Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED?]

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Re: Recently we've been investing heavily in product develop

Post by kevinmiller » Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:59 pm

Hi folks,

Raising prices may not instantly be popular. However its the right move here and it is in your interests. Here is why.

We have a responsibility to our whole community to ensure the viability and stability of the platform. The fact is that we have spent multiples (yes well over 2x) of what we raised on total crowd funding campaigns on developing the new technologies so far. That's in addition to our regular spend on normal maintenance and bug fixing. While progress has been good we have still not quite completed all the goals we intended.

The sheer size of the redevelopment task, taken with a couple of customer service incidents of late, has highlighted to me just how overstretched we are as a team. I want us to run an organization that keeps all its promises and frankly that has been harder to do that of late than is right or fair to some individuals on our team.

At the same time the survey data has highlighted just how much value we are already providing to the many commercial customers and how little we charge relative to that value. It is clear there is a solution in here that allows us continue our unwavering commitment to open source, serve our business customers better and maintain the resourcing levels we need to properly service the size of community we now have.

I am a passionate believer in open source software. If I wasn’t we wouldn’t be an open source company. LiveCode cannot be the success we all want without being a strong open source platform. We are not removing anything from open source. All the Kickstarter goals will go into open source. HTML5 will be dual licensed with an open source version just like the rest of the platform. As you know from the long list of KS features, when completed that will result in an extremely capable and complete platform. Those using it for teaching, for hobbyist projects and so forth are going to find that the open source version of LiveCode 8 is *extremely* capable.

At the same time, there are a number of features which are more business focused and which have not been promised or even mentioned within the Kickstarter. Many of those will go into all versions including open source. Some will make their way into Indy and/or Business. That is entirely fair, reasonable and in total alignment with our public commitments. By doing that we will be able to serve serious businesses who are making serious money by using LiveCode and generate sufficient income for ourselves to have a sustainable platform. That just benefits everyone. The larger and more healthy we are, the more we can service our free open source platform.

This price increase is hardly going to break the bank. Its clear from the survey that most of you are willing to pay it. We have never made a public commitment to price in a given way. And indeed it might be worth noting that at the time of the Kickstarter campaign our prices were $499 a year. To ease the burden we have allowed you to continue to lock in the current, lower prices. I’m not sure I’ve seen other companies let you lock in the pricing in the way we’ve just offered to do! We recognize the support that our community has shown and we wanted to reflect that even during this very necessary change.

My only regret is not doing this sooner. Had we done so we would have been much further along in our goals and avoided the recent service issues that have so badly affected a small number of you. I’m sure those affected would be far happier if we had done so. For that I do apologize, we will be more nimble in the future whenever necessary to ensure that our service is where it needs to be for all of you.

Kind regards,

Kevin
Kevin Miller ~ kevin@livecode.com ~ http://www.livecode.com/
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Re: Recently we've been investing heavily in product develop

Post by dave.kilroy » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:18 pm

Sorry Klaus, I think I read more into your posting than was actually there...
Klaus wrote:
dave.kilroy wrote:What worries me most about this affair is how people like Sefro, Klaus, Newbie and AndyP are taking it
Nothing to worry about with me, I am not "taking it" anyhow!
I only gave Richard a hint about what he may have overlooked!
"...this is not the code you are looking for..."

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Re: Recently we've been investing heavily in product develop

Post by sefrojones » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:32 pm

Kevin,

I completely understand that LiveCode needs proper funding in order to be a success. I also understand that you are not removing anything from the current functionality of the community version. My main concern is that moving forward beyond the release of LC8, that more and more new features will start being left out of the Community Edition. I have been supporting LiveCode with the belief that the Community and Commercial versions would have feature parity. It now seems that this is not the case. This is a much bigger issue for me than the price increase, which I would be on board with except for this new plan to split functionality. Your response does much to explain the need for a price increase, but little to allay my fears.

--Sefro

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Re: Recently we've been investing heavily in product develop

Post by kevinmiller » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:58 pm

Sefro,

Thanks for your measured response.

The Kickstarter goals represent a very complete platform.

The new LiveCode Builder language and widgets in 8, also present another way to extend the platform. If there is something you need that is not included, the whole point of open source is that you can add it yourself. With LCB thats easier than ever. Or you can choose to buy a commercial version from us with a commercial widget. The route you take will depend on your needs, budget, timescale and what is available.

Another way to look at it: we've not removing things from open source. We're adding some new things that we haven't previously announced to the other licenses. If the road map for open source was sufficient for you previously, nothing has changed and so it should still be sufficient.

This change is the right one for all of us. However if you are still concerned we will as ever, see what we can do for you personally. Drop us a line directly.

Kind regards,

Kevin
Kevin Miller ~ kevin@livecode.com ~ http://www.livecode.com/
LiveCode: Everyone can create apps

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Re: Recently we've been investing heavily in product develop

Post by sefrojones » Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:31 pm

kevinmiller wrote: Or you can choose to buy a commercial version from us with a commercial widget.
This makes much more sense. If the new functionality is based around commercial widgets, then this seems like a very fair way to differentiate between the versions and add value for your business customers, while still maintaining a powerful open-source platform for the rest of the community. I apologize for the sensationalist nature of the original post here, it was a knee-jerk reaction to the idea that "features" were beginning to be left out of the open-source version. :oops: You have put my fears to rest.

--Sefro
Last edited by sefrojones on Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Recently we've been investing heavily in product develop

Post by FourthWorld » Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:41 pm

sefrojones wrote:
kevinmiller wrote: I apologize for the sensationalist nature of the original post here, it was a knee-jerk reaction to the idea that "features" where beginning to be left out of the open-source version. :oops: You have put my fears to rest.
If you're satisfied with the outcome here it may be helpful to edit the thread title in your original post to be prefaced with "[Solved]". A number of other members here use that convention, and I've come to really like it as it helps encourage future readers to browse through the messages to find the satisfying resolution.

In my own personal opinion you have nothing to apologize for. Sure, many areas of life benefit from recognizing when what we have on our hands is a question rather than an exclamation. :) But I was introduced to you in an email you sent me as the first volunteer to sign up to help with our first Global Jam, and we've all seen your initiatives like the Game Jam as a wonderful and energetic flow of contributions that benefit all of us. Your helpfulness and commitment to others is well understood and appreciated here.

The implied partnership between a business sponsor of an open source project and the community that supports and enhances it is never easy, and no project gets it right all the time. The Ubuntu project is a favorite example of mine because I help out with it and have many friends in that community so I know it well, and even with the world's most popular free desktop OS the project manages to attract controversy from time to time. Happens to pretty much all FOSS projects now and then, and we can expect LiveCode will be no exception.

For our part as members of the LiveCode community, we can move things forward most productively by assuming good intentions, and asking questions whenever it may seem those intentions are less than we've come to expect. I've known Kevin for nearly two decades, and I volunteered for this role of CM because I feel confident that he's quite in earnest about the mission to share LiveCode with the world as broadly as possible.

For the company's part, had they explained the details in that original email as clearly as Kevin did here this would likely have not been as much of a concern for so many as it was. I trust this conversation will encourage future communications to be more mindful of potential sticking points with the community they serve.

Whether we make proprietary or open source works, everyone in our industry is increasingly relying on open source for tools and infrastructure. Much of my own work is made possible by three FOSS projects: Ubuntu, OwnCloud, and LiveCode. None of them is perfect, but all them have done more for my company than any proprietary-only solution I've ever used.

I see great promise in LiveCode as a tool for good in the world. Sure, it also helps many of us make money, but even then it's really serving a bigger goal: empowering people through ever smarter use of computing resources.

Questions like the one you raised here are an inevitable and ultimately healthy part of the path for all of us to realize that vision of LiveCode's role in the world.
Richard Gaskin
Community volunteer LiveCode Community Liaison

LiveCode development, training, and consulting services: Fourth World Systems: http://FourthWorld.com
LiveCode User Group on Facebook : http://FaceBook.com/groups/LiveCodeUsers/

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED]

Post by dunbarx » Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:41 pm

I am concerned as well. We have not seen people this upset for a while. The last time was a number of threads where a single user made several points, some valid, but was completely contemptuous of the community as a whole, though not, oddly, particularly contemptuous of LC per se.

This thread is comprised of community members themselves, and though hardly contemptuous, are quite disappointed and upset at Scotland.

I think Scotland should speak....

Craig Newman

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED]

Post by FourthWorld » Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:50 pm

dunbarx wrote:I think Scotland should speak....
Look up ^^ - Kevin's already posted here twice, and the OP has replied positively as well.
Richard Gaskin
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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED]

Post by dunbarx » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:19 pm

Richard.

Oops. (not multiple "OOP" languages)

I never saw that there was a second page in the thread. My post only makes sense if placed at the bottom of page 1.

Craig

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED]

Post by AndyP » Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:36 am

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for clarifying these issues. As Sefro said it all makes more sense now.
Apologies for the "hot under the collar" remarks, probably should not have reacted so quickly. :oops:

Andy
Andy Piddock

http://2108.co.uk/tinyide/ - Mini LC IDE alternative

http://2108.co.uk/script-editor-themer/ - Script Editor colour theming

http://livecodeshare.runrev.com/stack/897/LiveCode-Multi-Search - Search across 8 LC resources

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Re: Recently we've been investing heavily in product develop

Post by tellboy » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:24 am

sefrojones wrote:
kevinmiller wrote: Or you can choose to buy a commercial version from us with a commercial widget.
This makes much more sense. If the new functionality is based around commercial widgets, then this seems like a very fair way to differentiate between the versions and add value for your business customers, while still maintaining a powerful open-source platform for the rest of the community. I apologize for the sensationalist nature of the original post here, it was a knee-jerk reaction to the idea that "features" were beginning to be left out of the open-source version. :oops: You have put my fears to rest.

--Sefro

I am simply a Community user. I have been a SuperCard user for many years and could see SuperCard stagnating with it's Carbon base so I switched to LiveCode. I can only comment Mac.
I did purchase SuperCard but have not LC because I have been suspicious of the plan/future/licence model.

My use is hobby and I cannot justify an annual licence at the cost proposed so I stick with the community and the future looks bleak.

The brutal part.

The future for the Community Version I believe is now under threat and probably has been since day one.

LC have never really been interested in Open Source it was purely a means of raising money so they would not go out of business? Once the money was secured they have been looking at ways to ditch it? Now ditch it may not mean abandoning it, rather as they say in political circles, kicking it into the long grass by not adding anything new?

It seems to me that the future for all user interface items is as a widget?

I suspect the plan involves a simple(?) base set of widgets and if you want more or a better performance then BUY our enhanced widget?

So, if you want, for example, a DataGrid that performs more like a native NSTableView(Mac) then BUY our widget.

Will the buying of widgets be available to Community Users? This would seem a strange state of affairs? If not the Open Source version will so fade into obscurity.

So, the Community Version ends up with a base set of widgets and as the platform is developed the Community Version fades to become a distant memory lost in the long grass.

What is the history of companies going Open Source to raise cash through schemes like KickStarter and then abandoning Open Source?

The whole purpose of providing widgets is to allow the abandonment of Open Source by stealth?

I suppose the cost of a licence for LC is not just that but also the additional cost of funding other development projects along the way. Does this mean the licence is only for updates and any additional functionality is extra through crowd funding?

It does seem that the original plan and accounting has gone awry somewhere.

I feel embarrassed in commenting when I am only a Community User but I will get over it.

All the best

Terry

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED]

Post by richmond62 » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:52 am

"The brutal part.

The future for the Community Version I believe is now under threat and probably has been since day one."

Well, I for one don't see that . . . but I may be being naive.

What I see is the end result of an overly-optimistic projection by RunRev:

1. We release an Open Source version of our product.

2. It turns on tons of developers who run in a mad scramble to purchase commercial licenses.

NOW, what actually happened was that the "Community" version was TOO SUCCESSFUL, and people are
NOT running like mad to buy the commercial version, as, for instance, that is not required for any sort of in-house development.
---------
Just to make a personal point: had the Community version not come along (and I did contribute my "widow's mite" to the Kickstarter thing)
I would have had to find the cash for a Commercial version as my version 4.5 plays "silly buggers" on Xubuntu 14.0.4 and upwards.
---------

Now, Kevin and Co. have (as Kevin implied) overspent their budget keeping up with all the promises made in the Kickstarter thing,
and, possibly, the bank is knocking on their door and the bailiffs are getting abusive, so they HAVE to find a way to generate
more revenue . . .

There seem to be a number of ways that they can do this:

1. Make the Commercial version MORE ATTRACTIVE vis-a-vis the Community version [after all, as far as I recall, currently the ONLY
difference is the ability to protect one's code - obviously that doesn't "Do It"] by introducing Commercial-only features.

2. Run around with the "begging bowl" again like they did for the Kickstarter: might not necessarily be a bad idea: after all, all of us
Community Users have had a lot of mileage out of the Community version.

3. Both of the above.

Those who are objecting should reflect on the fact that very many software vendors offer a cut-down free version and a feature-laden
commercial version of their product, without bothering to offer justifications/explanations to their end-users.

I don't believe the Community version will be "kicked into the long grass", it just will not have, as Kevin explained, various
extra-funky features that might be employed by business types who have more than enough money to stump up for a
commercial licence.

I use Softmaker Office on Linux [it's a FREE version of a far fancier commercial suite]; suits me, and if I ever feel the
urge for the fancy bits I'll just have to find the moolah.

There is nothing to have a "moral beef" about here: it is just Kevin stating that they are short of a few bawbees and they are going
to try a new way to attract the siller.
Last edited by richmond62 on Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED]

Post by Lagi Pittas » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:37 pm

Hi All,

Here's my take on this,

$499.00 a year isn't a lot if you are making a living with livecode. If you only use PHP or Python or Rails or whatever just because it's free
and you don't want to pay anything while earning a living - Here's the Brutal Jeremy Clarkson bit with a bit of Woody Allen thrown in

"You should be taken out and shot - preferably at Dawn" (I left out in front of your kids - I'm not that nasty :wink: )

I remember forking out nearly £800.00 pounds for Clipper "Summer 87 " even though A friend had given me a copy that was not protected in any way because I wanted the support of the company
and I was thrown a lifeline because I refused to use DBASE because quite honestly it was Sh**t. I upgraded for a few years - the upgrade price was always lower than the initial price (that's for loyalty)

I moved to foxpro in 1989 and paid my money till Microsoft "Killed it" in 2004 - Guess what I still have systems written in 1992 in Dos running under Windows 7 under visal Foxpro 9 - and I don't pay Microsoft Anything. Where am I going here?

I ABSOLUTELY do NOT agree with the "If you do not Upgrade it reverts back to Community"

I'm going to be nice and say Kevin didn't think this through.

If I'm earning money why wouldn't I renew - If you have a bug in there for years all Im paying form is the hope that that bug will be fixed. Now if 20 developers decide "
I'm not paying this year because version 6.7 does what I want and x,y,z bugs haven't been fixed"
then the company has to do something about it.

Now if I've written 1 program in LC and didn't make that much money, I am still MORALLY Obligated to support it I should still be able to compile it upto the version I paid for - as so should RunRev/Livecode

The subscription to me is not leasing the software - I should Own it upto the version I stopped the subscription - Updates and Support is what I should be paying for.

Just to be clear you can PURCHASE Oracle database for about £500 without any support but companies pay thousands - for support - they couldn't give a fig for Oracle PerSe if it does their job - people also pay for MySQL - I Rest My case.

The way you SHOULD differentiate the Commercial from the Community is

1. Addons / widgets whatever you want to call them that are "free" to Commercial subscribers - not removing the camera widget from the community - which is not REALLY business anyway - makes for a better app but I'm talking business in the real world.
2. A PRIVATE totally separate forum or specifically designed environment where there is a dedicated person who's only reason to be on this earth (ok a little strong :wink: ) is to make sure if the commercial subscribers have any showstoppers it is fixed by kicking ass. When things go on for 3 or 4 or more years without being looked at - yes I've seen the threads - don't alienate those who have been with you for years (and I'm not talking me).
3. The questions and solutions from this forum would be aggregated and added to the tutorials/faqs open to all so no information is lost and everybody wins.

If you are doing your Job right there is no reason that we will not keep upgrading - I have not made a penny from Livecode yet, hopefully in the next month or so I will install my first system. So asking me to lockin by buying 2 years instead of is a little misguided. ( I don't have humble opinions it seems)

You will get more taker if you change that to $299 for 1 year to lockin and those who can will do the $499 for 2 years and still save a $100.

Now if its because you are haemorrhaging money and you need 2 years now just say say so.

Here is a suggestion

Get all the academies together package them up and easy to access and say they are $3 a month or $30, for schools $100 a year - with new ones added.

How many schools ion Scotland? 2500 - many more in England - get your digital marketing sorted - with more specials to organisations and education.

How many who are still not sure would at least join to see how to do stuff - maybe I'm naive but I have 65 udemy courses - I remember the days when £39-49 pounds was the going rate for books on Clipper, Foxpro, Delphi,C, $30 for education is nothing.

So to sum up

1. NO TO THE "REVERTS TO COMMUNITY" - If Larry Ellison, Bill Gates, PHP, Python don't do it why start a trend and make it look like its all about the money
2. Lockin with 1 years especially if you were a KS supporter
3. FIX the Damn bugs!!
4. Sort out your website - I suggested to Heather I think a few weeks ago to add a redirect in htaccess so that old links in the forums that went to runrev.com didn't come up page not found - 1 minute job nothing happened.
5. Sort out the documentation

I have jumped in with both feet with LC , so much so I started a project a few weeks ago in Livecode that was really better served by Foxpro - and I coded it and installed it in less than a week and got my money. It will be rewritten in Livecode later when I have the time. The software I have been working on for 8 months is nearly done - but not a penny yet earned.

Oh did I say Fix the bugs that are bought up time and time again ?

<END OF VERY PASSIONATE RANT>

KIndest Regards Lagi
Last edited by Lagi Pittas on Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Recently we've been investing ....[SOLVED]

Post by zaxos » Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:38 pm

My humble opinion since i haven't helped kickstarter campaign or ever bought any subscription not because i didn't want but because i couldn't .
Rising the cost to 500$ sounds fair enough to me, at least for those who are making money from it. As for holding features back from the community version, it really feels like forcing people that need those features to buy a subscription, even if they don't want to make money out of it. I really feel like your heading the wrong way.
A few suggestions:
A) First of all i believe that all those academies and lessons should be free, as a user for about 3 years i can now say with confidence that i can build anything with livecode, when you get to that point there is no way back, ther's a bond with your platform that cant break, teach people about livecode, sharing is the key, once you start programing it becomes an addiction, USE THIS!
B) I'v made a suggestion in the survey that you build an on-line store where people can sell their stacks and livecode gets its commission, even if they don't have a subscription.
C) Don't use an aggressive strategy( thats what i felt from you'r letter ) don't make me feel you want to take my money, make me feel that you are my friend, thats what got me into livecode.
D) You could start a section here in the forums where people can share their opinions on how to make livecode more profitable while keeping its identity.

I have no job, no income, nowhere to expect money from, so dont judge me for not contributing with money, i try to help others as much as i can, that is all i can give right now.
Knowledge is meant to be shared.

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Re: Recently we've been investing heavily in product develop

Post by FourthWorld » Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:59 pm

tellboy wrote:The brutal part.

The future for the Community Version I believe is now under threat and probably has been since day one.

LC have never really been interested in Open Source it was purely a means of raising money so they would not go out of business? Once the money was secured they have been looking at ways to ditch it? Now ditch it may not mean abandoning it, rather as they say in political circles, kicking it into the long grass by not adding anything new?
Brutally-worded indeed.

I appreciate that you've taken care to include question marks, and with those no one can say you're actually claiming anything. But it would seem Betteridge's Law may apply:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridg ... _headlines

As a general rule useful in many areas of life, when we have a question that can only be answered by understanding someone else's intentions, it can be helpful to remember that intention is purely internal to the individual, and cannot be known from the outside.

With this in mind, I try to interpret people's actions as having good intentions behind them, and resort to assumptions of bad intentions only when no other interpretation is in any way possible.

In this case, that task is made even easier because Kevin has already stated his intentions here in this thread, and we have a two-year history of observable actions to weigh them against.

LiveCode Community premiered in April 2013, and since then more than 2100 enhancements and bug fixes have been delivered to both the Community and Commercial editions.

Kevin has also once again confirmed the company's commitment to delivering a large number of very substantial features -- everything funded in both crowd-sourcing campaigns -- under the same dual-license structure.


The general concern in this thread is a healthy one for all dual-licensed projects to keep in mind, that a project may possibly become "open source in name only", over time weakening the GPL-governed version to the point that it's no longer viable for development of FOSS works.

But as we apply to that LiveCode let's please keep some perspective on this.

After a two year history of demonstrated commitment to 100% relevant feature parity for both license options, and a consistent commitment to all features still in development that were outlined in the crowd-funding campaigns, the origin of this concern was a vague and brief description of a single widget for specialized camera features.

Keep in mind that the Community Edition already provides support for front- and back-facing cameras on mobile, and control of Web cams and other video input devices on the desktoop, and none of that is going away.

So while it's true that the specific features of the widget in question are still not known, they would seem fairly exotic and not likely all that critical for most of us.

Kevin's explanation of the balance of interests has satisfied most other readers here, and personally I have no problem with what he's described either.

OwnCloud is another dual-licensed project I rely on, and they've taken similar steps in offering enterprise-specific features under proprietary license, while still keeping the rest of us more than happy with their GPL version.

Ubuntu is completely free, but the company that makes it, Canonical, also develops some proprietary components for enterprise customers and mobile carriers, and the Ubuntu platform has only continued to grow.

Making dev tools is a tough business. Working together, the company and this community, we can keep LiveCode free and open and also viable for all of us.
I feel embarrassed in commenting when I am only a Community User but I will get over it.
You needn't feel embarrassed because you're using open source software. If you have other concerns about what you've written you can edit those.

I believe it's in everyone's interest, perhaps for the company even more than any of us, to maintain an ongoing review of LiveCode's open source engagement, to be willing to voice and reexamine any policies and procedures that may seem counter to the goals expressed during the fund raisers and since.

To date the company has been delivering a free and open Community Edition that exceeds their stated commitments, and Kevin seems to understand quite well how important earnest open source engagement is for the viability of any modern development tool.

Every open source project I've seen has its moments of controversy now and then, and there's no reason to believe LiveCode will be the exception.

All I would ask is that we raise such questions whenever we have them, and do so with a professional tone that assumes good intentions, so we can focus on the facts at hand and work in partnership with the company to seek outcomes that benefit everyone.
Richard Gaskin
Community volunteer LiveCode Community Liaison

LiveCode development, training, and consulting services: Fourth World Systems: http://FourthWorld.com
LiveCode User Group on Facebook : http://FaceBook.com/groups/LiveCodeUsers/

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