Once in a time, ...
... before the name Titan changed to polyethene, I was a big fan of you and you was the AHK hero to me. I understand you with the "stable" part of original AutoHotkey. It is the same thought of me, since AHK_L is out. I like your visions.
... not in cost of the community. The community is already chipped ("angeschlagen" in German). I am not using AHK anymore, because of other reasons but I care what happens to this community. I think, you made a mistake.
Thank you for being one of the few to bring your concerns so respectfully and maturely. I decided not to respond to the abusive trolls like tank or nimda, who both resorted to insults and scathing personal remarks in a pathetic attempt to express their disagreement. It is for persons like them that I have less regard in the community at its current form.
I will try to use this post to explain the full justification for using AutoHotkey as the only download.Project mismanagement
Ever since Chris has stepped down in his role of actively developing AutoHotkey and AHK_L came along the site has not experienced any growth. The community split into two factions and there was evidentially deep-rooted tensions between the parties. This became increasingly counter-productive as new members wrote their scripts, with the opposing party often flaming them for not using the 'correct' version.
The website was essentially cloned for AHK_L which led to duplicate content that had its own variations. This had the effect of confusing new members and broke the cohesion between them and the experienced users who would have otherwise helped if they were confident in which version of the documentation to instruct them with.
From the outset it was clearly apparent that the project was suffering a lack of leadership. Lexikos continued to work hard on what he does best while Chris maintained his presence behind the scenes, leaving other community members to haphazardly impose their wide range of conflicting views on new (and old) members. This was to the detriment of AutoHotkey and everything it stood for when it was conceived.A new volunteer
When Chris had realised that the project could be revived with new leadership he turned to the community
and asked volunteers to step forward. Few people replied. Nobody from this thread with strong opinions on AHK_L came forward to give their time, or even offer to assist as part of a team. I was therefore chosen to direct AutoHotkey with the help of sumon. For me it seems quite hypocritical to see the onslaught of criticisms now when the same people never offered to lend their help in the first place. After all, Chris has made the software freely available at no charge and is bearing the cost of running the server for the forums which many people take for granted.
I explained to Chris my passion for AutoHotkey and offered my time to help where it matters. I have offered to host the site on a new $2000/month server, spend $5000 more on advertising and promotions over the next year and most importantly give much of my severely limited time to the project. My intentions are sincerely in the best interests of the community, so nobody should be under the impression that I have a hidden agenda.
Of course my experience goes beyond systems administration, recording backups of the database and responding to emails. I have developed my own open source software which saw over 10 million downloads and brought in an excess of a quarter of a million pounds through advertisements alone. This would not have happened if I was unable to effectively market a software product and direct the management correctly. Using my experience I am confident that I could lead AutoHotkey to similar if not better levels of success.Understanding the audience
As mentioned in previous posts my primary objective is to go back to the grass roots of AutoHotkey and target a non-programmer audience. Aligning AutoHotkey this way gives us the best path to penetrating what is already a saturated market of desktop programming tools.
Knowing that our audience does not have much of a technical background the website was specifically designed to look pleasant and inviting. I have followed the industry standard practices of offering a single download which is familiar to anyone who has used other popular software such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Pidgin, FileZilla and others. I will be inspecting the download counts and aggressively optimising the design and layout to yield the maximum download rate.Why a bigger audience matters
An open source project thrives on an active user base, not customers. Anyone with a history in the Linux world will know of countless excellent projects which have been abandoned purely because the developers were unsatisfied with working for a small number of users. This is probably what led Chris to stepping down. Of course the opposite holds true as well, Nginx is a story of how a previously unknown Russian developer became a celebrity in the software engineering world by virtue of having an explosion in growth of his open source products, then subsequently landed millions of dollars in investment with his own studio in the US. While this is unlikely to happen for AutoHotkey, my vision aims to put us on a similar path.
A larger audience also brings in many practical benefits which are not limited to more scripts being published and more questions being answered. Finally, it also leads to past developers returning and picking up from where they left off.A coordinated effort
AHK_L is not dead and contrary to popular belief is still clearly available to download on the website. When my plans to upgrade the forums and revamp the documentation are complete I would like to take an active role in coordinating the effort with AHK_L. This includes unifying the websites and gradually merging the two versions for a single product that everyone can be happy using. All this of course depends on Lexikos and I will need to make the time to carefully assess the best way to make progress, because so far nobody else has.Time constraints
In conclusion, my planned changes are happening to benefit everyone involved and welcome new audiences to the project. I realise that criticisms and disagreements are to be expected from a management point of view, but I am not afraid to make the controversial decisions necessary to give AutoHotkey a new lease of life which can experience long-term success.
Like perhaps everybody I am extremely busy and have little time to spare outside my other priorities. I had agreed to manage the site for Chris many weeks ago but only had last night and this morning to start any substantial work. In the time I spent responding to the torrent of concerns I could have easily upgraded the forums, but the opportunity has been missed.
Anyone is welcome to give their input, but in the interests of making progress I would kindly ask that they are constructive. Complaining about which links appear on a webpage is not productive, and only shows a degree of ignorance.