Note: The following was originally posted over on the DocFetcher wiki when this site here wasn’t up yet. The post is a pre-release announcement of DocFetcher Pro and gives some insight into the history of DocFetcher and DocFetcher Pro.
This page is an announcement of the upcoming commercial version of DocFetcher, called DocFetcher Pro, with some explanation of the past, current state and planned future of the DocFetcher project.
Past, Present and Future of the DocFetcher Project
A commercial version of DocFetcher, called DocFetcher Pro, is expected to be released soon, in multiple steps starting by the end of 2020 or in early 2021. As the name indicates, DocFetcher Pro is essentially DocFetcher with various “Pro” features, intended for those who need the new features and are willing to pay for them – and who thereby also help keep the project going.
First, some background: DocFetcher started in 2007 as an open-source hobby project, and since then it has grown so much in complexity as well as in number of users that it is no longer possible to sustain it in a hobbyist fashion. Additionally, the code base, last revamped in 2010, is now ancient by digital standards, making it laborious and error-prone to fix bugs and implement new features. Hence DocFetcher Pro.
For the upcoming DocFetcher Pro, the code was completely rewritten in order to fix some notorious bugs that are nearly impossible to fix in DocFetcher, to prevent new bugs, and to facilitate the implementation of new features. For instance, thanks to the new code, DocFetcher Pro will finally be able to find folder names, a feature that has been requested for a long time.
However, due to the new code base, porting new features from DocFetcher Pro back to DocFetcher is a non-trivial task in most cases. That, and DocFetcher’s ancient code base, are the main reasons why no new features are planned for DocFetcher. There may be a few exceptions here and there, but for the most part, all the new features will go to DocFetcher Pro.
Now, to be clear: The original DocFetcher won’t be “dead” or “discontinued” in the sense that all development will cease, as it will still keep getting bugfixes and some polishing, funded via DocFetcher Pro. Instead, the original DocFetcher will become legacy software that will be maintained and supported indefinitely, and that will forever stick around as the free, “basic” alternative to the commercial, higher-powered DocFetcher Pro.
So, to conclude, if you’ve been using DocFetcher for a while now and are quite satisfied with what it has to offer, then there’s no problem: You can just keep using it for free, and maybe grab an occasional bugfix release every now and then. On the other hand, if you feel that some of the shiny new features of DocFetcher Pro are worth paying for and/or you just want to make a donation, then by all means buy a copy of DocFetcher Pro once it comes out.
As to the specific new features of DocFetcher Pro, that’s being worked on right now, so no further information on that can be provided at this time.
Release Schedule and Pricing
As mentioned above, DocFetcher Pro will be released in multiple steps. The current release schedule (subject to change) is as follows:
- By the end of 2020 or in early 2021: DocFetcher Pro for Windows and Linux. The macOS version will follow with some delay due to technical difficulties. The software will be in beta for a while, meaning there may be a few bugs, and some minor functionality may be missing. Hence, the price during beta will be $35 rather than the full price of $40, and buyers of the beta will of course be able to upgrade to the full version at no additional cost. In addition, note that these versions of DocFetcher Pro do not support multiple concurrent users. The latter will be addressed by DocFetcher Pro Server later on (see below).
- Early 2021: A long-overdue bugfix release for DocFetcher, which has stopped working due to some recent changes in the Java runtime. Until the bugfix release is available, please follow the instructions in the pinned notice on the DocFetcher bug tracker to get DocFetcher working again.
- Later in 2021: DocFetcher Pro Server, a version of DocFetcher Pro featuring a search server and a web interface to properly support a multi-user scenario. “Properly” in this case means: not slow, unwieldy, buggy and crashy like the tacked-on multi-user support in the original DocFetcher. DocFetcher Pro Server is geared more towards business use, so the price will be higher than the non-server version. The price will probably also scale with the maximum number of clients that can simultaneously connect to the server, so that the software can (hopefully) remain affordable for small businesses and home use. The exact price curve for DocFetcher Pro Server is currently still up in the air.
More about the pricing: There will be no subscription model to continually steal money from your pocket. The prices stated above are for a perpetual license of the current major release, with bugfixes and support for 1+ year. Subsequent major releases with new features will require a separate purchase. The perpetual license is tied to a single user, so bundling and freely redistributing the software the way it can be done with the original DocFetcher is not permitted. (Every receiver would have to buy their own copy of DocFetcher Pro.)
Finally, please note that DocFetcher Pro will be English-only for the time being, as translations would significantly slow down development. Translations will be added later.
There’s no release notification infrastructure for DocFetcher Pro, unfortunately, but you can subscribe to DocFetcher by going to this page and clicking on the “Get Updates” button.