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 Post subject: USAPhotoMaps
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:55 pm 
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USAPhotoMaps downloads USGS aerial photo and topo map data from Microsoft's free TerraServer Web site, saves it on your hard drive, and creates maps with GPS accuracy. You can:

    Scroll and zoom
    See latitude/longitude
    See USGS Landmarks
    See TIGER/Line streets
    See elevation and contour lines
    Add waypoints, routes, and text
    Go to any address, populated place, USGS landmark, or lat/lon in the U.S.A.
    Transfer waypoints, tracks, and routes to and from most GPS receivers
    See your GPS location
    And much more...


Install, copy to a folder of your choice, uninstall and run.

The only caveat is that it gobbles up disk space rapidly with the downloaded maps but the usefullness of the software is worth the look.

I'm not the expert on registry writes etc. but I don't believe it leaves anything of importance.

Website: http://jdmcox.com/
Download: http://jdmcox.com/USAPhotoMaps.exe (478 KBytes)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 5:14 am 
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Location: Sussex, UK
Hi, does anyone know of an equivalent programme for UK users ?
Thanks.
Richard


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:15 am 
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Would like hear your opinions on this.

This app is obviously donationware, since it pops up a dialog box when you exit the program, asking for donation via PayPal.

Should donationware should considered freeware?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:18 am 
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Quote:
Should donationware should considered freeware?


I suppose that depends upon how much of a hinderance the request is to running the software. No one wants to be nagged but a simple request as you close the program? :?:

I do know that many (most?) freeware authors leave the door open to donations and some clearly ask outright for money though usually this is only on their websites.

IMHO if the application fits my needs and requires me to wait every time as an exit/nag screen times out then I will most likely not use it. However if I'm hit up - as in this case - to please consider donating but a simple enter key or mouse click gets me out of it then that's okay.

With all that said, it's your site and your rules. Thank you for creating one of the best uhh.... Portable Freeware sites on the web today. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:35 am 
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I think this is a great program & should be in the database.

I think donation-ware should be considered freeware, so long as it does not nag too much. (nagging doesn't interfere with smooth operation of program functioning)

I think this is a great program for constructing large Topo-maps & aerial views. It only pops an unobtrusive message up on exit. Also I don't think you'd be opening the program all that many times. I mean you'd likely make the larger maps & aerials you wanted over a few weekends & save them as JPGs.

I think free-ware is: software that functions without needing payment. I think traditional free-ware, open-source, bait-ware, postcard-ware, prayer-ware, e-mail-ware & programs requiring free-registration for download count as free-ware. These types of programs do not require payment for functionality.

Many of these types of programs are already accepted as freeware and are in the database. EditPad Lite is, a very nice program, in the database & is bait-ware, that is, it tries to bait you into going for the pay-ware EditPad Pro. (EditPad Pro is an impressive program & offers an option to make it portable). KMPlayer requires forum registration for download.

I consider cripple-ware, trial-ware & demo-ware as being less than functional. I think of nag-ware, ad-ware & spy-ware as requiring payment by other means.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:57 am 
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Andrew Lee wrote:
Would like hear your opinions on this.

This app is obviously donationware, since it pops up a dialog box when you exit the program, asking for donation via PayPal.

Should donationware should considered freeware?


I don't have a strong feeling eitherway. However, if donationware items are included, I recommend that they somehow be tagged as such on the entry.

Thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:34 pm 
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Quote:
I think donation-ware should be considered freeware, so long as it does not nag too much


Herein lies the problem: how much is too much?

Some examples:

- a program that pops up a donation message right after you launch it, and can be dismissed with a click of a button

- a program that pops up a donation message right after you launch it, but stays there for 5 secs before it can be dismissed with a click of a button

- a program that occasionally pops up a donation message while you are running it, can be dismissed immediately with a click of a button, and never more than once in a single session.

etc. etc.

Where should we draw the line?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:52 pm 
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A nag is a nag, I'm sorry to say. Then again, it's usable for free so it is indeed "freeware" to some extent. Hard to really stay on "the safe side" here as each side overlaps. While it could be added with a disclaimer in the description describing the "nag" behavior, then we'd have to start adding other nagware out of fairness. Hence, my vote is a thumbs-down on this one.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 5:50 am 
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Is the application portable?

Check.

Is it free?

Check.

That should cover it. Any disclaimers about the nag can be added as a comment in the Synopsis.

Many times there are little "warnings" written there to help you decide if a program is what you need/want prior to going after it. Take for example the recent addition of PocketDivXEncoder. In the synopsis it states;

"Note that registry entries are created/updated for various application settings, but the program always start with the default settings for some reason. So if you are concerned with "stealth" i.e. not leaving any trace on the host machine, this program may not be for you."

It's not a nag but it is something this particular app does and as such you may want to be aware.

So in the case of USAPhotoMaps it pops up a dialog box at the close. No time out you have to wait for, no unwanted web page pop up, just a request for a donation.

Basically it's up to the end user. If they don't want to deal with it then they won't go after it. But if it fits their needs and they don't mind then so be it.

As far as where to draw the line? There's no easy answer, the previous paragraph should cover it but it really needs more discussion than that. The real downside to not including some apps because of various levels of nagging is that some really useful FREEware - other than just USAPhotoMaps - would miss this great list. :cry:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:05 am 
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All nags should be noted in database program-description.

But where to draw the line...
...how much nag is acceptable?

Here's a possible standard, beyond just labling nags:
(sorry, I'm not great at writing)
(so this is mostly in outline form)

It's too much if:
1. it interferes with smooth operation of software function
2. same functionality available nag free, with easier UI

..& what is "smooth" operation?
1. 90% nag-free average operation time, if no alternatives
2. 95% nag-free average operation time, if alternatives available

operation time = duration of active program use per session
average operation time depends on the # of program functionalities
so: 7Zip ~5-15min ; GIMP ~20min-1.5hrs ; AbiWord ~30min-2hrs
Avg Operation time based on experienced/frequent users


But nag severity can matter for chronic computer use:

..so which nags are worse?
expected nag better than random/unexpected nag
immediately closable nag better than timed nag
ending nag better than opening nag better than inbetween nag
(opening immediate-nag is like extending the flash screen)

So in order of nag-desirability:
1. no nag
2. immediately closable end nag
3. immediately closable start nag
4. timed end nag
5. timed start nag
6. immediately closable function related nag
7. timed function related nag
8. immediately closable random nag
9. timed random nag

Very commonly used programs should not have nags past lvl 3
( nothing past: "immediately closable start nag" )

..what is very commonly used?
Any program expected to be used >30% of time at computer
(for person that commonly uses computer >10hrs/wk)
(think: FileMan, Browser, Document Editor )





Ok, so that's a proposed standard for nag acceptability.

Now, why that standard? what's the reasoning?

I'm borrowing technical standards of acceptability used for cars
Because we expect simmilar things from cars & software
We expect both to quickly, easily & efficiently take us to our objective
..& technical standards for cars have been hashed out to a consensus

I got the idea from Fluffy's comment that a nag is a nag
..& I thought: just like a bump in the road, is a bump
Both bumps & nags annoy us & slow down our progress

So how bumpy is too bumpy for cars?
1. for off road vehicles, 90% relatively bump-free
(less than 2 min of bumpiness on 20 min ride)
2. for on road vehicles, 95% smooth
(less than 1 min bumpiness on 20 min ride)

Difference in standard because there are fewer Off-Road alternatives
(if there were hundreds of Off-Road choices, we'd be tougher)

So lack of software alternatives, is like Off-Road vehicles


To figure out nag-desirability I thought about speed bumps:

expected speed bump is better than unexpected
immediately passable bump better than time delayed crossing
ending bump better than opening better than inbetween

End immediate-bump is like bump on drive way, on way back
It doesn't actually impede reaching objective


For restricting very commonly used program nags:
I applied occupation, health & safety standards for chronic drivers
(the standard there is for those driving >20hrs/wk)
I lowered it because computers are less commonly used than cars






I think map program should be in database, with note about nag.

Because:
1. program does not have better alternatives (that I found)
2. program is not going to be used often
(likely <30 times/year, to save aerial & topo-maps as JPGs)
(avg operation time is likely 30min-2.5 hours depending on expertise)
3. ending nag is not so annoying (few seconds, expected, on exit)
(like ending spalsh screen)


(Please note: non-accepted portable apps should be recorded somewhere - so that duplication of effort is prevented. That is, new members don't submit previously rejected portable apps, because they can search for & find those rejected apps. I mentioned this at the poll for including that 'MetaGalactic Llamma...' game)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:10 am 
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Previous post seemed wordy


Proposed-standard can be summerized, very briefly:



If NO equivalent no-nag, with better interface, INCLUDE:

1. everyday-use program with start & end splash-type notices
(everyday-use like: FileMan, Browser, Document Editor)

2. specialty program with >90% nag-free operation-time
(estimate non-timed nag as: 10sec random / 5sec expected)
[random more obtrusive than exected - so weighted heavier]
(if they're timed add the 5 or 10 sec to the time)
(use expert/frequent-user average operation time)



Prior wordy post explains definitions, reasoning & rationale



Maps is specialty-program, without equivalent & has an end-splash
(much more than 90% nag-free operation-time)
So Maps should be included

Rejected portable apps should be searchable, so NO re-submit/test
(See: my post about this at "Meta-Galactic Llama..." game poll)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:51 am 
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Well, I noticed that a recent virus cleaner app that had a nag was accepted with a disclaimer, so I guess this one has to be added too. As far as drawing the line goes, here's 2 reasonable limits:

1 - The nag is only displayed once per program run at a specified time (startup or shutdown)
2 - The nag can be dismissed easily, i.e. no timer or coundown

[EDIT] I'm actually surprised that any nag screens are even considered after reading through the About page of TPFC: "It may be the "lite" version of a commercial product. I am OK with listing the "lite" version of a commercial product, as long as it is true freeware, not nagware or crippleware."

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:15 pm 
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Fluffy: Thanks for supporting consistant standards

Fluffy's suggestion sounds like proposed standard.

Principal of proposed standard can be simplified to:


Start/End "nag" is NOT really nag-ware. It's like splash screen.

For otherwise unavailable functions, small annoyance is justified.
(if only road to grocery is a little bumpy - you take bumpy road)
(true NAG-ware: nags >10% of operational time - it's obtrusive)
(won't use bumpy road if it crushes groceries on way back)
(>10% nag can harm software function, by disrupting smooth use)

Free-ware is: software that functions without needing payment.
cripple-ware, trial-ware & demo-ware are less than functional.
NAG-ware, ad-ware & spy-ware extract payment by other means.

Traditional free-ware, open-source, bait-ware, postcard-ware, prayer-ware, e-mail-ware & programs requiring free-registration for download count as free-ware. These types of programs do not require payment for functionality.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:18 pm 
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The "accept-if-no-alteratives-available, do-not-accept-if-alternatives-available" suggestion has an inherent problem. If we later discover a nag-free alternative, do we then remove the previous entry?

Furthermore, how to determine whether it is an alternative? What if it covers only 75% of the functionality? Then someone can argue that it is not an alternative, since there are some functions missing. Therefore, I think any rule that we come up with must have minimal coupling with other apps.

However, we might be able to take usage pattern into consideration, since I am already doing it to some apps that write to the registry. One can argue that he uses eg. a file recovery app 8 hours a day, but I think for the majority of people, it is probably a once-in-a-blue-moon affair.

(Actually, even that has some gray areas. For example, I think it is OK for CDRW/DVDRW apps to write settings to the registry, since a lot of the settings are typically hardware dependent, and it is unlikely that you have the same CDRW/DVDRW drive on every machine that you run the app on, so it makes sense for the settings to be tied to the machine. However, I can see how some people might disagree with that!)

Quote:
Well, I noticed that a recent virus cleaner app that had a nag was accepted with a disclaimer, so I guess this one has to be added too.


To me, there is a difference. The virus cleaner app merely informs me that there are other apps from the same company available, or a more powerful paid version of the app available. It is a little different from popping up a message and asking me for money.

Anyway, I realize I am standing on a slippery slope here. So I am hoping that by soliciting your opinions, we can come up with clearer guidelines on what constitutes "nagware" that is acceptable to most people.

It seems like there is no concensus so far. The 3 types of responses that I gather are:

- Nags are no big deal as long as they are specified clearly in the synopsis
- Depends on the nature of the app and how annoying it is (eg. timeout)
- Any nag is bad and the app should be removed

Anything I missed?

What about some DonationCoder apps that I removed earlier? Those apps will start displaying a nag screen randomly at the launch of the program after 6 months.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:40 am 
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Although each one of us may have varying degrees of tolerance for nags - I've already layed mine out above - I think the trend towards "usage pattern" may be a solid basis from which to decide.
Quote:
One can argue that he uses eg. a file recovery app 8 hours a day, but I think for the majority of people, it is probably a once-in-a-blue-moon affair.

I agree with Andrew and others that have said that basically there are apps that many of us use daily where nags would well, be a nag and then there are unique/useful but only fire up once a month programs where a nag is no big deal.

The only thing left to consider if that approach is adopted then is to decide how much is tolerable.

My 2 cents:

Acceptable
    Pop up at the begining (timed or not)
    Pop up at the close (timed or not)
Unacceptable
    Any pop up that interupts your usage of the software while you are using it.


I hope this helps.


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