May 14, 2004

Let the whining begin!

Though I suppose it's well past that time.

SixApart announced the new licensing scheme for Movable Type 3.0. I'd figured something was coming down the pike reasonably soon--given their setup there wasn't any way they could sustain their development and actually have people eat. And, while the new prices seem more than a touch high, well... hell, it's their code, they can do what they want with it. The part I haven't been looking forward to isn't the cost, but rather the inevitable whining. Boy, has there been whining.

Most of it has been "Oh, this software which I have no intention of ever paying anything for I now must pay for! Never! I shall use something else, and that'll show those mercenary bastards!" Or... maybe it won't. If you never paid for it in the first place why the hell should they give a damn what you do? (And no, you aren't good advertising. Please, by all means, get over yourself) And if you did then you got the software you paid for (2.661's actually quite nice) and if you want to be pissed then yell at the people who leeched off the folks that made it possible. The only folks with legitimate gripes are the ones who moved over to the betas of 3.0 and may get left stranded. They ought to be getting free licenses if they'd be in violation otherwise.

SixApart made a toy once, and said please pay for it but we won't force you, and generally people didn't. That was OK, you didn't have to.

Now they're making a new toy and saying you have to pay for it if you want to do much with it. That's fine too.

Bloody hell, when someone offers you something you smile and nod and either say "Thanks!" or "No thanks!" Bitching that the thing you're being offered doesn't meet your standards is unbecoming. (And that pain you feel is the cuts from your shattered illusions. Life does suck sometimes, doesn't it?) The outrage is just public ego wanking, and the world'd be a better place if people did that in private and washed their hands afterwards.

If they've screwed themselves over with the new pricing scheme then they'll fail. There are alternatives out there--if they're good enough, people will move, and if they're not good enough but the price is enough to make up for it, people will move. That's the way this stuff works.

Posted by Dan at May 14, 2004 12:43 PM | TrackBack (2)

This whole fiasco reminds me of when my own employer switched their (Perl-based) product from freeware to payware for the next major version. This was back in 1998...

We were the market leader back then, and remain a market leader now. The whining will end in a few weeks, and MT will remain a very good product.

Posted by: Charles at May 14, 2004 02:13 PM

I haven't been following the MT community at all, but that piqued my curiosity. The source files in MT 2.661 total 20k lines. Minus POD it's probably 8k lines of code (maybe a little more; maybe much less). It's not that big a project. A quick skimming around tells me there's a lot of straightforward code.

What are they whining? This thing would be easy to duplicate if people were to just try. Of course, unloading another round of trash onto the internet is easier than working.

Posted by: Aristotle Pagaltzis at May 14, 2004 03:17 PM