Re: The methods of payment
Yes I agree with you that convenience is important.
I have had success in finding new software using the free trial download model (30 day trial, etc., or unlimited trial with ads, etc.).
If the software is good enough, after the trial period I am then willing to undertake the payment transaction.
Maybe this gives the developer some incentive?: the software has to provide enough benefits that I am willing to complete the payment transaction instead of un-installing.
In any case, I have found the trial period to be just as easy as with freeware.
I believe there are clearinghouses for "shareware" payments that facilitate purchase and sale. Presumably the good ones make it easy for the purchaser and take the burden off of the software publisher.
One of the problems mentioned in prior comments is how to set the value of a given project. There were comments about how the developer could not be trusted to set the value, etc. It seems clear from these comments that the Ransom system distorts the market.
Why do I say this? Because little or no consideration seems given to the market as the means for establishing the value of the project.
Consider this also: as a software developer, suppose that I create a product that is very high in quality and very useful to very many people over a long time period.
Why would I not want to enjoy being compensated commensurate with the value that I have brought to the community?
Ransom appears to create a short-circuit at the level of the pre-determined ransom compensation.
For those seeking intellectual challenges, technical challenges, and improvements in the fairness of software I would suggest considering approaches to help improve efficiency of the market.
As a user this means voluntarily paying fairly for the benefit I receive (not being "robbed" by mopolistic practices, miscommunication of product features, and so on); and as a developer this means being rewarded for the value of what I bring to the community.
For this time, I would suggest that projects that introduce systematic distortions in or otherwise interfere with the exchange of benefits / rewards are, ultimately, really rather uninteresting.