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Payment Reminder Dialog

By DanRabbit
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Premise: We want 3rd party devs to get paid for their apps. Traditional open source users get pissed off about paying up front for things. We need a way to provide a payment "time bomb". A kind of reminder to pay. It needs to be easy (one click), in app, secure, etc.

We should create a standard Payment Reminder Dialog that does the following:
* Provides a standard message and layout so that users become familiar with the dialog and trust it's origin
* Ties into elementary accounts, specifically for payment so that users don't have to enter payment details into a dialog from an app they've never heard of until a bit ago.
* Features a simple method to choose a payment amount from "Never show me this dialog ever again" to whatever you want to pay.
* Knows if a user did already pay for this version on any of their devices and doesn't bug them again (once again, elementary account).
* Only reminds someone to pay if they actually use the app fairly frequently. Not just number of times (you opened it twice!) or length of time (it's been a month!) but actually, "Hey you seem to use this app at least once a week".
* Knows the difference between a major update and small release and reminds users to keep paying when a major release comes out to ensure more major releases are made.
* Can be globally disabled

If you're about to tell me how devoid I am of morals and how wrong and ungrateful and arrogant I am for suggesting that we help 3rd party developers eat, just please stop and go away.

Also, as explained many time, "donation" carries certain legal connotations (like tax exemption). Since we are not a legal non-profit entity and it would be needlessly complex to verify non-profit status of every third party developer (which is basically 0 of them) it would be misleading (read: lying) and could potentially get us in legal trouble to use the word "donation". The correct term is "payment". I don't care if this word offends you, it's not honest to use any other word.
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anonymous's avatar
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opensas's avatar
I love the idea, anyway, to prevent any critics, I would add a system-wide setting to control it, giving the possibility to remove it all-together for every app

I think another way to help an open source project is talking about it, perhaps add an option to tweet/share on facebook/email, etc, would also be a great idea...
ScionicSpectre's avatar
Not a bad idea. The implementation you suggest kind of removes the 'nag' factor of it all, especially since it's so easy to 'get rid of'.

I've been thinking about something like this, too, since I would like to be supported for creating open source applications without necessarily bothering my users. If there's a less annoying way of reminding users that monetary contributions are appreciated, I'd like to do that.

I hate the idea of needing to run ads in your apps to get around the concept of monetarily 'free' distribution. I'd hate to see that ideology creep from mobile into our daily use on the desktop.

Still, I think people genuinely appreciate the work developers do, and if we were all given the chance to pay just a little to help, it could make a big impact.
yusf's avatar
How about hooking a donation system up to Zeitgeist in order to be able to suggest to the user certain amount based on usage?
Mystin01's avatar
As a developer, I love that idea. And I predict a really, really great future for elementaryOS, if you include this opportunity into it, in system-depths (I mean the developer does not need to write him/herself a code for that, it's just enough to use the OS's built-in opportunities).

You found a healty, golden middle way between commerical, and free products, and I really love this idea. I wanna know more about it, however, I will wait with my questions 'till its official announcement. But until then, I just want to ensure you: I am with you, and keep up good work! ;) In the end, every user will realize that its good for them as well (more, and more quality apps for example).

I just... love this idea, and as I type, I just imagine how many possibilities it opens... just... awesome. Keep it up! ;)
jacobp100's avatar
You had an idea to say what compares to the price, like a coffee if it's $3 or so. I think it's a brilliant idea.

Could these be done as a notification?
eldelacajita's avatar
Love the concept!
ArkBlitz's avatar
And what if you downright place a fixed minimum price for each application? If there's no payment, then the user can just go and compile the OS on its own!
dahenson's avatar
I know I'm late to the party, but I love this idea.

I really hope this becomes a safe, secure, and easy way for developers to ask for money for their troubles.  Will the GUI side of this be a part of granite, or will it be a completely separate library?  It seems like an easy widget to create.  The hard part will likely be the usage analysis and "cloud" aspect.

One thing that I would be concerned with is having devious programmers recreate this interface to abuse the system.  There will have to be a team in place to validate that the code is not bypassing your servers, or overriding the "never show this again" setting, etc.  That implies that there will need to be some kind of central repository for trusted apps, and a submission process.

Yeesh... this is getting pretty complicated, isn't it?  I have faith that the elementary team can pull it off, though.
CassidyJames's avatar
That's one of the advantages of using an elementary Account; it's much like how PayPal or Google's Play Store payments work now: you choose the amount, then it confirms via a private/secure page. If someone spoofed it, they wouldn't have your elementary login details, so they couldn't get access to your payment info.
Bohemenian's avatar
This is a fantastic idea! Considering an integration of Flattr buttons in these boxes could be a good idea as well.
jmcknight's avatar
As someone that's a software developer myself, believe me -- it's nice getting paid for your work. Anyone who says otherwise is insane. What people are missing here is that most people who develop for and advocate Open Source would be happy to tell you that the money is secondary. Which is why a lot of people get paid via a sponsorship of sorts from a company that oversees their work. If what the Elementary developers are churning out is really this top notch and innovative, why not try that route along with the payment (ie. not a donation)?

In the general sense I think that people do need to be paid for their work but as a long term (old timer) supporter of Open Source, it's a fair assumption to assume that unless people have major aspirations to become another Canonical or RedHat, people see it as having less value because who's ultimately developing it pales in comparison to a real innovative giant.
elgregorPL's avatar
Great! A lot better that prompting for money before downloading! Plus encourages growth of app ecosystem. (But IMHO you should keep payment on-site too, as long as there is visible free download button.)
stepsteps's avatar
It needs some kind of bonus when paid more than average (you know humble bundle)
Nicekiwi's avatar
elgregorPL's avatar
1) Looks like it happens only on apps used a lot.
2) There is "Don't ask again" button.
3) Yeah, it isn't perfect, but what is a better solution?
davbren's avatar
It's difficult sure. I like the idea but its not like it hasn't been tried before. Think about WinZip of the 90's I think I was 1000 days into my 30 day trial before i just stopped using it. 
elgregorPL's avatar
IIRC using it after the trial period was possible but illegal and it constantly reminded you to buy it - no option to turn it off. WinZip was commercial and unlimited "trial" was just an "addition", while current elementary apps are open-source and gratis, payment dialog is only an addition to help devs - currently these apps don't even have this dialog.

Living out of open-source is hard...
davbren's avatar
I don't deny that it was illegal, but the concept is the same. 
MrDjax's avatar
Love it!
I also think thats the model for the OS itself.
I love Elementary and payed 10$ but I had never! payed it up front. 
People like to support stuff they love. So make Elementary so awesome that people love it and it can be a really good model for the future.
To the people that complain about payment. STFU. Nobody care that you in your little world have a bad association about it. 
If you don't like it. GTFO
DanRabbit's avatar
T_T Thank you!
Mirek2's avatar
Looks good.

Will there be a way to donate directly from the elementary App Center?
What do you think about adopting a flattr-like model (set a monthly budget, have it distributed to all the software you use that month)?
Allan Day said that they were playing with the idea for Gnome Software.
doctormo's avatar
You, Dan Rabbit, are right about the word Donation. It's complete trash made to dress up payments to make people 'feel' better. Those commentators below who advocate for 'donation' misunderstand what the word means. I think they also misunderstand what payment means too. I think they think it means 'trade' (which it doesn't). The software is already theirs, their payment is probably for the future not the past.

I much prefer paying people for work than for work already done, but most users are so ignorant about what's needed in order to develop software that in order to make sure bugs get fixed and some progress is made, we need to pool payments together and hope we have enough. If we can deliver status and other information back to the user, it might make them feel better about payments.

Is eOS going to do a platform payment system or a per-app system?
DanRabbit's avatar
I'm going to try to put some time into an article about our financial situation and where we want to go, etc. But you are right it's 100% about funding future development and really about compensation for past development.

We're currently investigating creating an elementary account which could store payment information and allow in-app purchases. It would be a huge pain to have to provide payment details per-app and also a bit scary.

opensas's avatar
have you considered crowd-founding specific features? I'd like plank to have super-x shortcuts just like unity's launch bar (for example) and I would gladly give a few bucks for it...
anonymous's avatar
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