Q. How will I get the software after purchase?
Native packages are available for supported distributions (DEB). Download links will be sent by email. The DEB packages can be installed manually, or by running the install.sh script that is provided. Future updates will be sent by email when a new version is released.
Q. Is there a PPA available?
Launchpad PPAs are for non-commercial projects. For commercial projects a private repository needs to be hosted. This involves additional expenditure which can be as much as $150/month. Due to the low volume of licenses that are currently sold, it it not feasible to set up a private repository. I will be setting it up if enough licenses are sold.
Q. Is activation required for the software?
You will be prompted to enter a license key when the app is started for first time. The key will be sent by email. The activation is an offline process, and the key can be used as many times as needed.
Q. Is there an issue tracker and roadmap?
A GitHub issue tracker is available and will be shared by email after purchase. You can report issues, ask questions, and request features; either by email, or in the issue tracker. I prefer that you do it by email so that I can respond more quickly.
There is a Milestone section in the issue tracker. You can use it to get an estimate of when the next version will be released and what changes will be included in the release.
Q. Android and iOS apps cost $3 on the app store. Why is this app priced at $X?
Android and iOS developers have the advantage of an App store which is used by a billion users. Developers simply need to upload their app and the app store takes care of payments, licensing and distribution. Developing paid applications for Linux is much harder due to the absence of any centralised app store. The Linux platform itself is fragmented into hundreds of distributions which are difficult to support.
Linux has a very low market share on desktops (less than 2%), and the majority of users in the Linux community are averse to paid/closed-source software. This results in a very low volume of sales. Given this scenario, it is not feasible for developers to sell apps for $3.
The pricing is based on the number of hours spent on development, the number of licenses that are expected to sell, and the amount of time that needs to be spent on providing support to users, answering questions, future development, etc.
Q. How long is a lifetime license valid for?
Lifetime licenses are valid for the lifetime of the product. This includes all major and minor updates for the application for as long as it is being developed and supported.
Realistically speaking, you can expect an app to be maintained for a period of 10 years and a minimum of one update a year. An application which is still in development will receive more updates than an application that is stable and feature-complete. An app that is selling well and receives more feature requests will also see more frequent updates.
There is also the bus factor of 1 that you need to consider. A bus factor is the number of developers who need to get hit by a bus (disappear, or quit the project) for the development to stop. Since I’m the only developer, if I get hit by a bus tomorrow, you will stop receiving updates :P.
This is true for software companies as well. Companies may go bankrupt or decide to stop developing a product due to lack of sales. The software that I create are for my own use, so I have an incentive to keep developing and making it better for my own use, even if it doesn’t sell enough licenses.