Discontinuation of free version for Yosemite

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gpg enthusiast

08 Jan, 2015 08:15 PM

Dear gpgtools developer,

I would like to question your decision of discontinuing the free version of gpgtools for Yosemite and later.
I do understand that you are trying to get more money for supporting the development of gpgtools.

However, I do not agree with you, that discontinuing a free version of gpgtools for recent operating systems is an acceptable idea:

During the last weeks I managed to persuade more than half (of my non-freak!) friends to use gpg when writing mails with me.
But NONE of them will continue to do so, if their gpg plugin has to be bought or they would have to learn how to compile it themselves. As I said, these are all non-power-users that were partially even surprised, that email does not imply webmail.

I hope you are aware of the social responsibility that comes with running the official website for gpg on OS X.

Please do rethink, whether speeding up development is really worth scaring away people that would be willing to start using gpg!
(and thus as well gpg advocates promoting gpg)

In the hope that you do share the vision of secure communication for the masses,
yours sincerely,
a long lasting gpg enthusiast (not having a mac, for obviously good reasons).

  1. 1 Posted by PeterP on 09 Jan, 2015 12:19 PM

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    Good software can not be free, because people want to life from theier daily work... My decision: I want to pay for a good piece of software, especially for security software.

    Ask yourself: Would you produce any software every year for free? every year? And more and more people asking you (not friendly everytime..) "i want to have this, i want to have that", "why is support so bad", "hey make software for iOS/Android/whatever"... and nobody appreciate your work? You spend all your personal free time to develop a pice of software but half of the users are grumpy all the time? I think you dont want this!
    And so would your decision be the same: Why should I (!!) spend all my free time to develope and fix a product for free, if thousands of users use it for free?

    With a little bit of money, you can help all the developers to create a wonderful (and useful) piece of software. Buying an iPhone for more than 600 Dollars but want to play apps for free... This is not the right decision. Think about this

  2. 2 Posted by gpg enthusiast on 09 Jan, 2015 02:03 PM

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    Dear Peter,

    I don't want to offend, but I would like you to rethink your first statement as
    a) I assume you don't want to call the whole Linux ecosystem including gnupg's sourcecode bad software
    b) there are are actually a lot of people spending spare time maintaining free software (including me!). So I can answer your first question with a definite "yes". I did so and I am trying hard to do so in the future as well, and yes, everyone doing that experiences demotivating feedback from badly behaving users.

    Saying that, I do appreciate your decision to pay for good software.
    That does help free software development for sure.

    But maybe you could see my point, if you had only once tried to make all your offline-friends (who occasionally send you an email) use encryption.
    Please try that yourself, while seeking money for a binary copy of gpgtools, and report how you managed to achieve that. I would really like to learn how to do that, as it is already hard for me to get people into gpg even if I promise to set it up for them.

    If you offer a recipe, how to not scare away new users, I'm totally fine with selling binary versions. So if you have some good argument that convinces all my friends, that they shall pay for gpgtools, please tell me!

    But otherwise I would like you to rethink your decision of discouraging binary downloads provided by a third party.

    Finally I want to state, that I do agree on your statement, that the attitude of paying huge amounts for hardware but nothing for software is questionable.
    Nevertheless I do not see how this topic was brought up by my initial post and I would like to bring the discussion back to my initial points.

    Best regards!

  3. 3 Posted by PeterP on 10 Jan, 2015 09:14 PM

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    Of course, i can see your point of view! had the same discussion with my friends for canging from whatsapp to threema. Why buing another software? WA is for free (first year...) and nearly 95% of all my frieds use it. Threema costs about 1,99 Dollar once - most of my friends are not in good mood to change.. but hardware, development etc. isn't for free, so i pay for (my) security.

    Encryption for free is the best way! No discussions... it helps spreading.

    I also hope gpgtools would not cost more than 5 dollars (e.g.) Smalll price = lot of users = more security and a little bit of credits for the developers.
    Hope they sell it over Mac AppStore...
    And maybe you will get the binarys..

    Best regards!

  4. 4 Posted by Michael Miller on 11 Jan, 2015 08:24 PM

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    Both sides here have strong points. It's a chicken-and-egg situation, as you have to make the software friendly in order for people to adopt it, and people have to adopt it to make it worth developing.

    In the end I think I decide "encrypted communications is too important to be left for people to develop out of their own free time and free will".

    One of the worries geeks-at-large have about encryption software developers is the possibility of them being corrupted by an 'evil entity' or a government. If they can be paid (at least) reasonably for their time, I think that chance is diminished.

  5. 5 Posted by GHH on 19 Jan, 2015 05:43 PM

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    Why not just do a Kickstarter or Indiegogo, or get corporate support?

    Seems far better that shaking down average folks, or only those that can pay to have security will have it.

    PS: I'm a student living in a van, so I can't afford it.

  6. 6 Posted by Craig Lorentzen on 21 Jan, 2015 06:40 PM

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    While I also lament the proposal to charge for GPGMail, I wanted to ask about licensing plans. I am part of a large company which uses GPG to provide non-repudiation and confidentiality for business functions. My question is, will the GPGTools team plan on providing a volume licensing plan to help with larger groups who need to use GPG for daily work.

  7. 7 Posted by Alexander on 22 Jan, 2015 09:03 AM

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    I also would like to point out that providing a better way to donate to GPG (also fr example by means of crypto currency and/or a kickstarter project) would be much better.

    I will not be able to convince my parents, my friends or the greater public to pay for GPG in the future... :-(

  8. Steve closed this discussion on 28 May, 2015 05:03 PM.

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