[OH Updates] Degrees of open-ness in EDA (and CAD in general)
andrew at plumb.org
Thu Sep 1 09:08:32 PDT 2011
On 2011-09-01, at 11:43 AM, Drone.v2 wrote:
> That's the problem we in the FOSS/OSHW world often lose sight of in our drive to push for people to use open-source everything: many of the commercial solutions are not competing with FOSS on price or features, but in the additional services and gaurantees they supply as part of the deal, which make it easier to focus on the parts of our business where we need to be the masters, and not burning money on the things which are only mechanics of running a business. The whole discussion of open CAD solutions is also missing this point: you don't solve these problems for businesses with even a million developers. A developer is one part of an ecosystem, you need people who truly understand the business needs of the customer, people to manage expectations, business people who know the core problems and where to focus efforts on solving the true problems, and not just chasing features endlessly. Ask yourself why the common architecture acronym is "LAMP" and not "LAPP" =)
> I'm just now completing my stint and the last proprietary software company I've started and focusing entirely on my OSHW side-project now that it's big enough to grow. I've worked for nine years architecting, managing, and building a business-to-business SaaS product that involves around 50 developers at this point. It also requires 80 operations people to meet 24x7 SLAs for thousands of customers, a sales force of 20 to convince customers that its the right solution, and about 20+ middle-management and project/product managers to keep it all running like it's supposed to and to ensure it is always addressing the right needs at the right time. Developers write code, make features - organizations make products and services. If you want [insert FOSS CAD software] to compete with [high-end CAD software used by global 500s] you need to match and exceed [CAD producer's] business approach, not just their software.
A couple of interesting examples of compromise to consider:
- Multi-license approach folks like Nokia/Trolltech have taken with Qt
- see http://qt.nokia.com/products/licensing
- Lots of EDA companies (including Cadence) pay for Qt Commercial for their GUIs now.
- OpenSCAD uses (L)GPL'd Qt.
- RibbonSoft's "open-source the previous release" for QCad.
- See http://www.qcad.org/qcad_downloads.html
- QCad Community Edition is GPL'd.
- RibbonSoft-controlled library dependencies are dual-licensed: http://www.qcad.org/dxflib_doc_faq.html
- If I can get my "SVG export: support custom line weights" feature request (see http://www.ribbonsoft.com/bugtracker/index.php?do=details&task_id=208) supported in 3.0 I'll definitely be forking out for an upgrade to 3.0.
"The future is already here. It's just not very evenly distributed" -- William Gibson
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