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steffenpelz

The future of FSUIPC

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The real problem here is that this tirade should be directed at Microsoft. There is something hugely wrong with them sharing the hooks to state information for the simulator with only a select group of developers (one). This information should be published in an SDK for all to use or not shared at all. I for one will have a huge problem spending any of my money on a piece of software that is developed via this technique. On the other hand if an SDK of state information is published, then I'll spend my money on the best tool.My 2 cents.

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We all know that there have been other freeware/payware publishers who have helped test Microsofts products for past issues of MSFS. Is this any different?L.Adamson

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Testing is one thing. Having exclusive or semi-exclusive access to API's is quite another.

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>Testing is one thing. Having exclusive or semi-exclusive >access to API's is quite another. I have no idea of access to API's, as I havn't went to any trouble to find out. I must not even care! :)But on the otherhand, Microsoft isn't a city, state, or Federal Government (taxpayer funded) that's handing out favortism to give someone an edge over the rest of us tax payers! Quite frankly, it seems to me that they can do anything they want, regarding this sim.What on earth gives some simmers the thought, that they have "voting rights" and control over MS anyway? L.Adamson

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>This >information should be published in an SDK for all to use or >not shared at all. Well said! Couldn't agree more.... Best regards, Chris

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Ray,Thanks for the notice.As everyone readily acknowledges, Pete Dowson has made an absolutely terrific contribution to our hobby. Is there anyone out there who is not running FSUIPC? While we might enjoy FS2002 without his module, no one serious about the hobby can do without it. Pete has spent an enormous amount of his personal time producing something that gives us all such joy. All in the spirit of sharing and giving. It is high time that we expressed our thanks.So I'm heading off to make a donation.However, in the long run I hope that we all can find a more nearly permanent source of funding. I stand ready to pay for this wonderful product. And I hope that our more successful commercial developers will do so as well.A tip of my cap to Pete for all he has done!Best,Mike MacKuen

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Well, I've read through all the posts so far, both pro, con and on the fence, concerning whether Pete's program is worth a donation or to be future payware and who should pay.Based on Mr. Proudfoot's explanation of Pete's predicament it boils down to the fact that we have an individual who has given a great service to the FS community. An indiviual that now could use the communities' help.He has help me on a one on one basis in the past which, in my opinion, is worth every penny of my donation.Pete, my donation is on the way, thanks for all your help in the past and looking for a bright future for you.

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In the light of your latest post I have no desire whatsoever to continue a discussion with you. It would be a complete waste of my time.

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You are correct, guess I should have expanded my thought further. MS can do whatever they choose, and me as a user/developer of utilities don't have much say in the matter.My concern is that if as a developer of utilities, if I choose not to pay a licensing fee for FSUIPC (if it comes to that) I would have to somehow figure out the interface to the sim to retrieve/set variables to make my software interact properly with the sim. Obviously, if there is no SDK outlining how to do that, my work would be much more difficult and I may via virtue of someone having already done the work be more inclined to pay the fee. But if the SDK were available outlining the API for the interface to the sim, I could fairly easily code my own interface for the data that my utility needed, thereby saving me the cost of licensing a third party utility which provides a gateway to the data.The problem for me arises when MS choses not to publish the SDK but make the information available to a small group of developers for use in developing "for a fee" utilities. This is not the developers fault, but rather Microsoft's and as it is their software they may do as they please. All I can do is express my concerns to Microsoft. Obviously, if they choose not to listen to me, I'm SOL.Jim

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I will most defiently Pay for FSUIPC if thats what pete needs, however i will only send money once i know if its payware or donation ware. This means im not waiting for him to say "ok its still free", whatever he does he will still receive my money, but first he has to make up his mind as to what he wishes to do.On a lighter note, PETE, YOUR THE MAN Jason Chandler

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After going through and reading this thread, I know why I could NEVER be a politician. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but some of them stated in this thread in my humble opinion border on just the bizarre. There are discussions that loose all rational and are just tirades about nonsense.I thank Ray for taking the time to express to the general community some of Pete

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>Lastly, I sent my donation to Pete on the first day Ray >posted. Let your own conscience guide you, but there is no >such thing as a free lunch in life. Pete has been feeding >all of us too long and it is time to recognize that a

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Hi Ray,Thank you for posting this. I made a donation the other day - given all Pete has done for our hobby, and all the add ons (freeware and payware) that I have enjoyed because of FSUIPC, this was the best retrospective flight sim purchase I have ever made!Pete if you are reading this thread thank you for all your efforts, and please continue - if it needs to be payware the next time around that is fine with me.Best regards,Vic Alesi

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>Since the inter-workings of FSUIPC is not easily understood >my most of us in the general flight simming community, it is >fair to add a couple of points. First, many of the add-on >packages that we all enjoy today, just would not be here if >it were not for FSUIPC. The amount of state interaction >plus the package coding would be a hurdle that most >developers would not want to tackle, and that is both >FREEWARE and PAYWARE. >That reminds of a "once popular" addon that I purchased for FS2K.It had problems right out of the box, one of which was that it needed a particular version of FSUIPC and there was no mention in the docs that it used FSUIPC - I guess they assumed you just had it installed. That is when I first learned of FSUIPC.(I've also had problems with installs overwriting the current version of FSUIPC with an older one; but that's another issue).>Second, Pete has fixed some general problems inside of >FS2000 and FS2002 that EVERYONE benefits from on each flight >without even thinking twice about it. >FSUIPC is almost synonymous with your body

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"Is there anyone out there who is not running FSUIPC?"I guess that would be me. I don't fly on VATSIM, and most of my flights are relatively short using real weather in large turboprops or GA planes. Other than downloading an older version of it to check out it's "weather smoothing" features that didn't seem to do much of anything, I've never really utilized it. What I do know is that this is one very important piece of software for many in our segment of the flight sim community. Whether it is freeware, payware, or donationware, I just hope that he continues to advance this program for the forseable future. It would be a shame to lose such a valuable resource such as FSUIPC.Tim13

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Something makes me think you consider money and anyone wanting compensation for their efforts to be an evil thing.Please explain...

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>To me, I see this as nothing but blanket soliciting. >Everyone is trying to make a buck off of FS, under the guise >"I work so hard". To heck with freeware then--it simply >isn't worth the effort. From this point forward, I will no >longer support or update my two apps. If I have to "pay" to >produce freeware, it simply isn't worth it. Everyone needs >an extra dime here and there, but I am shedding no tears for >Pete... Seems like he's just another joining the "can I get >a buck outta this" club... >John, didn't you pay for the software you used to create your programs?Personally, I've paid thousands for compilers and APIs that I use for little or no gain. I may have landed a job because I had experience using them, but never sold anything made with them.I see FSUIPC as similar to all other APIs and toolkits. Some you have to buy, some are given freely.Not to say I was surprised when Peter suddenly announced he needed money to continue development. Something clearly changed in his social and/or financial situation driving this move.Did he get laid off loosing access to the compilers he used maybe? If so, why not say so. That's a small amount for the community to provide (a year ago before I was laid off myself I could probably have given him half of it myself no problem, now I can't).I was seriously considering making a donation towards FSUIPC (but had to wait until my paycheck is in, which should be this week) but I won't be bullied by threats such as Rays post is clearly meant to be no matter what he says.

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In light of all my posts in this thread, I ask Avsim to remove them. I let myself get out of hand, and only recently did your original post get called to my attention, which I sadly missed while out of the state last week. I apologize, and will offer no more resistance to your efforts to help Pete. I had a chance to browse the forums over there--I wish him luck, especially considering the challenges FS 9 may introduce. Regards,John

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>I agree it's very hard work and writing code is no easy task >but it seems that FS is becoming more and more about >commerialism and money and less about a hobby. >For you it's a hobby, for others it's not.And for others still it's a hobby they can't afford to continue unless they get part of their cost compensated.>To be honest people this is a HOBBY, this is not a car >you're buying or health insurance or a real boeing Aircraft >for that matter... >For most people a car is a hobby or a tool they use for their hobby...There is no line.>I've purchased serveral great payware programs, most of >which i haven't regretted spending the money. But it seems >that the more and more you look everyone is trying to charge >for these tools relating to our hobby and justify it as a >way of earning a living and it shouldn't be. If you cannot >balance your time or devote enough time to your job and do >this on your free time then you shouldn't do it at all. >Ever thought that it may not be about time but money?If Pete needs to buy a new C++ compiler he's looking at spending

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Seeing how many "freeware" panels require commercial addon gauges I don't see the problem.Either you have or are willing to buy the addon or you don't use the product.Maybe those panels will be less popular with the "I refuse to recognise that people are spending money on creating this so I won't pay for it" crowd, but are those really the people you want as users anyway? They're likely to backfire on you as they're often also part of the "this button is the wrong shade of green so your panel is a piece of crap" crowd.All freeware authors have tanked on Peter's personal investment of time and money in providing for them for years and years.Many of them have invested their own time and money to be sure.If you don't like the way the future of FSUIPC is looking, why not try to replicate it by providing similar services through another module you write yourself?

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While I agree that Pete has spent a thousand hours or two developing and tweaking the module that is literally a requirement for most add-on developments for FSx, I feel no guilt to shoulder the cost of keeping this FSUIPC movement going. I (we as end users) didnt choose to lean on a single module to make pieces of a flight simulator fit together, and I refuse to take on the responsibility of supporting Pete and FSUIPC on my own with the other end users. Freeware and commercial developers decided this was such a necessity (Im sure to lighten the programming burden on their end), and payware developers shouldve been paying Pete from the start. That is not my fault and I will not let Pete's bad decisions as a programmer/businessman reach in my wallet.My suggestion is to let all of the commercial developers who use the module either pay Pete for his time spent getting THEIR software to be compatible with MSFS or pull the plug on the whole thing. I completely understand how important this module is for the functionality of add-ons in MSFS, but I didnt ask for development of the module, I downloaded or installed it because a developer said I had to to use the product.Craig

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"the current trend from freeware to payware"This notion crops up now and then..I don't think such a trend exists any differently than it has ever since the internet has made e-commerce and freeware possible.Certainly, people we have known as freeware artists can decide to go commercial, but this is not new. My first "mentor" in scenery design was Justin Tyme. He taught me more than I'll ever repay back in the days of fs98. Remember his freeware of that era? Remember delmarva? PA? Ok, so are the worriers about a "trend" including Justin's establishment of "FSGENESIS"? I can name many household names in scenery design that hadn't yet been heard from in 98, can't u? Isn't it obvious that you can't claim the demise of freeware unless you stop seeing new folks beginning to learn? There is a constant stream of people who are just now uploading their very first creation! Freeware LIVES, always has, always will. The problem isn't that freeware is trending to payware. The problem is that users begin to "latch" onto certain freeware artists. Once the user "latches" to any one author, then the changes THAT author goes thru begin to feel to that user as significant. If you can flow from one author to another, if you can recognize the growth and development that designers go thru, you can end your worries. Design is fun..folks are always turning onto it. Freeware is cool, its a classy way to thank those that taught you (usually for free).Something to consider...has any reader of this thread done the same thing for fun over and over again for years? Don't you need to vary what you do for fun, for it to stay fun? If you get REALLY good at what you do for fun, the adulation that can be created may keep them into it longer than they would really like...perhaps then it feels like a job. No doubt, if I had to take on a second job, it wouldn't be for free. That's, of course, only one way to respond to staleness. Has anyone noticed that Ken (webad) Nelson has transitioned from freeware scenery design to freeware utility programming? If you had "latched" onto Ken's work (fun bush type airports), and didn't follow the world of design, you might imagine that Ken is more "proof" of the trend. Course if you've downloaded lwmdraw4, you'll be once more enjoying FREEWARE. LOL And look at the cool learning that Ken is going thru and sharing with us. When I first met Ken, he didn't know how to code...now he's learned so much that he can produce an EXCELLANT utility. The only trend going on here is CHANGE. That's one thing you can count on. Just don't latch hard to your "present", and you'll again realize that nothing is "bringing this hobby down". In fact the only thing that will bring the hobby down for any one individual is that person's worrying....no doubt once you begin to worry its time to change hobbies. Bob Bernstein

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Yes - make commercial outfits pay to utilise features (either one-off fee $5000 per product or per-user license - say $1 per user). Make the module itself free for download, saving on distribution/registration/ecommerce costs and avoiding piracy issues."Donation ware" is noble but commercially naive.

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