This caused some… arguments over payment in free software amongst other things.
I think they’re missing an important piece of this, which is that most of those “99.875% of […] users [that] download[ed] without paying” have never tried Elementary OS before, so they’re not going to pay for something that they’re not even sure will work on their computer. This isn’t downloading a game in the App Store, it’s an entire operating system.
I think they would be much better off leaving all the money questions out of it to download the software, but then pop up something a few days after the user has installed the OS and say “hey, I see you’re still using our OS, and since you like it, how about donating a few dollars?”
I’m one of those people: I pulled down a copy, tried to run it in VirtualBox, then shrugged and wiped it all because it was too slow and pretty for me. I inflated their stats for being under-paid (under-donated?) in this rather contentious blog post, but I also now know what it is and can refer other users to it in the future.
I’m sure there are also folks who did pay some amount, and downloaded again later while filling out $0.
If I were a user, I’d definitely chip in. I think a one-time note would be a nice way to handle it too.
People would complain that it was shareware or something. I think it makes sense, ‘tis what Sublime Text does.
I think @jcs means something like how distributions like openSUSE KDE show you a “getting started with your openSUSE KDE Desktop” plasmoid with news and guides and stuff to use the system.
That plasmoid appears only once after installation and you never see it again, they could do something similar instead of going the sublime way of nagging you every n'th file save.
I understood. I think nag or not, it’s a good idea.
As one of the developers for elementary OS, the “Cheating the system” line hurt me the most, yes i get paid through the bounty program but if a user does not want to pay (or in most cases, can not pay) we shouldn’t hold it against them.
The aim of the OS is to get out of the users way as soon as possible so they can do what ever they want to do instead of fighting the system itself.