Recently there have been a few discussions about the removal of documentation and the changes to a paid training course. In this blog post I want to address those comments and the reasons for the changes.

I founded Glass.Mapper.Sc back 2011 and since then it has just grown and grown. I didn't think it would turn out to be as popular as it has been and I am really proud of what has been created by myself and the community.

Day to day the maintenance and support of  the project is handled by myself and has become almost a second job. Some of the day to day tasks are:

  • Bug fix
  • Merging pull requests
  • Providing support to the community via Slack, Stack Overflow and email.
  • Developing new features
  • Ensuring that the framework works with multiple Sitecore versions
  • Writing blog posts
  • Developing training materials
  • Creating releases
  • Documentation
  • Presentations

At this point I want to give a massive shout to those who have helped me a lot of the years and given their time to the project:

  • Nathanael Mann
  • Akshay Sura
  • Kamruz Jaman
  • Neil Shack
  • Tom Dudfield

When I started Glass this wasn't too much of a problem because the Sitecore community was smaller and the Glass community even smaller. Since then the Sitecore and Glass community has grown massively and these tasks, especially support, take more and more time. Sitecore Slack is an amazing community and I think has made a Sitecore developer's life much easier but it is also used as a 24/7 support department. People are also expecting more and more from open source projects and are expecting similar levels of quality and support as commercial products. The Sitecore platform is also growing and constantly changing with each release requiring changes to the framework and testing.

Currently my time spent on Glass isn't paid which means that I have to perform these tasks around paid for engagements such as contracting and consultancy. This in the long run isn't sustainable for myself because of my other commitments, e.g. family, friends, personal interests. 

I therefore decided that this year I would try to make the Glass project sustainable by generating some income which would allow me to spend more time working on the project and supporting the community.

I decided that offering an online paid training course would be the first steps to making Glass sustainable. This (to me) made sense because a lot of the old tutorials need updating to reflect the changes that had been made in the framework - I could kill to birds with one stone.

I know however that this hasn't made everyone in the community happy and for those new to the framework it makes the learning curve a little steeper. 

So I am still trying to work out the right balance between documentation and training while making Glass sustainable. 

I want to hear the your thoughts on how this could be achieved. Other ideas that have been suggested to me are:

  • Support contracts.
  • Sponsorship.
  • Paid for pro features (what would these be?).
  • Low cost documentation subscription - for example $10 p/m.
  • Donations

Would you be willing to pay for any of these services? Do you have other ideas?

If you have any comments or feedback please head over to Sitecore Slack  and either post them in the #glass channel or contact me directly via Slack.

Thanks 

Mike