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EZGUI 4.0 Low cost version - feedback needed

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  • EZGUI 4.0 Low cost version - feedback needed

    I have been toying with the idea of a low cost version of EZGUI for some time, but it is hard to determine what features to keep and what to remove.

    I think I have a better concept now, but some feedback would be appreciated.

    Rather than create a Standard version (low cost, less features), I am considering a Personal Version instead.

    Whats the difference ?

    The personal version would have basically all of the EZGUI 4.0 Pro feature set. Everything!

    The difference would be in maximum limits in the runtime and designer and also the Software License.

    So far this is what I have (this is subject to change):

    Runtime:____________________Personal_____Pro

    - Maximum Active Forms:________10______Unlimited (default 150)
    - Maximum Active Controls:____150______Unlimited (default 1500)
    - Maximum Layers:_______________9________99
    - Maximum Sprites:_____________12______5000

    Designer:
    - Maximum Controls per Form:___75______750

    The Software License for apps created with the Personal Version would be limited to either:
    - Personal use only (run only on computers owned by user)
    - InHouse Business use (run only on inhouse computers owned by company (limited to 5 PC's)

    No distribution to third parties allowed (commercial or even freeware).

    This version would allow Hobbyist programmers to get EZGUI at a low cost.

    It would also allow businesses to experiment with EZGUI and use it at least for inhouse projects. All commercial distribution of apps would require the Pro version.

    Any comments ?

    The price ? Definitely below $50, but I haven't decided yet.

    This version also would be great for Third Party developers who want to make their custom controls EZGUI compatible, since it would support custom controls.
    Last edited by Chris Boss; 26 Oct 2007, 06:22 PM.
    Chris Boss
    Computer Workshop
    Developer of "EZGUI"
    http://cwsof.com
    http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

  • #2
    Greetings Chris!

    There are tools like this that I've always day-dreamed about using; but, I've not had enough expendable funds to warrant purchasing for the personal programming that I do. Create a version like this and I'd be interested.
    Donnie Ewald
    [email protected]

    Comment


    • #3
      EZGUI 4.0 Pro is a professional level tool and its price puts it out of the range of those who program for a hobby.

      Also to protect the product, I don't have a demo version available. The include files don't become public knowledge this way (and they are crucial to using EZGUI). Some people though are use to downloading demo versions of products and this lack makes it harder for people to test run EZGUI before buying it.

      The personal version would solve some of these problems.

      I have no desire to lower the price of EZGUI, since the price accurately reflects the value of the product. Professional programmers will find that the cost is quite reasonable for what the product offers.

      Dummying down the product to make a lower cost version hasn't proved a good course to follow since it requires a lot of editing of the existing code and is more time consuming that one might think. EZGUI has too many interrelated features in it (one depends upon another) to easily remove a lot of features.

      While this may help in sales of EZGUI 4.0 Pro (people can take it for a test run), it really is for targeting those who never could afford EZGUI Pro, but who would benefit from a personal version and who have no need to distribute applications. A few who purchase the personal version, may upgrade to the pro version (an upgrade would be available), but likely many would stick with the personal version.

      Most of my customers program for a living, so the cost is not a problem, but for those who don't this would be a good alternative.
      Chris Boss
      Computer Workshop
      Developer of "EZGUI"
      http://cwsof.com
      http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

      Comment


      • #4
        The personal version would have basically all of the EZGUI 4.0 Pro feature set. Everything!

        The difference would be in maximum limits in the runtime and designer and also the Software License.

        So far this is what I have (this is subject to change):

        Runtime:____________________Personal_____Pro

        - Maximum Active Forms:________20______Unlimited (default 150)
        - Maximum Active Controls:____200______Unlimited (default 1500)
        - Maximum Layers:_______________10________99
        - Maximum Sprites:_____________50______5000

        Designer:
        - Maximum Controls per Form:___100______750

        The Software License for apps created with the Personal Version would be limited to either:
        - Personal use only (run only on computers owned by user)
        - InHouse Business use (run only on inhouse computers owned by company)
        - Freeware

        The price ? $75-$100

        I haven't used the product, so can you describe the how layers and sprites are used? And by Active do you mean currently shown, or on all forms shown or not?
        Last edited by Roger Garstang; 27 Oct 2007, 11:47 PM.
        sigpic
        Mobile Solutions
        Sys Analyst and Development

        Comment


        • #5
          Active means all the forms or controls that exist at the same time, not the maximum in the program.

          Layers allow you to assign groups of controls to specific layers and to hide and show them by layer. This is how EZGUI impliments Tab controls and it can also be used for other purposes (like wizard style dialogs).

          Sprites are movable images which can be assigned to the Canvas control. The Canvas stores the background, while the sprites are displayed on top of it. Sprites can have a transparent color, so they are non-rectangular. They can be moved, hidden/shown, flipped vertically or horizontally. They can also be alphablended (to the background and each other) and also anti-aliased. No DirectX, OpenGL or GDI+ needed!
          Chris Boss
          Computer Workshop
          Developer of "EZGUI"
          http://cwsof.com
          http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

          Comment


          • #6
            As a beginner and a hobbyist, I would be very interested in a personal version. If you decide to implement this, any idea yet of when it would be released?

            Thanks

            Comment


            • #7
              Darrell,

              Quite soon actually.

              Nothing in "stone" mind you, but I am serious about this approach.
              Chris Boss
              Computer Workshop
              Developer of "EZGUI"
              http://cwsof.com
              http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

              Comment


              • #8
                I, too, have been put off by the high price for software I mainly use to develop applications for personal or in-house use. I would support the proposed personal version at a modest price.
                Last edited by Derek Mullins; 28 Oct 2007, 09:41 PM. Reason: fix spelling

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've purchased EZGUI when Chris lowered the price for a short period and I am really enjoying it, even though I don't really need it for my hobby projects. It would be great if cheap personal edition becomes available as many more people would start using this great piece of software. And it is quite possible that some of them will make the jump to the full featured Pro version, which I heartily recommend.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Stay tuned for more info coming soon!
                    Chris Boss
                    Computer Workshop
                    Developer of "EZGUI"
                    http://cwsof.com
                    http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This is what I have so far: (this is subject to change)

                      The personal version would have the following in the software license:

                      Parts of the software (runtime modules) are required to run applications created using EZGUI 4.0 PV (Personal Version). You may use these runtimes Royalty Free (to run your applications) on up to 3 computers owned by you the Licensee, provided that they are accompanied by an actual application program which uses the runtime modules. You may "NOT" though distribute the runtimes to any third parties. This version of EZGUI 4.0 is for "Personal Use" only! If a Business purchases this software, the runtimes may only be used on up to 3 computers for "Inhouse use only". No software created using this software may be distributed to third parties. Even so called "Freeware" created using EZGUI 4.0 PV (Personal Version) is limited to the above restrictions.
                      The runtime would have the following limits:

                      Maximum active forms - 10
                      Maximum active controls - 250
                      Layers - 9
                      Sprites - 12
                      Controls per Form in Designer - 75

                      The following controls would be limited to 1 per Top Level form (this includes any embed child forms as part of the top level form):

                      Canvas control
                      Properties Listbox control
                      Turtle Graphics control
                      Drag handle control
                      MCI control
                      Files Listbox control
                      Custom Control (per class)
                      Chris Boss
                      Computer Workshop
                      Developer of "EZGUI"
                      http://cwsof.com
                      http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would think these restrictions on use would be enough, and would go ahead and give the purchaser the full product. This would allow development of programs which would exploit your product to the fullest, and then the purchase of an unrestricted license if the license restrictions no longer fit. A version with "training wheels", OR a restricted version, but not both. This is my opinion only, and from your point of view may seem nuts, but you did ask!

                        Chuck

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Chuck has a point.

                          By supplying a personal version it also gives the professional developers like myself a chance to play with it. If they like it and want to distribute an application that uses it they would purchase the full version.

                          If you go this route, what would the upgrade price be for the full version?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Chris,

                            I was wondering about the phrase "No software created using this software may be distributed to third parties." Would this prohibit making something like a personalized address book for a close friend or family?

                            Thanks,
                            Darrell

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This version would be only for your own personal use.

                              This means that for an individual, you could use it on multiple (3) computers you own (ie. family computer, your personal computer and a laptop). It would not be for distribution outside your household.

                              For a business it would only be used in house on up to 3 computers.

                              The upgrade price would be the difference between the personal version price and the Professional version price. In essence, you wouldn't spend any more money when upgrading that you would if you bought the pro version outright.

                              Likely by tommorrow I will have some news about the personal version.

                              If anyone would like to get info about purchasing ASAP (as soon as it is released which is soon), send me an email and I will send you info even before my web site is updated.

                              [email protected]
                              Chris Boss
                              Computer Workshop
                              Developer of "EZGUI"
                              http://cwsof.com
                              http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Hi Chris,

                                You may want to have a look at Aestiva that sells HTMLOS for $800 (full version - per URL) but has a FREE version (H2O) with specific limitations. Since this company is competing with open source products like php, Perl and feel that if the developer would try the environment they would be hooked and buy the full version. The FREE version is still a very usable product but has a max of 500 records for any table and a session limit of 15 users before it's starts dropping users.

                                They have been very sucessful with this concept and I thought I would share it with you.

                                http://www.aestiva.com <-- HTMLOS Full Version

                                http://h2o.aestiva.com <-- FREE version website


                                John
                                Last edited by John Spikowski; 31 Oct 2007, 01:10 AM.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Sorry,

                                  I have no desire to offer EZGUI as freeware.

                                  Freeware has a downside and sometimes cheapens the product.

                                  People spend too much money on fancy cell phones, computer games, DVD's, game consoles and all sorts of things. To think that $50 (or less) is a fortune to spend on a programming tool, even for a hobby, does not make sense, IMO. :coffee3:
                                  Chris Boss
                                  Computer Workshop
                                  Developer of "EZGUI"
                                  http://cwsof.com
                                  http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    If my memory serves me right, you offered a free version at one time.

                                    You make your money with the full boat version of EZGUI, not on demo software. The trick is to get as many people as possible to start using your product and after they see how easy it is to create applications, they will buy the real thing.

                                    You asked for feedback and I tried to help.

                                    John

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      The Personal version of EZGUI 4.0 is not a Demo version.

                                      It is fully functioning GUI engine and designer for personal use.

                                      While it will have some limitations, it does have all of the basic features of EZGUI 4.0 Pro. The few limitations should not impact significantly those who simply want to build apps for personal use.

                                      John, you haven't experienced EZGUI 4.0, so you have no idea of its power and functionality. EZGUI has come a long way from its early versions. The Visual Designer alone (with the new Smart Parser) is amazing. It is sleek, simple to use and very powerful.

                                      Of course marketing of any software has its challenges and there are many choices one must make. I do not feel that a freeware version of EZGUI would benefit my product line. I have never had the idea of offering a current version of EZGUI as freeware. My freeware visual designers are not part of the EZGUI product line. They were intended to be freeware from the start, since I wasn't supporting DDT at the time in a commercial product.

                                      Having sold four generations of EZGUI (1.0 to 4.0) I have learned a lot about the market for EZGUI. One thing is that the higher price (for the Pro version) has brought a better customer base with more commitment to using the product, than when it sold at a cheaper price. I don't want people to just buy EZGUI (aka. lots of sales). I want people to use EZGUI and enjoy it. When people regularly use a product and enjoy it (find it useful), they make the best "word of mouth" advertising. People who buy EZGUI appear to not buy it "spur of the moment". They usually spend weeks or even months reading about it and thinking about it first. They ask questions about it. The decision to buy is usually well thought out (and I want it that way).

                                      Freeware tends to draw the wrong kind of potential customers in this case. EZGUI requires a commitment from the user, not just a casual glance.

                                      For example, a few new EZGUI users may struggle for a few days with the product. This is why I offer such extensive tech support. They can go to my forums. They can email me. They can telephone me if they like and I will spend a good bit of time helping them get through the initial learning curve. Normally, after a short period of time, I can get most customers over the hurdles and once they understand the basics, most quickly become productive.

                                      One customer actually emailed nearly 70 times when they first got the product, asking questions. My replies were often extensive and detailed. Finally they understood the basic concept of EZGUI and at that point became not only productive, but enjoyed using it. This person is an avid EZGUI user today.

                                      Offering a freeware version of EZGUI would backfire, IMO, since I would not be able to devote as much time to hundreds or even thousands of freeware users. Those who had initial hurdles in learning EZGUI would quickly give up and would likely speak negatively about the product.

                                      EZGUI is not just a software product. It a software package, with likely the best technical support available in the industry. The technical support is part of the package. Just ask my customers about that. This was part of my marketing plan. Sell a product at a price which truly reflects the entire package (the software and the technical support).
                                      Chris Boss
                                      Computer Workshop
                                      Developer of "EZGUI"
                                      http://cwsof.com
                                      http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        EZGUI 4.0 Personal version is now available for only $49!

                                        Come visit my web site for more info.
                                        Chris Boss
                                        Computer Workshop
                                        Developer of "EZGUI"
                                        http://cwsof.com
                                        http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                                        Comment

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