Creating a bash script to install thirty bees on a USD 2.50/month VPS


  • Banned

    @mdekker

    Have you seen the vagrantfile we have added to the
    repository?

    No.

    It could be a first step to make an automated deployment on
    a VPS easier.

    Thanks for taking to time to explain that to me.



  • Its not that we are trying to create a two sided market. That market creates itself really.

    I think you are really off base with the software being too difficult to install. Its not. Its as simple as Wordpress, Joomla, PrestaShop, et al. None of which offer shell scripts. To be 100% honest, offering a shell script is a bad way to entice people to use the software. It promotes bad practices. Shell scripts were all the rage until real replacements came out like Docker and Vagrant.

    I also think you are way off base in the whole sign up with one of our partners We currently have 3 hosting partners. thirty bees is currently available as a free install on over 1000 hosts. It does not look like we are cornering that market and trying to keep people from installing thirty bees if they do not use one of our partners. Actually, that is quite not the case. Our two advertised partners now have custom installers. I made it a point personally before we partnered with anyone for hosting to reach out to Softaculous to be able to be included in their installer. If I were trying to stunt the thirty bees market and push users to our partners, that would have been a monumental bad move this early on.

    We also believe in FOSS, that is why we have started thirty bees. I am not sure if you have read around our blog or our other postings, but know two things for sure. thirty bees will never sell code we develop, it will always be FOSS. We will never be a SaaS platform. Both we feel are against the very nature of OSS.

    We don’t want to alienate anyone, we never will. Well, almost. There are toxic community members that need to stay toxic and never switch to thirty bees. I am ok with alienating them.

    I also think you need to look at things from our perspective. What I see is one person in a forum asking for something. I look in my other window and I see bug reports and feature requests. We are a small team currently, a small team trying to keep up. We are starting to get momentum and help from contributors such as @Traumflug @roband7 @Occam and @yaniv14 (and anyone else who I forgot). We have to look at each task we could do and weigh it. Sure we could spend all of our time doing the wrong tasks, where would that put us? No where. Or we could objectively look at the tasks, talk to the community and see the need for the tasks. What part of our mission is, is to be guided by the community. We are not store owners, we are developers. If there is enough need expressed for something it will end up on our roadmap. The more help we get with things, the faster the roadmap is traveled.


  • Banned

    @lesley

    Its not that we are trying to create a two sided
    market. That market creates itself really.

    I see.

    I think you are really off base with the software being
    too difficult to install. Its not.

    Your assertion reminded me of the beginning of a Talmudic argument which typically starts with a simple declaration…. and then ends up blossoming into a fabulous web of intricate and sublime arguments. I can envision rabbis ready to pounce on the implicit indirect object hanging off the end of that declaration.

    That is to say, too difficult for whom?

    Yes, it is too difficult to install for an ordinary non-technical user. No, it is not too difficult to install for an ordinary technical user.

    Your vague assertions have tended to cloud this discussion.

    Its as simple as
    Wordpress, Joomla, PrestaShop, et al.

    I can see the ad copy now, “Try thirty bees now! Getting our application running on your own $2.50/month server is just as difficult for non-technical users as our competitors! But if you pay 50% to several hundred percent more per month to one of our partners you can avoid the hassle that is not a hassle.”

    None of which offer shell scripts.

    And all of which earn money through self-hosting and/or referrals.

    Why not just be up front and explain to your customers you need to earn money from the website?

    To be 100% honest,
    offering a shell script is a bad way to entice people to
    use the software. It promotes bad practices.

    That assertion is subject to debate. If non-technical users were provided with a screencast which showed them how to carefully ensure a particular shell script was safe to use it could actually be considered a good practice because it would empower non-technical users to ensure they were actually installing applications from sources which had been vetted.

    Shell
    scripts were all the rage until real replacements
    came out like Docker and Vagrant.

    Donald Trump is all the rage today in much of the USA. Fads come and go. Do not slavishly chase after the latest bright shiny object.

    Please define the phrase “real replacements.” Also, you did not distinguish between, say, Docker official repositories and unofficial ones.

    Shell scripts really work. That is to say, the are real solutions. You might consider them to be obsolete but I assure you they are not. The official thirty bees Github section could contain such an installation shell script but that seems unlikely, not for any sort of legitimate technical consideration, but for an occluded business consideration.

    I also think you are way off base in the whole sign up
    with one of our partners We currently have 3 hosting
    partners.

    Good for you! I hope you guys hook up with more hosting partners. A simple little light-hearted statement like, «We want you to know that we earn a commission each month you pay for your hosting with ISP XYZ. These monies helps us keep the lights on and fill our bowls with instant ramen so we can keep improving thirty bees!» would go a long way towards building trust with your users.

    thirty bees is currently available as a free install on
    over 1000 hosts.

    I see.

    It does not look like we are cornering that market

    Please do not take umbrage with me for this assertion but: you really need to focus more on your choice of words.

    I did not suggest that you are cornering any market. Steering users is inherently different than cornering the market. The Hunt brothers did not try to steer silver buyers and sellers, they actually tried to corner the market on silver. You guys are currently way too small to corner any market of consequence.

    and trying to keep people from installing thirty bees
    if they do not use one of our partners.

    Ugh. That is another murky half truth. Your business model is clearly based in part on generating revenue from these partners. Therefore you have a vested interest in steering customers towards your partners. The truth of the matter is as clear as day.

    Actually, that is quite not the case. Our two
    advertised partners now have custom installers.

    I see.

    I made it a point personally before we partnered with
    anyone for hosting to reach out to Softaculous to be
    able to be included in their installer. If I were trying
    to stunt the thirty bees market and push users to our
    partners, that would have been a monumental bad
    move this early on.

    I am unsure if you actually believe the incredibly nonsensical assertion you made above, but I will assume that you actually do.

    Freemium is based on giving lots of stuff away for free. (After all, the root of the word is “free”). Ideally, you guys would earn a commission from every install on every ISP, but you can’t. Therefore, as a second choice you guys made your install free to a huge number of ISPs by piggybacking on the large market share of Softaculous.

    Trotting out an obvious marketing weakness as an indication of your inherently honorable intentions was clever but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to burnish your reputation.

    Again please take this as a constructive criticism: you really need to work on communicating clearly and honestly. It is not merely me who you are at the very least subconsciously attempting to mislead but to some extent you are misleading yourself. That is a scary place to be because eventually you will essentially say that up is down and black is white.

    Our thoughts not only influence our choice of words, our choice of words actually influence our thoughts.

    We also believe in FOSS, that is why we have
    started thirty bees.

    I see.

    I am not sure if you have read around our blog or our
    other postings, but know two things for sure. Thirty
    bees will never sell code we develop, it will always
    be FOSS. We will never be a SaaS platform. Both
    we feel are against the very nature of OSS.

    Yes. I have read those postings. Frankly they are less heartwarming and less credible in light of this discussion we are having. Yes. That is a direct criticism which—I am sorry to opine—you deserve.

    We don’t want to alienate anyone, we never will.
    Well, almost.
    There are toxic community members that need to
    stay toxic and never switch to thirty bees. I am ok
    with alienating them.

    Jewish sages (great rabbis) generally find the the inclusive, free speech ideals rooted in the European Enlightenment to be inherently wicked for they necessarily promote lashon hara (evil speech). As far as Jewish sages are concerned, free speech (but not speech itself) is inherently evil. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, feel free to ban me or anyone you like. This is your business, not mine.

    By the way, Jewish sages differ starkly from Christian sages in this matter. It is actually a commandment for Jews to hate many types of wicked people. Christians tend to focus on love, Jews on justice. I hate wicked people without giving it a second thought. Christians seem to be taught to abhor hate. Not us Jews. We embrace it.

    I also think you need to look at things from our
    perspective. What I see is one person in a forum
    asking for something.

    That “something” is what I spilled much ink over lucidly arguing in favor of, and which you failed to properly reply to. From my vantage point you lost the argument because you failed almost completely to refute my arguments.

    I look in my other window and I see bug reports and
    feature requests. We are a small team currently, a
    small team trying to keep up.

    I believe you are busy. I really do. But as I argue below, the most critical task right now for thirty bees is almost certainly on-boarding new customers, not improving buggy PHP code or adding new features. How long would this script take to get written? 10 hours? Get it done, put it up on your thirty bees Github and use it to improve your on-boarding efforts. The hamburgers and fries your restaurant serve need some work. Sure. But sell the food cheap and make it easy for customers to walk in, sit down, get served, pay, and get out, before focusing too much on improving your food quality.

    Recurring revenue is nice in theory, but thirty bees needs more users very quickly, not a little trickle of recurring revenue. Like I opined previously, a restaurant with great chefs will not be able to afford to pay them without customers. Non-paying customers can help spread the word to bring in more non-paying customers who could eventually constitute a significant two-sided market.

    $2/month in recurring revenue for 3 years is less than one $79 add-on. And I did not mention hourly consulting. You are familiar with consulting. Aren’t you? That’s what pays your bills, currently isn’t it? As you well know, consulting is a huge potential money-maker. Most of your non-paying customers will never pay a penny for consulting… but they might happily help you to land a big fish (lucrative client) by providing thirty bees with the best form of marketing that exists: word-of-mouth recommendations provided by satisfied customers who trust the organization they are doing business with.

    You guys need to very quickly win what is essentially a popularity contest, not collect what is essentially some loose change from a small group of users. Your most critical challenge now is not developing a better ecommerce platform. The current buggy Prestashop PHP code is likely probably actually far better than it needs to be for the vast majority of potential new users of thirty bees, at least initially.

    Each new customer is probably worth at least $10 to you, even if they never pay thirty bees a penny because of the network effect that word-of-mouth advertising creates. As you surely know, a single advertisement is generally worthless. Potential new customers often need to be bombarded with messages over and over and over again to finally on board them. Superbowl television ads are inconsequential in comparison to positive word-of-mouth.

    We are starting to get momentum and help from
    contributors such as @Traumflug @roband7
    @Occam and @yaniv14 (and anyone else who I forgot).

    Great! Appoint one of them as project manager and recuse yourself from your day-to-day oversight except probably to settle disputes. Developers are human. And they often cling tenaciously to ridiculous viewpoints despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I am trying to think of an example to point out to you, but regrettably nothing comes to mind at the moment. (Yes, that I was being facetious. But try to take my criticism as primarily constructive albeit harsh. This thread is not meant to tear you down but open your eyes so you can help build yourself up).

    Someone needs to adjudicate disputes and ultimately even dismiss recalcitrant developers. And I guess that someone probably needs to be you. It’s an unpleasant job that will likely win you lifelong enemies, but it must be done carefully and judiciously yet swiftly. Very, very swiftly. Unsettled disputes are like poison that festers. Possibly find an informal trusted mediator to help you if necessary.

    We have to look at each task we could do and weigh
    it.

    Someone needs to, but not necessarily you. You need to focus on marketing now, not development. thirty bees marketing efforts are meager at the moment.

    Sure we could spend all of our time doing the wrong
    tasks, where would that put us? No where.

    Or where you are now. Which is on an exhilarating ride on a venture that is apparently succeeding but I suppose is likely to fail. You are confused about what potential users (customers) need. Most of your potential customers are little fish (not the big ones you dream about). Those little customers need to metaphorically fill up your football stadium to attract the big fish who will purchase the expensive luxury boxes.

    Some of those little fish want to pay $2.50, add their 200 products to a store, set it up with PayPal and maybe Authorize.net and stop paying $29/month to Shopify whereas other little fish are people who want to start a web store, but do not want to pay $29/month to Shopify to do so. And yes, some of those little fish are stuck using a buggy unsupported version of an ecommerce platform from big, bad, evil Prestashop.

    In Herb Kelleher’s book called «Nuts!» which is about Southwest Airlines he recalls a meeting with, I believe shareholders, who complained Southwest Airlines was not charging enough money vis-a-vis other airlines. Herb Kelleher responded with something like we are not competing against other airlines, we are competing against the Greyhound bus lines. Make it cheap and make it easy. And iron out the bugs. Cut back on the features for now and endure the wrath of your developers. It is ok if they despise you as long as they respect you and trust you.

    Or we could objectively look at the tasks,

    Sitting in an echo chamber having developer-speak rattle through your head is not objective, it is subjective. You know the adage, “When you are a hammer every problem looks like a nail” I suggest you move away from development for now.

    And go find some other people to talk to. Many developers are like mad geniuses. They have some really warped sensibilities.

    Find some honest to goodness salesmen who sell, say, shoes or cars. Have them look at thirty bees website and then LISTEN to them critique your website. The thirty bees website might look good to your eyes, but I doubt a true salesmen would be impressed with it at all.

    To my eyes it does a poor job of on-boarding little fish or big fish. It is a bunch of boring boilerplate with no appealing call to action.

    talk to the community and see the need for the tasks.

    By most accounts Steve Jobs was a nasty guy, but he did introduce some very successful products. One thing he was adamant about was largely ignoring customer requests. Listening to your customers is important, but actually following their advice and suggestions is great way to go out of business.

    Generally it is best not to give customers what they say they want because most of them do not even know what they want in the first place. In other words, think of customers as if they were women. No. That is not sexist. It’s simply good advice. Ever been shopping with a woman. It’s usually an adventure in limitless possibilities and unrealistic fantasies.

    Figure out what customers need and are willing to pay for. Then give them that. Did anyone ever come up to Steve Jobs and say, “I want to ditch my IBM Selectric typewriter for a Macintosh computer” I doubt it. Listen to customers. Sure. But feel free to ignore them. Think of it as a form of benign neglect.

    Your current customers, lots of developers apparently, want all sort of bells and whistles. You would do best to explain to them that after you have on-boarded your 100,000th customer you will work hard with them to create the precious bells and whistles they crave, but for now you need a process that enables people to go live with a website for $2.50/month with only a little more time and effort than it takes to sign up for a PayPal account, find and buy a low-priced plane ticket, and book a nice Airbnb in some exotic location.

    What part of our mission is, is to be guided by the
    community.

    None. Zero.

    You and whoever else is in charge guide must decide. Everyone else get zero votes. They get input. Sure. And you must listen to them. But if you can overcome their arguments then ignore them as you see fit. That includes me too.

    You must not become a tyrant. (Easier said than done, I learned the hard way). You need to either run a benign dictatorship or a benign oligarchy but certainly not anything remotely resembling a democracy (a polite name for mob rule). As a Jew I must, but regrettably do not, follow halacha (Jewish law). All people must follow either Noahide laws or Jewish laws as the case may be. Otherwise paganism (think of the Huns, Goths, and Visigoths rampaging through Europe) naturally takes over.

    thrity bees is not a community. thirty bees is an organization (at least to some extent) that has customers and developers. The whole absurd notion of online communities is not something I want to comment on here in detail, but I will say that anything that is exclusively online is almost certainly an association and almost certainly not a community. The sooner you internalize that the better off you will be.

    We are not store owners, we are developers.

    I think it is better to think that “they” are developers whereas “you” are now primarily a marketer (and supervisor of developers) who might get back to developing one day if you have the time and inclination.

    You are clearly not even close to being a pure engineer. You are apparently a sharp guy who probably taught himself to code, sell, and do all sorts of things. You were probably a terrible formal student who probably hated school and had a very difficult relationship with many of your teachers. Perhaps you didn’t graduate from high school. Pure engineers have to build things just like pure musicians have to play music. You are eclectic. Embrace it and use it to your advantage. But labeling yourself a developer is limiting and foolhardy.

    If there is enough need expressed for something it
    will end up on our roadmap.

    thirty bees will likely not exist in any meaningful way 24 months from now if you embrace that nonsensical notion. Democracy does not work in politics in business or anywhere for that matter. So-called liberal democracies exist and financially flourish in large part because tiny yet extremely powerful groups of men are able to successfully circumvent so-called democratic institutions. In an actual democracy, interminable arguments ensure precious little is ever accomplished, feuds typically fester, and that which does get done usually gets done badly.

    The only reason the USSR lasted as long as it did, despite it’s inane social and economic policies, was that democratic governance was jettisoned not long after the Russian revolution. Russia is doing much better these days (by Russian standards) under a terrifying but reasonably effective and generally fairly benevolent dictator who, you probably do not know, is very friendly towards and very supportive of observant Jews in Russia. It is extremely unlikely any pogroms will be tolerated in Russia as long a President Vladimir Putin is in office.

    The Jewish people would never had made it out of the desert if Moses had asked the people what they wanted. He had to impose G-d’s will on them. And we never would have made it across the Jordan into Jericho without Joshua leading us. No way. No how. But Moses and Joshua were profits. You are not. You need to follow either Jewish law (if you are Jewish) or a Noahide set of laws if you are not Jewish.

    The more help we get with things, the faster the
    roadmap is traveled.

    It guess it is time for you to dust off that old copy of the “Mythical Man Month” you have laying around somewhere so you can quickly abandon that ridiculous idea. Usually when it comes to development less is more. Get two or three top notch developers working together as a team, and they will code circles around poor devs working under apparently pathetic management at Prestashop. And do not let the devs subsist too much on caffeine, chocolate, and sugar. Force them to eat real food. Even go so far as to buy them lunch if you need to. In 20 years they will likely thank you profusely for making them eat real food.

    Pair programming (or trio programming) which can be done remotely and developer-narrated screencasts of all of the code they have just written at the end of each coding session are critical components. In my experience developer comments within their code is usually remarkably inadequate. But a 10 minute developer-narrated screen cast is typically extremely illuminating and far more than adequate even to bring a brand new developer right up to speed. 2 or 3 top flight devs. That is all you need for now. Turn them into minor celebrities. Put videos of their developer-narrated screencasts on the front page of thirty bees. Really. Do it. We typically heap accolades on athletes and entertainers while paying scant attention to ordinary people who accomplish meaningful work. Let your devs bathe in the limelight.

    Also make them feel important by protecting them from as many distractions as is feasible. 3 to 4 hour uninterrupted coding sessions are critically important. No phone calls, no text messages, no social media, no nothing other than 2 or 3 top notch devs arguing with (well, actually often yelling at) one another as they wrestle over the code on the 42 inch monitor they are staring at.

    The other fundamental problem you guys will likely never address is PHP. It’s a terrible language for developing anything beyond small scale projects. No PHP 7 has not solved PHP’s fundamental problems. They won’t likely ever be completely solved. Something like Ruby or Python or one of the myriad other languages favored by actual software engineers (and I mean actual software engineers) would really help. You guys will likely never implement such a solution for an entire rewrite because thirty bees would need copious financing to accomplish a rewrite in such a language.

    However, perhaps you guys might develop new modules in one of the above mentioned languages. You have probably become inured to just how bad PHP actually is. If you have not done it before, you might watch some YouTube videos which demonstrate basic coding in Lisp or a language derived from Lisp. If you were to do so you would likely quickly see how vastly superior it is to PHP. Trying to avoid writing bugs in PHP is difficult and requires developers to be disciplined even when using modern PHP frameworks. (Modern PHP frameworks are, of course, very useful).Whereas in Lisp it is not quite trivial, but actually almost difficult for a true software engineer to write bugs. And bugs in Lisp are much easier to track down than in PHP because in Lisp bugs look ugly whereas in PHP they tend to not to be immediately obvious. Lisp has an inherent logical power and beauty that PHP does not.



  • I cannot tell if you are trying to be intelligent and unintendedly coming off as insulting or if you are just trying to be long winded and insulting.

    Let me start with the shell scripts and why they are bad. Installing the software to run a server is only a quarter of the battle. These are not Wordpress sites or static Jekyll sites we are talking about. We are talking about sites that take payments and host personal information for all of your users. Depending on the products that are sold the personal information can be damaging. Needing a shell script to install a simple PHP application and a server means you do not know how to manage a server. This is a bad practice. Environments like this are fine when you are running in your localhost sandbox. But not for applications running on the web. I am not going to teach our users bad practices to save them a few dollars a month. That is a great reason for managed hosting. Updates get pushed to packages that need updates. Not all updates are as easy as apt get update. Some require configuration. Some of the packages we recommend require good configurations or they expose sites to security risks. One I can think of off the top of my head is REDIS. Setup improperly it exposes the whole server, https://www.itnews.com.au/news/insecure-redis-caches-abused-for-linux-server-attacks-435968 It, like other packages needs more than a simple shell script. It needs hardening, updates, security patches, and configuring. Someone that has trouble installing a PHP application that installs like every other PHP application in the world has no business running their own internet facing server. There is a reason there are people that are paid to configure them.

    I do not see a need to disclose about the terms of our hosting partnerships. It is an industry standard. It would be like every commercial on TV saying they bought the space to either change your mind or sell you a product. Its the status quo, we partner with companies that we earn commissions from to help us grow the software to help merchants be successful. I am missing the point where this is a big deal.

    If you feel that hosts are a big portion of the monetization strategy you would be wrong. To be totally honest they are one of the smallest means to monetization. Our strategy lies in other places that are more profitable. That is why we help users no matter what host and try to refer users to the best hosts possible.

    I think you miss the whole idea of freemium. What you claim to be freemium is not freemium. You might read this, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemium We aren’t going to have tiers of the software. We will have just one version, free. Not limited and you can pay more to get more features, just free. As far as it being a marketing weakness, it is not. We are a company just getting started.

    To be honest I skimmed the last half of what you wrote, so I am not going to address it point by point, I am just going to blanket address it.

    We are not going to abandon PHP for another language. It does not work. The other languages do not work in a large scale. Our forum is in node. We now have to maintain several forum modules because in the 4 months that we have taken it up they have become abandoned. We are not going to strap ourselves down with a ton of technical debt. PHP is not the hot, hip, js language of the week. It is the language that powers the web hands down. You might think it is declining, but it is not.

    I actually should do more delegation, you were right on that. I have a feeling I should rely on you to write a shell script to install thirty bees. I think you would do a good job with it. You seem to be dedicated to task with little or no reward and you like to write. When you finish with it, shoot me an email. Also, if you want to do the screencast and write a blog post you are welcome to as well. We can host the script in our repo and post the post to our blog. If that does not suit you, go to the feature request section, add it in, and lets get to voting on it. We are sorting through them this month to see what is going to make it in the next version.



  • dftt


  • Banned

    @lesley Thanks for taking the time to respond to me. I appreciate that. If I am interested in taking you up on your offer I will contact you.



  • have you guys considered creating a bash script

    No, because it exists as part of the testsuite already:

    php install-dev/index_cli.php --newsletter=0 --language=en --country=en --domain=localhost --db_name=thirtybees --db_user=root --db_password=mypassword --db-clear=1 --db_create=1 --name="Bash installed shop" --email=me@localhost --firstname=My --lastname=Hero --password=superhero
    

    Adjust parameters to your needs, of course. And using a distribution, change install-dev to install.



  • @Yeku Use your time more wisely. In the time it took you to type up those bloated & nonsensical replies you could have written the bash script yourself and contributed it to the project.


  • Banned

    @dynambee

    I agree with your sentiment but not your conclusion.

    By getting past the 建前 (appearance) to the 本音 (root of the matter) I eliminated thirty bees as a solution. Technically thirty bees seems superior to Prestashop, Magento, Woocommerce, and Open Cart, but technical superiority must be weighed against other considerations. And no, I am not looking forward to wrestling with a buggy ecommerce application.

    I wish I had had a forum like this to write such " bloated & nonsensical replies" before wasting over a year of my life living in a land and studying its spoken and written language with the most polite and helpful pagans I have ever had the displeasure of living with.

    Any decedent of ancestors who at least once subscribed to an Abrahamic faith who willing lives in Japan—excepting times of duress, say, like when the guys from the Mier Yeshiva briefly sojourned in Kansai (in Kobe) before landing in Shanghai—is likely unwittingly embracing paganism and its concomitant blackness. Remember, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

    Like most online forums, this one is a means of communication that tends to cause like-minded people to reinforce one another’s preexisting erroneous beliefs causing them to arrive at many erroneous conclusions. For example, this is not a community. Not even close. It is very likely a decade hence few of you will have any significant contact with one another.

    頑張ってください (good luck) and おおきに (thanks)



  • @dynambee Classic case of don't feed the troll 😉

    This person is not going to help, just troll.



  • hahaha jezus f**k why did i read all of that

    mdekker EDIT: censor word



  • Haha, same here. Can’t believe we took this guy seriously for a moment. What a waste of time!



  • You guys actually read his posts? I got about two lines in. No time for drivel.

    @Yeku, Your attempt at Japanese is pretty poor, or maybe your Japanese is fine but your English is poor. Works out the same in the end I guess.

    Back to work for me.



  • well it started normally then it went into weird things



  • Yeah it was well-crafted I must say. Lots of research as well.


 

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