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1  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Circle dock doesn't find disk D: on: August 19, 2010, 06:17:28 PM
Ah...explains much.

There is a bug in this version that prevents it from doing exactly what you are looking to have it do.
I will see if I can talk Markham into fixing this as a part of the limited stability fixes he has agreed to do.
No guarantees though  embarassed

Thanks, it would be great...
Before I installed this version I had installed the last one available on that time but once tested I sadly discovered it didn't had as many parameters for configuration as the old version...

You don't state which version you were using before. However, if you were using any version from Vers.1.0 on, it has considerably more configurable options than the one you're currently using!



Mark
2  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Goodbye all, I'm out of here effective immediately on: August 19, 2010, 06:10:36 PM
I'm going to ask the blunt question; If I can't download the current Markham version at the wikidot site or on DonationCoder, and the sourceforge site only contains the Eric Wong versions, where can I download the current Markham version?

Firstly, the version on C/NET was not uploaded by me nor was its upload authorised by me. Apart from a short period of time when we mirrored downloads on MediaFire's servers, the only recognised download site was DonationCoder.

You will shortly be able to download the very latest version under a different branding. We are currently putting together a completely new web site devoted to the new product and a reciprocal  link to it will be placed on the Circle Dock Home Page.



Mark
3  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Goodbye all, I'm out of here effective immediately on: August 13, 2010, 05:47:27 AM
Markham, it sounds like you've found a way forward and I'm very happy to hear that. I have never been a CD user, and may never be, but I found you and Steve's enthusiasm for the project infectious and loved having you as a part of the DC community. I hope you will continue to be a part of it, regardless of what product(s) you may be working on. I wish you the best of success on everything.

Thank you!

By the way, who is Steve? cheesy I think you mean the Sarge ("sgtevmckay") but his name is not Steve! smiley



Mark
4  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Goodbye all, I'm out of here effective immediately on: August 13, 2010, 05:38:35 AM
Quote
There is, however, a caveat: Eric Wong's source archive (and binaries) does contain proprietary (non-GPL) units (DLLs) for which source code is not (and can not) be provided.

Ironically then Eric's code was in GPL violation as well. That technically means even his binaries can't be distributed. Ah the joys of the GPL smiley Mark, removing the remaining GPL parts is a great idea, good luck.

Actually, I don't believe that is the case. Much would depend on the wording of the particular non-GPL licences - many will permit their binaries to be distributed in both commercial and non-commercial works. But he certainly would be prevented from distributing their source code. When I took the project over, I wasn't at all happy about the inclusion of those binaries - for which no contact info or licences were provided - and took steps to remove them. That meant rewriting a vast amount of code and something I won't have the time to do again.

However the GPL purists here may insist that full source code be provided, since technically the license does provide for that. If they do, we will have no option but to close the whole GPL project, since we would be unable to comply. It could, however, be re-licenced under the MS-PL which does not require full source code to be distributed (and is the licence Eric Wong should have used IMO), but that may not appeal to App103 or Gothic.

Let's see how they react.




Mark
5  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Goodbye all, I'm out of here effective immediately on: August 13, 2010, 01:59:39 AM
Adobe Photoshop is non-free software, however anyone - anywhere - will distribute free copies of it to the general public. So is it pointless to say "it is commercial software"?

Interesting you should mention Adobe. It is a founder member of FAST - the Federation Against Software Theft - which has had some notable successes in prosecuting individuals and organisations found to be distributing software illegally.



Mark
6  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Goodbye all, I'm out of here effective immediately on: August 13, 2010, 01:49:24 AM
Well, I must have misread something then, but the latest thing I've read was "well, it's about 10% anyway, so what?". Sorry if I misunderstood.

If that's how you perceived my words, then it is I who should apologise for the lack of clarity in my post. The version that was available until 2 days ago contains around 10% original GPL code and I'm in the process of rewriting that part so that there will be no GPL code whatsoever in any future versions I release.


--------------------------------


The last week or so have been trying for all of us and particularly so for those of us closest to the problem. Whether we agree on issues or not, I want to thank you all for your input, advice and for posting your concerns. If there have been any shortcomings on my part, then I apologise for those. If I appear to have lost my temper with some of you, then I'm sorry; I didn't mean to.

Many of you have offered good advice and I am very grateful for that.

I especially want to thank "lotusrootsearch" whose incredible generosity means Circle Dock's future in both GPL and non-GPL (advanced) versions is assured. The GPL version, with full source code, will continue to be both hosted and supported here. There is, however, a caveat: Eric Wong's source archive (and binaries) does contain proprietary (non-GPL) units (DLLs) for which source code is not (and can not) be provided.

After an almost four-hour IM session with the Sarge last night (my time), I have agreed to remove some of the bugs in Eric Wong's preview release (v0.9.2 Alpha 8.2) to make it a stable release and this, with the source code, will be available via this Forum (and Circle Dock's home page at wikidot) as soon as I have time. We do not have access to the Circle Dock Project page on SourceForge so are unable to update there. We will also re-release Eric Wong's last stable release (v0.9.1) in both binary and source forms. I hope you will understand that my main thrust will be geared to the semi-commercial (100% non-GPL code) version which will be hosted elsewhere, therefore the time available for the GPL version will be somewhat restricted: but I will do my best.

Some time over the next few days, I will post a technical note with an overview of the inner workings of the GPL'd version for the benefit of all who download and want to play around with the source code.

I hope you all find this compromise both acceptable and appealing.



Mark
7  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Goodbye all, I'm out of here effective immediately on: August 12, 2010, 02:18:21 PM
It's about having some integrity, which Markham seems to have decided to compromise for the sake of money. The support from this community isn't good enough for him. The money donated by members that don't even use CD isn't good enough for him. He really doesn't appreciate the donations of anyone that gave him money to support the project but never used it, and as someone that has supported many projects for things I do not use, I find that kind of insulting.

You may think what you wish but do not expect me to allow you to write such contentious nonsense in this Forum without some form of strongly-worded response.

How dare you accuse me of (effectively) abandoning my integrity for the sake of money. Who the hell do you think you are to make such baseless accusations? You seem to have selective memory: I have publicly thanked all those who so generously donated to me personally, not once, not twice, but several times. Just so you're aware, your donation - if I were to receive it - would pay for one-fifth of one day's Internet connection charges - that's right, I have to pay the equivalent of $150 per month for a stable connection here. I have not made one penny from Circle Dock - rather it has cost me a considerable sum of money to date.

Since January, there have been literally hundreds of thousands of Circle Dock downloads. Strangely enough, not one of the more than three-quarters of a million downloaders have contacted either the Sarge or I regarding the source code. You say you downloaded Circle Dock in May but only this week have you made any mention of the fact. I would suggest to you that you didn't give its absence a second thought until you read of the new license provisions this week and you're now doing so to stir-up trouble and make me - and the Sarge - to be the bad guys here. It won't work.



Mark
8  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Goodbye all, I'm out of here effective immediately on: August 12, 2010, 06:48:59 AM
I apologize to Sarge I meant no harm and thanks for the clarification Mark. I'm more than happy to offer you dedicated server space, 100Mbps link, 2 Terabytes per month traffic free with no strings attached. I'm not after your source code keep it to yourself just upload the end-user files. This should give you guys time to figure out the licensing without hurting user adoption. PM me.
I am flabbergasted and truly grateful for your most generous offer. I will contact you by PM. Thank you so very much!



Mark
9  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Goodbye all, I'm out of here effective immediately on: August 12, 2010, 06:16:36 AM
I hadn't intended to post here ever again, but I do feel obliged to comment on some of the replies.

Mouser says
Quote
i blame myself for not spotting early on when markham just started submitting improved versions of CD that to comply with eric's CircleDock GPL license, the source code for the new versions should have been posted all along the way.
First of all, I want to clear-up some misunderstandings here:
  • Eric Wong issued his last update, version 0.9.2 Alpha 8.2, at the end of September 2008. The last time he posted here, his SourceForge Project page and the Circle Dock wikidot site was around the 2nd week of October 2008 since when he has not returned to either place.
  • Over the course of the next year, the Sarge has made continuous attempts to contact him to no avail.
  • From investigations that the Sarge and I have conducted, we have learned that Eric Wong was attending a Canadian University and was suddenly recalled back to China at that time. It would appear that he was denied an Exit Permit to leave China and resume his studies in Canada; also, his internet access appears to be severely restricted: he has only accessed his YouTube page and that was within the last 6 months.
  • You should have been aware, because it was posted here, that, towards the end of last year, we had discovered that certain unscrupulous individuals had taken the source code published by Eric Wong as GPL and had simply recompiled it and were selling it as if it were their own creations. In view of this, the Sarge and I took the hard decision to restrict the availability of the source code.
  • Only one person has formally requested up to date source code, namely "DrWicked", and it was provided to him towards the end of January - and that was the source code to 1.0 which we released earlier that month.
  • In removing the files from his server, Mouser has inconvenienced not only new users but also all the current ones who've downloaded and installed since version 1,0 was released. A good number of the files removed were the "live help" system which is directly accessed by Circle Dock's help program. Comments like   "it's not such a horrible thing if the downloads are down for a week" are both untrue and weasel-words, in my opinion.
My second point is that the Sarge and I have taken every precaution to preserve Eric Wong's Intellectual Property Rights. Since taking over the project, I have had to rewrite very large parts of his original code, firstly to eliminate the huge number of bugs and inconsistencies and secondly in order to be able to add new features in a structured and orderly manner. Version 1.0 contained less than 50% of Eric Wong's original code and this has since dropped to less than 10%.

Mouser goes on to say
Quote
by the time the issue came to a head, i think markham had done so much coding and invested so much time and made so many plans that it was just out of control.
What he omits to tell you is that it is he who forced the Sarge and myself to plan for Circle Dock's future. Whilst I was in the UK during the month of June, Mouser PMed me and told me to make alternative arrangements for the future hosting of the Circle Dock downloads which at the time, were being hosted on the Members' server. He had previously offered me the space to do precisely that and, with the benefit of hindsight, I foolishly accepted not knowing that he would serve an eviction notice when Circle Dock became popular. Which it did.

It is Mouser who forced us to consider "commercialising" the program to the extent that our costs would be covered. Both the Sarge and I are retired and live largely on fixed incomes. Neither of us can afford the hosting costs and certainly not for the huge bandwidth Circle Dock has been taking - measured in Terabytes per month. Coincidentally, we were both working on integrating Circle Dock with the Dexpot "Virtual Desktop Manager" at the time and we looked at their licencing arrangements. That allows individual users to use Dexpot on their own PCs providing such PCs are not used for revenue generation but charges for commercial use of the program. The Sarge and I both agreed that this was a good model since it would generate sufficient income to pay for our development and hosting costs whilst at the same time continuing to supply the product free of charge to individual users.

I posted a message to warn everyone that the licencing model would be changing with the release of Version 2 and gave an outline of the new provisions. One user, whose native language is not English, misinterpreted the post and wrote in those terms - this sparked a rash of posts, mostly from non-users but which were, in the main, supportive of the changes, once the background and rationale had been explained. However, it seems that Mouser read the thread and took it upon himself to immediately cease Circle Dock's availability and in so doing, caused the removal of every other file I had stored on the DCMember's server.

Some believe that my decision to remove myself was made in haste:
Quote
One lesson I've (hopefully) learned: when in an upset state, don't make big decisions, and don't post stuff publicly. Take a few big steps bag and breathe deeply.
It wasn't. I thought long and hard all Wednesday before coming to what I believe is the only decision I could take, given the circumstances.

Whilst I do agree with "lotusrootstarch"'s first two paragraphs, I take issue with him regarding the Sarge's involvement and spokesmanship. The Sarge is a member of "Team Circle Dock" and as well as being the designer of numerous graphic images is the marketing and public voice of the team.

--------------------------------------

As for the future, Team Circle Dock will take the program forward, as a fully non-GPL semi-commercial product, and likely to be under Microsoft's BizNet umbrella. This Forum will continue to support Eric's GPL'd version and I have already modified the download links to point to the SourceForge project where his last released version resides. The Sarge is already hard at work rolling-back the Circle Dock wikidot page to as it was when Eric Wong had sole ownership. All threads and discussions relating to versions issued by me are likely to be removed since they will not apply to the issued version and would be confusing for any user of the program.

To anyone who is considering continuing Eric Wong's legacy as a GPL'd program, I wish you the best of luck. There are many issues you'll need to resolve to get the program in a stable state to run under Windows Vista and Windows 7 - not least of these will be the mouse handler which caused me many sleepless nights. Most important, you will have to consider if it is truly worth the effort since there are no tangible rewards; the code is almost devoid of comments and very buggy. The code you'd be working with is, after all, an "alpha" release and not really intended for distribution in its current state. If you accept the challenge, good luck to you.




Mark
10  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled) on: August 11, 2010, 11:20:03 AM
The sad thing about this whole mess is that CD took a lot of time and effort to get it from the original source version- so much so that not much was left of it.  But from the closing of the threads, I don't take that as a good sign that it will continue...  Sad

See here.
11  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Goodbye all, I'm out of here effective immediately on: August 11, 2010, 11:08:56 AM
Sometime on Tuesday night, my time, mouser had a telephone conversation with his server administrator regarding the availability of Circle Dock's executable files hosted by DonationCoder and he instructed his administrator to remove those files. At the same time, he amened my pinned message informing people of the latest version and providing the download links to read "All downloads suspended until further notice". However, his server administrator obviously couldn't be bothered to check which of the various files stored on the dcmembers site were publicly available or were related to the current release of Circle Dock and which files were not. He simply scrubbed my entire space clean, removing ALL files in the process.

Not only did he remove the current (1.5.6) 32-bit and 64-bit executables, he also removed the only backup copy of the source code, some private files pertinent only to "Team Circle Dock", but also two programs that I had recently written and made freely available - "CleanDesktop" and "WallpaperChanger". He also deleted the "live help" section which contains the very latest help and is automatically loaded by a constituent of Circle Dock. These, like almost all the files deleted, were my original work and my sole copyright.

Needless to say I was only informed AFTER THE EVENT. It is fortunate that both gentlemen concerned are not UK-based for if they were, I would be filing a complaint with the Police under the Computer Misuse Act, 1998.

To add insult to injury, he concludes his message to me with the following words "it's not such a horrible thing if the downloads are down for a week."

There is no excuse for way mouser or his server administrator have behaved. Had they requested me to remove those files, I would have done so immediately. Instead they have acted in a rude and overbearing manner and, I believe, it was a thinly veiled attempt to get me to continue hemorrhaging financially by simply making all future versions open source - but so long as they're not hosted by DonationCoder (they wanted the downloads off their servers, remember) - in his words "if you do decide to release the source code for all of your additions and modifications to circle dock, it would be a joyous cause for celebration and would be a happy outcome for dc users." Yes, at my expense.

I've resigned as a moderator of this site as I wish to have no further part in an operation that encourages you one minute and then pulls the rug from beneath you. I can not and will not remain a member of a site such as this which arbitrarily and without warning deletes many months of work. I've also asked/told mouser to return all $192.79 which has been donated to me since September of last year to those who so kindly donated. If you are one of those, please don't think I'm ungrateful but I don't think it is at all appropriate for me to receive those credits under the circumstances. And please, do make sure he returns the money to you - as far as I am concerned neither he nor this site should benefit from unrepaid donations.

There are some good people on this site and many of them have made themselves known in this corner of DonationCoder only quite recently and I wish to thank all of you for your input into recent threads regarding the GPL and the future of the Circle Dock program. Thank you one and all and goodbye.




Mark
12  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Can I speed up CD's Folder switching/Redraw (CD Quick Tip) on: August 09, 2010, 10:37:49 AM
Doesn't CD cache the images it uses?
No it doesn't although this is something the original author planned on doing. However caching the images would be quite expensive in terms of memory which goes against what I believe the program is and should do. Circle Dock is a utility and should be lean and mean in terms of memory footprint and resources. I am definitely not in favour of "bloatware"!

This test was done in a 32bit environment, so I expect a massive improvement in a 64bit environment
A 32-bit version running on a 64-bit platform has to run in an emulator and so will be slightly slower than a 64-bit version of the software. Given two identical machines, one a 32-bit platform and the other 64-bit each running a platform-specific version, there should be no discernible difference in execution time between them.




Mark
13  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Return of Funds donated to the Touchscreen project. on: August 07, 2010, 01:14:09 AM
Touchscreen project? There was a touchscreen project?!!  cheesy

Circle Dock works perfectly on touchscreens. However, the Sarge is referring to the possibility of adding gesturing support similar to trackpads found on more recent laptops and netbooks.

There are two different touchscreen technologies: the first is "resistive-effect" which has been around for almost 30 years and is the type most commonly used in ATM machines. Whilst robust, it's not terribly accurate. A much more recent technology is "capacitive-effect" is far more pixel-accurate and this is used for screens found on Smartphones, iPads and similar devices.

The touchscreen referred to uses the older resistive-effect technology and emulates mouse movements and actions involving the left mouse button. A gesture on such a device would be received as a left mouse button down, a movement and then left mouse button up. Circle Dock would need to build a memory map of all cursor movements, from the moment the mouse's left button was pressed down until it was released, and then trace all the coordinates in order to interpret the gesture. The amount of code required to do that - and the overhead in time and resources - would have been substantial and for little gain since very few people would use CD in that way.




Mark

14  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Suggesting names for new derivitative of CircleDock on: August 06, 2010, 11:50:58 AM
Circle Dock's new name might be in Welsh: "Cylch Penfro" (Circle Dock), "Ddoc Cylch" (Dock of Circles) and "Cylch Doc" (Circle Dock) are all Welsh for "Circle Dock". Welsh, however, is a mutating language, hence the different forms which depend on how the name is used. The first form would be used as a 'standalone' name, the other forms would be used when the name appears in a sentence. That could be awfully confusing for users, so maybe not!

Hey, I already know what the first FAQ item will be: How do you pronounce ...  cheesy

"Silk Penfrow", "Dock Silk" and "Silk Dock"! Next?  cheesy


Mark
15  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled) on: August 06, 2010, 02:13:27 AM
Icon Orbit

Orbit Dock

OrbiDock

Orbit Dock was a fore-runner to Circle Dock and inspired Eric Wong to design his program. In fact, his (C# coded) releases all included DLLs (compiled libraries) taken straight from Orbit Dock. My v1 Release was the first Circle Dock release that doesn't include any of that code.

Circle Dock does use one or two third-party libraries but we have assiduously checked their licenses to see if there're any restrictions about their usage in commercial or non-commercial software. There are no such restrictions.

Circle Dock's new name might be in Welsh: "Cylch Penfro" (Circle Dock), "Ddoc Cylch" (Dock of Circles) and "Cylch Doc" (Circle Dock) are all Welsh for "Circle Dock". Welsh, however, is a mutating language, hence the different forms which depend on how the name is used. The first form would be used as a 'standalone' name, the other forms would be used when the name appears in a sentence. That could be awfully confusing for users, so maybe not!



Mark
16  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled) on: August 06, 2010, 01:41:03 AM
Actaully the GPL model is so restrictive and, in many ways, unrealistic that unless you have a large programmer team and a larger support and testing team, that Using this license and intending to charge for services is pointless!

This is exactly why I use the GPL license. If I'm going to code something and give it away free than I want to prevent someonme else from taking my free code, extending it, and selling the end result (profiting from labor without paying me for it). The GPL prevents this -- which is exactly what I want. If someone wants to use my code as the basis for their closed source for-profit product, they'll have to come to me and work out a different license acceptable to both of us and pay me what I want for the right to use my code in their product under that license. Meanwhile, people who want to use the code in their own GPL product are free to do so without having to get permission from me.

In other words the GPL does exactly what I want it to do. It lets me release the code for my free product so that others can use it in their open source products while making it hard for someone else to use my code in their closed source commercial extension of my product without paying me whatever price I set for the use of my code in their extended version.
GPL type and derivative licenses offer no real protection to the author unless the author is prepared and can afford to enforce it. Let me illustrate that with a hypothetical example. Suppose I take the source to one of your programs, tinker with it slightly, possibly change its name and then start to sell it on a UK-hosted site. As I live in the UK and therefore outside the jurisdiction of an American Court of Law, your only option is to sue me in an English High Court. For that you'd need two quite separate types of lawyer: a Solicitor who'd prepare all the groundwork and at least one Barrister who'd present your case in Court. High Court cases are notoriously expensive to mount and those involving IPR particularly so. Your upfront legal fees would not be less than $25,000 and, should it go to trial, you can bank on at least a further $10,000 per day. My legal fees, by comparison, would be far more modest since I'd simply let you take me to trial - so maybe $100-250. Assuming you were to win - by no means a certainty - it would be a Pyrrhic victory as I could argue - with a better than 50% chance of success - that your losses are zero, since by releasing your stuff as GPL, you're not expecting any financial return. Would you spend around $40,000-50,000 just to prove a point? Now that was an easy example, it would be far more difficult (and expensive) to mount a similar case in (say) China, the Ukraine or Iran.



Mark
17  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled) on: August 05, 2010, 05:01:55 AM
Offering software for free has its advantages too. My main motivation for doing it is that it comes with no obligations. If someone finds a bug, or wants a feature, I could address it whenever time admits, or even ignore it altogether. Or abandon the project whenever I lost interest.

I understand that the same applies to commercial software. After all, you pay for what you get at the time you buy it. Nevertheless, I think I would feel obliged to support the software.

Obviously, the situation changes if you're spending more money on a project than what you think it gives you in return. And I'm not only talking about donations, but also about doing something you have fun doing, doing something which you can learn from, the regular pat on the shoulder, nice word from your fellow forum friends.

So I definitely support your decision to get rid of the initial Circle Dock code and release it under a different name, although, admittedly, I'm not a Circle Dock user embarassed
Having been a technical journalist in a previous life and actively involved in the "industry" since the early CP/M days, I know just how frustrating it is when you report a problem you've found to the software's authors and not get some sort of positive response. And, it's true to say, I'm a bit of a perfectionist: I don't like using software that's buggy and I don't expect my users to either.

I admit to being secretly proud of the fact that my efforts and those of the Sarge - who has done far more behind the scenes to promote Circle Dock that you might imagine - have resulted in a very popular piece of software. Perhaps we did our jobs far too well and we're now reaping the costs of success without any of the benefits.

I estimate that around 382,000 people have downloaded Circle Dock since the beginning of the year; if each had donated the cost of a Big Mac Meal (currently a shade under GBP 5.00 / $7.95), not only would all our past and present costs be repaid, but also those for at least a year ahead and we'd still be able to donate a sizable sum to charity - enough to cover the annual running costs of around 10 Lifeboats in the UK or be a substantial down-payment on a new one. As I've said before, neither the Sarge nor I are looking to get rich, simply cover our costs and expenses.




Mark

18  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled) on: August 04, 2010, 11:25:12 PM
I've just been through this thread again and I am quite heartened by the fact that more DC members appear to support the theory that software should be paid for in some way and by some means. Cranioscopical, I don't know who you are, but I do know you are a highly respected member and I hope you don't mind me revealing the fact that you have supported Circle Dock with more donations and kind words than anyone else. Thank you, sir!

What none of you perhaps realise - although mouser, the Sarge and I know only too well - is that since I released version 1 in January, downloads of Circle Dock have soared beyond our wildest dreams. Just prior to the release, mouser provided me with space on the sister dcmembers.com to host the downloads. In our naivety we thought that we'd only be supplying product to a couple of dozen or so users per day judging from hits to the wikidot site and here. The size of that release was around 15MB but the download volumes quickly rose from a few megabytes per day to several Gigabytes per day. Circle Dock's Google Ranking went from nothing to #5 almost overnight; I'm told it has recently gone up to #4.

We are averaging just over 1 Terabyte of downloads per month and here are the figures to date:

February: 1,047.16 GB
March: 1239.35 GB
April: 998.50 GB **
May: 1358.43 GB
June: 1058.25 GB
July: 1007.0 GB
August (1st-4th): 140.31 GB - projected: 1087.40 GB

** April's volume is slightly reduced as we redirected the download link posted here and on the wikidot site to another ISP as we wanted to establish if the statistics obtained from dcmembers was accurate. When the volumes from that secondary site are added to that for dcmembers, there's a close correlation with other months - ie: downloads well in excess of 1 Terabyte/month.

Over the last few weeks, mouser, the Sarge and I have been in discussions as to the future of Circle Dock's distribution. It is quite clear - and accepted by the Sarge and myself - that the bandwidth Circle Dock requires of the dcmembers server is not sustainable and poses a real threat to that server's reliability. However there are now more than one hundred direct links to the downloads posted on sites around the world so removing all traces of Circle Dock from dcmembers is not an option. In an attempt to alleviate the situation, I have split the installation into a number of "modules" and all except the core installer will be hosted elsewhere. The core installer simply contains the executable and a rather complex install script which downloads the required modules according to the type of installation being performed (ie: new user or update) and the user options selected. It is similar in nature to a "web installer".

I have investigated an number of alternative sites where we could host Circle Dock's downloads including SourceForge (where Eric Wong did open a Circle Dock Project), Mediafire, and CNet. They all have serious disadvantages and none is really geared up for multi-part distribution - which given the size of Circle Dock v2, is the only way forward. Therefore a dedicated site seems inevitable.

But here's the rub: who is to pay for that? Are you seriously suggesting that I should pay for hosting when I'm not receiving one brass penny in revenue? Well, it should come as no big surprise to you that I'm not about to do that. Isn't it enough that I devote my time, knowledge and resources to maintaining this product and incorporate new features requested by users, that I have already commissioned and paid for a new web site to be designed? I may have been born on a Sunday but it wasn't last Sunday!

To those of you who feel that they are automatically entitled to up to date source code, I will say this. Go to SourceForge and spend some time - as I have very recently - and take a look at the Projects there which are supposed to have GPL (or similar) licenses. Most of the projects are abandoned or haven't been worked-on for more than 6 months and of those that aren't, very few have source code available for download. I would suggest that it is because you and those who think and act like you aren't prepared to support such projects financially that the authors either give-up on good, worthwhile projects, or simply refuse to make their work publicly available free-of-charge.

It is highly doubtful that changing the licensing mechanism would have adversely affected the majority of users and almost certainly no one who reads these words. My IPR lawyer believes the GPL License to be unenforceable under English Law from both the Licensor's and Licensee's viewpoints and it certainly does not protect the author's intellectual property rights.

For my part, I will be removing all remaining GPL'd code from the program and will be relaunching it under a different name and Logo later this year. It will, alas, no longer be free beyond a free trial period but will be priced attractively and competitively and I will extend a free lifetime licence to all those who have donated to either myself or to the Sarge up to this point in time. If, however, you insist on a free, GPL'd version, you are welcome to download the source to Eric Wong's last public release and spend the next few months removing all the bugs - or simply use it as-is. A word of warning though: if you intend to distribute any copies of Circle Dock, you will have to compile using the paid-for version of Visual Studio as per Microsoft's licence. I will continue to answer questions posted on this Forum regarding Circle Dock's usage but there will be no further development of that program.




Mark

19  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled) on: August 04, 2010, 02:36:17 PM
I really feel for the software developers who try to offer good freeware.  Especially since joining this forum and getting to know developers, I really value the work you guys (and gals!) do.  I have no problem happily paying for good software.  I've never understood how freeware authors can sustain the development of their programs without charging for it.  I'm not a programmer, but I know that it's too much work to not get paid for it.  i don't understand that at all.

I wish mouser would take my money for his software that I use every single day.  I wish some of you guys would charge $20 or so for your stuff.  It just doesn't make any sense to me any other way.  People in this world are getting paid a lot of money for doing a lot less.

I have a hard time understanding how the freeware model can sustain itself.  I can't justify working that hard, putting out a quality product, giving up hours of your life that you can be getting paid for doing other work...and in the end just get by on donations.  If people can get it for free, they will.  There's no way around that.  You have to force them to pay, even if they are like me and they will pay graciously.

I understand that you want to be charitable and offer free stuff for everyone out there, out of the goodness of your hearts.  But it frustrates me because I don't want the situation being described here to happen.  I don't want the developers to feel like they are not being appreciated or feel frustrated.  I want you guys getting money for this work, it's good work.  You need to get rewarded financially for this stuff.  There's so much crappy software out there that people are paying for, you can't do it for free.  I feel like those other developers are laughing at you.  They do shit and get paid, you guys work hard and produce awesome software, and you only get a few little donations.  Please make us pay you!

Anyway, I really feel for you all.  I love software.  I love these little tools that make my life so much easier.  I love it a lot.  The service you guys provide is something I always will appreciate.
Thank you!

I don't believe the freeware model can survive in the medium to long term. Things in life tend to go in cycles. First there was only commercial software, then came along "shareware" and "try before you buy", then "freeware" and finally "postcardware" and "donationware". Releasing your stuff as freeware is all very well if the program is small and easy to maintain. Circle Dock's source code is now running into hundreds of thousands of lines split between 30 or so modules. It is neither small nor, given its shere size, that easy to maintain. But it's far easier for me to maintain that code now than when I first became involved with it almost a year ago.

I know many people are sick of paying high prices for software that doesn't work as documented - and even sicker when they find out that they have to pay an upgrade charge for the next version that fixes some of the bugs - but inevitably introduces new ones. And I do have a particular software company in mind! However many of those same people seem to expect that authors who do not charge for their software to be held accountable to the same degree as commercial developers. There have been several occasions where a user has reported a bug, I fix it and reply that the fix will be included in the next release and for them to almost demand to know when that release will be made - as if I must make releases available as soon as each bug is fixed or each new feature added!

The Register, an online computer industry daily newspaper, has coined a term for such users; I will leave it to your research to discover what that term is, if you don't already know.

My advice to any author is think very carefully before releasing any software with a GPL (or similar) license. If in doubt, don't!



Mark
20  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled) on: August 04, 2010, 01:44:01 PM
Take a step back and take some time off and give yourself time to process everything.

You have a world of possibilities that you could consider AFTER you get some perspective and distance:
  • You could decide to just stop all involvement in circledock and related projects, for the sake of your sanity.
  • You could decide to embrace open source, release all your source code, and do improvements on your own time scale and when you feel like it
  • You could decide that it's worth spending a few weeks rewriting the core code from scratch, cleaning up the code in the process, and re-launch a similar commercial product with a new name and new license and without any of the original code.
  • etc.

Look, we are all learning how to survive and make our way in this world.  Think of this as a learning experience.  If all your learning experiences are this cheap in terms of blood, stress, and treasure, you should consider yourself a lucky man.

I'm taking the first option and reserve the right to take the third as, in fact, there'd not be much to do to remove all GPL'd code from what I'm currently working with. However, there are other considerations to take into account - I've already PM'd about them.



Mark
21  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled) on: August 04, 2010, 01:40:38 PM
I think your license was more than fair, especially considering some of the other docks out there.  I use a few, and many of them are licensed per year to give you an example of what some others do.  The only change that I see that you could have made is to offer license to those that did donate- therefore anyone who was whinging after that would be people who utilized the software for free and didn't donate.
I agree with you regarding Circle Dock's competitors and I also agree that those who donate should be offered a free license for the commercial version and I would have taken-up your suggestion. However, as the freeware version allows running as many copies as the user desires on up to two PCs that he owns and for personal (not business) use, giving a single-user license would have been more restrictive.



Mark
22  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled) on: August 04, 2010, 12:25:39 PM
You're right, mouser, as you often are. I have put a lot of effort into getting this program where it is today and, believe it or not, there's very little of Eric Wong's original code in what would have been Version 2.

Whilst the point is now moot, I did consult with a Patents, Trademarks and Licensing lawyer in the UK regarding Circle Dock's license and whether or not it can be issued with a new, more restrictive license. I would not have gone ahead with that proposal had I not received that lawyer's advice. Since there have been objections raised, I have now decided that I will not continue with this project at all: fortunately I held-off signing a hosting contract for Circle Dock's new web site which although fully-designed, is now also cancelled.

We hid the download to Eric Wong's latest source code for one very good reason: there were unscrupulous persons (mainly in China) who were compiling it, claiming it to be their own "invention" and charging users - the cheapest I saw was $50 per copy. That source code will be unhidden on the wikidot site and available to all as will his last binary release (v0.9 Alpha 2).

As for my binary release, I will let that remain available for download until the end of this month whereupon it will be removed from the dcmembers server.

Let's just see if any of those who object to paying for software take up the challenge to improve on Eric's code knowing that they won't receive one brass penny for their efforts!



Mark
23  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Change of Licensing from Version 2 (Cancelled) on: August 04, 2010, 11:30:30 AM
Let's be very clear about something. The cold, hard facts are that almost no Circle Dock user has shown their appreciation by making a donation to help defray the development costs. In the eleven months that I've been working on this project, a total of $167.37 has been donated to me personally. Of that sum, the biggest portion didn't come from individual donors/users but from this site! Only one Circle Dock user has made a donation, the remainder came from non-users.

And yet the users demand that bugs are fixed quickly and new features implemented and, in 99% of cases, we have obliged, very often receiving no thanks for our efforts let alone a donation to help offset our costs.  There are real costs involved here: the development tools (Visual Studio) is not free**, our electricity is not free and nor is our broadband internet. We are very fortunate - and extremely thankful - to mouser and DonationCoder for hosting this forum and our downloads. Just top give you some idea, that $163 I've accumulated in 11 months - that's the equivalent of 5 week's internet connection charges for me.

I am not going to force this issue and it's pretty clear what we must do. We will re-enable the downloads for Eric's last GPL version, both source and binary, and leave it at that.



Mark

** Eric Wong's releases were built using Visual Studio Express. I have been notified officially by Microsoft that software developed using the free Express editions may not be distributed publicly whether for profit or not. Hence all the versions I made were compiled using a paid-for copy of Visual Studio.
24  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Requests / Suggestions thread on: August 03, 2010, 02:26:47 AM
I've added a further mouse toggle option - "RButton held". If selected, holding the right mouse button down for around 3/4ths of a second will toggle the dock's visibility. If  this causes the dock to be shown and you continue holding the right mouse button down, move it to a dock item and then release the button, that dock item will be executed just as if you click the left mouse button whilst over it.

A similar option can not be applied to the left mouse button since that would interfere with global drag and drop operations. Similarly it can not be applied to the middle mouse button since that is used for scrolling.



Mark
25  DonationCoder.com Software / Circle Dock / Re: Mouse control on: August 03, 2010, 02:11:12 AM
This option has been renamed for Version 2 to "Display in last position without moving cursor".



Mark
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