Subject: Re: Open Source shareware?
From: Rich Morin <rdm@cfcl.com>
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2002 10:44:56 -0700

Thanks to all who have responded!  Here is a more specific proposal.  As
usual, the big print giveth and the small print taketh away.  First, the
big print:

   *  The software and documentation would be distributed in source form
      (e.g., Perl and XML), with the possible exception of some subsidiary
      3rd-party shareware code.

   *  Licensing, details still TBD, _would_ be compliant with the OSD.

   *  The software would be distributed with full functionality, in terms
      of the things it could be expected to do on the user's machine.  A
      banner of some sort might nudge non-subscribers into paying, but it
      could be disabled by anyone with the appropriate skills.

Now for the small print.  Paying "subscribers" (along with the usual sorts
of editorial advisors, reviewers, and technical contributors) would receive:

   *  Access to technical support, in assorted forms (download area, email
      consulting, etc).  Bug reports and enhancement requests would be
      accepted, however, from anyone.

   *  Access to an XML-based server.  The distributed code would have the
      ability to ask an associated server for information and/or analysis.
      Non-subscribers would have sharply limited access to this service.

      An example may be helpful here.  The local software cannot know what
      the common and/or best practice are for the permissions on a file; a
      server can look into its "knowledge base" and answer such a query.

As noted in some of the responses, it is highly unlikely that many OSX
users will have the desire or technical background to understand or modify
the source code.  OTOH, some may wish to do so, and I see no reason to get
in their way.  In fact, that is quite similar to my own use of Open Source
software.  I use vi(1) all the time, but I've never felt a need to examine
its internal workings.  Nonetheless, it's reassuring to know that I CAN...

-r
-- 
email: rdm@cfcl.com; phone: +1 650-873-7841
http://www.cfcl.com/rdm    - my home page, resume, etc.
http://www.cfcl.com/Meta   - The FreeBSD Browser, Meta Project, etc.
http://www.ptf.com/dossier - Prime Time Freeware's DOSSIER series
http://www.ptf.com/tdc     - Prime Time Freeware's Darwin Collection