Membership 3.4.5 Beta

Hi all

Attached below is the Beta of version 3.4.5 of the Membership plugin.

For this beta run, I'm going to see if I can concentrate on improving existing and adding new gateways.

Release notes for beta 1

- added a debug mode and configuration options
- switched members page to use different code as old functions depreciated in WP
- updated code that transitions members through subscriptions
- fixed coupons code in gateway
- fixed invite code placement on BP registration form
- added debug message code to all gateways and cron calls

Release notes for beta 2

- added extra debug calls
- added extra checks for indefinite / serial subscriptions in transitions process

Release notes for beta 3

- rewrite of pop up registration method
- rewrite of AIM gateway
- addition of initial ARB gateway
- addition of pop up welcome message setting in configurations
- rearrange of some of the options for the plugin to make room for more settings
- fix for coupons issues

Release notes for beta 4

- major restructure of protection code to pave way for future functionality / allow multiple subscriptions / levels to run concurrently
- updated gateways to handle free subscriptions better
- initial interface changes for communications module
- interface updates for moving users between levels / subscriptions
- removed payment details text if there is no payment (e.g. free)
- other bug fixes - lots in this version

WARNING: Please try beta 4 on a development site / test site first. Do not install on a production / live site until you have tested / backed up your system. There are major changes in this version.

It is advisable to backup your database prior to installing, and maybe use the Snapshot plugin to take a copy of your current site. You can always roll back to a previous version of the plugin if you come across any issues - there is a minor change to the communications table structure in this update, but previous versions will still work with the change in place.

You can grab the beta file from below. I will always keep this main post updated with the latest version.

If you have been directed here from an issue thread then it will likely be because the issue you are having is fixed in this version or we want you to switch on debugging so we can track down what issues you are having.


  • Hatchman

    Thanks @Barry

    I do want to add something to a future list.

    This would help with communities that have multiple-levels with different access. I know you can do this currently in the menu but adding it to the admin bar would be nice. I might take on the task but for now I will drop the idea

    Best Regards

  • lkraav

    For Visitors level, testing the site as non-logged-in user, I am seeing a protected blog category post being listed in my standard blog page archive (index.php). Reading settings have Front Page and Blog Page assigned, maybe that is related. Clicking on the protected post link does redirect to Protected page, but am I mistaken to think that this post should not show up at all?

    Visitors level has a simple Negative "Categories" rule, that selects 3 categories. Post in question belongs to one of these categories.

    EDIT maybe related?

    EDIT2 I'm now sure Membership 3.4.5 b2 and probably earlier versions have either a bug or a missing feature. If the Front page setting is "Your latest posts", protected category posts are correctly excluded from query result. If you assign dedicated Front Page and Blog pages, protected posts are displayed. This was tested on a completely fresh, single-plugin subsite.

    EDIT3 this looks like exact duplicate

  • lkraav

    Is it me or is Subscription admin's "Subscription price text" field now completely ignored by do_subscriptionprice_shortcode(). It seems the code goes directly to the list of levels and their prices, and then only picks the first item, basically resulting in an untrue output. I have a membership plan that has yearly payment X + quarterly payment Y. Shortcode only returns X and the free text field doesn't override anything anymore.

  • lkraav

    @Barry, there's a bug in registration.form.php L75

    <a title="Login »" href="<?php echo wp_login_url( add_query_arg('action', 'registeruser', get_permalink()) ); ?>" class="alignleft" id="login_right"><?php _e('Already have a user account?' ,'membership'); ?></a>

    If the person gets to the Register form from a sales page with a chosen subscription ID, the Login link loses that ID and forwards them to a broken checkout page.

    add_query_arg parameter will need to change to array( "action" => "registeruser", "subscription" => $id );

    EDIT here's my patch

        $login_url = array('action'=>'registeruser');
        if (isset($_GET['subscription'])) $login_url['subscription'] = $_GET['subscription'];
    <a title="Login »" href="<?php echo wp_login_url( add_query_arg($login_url), get_permalink() ); ?>" class="alignleft" id="login_right">
  • lkraav

    @Barry, in order to provide sanely structured gateway plugins for Membership, it looks like only small apply_filters() call patch to classes/membershipadmin.php line 7295 is needed:

    $gateway_data = get_file_data( apply_filters( 'membership_gateway_dir-' . $gateway, membership_dir('membershipincludes/gateways/' ) . $gateway), $default_headers, 'plugin' );

    This allows the plugin to properly show up in admin panel without it having to be hardcoded into membership subdirectory.

  • lkraav

    Yeah people with completely clean screens get it wrong. I guess serif fonts for everyone is the only solution! Not that I'm using one myself.

    But another possible bug report here. I'm debugging and learning download masking protection and am trying to view the site as different roles. I think your initialisation logic is a bit off:

    $user = wp_get_current_user();
    if(!method_exists($user, 'has_cap') || $user->has_cap('membershipadmin') || $M_active == 'no') {
        // Admins can see everything
    if( $M_active == 'no' ) {
        // The plugin isn't active so just return
    if(!method_exists($user, 'has_cap') || $user->has_cap('membershipadmin')) {
        // Admins can see everything - unless we have a cookie set to limit viewing
        if(empty($_COOKIE['membershipuselevel']) || $_COOKIE['membershipuselevel'] == '0') {

    This effectively disables kills testing with the admin bar dropdown menu that lets you switch roles, because the membership admin role check always returns before the $_COOKIE check.

  • lkraav

    Here's what I consider a documentation bug. Nowhere is it obvious - plugin control panel, or the somewhat outdated PDF doc - whether the admin MUST define one or more Protected Group names for the media protection to activate at all. I for one consider it quite reasonable to assume that until any Protected Group names are defined, all media is masked but looking at the code this seems far from being the case.

  • Tobbe

    @Barry Hi, Coupons and free subscriptions still don't work for me (beta 3).

    My main problem is that I'm trying to use Paypal Express as my gateway – but the free subscribers get assigned to the admin gateway. Which becomes a problem when they want to upgrade to the paid subscription later through the subscription page (since there's no upgrade button). Works perfectly fine for paid subscribers though...

    The coupons aren't working at all for me. When users want to signup as paid subscribers they first see the registration form and then some kind of subscription/sign up page holding basically two options:

    1. A paypal-subscribe-button (which works)
    2. The coupon form

    If they try to use a coupon by clicking "Apply Coupon", they get redirected to an empty registration form – BUT, their account still gets created. The problem is that they're now free subscribers completely unable to upgrade. They probably don't even realise that they're members...

  • Barry

    My main problem is that I'm trying to use Paypal Express as my gateway – but the free subscribers get assigned to the admin gateway.

    Can you give us some details of your set up - options you have set - if you can start a new thread that would be great as these seem to be issues that aren't specific to the beta.

    If they try to use a coupon by clicking "Apply Coupon", they get redirected to an empty registration form – BUT, their account still gets created. The problem is that they're now free subscribers completely unable to upgrade. They probably don't even realise that they're members...

    They have a user account before they reach this account, but shouldn't have been assigned to a subscription unless you have that option set in your membership options.

  • Tobbe

    @Barry, I had that before. But then Alexander Rohmann told me to turn on the automatic option. He also told me that the gateway problem was a bug he already knew of...

    However, I tried to turn of the automatic option again now...without any luck. It's actually even worse without the automatic option. Because the users who pick the free subscription don't get assigned at all (neither subscription nor gateway).

    And the coupons still don't work after turning it off...

    Maybe the coupon-problem is the only problem relevant to this thread?

    It may be worth to say that I've tried with twenty twelve...

  • Barry

    Beta 4 is now available from the initial post above.

    WARNING: Please try beta 4 on a development site / test site first. Do not install on a production / live site until you have tested / backed up your system. There are major changes in this version.

    It is advisable to backup your database prior to installing, and maybe use the Snapshot plugin to take a copy of your current site. You can always roll back to a previous version of the plugin if you come across any issues - there is a minor change to the communications table structure in this update, but previous versions will still work with the change in place.

    Release notes for beta 4

    - major restructure of protection code to pave way for future functionality / allow multiple subscriptions / levels to run concurrently
    - updated gateways to handle free subscriptions better
    - initial interface changes for communications module
    - interface updates for moving users between levels / subscriptions
    - removed payment details text if there is no payment (e.g. free)
    - other bug fixes - lots in this version

    Props to @lkraav for finding and reporting on the bugs / issues above.

  • Barry

    I would like Membership to force visitor to log-in after the more tag. Then be able to use prosite to sell blogs. If i use membership a new user cant reg new blogs. I cant make then work together.

    There is no way to tie the two together - membership works in a User basis and Pro-sites works on a Site basis.

    What you can do is set the more tag as protected for visitors / strangers and then automatically assign new users to a specific subscription that allows them to see content after the more tag (even users outside of membership (e.g. created via Pro-sites) will be assigned this subscription). But you would have to use Pro sites to do the sign up if you are offering sites.

  • bolts

    Hi @Barry!

    A couple of questions about this beta:

    - last month I reported a problem with Remote pings not sending nicename, but username instead; recently I created a ping and noticed that also "levelname" is not passed (it sends an empty string: in the same ping I tried changing it to "subscriptionname" and it worked as expected). Have the custom fields in the remote pings been fixed in the beta?

    - another point was Membership not loking content if the default page is a static page. Has this been addressed? Further detail I noticed on pages: if I create let say 10 pages and all have the same "parent" page, then you get access to all of them (you choose only some but you get access to all). News on this too?

    Thanks for your support.


  • Shelly Haffly

    Are there admin email options in the new Communications functions? Currently the emails are created with the end user in mind. Is there a way or is it in the future feature list to auto email the admin, say a day or whatever later, some information about the user?

    Currently, when a user registers, the admin is given very little information. Using BuddyPress and Membership I am gathering more data. I'd like that data sent to me after they pay and register.

  • Nitrous Cloud

    In going through and setting this up, I'm running across a few things that would be nice, but not imperative.
    On the Subscriptions page (same as my previous post) that shows the current level and available upgrades, how could one go about adding text below the subscription options? The reason I ask is that we will have other services that we'll offer that would ideally be listed on this page too. But they don't fall under the Membership subscriptions.

  • edihtors

    Ok I've spent another hour playing with this, and there's definitely a problem with the negative url groups are not being honored in 3.4.5 beta4. They work fine in beta3.

    I have access levels "Free Access" and "Plus Subscriber"

    Under Options I have "Stranger Setting" set to the "Free Access" level

    In level "Free Access" i have assigned a "Restrict From Free Access" URL group to the "Negative Rules"

    Inside the "Restrict From Free Access" in URL Groups I have a list of URLS like this:


    That url is still able to be visited by strangers under the "Free Access" level.

    As I said, this setup works perfectly under 3.4.5 beta3 and all previous versions.

    I have completely deleted the plugin folder on upgrade, and even restarted the server to make sure there were no caching issues.

    Hope you can find a fix for this, we rely on this plugin.

  • Ethan

    Hello, I have a featured request that I think so many people would love.

    Do you see in the future the capability of brdiging Woocommerce with Membership?

    Just like here -

    This member was able to write a plugin for it, so sure the developers would be kind enough to port this into Membership.

    This is the last piece of the puzzle to get a site that I am building to work.

  • Terence

    @Barry ~ I am trying to figure out what I need to offer different multiples of blog sites at different levels ~ for example, "Starter" 1, "Standard" 5, "Pro" 10 etc. And how to take advantage of one plugin's way of doing membership management (either Membership Pro or Pro-Sites), and ditch the other's sign up, levels, features, etc. So I just posted this ~ Membership OR Pro-Sites or Membership AND Pro-Sites ~ but now I am wondering ~ is this going to be taken care of, perhaps, in the current enhancements to Membership Pro?


  • Atlanta

    Testing 3.4.5 beta4


    1. When I create a sub site using new blog template all membership settings such as pings, url groups, levels etc are copied over to the new subsite and then WIPED OUT from the template site. Odd.

    2. Url groups that worked perfectly on previous versions no longer work.

    3. I see where you are adding a section in communication to send different messages to different levels. That is a welcome addition. Thanks.

  • Atlanta

    More feedback...
    This problem doesn't occur with NBT and the current stable version of Membership plugin, it only happens with 3.4.5 beta4. The beta seems to add users from other sub sites to a newly created sub site. I am using new blog templates and have the option checked to not carry over existing users but for some reason it carries over some users after a couple of minutes of the sub site being set up. It doesn't carry over the users immediately. @Ignacio NBT heads up.

  • Ollie

    Guys we've been paying developers to fix out the bugs particularly in multiple subscriptions & membership admins. We have offered to swap these fixes to WPMU but they need to offer the client something in return because its core functionality that had problems. We had been waiting for a full year for a solution and had no more time to wait. We believe everyone should have these fixes and for this reason is why we have approached WPMU about it.

    We have membership working with multiple membership levels right now perfectly.

    Throw some support behind it because it will make the next stable releases faster to complete, or even at bare minimum the ability to run multiple memberships as it should.


  • Ollie

    Read this thread from this point down, we have the fixes to make multiple membership work, we've paid for them because we have been waiting a year for it to work as advertised. We want to swap them with WPMU for some credits since its core functionality that we paid to fix. We don't have to swap this stuff, but by offering, it gives WPMU the chance to save a decent amount of time troubleshooting and testing multiple membership levels in particular.

    Throw some support behind it if you need this fixed and can't wait any longer.

    We will go forward without the non stop bugs regardless so it makes no difference to us but I can only assume there are many others out there that would want our fixes implemented to the WPMU release of Membership.


  • Ollie

    Hi @Terrence,

    I'd say yes and no so far. I'd say yes they have recognition we've made some valuable fixes, but no in the sense that no one has understood how much work we have put into fixing the membership plugin and the fact it's business, we've paid money and time to fix it. Also they haven't yet grasped that we are paying people to fix functions of their core plugin that we have pay for in the first place to use. I've been instructed by the person who pays for this to not supply the code fixes until WPMU acknowledges it's a swap not a donation, my client has said this 'I don't think WPMU quite understand the business side of this at all, if they don't get it then forget it Ill keep my IP on all these fixes and just continue moving forward.'

    We understand and accept Membership is in a 'transition state' that's why we put the offer out there. We'd even accept a few hundred WPMU points in exchange for the fixes.

    Im not complaining that its not done, I got over that many moons ago, Im just offering a chance for WPMU to quickly catch up to where we are because we know our install is further advanced & more stable then the current stable release.

    If this was an open source solution I wouldnt hesitate giving up our fixes however it's not everyone pays for this.

    I know people are having these problems that our fixes correct because everytime I log in to WPMU i read someone having problems because they read the membership manual and their multiple membership levels wont work.

    Anyways as stated it makes no difference to us we have a working solution now so we are happy, it's everyone else that use membership for multiple subscriptions that we are trying to help with this.


  • Terence

    @Billy ~ I am going to tell you how I see it. I don't think you're going to like it, but please don't shoot the messenger. I am on your side here, I just can't read what you've written and not say what is immediately obvious to me.

    Unless I am very much mistaken ~ and I hope others more knowledgeable than I will feel free to chip in here ~ but as I understand it, there is a substantial problem with the position you and your client are taking.

    I am sure it springs from a misunderstanding rather than a deliberate attempt to go head-on with the terms of the original license (a la Chris Pearson with Thesis and Envato versus WordPress).

    Membership Premium *IS* Open Source software and it is distributed under a GNU General Public License which is intended to guarantee our freedom to share and change the software and to make sure the software is free for all its users.

    The fact that you have taken the source code and amended it shows that, at one level at least, you understand this. What you are paying WPMUDEV for, is not the original plug-in, but everything they provide on top of this and other free software.

    If you distribute copies of such a program ~ i.e. to your client ~ whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that you have. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights.

    You cannot now make it conditional to suit yourself or even what you or I may think is right. We are both bound by the terms of the original license.

    Any free software can be threatened by software developers claiming proprietory rights. To prevent this, the authors of that license made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all.

    Therefore, without a patent, or the copyright, not only can you not deny those changes to WPMUDEV, you MUST share them with all WPMUDEV members, under the terms of the license you accepted when you started using and developing on top of the original Premium Membership software.

    Not perhaps what you wanted to hear and certainly not how I thought I would be writing to you when I posted my question, but I think you need to resolve this matter in a way which meets the terms and conditions of the license under which we all use and develop on top of WPMUDEV distributed software.

    It doesn't appear, at face value, that this is what's happening at the moment, and I'd much rather ~ and I think its to all our advantage, if ~ it was resolved in a public forum, albeit 'handbags at dawn', rather than by Lawyers in a courtroom.


  • lkraav

    "Therefore, without a patent, or the copyright, not only can you not deny those changes to WPMUDEV, you MUST share them with all WPMUDEV members, under the terms of the license you accepted when you started using and developing on top of the original Premium Membership software."

    What are you talking about? Nobody HAS to share anything. Any code can safely bitrot on some drive corner, doing work or not doing, without being published and shared with anyone, including GPL.

    Please do bring yourself up to date

    I don't know if @Billzy ever even got to a real discussion with WPMU or was just plain ignored, but as a multiple business owner myself: should I get an offer to trade my virtual points currency for real production-tested code from someone who obviously knows what he's talking about, after seeing even the slightest proof of any significant quantity and quality, I'd make this trade in a heartbeat.

    Even the amount of points he's asking for is more than reasonable.

    All I know is the Membership plugin has been significantly broken in a number of aspects on a supposedly stable version, while STILL being the downloadable version for a LONG time. I don't know anything about @Barry or his life or what load he carries outside this plugin, but it is taking a significant amount of time to fix up. So hell I would welcome any serious help offer with open arms. Yet there might be whatever corporate politics involved, so I'll stop speculating any further and keep following the developments with great interest.

    I have at least one customer I care about on this plugin and I want it to work out for them the best way possible.

    @Billzy - get in touch with me in private. If you can provide a list of stuff what you think your code fixes, we could negotiate a price.

  • Terence

    What am I talking about?

    Well, for a start, I take it you didn't actually read that document, so let me quote from the source you pointed me to as your reason to challenge my understanding of the situation ~

    "But if you release the modified version to the public in some way, the GPL requires you to make the modified source code available to the program's users, under the GPL."

    It says it there in black and white. Didn't you read it?

    If, as he has written, @Billzy has modified the source and released it to a client, then he is required to provide the modifications to the community, under the terms of the software license. Even a cursory inspection of the license document in the distribution archive will show you this, if you read it.

    Whether the plug-in needed fixing and WPMUDEV was delinquent in doing so, that is of no importance, in this respect. And if @Billzy is asking a king's ransom, trying to be totally reasonable ~ from your point of view ~ or simply wants to get back money he has already out-laid, it really matters not.

    The license is specifically written to inhibit the practise of trying to sell modified open-source software for gain ~ no matter how inexpensively ~ while not sharing the modifications with the community. And by making those modifications exclusively available to one or two people only, he is in effect ignoring the license terms.

    And while I absolutely would defend your right to spend your money how you want; I would like to think you wouldn't do that at the expense of the community who helped to develop the plug-in.

    But, more importantly, when GNU's lawyers step in with their size eleven's, and the mods get distributed for free, perhaps you'll wonder if it was such a good idea to sell ~ and to pay for ~ software sold in direct contradiction to the terms of its license.

    Maybe you should read this before you part with your money? It says very clearly "The FSF acts on all GPL violations reported on FSF copyrighted code, and we offer assistance to any other copyright holder who wishes to do the same."


  • lkraav

    Thanks for putting in the time, Terence. Let's see if we can come to a correct understanding. I haven't thought about the GPL in this much detail before.

    "If I distribute GPL'd software for a fee, am I required to also make it available to the public without a charge? (#DoesTheGPLRequireAvailabilityToPublic)

    No. However, if someone pays your fee and gets a copy, the GPL gives them the freedom to release it to the public, with or without a fee. For example, someone could pay your fee, and then put her copy on a web site for the general public."

    Does this not mean @Billzy and everyone else can simply put a $1,000,000 price tag on their customer themes, plugins and whatever else they develop on top of WordPress?

    So to not fall too apart from the original idea, my alarm mainly went off on just this:
    "Therefore, without a patent, or the copyright, not only can you not deny those changes to WPMUDEV, you MUST share them with all WPMUDEV members, under the terms of the license you accepted when you started using and developing on top of the original Premium Membership software."

    This to me sounded like in your interpretation @Billzy is forced to upload his modifications, for free.

    Looking at the #DoesTheGPLRequireAvailabilityToPublic paragraph, he can set any fee for distribution he wants.
    Right now I bet the price is either 200 WPMU points or $1,000,000 for everybody else

    Am I missing something?

    PS. regarding my own offer, all the stuff I hypothetically buy would probably immediately go up on GitHub for free. Withholding code is not where I make my money from.

  • Terence

    You know what, it doesn't really matter what you think. And if its any consolation, it doesn't matter what I think, either.

    Let's take a look back to where this all started.

    Richard Stallman worked in the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1970s and early '80s, during what turned out to be a golden age and a golden location for code sharing.

    The AI Lab had a strong "hacker ethic" and people were not only encouraged but expected to share whatever improvements they made to the system.

    Stallman devised a copyright license whose terms guaranteed that his code would be perpetually free.

    The GNU General Public License (GPL) is a clever piece of legal mumbo jumbo: it says that the code may be copied and modified without restriction, and that both copies and derivative works (i.e., modified versions) must be distributed under the same license as the original, with no additional restrictions.

    In effect, it uses copyright law to achieve an effect opposite to that of traditional copyright: instead of limiting the software's distribution, it prevents anyone, even the author, from limiting it.

    For Stallman, this was better than simply putting his code into the public domain. If it were in the public domain, any copy or part of it could be incorporated into a proprietary program (as has also been known to happen to code under permissive copyright licenses).

    While such incorporation wouldn't in any way diminish the original code's continued availability, it would have meant that Stallman's efforts could benefit the enemy ~ proprietary software.

    The GPL can be thought of as a form of protectionism for free software, because it prevents non-free software from taking full advantage of GPLed code.

    So like I said, its far better to interpret the license as not giving you the right to modify GPL software and then deny those modifications to others, than to find yourself at the wrong end of a legal 'cease and desist' from the FSF.

    Because, that way, we ALL lose.


  • Ollie

    I understand what you are both saying, Terence I don;t know what your angle is are you just trying to force us to upload paid code for free, if so then im not even going to dignify this with a response.

    @lkraav gets its 100%, he understands what we've done and he just gets it, perhaps its because his not just a developer his a business owners/entrepreneur like many of the customers of WPMU. Never forget at least 80% of developers dont understand business, financing or timelines, they only understand development and think money grows on trees..

    Terence as for you referring to my code modifications, we secured a developer from the jobs area of WPMU. The client paid, I didnt make these changes myself, I guided them through the process and made sure the developer understood because again many developers struggle to understand the business perspective. Perhaps if WPMU have a problem with my request they should be charging more money to the people advertising in the jobs area because it's those guys who are identifying problems with the core and fixing them..

    'A kings ransom' I dont know but the last time I checked it's not really a ransom and it doesnt cost WPMU ANYTHING to give up some virtual points for some good hard work contributed towards to good of the plugin.

    Bare in mind, I didnt have to put this offer out there, we couldve continued without telling anyone, Ill repeat myself again; it makes no difference to us, we will move forward with a stable solution regardless.... The whole point of us posting this is as lkraav mentioned

    'Not sure about Barry's lifestyle but we are paying money and this is taking years' is anyone going to disagree? Im not complaining its not done, Im not even complaining the offers being ignored by most staff. Im offering the chance for membership admins to throw some support behind this so that they can all have it included for their installs faster than if the WPMU team code those fixes and all the other new functionaltiy and fixes that they are currently working on, its common sense.

    We've made many fixes over the past year but let me detail the 2 most significant ones which we fixed recently.

    - Multiple Subscriptions using positive levels, You have more than 1 or 2 subscriptions per user running on positive levels (add on package module membership concept). Particularly with categories. in the WPMU release, there is some functions preventing the positive rules from working when multiple subscriptions are involved for a user.

    -Multiple membership admins; for some reason once you add many memberhsip admins (ie 4 or 5) after the 3rd or 4th admin it stops allowing access for new admins and causes a whole range of permission errors.

    Just for the record, I did try and convince the developers that i would be willing to work for free to fix the problem if they would too so that we could give the work back to WPMU for free and have it included in the stable release... I have that mentality of giving back to the community however Faisal Mindblaze denied this request and made us pay for it, they weren't interested at all in giving back to the community which I found slightly rude since they are constantly advertising in the jobs section freely.

    If you look through my comments and discussions in the past you will see how much free code ive given up that ive made myself, in this scenario I didn't code it myself, I didnt charge any extra to fix these problems for the client, I just helped arrange them get fixed. It was paid for by someone which means its not up to me whether the fixes are supplied for free.

    The fact that we got these developers from the WPMU jobs area raises even more questions about all these clauses Terence is bringing up, but in any case rather than talking about that Im just going to say, you know the offer, you know the story, take it or leave it...

  • lkraav

    @Terence, I dont want to "think", I ultimately want to "know", at a judicially correct level. "Thinking" to me is the road; life has proven over and over if I stop at just thinking, there's surprises guaranteed when ish hits the fan.

    I'm not sure what "hacker ethic" you're talking about, when WPMU doesn't even have free (or paid!) public code history repos up so all of us real hackers could properly fix and share all the development blunders.

    It's clear WPMU operation is money first, hacker ethic second. That's fine. They have not broken GPL, as far as I can see. But no other standard therefore can be upheld against @Billzy. If he wants to charge whatever, he can charge it. I was hoping you could find a loophole in this argument, but you went theoretical, which looks like we're running out of steam here. That's fine, @Barry probably has to create a new thread anyway

    This discussion was useful to me. Thanks e1.

  • Terence


    Philosophical, no, historical, maybe.

    I think you are missing the point of the GPL, and it is this.

    One may charge a fee for giving out copies of free software, modified or unmodified, but since one cannot stop the recipients from offering it at no charge afterwards, the price is effectively driven to zero immediately.

    Open source software is a culture by choice. To operate successfully in it, you have to understand why people choose to be in it in the first place. Coercive techniques don't work.

    Open-source software can be modified to fit the users needs, which is true. However, some open-source licenses place restrictions on sharing these changes. The GPL is one of them.

    It is my understanding that the OSF judge a program to be open source if it has an open-source license. This is clear but counter-intuitive and confusing since a program could meet the criteria but not have a compatible license, which has no bearing on the software.

    And likewise with the GNU GPL. You can meet those standards, but if you're not using a GNU GPL compatible license, it's not recognized.

    However, in this case, the software in question passes both these tests.

    The motivation behind the GPL was that it was created to require that certain freedoms be available (the four freedoms). This included usage freedoms, which enabled Linus(et al) to use them in Linux, for example.

    The Free Software Foundation defines free software as software that gives it's users the following freedoms.

    The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).

    The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

    The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbour (freedom 2).

    The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

    These basic freedoms are built into the GPL and need protecting from people who would unknowingly, uncaringly, or for their own purposes find arguments to support what they want to do, or what they think they are entitled to do, no matter that they already benefited hugely from other people who respected these freedoms.

    They must be disabused, or the whole community is the poorer.


  • Terence


    What's my angle?

    I have two, really.

    The first is, I have a couple of developers working on creating a WordPress plug-in (GPL license), which is a registration system that sits on top of Premium Membership and Pro-sites. So, understandably I think, I don't want people with your attitude to software licensing, taking my software, modifying it, selling it to their clients and then refusing to share the mods with the community, notwithstanding they got my software for free in the first place.

    The second is, because my application sits on top of two GPL plug-ins, which provide the underlying functionality, I want them both to work as well as possible, and for any bugs they contain to be fixed sooner rather than later, so that we are not writing a plug-in which will break when WPMUDEV eventually gets round to fixing them.

    So there you are. Cards on the table.

    I am a small business-man too, and I agree with you on one thing. WPMUDEV dpes seem to be populated ~ if you only judge them by what often appears in these forums ~ by nerds and techies who havent' a clue about what makes business tick. They often come across, on the surface at least, like a bunch of developers who just struck lucky.

    But that doesn't matter. Its not fact. It's just my opinion.

    But a software license, now that's different.

    The only valid interpretation of the GPL license which is worth anything, is not yours, is not mine, not Ikraav's, but what the legal precedents have already established, and in the mind of the judge on the day, should it come to that.

    WPMUDEV are not 'the community'. They are just part of the community, and happen to be developing a version of the plug-in which you have used as the for basis for the enhancements you sold to your client. Whether either choose to act like idiot savants (without the savant bit), or not, or WPMUDEV refuses to accept the terms you now wish to impose, has no bearing at all on this situation.

    The real problem here is not WPMUDEV, its the fact that you are obviously not as good a businessman as you think you are. A good businessman wouldn't announce in a public forum that he has sold rights he doesn't possess to client. Nor that he intends to ignore the terms of the license for the software he is using, and developing his business on.

    Unfortunately for you and your client, you didn't tell your him that if he spent his money on enhancing this plug-in, due to the GPL, he is legally bound to give those modifications back to the community that, in the first place, created the plug-in he is using for free.

    I don't believe that being a good businessman and honouring agreements are two different things. I think they are one in the same thing.

    To me it beggars belief that you choose not to see that.


  • Terence

    Absolutely Danny!

    There are now two guys working on it; one in Canada and the other in Oz.

    As soon as I have something to show you I will announce it in here. Don't worry.

    Its designed for people who need more flexibility in sign-up and level management than either Pro-Sites or Premium Membership can offer on their own.

    I suspect it will be a couple of weeks yet before the beta is read for showtime.


  • Shelly Haffly

    Communications section - 2 months ago it was promised to be able to send emails to select groups. It still can't. Sending emails to the admin was laughed at.

    Knowing who has registered, and their information (name/address/phone) is not planned for the admin, nor is there a feature to send an email with this information, and there are no sortable columns in the all members list to see the latest registered.

    Content regarding who has signed up recently provided on the main membership plug in page is seriously lacking.

    I have fought with this for far too long. $75 a month for sketchy support, and no new features has me throwing up my hands. Moving on to something else.

  • Shelly Haffly

    Don't get me wrong. I have it up and running, and it does 'membership' signups just fine. But there are very few administrative functions that should be there, and other plug-ins have. I waffled between this plug-in and another and ultimately decided on this one. In the 4 months I have been running this plugin, the other one has upgraded its administrative functions to do all that I requested.

    From what I can tell, this plug in is in perpetual bug fix state, and new features are not on the horizon.

  • Ollie


    Since you are still not reading it properly I am going to break it down one final time.... I make free plugins as well but we paid for this one from WPMU jobs area because our paid subscription of WPMU did not provide what was advertised in the membership manual...

    Read it how you want, if I coded it myself I would give the code but I didnt it was MINDBLAZE TECHNOLOGIES from WPMU Jobs area... The client paid for it at his request because WPMU dragged out the non existent timeline of membership for well over a year.

    I accept that because the WPMU team have consistently stated clearly that they dont know how to work with timelines, we've already established that its no point crying over spilt milk on that topic it will go nowhere.

    My client has read your responses and we both have the same conclusion... Your laws may or may not be true but WPMU are soo borderline between multiple license approaches that you can just stick it... WPMU cannot have it all their way there needs to be some give somewhere... When WPMU follows their own rules as will we....

    Our situation for this client now is his informed me based on the support from WPMU on this matter that we are just going to go completely custom on the addons because you boys cant keep up with our working pace....

    Anyways that's the last you hear from me on this topic, discussions on this matter from our end are now closed.

  • rtandoh

    @Danny, @jamesdonegan, @Shelly Haffly

    Have moved over to WooCommerce + WooCommerce Subscriptions + Groups for WooCommerce + Groups - though you could just use Groups.

    Was interested in Membership because of its integration with BuddyPress, but I haven't been impressed. For example, the way denying access to Private Messaging has been implemented (link), shows the developers have no idea about good UX, plus I can achieve better with Groups or A. N. Other with a few lines of code (link).

    BTW I have heard good things about Paid Memberships Pro – plus it has Stripe integration.

    Once I finish this thread, I will stop my WPMU Dev subscription from renewing.


  • Terence

    @Billzy ~ I feel your pain and your frustration with WPMUDEV, I really do. I am hanging in here by a thread too. I have been a member since February and if I haven't managed to a fully operating and correctly functioning system by November 7th, that's the end of the road for me.

    But I don't think the answer, either for you or for me, is just to ignore those parts of the GPL license for the products I use, which I don't like, and selfishly take advantage of the efforts of others.

    You and your client are seeing this as a tussle of wills between you and WPMUDEV, when in fact it isn't. Its really you and your client breaking a legal contract you entered into freely, and ignoring the efforts of all those in the community behind the software, who have contributed to the underlying GPL utilities, functions, toolboxes, bug-fixes, code contributions etc, upon which this plugin was built.

    Its not something which you can just argue away to suit your own purposes.

    You either acknowledge other people have rights here too ~ which includes WPMUDEV ~ or you ignore them.

    You and your client either have principles and do the honorable thing, or you don't.