Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Quork on Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:51 pm

Forget it Alex, OpenBVE has not the lightest chance of getting interesting for the rail industry.

I had a project running with OpenBVE; the aim was to build a simple simulator (in the physical sense; a cab, you know) which would have needed some moderate changes to OpenBVE. It didn't seem to interest Michelle and I don't see any chance for Odakyufan to do anything for the sim currently, let alone in this direction.

In the meantime, Zusi 3 for professional aims got published. The market is full now.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Ad1992 on Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:01 pm

Right here are my thoughts on this:

From the moment I discovered BVE I fell in love with it. It's simplicity, it's easy to understand coding, the amount of varied routes and trains, and lastly because unlike the rivals of the time; MSTS, it was free!

What we are talking about here are three things. The amount of growing socialism among the mass, the struggle for each of us to make ends meet, and changing the boundaries that this simulator is built on. For years it's always been known that you can not charge anything for your bve routes as it's against the laws of bve and the whole point of it being freeware.

I have listened to some very interesting points in this thread.
I find the modern world very unfair; there's too much capitalism, we get shafted left right and centre by every so called tom dick and harry, and our basic survival requirements; food, heat, and water are being given to us in exchange for an arm and a leg.

No sorry I won't do it. I resent all these youtube socialists demanding this and demanding that, but I still want to deliver my route at no cost. In my opinion there are no longer enough free things in this world, everything is being charged for at a damn percentage, and if I can release a simulated route that costs nothing and bring some joy in this world then i'm doing my job. Smile

As for a Central repository... That sounds a bit too much like Managed content all over again...
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Quork on Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:16 pm

Assume the central repository would be used as the file host only, and not as the homepage host. In this case, the dev has the download links on his/her own homepage, as always, just that the link is to the central repository. This gives maximum freedom to the dev as a webmaster while minimizing his/her bandwidth costs. If s/he then used imageshack for all image files used on the homepage and hosted only plain html and css on the own server, it would reduce bandwidth requirements to a level feasible on an ad-free free webspace or some very cheap webspace even with great visitor numbers.
This way it also isn't "managed content" all over again; if the repository falls, you simply host the files on your own server, or elsewhere. The user won't even notice it, as s/he will find the links where they were all the time.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:33 pm

Forget the central repository idea, it's never going to happen. And neither is universal adoption of any form of charging. The bulk of material will continue to remain free to download.
If any provider wishes to seek donations, what's wrong with that?
Nothing, as far as I can see.
If any provider wants to offer an otherwise unavailable item, call it "collector's special" whatever . . Where's the problem there?
The main object of this exercise is to maintain basic services to keep sites available for users. Is that what we want, or isn't it?

So, if you haven't already done so please indicate a preference on the polls, then a more complete picture may become clear.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Greater Anglia Metro on Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:16 pm

I could see it working on subway routes, where due to the lack of objects between stations you can really go to town on detail. Have a standard definition route, but for high res textures charge (say) £2.99?

Same could be done for trains where a charge is made for a superior version with extra features, 3D cab etc?
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:25 pm

@ GA Metro That's a fair comment, right on topic. I think that is possibly realistic in terms of what might happen at some point in the near future. No reason why only subway routes would be suitable, though you are certainly right that they are ideal for your reasons above.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:49 pm

Hm, interesting. I think it is going to be pretty much individual then; I am used to create detailed things only, therefore I would have to produce paid things only. That doesn't feel like myself though... OK, enough contemplations, I will explain in a different topic as I don't want to stray off topic.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by liquid_ on Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:19 pm

Thanks, Dexter, for a newsletter. It's indeed very important discussion.
After reading all the posts, I have some thoughts to share with you.
Sorry to say, but it looks somewhat like this:
After many tears dropped when Michelle had left the project, an enthusiastic group of BVE lovers or developers had gathered and said they would take things in their own hands. And now, the same guys say: oops... it costs too much, let's take some money to compensate it (or make some business on it).

I don't think it is fair at all. As I remind, Michelle and her partners had never made us feel they expected any compensation for really huge work done already. She even left no license afaik or very simple - free software, do what you want to do with it.
I'm pretty sure the legacy of OpenBVE is to remain free forever.

A slightly different matter concerns train and route development. I think developers are free to give results of their work for free or for an arbitrary (high or low) fee. I guess it's fair enough. Some would give it for no cost, other for a compensation of incurred costs, some other maybe would like to make business on it. We cannot make limits on it, let us things go their way.

I understand that current implementation of this forum and other facilities may cost some money. I'd advise however to seek less costly solutions if that matters. SourceForge is said to be very good place to maintain free software for free. There you can place everything concerning the software: sources, docs, binaries. libs, and train and route definitions as well. If from the other side forum maintaining appears to be too costly we safely could move to googlegroups, mailing lists, even IRC channel or something like that, at no cost too. It's a question of our inventions.

But please, make no business of OpenBVE. If you charge someone a $1 for something, there will be someone else who will ask: why not $2?
I know it may sound rude but if this is not going the way you'd like to, you can safely quit, as had done Michelle. I don't think somebody blames her for that. It was her own decision, wasn't it? I expect BVE will arise from ashes as Phoenix in the way Michelle had left it to all the community.

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somat for nowt

Post by jckhinks on Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:17 pm

hi way i see it if we have to pay for a free simulator it is going to scare people away. i have paid for things on railworks3 and there are some huge errors with it. so if we do go down this road then route developers,trains ect then we have got to make sure no errors. i for one am against the idea and yes i develope routes.regards jckhinks Sad
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Quork on Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:33 pm

Some second thoughts...

I was talking about spending money collected above need to charities; I'd like to point out I was referring to my OpenBVE-filehost idea. For single devs, I do not see the slightest reason why not keep donations received even if it's more than the costs; I'd certainly be happy with the idea of a dev getting enough donations to e.g. go to a nice restaurant with their family every sunday. Surely it wouldn't be a reason for me not to give a donation I'd give otherwise, though a dev not getting his/her costs covered would have higher priority of course. (Though I honestly don't think the chances are great for that much surplus)
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by liquid_ on Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:45 pm

To be clear, I meant business not donations. In other words: the things are different when you have to pay or want to pay. I don't mind donations at all.

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Stephen Cross on Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:57 pm

Hi all,

OpenBVE itself should always remain free.

Donations is the only way to go without it costing you money to make money, "hey I just got a great route, I send you a copy" hmm the structure of all things BVE / OpenBVE does not lend itself to be able to restrict the passing on of files.

It is "open" by design hence the multitude of great "free" routes and rolling stock out there today.

Bye for now,

Stephen.
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An important discussion - answer to Dexter's mail

Post by tof63 on Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:03 pm

liquid_ wrote:Thanks, Dexter, for a newsletter. It's indeed very important discussion.
After reading all the posts, I have some thoughts to share with you.
Sorry to say, but it looks somewhat like this:
After many tears dropped when Michelle had left the project, an enthusiastic group of BVE lovers or developers had gathered and said they would take things in their own hands. And now, the same guys say: oops... it costs too much, let's take some money to compensate it (or make some business on it).

I don't think it is fair at all. As I remind, Michelle and her partners had never made us feel they expected any compensation for really huge work done already. She even left no license afaik or very simple - free software, do what you want to do with it.
I'm pretty sure the legacy of OpenBVE is to remain free forever.

A slightly different matter concerns train and route development. I think developers are free to give results of their work for free or for an arbitrary (high or low) fee. I guess it's fair enough. Some would give it for no cost, other for a compensation of incurred costs, some other maybe would like to make business on it. We cannot make limits on it, let us things go their way.

I understand that current implementation of this forum and other facilities may cost some money. I'd advise however to seek less costly solutions if that matters. SourceForge is said to be very good place to maintain free software for free. There you can place everything concerning the software: sources, docs, binaries. libs, and train and route definitions as well. If from the other side forum maintaining appears to be too costly we safely could move to googlegroups, mailing lists, even IRC channel or something like that, at no cost too. It's a question of our inventions.

But please, make no business of OpenBVE. If you charge someone a $1 for something, there will be someone else who will ask: why not $2?
I know it may sound rude but if this is not going the way you'd like to, you can safely quit, as had done Michelle. I don't think somebody blames her for that. It was her own decision, wasn't it? I expect BVE will arise from ashes as Phoenix in the way Michelle had left it to all the community.
I quote "liquid_" 100% and hope that many others "old" BVE/openBVE enthusiastic fans (I am since December 2000) could say the same.

By the way, I did not read this discussion, before today's Dexter's mail, because of the incomprehensible (for me) title. Could please someone explain what does it mean "Summat for nowt!" in English canonical words ?

Thanks.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by tonytrainsfree1 on Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:23 pm

well open bve is free i may pay for top quatley routes/trains


Last edited by tonytrainsfree1 on Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : had chage of ideas)

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by spara on Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:17 pm

I suppose the question is, would developers want an infrastructure (just an admin system, perhaps with items that can be embedded into their own websites, such as a download button) provided that would allow them to manage and administrate their own content? Then it is up to them if they want to charge for a download, request a donation, give it away, whatever. They can provide metadata about it, and in return the system can provide viewing and metric data.

The point really is, if we do something like this then we need to provide developers with a framework that allows freedom rather than restriction.

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by mrknowitall on Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:21 pm

We're not asking the end user to pay, we're saying (in a nutshell) we give countless hours of our free time, and money from our own pockets, and just maybe we may start to add a contribution page, I see no point (as yet) so charge for my items, but i do see a point in a paypal link and before everyone clicks download maybe a message saying " Openbve is free, but the site costs, would you wish to donate?" and they can simply click no and download anyway.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by liquid_ on Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:48 pm

I think it's all about a philosophy rather than specific technical details at the moment. I guess however that beside the thread how to compensate the costs there should be a similar one in this topic how to make them lower. What mrknowitall said sounds reasonable although I wouldn't like to consider paying for someone's free time. It's up to you what you are doing with your free/spare time. You - developers - don't have to spend your time on OpenBVE but we greatly appreciate what you've done until now and will be doing in future. That's the nature of free software.
If I were able to make a beautiful quality route I would be proud to let you play and maybe admire it. This would be enough for me. (Who knows... I'm working with a team which manages modernization of about 100km railroad and I have all the projects at hand).

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:51 pm

liquid_ wrote:...although I wouldn't like to consider paying for someone's free time. It's up to you what you are doing with your free/spare time. You - developers - don't have to spend your time on OpenBVE but we greatly appreciate what you've done until now and will be doing in future. That's the nature of free software.

You seem to be forgetting something - the payment would not really be "paying for our free time", but supporting the thing you like and you believe in. What are your other hobbies? You go to cinema, you pay. You go watch a football match, you pay. You go fishing? You have to pay for the equipment. You want better equipment? You pay more. etc.
I do understand your point of view, though. That is why I would eventually prefer voluntary donation system over mandatory fees for stuff. Hopefully there will be good people, who might help me cover what it takes from time to time. Because - and forgive me for being honest here - if I had to make a choice (God forbid) between paying for my hosting service and buying a bunch of flowers for my wife, what do you think would be my choice?
Appreciation is a nice thing to have and until now, it has been my main motivating factor for staying with this community, trying to create things and even build up this place starting with weak knowledge and off the scratch. I am not looking towards earning bags of money for my addons. It is just trying to make myself free of concers such as "Will I be able to pay my hosting fees next time? And if I do it, will I still be able to buy those flowers for my wife?"
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by phileakins on Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:58 am

Now that the dust has settled a little and the donation route is the accepted way to go, may I raise another little (or not so little) problem you hosts will have to face.

TAX.

You are not charitable bodies and your local tax regimes might well regard payments/donations as personal income (and aggregated with your earnings ) for tax purposes. In the UK it could well fall into the category of Unearned Income' and be taxed at a higher rate.

Just something more to think about and investigate.

Phil


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Summat for nowt

Post by mobile1 on Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:39 am

Hi all,
i wish i was so eloquent as some of you, I have placed my stance on this subject earlier, but , i must now also ask that contributors voice their own comments , and not make statements that are perhaps mistaken, by that i mean, the comment made in the replies "contributions is the way to go"..for this to be correct, it has to be put formally to all of the developers, which having read the replies, does not indicate this.

Those that want to ask for contributions, do so, its a sort of free world, those that want to pay, do so, but dont force anyone that doesnt want to, to do it....

There have been many forums that had the contribution facilty on their site, i dont think any of them are still going, even if they are, i bet they didnt profit from it...

As to the polls, perhaps, first off, we should ask "do you want to contribute to the development of openbve" not post leading questions...I can understand the problem of hosting costs etc, and agree with this, but, I am prepared to pay for this, when i cant, i will source a free hosting site..the pitfalls of trying to charge for your work will kill off this hobby of ours....oh yes it is a hobby, not a business....


I apologise for my ramblings in advance but i do have strong feelings on this subject...Mobile1
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:12 pm

Firstly, I want to make it crystal clear that my own position is that there is and will not be ANY compulsion for producers to offer material for monetary reward unless they choose to do so.

As you rightly say,
There have been many forums that had the contribution facilty on their site, i dont think any of them are still going, even if they are, i bet they didnt profit from it...
It could well be the financing of these enterprises was "flaky" to start off with. I don't think a profit in monetary terms is remotely possible under any circumstances due to the production methods and minority market potential, so any greedy moneygrubbers would soon have a rude awakening.

As for the questions being "loaded", I can only comment on the question I put, which was
If there was a route or train item that you couldn't have for nothing, would you buy it?
The multi -choice answers, given sufficient number of respondents to provide a meaningful sample, will indicate if there is a realistic likelihood of attracting subsidy of providers running costs by the generosity of users who might buy "something extra" for themselves.
Dexter has indicated preference for the "donations" option. That may suit some and it is a valid way to attempt to cover expenses.

Again, I can only propound an opinion formed by experience. From a small start, with a simple website, the popularity and range of what I have on celtictrainsim, all for free, has grown considerably. This is a most welcome thing and I am grateful to the enthusiasts who have expressed joy and thanks for the material. At the same time, with a more elaborate website to maintain and a huge bandwidth requirement, the cost to ME for giving it all away has risen exponentially with this popularity.
I would reason that a lot of people could afford to donate, but I don't believe donations are often taken up. Also, in the case of small donations, by the time the banks have processed them the recipient can be charged more for the transaction than the sum of the donation itself.
So, the idea of some exclusive add-ons at a premium would seem a better option, in my opinion. In the case of my own site there's more than sufficient free material for the enthusiast already. Premium items will attract those who want them. In any event there would be a practical ceiling on the pricing, or the option to get items would not be taken up. The model I'm thinking of would still involve making a donation, but with a difference, in so much as the donor would receive a special gift as a "thank you" for the donation. So, for example, a (fixed) donation of, say, €7/£5 might be rewarded with something like a 2800 DMU, fully detailed with interior. Which would not be available for free download.

OK, I'm going to be quite blunt about it, here's the bottom line. I have spent every moment of my spare time for two years to give away what is now available. I'm not objecting to that. I would have made the stuff anyway. But I'm not prepared to pay, out of my own pocket, considerable sums for delivery charges ad infinitum.
I am looking to make the website and hosting cover its costs at some point in the not too distant future. If this is not done then it might not be renewed and will cease to operate.


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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:25 pm

phileakins wrote:Now that the dust has settled a little and the donation route is the accepted way to go, may I raise another little (or not so little) problem you hosts will have to face.

TAX.

You are not charitable bodies and your local tax regimes might well regard payments/donations as personal income (and aggregated with your earnings ) for tax purposes. In the UK it could well fall into the category of Unearned Income' and be taxed at a higher rate.

Just something more to think about and investigate.

Phil


Good point, Phil. I actually have a person, who can take care of this. Let's put it this way - people tranfer money for various reasons and not every money transfer is considered taxable. This is not advising anyone to break the law, do what you have to to not get in trouble Exclamation
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:36 pm

Tax is usually only payable on profits. You are not going to make a profit, but if you ever did then there is no problem paying the tax on it.

The donation system I described in the previous post, where a gift is given to a user as a mark of gratitude for the donation, should not attract tax.

Different tax rules may apply, according to country of residence.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by phileakins on Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:56 pm

'Profits' accrue to businesses, not individuals who have not declared themselves to the authorities as carrying on a business.

Individuals in this case would need to arrange with the Revenue authorities to complete a yearly tax return complete with accounts showing income from all sources if they wish to offset income against expenditure so as to avoid avoid tax. At least in this country that is how I understand it.

Donations are income and are liable to be aggregated with other income, charities (who receive donations free of tax - indeed that can reclaim tax paid by the donor - UK again) don't need to worry - Individuals really should talk to their own tax authorities in advance and not run foul of assuming a donation is a simple gift, as it comes from a stranger and which can be viewed (by the Revenue) as payment for goods and services as they are able to download software from your site, even though payment is not compulsory. It's still payment.

Wishing to offset this income against expenditure (with the accounts) may well lead a to Revenue investigation which may cause them to assume that a business is in operation - capital gains tax (you never know) and VAT, requirements for registration being on turnover in a quarter, again you never know, may have to follow follow.

We may be talking small potatoes here, if we are, no problem but just be careful out there people that's all I'm saying!

Phil

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by tof63 on Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:08 pm

In Italy, money donations between people with no family ties are taxed only for amounts exceeding € 100,000... and we are the most heavily taxed country in Europe... (and may be in the world).
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

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