Yes, you read it right. I want to try something new.
People sometimes ask if individual people can really earn money with Open Source software. There are the big companies like IBM, Sun or Redhat that earn millions of Dollars with Open Source. But individuals?
Over the last weeks I wrote a DokuWiki plugin which can synchronize page and media data between two DokuWiki instances. I think that this plugin is especially interesting for companies and I assume they wouldn't mind paying some money for it.
So here is what I want to do. Instead of just releasing the plugin as I did with all my previous plugins and DokuWiki itself, I want to sell it. But I don't want to sell it per copy as it is usually done with closed source software.
Instead I set a fixed price, then everyone interested in the plugin can add a sum, and as soon as the price is reached I release the plugin to be downloaded by everyone.
The plugin is licensed under the GPL2 of course and all terms of it will apply as usual when it is released.
Okay, let's talk about the plugin now.
Check out the screenshots below to get an idea how it works. The plugin currently has the following features:
Before you ask, when the same page changed on both sides, it is your choice which version to keep or to do a manual merge. The plugin does not merge pages itself currently1).
Update: Because it might not have been clear: You only need access to the remote wiki during the sync. The plugin is meant for users that want to keep a local wiki on their laptop while traveling. The plugin allows them to sync back changes made on the road.
Now how much do I want? That is a hard question. Unlike with commercial software where you get money for each copy I only get money once. So it is more like a individual software order. So with considering development time and possible usefulness for enterprise users I came up with the nice sum of $750.
Again: I do not expect any single person to pay that sum. Like Open Source is a collective approach to creating software, this is a collective approach to paying for software .
Payment is handled via Paypal and I use chipin.com for tracking the progress.
So if the plugin would be useful to you, just chip in. The faster the goal is reached, the faster the plugin is released for everyone.
If you have any questions on the plugin or the whole “selling” thing, please leave a comment. I curious how this will work out.