Sync to github will happen within the next days.
There are several reasons why we currently don’t prefer GitHub. For example, a single CI run could easily cost more than $10 there. From version 0.9.10 to 1.0.0 we had roughly five to ten thousand CI runs. Others are, that a lot of communication happens over the ‘coffee machine’ ,phone, email. This is nothing new, it is how we work since four years.
Fritzing is released under the GPL. That is by choice.
When projects are successful, they often quickly grow beyond the ‘a few hours at the weekend’ scale.
Fritzing was never a small project, and development is done by paid developers. The original team
tried various ways to fund this. Selling Kits, a parts creation service, workshops, working together with Fabs… None of these businesses grew big enough so you could pay for the software development for the application itself. Even if selling Fritzing Creator Kits is very successful, if you spend a lot of that on software development, then the competition will be able to sell Kits at much lower prices.
A great comment related to this was recently made by Thomas Sanladerer.
So the situation was this, too complex for a hobby project, but also, no income. In 2016, development on Fritzing ceased.
In 2019, Aisler started an initiative to find a Maintainer for Fritzing, to which I responded.
As a software developer, all that legal and finance things were quite a steep learning curve, but about one and a half year later, I was able to put the main focus on the software again.
I made contact with all the involved parties, resolved blockages, restructured the organization, and found sustainable funding for it.
The latter was and still is possible with the huge community of Fritzing users, who see the
service fee on fritzing.org as a fair deal and a way to support the development. Thanks to everyone here again!
One important part of the deal is that we (Fritzing Team and Contributors) continue Fritzing as an Open Source project.
Another part is, that people are aware that developing Fritzing is a full-time task for a team, and that giving away the results of that work is not self-evident. Without this, or with an expectation that “apps have to be for free”, it would not work.
Possible solutions for funding differ vastly amongst Open Source projects.
Let me try to describe several categories, that a project might match:
A project might be some obscure library, never seen by end users. All who are in contact with it are developers who are able to detect bugs or even provide fixes.
Something like a browser engine, almost too big to fail. Some organization will always fund it.
It might help the work of highly specialized engineers, well funded, and also receiving great improvements from the community. But somewhat difficult to use
Or it is a ‘freebie’, part of a company’s strategy to introduce users to their ecosystem.
The project has a fair number of users
For Fritzing, only the last applies. Someone who is just getting started to learn electronics, or has an electronic side project usually does not want to dive into more than a hundred thousand lines of C++ code.
For Fritzing, the advantage is the direct contact with users. Lots of users. Fritzing is used by teachers and students, makers, curious people, professionals who majored in other disciplines than electronics. This is why an 8 Euro service fee works.
The more people I can get into the boat with this, the better the chances of keeping the price low and increasing the development speed.
So, when using the Fritzing sources, please take this into account. Initiatives like the support for payments by FlatHub, or even a SnapStore with micropayments could be a great way to support applications like Fritzing, but we are not yet there.