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Mon 28 Apr 2008

MailServe Pro, ready for business

Category : Commentary/MailServeProReadyForBusiness.txt

So, we are selling MailServe Pro now. We're asking people to pay first and use their serial number/email address combination to download the zipped application. It's a new workflow - you can't directly download the application.

I now know for sure that the workflow works and can concentrate on improving the documentation and working on further enhancements.

I think this will go some way to towards limiting piracy. I didn't want to build in "shrinkage" through piracy to the selling price, thereby making legitimate customers pay for the sins of non-paying users.

And I didn't want to make the code overly complex just to do serial number checking - the scheme we use is not too difficult to break, but more elaborate schemes can have un-intended side-effects that derail users during the running of the program.

So we thought about this for quite a while and decided to try this out. Pay-then-download may not be hard too hard for people who're using MailServe for Leopard now, and who've dealt with me personally before, to accept. I don't mind if this limits the number of potential users but that subset is the one I build these enhancements for.

As for those who subscribe to the theory that it's better to have pirates than not to have them because they spread the news about the application far and wide, there's still MailServe for Leopard, and all the rest of the stuff that still works the old way, that they can pirate.

So, it's good thing to have this balance, to see which way is better. The next thing to do is to figure out how to sign the application, so the pirates can't just break it once and distribute that broken copy. And anyway, the things I do are quite low-level stuff that I take responsibility for. Do people really want to use something that's been patched and broken into and take a chance with whatever else was changed on that copy of MailServe? I don't really think so. It's better to be sure and pull down the application from my site.

Posted at 6:23AM UTC | permalink


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