encourage other developers

Discussion forum about Anuko Time Tracker

encourage other developers

Postby hendrik » Wed May 16, 2012 10:17 am

Dear Time Tracker Project Admins,

I love anuko's time tracker and I use it every day to keep track of my personal and professional projects. I am freelancing and so I'm even using it to bill my customers and show them what I've done during project time.

However, as an ambitious software developer I find it very hard to deal with time tracker as an open source project. Yes, the source code is freely available and yes the license is liberal, but apart from that it seems to me (this is my personal opinion) that nothing more is done to encourage other developers to extend time tracker's functionality (or generally maintain the software).

Please don't take this as some form of personal criticism, I just think it'd be a good idea to make this piece of great software easily available to more people.

In my eyes, the following things should be considered. Again, this is not some form of demand, it's more of an advice:

  • Provide easier access to the source code. In my eyes a git/github repository, googlecode or a sourceforge project should do this job very well. You also could maintain certain versions and branches (stable, unstable, etc.). I see that you guys are constantly updating the source code to fix issues and add functionality but there's nowhere a version number found on the web site, so I never see if my installation could/should be updated or not. Enable us developers to provide patches and fork the code base to work on bigger adjustments. I see that this is basically possible right now, but it's just terribly hard to maintain.
  • It seems to me, that the time tracker has no bug tracker? github/sourceforge/etc could manage this very well, too.
  • You could adjust your Liberal Freeware License to something more "common". In my eyes your license model is compatible to any BSD-License!
  • Also it would make sense to put the user and installation guides into a wiki, so it could be translated and extended by us users.

I see that anuko itself is making its money from supporting time tracker installations. You could definitely benefit from a broader developer community as they will could improve code quality and add features. You are not loosing control over the source code itself, as it is already freely available.

You might consider this. :)

Greetings from Berlin, Germany.
-Hendrik-
hendrik
 
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Re: encourage other developers

Postby Nik » Sat May 19, 2012 10:46 pm

What can I say?

There is room for improvement for sure, process-wise and in other areas. Hopefully, some of your suggestions will be addressed eventually, one way or another...

I don't see any problems with the current open source license though. What's wrong with it?
Nik
 
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Re: encourage other developers

Postby hendrik » Mon May 21, 2012 2:56 pm

Hey Nik,

thanks for your support. Basically, I guess nothing is actually wrong with the license. I just wanted to mention that providing something that sounds familiar (e.g. "BSD License") probably attracts more people than some license that (at a first glance) looks new to me, that I have to actually read and understand the implications. Just sayin'. :-)

Regards
hendrik
 
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Re: encourage other developers

Postby walter@kasparek.org » Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:57 pm

Sali zäme,

based on time tracker I have developped a report and bill form generator: You can generate them for each co-worker by project for a variable time period. Customer project links and per date blocking of data entry is provided by means of additional relations in the database. Each bill can amended with incremental bill number. Currency can be changed. VAT is calculated. Up to 2 additional bill elements can be added.

Walter 8)

link:http://revendex.kasparek.org or description (german) http://old.kasparek.org/Laden/l/R.html
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Re: encourage other developers

Postby tkie » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:20 pm

The first link seems to require a password. Is the link correct?

What's wrong with the built-in invoicing feature? It's available on the report page, after creating a report.
tkie
 
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Re: encourage other developers

Postby walter@kasparek.org » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:20 am

This is the entry to my bill generator instance. Access needs a password because the addon relations to timeTracker are administered here.
The invoice option in timeTracker does not support template bill forms. Further regularly bill generation needs too much handwork.

Walter 8)
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Re: encourage other developers

Postby dalescott » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:42 pm

Hi @Nik, I came across this thread and wondered if have you had any new thinking regarding the license used for TT? I have no legal issue with the "LIBERAL FREEWARE LICENSE", but using one of the more common permissive licenses could encourage adoption by commercial for-profit enterprises.

I agree with @hendrik that the BSD license appears consistent with your intent, but other permissive licenses such as the Apache or MIT license would likely be equally suitable. Enterprises need to limit potential liability, and a well accepted and understood license provides confidence the license is valid and will remain valid if tested (especially if already tested!).

@Nik, I am sure you are aware of the issues since you chose a permissive license, but if anyone is not familiar with permissive vs copyleft licenses, enterprises generally prefer a permissive license to avoid potential future business liabilities. Assume a commercial for-profit enterprise adopted TT for managing projects within a department. If TT proved successful for that department, presumably it would be desirable to use TT for all departments, and potentially even outsiders such as clients and sub-contractors. Eventually there would likely be some customizations, potentially integrating TT with with other enterprise systems such as an ERP. Since TT uses a permissive license, I can be confident that no matter where the path leads, the license will not be a liability. However, if TT used a copyleft license, such as the AGPL (a popular copyleft license for web applications), I would have to share customizations with clients and sub-contractors, and possibly even the code for any systems I had integrated TT with (depending on how the integration was done). While it may be possible to perform the integration in a way that the copyleft license does not extend to the integrated systems, the potential will be a cause for concern.

You might also consider specifically listing support for TimeTracker on the Anuko website, not just consulting in general. In addition to a business favorable license, enterprises also want to see support is available - and generally accept having to pay for it. :wink:

Cheers,
Dale
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Re: encourage other developers

Postby dalescott » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:47 pm

P.S. I would also encourage you to add a legal notice clarifying copyright ownership to the README.md file. It seems all the PHP files include a copyright notice attributing ownership to Anuko, but I have noticed commits in the Github repo from other contributors without adding their copyright notice to the file. Without formal copyright assignment or other clarification, it is unclear if copyright has been assigned to Anuko, if the contributor retained copyright and provided their commit under the terms of the Anuko LIBERAL FREEWARE license, or neither. The legal ambiguity could be a concern to someone contemplating using TimeTracker (in particular an organization large enough to have legal staff providing guidance and ensuring compliance).
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