[Ardour-Users] Could this solve Ardour's financial headache?

John Emmas johne53 at tiscali.co.uk
Wed Jan 7 07:47:51 PST 2009

Only this morning I found out that Subversion is able to restrict access
using a password database (rather than 'anonymous' access which is the
default).  Obviously, something like this must already happen for write
access but I gather it can be implemented for read access too.  I couldn't
help wondering if this might offer a solution for Ardour's ongoing financial

According to various things I've read during the past year, monthly
downloads for Ardour are typically between 10,000 and 20,000 downloads per
month - although it's thought that most of these might just be existing
users keeping themselves up-to-date. Also, I'm not sure how that splits
between people downloading the source and people downloading binaries,  For
the sake of argument, let's say that 500 "new" users download the source,
each month (i.e. 2.5% - 5% of the total).

If anyone wanting to download the source had to pay a one-time fee of $35,
that would be a big chunk of income for Ardour each month.  For their $35
they'd get a password to use for future SVN access (which would be free from
then onwards).  People could still obtain binaries for free - and they could
obtain source code for free (in a tar ball or whatever) - but SVN access
would carry a one-off registration fee.

Ideally it would need to be an automated process because I'm sure Paul's got
enough to do already without having to issue 500 passwords every month.
Also, there'd need to be some way of accommodating the existing user base,
so they don't find themselves suddenly out in the cold.

In the early days (when Ardour wasn't as feature-rich and there probably
wasn't enough interest in it) I can see how something like this would have
been counter-productive.  But given that Ardour is more mature and is
steadily gaining in popularity, is this now something worth thinking about?


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