Author Topic: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?  (Read 7085 times)

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Offline apurvdate

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Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
« Reply #50 on: November 20, 2017, 04:49:59 pm »
They should make a program available to convert previous Eagle files to Kicad format.

i think there is a ulp available for that..it should be compatible with versions before the new licensing begun.. ver 7.7 was it?
search eagle2kicad.. you'll get the github links easily.. it converts lbr to kicad libraries lib & mod files and of course schematic n pcb design files..
 

Offline fcb

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Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
« Reply #51 on: November 20, 2017, 07:27:44 pm »
Are these very simple PCBs where you can do a complete from-scratch design over six revisions? I've put 80 hours into a single PCB. My clients aren't going to pay me $10,000 - $20,000 because I chose the wrong tool and can't make a small change without redoing the whole board.
Nope.  These aren't simple PCB's - they have between 200-300 components on them depending on revision.  The last revision (issue 5) was done in 2014 and they have all been done in EasyPC - so importing the old schematic would have been completely painless - yet I didn't,  because all the tweaks and mods actually made it quicker to start from scratch.  This is my own product - not a clients BTW.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not up for changing tools every 5 minutes. I'm just saying that in my 26yrs+ experience loosing access to old tools wouldn't have been a significant problem, and the risk of such happening didn't have any bearing on choosing subscription Eagle & Fusion 360.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
« Reply #52 on: November 21, 2017, 12:48:24 am »
They should make a program available to convert previous Eagle files to Kicad format.

Afaik, I think there are some tools for this already, given that the Eagle file format is XML now (want to guess when is it going to be made an undocumented binary blob again, "for better user experience" reasons?). And Kicad can import Eagle libraries too already (haven't tried but there is that option in the library manager now).

https://github.com/lachlanA/eagle-to-kicad (the ULP scripts mentioned before)

Online library converter:
https://www.snapeda.com/parts/add/
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 12:50:53 am by janoc »
 

Offline macegr

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Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2017, 12:20:53 pm »
Are these very simple PCBs where you can do a complete from-scratch design over six revisions? I've put 80 hours into a single PCB. My clients aren't going to pay me $10,000 - $20,000 because I chose the wrong tool and can't make a small change without redoing the whole board.
Nope.  These aren't simple PCB's - they have between 200-300 components on them depending on revision.  The last revision (issue 5) was done in 2014 and they have all been done in EasyPC - so importing the old schematic would have been completely painless - yet I didn't,  because all the tweaks and mods actually made it quicker to start from scratch.  This is my own product - not a clients BTW.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not up for changing tools every 5 minutes. I'm just saying that in my 26yrs+ experience loosing access to old tools wouldn't have been a significant problem, and the risk of such happening didn't have any bearing on choosing subscription Eagle & Fusion 360.

So you're able to steal hobby and leisure hours to dump them into a project, and everyone knows the value of that time is about 10 cents an hour. We've all done it on occasion but not everyone has that freedom, or lucky enough avoid changing a design for 3 years.
 

Offline Karel

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Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
« Reply #54 on: November 22, 2017, 01:12:24 am »
"Problem loading EAGLE 8 files with Eagle 7.5"

https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/eagle-forum/problem-loading-eagle-8-files-with-eagle-7-5/td-p/7561154

So far for compatibility...
The difference between theory and practice is less in theory than
the difference between theory and practice in practice.
Expensive tools cannot compensate for lack of experience.
 

Online hammy

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Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
« Reply #55 on: November 30, 2017, 09:59:59 am »
The CEO is "pleased" with the third-quarter results:
Quote
Autodesk plans to lay off about 1,150 employees ...
Autodesk’s restructuring plan includes transitioning from perpetual software licenses to software subscriptions and cloud computing services.
http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Autodesk-to-lay-off-1-150-as-company-restructures-12390210.php

 :wtf:
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 10:01:55 am by hammy »
 

Offline macegr

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Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
« Reply #56 on: November 30, 2017, 04:09:19 pm »
Yep. We don't want to depend on nice folks like Ed and Jorge making sure the authentication servers stay on. Because a CEO can in a fit of "pleasure" wander in and fire Jorge and Ed. Eagle doesn't just have to make money, it has to make MORE money than the projected profits of whatever the next scheme is they hatch up, and MORE money than just firing everyone on the project.
 
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Offline Karel

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Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
« Reply #57 on: November 30, 2017, 10:48:05 pm »
Quote
In a statement, CEO Andrew Anagnost said Autodesk is restructuring its workforce "from a position of strength." He said that customers are embracing the new subscription offerings.

 :palm:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/autodesk-plans-to-lay-off-more-than-1000-employees/
The difference between theory and practice is less in theory than
the difference between theory and practice in practice.
Expensive tools cannot compensate for lack of experience.
 

Offline Karel

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The difference between theory and practice is less in theory than
the difference between theory and practice in practice.
Expensive tools cannot compensate for lack of experience.
 

Offline macegr

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Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
« Reply #59 on: December 06, 2017, 05:32:02 am »
They're still making bank. I guess they would. A lot of industry uses Autocad plus the software from other companies they've purchased and then either shut down or converted to subscription. Eagle users aren't the only ones locked into subscription plans due to having a decade or more of files that become useless if you try to switch away from Autodesk. Combine that with Sam Sattel's recent article saying that CAD interchange formats are dead and not worth pursuing...they definitely want you in and unable to switch away.

Autodesk is big business though. Damn. $1.9 billion a year. I'm almost impressed that someone at a $1.9 billion/yr company bothered to block me on Twitter for complaining about Eagle every few weeks.
 

Offline XFDDesign

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Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
« Reply #60 on: December 12, 2017, 12:51:55 am »
Meh, the OP casually dismisses very long threads which go into the subject matter in detail then posts "Whats the big deal anyway."

The stupid only learn through pain, so let him get married to the product and learn the hard way. It will be a priceless lesson.
 
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Offline bgm

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Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
« Reply #61 on: December 12, 2017, 11:59:32 am »
It's nice to hear from you again. The answer to your question is no, the freeware version wouldn't allow you to modify the six layer board so there's no need to answer the second question. However, I've been thinking a lot about this long term support situation, it's been on my mind since this all started. I've never made anything that has required a guaranteed 10-15(or whatever time frame you want to put) year availability, but I know some of you do. Here's my question to you guys, and it's a real question, not trying to be polemic but I'm trying to understand the situation.

Let's say you have a customer and they enter into a contract with you where they will purchase X amount of product for the next 15 years, so you must now guarantee support for the product for that time frame. What happens if for whatever reason you have to close up shop 8 years into the contract? I know there are a lot of extenuating factors and clauses that can be in these sorts of things but what would be the general approach to handling that situation?

I have never found a pleasing way to answer the concern "What happens if Autodesk disappears in X time? Under this model I can't continue to use EAGLE" though I'm still trying to find an answer. It seems to me that there is a direct parallel between the hypothetical situation above and when EAGLE users tell us that they don't want to be hosed if Autodesk closes shop. What's the difference? Why do your customers feel OK entering into these contracts with that same possibility looming, but some EAGLE users don't feel comfortable with the long term prospect of Autodesk. I'm having trouble seeing the difference between both scenarios.

If anyone can enlighten me I would really appreciate it.

Thanks for the attention guys.

Hi Jorge, 

Sorry for a delayed reply here as I've been away (back to the middle of nowhere for a while). 

Really your question comes down to a question of "scale" ...

Allow me to explain ... 

For the first part ... lets look into a support agreement that gets terminated .. for say lack of anything else ... "act of god" (the insurance companies just *love* that clause). 

If we're shutting shop due to nuclear war and the entire planet becomes a waste land .. well ... I'm pretty sure most people will have more pressing matters to hand than concerning themselves with one of my controllers...

For less dramatic issues though (say I drop dead) ... while I can't tell you what others do, but I can tell you what *I* now do. 

In short for the stuff that I work on, we use "Source in Escrow".  This wasn't my idea but something that was suggested to me by another contractor working in the same area and that seems to tick most of the boxes. 

In short, the way it works is that finalised design files, a copy of the software and my *OWN* license key for that is kept with a legal firm.  In the event that I (and my company) drops dead, any of my clients can request the source documentation and files for anything that I have done for them.  The legal firm holds *all* schematics, board layout files, source files, build environments, etc.  So in other words ... if you need it to maintain it in 10+ years time ... it's there (even if I'm not).  All my existing client know who to contact ... it's part of my deal with them. 

It isn't cheap thing to set up but some of the stuff that I work on basically requires that you provide "something" like this.  Now while this doesn't handle the contingency that the legal firm also closes up shop the same time I do but the likelihood of both occurring at the same time is pretty small and most seem to accept that. 

As general good practise though, my clients always get a copy of the original schematics (in printed form) so they aren't completely sh*t out of luck in the event that everything were to turn south if the legal firm were also to close up shop. 

In general principle, my clients get most source code (for example ... most stuff I typically work on uses discreet microprocessors so they get ROMs on the boards and well as a couple spare).  PLD files (PALASM, Verilog, etc) are a bit different as there are issues with keeping a remote build "active" over time which is problematic (oddly enough... I only replied to a message on this subject a day or two ago - http://www.eevblog.com/forum/microcontrollers/how-do-you-preserve-the-idetoolchain-over-many-years/msg1371498/#msg1371498) but at least the original Verilog source is there along with most other documentation and notes associated with it. 

I have started keeping a development VM in escrow as well which works for *some* things ... just not all (because of the barstardry of their time-locked license files).  JED and other binary files used to program PLDs are however kept so if a bitstream needs to be re-written to a replacement chip as-is, then that is possible. 

Ultimately, the *best* solution for my customers would be to open-source the lot and have it mirrored on something like gitHub or sourceforge but I do have some stuff that I use which I don't own the copyrights on so I can't release it.  This *seems* to be the best way around that, but I'm truly open for ideas or better suggestions....

It is important to note that this "Source in Escrow" does *NOT* work for anything that is "cloud" or hosted... so that means *NO* hosted products as they can't be neatly packaged up into a box and handed over to a legal firm for opening at a later date.  That is why I am now 100% against all cloud based services for EDA that are used to master a product. 

I say this because only recently I've had to deal with stupidity where another contractor actually did drop dead and his stuff was AWS hosted up until the point he no longer paid the bills so AWS creamed it and it is now gone forever - and that means no schematics, design files, source files ... nothing .... gone ... whoosh ...

The best I had to work with was an outdated schematic printout ... so ... yeah ... not a real pleasing way to pick up the pieces.  I have not even begun to work out how in the hell I will reverse engineer the CPLD .. though I do have the original JED file as it was on his laptop when he was programming the CPLDs.  If I didn't have that, I would have been 100% screwed (as apposed to being only 90% screwed as I am right now). 


/BGM
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 12:20:46 pm by bgm »
/BGM
"Forward to the past!"
 
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Offline ajawamnet

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Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
« Reply #62 on: December 22, 2017, 03:40:40 am »
"1) Autodesk decides to ditch EAGLE because they don't make enough money due to not being able to convince/fool enough people into the subscription model. "


This just happened with a major vendor of audio and DAW software that had been around since the DOS days - Cakewalk is no more:
http://forum.cakewalk.com/Cakewalk-Announcement-m3687511.aspx
Right after they went subscription. Nice... 

Thank god I switched to Reaper a while back. Here - let Justin (the guy that made Winamp) explain it for ya:
https://youtu.be/vfaQrOeb_F0?t=216
Yea... the right reasons for doing stuff. Huh... amazing.
Go to the end where I quote an interview with S. Mitchell about the Story of the Woodcarver:
http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawamnet/mama_i_wanna_be_a_maker.html


SaaS is great for the shiny shoes guys that want to polish a turd, get valuation on Gartner, and sell off. For the rest of us, we use  software as a tool to design IP that we actually care about - as well as our customers - and want to know in the future, that we will be able to support them or reuse OUR IP, OUR WORK, and not have to rely on some board of some megalomaniacal company to provide us the tools we used to create our IP in the first place. 

And yea in the 35 years I've been doing this, I have stuff I can never get back. Stuff in my patents, that I had to redo, because some silly paranoid software company had some weirdo restrictive license scheme. 

Yea - SaaS suxs. Need T shirts. Clown computing. Man, we did that back in the 80's - didn't work. Still doesn't. And with the crumbling infrastructure it'll just get worse.

http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawamnet/WhyIlikeDongles.html

And some of us do stuff 'cause we actually like to. Some of us do things that get big - say something like the IOT - and get screwed:

http://www.ajawamnet.com/amnet/index.html

Would we do it again? Hell, yea. Not for cash, not to be a rich fart, it just needed to be done.

Oh well... BTW - some of that stuff I can't get back due to some EDA tool with an arcane BBS-based (remember those?) software unlock thing.

Sucky poo...


Attached - my XP box programs installed. Yea - all of it that's commercial is paid for/licensed. Again , see my Dongle rant - the link to Fenwick's Quiet Enjoyment.
I at least want the same rights with licensed software as that  a slum lord has to give a section 8 tenant... also, my dongle rant has been around a while - way before the guy mentioned in it had "aspirations" - https://web.archive.org/web/20091101091219/http://ajawamnet.home.comcast.net/~ajawamnet/WhyIlikeDongles.html

Ya know, when I started out in the mid-late 70's doing this, as the 80-'s rolled around I recall the great hope we had for all this technology and capability being used for good. Coders that understood low level stuff, write great code. advances in hardware and software for altruistic reasons. Shareware, where a guy writes amazing stuff, a 300 page txt file manual and asks for $30.00 if you like it. The start of open source (don't say that to stallman - he prefers "Free Software" tho I prefer BSD licenses over GNU myself).

Then along came the shiny shoes guy  trailing a bunch of man-bun java jockeys; that, like my maker rant, thought it'd be better to get into than following their real passion of being an archeologist (true story with one of my son's friends that went to ITT Tech - that went well...)

ehhh...
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 04:19:50 am by ajawamnet »
 
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Offline homebrew

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Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
« Reply #63 on: December 25, 2017, 08:46:50 am »
Meh, the OP casually dismisses very long threads which go into the subject matter in detail then posts "Whats the big deal anyway."

The stupid only learn through pain, so let him get married to the product and learn the hard way. It will be a priceless lesson.

Hmm, that is quite offending ...
But hey, everybody can do what he/she likes to do including the use of SaaS systems - that can be a sound decision - so no reason to call anybody stupid!

In the end it seems that it is solely a problem of business continuity - and many such concerns were raised here. Thereby it is a question of risk assessment, proper legal agreements and the right countermeasures. Hence it is a rational decision. However, from what I've read in that thread it is also apparently VERY emotional. It's more like an open source vs. closed source debate. But that Eagle was the first choice for many open hardware projects might have been a bad decision anyway. Eagle was NEVER free (free as in OSS term). And maybe those people are now pissed. But again here - then, the risks were apparently not properly assessed; otherwise, no need for a rant - you knew this could happen ...

But when you think about it, it's just another, additional threat to your business model. In my case (stated MANY times before in my posts) as an advanced hobbyist thinking of starting a small business, I can handle those risks. In the most extreme case I still have my designs (THAT ARE STILL ON MY DISK IN READABLE XML FORMAT - NO CLOUD HERE - VERY IMPORTANT POINT !!!) so I can a) use an older version of the software, b) import them into an other EDA suit, c) write my own converter for the XML files  or d) sit down and re-enter everything manually in another tool.

Thus, for every thinkable situation in this regard I do have a plan.

On the positive side are the 15$ a month for a tool that does 4-Layer Eurocard boards and 99 page schematics - enough for all of my current designs.

But that might only be true for me, you might well have other requirements ... Thus, if you perceive the risks as too high, you should indeed switch the tool. But calling everyone else stupid is a bit arrogant, don't you think?

 
 


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