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Last post Author Topic: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?  (Read 14316 times)

Renegade

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #50 on: February 14, 2011, 07:23:14 PM »
In the end, it all comes down to the intent that guides the behavior.


It still seems that the underlying principle in your approach is to be suspicious.

Being "open" as a requirement is very much a burdened concept.

Why would it be a requirement? I can only see suspicion as the motivation.

Where there is no malicious intent, there's no reason to believe in the first place that revealing intent should be a requirement.

I mean that for someone that has no malicious intent, why would they ever even think that blurting out all their motivations is something that they should do or that anyone would care about?

There has to be some kind of motivation/reason to be open.

Now I can see someone being open simply as a matter of fact/interest, but that's a very different thing from what you're suggesting.

Is being open simply a trivial fact or point of interest, or is it a tool to sway suspicion? The former isn't very interesting, but the latter is.

As a tool to sway suspicion, being open has 2 primary cases:

* The author is malicious and needs to convince visitors
* The author lives in a world where much is malicious, and needs to cut through the suspicion caused by malicious authors

Talking about the first there is simply futile, as bad people will be bad, and there's nothing to be done about it.

The second case is interesting though. From what you've said so far, it sounds like you're saying freeware authors should or must adopt that position.

To me it seems like a very pessimistic position.


Draw what conclusions from those two pictures you will.  :) :Thmbsup:

If you write freeware, you'd better arm yourself? :P


But seriously, the conclusions I'm drawing from those are that we have radically different approaches that cannot be reconciled.


I should note that I am not opposed to being open. In fact I think it's a good thing. My concern is for the motivations behind it.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #51 on: February 14, 2011, 07:43:17 PM »
I wasn't around at the time though so I might be wrong. My impression was that bulletin boards were so disjointed and small back then that it was easy for a small group of elitists to have their say on what good freeware was but they were mostly the same guys who reject talks regarding usability, regarding design, and it was more of a "at least you are getting something functional for free and how dare you question this developer's hard work" and it was mostly shareware who tried to do more of the quality software.

I don't recall it being like that at all.

For openers, there were no core groups of elitists that had any influence worth mentioning since the BBS world was not as connected as the web is today. So while you may have had some sort of "wonk" status on a local BBS or in a mega-portal discussion group over at Compuserve or Delphi - it was still a far cry from the amount of clout a blogger might garner today.

Most of the "elite" (if that's even the correct term) were paid magazine columnists like John Dvorak, Jerrry Pournelle, Bob Ciarcia and Don Lancaster.

BBS systems were local out of necessity because you accessed them via a dial-up POTS connection. So if you didn't want to go broke paying toll or long-distance charges, you restricted your online presence to boards that could be reached via your local phone exchange.

I know this might be hard to imagine for people who grew up with the Internet. But it really was a very different world back then. So much so that when I look back on it, I'm amazed I'm still walking on the same planet.

As far as software went, most authors were very good at supporting their "product." Those that wanted to make some money usually opted for releasing their work as shareware. Shareware was basically an honor system. If you liked and continued to use something, you were supposed to pay the requested license fee.

Freeware was freeware. Notable examples of quality freeware were: FidoBBS, RBBS-PC, QModem, and (later on) DR-DOS.

Commercial software was usually copy protected so there was no confusion about the fact you were supposed to pay  to use it. The biggies back then were Lotus 1-2-3, WordPerfect, XYWrite, DBaseIII & IV, Clipper, Foxbase, RBase, Borland's TurboPascal, Paradox, and Sidekick, HarvardGraphics, and a host of others.

For the most part, what we'd categorize as "office productivity" apps today, were all commercial software - although PC-Calc and PC-Write were popular shareware alternatives.

Most of the communication software (terminal emulators, modem tools, mail clients, chat tools, etc.) that was worth using was all freeware or shareware. There were commercial offerings out there. But everybody pretty much standardized on QModem for logging onto bulletin boards.

BBS software was mostly free. Fido was the dominant force out there since it had a rudimentary e-mail network routing system that allowed messages to be sent free of charge by doing a sort of bucket brigade store & forward (albeit via dialup) that anticipated some of the technology found in our current messaging protocols. Check out wikipedia if you're interested in the details.

If you want to have a real chuckle, and possibly gain some insight into how things used to be, check out these two historic vids over at YouTube:

Connect: A Look At Bulletin Board Systems

BBS The Documentary


 :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 07:46:38 PM by 40hz »

Paul Keith

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #52 on: February 14, 2011, 07:52:13 PM »
Quote
Why would it be a requirement? I can only see suspicion as the motivation.

No offense (and sorry for butting in) but perhaps that stems from your own suspicion motivating you to be less transparent?

In that case then being less open would still be motivated by suspicion.

And according to you it's a burdened concept to be motivated by suspicion. So in the end, both spectrums, are burdened concept.

Quote
As a tool to sway suspicion, being open has 2 primary cases:

* The author is malicious and needs to convince visitors
* The author lives in a world where much is malicious, and needs to cut through the suspicion caused by malicious authors

3rd primary case. People just want to know what they are getting. They want to know if they can become a fan of your product and you wouldn't screw them. They want to know if the developer is willing to disclose say... bugs that may turn people away from their product.

In turn, the more transparent a developer is, the more he gets in touch with the dilemma his users are having with his program be it bugs, confusing interface, self-bias resulting to poorer design. All which in turn leads to a developer being more incentivized to create a product that he is proud to share and show to his users which in turn leads to more transparency as then the developer would be more proud to showcase his hard work. Generically speaking of course.

Quote
For openers, there were no core groups of elitists that had any influence worth mentioning since the BBS world was not as connected as the web is today. So while you may have had some sort of "wonk" status on a local BBS or in a mega-portal discussion group over at Compuserve or Delphi - it was still a far cry from the amount of clout a blogger might garner today.

As you said, it was not as connected so I had assumed elitists need not require core groups. Even today one or two bloggers can be good enough to start a twitter trend of discussions.

Quote
BBS systems were local out of necessity because you accessed them via a dial-up POTS connection. So if you didn't want to go broke paying toll or long-distance charges, you restricted your online presence to boards that could be reached via your local phone exchange.

From the few tidbits I read, this didn't stop cultures from developing. The proverbial internet tough guy moniker for example started out being a local issue of a guy going to another guy's house to fight with him.

P.S. Thanks for the links.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 07:54:11 PM by Paul Keith »

Target

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #53 on: February 14, 2011, 08:18:17 PM »
Still man...from freeware to Miyamoto...this thread has indeed gone a long way

indeed, it seems to have gone from being in danger of veering off topic to jumping the fence and running screaming into the trees ;D

While the discussions on the various definitions of freeware may be passingly interesting I've got to say I don't understand the logic at all (this is what happens when marketing professionals or accountants get involved in things).

The definition is right there in the title - free ware.

A reasonable definition would say that any functional software freely made available without the requirement for a monetary exchange would certainly qualify (the inclusion of ad's or malware or whatever notwithstanding). 

Provided the software isn't crippled to the point that it can't be used for it's intended function then the user is getting free software.  The amount of value the user gets out of it is another issue (and depending on your respective measures/intent, a measure of success)

Going back to the OP, it would seem contradictary to promote your software as freeware then expect it to generate any sort of compensation.  There's nothing wrong with generating freeware to promote yourself as a consultant, but that would be quite separate to the freeware side of your activities

And donations, while welcome, are not guaranteed.  They're an indication of value relative to that particular user (only) and as such are usually once off's, so even less likely to generate any sort of reliable income.

Similarly it doesn't seem to gel that you as a freeware developer are under any sort of obligation to provide support or regular 'upgrades' for your freeware. 

These activities are by their very nature resource intensive and unless

  • you are sufficiently wealthy that you don't need to work for a living, and
  • you don't mind spending all your time answering inane requests to include irrelevant functionality, or
  • you have access to a team of people that can share the load

then it's unlikely that you are going to be able to maintain them for very long (at the very least you're probably going to end up losing all interest in the project).  Of course this presupposes a substantial user base...

That's not to say that you shouldn't do it, just that you should recognise the cost/benefit value of your support activities and treat them accordingly

With respect to transparency and honesty, I suspect this is more an expectation for consumers than it is for developers, ie I want to know if your application is going to include XYZ toolbar, a search engine, or some other unrelated piece of software.  I'm not really interested in your motivation for developing a given application (though it may be a good story).  I am interested in whether or not you might be trustworthy/ethical (I may want to employ you)

40hz

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #54 on: February 14, 2011, 08:44:30 PM »
It still seems that the underlying principle in your approach is to be suspicious.

That is not at all what I'm saying. Suspicion has no place anywhere in this schema.

Quote
Being "open" as a requirement is very much a burdened concept.

Why would it be a requirement?

It's not a requirement at all. It's a suggested stance or process. Think in terms of it being an outlook or perspective rather than a rule. As such, it's liberating. It basically says "I have nothing to be afraid of because, come what may, I know I can deal with it."

Which is a good thing. Because even if we can't "deal" with something, we end up dealing with it anyway.

Simple truth: we each play the hand we're dealt - as it's dealt us.

Quote

I can only see suspicion as the motivation.

I think we all, to a greater or lesser extent, see what we allow ourselves to see.

If we're intrinsically suspicious, we see suspicion everywhere. If we're intrinsically open and non-judgmental, we allow ourselves to see many more possibilities.

Quote
There has to be some kind of motivation/reason to be open.

There is. My motivation for being open is that I've learned it works far better than its alternative. Your mileage may vary.

Quote
Now I can see someone being open simply as a matter of fact/interest, but that's a very different thing from what you're suggesting.

Um...yeah. What I'm suggesting is to do it for real. 8)

Quote
As a tool to sway suspicion, being open has 2 primary cases:

* The author is malicious and needs to convince visitors
* The author lives in a world where much is malicious, and needs to cut through the suspicion caused by malicious authors

I'm not sure where you're getting that. How would I (or you for that matter) know what this hypothetical software author is up to? Or how he sees the world. FWIW, I don't think most people are all that suspicious most of the time. Nor do they perceive their world as being that way. They wouldn't be able to function or interact socially if they were walking around in a constant state of Defcon-2.

Quote
Talking about the first there is simply futile, as bad people will be bad, and there's nothing to be done about it.


Disagree.

There's actually quite a bit you can do about bad behavior. You can:

  • Ignore
  • Educate
  • Admonish
  • Correct
  • Minimize
  • Neutralize
  • Preempt
  • Prevent
  • Stop
  • Eliminate
  • Eradicate

That's a pretty broad range of possible responses. The only time you can't do something about it is if you choose not to do something about it. And the simple decision not to act also represents a choice made.

It always comes down to personal choice and motivation. There's just no getting around it.  :)

Quote
I should note that I am not opposed to being open. In fact I think it's a good thing. My concern is for the motivations behind it.

The motivation for being "open on all sides" is simply to be open on all sides.

My personal take is that it's fancy a Zen-sounding way of saying "I don't have to be afraid all the time."  :) ;D


40hz

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #55 on: February 14, 2011, 08:49:09 PM »
Still man...from freeware to Miyamoto...this thread has indeed gone a long way

indeed, it seems to have gone from being in danger of veering off topic to jumping the fence and running screaming into the trees ;D

That tends to happen whenever Renegade joins the discussion. He raises all those Big Questions y'know? :P

(@Renegade - kidding...just kidding. :) )


Renegade

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #56 on: February 14, 2011, 09:03:16 PM »
Again... people are posting too fast for me... :D

****
Quote
Why would it be a requirement? I can only see suspicion as the motivation.

No offense (and sorry for butting in) but perhaps that stems from your own suspicion motivating you to be less transparent?


I think you're missing the point there.

My reasoning starts from a "blank slate" and assumes that there needs to be some motivation to take action. In this case, the action is opening things up.

If you're not doing anything bad, why would this ever occur to you other than as I stated, purely for interest sake. I was explicit about that:

Quote
Now I can see someone being open simply as a matter of fact/interest, but that's a very different thing

I have NEVER opened anything up for any other reason. (See below.)

And I absolutely do not have any motivation to be less transparent. Go ahead and download all my software, scan it, and see that there is nothing malicious there.

I do have 1 piece of software that is potentially open to some abuse, and I have gone to great lengths to stop that:

http://renegademinds...abid/92/Default.aspx

Quote
No abuse

By downloading and using Email Avenger, you become responsible for what you use it for. It is meant as an EMERGENCY EMAIL UTILITY to help when you cannot use your email account.

You can enter any email address you like, so Email Avenger is a little open to abuse... So... to limit that, there is a footer at the bottom that links to Renegade Minds here and the number of emails you can send at 1 time is limited to 10 emails.

If you have received email threats from someone or outright inappropriate emails from someone using Email Avenger, there is nothing we can do. BUT, you can send the original email that includes all the email headers to your local police, ISP, or system administrator. They can take action against the culprit. Do not contact us about abuse. We cannot be responsible.

Tasteful pranks

Of course we all love jokes and harmless pranks... Please be responsible if you are sending emails with someone else's address. Also know that this may be illegal where you live and you may be open to prosecution if you do so. We are not responsible. Use common sense and keep things clean.

That was written quite a few years ago when webmail outages were relatively common.


With respect to my own transparency, you should read here:

http://renegademinds...abid/61/Default.aspx

It's horribly out of date, but I believe that it should address any concerns about suspicions or nefarious activity on my part. The last paragraph there reads:

Quote
My goal here at Renegade Minds is to provide as many people as possible with as much value as I can. For some that's going to be a simple tutorial or a snippit of code. For others it's going to be software to improve their guitar or piano playing. Either way, I hope you enjoy Renegade Minds and take advantage of some of the things I've made available here.


I didn't write any of that page thinking that I was under some scrutiny. It was simply an innocent attempt to deliver some information. That's a very different beast than trying to be transparent due to the shadow of suspicion being cast.




In that case then being less open would still be motivated by suspicion.


I didn't address anything about attempts to concel information. Again, that's an entirely different aspect. I was only trying to address the affirmative case of publishing information that is open and the negative case of inaction (potentially due to ignorance).



And according to you it's a burdened concept to be motivated by suspicion. So in the end, both spectrums, are burdened concept.


You're confusing the fourth case that you introduced into the previous cases.

0) Inaction  (You're attaching the fourth case here)
1) Openness out of interest
2) Openness to dispel suspicion
3) Concealing information (i.e. The 4th case you introduced)


Attempting to hide things isn't something that is particularly interesting. i.e.:

Quote
Talking about the first (malicious authors) there is simply futile, as bad people will be bad, and there's nothing to be done about it.




Ok... Let's put this in another light...


Quote
Why look a gift horse in the mouth?


If someone is giving you something for free, it's pretty rude to demand that they tell you why they're doing it, what their motivations are, and that they have to "confess".

Flat out, it's just rude.

Why not just be gracious and say thank you?

I supposed that's my position in a super simple nutshell.



It's not uncommon to see freeware or open source projects die because the users continully bitch and complain and make unreasonable demands on the author(s).

Take NDOC for example. It was a fantastic piece of software, but...

http://weblogs.asp.n....0-_2D00_-R.I.P.aspx

Quote
I have decided to discontinue work on NDoc 2.0 and no longer participate in any open-source development work.


The development and release of NDoc 1.3 was a huge amount of work, and by all accounts widely appreciated. Unfortunately, despite the almost ubiquitous use of NDoc, there has been no support for the project from the .Net developer community either financially or by development contributions. Since 1.3 was released, there have been the grand total of eleven donations to the project. In fact, were it not for Oleg Tkachenko’s kind donation of a MS MVP MSDN subscription, I would not even have a copy of VS2005 to work with!


To put this into perspective, if only roughly 1-in-10 of the those who downloaded NDoc had donated the minimum allowable amount of $5 then I could have worked on NDoc 2.0 full-time and it could have been released months ago!  Now, I am not suggesting that this should have occurred, or that anyone owes me anything for the work I have done, rather I am trying to demonstrate that if the community values open-source projects then it should do *something* to support them. MS has for years acknowledged community contributions via the MVP program but there is absolutely no support for community projects.


Once ‘Sandcastle’ is released, it is my belief that it will become the de-facto standard and that NDoc will slowly become a stagnant side-water. This will happen regardless of technical considerations, even if Sandcastle were to be less feature-complete. It's just an inevitable result of MS's 'not-invented-here' mentality, one only has to look at Nant and NUnit to see the effects of MS 'competition'. 


This is not, however,  my only reason for stopping development work - I have a big enough ego to think I could still produce a better product than them :-)


As some of you are aware, there are some in the community who believe that a .Net 2.0 compatible release was theirs by-right and that I should be moving faster – despite the fact that I am but one man working in his spare time...


This came to head in the last week; I have been subjected to an automated mail-bomb attack on both my public mail addresses and the ndoc2 mailing list address. These mails have been extremely offensive and resulted in my ISP temporarily suspending my account because of the traffic volume. This incident has been reported to the local authorities, although I am highly doubtful they will be able to do anything about it.


This has was the ‘last-straw’ and has convinced me that I should withdraw from the community; I’m not prepared to have myself and my family threatened by some lunatic!


I've seen the same thing repeated elsewhere.



Quote
As a tool to sway suspicion, being open has 2 primary cases:

* The author is malicious and needs to convince visitors
* The author lives in a world where much is malicious, and needs to cut through the suspicion caused by malicious authors

3rd primary case. People just want to know what they are getting. They want to know if they can become a fan of your product and you wouldn't screw them. They want to know if the developer is willing to disclose say... bugs that may turn people away from their product.

In turn, the more transparent a developer is, the more he gets in touch with the dilemma his users are having with his program be it bugs, confusing interface, self-bias resulting to poorer design. All which in turn leads to a developer being more incentivized to create a product that he is proud to share and show to his users which in turn leads to more transparency as then the developer would be more proud to showcase his hard work. Generically speaking of course.


I want to be clear -- I never said "don't be transparent". Transparency is a very good thing. What I said, in a nutshell, is demanding transparency when given a gift is unreasonable.



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Back in a bit...






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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Renegade

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #57 on: February 14, 2011, 09:13:48 PM »
It still seems that the underlying principle in your approach is to be suspicious.

That is not at all what I'm saying. Suspicion has no place anywhere in this schema.


I seem to have misread what you were trying to say then.


Quote
Being "open" as a requirement is very much a burdened concept.

Why would it be a requirement?

It's not a requirement at all. It's a suggested stance or process. Think in terms of it being an outlook or perspective rather than a rule. As such, it's liberating. It basically says "I have nothing to be afraid of because, come what may, I know I can deal with it."


Transparency is certainly a good thing. I just don't see a lot of authors (with good software even) coming out and spilling all their motivations. Most people don't care.

e.g.

http://www.7-zip.org/faq.html

There's not even the slightest attempt by the author to be open about anything, but I can't see that being a black mark against him. He's already done enough by giving his software out for free.

That's the kind of thing I mean.


Quote
Talking about the first there is simply futile, as bad people will be bad, and there's nothing to be done about it.


Disagree.

There's actually quite a bit you can do about bad behavior. You can:


I was trying to limit the scope there and not get into all that as it's an entirely HUGE can of worms. :)



Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

cranioscopical

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #58 on: February 14, 2011, 10:02:23 PM »
you don't mind spending all your time answering inane requests to include irrelevant functionality

I asked you only for one little change  :o
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 10:05:30 PM by cranioscopical, Reason: Still can\'t type »

Target

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #59 on: February 14, 2011, 10:41:05 PM »
you don't mind spending all your time answering inane requests to include irrelevant functionality

I asked you only for one little change  :o

those sorts of 'skinning' requests aren't generally appropriate for this forum  :o

cranioscopical

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #60 on: February 14, 2011, 10:56:27 PM »
Busted!  ;D

Target

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #61 on: February 14, 2011, 11:28:36 PM »
Busted!  ;D

<sigh> I've told you and told you, I just don't see the the pornt....

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #62 on: February 15, 2011, 01:10:48 AM »
Was someone asking about skinning the Internet again?  :huh:
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

vlastimil

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #63 on: February 15, 2011, 04:04:36 AM »
I have been thinking about what was said about transparency for a while and here is a summary:

Freeware works like this:
user arrives on a web page -> they read the headlines, look at images -> they decide that the software may solve their problem -> they download the tool -> they use the tool -> they are amazed -> they keep using it and being amazed long enough -> they donate

What would be the right place to be clear about the intent (free licensing)? I do not know. At which point do the people care about it and giving that info would increase the number of people that reach the last step? I still do not know. Each of the -> is a breaking point, some users may leave. Substituting a headline that explains benefits of the software by a headline that says something complicated about licensing may turn down some people. We need a real world experiment and someone with scientific genes to perform it and interpret the results. What we have now are just speculations and singular examples.

Looking at my web pages, I actually am open about the licensing, but it is not emphasized. I guess it is fine this way, but who knows for sure...

----

BTW, there is also an alternative way to receive donation - it happened to me at least twice:
someone with authority recommends a tool to a computer newbie -> they download it -> they try to use it and fail -> the GUI only has 3 buttons and one of them is 'Donate' -> out of desperation they donate -> they write an email to the author stating the software still doesn't work although they donated -> author explains they should really read what is written in the help
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 04:06:22 AM by vlastimil »

Renegade

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #64 on: February 15, 2011, 06:17:52 AM »
BTW, there is also an alternative way to receive donation - it happened to me at least twice:
someone with authority recommends a tool to a computer newbie -> they download it -> they try to use it and fail -> the GUI only has 3 buttons and one of them is 'Donate' -> out of desperation they donate -> they write an email to the author stating the software still doesn't work although they donated -> author explains they should really read what is written in the help

Hahahahaha~! I love it~! That's hilarious! :D  :Thmbsup:

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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Paul Keith

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #65 on: February 15, 2011, 07:24:33 AM »
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user arrives on a web page -> they read the headlines, look at images -> they decide that the software may solve their problem -> they download the tool -> they use the tool -> they are amazed -> they keep using it and being amazed long enough -> they donate

This is true but a little bit deceptive. (and it quickly skips to the donate part)

Often times what happens instead is:

user finds an article about the software (usually through a blog) -> they head to the download link -> if it's a confusing software, they read the FAQ -> they try the software -> they stick with the software -> Over time they become so invested to the software that sometimes they'll treat donations as a thank you note -> they then start reading more about the software including checking out the site -> if they read that the developer has financial troubles, it's only then that they go en masse to donate -> author thanks them -> everything goes back to normal -> if author doesn't have a blog, author rarely ever raises that amount of interest in donations again -> author ends up leaving that software alone to move on to greener pastures or an alternative software -> cycle re-repeats itself

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I think you're missing the point there.

My reasoning starts from a "blank slate" and assumes that there needs to be some motivation to take action. In this case, the action is opening things up.

If you're not doing anything bad, why would this ever occur to you other than as I stated, purely for interest sake. I was explicit about that:

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I have NEVER opened anything up for any other reason. (See below.)

And I absolutely do not have any motivation to be less transparent. Go ahead and download all my software, scan it, and see that there is nothing malicious there.

No, not really. My statement can also start from a "blank state". Part of the confusion probably stems from you trying to reply to 40hz and since we (40hz and I) don't hold the same views, it can seem like I'm missing the point.

But another problem here is the merging gap between open source and freeware. Which is why even though I already know open source does not equal freeware before 40hz replied to my post, I mentioned it. Sure it's transparency but part of the clue lies in your reactive statement:

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I have NEVER opened anything up for any other reason

This is as blurry as thinking honesty is not a default standard to be followed even if you're an evil marketing bastard of a developer and it becomes blurrier if you treat the discussion of transparency as some sort of key rather than a standard for success.

Which is even blurrier because we all haven't agreed what success is.

Which becomes a hole Alice can fall in because there's a good chance some of us are thinking in the context of freeware as business. (which would make it no different than how to sell professional software - which is not always true)

Then it swerves into a large door of virtues, morality and necessity. 40hz speaks more from morality. mouser's comment about a key speaks more towards the ideal effects of virtue. I write more from a perspective of necessity regardless of morality. Your comments speaks more towards the right to do something including the right to NOT do something.

« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 07:38:00 AM by Paul Keith »

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Re: What does it mean when I say "successful freeware"?
« Reply #66 on: February 15, 2011, 07:45:03 AM »
@Paul -- Good points.

And yes -- I think I blurred a few people's posts. Maybe I was drinking...  :o

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40hz speaks more from morality. mouser's comment about a key speaks more towards the ideal effects of virtue. I write more from a perspective of necessity regardless of morality. Your comments speaks more towards the right to do something including the right to NOT do something.

Nothing like a good red herring to get the conversation moving~! :D


Back to success...

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Which is even blurrier because we all haven't agreed what success is.


I think that there are different aspects to success, and we need to figure out what those are. We seem to have been talking about a few different things.


A token list of possible measures of success:

* Financial
* Reputation
* User base
* Community
* Self-satisfaction

I'm sure that could be added to or refined.

Perhaps it would be best to define those as priorities. e.g. I might rank Financial and Self-satisfaction as the top 2, while someone else might rank Community as the top.
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