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This is the end of Ajour 馃槩 #746

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casperstorm opened this issue Nov 14, 2021 · 36 comments
Open

This is the end of Ajour 馃槩 #746

casperstorm opened this issue Nov 14, 2021 · 36 comments

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@casperstorm
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@casperstorm casperstorm commented Nov 14, 2021

This is the end of Ajour 馃槩

I started working on Ajour in summer 2020. The goal was simple: I wanted the easiest and fastest way to update and download all of your addons for World of Warcraft. The timing was good; Curse had just been sold to Overwolf, Shadowlands was about to be released, and Classic was popular.
I spent many hours building Ajour, and luckily @tarkah and @mlablah joined to help me early in the project. Together we created what I believe is one of the best addon managers ever. And on top of that, I made some new best friends.

In late 2020 Overwolf posted about their stance on third-party addon managers. The short version is that since Overwolf earns their money from ads and user data, they wanted the users to use their application rather than third-party addon managers. However, they weren't sure exactly what their plan was, so for the time being, they kept the API open as it always has been.

Fast forward to the present time. Overwolf now knows what they want to do. They will deprecate the current API and create a new API where downloads do not count towards the CurseForge Reward Program鈥攅ssentially splitting the community by turning addon developers against third-party addon managers. In addition, they will rate limit third-party addon managers if one becomes too popular oh, and not all addons will be available over the API.

What does this mean for Ajour? Well, it kills my motivation, and it kills my vision for Ajour. I don't want to fight with Overwolf (anymore). It's not worth it. Overwolf has all the data which makes Ajour work, and currently, they are pulling the rug under us.
We had a good run, but now it's time for the team and me to pull the plug rather than obey their new rules and turn Ajour into something worse.

Thank you all for helping shape Ajour into what it is today. Users, supporters, contributors. To every one of you, thanks.

FAQ:

What happens now?

  • Nothing. Feel free to use Ajour until it breaks.

What should I do?

  • Ajour will work until the current API is turned off, when is unknown. The other third-party addon managers is relying on the same API but some might take the on the fight, so make sure to check them out: WowUp by @jliddev, Instawow by @layday or CurseBreaker by @AcidWeb - all good friends of mine. I hope the best for them, but the future is not bright.
@casperstorm casperstorm pinned this issue Nov 14, 2021
@zeeraw
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@zeeraw zeeraw commented Nov 14, 2021

The existence of this project and the great attitude of its community made me very happy from day one. It's truly sad to see it end this way, but I guess there's no alternative.

Best of luck with future projects @casperstorm.

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@AhoyThere
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@AhoyThere AhoyThere commented Nov 14, 2021

Thank you for your work. I will miss Ajour. :/

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@nourkagha
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@nourkagha nourkagha commented Nov 14, 2021

Ajour was one of my favourite World of Warcraft community projects.

There is simply no GUI-based addon manager that is anywhere near as fast, lightweight, customisable and packed with as much features as Ajour was, and to top it all off Ajour also offered a CLI.

Thank you for all of your hard work @casperstorm, @tarkah & @mlablah and for creating something amazing and desperately needed in the WoW community, which was also completely free, open source, cross-platform and privacy-respecting.

It is sad to see the WoW addon and developer ecosystem continue to rely on a closed and single party controlled proprietary platform like Overwolf's CurseForge, and as long as it continues to be this way, it will hinder the innovation and collaboration that would otherwise come from an independent, fully open and community-controlled platform, and we will keep on losing out on truly amazing projects like this.

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@DiscordGregory
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@DiscordGregory DiscordGregory commented Nov 14, 2021

Sorry to hear that this will be the end for Ajour, it's the best addon manager :D Good luck with your future projects though and thanks for spending the time you did on Ajour!

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@SpareSimian
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@SpareSimian SpareSimian commented Nov 14, 2021

What data does Overwolf monopolize? Can it be distributed and hosted elsewhere? Preferably in a distributed way that prevents it from being monopolized. Think Bittorrent or Usenet or Mastodon. Perhaps more addons will move to GitHub and GitLab.

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@alexeev-igor
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@alexeev-igor alexeev-igor commented Nov 14, 2021

Did not find any way to donate you for your product. Is it possible? Kind a way to say "thank you for you work".

Anyway. Thank you for fast, light/easy and user-friendly product for WoW community.

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@mockra
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@mockra mockra commented Nov 14, 2021

Really sorry to hear this, Ajour has been a delight to use and I'll miss it. Thanks for all of the work you've poured into this project. 馃檱鈥嶁檪锔

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@corveroth
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@corveroth corveroth commented Nov 15, 2021

Thank you for your work, @casperstorm.

Maybe I'm just too small-time to give a damn, but the CurseForge Reward Program never meant anything to me. I earned a whole ~15 "points" from my most active addons on Curse, and at $0.05 per point and cashouts only available in increments of 200 points, I never saw any of my paltry sixty-five cents before my points expired (which is a disgusting feature to have in an incentive program, to boot).

Now, sure, I get that there's an entirely reasonable business case for them making this move. Curse bears the costs of hosting, transfer, etc., and without being able to sell their users' eyeballs, brains, and lives to data brokers and ad vendors, they have no business. But there have been tomes written about the abhorrent state of the ad-supported internet by wiser folks than myself.

In short, thank you, and I'm sorry, and Curse can go fuck themselves; signed, an addon author.

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@Walkerbo
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@Walkerbo Walkerbo commented Nov 15, 2021

I am sad to hear this news.
I have used Ajour since its launch and have found it to be a very light and well-designed app.
I have also converted my family to using it exclusively.

Thanks for your work and passion in developing Ajour, it will be missed.

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@fadi-simetrik
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@fadi-simetrik fadi-simetrik commented Nov 15, 2021

With the low cost of blob storage, ease of cdn access and the small avg size of addons. Coupled with the ease of sending tips and donations is it such a far fetched idea to just offer blob storage and addon devs the ability to embed their own payment link to paypal or some other crowdfunding payment processor? What's the issue with addon devs hosting it in multiple places? Is the revenue from overwolf/curseforge that significant that it can't be replaced easily?

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@imHitchens
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@imHitchens imHitchens commented Nov 15, 2021

This makes me so sad. I love Ajour. It's the fastest, easiest and hardest to screw up addon manager there ever was, making it the obvious client to recommend to anyone new to the game or activities requiring addons.

It was also the one project that finally got me active on github.

I understand them not wanting competing clients or platform to use the data they hosted, and I'm grateful for the time we were able to build upon their API.

Creators hosting their addons on github is great, but it's neither easy nor desireable to force all developers to use it, especially if they can benefit economically from it (which they abolutely deserve).

Taking on overwolf would be a giant project probably requiring monetization for creators either through ads or donations.

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@christopheml
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@christopheml christopheml commented Nov 15, 2021

Ajour will be dearly missed. It's the best piece of addon management software I've ever had the pleasure to use.

@fadi-simetrik The main issue is discoverability of addons. Anyone can host something on Github/Gitlab or any other similar platform and Ajour already supports installing addons from that kind of source. Installing and keeping an addon up-to-date from this kind of channel isn't a problem. However, there are two major issues left unaddressed :

  • As a player, I'd like to find an addon that does X. How do I know if there is one and if there is, where to find it?
  • As an addon developper, I'd like players to use my addon. How do I reach them.

I'm deliberately keeping monetization out of the way because it's a broader issue (open-source projects in general face the same ills).

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@zhoumpo
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@zhoumpo zhoumpo commented Nov 15, 2021

Understandable reaction from Overwolf to close the API when they get challenge by such good software like Ajour.
Gonna miss it.... :(
Thank you for the really good job you did.

And good luck for future project.

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@mmolad
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@mmolad mmolad commented Nov 15, 2021

Thank you for creating what was basically the quickest and cleanest app I've ever used. I remember the first time I hit "update all" and it iterated through every addon and updated in under 2 seconds. I assumed something went wrong. I don't even load web pages that fast. Incredible work, and I am sorry it came to this.

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@Gogo1951
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@Gogo1951 Gogo1951 commented Nov 15, 2021

Hey @casperstorm ,

You had so many great features man, it's a shame Overwolf is locking you out given then don't do it anywhere near as well as you did.

Some add-on creators care about money. A lot of us don't.

Just having a tool that was super easy to use, that would automatically update add-ons for people... that's all I wanted and Ajour did it perfectly.

Sorry to see how this unfolded.

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@zappaDPJ
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@zappaDPJ zappaDPJ commented Nov 15, 2021

Ajour is without a doubt one of the best applications on any platform I've ever used. It will also be the most missed.

I just came here to say thank you to casperstorm for all the time and expertise you've donated to this project. I can assure you it's been very much appreciated by many and I wish you luck with any future endeavours.

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@SpareSimian
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@SpareSimian SpareSimian commented Nov 15, 2021

So CurseForge is providing a download repository, which is the expensive part which GitHub and GitLab can replace, and it also provides a "registry" of known addons so users can find them.

Proposal: Create a new GitHub project here that's simply an addon registry. Anyone can fork it to add their addon and issue a pull request to add their addon to the common registry. Savvy users could also tell Ajour to use a fork of the Ajour Registry. The registry would contain the same directory that Overwolf's API provides. Which I assume is just a list of addon names and links to their pages. All the information about their addons can be in their projects, keeping the registry lightweight.

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@layday
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@layday layday commented Nov 15, 2021

You know, I had the same thought (sans the Ajour branding ;P)

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@tarkah
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@tarkah tarkah commented Nov 15, 2021

@SpareSimian we've actually discussed this type of solution long ago. We looked at projects like Homebrew which do pretty much this.

I'd be more than happy to patch in support for this kind of backend into Ajour if a git based registry ever materialized.

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@jliddev
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@jliddev jliddev commented Nov 15, 2021

This is literally what the hub does/is that you guys helped design lol

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@SpareSimian
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@SpareSimian SpareSimian commented Nov 15, 2021

The registry linked by @layday only lists GitHub addons. That could be extended with more fields to handle CurseForge and GitLab. What does Ajour currently need to handle an addon? We could start with its requirements and consider potential enhancements. What do you do when an addon is available from more than one source? (Redundant sources are a Good Thing. Sites do go down.)

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@4bitfocus
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@4bitfocus 4bitfocus commented Nov 16, 2021

I came here to ask what it would take to make something similar as a backend, but it appears that @SpareSimian and @layday have a spark of an idea. I would love to see this kind of thing take off and I'd be happy to remove my simple little addon from anything Curse related. What else needs to happen?

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@fadi-simetrik
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@fadi-simetrik fadi-simetrik commented Nov 16, 2021

@christopheml If github can replace curse as a central repo. The only part that needs implementation is an indexing layer, Which shouldn't be too difficult. A front end for developers would prob be need to point to their official repos.

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@cantreadcode
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@cantreadcode cantreadcode commented Nov 16, 2021

seriously...

all o' ya'll bitches.

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@Lemagex
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@Lemagex Lemagex commented Nov 16, 2021

Ajour was great. This is sad news.

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@HearthCore
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@HearthCore HearthCore commented Nov 16, 2021

I'm so sorry, thank you for your work over the years. I've been a user since i started playing again with the start of shadowlands and your addon manager ticked all the boxes without all the bloat.

I was just about to search for new addons with the next patch beeing around to corner to maybe rejoin the forces, as is, this happening turned me off to that idea.

Thank you for your work, you did a great job with this project. Don't let it hold you back, the next project is right around the corner once you find an issue you feel you could fix, that itch, you know ;)

See you around!

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@SpareSimian
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@SpareSimian SpareSimian commented Nov 16, 2021

Correction, @Lemagex , Ajour is great. Don't give up on it yet. Let's move the metadata away from CurseForge and decentralize it so no monopoly can shut it down. If we do it right, we might even see Overwolf start using it! Can we get input from other addon managers?

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@Kegdoctor
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@Kegdoctor Kegdoctor commented Nov 17, 2021

I like many others will really miss this.
You built the best manager I have ever used for wow.
I love the wago integration.
Very convenient and smooth.
Also love how I was able to theme it myself, truly amazing job and thank you very graciously for all your work.
Much props and all my respect goes out to you for this and your future endeavors

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@perara
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@perara perara commented Nov 17, 2021

This is the right decision. You'd not want to entertain the cancerous ideas and vision of Overwolf.
With the transparency and open development you and your team have shown during this project, I'm sure that whatever project you end up working on, will be a success. Good luck!

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@duraz0rz
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@duraz0rz duraz0rz commented Nov 20, 2021

Thank you so much for the work you did on this :) This is my favorite addon manager and I will keep using it until it no longer works!

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@Dzendrieh
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@Dzendrieh Dzendrieh commented Nov 22, 2021

Bummed to hear this. Thanks for the great addon manager. You will be missed.

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@skibz
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@skibz skibz commented Nov 26, 2021

Jeez...
That's really disappointing. I hope Overwolf f*****g dies in a fire.

And, I echo the sentiments of others in this thread. You've written some great software of which you ought to be proud. Thanks for your contributions to the community.

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@cmberryau
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@cmberryau cmberryau commented Nov 27, 2021

Yet another human action with a dollar sign added to it, sigh.

Edit: Ajour is awesome software you should be proud of it. Super simple and easy to use - not a given for open source!

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@SpareSimian
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@SpareSimian SpareSimian commented Nov 27, 2021

@cmberryau The problem isn't the profit but the protectionism that prevents competition from products that we consumers prefer.

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@4bitfocus
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@4bitfocus 4bitfocus commented Nov 27, 2021

Yeah, it's hard to break in without support. There are some good comments in this thread with ideas to overcome and keep projects like this alive.

It needs an inventory of addons that can be updated and used by authors. That costs money plus a place to store release packages. Again, money. Maybe GitHub / GitLab could be used but I'll bet they shut that stuff down once it takes off.

I'll probably pull my addon from Curse on principal but that will hardly make an impact.

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@illutian
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@illutian illutian commented Nov 27, 2021

Overwolf is just a cancer to the gaming world at this point.

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