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    Why you shouldn't support Onivim vim nerdypepper.me
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    Apart from buggy syntax highlighting, broken scrolling and others

    It is explicitly advertised as “Pre-alpha - not yet usable!”, so picking on bugs doesn’t seem especially fair to me.

    Want to contribute to Onivim? Don’t. They make a profit out of your contributions.

    Vim was used to write Google, and they make billions and billions off that. Is that not worse than spending a few bucks for someone’s time?

    I don’t really have any opinion about this OniVim thing. Perhaps it’s great, perhaps it’s not. But it’s clearly people spending time writing code. What’s wrong with paying them?

    We really need to get away from this “zomg making profit from code is bad” attitude. The “please please please donate”-model doesn’t work very well, and it’s time for some new options. The “time-delayed license” doesn’t strike me as a good option for various reasons, but the article doesn’t state any of them. It just goes “profit bad!” Not very insightful.

    If you want to write really good software you need to spend time. Quite a lot of it. Right now writing free software is often like a job, except that you don’t get paid.

    Imagine if the supermarket worked this way: “this bread is €2, but you can also take it for free, if you want”. That would be an unthinkable business model: people still need to actually make the bread, and they’re not going to do it in the evening after their day job. Software can be distributed for free – so it’s not exactly like bread – but people still do actually need to make the software.

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      I think the argument might be made that Vim was created as a hobby project and then transformed into a charitable one: the popularity of Vim is used as a vehicle to raise awareness and increase donations for a charity. In many ways, then, Vim is a charity project before it is an open source project.

      With that being said, piggygbacking of Vim is “worse” than piggybacking off of other software. Hobbyist software exists to be used, raise the profile of the author(s), etc. The “mission” of that software is to be used. The “mission” of Vim is to raise money for needy children in Uganda. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be paid for your software if that’s what you want, but that’s not what Vim’s authors wanted. If the authors of Onivim were to, say, donate 10% or something of their proceeds to those children, I would be 100% on board with this…but it at least appears as though they are taking a project designed to help charity and making a profit from it.

      (Note that I’m playing Devil’s Advocate here. I’m not particularly invested in either side of the debate.)

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        Vim was used to write Google, and they make billions and billions off that. Is that not worse than spending a few bucks for someone’s time?

        I don’t understand this argument.

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          I don’t think Vim is created for the Uganda charity, it just so happens that Bram does and cares about both. But you’ll have to ask Bram to be sure.

          I’m also not so sure if Omivim would really take out a significant chunk of the donations. It’s not that they get that many donations anyway (I did a detailed summary a while ago)

          Either way, the linked post doesn’t make any of these arguments; it merely asserts that profit==bad.

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            Either way, the linked post doesn’t make any of these arguments; it merely asserts that profit==bad.

            Profit is bad. The only way people get rich is off the unpaid wages of the workers.

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              Whever my wife asks what I want to do today I always say “help realize class consciousness and establish a dictatorship of the proletariat.”

              We’re still married after 11 years so I’m assuming she either agrees with me or has given up.

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            In many ways, then, Vim is a charity project before it is an open source project.

            Before I read this, I had never seen Vim as “a project designed to help charity” and I hadn’t even heard of the Uganda thing. And I’ve used Vim for … many years. (So, arguably, the existence of Onivim brings more attention to this charity.)

            There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be paid for your software if that’s what you want, but that’s not what Vim’s authors wanted.

            Is this actually in Vim’s license? To me, it just seems as though Vim’s authors don’t want to be paid themselves for their work; there’s no indication that they think this should apply to everyone else.

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            I think you misunderstand me. By not supporting Onivim, I mean, not making contributions in the form of issues or pull requests. I never mentioned anything about the profit they make from distributing Onivim because you can make your own free (as in price) builds.

            What you are suggesting is, “Open source software doesn’t make money, go proprietary instead!”. This is simply not the way to go, there is no sense of community here. Devs should try to sell the service and not the product. This is a tried and tested model, followed by the likes of RedHat and IBM. Please do look at business models of open source projects, they exist.

            I also want readers to realize that, Onivim was born out of free (as in freedom) and open source projects like neovim (oni1 was a gui for neovim) and vim.

            A couple of other popular misconceptions in your post:

            1. There is nothing stopping devs from earning from free (as in freedom) software. Donations aren’t the only source of income.
            2. Their proprietary license prevents other devs from contributing, and goes against the spirit of open source. If my pull request doesn’t get merged for some reason, there is no way for me to share my version with others!
            3. The bread analogy does not work. Software is different from bread, you can make copies of software. So the supermarket would say, “here are the ingredients (source code), make it yourself, or purchase one for $2, feel free to add new ingredients and share it with others!”

            I didn’t quite understand this:

            Vim was used to write Google, and they make billions and billions off that.

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              Devs should try to sell the service and not the product. This is a tried and tested model,

              Let’s say I write a super-secure PNG decoder library. It is faster than libpng, is a drop-in replacement for libpng, and has zero security flaws. How do I sell that as a service? There is a real funding problem for software infrastructure that cannot easily be made into a service.

              As someone interested in bootstrapping (e.g. making a product and selling it on the side), I’ve gradually realized that programmers in general are an awful target market. They’re averse to change, don’t understand the value of their money WRT time, don’t always have purchasing power, and heavily favor low-quality/free solutions (e.g. OSS).

              FWIW I’d pay for a copy of Vim that I didn’t have to screw around with for hours in order for it to be pleasant. This is coming from someone who has used Vim for a long time. With each passing year I detest the “infinite configurability as long as your time is free!” idea, because my time is never free, and I’d rather be actually making things instead of configuring software to help me write software.

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                heavily favor low-quality/free solutions (e.g. OSS).

                If you think that an FOSS project and a closed source program are comparable goods in any meaningful way then you are failing to understand the products in question. Perhaps before you blame your consumers, you should evaluate what their incentives are, and what the product provides differently other than “free as in money”. You can’t meaningfully break into any market with the attitude of “The consumers are wrong”, instead you need to actually evaluate why they hold the opinions they do and what shapes their preferences.

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                  That’s why I’m not actually a bootstrapper.

                  But I do see these threads and there’s a crab like mentality where people get all weird at the idea that they’d have to pay for things, esp around dev tools.

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                    I think the fear of selling the product isn’t rooted in having to pay for something, but rather that the product and the code that gets run on your machine becomes a trade secret. The other aspect is that when code is locked down, if the business owner goes away or sells the company, I cannot rely on that tool anymore. If the tool were instead open , theoretically I could get many many more years out of it. Emacs is 43 years old and I would not be surprised if 43 years later it will still have a bustling community.

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                      That’s fair. How do I sell dev tools that aren’t cloud based, then?

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                        Service does not mean “cloud”. Service can be support. Service can be a tailored solution. There are a lot of ways you can go. Red Hat for example is not strictly speaking cloud based.

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                          There’s a few successful (that is, making money) products in this category which have a ‘source available’ pro edition (react on rails, sidekiq).

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                    You lost it at drop-in replacement. It needs to require or at least warrant some service, and be good enough to be worth it.

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                      I’m sure imgur.com might appreciate it, as their business relies on accepting potentially malicious input.

                      Why wouldn’t we pay money for good software components? What’s the difference between charging money for access to an API and integrating a paid-for component into a larger system?

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                        Ok, sure, if your lib is closed-source, works well and is api-compatible. Then you sell licenses, not a service.

                        And I’m ok with paying money for good things :)

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                        Offer a support contract. I think many businesses would go for a PNG decoder with paid support over an otherwise-identical PNG decoder with a license fee.

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                      Devs should try to sell the service and not the product. This is a tried and tested model, followed by the likes of RedHat and IBM. Please do look at business models of open source projects, they exist.

                      Super profitable model for big corporations.

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                      Heh. Using bread for your example is quite pertinent.

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                        I can’t see how it’s unfair. There’s a difference between releasing a buggy product that everyone can contribute to and benefit from, and selling a buggy proprietary product. If it’s not usable, why are you even selling it to begin with?

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                          Well, using an open source tool in the way it’s supposed to be used is something else than extending it and selling it. That being said, if Bram wanted to avoid this, he should have used the GNU license or something similar (which basically states that you’re free to use, modify, and distribute if you publish your code under the same license).

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                          I’m generally in favor of developers being able to pay rent.

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                            Wait, are you telling me that people aren’t building houses for free in their spare time after their day job?!

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                              Some people are and they could definitely use our help, but your point definitely stands. :)

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                                  …Their spare time is exactly what individual volunteers use.

                                  Some organizations (businesses) will give a group of their employees time off the job to go volunteer for Habitat for Humanity together. Commonly each member of the group will receive a T-shirt emblazoned with the company logo and the Habitat for Humanity logo.

                                  Does anyone know if the employees commonly receive their regular wage during those events?

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                                    Does anyone know if the employees commonly receive their regular wage during those events?

                                    Salesforce (and by extension Heroku) provides some amount of VTO (volunteer time off) that is paid in full. It used to be 40 hours, and is now 56 hours as of a year or two ago. VTO is highly encouraged, and it doesn’t have to be done in teams, or through co-sponsored events. We are required to track the hours, and our company OKRs for the year always have a target for staff completing X number of VTO hours.

                                    It’s pretty great!

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                              They could preserve their current business model and go open source. Don’t release builds, make people pay for them!

                              By going proprietary, what they think they have achieved is prevention of others setting up build servers. What they have actually achieved is prevention of community contributions. I cannot fork, make changes and distribute it.

                              I don’t get why people think it is difficult for devs to earn from open source or free (as in freedom) software. There are quite a few (tried and tested) business models. Jitsi, lib-jitsi-meet, elementary os to name a few.

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                              This is not off-topic or spam. It’s about computing and project practices. If you don’t like it, don’t upvote it. If you really don’t like it, hide it. Please do not find an excuse to flag it, you don’t need to try to punish the author.

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                                My “spam” vote came from reading the article (which seems devoid of anything useful), following the link to onivim, and suspecting that this is an attempt to get onivim in the news. No bad publicity, etc..

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                                The reactions on reddit were similarly negative. I’m strongly in favor of creative people being able to support themselves from their work. Trying to monetize your work should not be controversial.

                                Want to contribute to Onivim? Don’t. They make a profit out of your contributions.

                                “Want to contribute to the Linux kernel? Don’t. Red Hat makes a profit out of your contributions.” Making money is not incompatible with open source software.

                                In a somewhat related way, the indie game Ooblets just announced that they’re taking funding from Epic Games to support their development in exchange for an exclusive launch on the Epic Games Store. There were many extremely negative takes that I saw on Twitter, Reddit, etc. and it’s disheartening to me that people are more interested in maintaining their abstract moral principles over allowing creators to support themselves in a stable way.

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                                  “Want to contribute to the Linux kernel? Don’t. Red Hat makes a profit out of your contributions.”

                                  The difference here is that the Linux kernel is licensed in a way that allows redistribution, whereas onivim does not allow you to distribute it even if you have made contributions to it.

                                  Making money is not incompatible with open source software.

                                  Well that’s just blatantly wrong.

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                                    Why do you think that making money and open source are incompatible?

                                    Drew Devault is writing a well developed GitHub/GitLab/etc competitor, https://sourcehut.org/, that is making money despite being pretty radically open source and user respecting.

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                                      Dang, I misread ‘incompatible’ as ‘compatible’. I agree with you, and now I can no longer edit my comment above to correct it.

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                                  The page is horribly broken without JS enabled. Fortunately, the actual article does not require JS.

                                  Forks of vim indeed often seem to be rent-seeking.

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                                    The page is horribly broken without JS enabled

                                    the site uses 12 lines of non-obfuscated, trivial js. i am fairly certain it follows the guidelines of libre js (not altering the dom etc.), in any case, you can see the source for yourself and decide.

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                                    I have to agree with some other posters. This is a hit piece. I also don’t care if developers take code that is licensed in a way that makes proprietary redistribution legal, and attempt to sell a new thing. Every SaaS on the planet does this. Most proprietary software probably uses something with a similar license… this is how the software industry works.

                                    So don’t buy it.

                                    Offtopic: why does this site work this way? All the posts are on one page and you use JS to hide and show them? Interesting choice.

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                                      I also don’t care if developers take code that is licensed in a way that makes proprietary redistribution legal, and attempt to sell a new thing. Every SaaS on the planet does this.

                                      Dual licensing and Time delayed licensing are quite popular among open source projects. The issue arises from using both.

                                      why does this site work this way?

                                      I like this design. Maybe Ill lazy load the posts.

                                      So don’t buy it.

                                      Buying isn’t the problem, nor is ‘not buying’ going to solve the current one. I cannot contribute to this project. I cannot distribute forks of this. I cannot make my own builds and share them. By not supporting the project, I want the community to not submit issues, or pull requests.

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                                        You mention in another comment other revenue models—the fact is, they work for some projects and not others. The fact is, recent license debates have probably, rightfully so, scared people who want to make money from their software eventually by not providing it under a super permissive license.

                                        I think we should do two things:

                                        1. support the developers by purchasing their software, if it’s useful to us. As a customer, start a conversation about a better distribution model.
                                        2. find alternate and sustainable ways to fund FOSS.

                                        The author of this software already wants to open source their stuff (the time delay) but is obviously afraid they’ll miss out on money by doing so. Reassure them with 1, fight for 2, and when that works, the author (and other authors in similar situations!) has less reason to believe they won’t make money for their work.

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                                      I recently came across onivim2 and instantly disliked the idea of a proprietary vim fork. what do you think about their perfectly legal yet unethical approach?

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                                        I think that it’s off-topic for this site, mostly since it is a hit piece (accurate or not). Flagged. :)