Sorry for the long post, but I though this would be a good time to discuss some of the plans for the upcoming release.
The Celtx Software
First off, yes, the Celtx software, is Free.
As mentioned earlier, this new build involved porting the underlying code base to FF3. We also completely re-implemented the calendar and Production Schedule features, having upgraded to the latest Lightning code base. We’ve added Extensions (the ‘Toolbox’), as well as a few other goodies, including over 40 improvements and bug fixes to the existing feature set. And we have re-engineered the way the client works with the Celtx server.
All in all, we felt this release warranted its own number, so 2.0 it is.
The New Celtx Web Services
We decided to completely re-engineer the web services model. This was perhaps the most ambitious thing we have tackled in a while. And one of the thorniest.
Recognizing that the “in the application” approach was self-limiting, we have moved the Celtx web services so they would have their own location. They are still integrated with the Celtx software, but are now also accessible through their own URL, allowing users to access, manage and open their Celtx projects through a secure web site.
This change immediately opened up new approaches, providing ways for us to introduce features that would not have been possible using the current, in the application, implementation.
This necessitated our retiring the existing system. We contemplated trying to maintain both, but due to technical reasons, and keeping in mind available resources, this was not possible. Accordingly, the new web services, which we’ll run as a 30 day free beta, will now be subscription based, offered at a low annual price. The new system employs a widget based web top environment to support server back-ups, sharing, the creating of private web views, direct editing, a recent activity log, and a new archive feature.
Our current thinking is that $50 a year would be fair and reasonable, but of course it is you, our community, who will be the ultimate arbiters of whether that’s the case. We only ask that you reserve your opinion until after you’ve had a chance to see it in action for yourself.
Uploading Projects to Project Central has been simplified by introducing a new direct Upload feature located on PC. This too will allow us to expand the feature set in the future, enabling us to support more then just Celtx projects.
The Cut Over
Given that the new web services system was incompatible with the existing system, we are going to retire the current web services when we release the 2.0 client. This is to ensure that users will not get interrupted mid-upgrade, as any sharing etc. conducted through the web services requires everyone to be on the same system, and therefore the same client. Otherwise, as per the usual process, upgrading is at the discretion of the individual.
All your existing projects on the Celtx server will always be accessible regardless of whether you decide to use the new system, and regardless of whether you upgrade to 2.0, with every such project being available for immediate download to your own computer via the 1.0 or 2.0 clients.
Sharing via email, or other traditional methods is unaffected by any of this, as all projects are backwards compatible – meaning projects created in the 2.0 client will work with the 1.0 client, and vice versa.
There is a myriad of other issues and considerations being triggered by this impending change to the web services which we have tried our best to mitigate through technology, dialogs, and site messaging. Hopefully, it will all be pretty much self-explanatory once you start using the new system, and as always, we stand ready to provide timely and responsive support should anyone encounter something unexpected.
Know that throughout all of this we focused on maintaining a good user experience.
Hope this is OK.