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Author Topic: Motivation For Freeware Maintenance?  (Read 2450 times)

Apathetic_Coding

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Motivation For Freeware Maintenance?
« on: December 21, 2010, 02:10:23 PM »
You love coding, developing, and building a product. It is great while you are really moving along and even better the closer to release.

... But what about after? If you release as freeware with no ulterior motives and very little donations coming in what is your motivation to support all the users you have acquired? Why would you spend quite a bit of your free time fixing tiny bugs, answering e-mails and pushing updates?

Anyone in a similar situation that can offer up their reasoning behind sticking with it?

skwire

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Re: Motivation For Freeware Maintenance?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2010, 02:36:27 PM »
Pride.  Also, the satisfaction that somebody else is using something you created.  In regards to Coding Snacks, I thoroughly enjoy taking somebody's idea and creating something tangible for them.  For me, it's never been about donations though I do appreciate, and use, them.  I'm gainfully employed full-time, so I keep my donations as sort of a "fun money" account for me to buy bits, bobs, toys, games and software.  =]

mouser

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Re: Motivation For Freeware Maintenance?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2010, 03:12:37 PM »
i think you've asked that on the right forum.

one of the best things about the donationcoder forum is how fun it is to interact with users and have your software discovered by more people who enjoy it and say so.  it can be really rewarding to have people who like and use your software and want to talk to you about it and test it and come up with new ideas, etc.  it makes it fun and motivating to keep working on a program.


Apathetic_Coding

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Re: Motivation For Freeware Maintenance?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2010, 04:10:28 PM »
You both have good reasons and I do feel the same way.
I guess sometimes it is easy to get burnt out for a little while.
Thank for reminding me.  :D

mouser

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Re: Motivation For Freeware Maintenance?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2010, 04:25:18 PM »
I think there is another side of the coin that also bears talking about.

Whether you are a blog writer or a small independent coder, it's quite common to spend a lot of time creating stuff and feeling like it's unappreciated.  Even with such a great community at DC, it happens that someone will post something and it falls through the cracks -- no one notices it or it doesn't grab their attention.  And then other times something random will get tons of attention and generate huge enthusiam and it would be easy to start to feel like you aren't appreciated.

Now some people handle this by re-doubling their efforts to create and write stuff that other people will notice and appreciate.  And that's certainly one approach.  But another approach is to find the part about what you are doing that gives you pleasure, and not overly concern yourself about needing to find an audience.  Don't make your enjoyment be dependent too much on the reactions from others.  If you can figure out how to get your own satisfaction from what you do, everything else is just gravy.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Motivation For Freeware Maintenance?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2010, 06:52:31 PM »
If you can figure out how to get your own satisfaction from what you do, everything else is just gravy.

That is indeed a truly key point. The original reason for T-Clock v1.01 was just so I could still use it when I switched to a 64-bit OS. I'd been playing with the code for educational purposes for (5-ish) years and I decided to set myself a goal. I would purchase a (then) completely new dual Xeon x64 machine, but I would not allow myself to use it as my full-time primary machine, until I got the clock to run on it.

As it turned out, there never were any vista drivers for its RAID controller. So it never did become my primary machine. But It was crucial to getting the project done so I was ok with it (as it's now my server). I released the program on a whim, thinking there might be one or maybe two people out there that might be interested in a 64-bit copy. This assessment proved to be dead wrong rather quickly...

While I frequently (and currently) am behind in answering all of the Email the clock gets. I do save them all, and frequently go back through them to glean ideas for new features/options/etc. as many of them are quite good. I'm on a two week vacation for the holidays, and I intend to spend most of it futzing with the clock in the hopes of getting in done before I have to change the name... (hehe) T-Clock 2010

I stick with it because it's fun to share information with people about a shared interest. Hell, we all like using it...and we all wish I'd finish the damn thing ... That's synergy at is finest!  :D

phitsc

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Re: Motivation For Freeware Maintenance?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2010, 03:31:30 AM »
My primary motivation was always that what I code is useful for myself. Either because it's something I think I need or because it's something I can learn from. In other words, I usually don't start a project with the idea of releasing it as freeware. I rather make it freeware when I think it is something which is useful also for others, and when I'm convinced it is reasonably good quality.

It certainly gives you a good feeling when someone praises what you've done or gives you a donation. But you really can't rely on this happening.

And then there's the question of obligation. If I have given you something for free I usually assume that I have no obligation whatsoever to answer (feature) requests. Don't get me wrong, if I get bug reports, or feature requests which I see make the SW better also for myself, I'd typically get to it (once I have time). But I really don't feel any obligation to do so. Private time is limited, and interests change. That's just how it is ...

kyrathaba

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Re: Motivation For Freeware Maintenance?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2011, 08:14:56 PM »
Quote
Don't make your enjoyment be dependent too much on the reactions from others.  If you can figure out how to get your own satisfaction from what you do, everything else is just gravy.

+1.

My primary motivation is the personal enjoyment I get from turning an idea into a functioning program.  The learning-how-to-do-it, and adding another notch on my belt, so to speak, is the kick I get.  If anyone else compliments my work, that's just extra.

wraith808

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Re: Motivation For Freeware Maintenance?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2011, 08:55:36 PM »
^ That's one of the reason that the programs that I release in general arise out of something that I need, or are just an attempt at doing something that interests me. :)