Well my concern is, if GPL licensed programs dominate the market of software, it will make very hard for companies to earn money by making GPL licensed programs. Now it’s okay because it’s not too spread.
The thing with software is that it’s the creation that costs. Not the single installations. Therefore it makes sense that you pay a programmer to do the programming, and then can do what you want withthe software. That’s basically whats happening. Though it’s large companies that do the funding.
And ofcourse other things can produce income too like customisations and support…
…neither of which (this is key to the central idea!) are forced on the user. If someone really wants to customize a program, he/she can do it him/herself via the source code, and if tehy really want to work out how it works, they can look at the source code. Of course, while this in the end produces a much more thorough understanding, it’s much harder and takes a long time, especially if you have yet to learn C and C++. That’s where the payed-for support comes in, and how the coders can afford to liscense it GPL.
these are versions of the gimp that they sell for $80 USD, and are infact the exact same ones they give away for free at Gimp.org (although may have been compiled by a different person)
the thing is they don’t come with extra support (as i have heard from people who have paid the money thinking they will get support) and they don’t have other features from the normal, i.e. they don’t run wacom tablets etc…
it really pisses me off, imagine if blender suddenly have WINblender and charged for it, then sent you to elysiun for support.
IBM makes money with Linux? How? Just with user suppor? If that’s so, what will happen when people get smarter and need less suppor? the thing that worries me is if after a while people get smarter, and next time they won’t need support if you keep the program user friendly.
However I think that people should get smarter. I think that the knowledge is that part that should be given for free and not the resources(but resources in their most basic form, without a decent modification or creation by humans). Similar products with similar code should be able to be sold if it is different for the user. Like one focus on speed and another focuses on easyness.
About the Gimp thing, I think the guys the places where they sell that stuff should be unmasked. Unless that is, the one who sells the product to the customer isn’t the responsible of the mess.
People getting smarter? Don’t make me laugh. Its a well established fact that technology is increasing at an expontial rate, while the art of teaching would have a really hard time forcing more information into the average persons brain. Support is something that should be charged for in my opinion, although I’m not so sure about manuals only being availible for $$ - luckily we don’t use that kind of software (-:
Reminds of a guy who was trying to cash in on the gmail account invitations being sold on google. He didn’t actually have any invitations to sell, but said he would tell you where to find another free 1gb web email for $8 … (hopefully nobody paid him…)
From their forum, it seems as if they charge for a package of the GIMP that has a different(better?) installer and some other addons O_o.
$79.95 For ordering a CD, $29.95 to download it, $49.95 for the package only(wonder what it means), and $39.95 to upgrade from 1.2.x to 2.0.
Now, about the GPL thingie…
Hey, people someday have to get smarter I don’t mean that support someday won’t be needed but that the need for it will decrease… now… if the manuals are good I don’t think demand will decrease, and there is nothing better than a good book I only think that people should charge for things that cost them money directly. About support, the problem is that support is like, the thing you need when you don’t have a friend that can help you ,you just need someone to help you and it does not cost your friends anything but their time. Well maybe support should be paid, but as a monthly/yearly fee that you have to keep paying, like a subscription, not like everytime you need to know how the program that your company made works you have to empty your wallet. Or for people who buy the program from the site instead of downloading it from somewhere else get better stuff from the company…
heh, actually your post made me think and now I beleive that there is a way of a company holding itself from support and stuff. The only thing that it needs is a huge user community.