I Disagree

Story: Will free software kill shareware?Total Replies: 3
Author Content
zjim

Aug 29, 2004
6:15 AM EDT
Shareware was never about sharing code. It was about giving out a limited version or banner ad version to get people to pay for a full copy. Yes, those that created shareware could open source their software and ask for money for service/support. Much better than the strings attached distribution. I was burned several times by shareware that was great, except for the feature that wasn't unlocked. After paying for it the product's locked feature either didn't work or didn't perform as was promised. Remarks like, "We know it has problems and will be fixed in the next release." was very common. Only never to have a new release or to ask for more money when the new release was ready. I'd love to know what shareware authors were willing to share code, because the ones I met either wouldn't provide it or wanted a few hundered dollars for it. I personally wrote a few shareware programs, which I later changed to freeware. The fact is there wasn't money in shareware and it felt much better sharing the code and ideas. This is one reason I like open source. If you find the right people they are willing to provide your idea with more code. The other reason is that when I find a simple way to do some thing I can share it with others who were looking for the same type of tool.
rob

Aug 29, 2004
12:30 PM EDT
I don't know.... I have/do produced shareware, not that I have made any money of it (doesnt even pay the site costs.. ) but I dont think free and/or open sw will kill off shareware completely. There will always be someone with an idea, but without resources to market it รก la commercial sw, and that guy will likely try to make a buck out of it. Over at newsforge, a lot of comment was in the line of "why, I will never pay for sw, there are oss solutions to everything, damn these capitalists", but the thing is, if no one is prepared to pay, how are the developers suppose to get their meal?? A lot of the oss stuff that gets produced, is either done by paid developers (working for sw-developing corps) or by ppl on uni's (hoping to get a job at a sw-developing corp later). Now, again, if no one is prepared to pay for sw, where are the wages to the oss-developers coming from??

Do I have a point??
r_a_trip

Aug 30, 2004
8:28 AM EDT
Now, again, if no one is prepared to pay for sw, where are the wages to the oss-developers coming from??

Rob, you have given your own answer. You state that FOSS is either done by volunteers hoping to get a job opening out of it or that it is produced by payed developers. This makes your "no one is prepared to pay for software" moot.

There are plenty people available to pay for software, be it FOSS or CSS, hence that software gets written and sold. If no software is written anymore it'll mean that people are not willing to pay.

So who are paying? The true FOSS users that value the software and understand that without payment towards distributors or donations towards projects the development of the software will run out of resources and cease to exist. The corporations that need a dependable source of software for years to come and the support with bugfixes and updates.

Shareware is a flawed model from it's inception. The customer of the software has to send money to an unknown developer and hope he's not being doublecrossed. Who can tell if the shareware will get unlocked after sending money. Who can guarantee that the unlocked features work as advertised. Do you get support or do you get the unlock key and a promise to be shoved to /dev/null from now on?
rob

Aug 31, 2004
10:16 AM EDT
r_a_trip,

"Shareware is a flawed model from it's inception. The customer of the software has to send money to an unknown developer and hope he's not being doublecrossed. Who can tell if the shareware will get unlocked after sending money. Who can guarantee that the unlocked features work as advertised. Do you get support or do you get the unlock key and a promise to be shoved to /dev/null from now on?"

So, you are the kind of guy that don't hand over the money until you have the ice cream in your hand?? ;) I just hope that the "ice cream man" isn't waiting for you to hand over the cash before he hands over the icecream, or he (his hand) will look pretty funny after a while. There will always be foss around, and there will always be css around, what I am wondering is, how is the small guy suppose to survive (and maybe put some time in an oss project), if everyone (not likely) refuses to pay him for his sw, or is the only choice to get a job, working for a big corp, taking crap from stupid middle management in order to do what he loves (develop sw).

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