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Article:
  The Do's and Don'ts of Shareware, Part 1
Subject:   Do's and Don'ts of a Shareware Buyer
Date:   2002-10-02 19:19:34
From:   scuba_instructor
Hi Sanford,


Thank you for writing the Do's and Don't's of Shareware Part I. As a shareware buyer, may I submit some relevent Do's and Don't's
that I impose upon myself? If so, I'll get straight to them:


I will buy from a developer I can communicate with.
I prefer to buy from a Macintosh-Only or a Macintosh-First developer.
I will "skip upgrade" to avoid too-frequent upgrade fees.
I will buy from a developer who will make it easy for me to pay him.
I will buy from a developer who will describe his product in one sentence.
I will buy software that comes with good documentation.
I will recommend good software to other Mackers.
I will consider properly beta testing a product if I am invited to do so.
I will ask questions about a developer and his products before I buy.


I will not buy from a developer who demands payment only thru a 3rd party payment firm.
I will not endure convoluted steps and requirements to pay a developer.
I will not buy from a developer who has ever abandoned a product.*
I will not buy from a developer whose product does not work.
I will not have demos on my Mac. Give me an adequate product description and I'll buy, give me a demo or crippleware and you'll never hear from me.
I will not buy products that require troubleshooting.
I will not buy a product that requires a dongle.
I will think twice before buying from a developer who puts IBM first (ie. "Windows and Mac")
I will not buy a product with an installer that modifies my system files (ie. the Finder Prefs file)
I will not buy a product with a deceptive installer.
I will not buy a product that has been inadequately beta tested.
I will not knowingly buy from a dishonest or unethical developer.



* Regretably, Apple is the only exception since Apple abandoned Hypercard and Claris Emailer.


Hope this is useful to you.


Thanks,
Jack

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  • Do's and Don'ts of a Shareware Buyer
    2002-10-03 08:13:05  sanford [View]

    Awesome. I think I see the beginning of a sequel to this series! :-)

    Thanks,
    Sanford Selznick
    • Do's and Don'ts of a Shareware Buyer
      2002-10-03 15:43:41  scuba_instructor [View]

      Hi Sanford,

      Guess what? You get to write the sequal!

      I think that good shareware outnumbers the bad exponentially. I can name some shareware programmers out there who produce applications that are vastly superior to those of their commercial counterparts. Example (without naming names), two programmers working in their spare time produced an application that is far more advanced than a competing commercial product resulting from the collective effort of over 400 full time programmers.

      As a former commercial software developer (I don't have time for it now) I can assure you that excellent documentation = few, if any, tech support calls. Also, verbose error messages which describe remedies, mean no tech support queries. There must be an unwritten rule out there which requires error messages be vague or ambiguous.

      I look forward to your next article(s).

      Cheers,
      Jack