[futurebasic] Re: [FB] App crippling

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From: Robert Covington <artlythere@...>
Date: Wed, 12 May 2004 17:00:58 -0400
On Wednesday, May 12, 2004, at 12:26  AM, Brian Stevens wrote:

> On May 11, 2004, at 5:08 AM, Robert Covington wrote:
>> So I was thinking about adding a splash timer , and also either 
>> limiting the app to no more than 2 open images until registered, or 
>> things like that.
> If I were the author of Compositor, a minimum of a splash timer like 
> Graphic Converter (that gets more annoying as time goes on) makes good 
> sense. My  shareware uses a similar scheme to one you described, but 
> I'm not particularly concerned about people hacking because it is a 
> mini-PIM and doesn't compete for market share with the big boy apps. 
> Compositor, however, directly competes with the big boys in its genre 
> (i.e. photoshop etc.) at a drastically reduced price, and with almost 
> identical features.  People looking at PS are bound to give your 
> application a try, and (here's the key) it is definitely worth their 
> time to try and break your registration scheme given the price 
> difference between PS and Compositor. Simply put, they have some 
> incentive to break in. So, something more restrictive than an annoying 
> countdown might even be warranted. Maybe give them full features for 
> xx amount of days and cripple the application gradually until you 
> reach some number of elapsed days. Of course, implementing only the 
> method used by GraphicConverter might be enough. If GC has been around 
> this long, they must be coercing enough people to register to keep the 
> financial ship floating(a few assumptions there to be sure)
> Just my 2 cents. Apologize for the semi-ramble.
> Brian

Better a semi-ramble than no echos at all. : )

To tend first to your comment which was at  bottom, for efficiency's 

>> I am not sure. Studies have shown that crippling an application, 
>> smartly, can result in up to 5 times more registrations for shareware 
>> products, simply because people really only pay for what they have to 
>> (...as a group, that is. Individuals certainly vary).
> I'd like to read your reference on this if you have it. Some hard 
> evidence would help all of evaluate this difficult topic.

Go to http://www.StickSoftware.com/ and see the article, via his 'About 
Me' link, which is < http://www.StickSoftware.com/haller.html >

(if you like moving eyes and walking feet on your desktop, that's the 
place to go anyway)

Article is  at :  < http://www.StickSoftware.com/register/policy.html >

Excerpt from his About Me  page:
> Some of you will remember when "not using registration codes" was part 
> of Stick Software's vision. I changed my mind on that, towards the end 
> of 2003, for reasons that are both complex and personal. I don't 
> explain that decision anywhere on the rest of the website, since it 
> isn't really public Stick Software policy; but for people who (for 
> some reason) care, I have written an <link>essay on registration 
> policy. </link>

Link is again < http://www.StickSoftware.com/register/policy.html >

On that page are 2 links to the various articles that I mentioned.

On his general links page is one that is hilarious once explored, "Mr. 
Strong Bad"

< http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail.html >

Need  to have  Flash, but worth it. Funny stuff.

Back to your timer comments and compliment...if this is self indulgent, 
it is because this app is my near full time life for the past few years.

  I think a splash timer is fair, and not too annoying if not too long, 
and still a helper as to motivating if not too short  and benefits 
things by being hard coded and ever available, and allowing me to stop 
timing out the app completely which is my goal because it remains on 
the harddrive and in consciousness longer. If I feel it isn't working 
that way, I can always make later versions use a different approach.  I 
like 5-10 secs as a starting amount , makes the point, but 30 at any 
time is too annoying for anybody who still might buy I'd think? 20 
would make the point and still be plenty annoying.

Thank you for the very nice contextual compliment about my app.  For 
shareware,  I think I do have a thorough feature list at a low price. 
But I don't have any illusions about being any real competition to 
Photoshop's deeper features, as it's a seriously deep and robust 
application for good reason and I'm a flyweight or no weight in many 
areas it touches. I can't nor should I be trying to make a clone of 
that anyway as a creative endeavor. If my app is all a person needs 
though, then it would be nice to save them money in the search for 
their preferred image helper.

But when people think "Imaging on the Mac", they still think Photoshop, 
and GraphicConverter pretty much, not yet any radar blip for my app it 
seems. Perhaps it's deserved. I lack advertising funds and media play 
and reviews.

However, the new features coming up in Compositor v2.7 will make what 
you say yet more true still ...that's new Curves, Levels, and new 
Replace Color algorithm with ability to output  a selection mask  from 
the result using just hue, saturation or lightness too. The latter is 
like a mini-Asiva approach (that's a nice plugin that use hue as a 
masking method). My curves and levels work as nice as the big boys 
according to my tests (and better than GC for sure). The random curves 
feature makes instant art, obsoleting my old Channel Changer feature.

I think my main issue right now still is that nobody knows about the 
app.  If they do, have tried it, and just don't like it, then I wonder 
if am failing somewhere in the implementation and nobody is telling me 
or it's missing the one feature that would make it indispensable.  To 
cover that possibility I am enclosing a survey in the next release. I 
still need to fully appearance-ize more dialogs to finish that up, and 
do other HIG tidy up. I need also to write a nice documentation PDF 
that is like a Compositor for Dummies and Imaging 101.

I'm still not sure that I haven't just left behind 50 percent of my 
user base by not updating the Classic version as often. I'll find out 

Sorry to be self indulgent, it's just that this app has taken over my 
life, and thus is all I have to talk about. Other than inflammatory 
things. :)

So , I'm looking at splash timers, inhibited function, and watermarks 
right now, all worthy of consideration. Thanks to all who have replied .