In my continuing quest for a decently full-featured graphics editor that hasn't succumbed to feature bloat, I recently installed Paint.NET for the first time. I'lll admit that I had low expectations based on the abysmal user interfaces I've experienced in other open source projects. Imagine my surprise when Paint.NET turned out to be.. well, incredibly freaking great. Not only is the UI actually friendly, modern, and easy to use, but the whole thing is so polished: the installer, the website, the tutorials and forums. It's the complete package.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/11/making-donations-easy.html
One question though; what is the point of having a donation link on your installation guide? Shouldn’t a project first earn your vote?
Of course, this is excellent advice for anyone who wants my money.
I recently had to change domain registrars because after clicking on links and going around in circles for half an hour, I could not for the life of me figure out how to give them money. The answer I got from their technical support team was basically “you need to join again as a new customer”, but of course my perfectly good old username was in use and… you know, if I’m going to go through the pain of becoming a new customer, I might as well do so at a web site built by competent people.
This happens to me all the time, and not just online. It is amazing how many brick-and-mortar businesses make it downright difficult for me to take out my wallet and hand someone cash in exchange for goods and services.
Yeah, it’s a bit weird for the first time user but when you upgrade to a newer version it’s nice to be reminded.
Another great project which deserves donations is IMHO ImgBurn (see http://www.imgburn.com/). Since it came along I threw the bloated Nero in the bin and am enjoying a very lean burning machine. Now if only it could read and copy discs…
Thanks for writing this great blog, BTW.
Shouldn’t a project first earn your vote?
Fair point. Displaying this during the install sets the tone as the initial “ask” – and it gives you a hint that donating, if you choose to do so, will be quick and easy.
There’s also a “donate” menu item under the Help menu.
When I read this entry (there were no comments that time), I decided that I will donate for “Something you rely on every day” - for me this is Quicksilver (Mac) [http://blacktree.com/?quicksilver]. But I am still searching for the donate button. Searched in blogs and forums of Blacktree, and Googled…and then found in some blog that there IS a donate button, but that page is down at this moment…
On one end there are products that show a “Pay now” dialog everytime you launch then and on the other to which we cant donate even if we want to…
the balance in the software ecosystem?
I have actually donated to Paint.NET. I agree that it’s great, the only thing I really wish were significantly better is the compression quality as compared to something like ImageReady.
Maybe it’s already gotten better. I also miss the easy animated gif editing in ImageReady. But for now, I just have Paint.NET and it’s just great. It’s super-easy-to-use and has just enough of what I need so it’s all within reach.
My vote heartily goes to Taskix, http://taskix.robustit.com/
It allows re-arrange your task bar windows, at your own desire. It is by far the most useful piece of “why didn’t I think of that? (and why didn’t Microsoft think of that?)” that I’ve ever used.
And look how painfully bad the kerning is on that dialog.
It kind of reminds me of early Paint Shop Pro versions - doesn’t do a huge amount but does it well. If the revampled (typo, but it ought to be a word) property dialog system works as well as Rick seems to think it will, then a serious plugin capability should be just around the corner. Then watch it fly.
Josh, thanks for the tip-off about Taskix
I’ve used other taskbar button re-arrangers in the past, but this one is easily the most superior. The ability to drag and drop the buttons directly, as opposed to specifying the order in a dialog box, is wonderful.
Unfortunately, while Paint.Net has an open licence source, it is not an “open source project” as per your previous post ‘Defining Open Source’ (http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000904.html)
It does not accept code contributions, nor does it have public source code control…
It is a very cool program though
Les, you are most welcome. Taskix is a real gem - I think he’s going to get a donation from me.
here’s another good 'un - a command line launcher that’s waay nicer to use than the start menu
Is there REALLY no alternative to PayPal. I don’t like the way they do business - at all.
Google checkout? Amazon? Anything else?!
If you check out the paint.net blog, the author has an entry all about making it easy to donate.
The article in question: http://blog.getpaint.net/2007/07/13/making-money-with-freeware-tip-1-have-a-donate-button/
Several years ago I did some simple shareware. I got maybe a handful of registrations and I seriously loved everyone who cared enough to send a few bucks my way. It really gave me a lift.
Even to this day I do everything that I can pay for my software. Donations, registrations, even cheques sent to the author. I mightn’t see the look on the writer’s face, but I know from my experience that getting a few cents is just the “best thing on earth”.
Over the past few months I’ve fallen in love with Inkscape, and open-source vector drawing program. It’s learning curve is amazingly fast, making it very easy to make something that looks good.
Check it out: http://www.inkscape.org/
One of my favorite utilities is AutoHotkey. It’s a windows based automation program that let’s you speed-up or simplify just about any task. Best of all it’s free.
I went to the site but could not find how to donate anywhere, so I might send an email asking them about this. The site is: a href="http://www.autohotkey.com/support/"http://www.autohotkey.com/support//a
Also, as an Aussie, Paint.NET really needs to add an Australian dollars, (AUD) option to the donation page. Do you “yanks” realise that 1 Aussie dollar is worth almost 1 US dollar for the first time in about 35 years (94 cents). That means more money from Australian donaters.
Josh, Les (and Jeff) have you seen Taskbar Shuffle? http://www.freewebs.com/nerdcave/taskbarshuffle.htm
It’s free, I’ve been using it for over a year and it works beautifully. It sounds very similar to Taskix (I haven’t tried Taskix).
It has drag/drop and grouping and as Josh says, I cannot believe Microsoft don’t include it (or soemthing like it) with Windows.
Best of all the developer actually has a paypal donation option.