I heard about the new Elive 2.0 release over at Distrowatch. I greeted the news with enthusiasm, as I am a fan of the Enlightenment library upon which it is based. I’ve previously written about Enlightenment here, here, here and others. I have been favorably impressed with the efforts thus far.
So, I downloaded the Elive 2.0 iso and set about installing it in a VMWare 7 virtual machine (VM). The LiveCD desktop started up fine:
Not quite the arresting backgrounds I’d seen before, but it was animated with the stars twinkling. I kinda miss the bright, beautiful backgrounds of OpenGEU. The dock is pretty cool, and the icons zoom as you mouse over them. The far right icon on the dock starts the installation. That’s where I was headed.
Since this isn’t going to end well, I’ll skip to the pertinent screens. Imagine my surprise when this screen showed up near the beginning of the process:
A small payment? What’s that about? I shrugged and carried on with the install. I didn’t get far before this screen showed up:
I’d never encountered an install module in Linux before, so I was a bit confused. Not seeing any alternative, I clicked on “Obtain the module”. The bottom line soon appeared:
Well, that certainly isn’t free. 20 Euros (or any other price) seems steep just to test a piece of software and write about it. But there is an alternative as you can note under the big box. One way to get a free code is to write about Elive. Well I’ve written a lot of posts about Enlightenment and E17, so I figured that would get a code with which to write this post. I sent an email to the developer, but he said that my earlier posts weren’t acceptable because they weren’t about Elive itself. He also pointed me to his link about “free”. I quote part of it here:
After that you know that free has no relation with cost. This payment is required to pay the development of Elive, that is the full time work of the Developer ‘Thanatermesis’ and also to pay external development and/or services. Think that more money is made and more development can be possible to pay and so, a better final product (Elive). But in any of the cases, you are not obliged to pay for Elive, nobody obliges you to use Elive. Without any cost, Elive would not be the same, at least not with all its features, usefriendly things, and the lot of work involved. By other side, if your problem is that you can’t possibly pay for any personal reason, we don’t want to prevent anybody from using Elive so we propose alternatives which are described in the payment process. [my bold]
Fair enough, especially on the bold part. I’m done. The developer may do what he wishes with his software. If people are willing to pay for it, so be it. I don’t mind contributing to software development and have supported a number of efforts. But I don’t like being charged just to try something. My interest level dropped to zero and remains there. Ubuntu is and always will be free. ‘nuf said.
I’m setting up a test of the really free OpenGEU, based on E17 and Ubuntu, as soon as I finish writing this. It uses the gorgeous Quarto di Luna artwork with which I am so enamored. Stay tuned for more on OpenGEU!