Tim Bray (one of the original XMLers, and a member of the W3C Technical Architecture Group) wrote an article weighing the pros and cons of XML. This complements and expands on his previous article, XML is too hard for programmers.
Required reading for any programmer that uses/will use XML in some way. Which, nowadays, means nearly everyone, I think.
This will be the first time in some years that I’ll skip a MacHack – every year from 1997 to 2002 I’ve either attended or written a paper (sometimes both). Unfortunately, between the war, possible terrorist attacks, and the mysterious pneumonia outbreaks, the situation is not favorable for a trip to the US this year, and personal concerns have left no time for writing a paper. I hope that I’ll be able to attend again next year.
I have personally thought about the problems with the “shareware” designation for awhile now, and I’ve come to one conclusion: that the term I prefer is independent software.
…Shareware may be dead, but who cares: indieware is alive and kicking!
I think it’s an excellent idea. So, “indieware” it is. This can also be considered an abbreviation of “individual software”, which is very fitting. Now, every former shareware author should write in to VersionTracker (firstname.lastname@example.org) and similar websites to have them change their labeling…
So I think it is time to rethink our vision of this world and get rid of the Shareware and Commercial distinction. Shareware existed a few years ago, and now has merged with other types of software distribution. I think we all have to realize that we sell and buy software, and not “shareware”, “nagware”, “commercial” and so on.
…shareware died when the Internet became popular…
Nowadays, being tagged with the flag “shareware” can be a death warrant to a lot of people or small companies. “Shareware” means “please steal me.” “Shareware” is too vague…
So yeah, “shareware” is dead. The term may live on, unfortunately, but “shareware” itself no longer exists. It all died right around 1994, as best I can peg it.
I must say that I hesitated between calling my product “shareware” or “low-priced commercial software”. In the end I went with the “shareware” tag, so as to not give the wrongful impressions of a larger company with a help desk and huge support resources, as seems to be expected nowadays… I’d rather be known as a one-man operation that gives excellent support under those circumstances. And of course, more informed people know that the definition of “shareware” today is very different from that of a decade ago;while less informed users may refrain from trying out software labeled as “commercial”.
…still, in a year or so I may change my labeling. Let’s see how the market evolves.
Is Shareware Dead?
Slava Karpenko Erik Barzeski Rainer Brockerhoff Daniel Sandler Steven Frank At present, I call my software shareware. By that I mean that it’s free to try and isn’t crippled, although it will nag you. Users get support directly from me, and I’m responsive to their suggestions. I encourage people to share the software (but not their serial numbers) with their friends, and it’s available on various compilation CDs and at Info-Mac. But I guess I agree that the term “shareware” has become meaningless because everyone has a different idea of what it means. We stopped saying in ATPM reviews whether a piece of software claimed to be shareware. It wasn’t a distinction worth making. After all, BBEdit now has a shareware-style trial, and it’s backed by a responsive company, but it isn’t shareware, is it? Instead, we list the price and briefly state whether you can try before buying and how the trial is limited (if at all). I should probably start doing this for my software. The question that remains is what to select in VersionTracker’s the License popup.