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Thread: FREE or SMALL PRICE

  1. #1
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    Question FREE or SMALL PRICE

    Lets say, a developer wants to make money for his living from application development for Ubuntu.

    What would you choose in the case you would be the developer:

    To sell the applications for small prices or make them available for free and get paid via donations?

    Remember that he has to make a living out of it.

    Is it even possible? How about development of Open Source applications?

  2. #2
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    Re: FREE or SMALL PRICE

    You are not going to make a living out of donations. Either sell the app (but you would need a really neat idea to make a living out of that, as well), or get a job at a company that works in open source software.

    99% of open source developers either work at a company like RH or Canonical, or have a day job and code open source only in their free time.
    Last edited by Bachstelze; May 21st, 2012 at 05:35 PM.
    「明後日の夕方には帰ってるからね。」


  3. #3
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    Re: FREE or SMALL PRICE

    Thanks for the quick response

  4. #4
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    Re: FREE or SMALL PRICE

    How about the case of game development.

    A 2D Multiplayer, where the players can buy content like characters or items.

    It would be a Linux, Windows, Mac cross platform game.

    How about the living in this situation?

    Edit: Graphics like mixture of World of Goo, Patapon, TeeWorlds

    Interesting Question: Is the Ubuntu market huge enough to handle this without the help of Windows and Mac?
    Last edited by snowz; May 21st, 2012 at 06:03 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: FREE or SMALL PRICE

    A game wouldn't be any different from any other kind of app in that regard.
    「明後日の夕方には帰ってるからね。」


  6. #6
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    Re: FREE or SMALL PRICE

    Quote Originally Posted by snowz View Post
    How about the case of game development.

    A 2D Multiplayer, where the players can buy content like characters or items.

    It would be a Linux, Windows, Mac cross platform game.

    How about the living in this situation?

    Edit: Graphics like mixture of World of Goo, Patapon, TeeWorlds

    Interesting Question: Is the Ubuntu market huge enough to handle this without the help of Windows and Mac?
    I would imagine you are probably going to want to make it available on all platforms (or at least more than just ubuntu) because:
    1 - I don't think the ubuntu community are particularly used to buying stuff. There is plenty in the software centre that is free already.
    2 - According to this blog (http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/01/i...e-it-seems-so/) and this site (http://gs.statcounter.com/#os-ww-monthly-201010-201103) linux only has a small market share. Combine that with point 1 and your target market has become very small.

    Paul
    My current project: http://apps.facebook.com/beatthetexan - Creating an artificial poker player using neural networks and genetic algorithms.
    My blog: http://pm-gaming.blogspot.com

  7. #7
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    Re: FREE or SMALL PRICE

    Oki, thanks for the replies once again

  8. #8
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    Re: FREE or SMALL PRICE

    There are lots of models real Open Source developers use to make money.

    Many are either employees or owners of companies with a product that is sold. Many times it's a company which sells commercial software and then the owner chooses to Open Source a product. Think Netscape. It's actually pretty common if you consider libraries and smaller tools.

    Some are consultants who are paid to either write custom commercial software by the hour, or are paid to install and adapt their own or other Open Source product at some company's site.

    Some make the software free and then write a book or series of books to sell to finance their coding.

    I work for a company which sells commercial software, has published some of its libraries as Open Source, has actively developed in some projects and encourages its developers to participate in Open Source. Mostly our contributions have been in groovy/grails development, and we sometimes create a tool that makes our commercial endeavor easier and contribute that tool so others can do the same.

    Keep in mind that there are many Open Source license models, even though most people seem to think GPL for some reason. You need to choose the license of each package you release. You need to know how the license model works for any library you use when writing any software. It's not nearly as hard as it sounds.

    While you can't sell the software itself, you CAN sell your time and expertise in installing it somewhere, or modifying it for somebody's personal use. Just be sure you understand the licenses involved and whether you need to have a distinct line between the Open Source project and the commercial software.

    Re: gaming.

    Gaming is technically the same scenario, but keep in mind that gaming is much more challenging than nearly anything else you do on a laptop or desktop computer. It's also one of the most competitive markets there is. If you don't have a killer product and a lot of experience, I wouldn't plan on going there as your first endeavor.
    Help stamp out MBR partition tables. Use GPT instead!

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    Re: FREE or SMALL PRICE

    @1clue

    Awesome, thanks a lot!

  10. #10
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    Re: FREE or SMALL PRICE

    If you're interested in casual game development there's a much larger audience with smartphone users. I personally would like to see more high quality software for sale for Linux but I think it would be difficult to focus only on Linux and be able to make a living from it. I have no evidence to back that up, just a hunch.

    Something else to consider on the smartphone route is applications supported by advertisements. Users have shown they're willing to accept applications with advertisements so if you don't want to charge for it the advertisements can ad up to a lot. Whether or not that's enough to live on depends on how popular the software becomes.

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