Modemlooper stops dialing in for BuddyPress

17 Comments

Yesterday web developer Modemlooper announced on Twitter that he will stop working on his BuddyChimp project which was aimed towards bringing a social WordPress / BuddyPress to a mobile audience.

In a statement displayed on buddychimp.com, he said:

My concern is developing a business around another developers software that may not meet my goals down the road. I’m already seeing a road block/offramp in the horizon. Not to mention that BuddyPress wasn’t developed with a mobile first approach.

Even though BuddyPress is open source it’s future roadmap is controlled by someone else and like I stated they may decide to do something that won’t mesh with my goal; bringing a social WordPress to mobile that can be innumerably customized. Sure you can suggest things to be added or changed to core BuddyPress but it’s ultimately somebody else’s decision to allow it or not and if so could take longer than I or you’d like to accomplish a goal.

While I’m not sure what exactly happened, I do think it’s a shame to see another BuddyPress developer decide to calls it quits. Personally I always get a little sad when a plugin developer comes to a point where he no longer want to expand or even continue his current plugins.

What is your take on this? Do you think developers quitting projects is just something that is inevitable when dealing with open source community projects, or do you think Modemlooper‘s decision is too extreme?

For Modemlooper’s full message, see the text just after the jump.

View full message from Modemlooper

January 4th, 2012

Dear BuddyPress Community,

It may come as a shock that I will never write another line of BuddyPress code again. I could go into the gory details of why but suffice it to say I’ve never been dealt such disdain for openly criticizing something I’ve spent so much free time on. We’ll leave it at that.

Something transpired and it made me take a huge leap back and look at the big picture and the big picture is that BuddyPress will not work in accomplishing my long term goal of bringing a social WordPress to a mobile audience. I’m not saying that you can’t use BuddyPress on mobile devices, obviously you can. My concern is developing a business around another developers software that may not meet my goals down the road. I’m already seeing a road block/offramp in the horizon. Not to mention that BuddyPress wasn’t developed with a mobile first approach.

Even though BuddyPress is open source it’s future roadmap is controlled by someone else and like I stated they may decide to do something that won’t mesh with my goal; bringing a social WordPress to mobile that can be innumerably customized. Sure you can suggest things to be added or changed to core BuddyPress but it’s ultimately somebody else’s decision to allow it or not and if so could take longer than I or you’d like to accomplish a goal.

The plugins I’ve created for BuddyPress will cease to be updated or supported as of this posting. I’m sorry if this has inconvenienced anyone who has installed these plugins. Feel free to use them until they break or fork and keep them alive.

What’s next? I am not giving up on a social WordPress for mobile devices. I will shift gears, turn left at the mooing cow and go down a different path.

I wish everyone the best in the coming year. I’m excited and looking forward to what the future brings.

– modemlooper 🙂

17 thoughts on “Modemlooper stops dialing in for BuddyPress

  1. I’m not surprised… I see it all the time… plugin developers go awol, they get bored or too busy… I specialize in WP development and pondered building plugins over the years but never got fully into it… every time I researched it you hear how much time goes into support and you only have so much time in a day…

    I think in the end Matt has to really endorse premium plugins for WordPress to start reaching higher quality of CMS features… there is way too many plugins out there that have been abandoned because developers can’t spend full time hours working on a product…

    If we had more support like theme developers do from Matt we would see much accelerated, good quality, and feature rich plugins reach the masses but right now whenever you find a good plugin you usually find a tired developer… and why… when plugins typically take much more time to develop and maintain then a theme….

  2. Wow man! Modemlooper is bailing? I can’t say I am totally surprised, BuddyPress has been on an “interesting” development path. I am a long time user of BP and it has been so difficult to develop sites around BuddyPress because of the plugin abandonment issue. It’s demoralizing to say the least to become stuck at an older (potentially vulnerable) version of the software because your sites users have become accustom to using features that would be broken on upgrade.

    This is a huge loss to the BuddyPress community and I am going to start weighing my options.

  3. Their was a fight through the buddypress forums based on the lead dev wanting more feedback than “these forums suck” and modemlooper got his panties in a knot as he was unable to explain his comment.

    The forum thread has since been deleted.

  4. It’s disappointing to see that the BuddyPress community would let something like this happen. Though I’m not surprised.

    I struggle every day with BuddyPress woes. I’m starting to get desperate for a premium alternative with none of the crap. The second Modemlooper’s latest privacy plugin for BP stops working, that will be the breaking point!

  5. LOL, my panties are not in knot. There was no fight.

    One forum conversation did not lead to this decision. Yes, I was rubbed the wrong way on the wrong day and it made me take a look at the bigger picture. That picture asked me where I can most benefit the WordPress community, is there more?

    People always need drama as a reason for resignation. This is not the case. People bump elbows all the time. It’s nothing more than that. The BuddyPress forums do not suck. They offer tons of info for people who need help with BuddyPress. I used them for something else, my own needs. Over time I realized they sucked for ME as a plugin author, not someone looking for help with BuddyPress.

    My desicion was abrupt but it will be very beneficial in the long run. I have already been working on something that would expand the mobile capabilities of WordPress for site and plugin authors. I decided to cut the fat and that fat unfortunately was all the free BuddyPress development.

    I have no hard feelings towards anyone. It was a personal decision to push myself to new boundaries.

    • I decided to cut the fat and that fat unfortunately was all the free BuddyPress development.

      Does this imply that you are still open to continuing the development on BuddyPress should an initiative to fund your development occur?

      As I read things like this:

      The second Modemlooper’s latest privacy plugin for BP stops working, that will be the breaking point!

      I can’t help but think that the way to react to things breaking is to fund the development to get them fixed 🙂

      • If he was asking for $60 a license I know I certainly would have paid for it! I have two clients on BP and come update time I have to choose between security and the client themselves.

    • Sorry Modemlooper, but when you said at the start of your message “I’ve never been dealt such disdain for openly criticizing something I’ve spent so much free time on.” i just assumed you where referencing that thread as it did sound like it was about to get heated and it did happen just hours before you made your decision and their was no hints from you in that thread that you had been considering leaving all together all you said was that you wanted to move your forum.

      I’m sure you can see how someone could mistakenly get them mixed up. The line at the top of your message, plus the “People bump(ing) elbows” in that thread didn’t seem like a coincidence. My apologies.

  6. Sad to see you go away from BuddyPress Modemlooper. I’m curious though as to what new frontiers you’re venturing onto…

  7. I can understand’s modemlooper take as I had to stop developing (or i should say supporting and releasing new ones) for BuddyPress for awhile. It can be a bit difficult to manage someone else’s development path and what is being set; especially when you have time constraints.

    Aside – there needs to be a premium model for plugins. I’d problaby release another dozen or so I’ve setup for clients but supporting plugins on a freemium model can be too time consuming.

  8. The freemium model value is warped because of Apple and it’s $0.99 Apps. People expect more for less and without an official store for WordPress plugins It would be difficult to have the model be as successful. Apple’s model works because they have millions of customers with one click buying power.

  9. The approach I’d like to see happen is more of a crowd funding model. Civicrm has their ‘make it happen!’ campaigns (http://civicrm.org/mih) where people pledge to the part of the project they want the most, and if enough people want it, then they take your $$ and build it. It’s still all opensource How wonderful would it be if the wordpress community put something like this together. It could even start with the buddypress community. It would be more successful if it was sanctioned by WordPress.org, but it could also happen just with a few people putting something clean and simple together and then inviting other plugin developers to participate. Some sort of escrow would be necessary if many developers got involved. What do people think of this idea?

    • I think I’d have to see something like this in action first before I took part. Simply because a lot of the time the most popular ideas aren’t a) the most important, b) the most useful or c) the idea I’d like to see implemented.

    • Plugins vary in quality and function that I don’t think the crowd fund idea would work. Some plugins are tiny/do one thing.

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