PragmaFlow Components Update

Hi All,

First off, thanks for all of the love we’ve been getting, deeply appreciated.

There’s something that has been bothering me and that I wanted to address, and even call ourselves out on:

In building tools for other creators it’s incredibly important to me (and us) to:

  • not waste other’s time
  • provide transparency
  • deliver on promises

We started out building components because it was enjoyable and because we hoped to expand Adalo’s capabilities.

While there has been much success there are also a few challenges, mostly, breaking changes as Adalo upgrades.

Other noted gaps between where we are and what we hoped:

  • we haven’t found a sustainable way to monetize our components, the calculated revenue doesn’t cover the work required to offer a paid product to the standards we would need to hit

  • though they are open source, there has been next to no community collaboration and it seems by large, when an issue occurs, people ask us to fix it (we had hoped for at least some momentum outside of what we generate to close the gap).

All this has left us with regular inbound support requests that essentially would require many (expensive) dev hours to troubleshoot and respond, and we just aren’t able to do it.

What we would love

  • more community engagement (sweat contribution not just love)
  • better visibility: we want you to know which components are experiencing bugs, and if workarounds have been found.

The best way I can think to do this is to centralize that information.

To create a better experience for everyone, which includes better visibility…
Going forward:

  1. Please report all bugs via github using the issues tab. That way, your request will be visibile to others who will have better information before attempting to use the component.
  1. If you find a workaround to a known bug please report it there too. We’ll update the readme’s with highlights and need-to-knows.

The auto-closing feature of this forum makes it not-ideal for this task and so with the goal of creating a better and more cohesive experience, we will be shifting our attention from this forum and from email requests to github issues.

We welcome questions and feedback on this move, which we hope will better serve everyone.

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Thanks for the update Mitch! I know we’ve missed you guys :). The components you guys built were amazing and I’m still using a couple of them in my app. These are things I would pay for (not $2000 pay for, but in line with the other commercial components on offer here). Paying for components was never an option, so perhaps if they are becoming a drag financially, maybe it’s time to commercialize them?

Just a couple of thoughts:

  1. I think Steven always said that Pragmaflow was releasing components because it was giving back to the community. I didn’t think there was any expectation of cashflow for the components, so perhaps the messaging wasn’t right originally. Again, maybe it’s time to consider charging for your components.

  2. I would love to be able to contribute towards updating the open source components, but I’m not a coder and I suspect this is the case with the vast majority here. I even tried updating one of your components myself and it didn’t end well (I just could not get it to work). I think most of us are using Adalo because we can’t code. And I also suspect that those that can code are more likely to release their own components directly rather than help another developer maybe?

Anyway, my point is we love your components and they have certainly helped make Adalo platform much better. But you are right, they do need love and care to keep working, but I think you need to find a commercially available solution rather than relying on the community. Just my 2c and I might be totally wrong (hope so!).

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From my view neither is a particularly viable option right now.

Commercializing requires some commitment to service typically.

Selling components at $50/item which is on the expensive side, would mean that to justify 1 days worth of work we need to sell 20.

And we project that costs would exceed profits quickly.
Maybe because we’ve chosen challenging components.

The math above also excused cost of customer response, billing, the respective infrastructures and upkeep.

Then there’s the sudden breaking changes. Even with 7 days warning last month, which was a huge improvement over past experiences, it’s too much of a crunch.

Lastly, and this is probably a big chunk of the reason for the fact that skilled users go elsewhere: adalo is not a fun or effective dev environment, it’s actually rather frustrating and most Devs probably wouldn’t bother.

So we’ve done the heavy lifting, and I understand it’s hard to fix components. They are even above my level, though that is because I keep putting off learning react native actually.

There are many courses that can take come one quickly from being an html/css person to js and react.

My goal with the OP is just to create a single source of truth and remove us as the bottlenecks and information holders.

Frankly, I would be happy even to see others get paid to improve our components provided they were kept open source.

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I just want to make a quick note about Adalo and components. I have been a part-time IOS developer in Objective C and SWIFT for more than 10 years. I have several native apps in the Apple App store. The most frustrating thing for a part-time IOS developer is that it is impossible to develop an app commercially and cost-effectively because the coding is becoming more and more complex and especially the layout is becoming more and more complicated. Not to mention that the app is then “only” available for IOS. And it is precisely this gap that Adalo fills, if not very well but at least well. I don’t have to mess with the coding anymore but can focus on the app itself and I get the app for both IOS and Android and that was crucial for me I can also do native in app purchase. In my opinion, the key to the complete success of Adalo lies in the development and marketplace of the components. And this does not work as it is set up now! It cannot be that Adalo allows the development and marketing of components to external developers and then leaves the paying customer to his fate if the component does not work. There is no way to rate the components or request a refund. Adalo would have to support the components or not allow the developers if they can’t provide support.

I would love to develop components myself, it seems fairly easy, but react native is unknown to IOS programmers. We live in the world of Steve Jobs i.e. Objective C or SWIFT. If there were any interface to it, Adalo would be as well known as Unitiy in no time.

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@Mitch-Pragmaflow I think $50 for a good component is a very fair price and I would be willing to pay more if that component is a real problem solver and has important features that Adalo doesn’t yet offer. And look at the number of installations of the premium components in the Adalo marketplace. For the short time since the marketplace has existed, they’re not that bad.

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@RonDeveloper we often use expo so we can write react native apps and build on both iOS and Android.

I don’t because it is above my level and while I’d love to learn it’s never been a top item since my role is often more client facing and operational alongside the low and middle code stuff (and some Python).

I’m open to being shows that there is a viable business here, and from current perspective, I’m not willing to spend much energy to figure it out.

So the real answer might be more like:

  • I’m not convinced there is a viable business
  • Even then, in not convinced it would be enjoyable to run THAT business.

Being pigeon-holed into someone else’s platform is a challenge. It’s already a risky long term proposition to control so little of your toolset.

We run our company based on wants. No one wants to work on these right now anyways so I would need to hire a person. Except no-one has come even close to emerging as a potential option.

So I don’t see an organic route forward. If the opportunity presents itself and feels well aligned then I would consider it.

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