Erik <a href="http://nslog.com/archives/2003/03/13/starting_a_blog_with_movabletype.php">posted some hints recently</a> about
starting a blog (mostly <a href="http://www.movabletype.org/">mt</a>-specific, but with a lot of good general advice too).
In hint 5, (which is the <em>sixth</em> hint, as it should be), the advice is to "Be Polite", and one of the main points is
that you shouldn't steal bandwidth (and not just on your blog). Images are the example cited, of course. There's a similar crime,
though, which isn't mentioned specifically, and it's at least as irritating: <strong>file hijacking</strong>.
I've created a few items of <a href="http://www.scotlandsoftware.com/products/">software</a> over the past few years, all of which you
can download freely (at the time of writing, I have no fewer than 20 products listed on <a href="http://versiontracker.com/">idiot tracker</a>).
I'm happy for anyone to download the stuff, but I'd like you to at least see the product page (however briefly) at some point. I'd like the
chance to show you any important notes about the software, or offer links to related items, or at least allow the possibility that you might then
click through to other pages in the site, and stay a while. I think a lot of software authors feel the same.
For that reason, if you choose to put a direct-download link to someone's software on your web site, you should <em>also</em> place a link to the appropriate
product page <strong>in the same place</strong>. It's basic courtesy. I don't want to become some faceless, site-less byte-vending machine, offering up trinkets
for everyone to suck down without a second thought.
I release software partly because I love creating it, partly because I have a great desire to help
people use their computers more effectively, and partly through sheer bloody <strong>ego</strong>! I think my stuff can be useful, and is kind of cool.
In exchange for downloading and using it, I'd like you to at least <em>consider</em> looking around the rest of the site.
If you just offer blind direct-download links, you're a file-hijacker - and you're not playing fair.
Accordingly, I award you a much-coveted <a href="http://www.scotlandsoftware.com/blog/?post=/personal/bah.html">Bah</a>.