Pony99CA wrote:The point is that they're all determining factors to some degree. When it comes to features, there are must-haves (required features), want-to-haves (features that I would definitely use but aren't necessary) and nice-to-haves (features that I might use at some time, but don't need or want yet).
What you consider to be a "want to have" feature or "nice to have" feature is not necessarily the way other people look at it. A feature you consider inconsequential may be a feature someone else finds completely indispensible.
When I used "I" above, I presumed that people wouldn't assume that I was dictating which features were musts, wants and nice, so I'm not sure why you're pointing out the obvious. What I said was intended to be taken from the point of view of the user (me in the case of my board, you in the case of yours).
Pony99CA wrote:Suppose that your board is for a hobby (not a business) and xBB costs $200 per year (or whatever you would consider too much to pay) and yBB is free. Do you think that people would make due with yBB? I think that many would.
If someone can "make do" with the yBB software, then it meets their needs. If the yBB software is such that it can't do what someone needs it to do, then they won't use it. Software that isn't capable of doing what you want to do is of no value to you.
It does not
necessarily meet their needs. They may have revised their needs based on a cost
-benefit analysis. What they initially thought was required turned out to be too expensive, so they compromised (like most of us do in many facets of our lives). More on that below.
Pony99CA wrote:And it's not just the cost of the software, either. How many people using phpBB are using either a free forum site or a free Web host? Your own domain only costs $12 per year (assuming a .com and not some expensive one) and inexpensive Web hosting can be had for under $60 per year. Almost any employed adult could afford that, but some have other priorities, so the cost can be a major factor, especially for a hobby.
of the hosting fee is not relevant. Whether someone uses yBb or xBB or whatever other BB you can think of, there would still a hosting fee.
Completely incorrect. There are free forum hosting facilities that use phpBB, which means that's there is zero cost
to the board admin. Do you think that a business could set up free hosting with vBulletin, where the hosting company would likely have to pay vBulletin for each installed board? (I suppose that it's possible if you can subsidize the costs with advertising, but it's a lot less economical than using free software.)
The point is that hosting costs need to be taken into consideration. You may be able to afford hosting or afford xBB, but not both. What do you do? Do you compromise on your requirements or do you decide not to run a board at all? What would you do?
Big-Jim wrote:Steve, all I am saying is, the fact that phpBB is free is a really good thing, but it is not the factor that determines whether someone uses the software or not.
I disagree. Suppose there are two programs that meet your needs, one free and one that costs. Which will you use? The determining factor won't be function (as they both meet your needs); it will likely be the cost
. (For businesses or power users, support may also fall in there, of course, but cost
will be up there.)
What you're ignoring is that the cost
is often one
of the requirements. The software may not have to be free (although to some it may), but it usually can't cost
more than some upper bound, so cost is
a determining factor. (Bill Gates and Warren Buffett may have different perspectives....
Again, see below.
Big-Jim wrote:As an example, I save a lot of my data on CD's and/or DVDs and because of that I have tried numerous free labeling programs. I have never found a free one that does what I want to do, and does it easily and without a lot of screwing around. I finally gave up and went out and bought some label making software. I could have used the free stuff, but it didn't meet my needs, so I went with software that does what I want it to do without having to jump thru hoops.
One problem with your argument is that you're assuming that any
of the software meets your needs. For example, it sounds like some of the labelling programs did what you wanted, but weren't as usable as you'd like (they required "a lot of screwing around"). That's fine -- usability is a reasonable requirement.
Now suppose that none of the programs met all of your needs (or required you to "jump through hoops" to use them). Would you just not label your discs? I suspect that you would have made do with one of those programs. (I presume that hand labelling is out of the question.)
My point is that, for many people, there's no such thing as "perfect software". There's always one more thing that we wished it would do, or one more change that would have made it easier to do. A lot of people hated when Microsoft changed Office from menus to the ribbon, but how many actually stopped using Office? They either learned to live with it or they found some add-on that brought their menus back. They compromised.
Or, put another way, suppose that the program that really met all of your needs cost
$2,000 (for example, it was intended for CD/DVD manufacturers, not for consumers). Would you have compromised and used a cheaper (or free) alternative? (If you would have paid $2,000, pick some number that you wouldn't, or couldn't, have paid.)
Big-Jim wrote:I am not going to use software that doesn't do what I want it to do, and I am pretty sure most people feel about the same way as I do about it.
I love how many people assume that "most people" feel the same way about things as they themselves do, as if they're the "standard". I doubt that you have evidence to back that up, though.
Again, the point is that people compromise. A Ferrari or Porsche would meet my needs in a car, but I can't afford them. So what do I do? I compromise and pick a cheaper car that also meets my needs. So price has become a determining factor.
If there were a free car that met my needs, I'd probably choose that. Why pay more if free meets my needs? I might even be willing to compromise a little (giving up the ability to drive 150+ mph) to save a lot of money. Or, to look at it another way, if the Porsche were free and the Ferrari "only" cost
$10,000, guess which one I'd choose?
There's probably some limit on how much one is willing to compromise on features, just like there's a limit on how much one is willing to pay, of course. But what happens when there's no happy medium? There are probably some (many?) people who would rather compromise on features than go without.