InvoicePlane is searching for a new Maintainer


#1

Dear Community,

I am very sad to announce that I am looking for a new maintainer for InvoicePlane.

Since launching the app back in 2014, saving Fusioninvoice 1.3 from oblivion, I have worked for like thousands of hours on it and built a large infrastructure including the website and so on. I have learned a lot about development, management and community building - many times by doing mistakes. That’s not really negative because learning from mistakes is still learning. However, some decisions weren’t that good for the project and I really think that InvoicePlane could be way ahead of where it is now.

The main reason for resigning as the maintainer is, that I just can’t keep up with all the work that needs to be done. I am working full time and have some other things to do, so I can barely make a couple of hours free for the project every week.
InvoicePlane is not an application for writing a personal blog or keeping track of your movie collection. It is an app for managing your business with highly legal requirements which are all different in every country. If you are - like me - not familiar with all these laws and have no time to actually learn about them, it’s incredibly hard to build an app like InvoicePlane.

Also, it feels like it’s time to move on and work on other projects.

The next steps

First of all, I will try to finish at least version 1.5.10 which includes a lot of fixes that are really important. After that I will just keep all websites and tools running. In the meantime I am open for applications from interested people for being maintainer.

I will try to keep everything up and running, at least until 2019-05-21 which is the date the invoiceplane.com domain expires.

Information for people interested in maintaining the project

I will not accept any applications from people who are new to InvoicePlane. A new maintainer should be familiar with at least one of the versions (InvoicePlane 1 or version 2 which is based on FusionInvoice).

Also, I would like to see the project being taken over by multiple people, or even better, a company. At least two people should work on the project, maybe one community manager and one main developer. Trust me, it’s too much for a single person.

Maintainer Tasks (Update)

The following tasks need to be done by the people who would like to keep the project running:

- Most important: Project Leader

The most important role is the person that acts like a chairman to the project. He/she takes care that all tasks are assigned, the community is growing and, most important, having a clear vision of the future of the project. This is a task for someone that is highly interested in keeping the project alive and growing the userbase.
Also, this person is highly likable to manage sensitive accounts like PayPal.

Comparable position: CEO, CFO

- Application Development

Development of the application(s) itself, including possible hotfixes and improvements for InvoicePlane 1 and the main development on InvoicePlane 2. Good knowledge of PHP, HTML, CSS and JS is required. Frameworks used: Codeigniter (IP1), Laravel (IP2), Bootstrap 3/4.
This also involves the review and management of contributed code via Github. Good knowledge of Git and Github are beneficial.

The position of a lead developer is comparable with the position of a CTO: only little programming, making sure that development runs straight, do major code reviews, take care of vulnerability reports, make sure that all other developers know what’s to do.

- Infrastructure Development and Maintenance

Quite heavy tasks because all websites and tools built and used by the project need to be maintained. Including the development and maintenance of the websites (all built with Laravel), the demo, community forums (Discourse), some smaller tools like Yourls for link shortening, the issue tracker (Atlassian Jira) and Gitlab.
This task must be taken by someone that is familiar with Unix server management and has already worked with the said tools.

Comparable position: CIO

- Community Support and Building

Be there for the community, help wherever you can and take care of any questions that may arise, including partnerships, support requests, feature requests and so on.
Also, take the initiative and talk to people about partnerships and so on. Write articles about InvoicePlane and make sure that releases are communicated properly.
This also involves the management of all social media accounts and the newsletter.

Comparable position: COO

- Testing and Documentation

Quite hard job for me because it takes a lot of time. Testing is beneficial for making sure that a new release leaves the house clean. Also, document all changes in the changelog and keep the wiki updated.

Expected Workload

This highly depends on how many people would like to maintain the project and how tasks are split up. At the moment I spend about 30 min per day for community support, emails and so on. About 10 to 60 min per week are used to maintain the infrastructure (running updates, pushing fixes, correcting typp,…). The rest is completely free

If you are interested, please contact me directly via PM here or via Slack. We will then talk about everything.

New Maintainers and Contributors

The following users are willing to continue the project. Mind joining them?

Name Specialization / Interest
Keith @clockwiseq Hosting, general management
Daniel @Severenth General management
Reece @reece.hill General management
Pamela via @reece.hill Law consultant
Rabih @snake_eyes Server / domain maintenance
Jan @Teunis Domain / website maintenance
Miquel @miquel_cabanas Development, community support
Jan @749 Development
Pradesh @crafter Development
James via @reece.hill Development, testing

At this point I want to thank all users of InvoicePlane for their support. It was an awesome experience to build InvoicePlane with you.

If you have any questions regarding the project and it’s future, feel free to leave a comment.
Please spread the word so we may find a new team fast.

Best regards,
Kevin


#2

#3

Dear Kevin,

A wise decision, try to put yourself in first place.

Thank you for all your hard work and time.
I do not have the technical knowledge to continue the journey, but I will continue to sponsor and use Invoiceplance.

I wish I had more time to help the community but I know the struggle! , again thank you for the dedication, I appreciate it, as many others.

Kind Regards


#4

Same as mikenuun


#5

I’d more than welcome to take over the central hub, meaning that I’ll host all the files and forms and contribute to some of the work, most importantly willing to work with others. I am sorry to hear all the stress that was put on you, I hope it all goes well!


#6

Dear Kevin,

I’m a simple InvoicePlane user and i just love it.

I was happy to hear recently that you took over the FusionInvoice project to combine it with InvoicePlane. I was expecting something really exciting to come out of this, a combination of the two would be impressive invoicing tool.

So, i am now sad to hear that all this didn’t work and i’m wondering about the following:
Would you be interested for some help instead of just quit the project?
I have no coding skills to participate on development, but i can host the project and pay for domain.
I also do marketing and can help to advertise this wonderful application.
Donations are fine, but sometimes some chasing is required. I could also help on this.
If we find more people to share the workload through this community, wouldn’t this be a good reason to make you reconsider?


#7

Nope. My decision is final.
But I bet that the new maintainers are happy to see your contributions. Every help is welcome, but I am searching for someone who would like to take over the whole project.


#8

Respect your decision and want to say a big “Thank you” for everything you did in the past years.
I will continue to use InvoicePlane for as long as i can, hoping the next maintainer will keep this project alive.
I can see that unfortunately Open Source is globally dying, with so many restrictions and regulations coming out of nowhere every now and then.
I wish you the best of luck and success to all your future projects.


#9

Dear Kevin,

first of all I owe you a big thanks you for the many hours you have devoted to this projects and for all the hard work you have put on it.

Although I regret your decision, I fully respect it and I will always remember you as the person who took the responsibility of keeping Fusioninvoice alive as InvoicePlane and who has been leading and pushing the project since 2014. InvoicePlane would not be around if it had been not for you, and as someone who uses it at work, I will be indebted to you forever for making my job easier.

I know quitting a project is a time of mixed feelings, and that most of the reasons that have lead you to take that decision are personal, and that they are a consequence of your experience with the project and the changes in your life. There is nothing we can do to change the past times, but there is plenty we can do to make you feel that your departure is not the end of InvoicePlane and that your are leaving the project in good and capable hands.

For my part, although I don’t see myself capable of leading the project, whoever takes that role can count with my support to develop the software, to answer users questions, and to assist with the management of the web applications.

Thanks again Kevin for all you have done for this community and all the best for your future endeavours.

Miquel


#10

Dear all,

after a first failed attempt to contribute to the project in late 2014 and early 2015 because of unforeseen circumstances at work, last August I decided to make InvoicePlane part of my life as a hobby, an addictive one I must admit. First I started working on my own issues, but later on I decided to concentrate on fixing known bugs so that v1.5.10 was mostly a bug-free release.

My immediate work plan/roadmap was:

  • To fix as many known critical/serious bugs as possible for v1.5.10. I don’t know whether this goal will be accomplished before v1.5.10 gets released, but either v1.5.10 or v1.5.11 should come out without known critical/serious bugs.
  • Next, to review all pending pull-requests and incorporate them into v1.5.11. This requires reviewing the proposed code changes and adapting them to the current code in IP. This would make v1.5.11 a new-features release.
  • At that point I was planing to assess with Kevin what was better for the project: either to work on v1.6.0 if more time was needed before releasing IP2, or to start working on IP2, although I would need to learn Laravel for that.

I don’t see a reason to alter this work-plan, so I will continue fixing bugs for v1.5.10.

At the same time, I will help Kevin with the release of that version to become familiar with the release process and to learn all the steps involved.

Then, I will continue working for v1.5.11 that should be released before Kevin departure, so that I can practice with the release process a second time under his supervision.

What happens afterwards will depend on us.

Miquel


#11

Thank you very much Miquel,

you did so much for the application in the past weeks, I was seriously impressed that someone would even take care of it in this way. I appreciate your work very much and yes, I will continue working with you on 1.5.10 and also 1.5.11 if the time allows it.

I know that this may come pretty suddenly, but I thought about this for weeks and finally made the decision. However, it feels very good to know, that you are also willing to continue your contribution and help keeping the project alive.

:hugs:


#12

As it seems I was to late before you made the decision, I see that you have already chosen some people to take it over. I do want to express my concerns though, it seems like people are mainly focused on Invoiceplane and no speak of Invoiceplane 2 (FusionInvoice). Is there anyway we can split it to and leave it to a different set of people or company? My company, Panda Technologies, uses FusionInvoice and haven’t seen any new updates for it for awhile and have setup many of my customers with the last version as well. We would be honored to create a community base that focuses on it only. Any opinions on this? Thanks for everything!


#13

I understand your concerns, but the development of version 2 belongs to the project in the same way like version 1. I focused on version 2 and I will take care that the next team wants to work on it too (which absolutely makes sense).
That said, I highly advise against something like a fork or different teams for different versions. InvoicePlane has not a size that allows something like different communities for different versions.

However, I would really appreciate support from your side when it comes to the Migration from FusioInvoice to InvoicePlane.


#14

Hello, I run an IT consulting company and am interested in taking over and helping out as much as I can. This is an incredible community and the product itself has a vast following and I want to do everything in my power to see it succeed.


#15

Thanks for all your work Kevin. It takes courage to continue a project like InvoicePlane but also to decide taking the next step. Be proud of yourself! I really hope the InvoicePlane project will have a glorious future!


#16

Hey Kevin :slight_smile:. This post accompanies the messages we’ve already exchanged. If the community would like to know more I’m happy to answer questions.

I’d like to offer my own services alongside those provided by two friends of mine. We’re all university students of varying years, based in the UK: a medical student (me), law and business, and computer science.

The current proposal is for me to offer help and bring my leadership/business expertise to InvoicePlane - a managerial position. My friends, Pamela and James, have a different set of skills/strengths and it makes sense to play to these.

Pamela, studying Law and Business, is interested in a consultant position for everything law. Helping InvoicePlane to expand by ensuring regulations are met and everything is above board. A position that’s not originally requested, I know, but would be incredibly useful nevertheless.

And finally - James. James is currently looking to improve his portfolio with more projects. He accepts that his developing skill may be inferior to that of others and so is happy to take a role in the Testing and Documentation team. He would, of course, be appreciative of any opportunity to work alongside another develop, though!

So that’s our proposal. 3 people to the table of varying domains. We look forward to taking part in the discussions and look forward to hearing from you.


#17

Hi Guys

I know i’m late onto this thread and admittedly I’m late in signing up for the community, but I’d like to offer the full resources of my businesses and influence within some of the markets I work in to continue the development and promotion of InvoicePlane.

Like a few others, I’ve integrated InvoicePlane into a number of software projects through my work as a software & web developer. I have previously worked with Code Igniter from its earlier versions through the years as well as Laravel in more recent years.

If permitted, I’d be hoping to take the project on in full, additionally I would also consider bringing one or two people onboard from those who have shown interest, especially in the Community Support & Building role.

As one of the criteria for this software is indeed to maintain the legal compliance when dealing with accounting matters, one of my existing developers is also a qualified accountant. Coupled with my qualifications and over a century of business management, I’m hoping a good amount of experience and skills can be offered, in addition of course to nearly 20 years of web development personally. Another member of my team is also vastly experienced in SEO, marketing and eCommerce.

I work from home daily so my availability is relatively high, and don’t expect moving to new offices in the new year to affect that either.

Lastly, I have access to my own dedicated server hardware located in Maidenhead, UK, so access shouldn’t be an issue for anyone around the globe.

As a business entity showing an interest in taking over the development and management of the project, I would like to say now that I have no intention of commercializing it, now or in the future.

I’d welcome any messages from anyone should you have any questions and will liaise with Kovah in the coming days to ensure that my offer is suitable and in the best interests of InvoicePlane and FusionInvoice continuing.

Daniel


#18

Hi Daniel,
you may already read in the announcement that there are already several users who are willing to help. So taking over the whole project may not be needed here, however I would like to see you joining the new team and help them with your expertise and resources.
Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or to discuss further steps.


#19

Coupled with my qualifications and over a century of business management

A century ? o_O

Hi all,

We’re in a similar situation, although I can’t say that we have a century of experience :wink: At TenTwentyFour we’ve been using, extending, hosting and selling services around InvoicePlane for a little while now and we’ve recently decided to advertise all of that a little more prominently.

We’ve extended InvoicePlane with features, some of which FusionInvoice has made redundant, such as multiple contacts per client, extended work-flows with work-sheets, workshop-reports and, for us most importantly, an export for Sage BOB. For that, we also cooperate with a fiduciary who brings in the accounting expertise in our case.

Of course, that’s only a viable option if InvoicePlane will continue to be actively developed and so we’d also like to invest a little of our time in helping with development. I can’t say how many hours a week/month exactly, but we’re unfortunately not in a position where we could offer to manage or lead the project. Looking at who else has pledged support, that doesn’t seem to be necessary anyway.

Happy to help!


#20

Hi again

Was meaning decades, not centuries! Will always be guilty of the odd afasic moment!