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Offline alyles  
#1 Posted : 15 March 2022 14:41:48(UTC)
alyles


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Is SMath no longer distributed as freeware in commercial settings?

I noticed https://en.smath.com now has a banner stating free for personal usage with plans for organizations.

Smath.png

The license here: https://en.smath.com/view/SMathStudio/license mentions free for private use, with paid options to expand private usage. This clause has been added to the EULA from what was shipped with the last beta I downloaded.

Smath.png

Edited by moderator 19 March 2022 02:29:53(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline Jim097  
#2 Posted : 16 March 2022 22:14:03(UTC)
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+1 to this question.

Some clarification would be really helpful.

For example, a small piece of that EULA reads:

Quote:

This License Agreement applies to all future updates/new versions of SMath Studio. By agreeing to install updates/new versions of SMath Studio you accept the terms of this Agreement for the relevant updates/new versions of SMath Studio, if upgrade/install of the new version of SMath Studio is not accompanied by any other license agreement;


So, are previous versions still usable for comercial purposes? Starting from which version?
Does organizations refer to profit applications or also to universities/public research?


Thanks
Offline Andrey Ivashov  
#3 Posted : 17 March 2022 01:09:05(UTC)
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Hello.

The currently available stable version (0.99.7822) and all previous ones still can be used for commercial purposes for free as they have the previous version of license agreement built-in. But the next stable release of SMath Studio will have an updated EULA: https://en.smath.com/view/SMathStudio/license

It happened because:
1) Receiving donations is not available in my country anymore;
2) Cloud version requires regular maintanance and hardware updates.

Changes are:
1) Cloud version will be limited for free users soon (it is about the number of Worksheets, the number of Regions on the Worksheet, CPU time for evaluation, disk space for user content, revisioning functionality)
2) Desktop version will be free for private usage only.

Good news:
1) I remember about those who made donations (I will compensate their support by discounts to the paid plans);
2) If monetization will succeed it will give a Project a chance to grow faster to be more professional.

Sorry guys, but this crazy world requires some changes.
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Offline overlord  
#4 Posted : 17 March 2022 01:33:41(UTC)
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So, free version no longer update extensions?
And SMath Personal or Advanced no longer can be used by organizations?
This is why I try to stick with open-source operating systems and softwares.
This whole new thing, not cool at all. No more comments.

Click to Expand
Offline alyles  
#5 Posted : 17 March 2022 03:15:51(UTC)
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Ooof.

I understand why you need to make this change, but I am still a bit surprised and disappointed. Realistically, this will likely limit or end my future use of SMath as I use it primarily for work purposes.

Just had a chuckle... maybe Jean was onto something. Long live 6179.

I do wish the best for you and SMath, though. It's a great piece of software and the online community is one of the best.

Edit: I will be contributing to a year of an Advanced Personal License to support SMath for the time being.

Edited by user 17 March 2022 04:01:34(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline fedeghi  
#6 Posted : 17 March 2022 10:06:28(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: overlord Go to Quoted Post
So, free version no longer update extensions?

As far as I understand, it will not update extensions automatically

Edited by user 17 March 2022 10:25:37(UTC)  | Reason: typo

Offline mkraska  
#7 Posted : 17 March 2022 15:58:55(UTC)
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I don't think that our university would go bankrupt because of $600 per year.
Even if it was possible to officialy order software licenses from Russia and to make payments to Russian suppliers, there is another issue.

Teaching SMath Studio at university is sensible if the students can expect SMath Studio to be available at their later jobs.
With the program being free for commercial use, no boss would complain about the software being used, except in cases of strict software policies. Yet, if I think it twice, today many of them might forbid installation of Russian software at all. Even if they didn't forbid all western software when Belgrad was bombed.

I absolutely agree that there should be a way to collect money for the further development of the software and also for the living of the developer.

I strongly recommend to not split the license plans based on use case but rather based on features/added value.

Let the base version be free and only charge for advanced features (which should not affect math functionality but rather convenience and productivity features).

This would allow any employee to try and use SMath in the job. Once the use is that intense that convenience features and support become essential, then there should be no problem to justify expenses on licence plans.

My proposal as to what could be charged for:
- priority support
- online version, perhaps with collaborative features (multi-user edit sessions)
- advanced text processing
- export to viewer (keep the viewer preview free)
- special purpose plugins from the program developers

What I'd recommend to keep free:
- Core functions in up-to-date version.
- Access to all third party plugins and to (optional) automatic update.

Given that potential users care about license agreements or that the plans can be enforced by some protection technique, there will be a split in the user community into those who upgrade and those who don't. Consequences:
- Once the versions diverge a lot, bug reports or questions from old version users will become less helpful for the developers.
- The user base for new features will be much smaller, so the maturity for commercial users would be worse than it could be.
- upgrading to a commercial plan will involve first contact to a new version, which the private test user doesn't know yet, that might frighten off quite some of potential customers.

It has always been discouraged in the forum to discuss problems with older versions of the program, because no one wants to waste time discussing problems which could be solved by using up-to-date version. Jean^10 so to say.
Automatic update is not for the benefit of the user but for the benefit of the developer and the support community. So why discouraging this?

On the other side, I'd consider it completely legitimate to handle user questions either by pointing to free solutions/workarounds or to commercial solutions within the same user forum.

Whatever the decision, I whish the project sustainable commercial success.






Martin Kraska

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Offline Andrey Ivashov  
#8 Posted : 17 March 2022 17:33:13(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: overlord Go to Quoted Post
So, free version no longer update extensions?

No. It is about automatic update of extensions. Currently SMath Sttudio does not have such functionality. It will be developed for paid plans only. But you can always update extensions manually, as we always did.

Originally Posted by: overlord Go to Quoted Post
And SMath Personal or Advanced no longer can be used by organizations?

Yes. With one exception only. I plan to provide paid plans for free (or with a very significant discount) for educational purposes (schools, universities, etc.).

Originally Posted by: overlord Go to Quoted Post
This is why I try to stick with open-source operating systems and softwares.
This whole new thing, not cool at all. No more comments.

Of course, you are right.
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Offline fedeghi  
#9 Posted : 17 March 2022 17:54:16(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: mkraska Go to Quoted Post

I strongly recommend to not split the license plans based on use case but rather based on features/added value.
Let the base version be free and only charge for advanced features (which should not affect math functionality but rather convenience and productivity features).
This would allow any employee to try and use SMath in the job. Once the use is that intense that convenience features and support become essential, then there should be no problem to justify expenses on licence plans.

100% agree and I can easily imagine that a company like the one I'm working in would follow the same criteria listed by mkraska to take a decision about a new software.
Giving the tools to the end user and letting him understand the software deeply, it has already proven (in our company) to be one key element that lead to purchase a particular software.
One quick example: we used to mark-up vendor engineering documents and drawings with free pdf editors. It is ok, it works, it has worked and always will.
We had the chanche to test a paid editor, smart and tailored for engineering markups, and after a deep test phase our company bought a lot of licensees. They paid not for additional functionality or core featurs, but for a tailored software that has speed-up (a lot) what we where already doing (profitably) with free pdf editors...

Originally Posted by: mkraska Go to Quoted Post

My proposal as to what could be charged for:
- priority support
- online version, perhaps with collaborative features (multi-user edit sessions)
- advanced text processing
- export to viewer (keep the viewer preview free)
- special purpose plugins from the program developers

What I'd recommend to keep free:
- Core functions in up-to-date version.
- Access to all third party plugins and to (optional) automatic update.


In my opinion, support, the advanced text processing and full "Viewer" features, are especially interesting for companies. Plugins from developers, may be , may be not.
I totally agree on the "keep free" list proposed by mkraska

Edited by user 17 March 2022 17:56:58(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline Andrey Ivashov  
#10 Posted : 17 March 2022 18:01:31(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: mkraska Go to Quoted Post
I don't think that our university would go bankrupt because of $600 per year.

I will provide discounts or even free access to paid plans for educational purposes.

Originally Posted by: mkraska Go to Quoted Post
Yet, if I think it twice, today many of them might forbid installation of Russian software at all.

Exactly. I expect it too and I realized that the future of the project is not that obvious outside of Russia. I'm not even sure the web-site will be accassible tomorrow...

Originally Posted by: mkraska Go to Quoted Post
I strongly recommend to not split the license plans based on use case but rather based on features/added value.

You absolutely right. This is what I also wanted to do first, but I don't want to introduce limits to regular SMath Studio users.

Originally Posted by: mkraska Go to Quoted Post
It has always been discouraged in the forum to discuss problems with older versions of the program, because no one wants to waste time discussing problems which could be solved by using up-to-date version. Jean^10 so to say.

I've developed new Forum engine and preparing to switch to it in some days/weeks so I will be able to introduce new features like Dislike button to hide messages/users or to add meta tags to specify what version of the program user have installed (so it will be easier to filter out what you don't need). Big change actually.

Originally Posted by: mkraska Go to Quoted Post
Automatic update is not for the benefit of the user but for the benefit of the developer and the support community. So why discouraging this?

This is not a limitation actually, so the program will continue working as it does it today. Automatic updates is a simplifier for the user and that is why it can be added as a benefit included in paid version.

Ok, I will think about your suggestions and probably will follow them. Thank you!

Please just take into account that these changes are not easy to me and I'm not happy about what happened to the world.

FYI: I've published changes to the web-site without releasing SMath Studio version with changes EULA just to see the reaction and make changes accordingly. So I still believe that we can find a solution which can be accepted by all. Let's see...
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Offline Andrey Ivashov  
#11 Posted : 17 March 2022 18:04:52(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: fedeghi Go to Quoted Post

100% agree

In my opinion, support, the advanced text processing and full "Viewer" features, are especially interesting for companies. Plugins from developers, may be , may be not.
I totally agree on the "keep free" list proposed by mkraska

Ok, let me think about it.
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Offline Hildebrando Pereira  
#12 Posted : 18 March 2022 01:55:20(UTC)
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Hi Andrey,

I think it's my First post in the forum.

I use smath Studio in a daily base for eight to nine years now, in teaching or in my small business. I'm a civil engineer, with Focus on structural design.

I agree with Martin, but i think there is another point of view.

In ALL these years, the smath Studio is perfect to make exercices for my students or to made "hand calculations" to remember what i have done.

If i need to send these calculations to a client, i spend about 2 or 3 hours to format the document. I use ALL the features like, snippets, header and footer etc. The real struggle exist when i try tô compose a document with, TOC, correct page numbers,tables, figures and the PDF from smath! I need to manually add the Pages in smath, add the smath document in TOC then made a PDF, split the PDF, Merge with the PDF from smath.

When i think about the smath viewer, i Just see a small Tool that help me tô check some fast results. I cannot sell a program made with smath viewer, because anyone can do a Ctrl+c and Ctrl+v. I love smath viewer, i Just made my point of view.

Last year you showed us a new program called Smath Writer, and If i remember well, the codé between solver and Writer are 99% equal.

Why not tô maintain the solver free and the writer paid? If you can add ALL these features (TOC, page nunbering, Cross reference, numbers equations, figure numbers etc)

Many people Will replace word and Excel. That Will be great and só productive.

The solver is like an entrance product, but writer is the crown jewel.

Just ideas...

Regardless of your decision, I wish you and your family all the best.

and thanks for this wonderful tool






Offline fedeghi  
#13 Posted : 18 March 2022 10:19:17(UTC)
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Good catch by Hildebrando Good
Companies would be interested in the formatting capabilities that would allow to quickly prepare a document for an external reader (i.e. a client, an authorized inspecor, some third party etc..), task which is somehow time consuming and difficult with SMath today: for a company it is not worth to spend 2 or 3 man-hours of an employee with engineering knowledge/capabilities, just to prepare a "good looking" final document (after the engineering calculation is already done and checked). For instance, some specific commercial softwares will print a comprehensive report of everything that has been designed with a single click (I'm thinking at the softwares I use on a daily basis, related to pressure vessels engineering). Nobody likes to use time of engineers to post-process the results into a report Rolleyes

So, powerful formatting could be paid feature, related to "productivity" (Martin split is still valid), while the "math side" remains free for every user (for his own calculations and internal checks, but without powerful publishing tools).
TOC may be paid or free: it is mainly used for post-processing, but could be also a good feature to organize the calculation steps themselves (today we use collapsible areas mainly)... I think it's up to Andrey (as everything else Laugh wild )

Edit: of course I would highly prefer that Smath kept the "free" philosophy that was in place before all this mess happened, but I can understand the difficulties in the current situation.

Edited by user 18 March 2022 10:34:04(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline Andrey Ivashov  
#14 Posted : 19 March 2022 02:28:39(UTC)
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Decision made.
SMath Studio remains to be free for commercial purposes for all contries except Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. With only one requirement: registration is required. Paid plans conditions and a web-site updated.

The reason.
Commercial usage will be paid only in places where there are no any legal alternative solutions on the market available. So, hopefully it will be free for Russia, Belarus and Ukraine soon as well.

Thanks to all for your comments!
Best regards, Andrey Ivashov.
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Offline mkraska  
#15 Posted : 19 March 2022 11:44:10(UTC)
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Andrey, thank you for clarification/adjustments.

The free version is going to be better than even proposed in the discussion. Of course we know that anything may change at any time.

Yet some Questions:

- What are the differences between advanced and basic viewer features going to be?
- Cloud version is not mentioned in the free version. Does that imply no access in that case? What will happen to existing sheets in the cloud?
- What legal situation do Russia, Belarus and Ukraine have in common?

Martin Kraska

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Offline Andrey Ivashov  
#16 Posted : 19 March 2022 15:32:28(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: mkraska Go to Quoted Post
What are the differences between advanced and basic viewer features going to be?

I do not plan to introduce any artificial restrictions. You will have access to everything you used before. Full featured SMath Viewer means that all existing features will be available. I.e. NEW significant functionality improvements will be made available for paid plans only (it is true for SMath Viewer only!).

Originally Posted by: mkraska Go to Quoted Post
Cloud version is not mentioned in the free version. Does that imply no access in that case? What will happen to existing sheets in the cloud?

Nope. It will be available as always, but it will have limitations based on my current server specs (CPU time for calculations, number of worksheets to store on server, etc.) - this is only because sever maintenance costs real money.

Originally Posted by: mkraska Go to Quoted Post
What legal situation do Russia, Belarus and Ukraine have in common?

About ten years ago, when our government finally realized a strategic wish of west contries to kill Russia using all available methods (it's done with the USSR, so the next step is obvious) a new term appeared here called "импортозамещение" - it means that our contry must not rely on "partners" technologies/goods and we must do everything by ourselves to be sure in our future.
One of the important laws prepared is that if we have a Russian analogue of a foreign software which is wanted by organizations then these organizations (not all of them actually) must use Russian software instead of the foreign one (real law is much more complex).
Because of current situation Russia and Belarus are very integrated today (at least because both of these contries are under infinite number of sanctions now) and our laws became very similar as well. Regarding Ukraine... most likely in couple of Months it will have the same amount of sanctions and will also be integrated with Russia, like Belarus today.

Best regards.

Edited by user 19 March 2022 15:34:00(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline Jean Giraud  
#17 Posted : 19 March 2022 17:37:07(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Andrey Ivashov Go to Quoted Post
it means that our country must not rely on "partners" technologies/goods and we must do everything by ourselves to be sure in our future.

You can't be more right Andrey !
Lovely Viacheslav Russia for ever
Poor Occident w/o Titanium, w/o Magnesium, much less Aluminum.
Some countries freezing cold.
I have double ancestry: Iran and Mongolia
Take care ... Jean.
Offline overlord  
#18 Posted : 19 March 2022 18:05:20(UTC)
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I said "no comments" but I am going to write anyway.

As I have mentioned, I try to use free and/or open-source softwares.
I am a supporter of Free Software Foundation and Open Software Foundation also.

Their main objective is "softwares should be free + open-source".
How developers and companies shall going to profit from this business plan?
"By charging services and software support".

I remember you said there are contracts with you and Knovel (or maybe some other companies too).
So I understand why you can't make SMath open-source now, or ever.

But not limiting its core functions enough for the community I guess.
And I also encourage you to charge cloud services of SMath.
Even I use it time to time, for personal purpose, I won't mind if it would be "pay if you want to use it".
And if commercial users want official support, demanding paid-membership is alright too.
Because you know, it is not against FSF or OSF codex. Since these are services and support.

A friend of mine as an IT person made his employer pay for open-source softwares.
Because the programs he use are essential for that company's network to work properly.
And if they want to use proprietary software, price is much higher.
Same method can be used for the SMath Studio if a company or employee is using SMath intensively.
I am sure price using Mathcad or other similar software shall be much higher.
Of course this depends at goodwill of users and companies.

I see SMath same as IrfanView, it single handly killed ACDSee and its clones.
Still getting updates and still free after all these years.
You can add Foobar2000 and AIMP to this killerapps list also.
And I proudly add SMath to this list as it may gain defacto status for engineering calculations.
Someday I hope, it is a wishfull thought at least.

I am happy you decided to keep SMath free.

Best Regards

Edited by user 19 March 2022 18:07:05(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline mkraska  
#19 Posted : 19 March 2022 19:00:02(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Andrey Ivashov Go to Quoted Post
Regarding Ukraine... most likely in couple of Months it will have the same amount of sanctions and will also be integrated with Russia, like Belarus today.


Maybe the union state will soon be a troika. The collateral damage (besides tens of thousands of death people) of this will be the strengthening of the US sponsored intermarium from the baltic to the black sea as a wedge between Germany and Russia. So the dream of the US empire comes true: Keep America in, keep the Russians out and keep the Germans down.

And the the Germans happily agree on harming themselves by cutting relations to Russia. We have our own import substitution now, it is called "freeze for peace". The US are looking forward to sell us their fracking gas and the nuclear micro-powerplants by Bill Gates. Not to speak of their F35 and nukes.

Russians in Germany now are target of officially lighted hatred and bullying much like the Russlanddeutschen were in WW2. The media had a good practice ground for hatred and bullying: promoting the vaccination campaign by seeding hatred against those who dont't want to take part in the gentech mass experiment. Interestingly, those who profit from the pandemia and from the current war are the same. And both in Wuhan and on the Maidan, american money was involved.

Let us see how soon "freezing for peace" will calm down the minds in the west. The best we can hope for now is that the SMath community will be a hole in the new iron fence.




Martin Kraska

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Offline EngMath  
#20 Posted : 05 April 2022 10:44:02(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Andrey Ivashov Go to Quoted Post
Decision made.
SMath Studio remains to be free for commercial purposes for all contries except Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. With only one requirement: registration is required. Paid plans conditions and a web-site updated.


Is that limit of 3 devices per account for the free plan really needed ? It feels as the most unnecessary and yet unpleasant limitation here.
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