19 January, 2010
Hello CakePHP Bakers. It has become clear that the Cake Software Foundation's recent addition of a top navigation bar to the CakePHP website requires some explanation in order to clarify the intentions of the Cake Software Foundation (CSF) and its operation, and intentions for the CakePHP framework.
Lets make it clear that the framework's availability, license, community driven effort and goal for free use is unchanged, and will remain so. CakePHP is developed and released under the MIT License.
Most CakePHP users will have noticed the addition of Google Adwords to the majority of the CSF websites, within the last six months. This in itself caused somewhat of an outcry. Users were unhappy with the changes to the sites, and pesky ads getting in the way of their intended content. This move was made in an attempt to cover some of the extensive costs involved in running all these various websites. The CakePHP Cookbook and the Bakery are two of the most frequented websites that we host, and hosting of these is not a free service. Donations are in place, and should donations occur to the level that we no longer need Advertisement based revenue streams, I'll be the first in line to rip the ads back out of those websites. The fact of the matter is, donations don't happen as often as most people would think. As little as $100 a month on average is donated to the CakePHP project, and with the added income from Google ads, we come close to covering the cost of hosting, and other associated costs (CakeFest's, etc).
The newest addition to the CakePHP website is the top navigation bar. This is being deployed onto all of the sites to operate as a Cake Software Foundation overall site navigation mechanism that should facilitate users finding CakePHP resources. As part of this navigation bar addition we've included some brief pages about professional services and support, as well as a teaser page for CakePHP Certification (coming soon).
One of the biggest concerns we have from larger development companies and businesses taking on CakePHP for the first time is professional support. The facility to have a trusted and qualified entity available for on-demand support for development, debugging or training for the framework. In answer to this, the Cake Development Corporation has been listed as the provider for professional support services. This is not new information. The offering of professional support for CakePHP has been longstanding, and available from the Cake Software Foundation website. Making this information available on the CakePHP website ensures that this existing facility and service is more easily accessible for those that are interested.
The offering of professional support is by no means a controlling factor in the CakePHP project at all. It simply means that should a company or developer require assistance, or even the reassurance that if something goes wrong with their project, there is someone to call on; an identified entity available to provide this support. Election of the Cake Development Corporation as this provider was done a long time ago, by previous CSF members. We're interested to hear the communities opinion on how they feel about these services being offered. The CSF does feel that this professional support backing will be useful to any developer that wishes to reassure any prospective client of the availability of support options beyond the initial development.
Should other companies wish to provide commercial support for the CakePHP Framework, they can feel free to do so. Listing of certified developers will be available after we have made certification available and operational on the CakePHP website.
It should be noted that this article is written as my personal response, as someone involved with the Cake Software Foundation.