Contributing to Fritzing

Hello All,

I was a former Fritzing intern back in 2012. When i return back after 6 years later, i saw that this great project was about to die.

Then, i got excited when i saw the activities about restarting the development. I watched the Patricks presentation at FOSDEM.

In addition to not being sure about the trademark issues, first i just want to ask if its feasible to continue this project. ( I still prefer to support even the legal issues are not solved. :slight_smile: )

I caught few points in below thread but i couldn’t read the whole conversation.

Maybe we can have a talk over e-mail? @KjellM. Please reach me out so we can discuss how i can contribute and how to make Fritzing great(stable) again :stuck_out_tongue: :slight_smile:

Have a nice weekend

Patrick was amazingly successful. As you have noted Kjell has been hired to restart development, and 0.94 pre release is available for testing on the Fritzing-app github page (and will be released in due course). I expect that the best way to help is pick up one or more issues on github and supply pull requests for fixes (I have a couple in 0.94 pre release and am working on more). I think (as someone interested in seeing Fritzing continue, not a member of the development team) that the build infrastructure and web page are in worse shape than expected and getting them fixed has slowed down the timeline, but visible progress is being made (such as 0.9.4 pre release). Now we mostly need people to figure out how to modify the code (which I admit is hard, at least for me) and submit pull requests for fixes on github, Just in time too, on Win7 the libgit2 library in 0.9.3b is too old and automatic parts update no longer works (fixed in 0.9.4 pre release), as well there was a report that on Ubuntu 19.04 LTS one of the shared libraries had gotten so old it is no longer in the release and had to be manually reloaded. That was the main danger, some vital library being no longer supported which would break the installation of Fritzing. There is now hope, as long as people step up to provide fixes.


Thanks for the response Peter yes its exciting to see the progress. IMO, that is hard to start with large commitments but i guess small steps with larger teams or with gradually increasing know-how about this huge codebase can make us to succeed. At least a someone to care about the code architecture is needed but currently we need to take care about it by ourselves.

And, i couldn’t find the 0.9.4 prerelease is there a link for it? I even couldn’t find a tag in repo for 0.9.4 is it a discrete branch?

Yes, I already saw few items related to CI, updates and certificates on the project board so i think the first thing to be done is about making the latest branch build updated and working without minimal source code changes.

Yes, like most of github (which I am terrible at) I can never find this either. On the fritzing-app code page, click on releases, (3rd icon from the left above the red bar about a 1/3 of the way down the page). The first element is 0.9.4 pre release. I’ve been running 0.9.4 pre release on Win7 for a couple of months now without problems.

That is absolutely correct, as I understand it, the first release will be a few of the old fixes but mostly a test to verify that the new build environment (which I understand they had to build basically from scratch) is working correctly. Things were in worse shape than expected and it is taking longer than expected. As well the web site is collapsing (it was also in bad shape) and fixing that up is taking time as well.


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Aha i forgot to check releases :grimacing: ok i got it thanks.

Patrick was amazingly successful. As you have noted Kjell has been hired to restart development, and > 0.94 pre release is available for testing on the Fritzing-app github page (and will be released in due course).

Well, I was not precisely hired. The current inflow would be below minimum wage. But I am optimistic about improving that. Otherwise, I could never justify the luxury of working on this project for more than a few weeks. Lets dream: If every user paid a coffee/year (in whatever a coffee in a restaurant costs in their hometown), Fritzing could fund a team of full-time developers. But the transition from a “free beer” project to this kind of “coffee project” is quite a task. For example, PayPal charges more than a cup of coffee costs in many countries…

Thanks for the correction, being on the outside I’m only guessing at what is happening, although I’d dead pleased with the results so far :slight_smile: . My sense (without any experience, except working for a university data center, running the network, where bandwidth is most certainly not free, for 20+ years since the late 1980s and watching the Internet go commercial) is that this is a problem with the Internet in general. The initial assumption that we will fund it by advertising as a revenue stream and call it “free” has backfired big time in my view. The free part of that, sunk in very well, so well that there is high resistance to paying for much of anything on the Internet (other than hard goods ala Amazon / ebay etc.) Pretty much nobody I know of (except perhaps Mozilla and Apache) has made this work well for open source projects. In our case we need to convince the user base that something like $10 a year is the cost of keeping Fritzing alive, but I don’t have a clue how to do that (and it looks to me like neither does most anyone else …) It has been my experience over the last 2 or 3 years it is hard enough to get anyone to donate time (which doesn’t directly cost money) to help with Fritzing let alone donate money.


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Yes @KjellM i strongly agree with you. But, even the donation is the first thing that comes up to mind for open source projects, i believe every project is unique and there should be other ways to fund each.

I know there is number of 250.000 users even i am not sure if its a certain number and still exists. But, first step would be analyzing the purpose of these people using Fritzing. For me, the strongest feature of Fritzing is easy implementation of development board shields for Arduino, ESP32 etc.

IMO, keyword is marketing, which is really hard to get from developers (technical) point of view. User requests should be collected somehow and we should focus on them as new features, ofcourse after a stable development environment and build system.

But i am concerned about the trademark issues and spreaded accounts(e.g. official twitter) and rights to different organizations. (Fritzing UG - Friends of Fritzing e.V.)

@vanepp your response to questions and experience is so valuable. We should brainstorm if possible :slight_smile:


Happy to do so, as noted I have no direct experience at funding open source projects, but I’ve watched folks try to get a revenue stream from software on the Internet (usually without sucess ) for years :slight_smile: .

edit: I expect the user number is from repository updates for the parts repository on github (and is thus low, because win7 on 0.9.3b can no longer update due to libgit2). Every time you start Fritzing it checks the repo and I expect github has stats about how many different IP address access the repo.

edit2: I do have one thought on a potential revenue stream although don’t know how to implement it: Get an agreement with the vendors that gain from having Fritzing parts, I know someone asked Adafruit and they said they can’t justify it so far (they have a github repo of Fritzing parts), I have heard Sparkfun gave a one time donation for the Sparkfun parts in core, and they have their own parts repo. This idea came up initially when I did a part of an Avnet IOT development board for someone. If we can convince Avnet, MicroChip, Digikey, Digilent, whoever else makes dev boards that Fritzing is a valuable addition to their dev boards for new users, they have a revenue stream that they could provide funding from. I expect adafruit and sparkfun are too small to be able to afford that, but the bigger distributors have a correspondingly large revenue stream. I suspect much of the Fritzing user base is education (low revenue streams, unlikely to be able to divert any to Fritzing) and makers. The IOT market via the larger distributors are also a possiblilty if someone has the contacts. The part that started this thought is this one:

Another possibility is a parts creation service that charges to create parts (there used to be one, but I believe it no longer exists, likely because the people to make the parts are no longer available). As you have likely seen I like making parts and wouldn’t mind donating the time to support Fritzng (for me at least doing it my self as a business isn’t worth it for tax and paper work hassle reasons, doing it for fun is more attractive :slight_smile: .)


Yes @vanepp thats exactly what i have thought. But after a short talk with @KjellM yesterday i am bit confused and concerned about trademark issues.

It is still not clear for me what will happen after Fritzing becomes more popular and stable than today and UG decides to sell it.

One more idea to improve the funding may be GitHub’s latest sponsorhip feature (still in beta) to support open source developers;

but again i am not sure if its legal to collect donations by ourselves.

My cut on the legal issues would be that the Fritzing code is gpl, so we can (at worst) make a fork and if necessary call it something else. That suggestion was made on github a year or two ago, but I pointed out then a fork was (and in my view still is) pointless unless we have people willing to work on Fritzing. Personally I think it unlikely that the Friends of Fritzing will try and sell it. My sense (as noted without any real information from any one other than discussion with other users here) is that they just want to see Fritzing survive, and have lost hope that open source is the way to do that due to the lack of progress. Making a fork would be a pity as it would lose the connection to the forum, and the user base, but it is an option. Kjell will likely have the best information of what is happening on the legal front because he is part of the core team, where I am just a user.


Hi all,
Long time lurker here, but I don’t post to this forum. Reason for this is because the first time I tried to sign up for the forum, it didn’t work. I forget why, it was about 2 yrs ago. I went through the sign up again choosing a different user name and it worked.

I am extremely happy to see that some development work has begun!! I think this is a truly great piece of software and it deserves further development! I’ll buy the devs a few cups of coffee…

To me, there seem to be a few issues that need to be resolved first. The copyright/trademark and the companies involved need to be figured out and explained. I’m willing to buy 5 cups of coffee a month to pay for development of Fritzing. My question is, where is that money going?

I think there needs to be some transparency here before thinking about ways to support development. After that happens, I can think of a few ways to generate income. Parts creation, reach out to former supporters, funding drives via forums.

Open source software can support itself, it just has to find a way to do that. I use LibreOffice regularly, I learned Inkskcape so I could create .svg for FreeCAD, and now for fritzing. I was a long time user of blender, an open source and highly successful, 3d animation package.

Anyway, just my thoughts,
Randy Blose

Wow! It appears things were / are in even worse shape than I knew:


One more suggestion: It is my sense (which may be wrong) is that most Fritzing users don’t read the forums or github, so an appeal for donations on the Fritzing start page may have better results.

Although I don’t know how to update this.