phpCOIN was originally developed by Mike Lansberry to run his own web hosting business and released to the public under pressure from friends and interested users. Mike found the burden of running support and development to be too intrusive on his time, and the rights to the code and operations were transferred to Stephen Kitching (cantex) who subsequently set up a limited company in Canada called COINSoft Technologies Inc. to administrate the project and attract investors.
Over the next 5 years, as a major shareholder in COINSoft Technologies Inc., Technology Services RPVW S.L. (a British owned limited company based in Spain) invested many thousands of hours in development, research and support into the phpCOIN v1 project, and into the phpCOIN v2 commercial project, which was under development, and as a result, a 6 figure (Euros) debt was accumulated owing to Technology Services RPVW S.L.
Following the sad and unexpected death of Stephen Kitching from cancer, the directors and shareholders of the Canadian company attempted to replace him as the project developer without success. The decision was made to close down the Canadian company but the debt to Technology Services RPVW S.L. remained and the asset value of COINSoft Technologies Inc. could not come anywhere close to covering this debt.
In order to salvage something from the disaster, Technology Services RPVW S.L. agreed to accept the rights to the phpCOIN projects in lieu of payment but, unfortunately, no-one in Canada was able to find or make available the development code for the phpCOIN v2 project.
Over the past year, Technology Services RPVW S.L. has done everything possible to maintain the availability of the phpCOIN v1 project and its support to the public. Increasing workloads and limited developer resources have proved to be too much of a strain, and unfortunately, we have had to suspend the project for the time being.
It is a sad reflection on the state of the phpCOIN community (with the exception of a couple of users) that no-one who promised their support and help with the project actually made good on their commitments.
Frankly, the future of the phpCOIN project looks somewhat bleak at the time of writing. Unless a suitable lead developer steps up to the plate to collaborate with us and undertake the forward development of the project and co-ordinate coder contributions, we do not see any immediate way of getting the project back on-track. The disappointing fact is that the road-map and feature set to turn phpCOIN into a truly world class project has existed for some time, but the lack of developer contributions and community support has effectively paralysed the project.
So what can we do, and what's in it for you?
We have a number of options at this time. We could just abandon the project which would be a criminal shame. We could sell the whole project on to a third party (assuming their offer was acceptable). Or we could collaborate with someone willing and suitable to take over the position of lead developer for the project.
Given that the project is open source and distributed free, we are not willing at this time to employ anyone to fill this position, but any developer that took this on would be fully accredited with their work, and would receive all the support and resources that Technology Services RPVW S.L. can offer. There also exists opportunities for developers and contributors to the project to offer officially accredited enterprise commercial support, and thus create a revenue stream for themselves.
An alternative might be to stop trying to re-invent the wheel, and re-code phpCOIN as a (commercial?) 'drop in' module for existing, established, shopping cart(s) or content management system(s).
A lead developer should have extensive knowledge of PHP coding and preferably have some experience in shopping cart / financial software (for international distribution), and be willing to contribute a significant amount of time to the project over several years to ensure some sort of continuity. As previously stated, a road-map already exists with what we consider to be the way forward to make the phpCOIN project a world class shopping cart/invoicing application which can be used by web hosting companies or for any other e-commerce application. Nothing is set in stone and any developer input and ideas would would be appraised on their respective merits.
We do require that any applicant for the position of lead developer should be absolutely fluent in English (preferably a native English speaker) and also be available and willing to communicate by telephone. If you are interested in taking on this project, please phone us or eMail us using the details below.