EEVblog Electronics Community Forum

EDA => Eagle => Topic started by: homebrew on November 14, 2017, 09:57:00 am

Title: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: homebrew on November 14, 2017, 09:57:00 am
I'm just curious what the REAL reasons are why people are ranting so much about the 'new' eagle subscription model. Maybe I'm overlooking something but there don't seem to be many GOOD arguments.

And before your ask - No, I'm in no way shape or form associated with Autodesk whatsoever ... this post is just for my curiosity.
But it is true that I started my hobby out with Eagle and got kinda stuck to it. Years ago I had a Non-commercial license for version 4.0 Standard edition for Linux.

Arguments in favour of the subscription model:
1) I now can afford it! For 15$ a month I can have the "Standard" Version of the product an can even use it commercially! In the old model this was in the realms of several hundred dollars, that I wouldn't have spent for my hobby.
2) Multi-platform without licensing issues - Now I'm not bound to any specific operating system anymore and yes - I sometimes switch them :-)
3) Commercial support available - never needed it though. No extra fees for product upgrades and so on and so on...

Arguments against a subscription model (potentially):

1) I don't own the software anymore. Well - you actually never did! Even with the old model you just owned the right to use but of corse it without a time restriction. Now instead you buy a time-limited usage right for a MUCH lower price.

2) I cannot afford to be constantly billed. Then your business is probably crap anyway or if you do it on a hobby basis you must simply attest that you cannot use commercial CAD Software at all and switch to open source alternatives. And is it really more expensive with the new model? That depends on how long you can actually use the product, how long it is supported, if it runs on the current version of your operating system and so on and so on ... Hence even in the old licensing model you 'constantly' payed for the updates and newer versions. Just on longer cycles. Even worse, you pay the money upfront! If you want to switch, then you have potentially huge sunk cost.

3) If Autodesk decides to shut their service down I'm screwed. Yes, but first, you still have a license agreement and an SLA that they must comply to - so I won't happen without notice. Second the project data (XML-Format) of your project is still there. So it could either be imported with an older version of the product or be converted to another data format. Yes, that would require some (actually big) effort to change your cad system. But, that would hit you the same way in any other licensing model. If a product is dead an no longer supported, you need to switch anyway.

4) I now cannot work offline! Plain wrong. For 30 days you actually can work offline (though I never tried). Who would design electronics being offline for longer periods anyway? Datasheets? Browsing Digikey/Farnell?  Regular google sessions? Sending the data to your board house?

Anyway, maybe I've overlooked some very important issues but I just don't get it why there is so much fuzz about it. But yes, I also could convert to KICad and forget licensing issues altogether. I really tried hard (as you could see from previous posts I made here) but the single most important feature to me is eagle's roundtrip capability of switching seamlessly between schematic and layout work. Maybe I'm just to incompetent to design a system sequentially and unidirectionally just using the netlist to track changes consistently ...

Ah anywa,y enough waffling. Maybe there are some opinions?
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: NANDBlog on November 14, 2017, 10:04:00 am
Because: Eagle is a bad product as it is. It was about 500 money to buy, and for that amount, you got a barely usable software which had the same functionality as paint, except it could generate gerber files.
Also, it messes up a lot of older open source projects. They were using eagle, because Stockholm syndrome. And it had a free version. Now it doesnt have one, which means that random Joe who likes electronics cannot open the project anymore.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: capt bullshot on November 14, 2017, 10:19:03 am
I'm not ranting on the new model, I just stopped using Eagle and switched to KiCad. Not a big deal, since I don't have any professional projects on eagle, I can afford to lose all the old projects - those were mostly prototypes or drawings for the CAD people to enter into the fricking large and expensive CAD system they use.

Reason: I want to be able to freely use and install software that I use once it is paid (or even better: FOSS). Don't want to be bothered with licensing stuff. Anything that cannot be used for an unlimited amount of time once installed, and cannot be moved / reinstalled easily without re-licensing on another machine is considered evil and I do actively avoid such stuff. Using hacked SW or whatever serial generators is sometimes a way to get around these limitations, but often too cumbersome to be taken into account. So my preferred way is to use only FOSS or commercial SW with an "pay once and use forever" model.

To me, software should be like hardware: Once bought, it's up to you what you do with it and you use it until it's your own desire to replace it.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: Karel on November 14, 2017, 10:30:43 am
This has been discussed before but here are some reminders:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/eagle/the-autodesk-eagle-edition/msg1118387/#msg1118387 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/eagle/the-autodesk-eagle-edition/msg1118387/#msg1118387)

People keep comparing EAGLE to Fusion360. This is wrong and irrelevant. In Fusion360,
you can export your design to .step, .iges, .dxf, and any number of other standard
formats supported by countless other tools.  It's OK for Fusion360 to be cloud-based,
subscription-based, or whatever, because its author can't grab you by the proverbial
pussy.

For electronics CAD, there is no standard format that can represent your combined PCB
and schematic design with all of its underlying metadata and library content. Your
tools and your data are inseparable.  If your tool vendor can revoke your ability to
run their PCB CAD program, then they are the ones who actually own your work product.
Not you. Not your customer. The lame-ass tool peddler.

No one who cares about their work product can afford to allow their tool vendor to
behave this way. It really is that simple.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/eagle/the-autodesk-eagle-edition/msg1118527/#msg1118527 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/eagle/the-autodesk-eagle-edition/msg1118527/#msg1118527)

@Dave, it's not going subscription. So there. :) At this stage, that isn't anywhere on my roadmap.
Thought about it.  Decided against it.  Can I say that we will never in the life of any product
do that?  No, of course not.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/eda/autodesk-buys-eagle/msg977529/#msg977529 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/eda/autodesk-buys-eagle/msg977529/#msg977529)

Autodesk is full subscription going forward and this position is
non-negotiable. I know that for a lot of you this is not good news, but
there's not much that can be done about it.

I'm truly sorry guys.
Jorge Garcia

http://www.eaglecentral.ca/index.php/mv/msg/52901/168331/#msg_168331 (http://www.eaglecentral.ca/index.php/mv/msg/52901/168331/#msg_168331)


2.1.3 Territory. Except as otherwise authorized in writing by Autodesk, the licenses granted in
this Agreement are granted only for the Territory. Nothing in this Agreement permits Licensee
(including, without limitation, Licensee's Personnel, if any) to Install or Access the Licensed
Materials outside of the Territory.

Territory? So I can't use Eagle when I travel outside of the states without buying a new license for that territory?

http://download.autodesk.com/us/FY17/Suites/LSA/en-US/lsa.html (http://download.autodesk.com/us/FY17/Suites/LSA/en-US/lsa.html)

It's not paranoia to anticipate and to plan for the failure of
things that can fail; it's called "engineering".

Autodesk is willing to throw its users under the bus, with no warning and even after promising otherwise, if it suits their purposes. This very real risk is enough to make people think twice about investing their time in the Eagle ecosystem (in addition to Autodesk's money grubbing license policies).

The pricing is not the issue (though it's more expensive for someone who makes a PCB every month). The part you're missing is that some of us prefer not to have our tools stop working on the day Autodesk decides Eagle isn't worth it anymore.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: jolshefsky on November 14, 2017, 12:55:29 pm
In many industries, designs are kept for decades. Once a design stabilizes, it stays in production and unchanged for many years. But then as often happens, a minor change needs to be made.

With careful planning, one can make a backed-up archive that includes both the design files and software. When it's time to make a minor change, the archive can be restored and the original software started again to make the change. Internet services and cloud-based systems change far too quickly by comparison.

On a city tour recently, we got to see the small hydroelectric station on our river. It was installed in 1917. They rewound the generators several times, but it wasn't until a major overhaul that they replaced the generators—in 2013. Back then they used paper blueprints and they're still accessible. What if a power plant were built today with files on the cloud—do you think it would still be around in 2113?
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: legacy on November 14, 2017, 01:12:52 pm
Yes, indeed the point: I need to use a CAD even when I am not located in the same place where I subscribed the license, as well as I need to use my laptop in places where there is no internet connection, neither I can/want to connect to internet.

EagleCAD v5, v6 and v7 were a good product for the money they costed, anyway  :-//
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: aandrew on November 14, 2017, 01:14:31 pm
3) If Autodesk decides to shut their service down I'm screwed. Yes, but first, you still have a license agreement and an SLA that they must comply to - so I won't happen without notice. Second the project data (XML-Format) of your project is still there. So it could either be imported with an older version of the product or be converted to another data format. Yes, that would require some (actually big) effort to change your cad system. But, that would hit you the same way in any other licensing model. If a product is dead an no longer supported, you need to switch anyway.

I think you are truly understating this point. I have Eagle designs going back a decade that I still work with. With software that doesn't call home I can install it in a virtual machine and never, ever lose access to that environment. With cloud based shite, I'm at the mercy of the vendor. Not just today, but forevermore.

I don't just do this with EDA either; I have virtual environments for projects which encapsulate FPGA tools, compilers and even test environments. How would you build or manage software on systems whose compilers have to call home to make sure you're allowed to build? Or having to forward-port software that is stable and well-understood to work with libraries or development flows that are in flux? There are a lot of unknowns when changing these things, and to expect people to just suck it up and add that time and expense to their bottom lines... It's utter nonsense!

Others have already mentioned that there is no generic EDA data exchange format. If there were, it would remove a lot of the pain in picking and sticking to a toolset, but there's still literally years, possibly decades of knowledge and hard-earned experience that have to be re-learned when switching tool vendors (and even sometimes in changing major versions of a tool). As the owner of a small business, I have enough to worry about to keep my business profitable and my customers happy. The additional worry of "will my tools be accessible tomorrow" is one which can easily be avoided. Autodesk (and on a totally separate rant, Microsoft) really shot themselves in the foot over this.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: homebrew on November 14, 2017, 02:43:10 pm
Also, it messes up a lot of older open source projects. They were using eagle, because Stockholm syndrome. And it had a free version. Now it doesnt have one, which means that random Joe who likes electronics cannot open the project anymore.

??? I don't understand. One can still download and use Eagle "free" - with the known limitations ... All you need is an Autodesk-Account, which is free ...
Old versions are still available, too. So how would that break existing designs?
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: Mr. Scram on November 14, 2017, 02:50:56 pm
I have very bad experiences with supposedly being allowed to work offline. Regularly, the system figures you do need to be online sooner and stops working until you do, often at very unfortunate moments.

Then there is the SLA, of which it is silly to think that will be honoured when things go awry, or the product gets canceled. Most agreements allow for changes after the fact and even if you have a year to migrate, that's a large potential expense you don't have any control over.

So you basically commit to continuously spending money, rather than spending one lump sump, only to add a number of significant risks to the continuity of your business. That has bad idea written all over it.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: Karel on November 14, 2017, 02:52:52 pm
If a product is dead an no longer supported, you need to switch anyway.

But nobody is forcing you to do that within a certain timeframe or in the middle of a long-term ongoing project.

For example, we are using Eagle V7. For obvious reasons, we are not going to "upgrade" to V8.
Because we have a perpetual license that doesn't need an internet connection, we can continue to use V7 as long as we wish.
In the mean time we will decide to which EDA we will switch. But without any pressure.


Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: woody on November 14, 2017, 04:27:28 pm
I think at least part of the annoyance is over the fact that Eagle was used by a lot of people that actively invested time to put up with its quirks and suggested changes that made it a better product. Over the course of many years it became the standard for PCB design for hobbyists and smaller (or larger) companies. They bought the product, upgraded whenever there was a reason to do so, sent a mail to support every now and then and were more or less happy.

Then along comes a sack of money that buys up the product and proclaims that from now on you can only use it as long as you pay. And as long as you have an Internet connection. No real surprise here, because from email accounts to routers this is the direction that the market turns. You do not own stuff, you buy it and then you hire the license to use it. This is the future.

And for people looking for a new EDA package it probably is a decent deal (assuming that Autodesk does iron out the quirks). But for people who invested lots of money and time in it to get Eagle where it is today, it rubs them the wrong way.

In my case, I make it a point not to use cloud services (SAAS / storage) if I can circumvent it. I do not want my data somewhere beyond my control. I don't want my programs to change overnight. So I run my own mail server and my own cloud server. On my own hardware. No way I let M$ or Google sit on my data, as long as solid alternatives are available.

I do realize that this is a fight I will lose in the longer term, but so far, so good.

As for Eagle, I have a license to V7 but for new designs I now use Kicad. It took me a couple of weeks to get accustomed to it and the first days found me yelling at Autodesk for forcing me to learn something else a lot. But having traveled the learning curve I have to admit, Kicad is easier to use than Eagle. The lack of roundtrip capability you mentioned is something that is not in the way at all. If anything I started to like the fact that you generate a netlist from a schematic and specifically have to load it to use it in a PCB. Copper pouring works much better. Apart from that Kicad feels faster in use. Opening, closing, moving, zooming all works great. At some point I realized that although I had lots of questions during these weeks, I never once had to ask one in their forum. Lots of information is readily available. Does all this make Kicad ideal? No. Each and every EDA software it has its quirks you have to know before you appreciate it. But is certainly very usable as it is. At least as usable as Eagle. And future updates are free  ;D
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: jgarc063 on November 14, 2017, 05:02:04 pm
Because: Eagle is a bad product as it is. It was about 500 money to buy, and for that amount, you got a barely usable software which had the same functionality as paint, except it could generate gerber files.
Also, it messes up a lot of older open source projects. They were using eagle, because Stockholm syndrome. And it had a free version. Now it doesnt have one, which means that random Joe who likes electronics cannot open the project anymore.

Hi NANDBlog,

Opinions aside, EAGLE still has a free version which you can download without issue. Using the free version you can always open your designs and generate your manufacturing data.

Let me know if there's anything I can do for you.

Best Regards,
Jorge Garcia
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: Karel on November 14, 2017, 05:10:51 pm
Hello Jorge, how are you? I hope you are doing well.

Can the free version be installed and used without internet connection and also in case the autodesk servers are offline for more than 14 days?

Kind Regards,
Karel
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: macegr on November 15, 2017, 07:30:49 pm
Can I use the free version to open up an 8 year old file for a 6-layer PCB, remove an IC that was EOL by manufacturer and replace it with another non-pin-compatible IC, move a few traces and passives, and re-generate production files? If the answer is yes; can I do it legally with a free license since this is for commercial purposes?
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: macegr on November 15, 2017, 07:42:25 pm
I want to point out something we've said from the very beginning...the subscription model works for many people. Great for occasional users, educators, etc. Gives them access to a tool they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford. The pros and cons balance out nicely.

Keep the subscription model but add a perpetual offline license key option and I would 100% sing the praises of Eagle and Autodesk again, and apologize publicly to Jorge, Ed, and Matt for the snark over the past year. They would have listened to their customers and figured out a way to make it work, which is admirable behavior for the company. $2000 up front or whatever. $300 bi-yearly upgrade packs. I don't care. I just don't want my software to stop working tomorrow, 5 years from now, 10 years from now, unless I'm making that decision for myself. But as long as it's subscription-only, it's not something I can use, and I'm still stuck with un-addressed bugs on MacOS that they will never fix.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: jgarc063 on November 15, 2017, 08:07:33 pm
Hello Jorge, how are you? I hope you are doing well.

Can the free version be installed and used without internet connection and also in case the autodesk servers are offline for more than 14 days?

Kind Regards,
Karel

Hi Karel,

I'm glad you asked this question. The free version has one very unique, subtle property that a lot of people aren't aware of. If you install the freeware version of EAGLE, you have to sign in only ONCE. Let me clarify the process. If you are going to be a free version user this could be the process.

1) Install EAGLE freeware
2) Sign in with your Autodesk credentials

Once the credentials are accepted you can literally disconnect the computer from WIFI, ethernet, etc. forever and you won't be asked to sign in again. This is to guarantee that the freeware will always be able to at least open the files and generate gerber data. So in the doomsday scenario, you would install EAGLE into a virtual machine, sign in once before all of the servers die and always have a version of EAGLE available to open your files, run an export ULP, generate CAM data etc. Since the freeware is Free, it's not critical to enforce a time limitation which is why Matt was able to get that done.

This only applies to the freeware version.

Let me know if you or anyone has any questions on that. It's very subtle so I want to make sure it's clear.

Best Regards,
Jorge Garcia
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: jgarc063 on November 15, 2017, 08:24:12 pm
Can I use the free version to open up an 8 year old file for a 6-layer PCB, remove an IC that was EOL by manufacturer and replace it with another non-pin-compatible IC, move a few traces and passives, and re-generate production files? If the answer is yes; can I do it legally with a free license since this is for commercial purposes?

Hi macegr,

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.

Best Regards,
Jorge Garcia
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: capt bullshot on November 15, 2017, 08:49:33 pm
[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?

That's a common situation in some businesses: My customer will ask me to, say quarterly or monthly, archive everything that is necessary to continue producing and supporting the product and deposit the whole shebang at a trusted custodian or notary. Customer might inspect the contents of the archive to ensure its completeness, but he doesn't get access to it. Contracts will be set up, so in case of my shop going out of business, the customer gets access to all the archive and (if necessary) hardware from my shop, so he can continue production and support on his own or with some other shop of his choice.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: VEGETA on November 15, 2017, 09:13:36 pm
Eagle was the standard for open source maker movement and have done that job pretty decently for various reasons. However, being cloud based (or need internal) + need subscription just kills it.

It doesn't have the features to compete with others such as CircuitStudio and Diptrace for example. If I want to buy a PCB software, then CircuitStudio is the go-to choice. Amazing software for kinda reasonable price.

In my opinion, now KiCAD is taking Eagle's place as open source standard since it is actually fully open source and has pretty much all Eagle features and maybe more.

Another big player is CircuitMaker but this one lacks the feature of saving the file... So you need to login then use the project, not to mention it is not a lightweight software.

Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: Karel on November 15, 2017, 09:19:53 pm
Basically, it boils down to this:

Autodesk does not trust his customers but the customers must trust autodesk...
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: Karel on November 15, 2017, 09:25:04 pm
Eagle was the standard for open source maker movement and have done that job pretty decently for various reasons. However, being cloud based (or need internal) + need subscription just kills it.

It doesn't have the features to compete with others such as CircuitStudio and Diptrace for example. If I want to buy a PCB software, then CircuitStudio is the go-to choice. Amazing software for kinda reasonable price.

In my opinion, now KiCAD is taking Eagle's place as open source standard since it is actually fully open source and has pretty much all Eagle features and maybe more.

Another big player is CircuitMaker but this one lacks the feature of saving the file... So you need to login then use the project, not to mention it is not a lightweight software.

I would say, Eagle was okay for hobbyists and small companies.
Now, hobbyists use Kicad and small companies use Altium Designer.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: woody on November 15, 2017, 09:29:51 pm
I don't know.  For me it is also a simple monetary issue. I looked it up, I use a paid version of Eagle since December 2001. Started with the 'light' version, V3. Over the course of 16 years I paid nearly €1500,- in total for upgrades and updates, to end up with Pro V7 Layout + Schematic + Autorouter for Windows, Linux and Mac. So in total using Eagle cost me less than €99,- per year. It grew while I grew. I expanded and upgraded when I needed bigger boards or liked new features. And sometimes I skipped a silly upgrade (I seem to remember some mishap in V6?)

That same €99,- / year would buy me the use of the current Standard version. I cannot use that version, as I have a couple of boards that are a lot bigger. So I have to sign up for the Premium version, that will cost me in 3 years what I used to shell out in 15 years. You call it a good deal, I find extortion a better moniker. The subscription based model leaves me completely at the whims of the supplier. I have no choice if and when Autodesk decides that $999,- a year is an even better price for Premium. I either pay and shut up, or stop paying and lose access to my data.

I always liked Eagle for the headstrong software that it was. Made by people that had a clear idea on how they would like to see their EDA package function. You didn't like it? Fine, go get something else! Funnily enough I find that Kicad gives me that very same feeling. So I switched. And, as stated elsewhere, I do realize this is a rearguard action for SAAS is the bright and shining future. Does not mean I have to like it  ;)
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: Karel on November 15, 2017, 09:33:21 pm
Can the free version be installed and used without internet connection and also in case the autodesk servers are offline for more than 14 days?
1) Install EAGLE freeware
2) Sign in with your Autodesk credentials

Once the credentials are accepted you can literally disconnect the computer from WIFI, ethernet, etc.

So, the answer is no. You can not install and run the free version without internet connection or without the autodesk servers up and running.

Thank you for clearing that up Jorge.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: daqq on November 15, 2017, 09:38:01 pm
Quote
I'm just curious what the REAL reasons are why people are ranting so much about the 'new' eagle subscription model.
A) This has been discussed previously.
B) I'd sum it up as follows: While offering nothing of worth in return, autodesk changes the terms under which you can use more up to date versions of a product you bought previously and were happy to pay for future updates (if needed). While it was well within their rights to do so, it was a dick move of epic proportions.
C) If you have to ask this question you would not understand the answer. Basically, a cloud/always-online/mandatory subscription model is a model, where the customer always gets the shitty end of the stick.
D) see: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/altium/altium-buys-upverter/msg1290396/#msg1290396 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/altium/altium-buys-upverter/msg1290396/#msg1290396)
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: blueskull on November 15, 2017, 09:42:00 pm
Because I want to OWN my license, not lease one. It's an asset to me.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: woody on November 15, 2017, 09:48:29 pm
Who knows, maybe we can start some sort of class action against Autodesk for stealing from us? A V7 license devaluated overnight when this subscription model came to be.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: ebastler on November 16, 2017, 12:54:12 am
Can the free version be installed and used without internet connection and also in case the autodesk servers are offline for more than 14 days?
1) Install EAGLE freeware
2) Sign in with your Autodesk credentials

Once the credentials are accepted you can literally disconnect the computer from WIFI, ethernet, etc.

So, the answer is no. You can not install and run the free version without internet connection or without the autodesk servers up and running.

Thank you for clearing that up Jorge.

Yeah, sure, that‘s terrible. And how would you get the software in the first  place if you don‘t have any internet connection at all, ever?

I don‘t like the subscription model either, and have no intention to switch over from my v7. But I truly consider that problem you chose to highlight a non-issue, Karel.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: KE5FX on November 16, 2017, 01:18:08 am
Can I use the free version to open up an 8 year old file for a 6-layer PCB, remove an IC that was EOL by manufacturer and replace it with another non-pin-compatible IC, move a few traces and passives, and re-generate production files? If the answer is yes; can I do it legally with a free license since this is for commercial purposes?

Hi macegr,

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?

One difference is that the hypothetical company presumably didn't take any active steps to hose their customers, such as adding an intentional point of failure (server-based DRM in this case) to their existing product. 

Many products, especially mission-critical ones, either have second sources, or they do have contracts that guarantee availability over timeframes measured in decades, likely with IP escrow options to back up those guarantees.  However, Autodesk offers no such maintenance terms other than "It'll play for sure (https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080422/234401923.shtml)!  Trust us!" 

One reason why this is such a problem is that there is no other application that allows me to read, edit, and manufacture IP created with EAGLE.  By locking down your product, you're also locking down the data it was used to create.  My data. 

Casual hobbyists and electronics newbies may be okay with that, so if you can get them to pay, you're all set.  Those of us who make our living with your tools will switch to other EDA vendors who still offer perpetual license options.  Yes, we could use our V7 licenses forever, reinstalling them when needed, but dead software isn't useful to a growing business.

Of course, this was all explained to you quite clearly when the issue first arose, but who doesn't like to :horse:?
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: KE5FX on November 16, 2017, 01:22:41 am
Yeah, sure, that‘s terrible. And how would you get the software in the first  place if you don‘t have any internet connection at all, ever?

From the same physical CD or downloaded setup program that I originally purchased.

PCs occasionally break, and software occasionally has to be reinstalled.  That option can no longer be counted on to be available when needed, years down the road.  If I can't exercise that option at an arbitrary future date without getting permission from Autodesk first, it's a problem. 
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: tpowell1830 on November 16, 2017, 01:33:23 am
Can I use the free version to open up an 8 year old file for a 6-layer PCB, remove an IC that was EOL by manufacturer and replace it with another non-pin-compatible IC, move a few traces and passives, and re-generate production files? If the answer is yes; can I do it legally with a free license since this is for commercial purposes?

Hi macegr,

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.

Best Regards,
Jorge Garcia

Hi Jorge, in response to your contract example, both parties negotiate a free market contract, whereas, the contract, or license for cloud based subscription software tools, and not just Eagle, but AutoCAD, Inventor, etc. is a one sided contract developed by the provider, in this case, Autodesk. If I were involved with the provider side of that contract and was shutting down operations, I would bend over backwards to try and help alleviate problems for that person/company that I entered into the contract with. Most goliath software companies like Microsft, Autodesk, Siemens, etc. just do not try very hard to alleviate the wake of a failed software venture, in my previous experience with them, and there have been a number of occasions where I had to deal with this situation.

I have Autocad 2000 which I can use to open a dxf file (which was developed by Autodesk) for 2d CAD drawings and modify the drawing and export as dxf and load into a modern version of AutoCAD, ProgeCAD, DraftSight, etc. I will still be able to maintain drawings created with AutoCad 2000 10 years from now if needed.

The point with subscription services that gets stuck in my throat is that I no longer can use Eagle, or any other subscription software tools, if the connection gets cut, either by Autodesk stopping the service or my internet is not connected, or I am out of Territory. I am bound by the EULA terms that Autodesk created and I could not freely negotiate those terms.

Having the software tool locally based on my PC and not in the cloud, or internet gives me the freedom to continue using the same version on into perpetuity if needed, even if the product is discontinued, as opposed to being simply screwed if the service gets shutdown bu Autodesk.

Don't get me wrong, I am not zeroing in on Autodesk, per se, but the subject was for Eagle, and the OP's questions were debating the advantages and disadvantages of going subscription. I don't like subscription software service in general because of my stated rationale above.

With that I wish you well and I can only hope that Autodesk starts using a customer centric approach to this type of licensing, maybe cooler heads will prevail, who knows.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: Mr. Scram on November 16, 2017, 03:04:52 am


Yeah, sure, that‘s terrible. And how would you get the software in the first  place if you don‘t have any internet connection at all, ever?

I don‘t like the subscription model either, and have no intention to switch over from my v7. But I truly consider that problem you chose to highlight a non-issue, Karel.
You can generally find software long after a company has perished. Without servers that's no use. Why need activation to begin with?
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: VEGETA on November 16, 2017, 06:24:03 am
Quote
Yes, we could use our V7 licenses forever, reinstalling them when needed, but dead software isn't useful to a growing business.

Which is why people should not touch Eagle now, but go get CircuitStudio. In my opinion, cloud-based PCB design software is not good at all. If you want such a feature, then they can add it as a feature within the software but not the main thing. Like a button called "Store in cloud" where you store and update your project in their servers.

Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: macegr on November 17, 2017, 07:42:50 am
I have watched SaaS, cloud-hosted applications, subscriptions, and microtransactions with amusement over the past few years. It was always a no-brainer wave of the future...if you were a financial strategist selling an idea to management within a company. It was absolutely never about providing a better experience for the customer.

Out here in customer-land, I've already seen signs of the backlash against this business model everywhere. Customers are beyond the "hmm, I guess that works" phase and already running into real problems caused by companies retaining the off-switch to their software or hardware. I've seen so much backlash I was completely floored in WTF mode when Autodesk announced Eagle subscription...can they not read the writing on the wall? Starting a new subscription application NOW?

Logitech recently announced that it will brick the Harmony Link hub, and tried to give a 30% off coupon to anyone who bought it more than 90 days ago. This (it now turns out, not given as a reason up front) was to fix a major security hole that couldn't be resolved by a software patch. But instead of announcing the problem and replacing the devices, Logitech though "Hey, we can just make those devices obsolete. I bet most customers will just grumpily buy a new one." Not until after a huge outroar and media attention did they promise to do the thing they should have done, and fix their mistake by replacing all the hardware.

Two things to learn from the above example: (1) a company will eventually screw you if you let them keep the off switch, and (2) if you complain enough the company might give in.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: Mr. Scram on November 17, 2017, 07:46:01 am
There have been a number of physical products now that have been turned into expensive bricks by the manufacturer pulling the plug, sometimes just a handful of months after release. Maybe that's where legislators can come in, as these products are an artificial burden on the environment and contradict consumer law. I feel mobile phones are part of this story too, with hardware willing to keep going, but software support failing to keep things safe and operable.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: fcb on November 17, 2017, 09:48:00 am
We now have a fully loaded seat of Eagle and Fusion 360. The EE running it has taken to it like a duck to water.

From a business POV at this stage it makes far more sense than spending a fortune on Altium and then keeping it updated.

If/when there is a good business case to purchase a fully loaded seat of Altium, then we will - they offer an Eagle import tool.  However I'm hoping that Eagle will keep getting better - certainly the integration with Fusion is paying dividends as far as workflow and speed.

And learning a new tool doesn't actually take that long IMHO - layout skills are somewhat independent of tools.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: Karel on November 17, 2017, 11:24:17 am
If/when there is a good business case to purchase a fully loaded seat of Altium, then we will - they offer an Eagle import tool.

Pay attention, check if the eagle import tool can deal with v8 and the changes and additions autodesk is making to the eagle format.

https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/eagle-forum/v8-x-gt-v7-x-backward-compatibility/td-p/6990931 (https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/eagle-forum/v8-x-gt-v7-x-backward-compatibility/td-p/6990931)

Don't take the word of autodesk for that. They already showed they can't be trusted...
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: sokoloff on November 17, 2017, 06:09:15 pm
I also could convert to KICad and forget licensing issues altogether. I really tried hard (as you could see from previous posts I made here) but the single most important feature to me is eagle's roundtrip capability of switching seamlessly between schematic and layout work. Maybe I'm just to incompetent to design a system sequentially and unidirectionally just using the netlist to track changes consistently ...
I'm super-glad for Autodesk's change to a subscription-only model for Eagle, because that was finally enough for me to get over the perceived hurdle of trying to use KiCAD. I'd been a casual user of Eagle for a few years and the first time I installed KiCAD it didn't run, then a later trial ended up with the typical "open sores" experience of new software, and so I'd stayed with Eagle.

Now that I had motivation, I switched to KiCAD about a year ago and the software has improved quite a bit and there's clear momentum around the product. Yes, the workflow is different. Yes, I have to remember which randomly icon'd button to push to get to which tool. Yes, the cross-tool integration via the filesystem only is clunky and kludgy, but it works. And I can trust the dev team behind it more than I do Autodesk.

So, thanks Autodesk for the licensing change. You improved my life with that business decision.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: fcb on November 17, 2017, 06:45:56 pm
Why the hate for Autodesk?  They provide good tools no? I guess you don't have to use them if you don't want to.

I looked briefly at KiCad - but what I don't want to have to understand how to build my CAD tools, or fear them being 'unfinished'.

What sold me on Eagle/Fusion 360 was that they both just worked well seperatley AND played nicely together.  It's a nice workflow. And I like the subscription model - we hire our staff by the month, why their some of the tools?  This also gives Autodesk an incentive to improve the tools to retain customers.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: sokoloff on November 17, 2017, 06:53:12 pm
Why the hate for Autodesk?  They provide good tools no? I guess you don't have to use them if you don't want to.
No hatred on my part; they make a business decision to go left; I make a business decision that I don't want to go with them. No hard feelings or hatred.

What sold me on Eagle/Fusion 360 was that they both just worked well seperatley AND played nicely together.  It's a nice workflow. And I like the subscription model - we hire our staff by the month, why their some of the tools?  This also gives Autodesk an incentive to improve the tools to retain customers.
When a staffer leaves, do you need to keep paying them to continue to use what they did while in your employ? We have invention and copyright assignment documentation to ensure that when they stop working for us and we stop paying them, that we can still use their 'works made for hire' that we paid them to create.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: Mr. Scram on November 17, 2017, 06:57:45 pm
Why the hate for Autodesk?  They provide good tools no? I guess you don't have to use them if you don't want to.

I looked briefly at KiCad - but what I don't want to have to understand how to build my CAD tools, or fear them being 'unfinished'.

What sold me on Eagle/Fusion 360 was that they both just worked well seperatley AND played nicely together.  It's a nice workflow. And I like the subscription model - we hire our staff by the month, why their some of the tools?  This also gives Autodesk an incentive to improve the tools to retain customers.
You argue that the quality of a tool doesn't include the model, TCO and long run reliability. I would. No hate, just calculated sense.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: macegr on November 17, 2017, 07:16:42 pm
The only reason I care about Eagle going subscription / internet-tethered is that I like the tool and want to keep using it. I like all of Autodesk's software, in fact. I've told many people starting out in EE or ME design to try Eagle and Inventor.

If I didn't like the software I wouldn't give a rat's ass about the licensing or the product.

If I was a casual user who didn't plan to use the software for more than a year or two, such as a student or someone designing throwaway baubles, I also wouldn't care.

I'm not sure why Autodesk thinks it's a good idea to position themselves as a disposable commodity.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: H.O on November 17, 2017, 09:11:45 pm
Hi macegr,

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.

Best Regards,
Jorge Garcia

I don't think people are that concerned with Autodesk declaring bankruptcy and dissapearing from the market taking EAGLE with it into the grave. It COULD of course happen and it's certainly something to concider but what I do think people are more concerned with and what I think is much more likely to happen is this:

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. With a perpetual license what I have when you decide to pull the plug I still have and can still use tomorrow. With a subscription model I can't because there's no longer any "service" so I'm screwed.

2) Autodesk decides to raise the price by a factor at your discretion because the revenue from the few people you DID convince/fool into the subscription model isn't enough.  With a perpetual license I can decide if I think the new price is fair for the "upgrade". With a subscription model I can't do that. If I don't pay the new price I can no longer use the software so I'm screwed.

3) Autodesk decides to change the capabilities of the various "plans" possibly forcing customers into a "bigger", more costly plan in order to be able to keep working. With a perpetual license the capabilities in my payed for version only changes if and when I decide, with a subscription model YOU decide what the version I pay for should be capable of at any given point in time. You can dumb it down forcing me into a "bigger", more costly plan so I'm screwed.

You're free to price your product any way you see fit and I'm free to decide if the product offered is worth that price. The difference is that once I payed for a perpetual license I retain the right to use that software for as long as I see fit - not for as long as YOU see fit. It'll have the same capabillities it had when I bought it and it won't cost me another cent. What I pay for today I can still use tomorrow or 5 years from now.

With the subscription model I don't know what it's going to cost me to being able to work on my files tomorrow or 5 years from now because you (Autodesk) retain the right to change the price I "have" to pay each month/year in order to be able to do that. I'm free to not pay of course but if I don't I can no longer use my files.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: janoc on November 18, 2017, 01:18:38 am
Why the hate for Autodesk?  They provide good tools no? I guess you don't have to use them if you don't want to.

I looked briefly at KiCad - but what I don't want to have to understand how to build my CAD tools, or fear them being 'unfinished'.

What sold me on Eagle/Fusion 360 was that they both just worked well seperatley AND played nicely together.  It's a nice workflow. And I like the subscription model - we hire our staff by the month, why their some of the tools?  This also gives Autodesk an incentive to improve the tools to retain customers.

Just wait until one of those "improvements" that come as forced updates breaks something.

Our company uses Fusion360 to open CAD files from clients and we had all sorts of nice surprises already. One week a script runs, the next it is broken because of an API behavior change and the week after it works again - but something else is broken now!

Once you get invested in the tool, those updates and "improvements" become your worst nightmare - you don't want to constantly fiddle with the tooling in the middle of a project in order to adapt it to whatever changes the vendor did behind your back all the time, it won't help you get anything done. It also makes reproducible results very hard to achieve because you never know what the tool will do since it can change behind your back.

Fusion360 is not a serious CAD tool, IMO. You are being used as a beta tester and are paying for the privilege to boot.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: fcb on November 18, 2017, 12:30:50 pm
I get the "tool security" argument - but for me it doesn't matter too much.  OK, let's put it another way, in my 26+ years of designing stuff I have never been scuppered by not being able to "open" a PCB in a PCB design tool (or code, or drawings).

I always create PDF schematics, Gerbers and paper copies of every revision of every design. I have never had to re-issue old Gerbers if I need to 'duplicate' a product, 'cause there are always bigger problems (component obsolescence, casing process issues, etc..) - those combined with everything I've learnt since the original has meant it's always quicker and more efficient to respin a design.

Also, we rarely give clients the actual design files, just schematics and Gerbers (we have zero objection to giving them the files, it just never comes up - and they can't verify them with out buying a license for whatever, which bizarrely can cause more of a headache than just not supplying the files).  I guess I treat the SCH/PCB tool files as an 'intermediate' format, much like my notebook.

And yes, Autodesk could put the prices up - or tier the product offering more.  And if the functionality improves then why not?  If Eagle became an Altium grade product then I'm sure they would try and charge more.



Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: H.O on November 18, 2017, 02:00:35 pm
Quote
I get the "tool security" argument - but for me it doesn't matter too much.  OK, let's put it another way, in my 26+ years of designing stuff I have never been scuppered by not being able to "open" a PCB in a PCB design tool (or code, or drawings).
But isn't that because once you payed for the software that was used to create those designfiles you "owned" it and you can keep it "forever". Even if the company went away or the product was killed you CAN still install the software (provided you have the appropriate environent) and mess around with your files as much as you want. I personally don't think it's likely that you'll be able to do that 5-10 years down the road with software on subscription.

One can argue that that with software on subscription you can pay for a month or two while you produce the files and then 5 years from now, when you need to change something you can pay for another month and come out way cheaper than with a perpetual license but then we have the issue of file formats etc, there's nothing saying the they won't change the file format so that 5 year old file won't open properly. Altium or OrCAD or whatever can do that too of cource but somewhere along the road you either made the decision to upgrade making your old files incompatible or you made the decision not to upgrade and stuck with the version that served you well.

Quote
And yes, Autodesk could put the prices up - or tier the product offering more.  And if the functionality improves then why not?  If Eagle became an Altium grade product then I'm sure they would try and charge more.
Of course they can and of course they will. The problem is that now, with the subscription model, it's no longer my decision if the features they've added are worth the increased cost to me. I either pay the increased subscription fee and get the features (weather I need them or not) OR I stop paying (always an option of course) but then I can't use the software - at all - anymore.

I know I might be overly sceptical here and it might be that "everything" is going this way and I should just adapt but I won't because I really don't like the concept (and I've shown that with my wallet by buying CircuitStudio). YMMV of course.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: fcb on November 19, 2017, 03:11:51 pm
H.O - I agree.  In time I may want to open an Eagle file, and find that I can't.  And because of the subscription model I can't just run a stored instance of the layout software - However, in the last 26 years I have never had to do this. And my business doesn't rely on being able to do this.

If I take a product I designed in 2007, it is now in it's 5th iteration and will shortly be starting it's 6th) - each one has had a new PCB from scratch as improvements in performance, DFM, etc.. have made it far quicker to re-lay the design each time.

I started out with a license for EasyPC (www.numberone.com (http://www.numberone.com)) back in the days it was DOS, I still have a license for the top-of-the-range version.  They just haven't moved as fast as the others.  Probably down to the fact that they only get £60 from me every year or so rather than £60 every month (as per eagle) - developers are expensive (they also have a more expensive package called Pulsonix apparently, but never bothered with that - my opinion when I met them at EDS this year was to focus on just one really good package, they nodded politely, but I expect they'll carry on as they are).

I suspect that as the complexity of the packages increases, there will be a gentle culling of the lower-middle ground players. Especially as the benefits of CAD tool integration become more routinely demonstrated.



Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: macegr on November 19, 2017, 07:33:35 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.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: station240 on November 19, 2017, 08:09:05 pm
While I do agree Autodesk aren't going to go broke overnight, they can still create huge problems with this subscription model.
Simply releasing a new version of Eagle that is incompatible in some way with previous files, or does one way changes to files it loads, would do it.
Take for instance Eagle 7.5's changes the libraries.

I still haven't had the time to go back and fix/redo my Eagle libraries, given what Autodesk have done to the software ownership, I likely never will.
What flaws Eagle had/has could be overlooked given it's cheap, no nonsense licensing, not any more.

Autodesk always has shot themselves in the foot with their software licensing, where legit customers have to crack the software anyway to avoid issues in re-installing.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: cdev on November 19, 2017, 08:32:29 pm
They should make a program available to convert previous Eagle files to Kicad format.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: expinkolator on November 19, 2017, 10:39:30 pm
Autodesk think a subscription model will make them more money. Most customers agree which is why most customers don't want a subscription model.

How complicated does it need to be?
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: apurvdate on November 20, 2017, 05:49:59 am
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..
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: fcb on November 20, 2017, 08:27:44 am
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.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: janoc on November 20, 2017, 01:48:24 pm
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 (https://github.com/lachlanA/eagle-to-kicad) (the ULP scripts mentioned before)

Online library converter:
https://www.snapeda.com/parts/add/ (https://www.snapeda.com/parts/add/)
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: macegr on November 21, 2017, 01:20:53 am
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.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: Karel on November 21, 2017, 02:12:24 pm
"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 (https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/eagle-forum/problem-loading-eagle-8-files-with-eagle-7-5/td-p/7561154)

So far for compatibility...
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: hammy on November 29, 2017, 10:59:59 pm
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 (http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Autodesk-to-lay-off-1-150-as-company-restructures-12390210.php)

 :wtf:
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: macegr on November 30, 2017, 05:09:19 am
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.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: Karel on November 30, 2017, 11:48:05 am
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/ (http://www.zdnet.com/article/autodesk-plans-to-lay-off-more-than-1000-employees/)
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: Karel on December 04, 2017, 11:20:14 am
https://www.gurufocus.com/news/603139/autodesk-tumbles-after-reporting-3rdquarter-results (https://www.gurufocus.com/news/603139/autodesk-tumbles-after-reporting-3rdquarter-results)
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: macegr on December 05, 2017, 06:32:02 pm
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.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: XFDDesign on December 11, 2017, 01:51:55 pm
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.
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: bgm on December 12, 2017, 12:59:32 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 - https://www.eevblog.com/forum/microcontrollers/how-do-you-preserve-the-idetoolchain-over-many-years/msg1371498/#msg1371498 (https://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
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: ajawamnet on December 21, 2017, 04:40:40 pm
"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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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...
Title: Re: Why is everybody ranting about Autodesk's Subscription-Model?
Post by: homebrew on December 24, 2017, 09:46:50 pm
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?