How does the community feels about an app market place (appstore)?


It seems to me that having an official way to allow hackers to generate some revenue from their work might encourage more participations (as in dedicating more resource to their plugin). This might lead to better quality, more support to users and more importantly more time and resource invested in the atom/electron ecosystem.

So what the general feeling about appstore ? Would having one endanger the openess of atom ? if we need/want one who should be running it ?

Package Choosing

I do not like the idea. Atom is supposed to be open source and that is the reason for my interest in it – that and the community, of course. If large chunks of it were suddenly sealed off from developers unless we pay licensing fees, that will be a stake in Atom’s heart and the death of it.

The Linux kernel and a heck of a lot of software is open sourced and has been for a long time. These apps didn’t have an app store and their quality is excellent – world class, in fact.

So in my mind, an “app store” is a “no no”.



I don’t believe one is needed. Whether people want one in order to get paid for their efforts is a different story.

I also have to dispute “better quality” and “more support to users” as foregone conclusions of people getting paid for their efforts. There is just as much evidence to support that introducing money into the equation will cause quality or support to go down in an effort to “cut costs” and thereby “increase profits” … because when money is involved, the calculus of effort changes. Better quality and more support are simply factors of the pride one takes in one’s work. That is orthogonal to the amount one gets paid for it.

To be honest, I would love to be able to spend more time on Atom and with the community. If people want to pay me so that I can do that, I would gladly and graciously accept. Between Kickstarter, Patreon, Gratipay (formerly Gittip), PayPal donations, simple employment by a benefactor such as GitHub and I’m sure other methods besides … there is no shortage of methods for that to happen.


I don’t want packages supported by ads and nagscreens to upgrade to premium package.


I don’t think we should equate paid software with closed source. There is no reason why we couldn’t have an appstore for open source applications. If as a community we feel that should be a requirement to be accepted in the appstore then we can make so. We can even reject any kind of licencing and limit the store to one time payment. We don’t have to model our appstore on the other existing platforms.

My main point is that if atom or a plugin is providing some value to me ( i am using it for work) and i think he deserve some of that value. There should be a simple,centralized why for me to do so.

This is a fair point. But i have to disagree.Most of the successfull opensource applications have huge corporation backing. Chrome,Linux kernel,owcloud,V8,firefox,etc…(even atom :)) all have strong corporation backing. There is nothing inherently wrong with corporation supported open source software, but the fact of the matter is that whom ever provide most resources control the direction of evolution ; sometime if we are lucky we have convergence like with firefox , sometime not like with chrome (privacy concern and non standard extensions).
The difference between the linux kernel and the desktop space for me exemplify the need of some sort of mechanics to allow user to inject back some of the value their receive into the system : the linux kernel (with strong backing) is probably one of the best piece of software ever made. Compare to th desktop space which while style great, doesnt have nearly the same level of satisfaction.


Yes, and their apps are still free, as in beer. There is a culture in the open-source community where the users never pay for software. It is just a fact.


when i contribute , i want to have no string attached.
Not for the money , Not for the fame , I just wanna Code! For advancement of technology, and for Lulz.


Not for the money , Not for the fame

For a lot of people it means making more money when getting a job. For me the fame matters.



Seems contradictory to me. If money changes the calculus of effort and if quality is somewhat a function of the effort put into making a product, then i think money can have impact on the final quality.

You have still have a point, money has a way of corrupting things simply by the fact that it can introduce artificial incentives .But i don’t think it’s a big deal : i don’t think introducing money will change good/ community oriented programmer into soulless money seeking machines. They will probably stay the same with more time and resources dedicated to their software. We will however attract people who are just in it for the money… whether that is a good or a bad thing i am not sure.

Maybe all we need is place to aggregate all those sources into a coherent,browsable space…


Psychologists would disagree with you:

Social psychological research has indicated that extrinsic rewards can lead to overjustification and a subsequent reduction in intrinsic motivation.

See also the Overjustification Effect.


Usually(85 %) don’t pay for software, yes. Never ? that’s a bit harsh.

Then again there is the chiken and egg question of whether we usually don’t pay for opensource because so few try to
ecologically monetize it; or the inverse…

The other side of the story of course if that as Atom grow, many user will come from outside of the opensource world; with the normal habit/assumption of paying for software


Good point. I heard of that notion in the past but didnt make the connection.
However, from hte same wikipedia article :

This study showed that, when rewards do not reflect competence, higher rewards lead to less intrinsic motivation. But when rewards do reflect competence, higher rewards lead to greater intrinsic motivation.[3]

Which should limit some of the negative consequences


So how would your proposed system balance rewards with competence? Rarely is the free market the best judge of such a quality.


why should you have to choose…


I don’t have a proposed system. I was mainly curious of the view of the community on a mechanism to allow plugin dev to benefit financially from their work.

It is noneless a good question and something i didn’t thing of.


I disagree with that statement.
I’m against a commercial package store for Atom, for the same reason most people brought up, i.e. that its open source nature would be threatened or at least compromized by it.

However, if there were such a for-pay package store of sorts, I do think competence would eventually be reflected by revenue. If the packages one creates are crap, not much money is going to come in. People would stop buying them and perhaps even demand their money back.
As pointed out above, developers and especially open-source devs are not prone to waste money on software.


In an ideal world, I think you would be correct. But with the issues that Google Play has had with people downloading and sometimes paying for what essentially equates to malware and the problems that the Apple App Store has had with controlling sham apps (apps that look like well-known apps in the store, but aren’t), I don’t think it is that simple. Sure, these apps eventually get found or customers get their refunds … but lets take a look at an example from the current list of Atom packages …

I have a package called file-type-icons package that I published originally without knowing there already was a file-icons package. (And to be honest, the original is probably better. I keep mine up there because it works for my use and it was a good exercise.) In the current system, perhaps it isn’t that big of a deal. But when money becomes involved, every download of mine becomes a potential non-download for the original (because of the sunk cost fallacy, if nothing else). So in this case, “barely good enough” becomes the enemy of “quality software”. And we can see examples of people taking advantage of this on the other app stores, creating shops that specialize in creating knock-off apps in a week or less to leech off of the good press from the New Thing.

This kind of thing can be really frustrating for someone wanting to get started in such an environment. When the fraudsters make as much money or more than the smaller legitimate programmers (or even simply appear to), it can be seen as unfair.


I vote against any “app store” for Atom, as a not-very-longstanding user of the application. I would like to see Atom mature, a totally open source product, free for anyone who wants or needs it, with all the packages and extra components also available at no cost to whoever needs or wants them. I can see there is already a very large and varied user base, and I want these people and all the potential future users to have a really great product, complete with all the source code.

Atom started out as open source; the community should keep it that way.



I see that point, yes.
But that’s like breakage in any retail store. You’re bound to lose some potential income due to all kinds of circumstances, including bad self-marketing, ruthless competition (or simply better competition), etc.
Would that kind of stuff invalidate the income you do bring in? Would it make you stop developing for that store? Perhaps. But for others it may be worth the price. That’s why Apple and Play store, as well as the bloody Amazon Android store and other smaller repositories still operate and still work for the majority of devs working with them.

Anyway, it does have the potential to become a mess that is overall unpleasant to the open source experience of the Atom project, so I’m confident there shouldn’t be such a commercial store. I’m really just playing devil’s advocate here.


if you dont beleive that money will somewhat degrade the quality of the plugins and such, i am really curious about you reasoning behind this . Care to share ?