I think the forum and this thread is a place for discussion and ideas. The thread was started with that in mind. Regardless, I don’t believe anyone is under estimating the value of SGP. Whatever happens will ultimately be the decision of Jared and Ken, their business model, the future road map of SGP and how best to keep it accessible and affordable for all current users and new users which I would imagine encompasses a diverse range of backgrounds and situations. IMO.
Just to clarify some things:
- We won’t be charging for minor releases. This was never on the table. You buy 3.X and you’ll get all 3.X updates.
- We’ve actually always been planning on releasing major revisions for an upgrade but this never happened. We’re generally bad at business things and good at software (we’re both engineers and not salesman)
- When it’s time for a new major release we’ll generally stop support for the previous version. We may elect, at our discretion, to fix issues in older versions. However I would not count on this and it will absolutely be an exception rather than the “norm”.
- Whatever version you use you can use for life. You buy 3.X you can use 3.X even if we have released 4.X, 5.X, etc.
- Licenses will be backwards compatible with at least the last release of the previous version. So you upgrade to 3.0 and for (whatever reason) you want to use 2.X on one of your machines…you can do that.
- We haven’t figured out what, if any, discount there will be for version jumping. (You have 3.0, we release 5.0 and you never updated to 4.0, etc) It may just be the normal update cost, it may be full price. Probably the former, but still undetermined.
Hope that helps to clear up any confusion.
We still don’t have an idea on timing for the 3.0 release. We’ll be releasing a 3.0 beta soon. It will be a self expiring beta similar to how we did betas a few years back with the Notification System and Framing and Mosaic Wizard. You’ll need a valid 2.X license and the beta will die after 45 days. So we’ll be releasing new betas every 30ish days until we’re ready for release.
Sounds good to me
Wonder what goodies will be in this beta then ?
Primarily the planning tools.
And potentially INDI support which may come later. Those will likely be the major features. Naturally some other smaller things mixed in.
Will a filter offset wizard be in 3.0?
At this time it is still unplanned, meaning we haven’t determined if or when this feature would get implemented. Could be 3.0, could be 4.0, could be never.
The altitude and planning tool looks great. One suggestion I would have is to incorporate over time user azimuth constraints. Indeed, many of us do not have 360 degree visibility and deal with balconies, trees etc…
One nice solution would be to add as part of your location profile an azimuth mask. It could be quite simple with a list of coordinates (azimuth, minimum altitude).
For example if my tree is blocking altitude below 60 from az 30 to 40, the file would indicate:
The planning tool would take this into account as an additional constraint. I really think this would immensely simplify life for all of us who don’t have a nice observatory with clear access to the sky…
The filter offset wizard and user definable focus area would make SGP perfect for me.
SGP is the centerpiece of making astrophotography “doable”.
It’s the least expensive part of my kit, and among the most important.
I don’t even know if i can buy a spare cable for $100
I would pay full price for the upgrade and not think twice about it, including all the add-ons I bought
I can’t believe there is a discussion of tens of dollars for exceptional software in a hobby that is orders of magnitude more expensive than that.
Send me an e-mail with details on these version upgrades and I will throw my wallet at you! I’m more than happy to support Sequence Generator Pro. I love the software and the development team!
SGP is really close to “magic”. It’s the single biggest upgrade I ever bought for my imaging system with the exception of my mount and my focuser. I’m happy to pay for major releases.
Seconded- I have a very limited view, and right now I use TheSkyX with a custom horizon image to figure out how to time my imaging. Being able to “draw” this, somehow, would be very handy. Maybe a wizard where you slew to 10 points and it creates an outline of the visible area from that?
Any chance of being able to download just the manual - so that I can see what the beta actually does? Otherwise the warning to not install it unless I am going to buy it is somewhat awkward. It would be nice to see what the planner does. If there is already a link to the manual, my apologies for not yet having spotted it.
As a very new paid for user but also as a software company owner for 24 years may I make one small suggestion. Please consider extending the 45 day free upgrade grace period to 6 months or twelve months. It will remove any hesitance to buy the software or even pay for additional modules.
I’m extremely pleased that you are doing this guys. I’ve recently evaluated other packages that compete with SGP - packages costing 5X to 20X SGP and with annual support fees. I came back to SGP because it’s more self-contained, has a fresher, more modern interface, and just works.
Anything that keeps you working on SGP is well worth it to me. I totally understand that everyone’s budgets are very personal and what is a no-brainer for one person could be a bigger issue for another. That said, I’d love to see you able to work full time on SGP - it has momentum in the market and I hope this new model makes it financially rewarding for you.
Great software and support!
An easy download of the manual would surely be reasonable? Currently I feel as if I am offered a ‘pig in a poke’! There was no response to my previous request for a manual download to see what the new version does. We are told not to install it if we don’t plan to buy it.
There is nothing preventing one going back and forth on versions; if I wanted to, I could remove the beta and replace with one of the prior downloads. As for the manual, I do not think it is not unexpected to wait for the implementation to settle before writing it. The new feature is the visual start/stop time planner - it is pretty obvious to use, but there are still discussions and suggestions on fine-tuning it.
Thanks. I was/am concerned about the comment about not installing it
unless we are ready to buy it. Maybe I’ll wait anyway until I have
cracked my current problems with SGP!
I licensed SGPro not long after it was first released, despite having an (out of date) version of Maxim. I was attracted by the features, simplicity and the friendly disposition of the developers but above all the remarkable value for money.
Due to family illnesses, it has been over two years since I last pointed a telescope at the sky but SGPro is still the jewel in the software that I use and to hear that Ken and Jared have to work on it in their spare time saddens me - they should be wealthy men for the effort they have put in. I fully support their new licensing model.