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Author Topic: Source Code  (Read 10700 times)

Noam

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Source Code
« on: August 31, 2010, 01:37:31 PM »

I think it has become clear over the past few years that the folks over at X10.com have not put development of the AHP software very high on their priority list.
We have gotten a few updates here and there, but there are still a lot of things that people are missing, or can't get working properly at times.

Since X10.com doesn't actually sell the AHP software, but rather the hardware it controls, I don't think they would lose sales if they were to make the source code available to the user community.
I know there are a number of third-part applications out there, but none of them (as far as I know) have the ability to download timers and macros to the CM15A.

I would like to see them release their source code, so that those community members who have put a lot of time and effort into developing add-on software would be able to create "true" alternatives, with the ability to do everything that AHP currently does (perhaps with the exception of some of the buggy quirks ;-) ), AND the additional functionality that they have written.

I doubt this will ever happen, but it is worth a try....
I wonder if the European vendors make the source code for their versions available.
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pconroy

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Re: Source Code
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 05:23:09 PM »

I think many of us would settle for just publishing the CM15 *protocol*!!!


I too have thought about why they're not open sourcing their stuff as it seems to have only upside.
I can't think of a downside for X10.



I can only come up with a couple of reasons why they don't:
a) they hold onto a (?mistaken?) belief that the software is the asset, or an asset, ($ or IP)
b) there are parts (in the software or protocol) that don't belong to them and there are legal reasons why they cannot release



Although I've tinkered w/ X10 since the CP290 days, I dropped out for awhile.
It seems like X10 was actively cooperating with developers in the CM11A days.
You have to wonder why that's not happening now.

Either myopia reigns at Corp HQ or they're restrained from doing so.
What was it the Tootsie Pop Owl said?


"The world may never know."

:)
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HA Dave

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Re: Source Code
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010, 08:13:45 PM »

I too have thought about why they're not open sourcing their stuff as it seems to have only upside.
I can't think of a downside for X10.
I can only come up with a couple of reasons why they don't:
a) they hold onto a (?mistaken?) belief that the software is the asset, or an asset, ($ or IP)

Why would you want the source code... if it has no value [to you]?
I know that is a silly question. And (I would guess) that so do you.
X10 sold thousands (I am sure) of suites of software... at $50 bucks a pop. If/when a new interface device is introduced... it may very well use that same source code. With newly recreated and improved software packages... and a new interface device... X10 will once again sell software.
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pconroy

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Re: Source Code
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2010, 04:40:31 PM »

Me???

I don't want the source code, for a couple of reasons.
I'd much prefer they release the protocol specs for the CM15A, like they did the CM11A.

What other vendors have done, with varying degrees of success is:
1) realize that hanging on to the notion that software is some sort of intellectual capital is silly in 2010
2) donate the existing source code to the Open Source community
3) sit back and reap the benefits of renewed interest as developers from around the world re-invigorate their product.


I have NO idea what X10's business model is, but I would have guessed it's primarily focused on hardware sales.
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HA Dave

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Re: Source Code
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2010, 08:11:28 PM »

What other vendors have done, with varying degrees of success is:
1) realize that hanging on to the notion that software is some sort of intellectual capital is silly in 2010
2) donate the existing source code to the Open Source community
3) sit back and reap the benefits of renewed interest as developers from around the world re-invigorate their product.
I have NO idea what X10's business model is, but I would have guessed it's primarily focused on hardware sales.

Who/what other companies have realized... that any "capital" (meaning by definition... something of value) would be silly to own? I thought owning things of value (capital) was what defines wealth. What American company has realized growth and/or profits due to the "open source community"?

I believe you when you say you " have NO idea what X10's business model is". Are you aware of just how really very, very, hard it is to earn/make profits?

« Last Edit: September 02, 2010, 08:21:20 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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pconroy

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Re: Source Code
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2010, 10:15:16 PM »

Dave,

I know with typing it's hard to communicate sentiment, but I'm "speaking" monotonically, passively.  :)
I'm just offering up ideas.

When I say I have no idea what their business model is, I don't mean that as some sort of judgmental venom. I'm speaking matter-of-factly: no one at X10 has called me to let me in on their business model.   They've not invited me to play golf with their board.  :)


I would have guessed, by interpreting their actions, they're following the old "give away the Razors and sell the blades" model.

That's all - just a guess. 

Yeah, I've got an inkling how hard it is to make money. My family's been in Small Business for forever. I, the black sheep, have been in Fortune 100/500's for 25+ years.   ;)


As for companies that have successfully transitioned to an open source model, in my field (Information Technology) there are actually quite a few.  A name you *might* recognize, Oracle, has an active open source community (albeit largely an acquired one).  RedHat is the apocryphal example.

But, of course, you (and the shareholders) get the final decision on whether they are successful.

--
What I was driving at; what I'd say to the X10 board (if they invited me to play golf) would be something like:
"Software's a PITA and to be avoided.  It costs you a lot, and your spreadsheets show you not much of an ROI. For every 3 people it pleases, it aggravates 8...   Here's a way for you to retain the benefits, but drop the operating expense."

Even Sun Microsystems realized that it was time to open source, their Crown Jewel.
Even IBM realized...


well, that's what I'm driving at.   :)
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HA Dave

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Re: Source Code
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2010, 10:24:35 PM »

That was a beautifully worded reply. Of course... I do know you are a believer... as it relates to Open Source.

Glad to read your enjoying golf.
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