On 5 Jun 2001, at 23:08, Sven Neumann wrote:

> > To many people, it won't matter whether it's free, or whether it
> > supports the same features of a commercial product from Adobe that
> > is far more polished.
> Well, those people should stay with their commercial products then.
> This is free software. We don't care about market share. We want to
> have fun developing our software and of course we want it to be as
> good as possible.

I have heard this argument before, and I do not entirely agree with 
it. Yes, one part of developing free software is scratching that 
itch. But after that, some of us want recognition too. I know I do. 
And market share is a pretty good form of recognition. If the GIMP 
were only used by its developers, we would not see nice e-mails 
coming from CNN thanking us.

Also, if anything, market share can be an indication (one of the 
many) that we are on the right track.

Unfortunately, just having a good product does not guarantee a good 
market share. If the market were completely free that would be the 
case, but unfortunately it is not. People who have to decide what 
tool to use, have a limited time to make that decision. The GIMP 
first has to grab the attention of possible users. Then, it has to 
make clear that it is the best tool for the job. I think that, 
unfortunately, the question users will ask themselves for instance is 
'does it look and function like Photoshop?' If the answer is no, they 
will move on. 

For me personally, the price (free), is definitely an option. Heck, I 
even would pay Tor some money if he put more work into releasing 
stabler Windows versions, and releasing them more often. However, 
most people copy their software. I do not know one single person who 
paid for their Photoshop. So the end of the story is that, given the 
choice between a tool that is widely (if sometimes erroneously) 
regarded as the best in the field and the GIMP, people will choose 
the former. 

The upshot of this all is (I feel): better marketing. The choices we 
made in the Look&Feel (and the rest of the UI) are ours. Can we sell 
them? Can we tell people "Yes, other tools do it that way, but we do 
it our way and here's why"? Is there a document that outlines our 
philosophy and where we want to go, and does that not just to 
programmers, but to the average user (who is not interested in a 
separation of UI and program, just in what it means to her or him) as 

Ah well, this is all IMNSHO, of course. :-'

branko collin
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