Thanks for your well-written and illuminating post! I'm realizing now that I may have sounded overly harsh in my previous post(s) regarding p*pscript; I certainly understand that it often makes excellent business sense to purchase "open source" scripts from people or companies who can provide support for them in many circumstances. It was not my intention to belittle, or criticize, you for doing that or the company who sold you the scripts for doing that. Such things are an important part of the Open Source idea! .
It is great that received timely attention and support from p*opscript toward getting the program up and running. Your description of their actions makes it clear they they are interested in helping you get the program(s) running, and the fact that they have been "friendly, helpful cheerful people" is (unfortunately) rare enough these days. SHort of actually getting the program(s) to run, it appears they have met, or exceeded, your expectations in the support area.
As for the Dreamhost support responses, I understand your frustration. No one like to wait for days for tech support responses and many have indicated that they are willing to pay for a higher level of Dreamhost support. It is also true that the "no phone support", email only support that Dreamhost offers is not for everybody; some would really be happier, and better served, with a different process even if it costs more. I can't imagine that a reasonable person would be critical of someone in that position. "One size fits all" just doesn't and people have different technical support needs and priorities.
I understand, and I think I need to clarify some things here myself. Firstly, the GPL is "viral" in nature, and it is really not quite as simple as adding "THEIR" stuff to a GPL licensed codebase, though that is a very complicated discussion that doesn't really serve to help your situation and is not particularly relevant as you will be "happy" if you can get the script to run . I also understand your statements about "the codebase" being intimidating and is only valuable in that it "reduces the cost" of having to start from scratch with a "custom" script. Your statement that, "The script has open disclaimers all over it so they did NOT remove them," is very important to me (and to other Open Source advocates) as well as the authors of the original code. Hopefully, those "disclaimers" are the original copyright notices that are required to remain in the code. The fact that they are present in your code is a pretty good indication that the Xoops foundation people have had some productive communication with p*opscript regarding this issue, as others have presented code without those notices.
Your comments regarding the advantages of building on an existing product are right on the mark, and I fully understand and appreciate your thoughts in that area. "Re-usable" code is a great thing, and makes many projects "doable" that otherwise would be prohibitively expensive (and probably more prone to errors!). Again, I also understand your thoughts about the value of "free" help/code that you can't understand, and I do not take issue with you or anyone else that makes the business decision to "pay someone" to handle the technical stuff (thank goodness my clients do that, as it is how I pay my bills!). It is also all too true that the pay from "volunteer projects" pays less toward my total needs now than it did when my needs were "few"
I very much appreciate that there are always at least two sides to every story. It was not my intention to point out only "one side" with the links I referenced; I just selected what I felt were representative samples of what the search returned. Other than links to others selling the script, the majority of the links I checked (and I did not check them all ) were reports of not being able to install the script, problems with intellectual property issues, etc., and I felt you should be made aware of them. Given the information you have provided in this thread, you have probably helped "balance" that to some degree as your experiences with the script, and with the sellers, will be picked up by Google and be included in future searches.
I agree pretty much with all that, though I would point out that the Xoops Foundation people agree with you on that, and have been attempting to resolve the licensing/GPL issues. In fact, it appears as though they may have made progress to that end since Mr. Coomans last posted in September as you indicate the code you received does have disclaimers in the code (which others reported as not be present in the code they received) My take on that is that p*opscript may have been prevailed upon to restore the copyright notices (though I don't know that is true, or to what degree, as I have not seen the code).
The only issue I, and most other Open Source advocates and developers, have with those who "package open source up into a nice, neat, useful package, support it, and take away that open source feel/freedom that you all thrive on, and CHARGE .. for it" is that, if in doing that, they further restrict the "free" (as in "freedom", not as in "free beer") nature of the product in violation of the license under which the code was released or remove copyright notices. As I previously stated, the whole subject of the GNU GPL license is a large and complicated one, and there are plenty of resources available on the net for those who are interested in researching it further, so I won't belabor the point here. My point in bringing it to your attention was that others have reported the code had been further restricted and that copyright notices had been removed. I'm glad to hear that, in the code you received, this may not be the case.