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Hornit

Freeware community in crisis... some ideas

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I dunno if this will help any, just some ideas I had... I'm not a freeware author, but do very much appreciate the work of Mike, Anniette, POSKY, and everybody else who spends even 1 second tinkering with FS and releasing to the flightsim community for free. I've made a few modifications to panels I've downloaded in my spare time, but only for my own use, as they weren't very large changes. So I at least understand the scope of work involved with making more than a cosmetic change that these very generous folks do on very regular bases.1. If someone decides to make a suggestion about an improvement, or a constructive critique, that's well and good, as long as they're prepared to implement the suggestion they just made themselves. Nobody gets a free lunch when voicing their opinion to a freeware author. Period.2. If someone notices a flaw or a problem with a freeware release, definitely bring it to the attention of the author via e-mail. Expect absolutely nothing in return, because so far, you have contributed nothing. Unless you're prepared to make the fix yourself, don't even think about sending a second e-mail, or post in the forums here. If you have a proposed fix which consists of new artwork, code, configuration change, etc., then by all means bring that to the attention of the author as well. The point here is that your expectation of the author should not exceed what you bring to the table. 3. If someone decides to make a criticism, negative comment, or outright harrasses an author about a release, then perhaps those messages need to see the light of day in their own forum. Keep them anonymous, we don't need to be drawing any legal problems from these people. But clearly there is a problem here, and it needs an outlet. A good start, IMO, would be to post these messages somewhere that all can see, and also allow them to be associated with the freeware author they were directed towards.What other ideas / changes to the above do you fine folks have for addressing this very important issue?:-zhelp

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Nice ideas. Too bad people demand, yes demand perfection, from people like Mike, Anniette, Heather and many others. Simple solution is just say thanks and that's it. If someone has a problem, let them fix it or even better, design it themselves. Those people who still are not satisfied with it, then ultimately, they really should have not place in this community. Our community, does not need them, let them go somewhere else and gripe. Charles

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80% of problems that occur can be fixed by reading the documents. I myself wrote to someone this week and I felt like an idiot afterwards too! Plain old black and white! Most well documented items have it all explained in them, the what, where and whys of the particular item(s). There can always be problems. I have left out textures before, the occasional map here and there, but that is what a patch is for. I'm human and so are most people in here. We WILL make mistakes. So what, a patch. That's cool with me to correct something. I, as a designer, will always listen to any comments. I may not react, but will read and think over them all. The trouble that happens is being there are so many set-ups running out there and so many configurations that have been changed, chances are what you make, ie. aircraft, scenery, etc. will not work 100% of the time. If you can get it to work the majority of the time, you have succeeded. Take scenery. With the multitudes of mesh around and elevations varying in each one, how do you expect scenery to work 100% of the time? It can't and it won't. Settle for the hit and miss. That is all you can do, short of designing the same scenery to match each mesh available. Guess what I'm not going to do? LOL! Same with aircraft. Not all work well in all systems. Aircraft designers always see that. Look at poor Heather. She worked hard on that Duck to find that Forcefeedback has a problem with the airfile. Well, I think as of right now, the folks that DON'T have FFB still outnumber the ones who do, though that gap is getting smaller daily. I think (and this is my opinion) as the numbers of FFB users increases, the aircraft folks will have to invest in one to cover the field. There are only 2 choices there. Either FFB or not. Scenery has way more variables. I am greatful every day for all the free goodies that come out. Being I fly bush 98% of the time, the offerings are small compared to the commercial airliner and sceneries that aren't bush related. BUT that doesn't mean if I see something that looks cool, I don't get it. What it boils down to is simple. Be it FREEWARE, PAYWARE or SHAREWARE, thank the folks for their efforts. BUT especially thank the FREEWARE folks. Their ONLY payment is a thank you. They receive the same amount of complaints as payware, but do it for fun, not for profit. That statement was NOT intended to start a war here. It is a simple fact. There is no REAL crisis in FREEWARE. The old saying "give an inch, they'll take a mile" comes to mind. We all have become spoiled. This has turned into a "give-me" world. This is the only hobby I know where things are free. I wish plastic modeling was! Less demands and good old fashioned courtesy will work here as this is the last frontier for FREE that I know of. I'm not saying for you to kiss the designers assesments. Just show the same courtesy you would show to any friend or family member. We are afterall, 1 big family and 1 big community.Don

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Being a freeware designer of panels and several articles on home-build controllers, I appreciate the initiative of this thread.But I don't understand the title "Freeware community in crisis...".What crisis: because a number of freeware designers have stopped or have gone "professional" lately ?The ones that have stopped did it for various reasons, not just because they got fed up with complaining people. But overall, I've never seen so many excellent freeware addon's (being utilities, aircraft, or whatever) as in the past year. Freeware designers come and go, that's a fact of "sim"life. And sometimes that's a big pity, sometimes not.But I don't see the crisis here.I also don't agree that you cannot be critical on freeware work if you are not able or willing to make it yourself. I think a freeware designer is rather naive if he/she expects only compliments, and not remarks. And if he/she doesn't want whatever comment: say so when you upload the stuff. Just state that it is like it is, and that you're not open for modification suggestions. That your right as well !!BUT: I do think the main rule for freeware users should be: give compliments or constructive critisism or make suggestions for improvement, but NEVER EXPECT ANYTHING (not even an answer to your question or remark !) That's why it is freeware. It's the designers decision. And if you don't like that, then simply don't use it and shut up.One example of what I mean (and PLEASE don't elaborate on the example): there's been a lot of hectic and emotional discussion on whether the new POSKY GMAX planes where realistically modelled or not (the "underpowered" issue). Their initial answer was (summerised): OK, we hear your arguments, but we don't agree. We make them primairily for ourselves, but you may enjoy them as well. And we like it as it is. PERIOD. And that should have been the end of the discussion (which it wasn't :-) ).And have the simple, human courtesy of contacting them privately first (Email), and NEVER attack them in a public forum like this one if you don't get an answer or if you don't like the answer you get.Just my opinion.Rob

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>And have the simple, human courtesy of contacting them >privately first (Email), and NEVER attack them in a public >forum like this one if you don't get an answer or if you >don't like the answer you get. Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm trying to say. I couldn't think of a better subject to get peoples' attention, so I went with "crisis". It just seems that a lot of people are deciding to throw in the towel all at once. That looks to me as if a problem had been brewing for a while, and a breaking point has been reached. For whatever reasons, people are publicly stating that they are no longer interested in developing for the freeware community, be it for the short-term or long-term. I wouldn't really expect to see any announcements of the sort I've seen here if there wasn't something driving these people to take a break.--Guy Elden Jr.

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I have to agre with all of these remarks. Demanding or criticizing others work is wrong. Making a suggestion or asking for a change here and there is nothing more than that. I think too many folks are reading WAY too much into some of these comments and requests. Too many are reading things in between the lines that just aren't there. Maybe some of that needs to stop too. Everyone doesn't need to second guess every little comment or thought about this or that add on. I think I have been clear on several of my own comments and almost always precede them with an e-mail thanking the author and asking that way first. Just because someone has a suggestion about this or that detail does not mean they are critical of anothers work. usually its an idea that maybe the author didnt think about or overlooked. I know of many occasions when I released something and some kind soul pointed out something I forgot! I think this is fine, and it gets us better freeware overall. Personally I'm diving into gmax even harder than before, but its daunting. I can do repaints and scenery, but the aircraft stuff is plain hard. I'll make a pledge to no longer ask for things unless I just can't do it myself after a good effort. Also I don't think there is anything wrong with freeware in this hobby, its just cyclical in nature for all the reasons we are reading about now. The flow will continue and I will be thankful for everything i get!Hornit

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****NOTE,this should have followed first post in thread! sorry****While these are wonderful thoughts I can't agree. Anyone who puts out freeware should be able to reply or not as they see fit to comments and suggestions. If thier work is prolific, then this is to be expected. I agree about ugly comments or demands though. The opposite is true of those who do the commenting/suggesting. If the answer is no, then you drop it end of discussion. However, if done in a polite and professsional fashion the designer is free to say no to any and all requests as he/he sees fit, its very simple. Most of us are adult enough to understand this and have no problems with it. See my post below, personally Im going to give gmax another shot, much more seriuosly, this time, just don't know If I have the time. I am in awe of folks who can produce this stuff. I KNOW how much work it is :)Hornit

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An interesting thread that you've started, guyjr, especially in light of recent events.I think,let me rephrase...in my OPINION I think that CharlesH, and the incredible post by Donmo hit it right on the head. I have nothing to add to either of those.rcbarend:"But I don't understand the title "Freeware community in crisis...".What crisis: because a number of freeware designers have stopped or have gone "professional" lately ?"Actually, yes, that IS the problem. Since a number of excellent freeware designers have stopped doing what they do, temporarily or not, due to an overwhelming onslaught of selfish people, this affects all of us. Rather than giving them the freedom to enjoy what they are doing, not only for themselves, but for the rest of us, some individuals still want to go the "gimme,gimme" route. The examples have been given in another thread so I won't repeat them here."The ones that have stopped did it for various reasons, not just because they got fed up with complaining people."I'm not being sarcastic, but what other reasons have you seen? What I mean by that is that how many others stopped in disgust, not just because they wanted, or needed to?"I think a freeware designer is rather naive if he/she expects only compliments, and not remarks. And if he/she doesn't want whatever comment: say so when you upload the stuff. Just state that it is like it is, and that you're not open for modification suggestions. That your right as well !!"I really don't think that such a statement would work. What would stop the whiners from whining even if such a statement was made? Further, I really don't think that any designer is naive, or expects to receive only compliments. They are well aware, after the very first release, that they will receive some criticism."BUT: I do think the main rule for freeware users should be: give compliments or constructive critisism or make suggestions for improvement, but NEVER EXPECT ANYTHING (not even an answer to your question or remark !) That's why it is freeware. It's the designers decision. And if you don't like that, then simply don't use it and shut up."I couldn't agree more."And have the simple, human courtesy of contacting them privately first (Email), and NEVER attack them in a public forum like this one if you don't get an answer or if you don't like the answer you get."ARGH! OK, I CAN agree more.

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