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Last post Author Topic: TalkAboutShareware thread  (Read 11687 times)

rjbull

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TalkAboutShareware thread
« on: December 08, 2005, 04:10:35 AM »
Mouser,

TalkAboutShareware has had a thread on FARR and equivalents in the last couple of days, with several sour comments about the licensing, as if some people think they have a moral right to have free software.  You and others might like to put them to rights...

nudone

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2005, 05:21:17 AM »
what's the link, rj ? i'd like to see what kind of petty bickering is going on.

vegas

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2005, 06:20:29 AM »

nudone

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2005, 06:30:13 AM »
thank you very much vegas.

mouser

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2005, 07:11:16 AM »
thanks very much for the heads up rjbull - it's great to know about such things while they are occuring so i can add my 2cents to them.  I've posted a lengthy follow up if anyone cares to read and add to it, it would be appreciated.

and please remember to be polite and understanding of people who are upset about having to jump through hoops for a freeware program - the best thing to do is just explain what we are trying to do and why.  Most people are willing to listen and are reasonable once they see we aren't trying to pull a scam.

mouser

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2005, 09:16:50 AM »
that page is just showing posts from the usenet group alt.freeware and there is a delay between the time of posting and the time it shows up on that page.

[edit: my reply is up, if anyone feels like adding some *constructive* words to the discussion there it would be welcome]
« Last Edit: December 08, 2005, 10:10:36 AM by mouser »

nudone

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2005, 10:04:43 AM »
Quote
that page is just showing posts from the usenet group alt.freeware.

that makes sense then, i was a little confused trying to navigate my way through their site, wondering where your post was.

just reading a couple of their remarks does make me wonder if these sorts of complainers are worth bothering about. they don't appear to be interested in supporting anything - they just want a 'free' piece of software, FREE to the point that they never have to be troubled spending a few moments of their precious time 'obtaining' a license key (either by asking or by donating).

the author of the freeware is of absolutely no importance to them and their philosophy on 'freeware' sounds entirely selfish and one sided.

i hope your post (that i've yet to read), mouser, will sway their view. if it doesn't then good luck to them. it's their loss after all - if they'd rather not use Find and Run Robot for the sakes of getting the key for it then i pity them.

vegas

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2005, 11:50:46 AM »
Maybe you could have pointed them to this thread instead -> http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=1339.0
oh wait, maybe thats who posted.  :lol:

mouser

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2005, 12:07:56 PM »
well you all know my position about these things - i understand how people might be wary of a site that is so "aggressively" trying to encourage donations.  we should be open to criticism and take these complaints seriously and at face value and try to answer questions and frustrations with a plain explanation of what we are trying to do.  In fairness the world is filled with people trying to scam and spam people so let's cut them a little slack if they start out suspicious of anything out of the ordinary.

nudone

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2005, 12:30:23 PM »
 :) mouser, you are such a nice bloke. you're right, of course. your diplomatic approach is always going to be of the greatest benefit towards donationcoder.

(i just find some of the "it's not really freeware" comments, like on that site, are more akin to just ungrateful begging. sorry, i'm starting to wind myself up again.)

mouser

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2005, 07:02:00 PM »
i've been using googlegroups.com to browse and post to the alt.comp.freeware newsgroup - it doesn't suffer from the same delay.
(plus signing up at googlegroups is easy and once signed up you can browse newsgroups, bookmark then, and post to them).


hey, if anyone wants to post to that thread and add their 2 cents about donationcoder.com to the discussion it might be nice for the people on that thread to hear from some real members of the site who might be able to relate their experiences.

right now it mostly just me talking to people who have never visited and are just reflecting abstractly about why they don't like the idea, and i'm feeling a bit alone there.  be polite and courteous of course if you do post.

i think this should be a direct link to it: http://groups.google...ead/7e3e5755136b0a54
« Last Edit: December 08, 2005, 07:04:08 PM by mouser »

nudone

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2005, 04:24:11 AM »
i've just read the entire thread. what can i say? some of mouser's comments were humbling (nothing new there) and some of their replies are so adamant that the 'donationware' concept is so utterly flawed it's enraging.

when i can think of a calm response i'll try and make a post over there.

rjbull

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2005, 05:54:21 AM »
Mouser,

Most of these people are shameless parasites, but part of the problem may be that the donation concept is new.  How's this post as a start towards a succinct definition?

Quote
Mouser's idea of Donationware -requests- money, but does not -require- it.

Shareware -absolutely- requires money, often with threat of legal action.

Mouser seems to have hit on a new paradigm between freeware and shareware.  OK, I see that the nature of the "requests" irritates some people, but they still don't have to pay anything, and payment's what I take to be the prime criterion for shareware or commercial software.
[\quote]

mouser

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2005, 08:54:23 AM »
I saw your post rjbull, and appreciate you adding your thoughts.

I think its important to try to view this from their perspective, that the concept of freeware is not to be trifled with litely.  People have wars over terms all the time (check out the "Open Source" debates if you want to have some real fun).

So I'm sympathetic to them being suspicious of anything that calls itself freeware and still requires users to sign up at a forum, etc.  We are in a kind of limbo here, as we've discussed on this forum before (http://www.donationc...index.php?topic=96.0).

And in the end I think that there's no point arguing over definitions (though I think it's clear we don't fit into the shareware model).  The only thing I care about is explaining what we are trying to do and how the site works.

In all fairness, it has to be said that they were right about the page shown to people who got to the Key download page who had not yet signed up at the forum:

That page was asking people to sign up to download the freeware license key but said nothing about having to come back in 6 months to download a new key, which it absolultely should,  no question about it.  And I've now changed the page to state it clearly (the page is here but remember that since you're a forum member you won't see what they see unless you log out first: http://www.donationc...r.com/Keys/index.php).

I think these discussions are always useful in refining ideas and helping clear up misperceptions, and in demonstrating that we are open to suggestions and constructive criticism.

mouser

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2005, 09:02:01 AM »
while we're on the subject -

the license keys have not yet been up for 6 months, so we do not yet know if having to come back after 6 months to download a new license key is going to be something that helps or hurts.

the intention is basically just to remind people who are still using the program for six months and who haven't donated that maybe after some consideration and use, it was worth a donation.  to get them to visit the site after 6 months and see that we are still here and are still going strong, with new software and new content, and that maybe it's worth a donation.

there will surely be plenty of people who never use the program beyond six months,

and there will probably be other people who after 6 months will see the program pop up saying to download a renewed freeware license key and will say F*** this and install it immediately.

We'll have to make a decision at some point if the benefts outweight the downsides.  If it turns out that the overwhelming majority of people who donate do so before the end of the 6 month period, and very few donate afterwards, then we might as well remove that completely, especially if it engenders some distrust and frustration.

rjbull

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2005, 11:19:28 AM »
Whew, what a futile firestorm from greedy people.  I suppose now I can see the suspicions.  It's certainly right to put the full license details on the front page - that's one of the good things about DoubleKiller, Jan put license and price details where you can see them before downloading.  So many shareware programs make you click the "Buy Now" link before you can see how much they cost.

I see Azzman got a free key from you, so that should show your "bona fides" to people who haven't been here.  Of course, maybe you'll get so many requests that you'll have to change the system...

mouser

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2005, 11:41:15 AM »
Quote
Of course, maybe you'll get so many requests that you'll have to change the system...

not a problem - there are very very few people who email and ask for this.

vrgrrl

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2005, 02:25:44 PM »
this is so interesting to me -- i've been friends with mouser for many, many years and he's just as honest and nice face-to-face as he is here on donationcoder. so i share nudone's enraged feeling and i can't think of a calm post to put on that forum. his zen approach to the situation makes me (even more) proud to be his friend!

Darwin

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2005, 05:57:34 PM »
WTF is wrong with these people? I hear what mouser is saying and would like to take his calm, rational approach, but I am appalled by the nit picking, posturing attitude that is evident on the thread. I am too pissed off to write anything over there that won't start a flame war (maybe this will, anyway). My membership at donationcoder is something that I am very proud of and I hate to see the whole thing being trashed by self-righteous, grasping people with nothing better to do than to sit around getting "angry" about semantic distinctions. Look at me ;) I'm sitting around getting angry about semantics... oops! The OP on that thread really likes F&RR and claims not to be averse to paying for software but is morally affronted by the lies and deceptions on this site? He can't get beyond his claustraphobic tunnel vision and make a 50 cent donation giving him the right to unlimited use of a program that he claims to do what he wants it to do. What a moron. And he's finding support for his position over there! Crap. There I go again. Time for my meds. Please excuse this diatribe. I am not very active here but donationcoder really, really resonates with me and has changed my perspective on a lot of things.

Shaking my head in disbelief and dismay.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: December 09, 2005, 05:59:18 PM by Darwin »

tsaint

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2005, 07:10:20 PM »
Agree so much! I went to have a look and sort of wished I hadn't. It's really weird to see pple attacking someone like Mouser, even after his patient and non threatening explanations. Its made me angry for the day :(

rrtwister

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2005, 07:29:13 PM »
I just went and read the entire thread and can only say that there are some really anal retentive people that just do not get the philosophy behind the DonationCoder concept. I am just an end user, so I cannot speak for how it feels to have people try justify using my hard earned work for free and complain about coming back to a site once every 6 months. One thing I do know for certain is that I found DonationCoder in the middle of September of this year and instantly knew that donating was the right thing to do. I have since made more small donations as I could afford (I have been out of work since Febuary of this year). Not trying to toot my own horn, but just telling it as it is. I believe in supporting people that are trying to do the right thing. Mouser has made me feel more than welcome in the DonationCoder community and that I really do appreciate. There are many people that are always there to help and give advice, Carol, brotherS and skrommel just to name a few. Even though alot of the forum goes over my head technically, I have never found any attitude when I ask for a simple explanation of something. This is truly a community where one is made to feel like they are an important part from day one.
I have an excellent memory.....now what was I saying ???
« Last Edit: December 09, 2005, 08:49:08 PM by rrtwister »

mouser

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2005, 08:24:29 PM »
again, i can't tell you how much those nice words mean to me.  this has been the real reward of this site, finding you people.

i think there is something to be gained by engaging people, even those who disagree, and i think their points are worth taking seriously.

in fact, it has given me some ideas, and i've posted one of them to that thread now which i intend to implement this weekend, you can read about it here:
http://groups.google...b0a54?scoring=d&

basically what i suggested was this:

Quote
here's another thought -
people are (perhaps rightly) focusing on the 6 months renewal thing.
the main point of that was like most of our approach, to try to get
people to really *think* about donating; we hope that by getting them
back to the site after 6 months of use they will realize "hey i really
use this program, and the site has just gotten better in those 6 months
since i decided not to donate, maybe now i will".

but as i've said w.r.t. people being able to email me to request a
non-expiring license if they are sure they don't want to donate, maybe
we could allay some concerns if we simply said this:

Your initial freeware license key generated will turn into a "startup
nag/reminder" (and not expire the program) after 6 months.
At that point you can return to our site and generate a *permanent
non-expiring license key* for the program.

That would 1) make it so the programs never stop working.
and 2) make it so you only ever have to come back once for a renewal
key, after that it turns into full normal pure non-expiring non-nagging
freeware.

Alternatively if we were worried that that would make it just too
tempting to hit the "make me a non-expiring license key" button and
quickly never look back, we could ask that they renew twice before it
turned into a full non-expiring license key, i.e. after 6 months you
download another 6 month key, and after that you are given permanent
non-expiring license key; that's a no brainer for me and i see no
reason not to add that right away; later we can decide maybe we should
just give a permanent key at the time of first renewal.



So i'm going to make those changes this weekend; i think it addresses the more serious and important concerns expressed by the people in that thread and is consistent with the philosophy of the site.  it does add a bit more to explain, but that's par for the course here :)

rjbull

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2005, 03:42:36 AM »
I'm truly sorry I started this, though I suppose someone had to draw attention to the alt.comp.freeware thread.

Was reading "Survivor" last night, an SF story by Charles Stross.  Found this apposite:

Quote
They're pigs in cyberspace, wallowing happily in the mudbath of their own limited cognitive bandwidth.

mouser

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2005, 03:56:57 AM »
rj,
 you did great by posting this - it gave me a chance to explain to anyone who was reading that what we are trying to do.
 and it led to an improved license key policy (imho),
 and it led to some nice new donating members who read the posts and wanted to support the site.
 and it helped those who liked F+R learn how to get the license they wanted.

so overall it worked out great :)

nudone

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Re: TalkAboutShareware thread
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2005, 04:23:17 AM »
agreed, it looks like a positive outcome to me.