[development] Why I don't Upload a Module to Drupal

larry at garfieldtech.com larry at garfieldtech.com
Mon Aug 17 17:42:00 UTC 2009

Hi Sam.

Most sites have custom code that doesn't get released.  Generally I 
would split it into 3 groups:

- Non-module site specific stuff (like custom form alters to tweak 
something here or there).  There's really no way or reason to release this.

- Site-specific modules that are modules in their own right but really 
not useful to anyone else.  These are also generally not worth releasing.

- New custom modules that have general applicability.  It's generally 
good to release these, but not all of them do get released.

As far as support goes, the amount of time required varies widely.  If 
it's a module that requires a lot of effort to support, you could always 
get a co-maintainer to help with it.  If it's a module that you are 
going to use on later client sites, you can arguably bill them for any 
relevant time you spend enhancing or bug fixing the module.  (What 
qualifies as "relevant" is between you and the client.)

Plus, having a few modules under your belt that you can refer to can be 
good marketing for yourself and your services, as well as in raising 
your Drupal ecosystem profile which can help in getting support later, 
so you can look at it as an investment in your future business development.

I'd say it's worth your time to release modules that you think would be 
generally useful on later projects that you develop.  That's a 
reasonable gage of whether or not they're useful to others as well, and 
worth the time to share.  Remember that you can also end up with free 
features added by others, too, so it can save you time down the road.

Sam Polenta wrote:
> I have made a few custom modules for clients. Some of them maybe other
> people would want. I would be happy to give them to whoever wants
> them, BUT it's not necessarily so simple as that.
> Mostly they have some customization for the particular site so I would
> have to generalize them like with a settings page etc. Then I would
> have to clean up the code a bit. Some would need an install and
> uninstall routine which I didn't do because it's only for one site
> anyway.
> I would be happy even, in theory, to release them on drupal.org but
> aside from the time to prepare them, which I don't really have, I also
> don't have time to support them. So I figure even if I did fix it up a
> bit and put it online, I am then expected to support it. I am not a
> lazy person nor do I just suck the blood of everyone else who
> contributes to Drupal without giving back. I do try to help people on
> the forums a bit and the truth is that I help to "make the world a
> better place" in other ways. I volunteer at a local NPO to help
> people--when I sit down at the computer, it's mostly to work. I need
> to make a living and this is how I do it.
> So I don't think I'm a total pig--not at all really because I do
> volunteer my time, but just for other causes aside from Drupal.
> Do people think my reasons are wrong for not releasing my code? I
> guess the main thing is that I'm not prepared to support any issues or
> requests etc. that may come up.
> Thanks.

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