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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Careware (also called charityware, helpware, or goodware) is software licensed in a way that benefits a charity. Some careware is distributed free, and the author suggests that some payment be made to a nominated charity. Commercial careware, on the other hand, includes a levy for charity on top of the distribution charge.[1] It can also be a barter of some kind, or even a pledge to be kind to strangers.

The concept of careware and the first known use of the term itself appeared in Dr. Dobb's Journal in Al Stevens' C Programming Column in about 1988. Stevens was developing a user interface library and publishing the source code in monthly installments. To distribute code to readers, Stevens suggested they send him an addressed stamped mailer with a blank diskette. He copied the code onto the diskette and returned it. He also suggested that to express their appreciation they include a dollar, which he would donate to the local food bank in Brevard County, Florida. Stevens named this distribution method "careware."[2]

Paul Lutus' careware idea involves no monetary exchange - instead it involves a request for the user to "stop complaining for a while and make the world a better place." [3]

For example, the vim text editor is free software but includes a request from its author, Bram Moolenaar, that users donate to ICCF Holland for work to help AIDS victims in Uganda. Another current example is MJ's CD Archiver, a file archiver for Microsoft Windows/Linux/Mac OS X. The suggested charity is NACEF, a US-registered charity for China's Project Hope.

A close variation of careware is donationware, which has a stricter definition than careware.

Examples of careware

Non-commercial examples


  1. ^ "What is a charityware?". charityware . info. charityware.inf. Retrieved 11 January 2010.  
  2. ^ Stevens, Al (1 August 1991). "C Programming". Dr. Dobb's Journal. Retrieved 11 January 2010.  
  3. ^ "The CareWare Idea". 18 October 1998. Retrieved 11 January 2010.   Date information retrieved from included metadata of Microsoft Word 7 version of the article.

External links

  • houses a collection of over 100 charityware titles created by a variety of developers.

This article was originally based on material from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, which is licensed under the GFDL.



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