Application talk - JetBrains, FreeOffice and StackEdit


I don't like what a couple of big business has done.

I won't defend what Apple, Microsoft, Google, Oracle etc. done to make big money.

Apple and Microsoft did not make their free Office suites because they needed to - they did it because Google did and because other Office Suites are available free of charge and they wanted to stay in market.

I will defend what small companies do and why they do it.

FUD or fact

Statements such as these reflect a general attitude of parts of the Linux community.

To answer your question - is it FUD or facts?

It is FUD because you don't have any facts to back the statement on the software being crippled.

And actually the attitude that a developer should work for me on my favorite apps for free or I can throw him a donation if I feel good - that attitude is disgusting.

What I would like is for everyone to appreciate the hard work that goes into producing quality software. Thousands of code lines even millions in complex software.

What is crippled

This is crippled


Calling an application crippled suggests the application was developed to the full extent and that functions and features then were removed to make it attractive to support the full version.

That is the wrong view because usually it goes the other way around.

An application is developed and released. Then features are defined and added - with object oriented programming - in a modular way, by creating building blocks which maybe reused with other application.

Jetbrains example

When you like JetBrains has a modular base you can easily extend that base to cover specific tasks e.g. Python, Java, C#, C, Web, Ruby and the list goes on and on.

Do you think any of the above mentioned applications are crippled?

They are not - they are designed to do a specific task.

FreeOffice example

FreeOffice is a very current example - the app is developed with some basic tasks in mind - that is not crippling as claimed in the referenced comment.

  • Read and write documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
  • Print a document on paper if required.

That is what most people do!

Of course there may be enhanced functionality which very few users require but then you buy in either onetime based or subscription based.

This is a very common business model because developers are human beings providing for their families.

StackEdit example

Another example is - it is a brilliant markdown editor - completely free of charge. But you will find that the export function is limited to users actively supporting the developer. That is not crippled - the editor works. You can even connect your dropbox, google drive etc. and store your documents there.


So everyone please get down from that high horse, throw away your scrooge behavior and support your local software developer.

There is nothing wrong with paying a developer for the work he/she does.

They are doing a good job but getting a lot of bad vibe.


The issue people have is that the proprietors can change the current model and made it completely to something horrid. Even just the possibility scares us.

We saw it happen, company waits for larger userbase and then say you must pay monthly fee as service.

It's the RMStallman inside us that guiding our principles. We believe that proprietors excersie power over the users. Being default would mean giving some people that power.

Having and opt in options in installer would be a reasonable compromise.


Then you wave goodbye and thank you for cheese(cake) - it is not that hard.

Indeed - let's see - some dedicated coders are working on new installer options.

OH and they are working on it because of You - the users

OH-NO they are not getting paid ..... dang


They are as far as I've read. In Calamares they are adding a way to select an office suite or probably none at all.

@linux-aarhus got there first. :wink:


This isn't limited to "free" software, many paid packages have different tiers of paid features. Determining which features are in which bundle can be done before, during and/or after development (I've done it firsthand in a prior life.) Crippling is essential to up-selling. It's just business. But that's not why we love linux...


Here's a link to the information. :wink:


Still the word crippling is very negative and is suggesting that features has been removed - not added.

For example - intentionally disabling the the ability to print in a text edit applicaiton is crippling but - as with Sublime Text - it was never there (who needs printing of source code) - it would be a feature.

From my own experience as a (retired) embedded systems developer, turning off existing features is vastly more reliable than adding new premium features later. Development works best coding the full version and only disabling the premium features once all the features have been fully QA'd. Then the free version needs to be thoroughly QA'd. For a reliable product, there is no practical delay between the release of the trial version and the paid version. Adding new features would follow the same paradigm.


An application is called crippled when the most accessible version -- usually the free version -- has major features disabled, preventing people from decently using it.

JetBreans IDEA is not a crippleware because it allows the development of a full application (for languages supported in the community edition). Locked features are mostly professional-oriented.
StackEdit is not a crippleware because, based on your description, disabled exporting is easily circumvented (copy/paste and cloud storage).

FreeOffice is not a crippleware as it allows full edition of Microsoft Office formats.
Yet people have complained in the previous "discussion" about its disabled features for Open Document formats, making it a poor choice when favoring FOSS, compared to alternatives.

As you explained, limiting features in free versions allow developers to earn money from extra features, by giving prospects a glimpse of what they could do with the full version. Yet people have questioned -- harshly indeed -- the choice for an application, shipped by default in Manjaro -- that point has been dismissed since then -- that would restrict FOSS in such way.

PS : To be complete with the picture, i shall also remind the feedback regarding the Open Document formats have been taken into consideration.


Good morning,
I think all that rumble from last days wasn't that bad. It cleared up info and thoughts between developers and community.
We now have a minimal iso (snap free) and in future there will be the option to choose only those applications needed/wanted.
After all, everybody gets a piece of cake.

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I've been fascinated to follow the whole Free Office debate here, but any discussion on ethics has been off topic until now. I'm (in part) a professional academic ethicist, so forgive me if I leap rather too enthusiastically on the chance to discuss ethics, but apology notwithstanding, here's my two penneth.

I think people are entitled to recompense for the work they do, but the ability to provide such compensation cannot simply supercede all other considerations. There are more important ethical goals than fair exchange of goods.

If a developer has a brilliant idea about how to make some activity, which virtually every working adult has to engage with to some extent, more efficient, we have an ethical duty to compensate them (as you say). But if we are exchanging ethical duties, do you not think someone holding knowledge which could ease the lives of millions of workers has an ethical duty to make that knowledge available?

To give an extreme example. If I knew the location of an asteroid impact (because of my hard work and diligence) should I sell that information, or give it away?

As I understand it, the principle (or one of them) behind FOSS, is that providing source code for quality innovations in programming is a more important goal than getting paid. It's not that there's anything immoral about getting paid itself, it's when the means by which one ensures this happens is by hiding innovations which benefit society as a whole.

The open-source/donation model is an imperfect attempt to balance these conflicting duties.

Partly its about recognising that not everything can be monetised. If we (the users) provide useful feedback to the programmers, do we get paid for that service too? Do the people who developed the OS, without which the programmer's effort will have been wasted, get paid. What about all the programmer's mates, online communities, etc who will have contributed to his/her knowledge, do they get paid for their contribution?

Monetising knowledge is fraught with complications in terms of establishing who really owns it, and by what right they retain it in leui of payment.

A much less complicated model is to admit that knowledge is community-owned and monetise some more well-defined contribution such as physical work.


Not at all.
FOSS allows the user to keep control over the software he uses: source access/modification/redistribution. It's the freedom F, not the free beer F.
Paid software can very well be FOSS: the user can only access the source after buying a copy of the software. Likewise, people can very well be paid to develop full-time on FOSS.

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That's exactly what I said. It's not that there's anything wrong with (or any reason why) the developer should not be paid, it's just that there are other priorities.

The example you gave is just such a compromise as I was referring to. The customer (after having paid for the product) gets the source code. A far less secure way of ensuring the developer gets paid (afterall the customer could now copy that product ad infinitum), but a way which has other priorities above ensuring fair compensation.

We are in agreement - not sure what the "Not at all" refers to.

Edit - to be perhaps clearer. I'm disputing the idea that having priorities above being paid means that one is opposed to paying. Your priority might be transparency, mine is the communal ownership of knowledge. These differences aren't so relevant to the point, which is that meeting either may require a sacrifice to be made to either the certainty or the quantity of one's payment for the product.

It is the order of these priorities which I think sets FOSS apart.

That point is irrelevant to FOSS.
FOSS is about user freedom, and solely user freedom. How you balance it with developer income is outside FOSS' definition.

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I haven't made any comment about how one balances it with with developer income. The point is that one must balance it with developer income, ie something comes above developer income in the order of priorities.

The point I was originally responding to was an equation of a complaint about lack of FOSS support with lack of concern for developer income. I was simply trying (among other things) to clarify that having a priority above developer income (even one which might impact on a developer's income security or quantity) does not necessary equate that way, only that the one often impacts the other.

There's a difference between fair income and the means of securing that income. If I wanted to sell you a painting for £500, and you were happy to buy that painting for £500, then we have agreed on a fair income for my work painting it. We have not, however, agreed on whether you should give me the money (and I post you the painting), or whether I should give you the painting (and you wire me the money). We have not agreed, in other words, on the means by which I secure my income.

The main issue with FOSS is that the developer has made a sacrifice in his/her ability to secure the income. This is entirely unrelated to the amount of income. Keeping the code secret ensures that you and only you can supply the product on receipt of payment. Making the code transparent and available (even after some payment) lessens that security. The developer is willing to do that presumably because there are more important goals for them than he securing of financial return.

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Interesting at what lengths the Manjaro Team (or some part of it) goes to defend a company in Germany and even goes as far as single picking and denouncing a user on their very forum because they speak their opinion.

I am certain no-one meant cripplesoftware literally but I guess it fits in your agenda. Why do you think FO is better than LO? No one could answer this in a over 300 post thread. Maybe I missed Manjaro's new objective that was "best OOTB exp. possible" to "help this company in Germany improve".

It was all testing and in the end it turned reasonable because the community objected against it and the team went for it which is nice.

The "issue" with Manjaro is that its community members are heavily emotionally invested (and the Manjaro Team are also community members).

This makes small miscommunications seem like huge issues, especially when people are using a language which is not their native language (and sometimes not even their second or third).

What I would make clear, though, is that the community always has a voice and the community will do what it can to keep Manjaro true to what the community wants. Simply to up and leave without saying anything (which a lot of people on YouTube and Reddit say they are doing) doesn't help anything.

In the various threads on "controversial" topics I think I've made clear that there is always discussion within the team to try and get the best possible outcome.

For example, there was some discussion that Softmaker might be persuaded to open-source their Free edition, but that would require way too radical a shift of their business model for them at this stage.

Would any of this have happened without this entire mess? Of course not.

This is why discussion is important and necessary. If everyone just sat there and didn't question then the whole project would be that much weaker for it - trying to come to some sort of consensus normally means a far better and stronger outcome, and also makes for a stronger community.


I agree with your sentiment, but it's difficult to look at the process here and see how such sentiment actually played out.

Discussion is clearly important if you're keen on keeping a community involved, but I'd not characterise the Including FreeOffice is a bad idea (Was: Manjaro Roadmap) as a discussion.

A lot of increasingly shrill dissenting voices, barely more than a handful of responses from those responsible for the decision (and most of those referring back to the same position), the topic shut down at least twice, and, as pointed out above, after 300 posts, still no actual reason given for why free office was included, which was the question in the first place. "They approached us" is a description, not an explanation.

I understand these things get messy very quickly, but it's not too hard discuss these things rationally.

"Why is Free Office being included by default?" was basically the original question. "Because Free Office does ... which Libre office does not" was all that was required, but no such answer was forthcoming 300 posts later, and I think it was that that became the source of frustration as much as the actual decision.

Again, I'm sympathetic to the complexities here and some may feel that "improved compatibility with Ms" was sufficient explanation, but many, myself included, who've been using odf in a corporate world for decades clearly needed a little more detail, and again, getting such details has been like getting blood from a stone.


Everything you say makes sense.

As @Isaacson pointed out, that's what I was referring to.

Don't change anything unless its broken or there is something better. In both cases it should be easy to communicate from the team. E.g snaps and that kind of stuff - I don't like them but there are benefits in some use cases.

No such things happened here and instead we got partial user bashing threads from a team member.
The way this was handled by some is what I disapprove of.


That one?

If so, you misunderstood the relation between FOSS and developer income in this case.

One of the main reasons people switch to Linux is a better control of their system. This is allowed by FOSS, as well as open standards -- which permit interoperability between those software -- such as the Open Document Format. Thus, having the default-shipped word processor not fully supporting ODF can be seen as missing an important feature, unless you pay for the full version.

As you said, that's basic business: one will buy something if the price fits the features. The part we are not aligned is you focus too much on how FOSS may restrict that business because of its implications -- open source, shared knowledge... which do not apply here! -- rather than how it restricts it as a feature. :dizzy_face:


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