It should be illegal to be able to buy and then kill a program

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  03 March 2014
It should be illegal to be able to buy and then kill a program

I don't even use XSI and I'm upset. I can't imagine what I'd feel if I would be a user.

When I'll have lots of money I will just buy the favorite food store from the block, or maybe all of them and then I will just close them. And I will not replace them with anything useful, like a library or bar, but just close them with a black brick wall. Just because I can and there are no laws that could stop this.
I will do this because someone should point out the absurdity of this and there should be consumer protection laws against this behavior.

Bright minds should think about this and come up with a solution. A company shouldn't be able to just buy useful things and innovations and after that just kill them or store them in a drawer.
Most of the time a company won't kill products or hide useful innovations because it doesn't make business sense to do that. But what if a company goes "crazy" (an incompetent CEO switches to a bad strategy) and just starts to shut down stuff, for example Windows, or Photoshop, or Mac OS.

Should they be able to do that ?

Or maybe they should be required to at least try to find a buyer, or if they think that software is obsolete - they should be required to publish the source to a public library. Maybe after 5 years or so when they no longer collect profit.

Books are required by law to be published to a library. And rightly so. What is software ? Since the software is written (with words and numbers like a book) should be subjected to the same law.

Last edited by sebastian___ : 03 March 2014 at 04:15 AM.
 
  03 March 2014
A couple of things:

1) Autodesk already owns Maya, 3DStudio, as well as Softimage XSI. Autodesk is within its rights to discontinue any product it feels redundant or non-performing. It doesn't seem any different to when Apple got rid of all the printers, Power-Macs, Macintosh II's and other product lines to focus on the iMac back in the late 1990's.

2) Autodesk is killing the XSI software, and implying they will move their development into Maya/3DStudio. It must be said though that one cannot make "closing a company" illegal. That's just a whole new can of worms. Besides, I think Softimage, Inc. already ceased to exist as a separate company in 2008 during the Autodesk buy-out.

3) Further off-topic: The practice of buying a firm and then ripping it to pieces is legal and has been the "Darwinian" practice of the last few years. (see: WWE over WCW, UFC over WEC/PRIDE-FC). Same thing with discontinuing product lines.

Now, over to you. Why is it absurd to discontinue XSI?

Personally, I got to try XSI about 5 years ago on a student licence.
I wasn't impressed, so the discontinuation of it could hardly impact me in the least.
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Last edited by CGIPadawan : 03 March 2014 at 05:09 AM.
 
  03 March 2014
I did try XSI long long time ago. And there was a time I seriously considering it, I think when they release a free version that export to source engine.

But it never clicked with me.

It seems that XSI writing was on the wall for a long time already, and the purchase merely prolong the inevitable.
 
  03 March 2014
As I said, I didn't use XSI so it doesn't affect me directly. However we should all be concerned. What if tomorrow will be a product you use and your job depends on it ?

And I'm not talking about closing companies, but killing of products and useful ideas.

Why shouldn't be able a company retire "obsolete" products ?
Well, if they are really obsolete - then I guess they won't mind publishing the source code, or selling them to competitors... What's that ? They are not that obsolete ? They have useful stuff in it which the users could benefit from, but they prefer to rather close down the product then risking the chance to accidentally help a competitor ?

If they can't have it, no one will. It doesn't matter if the product could still serve the users, or that another company would gladly buy it from them.

I think I can tell quite a few scenarios where this behavior doesn't lead to a good outcome. See my example with buying stores and close them without a good replacement.
 
  03 March 2014
It's called free enterprise, it's their product and they can do whatever they want with it. Anything else would be dictatorship.
 
  03 March 2014
there is a discussion about this on Area, and it is lead to believe that they may actually integrate the benefits of XSI into Maya/Max.. which would be helpful for the majority of product suite owners.

I used it many years ago briefly when Microsoft had its' hands on it and just couldn't wrap my mind around it as easily as I could with Alias Animator... however, the software had some very interesting effects and capabilities...

perhaps in the long run we can all benefit from the reduction of their (Autodesks) fragmented suites...
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  03 March 2014
It's there property, but there may be a case where if they had always intended to drop the program after a bit but were leading users and developers to believe everything was going to continue. Sure things can change, but if they were making agreements with people and told them development would continue then it may be a different matter--considering both developers that make plugins for it, and for clients that might have large numbers of licenses and pipelines that require the program.
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  03 March 2014
Originally Posted by scrimski: It's called free enterprise, it's their product and they can do whatever they want with it. Anything else would be dictatorship.


I understand the rules of free market and the survival of the fittest, but there are also consumer laws. For example a store can't sell bad or expired food products because it is subjected to inspections and fines and would be shut down.
You can't have the argument: You shouldn't close such a store by force, the capitalistic market will take care of it, if they have bad products the consumers will just stop buying from them so they will go bankrupt.

So as I said, I understand the argument for a truly free market, but maybe we should have some consumer laws for software - like we have with food products.

Let's say for the sake of argument, that Microsoft will just suddenly discontinue Windows. Or Apple will discontinue Mac OS.
Should they be able to do that ? Think about the wide world implications such a move will bring.

EDIT: In the context of this discussion a better phrasing would be "What if Company X buys Windows from Microsoft and then 6 months later they kill it because they will introduce their own operating system"

Last edited by sebastian___ : 03 March 2014 at 08:33 AM.
 
  03 March 2014
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan:
Same thing with discontinuing product lines.

Now, over to you. Why is it absurd to discontinue XSI?

Personally, I got to try XSI about 5 years ago on a student licence.
I wasn't impressed, so the discontinuation of it could hardly impact me in the least.


This isn't a brand of breakfast cereal we're talking about. It's a set of tools, with entire pipelines built around it; that people have spent years mastering and perfecting workflows; that is used to CREATE a product.

It's easy to say: 'it dosn't affect me...' but, in reality, it affects us all, no matter what 3d app we use. Yes, it is Adesk's property, and yes, they are a faceless, capitalist corporation whose greedy shareholders could give a shite about SI users, but to leave so many loyal customers with their arse out in the wind is despicable behaviour. Worst case: this could shut down businesses, people could lose their jobs.

Imagine if you spent 15 years mastering a musical instrument and were told that the instrument would be discontinued soon, and you could never legally play it again. You would be devastated.

I'm a Max user myself and can't imagine the horror I'd feel if it suffered the same fate.(fingers crossed)
 
  03 March 2014
Quote: I understand the rules of free market and the survival of the fittest, but there are also consumer laws. For example a store can't sell bad or expired food products because it is subjected to inspections and fines and would be shut down.
That's an apples and oranges comparison(like a few more in your orignal post). The store can chose to sell or not to sell the product. Selling of bad or expired food is a health issue, not a market issue. All people need to eat, but most of them don't need XSI.

Quote: Books are required by law to be published to a library.
Books in a library don't get printed over and over again(well some do, but not all).
Just because AD doesn't update it anymore, it doesn't mean it will stop working. See evidence #1: Final Cut Pro. Canned 3 years ago which caused an uproar and still upsets people(there's endless discussions about that on LinkedIn) It still works(I'm working with it right now), my install DVD hasn't gone up in smoke, you still can buy it on eBay/craigslist or selected resellers, even at Apple if you know how, you just won't get any new updates or support.

Quote: Let's say for the sake of argument, that Microsoft will just suddenly discontinue Windows. Or Apple will discontinue Mac OS.
Should they be able to do that ? Think about the wide world implications such a move will bring.
I don't have to think about it, I was there myself, twice, when Apple EOL'd two perfectly working products in my set of tools(FCP and Shake), forcing me to invest time and money into purchasing and learning other software and it's not the last time I gonna see such thing. There's nothing you can do about it, as much as you or I may dislike it.

I'm not sympathizing with AD, not at all, I'm just saying there isn't much you can do about and especially you should not demandŽa law like you did. Think it to the end, it could end up being you, forced to offer one product or service for the rest of your life, even if you don't want to or will lose money with it.

Last edited by scrimski : 03 March 2014 at 08:37 AM.
 
  03 March 2014
The only program that would have such a profound effect on me is TVPaint, but then, their licensing is different and even if they stopped tomorrow, the current version will run as long as there is an OS to run it on. The important thing, though, is that there is always another app. Maybe it is not as good, maybe it is not as user friendly, maybe you don't like working in it as much, but it can get the job done.

We live in a world that is constantly changing. Companies die, computers change their OS. Software works one day and not when the next OS comes out. Some programs, though great, don't find an audience and can support their own development. This is the tech world. The fact that any of these programs made it twenty years is amazing. It won't be like that going forward.
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  03 March 2014
Well I think there are some facts not quite right here in this premise.

First Autodesk has not killed off anything. They have simply made the decision to stop spending money on development of new features now and finally all together after 2 years of bug fixes.

You get version 2015 to use as long as you want. You are not bared from using it.

And they have the right to spend the money on developing in a direction they want. They choose to spend that money on a new direction with other products where the return will be greater.

So it is not like closing the door to a shop. And it is not like any other the other analogies made here such as putting out faulty and dangerous products.

Discussing a law that banned companies from exercising certain rights would get into a discussion that is against forum rules.

So perhaps this discussion should end before it gets to that. Certainly it will.
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  03 March 2014
That's why I said "bright minds should come up with a solution".
A good solution for the consumers, because I think the current state of things benefit mostly corporations. And this issue is a part of a broader discussion like the "renting only" of software, inability to sell older programs and so on.

Companies, law makers and users should sit down and discuss these.
Another problem (for me) is the inability to buy, use and find copies of old or very old programs. Let's say I'm a researcher, or software historian . I can go to a library and research any kind of books, no matter how old they are. But I can't do the same with commercial programs.

Companies shouldn't be required to support a product if they don't want to. But maybe they should submit all released software in a locked form to a public library/repository.
The company can choose at anytime to stop selling and supporting that software, but if they do that it should be considered that software is no longer profitable for that company and the library should unlock the software for the public. Everyone will benefit from this.

Or a similar (better) solution.

Last edited by sebastian___ : 03 March 2014 at 09:00 AM.
 
  03 March 2014
Originally Posted by sebastian___: And I'm not talking about closing companies, but killing of products and useful ideas.

I think I can tell quite a few scenarios where this behavior doesn't lead to a good outcome. See my example with buying stores and close them without a good replacement.


Frankly, I imagine that stuff too.... but I think, other than a few cases where I was a niche fan ("They cancelled my favorite TV show... but then again there weren't a lot of us fans anyway")....

The truth is if something is any good (ie: worth anything) it will continue to be on shelves.

Case in point... look at CryEngine!

Also... if you read up on its history, Blender was also born from a 3D application developer that closed its doors when Blender was already being made. Because the lead programmer, Ton Roosendaal, felt it was "worth something", he actually won the right to bring the software over to the Foundation/Donations based model it's in now.

Only the strong initial outpouring of support from Blender users saved that software.

Basically... if there is the will and the adequate demand.. there will be a way.
Trust the Market.
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Last edited by CGIPadawan : 03 March 2014 at 09:03 AM.
 
  03 March 2014
Which in the case of Softimage isn't there. Whereas with Blender it was. And it was brought about by an overwhelming demand. You just won't have that with Softimage and is the reason people are not getting their head around this.

As superior as Sotimage is in the things it does do well it is way behind in the things that the majority of the people want. That is true now, it was true a few years ago, it will be true in the future.

I love the app. But put it aside as my main application for Maya for this very reason. I still want to use Softimage. I will. But for it to have made it back in the forefront in my pipeline it would have had to be more like Maya, have the same support and so on.

This is not the fault of AD. If anything they brought it to more people than it had been before.

I'd like to have one app that does both, if AD can pull that off in Maya great. In the mean time I'll use Softimage on the side and when that becomes too old I'll embrace whatever tools I can find at that time. That is the real only practical solution for me.

Other ideas are going to mean someone looses money. Someplace. It is truly sad. But the way it is.
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Last edited by cineartist : 03 March 2014 at 09:40 AM.
 
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