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NeoOffice :: View topic - scrreenshots of neo2
scrreenshots of neo2
 
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OPENSTEP
The One
The One


Joined: May 25, 2003
Posts: 4752
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alt-print screen? Twisted Evil

ed
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jjmckenzie51
The Anomaly


Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 1055
Location: Southeastern Arizona

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OPENSTEP wrote:
alt-print screen? Twisted Evil


Very funny, Ed. That will work with my Thinkpad, but not with my PB.

James
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val1984
Oracle


Joined: May 30, 2005
Posts: 229
Location: France

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cmd-shift-3 to capture the entire screen
Cmd-shift-4 to capture the area you select with the crosshair cursor
Cmd-shift-4 then press the spacebar to capture only the window behind the cursor

Add ctrl to one of these keystrokes to capture to the clipboard instead of a file
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ben
Agent


Joined: Apr 01, 2004
Posts: 14
Location: Kingston, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 3:17 am    Post subject: NeoOffice Funding Reply with quote

I've been using NeoOffice/J pretty much since it was announced. I use it at work, I use it at home, I recommend it to others. I think that Patrick and company are providing an amazing service to the Mac and Open Source communities as well as Apple. It's very disappointing to me that no well-off company or individual will step up and pay for his ongoing development. Having said this, as a lowly SysAdmin, I have a few possible funding suggestions. Not pie-in-the-sky suggestions, things that other OSS projects have done that I have had my place of work actually pay for.


Subscription

TerraSoft, Mandrake and Mepis have all tried releasing the current version of their software to paid subscribers before releasing to the general public. NeoOffice could try something like this. It would allow the product to remain OSS, but might "encourage" eager end-users to pay to play if they want to use the latest and greatest. Yes, NeoOffice would continue to ship with the source, and yes someone could redistribute it but based on what I have seen in the past, it seems as though it doesn't often happen this way. This was something that Mepis did. I was able to subscribe at work because we were using Mepis in a few spots. All that the subscription gave you was access to a private FTP site a little sooner than the releases hit the mirrors. Heck, you could do this with the betas and then just release the finals on the public servers. Maybe don't charge a lot, perhaps have different pricing schemes that would allow people to pick how much they paid.

I would like to volunteer to investigate and help administer some of this if there is interest.


Offering a supported “product”

Another option would be to offer a supported version for purchase, similar to Sun's StarOffice. I work at a university. We often have funding available as long as we can get an invoice and a tangible product for the exchange of money. For instance, I had no problem justifying spending $1200 on a supported NX Server for our main undergrad Sun machine. Yes, I did this because it was a viable way to let students access the machine from home, but part of my motivation was to help support NoMachine's ongoing development of the GPL'd version of the NX server and core technologies.

Again, we buy Red Hat's RHEL for $50 a copy from RH. We could use Fedora, we could use CentOS. We don't. Yes, $50 isn't much, but it's better than $0 and it's an option for us because Red Hat have a way to bill us for a product.

Similarly, we have a few Macs in the undergrad labs. I could likely justify buying NeoOffice for the machines as long as it was priced lower than MS Office (which only costs about $100CDN/machine through a University license) I could certainly justify the purchase for my office Mac. Unfortunately, there is no option to purchase a “Support Enhanced” NeoOffice or some such. I've tried justifying direct donations to OSS projects at work in the past, and we can't do it. As a result, I have downloaded and used NeoOffice at work, and have donated a bit (only $50) personally for the copy that I use at home.

I wouldn't think that this option would be very hard to set up. Patrick already has a link to the donations set up. If you could just put an option in for a fixed price for a product and call it a supported version, I'm sure that I, for one, could justifying buying a few copies at work.

I hope that these suggestions encourage further discussion on the topic. I do my best to promote and use OSS solutions, of which NeoOffice is a prime example. I certainly hope that Patrick can find a workable business model. It would be a sad day indeed if he were to cease or slow development.
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sardisson
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Joined: Feb 01, 2004
Posts: 4588

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OPENSTEP wrote:
sardisson wrote:
Ed posted one a while back, but he Photoshopped in the "About this Mac" from an Intel mini, so it went away.


It wasn't photoshopped in.

Forgot to move the png over when I switched servers.

Well, we never could get a straight answer from you guys in that thread Wink

Fascinating screenshots coming out of NeoOffice.org HQ lately, for sure.

Smokey

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pluby
The Architect
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11836
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 9:01 am    Post subject: Re: NeoOffice Funding Reply with quote

ben wrote:
Subscription
....
I would like to volunteer to investigate and help administer some of this if there is interest.


This sounds very interesting. I already accept subscription donations via PayPal and I can use PayPal to generate e-mail after a subscription payment is received. What I would need help with is figuring out how to keep access to such an "early access" server loosely restricted so that the URL doesn't start showing up on version tracker or something.

ben wrote:
Offering a supported “product”


I'm not sure about this one. It is a good idea. However, considering that most companies handle the first support contact using non-developers, this would mean that I'd have to subcontract support to others or squeeze support requests into my existing development time. Also, if I used the latter, I'd have to only offer e-mail support with only a several day turnaround requirement as the last thing I want to do is be chained to my desk 24x7x365 because someone might have a problem. Customer support jobs generally suck no matter how you cut it and I already did my stint 10 years ago staffing a 24x7x365 support coverage when I worked at Sun.

Given the above, I'm not sure if there is a different kind of support that can be offered that appeals to the sys admin types like providing third line support for an organization. Providing front line support for users is really the last thing that I want to do with my life but supporting sys admins and technical people (i.e. one technical contact per organization) is not such a bad deal.

Patrick
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pluby
The Architect
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 9:39 am    Post subject: Re: NeoOffice Funding Reply with quote

pluby wrote:
ben wrote:
Subscription
....
I would like to volunteer to investigate and help administer some of this if there is interest.


This sounds very interesting. I already accept subscription donations via PayPal and I can use PayPal to generate e-mail after a subscription payment is received. What I would need help with is figuring out how to keep access to such an "early access" server loosely restricted so that the URL doesn't start showing up on version tracker or something.


After thinking about this for a few minutes, I realized that I can set this up with less than 2 days of work. If I use the PayPal subscription number as a key, I can tweak my old perl CGI script to check the ID and only stream the file through the CGI script (the binary won't be sitting in a publicly accessible location) if the subscription number is on file.

So I'm thinking of two tiers of pricing for such an "early access" service:

1. $10/month subscription gets binary access one week earlier than the general public

2. $25/month subscription gets binary access two weeks earlier than the general public.

3. $50/month subscription gets binary access four weeks earlier than the general public.

Of course, anyone can download and compile their own, but since this requires a lot of time and sometimes frustration, I don't think this will be much of a problem. Also, I will have to add a condition to the NeoOffice trademark usage policy that says you are not allowed to use the NeoOffice trademark for early access releases.

I really like this idea as it keeps NeoOffice freely available to the world but it allows me to reward those that support NeoOffice. I expect that some people may think this is unfair or unidealistic, but NeoOffice is not a cheap enterprise to run and the costs somehow need to be paid. After all, under this approach, the worst that you have to do is wait an extra week or two to get the free version which makes this one of the simplest and fairest ways that I have seen so far that seems to work.

Thoughts?

Patrick
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lorienken
Blue Pill


Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: NeoOffice Funding Reply with quote

pluby wrote:


1. $10/month subscription gets binary access one week earlier than the general public

2. $25/month subscription gets binary access two weeks earlier than the general public.

3. $50/month subscription gets binary access four weeks earlier than the general public.

Patrick


At $50/month that's $600/year. Isn't this about twice what you'll have to pay for a full version of MS Office, every year? You will have to love NeoOffice very much, paying that much for a software that essentially duplicates MS Office. I would think you'll get more people to bite if the cost was lower...

My 2 cents.
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pluby
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:02 am    Post subject: Re: NeoOffice Funding Reply with quote

lorienken wrote:
At $50/month that's $600/year. Isn't this about twice what you'll have to pay for a full version of MS Office, every year? You will have to love NeoOffice very much, paying that much for a software that essentially duplicates MS Office. I would think you'll get more people to bite if the cost was lower...


I don't really expect very many people to go for the $50/month option but I wanted to have something there so that the $25/option does not seem so "high-end". Plus, I have found that the majority of NeoOffice subscribers cancel their subscription between 3 and 6 months which makes me guess that we are going to see a lot of subscriptions created (most will probably be the $10 option) and then most will be cancelled after a few months so $600/year will likely never be paid by anyone.

Patrick
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sardisson
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume we're only talking full milestone releases here (alpha, beta, RC, final), not patches, right?

There's another potential upside to this idea: it gets slightly more widespread testing in advance of the general public release, so the 1.1 "prefs don't work" glitch never makes it into the wild again.

Or are we talking "preview releases" of the full milestones (rather than the actual milestone builds themselves)? E.g., someone with a $50/mo subscription would get "NeoOffice 2 Alpha 1 Preview" right now, warts and all? (More like the traditional "private beta" concept, except "private pre-Alpha, private pre-Beta, etc., with extra warts.)

I'm slightly worried, though, about "delaying" the public release of a finished milestone by an entire month--which is a long time in Neo-world, 1/3 of a milestone's lifetime--if that's what this plan will do, in order to let these potential monthly subscribers have advance access to the milestone for a month...if only 2 people sign up, and they don't happen to hit any bugs, what happens for the month (or the 2 weeks before the 2-week early access folks get the binary)? Does it buy Patrick time to look more deeply at older bugs or implement new features? Does triage just sit and twiddle their thumbs until they get access? Or?

If it's the other (private pre-Alpha, etc.), are enough people going to sign up for early access to potentially buggy code (as a pre-Alpha; for anything else, it's more like "here's a new full build of [alpha/beta/rc] plus the latest patch"--which they can get for free, essentially, if patches are not subscription-embargoed) to make it worthwhile?

Also, if an institution pays for early access, does $10/$25/$50 cover all their seats, i.e., they can freely redistribute that build within their organization?

I'm not necessarily opposed to this idea--heaven knows anything that gets Patrick more income to work on Neo is critical to the survival of the project, as anyone who was around in the era when Patrick would "vanish" for a month to earn enough to work on Neo for another month can tell you--but there are some things that aren't quite clear to me yet, some potential bumps in the road and other factors that may also affect the health of the project, etc., that maybe need to be thought about a bit before Patrick invests 2 days of time getting it all working. Smile

Smokey
...hoping not to sound too much like rain on the Neo-finances-parade

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"[...] whether the duck drinks hot chocolate or coffee is irrelevant." -- ovvldc and sardisson in the NeoWiki
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pluby
The Architect
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sardisson wrote:
I assume we're only talking full milestone releases here (alpha, beta, RC, final), not patches, right?


Yes. Delaying patches would not be good for me or anybody else.

sardisson wrote:
Or are we talking "preview releases" of the full milestones (rather than the actual milestone builds themselves)? E.g., someone with a $50/mo subscription would get "NeoOffice 2 Alpha 1 Preview" right now, warts and all? (More like the traditional "private beta" concept, except "private pre-Alpha, private pre-Beta, etc., with extra warts.)

I'm slightly worried, though, about "delaying" the public release of a finished milestone by an entire month--which is a long time in Neo-world, 1/3 of a milestone's lifetime--if that's what this plan will do, in order to let these potential monthly subscribers have advance access to the milestone for a month...if only 2 people sign up, and they don't happen to hit any bugs, what happens for the month (or the 2 weeks before the 2-week early access folks get the binary)? Does it buy Patrick time to look more deeply at older bugs or implement new features? Does triage just sit and twiddle their thumbs until they get access? Or?


Full milestones only. Respinning and uploading a build is very time consuming so I want to use the same binary for all phases of release. After all, it takes at least a week to get a binary out to all of the mirrors and the early access copy would have to hosted on my server only so the number of early access users is, by definition, going to be limited. That is one reason that I set the price fairly high.

As for the poor people who are delayed, I'm not terribly worried about them. First, there seems to be this constant refrain that "NeoOffice needs more users". Sorry, but that is wrong. We have 1.8 million downloads per year and I cannot even make half of what I made as a software engineer. Past trends show that more users results in more support work and hosting costs and no more (and sometimes less) donations. In other words, what NeoOffice needs is more donating users.

I've been doing NeoOffice for over three years now and, in general, what I have found is people want free stuff. As the download habits of our users demonstrate, only a very small percentage of people have the long-term vision to realize that just because it is free doesn't mean that it doesn't cost anything. Now, if this were charity work (and providing free software to Mac users is not charity work as if you can afford a Mac, you probably have your basic food, clothing, and shelter needs taken care of), I would be more willing to put up with starvation wages. However, by providing a free office suite for Mac, I am saving a lot of people a lot of money and very little of that savings is being passed on to me.

If most users do not want to share their savings, I am OK with that. However, don't expect me to be concerned about their happiness or needs as they obviously aren't concerned about mine.

sardisson wrote:
Also, if an institution pays for early access, does $10/$25/$50 cover all their seats, i.e., they can freely redistribute that build within their organization?


Good question. Initially, I would say distribution to all employees (key term there) within an organization is OK for two reasons: 1) it is not cheap or easy for an organization to distribute and support new releases to more than a dozen machines so potential abuse should be low and 2) it is difficult for me to enforce single installation.

sardisson wrote:
I'm not necessarily opposed to this idea--heaven knows anything that gets Patrick more income to work on Neo is critical to the survival of the project, as anyone who was around in the era when Patrick would "vanish" for a month to earn enough to work on Neo for another month can tell you--but there are some things that aren't quite clear to me yet, some potential bumps in the road and other factors that may also affect the health of the project, etc., that maybe need to be thought about a bit before Patrick invests 2 days of time getting it all working. Smile


What many of you assume is that I will always do NeoOffice no matter what "for the good of the users". Sorry guys, but I am no saint. I always build in the option for leaving NeoOffice on autopilot and getting a job should I decide I'm sick of it or I am going broke.

That is how we got on this conversation: I was reluctant to get everyone all excited about Neo 2.0 Alpha if I am not sure that there will be enough money coming in to allow me to support it. This is the primary reason why Mactel releases of Neo 2.0 will lag behind the PowerPC releases. From my standpoint, my value as a consultant or potential employee will be based on my last release. Hence, it is far better for me to leave NeoOffice with a stable but without the latest features (i.e. NeoOffice 1.2.2) than to leave it with a buggy release with the latest features (i.e. NeoOffice 2.0 Alpha). Most likely, many users that visit these fora would say they want the opposite, but what is good for me is not always good for users.

Patrick
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pluby
The Architect
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

doctype wrote:
Just for clarification: Does this proposed subscription-model mean, that participating in Alpha- and Beta-Testing means that I have to subscribe?


No. The proposal is to allow users that donate a preset amount to get the latest binary (whether it is an Alpha, Beta, or final) slightly earlier than everybody else.

Also, after thinking about it further (and looking more closely at PayPal's backend tools), I am modifying my proposal so that the early access to binaries only requires a one-time donation instead of a subscription. That way, the choice to download the latest binary right now or wait a week or two when it becomes free is a very simple one.

Patrick[/img]
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doctype
Oracle


Joined: Dec 08, 2005
Posts: 291
Location: Berlin, Germany

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pluby wrote:
doctype wrote:
Just for clarification: Does this proposed subscription-model mean, that participating in Alpha- and Beta-Testing means that I have to subscribe?


No. The proposal is to allow users that donate a preset amount to get the latest binary (whether it is an Alpha, Beta, or final) slightly earlier than everybody else.


OK, thank you.

pluby wrote:
Also, after thinking about it further (and looking more closely at PayPal's backend tools), I am modifying my proposal so that the early access to binaries only requires a one-time donation instead of a subscription.


I would think this could even be more successful. Something along the line "Donate 50$: Help this project and get early access to new binaries" or so sounds quite reasonable to me.

Martin
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pluby
The Architect
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

doctype wrote:
I would think this could even be more successful. Something along the line "Donate 50$: Help this project and get early access to new binaries" or so sounds quite reasonable to me.


And it is easier to administer. The way I see it working is that at the top of NeoOffice download page would a statement like "NeoOffice 2.0 Alpha" will be available for free download in on MM/DD/YYYY. For those that don't want to wait, you can download the binary now by making a donation for $X by clicking the following button."

Of course, the links to the last freely available release will still be on the download page and, most importantly, the amount of the donation will go down as each week passes towards the release date.

Patrick
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OPENSTEP
The One
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to shortchange the inevitable response...

If we do something like that, are we ripping people off?

No.

Anyone is always free to download the latest code from CVS and compile their own binary.

What we'd be doing is providing a "service" whereby the source code is precompiled and in a nice dimage installer for you. That should be all kosher w/GPL and open source, no?

ed
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