Paid Support Idea

Suggestions and feature requests for the Pale Moon browser

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Rising Soul
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Paid Support Idea

Unread postby Rising Soul » Sun, 13 May 2018, 18:56

This is really more of a forum/donation idea than a browser/feature suggestion.

You guys are making a brilliant browser, and it seems that providing support here is time-consuming and often frustrating. So I was thinking maybe just stop? Like, only provide support to people who pay directly for your time.

This way you have more time to actually work on the code, and hopefully get some more financial support at the same time.

There are a lot of tech-savvy people on this forum who are pretty good at figuring stuff out, I think the vast majority of the problems people have here could be solved this way, by users helping each other out.

Time is valuable, and all that... thoughts? :think:

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adesh
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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby adesh » Sun, 13 May 2018, 19:15

No one is going to pay for browser support when there are other browsers available for free.
People have already criticized Moonchild in the past when he asked people to step up for donations.

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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby Moonraker » Sun, 13 May 2018, 20:24

adesh wrote:No one is going to pay for browser support when there are other browsers available for free.
People have already criticized Moonchild in the past when he asked people to step up for donations.

Your forgetting an important aspect.Those other browsers for free are either backed up by multi-billion dollar corporations or are perhaps different/inferior in some way.
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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby WilliamK » Sun, 13 May 2018, 20:35

When Internet Explorer was bundled with Windows for free, people were happy to pay $60 for Netscape Navigator.

What difference does it make whether PM is used by 10,000 or 1,000,000 users? Bills still have to be paid, like web hosting and code signing. So if a licence fee was required, maybe fewer users might use it, but at least the costs would be covered.
Last edited by WilliamK on Sun, 13 May 2018, 20:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby back2themoon » Sun, 13 May 2018, 20:44

Not a bad idea, but considering the amount of angry, demanding individuals requesting instant -and obviously free- support, feature changes/adaptations and even entire browser redesigns to their personal liking from the small Pale Moon team, I'd expect nothing less than a revolt and mass operations of slander on every other website possible.
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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby Tomaso » Sun, 13 May 2018, 20:59

To make some money, I think it would be a better idea with a promo shop, like the one that exists for SeaMonkey:
https://www.zazzle.com/seamonkeyproject/
I'd definitely buy some Pale Moon stuff! :)

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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby WilliamK » Sun, 13 May 2018, 21:06

back2themoon wrote:I'd expect nothing less than a revolt and mass operations of slander on every other website


You get that either way it jumps.

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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby Rising Soul » Sun, 13 May 2018, 21:10

Tomaso wrote:I'd definitely buy some Pale Moon stuff! :)

So would I :)

The main point of this idea isn't really the money though - it's freeing up time spent on things that other people could probably do.

back2themoon wrote:I'd expect nothing less than a revolt and mass operations of slander on every other website possible.

Haha... yeah, some people might do that. But someone's always gonna be upset no matter what you do anyway, so...

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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby LimboSlam » Mon, 14 May 2018, 07:08

Great news! I have gotten a raise, and so I will support Moonchild Productions (Pale Moon) with $5-10 every month through Patron or Ko-fi.
With Pale Moon by my side, surfing the web is quite enjoyable and takes my headaches away! :)
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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby WilliamK » Mon, 14 May 2018, 07:29

Well they don't do Paypal in all countries so some homework will be required :crazy:
Last edited by WilliamK on Mon, 14 May 2018, 07:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby Phantom » Tue, 15 May 2018, 04:44

How about inventing a block chain called Mooncoin? :lol: Instant money!

Or you could code up an App that allows people to run it and all profit from mining will be delivered to Moonchild.

But I would never pay for support. I never do anyways for everything else I do and use. I never paid EA for help with SimCity. I never paid Gitter for help, or the other stuff I use. Donation-based support is better IMO. Perhaps a nag screen should pop up on Pale Moon install or update asking for a donation. But it's just that, a nag screen and those can be annoying.

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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby BlueOwl » Tue, 15 May 2018, 18:11

Rising Soul wrote:There are a lot of tech-savvy people on this forum who are pretty good at figuring stuff out, I think the vast majority of the problems people have here could be solved this way, by users helping each other out.

I think this is the most relevant point here. The forum was made for the users, and as of now it's the best channel we have for communicating with and helping each other in case we can't be online at the same time (as the IRC channel requires). Also, the forum allows people to search for previous answers in case their concern has already been addressed.
So, in my opinion, it's up to us as users to keep it usable and valuable for everyone. Just making sure we use the search function to avoid multiple posting of the same questions, troubleshooting our own problems by starting in Safe Mode and describing it in a clear way helps a lot. And of course, keeping things civil.
Some of the ideas posted here are probably not bad (IMO) but we should keep in mind these points:
  • Anything that isn't in line with the browser's ideals will not make it through. The homepage clearly states that "Pale Moon is, and will always be, completely FREE to download and use! (Open Source and Freeware)";
  • Any complex idea requires coding, organization and correct implementation, which would be more work on the developers unless others decide to step up and do it themselves;
  • A nag screen is never a correct solution, let alone a solution at all. It would cause instant loss of users while remaining as an annoyance to those who keep on using PM. Cosmetic filtering/element hiding is so user-friendly now that I don't see how a nag screen would achieve anything.

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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby CharmCityCrab » Wed, 16 May 2018, 07:33

WilliamK wrote:When Internet Explorer was bundled with Windows for free, people were happy to pay $60 for Netscape Navigator


Holy bad analogy, Batman.

Before Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator had a near-monopoly with control of the vast majority of the web browser market place. It was to the point that when Microsoft started to beta test what became Internet Explorer, they had to spoof some elements of the NN user agent string just so that webpages designed for NN, which was most of them, would display. At that time, NN could charge $60 for their software and get away with it because no free alternatives were available.

When Internet Explorer started being bundled with Windows for free, it completely destroyed Netscape Navigator. Netscape went from owning almost all of the browser market to crashing almost overnight to a marketshare of less than 1%.

By the time the courts ruled that Microsoft acted anti-competitively by using its operating system monopoly to create a web browser monopoly, Netscape wasn't even around anymore to gloat or try to recover.

The last few versions of NN were essentially just reskinned versions of Firefox on delay, propped up by AOL buying the company, and eventually the Netscape name and logo transitioned from being associated with a browser (Which had stopped being made- they stopprd charging the $60 and the later versions had been free, but it waited too long to stop charging- by the end nobody cared and were on to other free browsers) to simply being the name of a "portal" website that was basically the AOL homepage with all the same articles and such, but with Netscape logo in the background. If you to the Netscape Navigator homepage today, its just a redirect to AOL's homepage. Not even a Netscape branded page anymore, it literally just forwards you automatically to AOL.

I actually have some nice mental associations with Netscape, I am typing this right now from Firefox for Android, with a persona add-on that puts the Netscape logo in the browser's upperright hand corner.

However, warm associations or no, there was no way I was paying for a browser when Internet Explorer was free. 99% of the rest of the market agreed. From that point, offering a free no-charge download was table stakes. Firefox was free and got marketshare. So was Chrome. I think Opera tried ads for a while, but gor pilloried for it and was only used by a very small minority of users.

Truth is, you would have to be *a lot* better than everything else to charge when all your competition is free. Its hard to create something with that much innate superiority in a commodized industry- all browsers are mechanisms for displaying the same pages on your computer or smartphone. These days, they all have tabs. Most have ad-blockers and other add-ons available.

Let's just say hypothetically that Pale Moon discovers the next big thing and is that much better than the rest that people pay for it eventually, though. Even if they did, because its open source, someone would fork it immediately and offer it with a different name and logo for free, and people would switch to that.

And that's as it should be. Pale Moon could hardly complain given that it is itself a fork of Firefox.

Beyond that, a lot of people use these browsers and open-source software to opt-out of advertisements and subscription services and stuff. Firefox in some ways is the house that Ad-Block Plus built. One of the top complaints about Firefox today is that they perodically announce that they are doinf sponsored stories or squares on the new tab page, and everytime they do, the outrage is intense and they have to back off before the ads make it to the regular stable version of the browser.

Top complaint about Windows 10? Ads, even though you can go the setup menu and such and turn them all off so you never see another ad on that machine again (Barring reinstalling the OS or Microsoft changing its policies eventually).
Last edited by CharmCityCrab on Wed, 16 May 2018, 07:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby WilliamK » Wed, 16 May 2018, 07:46

CharmCityCrab wrote:Holy bad analogy, Batman.


Although Internet Explorer was bundled for free, I still preferred to pay for a better browser. IE may have been free but it was clunky and inferior in so many ways.

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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby Moonchild » Wed, 16 May 2018, 18:05

I would like to point people to the text on the Pale Moon home page:
This browser is released as a community project to aim for open, collaborative development of a full-featured web browser, as much designed by the user as it is by our development team. It is released "as-is" and in the hope that it will be useful to its users. As such, we cannot provide any warranty of any kind, nor guarantee fitness for any particular purpose or workflow.

Being a community project means that support is also intended to be a community effort. Either in real-time on IRC or, when IRC is insufficient due to its limited nature or an immediate answer isn't required, using this forum.
Support will be given voluntarily. Nobody gets paid to provide user support. That will not change either.

I sincerely hope that the forum will remain a healthy community gathering place where knowledge is shared. That should never come with a price tag.

What other option would there be? A ticketing system? We don't have the manpower for that kind of 1:1 support solution.
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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby WilliamK » Wed, 16 May 2018, 22:12

CharmCityCrab and MoonChild posts perfectly explain the situation and why it needs to remain free.

CharmCityCrab provided a brief history of web browsers that was interesting to read because:
a) it was brief
b) it opened a can of worms for me

Everyone recalls things slightly differently, depending on their focus at the time. My focus has always been on protecting web content so the subtle differences between browsers, the changes that affected my quest and how we had to deal with every different type of browser and their different versions has been an ongoing battle.

After trying to stem the flow of slush for 20 years, I look forward to version 3 of our own browser... if it can ever be finished.

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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby Rising Soul » Fri, 18 May 2018, 14:33

I guess I didn't really explain myself well enough... I never implied that Pale Moon itself should stop being free, just that providing technical support for it seems to be frustrating. I know I would have gone completely nuts by now if I had to do tech support for something I made, for free, for so long. :crazy:

So I thought that maybe if people had to pay to get support directly from the devs, they'd be less likely to nag them for help with every little thing. Or at least, the devs can just completely ignore them if they do. I suppose they could do that anyway, without there being any payment option.

I've seen some other open source projects do this kind of thing, granted those are more website software things aimed at companies, and not browsers, so I guess it's a bit different.

Anyway, the whole point of my idea was to minimize the frustration of the devs, not give them even more stuff to do.

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Re: Paid Support Idea

Unread postby Moonchild » Fri, 18 May 2018, 22:44

It's very simple: Offering a paid support option will give people entitlement to that support - it will, in effect, prioritize support (paid) over development (unpaid).
So it will actually achieve the opposite effect -- unless you count on it being an effective deterrent; but that's not the kind of negatively-charged threshold we want to give people.
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