Paying for Linux software

The software I use for writing markdown blog posts on my computer, Typora, has moved from its beta testing phase into a commercial offering. Whereas it was free before, it now needs a licence, enabling the user to download it on three separate devices. This gave me pause, as I hadn't twigged it was a testing phase piece of software when I originally downloaded it – or maybe this was something I quickly glossed over... it's hard to remember now!

I'm not averse to paying for software but (correctly or not) associate Linux more with FOSS than commercial ventures. I spent a little bit of time playing with the alternatives I could easily find in Kubuntu's software centre but none of these really “did it” for me. I like Typora! It has a clean interface, a good basic selection of themes (yes, one day I may play and design my own, another option it has), is cross-platform, and the WYSIWYG editor is a joy to use.

Importantly, Typora gives me a sense of lightness when typing on it, contrasting with how I feel when using full fat word processors. I'm neither a Microsoft fanboy nor hater but it is predominantly a work tool for me... and Libre Office may be a great FOSS alternative but it is too similar in many ways to MS Word for it to feel like a place for non-work inspiration.

Ultimately, the simple pleasure-to-use nature of Typora trumped my mild preference for FOSS and I shelled out the massive sum of £13.79 for a licence. It made me think for a minute (but not deeply) about the different business models in the Linux-sphere. Some distributions are totally free, the efforts of small bands of dedicated folk, some target the business server world, there are “pay what you can” and “pay for extra features beyond the free version” distros. Same with the software too I guess!

Entry 98 of my participation in the “100 Days to Offload” challenge – find out more and join in!

2022-01-18 #100DaysToOffload #technology #Linux #software

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