> Well, look at the bright side of things. If Altium does not 
> survive, then we can replicate the existing P99SE as an open 
> source multi person project in relatively short order, and 
> then do our own SP7.

Right, like 'we' have the time to develop that for no money? I'm not
independently wealthy.

 
> Altium may go down, but I believe that the application and 
> the customers will in fact survive without them.

Sure, just like if they don't do SP7, we can still grind out boards
without too much hassle. (Well some of us can. Sorry to hear it crashes
so much for you)




> In fact, it would be a very easy thing for a few key players 
> out here to update the features of the existing Protel 99 SE 
> by rewriting or updating some existing servers, and adding 
> some new servers with the existing SDK, and if Altium were to 
> go down, I am sure that there would be a real market for that 
> kind of service, and I would be willing to bet that there are 
> more than a few people out there who could make up a fairly 
> good "technical support bureau" for a fee that would be a 
> only a fraction of the price of ATS.

Well without the source code, the  "few key players" would spend years
trying to design from scratch the 99SE application, and it too would
probably have bugs. They'd get frustrated because unless they are rich,
they would be doing this in they 'spare time' and if they have a life, I
don't think much of it would be able to be spent writing P99 from
scratch for free.



> But that's another story, I have faith that Altium will step 
> up to the plate and do the right thing.
> 
> > they have put themselves in a trick bag
> >
> > if they are still around in a year they certainly won't be patching 
> > 99SE or improving it at that time
> >
> > if they work on patching and improving 99SE now, they might 
> undermine 
> > and dissipate their efforts to get DXP in shape
> >
> 
> This may be true in some respects, but SP7 could probably be 
> handled by one competent programmer, and if some of the 
> speculation is true and all of the "old school" has been 
> replaced with a new crew, than maybe it is time to bring back 
> one of the "old school" to do the job.

I said something very similar to this in an email a moment ago. I don't
even think they need an 'old school' programmer. :)



> It certainly would not cost Altium anything in either time or 
> money to "commit" to doing both SP7 and DXP at this point in 
> time, and it certainly would quell the storm among the 
> restless natives who are sharpening their spears and dancing 
> around the bon fires as we speak.

True, but by "commit" do you mean 'promise' to do it 'in the near
future' or before the current ATS period is over?




> I don't think that many people out there realize just what 
> kind of a real legal bind Altium will really be in if they 
> don't deliver in a real and substantial way with ATS by 
> October 1st, which is only weeks away. I mean they will be 
> subjecting them selves to some breach of contract lawsuits by 
> some of their very large customers which have large legal 
> departments just sitting around waiting to jump at the chance 
> to do something.

None, if you are on ATS they give you DXP. That will legally satisfy a
court even if you say you can't use it because a lawyer will find 1
person that CAN use it and may you sound incompetent. Don't you just
love lawyers? 


 
> Can you imagine the field day that the trade press and stock 
> markets will have if Altuim does not make good.

In the current climate, it would be boring news and you know it. Nick
would have to jump out of a building to make it newsworthy. (And I'm not
suggesting it either)




> It is not DXP that is the problem, it is ATS, it is the 
> "support", or more specifically, the lack thereof, and if 
> Altium does not come thru on the "support" they may be in big trouble.
> 
> They have been hoping that everyone would accept an upgrade 
> to DXP in lieu of  that "support" which they have actually 
> not provided, but come October first it will be time for many 
> customers out there to write the next big check for ATS 
> "support", and can you imagine what will happen when they 
> find out there has been no "support", and DXP is still "smoke 
> and mirrors"?

I think DXP is more "smoke on the mirror". It needs to be throughly
cleaned. ;)




> As for whether or not continuing to maintain Protel 99 SE 
> would in fact cut into the "projected market share" of DXP, I 
> really don't think so.
> 
> DXP really is not an upgrade but a totally different product. 
> Those that are going to buy it have either already bought it 
> (via ATS), are going to buy it anyway, and those that are not 
> going to buy it are not going to buy it anyway, whether or 
> not Altium realizes it.
> 
> Some people are just not ready for this supposedly "new 
> technology", or "next generation" in EDA software.

I pretty much agree. You can see the roots that DXP has in 99SE, but
they are very different.





 
> Sure, there are a few in the middle that are sitting on the 
> fence, but I would maintain that they are few in number 
> compared to all those that they could maintain as loyal 
> customers if the did do the right thing with Protel 99 SE, 
> and then when those customers really were in fact ready to 
> step up to the "new technology" and the "next generation", 
> they would for the most part remain loyal and step up to DXP 
> at that time, by which then will possibly have evolved into a 
> very stable product.

Yes, one more SP for 99SE would basically make this entire group happy,
don't you agree?



> As it stands, they stand to loose customers by the droves.
> 
> > i don't see an easy out for either them or us, unless they 
> have more 
> > resources and integrity than appears to be the case
> 
> They truly do have to walk a very fine line here, and one 
> mis-step in any direction could indeed spell disaster for them.
> 
> I think that the key word here is "integrity", but I wonder 
> at times whether Altium really realizes that and just how 
> important it is to their survival.


Even though P99 basically sucked, you must say Protel had the integrity
to change it into 99SE and do a bunch of service packs without
collecting money for them. I TOTALLY AGREE that bugs should be fixed for
FREE, but it's much more difficult when developers fix bugs AND create
new features. Do you want to accept bugs and then get free features
updates when the bugs get fixed, or would you rather b*tch aobut the
bugs and have only the bugs fixed for free and have to pay for new
features? I think they took a pretty decent path over the years to make
us happy. They fixed tons of bugs that were in the package we paid for,
but they also gave us lots of new features that we never purchased.




> Respecting the resources part of the deal, I think it may be 
> time to get rid of some of the mid and upper level management 
> and financial "gurus" that got them into this predicament in 
> the first place, and you can bet that that would "free up" a 
> lot of "resources".
> 
> > in short, i fear that we are screwed
> >
> 
> Alas, you may be right.
> 
> > i sincerely hope that i am proven wrong about all of my 
> speculations 
> > above
> >
> 
> And a hearty me too!
> 
> JaMi
> 
> 
> **************************************************************
> **********
> * Tracking #: BCFC86DB7E08D549AD4F8F77D29B2669AB1C267B
> *
> **************************************************************
> **********
> 

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