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FPP v6 changes related to BeagleBone, PocketBeagle, & Raspberry Pi pixel outputs

Started by CaptainMurdoch, May 19, 2022, 09:53:06 PM

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mrpburke

Quote from: Frenchie King on May 27, 2022, 12:58:45 PM
Quote from: mrpburke on May 22, 2022, 09:25:28 PMHow will the distinction be made between someone who is selling them for profit and someone who may just be selling extras that they built since when you order from JLCPCB they come in multiples of 5? I wont need all 5 that I'm building and I wouldnt mind giving one or 2 away at cost but I'd want to make sure that wouldnt get me classified as selling for profit. If that would I'll just keep all 5 and have some backups on hand in case they're ever needed.

So first off, let's talk about the elephant in the room. If you know how much the parts cost, then you'd know that buying parts from Digikey would cost in the range of around $107 for parts for the THT type board, then add in the $70 for the BBB, which is at cost and then letting the end user setup FPP on their own. So if you like math, then you'll see there wasn't much profit being made when sold for $180 plus shipping. Remember, the PB and SMD technology is cheaper and requires less parts. Second, do not try to make yourself out to be a saint because you wouldn't want to be one of the "for profit" guys. If you're nervous about falling into that category, then don't build the other four boards. Sell the bare boards for the cost you got them at or better yet, build them and donate them. If you build them and sell them, then consider your hypocrisy when you think you know what you're talking about to make yourself look good to the Devs.
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm still on the fence about selling them at all for the reasons I've already stated. 

But I had considered selling the bare/partially built or donating and will likely go with one of those. I say partially built bc I had to order them without a few smd chips that were OOS and I've already added them on the boards. And I've added the other necessary parts to test out some basic functions of the capes. Fuse holders and 3p pixel connectors will likely be up to the next person if I go that route. 

smartalec

First Question,
What the hell is DPI pixels?

I've have had BBB48 boards since FPP came out.

When you first started talking about the eeprom thing,
I reached out to get more info about it, but got told there was plenty of information and how easy it was to use it.

Since i got no support back then, i never saw the reason to add the eeprom to my boards

Now Im being told that since someone added "DPI Pixel" code into FPP, My Controllers will No Longer Work,
 and i now need to pay a license fee for my controllers to working or to sell them.

I call what you are doing is RIPPING off everyone,
(making a monopoly of 2 selected gods allowed to make controllers without license issues)

What about the original DIY RGB123 card that you based your original code on for controlling the 48 pins? (killed that in the process as well i see)

My DIY controller is only $50 (aud) and $15 (aud) soldered up.
But Now you think its fine to start demanding $50 (usd) = ($75aud) for some license for a chip, (until 2 months ago said no info on how to use it).


If you are honestly doing this for the better of the community,
-Why did you keep board designers in the dark about this eeprom an how to program it.?
-So what was your plan for using a eeprom? For board designers data? Or really a plan to add a license fee's?

You say there is a grace thing?
So how will this work?
My boards don't have the eeprom thing, due to lack of support and information from you's.

What about the customers that also have a version of my board? since no eeprom how is that possible for a license
(Also Who gave you permission to know how many controllers I sell?, This way your forcing business to give you that information to you.)

Im sorry your boards got copyed.
BUT there is no need to SCREW everyone else in this christmas hobby because of it.

Ohh i forgot,
Its Now just a money grabbing thing for you. (The Christmas spirit has left you, and you's became the Grinch stealing people's xmas shows)
Since you's want to stop all other board designers, or make it that hard for there customers.
Just so you can force them to buy your product, because its easyer to use without the license issue's

The Way you's have gone about this is totally SUS.
Also it is In moral for a business (that FPP now is due to licensing) to demand product sales information from other vendors that use this product.

Also where are my Grace Codes?
I have 8 BBB with my capes on them. So where is this illegal license your forcing on people?

Honestly there is going to be alot of abuse in zoom, When people say to upgrade FPP and it destroys people's shows cause of your license crap.

Unless your able to provide more information into what this license thing can do for my product.
eg.
- So i design a board to use a eeprom, for your new license.
- What are you offering the board designers for that license fee?
- You talk about special DPI pixel code, What is it? , What does it do?
- How can i integrate these new things on my boards

Does the License Fee cover any or all of the above questions?
(Or does the license only cover you's 2 and products you buy for research & future additions to your boards.)

What does the License really cover? (Some code that once worked? but you re-coded it to so you can charge money for it?)

Until you can be more Clear,
I will stick to FPP v5, and recommend everyone does the same,
Due to your money making grab, now using the license thing to back it up

Alec
SmartAlec Lights.

Poporacer

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMWhat the hell is DPI pixels?
It is a new protocol that lets you drive 24 ports on a Pi AND keep the Audio

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMNow Im being told that since someone added "DPI Pixel" code into FPP, My Controllers will No Longer Work,
DPIPixels has nothing to do with BBB based boards

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMi now need to pay a license fee for my controllers to working or to sell them
No, your controllers will work just fine as long as you stay on version 5.5 (or spend the time to create your own program)

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMI call what you are doing is RIPPING off everyone,
(making a monopoly of 2 selected gods allowed to make controllers without license issues)
Isn't that what you are doing? A controller has NO logic whatsoever. The developers (it is more than just 2) have spent thousands of hours perfecting the code in FPP to work on BB based capes. A couple of those develops sell controllers to get a little return from all of their hard work. Then a bunch of people started making uncomplicated controllers (that are totally useless without FPP) and they did not contribute one cent to support the efforts of the people responsible to make their board actually work.
Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMMy DIY controller is only $50 (aud) and $15 (aud) soldered up.
But Now you think its fine to start demanding $50 (usd) = ($75aud) for some license for a chip, (until 2 months ago said no info on how to use it).
Did you look in Gitgub? it IS documented on how to use it and there are several other board manufacturers that created board with eeprom in the last several years
Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMWhy did you keep board designers in the dark about this eeprom an how to program it.?
Like I said, it is documented in Github
Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMSo what was your plan for using a eeprom? For board designers data? Or really a plan to add a license fee's?
Look it up
Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMYou say there is a grace thing?
So how will this work?
https://shop.falconplayer.com/key-announcement/
Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMBUT there is no need to SCREW everyone else in this christmas hobby because of it.
Like I said, isn't that what you are doing by profiting off of the thousands and thousands of hours that the developer put into writing the code that your board needs to work?
Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMAlso it is In moral for a business (that FPP now is due to licensing) to demand product sales information from other vendors that use this product.
They are not demanding any sales information. The user can buy the license on their own.
Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMHonestly there is going to be alot of abuse in zoom, When people say to upgrade FPP and it destroys people's shows cause of your license crap.
Not sure how that even makes sense
Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMSo i design a board to use a eeprom, for your new license.
No eeprom needed 
Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMWhat are you offering the board designers for that license fee?
Bulk discounts
Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMUntil you can be more Clear,
I will stick to FPP v5, and recommend everyone does the same,
And that is fine....it is your business.
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

Darren H


algerdes

I've been waiting to speak up (as if anyone would actually listen to me) until now.

I can understand why this has come about.  Yes - people have taken advantage of the great work that others have done to make this software, hardware, and interfaces happen.  MANY MORE have used it as it was intended.  This is "Open Source". 

To be honest, I wish you would have just forked the code to something like "Falcon Player Advanced".  Charge for the new software and let the original code sit.  If the base version sits, it has reached a point of being usable by many.  Trying to retrofit a use condition to products already in the field can only bring a world of hurt to the community.  A hurt that is just opposite of what we have all lived in.

Considering the giving nature of this community, it can only ruffle some the wrong way (as we have already seen.)  The nature of the Open Source licensing that all of this has been under for so long pretty much says, "Take whatever we have here and use it for whatever you want."   

When the different parts of what is needed to make lights blink became entwined, there was a caution flag that went up around here.  A fervent push by some to use the software (xLights) to control all the hardware (FPP based, Controller Setups, etc.) left some with a "what the heck" feeling.  What if you aren't "main stream", doing everything only one way?  This is a discussion for another time, but it needs to be had - eventually.

I've been away from software development for some time.  I do, however, recognize the amount of work that some very talented people have put into all aspects of this hobby.  This software/firmware would not have been possible without this steady stream of extremely talented workers.  So how do we reward you for your work, yet keep the open source you built everything under?

Again, forking the software/firmware/etc. to a new version seems to be the only way forward, IMHO. 

BTW - This includes xLights, FPP, etc.  These have all been presented to the world as "Open Source".  Changing mid-stream may work - but rarely does.  Trying to get back at people that saw an opportunity, I wonder how that fits into the sense of community we have seen emerge over the past 15 years.

How many times has xLights been taken and used for paid shows?  How are you going to stop that? 

I've said my peace.  I'll be sticking with 5.x for now.
PLEASE do not cripple the work that you have done to this point.  PLEASE allow those of us that don't feel that all these hoops are necessary to the ability to give the children and adults who come to see our displays the joy that we wish for them.

BTW - If I ever see the utility in FP Advanced, I'll give it a look.  Not at the expense of shunning others from the hobby.
Good luck folks.

Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!

yo3ham

As an engineer I understand both sides. I always said, on the Facebook groups etc, that the BBB capes called "controllers" are not CONTROLLERS, they are just ADAPTERS, they contain nothing but fuses, sockets, buffers and other insignificant parts, all the CONTROLLING is done in the FPP software.
Yes, there are REAL controllers out there, like the Falcon ones, but these are connected to Ethernet and use their own "intelligence" in the form of programmable chips (processors, FPGAs, etc). For these chips, there is an immense work in programming.

The difference in complexity between a Falcon and one of these hats/capes is gigantic, it's like a real car versus a child's toy car.
And yet people are selling these hat/cape ADAPTERS at prices which rival a Falcon or even more expensive than the BBB or Raspi itself !!! which is ridiculous comparing the amount of work and complexity !

I have built my own ADAPTER, compatible with a cap/hat at an extremely low cost by omitting everything which is not strictly necessary. You can get a chinese PCB at $5 + another $5 shipping if you want to wait 1-2 months. Another $5 for 2-3 buffer chips (enough for 20 channels) and all the female sockets and other small parts. Of course, sourced in China. I don't count the cost of fuses because these are consumables and you need to buy replacements anyway.  It is ilogical that such a simple schematic get near or OVER the price of the BBB which is enormously complex !

So yes as an engineer I put myself in the place of the FPP developers. I would certainly be very ANGRY seeing people making PROFIT form selling these ADAPTERS, calling them "controllers", by using the developer's work (yes, there are really thounsands of hours for such a complex software project) which was given for free !

On the other hand, users won't be happy with this change and all these licensing complexity added. History shows that, when a service which used to be free isn't anymore, things don't happen as expected, people usually look for, and find, a free alternative. I don't know what will come next... possibly a fork in FPP? possibly an entire new project ? we don't know what the future will bring...

CaptainMurdoch

I'm not going to get into a shouting match, but wanted to point out a few things.

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMFirst Question,
What the hell is DPI pixels?

It's in the FAQ which were linked to in the announcement in the the first post in this thread and linked to in the thread you replied to on auschristmaslighting.com.

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMI've have had BBB48 boards since FPP came out.

When FPP first started, it didn't have the ability to control pixels directly, it needed an external controller.  We added the ability to control pixels directly about 2 years later when we created the F4-B, F16-B, and PiCap with their corresponding channel outputs and started using the funds from selling those capes to help support FPP development.

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMWhen you first started talking about the eeprom thing,
I reached out to get more info about it, but got told there was plenty of information and how easy it was to use it.

I looked through your 17 posts on the forum and don't see a single one asking about EEPROMs.  I realize you may have asked elsewhere, but there have been multiple threads over the years talking about EEPROMs, the EEPROM format has been documented in the git repository, and we recently even added a script to make it easier for people to create their own EEPROMs.

We will gladly help you get one formatted and added to your boards.  You can also use a virtual EEPROM or you can probably stick with one of the virtuals we have already added to the repository.  Since we don't have anything specific about your cape in FPP currently, that means you must be using the pinout for another cape which means you can always use the virtual EEPROM created for that cape.

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMNow Im being told that since someone added "DPI Pixel" code into FPP, My Controllers will No Longer Work,
 and i now need to pay a license fee for my controllers to working or to sell them.

You can't always believe what you hear on the internet.  Read the list of questions and answers in the FAQ or ask your own question, we have been more than willing to answer questions in here and on FaceBook.

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMI call what you are doing is RIPPING off everyone,
(making a monopoly of 2 selected gods allowed to make controllers without license issues)

Explain to me how you using my code to make you money is me ripping you off?  If you have been selling BBB capes for years, then you have been making money off FPP for years.  You have been receiving free development so that you could make money.  How am I ripping you off???

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMWhat about the original DIY RGB123 card that you based your original code on for controlling the 48 pins? (killed that in the process as well i see)

Again, read the FAQ.  If anyone has one of these capes already, they get a free voucher and can continue on using the board forever with FPP, including those daily/weekly/monthly/yearly FREE FPP upgrades that we as developers are giving you.

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMMy DIY controller is only $50 (aud) and $15 (aud) soldered up.
But Now you think its fine to start demanding $50 (usd) = ($75aud) for some license for a chip, (until 2 months ago said no info on how to use it).

This tells me you haven't even clicked the https://shop.falconplayer.com link and are just spewing FUD.  There is no $50 U.S. license.

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMYou say there is a grace thing?
So how will this work?
My boards don't have the eeprom thing, due to lack of support and information from you's.

Again, read the FAQ. Everything is spelled out there.  We just started accepting voucher requests on Friday and in 3 days, we have given out over 50 vouchers. As a vendor, you knew about this before this was posted publicly because we invited you to join the Cape Vendor's group on the forum here and yet you haven't posted in there yet.  I get the feeling you are purposefully trying to stir things up by stating a lot of incorrect facts.

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMWhat about the customers that also have a version of my board? since no eeprom how is that possible for a license
(Also Who gave you permission to know how many controllers I sell?, This way your forcing business to give you that information to you.)

No one is forcing any vendor to give us any information.  Your customers are free to continue to use FPP v5.5 for as long as they wish or to they can choose to get a free voucher, upgrade to FPP v6, and continue to get free FPP upgrades.  Neither of those situations involves you giving us any information.

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMBUT there is no need to SCREW everyone else in this christmas hobby because of it.

Again with the FUD.  Every single person who used any previous version of FPP with a pixel string cape (other than the PiCap/PiHat 2-string capes) including the RGB123 capes is entitled to a free voucher.  AND anyone who buys a cape from a 3rd party vendor before July 31 is also entitled to a free voucher.  We are bending over backwards to make sure that users are fully aware of what they have and make sure they can use FPP v6 and beyond.

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMIts Now just a money grabbing thing for you. (The Christmas spirit has left you, and you's became the Grinch stealing people's xmas shows)
Since you's want to stop all other board designers, or make it that hard for there customers.
Just so you can force them to buy your product, because its easyer to use without the license issue's

Since when did the Christmas spirit involve me working hard to write software so that you can open a shop and make money on the software that I wrote?  Since when did I commit to continuing to write free software for your business forever?

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMAlso where are my Grace Codes?
I have 8 BBB with my capes on them. So where is this illegal license your forcing on people?

Did you follow the instructions to request the codes?  I could be a total pain and post screenshots proving that you didn't (you didn't even list a quantity in your email), but I won't stoop all the way to that level and instead will say that a voucher for 8 keys is in your email.

On the legality aspect.  Dan and I wrote the pixel string channel output code affected by this, we can legally do with it what we want as long a we aren't violating any laws.    We could delete the code if we wanted, but instead we kept it open for DIY users because we support that part of the hobby.  You aren't entitled to free upgrades for life and we aren't required to continue writing code for you so that your business can make money.  If you don't want to deal with any license issues, even a free license which we are giving you, then you can stay on FPP v5.5.

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMUnless your able to provide more information into what this license thing can do for my product.
eg.
- So i design a board to use a eeprom, for your new license.
- What are you offering the board designers for that license fee?
- You talk about special DPI pixel code, What is it? , What does it do?
- How can i integrate these new things on my boards

Read the FAQ, hundreds of users already have.  As a vendor, you should also.

Using an EEPROM lets your board be auto-discovered and setup with a default configuration. It lets you add an OLED, buttons, and other things.  Having an EEPROM lets you put your vendor logo at the top of FPP right in the header.  It lets you put your store URL and other info in the Cape Info section of the FPP UI to steer users towards your site.  A lot of this is already noted in places, but we also plan to make a couple template EEPROM directories that can be used by people to create their own EEPROMs whether they are vendors selling capes or users making their own capes.  We have a lot of users who created their own capes, I expect that is where some of the existing vendors started out at as well.

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMDoes the License Fee cover any or all of the above questions?
(Or does the license only cover you's 2 and products you buy for research & future additions to your boards.)

Again, read the FAQ.  We are not licensing FPP to _you_.  You couldn't afford what we would charge for the custom programming considering the tens of thousands of hours that have gone into developing FPP over the past 9 years.  Instead, we chose to license a single small portion of FPP that makes FPP a pixel controller. A portion that cape vendors are currently making money off of and where only a select portion of that vendor group is currently contributing anything back to support FPP development.

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMUntil you can be more Clear,
I will stick to FPP v5, and recommend everyone does the same,

You are more than welcome to do that.  We are happy that you see the value that FPP provides even if you are opposed to something that helps support the project's continued development.

-
Chris

CaptainMurdoch

Quote from: Darren H on May 30, 2022, 12:17:10 PMGrabs popcorn while handing money to FPP..  ;D

Thanks Darren, I would say pass the popcorn, but I prefer my own personal large bucket.  :)

You have been very supportive in all this, but I did want to make one comment about your comment. :)

Not only would you be handing money to FPP in this (if you were buying vouchers), but you would also be making money off FPP, so it's a win/win.  Support the developers who are supporting you and enabling you to make money selling FPP-based capes.
-
Chris

CaptainMurdoch

Quote from: algerdes on May 30, 2022, 01:19:57 PMI've been waiting to speak up (as if anyone would actually listen to me) until now.

Al, you have been a long-time FPP supporter, so we do respect your input.

Quote from: algerdes on May 30, 2022, 01:19:57 PMTo be honest, I wish you would have just forked the code to something like "Falcon Player Advanced".  Charge for the new software and let the original code sit.  If the base version sits, it has reached a point of being usable by many.  Trying to retrofit a use condition to products already in the field can only bring a world of hurt to the community.  A hurt that is just opposite of what we have all lived in.

This was an option, but I don't think people realize what this would mean.  Dan and I are responsible for about 90% of commits and lines of code in the project currently.  We have a couple more guys who are actively working, but most of the coding is done by 2 people.  Forking the project ourselves and maintaining an 'advanced' version would probably split our focus and mean we were spending more time on the advanced version than the free version.  The way we did it by just licensing the small portion that makes FPP a pixel controller allows the free version to continue to receive the enhancements and development focus we give it.  I think I can accurately say that we spend more time working on non-channel-output code than on the channel output code.  All that other stuff is still GPL and totally free.  We have stats which show that only around 25% of FPP users use FPP as a pixel controller, the other 75% use FPP as a player and the player portion of FPP is not affected at all by this.

Quote from: algerdes on May 30, 2022, 01:19:57 PMI've said my peace.  I'll be sticking with 5.x for now.
PLEASE do not cripple the work that you have done to this point.

Do you realize that you are totally unaffected by all of this based on your signature line?  According to your signature line, you are not using anything that would require a license key.  FPP receives a tiny amount of donations and selling capes (PiCap and Kulp) helps support development so that we can continue to keep the rest of the project fully open and Free for use for both personal and commercial users.

None of the below from your signature are affected:
=================================
Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!
=================================

Even if they were affected, you would be grandfathered in and get free vouchers.

Quote from: algerdes on May 30, 2022, 01:19:57 PMPLEASE allow those of us that don't feel that all these hoops are necessary to the ability to give the children and adults who come to see our displays the joy that we wish for them.

Al, I have probably spent 10-15,000 hours of my time working on this project over the past 9 years and I didn't do it for the money.  I could have made a whole lot more money doing custom programming for those hours, but I chose to work on the project for myself and for the smiles it brings to people's faces when I see kids sitting on top of SUV's parked in front of my house watching the lights blink.   We did not start working on FPP to write code for others to turn around and make money off of while not supporting the project itself and not helping further development.  We saw two solutions to that, 1) we lock things down as some have tried to get us to do and not allow any 3rd party capes, or 2) we go the opposite direction and open it up and support vendors making capes and making money off the ecosystem we have built while acknowledging that their "controller" has no smarts itself and is nothing but wires and that FPP is the brains of that "controller".  We don't expect a lot to come in from this, but the number of 3rd party capes being sold is an increasing number and we want to make sure that those are helping to support FPP development rather than just drawing away supporting users who would otherwise purchase a DPIPixels-based or Kulp cape which do support FPP development.
-
Chris

Darren H

Quote from: CaptainMurdoch on May 30, 2022, 04:39:04 PM
Quote from: Darren H on May 30, 2022, 12:17:10 PMGrabs popcorn while handing money to FPP..  ;D

Thanks Darren, I would say pass the popcorn, but I prefer my own personal large bucket.  :)

You have been very supportive in all this, but I did want to make one comment about your comment. :)

Not only would you be handing money to FPP in this (if you were buying vouchers), but you would also be making money off FPP, so it's a win/win.  Support the developers who are supporting you and enabling you to make money selling FPP-based capes.
We might require whiskey sour soon.  ;D
Everyone at FPP has done awesome work and just so happy to finally do more with FPP.  

dkulp

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMFirst Question,

I've been trying my best to stay out of most of these discussions as I have an obvious bias.  I've been happy to let CaptainMurdoch drive most of the changes. I was more than happy to provide input as both an FPP Developer as well as a cape vendor.  As CaptainMurdoch states, most of your questions/issues are already addressed in the FAQ.  Part of the problem we had with drafting the announcement was how to balance putting all the information that is needed with not letting the announcement get too long so no one would read it.  :)  By making sure the FAQ had all the details, we tried to make sure all the information is available.

Some additional information:  last year as part of FPP5, we added optional statistic collection such that when FPP starts up (and periodically), it sends some information about the configuration back to us.  Major major thanks to Greg for working on this last year. This information is intended to help us better understand how FPP is being used and help us prioritize where to spend efforts, etc... We KNOW there are a lot of FPP instances that are on private networks and cannot post their stats and, of course, there are plenty of people that have opted out of providing the stats.  However, over the last year, over 9600 unique devices have provided information.  I'm not a statistician, but I believe that that is a fairly significant sample size to provide fairly good confidence in the data.  Anyway, we don't provide the raw data, but you can play with some of it at:
https://fppstats.falconchristmas.com/

As part of deciding what options to consider, we dug into that data.  To give you and idea, out of over 9600 devices, the decision only affects 73 devices.  That's 0.76%. While 73 is certainly greater than 0, (and again, some number of "offline" devices) it's a manageable number.  From the data, we could see that a large chunk of those are "DIY" capes, which is awesome.  We love to see that!  The impact for them will always be the few minutes it takes to get the free voucher.  For the remainder, guess what?  They are all also grandfathered in and get a free voucher!  Yes, it takes a few minutes to do, but we've tried to stream line that as much as possible.  Thus, will this change make anyones currently working controller not work?  Nope.  If you ran a show off any controller last year or purchased a new controller in the first half of this year, you can continue to use it to the full ability.  Feel free to upgrade to FPP 6!

The only impact (other than the few minutes it takes to get/apply a voucher) will be to people purchasing BBB based or Pi/DPI based controllers later this year.  And we've streamlined that fairly well where the vendor can bulk purchase vouchers and it will be a simple form right in FPP to apply it for the user.

Anyway, to address specifics in your post (removing chunks that  Captain and other addressed so this doesn't become super long)(likely too late)


Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMI've have had BBB48 boards since FPP came out.

When you first started talking about the eeprom thing,
I reached out to get more info about it, but got told there was plenty of information and how easy it was to use it.

Since i got no support back then, i never saw the reason to add the eeprom to my boards

Now Im being told that since someone added "DPI Pixel" code into FPP, My Controllers will No Longer Work,
 and i now need to pay a license fee for my controllers to working or to sell them.

As mentioned above, every controller you currently are using for your show as well as every controller you have sold so far are completely grandfathered in and are entitled to a free voucher.  You do not need to pay a license fee to use them.


Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMWhat about the original DIY RGB123 card that you based your original code on for controlling the 48 pins? (killed that in the process as well i see)

The "original DIY RGB123" code was removed from FPP back in FPP 2.0.  It was horribly inefficient, did not work with modern (even modern at the time) Linux kernels, and was generally a mess.  Since that time, the BBB pixel output code has been almost completely re-written at least three times.  Since most of that is hand tuned assembly running on a PRU where debuggers were not available and even things like "printf" don't work, it's not easy.  It's very time consuming.  However, every time I spend 100's of hours doing that work, your boards benefited.

When we moved from Debian Stetch to Buster, the kernel the BBB.org folks supplied caused issues with the pixel out code.  I spent a TON of time trying to figure things out and eventually started building our own Linux kernel (which, BTW, takes FOREVER on a single core BBB) to create a kernel we can rely on.  Again, a ton of work that all the BBB based capes "got for free", or at least was a requirement to get up to the newer Debian and all the security things and features and such.


Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMIf you are honestly doing this for the better of the community,
-Why did you keep board designers in the dark about this eeprom an how to program it.?
-So what was your plan for using a eeprom? For board designers data? Or really a plan to add a license fee's?

Since I wrote the original EEPROM code, the MAIN reason for the eeprom was to prevent the proliferation of bunches and bunches of string configuration files in the FPP repository. It also allowed some level of FORWARD compatibility.  By having board designers put the pinouts of their capes into the eeprom as well as default configurations, settings, etc... board designers can design the boards as they see fit and not locked into the pinouts provided in the FPP repo.  The RGBCape* pinouts are actually horrible, and the original F16/F4 pinouts aren't much better.  When I started designing my own F8 (and eventually F32, both predating my K* series), I was running into various issues and rather than adding more and more pinouts into FPP, it made sense to put that configuration on the board itself.

Also, it provides a much better experience for the user.  The user doensn't need to select the "RGBCape48F" from the list.  The ONLY thing in the list is the cape that is attached.  The LED Panels page is hidden since FPP knows it's a string cape.  Etc...


Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AM.... bunch of stuff already addressed above snipped ....

I will stick to FPP v5, and recommend everyone does the same,
Due to your money making grab, now using the license thing to back it up

Sticking with FPP v5 is certain an option, at least for the next couple years.  Over time, I'm sure FPP5 on the controller will continue to work fine, but it's likely that integration with the rest of the ecosystem will slowly erode and you may need to do more work to continue using it.  For example, at some point in the future, automatic uploads from xLights might break as API's change, config formats, change, etc...  I don't know, I cannot predict the future.  However, xLights did drop all support for FPP 1.x a long time ago (all interaction with FPP 1.x was via FTP which sucked), FPP 2.x upload only works for a couple of things, and not at all for FPP before 2.6 if I remember correctly, and FPP 3.x also doesn't work for many things. At some point, xLights will move forward.  It's BEST if you take advantage of the free vouchers now and not have to worry about in the future.  Either that or plan on sticking with the current versions of xLights indefinitely as well.

Also, FPP gets new features, enhancements, and bug fixes all the time.  It would kind of suck to tell folks they should stay on versions that aren't supported long term and not get those updates.  I think that's what's bugging me the most about your message.  You are concentrating on just the BBB48String code and not really about the entire thing.  If you've been selling boards since FPP 2 days, you have to admit that it's pretty amazing that the boards you sold 4-5 years ago have gotten very significant feature upgrades EVERY SINGLE YEAR.  Up until now, they were free.  Those exact boards can do way more things than they could years ago and are generally way more user friendly (with the new UI, inplace updates, etc...).  There are FPP plugins now that extend functionality even more.  If you look at ANY other controller that was sold 4 or 5 years ago, I guarantee that they have not had the same level of functionality "firmware" updates that your controllers have gotten, FOR FREE.  Is $30 too much to ask for continued yearly functional updates? (actually several times a year, major releases in August-ish, several point releases as well)

Anyway, I was trying to not let this get too long and I think I've failed at that.  :) 
Daniel Kulp - https://kulplights.com

Poporacer

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMWhen you first started talking about the eeprom thing,
I reached out to get more info about it, but got told there was plenty of information and how easy it was to use it.

Did you look at the information or just want the developers to create your eeproms for you for free? They explained it pretty well and if you had a problem understanding it, then you could have asked specific questions about the problem you were having instead of expecting them to do it for you.
And FYI for you and any others interested, the information needed to program an eeprom has been in GitHub since early 2020 so it isn't anything hidden or unknown (unless you are too lazy to look for yourself)

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMIf you are honestly doing this for the better of the community,
-Why did you keep board designers in the dark about this eeprom an how to program it.?
How is fully documenting the specifications for the eeprom in a place that is not only public but actually part of the FPP code base itself for over 2 years keeping you in the dark?

Quote from: smartalec on May 30, 2022, 01:14:52 AMIm sorry your boards got copyed.

But you are not sorry for making money off of the hard work the developers put in to support your controllers?

And since you decided to make a spectacle of this, I want others to know what the developers actually did for YOU and ALL of the vendors (that they know about)

They researched the forum and Facebook and reached out to all of the known vendors and actually created a special forum group for the vendors to ask questions and get their concerns answered. Basically a direct line for the vendors to contact the developers to get their concerns and to get input from them. You did not ask one question there but instead, wait to post BS about something that you obviously don't know what you are talking about since the info you quoted was incorrect or answered more than once is several public postings AND in the Cape Vendors Forum (that you were invited to) On May 13th they even created a script to basically program the eeprom for you. Do they need help programming an eeprom (I highly doubt it)? Why would they put it out there then?

If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

algerdes

I have said my peace (purposely used this spelling as to try to get everyone to chill out.)
I will say that Dan, Dave, Chris, Keith, Scott, Sean, (and the list goes on) are considered friends.  You do deserve everything you can get in all of this.

My main point about forking the program to an "advanced version" did not come across as I wanted.

I believe that the software/firmware/etc. has reached a stage that could go stagnant for the "basic version".  We did this for hospital software.  Once the fork went into place, those hospitals using the old version would only receive security updates.  Each hospital chose whether they wanted to move to the advanced.  We had some that did stay, and they worked for years.  

If I could get this melon on my shoulders back into a programming mode, I would even go so far as to strip out things that the normal person doesn't use/need.  Someday in the future, perhaps, I would update to the newer, constantly changing version.  I doubt it, but it could happen.  Unfortunately, grey cells in working order are getting fewer and fewer.  I'll have to leave it to you all.

Thanks again for listening.  I'll step back and watch all that is going on.  In several ways, it is entertaining, if nothing else.
Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!

CaptainMurdoch

Quote from: algerdes on May 30, 2022, 10:29:19 PMIf I could get this melon on my shoulders back into a programming mode, I would even go so far as to strip out things that the normal person doesn't use/need.  Someday in the future, perhaps, I would update to the newer, constantly changing version.  I doubt it, but it could happen.  Unfortunately, grey cells in working order are getting fewer and fewer.  I'll have to leave it to you all.

We have actually started doing that some, partially out of necessity and partially out of obsolescence.  I prefer to not delete anything anyone is using, but sometimes we do need to break a few eggs to move forward.  The stats collection that Dan mentioned is one of the things that has helped us because it gives us insight into how FPP is being used for those that opt-in to the stats collection.  Every major version upgrade of FPP has had some "breaking changes" and along the way we have had some "no longer supported" features removed.  The core of FPP has become immensely more powerful and a lot easier to use over the past 9 years.

One big change that Dan implemented years ago was moving most FPP code to libraries, including all channel outputs which are loaded on-demand.  There is a chance that at some point in the future, you could see some of the legacy channel outputs moved to a plugin since we now have the framework to add channel output plugins.  This would be partially what you are referring to.  I have added several channel outputs that maybe a couple people are using because they were oddball things that I wanted to do or try over the years.  Some of that code could start moving to plugins to shrink the code base, or we could revamp the build system more to only build outputs that are needed based on the current configuration.
-
Chris

smartalec

Quote from: dkulp on May 30, 2022, 07:02:17 PMIs $30 too much to ask for continued yearly functional updates? (actually several times a year, major releases in August-ish, several point releases as well)

so $30usd is $45 aud,
In 6 yrs i sold 8 boards @ $50each, (6 of them for my show)
Dam i really made a hell of alot of money off your hard work did'nt I!!
Still im not told how long this grandfathered license lasts

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