phoenix wrote:The point is that there is no communication, at all.
I think this is the problem -- an "open core" project has to maintain a careful balance between enthusiasm about the open source core of the project and enough paywalled features (and/or support) to keep revenue flowing. More so probably than fully open source projects, an open core project needs to keep information flowing to the community to keep them on board. I disagree with Mark that no communication is better than wrong communication -- not ALL of the promised features in previous versions ended up as vaporware. A vacuum in an environment like this will foster FUD. A community centered around a single-company open core product needs constant reminders and proof that the "open" part of the project is still important to the company. I've been on the wrong side of that more than once (thanks, Oracle!), so this isn't idle fearmongering. In fact, a company that has plans to neuter the "open" portion of their product usually goes silent.
I also agree that it would be fantastically self destructive for Synacor to put something like the new UI behind a paywall, but when no information is given about a product or feature, all we can do is guess, especially after a precursor version is yanked with little to no explanation. And the little info I saw in the forums had someone referring to the new UI as the "Next Gen UI", as in "NG Module", which are all (as far as I can tell) paid modules. Hopefully that's an unlikely outcome, but I have nothing else to go on.
At any rate, the Zimbra -> Yahoo -> VMWare -> Telligent -> Zimbra -> Synacor (did I miss one?) transitions have been difficult for us longtime users. Synacor should recognize the stress that all those transitions put on their community, since each transition offers an opportunity for the product to go through a Sun -> Oracle style transition, and be that much more conscious of their efforts to reach out to the community. Instead, especially since the Synacor acquisition, gone are all the roadmaps, and the blog is mostly notifications of patch releases and "did you know about this feature Zimbra has had since 2009".
I'm sorry to be so negative about it. I wouldn't care if I didn't love the product. Without additional communication, people will eventually leave due to the uncertainty, even if the current state of the product is good, because they don't know whether they're building on a solid foundation for the future or not.