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ApexDC++ 2.0 vision


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#1 Lee

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:22 AM

We have been in discussion for a few weeks now regarding the future of the ApexDC++ project, and we want to explain the outcome of these talks. The project has been a very important part of the staff's lives, learning new skills and understanding the needs of users. But we want to take it to the next stage, providing you with ApexDC++ 2.0, a brand new website and a host of improved services. Our splash screen hasn't been updated since the start of the project, with a lack of graphics staff.

We have had plans for a new website, portal area for interactive discussion, and a comprehensive guides section for a long time now. However, we haven't had the time, people or funding in order to work on it. Ever since we first launched our preview versions (0.1.0), we wanted to port the program to Linux and Mac OS. This is still a goal for the project, which will allow us to broaden our userbase.

How are we going to fund this vision? Meet OpenCandy.

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#2 Lee

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:23 AM

What is OpenCandy?

OpenCandy a recommendation engine for projects like ours. It allows us to offer our users the opportunity to discover useful programs through the installer. The user is presented with a clear option to accept or decline the installation in order for recommended program to be installed on the computer. Nothing is selected by default and there is a clear description of the program, which means no confusion is caused. Respectable projects such as MediaInfo and WinSCP use this, with VLC Media Player currently considering it.

View the video showing OpenCandy in action:

/> type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="225">

How will it benefit ApexDC++ and its users?

Each time a user installs a recommended program, our project gets paid. The money received through OpenCandy will go directly into the project's vision. That means a brand new website with a better support facility, interactive portal to promote Direct Connect activity, 2.0 with a brand new GUI and hopefully we can span across multiple platforms. This means users can run ApexDC++ on Windows, Linux or Mac OS.

With this sort of funding, we will be able to hire additional developers, graphics and web designers to progress with ApexDC++ 2.0 and its website.

Will it effect future versions?

No. If anything, it should speed up development cycles because we have more resources available.

When will it happen?

OpenCandy will be integrated into 1.3.2's installer package.

What programs will it recommend?

OpenCandy offers programs based on your computer specifications. It will not install a program you already have, or cannot run. Alongside other programs, we will be recommending certain types of Open Source programs in order to promote our openness.

What information is used?

You can read OpenCandy's privacy policy to reflect this.

I don't want to install it

You have two options: 1) Just select Decline and ApexDC++ will install successfully. 2) Download the binary archive. We will still provide you with the binary version without OpenCandy.

How can I remove it?

Simple. Go to Add or Remove programs and select the program that was installed. ApexDC++ will remain operational and not be affected.

I want to know more

You can view the OpenCandy FAQ page for more information. We will reveal more details about the website and program developments in the near future. Our team is excited to work on our new ideas, but this isn't possible without something like OpenCandy to fund our resources.

Let us know if you have any questions regarding this announcement and we will be happy to answer them.

Lee
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http://www.apexdc.net


#3 ProProductions

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 05:43 PM

I can understand many people reading this and thinking "They are bundling crapware with Apex!" But honestly, I can see this step as an excellent idea and wish you guys the best of luck with it. I really do hope it brings in what you expect and that you guys don't get hounded by people trying to scare users off with claims of crapware.
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#4 Mek

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 05:49 PM

If you have an option not to install crapware and it is not checked by default, then I see no reason why not :unsure:

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#5 Lee

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 05:50 PM

I can understand many people reading this and thinking "They are bundling crapware with Apex!" But honestly, I can see this step as an excellent idea and wish you guys the best of luck with it. I really do hope it brings in what you expect and that you guys don't get hounded by people trying to scare users off with claims of crapware.

Just like CCleaner and WinSCP, this only affects the installer. There will still be an alternative build offered without OpenCandy through the binary archive (which includes exe and pdb).

Thanks for the comment ProProductions. :unsure:

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#6 Crise

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 05:56 PM

If you have an option not to install crapware and it is not checked by default, then I see no reason why not :unsure:


OpenCandy should not even make a recommendation for crapware, like toolbars etc. all the recommendations coming through it should be proper useful software, and nothing is selected by default like Lee said in his above post.
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#7 ProProductions

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 05:59 PM

OpenCandy should not even make a recommendation for crapware, like toolbars etc. all the recommendations coming through it should be proper useful software, and nothing is selected by default like Lee said in his above post.


This is why I see it as a good move rather than all the other crappy installers that try to install toolbars/browsers you don't even want.

Also is the plan to add OpenCandy just to a fresh install, or would there be an upgrade installer with OpenCandy, maybe even both?
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#8 Crise

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 06:04 PM

Also is the plan to add OpenCandy just to a fresh install, or would there be an upgrade installer with OpenCandy, maybe even both?


The installer and the install process is pretty much the same for all scenarios so OpenCandy would display the recommendation in all cases.

Also for people who have not watched the video, please do so... it will so how the recommendation looks and works, very close to how it will on our installer.
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#9 Aztek

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 07:18 PM

As long as the "crapware" is never selected by default and never will, only if the user wants it, i see no problem with it.

But make sure to have clear wording, some people check crapware because they think it's one of those eula things or something.

So, it's a good thing as long as the "install" option is not selected by default.
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#10 S Murder

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 07:41 PM

We have been in discussion for a few weeks now regarding the future of the ApexDC++ project, and we want to explain the outcome of these talks. The project has been a very important part of the staff's lives, learning new skills and understanding the needs of users. But we want to take it to the next stage, providing you with ApexDC++ 2.0, a brand new website and a host of improved services. Our splash screen hasn't been updated since the start of the project, with a lack of graphics staff.

We have had plans for a new website, portal area for interactive discussion, and a comprehensive guides section for a long time now. However, we haven't had the time, people or funding in order to work on it. Ever since we first launched our preview versions (0.1.0), we wanted to port the program to Linux and Mac OS. This is still a goal for the project, which will allow us to broaden our userbase.

How are we going to fund this vision? Meet OpenCandy.

I love Apex DC++, I used to use it all the time on Windows. A little over a year ago I switched to Ubuntu though and haven't used it since. I really love to see a linux version.

#11 Lee

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 08:40 PM

OpenCandy should not even make a recommendation for crapware, like toolbars etc. all the recommendations coming through it should be proper useful software.

From the initial list, there's some useful software. There's Anti-Virus solutions, PC TuneUp Utilities, remote access and syncing software. I will continuously monitor the recommended programs and purge them if they aren't relevant. I wonder how many of our users don't have any Anti-Virus installed? :unsure:

This is why I see it as a good move rather than all the other crappy installers that try to install toolbars/browsers you don't even want.

Also is the plan to add OpenCandy just to a fresh install, or would there be an upgrade installer with OpenCandy, maybe even both?

I've excluded toolbars and plugins off the list. Each time the installer is run, if there's software to recommend it will do so.

As long as the "crapware" is never selected by default and never will, only if the user wants it, i see no problem with it.

The user has to select yes or no to installing it. It doesn't look like a EULA page either - it's very clear.

I love Apex DC++, I used to use it all the time on Windows. A little over a year ago I switched to Ubuntu though and haven't used it since. I really love to see a linux version.

That's what we're trying to achieve. :)

Lee
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http://www.apexdc.net


#12 Harpoon

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 06:59 AM

I love Apex DC++, I used to use it all the time on Windows. A little over a year ago I switched to Ubuntu though and haven't used it since. I really love to see a linux version.


I, too, would love to see a native linux version. Fortunately, the older versions of ApexDC work well in wine (no need to fire up a separate box, or do a full windows install in a virtual machine.

#13 Harpoon

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 07:04 AM

I can understand many people reading this and thinking "They are bundling crapware with Apex!" But honestly, I can see this step as an excellent idea and wish you guys the best of luck with it. I really do hope it brings in what you expect and that you guys don't get hounded by people trying to scare users off with claims of crapware.


I wanted to add that the way this is being handled is exactly right. An open announcement and discussion of the decision should put to rest any doubts as to what is going on, and why. As long as development comes at a cost, some means of funding those costs has to be found. I can accept a little bit of annoyance in order to push things forward. I think Lee out forth a good case, and with the option to not install, there are really no negatives to this move,

#14 Yeppy

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 10:03 AM

I'd say as long as they don't bundle it with some ******** toolbars it's all good.
However, I didn't quite understand who decides which software is recommended. :)
Best thing would be to be able to recommend software that apex users are most likely to use (e.g. a media player)

Another thing though
How much do you really expect to earn using this method ? what i mean is: would it be enough to meet all your needs ?
I mean it's not like anyone would install apex every week or even every month unless they mess up their system that often :unsure:

#15 Crise

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 10:41 AM

I'd say as long as they don't bundle it with some bullshit toolbars it's all good.
However, I didn't quite understand who decides which software is recommended. :)
Best thing would be to be able to recommend software that apex users are most likely to use (e.g. a media player)

Another thing though
How much do you really expect to earn using this method ? what i mean is: would it be enough to meet all your needs ?
I mean it's not like anyone would install apex every week or even every month unless they mess up their system that often :unsure:


We do get ~3000 or more downloads a day (we used to get ~5000 a day, but things have slowed down a bit) you know, and that is normal day (ie. not after a release when it usually spikes), of that the installer package is majority... Lee might post some more specific stats to OpenCandy a bit later.

As for who chooses the software recommended... ultimately we do the choosing, OpenCandy has picked some for us to start off with but we already excluded those that we thought were not appropriate for our target audience. Lee can give you more details on the process, but remember that since money is involved we do have some boundaries... like we can only choose from those software that are part of the OpenCandy network.
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#16 ManWhoCan

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 04:11 PM

You have explained it very clearly and given us users the opportunity to feedback our opinions about it. This is very grown-up of you and I have utmost respect for you doing so. Funds are required and this seems like a very sensible solution. I hope it brings in all the revenue you need.

#17 Lee

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 04:57 PM

How much do you really expect to earn using this method ? what i mean is: would it be enough to meet all your needs ?
I mean it's not like anyone would install apex every week or even every month unless they mess up their system that often :unsure:

A good percentage of our downloads get installed, so there's still a lot on a per month basis.

I'll post some stats eventually, but hopefully this will provide us with the revenue needed.

ManWhoCan: Thanks for your feedback. We have seen other projects get it completely wrong with something like this. :)

Lee
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#18 Lotus

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 06:01 PM

Good ideea, as you lost so much time and energy developing an tremendous program which is both free and so useful for many people. In fact, I wonder how you did not think of this long time ago. You should not only cover the site & project cost, but also gain some money for yourselves. Not doing so means you are either rich or stupid.

Life is hard. Not taking this into account is just stupid. Good luck!

#19 StanleyTweedle

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 07:32 PM

I see this as a good way to make the client user friendy and more interactive. By installing the client the users now get the option to try new stuff they otherwise would not have found and probably never would have tested.

I think it is a very good move by the Apex team to incorperate this. Up to now they have spent long hours and lots of money of creating DCs best client and usually the project time is limited by how much time they have and how much money they can spend. The only way to fund a project up to now has been asking for donations which works poorly. This is a way for the users to give something back to the team and improve the client they are using.

Installing a new program does not cost anything for the user, it's fun and easy to remove if you don't like it. I think this is a wonderfull idea and it can only mean that both the team and the users benefit from this.
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#20 Fuxy

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 02:42 AM

Good to hear you are finally starting to move on the linux platform. I've been using Ubuntu for years now and was really disappointed that ApexDC++ just did't seem to get here.
Oh and now that you are changing the website too you mind making it a little darker? :thumbsup:


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