Aug 4, 2006

NDoc 2 is Dead!

Oh No!! NDoc 2.0 has died due to lack of support (read the post).

And now I feel kinda guilty as well. I used NDoc to generate the reference guide for the AtomsFramework, and for other non-O/S projects as well.

I really feel for Kevin. I know personally how much time I spent getting the AtomsFramework up and running, supporting others who used it, and so forth. Of the almost 13,000+ downloads and with it being used in a number of live projects around the world I recieved a total of 1 donation. That's a pretty poor hit rate.

Yet at the same time I ask myself how many contributions have I made to open source? I can think of none. I know I've paid for shareware, but not for O/S. Why? Probably because it didn't really occur to me at the time. I download something to see if it works. If it doesn't I ingore it, if it does I just use it - forgetting to go back to the creators and give them a tip.

Having said that I guess that I did feel a little let down by the lack of financial thankyou's. And I can empathise with Kevin deeply. NDoc has been downloaded 13,000,000 times. If Kevin recieved 1 donation for every 13,000 downloads (which is my ratio) that would have been 1,000 donations. At an average of say $10 per donation it's still a pretty poor return. $10,000 for something used by well over 1,000,000 developers and extremely well known world wide is laughable.

Imagine if he charged $25 per seat and sold _only_ 130,000 copies (1%). He would have made over $3 million dollars!!

We really do need to support open source financially. I'm using NHibernate now for a project so I guess it's time to pull out the wallet and cough up some cash.


  1. You touched a very important point. Perhaps it's better to charge very little for your "doings" (say U$ 5,00) but deliver everything with source code and open, royalty free. If Kevin had done that I would have paid him the U$ 5,00 and he would be a richer man today. Open source/free initiatives are good if you manage to profit indirectly from them (like Mozilla, PHP, etc.) with advertisements on the "home-page" of the project, indirect products, selling of manual and education, etc.

    Unless, of course, your aim isn't financial but intellectual or personal. See your product download 13.000.000 times is incredible. If I was to interview Kevin for a position at my company, if he said: man, I did NDOC, he would be hired right away, with a very special salary...

    Indirect earnings aren't always obvious...

  2. Would you really? I'm not quite sure as somebody somewhere would probably have started something similar in O/S and that is the one you would have used don't you think?