Re: are we getting commercial now after all the years?
As I was telling a contractor friend, the various Bible societies found that giving away bibles in remote areas implied they had no value and in the end weren't even able to give them away! To impute value to something, it had to be sold. So they employed the practice of SELLING bibles, et al, at a small fraction of their cost and found interest in them exploded.
And, as I indicated in an earlier posting, by PAYING for software, a customer and producer enter into a relationship. I had a long relationship with WordPerfect Corp. and staff because of my avid use and active commentary. I saw many of my suggestions become part of the product. Rather than jump from one product to another, I prefer loyalty based on such a relationship. Both users and producers benefit .. and can develop a mutual respect. There can be much more to selling than mere commercialism and greed.
Value your work highly .. and SELL it. I might become a customer.
Re: As a developer...
I always wonder when I see critiques of "the Open Source Movement" citing unwillingness to PAY for software. *I* prefer to PAY because SALE of a product implies COMMITTMENT to and RESPONSIBILITY FOR that product (within certain bounds). Not only that, but I prefer to establish a RELATIONSHIP with a software provider whereby I review the product and eagerly await fixes and enhancements and PAY for upgrades! As the article points out, it is certainly only fair that a developer is paid fairly for what he/she produces. If the product is good and USEFUL, people should be glad to pay because it saves them time, effort and grief. Or because it gives them pleasure. A good backup solution that supports my system and devices (CD ROM and DVD RAM, for example) or has such value-added as supplying internal labels that match an archive record on disk (shall we say, a form of "tape management system" software?) with a nice, "intuitive" interface can be a pleasure to use as it saves time, effort, and grief, for example.
Let me suggest you should never be afraid or unwilling to SELL your products. If you support your products, any customers worth having will also support you.