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Future of Centrafuse
Question asked by Justin - November 20, 2015 at 2:25 PM
Answered
Since you have effectively destroyed your own already not very strong community with this switch to this useless site, where you cant even PM someone or post new software, does that also mean that the new CF version that was announced a few months back as "almost ready" wont be released anymore?
 
I am sorry for these harsh words, but I just cant believe this decision. You knew very well how weak the Car PC scene has become, and the old forums were still well visited and very active discussions going on on future things. Yet you weaken it even more with this move. Now developers cant talk to other people anymore, or others cant contact developers, plugins will die (or are already dead), and people will lose interest. Yeah, you said to just use the MP3car forums instead, but as you can see they are as deserted as this one.
 
Is Centrafuse for the Car PC history? Have you realized your mistake? Why did you do it and on such short notice without explanation or chance for people to speak up? Why such drastically limited community options here? Was the old forum server too expensive?
I am just extremely boggled and angry.

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John Replied
November 22, 2015 at 1:43 PM
As the maintainer of the Navigator (and other plugins), this new community stuff really sucks.
 
Got a bug fix for Navigator which affects DigiRx (and other plugins using GPS data). Need testers before the Market is updated. PM me if you're interested in a copy. Oh wait, no PM functionality and can't add it as an attachment. Awsome...
 
 
JJ
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The Centrafuse Team Replied
November 22, 2015 at 10:52 PM
Employee Post
Hi Justin,
 
Thanks for the comment. I'll try to answer as best as I can. The decision to close the forums was based on a number of factors, but mostly a desire to try and consolidate our support options on a single platform. The biggest difference between the old and new forums was the ability of the platform itself to search for similar forum posts and knowledgebase articles. Our experience has shown that 70-80% of support questions on the forums were duplicates of questions already covered in the FAQs, Wiki or in other forum posts. People just don't know how or don't want to make the effort to search for answers. By providing a system that does it for them, we cut down on the number of duplicates. And with every unique question and answer, that goes into the system to help the next customer. By consolidating all our support assets (Wiki, knowledgebase, FAQs, support ticketing and community forums) at a single URL, we felt it would provide better support for our customer base.
 
The tradeoff is that we lost many of the community-focused features that make the vBulletin forum product so popular. Our thinking on that issue was much the same as yours...the carPC market has changed dramatically in the last two years, and not for the better. There isn't as much activity on any of the forums as there used to be, and ours was no exception. We would sometimes go several days between new posts.  So we made a decision.
 
Turns out, maybe it wasn't the best choice. So we've re-opened the forums for posting. We have removed ALL product support and question forums specific to the Centrafuse product. All support activity will continue to be handled exclusively on support.centrafuse.com. But general carPC discussions, plugin and 3rd-party app support and other development topics are again available on forums.centrafuse.com. All your original login info is preserved. hopefully, folks that find this environment more useful will be happy. But I want to reiterate: If you have a question about Centrafuse products, you MUST use support.centrafuse.com. In general, we will not provide support through forums.centrafuse.com.
 
As for the delay in the release of Centrafuse version 4.4.9, that's entirely on me. As part of our re-organization, I upgraded our development/build server, and messed up some configuration items. That, combined with some pressing personal issues has limited my ability to work on the release. Happily, most of that congestion is clearing up and we plan on getting back on track over the long holiday weekend. Despite appearances, we actually have a pretty robust development plan laid out for the coming year. If all goes as planned, we should get some new (and improved) products out the door in Spring 2016.  Fingers crossed.
 
Final thoughts.
 
Centrafuse is a business and like any business, it has its ups and downs. Also like any small business, it is somewhat at the mercy of prevailing market conditions. Fact is, the carPC market is dying. Most cars nowadays can be equipped with 90% of what a good carPC offers straight from the factory. Smartphones or tablets provide the rest. What's left is not really enough to sustain a business, and certainly not enough for anyone to live on. It's just a small hobbyist community. Doesn't mean that there isn't some room to grow, adapt or innovate, just that it has to be done on a MUCH smaller scale...and that often translates into a MUCH slower pace. Wish that wasn't the case, but it is.

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