Author Topic: Free Altium is Coming  (Read 297625 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #75 on: September 13, 2014, 09:34:27 am »
I will assume that the free version is not for commercial applications

No. I've said that the free version allows commercial use.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #76 on: September 13, 2014, 09:36:03 am »
Believe it when we see it.

Well I've seen it and it's real, but yeah, it's ain't real until it's released.
They will comment publicly on it by end of this coming week.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #77 on: September 13, 2014, 10:14:20 am »
We haven't heard about the charging model yet, but a question that comes to mind, bearing in mind the target market.
If I have upgraded to a paid version, for whatever reason....

If I give someone a file created with the paid version, with they be able to load it with the free version, and at the very least make cosmetic edits and output gerbers?
 
If not, there needs to be some way that paid users can create files that free users can load and use to the extent allowed by the free version.

Maybe even a "run in free mode" option to allow testing without having to install multiple versions.
 
Ditto for parts created with a paid version.

Another question - what are they planning in the way of importers/exporters to other formats?
Will it be sufficiently open/documented for people to write their own converters to/from their format?
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Offline alimirjamali

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #78 on: September 13, 2014, 07:12:53 pm »
I'm getting another demo early next week.
Anything you want me to specifically ask them?
Two more question the others did not ask (or maybe they did?).

Is the free version limited to only one Schematic sheet (like EAGLE Light)? ::)

How long they are going to support/update it? I know, I know it is going to be free (No payment), yet users will spend their time designing projects using their precious eyes :o. Both time/health are money (see your own tweet to understand my concern).
« Last Edit: September 13, 2014, 07:26:08 pm by alimirjamali »
 

Offline zapta

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #79 on: September 13, 2014, 08:19:42 pm »
I guess using me as kind of a community barometer.

And also an influencer. People listen to what you say.
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Offline tautech

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #80 on: September 13, 2014, 08:56:03 pm »
Dave, will it be a "limited time free license" and the user must buy some permanent license on expiry?
Maybe an increased range of packages to that now available?
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #81 on: September 13, 2014, 09:22:19 pm »
what are they planning in the way of importers/exporters to other formats?

As with most lower cost software, it would be usual to have some importers but few (if any) exporters.

Quote
Will it be sufficiently open/documented for people to write their own converters to/from their format?

I doubt it, in fact perhaps Altium are going to provide the low cost version for free but then charge you each time you want to generate gerbers (or native Altium files that can be used for production). This would be innovative (which Dave says it is) & would allow the hobbyist who makes only a couple of boards a year to use quality software at a low cost.

In fact, perhaps once you have finished your design, you log in to the Altium server, get your credit card out & Altium then converts the encrypted production file into gerbers/Altium production files. Maybe that cost will depend on the number of pads or the board size or perhaps the number of layers.

In fact the more I think about it (having read Dave's earlier hints), the more I think this is the way Altium is likely headed.

No worrying about 3rd party board shops paying to decrypt files & truly is a "user pay" service.

Encryption keys would be different for everyone making cracks much more difficult (a bit like PGP where 2 keys are required - one from you & one from Altium).
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #82 on: September 13, 2014, 09:43:35 pm »
what are they planning in the way of importers/exporters to other formats?

As with most lower cost software, it would be usual to have some importers but few (if any) exporters.
They are apparently targetting Eagle - if they don't have an Eagle importer they will fail.
Quote
Will it be sufficiently open/documented for people to write their own converters to/from their format?
Quote

I doubt it, in fact perhaps Altium are going to provide the low cost version for free but then charge you each time you want to generate gerbers
In fact, perhaps once you have finished your design, you log in to the Altium server, get your credit card out & Altium then converts the encrypted production file into gerbers/Altium production files. Maybe that cost will depend on the number of pads or the board size or perhaps the number of layers.
That would kill it stone dead at birth Anything like that and it is simply not a free package.
 Relying on their server to be working to be able to finish your work is completely unacceptable, free or not.

I'm sure Dave would have called them out already if this had been the case


« Last Edit: September 13, 2014, 10:19:05 pm by mikeselectricstuff »
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Offline Cside

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #83 on: September 13, 2014, 09:47:39 pm »
They should open source everything and accept donations only.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #84 on: September 13, 2014, 10:53:47 pm »
They should open source everything and accept donations only.

Hey I have work for you, but I will only pay you out of a paypal public donation fund, not from my pocket!
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #85 on: September 13, 2014, 10:59:20 pm »
Dave, will it be a "limited time free license" and the user must buy some permanent license on expiry?

No, the free version is free forever if your design requirements fit it.
 

Offline Cside

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #86 on: September 13, 2014, 11:00:12 pm »
Quote
Hey I have work for you, but I will only pay you out of a paypal public donation fund, not from my pocket!

I have a better idea. How about I build a system that will help you achieve your goal. If you think its worth me maintaining this system you can help by donating.

 

Offline zapta

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #87 on: September 14, 2014, 01:38:39 am »
Why speculating? We will know by the time they will make it available. And then they will adapt it based on market response.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #88 on: September 14, 2014, 07:09:34 am »
I doubt it, in fact perhaps Altium are going to provide the low cost version for free but then charge you each time you want to generate gerbers (or native Altium files that can be used for production). This would be innovative (which Dave says it is) & would allow the hobbyist who makes only a couple of boards a year to use quality software at a low cost.

No, that is not how it works. You pay for extra design capabilities, just like Eagle etc.

Quote
In fact the more I think about it (having read Dave's earlier hints), the more I think this is the way Altium is likely headed.

Not at all.
It's not nearly as complicated or sinister as you might think.
Need more than the free version offers, hand over some money, easy as that.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #89 on: September 14, 2014, 07:10:27 am »
Why speculating? We will know by the time they will make it available. And then they will adapt it based on market response.

Yes, it's quite likely that the final released product will change based on beta testing feedback.
 

Offline peter.mitchell

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #90 on: September 14, 2014, 08:22:42 am »
They should open source everything and accept donations only.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #91 on: September 14, 2014, 08:27:02 am »
Quote
Hey I have work for you, but I will only pay you out of a paypal public donation fund, not from my pocket!

I have a better idea. How about I build a system that will help you achieve your goal. If you think its worth me maintaining this system you can help by donating.

No worries mate, I can do that myself, you just do the grunt work I tell you to do, donations will pay for your efforts while I'll keep the IP. But I promise I'll keep it open source as long as I can sell commercial use and it's mine.
 

Offline Cside

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #92 on: September 14, 2014, 09:10:33 am »
Quote


You are right. Nothing good has ever come out of open source.


 

Offline Cside

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #93 on: September 14, 2014, 10:00:31 am »
Quote
You just don't get open source, it's the property of the original coder, the rest of the coding is free work for him.
Now, who is stupid?

First of all you should stipulate which open-source licence you are referring to. There are many.
In the context of what I wrote above it was not mentioned but obviously implied that the code was in the public domain.
This is now off topic.

As for altium, a free version is a step in the right direction.
A sensible pricing strategy would be another step in the right direction.
 

Offline timb

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #94 on: September 14, 2014, 12:04:10 pm »

Quote


You are right. Nothing good has ever come out of open sores.

Fixed that for you.


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Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #95 on: September 14, 2014, 12:12:46 pm »
Quote
Should have learnt how to change settings on my Smartphone

FTFY.
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #96 on: September 14, 2014, 01:25:31 pm »
No, that is not how it works. You pay for extra design capabilities, just like Eagle etc.

Well at least we know that Altium won't be able to charge more than $1000 for their autorouter.

The Electra autorouter add-on to Diptrace does a better job than Altium's autorouter.

http://konekt.com/c5/index.php/buy/
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Offline zapta

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #97 on: September 14, 2014, 04:02:38 pm »
They have told me that it will be Windows only. They don't have the need (and maybe resources) to compile for another platform yet, they said it's a lot of work.

It's not "a lot of work" if you write clean, well commented code that follows standards.

If this were a new program written from scratch, you'd think that would be the case. So this tells me it's most likely heavily based on their legacy code.

Sent from my Smartphone

+1

A new design could be implemented for example using QT or a similar abstraction and even if the first release is windows only, Linux and Mac can be added later.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Software_that_uses_Qt

I doubt that the Maker community will embrace a Windows only product.  Think of vendors like Sparkfun, Adafruit and Arduino which release Eagle design files for their products. It's unlikely that they will exclude non Windows customers.

Dave is Altium/Windows centric and he released the design of his OSH uCurrent in Windows only Altium format, but this is not the norm.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline Rigby

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #98 on: September 14, 2014, 07:55:56 pm »
Well, Altium Designer is written in Delphi, so porting to Linux would be a challenge no matter how clean the code is.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #99 on: September 14, 2014, 08:06:47 pm »

A new design could be implemented for example using QT or a similar abstraction and even if the first release is windows only, Linux and Mac can be added later.

The problem is abstraction layers add bloat and slowness, and tend to be designed to hos general-purpose applications.
For something specialised like PCB layout, where responsive and accurate screen graphics are essential, more layers are bound to make things worse.
But the support & testing issues alone mean it just isn't worth catering for minority platforms with a specialist tool like this.
 
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