7

Ref: Is there any free extension available for designing products label or cover in magento?

OP asks specifically for a free extension, but "answers": so far are paid extensions only. I deleted the first answer because it was a link-only answer and to a paid solution (∴ spam). I really, really do not like deleting content, but I really, really do not want this SE site to become a spamhaus.

When should we delete? When should we not?

EDIT: Rules for questions & answers involving paid extensions

  • Proposed that:
    • In general, deleting content is not desirable. Deleting relevant content should be avoided altogether. Sometimes, paid extensions provide a great & cost-effective solution to a question, so questions and answers involving paid extensions should be allowed.
    • When someone asks about a free extension, answers mentioning paid extensions are subject to deletion if there is no attempt to address the lack of availability of a free extension.
    • Answers which mention a given extension (or single vendor's extensions) should seek to address the question's topic directly. Link-only answers in this context will be deleted.
    • Answers mentioning extensions - when coming from users with low post counts and/or posts mentioning particular extensions, extension vendors, or using affiliate links - will be subject to deletion.
    • Questions which seem to be leading or clearly related to promoting a particular extension or set of extensions will be subject to deletion.

Perhaps we should require disclosure when someone mentions a product in which they have a stake, paid or not?

  • The reason I'm so tweaked about that question is because the extension requested is so specific to a type of industry. They'll (assumably) make money on the resulting store, and you're already getting a free ecom platform. It's like, what more do you want? Spend some money on the extension that drives your entire business model. </rant> – philwinkle Jul 26 '13 at 15:56
  • I hear you on that, and I left a comment as such. – benmarks Jul 26 '13 at 16:44
  • I think the rules you came up with sound great. I guess one thought that I have is that asking specifically about free extensions doesn't seem to be a valid question. People should just ask what extensions are out there to solve a given problem and if there are relevant free or paid extensions they should be mentioned. Asking specifically about free extensions seems weird. Not that I'm biased or anything. – kalenjordan Jul 26 '13 at 21:58
  • Yes, asking about free extensions feels a bit weird, but remember that there are freelancers dealing with small clients and being able to bootstrap their dev with existing free work is legitimate. – benmarks Jul 26 '13 at 22:12
4

I completely agree with you Ben. I think it OP emphasised that extension has to be "free" promoting a paid extension is not only spam but also absolutely false answer.

The question with commercial extensions was raised more then enough here. We definitely will not be able to find a silver bullet here. Commercial extensions related questions are all different and has to be treated individually. This time I'm absolutely agree with your decision.

  • 1
    Edited my question - would like to have some standard which we can make public. – benmarks Jul 26 '13 at 16:44
  • Hey Ben, I absolutely agree with all points. I will contact the SE and will ask if we can add it to FAQ. The only idea is regarding #2. Maybe we disallow linking in general and allow only naming paid extension? – user487772 Jul 27 '13 at 6:00
  • My preference would be to allow linking if it's relevant. At least the links are rel="nofollow" so that should reduce some of the impetus to spam. – benmarks Jul 27 '13 at 13:16
2

I say just edit the question to remove the word "free". If there's a good free extension it'll pop-up in the answers regardless, and not limiting the answers to one type of extension creates a better artifact for future internet users who find the page.

  • Interesting. If moderators are taking this action consistently, should we not notify users that we are effectively banning requests for free extensions? Of the questions I've seen regarding "free extensions", the users needs were tied explicitly to the extension being free. I think these edits fall under the "changing the original meaning" clause. – benmarks Jul 30 '13 at 13:01
0

A complex question - but I think what you've proposed is a fair approach. I agree that affiliate links and link only posts which do not adequately address the question should be removed.

A couple of points to add to the discussion:

  • Similar to what Alan mentioned: Stackexchange answers have two audiences: the original poster as well as future googlers (who may be looking for an extension with similar functionality, but not necessarily only looking at free extensions). What you've proposed in point 2 sounds like a fair approach to balancing the needs of current and future audiences
  • For point 2, it may also be appropriate for answers to refer to paid extensions if the free extension options are limited or would only partially meet the need outlined in the question
  • I don't believe that nofollow links stop links being posted. These links would still provide value to the poster through potential sales, even though they may not count towards google rankings (from the main SO site this is the highest per visit value referral traffic for Fooman - mind you none of the links added there have been added by me)
  • An unbiased evaluation of a free or paid extension on Stack exchange is usually significantly more credible than potentially untrustworthy reviews posted on other sites. The posts that we want to attract mention a range of extensions and don't simply restate what is in the extension's description, but instead offer advice such as "I have used Y before with X outcome, have dealt with this vendor" etc. Disclosure is something we should encourage but not rely on.

In summary
With so many extensions now available it is unlikely that only one solves the problem and all posts that mention only 1 commercial solution should be scrutinised and are subject to deletion.

  • I like everything which you've said here, and it's good to have some perspective from a respected module developer. – benmarks Aug 2 '13 at 17:09
0

As a module developer (been around for years on magento, but only recently started actively producing commercial modules), I agree with all your points.

I, for one do not want to see this become a spam ridden, module promotion platform. I simply will just go away then, and so would others, I think.

That said, it is a good forum to promote modules (be it my own, or that of another developer).

My own rule, is to first give the OP a solution, that does not require my module, and as a second option, promote the module I have (or know of) that can do the job. I think this is fair, and a paid for module can be less costly compared to spending time developing a new solution (and frankly re-inventing the wheel)

For me, if the OP asks for a free module, then that is what I will inform them about. If they are to cheap to pay for a module, that could solve their issue quicker, and more effectively, then they should suffer for it. Any paid for module will, and can be found by potential googlers by other means.

just my 2c :)

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