Publishing & continuing abandoned extension


#1

How can I continue an extension that is apparently abandonware? Is it a violation of terms of use?

A very nice little extension going by the name ‘cutlist’ has not seen updates in 3 years. The author actually passed away around the time of the last version’s publication, as mentions one of the reviewers. I have some improvements and would like to share with others which may benefit from it. What to do?

Thanks
Assaf


#2

First of all, check what license (if any) the extension was published under. Many extensions are open source.

If there is no license I think you either have to discuss it with the authors relatives who inherited the right to the work, wait 67 years (or whatever it takes for it to enter the public domain) or create a new extension yourself. I’m no lawyer so I may be wrong on this.


#3

I actually offered to pick up support of the CutList extension earlier and inquired about how to go about it, as the EW’s license terms forbid modification of extensions downloaded from there. As you note, this is a special case as the original author, Steve R, has passed away and obviously won’t do any further development or maintenance.

In brief, the reply I got was that the only feasible way would be to create and submit a new, almost identical extension of my own, exploiting the fact that the existing code contains headers that grant permission to reuse or adapt the code provided the original copyright notice is preserved. The relationship between this action and the EW license, which would seem to forbid it, was not explained. That seemed like a bad approach, both on ethical grounds and because it would leave two inconsistent versions in the EW. So, having enough else to do, I dropped the idea.


#4

On ‘3/22/2018’ I Rafael Rivera declare that If I ever was to pass away, please ignore any copyright on all my extensions and modify them as you please without any repercussions.

Sounds to me that it would be a shame for an Extension to die with its creator so that is why I make clear I don’t want that to happen for me.


#5

I’d include an open source license directly in the extension were it can be easily found.

There are plenty of existing licenses you can just copy into your project and add your own name to, e.g. MIT and the Apache license.


#6

Thanks for everyone’s replies.

The code is indeed published under GNU LGPL and the headers grant permission to modify & publish it providing attribution is maintained (as stated above).

With regard to the ethical issue, I actually think the original author would definitely approve of his work being further developed.

Since user slbaumgartner has been down the very same road without a proper alternative (mainly the side by side versions), I’m giving up as well. I’ll still push changes to my github fork, if anyone’s interested.


#7

What sort of changes are you planning?

I expect my departed friend, Steve, would actually be fine with someone taking over the project but I don’t think that’s enough.


#8

Rather minor ones at this stage. I work mainly with sheets so I’ve added the option for dimensions to be printed under the part’s label which I then refer to when cutting the sheet. I’ve also added control of font size. Next in the list is adding a choice for a more aggresive optimization (on expanse of ease of cutting). And finally address other users’ suggestions from time to time & publish other developers’ improvements, etc.


#9

Hello Assaf. I think this is your best option. What is your GitHub username?


#10

A listing by most recently updated, filtered by Ruby, and match on Cutlist …


#11

Not sure why, but mine isn’t listed. Here’s the link: https://github.com/al-lawrence/cutlist


#12

could we see a screen shot of your cutlist layout with dims?


#13

here


#14

Hey Michael,

Here’s what you can do.
I’ve created an .rbz file which is the extension packaged up, here: https://github.com/al-lawrence/cutlist/blob/master/rbz/sr_cutlist_4.1.1a.rbz, and click on the download button.
You may download it anywhere on your drive.
Then go to sketchup. First uninstall the existing cutlist plugin (Window -> Extension Manager -> Manage -> Uninstall cutlist), and then on the bottom click on ‘Install Extension’ and open the file you downloaded.
You may need to change the loading settings in Extension Manager (the small cog on the upper right corner) to allow for unidentified packages, which mine currently is.
That’s the most straightforward approach without me going through the motions of uploading the extension to the warehouse.

I’d love to hear your comments.

Assaf


#15

I tried your version of the extension and the layout page shows blank. It was much slower to display the windows, too.

The original version that I’ve been using for years shows the LayOut page as I expected and was much faster.

Not sure where the difference lies.


#16

yeah my layout page is blank too.


#17

I was able to reproduced the blank page issue and fix it. The problem was that the HTML got malformed by the characters in the imperial system (", ') not escaped.
The speed issue I could not reproduce, and don’t understand why should be at all since all I touched was the displayed labels, nothing with the algorithm. I’m guessing the malformed HTML is the cause.
Please try this and let me know: https://github.com/al-lawrence/cutlist/blob/master/rbz/sr_cutlist_4.1.12a_1.rbz


#18

My windows didn’t display slowly. Sorry I intended to mention that but forgot. Busy day yesterday,


#19

Hm… is the old version hosted on EW?

If you guys pick up this as an open source project and plan to publish we should probably do something with the old entry…


#20

That’s where we aim, to give it support & further dev at least on a limited basis.
We’re kind of in a situation with the old entry. Maybe insert something along the lines of "this version is depracated, please refer here: " at the top?