It would be worth it for me.
Why not have an annual subscription service of $30 per year that allowed you to download the latest compiled version free. The sources could be on Github for anyone that wanted to compile their own – how many people would not happily pay for this? And would we even care if people griped?
I wonder how many users of Ardupilot and Mission Planner ever pay a single $1 for developer support. It is human nature though as we have not provided a mechanism for them to support it.
In general I think paying a small subscription fee for the convenience of prebuilt binaries for Ardupilot and Mission Planner would be a very fair way to get some steady funding to pay for overheads without undermining the open source nature of the project. Build instructions and could still be there for anyone that wanted to compile their own binaries for free. I mean who would not pay for this convenience? The average FPV plane costs $600 to $1000 and many people have multiple planes/copters. It is an expensive hobby.
And this concept in no way goes against the open-source concept. Many of the Linux flavors make their living off value add services.
I’ve always thought 3DR made a major strategic error not doing a ‘redhat’ of the drone world, providing a supported, stable, compiled firmware level.
If someone wants to maintain it, sure! I however do not think that it should use the Ardupilot name. I think that programs maintained under the Ardupilot name it should be free. http://ardupilot.org/dev/index.html#license
I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with you here, but the license has nothing to do with making money or commercial activities. And the Ardupilot name is already used for commercial (ie non-free) activities, eg:
And this is a good thing for the project, as a whole. A stable, supported, compiled version (ala redhat) would be a great idea and would be worth paying for. Just providing compiled versions of the latest release/master wouldn’t be. IMHO.
Fair. Kind of related to Should Mission Planner have Documented Stable Releases?
Now here you are opening a real can of worms, for what, the glint of dollar signs in the eye.
You should also consider the speed at which the ArduCode changes, and hence the speed at which the ground station programs need to change to keep up.
Mission Planner has always had patches added in the nick of time, or very shortly after a code change has broken things, so we just download the beta and all is good and we are happy our systems are working again.
If I am paying for an app I expect that app to do the job I am paying for.
So who is liable when the app breaks?
Do you distribute the app with a set FW version that matches?
What if I want to update to the next FW version that has features I need?
Do I have to wait for a validated release of Mission Planner for that FW?
Who is going to do the testing for validation?
Not the thousands of users using it for free?
When I pay NPR (National Public radio) $50 a year I do not demand certain programming or think I have a right to anything.
Nothing really changes from they way it is now and no testing is required beyond what happens now-- it is just that some small but steady revenue streams can be applied to development and/or other overheads. Right now Mission Planner exists because one person has taken it upon themself to maintain it.
This is just charging a small annual fee for pre-built binaries. I do not think it is very difficult and it does not have to be hard to get around. That is not the point of it. It gives people a mechanism to support the project.
It could be done with little more than the permissions that apply to the discuss forums now (where I use a Google login as authentication). It could dovetail with Mission Planner. Do you really think that all the Ardupilot users would refuse to pay whatever was decided as a nominal fee for this? Make it $1 a year and have the option to pay more. $10, $20, $30. This is just a nominal fee for access to the auto-build binaries with a potential to allow people to may more.
This is like the free access to the British Museum where you have to walk past the donation box.
Love Mission Planner
I can’t believe the work and improvements that have gone into it.
Really appreciate those who “work” the project and keep it going.
Would like to see the AUTO LAND feature for fixed wings improved somehow…
seems like most of us get inconsistent landing…
I cool feature would be like a learning mode when performing a manual land (have the software ‘watch’ what you do when you land it manually, then have it replicated the pattern, speed and glide slope (touchdown).
I noticed this. I say it will be almost impossible to setup x8 unless you arm the craft.