Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

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Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:20 pm

As begun here: http://bveworldwide.unlimitedboard.com/t503p45-1992-stock-update-and-a-route-to-go-with-it#8295

JohnSinden commented:
But doesn't it make you angry (it does me) when all you get on feedback responses is something like this:
I read the description. I still want the download link.
Everybody wants something for nothing these days. It's all want, want, want, and do nothing for it. I think it's high time we started charging for this stuff. Controversial, I know, but I'd be interested in your responses.

And Ad1992 added:
but unfortunately the moment bve is charged for, it stops being a freeware free for all simulator and becomes something else.
Although you are right, something for nothing these days is a very common attitude among people.

John's observation rings true in my opinion, massive appetite for "want"is a symptom of our society which is unattractive in the extreme. Well stated, John.
There's nothing which says that every conceivable add-on made HAS to be released, or made available for public consumption. Or that items made to run on the sim may not be offered for pecuniary gain (ie: "flogged"). Nobody's done it yet.
My take on it was that I wanted to put something back to show gratitude for having been given the sim program and some excellent routes by fine builders. When I had built something myself I was starting to understand how much work they all put in to it. I really don't know how much of the available material is really valued, or how much is regarded as worthless. I know some people do really appreciate what is done.
The big problem is "who is paying" to make the stuff available? It isn't the downloader. It COSTS to maintain hosting and websites to an acceptable standard. It costs not only time (which we give of bountifully) but real money. So when I hear suggestions for paid content I'm not horrified at all.
I would even go as far as to suggest that certain items of a builder's range could well be used to help fund that provision, without being ethically incompatible with the free sim ethos. As an example, the kind of "high value" work, exceptionally detailed, just like the stock in Ad1992's videos. Let the builders still provide "bread and butter" items free, but have them put some rare jewels behind a paywall. Only then will we find what's valued!
Yes, monetary value is crass and vulgar, but it's the only value scale today's "me, me, want!! want!!!" crew understand.

That's put the cat among the pigeons!!! Twisted Evil
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:44 pm

Actually, it is not a long ago - I was having a voluntary "donation" section on my website. Even though there is like 1000+ visits per month, not much has happened in form of donations.
Development takes time and patience, lots of this time is dedicated from our personal time that could have been spent with people we love and care about. And even though we're giving all away for free, there still are guys, who are bitching around when something is not working (because of their own mistakes). I don't mind anyone asking me how to do this and that, but getting sworn at for releasing FREE stuff that the other guy is not even able to run properly is just sick. I hope everyone know I was always trying to be helpful, whenever I knew the answer.
Considering the thought of a paid sim - I myself don't think I would get any profit from that. I produce non-British addons and therefore many people won't be interested I guess. Nevermind that the quality of our addons is many times higher than f those created for paid sims, we are still giving it away for free. Many people appreciate that and I received some motivating emails, but some nasty crap as well. It always goes this way: "People don't know what they have unless they loose it". It is regretful it does not go the other way around.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by mrknowitall on Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:46 pm

You're right there Gray! I think we as developer are not asking for money for our add ons, but are wanting to even our wallet when it comes to site Fee's.

I have thought about adding a payapl donation account so that i can afford my monthly fee's to run the site, then anything after my monthly fee ( £14 for domain and wix hosting per month) has been paid for in that month, the rest can be then sent to a reasonable charity, something like cancer research.

But im sure we'll get the "not a chance, free ware bla bla bla" type of attitude of somebody.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:56 pm

Yep, I wanted to do the same, but I got lost in the paypal donation account creation. So I set up my own donating system, which turned out to be dysfunctional. Anyone able to help?
I like the idea of sending the over-paid amount to charity... when it covers my hosting expenses.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:12 pm

It's unforgivable for Derryck to have to tolerate abusive messages from ungrateful idiots, like described above. They do exist, though I've not had a visit from any (yet!**). So far it seems we all have a common problem, from the developer's angle, in funding the provision of the free stuff.
No opinions yet from end-user, whether they would be prepared to pay something for extras of a sufficient quality that were not on offer as "freebies".
Is there a comparison here with satTV? Where some content is only for paying customers?


** Oh, bugger! Now I mentioned it I will be swamped with them Surprised
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:23 pm

Prepare for some nasty fan mail, Gray.

As Ben correctly mentioned, it is about evening up the billing score. Once you have more expenses, you have to work longer to cover it. That takes away time that could be used for hanging around with people you like (love) and / or developing. It's a never breaking cycle.

Of course, you can never even up the time score. You have to make choices. My wife is the person I love and even though I like you guys, I would still prefer spending time with her over creating something that's bringing me joy, but does nothing much in terms of helping us secure a good future... that's just the way it is.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Quork on Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:27 pm

I wouldn't do any "own" donation system. Either PayPal or publish your IBAN data (the latter one limiting you to european donators probably). Own systems will only result in strong mistrust, not necessarily in you yourself but in the technical process. I wouldn't use it while I'd donate you both.

As to the "sth for nth" attitude; that's the same effect that makes communism impossible outside a closed society of people trusting each other. The moment a system offering some free blessings is open, it attracts parasites. That's as old as mankind and, sadly enough, something one must simply oversee. There's no other way to handle it. Get ones satisfaction from the positive ones and ignore the others. I've been active in past and present in several freeware scenes, both as a producer-costumer and as a plain customer. And everywhere I found this effect. Sure, it's unnerving, but alas... Going out of it punishes the good ones for what the bad ones did, while the bad ones do not bother (even if one'd expect elseway; they just go somewhere else and are parasitary there). The project is weakened and loses, while parasites are still there and grow stronger again as soon as the project grows stronger again.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by mrknowitall on Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:31 pm

Same here, work is done in spare time and because I ENJOY IT I've never. A "just want today thankyou for the countless hours you have spent making this/that" but a producto del tracto digestivo storm from word go. Fair enough I hold my hands up to causing some of them, I was young, who doesnt make mistakes. But sometimes the producto del tracto digestivo isn't needed or nessesary. But luckily most of the people have moved on or stumed it.


Once im on active duty myfree time will be taken, and I will have to leave work as is and see what happens. So the donation fee may be the only option.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:36 pm

Quork wrote:I wouldn't do any "own" donation system. Either PayPal or publish your IBAN data (the latter one limiting you to european donators probably). Own systems will only result in strong mistrust, not necessarily in you yourself but in the technical process. I wouldn't use it while I'd donate you both.

I can understand that, but as I said, I struggled to create the well know "donate" button. I would love anyone giving me a short explanation. And of course, I would be grateful for any donation that would help cover the hosting service.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Quork on Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:43 pm

Well then, as a temporary measure, post your IBAN data on your page ;-) You should find the BIC (bank code) on your banks homepage and your IBAN (account code) on either your bank statement or, if you do online banking, on your banks homepage as well.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:51 pm

I struggled to create the well know "donate" button.

Sorry I can't help there. I do know how to do it using the software I use for web design, and in connection my "paid for" hosting. Obviously your software is different or you wouldn't be asking the question.
I think you have to look at providing a "shopping cart".
A time may come, not too far away, when I may find out exactly how! Wink

@ Quork: I doubt the IBAN road is the best route. You need to make transactions easy, paypal is streets ahead for user friendliness. Or something like this http://www.sagepay.com/ or its equivalent.



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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by johnsinden on Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:57 pm

That's put the cat among the pigeons!!! Twisted Evil

And that's exactly what I intended to do, Gents. All your comments are extremely valid and I feel it is important that at least we are THINKING about it. Keep your comments coming.

Cheers, John
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Quork on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:03 pm

@Gray - for me it's easier =D I have a bank, but I have no PayPal xD
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by phileakins on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:07 pm

This is striking a chord with me.

OTE is not yet anywhere near being ready for final release - but when it is, how do I do it?

Buy/rent a domain and rent space on a server? The pension won't run to it - but I want to release the software as Open Source and not a paid-for offering so as to pay the 'rent', and I haven't even begun to think about ongoing support.

I don't know how I'm going to do it - but at least its not presently an urgent problem! Sad

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:12 pm

I can host your OTE if you wish... no need to give me anything for that.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:13 pm

Quork wrote:Well then, as a temporary measure, post your IBAN data on your page ;-) You should find the BIC (bank code) on your banks homepage and your IBAN (account code) on either your bank statement or, if you do online banking, on your banks homepage as well.

That is not a problem, I know where to find those. Will do it by the end of the week.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Quork on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:13 pm

I begin to wonder, whether the open source host Sourceforge.net is known here at all...?
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:16 pm

Quork said
@Gray - for me it's easier =D I have a bank, but I have no PayPal xD

Fair enough, obviously the method of transaction is as much the choice of the supplier as is the decision whether or not to offer paid content.
Leaving aside the mechanics of delivery, do you see any moral or ethical objections to a person selling work that they have produced by their own labours?

@ phil, You're right to look ahead. I don't know how big the end files of your project would be. Routes and the objs that accompany them are bloody huge. Especially HQ ones like Derryck's. That costs in bandwidth. You can use cheap-ish or even (sometimes) free hosting , if pushed for one or two smaller locomotive files, for example. Beyond that there's real cost.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:18 pm

I, for one, know sourceforge.
@Gray: That's why I offered my hosting, I have some bandwith to spare.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by James on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:20 pm

graymac wrote:
No opinions yet from end-user, whether they would be prepared to pay something for extras of a sufficient quality that were not on offer as "freebies".

Personally -yes - I'd be more than happy to pay for work of the quality of that which we see now. I've tried most of the commercial sims, and the problem isn't the cost - it's just that none of them are anywhere near as good as BVE. The only real weakness of BVE is the small number of high quality routes available. This is a result of the fact that it's free. BVE's routes are made by a very small number of individuals, who work extremely hard, but cannot possibly produce the sort of volume of output of commercial companies building routes for other sims.

The people who do such fine work building BVE routes and trains should be financially rewarded for their work, and the arrival of new developers which would result from such a move would also be beneficial.

Still, while BVE remains free, if anyone wants to set up a donation system - whether it be for building routes and trains, or hosting a website - I'll happily contribute.

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:25 pm

A valid point made there. If there is at least a small motivation (like covering the hosting fees), not only the present authors will be more happy to produce quality content, but also some new developers could be encouraged.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:29 pm

Thank you James. You make a good point about encouraging new developers. Now, because of the time needed to produce work of quality nobody will ever show a profit, some small sales would at least offer a possibility (no guarantees) that the worker wouldn't be too much out of pocket for his/her efforts. It's not as if anybody is forced to buy, there will be free stuff still for the taking.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Quork on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:30 pm

In the case of open source, yeah I do, as a matter of a fact I do twice. The first one is the obvious "paid content and open source don't go well together" which was mentioned here already and partially critically. I view it as generally valid in the open source scene and especially in cases like OpenBVE (and another one strikingly similar to this here) where the program everything lives from is definitely free and open.
The second aspect is somethin maybe surprising for some; you will never get enough money to really make up for your work. That'd be dumping, anything below net. 6€ per work hour invested is nowhere near decent. No chance of getting this - so you'd be selling yourself way below value, while the user in this case will see himself (rightfully!) as a full-right customer with all rights for support etc.

It's absolutely legitimate to collect money for all your material costs (remember also it isn't just hosting: You pay railway tickets to get to your texture sources, you probably bought extra accumulators and memory cards for that end, etc.) and also keep some more of it than the current costs are as a reserve. But getting your work paid? No chance of getting a decent recompensate.


EDIT: It might seem implausible now, but believe me: A customer who paid is worse in average than someone who benefits from something free. You might get free of those 1 worst percent of parasites, but the average gets worse, not better.


Last edited by Quork on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by phileakins on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:33 pm

Yes - I know of SourceForge but not about it.

Thanks Derryck - I'll take you up on that when the time comes!

@Gray - luckily the zipped program isn't going to be huge, thank goodness.

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:36 pm

I still consider the "voluntary donation" the best option to go... I will give it a try and we will see what it brings. The donation section of my site will be announced in this topic when it comes to life, it will be something like a test drive.
No problem, Phil, I can also set up a form for questions regarding the tool... the questions can be directed to your email and everything. It is a matter of arrangement I guess.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

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