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how about donations for BB?


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#1 fr0zensphere

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 05:41 AM

My aunt is making $3000/mo working from home! All she has to do is... just kidding!  :tongue: 

 

Anyway, I've been a devout user of SharpEnviro (which is now dead) for a few years, and I recently started looking around to see if anything is left of the alternative shell-making community. And I was really pleased to discover this. 

 

Obviously, most of the other alternative shell projects are dead now. But I don't understand this: it seems like none of those projects accepted donations. Why is that? With lots of other freeware, there are options to donate. Even firefox themes ask for donations. By comparison, I think a shell that I enjoy is substantially more important to my computing experience than a firefox theme. If I am willing to pay for new versions of Windows, then why not an alternative shell? It contributes to the OS environment. I'd be willing to drop a pretty decent amount of cash if it would spur the developer(s) to put more time and effort into a shell replacement that I like. I'm wondering if this was one of the reasons why many other projects died. Maybe there was just too little incentive. 

 

I'm excited that this project appears to be alive and kicking, and I would like to contribute somehow. I don't know how to program stuff like this, though -- I can only program Matlab. 


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#2 pitkon

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 08:46 AM

So kind and clever of you to think of this, fr0zensphere!

Blackbox, like other shells before and after it, started out as a challenge for developers who wanted a better environment for their computers and, of course, wouldn't even think of accepting fees for what they did. For some of them, it looked like bribery, for others it was a notion outside their way of thinking. Even today, developers like mojmir, xzero450 and diabol work on the shell because they like doing it.

But you do have a point there. I mean if donations were available, maybe developers would be willing to put more time into this, since they wouldn't be obliged to take time off their regular, paying jobs. Of course, no donation would probably be huge enough to cover a full salary, but it would work to that end.

And maybe you are right about the other dead shells. Maybe it WAS too little incentive, although I doubt that money would change some folks way of thinking. I mean shells have taken a blow with the advent of Windows 7, which was more customizable than its predecessors, and the hostility of the new Windows 7/8/9 towards shell tweaking.

But, like I said, you may have a point there and thank you for the obvious love you feel about Blackbox and shells in general. This topic is open for discussion and I would love to hear what the developers themselves have to say...



#3 fr0zensphere

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 07:55 AM

Blackbox, like other shells before and after it, started out as a challenge for developers who wanted a better environment for their computers and, of course, wouldn't even think of accepting fees for what they did. For some of them, it looked like bribery, for others it was a notion outside their way of thinking. Even today, developers like mojmir, xzero450 and diabol work on the shell because they like doing it.

 

I still don't get it. Doesn't every freeware (except games, I guess) serve the purpose of "a better environment for their computers"? It doesn't matter if it has to do with shells or my example of browser themes. It still improves the experience of using a computer. Why else would anyone write software, except to somehow improve computing?

 

Just a random example: Classic Shell. It's not a "true"/"full" shell replacement, but does it give me a "better environment" when I use my computer? Absolutely! I found out about it before I found out about SharpEnviro, BB, ED, etc. It became a moot point once I jumped on the SharpEnviro ship, but it was still an improvement over the native Windows 7 explorer. Do they take donations? Front and center -- right next to the "Download" button.

 

Why would this be bribery?? That's astounding to me. It's support for a quality product. If people value something, they should put their money where their mouth is instead of freeloading. Those who know programming can help directly, but those who don't can contribute monetarily.

 

Maybe some of the computer whiz crowd are so versed in torrenting that they kind of expect everything for free... Or maybe I don't understand the free software philosophy?


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#4 pitkon

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 09:48 AM

I still don't get it. Doesn't every freeware (except games, I guess) serve the purpose of "a better environment for their computers"? It doesn't matter if it has to do with shells or my example of browser themes. It still improves the experience of using a computer. Why else would anyone write software, except to somehow improve computing?

 

Just a random example: Classic Shell. It's not a "true"/"full" shell replacement, but does it give me a "better environment" when I use my computer? Absolutely! I found out about it before I found out about SharpEnviro, BB, ED, etc. It became a moot point once I jumped on the SharpEnviro ship, but it was still an improvement over the native Windows 7 explorer. Do they take donations? Front and center -- right next to the "Download" button.

 

Why would this be bribery?? That's astounding to me. It's support for a quality product. If people value something, they should put their money where their mouth is instead of freeloading. Those who know programming can help directly, but those who don't can contribute monetarily.

 

Maybe some of the computer whiz crowd are so versed in torrenting that they kind of expect everything for free... Or maybe I don't understand the free software philosophy?

No arguments from me here.

Like I said, it was clever of you to think of this. And I am still waiting for responses...



#5 diabol

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Posted 01 January 2015 - 09:29 PM

Well, I can't speak for everyone, but here's the reasons why I won't ask for donations:

 

The bulk of bb's codebase is inherited.

It was created by the gods of old times and left to us free as free can be.

I've been lurking around and leeching from lostinthebox for the longest time and when it finally died I felt like I missed my opportunity to ever give something back to the community.

I didn't even have an account, so when I did finally make some changes to the code, I couldn't share them with anyone. (*)

 

I have to admit that I'm not working terribly hard on it, but essentially I want to give, not to take.

 

(*) except on IRC and when pitkon started blackbox4windows.com here, of course


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#6 tordenflesk

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Posted 02 January 2015 - 06:54 PM

You wouldn't be donating to keep a copy of an old version hosted on a server. You would be donating to keep the maintainers supplied with their preferred performance-enhancing caffinated soft-drink, you would help offset any costs (replacing dead hard-drives, hosting etc.) and you would show the guy spending his free time maintaining a niche project that someone, somewhere still gives a shit about the product.



#7 diabol

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 12:19 AM

You wouldn't be donating to keep a copy of an old version hosted on a server. You would be donating to keep the maintainers supplied with their preferred performance-enhancing caffinated soft-drink, you would help offset any costs (replacing dead hard-drives, hosting etc.) and you would show the guy spending his free time maintaining a niche project that someone, somewhere still gives a shit about the product.

 

That's definitely true and if any of the other guys who still work on bb or the community ever ask for a donation (be it dead hard drives, caffeinated drinks, webspace or money to offset other costs), I'll be among the first to donate.

 

Still, I would like to uphold the lostinthebox tradition of giving whatever you can to the community for free.

 

That being said, the best thing that can happen to bb is getting more developers onboard.

There are platforms out there for open source projects which allow you to assign bounties to certain programming tasks (fixing bugs, implementing features, etc.).

I think the best way to help bb and the community in a monetary way would be to define these tasks, create the bounties and pool money there in the hopes of luring in some fresh blood.

 

P.S.: Like https://www.bountysource.com/ which actually works out-of-the-box with github's issue trackers. Here's where you can post bounties: https://www.bountyso...bclean-xzero450


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#8 fr0zensphere

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 02:04 AM

That being said, the best thing that can happen to bb is getting more developers onboard.

There are platforms out there for open source projects which allow you to assign bounties to certain programming tasks (fixing bugs, implementing features, etc.).

I think the best way to help bb and the community in a monetary way would be to define these tasks, create the bounties and pool money there in the hopes of luring in some fresh blood.

 

P.S.: Like https://www.bountysource.com/ which actually works out-of-the-box with github's issue trackers. Here's where you can post bounties: https://www.bountyso...bclean-xzero450

 

That's cool. Would there be a way to direct users of this forum towards these bounties more directly? In other words, make this more visible on the site? As of now, the only way anyone would know is by reading this thread.

 

pitkon, any thoughts?



#9 pitkon

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 08:39 AM

That's cool. Would there be a way to direct users of this forum towards these bounties more directly? In other words, make this more visible on the site? As of now, the only way anyone would know is by reading this thread.

 

pitkon, any thoughts?

We need more input from users and developers, I think. Mojmir hasn't responded to this. Yet.



#10 fr0zensphere

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 07:40 AM

Anothing thing. I have no idea how to know the size of each task. By size I mean the amount of effort and time that it might take to complete or resolve it. The description gives hints, of course, but it's still not very well evident to an outsider who is not part of the programming.

 

I posted a bounty! But maybe it was too small. I just picked one that had to do with Windows 8, because I'm in favor of anything that makes BB better on Win 8/8.1/10. We gotta be future oriented, folks :happy:


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#11 diabol

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 04:05 PM

I posted a bounty! But maybe it was too small. I just picked one that had to do with Windows 8, because I'm in favor of anything that makes BB better on Win 8/8.1/10. We gotta be future oriented, folks :happy:

Met your bounty and added some context to the issue.

Let's see how this will play out :)



#12 fr0zensphere

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 06:44 PM

Interesting. That sounds challenging. Maybe others can help sweeten the pot further :biggrin:



#13 crowmag

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 05:05 AM

Bounty? What? Where? I'm confused (again).



#14 fr0zensphere

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 06:32 AM

Bounty? What? Where? I'm confused (again).

 

See post #7 from diabol, and follow that second link that he provided. There you can essentially give donations to fund the completion of the posted programming tasks.



#15 mojmir

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 08:31 AM

or Warrant in the other case :D



#16 scruffty

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 07:58 PM

My opinion is keep it free.The more useful BB gets running under 8 8,1 10 or whatever the better.We have a back channel to Microsoft and they are aware of what we are doing here.There future plans are to move heavy into 3D with future operating systems and voice activation.They are not thrilled at being pushed into the return of the desktop with 10.They have plans to create a free operating system but charge for every application.Their browser is being replaced with something they feel will knock you out.The skill they have at nesting things deep in the registry that revert on reboot assures there full control and we can only hope they take our needs into account



#17 fr0zensphere

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 12:18 AM

or Warrant in the other case :D

 

What? I'm confused. lol

 

My opinion is keep it free.

 

What's your reasoning for why? Also, just to make sure we're on the same page, having the option of donating does keep it free (not a requirement for downloading).

 

The rest of what you wrote is very intriguing...



#18 scruffty

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 03:38 PM

Donating puts us in another class then that of true believer in our rights to configure our computors as we want.The history of donationware seems less then glorious.My problem with this is that it will alter how we are seen,,,,,



#19 diabol

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 06:30 PM

Donating puts us in another class then that of true believer in our rights to configure our computors as we want.The history of donationware seems less then glorious.My problem with this is that it will alter how we are seen,,,,,

 

I don't think that's a problem for now. Hardly anyone sees us anyway :D



#20 fr0zensphere

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 12:46 AM

I don't think that's a problem for now. Hardly anyone sees us anyway :D

 

Lol. Truth. It's hard to even find this site by googling. I stumbled here through another forum (thanks to Pitkon's post). 

 

I think the #1 priority is to not become dead...


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