Please take the time to read this article and fill out the survey at the end.
Current State of the Project
In case you’ve missed it or are new to Aurora. The current state of the project is unchanged in the way that it is closed for new features and updates. While making an overview of the changes I wanted to make it became clear that due to the amount of changes and many of them being breaking changes this would have to be a major implications and almost a complete re-write of the application.
At first I had planned to start this in 2020, but this year has been far from predictable and will continue to be so going in 2021. In some of the previous update articles you’ve been able to read that is was clear that it would not be possible currently. Instead, I’ve started working on a new content creation tool that will eventually become available for supporters of the project. Significant parts of this tool would also serve as a base for a future version of Aurora including auto-updates to the software and a new secure and trusted installation experience.
The project in it’s current state demands and deserves time and attention not unlike to that of a full time job (and probably more). At the current rate the amount of monthly active users will exceed 20k before the end of the year (19k as of writing). After nearly six years of putting nearly all of my free time in the project I am unable to continue it under the same conditions.
Permanent Changes to the Project
I’ve been going back and forth on this decision for the better part of a year. After releasing the latest version earlier this year I decided that I had to make the final decision before the end of the year because going forward like this is unmaintainable for the project and myself.
In short, I’m left with two options each on the opposite end:
- Shift the focus on the project to a sustainable full time job and allow me to focus on a new version of Aurora (v2.0).
- Discontinue the project entirely and focus on life and other things.
After working for nearly six year on the project (publicly since 2017) I am happy where it is at. That all the time and effort I put in it is overall very much appreciated, and that it has made it this far with so many users all over the world. While I would not prefer to discontinue the project, I would be okay with it while I can still make the decision myself and end on a high note.
That being said, there is no doubt that I would prefer to work on the project full time. I did’t spent this much time over such a long period on the project if I did’t enjoy doing it.
I don’t think I need to prove that I prefer the software being completely free, give the fact that it is. I have thought on how to fund the project going forward but I have not made a decision yet.
I hope to keep it free while being sustainable with a significant amount of small donations because I am somewhat uncomfortable having the project be on the shoulders of a few supporters, which is not very sustainable in the long run. Having a free version and the means to properly maintain it also comes with the option to open source the next version in the future if the project remains sustainable.
Hopefully with the amount of users increasing this is in the range of possibilities.
I hope you will take the time filling in the survey as it would give me insights if shifting the focus to the project as a full time job is even a realistic goal. Hopefully the results, either way, will in part help me to make a clear and final decision in the coming months.
Expect the survey to be active for at least two months. Thank you for your time.