I haven't made a blog post in a while and it's a shame it has to be a negative one, but I just couldn't not respond to this.
I read a blog post from a web developer today, lamenting the lack of good free templates, and asking developers to please release better free templates. He also laments the fact that lots of the free extensions are not so good either.
The hypocrisy here though is that he uses these free resources to supply his commercial business. He is asking developers to please work harder for him for free while he expects to be paid for his own time.
Let's look at some choice quotes.
I love the word free. If I can get something good for free, then I prize the business that provided me with it.
He prizes the business, because they don't charge him anything. If they do charge him anything then he doesn't like them. So he doesn't actually like businesses he likes charities.
I pre-typed this article in Abiword which is a free word processor, so I am very thankful for the developers that made it possible for me to keep my cash in my wallet.
He fails to notice that they help him keep cash in his wallet by taking it out of their own. He is so very, very grateful that he can eat that he doesn't want to help them eat. What a nice guy!
Obviously he is more important and it is just and right that he keeps his money and get's something from other people for nothing, than he pays people a fair price for their work. (However he expects to be paid for his own work)
Why do the developers build a cheap free extension then offer a better one for $30? Why even build the free template at all?
This is because it makes business sense to do so young padawan. The free one draws people in and then those that want higher quality must pay for it. If a developer puts their best stuff out for nothing then they have no way of putting food on their table. Money doesn't fall out of the sky for Open Source developers like he seems to think it does, and prizing my 'business' but expecting everything for free doesn't help me feed my family either. We can't buy food with thanks.
I have one goal for my free templates I build: make it good, make it simple, make it free. It should be a high-quality template that's simple for the user and free.
Which are where exactly? There aren't any on his site that I can see. If he is so unhappy about the lack of free, good templates then why doesn't he stop asking other people to work for him for free and do it himself. There is not one single thing in this world stopping him opening a free template club and releasing top quality themes every month for (insert tacky tele-marketing voice) ABSOLUTELY FREE!!! (end tele-marketing voice).
EDIT: Apparently there is one on his site. But my point still stands. Instead of complaining about there not being any good free ones and demanding that other people make them for him, he should be making them himself.
Oh but that's right, there is something. He is too busy being happy with the money in his pocket to bother working for other people for free! this is the hypocrisy. He is grateful like a thief is grateful that you left your window unlocked. Grateful that he can take things you worked hard on and put your soul into without giving you a fair compensation for them.
Many great products are available for free: Gmail, Google Analytics, Firefox, Linux, Joomla, Wordpress, etc.
...and every single one of them is supported by commercial endeavors of some sort. Lots of Joomla developers make the money to feed their own families from commercial templates/extensions/custom development. Google.. well we know where they get their money from... and so on.
Free is never really free except when it is theft. Everything needs to be rewarded in some way or it comes to an end. Even a tree needs sunlight, nutrients and water to produce 'free' fruit. Nothing can be created in a vacuum, which is what people like the author seem to think.
Here's my homework assignment for all you template designers out there, if you are going to build free templates then make them good. Don't worry so much about quantity but focus on quality. If you don't make free templates but do commercial templates, then start. You don't necessarily have to cut out your commercial templates, but make some others available for those who are looking for a real bargain (like me!). Trust me, the people who find out you offer high-quality free templates will be some of the most happiest people in the world!
The arrogance in this paragraph is amazing. He is telling people to stop making a living and start serving his every whim and desire. Yes I am sure the people receiving the free templates will be ecstatic, but the people actually doing the work will be homeless, starving bums.
The author seems to think that not only is he entitled to make money off the backs of others for free, but he is entitled to be picky and make demands of them!
Casually assigning 'homework' like some generous benefactor who we developers are lucky to be able to provide our work for free to. All worship our generous lord and master who grants us the grace of his thanks!
Sadly this attitude is all too prevalent in the Open Source world. Non developers, or even worse, developers making their own living off our work, demanding that we give them more and more for nothing. Something they themselves refuse to do mind you! For them it would be unthinkable to work for free for more than a few minutes, yet they assume that they are entitled to have others do it for them. Nay, they are benevolent and generous for allowing us the privilege of giving them our work for free, and we should be eternally grateful that we have starved our family and lost our homes so that we might make them happy.
I have summed this all up in 2 simple diagrams.
Figure 1.1. How they think the world works.
Figure 1.2. What they are really like.