Freeware

Ham Radio Deluxe has announced that the final free version of HRD will be removed from their servers September 1, 2013.  After the HRD freeware product was sold by its author, it was converted to a commercial software product.  The current owner, W4PC, has stated that the freeware 5.x version will continue to be free, however they will no longer host the files for download and there will be no further development on the 5.x version.  Others may host the files for download free of charge.

I hate to keep sounding like a broken record, but the situation with HRD, and in particular with the 5.x freeware version, illustrates just why freeware is a problematic software model and ultimately a technological dead end for a hobby like amateur radio.  Luckily with HRD, development is continuing with the commercial product.

Do you use other freeware amateur radio programs?  Ask your favorite program authors if they would consider open sourcing their software.  If they don’t, ask them why not and what do they have to lose.

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3 responses to “Freeware

  1. Not sure I understand …… he sold the source code to another
    developer. Why would he open source this code?

    Freeware offers developers a chance to test features and/or viability of a program and then make money by selling it to another developer if it gains popularity. We’ve made tens of thousands doing this.

    I love open-source, but its not for every developer, or every situation. Freeware is better than NoWare. Open source supporters tend to preach on about it a lot. Just go write some code and (open-source) give it away! Now that would be helpful.

    Liam

    • He wouldn’t. The path for HRD is clear; it’s now a commercial product. My point is other freeware you like may disappear someday if the author steps in front of a bus or loses interest in the project.

      “Freeware offers developers a chance to test features and/or viability of a program and then make money by selling it to another developer if it gains popularity”

      Bingo. That’s the only reason to not open source code, and is often an ulterior motive of a freeware developer, in my opinion.

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