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FREEAVD: Frequently Asked Questions

Project Overview/FAQ

Q: What exactly is FREEAVD anyway?

  • FREE Visual RAD (Rapid Application Development) Tools for AmigaOS4(tm).
  • More FREEWARE APPLICATION Development for AmigaOS4(tm).
  • Attracting more Professional Developers to the AmigaOS4(tm) platform.
  • Helping everyone (especially beginners) build quality AmigaOS4(tm) software, using professional, openly distributed tools.

FREEAVD is a proposed project to create and release a FREEWARE version of the AVD (Advanced Visual Developer) Suite and associated tools for the AmigaOS4(tm) operating system.

The "FREE" in FREEAVD has a twofold meaning; first that the software itself will be distributed openly as FREEWARE for use by anyone, second that the RAD (Rapid Application Development) part of FREEAVD will be limited to the production of FREEWARE software only.

Q: How will this project be accomplished?

By the generous financial contributions of individuals who understand the importance of projects like this to the overall success of the AmigaOS4(tm) platform, and a whole lot of hard work.
To make your contribution to the FREEAVD Project, use the "BECOME A SPONSOR!" link on the left.

Q: What will be included in FREEAVD?

The FREEAVD Project encompasses an entire suite of applications and tools aimed at making developing for AmigaOS4(tm) MUCH easier for both the professional and the complete beginner. It will include, among other things;
  • A special build of the AVD (Advanced Visual Developer) Suite v1.0 for AmigaOS4(tm), which includes:
  • In addition, other freeware tools like the AVD Template Project and the upcoming XML-to-GUI runtime system, will also be included and see further development and improvement.
  • Eventually, I expect a score of smaller "visual" tools will also be included with FREEAVD. Most of which will provide nice, easy to use, graphical interfaces for the many existing "command line only" tools that can be found among the GNU/GCC toolkits. There will also be a "contrib" area where third-party developers will be encouraged to contribute their own work and example projects that demonstrate the use of FREEAVD.

Q: How will FREEAVD be "Limited to the production of FREEWARE software only?"

Only the RAD, or Rapid Application Development, parts of FREEAVD will carry this restricted use license. Other parts of the FREEAVD Suite will be completely open for any use, including the writing and selling of your own software projects that you may create using these tools. For example the AVD Template Project, FREEAVD's Text Editor and SDK Browser may all be used freely to write any software you choose, for any purpose you choose.

However, FREEAVD's GUI Builder, XML-to-GUI runtime system and the Project Manager will all to restricted to producing software that may only be distributed under a FREEWARE license, and you may not charge anyone for the use of that software. Equally, FREEAVD will not be licensed for *internal* use by any company or other commercial business entity. Any company may use FREEAVD to write FREEWARE ONLY software that it intends to distribute to the general pubic under a FREEWARE license, but will require a valid license of the full AVD Suite v1.0 or better if they wish to write internal applications or sell software created with AVD to the public.

Q: How will the "FREEWARE Limitation" be enforced?

FREEAVD, in contrast to the AVD Suite, will not generate any of it's managed code to source code form, where it can be generally open and readable. Rather, it will gather all interface design, attached external source code, etc. and produce executable binaries (AmigaOS4(tm) runtime "ELF" executable programs) only.

Additionally, a mandatory "FREEAVD about window" and "FREEWARE Notice" code section will be automatically integrated into the final runtime binaries. Command line "version" and "license" output as well as single menu item will be added to each application. The impact to size will be quite small and the application's user will not have to suffer any "forced" popup windows or other such annoyances. The notices are there to inform the user that they should not have been asked to pay for the use of this software, it must be distributed as FREEWARE only.

Q: What if a write a "killer" app with FREEAVD and want to start selling it?

No problem, all FREEAVD projects will remain 100% upward compatible with the AVD Suite itself. Therefore, all you need to do is purchase the full AVD Suite, load in your FREEAVD project files, and AVD will generate a full-source version for you which can be licensed, sold and distributed any way you wish, without the "mandatory notice" code.

In fact, if you become a sponsor for the FREEAVD project and contribute a total or US $200.00 or more, you will not only help make FREEAVD possible but will personally receive a full licensed copy of the AVD Suite v1.0 as well. See the "BECOME A SPONSOR!" link on the left.

Please Note: It will be possible for FREEAVD project files to be distributed openly so that anyone may use either FREEAVD or AVD to modify or create their own projects based off of the public project files. However, since all FREEAVD and AVD project files are keyed to the author's license to use that software, you will not be allowed to use AVD to load a FREEAVD project and change the license it was distributed under without the original author's consent. The author may choose to export an "unkeyed" project file in this case, making it completely "open source", as it were. Thus enabling the open distribution of a sample project from the start and not requiring the author to go back and export another copy of the (FREE)AVD project files.

Q: How do the sponsorship levels work, do I just keep paying forever or what?

All sponsorship levels (COPPER, GOLD, SILVER, and PLATINUM) are made in monthly installments (of US $10, $25, $50, or $100 respectively) via a PayPal subscription plan. The subscription plans themselves are not set to terminate at any specific date, but may be cancelled by the user at any time by going to PayPal's Website) directly.

Since any sponsor who contributes a total of at least US $200.00 to the project will also get a full copy of the AVD Suite, it is highly encouraged that each sponsor continue to at least that level before canceling their participation. However this is not required.

See the "BECOME A SPONSOR!" link on the left to join the sponsorship program or make a one time donation.

Q: What happens if the minimum sponsorship level is hit and then funding drops off after you already committed to the project?

Once the Initial Bounty for the project has been met (see the STATUS Page for more information), I will commit to writing and releasing FREEAVD, based on the feature set targeted for the AVD Suite v1.0.0.0. If funding drops below the minimum requirement after that point, development delays are likely (see below). However, development on the FREEAVD project will continue and it will be released as promised. (Most likely around the time AVD itself reaches its first release)

Q: If the FREEAVD project funding is not made available, will the completion of AVD be delayed?

Unfortunately, yes. Unless further funding is made available immediately I will be forced to take on other "paying" projects and most likely accept a full time position with another company in order to survive. I don't like it, but I am now over 18 months into this project and running my own company and my initial start-up funds are all but completely exhausted. I will see to the completion of the AVD Suite v1.0 as I have promised to do, but delays in development are inevitable without continued funding.

On the upside, the minimum funding requirements needed to complete both AVD and FREEAVD come in approximately one third of my normal "Sr. Software Engineer" salary. It's not enough to actually pay myself anything at all, but it is enough to keep the company going, and me programing for AmigaOS4(tm), full time. It will only take a mere fraction of the existing AmigaONE owners to commit to a token amount each month to make FREEAVD and beyond possible, so please help grow the AmigaOS4(tm) software base by supporting this project. Thank You.

Q: Who should contribute to this effort?

The most obvious answer is "anyone who wishes to help the AmigaOS4(tm) platform grow.", but here are a few others:
  • Professional Developers wishing to make their life easier and help grow the number of available AmigaOS4(tm) titles as well.
  • Beginning Developers who are looking for a "point & click, drag and drop" way to write their own software applications with little too no prior programming experience.
  • Amiga User Groups looking for a real way to help the platform grow and have more software to play with as a result.
  • Amiga Enthusiasts who want free visual development tools and more FREEWARE software available for them when that new AmigaONE hardware is finally available.
Remember, more software availability promotes more demand for hardware, which in turn promotes more demand for software. A mutually beneficial cycle which ultimately leads to a strong platform for everyone.

See the "BECOME A SPONSOR!" link on the left to make your contribution.

Q: I have a question about the " status " bar for the sponsors. If we need 300 sponsors who donate/invest 10$, will the bar go further if there is someone who sponsors 50$ a month? Will the bar advance 5 X faster? (10$ = 1 X)? [Question from DirkB]

It can and does yes.

The "bounty" progress bar is a complete total of all monthly sponsors and donations thus far.
The "Sponsors" bar I count up in $10 increments, so:

$ 10/Month (COPPER) counts as 1 Sponsor
$ 25/Month (SILVER) counts as 2 Sponsors
$ 50/Month (GOLD) counts as 5 Sponsors
$100/Month (PLATINUM) counts as 10 Sponsors.

Q: What if I want to change my 10$/month to a 25$/month 4 months from now? Shall I go to my Paypal account and break the subscription and start a new through your site? Will I be credited for my previous donations based on the same paypal account? [Question from Samwel]

Exactly right. Simply go to your paypal account and cancel out the current subscription and then go back to the BITbyBIT site and sign up again under which sponsor level you like.

If you need to you can always just stop the payments for a while and then start them up again, or make some payments and then a donation. Anything you want to really, it's entirely up to you.

In all cases I will credit ALL payments, donations, etc. toward the purchase of the full AVD Suite. Just make sure to use the same paypal account (and email), or send me a note to let me know that it's still you so I can connect the payment history together.

If you ask anyone who has already made their purchase through the FDSP programs, and had interrupted payments or paypal issues, they can tell you that I handled those the same way, always crediting everything you put in no matter how broken up the payments may have been.

Q: So if a person sponsors 100$/month for 20 months he/she has got himself 10 copies of the full AVD suit which he/she can give to anyone? Or have I misunderstood this? [Question from Samwel]

Yes, that is correct. They will gain one full license for the upcoming AVD Suite v1.0 for every US $200.00 of contributions to the FREEAVD project.

The AVD software is licensed "per seat" as opposed to "per machine". This means that each copy is keyed to one individual (or in the case of a company one "seat"), and not to any number of machines that you may choose to run it on.

Therefore, you only need one license to have a copy installed on your workstation and your laptop (OOOH OS4 laptop PLEASE! ... er, sorry.) if you are the only one using it. However, if you have a team of people using the software in any way, you will need one license for each member of the team, even if they all shared only one machine. (For multiple-license and network based installs you will have to log into the AVD software to use it, so it always knows who ie. "which seat" is doing what work. This is true of single installations as well, although the login key is automatic so you are not bothered by it.)

Keep in mind that if you do get a handful of licenses in this manner and what to give some away, once you decide (and tell me) how you want the licenses handled and the keys are made for them, you can't change your mind later on.

See the "BECOME A SPONSOR!" link on the left to make your contribution.

If you have not found an answer you were looking for in the above FAQ list, please email it to me at and I will try to answer it for you, and post it to the FAQ. Thank You.

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