I have to come clean about my problem. It is well over four years ago, when I put the landing page for Lapisense online. I was – and still am, but bear with me – very excited about solving a common problem for premium WordPress product vendors: licensing and updates. Over those four years, I have built countless prototypes of what I thought Lapisense should look like, but none of them have moved forward out of their infancies.
Call it imposter syndrome, call it a lack of perseverance. Something blocked me from pulling the trigger and go forward with the concept of Lapisense and actually put it out there for people to use.
Over the years, I have changed my mind about the whole concept of Lapisense about a million times. None of the ideas really seemed to stick. Some days, offering a fully hosted service that handled licensing and updates seemed the way to go, but the next day I found a great way to have Lapisense integrate in other parts of the actual WordPress installation as well. A plugin seemed the best approach after all. It freaked me out. Nothing seemed good enough. That’s when it dawned on me… none of my ideas are mutually exclusive.
Combination of a service and self-hosted
In order for me to actually release a version of Lapisense that is ready to use, I had to make a decision that (at the time, at least) turned out to be very mentally challenging. Should I make Lapisense a service, with just a minor integration in WordPress, or make it a plugin that does everything from inside the WordPress installation? The realisation that none of this was mutually exclusive seems so obvious, that it’s making me laugh about my own narrow minded thinking at the time.
Lapisense is going to be both a hosted service and a self-hosted plugin. The whole concept serves this combination of approaches very well. All of the functionality can exist within a WordPress installation, using the REST-API to enable all communication around licensing and updating of WordPress products. In case you need to scale up or don’t want to worry about your infrastructure and servers too much, you can activate Lapisense as a service and have most of the logic move away from the WordPress install.
Now, in order to make me actually ship something, the first version of Lapisense isn’t going to have a service yet. The first version will actually be just a WordPress plugin that does everything. As soon as that version is out the door, I will start worrying about the service functionality again. This is the first (since this revival post) and last (before launching the first version) you will hear about the service functionality for now.
Building it out in the open
I would like the world to keep me accountable. I want the WordPress community to come knocking on my door when I seem to shy away from actually launching something and seem to chicken out again. In order for you to keep me accountable, I need to prove to you what I’m doing. That’s why I’ve decided to build the first version of Lapisense out in the open.
Everything I’m building, testing, documenting or whatever else I’m doing, will take place in the public GitHub repository. And to top that off, I will be providing you here with weekly updates. Mandatory updates. Please yell at me when I haven’t published a weekly update here.
Weekly updates are Friday Facts
The weekly updates will take place in the form of Friday Facts. This name has been chosen as an homage to one of my all time favourite video games; Factorio (they have an impressive record of Friday Facts on their blog).
There might be updates that aren’t even worth updating this blog with a Friday Facts post, or some that might contain very little news. I guess that is the point of doing weekly updates in itself; updating the community of what is happening. If nothing is happening, an empty Friday Facts post is giving you plenty of ammunition to yell at me – right? 😉