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The reason you opened this page is probably that you are considering making a donation to one of my free software projects. On this page I will explain what a donation means regarding software I have developed, which you are probably using. I wrote this because of misunderstandings I recently had with some particular users.

What a donation IS:

1. An expression of appreciation and gratitude for the work I did in my spare time. This spare time may have been spent earning money working on commercial software, watching TV, playing a computer game or jerking off, but instead I dedicated this time to develop the software you've been using. I made the decision to release it as free software. This may be the reason you are thankful for.

2. Up to you. You do it on your free will. You don't have to donate, but it is nice if you do. Even a small sum multiplied by a large number of users can bring the author some additional comfort just like he did for you by developing this software and releasing it freely.

What a donation IS NOT:

1. It is not a guarantee or warranty of any sort. It does not mean I will grant your every wish after you donate. Free software and open source is all about "works for me". One of the reasons I made this software freely available is so that others who have need for the software can use it if it fulfills their needs. I did not release this software so that I could support it like a commercial application. As long as it works for me, and has all the features I need, I am not likely to change it. However, if I feel inspired to hack on the code, or even implement a requested feature, that is my decision.

2. It does not represent an obligation on my part to work on features you request, or to fix bugs you report. Again, I work on this software in my spare time, as I see fit. There are no deadlines or schedules. Please also note that open source means you can modify it on your own. If you have the ability, fix the bugs or implement the feature and send your patch. You may not have enough free time, or the ability to code in C++. This is not my problem. I am a busy man too.

What I DO NOT care about:

1. Whether you use this software or not. Free software (and life in general) is about choice. If you don't like it, don't use it. Just because you installed my software on your computer does not necessarily mean that I will celebrate your decision to do so.

2. Your feature requests. This is open source, which means you have the full source code for this program. You can modify, redistribute or even fork another project out of it as long as it is in accordance with the license the software is distributed under. Moreover, I appreciate patches as much as I appreciate the donations.

3. Providing support. Whether or not I answer your messages regarding this software is my own free will. I can simply ignore them for many reasons. Perhaps I do not like what you are asking, or how you are asking it. Maybe I'm in a bad mood and simply don't feel like replying. If you want your problem solved, your best bet would be to post to the mailing list for the program your question is about. You can discuss your problem there with other users who may even be more familiar with the software than myself.

What I DO care about:

1. My family, myself, and our collective comfort, health, and happiness.

Finally, writing free software is my hobby. As with any hobby, it can be stopped any time, especially if it's no longer fun. There are many other projects and activities much more profitable and rewarding, but for some reason I still maintain the software and make periodic new releases.

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