Over the past two days, it’s been hard not to notice the excitement around the world of weblogs about Mint, Shaun Inman’s new web stats app. I’ll admit that after reading some of the posts by Mint’s beta testers, I was firmly in the camp of the intrigued; the application appears to provide a nice, modern interface to the stats about website usage that I currently view using the very capable but reasonably archaic Webalizer, and Mint’s incorporation of Ajax appeals to the web designer in me that likes to follow the leading-edge examples of current technology. But it didn’t take long for my excitement to wane — in fact, it came crashing to the ground as soon as I realized that Mint costs money (the reasonable sum of $30) but doesn’t have a license that tells you what you’re getting for your money. There’s no license available on the website pre-sale, and from the accounts of about three or four people who’ve bought it over the past two days, not only is there no license available on the website post-sale, there’s no license included in the downloaded app either. So to date, those that have bought Mint have done so not knowing if they have the right to use it indefinitely, if they’ll have access to support, if they will be able to move their installation of Mint to another domain name in the future, or even if they’ll have access to new versions or updates.

After all the uproar over the change in terms of the Movable Type license back a year and a half ago, I figured that webloggers had figured out that licenses matter, and that they should pay at least half a mind to the terms by which they were agreeing to use products that they integrate into their websites. Alas, it appears that a year and a half is enough time for people to forget those lessons.

Comments and TrackBacks

Hi, it would be nice, since you trackbacked my entry, if you either linked or made mention of my entry. Otherwise I will delete the trackback.


• Posted by: David on Sep 7, 2005, 5:37 PM

Shaun Inman has launched Mint, a web statistic program. …

• Pinged by Webdiva on Sep 7, 2005, 6:11 PM

Dave, feel free to delete the trackback; I included it because your entry was one of the better ones that came up when I checked out Mint mentions on Technorati.

(Incidentally, while I haven’t a single quibble with you deleting the trackback for lack of a mention in my post, it’s intriguing to me — the use of trackback was never, and has never been, limited to instances when a weblogger mentions or gives link to another weblogger’s post. Quoting from the MT Trackback explanation page:

“In a nutshell, TrackBack was designed to provide a method of notification between websites: it is a method of person A saying to person B, ‘This is something you may be interested in.’ To do that, person A sends a TrackBack ping to person B.”

Alas, the automated behind-the-scenes trackback discovery mechanisms built into most weblogging software these days means that trackback is seldom used for more than sending pings to those blogs mentioned in a particular post, but I’ve always thought that that’s because the hunt-cut-and-paste method of using it otherwise is a bit cumbersome. Alas!)

In any event, do as you will; it’s no matter to me at all.

• Posted by: Jason on Sep 7, 2005, 6:14 PM
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