This post is a logical continuation of our previous talk about why Valentinа is free. In it, we tried to calculate the real price of owning the program. And today we’ll talk about how you can lower that price.
If you don’t feel Valentina’s price, then this article won’t be interesting to you. Feel free to stop. You just don’t feel the need to make any changes. This article is for those who need that change.
The previous article may give a negative impression to a person unprepared and unfamiliar with the world of open source software. Yes, the most negative scenario is not very happy - you are left alone with your problems. But it’s like entering a country during a war or natural disaster.
Cost. As we have already noted, there is always a category of citizens who are comfortable living in the country and yet, as a result of the activities of others, they may not worry about how the country functions. They don’t think about organizing trash removal and disposal, taking care of the sick, or organizing public transportation. For them, everything works itself. Like magic. The same effect can be seen for software. If your problems are 98% or more secured, you won’t have to worry about how and who creates translations, tests them, finds bugs, and fixes them. How new functionality is developed or support occurs. This is the ideal, and it is achieved through the efforts of many people.
Valentina was created to meet a specific goal. As a tool for creating parametric patterns. It is very interesting to see how people hang labels: for hobbyists, for home use, for the atelier. As we mentioned once before, our goal is professional use for creating garments. That’s a very ambitious goal for such a small team. After all, as we understand it, Valentina still falls behind a computer-aided design system.
On the way to that goal, the question of cost of ownership becomes very relevant. Professional use, in our case, cannot rely on the user to handle their own problems. It would require too much effort: programming knowledge and time. That’s why we immediately considered support as a must-have option when working on a project. Professionals need guarantees.
Warranties are not a convenient topic to bring up. It is uncomfortable because many people have a negative attitude to it. In their view, free software should not bring its authors any profits. And we strongly disagree with this approach. And frankly speaking, we don’t understand such people. For us it is not just a way to make money, it is our dream. And we clearly understand that without commercial support, there are no guarantees.
Sometimes people terrify us with their stories when they tell us about implementation successes in their businesses. Immediately we think, do these people have a plan of action in case of any problems? Do they realize they may be left alone with problems? One thing is always reassuring, they know where to find us. And then most likely everything will be fine. We’ll get through the challenges. That eases a little bit the burden of responsibility that comes down on us with the increasing popularity of the project.
Using Valentina for professional use has several risks.
Now our team is focused on creating training materials. For this purpose, we created a manual and recorded a course for beginners. We’re also creating our collection of ready-made patterns. This also helps us to sharpen the program’s functionality and find new bugs on real examples. As much as possible we help users with their problems. You can always contact us if you have a question. We quickly address such requests.
As you can see, we’re on a path that will allow us to provide maximum assurance to Valentina users and, in turn, reduce the cost of ownership for our users. And make sure they’re not left alone with their problems. If you’re interested in commercial feature development for Valentina, you can reach us at one of our contacts.
All of this allows us to continue to develop Valentina in the future, and we sincerely hope that you will continue to support us and our project.