As we are nearing RC1 with only a handful of tickets left, there are about to be some serious changes to our infrastructure.
So far we have operated with Patreon as our means to finance the development, and Facebook as our daily driver for live status, quick feedback and general community talk. This model has served the project well, except that Facebook really is a terrible place to run a group that is 100% dependent on a single person.
Facebook supports multiple account, and you would imagine that you could establish a business account and a personal account – and that these would be completely separate from each other. Sadly that is not the case, and should my personal account be blocked for whatever reason the Facebook A.I decides that day, the business account becomes locked as well.
It was never a long term plan to stick with Facebook, so it was time to bite the bullet and purchase a professional installation of WordPress with a forum plugin. And this is exactly what I have done. I was aiming to wait with that step until after version 1.0 was out the door, but Facebook has made it difficult to have both a personal life and professional life (which I consider separate) on the same platform. I have outlined at length how absurd the Facebook A.I operates, how it mistakes Norwegian words for English (with disastrous results) and so fourth. You can read that article here.
Before x-mas I did a couple of polls in our Facebook group regarding how we should proceed. Regardless of the above mentioned debacle, Facebook as a platform is really only suited for user-groups and keeping track of friends. There is also the financial aspect of the product to consider. We need a stable income to ensure stable development of future versions. If we manage to secure enough, I would be able to work full time on this rather than just weekends. That would be much more effective for everyone and I would be able to expand the range and power of the product a thousand fold compared to what we have today.
The result of the polls were quite simple:
- We continue to use Patreon for handling backing and donations
- The Facebook group will become public (read: anyone can join, not just backers) much like Delphi Developer, FPC Developer and the other groups I run in the same family.
- New binaries will exclusively be issued via Patreon
- Community edition will be available on this website, but that will only be major releases (LTS). Those that wish to have running updates, patches and cutting edge documentation must subscribe to a Patreon tier. This is what everyone else is doing and it makes more sense. There has to be an incentive to get the cutting edge stuff (and yes, the tiers will be adjusted to better suit this model).
To give you some idea of cost, a year worth of $25 a month backing, which gets you binary updates (including docs) and articles is exactly $300. Keep in mind that this also includes the cluster environment, a ton of new components I will write, and all the fancy stuff that is lined up for version 1.1 and 1.2 (like database components, filesystem over WebSocket and so on). The hard work with the IDE is done, and we can polish and make sure the details get better – but all in all the IDE infrastructure is ready to rock. Focus after version 1.0 will be more on content, demos, articles, ready to use project templates, new packages, utility features and drop-in protocols (yes you read that right). This is where the fun begins.
This is a product that we can aggressively expand to consume pretty much whatever we want of the JSVM / React / Node.js world. We don’t have to wait for Idera or Embarcadero or anyone else. QTX is a free agent and answers to nobody but the backers. Once we agree on a tech, I get to work and make it a part of the IDE and RTL. And this also includes exciting stuff like bytecode assembly, WASM and baking native executables via Phonegap and React directly from the IDE.
In plain English: We can’t keep going like we have up to now, because we are financially nowhere near where I can jump over full time (or 50% for that matter). The only way to get anywhere close to a 50% position, is to get everyone over on Patreon. Even if it’s just the lowest Tier (I will adjust the tiers) that would radically change things. It’s a long term goal, but it’s there.
There is also something to be said about simplicity. Having to re-post the same news in 3 places is a bit much. At least now we have this website as the main focal point and Patreon for backers and “subscriptions”. So feel free to post to the forums here on this website (you probably need to register first).