Just thinking, fritzing is actually not opensource anymore

i create this account just to share my thoughts

i used fritzing some years ago maybe 3-4 times just to view a copule files, i am not a developer nor an electronic guy, so i won’t use fritzing intensively or even less will compile it, so i don’t think i must pay for the light use i could do to it

what could happen now that have to pay to download the executables?.. is funny, supposedly fritzing is open source, but now you could find it “pirated” from many download sites… and developer can’t do nothing because fritzing is supposedly “open source” and offer binaries by “donations”

i understand “donations” like if a homeless man or an organization ask for money and i give them a “donation”, i am not obligated to give them money so he couldn’t try to manipulating me in any way to obligating me to give them money, because a donation is VOLUNTEER… so this is actually not a “donation” but a BUY

i see developer choose a path similar to redhat… until still open source, redhat linux was once totally free (as in freedom and as in free beer) with every versions and files freely downloadable… but a couple decades ago they switched to a business model where they SELL THE BINARIES, they are still open “source” in the sense the source code needed to build those binaries are still publicly available without any restriction (that is for there exists derivated projects like centos or fedora)

that means: “you can build the latest version by yourself for free(dom)” “by downloading the source code, the compiler, the libraries, setting the environment, research how to do it, invest time, etc etc”… … “OR… skip all headaches and time and BUY an already-compiled binary from us”

supossedly if you have the knowledge, skill, time and resources, you can build the binaries by yourself… and, if you reproduce the steps exactly, and have exactly the same environment and configurations, the binary produced should be exactly the same that downloaded bit-by-bit (i.e. have the same hash)

but this is not the case with the current version of fritzing, where it seem there is no way to reproduce the same binary offered by buying because the source code of each release (especially the latest) is not available, or not easily at least… that is for the title ot this topic, fritzing is not opensource anymore because the source code needed to build the advertised version is not available

so, supposing the latest source code is available, there still will be more restrictions/annoyances… for example if i decide to get it for free things are a little complicated for people like me that are just basic and common desktop users… i feel forced to read large and technical tutorials and (often outdated/incomplete/unprecise) documents, forced to install large compiler/ide programs/tools that i don’t know/want/like, try to do slow and technical tasks, maybe i will fail many times due lack of experience, etc… sounds frustrating like a torture

note that as fritzing is said open source, then it is totally legal if anyone share his binary (downloaded from official site or precompiled by himself) as long as is unaltered

so, all this makes me feel like fritzing developers are trying to forcing us to BUY (not “donate” to) his software… and as they don’t name things by its name, some people could additionaly feel cheated

at least speak clear… for example, if you browse redhat website they clearly states tems like “BUY”, “pricing”, “trial”, etc (that’s fine, anyone healty should understand developing is hard and some retribution is fair)… but also “browse source code”, where you can browse code for every release…

so… imho, if still want to be qualified as opensource, the webpage should instead say:

  • help project and BUY PRECOMPILED BINARIES
  • DOWLOAD LATEST VERSION SOURCE CODE (read full updated build instructions here)

thinking a little more… i feel like developer is trying to find a balance in fritzing between being profitable (i.e. economically self maintained) and being popular enough

bad news are both things are often incompatible for little projects… if dev make the sotfware totally free, chances are popularity will raise to the clouds, but will have no money to pay further developments so popularity will decay later anyway… of if you ask for money, you will be able to pay further developments, but the popularity will instantly decay, for sure

unless it turns so popular that becomes community maintained like linux or firefox, which is really hard, chances in any case are popularity could decay and project die, more with other similar tools out there… i think is hard to maintain the balance, i wish developers take the right desicions

but please, don’t fall in the claws of commercial software

Create an account, login, go to “Download” and you can download it freely there.

FWIW I’ve donated a couple of times, forum members such as @vanepp are super helpful when it comes to helping others and making parts etc and so I was happy to donate to help in any little way I can. Don’t get wrong, it wasn’t hundreds of euros or anything like that, but it was what I could afford and Fritzing is so useful and great for me and my projects it’s totally worth it IMO.

@IAmOrion NO, there is no way to download for free even after login

but in everything else you are right (@vanepp is a nice guy, etc)

however all that has nothing to do with the topic of this thread… i say the “donation” word is inaccurate because donations are volunteer, but here if you don’t pay you can’t download the file (i.e. you are forced to, in addition to last source code unavailable)… so the correct term should be “BUY

please note my intention is not to start a fight about money or between who paid and who didn’t, anyone who had paid had taken his own decision… but to discuss about purchases, downloads, open source, and name things correctly

btw, open source software CAN BE SOLD AND PURCHASED… please read again the part about redhat

thanks for your time

Small clarification: The latest source code is available in the repository (version 1.0.2). It is not tagged, but the code is up to date. Thus, it is still open source software.

This thread has a topic? It appears to me to be another pointless rant by someone that isn’t a known contributor to Fritzing. A simple search in the forums for “pay wall” will find 30 or 40 similar rants all of which are a waste of time. The facts are simple (and well documented if you have been paying attention over the years.) Development died in 2016. I tried for 4 or 5 years to restart it without success. Kjell (with the support of the folks at Ainsler) looked the situation over and decided that the pay wall for the compiled versions (as noted you are still free to waste your time building from source if you choose …) would provide a revenue stream to restart development. Releases from 0.9.4 to the current 1.0.2 are an obvious record of how that worked (compare that to no releases from 2016 til 0.9.4 was released in 2019 I think!). We can go back to Fritzing dying (and we may if the idiocy continues) but to me those are pretty much the choices we have. I hope most folks will just continue to make the donations to download the compiled source and fund the developers to keep developing (having compiled from source before, that is certainly what I do, unless I need a dev environment for something which I haven’t in the last few years, I have a version of eagle2fritzing which I built a number of years ago!) Just my 2 cents to this endless ranting (between pumping out new parts, something more of you should try …)



@fai i haven’t found any reference to that source code in homepage

@vanepp thanks for your response, but i see you are out of focus too…

to stay in focus… i am not complaining about spending money (i have), but instead about:

  • calling “donation” instead of “pay”
  • hide latest source code

btw, your sentence “someone that isn’t a known contributor to Fritzing” sounds very discriminatory, people can contribute in many ways… you actually don’t know us yet, and don’t know what we can potentially do for the project

again… what about change “donate” by “pay”?, sounds more realistic

Select contribute in the website and you will reach a page that contains a link to the source code.

In my view, pointless semantics not worth wasting time on.

? the source code has never been hidden. It has existed on github for as long as I have been associated with Fritzing. For financial reasons relating to charges on github for frequent changes there is a private repository that isn’t public (AFAIK) where development is taking place (github apparently charges for large numbers of transactions which the development method causes so I am told.) When a release is made the source for the release is uploaded to github. For whatever reason (my guess would be lack of time) they don’t chose to tag the releases, but there is no requirement for tagging releases either. The developers are doing what they feel is appropriate to allocate the resources that they have available, I don’t (and apparently neither do they) feel semantics are particularly important. I am more interested in seeing development continue to occur than see time wasted on pointless arguments. Reading the various past posts both here and on github would make all of this clear I expect as it has all been discussed before, but no one appears to take the time to do that, just start the same pointless discussions over and over. I should have (and will in future hopefully) ignore posts like this one.


Maybe in the future, I’ll respond to these with a “Don’t feed the trolls” message.

@vanepp thanks for your patience, i know sometimes i sound rude but is not my intention, i tend to be frank… and additionally as english is not my native tongue maybe i write in a complicated way

maybe i don’t explain myself enough in some points, i will try to organize my replies

yes they worth, don’t be so sure… sometimes what other people think is different than what we imagine, and it could be important, especially in large groups of people… you can’t guess everyone is thinking or feeling, riots and conspirancies usually starts by making some assumptions by leaders (or plain and simle he don’t care)

i.e. I needed to view a file or draw a simple schematic as amateur, wanted to try the software, found project is open source, go to “donate and download” and thinks “no problem”, but when redirected to paypal I FELT cheated… i am sure there must have more between the thousands of users

that sounds contradictory

i think “hidden” was a bit exaggerated, i think “hard to find” is more accurate… however and according to your response, i was somewhat right saying hidden because as you pointed the latest repo is “hidden” to other than developer collaborators because charges in github… had you tried to consider another alternatives as gitlab, sourceforge or something else? (when i knew github was purchased by microsoft i inmediately switched to gitlab), i think sourceforge supports big files, there must be others too

i think there are also another ways to increase incomes maybe more effective and attractive… for example community editions and supporter editions (business model of mysql or nginx for example)… or by making “gifts” (i.e. download fritzing and get access to videos of devs oil-wrestling each other, get a badge for your profile, an exclusive ringtone for your nokia, see your name with flashing neons on public collaborator list, write in forums with old english font, or whatever cosmetic gift)

Fritzing needs to find a sustainable revenue model or it will probably die.

Moreover, EUR8.00 is not going to hurt most people, it’s in the “shareware” echelon of cost circa 1990 and about the same cost (or less!) as a modern fancy coffee at Starbucks, or a cheeseburger at McDonalds.

I personally think Fritzing is interesting and useful, and that it should be even more clever about its revenue model by moving to an internet-based EUR1.00 per month subscription model that uses an API call to an auth/sub server every time the application is opened, or it doesn’t open.

This would allow most people with a reasonable income level to comfortably subsidize the package indefinitely, as such a low cost it probably won’t even rise to the point of being noticed, and may even become a point of pride in certain circles (“supporting Fritzing since 2019!”). It’s the same reason I kept sending Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia) money every year. I can afford it, and I use it.

Students and those lacking sufficient financial means could make an appeal for a special deal. Also, governments could buy bundles of activations and sprinkle them into appropriate low-income communities (Electrical Engineering, or Electronics Technician Students, for example)

The benefit of paying for something is that the supplier develops a corresponding responsibility to deliver a functioning product of a certain level of quality. Now that I have paid, I have a right to be heard - and I fully expect that the Fritzing team will listen, and respond to me. Let’s see.

I’ve been involved with Free and Open Source (FOSS) software since 1991. Historically speaking, FOSS has always been impaled on the twin horns of the Sustainability Question and the Free Rider Problem.

For so long as FOSS stays in the Academic realm, from which most of our highest-profile FOSS software (Linux, GNU, etc, etc, …) has emerged, they are invisibly (and publicly) subsidized through being subsumed into “research” budgets, which - while slim and hard to come by - has been enough to get some pretty impressive systems up and running.

Unfortunately, once the public funding umbilical cord gets cut and the project is now expected to pay for itself, real-world compromises need to be made…and the real world is never as neat nor as clear-cut as the ideological utopias that tend to be created in academic circles (and minds).

I am glad Fritzing is doing something to protect itself, and its sustainability model. If the trade-off is that it has lost some of its FOSS “purity”, so be it. I would prefer that Fritzing live forever in an impure state than go broke in a pure state.

I can afford to pay for what they ask, and what they are asking for is not that much.

We have recorded the following card-not-present* transaction:

Credit card number:  Ending with NNNN
Merchant:            PAYPAL FRITZING
Date:                24 Mar
Amount:              HKD70.83


again, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT NOT TO PAY, i am talking about call it “pay” instead donation… because donations are volunteer, but they don’t let you download binaries without “donate”

… and about publish source code from which downloadable binary was compiled

update: omg they had fixed up!, now it looks much more honest =D


now just left to browse latest source code, to analyze, download, compile, do some test, send some PR’s (for who knows how to do it)… or simply to use it :slight_smile:

another related question: fritzing is declared as “open source” in homepage, so at least it should follow the open source definition … but which is the actual license?, because github repo is a little messy and has about 7 different license files

i was reading a little and according the scheme posted above, and MAYBE the downloaded binary file could actually be the “supporter edition”, and the source code in github could be the “community edition”… because i didn’t found the open source definition clearly states that available binaries and the source code should be the same version however derived works must inherit original license