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Am I the only person bothered by the differences in Free?

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Unfortunately, very true :(

As far as source code goes, if you didn't place it under GPL or similar "open source" licensing, you have absolutely ZERO obligation to share it.
-40hz (October 08, 2013, 11:34 AM)
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But there is only a small minority (mostly noobs who never wrote a single line of code) that get shrill about it.
-40hz (October 08, 2013, 11:34 AM)
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These, +∞.

I've released a veritable shit-ton of freeware over the years and it still pisses me the f@#k off when folks act entitled to source code.  These folks act like, just because my applications are free, that they simply ought to come with the source code by default.  Sometimes, it makes me think like I'm being selfish by not sharing the source.  Then I think, "Piss off...I'm the one who sank the hours into this and built it.  It's mine.  Nothing selfish about that.  Be satisfied that you are entitled to use the application for no charge."   And, like 40hz says, the type that cry the most about it are folks that couldn't code their way out of a wet paper sack with a box cutter.

it makes me think like I'm being selfish by not sharing the source
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I know  how you feel exactly.  I was a mechanic and neighbors would ocassionally ask me to help them out with their cars.  Having an older brother  in the same business, I took his advice.  I would stand and watch as they did the work.  I'd offer advice.  But if something went wrong, well they did it!!  If I touched the car then the temptation is to make me fix everything even if unrelated aftwards.  The old "it was fine  until you touched it!" routine.  Nobody is so picky as someone getting something for nothing sometimes. It's unfortunate, but it can bring out the worst in some people.

This is why I think most developers should create a standard closed license, require registration for a NO-CHARGE (as in "not free") copy of the software, and avoid the word "free" like the plague.

It's important to manage expectations and set the baseline understanding right up front. Even if you technically are giving the copy away, don't ever characterize your product as "free software."

Many font designers handle this in a very clever way. If you go to their sites for a freebie, you often discover you need to register first to download. All their no-charge fonts go in their shopping cart just like everything else they offer does. An invoice gets generated with a total of $0 which gets emailed to the 'buyer' along with the download link plus a copy of the license. Brilliant!

After that, you have no doubt in your mind about who was doing who the favor. Plus it gives them the flexibility to initiate a charge at any time - as well as offer "discount codes" for the people they still want to give no-charge copies to.

With FOSS products you often have hundreds of very qualified developers working on the project in anything from an ad hoc to highly structured and formalized manner. Many hands make for light work. And many eyes for quick debugging. (Or at least so the sacred words of St. Foss tells us. I have my own personal doubts about that assertion sometimes.  :nono2:)

The private indy developer or small code shop, however, doesn't have the luxury of that resource. And simply GPL-ing your product isn't going to automatically get it for you.

The thing to remember is that the original FOSS philosophy is all about community first and projects second. So if you're doing your own project, and want to have total control over its form and progress, setting things up as a FOSS project is misguided.

If you're the type that likes to sit down and "group code" and have a "the more the merrier" attitude when it comes to participation, doing a FOSS project might make more sense.

Whenever dealing with the general public - manage expectations and know what you're getting into.

Nobody is so picky as someone getting something for nothing sometimes.
-MilesAhead (October 08, 2013, 02:45 PM)
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Like the old Yankee saying goes: Tis better to give than lend. And it usually costs the same.


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