[linux-elitists] Nadav Har'El about Non-FOSS Android Apps

Shlomi Fish shlomif at shlomifish.org
Thu Jan 30 06:48:14 PST 2014


Hi Don,

sorry for the late response.

On Tue, 14 Jan 2014 07:49:27 -0800
Don Marti <dmarti at zgp.org> wrote:

> begin Shlomi Fish quotation of Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 01:43:27PM +0200:
> 
> > below you can find a translation I made (from Hebrew to English) of part of
> > a mailing list post by Nadav Har'El ( http://nadav.harel.org.il/ ) which I
> > believe you may find interesting:
> 
> >     But what did not succeed was to make the customers request free
> > [as-in-speech] software when they (and not the creator of the operating
> > system or the device) choose a program themselves. For instance, only a
> > small part of the Android applications today are free software, and the
> > customers are “content” with a gratis and non-free software program.
> 
> Image search sites such as Google Image Search and
> MSFT Bing make it easy to search Creative
> Commons-licensed images only.
> 
>   http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/14/google-image-search-creative-commons/
> 
> However, there's no license search or filter option
> in native app stores AFAIK.  You have to use a
> third-party directory.

That's true.

> 
> >     If only there was a way to explain to the authors of the mobile
> > applications that no, most of them will not get rich from the applications,
> > like most of the authors of shareware did not, and it’s just better to write
> > free software…
> 
> Just write free software and...?
> 
> What's the complement to the Free app that the
> author gets paid for?  I suppose you could maintain
> a high-profile Free app and use that as a demo to
> get contract programming work doing branded apps for
> marketing projects, but that's a hell of a way to
> make a living.

Well, I think part of Nadav’s point was that you are unlikely to get rich
writing a non-FOSS ad-supported application, and that this way there's a huge
waste of time and resources, and you should just pool your efforts toward
writing one good open source application. Just like people most of the people
who wrote shareware did not get rich from it, and most of the shareware
programs from that era, ended up vanishing into obscurity and disuse.

In this interview -
http://www.shlomifish.org/open-source/interviews/adrian-ettlinger.html - which
I conducted with the late https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_Ettlinger , he
testified that he wrote and sold a shareware program called AniMap, that has
only sold about 4,000 copies in its first 8 years of sales, and yet he told me
it was not enough to compensate for its development costs. And to me it seems
most shareware applications sold far fewer copies than 4,000.

Regards,

	Shlomi Fish 

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