Uno one of the big issues that come into discussion when it comes to free software, is the kind of the licenses in which many believe that for the simple fact of being "free" it means free and although in most cases it is, the reality is different.
As such the fact that the source code is available to everyone, does not mean that creators offer their works of free way and there are some cases in which it is like that and many others where two models are provided, one community and the other commercial, and finally the most common one where developers only suffice with much or little support they receive from the community.
And in this case, the one that was released recently, is part of the lack of support received from business users and the developer, tired of the abuse, decides to change the model to a paid one.
And is that Christofer Dutz, creator and lead developer of the free Apache industrial automation library suite PLC4X and Vice President of the Apache Software Foundation which oversees the Apache PLC4X project, issued an ultimatum to the corporations that I was willing to stop development if it couldn't solve the problems with financing From his job.
Apache PLC4X provides a set of libraries for unified access from Java, Go and C programs to any type of industrial programmable logic controllers (PLC) and IoT devices. To process the received data, integration with projects such as Apache Calcite, Apache Camel, Apache Edgent, Apache Kafka-Connect, Apache Karaf and Apache NiF is provided.
dissatisfaction is because the use of Apache PLC4X instead of proprietary solutions allows corporations to save tens of millions of euros in the purchase of licenses, but in response companies do not receive adequate development assistance, despite the fact that work on Apache PLC4X requires a lot of manpower and financial investments in equipment and software.
Inspired by the fact that its development is used by the largest industrial enterprises, and a large number of requests and questions are received from them, In 2020 the author of PLC4X left his main job and devoted all his time to the development of PLC4X, with the intention of earning money by providing consulting services and improving functionality on request.
But in part due to the recession amid the COVID-19 pandemic, not everything went as expected, and to stay afloat and avoid bankruptcy, it was necessary to disrupt with grants and one-off gigs.
As a result, Christopher got tired of wasting time, not getting the right return and realize the approach of emotional exhaustion, and decided to stop providing free support to PLC4X users and will now provide advice, training and support on a fee basis only.
Also, from now on, will develop for free only what is required for your work or is of interest to conduct experiments and work on features or fixes necessary for users will be performed only for a fee. For example, it will no longer develop drivers for new programming languages and create modules for integration for free.
To implement new opportunities that are important to users, a model similar to crowdfunding has been proposed, according to which ideas to expand the capabilities of Apache PLC4X will be implemented only after a certain amount of development funding has been raised. For example, Christopher is ready to implement ideas for using PLC4X controllers in Rust, TypeScript, Python or C#/.NET programs after raising €20K.
If the proposed scheme does not allow obtaining at least some financial support for development, Christopher decided to close his business and stop supporting the project on his part.
Finally, if you are interested in being able to know more about it, you can consult the details in the following link