“You guys are in California and Jamie works for Google, do the code.”
I’m in Texas. Eric is in Pennsylvania. I lived in CA for a while soon after the company started, but moved back to Texas, partly due to real estate prices. Yes, Jamie is amazing, does live in California, and Google is extremely lucky to have him. I’d love for him to be able to work full-time on Virtualmin, Cloudmin, and Webmin, but we simply don’t have the revenue to do it.
“Is the opensource side of wm & vm a joke?”
What do you mean?
There is no other side of Webmin. It is 100% Open Source and always will be.
And, we provide 95+% of Virtualmin for free to anyone under a very liberal license. What more do you expect of us? We’ve been working on this stuff for 15 (me), 16 (Jamie), and 10+ years (Eric). Often for no pay, just because we like working on Open Source software and helping people. I’m genuinely baffled at what more we could be doing to make you happy and not consider it a joke? Virtualmin GPL is feature-comparable to both of our major proprietary competitors, and tens of thousands of people use it every day.
Honestly, we have probably made too much of Virtualmin available for free…our sales peaked a few years ago, before we merged several of the big features from Professional down into GPL, and while growth of users has been steady and even increasing, sales have been in decline. So, for us, more uses means more support requests, more bug reports, from more users, for less money. We’re like the underpants gnomes…we haven’t figured out what the ??? step that comes before “profit!” entails.
Webmin saw 3 million downloads last year; its biggest year ever, and we don’t expect it to decline in 2015. Virtualmin is managing tens of thousands of servers…maybe over 100,000, and definitely more than at any point in history. But, and this is a big but, only a tiny percentage are using Virtualmin Professional.
I never complain about that balance of usage here on our site (until now), because it’s not my primary goal in working on Virtualmin to make a ton of money; but, seriously, it’s incredibly frustrating to have been doing this for so long, for so little, and to have it dismissed so readily or have it suggested we’re greedy for not giving more away.
I’m happy to have Webmin used by something on the order of a million people (hard to say with precision, since we can never know how many downloads happen outside of the SF.net servers). That’s amazing. I’m not complaining about it.
And, I’m happy to have Virtualmin GPL used on something on the order of a 100,000 servers (again, hard to guess at precise numbers, but this is not an unreasonable guess based on numbers we can confirm).
I’d like it if more folks found enough extra value in Virtualmin Professional to pay for it. And, we’re always trying to find ways to make Professional worth paying for without harming the experience of GPL users…we genuinely want Virtualmin GPL to be a quality tool that works as well as any commercial competitor. And, we want to make enough sales to keep doing what we do, or more of what we do, preferably.
Maybe in the new year, with two great new themes (Ilia’s Authentic theme and my Bootstrap theme), a new Drupal 7 website with a better shop and the ability to pay month-to-month, and a new Webmin 2.x branch that will deprecate a lot of old stuff and reduce complexity some to improve ease of use, we’ll see an influx of new users, hopefully some with a little disposable income to spend on a supported product with a few extra features.
I’m sorry you’re unhappy with the way we’re doing it. We’re genuinely doing the best we can, with the people and skills and time we have available.
We do welcome help. The Webmin wiki has been recently migrated to MediaWiki (by me), and the docs there need a lot of attention, and I know you have experience enough to be helpful there. I always welcome help on the theme I’m working on (it’s in our public github at https://github.com/virtualmin/virtualmin-bootstrap-theme ). I’ve reached out to some friends of Virtualmin who have more experience with Drupal than I; hoping that’ll make the transition to Drupal 7 easier/quicker. We’re working on modernizing Webmin’s codebase, which is a long, hard, tedious slog…a half million lines of Perl of varying ages and quality.
And, if you have better ideas for making Virtualmin profitable, we’d love to hear it. But, I’m afraid selling half as many licenses won’t solve our fiscal problems (I’ve done the math on multi-server licenses…they’d either have to be quite expensive, or we’d take a huge revenue hit; currently, most of our users have multiple licenses…a multi-server license would simply mean they’d purchase fewer licenses, possibly a lot fewer).