Author Topic: Will Olive be Free or Pay for Use?  (Read 6068 times)

Offline PVPlaceLights

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Will Olive be Free or Pay for Use?
« on: March 28, 2011, »
Hi all,

I want to clear up a big question about the future for Olive. Many people have been asking if Olive will be made available for free or require purchase. The short answer is that when Olive is commercially viable, users will need to purchase a license to use it. There will be a scaling licensing model so some limited functionality/limited channel count versions can be available for free and low cost while larger feature set versions will require a nominal, scaling fee.

The projected pricing for Olive will be comparable to the pricing model of existing popular sequencing software. When you consider the amount of money spent on hardware, lighting, and accessories, the license fee for software is very, very small. You invest about an equal amount of time, if not more, using the currently available free or paid for software to program your animations.

I have asked for help from DLA members to guide the development of Olive. I feel this is the absolute best approach to building the right tool for the community. The idea for creating a new tool isn't to get rich (because that's not going to happen) but to provide a different approach to light animation that I believe is faster and more productive than current workflows allow. Revenues generated from license fees will allows us to continue development, maintain high quality user documentation, travel to symposiums to train users, and promote the holiday lighting experience. In the end, the free market will bare out the products users want.

Between now and then, many free and continually evolving iterations of Olive will be available and free for use and stable enough to rely on. This is my contribution. I thank everyone in advance for contributing ideas and testing the software.

--Matt

P.S. - If you are unable to post a reply to this topic, please PM me so I can let RJ know. Or, could someone PM me and let me know if you're able to reply to this topic. 56 reads and no questions is a little unusual around here. Thank you!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, by PVPlaceLights »
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Offline caretaker

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Re: Will Olive be Free or Pay for Use?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, »
Matt,  my own personal opinion you are doing members of this board and the christmas lighting community as a whole a great service by designing a new sequencing software with input from the community and offering alpha versions for anyone to try out and then offer there input. As far as charging for the software when it is commercially viable is the right thing to do with your statement that support will come with the purchase price.  Unfortunately many people have gotten used to the idea of free or low cost software and what you get with that is less than impressive. I know my wife uses programs for creating machine embroidery designs that cost over 2 thousand dollars due to the complexity of the program and the limited market. So anytime someone adds something to the blinky community I say we should support them.
Jeff Squires
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Offline dmaccole

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Re: Will Olive be Free or Pay for Use?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2011, »
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P.S. - If you are unable to post a reply to this topic, please PM me so I can let RJ know. Or, could someone PM me and let me know if you're able to reply to this topic. 56 reads and no questions is a little unusual around here. Thank you!

To paraphrase RJ from a post the other day, the sound you're hearing is of crickets ...

I suspect that while most people accept the notion that a "better" piece of software is going to cost money, they always hold out hope that it won't.

There are many reasons developers charge for products that might otherwise be free and a lack of altruism may not necessarily be high on the list. I have certainly gotten more than one idea I wanted to work on greenlighted by my board of directors (wife, friends, family) because I said it was a for-profit enterprise when in fact it was more that I just wanted to learn something or prove to myself I could do something.

A little bit of income can sometimes mean that a certain amount of what might otherwise be unrecoverable expense can be written off as a business expense.

So, while I understand your desire to charge for the software, I suspect there are many here who do not.

Nonetheless, best luck.

\dmc
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Offline chrisl1976

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Re: Will Olive be Free or Pay for Use?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2011, »
If you are running a small display...less than a few hundred channels. Freeware will probably handle it fine.  With the complexity required to run and efficiently sequence some of the coming multi-thousand channel display with RGB, you are going to need to pry open your  wallet.   

I think the statement is absolutely true.  People have no issues spending thousands on hardware, but than complain when they have to pay for the most important part of the equation.
Chris

Offline chrisatpsu

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Re: Will Olive be Free or Pay for Use?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2011, »
I can post...

can't wait to start using it with hardware
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, by chrisatpsu »
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Offline shaunkad

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Re: Will Olive be Free or Pay for Use?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2011, »
Sorry,

I do have an issue with the fee. You want us to alpha and bea test and feed you input but when we are finaly happy with the program you want to charge us a (small) fee to use it. That <md..
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, by shaunkad »

Offline PVPlaceLights

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Re: Will Olive be Free or Pay for Use?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2011, »
Thank you to everyone for your perspectives on this topic. I feel fortunate that the DLA community exists and there are plenty of members who are excited about the possibility for a new blink/flashy tool. The concepts in my head and the suggestions coming in are much faster than I can code them. But, I have a good feeling that Olive will become a reality.

I'm hoping that, in the end, we will all get something we're happy with.

--Matt
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Offline taybrynn

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Re: Will Olive be Free or Pay for Use?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2011, »
Hey, I"m excited to see how olive progresses.

I can only imagine the coding effort this would be.

My advice would be:

- focus on being good at the 101 basic of sequencing
- focus on wide hardware support (esp. DIY, LOR)
- focus on RGB support
- would be nice to enable grouping of display items
  and then be able to sequence to that group at various
  levels ... which become very useful on larger RGB objects
- support display configurations which can be easily applied
  to sequence files to make yearly show reconfigurations easier.
  Ideally, it would be nice to know that you could change your
  setup xref one place and then know all your sequences would
  still work.  Or that if you added new hardware ... or re-arranged
  hardware ... that there is a way to adapt without changing at
  the sequence level.
- remember it must be FAST, even on machines a year or two old
- remember it must be RELIABLE, or nobody will use it
- remember it should be INTUITIVE ... if you highlight a range on the
  screen, then thats the area your operating on.
- be smart about intervals and cut and pasting ... storing off patterns
  would be nice, so that you could paste in already sequenced tricks
  into any song. 
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, by taybrynn »
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Offline SteveMaris

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Re: Will Olive be Free or Pay for Use?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, »
What taybrynn said... <la..
I at this point refuse to use anything but LOR. It would have to be better, and then I would gladly pay for it.
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Offline keithr

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Re: Will Olive be Free or Pay for Use?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2011, »
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Hey, I"m excited to see how olive progresses.

I can only imagine the coding effort this would be.

My advice would be:

- focus on being good at the 101 basic of sequencing
- focus on wide hardware support (esp. DIY, LOR)
- focus on RGB support
- would be nice to enable grouping of display items
  and then be able to sequence to that group at various
  levels ... which become very useful on larger RGB objects
- support display configurations which can be easily applied
  to sequence files to make yearly show reconfigurations easier.
  Ideally, it would be nice to know that you could change your
  setup xref one place and then know all your sequences would
  still work.  Or that if you added new hardware ... or re-arranged
  hardware ... that there is a way to adapt without changing at
  the sequence level.
- remember it must be FAST, even on machines a year or two old
- remember it must be RELIABLE, or nobody will use it
- remember it should be INTUITIVE ... if you highlight a range on the
  screen, then thats the area your operating on.
- be smart about intervals and cut and pasting ... storing off patterns
  would be nice, so that you could paste in already sequenced tricks
  into any song. 
now thats a list

Offline jess_her

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Re: Will Olive be Free or Pay for Use?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2011, »
Hey guys We should feel very lucky all the hardware software developers and coop managers do for us. What we don't see is the development time of everything that makes our lights flash or servos move. Once each is developed there is a tremendous amount of support needed to eather get it running or keep it running. IF we have to pay some money I'm for this. Matt cranking out Olive and we have direct ability to get what we want here, try and do this with other software vender's.

Thank you Matt.

Jess
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Offline Pete

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Re: Will Olive be Free or Pay for Use?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2011, »
DITTO    <la..

Couldn't of said it better myself!!!

Pete

Offline taybrynn

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Re: Will Olive be Free or Pay for Use?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2011, »
Totally agree.

Good software will rarely be free.

A nice compromise might be to accept open source plugins into the program?
With the ability to install / uninstall ... as easy as we do a firefox extension.

more for the wish list:

- its gotta have undo and redo (which is both reliable and fairly unlimited, or very deep)
- no annoying dialogue boxes for everything you do ... [Do you really want to do what you just clicked to do?]
   (we have undo to get out of mistakes, right?) ... if its really dangerous, then maybe ask or give a preference setting to determine.
- instead of just check the effect, then drag onto intervals ... consider putting macros or smart pastes (say in a drop down list user configures with favorite
  effects/macros) ...  which then programs in the effect either by simple cut and paste (cells+intervals) or by range selected (dynamic expansion of effect into selected range) ...
- would be nice to see custom but common effects like: megatree spins, arch effects, spinner effects, fan effects, matrix effects, super string effects, object oriented effects, holdman fade left/right, etc.
- I would look at LOR, LSP, Vixen, xlights, etc. and take the best features and try to incorporate them.  THere are parts of all of these worth copying because they were done nicely.
- Smart pasting options (look at LOR and esp. Vixen for this)
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, by taybrynn »
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Offline PVPlaceLights

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Re: Will Olive be Free or Pay for Use?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2011, »
Funny that you should mention undo/redo. I'm adding that in right now for version 0.1.2. Also, I will release a plugin API for developing effects, transitions, outputs, inputs, and visualization display elements (I think there's more, but I don't remember). And the plugin API and the ability to develop and distribute plugins will be total open (as in no fess required from us on either end).
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Offline sirloinofbeef001

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Re: Will Olive be Free or Pay for Use?
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2011, »
The price of the lights, hardware, and the time to put it all together is quite the battle. It will be nice to have a program that will make one piece of the puzzle easy to put in place. Even of it costs a few bucks. I will pay for a drag and drop program that makes this part fun.
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