Discussion Forums  >  Buzztouch News and Announcements

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Kaybee
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06/07/17 12:51 AM (2 weeks ago)

BT status, Core updates, Plugin market, Account upgrades, BT5 and Disney World !!

Hey All,

It dawned on me that it has already been 6 months since we acquired BT. Boy time flies. I have a new learnt appreciation for how much time development takes... Here is a quick update as to where we at here in BT HQ.

#btstatus - So we have tightened up the sign up process and account management since 1st January 2017, which means that after the trial use of BT it is pay to play. I am confident that our pricing is on point and reasonable for what we provide. We have not changed anything physical to the site or started an aggressive membership growth plan as we have BT5 on the horizon and will do that then. Of course we are keen to see the membership grow and the forum community get back to its old days of activity levels. David's time is now fully used by Kaybee Industries focusing on BT as well as Bikebokings.com I have also engaged Chris on a part time basis to help with Android and the plugin market, more on that later on. As far as BT5 goes we have not progressed as much as we would have liked due to us spreading our focus across various areas, we hope to focus more on it in the coming months, in the meantime we have some news on updates, plugin market and accounts to follow, that we hope will satisfy your App development needs so long.

#coreupdates - As you know we have rolled out several iterations of BT4 since the new year in an endeavour to fix all the old bugs in the previous core code. Both David (iOS) and Chris (Android) have been working on bug fixes, we are about to release the next 4.x.x release of the BT core with some updates to bot iOS and Android, nothing major just some more tweaks and bug fixes, more of those details when we do release it. We aim to have that out in the next 7 days. I have had a question asking if BT5 would be a radical change to BT4 as we know it, of course many things could change in the future, think of Apple and Android, but any development done on BT4 should still work on BT5 after its release, the main update in 5 is the HTML and WYSIWYG way of making apps, this will add to the current version, not take away from it.

#pluginmarket - Ahh the plugin market, I got say we have gone round and round in circles on what is the best way to position the plugin market for both us as a business and you and other to follow as members. Couple of points to remember that has lead us to this current position, members purchase plugins expecting a life time of support for them, some developers don't support them and allow them to lapses and cause frustration to members, BT gets a bad rap because this is a product provided by and endorsed by BT, not to mention some of the absolute garbage cluttering up the market, again a bad reflection on BT.
This set up is bad for everyone including plugin developers who suffer poor plugin uptake and sales because of other developers not doing the right thing. What I have decided is the only way forward for the plugin market is as follows:
- The BT plugin market will only have plugins developed and SUPPORTED by the BT team or developers hired by BT. All revenue from plugin sales will go directly to BT. BT will hire preferred developers to do some plugin development on our behalf and will be paid accordingly.
- We have hired @Chris1 to manage the Plugin market effective of 1st June, more comms to come from either of us in the coming weeks.
- The BT plugin market will open again by the end of June and plugins as they become available and are up to date will be available for purchase.
- We will have standard pricing for plugins and keep them reasonable, some will be free and included in the core.
- We will ask for a wish list of plugins that you want us to roll out next.
- If you have a plugin that you think we should make available in the market and would prefer we maintained it going forward please contact me directly.
- Other plugin developers are welcome to sell their plugins in other markets, but they won't be sold on BT. All this revenue goes to that developer, BT will get none of it and will not be expected to support these plugins.
- Important to note, current plugins that you have purchased will still be able to be updated by the developer if they continue to maintain it. I expect this list to dwindle over time...
- happy to take feedback or questions either on the forum or via PM

#accountupgrades - We have had many requests for yearly membership fees as well as the option to have more than the 15 apps per account. This will also be rolled out by the end of June, we will have discounted yearly memberships as well as tiered accounts to enable user to have more apps on their dashboard. You will be able to change your account preferences as soon as this is implemented, we will post on the forum to advise when this is possible from. Again if you have any feedback on this please comment below, hopefully we can accommodate them.

#BT5 - I did mention it earlier, basically we have still got a bit of work to do on this and it is proving to be harder than we thought, but we will get there in the coming months.

@disneyworld - nope we haven't done anything official with them, haha. As some of you might now already I have a family trip coming up where my kids get to meet their great grand parents for the first time. I thought I would put the basics of my travel plans on here and if any of you are in the area when we are there I would love to meet up with you and have a chat. Our itinerary is as follows:

22-26 June - Dubai
27 June to 2 July - Orlando
3 July to 11 July - Cape Cod
12-14 July - New York

I would love the opportunity to meet you guys in person.

Anyway, enough for now, thank you for your support to date, we are excited about the future of BT and are looking forward to it.

Kristen
 
fusionsch
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06/07/17 01:39 AM (2 weeks ago)
Thanks for the news, Kristen!

Cheers

Jack
 
Higgey
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06/07/17 01:51 AM (2 weeks ago)
I really appreciate the update - sounds like this is a huge, multifaceted process. Good luck with it everyone.

-- John
 
feraco
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06/07/17 05:58 AM (2 weeks ago)
iOS 11 looks cool! ARKit and Machine learning. I hope you guys can create plugins that use these new features.
 
Kittsy
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06/07/17 08:46 AM (2 weeks ago)
:-)
 
tompos
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06/07/17 08:52 AM (2 weeks ago)
Thanks, Kristen, for the update!

I am very happy that so much effort is invested into letting Buzztouch be “well & alive” in the future.

One of the major topics in the last months had been the plugin market. This has always been a delicate question in the last years and I completely agree with your description of the problems in this market. "Delicate" because those plugins could be used on self hosted servers for many users with a single payment. On the other hand many of us will have purchased useful plugins in the past and it is painful to see that so many plugins are still not updated to version 4.

Some thoughts on the plugin market:

1. Any news on this long list of non-updated plugins? Perhaps you are planning to take over some of the most popular plugins into your new plugin system?

2. I have developed different plugins for my clients that I use on my self hosted server. Besides updates on the future of self hosted servers in general I am interested to learn how such individual solutions can be realized in future BT versions. You mentioned that third party plugins can be sold on other markets. So there will be an option to include such plugins (and their corresponding control panel elements) into the standard BT system? I guess this would be the way to use my self developed plugins for my clients even when self hosted servers are no longer supported...

3. If you need help to carry over some of the "outdated" plugins into BT4... I am willing to help ;-).

Best wishes – and again thanks a lot for all your efforts!
Thomas
 
Niraj Shah
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06/07/17 09:32 AM (2 weeks ago)
Mighty awesome set of developments!

Keep on trucking ...

-- Niraj
 
FunkyMonkey
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06/07/17 10:02 AM (2 weeks ago)
Good news Kristen :)with you all the way :)
 
SmugWimp
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06/07/17 04:27 PM (2 weeks ago)
The Communication is definitely appreciated, Kristen! The plans look good. We're looking forward to the new rollout, and happy to help if we can.

Cheers!

-- Smug
 
Bonzo
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06/08/17 01:21 AM (2 weeks ago)
Thanks for the update.

Was there any news on the future of self hosted users?
Will it be back to be downloaded again?
If not, will those already using it, be able to continue using it?

Thanks
Steve
 
Kaybee
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06/08/17 01:47 AM (2 weeks ago)
@Steve, there is a future for self hosted, but not as it is currently setup, I refer to one of my original announcements, self hosted will be reserved for enterprise accounts going forward.

You will be able to continue using it for now, however non enterprise accounts will not be supported or progressed on.

Hope that makes sense.
 
Bonzo
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06/08/17 02:07 AM (2 weeks ago)
Thanks Kristen
 
Sherry
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06/08/17 08:26 AM (2 weeks ago)
Thanks so much for the update Kristen.
 
gatorcade
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06/08/17 02:22 PM (2 weeks ago)
Thanks for the update!
 
mutzy
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06/10/17 05:52 AM (1 week ago)
Thank you for the update. There have been a lot of updates in the forums over the past 1-2 years without much follow through on product delivery, but it is appreciated all the same. As someone who has been with BT since around the beginning, I personally am not interested very much in the WYSIWYG approach but understand its importance for new users. All I want, all I've ever wanted, is persistent core updates and quality plugins.

The best part of your update, for me at least, is that BT will now take ownership of all plugins... hopefully producing new quality plugins while maintaining and updating older plugins as well. Several of my apps use Chris' search plugin which used to take less than a second to load, but now in ver 4 it takes around 10 seconds which is just unacceptable from a user perspective. Taking it out would be a downgrade. So now my apps are in limbo waiting on BT to catch up again- end of June you say?

My one suggestion for the new BT website would be to have an option of hiring BT developers (or BT itself?) to do custom work on apps/plugins rather than going to 3rd party sites or bugging others in the forums.

Thanks for the progress you have made!

Josh
 
bigPaul
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06/10/17 08:44 AM (1 week ago)
Thanks for update Kristen,

Just a couple of queries/concerns regarding the phasing out of 'general' self hosting and third party plugins.

Currently if I was to buy a third party plugin from someone, provided it is 'constructed' in the BT format, I can upload it to my self hosting and take advantage of the control panel architecture to change settings, add data etc. Also to add required links to/from other screens. Then hopefully downloading the package to compile in Studio I can end up with an App without too much coding.

My concern is that that will not be so easy in the future.

I assume that third party plugins will have to be added manually (coded) within Studio, including the links to/from other screens. Hence an increased knowledge of coding required and possibly more frustrating time consuming problem solving to produce an App.

Whilst I totally agree with the core reasons for changing the Plugin market, I see this as a possible downside to the ease of use and popularity of BT. Some way of including third party plugins into the primary development phase (BT) of the App and being packaged accordingly needs to be considered.

All in all, looking forward to changes.

Paul
 
aquila198
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06/11/17 10:53 AM (1 week ago)
echoing the replies - great to hear there is some movement on the horizon.
 
Chris from Staffor...
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06/20/17 01:50 PM (2 days ago)
It's good to have an update but when will the Compiler be fixed - especially for Android?
 

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