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rhumbaflappy

regarding payware vs. freeware

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I have recently been reading the various threads regarding freeware vs. payware, in particular the discussions regarding FSUIPC.Certain sentiments expressed in these threads shock me. The almost viscous sense of entitlement by so many willing to contribute so little is staggering.Regardless of which side of the argument we may be on, this subject is a cancer that is tainting the community. It is a plague on both our houses.

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I think the problem is more complex than that.... Consider this:FSUIPC has a standalone function--a function that has always allowed applications (payware and freeware) to talk to MSFS. Freeware authors who've spent hours on their own work cannot be categorized as "willing to contribute so little". We've taken the latter part of Pete's utility, and we've invested hours, adding to the value of Pete's tool by making people want to have it, so they could enjoy our work. Just as people purchase MSFS because they've heard of what Lee S. can do for AI, others will feel compelled to purchase FSUIPC so they can enjoy our work. That is fine--if Pete treats us as equals and looks at ways of protecting our rights, as well as his. I for one haven't used Pete's tool for anything other than my own applications. When he started adding features, I disabled the lot. But they are extra value beyond the original free IPC that Adam developed--I think of them in the same terms that I think of any tool that interfaces to MSFS using the IPC. I think Pete should be able to charge for that.But the "must have" piece of FSUIPC--the IPC itself, now holds us hostage to Pete's whims. That's why I am jumping ship in favor of FSConnect, which already supports LCA (Autoland is being retired). Many of us just want to keep contributing freeware without having to spend even more time managing what seems like a potential bureaucratic process. Pete didn't solicit our input as how to best protect his intellectual property while allowing us the freedom to code and protect ours. He speaks on his site of a "certification process" that would have to be endured periodically. And the issue is muddled whether someone would have to pay for his product in order to enjoy our product. I don't see any other way Pete can pull in income if he just gives away the IPC. I think that's the bread and butter of his work.I think the larger problem of this issue is that people think it's either black, or it's white. If you don't hop on board and consider Pete's ground 110 pct. hallowed, you're considered a cheapskate. Or, if you do dare say Pete has the right to make money (I think he does), you're given an ethics lecture by a group of people that seem hardly out of their teens....one that seems to strongly lean towards a non-market economy, at least as it applies to simming.-JohnAuthor, Landclass Assistant and Autoland 2002

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Hi John.Good post. I find myself in a nearly identical position as you describe concerning FS2004.I had hoped Peter Dowson would simply give us a barebones IPC as freeware. What we will have instead is a registered access code to IPC that is free... but still controlled by Peter as to how long he will allow this free access. He could cancel the access with any version he later develops.Russel Dirks 'FSConnect' will allow us to freely read and write data without any control by Russ, so using it seems to be the best solution for freeware ( and possibly payware, as well ).I believe Russel will include enough info in his SDK that will allow anyone to create a dll module for IPC... if so, that lets the cat out of the bag! There would be little need for a commercial developer to use FSUIPC, when he could write his own DLL.This, of course, negates any monopoly Peter had with IPC, and will seriously affect his ability to market his product. Why buy, when you can get the same thing for free?I think the best solution would have been for Peter to simply have separated the simple IPC from his other added value functions, then continued to provide the IPC as freeware, perhaps with a copyright restriction regarding payware use of the DLL. His addon functions could have then been marketed separately. At one time I believe he considered this approach, but his final word on this, is that all access to FSUIPC v3 will require registration, and that code will be checked for validity. As a result, I'm sure freeware developers will turn their backs on FSUIPC in favor of FSConnect, or other IPC modules or software approaches.It's a shame things evolved this way, but it's certanly not Peter Dowson's fault. Microsoft could resolve the issue by providing an IPC module with FS2004, or in a future SDK. And our old versions of FSUIPC continue to work just fine for FS98-FS2002.Because FS2004 is compatible with FS2002 scenery, we can continue to use our scenery development utilities with FSUIPC and FS2002. All current scenery designers have a copy of FS2002... just leave it on the harddrive for use with older utilities, until you, I, and others develop new versions using FSConnect and FS2004.:)Dick

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