Boy, this post got sidetracked.
So yesterday, 5 months after I made this post, I "accidentally" installed this plugin before reading through the first panel of info in detail and came here to look at this apparently remarkable post only to see I was the one who started it! Every time I search for messaging, this is the first plugin that comes up.
The question remains that why can't we simply mark a plugin like this with [Inactive] or even something indicating a light or starter version? In the case of this plugin, it has not been, and will not be updated by the author, which does make it inactive, right?
So... You know how much this guy wants for his plugin? 8 euro. For a developer (unlimited sites), 20 euro. In my opinion -- and I am far from expert compared to other people around here when it comes to WordPress -- that's the same as asking for a donation; it's so nominal (again, in my opinion) that it doesn't even rise to the level of "charging" for the plugin. He seems to follow the very friendly StudioPress model of free updates.
For what this plugin does, if this is something one needs, I don't see many people objecting to ~$10 fee. Annually, even. I've paid more for much less. This is a very specialized plugin meeting a specific purpose and doing it really, really well. (I'm not endorsing it... yet.) I wish we could find some kind of middle ground that is GPL friendly but allows a plugin author to request an objectively nominal fee.
In this particular case, the first time I read through the info on the plugin I was scared to try it, the second time I read the beginning and the disclaimer was in the middle. As a suggestion, if authors could put some kind of flag in their item title, it would help us to know to specifically look for a limitation or hook or issue with the plugin.
Many people may feel I'm making a big deal out of nothing. I have a visual disability that makes it occasionally especially challenging to process information presented in an unstructured way. I'm sure anyone else has made the same type of mistake on any given day. For me, it was so telling really that I caught this annotation in the middle of the description the first time but not the second time. I hope that we can keep these listings available, but to perhaps construct some conventions that will allow everyone to easily identify irregularities in repository listings and some kind of easier, full disclaimer. Because frankly, if I knew this guy only wanted 8 euro for the updated product, I would really never have bothered with any of this.