Personally i believe it's s matter of reasonableness. If you pop up a big message every time the person uses the program saying they should pay that has to be clicked closed, then for me personally, that is going to bother me enough for me to say that its "nagware" and isn't really free.. The question is when does a program nag so much that it crosses the line from freeware to nagware. That's something everyone has to decide for themselves.
That is a fair take on things. If we break it down, for instance, having a "please donate" button on the software could certainly not void its status, since users must have some obvious way to donate. I agree that imposing some dialog, especially one with a countdown would certain constitute nagware.
To be completely honest I haven't decided on a system yet, so let me ask you this. First and foremost I am writing this software to make a bit of money, because this is my full-time job and I need to support myself (i.e. it's not on the side). So in your opinion, can releasing something as donationware actually generate more funds than say a traditional pay-to-unlock model? Or is it merely kindness on the part of the developer because they can afford to? (I'd love to be generous, but simply cannot afford to cut profits at this point). Arguably, the publicity and word of mouth associated with free/donation software could outweigh forcing users to pay.
Now that said, here's a philosophical question for you: surely a "lite" version of a program that is completely free, but missing maybe some advanced features of a "pro" version, so long as it doesn't nag, would be considered free/donationware, correct? If so, does bundling two versions into the same installed product (in other words, upgrading to unlock certain features) also count as free/donationware, again so long as there is not any annoying nagging to upgrade? I ask this mainly because from a design standpoint it is much simpler to create a single product rather than two versions, one free and one pro.
My intention is not to start a debate--we can open up a new thread to discuss this if people want. I simply want to know where my options stand to release my product and still qualify for the competition. In all honesty I'm mostly interested in the publicity, not any prizes that may be won (if there even are any).
Thanks for the info and opinions.