Free Software?

I can’t write code so I can’t contribute in that way so I really ought to pay something for it. I think it’s only right.

I am sat in Madrid thinking a little bit about my last post about Movable Type. Yes, I am on another business trip. This time the hotel is close to the airport and was a quick taxi ride away. I should be asleep in thirty minutes but I have been thinking about software that is, apparently, free.

As I noted earlier, I don’t have much problem with the concept of Movable Type morphing into a proper paid for, licensed, piece of software. They say it will not be crippleware and that trust will very much be part of it. Six Apart allow you to determine how many ‘blogs’ make your site (it’s not a hard-coded limit) and allows you to determine how many users really are active in using the software. There is a great deal of trust there which I am not sure is sustainable. Nonetheless, I think this is a good approach.

When I look around I look at what else I use regularly (and I will stick with personal software rather than work-based software). My version of Windows XP at home was pre-installed a properly licensed. I use HomeSite if I ever need an HTML editor. It’s a fully paid-for. Paint Shop Pro is my image editor. It was a full free version which they chose to give away on some magazine cover or other so it is, therefore, properly licensed despite being unpaid for. I tend to use Windows Media Player (which is free) but I have paid for Real Player Plus to get some of the additional features.

So far so good. I’ve noted before that I have licensed Opera as a browser even though I do not use it a great deal. But the most-used piece of Software on my machine is Mozilla. I use it for web-browsing and for mail. It handles all my mail accounts. I think it’s superb. I have never contributed to it since the very beginning when I acquired a licensed version of Netscape 0.9/1.0 (and even then the company I worked for bought it for me). I can’t write code so I can’t contribute in that way so I really ought to pay something for it. I think it’s only right. As with Movable Type there are people who work for the company that makes it. If I want them to be around I should support them.

And that’s why today I will make a donation to Mozilla.

Author: jon

Jon Curnow writes on curnow.org about things that interest him. The site has been around for many years in various forms and he always wants to write much more here than he does.

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