I am writing this on Christmas 2018, almost six months since I started this project and a week before the official release of the first commercial service based on it. And in the middle of huge changes in code and documentation, that also need some clarification.
4 homes in 6 months
There have been four “homes” to this project, Articles on matijakolaric.com, repository on Github, project on PyPI and documentation on ReadTheDocs. One of the changes is that these articles will not be kept up-to-date. So this article is a new introduction to this section of the articles and also kind of eulogy for them. The new home for the documentation is https://django-music-publisher.readthedocs.io.
Gone with the limitations
For the first six months, Django Music Publisher depended on an API for data validation and CWR generation and inherited several limitations in the process. This dependency is gone. Now it is free. It is explained in the article renamed to Why did DMP use an external data validation and CWR generation service?, but it also makes Music Publishing OSS unnecessary, as all it says is that for original publishers, there is really nothing else. Development Roadmap is also pretty superfluous, as it really restates the focus and points to official documentation. Staring with Quality Assurance, they still make sense.
It was easy to turn it into a commercial service while it was dependant on my API, but I did not do it. And now that anyone can do it, I am actually going for it. It may seem counter-intuitive, but I wanted to bring this project to the point where it would really be free software. With the code already pushed to the repository, we are there. It is free software.
The point of free software is that a user is free to use the software in any way they want, not just use it in the narrow sense, but also modify, distribute and sell. Even make it not free.
Still, freedom is like money in a wallet. While it stays in the wallet, it is useless. One has to open the wallet and start spending it. And this is where this project is. Most of the original music publishers out there would benefit from using it, some even from modifying it. Except that they don’t know how.
This is where DMP Guru comes in. It is a service that offers the installation, configuration, hosting and maintenance of Django Music Publishing instances as subscriptions. Surely, it takes a lot of freedom away, although in this case, there would be no lock-in. It smartly configures Django Music Publisher for every client, based on society (PRO/MRO) affiliation, but that really just gives three versions, and you don’t even know anything about that. You just get your instance. And you give up a lot of freedom for it. And some money for the subscription fee.
You can download the database backup at any moment and go for a different hosting arrangement. You can do everything yourself and regain all of the freedom. We will keep the money, though. We only offer refunds for the first 30 days. And those are free anyway. Well, you know, you don’t pay for them.
Free means free
It is so confusing in English, the word “free” has two very distinct meanings. I would prefer if people used this software as free software for free. But the only other option is to give some of that freedom and some of the money.
In any case, the meanings of “free” align perfectly.