Do I have to pay when building/deploying a non-currency dapp ?

I just discover ethereum and get very excited about the possibilities !
As far as I understand, I have to spend some Ether (ETH) to deploy, let say, a namecoin-like contract, I have to make a transaction that cost me some ETH to deploy my dapp, right ?
To gain some ETH I can buy it or gain it by subscribing to other contracts, right ?

SO my question is, How can I test my dapp without spending money ? is it possible to run Ethereum in a sandboxed environment, let say a closed VM (or docker containers) network ?
And is it possible, with Ethereum, to a make a FREE (as in "FREE beer") dapp so anyone can use the service for free ?

In one word is Etherium a free platorm ? Because as far as I undestand you can't do anything without ETH, Did I miss something ?
Sign In or Register to comment.