Just a quick note to announce that I’ve made source and build scripts for both versions of No Frills Magento Layout available in a public GitHub repo. I’m not open-sourcing the books or publishing them under a creative commons license, but they’re both available to read for free for the first time.
There are a few reasons for this. First, over the next few months I hope to modernize the janky-but-works build process. “LaTeX + bash” might be the way of my generation, but I’d like to discover what sort of self-publishing tools are available thirteen years after the whole leanpub movement. Plus, working in public and writing about it is always how I’ve found my next job, and I am looking so please say hello if you’re hiring.
Second — Magento’s life as a growth platform is over. Last year sales of Commerce Bug and No Frills brought in around $1,000 — a few orders of magnitude less than my business did at its height. The platform owners are only interested in the Open Source side of things in so far as their salespeople need to say the words “open source” to overcome objections. While there are still agencies and projects building on Magento it’s a very niche world these days.
However. There are — thousands? tens of thousands? — of Magento 1/OpenMage and Magento 2 systems out in the world. These systems need maintenance and feature development. The trend is to move this sort of work to countries where the American dollar goes further. When I conceived of Pulse Storm as a business I always tried to keep things affordable for the world I knew — American and European-based software agencies, but $25 for a book can seem prohibitive if you’re living somewhere like Brazil where R$125 might cover your weekly expenses (apologies if this isn’t an up to date example, I have only internet currency data to go by).
Getting these books out in public means the random developers that land some Magento work will have a place to go to learn how Magento works. Despite Magento being in the world for fifteen years these books (strangely!) remain one of the few places that discuss the details of Magento’s layout system.