Google's New Free CAD software: Want to Collaborate?

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That's a good thing, then!! <grin>
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Han
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As the OP indicated in a subsequent reply, the new free version does work. However, this should be a real red flag to those taking advantage of the "free" version. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the new version is also dated to expire at some future date. It is also not beyond the realm of possibility that in the future, after people have invested considerable time and effort in the creation of various files and projects, that the "free" version could go away, leaving the only [legal according to the DMCA] options available to either pay for the professional version in order to liberate one's files or to abandon those files and the accompanying work.
Sure doesn't seem to fall under the "do no evil" code by which Google supposedly lives. At a minimum, the fact that the software will expire at a future date should be disclosed.
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That hypothetical situation, certainly would violate a "do no evil" code. But I've seen nothing that they have done that violates it. And where are folks getting the idea that the software will expire at some future date? I haven't seen anything to that effect.
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I would argue that since it was not prominently disclosed that the software being downloaded had a timebomb (it may have been buried somewhere several pages down in 6 point type in the click-through EULA) is a questionable practice in itself and seems to violate the spirit of what Google purports to be compared to other software houses.
It's not a stretch to assume that the versions being downloaded are also set to expire since the current version others have used were so set.
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I don't think anyone has seen a version that was set to expire at a certain time. It requires accepting updates to keep it current. Just tried it, and it works when not connected. I don't know how long, though--might have a requirement to check update status every so often. Would agree that is not clearly disclosed, but it seems quite a bit different from saying that it is "set to expire" at a certain point.
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alexy wrote:

No, updates aren't required to employ a shut-off date. There are a very large number of ways to do it, ranging from counting the number of day since installed to hiding a kill file at a particular time. Connection to the internet is completely irrelevant. BTW, if you're thinking of MS's practice, they do not require connection either with their free try it downloads.
HTH Pop`
Just tried it, and it works when not

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Mark & Juanita wrote:

But then, it WAS labeled as BETA sofware, so ... that means caveat emptor even it if is free. Usually, unless there's a promise of a benefit for using a BETA program, you can expect a glitch or rug-pull somewhere along the line. BETA is TEST software and often a good way of seeing how something is received by the general public. Then once you know, you end the BETA, have a nice big release announcement, and wait for the checks to roll in. IMO one should NEVER participate in any BETA without promise of a reward for their efforts. I do it with MS, and I get free software for it, but they're up front and tell you so. And they stick to their word. IMO again, as Excellent a tool as Google is, they ARE a business and one must expect them to act that way. They're a .COM, nor a .ORG, after all. There is only one way a business stays in business and that's by making money. And anyone offering BETA software is offering untested software only slightly removed from the ALPHA runs and hopefully headed for a Release version.
Regards,
Pop`

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... snip

I don't disagree with the need for businesses to make money. However, since Google does have several revenue models that don't require purchase of product from Google, disclosing the fact that the software will expire would be a reasonable thing to do. As you indicate, best practice is to avoid being a guinea pig unless you understand the rewards/risks

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First, I don't agree that the software expired. It forced an upgrade to keep working. Which, by the way, is expressly stated in the license. It's not like the license is 30 pages long, either. Its only 4 pages and the update requirement is spelled out pretty plainly.
Now, not that I'm promoting violating the license that you all agreed to, but I'm willing to bet that the software will run until it phones home and finds out that there is an update. Now, if someone had a firewall and knew enough to figure out the probable range of addresses it checks for updates on, that someone could block access to that range. If it never hears about an available update, I suspect it will keep running. Is there some limit to the number of times it will run without being able to check for updates? I don't know, but if there is, the number is more than 10 ;-).
todd
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Thank you! I was beginning to think I was the only one who had gotten a copy of google sketchup that worked like that. Either everyone else's copy, other than yours and mine, is expiring, or else most participants in this thread do not have a copy, and are just reacting to what someone said they thought was happening.
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wrote:

I will say that the message, which I don't recall verbatim, was worded in a way that could make you think that it had time-bombed.
todd
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Mark & Juanita wrote:

IIRC SketchUp is offered by Google as an adjunct to "Google Earth" in hopes that users will populate the "Google Earth" database with 3D drawings of the buildings in the users' respective area.
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no(SPAM)vasys" <"no(SPAM)vasys wrote:

Good catch: I'd forgotten that one. Another good way to judge the acceptance of a BETA software, I'd think, and get some PR at the same time. they obvious have some fairly big plans for it.
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It's not "do no evil", it's "don't be evil".
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beyond
It's also within the realm of possibility that in the near future they might be planning to release some serious enhancements or an upgrade that makes the free version trifling in comparison. It might also be expected that many of the users of the free version would pay for this "upgrade".
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Similar experience here when I tried to use my old install file on a new PC.

I don't think so. I think it was just based on version.

And I don't think it does. This is a new paradigm of "connected software," which has its advantages and disadvantages (from the user's standpoint).
Remember that licensing agreement that you said you read and agreed to before installing?<g> You probably forgot about reading this paragraph: :4.     AUTOMATIC UPDATES :The Software may communicate with Google servers from time to time to :check for available updates to the Software, such as bug fixes, patches, :enhanced functions, missing plug-ins and new versions (collectively, :"Updates"). By installing the Software, you agree to automatically :"request and receive Updates.

I think that is a legitimate concern. Of course, that would be massively stupid on google's part--the ill will they would earn would be very damaging, IMHO.

Because it doesn't expire?

No question that there are advantages to that approach. There are also advantages to the approach they have chosen. E.g., if they want to add a feature that requires a change to the data structure, they can do so, and provide any samples and libraries only with the new data structure, since everyone is using the same version.

I agree; would be nice to allow a totally disconnected version, even with a warning that new versions would not be backward compatible to your old files, or that you may have to pay for a file conversion utility to update to new free versions in the future.

A wise and heathy skepticism.

You're jumping the gun there--nothing to indicate that they are playing fast and loose with "free"

Agreed, and I am excited to have this free version for hobbyists like me, who cannot justify the cost of the commercial version.
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John L. Poole wrote:

The application is not entirely contained in folder(s). The Registry is where most of the stuff you're seeking would be located and it's not a place you want to mess around unless you know exactly what you're doing.
R
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John L. Poole wrote:

It's common for betas to be time bombed. I don't see where there's a problem with that as long as the product continues to be free.

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Maybe so but we no betas were being discussed.

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If the "we" was a typo, you are wrong. The window title for google sketchup very clearly says "beta", at least on mine.
If the "no" was supposed to be "know", I don't get your point. And it is not time limited--it just requires updating to latest version to keep working.
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