Spectroscopy Ninja: providing optical spectroscopy software
Spectroscopy Ninja: providing optical spectroscopy software
10,000 academics use it for spectral data analysis. Free of charge. All work was done in spare time. Now, funding a big step forward!
10,000 academics use it for spectral data analysis. Free of charge. All work was done in spare time. Now, funding a big step forward! Read more
The campaign is over now and stopped at 65.9% funding. However, the story is not finished and there will be a new chapter to it soon. Please visit my website at http://spectroscopy.ninja, to find out how it will go on!
Hey, I am Friedrich Menges, and I ask to support the further development of my long-year brain child, the optical spectroscopy software Spekwin32. Please read below about the WHAT, WHY and HOW of this project. If you don't have a credit card, can't or don't want to join Kickstarter, then proceed here after reading about this campaign!
What it does
Spekwin32 is an optical spectroscopy software for spectral data analysis. Described in short:
- Open all sorts of spectra into one software (35 file formats recognized)
- Display, process, analyze & convert them with ease
- Works with UV/VIS, NIR, FTIR, Raman, fluorescence spectra
- Easy to use. Rock solid. Lean
- Free for private & academic use
How it began & evolved
During my PhD, starting in year 1999 at Universität Konstanz, I developed Spekwin32 as a helpful tool for spectral data analysis. Initially only used by myself and a handful of coworkers, it got more and more widespread, went international in 2004 with the english version and website and is in world-wide use today. Since 2010, there is a commercial licensing scheme, which generates enough revenue to pay the expenses, but does not allow to make a living from. For the last 11 years, after leaving university in 2005, I continuously improved & enhanced the software, maintained the website and supported it's users in my spare time. Except for feedback and occasional sample data, I never requested anything else from academic & private users.
Why I were doing this
Well, I was born and raised in Germany, a rather safe and wealthy country. I enjoyed free education. I studied free of charge with top-class academics. I could do some years of research without chasing for research funding. Unfortunately, this is far from usual in the bigger part of our world. I feel a strong commitment to give something back to the world, and this free tool is my way of doing it.
Where it is now
- Over 10,000 satisfied users from all over the world, 90% thereof academics.
- About 5000 individuals downloading the software per year.
- Direct interaction, support, problem solving with about 400 individual users every year
- 110+ scientific publications mentioning the use of Spekwin32
- 70+ companies purchased commercial licenses since 2010
- 1 person handling everything during his spare time
Whereto with this crowdfunding
Now, despite the software going strong, it is also growing old and further development is hampered by its outdated foundations. There is urgent need for modernization and along the way it is also possible to enhance its functionality.
The whole modernization effort is laid out in much more detail in the Spekwin32 Masterplan.
Why I ask for funding
In order to do this "time leap", up-to-date development tools are necessary. I've already invested into the development software Embarcadero Delphi XE 5, which allows to do everything on a state-of-the-art technological level. What I now need is development time, because it is impossible to accomplish this modernization and general overhauling step in my spare time (evenings/ weekend). Believe me, I've tried. It is not possible, just one order of magnitude too much.
So, this crowdfunding is intended to fund about three months time, to allow for full-time work on the successor of Spekwin32. The topics addressed include all the modernization items from above, plus the first 5 topics from the enhancements list. The grey topics from above, could become stretch goals, or get funded by the 2 and 4 work week pledges.
The new software will still be free for academic & private use, and work even better, based on state-of-the-art technology. I'm looking forward to it.
the funding sum rises much higher than expected?
As money means development time in this project, this will allow me to implement more features from the optional part of the features list. Which would be really great!
the funding goal is not met?
Then, everything laid out above will not happen. Further development would at least be hampered and, potentially, completely abandoned. This software has occupied a prominent part of my life during the past 16 years, but honestly, it's not the only thing...
Overview on pledge levels and rewards
Apart from all the rewards listed below, I consider as main reward for all users: the fast-forward completion of the new modernized version, available freely to all non-commercial users!
A recent addition (not visible from the pledges on the right side):
From the 400€ level upwards, a commercial-use license will be provided to company-type backers, or else a distribution license to backers like academic institutions or university departments!
Cost breakdown (estimated)
Risks and challenges
As I already have all the development technology and also the experience & commitment, and as this campaign will finally provide the funding for the necessary time, I see no technical hurdles left.
However, if it happens that many of the time-funding pledges will be choosen, this may considerably expand development time beyond the estimated 3 months. In this case, a first version could be launched after 3 months time, containing all the features of the current version plus the additional ones as described above. Afterwards the time-funded dedicated features will be implemented, the total time needed can be summed up from the time-funded pledges.
Of course, succesfull project execution depends on my personal willingness to actually do it. Well, there are hundreds of users out there who made the acquaintance and know me well. They could tell you this is a no-brainer:-) I have considered this step for years now, and serioulsy worked towards it since months, so why should I abandon my goal on the finishing line?
Another potential influence on the time frame: it is not yet decided but might happen, that I and my family move to another town in late August, which would impose a delay of some days on the planned dates. I think this is nothing grave, but better mention it early...
- (31 days)