First, it's with a heavy heart that I'm even bringing this up. I'd like to ask the community what you think about the concept of premium plugins (i.e. not free)? There are already premium phone and cloud based applications that connect to OctoPrint in some way, but nothing that I'm aware of within Octoprint itself.
There are many open-source developers who are making and supporting lots of great plugins. Some of them would like to be able to work part or even full-time on these projects. However, in the open source world one often ends up writing software at a net loss (sometimes huge). For many of us, this is fine, but it means less time spent on plugins and more time spent working a day (and sometimes night) job. In my case it means fewer new features/bug-fixes and fewer support tickets answered. I bet there are lots of plugin ideas that have never been implemented because no 'app store' exists, and there is no clear path to recouping some of the massive time and effort that most development requires. Patreon is great, but even OctoPrint itself deserves more support (it's not like @Foosel has a full-time staff of developers working for her, as I think she deserves).
So, I propose the following questions:
- Should premium plugins exist at all? What are the pros and cons?
- How would the mere existence of premium plugins affect OctoPrint and the popularity of OctoPrint?
- What changes to OctoPrint would be necessary to support this (think installation, payment, etc).
- What plugins/features would YOU be willing to pay for, and what would you pay?
I will amend this list as I think of more questions, and as the discussion develops.
Thank you all for your participation in the OctoPrint ecosystem!
Suggestion #1: Some kind of integrated 'tip' system, or the ability to include links to paypal/patreon/etc.. within the plugin manager or plugins.octoprint.org somehow.
Suggestion #2: A 'premium plugins' plugin combined with an activation server. Not sure about licensing issues this may cause, but will look into this.