Hi there,

some month ago (in july 2005) I started with a small font viewer freeware (check it if you like: http://font.dp4.de/fonts.exe). I placed it on some major freeware sites (mainly in Germany). Right now I count 10.325 downloads but only a number of less than 10 feedback emails :( this is a quota of not even 1 one-tenth of a percent.

Meanwhile I added a large feedback dialog with clickable links and email, but nothing changed.

So I wonder did you made similar experiences with your shareware / freeware?
Posted on 2005-11-24 05:04:29 by beaster
Freeware is free, so users usually delete the app if they can't use it, instead of feeding-back. Make them pay $0.01 and they'll keep calling the customer support number endlessly :P
Posted on 2005-11-24 09:10:59 by ti_mo_n
I think it's normal to have only 0.1% feedback if the users paid nothing. Especially if there are no problems with the freeware/open-source app. I don't want this to be the case, either :( . "To cast bread upon the waters" - this is how I think about my freeware/opensrc projects, never again expecting any feedback. At some time I came to a conclusion: to make only commercial software, and from time to time - publish various useful libs/tools/src I made (used in the commercial projects). If there are serious problems with the libs/tools/src, eventually I'll get some feedback, then fix those bugs - publish the fixed version and meanwhile use it in my commercial stuff - making both the freebie user and me happy. Thus, it's a win-win situation mostly. So, imho it's better to concentrate on development that matters, than on expecting feedback.

Now that I tried your fonts.exe - it's nice :), useful for 2 things for me: searching for a suitable font for my artwork, and making a bitmap/screenshot of fixed-size fonts. I was just curious about non-ascii fonts like "MS Gothic" (Japanese) - but your app doesn't support wide-char text ^^" . "MS Gothic" isn't listed at all, though it exists in my Fonts folder (Paint lists it). Anyway, attached is a screenshot how Japanese text gets replaced with "????" in your app (like in all other widechar-disabled apps).
Attachments:
Posted on 2005-11-24 12:56:02 by Ultrano
-> Clicking "Löschen" and then NOT confirming it, deletes the font from the list.

-> How do I change it to English?

-> Is there a "export bitmap" function?
Posted on 2005-11-24 14:33:30 by ti_mo_n
Ultrano, perhaps http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Mouser/UnicodeImageMaker/index.html would be interesting for you?
Posted on 2005-11-25 03:25:53 by f0dder
thanks, finally I got some more feedback :)

The reason to publish it is exactly what Ultrano said - I like to get some bug reports, so I can enhance the TTF engine.

The program is not fully unicode, because it should run also with WinME (never tested) so the EDIT control does not support Unicode text. Maybe I kick out Win9X support...

To ti_mo_n: if you have an english Windows, the UI should be automatically in english? The delete bug will be fixed :)
Posted on 2005-11-25 04:10:03 by beaster
beaster, have you written your own TTF rendering engine? Or based on / using Freetype?
Posted on 2005-11-25 04:12:56 by f0dder
I usually find, in sales, that you only get a 2 to 4 percent response to anything you do no matter how good or successful the product is.
Posted on 2005-11-25 08:09:02 by drhowarddrfine
beaster,
change the language thing to the following behavior:  IF language == German THEN use German ELSE use default.

This way German users get the German lang and all other users get the English lang.


Use unicode functions and link all  "W" functions with Microsoft's ' unicows.dll '. This way you'll get unicode support on NT systems, and the app will still work (of course only in ANSI) on 9x systems.

unicows can be downloaded at MS site. You don't have to distribute it to NT users -- only 9x users will need it to run your unicode app.
Posted on 2005-11-25 17:59:25 by ti_mo_n
beaster,

Posting freeware is in most instances like pissing work down a black hole, almost exclusively nothing comes back. If its a friendly and useful app, you do get some email feedback eventually but its unusual even when there have been hundreds of thousands of downloads.

The best you can get is if the download rate is reasonable and no-one whinges about it, its probably an OK popular app.

Regards,

hutch at movsd dot com
Posted on 2005-11-27 02:53:46 by hutch--
beaster, have you written your own TTF rendering engine? Or based on / using Freetype
its an own pure ASM implementation, derived from the freetype C sources. Mainly I read the TTF standard and the file format and got some ideas how to realize from the freetype sources. Main problem is the variety of files, which are sometimes malformed, so the renderer must be very robust.

change the language thing to the following behavior:  IF language == German THEN use German ELSE use default.
how can I change the UI language by code? I use this in my resource file:
	STRINGTABLE PRELOAD LANGUAGE LANG_ENGLISH, SUBLANG_NEUTRAL
BEGIN
IDS_COLFACE, "Font name"
IDS_COLFILE, "File"
IDS_COLFAMILY, "Family class"
...
END

STRINGTABLE PRELOAD LANGUAGE LANG_GERMAN, SUBLANG_NEUTRAL
BEGIN
IDS_COLFACE, "Schriftart"
IDS_COLFILE, "Datei"
IDS_COLFAMILY, "Familie"
..
END
Microsoft states that windows chooses the appropiate language. Using LoadString or something there is no way to choose the language by myself.

its probably an OK popular app
ok - I'll hope so :)
Posted on 2005-11-28 05:15:47 by beaster
"... like pissing work down a black hole"... I couldn't agree more. I've been working on the same project for almost a year, and out of hundreds of bugs found, I think about 3 to 5 were from users notifying me (and most were ridiculous WinXP issues). Yet, "Please report bugs" is one of the first sentences on the web page. Sure, I get questions and feature requests all the time, but if it's anything that has to do with the current product, it's already in the documentation which nobody ever reads (but that's another subject...). Good feedback does come, mind you, but it's always pretty vague and/or it's accompanied by some very wishful request.
Posted on 2006-01-06 14:05:37 by Big Red