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Future plans for Fritzing?

Frode Lillerud 5 years, 10 months ago

Frode Lillerud

Hi, 

let me just start by saying I'm a big fan of Fritzing. I believe it is the most userfriendly open-source PCB software out there.

That said I'm worried about the future of Fritzing.

Since Jonathan left in January it seems like there is only one developer (bluearc) left. The checkins done the last five months are primarily small fixes to parts, and not changes that improve Fritzing as an application. I'm worried that the development of Fritzing is coming to a halt, and that no real new features will be introduced.

Is the Fritzing-team doing anything to recruit new developers?

The blog has also changed from a "here are new Fritzing features"-posts, to "look at this cool, but totally unrelated to Fritzing thing". Wouldn't it be naturally to use the blog to attract new users and developers, instead of promoting portable printers and bridges in Korea?

I truly hope that you manage to get more developers on board, or I fear that Fritzing is going to go the way of the Dodo.

Should I be worried?

Frode Lillerud 5 years, 10 months ago

Frode Lillerud

As an example;

 

KiCad is an open-source competitor to Fritzing. Since february the Fritzing sourcecode has had about 25 commits by 2 developers, while KiCad has had 240 commits by 25 developers.

 

Those kind of stats makes me worry that Fritzing is going to fall behind.

Christian Aschoff 5 years, 10 months ago

Ich teile die Sorgen und wäre auch an Antworten interessiert...

André Knörig 5 years, 10 months ago

André Knörig

Hi Frode, hi Christian,

We are indeed in a phase of transition here at the moment. I can understand your worries, but we are still here and eager to continue.

Jonathan has left the team as a full-timer, but he is still around. We have just worked with him to update Fritzing to work on Qt5 (see the checkins in that branch), which will bring a significant speed-up for Mac users, ability to deploy on Android/iOS, etc. This will be released next week.

The rest of the team has focused on other things, like our new online shop (released yesterday) and collaborating with other companies to make their products available in Fritzing. There is also quite a bit of work happening on the website.

That being said, it is definitely hard to replace a passionate and ingenious developer like Jonathan. We might be moving to more of a collaborator model such as with kicad. The nice thing is that within the last few months the community has stepped up much more, answering forum posts and contributing code. We will move the code to github soon to ease this collaboration and will look for a strong developer to coordinate on our side.

There is now a bit of a slower development feature-wise, as we are re-organizing ourselves. But Fritzing is more popular than ever, and we are very much looking forward to the next steps.

Best,
André

 

Frode Lillerud 5 years, 10 months ago

Frode Lillerud

André, thanks for the response.

Good to hear that things are happening in the background. May I suggest you let the community know what's going on via the blog? One of my other favorite apps is Plex, and they do a fantastic job of keeping the community up-to-date via their blog.

Show us who the members of the fritzing team are and what you're working on, and get the community involved. Perhaps a blogpost on the what/where the fab-service is? It might double your production...

 

Parts, parts, parts. For getting adoption from users it is also important that Fritzing gets more and more parts. The "Fritzing part creation service" seems to be dead (or at least have a very non-userfriendly webpage). If there was a simple form there where we could fill out which part we need, and a Paypal button for donating a few euros I know I'd certainly use it.

The fact that Sparkfun has added their parts library took Fritzing a huuuge step forward. Perhaps getting someone working on creating an eagle-to-fritzing converter might take Fritzing adoption to the next level.

I truly hope Fritzing keep up the good trend, and keep attracting new users, build an active community, and get more developers involved.

Frode Lillerud 5 years, 6 months ago

Frode Lillerud

Hi again André. How are things progressing with Fritzing? Again, looking at the checkings it looks like the development is slower than ever. Have you given any more thoughts to moving to GitHub, and using the blog to attract more developers? And what about upgrading the forum?

André Knörig 5 years, 6 months ago

André Knörig

Hi Frode, as you see we did just make the move to github. :) This was a bit painful and I'm not sure about the prospect of the issue tracker there, but it's definitely better than staying with Google Code.

On the other front, we are working on a new website that also includes a new forum and parts database. More importantly, it makes it much more clear what Fritzing is about, and also makes it easier to support the development. This is still several weeks away though, as there is also a lot of migration work involved (sigh..).

(By the way, we do have an Eagle-to-Fritzing converter, or rather, two. One is brd2svg, that converts board files, like SparkFun components, to Fritzing parts. The other one is lbr2svg, that converts complete Eagle part libraries to Fritzing bins. The latter isn't open-sourced yet, but I'm working on it. Of course it would be even better to integrate them into the app or the website.)

 

Concerning the general prospect, however, we are still sorting things out and this takes a lot of effort with a shrinking team. We do have some interesting options, but we don't want to announce anything before it's clear, to not create too much confusion. So, the transition phase is still ongoing, and during that time there will be no signifcant work on the software. But there will be after everything is settled!

Neil Kolban 4 years, 9 months ago

Neil Kolban

Is there any new news about the future of the Fritzing project?

Marlena13 4 years, 9 months ago

hello to everyone, great forum :)