Distributing Your DropTool

Once you have created a DropTool, you need to ask yourself some questions to determine how you want to distribute it:

  • Do you want your code to be visible to anyone, or do you want to protect it from prying eyes? ("Who Can See My Code?")
  • What should you include in the download other than the DropTool stack itself? ("What Should Be In the Download?")
  • Do you want to host it on your own site for download, or put it somewhere else where it can be downloaded? ("Where Should It Be Hosted?")
  • Do you want to give it away for free, license it, or sell it? ("How Should It Be Distributed?")

These questions are answered in the sections below.

Who Can See My Code?

Who? Comments
Anyone Your DropTool stack (and any substacks) should not be password-protected. Any and all scripts will be visible to anyone who wants to look.
Just me You should create a Library-Based DropTool, and put all of your code into the library substack of your DropTool stack. Read this page to learn how to provide an encrypted form of your password to the DropTools Palette to avoid errors.

What Should Be In the Download?

Item Comments
Your DropTool stack (of course)
A "Read Me" file Optional, but strongly recommended. Although you might think your DropTool is self-explanatory, it is always good to include at least instructions on installation and a minimum set of usage instructions, especially highlighting any custom properties that can be set/retrieved and any custom handlers that can be called. If you have included that in an About Box stack, then you should probably still have a Read Me file, even if it's just to tell the user to look at your About Box for more information.
Contact information Optional, but strongly recommended. At a minimum it should be an email address or web site that the user can use/visit in order to let you know something about your DropTool, whether it be a bug report, a congratulatory remark, or a question. You can include this in the Read Me file or in your "about" information.
Task-specific folders/files Optional. If your DropTool has some specialized uses in addition to the more general use, it might be a good idea to include specific folders/files that correspond to those specialized uses. For example, if you have some other files or information for developers only, you may consider having a "For Developers" folder with related files inside.
A reference to the DropTools web site Optional, but suggested, especially if the user downloads your DropTool from somewhere other than the DropTools web site. This is to not only point them back to a place where there is a lot of user information, but also to let users know what other DropTools and other custom controls are available - it helps build the community.

Where Should It Be Hosted?

You can choose from any or all of the following:

Location Comments
Your own (or someone else's) web site This is a preferred choice if you want to include other information about your DropTool or you want to sell your DropTool using your own ecommerce method. If you choose this method, send an email to droptools@sonsothunder.com and put in the URL to your DropTool so it can be listed on the DropTools web site with a link to your site. If you also want to allow the user to directly download your DropTool from the DropTools web site, include the direct download URL as well.
DropTools web site If you don't want to host your DropTool (or you want to have it available in multiple places), we can host it for you. Just send the DropTool file(s) along with information describing the DropTool to droptools@sonsothunder.com and include whether you want to sell it (and if so, for how much), and we'll host it/sell it for you.
RevOnline Distributing a DropTool through RevOnline is certainly an option, but the locating your DropTool in RevOnline is not as easy as it could be. If you choose this method, you should locate where your DropTool is on the web-based version of RevOnline and then send an email to droptools@sonsothunder.com with the URL to that page.

How Should It Be Distributed?

Method Comments
Completely Free The user can do anything they want with it - pick apart the scripts, use the code for any purpose, etc.
Free, but Licensed You should pick the kind of licensing you want to apply (common ones are GNU, MIT, Apache, or dual-licensing (free for personal use but not for commercial use)). Regardless of the license you choose, make sure to bundle any license-related links or information with your DropTool download package.
Commercially (For Sale) If you want to sell your DropTool, you can either do it on your own site (or someone else's) and use your/their ecommerce software. You can optionally choose to sell it here on the DropTools site; if so, read the "Selling On the DropTools Site" section below.

Site Buttons

The following table shows the different kinds of buttons the user will see on this site:
Button Type Purpose
External Link This usually links to an external site. Regardless, a new browser window will be opened for that URL. This button is usually used when a DropTool is being externally hosted, or for a link to a custom control that is not a DropTool.
Direct Download This button is a URL that goes directly to a file and starts a download. This is usually used for downloading free DropTools or other custom controls that don't have a web page that describes them.
Purchase This button adds the selected DropTool to the shopping cart so the user can eventually check out and purchase those DropTools. It is only used for DropTools that are for sale on this site; DropTools that are for sale on other sites will have a cost listed across from their entries, but will use an External Link button instead.

Selling On the DropTools Site

If you choose to sell your DropTool here, this is how it works:

  • All sales are made through PayPal, but the buyer can use a credit card or a PayPal account to pay for the items in their cart.
  • After PayPal takes their cut, the remaining amount is split with 80% going to you and 20% going to pay for ecommerce fees and accounting maintenance tasks.
  • At the beginning of each month, you will get an accounting of what DropTool(s) have been purchased and you will be paid any monies due you, either by PayPal (if you like) or by check. (If enough people sign up, I will set up a separate login where you can look at your account history online.)
  • Google Analytics has been applied to this site, so if you are interested, you can ask and I'll send you whatever Analytics info has been gathered relative to your DropTool(s).
  • It is your responsibility to make sure I have the proper files to host for sale, and if you make any fixes or changes, you'll need to send me replacement file(s).

If you have any suggestions on improvements/adjustments to this, or if you have any questions, please let me know.

© 2015 Sons of Thunder Software, Inc.