There was an intriguing message in the Make The Cut forums that Andy, the developer, and Craftwell have opened lines of communication. None of us know where this will lead; but, there are a number of reasons why I think Craftwell would benefit enormously by an arrangement with Make The Cut.
First, if Make the Cut or Sure Cuts A Lot can cut to the eCraft it takes a LOT of pressure off of Craftwell in an area in which they have the least experience. There is no doubt at all that the Craftwell team KNOWS hardware design. The eCraft, as I have said over and over, is BRILLIANTLY designed. THAT is their area of expertise and it shows.
But, what is also abundantly clear, is that Craftwell is NOT as skilled and experienced in the area of software. And, having a bit of a safety valve in place as they sort out and build that experience will not be a bad thing.
This would not preclude Craftwell from designing and delivering a world class software product down the road. In fact, in my opinion, it would HELP them in that quest by taking pressure off of constant fixes to a poorly designed initial product and let them back up, regroup and build a team of consultants and in-house experts in the management of software development that would know how to deal with farming out the actual software programming effort. Right now, the tail seems to be wagging the dog and the tail has the dog in a very bad place of dependence.
Craftwell needs something to break themselves away from that dependence. And, that something could be Make the Cut or Sure Cuts A Lot. Once that dependence is broken, Craftwell can step up and have more control over the development process in the future. But, to do so means reorganizing their development strategies, which will take some time.
However, it would be well worth it. As long as we can cut, using SOME software, I will be the first to urge every eCraft owner to give Craftwell the space to do what I know they want to do... provide a PRO product that more than lives up to the name. I don't think that will be as likely to happen if Craftwell doggedly pursues their own path without the help of 3rd party products like Make the Cut.
So, I'm hoping the lines of communication produce some cooperative efforts to support the owners of the best hardware in the business. That would be very exciting to a LOT of owners. And, frankly, increase the odds that Craftwell could eventually deliver a killer application of their own... which is our ultimate hope.