Just tried it myself, not a fan of this either.
While I don’t like it all that much either, I see the necessity. I’ve tried (without success, because I was the lone voice in the wilderness) for more than 2 years to restart development. Fritzing was about to die. Parts update was broken on Win7, the 0.9.3b libraries are getting so old they are no longer supported on some Linux distros, I expect newer Mac versions have issues (there is a fix that had been committed more than 2 years ago for a Mac problem of some kind that will be in 0.9.4 pre release when the Mac and Windows binaries get published again.) When something in Fritzing gets too old or too insecure to be allowed anymore Fritzing would have (and may still if the new release fails for some reason) die. It took the CTO of the fab to take an interest and get development restarted. The sad fact is the code base is complex, and the only way forward is likely professional developers. There isn’t a rush of people offering pull requests with fixes on github (which is what I found, a lot of talk, but no concrete action), that might change if it becomes obvious Fritzing development is alive again, but it hasn’t in the last couple of years and I see no current evidence it is going to, since the push to start development again started. I have made a couple of fixes to bugs (that with some help from @KjellM to correct my style mistakes ) made it in to 0.9.4 prerelease, so I can say from experience the code base is complex and almost totally without comments. Fixing bugs takes a lot of time tracing code with gdb, because I don’t understand the code. I believe that is true of everyone restarting development, as far as I know there is no one from the original developers still involved (although I could be wrong here.) Think of this as a fee for the easy button. You are still welcome to download the source from github and compile it (having done so several times trying to restart development, I can testify that is very painful!) The donation helps pay for the build infrastructure which had to be rebuilt from the ground up because the original is as far as I know gone. It hopefully will also pay for Fritzing to move forward, otherwise it is going to die and I for one don’t want to see that, although I should be able to maintain a version for myself from the source, that isn’t going to be common, and I have no way to distribute it. My $.02.
Good points Peter, I would like to see the option to donate not go directly to PayPal. I was planning on donating once the 0.9.4 was released.
There has been a bypassable donate button for years. I expect the current stance is because almost no one donated, just downloaded with no support. I do not know for sure, but I would guess the web site administrator has logs (although given the reputed state of the web site, perhaps not ) that tells them how many downloads against how many donations. They will certainly have logs of how many donations, and I expect github’s analytics will tell them how many active copies of Fritzing there are, by Fritzing-parts repository downloads (which with Win7 dead for updates will be under reporting.) I would also point out (as a former network operator, I know bandwidth is not free) that someone, I assume partly donations, has to pay the hosting and bandwidth charges for the web site and forums (and I have been hopefully running them up lately with the parts creation howtos .) It is a hard choice, but I would rather see Frtizing survive, and from what I see, that is still in doubt, there appears to be a lot more wrong than was realized when the original time line in the github post was made (no distribution chain, broken web site, probably more I do not know about.) That said there has been great progress too, the distribution tool chain has been recreated (possibly better) and the release is getting closer, for a while you could get the windows and Mac binaries on github but something broke there and you no longer can, but progress is being made. The github issues page has been triaged (I was encouraged to enter my long list of problems that I have kept locally a week or two ago, when Kjell committed 5 fixed bugs in gerber processing to the development branch.) But without funding that is likely to stop and then death by decay will occur for most people. which would be a pity. As was pointed out in one post or another (and I know from discussions in the forums about what happened before I came to Fritzing), it got as far as it did because it was a publicly funded research project for a number of years (until the funding ran out.) That means the code and underlying design are both of high quality (I have seen that from reading the source, where the few comments are todo type items for things to come, the design has been thought through), the flip side of that is that it is going to be difficult to make it in to an open source project, the code base is too complex (I can attest to that too ), without anyone left that is familiar with it to help out (I have not found any one in 2+ years of trying.) Thus the funding to pay pros to do it. Again my $0.02 (or whatever low number the Canadian dollar makes that today, plus we no longer have pennies.)
Yes, very off-putting and sleazy. I get the need for contributions but pissing off your users may not be the best way to go about it.
If the user base decides they don’t like it, then Fritzing dies very likely. If the user base already using Fritzing, values it and contributes (and there are a lot of them) maybe Fritizng survives. If someone has a workable alternative (and I don’t or I would have suggested it), I’m sure the developers would love to hear it. I admit it will probably slow new user uptake, but there is a huge (the estimate from folks that should know is 200K or more users) user base that knows Fritzing and may be willing to support it in the form of a donation to download a new release (the first one in three years .) If not, then it is likely game over. As I have said before I have been trying for 2+ years to find volunteers to restart development and I was the only one I am aware of working on it. The new folks, in 6 or 8 months have a release tool chain working for all platforms (it took me more than a year to get Linux and Windows, without the Mac working) and are close to a release. I know who I would bet on. There is no evidence I know of that volunteers will be the answer. Note even with development restarting, there have been no new pull requests (at least that I have seen) for fixes from external volunteers (including me although I have a couple in the pre release.) The evidence to date indicate that way lies the end of Fritzing as it gets too old. If the 0.9.4 release makes it out that will put that doom off a few years, but the clock will still be ticking as QT and the underlying OS versions change. Rather than saying “I don’t like”, suggest an alternative (or submit a part to the core parts repo or a fix to the code base, none of which are happening now, again including me for various reasons) …
Thanks a lot Peter for your clarifications.
Indeed, the rate of donations vs. downloads was low, about 0.1% . Some money is made with PCBs, but only if people order them at our partner AISLER.
It is better now, and if this is not a straw fire then I am positive that we can reduce the number of open issues, add more parts, and maybe even think about new features.
I will improve the download page, and try to make it clearer, so users don’t feel scammed.
However, changes on the website are slow: The webpage is fragile, there is no staging or test server, and I am not familiar with the deploy process should anything go wrong. So I am forced to work on the live system, and be very careful even about even trivial changes. And every changes require a lengthy restart, that will kick out users from their sessions.
Besides the work on this supporting users, finance and legal, and this webserver, I am still happy to get to work on the 0.9.5 version of Fritzing, so there are some improvements already in the pipeline
One very strong argument for this going forward will be if the rate of donations picks up (which is what I hope will happen!) Only time will tell with that.
A late thought: perhaps point out that “you are free to build Fritzing from source, although it is time consuming and difficult, it is free. For a donation (which helps fund development) built binaries are available which avoids having to install the development environment and learn to build Fritzing” ?
Hello, so did the team actually get the donation?
I did donated a few times, how can I know if It’s done?
Like my paytreon will enable me to see private things only available for sponsors
and some youtubers will your name in their videos
Ok, seems that the download page is slightly changed between now and the time OP posted. Strangle enough I noticed that when I logged in to the website that I have an “I already paid” option which allows me to direct download. Then I felt bad for not donating so I went back to the download page and made the donation, however when returning from paypal to Fritzing it resulted in an internal server error. @KjellM I can share / pm the ‘return’ link if that helps investigation
Personally I find that the download section can still be improved. I don’t think people are reluctant to donate, as long as it’s clearly explained that you either donate and get binaries or build it yourself (which no-one will probably do anyhow, heck i’m member of an Agile development team (Java), i checked if I could easily build it but when I saw the instruction i was like; nope, not gonna do that, too much effort)
Usage of Patreon is an interesting suggestion as it also would allow for recurring donations (for example $1 each month) and (I think) it allows controlled distribution of the binaries
If the code is realy in such a bad state, throw it away. Possible some parts can reused as inspiration for Fritzing-NG, but using a bad code-base will never get a good code.
It looks like some kind of scammy…
Suggestions to make it better are welcome at
Hi woxaf, welcome to the Fritzing forum.
Could you explain why you think it looks scammy?
Hi woxaf, welcome to the Fritzing forum.
Could you explain why you think it looks scammy?
I did not see any reaction from wofax but I’ve noticed the same. In Firefox the page does not render correctly. In Chrome it looks “somewhat” better.
Just sign in. After login you can choose from the Download page “I already paid” (even if you don’t) and you can download the latest version.
Hi, in my country, Belgium, we cannot do a payment via Paypal without having an account. This is something I refuse to get (I have my reasons). Can you propose payments via other channels? I even want to do a blunt transfer. Thanks…
I did pay for the software today, but can not find where to download it from.
I sent an email to Kjell, I received a prompt reply with links.
Service is great!!