Every time I come here to search for software I find myself wasting time with paid software in the top results of my search that I could not use properly/fully if I did not pay for it, and I have to weed through the horrible search results picking through old software to barely find anything because the prominent search results are for software that shouldn't be in the repository anyway.
But today I think I have found the most ridiculous, over-the-top posting of software I have seen in the repository yet! OMG! Have there been major policy changes that were not emailed out by the WordPress staff? I get occasional WP notices...
It's SO frustrating! There are places to go buy paid software for WordPress, we can find them, why must people trample over the space here with this crap!?
At the very least, the documentation for this plugin on these tabs in the WP repository aren't close to being even meeting a criteria for a "good" explanation of the software
The short description for the plugin says "Social Networking for WordPress: forum, activity, member directory, mail, chat, profile page, groups, events, gallery, mobile, RSS and more!"
BUT WAIT!!! There's this: "And there are "Bronze" plugins for even more functionality - like Groups, Events, Facebook Shared Status, Photo Albums and Mobile Access. These are included in the package installation so you can try them on your site (a small banner is shown while you are trying out the Bronze plugins which is removed with an Activation Code if you subscribe to the Bronze subscription at http://www.wpsymposium.com/membership)."
So I can't even download the GPL only portion of the software in this repository!
Bronze status for $39 a year for a 3 site license that has to communicate with their server to activate... and the software is included in your download, but you can't use it until you pay the $39. And that isn't a support charge at all because that's a separate package they offer (Silver! $59) and it specifically says the user will not receive support for their $39 fee. It seems likely but not sure that their software is going to regularly dial home to confirm a legal license. How is that GPL? Photo albums are a paid-for feature, and I have no idea why. Gold is probably an upsell you'll get when you move over to the forum and they've successfully converted you as a paid customer.
If we added a page where people could put their info for the available paid upgrades of the plugin, I personally wouldn't mind. But there's a FAQ that has a lot of content in it but says "You can activate a member profile page with activity wall and posts/replies; member profile photos (avatars); friends; a "notification bar" with friends status, mail alerts and live chat windows. You can also activate a forum; a directory of members and internal (private) messaging." <b>Because they never really explain anything but use simple buzzwords, it's not clear on how much of that is really added functionality - although obviously some of it is. When they say "activate a forum", how much you want a bet the free version allows for ONE forum.
What do any one of the free features not have that can be found in the oh-so-deluxe Bronze status unlocks in all its glory?
The point is really that the entire entry for this software in the repository is used to upgrade the user to buy the paid version of the software that doesn't appear to be GPL if you did buy it, and I don't know how groups, events, and facebook shared status are going to keep the attached software as GPL, so isn't this software only GPL if you use it WITHOUT the paid parts? And if that's the case, then why is so much of this entry devoted to inspecific information about what you actually get with the GPL software? It sounds like it's all connected and that's why it's forced on you with the "free" version of the software.
There are so many gratuitous and superflous entries in this software's docs here that offer no useful information but serve only to convert prospects into paying customers and do a complete and thorough sales job on people.... And they ask people to not to post support questions here, undoubtedly so they can press the sales job over on their site.
I just feel like with all the things that break the rules, their goal of putting something free here and letting people know there's a paid upgrade available is something that could probably be achieved just fine, but instead, I have to waste 10 minutes trying to read through the BS to figure out if I really can use software that's supposed to be GPL to do what I want it to do, only to find out they're stringing me along with bulleted sales points. A better safe than sorry approach would actually create more mystery, I'd certainly TRUST the developer (for which he now goes on my blacklist) because he simply did the right thing and didn't cross the line.
The way that software is moderated in this forum has got to change from only being moderated at the time of admission, I find these violations every single time I search for software and UGH!