would you pay for something you can get for free? January 12, 2002 8:34 PM   Subscribe

A new weblog publishing system? Many fancy shmancy features but would you pay for something you can get for free?
posted by lostbyanecho to General Weblog-Related at 8:34 PM (13 comments total)

The problem I see with this one is that since it uses a MySQL db, it's out of the reach of many bloggers. Had it been PHP and flat files, then more people could use it. It offers a lot more features, but I am not sure if it's worth $39.00
posted by riffola at 9:40 PM on January 12, 2002

riffola, I don't understand. Anyone who can run PHP should be able to run MySQL too, right? They're both free, and MySQL is easy to administer (there are web-based front ends to help).
posted by rodii at 10:17 PM on January 12, 2002

rodii: Since most cheap hosting doesn't come with PHP support, you have to cough up more cash for it--bad news for people who go with services like DotEasy for the free (but featureless in terms of script support) hosting.
posted by littlegreenlights at 10:23 PM on January 12, 2002

"Would you pay?" I paid $350 for CityDesk about a month ago. (Not all bloggers are impoverished college students.)
posted by Steven Den Beste at 10:49 PM on January 12, 2002

littlegreenlights, my point is that riffola's scenario is "PHP and flat files"--if you already have PHP running, you can probably also have MySQL. Even on paid hosting (which I was forgetting about), PHP and MySQL are often lumped together, aren't they?
posted by rodii at 11:06 PM on January 12, 2002

rodii: Not all hosts who offer PHP also include database access in their cheap hosting packages, usually adding database support costs a few dollars more per month.

I agree that MySQL is easy to administer via frontends like PHPMyAdmin, and most hosts have such frontends pre-installed.
posted by riffola at 11:11 PM on January 12, 2002

$39 is about right for shareware apps in the big picture sense (think of all the shareware you may have on your computer, eudora pro, some text editors, system utilities, etc), it's just that people aren't used to paying anything for weblog services or applications, so it still seems like a foreign concept. Hopefully people start getting over that and paying for the thousands of programmer-hours that went into many applications. Also, paying for things usually raises the bar on their quality (forget about microsoft for a second here), a free web app author can say "eh, how much did it cost you? so quit yer complainin' already," but a person making their living off software is more inclined to fix bugs and improve their system, or hire a competent team to approach it as a serious project.

I guess my only comment specifically about pmachine is with a resume like this, why is this guy wasting his time building weblog software? :)
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:47 AM on January 13, 2002

Wow. That looks exactly like something I've been looking for for a project I want to do. And, given that I gladly donated $30 for the luxury of using Movable Type, $39 for a more robust system seems perfectly reasonable (if it's as solid and well-maintained).
posted by mattpfeff at 7:46 AM on January 13, 2002

Blog is a free stand-alone blogging tool that Freakho posted at MeTa a while ago. It looks and acts similar to the $350.00 CityDesk and runs on Windows only. While CityDesk stores all blogged materials, blog entries and images, in one big .cty file in your computer; I am not sure exactly how the local backup is managed in Blog. Blog can also manage multiple weblogs. Both Blog and CityDesk run locally and are not dependent on any remote servers.

The price difference between Blog, a freeware, and CityDesk, which costs $350.00, shows in the rather unsophisticated installation of Blog. Blog's installer only unzips the files into a folder, but never creates any shortcuts or anything. Uninstalling Blog only involves deleting the folder where the files were unzipped. CityDesk has a sophisticated Windows installer and does all those things that we have gotten used to from most Windows softwares. Other than that, Blog is rather user-friendly and works just like a Blogger clone for the desktop computer. Freakho also mentioned that the developer "has been extremely open to user feedback/questions." While Blog has a cult-like user base CityDesk has one very satisfied evangelical customer.
posted by tamim at 11:36 AM on January 13, 2002

I'd be interested to look at the pmachine code. One of my pet peeves is that virtually everyone who writes apps in PHP uses a "Blazing Fast MySQL Backend". Granted, MySQL is common in many hosting packages, works well with PHP and is pretty popular, but there are other platforms and databases out there, the best of which isn't MySQL. I wish more people used abstraction layers when it came to data storage in PHP apps. That's one area where Perl has the one-up.

Sorry for the topic drift, and don't get me wrong: I'm not insulting Mr. Rick Ellis. He seems like an extremely talented and very professional guy. I'm just commenting on "PHP Programmers" in general.
posted by tomorama at 5:32 PM on January 14, 2002

tomorama, just to develop your point, it's not enough to use MySQL or any db: if your script uses too much db queries, it's slow, even if the db is originally quite fast.

With that said, I wouldn't pay for pmachine - there are already so many free counterparts that there's no point in paying, especially when most fancy features are just toys that could be coded in a minute...

...I'd sure pay to know just how people can get to advertise their scripts so much when they don't release any testable code. ;)
posted by michel v at 1:20 AM on January 15, 2002

For high performance, intensive web apps, good rdbms are usually a good way to go. There's (usually) nothing a powerful server and code optimization can't fix, and good dbs will cache data and queries, minimizing load.
posted by tomorama at 1:10 PM on January 15, 2002

Here are two other alternate PHP based weblog scripts: Pivot, which stores the data in XML, and Nucleus, which stores the data in MySQL.
posted by riffola at 8:31 PM on January 21, 2002

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