• @cregox said in Some questions 🙂:

    if i can't use the nodebb service as a brand because i don't know how to host it, or because i don't have the money to pay for a host, then it is not free for me. i have no ability to use nodebb to make a change-without-constraint in my ability to use nodebb.

    This is, and we'll say this again, lying. Your inability to use something you've received for free does not change that it is/was free. Claiming that something that you were given as a gift wasn't a gift or free because you don't understand it or don't know how to use it or it isn't something else is just lying.

    Saying that anything, NodeBB, WordPress, whatever, isn't free because something else, like web hosting, isn't necessarily free is false. You might as well say that NodeBB isn't free because they don't drive your car on your way to lunch - it's unrelated and to attempt to confuse someone by using such a deception is what lying means. You are saying something completely false, there's no excuse for this.

    You need to just accept that NodeBB is free, as is all software under the GPL. There is no cost. If you want to pay someone to operate a website for you, that's fine and cannot change the fact that the software is free.

    You are literally making the claim that if someone is given a hammer, for free, that they should complain when they don't also get someone to pound in the nails on their behalf, or to throw it through a window, or to do whatever it is you decide to do with it. The tool is free, the use of the tool whether free or not is not the tool itself. And it's a bit ridiculous to think that people here would be so easily confused.

  • @Per0x said in Some questions 🙂:

    @cregox Can you name an server app that is free according to your criteria?

    He's backpeddle claim is that "nothing is free" and that the entire concept doesn't exist. Which is fine in a philosophical argument about the meaning of freedom or something. But here, he's intentionally attempting to confuse the OP by outright deception.

  • @cregox said in Some questions 🙂:

    until one is.

    No, there is always a cost by your logic. Always. So when you say things like this, it exposes the lie.

    The logic you attempt to use to excuse your lie in the first place is that the "use" of the product isn't necessarily free, so therefore the object isn't free. Okay, so let's use that logic to show how you can't have meant it.

    Because now you claim it could be, but no one is. So this is an attack on "all products" that exist today, but theoretically you believe this could change. Well, but no.

    You see because there is no end to what it takes to "use" a product. If NodeBB gave you free hosting, you'd claim that okay, but they aren't paying for your Internet access at home, so it's still not free. If they paid for that, you'd claim that the electricity for your computer, or the computer itself, at your home isn't free. If they paid for that, you'd argue that the chair, desk, or even the house wasn't paid for, so not free. If they continue to pay for that, you'd argue that they need to feed you and cloth you, but still, logically there's no reason to stop there, it's all the same as the hosting - not the product in question. In the end, the only way to make you happy that something is free is to not have you in the equation. Only when you are gone, and the person reading the site, commenting, etc. isn't you, is it free, to you.

    But you see, we do all that already. So you see, it IS free. Even today. Because here we are, all using it, without you, and it costs you nothing. Did you notice? The software, the hosting, the stuff you were claiming wasn't free is... because this conversation is being hosted, managed, everything for free. It costs you nothing. The only thing that costs you anything, is your voluntarily participation and that only costs you the silly things like effort, food, electricity to use.

  • @cregox said in Some questions 🙂:

    it's selling the brand. for money.

    But it's not. You can't paid them for the brand. Not only is it free (with an option to pay), it's only free. The brand isn't available for your use, but the product is. And the product is always free, there is no option to pay.

    This is where we know you are attempting not only deception, but a defamation of NodeBB - because you will say anything, twist any word, meaning or whatever, to try to make people reading this feel that NodeBB is charging money, that it is somehow required. This is patently false. NodeBB is free. No twisting of words that you do is going to come up with some way to make it not be free. Calling a product a brand, claiming that is a charge when there isn't, etc. that's what "twisting words" is.

    NodeBB is a product that you get for free. You only get it for free. They could, if they wanted, charge, but they don't. The fact that you get a thing with no cost whatsoever is the very definition of free. That you can use it however you want is the definition of libre. So it is free in both senses of the word.

    In every case where you try to describe something not free, you both try to use NodeBB to refer to something that isn't NodeBB, and you try to claim that there is a fee where none exists. The degree to which your claims are false is absurd, it's not even like one could see how you are confused. It's so implausible that there is no means to provide a benefit of the doubt that you don't understand. You can't possibly be that confused about the concepts of what a product is, and what it means to be charged for something.

  • @scottalanmiller So if I understood correctly, some free server app doesn't exist and can't exist, but he complains that NodeBB isn't free? 🙃

    Actually, I think what he wants is not a free server app (what NodeBB is), but a free complete service. He wants someone to install NodeBB for him for free, hosting it for free on his server that he pays for him, and that way, he feels it's free. 😧

  • @Per0x said in Some questions 🙂:

    @scottalanmiller So if I understood correctly, some free server app doesn't exist and can't exist, but he complains that NodeBB isn't free? 🙃

    Actually, I think what he wants is not a free server app (what NodeBB is), but a free complete service. He wants someone to install NodeBB for him for free, hosting it for free on his server that he pays for him, and that way, he feels it's free. 😧

    I think what he wants is to promote the same product he promotes in nearly all of his posts. If you look at his history, he has never used NodeBB (he claims) but is constantly talking up another product (which maybe he uses, maybe he doesn't, I don't know) here to try to promote it - but not in an honest way (like saying that it's worked for him or whatever) but by constantly disparaging NodeBB through claims like it isn't free, or claiming that it's a fork of that other product (even though they don't share code or even code stack.) There's nothing that will make him happy, he's just trying to promote a lesser product that he can't come up with a value proposition for, or else he'd just make that.

    Lots of people try this "it's not free" tactic to try to get people to not only give them one thing for free, but more and more things for free by trying to intimidate them. And some people are just trying to get free consulting, hosting, or whatever, but it doesn't look like that in this case. He's trying to make other people avoid the product by trying to imply that there is a charge somewhere for using it, when there isn't.

    But the logic that he espouses means that no product could ever meet his criteria for free, because any effort, by any person - even just thinking of what the community would be - would constitute effort and therefore not be free. It's the "no such thing as free" argument, but used incorrectly because he says outright that there could be exceptions. The "nothing is free" philosophy is all or nothing. You can't argue it picking and choosing.

  • @cregox said in Some questions 🙂:

    it's as if @scottalanmiller is really voicing the other 2, that nothing i say makes any sense to you and you all jump into the worst interpretation possible

    Just to be clear, because you are twisting this too, I did give you the benefit of the doubt. There are only two real options here. One is that you are being dishonest. The other is that you don't understand what you are saying and actually believe your logic works.

    You must understand that to assume the former is, by far, giving you the benefit of the doubt. Acting like I'm being mean to assume you have good mental capacity is pretty twisted. I'm not, and have not, implied that you are confused or can't understand concepts like software, products, or paying money. If I was to assume you weren't lying, I'd have to assume those other things.

    So again, a dishonest personal attack to try to make us look bad when, if we are being honest, giving you the benefit of the doubt is exactly what you are trying to defend against.

  • Funny.... thread after thread of this guy talking up Discourse, lying about NodeBB and while it's not proof, his avatar does seem to appear somewhere suspicious...

    I take it the Discourse devs are seeing NodeBB as a major threat and their venture capital friends are pushing them to try to make the competition look bad because the product isn't drawing in the users like they'd hoped?

  • Before the avatar gets deleted...

  • GNU/Linux

    And here's the killer question. Is Discourse really free? Oh damn, no I have to host it, etc... Lol this guy's a joke.

  • @Per0x said in Some questions 🙂:

    And here's the killer question. Is Discourse really free? Oh damn, no I have to host it, etc... Lol this guy's a joke.

    Well I'll give him that one, he said no forum really is. But Discourse is GPLv2. It's truly free as well. Totally different code, even the license is different, but it's actually free.

  • @scottalanmiller Yes sorry, Forgive me, I tried to think like him for a short moment. 😉

  • @cregox said in Some questions 🙂:

    if it wasn't clear, yes, i meant free for using online as a free service

    Just to be clear, in case anyone is confused by this... NodeBB is a software product, it is not a service. They are conceptually different things.

    Like medicine is a product. Nursing is a service. You can get penicillin for free from bread, but if you want a nurse to inject you you might need to pay for the service.

    Or like how an engine is a product, but installing an engine that you have already is a service. Nouns and verbs.

  • GNU/Linux Admin

    Alright, I think we've beaten this horse to death at this point, no?

    We could always spin off this discussion into licensing... we're GPLv3, but I do recall we've had discussions in the past about why we're GPLv3 and not v2... or why we're not AGPL... or why we're not MIT...

    Well, it is what it is I suppose. The software is free as in libre (our hosted version is identical to our open-source version, save a single plugin we use for telemetry only on hosted versions), but it's also free as in free beer.

    Except for the hosting and custom development, that unfortunately cannot be free (for a variety of reasons that I believe have been stated already)

  • Plugin & Theme Dev Community Rep

    I, for one, will agree with @cregox that one could argue that NodeBB isn't free, because you're paying for hosting it.
    However, in the same vein, none of the service he mentioned are. On Facebook you're paying with your privacy, by viewing ads AND you're paying for a device capable of running a web browser or a facebook app!
    Same thing applies to basically all services like that. You can't escape paying for something down the road, though sometimes the price is your time and attention or your data instead of money
    That's why usually to consider something to be free people only consider the price of that thing by itself, and not other things that you might need for your use of the product.

    For example - if you got a car without paying for it, would you not consider it free even if you didn't get lifetime supply of gas to go with it? I think most people would consider that car to be free.

    Usually the same applies to software. Blender is considered to be free, despite requiring a powerful enough machine to run it which isn't free. You probably got your web browser for free - which is now basically taken for granted despite not having been common in the past - but you still need to pay for your computer, internet connection and electricity. And you most likely don't count these as a price of the browser.

    Also, it actually is possible to host NodeBB for free.
    Here is a quick example running on glitch: https://nodebb-example.glitch.me/
    It's using free tier of MongoDB Atlas to store data, so the DB can grow to up to 512MB without incurring any costs. You can find the details, instructions and remix it here: https://glitch.com/~nodebb-example

    Just a warning that this hosting is far from perfect - it has quite a few limitations and while you can work around most (for example apps being put to sleep after around 5 minutes without connections - just use a service like uptime robot to ping it every 5 minutes), it's still probably only a solution for really small forums.

    You can find a few other services that might run NodeBB for free on free-for.dev but I just wanted to test glitch so that's what I used.
    There are some guides for heroku, though I'm not sure if they work with the free tier ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Hmm... I might check some other and create some guide on hosting NodeBB for free for small forums...

    EDIT: also, just a note about this glitch instance - it has a few lines modified, though I'll have to look into it again since I was making the changes in the middle of the night, so I'm not entirely sure if the changes were necessary. But basically, nconf wasn't correctly configured to use environmental variables in at least one file that can be used to start NodeBB.
    I think I'll check it later and make a PR to fix this 🙂

    Oh, I wrote most of it before the last comment here, so I'll also have to disagree with @julian - hosting can be free (as shown here) and custom development can be free too if you do it yourself
    head touch
    (I mean, except the time spent on it...)

    And I'm actually net positive when it comes to spending money on hosting NodeBB, since the one bug bounty I got is still higher than what I spent on hosting NodeBB in total 😄

  • GNU/Linux

    @oplik0 said in Some questions 🙂:

    hosting can be free (as shown here) and custom development can be free too if you do it yourself

    Your time and you brain work are free? How do you get your food? 😉

  • @oplik0 said in Some questions 🙂:

    (I mean, except the time spent on it...)

  • GNU/Linux

    So, free or not free at all?
    More seriously, we really need to distinguish between a service and an app...
    NodeBB is NOT a service. If you want one, it's called NodeBB Instant Hosting https://nodebb.org/pricing
    But if you want a free app (what we're talking about), it's there: https://github.com/NodeBB/NodeBB/releases

    We've already talked about buying hardware, electricity, etc., but that's irrelevant, it's another subject for which the NodeBB app can't do anything, because even with all the will in the world, no developer on this planet can make time, food, or electricity free, and it is not attributable to the application itself.

  • @oplik0 said in Some questions 🙂:

    I, for one, will agree with @cregox that one could argue that NodeBB isn't free, because you're paying for hosting it.
    However, in the same vein, none of the service he mentioned are.

    Well HE mentioned that none of them were free. But hosting something possibly costing you money is unrelated to the thing itself being free.

    There are three key problems.... the one is that we are associating the cost of an action with the cost of an item, that can't work. That requires all kinds of illogical connections. For example, can jewelry not be free (or even exist) because it doesn't "do" anything? It just sits there. So since it does nothing, it can't be free? Clearly it can. NodeBB (and millions of other products) are free regardless of whether you want to run them, try to run them, etc. They simple "are free", even if you don't know about them, many of them are already free to you today. They are free regardless of anything you may or may not wish to use them in conjunction with.

    The second is that there is an assumption that hosting is an intrinsic component of NodeBB. It's certainly the most common use example, but it is not the only function. NodeBB can be run locally on existing resources, for free. It can be read without being run, studied, copied, forked, or stored. Or just have ownership of. All those things are free use cases. Not that that matters, clearly, but it's important to note that hosting isn't a foregone conclusion.

    The third is the notion that hosting can't be free. It is, in fact, often free. Rarely good hosting, but lots and lots of hosting is free. I actually run a provider that does free hosting, including of NodeBB (not for you people, it's for special cases, don't come asking for free hosting, lol). So it's almost important to note that just because the NodeBB team themselves don't make the hosting free, doesn't mean that it isn't. The same is try of the customization, find an intern willing to work for free, and that's free too.

  • @oplik0 said in Some questions 🙂:

    And you most likely don't count these as a price of the browser.

    Because they aren't part of the cost. You can have a free browser without having a way to run it well, or to run it at all.

    If my friend gives me a CD (remember those?) and I don't own a CD player, that doesn't change the fact that the CD was a gift, and was free. You can have a free item, without having an assumed use case for it. The CD is free, that's an absolute. How can I listen to it? There are loads of free options, or non-free options. Plus options that include not listening to it at all.

    Imagine being given a dollar. And claiming it's not a gift because you are required to spend it. It just doesn't make sense.

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