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How I learned to stop worrying and love Ldraw. (Subtitle: questions for programmers) - Printable Version

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Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love Ldraw. (Subtitle: questions for programmers) - Ken Drew - 2012-12-19

Steffen Wrote:I am feeling like Willy here:
Creating your program of course is some effort, and of course you can charge for it,
but you're building your "cash generator" onto our volunteer work...
hmmmmmm........ What about a donation to ldraw.org? Like 50% of all earnings?
The money is needed for server space...
However, this could immediately create the impression that ldraw.org is a commercial product,
and this immediately would call TLG to action...

I agree that a paid app is "off the backs" of volunteer work and that a donation would be appropriate.

FYI, Apple does not pay app developers right away. There is a month (and possibly 2 or more) delay on earnings.

I would suspect that the attention of TLG would depend on the relationship between a paid app developer and ldraw.org.


Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love Ldraw. (Subtitle: questions for programmers) - Travis Cobbs - 2012-12-19

I would like to point out that one reason I never ported LDView to iOS was because it would cost me $100 per year to do so, and I didn't feel that any possible revenue from the app, no matter what I charged, would ever recoup that $100 per year. (Another big reason was that I was already not spending enough time on LDView.)

At $0.99 (the lowest price a non-free iOS app can have), I would need 141 new customers per year just to break even, and given the number of downloads of the freely avaiable LDView for Windows/Mac/Linux that I have, I just didn't see that happening. And I believe that charging more would decrease the number of customers enough the lower to total revenue.

Now that BrickPad is available, and quite nice, I see even less point in an LDView for iOS release. Of course, Ken's sales figures are private, but I would be very surprised if he's making much profit.


Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love Ldraw. (Subtitle: questions for programmers) - Steffen - 2012-12-19

I completely agree with you.

As a PS:
I still hope that we can avoid to even create OS specific applications for iOS or Android,
and instead use the WebGL possibilities like here:
http://forums.ldraw.org/showthread.php?tid=7232&pid=7232#pid7232
This keeps up the Internet principle: create something that everybody on every platform can read.
Remember the days when these icons appear all over the web?
[Image: 0005-08_netscape_badge.jpg]


Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love Ldraw. (Subtitle: questions for programmers) - Ken Drew - 2012-12-19

Travis Cobbs Wrote:I would like to point out that one reason I never ported LDView to iOS was because it would cost me $100 per year to do so, and I didn't feel that any possible revenue from the app, no matter what I charged, would ever recoup that $100 per year. (Another big reason was that I was already not spending enough time on LDView.)

At $0.99 (the lowest price a non-free iOS app can have), I would need 141 new customers per year just to break even, and given the number of downloads of the freely avaiable LDView for Windows/Mac/Linux that I have, I just didn't see that happening. And I believe that charging more would decrease the number of customers enough the lower to total revenue.

Now that BrickPad is available, and quite nice, I see even less point in an LDView for iOS release. Of course, Ken's sales figures are private, but I would be very surprised if he's making much profit.

While I won't go into specific numbers, I have easily recouped my development membership. Revenue also pays for servers and hosting. A monthly donation to ldraw.org is also planned (awaiting PayPal) which will be an undisclosed percentage of my monthly revenue. What is and will be left over is profit. Some of this profit goes to help by testing devices, which if not done in my experienced opinion, is a mistake if you are making an iOS app.

Can I quit my job? HELL no. Does it fund a portion of a LEGO hobby. Yes. Do I make a profit? Yes. Does is suck an untold amount of time away from LEGO (and family)? Yes. Would I do it again? Maybe...

And realistically, this may all change with Paul's introduction of another LDraw viewer/modeler in the App Store. It seems that Renaud's brickView didn't survive. I'm not sure of the details but it is no longer in the App Store (at least in the US store).


Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love Ldraw. (Subtitle: questions for programmers) - Ken Drew - 2012-12-19

Steffen Wrote:I completely agree with you.

As a PS:
I still hope that we can avoid to even create OS specific applications for iOS or Android,
and instead use the WebGL possibilities like here:
http://forums.ldraw.org/showthread.php?tid=7232&pid=7232#pid7232
This keeps up the Internet principle: create something that everybody on every platform can read.
Remember the days when these icons appear all over the web?
[Image: 0005-08_netscape_badge.jpg]

In theory yes, I agree. In practice, WebGL isn't available on all devices. If and when it does, I wonder about performance (and access and usability in a browser, and connectivity...) on the non-desktop devices. Will Android allow it (not sure if it already does)? Will Apple allow it? Not sure, and for me, Apple devices are my preference.

Web apps have yet to deliver for me...


Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love Ldraw. (Subtitle: questions for programmers) - Allen Smith - 2012-12-19

Apple has made it impossible for anyone to produce pure hobby software for iOS. A developer for Apple devices must either commit to funding the hobby out-of-pocket indefinitely (which, at $100/year, is a substantial outlay), or must worry about how to monetize it.

Even worse is that Apple, at any point and for any contrived "reason," may vaporize your hobby project with no forewarning or recourse on your part. After that, your work is completely wasted, as its is technically impossible to distribute it without Apple's dispensation. And of course, there's no remuneration for your lost work.

Due to these considerations, I haven't been able to justify any iOS hobby development. One might also take these factors into account when shopping for a mobile device. There's at least one platform that doesn't work like this.

Allen


Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love Ldraw. (Subtitle: questions for programmers) - Roland Melkert - 2012-12-19

This is exactly the reason I'm not a big Apple fan, android isn't much better though. And it seems MS wants to go the someway with it's '8' monstrosity (which is a gateway drug imho).


Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love Ldraw. (Subtitle: questions for programmers) - Paul Griffin - 2012-12-19

Allen Smith Wrote:Apple has made it impossible for anyone to produce pure hobby software for iOS. A developer for Apple devices must either commit to funding the hobby out-of-pocket indefinitely (which, at $100/year, is a substantial outlay), or must worry about how to monetize it.

Even worse is that Apple, at any point and for any contrived "reason," may vaporize your hobby project with no forewarning or recourse on your part. After that, your work is completely wasted, as its is technically impossible to distribute it without Apple's dispensation. And of course, there's no remuneration for your lost work.

Due to these considerations, I haven't been able to justify any iOS hobby development. One might also take these factors into account when shopping for a mobile device. There's at least one platform that doesn't work like this.

Allen
I agree with what you said, but only for as long as you ignore jailbreaking. I already am an iOS developer (albeit in jailbreak circles only so far) and for me it did start as a hobby. Nowdays, the $100/year cost is just considered a maintenance cost. Good grief, I pay more than that a year on site hosting.


Legalese was Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love Ldraw. (Subtitle: questions for programmers) - Tim Gould - 2012-12-19

I don't think that charging will make any difference to TLG. But... See http://forums.ldraw.org/showthread.php?tid=7391&pid=7391#pid7391

Tim


Re: How I learned to stop worrying and love Ldraw. (Subtitle: questions for programmers) - Paul Griffin - 2012-12-19

Oh, it's paid? Did I just forget that I purchased it, or was it free at some point?

I apologize in advance if I do end up stomping on your work. But this idea has been in my head for a year now and won't go away until it's built. And now that I have found some spare time...

One way or another, I do not have any intention of thanklessly procuring ldraw materials nor charging an exorbant amount that would keep whatever I make out of the reach of kids (*cough* you know which one). In fact, my intention is to try to make something that is within the reach of kids, from both a price and usability standpoint.

I know these are hard words to trust from someone who only has 11 (now 12!) posts here, but I hope to develop that trust with time.