Dear PlatformIO Community,
We know that you have been waiting for the official information what will be with PlatformIO since the first post… In the first part of public discussion we proposed a few options how to keep PlatformIO alive. Having a strong position that PlatformIO should be FREE and independent we have tried to find ways how to achieve it.
February 1, 2016, is the new starting point for the PlatformIO Project. In this day, we founded The PlatformIO Team and decided to spend all our working hours and free time on PlatformIO. Today, PlatformIO is a part of our life:
- we speak about it with our family and friends
- we dream about the success of PlatformIO because understand the importance of our work for the whole embedded world
- we rejoice at new records for our community, new articles, tweets, posts and warm words.
We have not done bombshells about it… We just decided to do up whole PlatformIO ecosystem:
- close all bugs related issues
- improve documentation
- resolve the problem with PlatformIO Package Repository (thanks a lot Bintray that helped us)
- finish experimental sub-project PlatformIO IDE.
- we have issued 5 releases of PlatformIO CLI: 2.8.2-2.8.6
- the first stable version of PlatformIO IDE
- we have more than 14k downloads of PlatformIO IDE today
- we increased our community in 200% (see comparison with previous 2 months, orange line)
- general picture for the last 6 months
That is the complicated question for us which we hear very often. We didn’t imagine PlatformIO as business project… The founder of PlatformIO (Ivan Kravets) has not had the aim to make money on PlatformIO or monetize some features of PlatformIO CLI. It was really 100% hobby project without any obligations with the main idea “to make a valuable contribution to embedded world”.
“I’ve never been in the pursuit of fame, I just followed by motto mentioned above: “If I see that something misses in the world and I can fix it, I should do it.”. I’ll try to explain in a nutshell how PlatformIO was born…”, From Web Developer to Embedded One: Interview with Ivan Kravets, The Guy Behind PlatformIO.
Today, we have a lot of other services/IDEs which allow programming embedded devices. Most of them are free but really good professional instruments are paid. Also, we understand that in some cases we really engage in predatory pricing. For example, other companies propose IDE for $$$ which support a few embedded boards, where we propose 100% FREE and open-source ecosystem with access to 200+ embedded boards, 15+ development platforms and integration with 10+ different IDEs.
The answer here is simple: someone tries to make business on it (and it is normal) where our priority is to invite people who are not familiar with hardware/electronics to be a part of awesome embedded world for free. Of course, we have a lot of professional embedded engineers who use PlatformIO, but core idea is that user should have a choice:
- of embedded board
- of IDE
- of an operation system
- even of frameworks, SDKs and etc.
We have a lot of discussions with the different vendors/corporations as for PlatformIO… As you remember, we said that will try to keep PlatformIO FREE and will ask top embedded players to help us. We are not going to describe here all details but will try to explain what do we have today:
- PlatformIO Project is not interested for vendor/corporation as “independent project”. From the business point, PlatformIO is conflicting project between multiple hardware/software players. Also, they appreciate our work but don’t understand why they should support us financially while we support their competitors for free too.
- We created donation page and received donations from our users. Thanks a lot for your contributions!!! But… we can’t keep alive our current PlatformIO Team(3 developers) for ~$400 for 2.5 months.
- We received a few very interesting propositions
to be part of ***. If we will
be a part of A, we can’t guarantee that:
- PlatformIO will be FREE
- we can support different hardware from multiple vendors on the same rights as products “from company A”
- we can support different software (IDEs, SDKs, RTOSs, Frameworks and etc.).
#1 is still in active phase. We are working on the finding better solutions for all sides. The
#2 doesn’t work . The
#3 has HIGH RISK for the whole PlatformIO ecosystem. We will not have any influence to further PlatformIO strategy, as the result, we will not hear our community…
Yes, yes… PlatformIO Club! How about to be a member of PlatformIO Fun Club?
- Private Slack Group - only invited people will have access to it
- Chat with The PlatformIO Team - save time and ask us how to better use PlatformIO
- Access to beta versions- we are working on the PlatformIO 3.0 (in the private cloud) and we would be great to share it with your before it will be released. It will allow you to test new features or request others
- Voting for the further issues/features - club’s members will decide via voting which features we should implement in the first priority
- Multiple private channels - let’s be PlatformIO Family. You will be able to discuss the different part of PlatformIO ecosystem within separate private channels. For example, if you are not interested in Continuous Integration, you will not receive any “disturb” messages.
- 1 to 1 chatting.
We have created a few plans (experiment, let’s edit it together):
- Community - FREE, all of us has it now
- Premium - PAID, we want to ask you about comfortable price $ per month? year?.
- Gold - PAID, it is specially created for vendors/corporation/integrators.
- Individual - “on demand”.
Let’s save PlatformIO really 100% free for all even for business and without any influence.
We are waiting for your feedback. Thanks in advance!
The PlatformIO Team.