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A few strategy suggestions for the project


It is my fear that the KiCad project has or will soon hit a ceiling with regard to
graceful growth.  I fear that without additional corporate funding and full time
coordination of incoming patches, that this ceiling will become very visible in the near

For the last year, I have been a proponent of building in the kinds of features which
would appeal to corporate/institutional users.  The reason is that corporate users have
access to funding, in one form or another.  Hobbyists cannot propel this project beyond
the near term project structural ceiling that I am forewarning about.

This will be a fairly difficult growth spasm to overcome for the project.  Just
contributing more patches will only overwhelm a part time organizer/sifter of such patches.

Linus Torvalds does not work on Linux using his own money, even though he originally did. 
There are certain milestones to be expected as a project grows beyond a single person. 
Not all projects are destined to succeed with passage beyond each milestone.

In each of your little contributions of ideas, strategy, and heave forbid, genuinely
tangible contributions, please remember what I am saying.  The hobbyist who says his
screen is not big enough may not be as important as the corporate user, such as CERN, who
says they will use it if and when it does XYZ.

This month, for the first time, one developer received several thousand dollars in funding
for specific features which were agreed to and requested by a "corporate like" funder. 
This is a step in the right direction.  But let me emphasize that it came about because we
listened closely to the corporate user.

Related to this, without intent to make matters worse, SoftPLC Corporation has decided
today that it will no longer fund the fixing of bugs, nor offer any more free support.  I
can be hired to fix bugs and offer support, but won't do it for free anymore.

To the extent possible, SoftPLC Corporation *will continue* to fund only development of
*new* code.  This means no bug fixing, nor support.  Since I am often the guy who answers
an initial knock on the door on this mailing list, I think somebody better plan on
stepping up and filling that role immediately.

I hope that KiCad can smash through the structural ceiling that I forewarn about, but this
is definitely not a certainty.

Best regards,


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