Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Open sourcing CQC
#1
I figure the small number of active users we still have will have seen this discussion in the beta section, but just in case...

After a couple decades of CQC development, which has really been a slow motion descent into poverty, I've decided to open source CQC, meaning to make the source code available, for the non-developers in the crowd.

This doesn't mean the end of CQC. Hopefully it will be a new beginning. CQC is clearly far more refined a product than the other open source automation systems out there, so I would hope we can steal some talented developers from some of those other products and get them involved in CQC. Also, CQC isn't just an automation system, it's a full development platform. So it really could be providing many other capabilities as part of an overall package, which I'd never have time to do all of myself. We can hopefully also get some knowledgeable Linux gurus on board to help with Linux support (which I got a good ways into but ran short of Linux experience.)

I'll eat the cost of keeping the web site and forum up. Maybe we'll set up a option for folks to make small contributions to help offset some of that. And I'll keep a most recent official version installer built and on the web site as it is now. You won't have to build it yourself in order to use it or anything. I'll act as gate keeper for accepting changes into the code from other developers, to insure consistency and quality, and as an overall guide. Of course this will also insure that CQC survives if something happens to me. Even if the source code was published post-Dean-mortem, it wouldn't do much good because it would be so complex to figure out. This way I can get my knowledge spread out into a community so that it's not completely dependent on me.

Actually half of the code is already open sourced anyway. The code base is really split into two parts. It's about 1.1 million lines of code. about 45% of that is completely general purpose code that has nothing specifically to do with CQC, other than that CQC is built on top of it. That's what I meant above about the potential for the code base to support a lot of other home IT infrastructure functionality. As CQC itself proves, this general purpose layer is extremely powerful. This is on github, a widely used source code repository web site. CQC will be hosted there as well.

https://github.com/DeanRoddey/CIDLib

It's a bit depressing obviously to have sacrificed two decades of my life with little to show for it other than stress and saddle sores, and to know that I'll now have to work for the rest of my life since I'll never be able to afford to retire. That's a long fall from the dreams of glory I had back at the start.

But, CQC was always badly positioned, really only appealing to a pretty small technical crowd, and of them only those willing to actually spend money (which is a very small slice of a small slice.) It was well placed for the pro market in terms of capabilities, and there's where any actual money is. But there are multiple X hundred pound gorillas already sitting on large chunks of that real estate and we could never get any real traction there. It was too complex for the average Joe, and even more so once the big players got into the automation game on the low end with 'good enough' products, squeezing CQC's potential market down to about zero.

I guess that's the dangers of letting technical people make business decisions. Doesn't matter how good a product is if there's not a viable market for it. I really did it because I thought it would be interesting and fun, without really ever having a good vision for how it might actually be sold. I (like many naive first timers) believed in the old 'build it and they will come' thing, or 'work really hard and you'll make it' and all those cliches. But, of course it's only the winners who all the books get written about. Yeh, they all worked really hard, but their success was correlation, not causation.

And even that would have been fine if it stayed a 'fun time' product. But it ended up eating up my every waking hour for 20 years and coming at the expense of all of the mercenary salary I could have earned in all that time. I think the results reflect the intense effort, but in the long run I'd have been vastly better off if had it stayed a hobby project.


I've already stripped the licensing code out of CQC, though I still need to test out those changes. I'm currently working on beefing up some security stuff that worked fine in a closed code system, but that needs to be somewhat more robust with the code being openly available.

It may be a couple more months before the code is ready to post. I also will need to update docs and the web site and such, though that doesn't necessarily need to be complete before I post the code. In the meantime, if you need a license just let me know and I'll send you one. It'll remain available only to licensed users until such time as it formally goes open source. But no need to make any maintenance payments or anything. We won't be taking any new purchases either, not that there's much danger of that happening anyway. I think I can count on one hand the number of systems we sold over the last year, and all of those small ones.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
Reply
#2
I'd like to be the first to say thank you. 

The money I spent on CQC was more than worth it and is/was the only reason I really got in to home automation in the first place. Control4, RTI, et al were out for me because the prices were just stupid and the quality hit or miss because of the franchise model employed by the companies, who really do not care if you received a quality install by one of their franchisees. This stuff is not rocket science and I wanted something that I could do myself but was as elegant and comparable to the gorillas charging god's money.

I also did not like the alternative which were mainly zwaved based "hobbyist" systems (Domoticz, HomeSeer, OpenHAB, et al.) because their interfaces were clunky and immature, and the systems were not customizable.

CQC's IV is one of the main features/selling points, along with the fully customizable driver set, for those with the skills.

I've always said that one could easily white label CQC and use if for pro installs in the same way that Control4, et al, do it, at a fraction of the cost. Install AnyDesk on the client CQC server and you can remotely administrate and configure.
Reply
#3
Dean: Sad that you couldn't make a decent living while devoting yourself to this effort. I for one, and I'm sure the rest of us, thank you for the time and effort you put into this product. To me, this was a family of friends who all put ourselves into the product. 

Best wishes on the next phase of your life. 

Bugman, Dan
Reply
#4
I'd also like to say thank you.

10 to 15 years (I think) of using CQC and it is still one of the best HA systems there is. It has been my lack of coding skills and lack of time that have prevented me from adding more drivers - I so wanted to add more to it that would make it more suitable for semi industrial control as well - Modbus (partially implemented), OPC etc. At least I was able to get MQTT added (Big thanks to Dean for this) that I can now go down the path of LoRaWAN and adding it to my system.

I have always pushed CQC as the way to go for a system in a house - and I have another one just about ready to commit.

Anyway - thank you Dean for all your effort - I really appreciate all your work and effort.
Mykel Koblenz
Illawarra Smart Home
Reply
#5
Thanks Dean!  I have enjoyed using CQC for the last 13 years, and as I mentioned before, it is used everyday by myself and my wife.  I hope that this new plan and endeavor works for not only you, but for the entire CQC community.  Your support was second to none, and I know every one of your current and former users know that.    Your dream made a big difference in my day-to-day activities, and it is greatly appreciated.
Reply
#6
Just to echo what others have already said.
I've been using CQC for about 15 years. IMO it is the best HA software out there for two main reasons. 
1. Deans passion and responsiveness
2. Non cloud base.

I hope it lives on and you can find a way for it to be more profitable for you than in the past.

George
Thanks
George M
Reply
#7
Thanks Dean, sorry it has not been more profitable for you.
tia, Ron

My HT equipment I want to control by CQC (some day hopefully)
Yamaha CX-A5100, Dune HD pro 4k, Dune HD Pro 4k plus, ISY 994i, Samsung 4k FP, and a projector in the future
Reply
#8
(07-19-2020, 07:20 AM)ellisr63 Wrote: Thanks Dean, sorry it has not been more profitable for you.
Let me add my thanks.  CQC (after experimenting with several systems) is clearly superior and we all owe you a debt of gratitude.  It's hard to imagine the incredible effort you put into this.  More than a million lines of code is mind goggling.  I hope many others jump in to augment your accomplishments and move CQC even further.
Reply
#9
I've been an electrical engineer/project manager for the last 35 years.  I've run quite a few projects developing both hardware and software.  I bought your basic system in 2010 and have been bringing my subscription current every year or two since then.  I've never actually installed the software, I just thought that technically the way you were approaching the development and the way you responded to and supported your user base was the way that things should be done.  I've subscribed all these years just to try to ensure that the system would be available in the future when I retired and had more time to play, fully knowing that there was a risk that CQC wouldn't be available by then (or I might be dead <grin>).  I've followed home automation over the years and I still don't think there's a better system for a technical user to create a full home automation system.  I've always felt that it (and you) were worthy of my support.  I hope that your foray into open source software is more financially rewarding.  I think that the concern you show about supporting your users and ensuring that the platform continues on is highly commendable.  Thank you so much for your efforts over the years.

I know you said you're not accepting new subscriptions or maintenance fees, but I'd like to bring my account up to date and perhaps pay a little extra to help support the open source effort.  Please send me a PM to let me know how to do that.
Reply
#10
We'll maybe look at setting up a Patreon account or some such once we get the transition done. I'll post about it if/when that happens.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
Reply


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Open Weather Map - CurIcon zra 2 598 11-08-2019, 12:45 PM
Last Post: zra
  I've open sourced my general purpose code Dean Roddey 0 550 03-09-2019, 06:53 PM
Last Post: Dean Roddey
  One Driver - Multiple Comm Ports Open zra 4 2,239 05-04-2016, 08:29 AM
Last Post: zra
  Is ther any way to open a webpage in a template? pjgregory 12 3,192 06-16-2015, 05:13 AM
Last Post: Dean Roddey
  Anybody want to open up their Aprilaire system for me? Dean Roddey 12 3,812 09-20-2014, 11:13 AM
Last Post: Dean Roddey
  Open old templates in current CQC ? dave.neill 9 2,434 03-31-2011, 03:06 AM
Last Post: dave.neill
  CML Driver IDE won't open gfredricks 3 909 01-12-2011, 06:18 PM
Last Post: Dean Roddey
  onSuccess open popup charliebarns 3 1,074 08-25-2009, 10:16 AM
Last Post: Dean Roddey
  Limit of 10 open files in the CQC Editor rocker 13 3,124 06-07-2009, 01:39 PM
Last Post: Dean Roddey
  Error when trying to open template in IV.. pjwinstalls 25 3,522 01-05-2009, 09:21 PM
Last Post: Dean Roddey

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)