#16

pixec

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Just a thought, how will you store all of the files? If some disgruntled employee wants to take all plugins or if someone hacks it, will all plugins and those with source code available be leaked?

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#17

richard11

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The files are going into a CDN storage bucket for scalability and performance - means we can host an infinite number without any kind of a dip in speed.

Each submission will be given a unique, impossible to guess folder within this bucket and directory listings are denied so finding other submissions from a known URL isn't possible.

Submissions might, though there are pros and cons to this, generate new URLs on each edit so that if anybody does leak a download URL, updates would still only be available to legitimate subscribers.

We could also have a system of rotation to regenerate URLs of all files every week or so which would totally kill off leaked URLs from working, or we could have unique URLs per subscriber by copying over the files to their own folders within this bucket at the time they register for a plugin. To me though, both options seem like more work than they're worth given anybody wanting to leak a download could just share the files they've downloaded directly rather than our URL to them.

Disgruntled employees - there are currently just 2 of us in-house. We use contractors on a per-project basis and they're all people we've worked with for years - over a decade in some cases. I've personally met most of them, and would frankly trust them all with absolutely any development. We don't believe in hiring people who need hand holding or monitoring. We've had more in-house staff over the years but those too just became contractors who continue to be trusted.

Hacks - our servers are with Rackspace who are industry leading and have a superb infrastructure. I manage them myself and have near 20 years experience with Linux server tech. We run all sorts of monitoring and security mechanisms, including a number of bespoke anti-attack systems. We have layers of dynamic firewalling and permanent blacklists, and all sorts of security conscious configurations. Websites are built well, and usually in in-house frameworks that very few people know the code of. In a nutshell, we've hosted a number of big names for a long time and while the only way to truly guarantee a secure system is to unplug it, I can confidently say our set-up is pretty tight.


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