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Author Topic: We're going to try something new with our software downloads  (Read 5785 times)
mouser
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« on: July 28, 2005, 07:27:34 AM »

ok, i have something new i want to try; we talked about this before but i think in the next two weeks i'm going to actually implement it.
suggestions, complaints, fears, etc. are all welcome on this thread.

First let's re-cap current situation:
  • the programs available for download on this site are all pure freeware.
  • some early releases and the newest versions are often available only for members to download, until after some time they become public.=

There are some real downsides to this approach:
  • harder to make the newest programs available for testing by people who might want to try them before joining
  • we have to keep multiple copies of each program; and when imp. bugfixes are made, non-members don't get them


So here is what i would like to try.  we can always go back to old way if it turns out the old way was better:

  • there will be only one version of each program, the lastest version.  this includes early beta releases.
  • these downloads will be available to public and to members
  • we will start using key files for the programs.  any member will be able to generate a keyfile for any program very easily through the website, customized to their name or any other info they want in it
  • we may add the ability to customize the about box or titlebar in some way when you make your key file
  • or you could just email us for a full set of key files
  • without a key file, the program will not stop working, and will not have any limits, BUT it will pop up a message after 30 days or so, asking the user to visit our site and either become a member, OR request a freeware non-member keyfile
  • the freeware non-member key file will either make the program run forever as freeware with no nags,
  • OR make the program run forever as freeware with no nags until they upgrade to the next version and then they will have to request a new keyfile from site again
  • OR make the program run for 6months or a year before they need to go to the site and grab another non-member keyfile

Ok so what's the point of the new approach:
  • the foundation of this site is the belief that most people who can afford to donate will donate if you can shake them out of their complacency
  • but they need a little encouragement, otherwise laziness gets the better of them
  • so our approach has been to try to find a way to keep the software free for those who cant or wont donate, but give others enough motivation to go forward with the donation
  • and this has the added benefit of bringing people to the actual site if they keep using their original download - rather than simply clicking on an external link and never even bothering to visit us


Ok, so i'm pretty sure i want to at least try this approach, and see how it works, so be kind with your criticisms.
But i do want to hear your thoughts on this.

« Last Edit: July 28, 2005, 07:29:30 AM by mouser » Logged
zridling
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2005, 03:04:16 AM »

Well thought out, but won't this be a lot of administrative work on your part? If it's to work so that a greater number of visitors come to DCC, then perhaps a plan to submit the more popular freeware apps to SnapFiles or FileForum might begin in tandem with this step.
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- zaine (on Google+)
mouser
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2005, 03:26:26 AM »

well - it will be more work up front coding some generic keyfile support.
but after that it should actually save us some time.

all of the keyfile request and generation will be instantaneous and automatic through the website.

members will simply go to the keyfile page and download their keyfiles - it will as with everything here, be based on forum login, so you won't have to provide any special info or do any special logging in, and they won't have to request stuff by email and wait for us to deliver it to them.

it will also save us from having to keep different member download page updated, and multiple versions of programs; and will make it easier as you say for us to announce new releases, since everyone will always be using the most recent versions.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2005, 03:28:05 AM by mouser » Logged
zridling
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2005, 03:34:13 AM »

You so smart! And there I was thinking you'd be monitoring every download/keyfile 24/7. That should work really well, then.
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kfitting
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2005, 07:37:52 AM »

The ONLY problem I see with this method concerns what happens if (for whatever reason) people are unable to get a key from the site.  The main concerns I see here are if the site is taken off the web.  Granted, perhaps people should have donated in the first place!  I just hate the thought of requiring something on the extremely fluid WWW in order to run a piece of software.  I'm not saying this idea shouldnt be implemented, just stating a concern.

Kevin
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mouser
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2005, 08:07:57 AM »

we can do a few things to address that.

first of all, the programs will not ever stop working - so you'll never be in a situation where a program you use suddenly stops working.
after some number of days you will have to come get a freeware license to prevent nag messages.

next, maybe we could make it so that you could uninstall and reinstall in order to reset the period.

third, it will be the explicit policy of this site that should for some unforseen reason the site dissapears, which will not ever happen since we are not going anywhere.  but i am happy to state clearly that should the site ever dissapear, all member keyfiles may be shared freely.  ie if site dies, anyone may put their legal licenses up on the web for everyone to use.  the keyfiles are not going to be tied to machine hardware or anything, so that is not going to be an issue.

i very much want this to be a good experience and a good thing - we have no desire to make the software harder to use or more of a pain - and it's important that the software remains freeware; im just trying to figure out a way to get downloaders to at least visit the site and take into consideration what we are trying to do, rather than just downloading by clicking an external link and never bothering to consider our ideas.
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kfitting
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2005, 08:55:50 AM »

Fair enough.  I like your ideas there!

Kevin
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mouser
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2005, 11:06:12 PM »

after a week of work i've finally got the first example of the new system.
read all about it and download newest Screenshot Captor w/ new licensing system here:

http://www.donationcoder....rum/index.php?topic=713.0

if anyone is feeling adventurous and helpful, i'd love feedback on the new system, and i will try to make some super special licenses for anyone who helps test smiley
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mouser
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2005, 03:44:40 PM »

my column today discusses some of the issues about the new license key idea.
http://www.donationcoder.com/Columns/index.html
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2005, 04:19:16 PM »

there will be only one version of each program, the lastest version.  this includes early beta releases.

How about having a last stable version and current alpha/beta side by side. That way people can take their pick.

You are doing a great job at moving things along but software with lots of buttons as 'a work in progress' may put some people off.
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mouser
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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2005, 04:32:49 PM »

that's a good idea - i will do it.
it will be easier now that we won't be segrating member downloads from public downloads, now we can just have one download area, with two versions of each program latest and last stable.
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