New license model will be expensive

Posted on
Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:33 pm
lanbrown offline
Posts: 673
Joined: Sep 26, 2017

Re: New license model will be expensive

Korey wrote:
I personally think they should be charging at least $100 a year for such great software and support.

Indigo is the least expensive and most crucial part of this "Hobby"

There is no where else you will find such amazing support from the Devs or the Community.


For the plugin devs that had a way to send them money listed, I shot them some money via PayPal. So there is a way.

Posted on
Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:48 pm
howartp offline
Posts: 3341
Joined: Jan 09, 2014
Location: West Yorkshire, UK

Re: New license model will be expensive

I agree with FD.

I’m one of the devs with half a dozen plugins, but I’m well aware I’ve not touched them in 9-12 months.

This is due to a £425,000 building scheme at Church which is entirely “my baby”. It’s due to finish yesterday but contractors 5 weeks behind. Final completion (for other reasons) will thus be April and I won’t/can’t touch my plugins until then except for emergencies.

I WILL be back contributing again after that time. But there’s no way I can provide an SLA even with the donations I have received and am grateful for.


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Posted on
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:39 am
dduff617 offline
Posts: 409
Joined: Jul 05, 2006

Re: New license model will be expensive

joe, your comments seem reasonable and you certainly have more experience with plugin development than i do.

however, i suggest "making a living" does not necessarily need to be considered a minimum threshold for revenue from plugin development. to me a world with paid plugins does not mean that all or even most plugins have to be paid; many would continue free. some would be developed and "supported" by distributed teams of cooperating people, where taking revenue would create more problems than it would solve. some plugins might start off free, and aspire to eventually become high-enough quality and with a sufficient number of users to justify switching to paid status in the future. on the other hand, some developers may have no interest in getting into paid dev/support models whatsoever. i think similar models apply for software generally.

i think it is good for the Indigo ecosystem to encourage a developer who wants to go the extra mile to share their work and keep pushing from experiment to proof-of-concept to working software (where some revenue might start to kick in) to something that's really robust, user-friendly, and easy to install and configure (where a plugin might get "buy-in" from 10's to 100's of users and recurring payments from some).

in some cases, payments from a small number of users may represent little more than a token of appreciation or a way to add a degree of connection between developer and their users. in other cases, it may help offset the costs of a developer who might buy some extra gear they can use for testing and development or to refresh their own mac hardware and indigo license. realistically, i suspect only in a small number of cases are we going to be talking about "substantial" income.

i personally would be happy to be a part of an ecosystem that is generating more stuff that's fun and cool but also refined and reliable.

i also like the idea of rewarding a developer who goes the extra mile to perform "upkeep" on work they've completed to keep a plugin working as the platform around it gradually evolves, so i think a recurring payment model (such as annual subscription?) makes more sense than a one-time payment model, and it seems like IndigoDomotics arrived at a similar conclusion at some point over the last couple of years.

if i look at the amount of money i've spent on devices in my home -- thermostats, sprinkler controllers, locks, smoke detectors, motorized shades, receiver, sonos, etc. -- and then i look at the satisfaction i typically get from them, i find that it is often the case that the indigo plugin and the quality thereof plays a big part in determining how much real value i get from an investment in "smart home" stuff. in fact, i find i've almost become "jaded" about new gizmo's and gadgets - to the point where i'm really not up for yet-another-device that has a custom interface or will have yet-another-standalone-app to control it. maybe it does something cool, but if i can't integrate it with my indigo universe, the value is generally pretty low. to be really useful and integrated, it generally has to use a standard protocol (such as z-wave) OR it needs a plugin, or sometimes both. i find there are many cases where i'm thinking that if i could wave a wand and give myself the option to spend more to get more/better plugins, i would do it without hesitation.

Posted on
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:47 am
FlyingDiver offline
Posts: 2573
Joined: Jun 07, 2014
Location: Cape Coral, FL

Re: New license model will be expensive

The ecosystem is already in place. Since the advent of the plugin "store", almost all plugins are published via GitHub. So anyone who has an interest can look at the code there, create bug reports and enhancement requests, or fork the code and submit their own modifications. Or non-programmers can create Wiki pages to help document how to use the plugin.

At one time, I even posted a request for help expanding the Wiki for one of my plugins. <crickets>

My "making a living" comment specifically referred to offering up a plugin as a commercial quality supported product. It can be a very high quality product with individual or community development, but commercially supported is another story.

joe (aka FlyingDiver)
my plugins: http://forums.indigodomo.com/viewforum.php?f=177

Posted on
Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:22 pm
roussell offline
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Location: Alabama

Re: New license model will be expensive

You also stand the risk of the plugin (add-ons) making the system as a whole unreasonable. As a real-world example, I own, but do not use Homeseer Pro. I paid several hundred dollars for a license, then HS abandoned Insteon development leaving it up to a plugin developer. His plugin is only $60, but it doesn’t cover every Insteon device; if I want to use my Insteon Thermostats and EZflora irrigation, that’s two more plugins at $30 each (last time I checked) from two other developers. Then there’s the Onkyo, and Pioneer receivers I have - yep more plugins. Then Roku, Arduino, MQTT, Sonos, etc... and before you know it I’ve spent considerably more on plugins than I did the core SW purchase, with only best-effort, when available, sporadic support.

That’s why my Homeseer Pro license sits on a shelf, and will never be renewed. It lost its value; not by a direct failure on its part, but because of its reliance on the monetized plugin ecosystem it created.

I’m all for supporting the developers, however, and perhaps the plugins should have a quick and easy link to PayPal, patrion, or similar to make donations easier.

Terry


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Posted on
Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:26 pm
FlyingDiver offline
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Location: Cape Coral, FL

Re: New license model will be expensive

roussell wrote:
I’m all for supporting the developers, however, and perhaps the plugins should have a quick and easy link to PayPal, patrion, or similar to make donations easier.


The plugin developer can add a Paypal link to the plugin store. I've gotten a few donations. Probably easy to add another one as a Menu or config panel option.

joe (aka FlyingDiver)
my plugins: http://forums.indigodomo.com/viewforum.php?f=177

Posted on
Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:59 pm
shrxman offline
Posts: 46
Joined: Apr 22, 2015

Re: New license model will be expensive

I always love reading posts out here about Indigo, the contributing community, and the amazing support we all enjoy for all of it. ;-)

I wonder if we should consider a contributor of the year award. It would be hard, especially considering that we have folks out here who contribute their ideas, shellscripts, discoveries about third party products and APIs, as well as the aforementioned plugin gurus. Not to mention the "daily comic" that is the banter between durosity, Fying Diver, Roussell, Karl, and the rest of the gang, all teaming up against poor Matt and Jay. It it were just banter, that would still be good, but I find myself researching new tech ideas that stem from these chats almost daily. It would be such a tough call to have to pick just one. Lol

On another note, I think that's another key difference between the Indigo platform and the others out there. Community. Every time I contact a dev to figure out how I've broken, or misused their plugin, I always get such a strong sense that they enjoy what they are doing, and are sincerely eager to help me get up and running.

Of course I try to respect everyone's time and all, and am always very appreciative, but we have ALL helped to build this ecosystem to our liking, and we have all done very well by it IMHO. I need to remind myself to look for that 'donate now' button when I leverage the talents of you devs directly, as I think a little more appreciation from us all may continue to foster what Matt and Jay started so long ago now. I definitely appreciate every one of you all, and can't wait to see what next year may bring. Probably a big old Indigo bash at Matt's house to honor all of us, no doubt :-)

Hmmm. Here it is, not even November yet, and I'm getting all choked up about giving thanks!

Thanks again all, for all that you do to make Home Automation possible, fun, and always improving!

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Posted on
Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:21 pm
jay (support) offline
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Location: Austin, Texas

Re: New license model will be expensive

shrxman wrote:
On another note, I think that's another key difference between the Indigo platform and the others out there. Community. Every time I contact a dev to figure out how I've broken, or misused their plugin, I always get such a strong sense that they enjoy what they are doing, and are sincerely eager to help me get up and running.

Of course I try to respect everyone's time and all, and am always very appreciative, but we have ALL helped to build this ecosystem to our liking, and we have all done very well by it IMHO.


This is, without a doubt, the biggest factor that makes Indigo such a great product IMO. We clearly put a lot of effort to make it stable/reliable, feature-rich both from a customer and developer perspective, etc. But without the great forum here and the contributions from all of you (user, scripter, control page designer, developer, etc.) Indigo most likely would no longer exist. Or if it did, it would be a much different (and smaller/less capable) product.

So thanks to all of you for allowing us to continue to work on a product ecosystem that we dearly love.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:34 pm
jay (support) offline
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Re: New license model will be expensive

roussell wrote:
You also stand the risk of the plugin (add-ons) making the system as a whole unreasonable. As a real-world example, I own, but do not use Homeseer Pro. I paid several hundred dollars for a license, then HS abandoned Insteon development leaving it up to a plugin developer. His plugin is only $60, but it doesn’t cover every Insteon device; if I want to use my Insteon Thermostats and EZflora irrigation, that’s two more plugins at $30 each (last time I checked) from two other developers. Then there’s the Onkyo, and Pioneer receivers I have - yep more plugins. Then Roku, Arduino, MQTT, Sonos, etc... and before you know it I’ve spent considerably more on plugins than I did the core SW purchase, with only best-effort, when available, sporadic support.


That is definitely something we are not going to do.

roussell wrote:
I’m all for supporting the developers, however, and perhaps the plugins should have a quick and easy link to PayPal, patrion, or similar to make donations easier.


Developers can configure their dev account to accept donations via PayPal - look for the Like this plugin? Show your appreciation! link on the plugin's detail page next to the developer name (if it's not there, then they haven't configured a PayPal.me account in their developer account). We're open to adding Patreon or any other ways to send money.

Jay (Indigo Support)
Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Posted on
Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:44 pm
chase offline
Posts: 38
Joined: Oct 27, 2013

Re: New license model will be expensive

I just renewed my catch up subscription at the end of the catch up window and then the next subscription billed through on schedule 2 days later (I did not see a compelling reason to go from 7.1 to 7.2). So $120 in fees gets me to Oct 1019.

I think this is a little rich when I compare to my only other software subscription, Office 365. $100/year gets me Office 365 and unlimited One Drive for 5 users on MacOS, iOS, Windows and android (as many instances as needed).

I find the indigo subscription is not as good of a value. :(

Posted on
Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:58 pm
lanbrown offline
Posts: 673
Joined: Sep 26, 2017

Re: New license model will be expensive

chase wrote:
I just renewed my catch up subscription at the end of the catch up window and then the next subscription billed through on schedule 2 days later (I did not see a compelling reason to go from 7.1 to 7.2). So $120 in fees gets me to Oct 1019.

I think this is a little rich when I compare to my only other software subscription, Office 365. $100/year gets me Office 365 and unlimited One Drive for 5 users on MacOS, iOS, Windows and android (as many instances as needed).

I find the indigo subscription is not as good of a value. :(


You waited almost a year after the subscription ended and then did a catch up. Try that with Office 365 and you won't have Office 365 at all. If you don't have a subscription, you have no service. If you don't pay for the subscription for Indigo, it still works. Big difference there.

Posted on
Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:15 pm
FlyingDiver offline
Posts: 2573
Joined: Jun 07, 2014
Location: Cape Coral, FL

Re: New license model will be expensive

chase wrote:
I find the indigo subscription is not as good of a value. :(


If you were to switch to something else comparable, what would it be and how much would it cost?

The closest Windows product I know of is CQC. But it has seven different pricing tiers based on the number of clients and the number of drivers. The range is $199 for 1 client and 10 drivers (and limited functionality), $849 for six clients and 30 drivers (all functionality), up to $2999 for 34 clients and 160 drivers. Plus $95/yr for maintenance.

joe (aka FlyingDiver)
my plugins: http://forums.indigodomo.com/viewforum.php?f=177

Posted on
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:45 pm
RogueProeliator offline
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Re: New license model will be expensive

Probably a big old Indigo bash at Matt's house to honor all of us, no doubt :-)

Wait, how did we gloss over this... party at Matt's! I'm in! I'll stop by when I go to Denton in March...

Posted on
Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:12 am
durosity offline
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Re: New license model will be expensive

RogueProeliator wrote:
Probably a big old Indigo bash at Matt's house to honor all of us, no doubt :-)

Wait, how did we gloss over this... party at Matt's! I'm in! I'll stop by when I go to Denton in March...


Oh.. we already had the party.. except it was on the jet.. it was amazing.. honestly the best time I’ve ever had in my life!


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