How should the new version be distributed?

Some thoughts:

I am currently looking at “community” systems such as “” or

Those systems

  • accept donations for existing products
  • have some kind of membership to support new developments.
  • distribute enhancements such as new blocks, improved documentation in correct english.

The multiple levels possible allow me to have f.i.
“supporters , 1 time donors” → they will get access to all updates
“members” which can discuss the future of the code.
“developers” which enhance the code and documentation and share in the income

Currently there are a lot of users of the 2012_lts version who want to use the dashboard, expect answers to all kind of questions but are not willing to help financially or with “improved” or new code. They can continue to use the 2012_lts version and errors / real problems can be posted and solved as is done now.

The “free-to-use” users can choose to download the new version.
Those who never used the dashboard should be able to download the new version also.
But they can not download the updates and enhancements.
Only test for x months the slimmed down version with install support only.

  • the old way → free downloads and free support
  • the old way but stress it is donation-ware
  • Allow updates after a one time donation in a range 10 → 30 euro
  • Use a a payment platform to allow the use after x months testing
0 voters

Thanks for reading and I welcome your comments,

I agree that it would be good to get some reward for the work you put in, but I think this question also depends on your own committment to providing ‘paid for’ software in the longer term.

That is true of most open source software…a lot of people want it at zero cost but then don’t want to pay when things break that they can’t fix themselves. If they’ve paid a fee, whether a one-off donation or an ongoing payment, then some people will expect (demand) a fix to even the most trivial of problems. You know the kind of people…“I paid 10 Euros for this software 5 years ago and I posted a bug report 10 minutes ago that’s not been fixed…why am I paying for software that doesn’t get fixed?” OK, so I exaggerate a little, but you get the idea.

There are probably many options, but another one that I thought might be useful would be to have a free published stable version that is generally considered to be fairly bug free. This version will have no fixes unless provided by the user community. Then have an annual fee for a version that gets bug fixes and new features. If you decide that you don’t want to develop/support the scripts any further then you can just stop a year after the last payment and turn the end version of the ‘developed’ version into the final release which is free for anyone, but again no bug fixes, etc unless community provided.

If I can help with your project in any way, please ask. I have some experience of paid subscription platforms from previous projects (and one that I’m currently using to control access to some scripts where there’s no fee involved). If you’d also like to minmise your costs I can provide a download service for you…I’ve got a lot of unused disk space and bandwidth on my servers!

People will pay 10€ for a double venti pumpkin spice signature iced americano latte mocha but they want free software and support! I think 10-30€ would be a bargain for the software and support you provide. I paid $70 for WD in 2005 and have gotten more than my money’s worth of use and support from Brian.

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As a relatively new user, I would like to support development by make a donation using

There currently is no “paid for” software, it is donation ware with zero donations in the last two months.

That could be a solution, at least for me. No cash drain I can not afford to have.
No new laptop to buy for when I am not at home. No more hosting invoices a.s.o.

I need a one or two blocked posts to replace the text on
Then I redirect directly to that post.
A few files should be attached to that post so the new users can download the dashboard and supporting files.

The demo site could be my own weather-website, no problem with that.

I see very nice enhanced dashboard sites, so there will be volunteers to help other (new) users.

Will consider this a viable solution, but for now I wait a few days to see what the poll suggest.


Like Wim, I’ve been making scripts/templates and distribute them on my site (and many on GitHub) as a part of my programming and weather hobbies. I get the occasional donation which helps defray the ongoing hosting costs, but it doesn’t pay for it all, and I never expected it to be break-even. Like Chris, I continue to host/admin a large forum for weather enthusiasts ( and those costs are partially supported by occasional donations. Again, I don’t expect it to be break-even – it’s my donation to the wider weather enthusiast and weather website operator community.

Also, like Wim, I sometimes have to deal with excessively needy support requests, but that’s just part of this freeware/sometimes-donation-ware milieu. Thankfully, there are many accomplished script users who aid in answering common questions so I can focus on tackling the really complex questions.

I think Wim should operate his software distribution in what ever way makes it possible for him to feel happy about distributing and supporting his software. Just my thoughts after 20 years of freeware distribution.

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What about a model where you get support for x years, then to get new versions etc. its a payment of some type which is good for another x years?


Based on the votes and the interesting discussions in this topic and a few (offending) e-mails I got, I decided to put the current pwsWD scripts in free-ware, but with some restrictions for other persons code .

  1. Remove the reference to new version demos sites from all 2012_lts documents
    → done
  2. Remove all (references to) donation links from PWS_Dashboard websites and documents
    → done, need to check further
  3. Move the current (september) 2012_lts version zip (5.5 MB) to a topic on this forum so new users can download it from there
    → to do
  4. Remove the update procedure for pre-september 2012_lts users , one always do a new install
    → to do
  5. Put the current pwsWD scripts in free-ware, but with some restrictions for other persons code (graphs a.o.)
    That should minimise my outside costs to 0.
    Will be all done before November 1.

I saved at least 750 links to 2012_lts user-sites I visited during the past years . Only 54 of them found the code and support worth a donation.
I think that ad-hoc support using this nice forum is proficient for most of the 750+ users.

The new pwsdash release.
I prefer to develop and enhance for 40->60 users and adept the code to what that group of users really want.
This way, probably for the next 5 years or so, I can continue my hobby to develop and enhance the code based on real user wishes

Communication between pwsdash users can be in a separate discourse topic, not visible to other forum members.

December 1 the new release will be available to all “Thank you” users and my friendly co-developers.
After a certain period new users will be accepted when referred to and co-ssisted by other users.


topic closed

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