1-Up’d by a 14 Year Old

I got a ping back today on the Countdown Timer page. Tobias made a plugin called “Ultimate Countdown Timer” which is based on my aforementioned Countdown Timer.

Initially I was kind of pissed. Some guy, Tobais, had gone and stolen my work and then branded his own. And then I remembered that it I who released the work under a GNU/GPL license specifically so this kind of thing could happen (people making modifications). So I really couldn’t be mad at him. So then I was mad at myself for releasing it under GNU/GPL. But then I realized that this was a good thing. Some dude has 1-up’d a plugin that I wrote. So I wasn’t pissed at anyone in the end.

I took a look at what he changed. It actually wasn’t anything much. He even made one of those little charts that lists the differences between the two. He basically added some Javascript to allow dynamic updating of the timer (which is good idea, I might have to see about adding that in).
He also internationalized the plugin; which is a good thought, but if he’d looked at the trunk copy, he would have seen that I already did it for the impending release (there are a bunch of other goodies in the new release too, but that’s for another post).

Next, I took a look at his “About Me” page. Turns out the guy is only 14 years old. Jeez, I got 1-up’d by a 14 year old. Then I realized this was good: I finally had competition in the market (albeit a very small market for a specific type of plugin for a specific publishing platform).

Unfortunately, I don’t believe his model won’t hold over time. He has to go through and rename a bunch of functions and variables each time he wants to update his version based on mine. This is a time consuming process (I’m assuming) and isn’t a realistic option over the long run. Hopefully, he’ll just treat it as a branch and continue to improve upon it instead of just adding additional functionality to every version I release.

6 Replies to “1-Up’d by a 14 Year Old”

  1. This has happened to me also a couple of times. I recently did it myself to: took some code released under GPL and modified and added a lot of extra stuff. Still I do mention the original authors name in both source code and manual.

    I love the dynamic javascript thing though. If you could implement it I would really appreciate it. (I can do it myself, but more people may find it useful).

  2. I was going to release version 1.8 later this week, but I’ve actually been talking with Tobias and the current plan is to port the dynamic JavaScript stuff back into the trunk. If/when that happens, I’ll probably just call it version 2.0 and release that in another week or so (yea, so you have to wait…big deal. If you can’t wait, grab the latest stable version of the trunk).

  3. I’ll wait. It’s not like a big deal or anything. It’s not like I’m rushing you to anything, I merely mentioned the fact a live countdown script would be nice. The fact that I, as a Pixelpost developer, have enough PHP skills which enables me to fix it myself has nothing to do with it. What is the point of modifying your version to suit my wishes and these useful things aren’t available to the public? Not to mention the hassle I’ll have when you update your excellent plugin. So don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t bitching or anything. 🙂

  4. I liked this post, funny way you told of the thought process. Another benefit you didn’t mention, I’m assuming his site links back to yours & credits you. Another thing about your initial reaction, maybe his title ULTIMATE CDT is part of what bugged ya, since your original isn’t the ultimate all of a sudden. So maybe if you incorporate his technique, it’ll be the MEGA ULTIMATE CDT. Then later he’ll turn 15, and make the UBER MEGA ULTIMATE CDT. And so on.

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