Ryan Bigg

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Why Pivotal now charging for Tracker is a good thing

20 Jan 2011

Today, Pivotal Labs has announced that they will start charging people to use (Pivotal) Tracker, but only if their project is not public, for-profit or not for education. As they explain in the article, they've been working on Tracker now for 5 years.

5 years (or around 1,826 days) is immensely long time for a Rails project to have been around. 5 years ago, Rails was at 0.9.4, very nearly at 0.9.5. This project was before Rails was mainstream. The Pivotal Labs crew have done a tremendous job on it, constantly upgrading its features and most recently overhauling the UI to something very, very hot. For 5 years, it's been free to use for anyone and everyone, but now they would like to start charging for it and I think this is a great idea. With the Pivotal Labs team now electing to transform Tracker to a paid service, they'll be able to dedicate more people to work on it and maintain it, leading to a better experience overall.

There's quite a lot of people who are already using the service (including myself) and love it. $50 a month for 10 collaborators is a good price point and one I'm sure any company I'd work for would be willing to pay. Pivotal Tracker has played, ahem, a pivotal role in many projects I have been on and it's only fair that we continue to use their service and pay their toll to show our respect for 5 years of good, hard work that they've put into it. There's 180,000 users (an astonishing figure for a (previously) non-commercial software), of Pivotal Tracker today, so they must be doing something right.

Please don't abandon Pivotal Tracker now because they're asking for money. How would you feel if you worked on something for that long only for the people to abandon you? You'd feel used by those people. Support Pivotal, as they have provided a kick ass project management tool (publicly) for near on two and a half years now.

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