The Association, which has never raised a dime, might nevertheless be able to manage to support something in the user's interests, but my own opinion is that the Association, if it is going to do something serious, is better advised to work *with* Altium than to advance in what might be or might be perceived to be a hostile fashion.
If we want an SP7, we could organize and show sufficient interest -- and cash commitment -- that a real SP7 could be produced, not just a cramped version dependent upon the limitations of what can be done with the SDK.
Fixing the remaining bugs in 99SE could involve some serious programming. Who is going to do it for free? If there is someone, great.
It's important to keep in mind the Protel support model. Protel's policy was (1) free service packs and (2) "upgrades" for a price. It goes with this policy that service packs are only issued for a limited time. After that, the Protel model asks you to upgrade. That's where they get their funding for continued work. Issuing service packs for the superceded version essentially robs labor from the current one. So if they were to do it, they should be compensated in some way.
(Note that Altium has generally issued one more service pack for a superceded version after the new version is available.)
With the current model, not only is Altium not compensated if they issue a service pack for an older version, but by extending the life of the older version, they are to some extent reducing their income from the new version, or at least postponing that income, which can amount to much the same thing.
When Altium tried to go to a maintenance fee arrangement, we screamed loudly enough that they backed down. If there were a maintenance fee, we would have a much better chance of getting service packs.... How much would we be willing to pay for continued work on 99SE? My guess is that if we paid enough to make the programming effort worthwhile and satisfy the other issues, we might as well pay little more and get DXP.... But if someone is interesting in getting together an Association effort in the direction of SP7, voting membership in the Association is open to all Protel licensees.
(The Association functions through [EMAIL PROTECTED], you can join by sending a piece of mail to [EMAIL PROTECTED])
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