Changes concerning the OpenSource alignment of RUNALYZE

After the announcement that the import/export tool will no longer be supported, there is another important announcement for users of our own installations and developers who have previously supported us at GitHub: RUNALYZE as a complete application will no longer be completely open source in the future. What may sound like a kick in the butt at first has some good reasons.

The most important changes:

  • From a certain point in time, there will be no further updates for your own installations.
  • The currently available versions of RUNALYZE remains freely available for download.
  • There will be no restrictions, e. g. to use version 4.3 – neither now nor in the future.
  • We will continue to make individual components, which can be of interest independently of RUNALYZE, available open source.
  • Nothing changes for users of runalyze.com.

The detailed explanation:

Users of RUNALYZE’s own installations have already complained in the past about incomplete documentation/update descriptions and ever-increasing installation requirements.

The reason for this is that RUNALYZE was not conceived as a platform that could be installed millions of times like WordPress. When RUNALYZE was created, it was a one-man project designed to process only one person’s data. A multi-user operation was not planned at that time, therefore allowing own installations was the only way to make RUNALYZE available for more than one person.

Most of the users now use our “official” version at runalyze.com. Fortunately, because the effort we incur in supporting our own installations is disproportionate to the return on investment for us. We are still completely on our own for the vast majority of the actual development work. The release of the source code on GitHub (formerly at Sourceforge) primarily served to allow us to work together internally on the project. The fact that external developers can also support us is a nice side effect, and we are happy about any help – but it is extremely rare.

In the future we will no longer make the complete code available at GitHub (i.e. open source) as before. This is an initially necessary step for our future planning. We still have a lot of things on our minds and notes that we want to offer you. However, not all of them are compatible with the current model.

What the changes mean for us:

  • We can set higher standards in terms of system requirements and do not have to support a handful of different systems. What sounds banal has actually slowed us down several times.
  • We can introduce premium features* without having to rework the complete code to link a corresponding private module.

* Yes, we are planning premium features. Because we want to be able to spend even more time in RUNALYZE (respectively have some free time and don’t have to “sacrifice” all the free time for RUNALYZE) and this only works if it pays off financially. You can be sure: Features that are currently available free of charge will remain freely available.

What the changes mean for users of own installations:

  • Until 10.03.2018 the data can be transferred to our “official” version via the import/export tool.
  • From a certain point in time, there will be no further updates in the previous form. New features will therefore not be directly available for users of own installations.
  • The currently available versions of RUNALYZE remains freely available for download.
  • There will be no restrictions, e. g. to use version 4.3 – neither now nor in the future. However, there will be e.g. no PHP 7.1 support for the already released versions.

Our recommendation: Update your own version to v4.3 and transfer the data to runalyze.com by March 10th. If, on the other hand, you don’t want to use an online service (even if our servers are located in Germany, we comply with applicable laws and the standard privacy settings do not disclose any data publicly) you can use version 4.3 – but you will not receive any updates and you won’t be able to transfer all data to runalyze.com with one click.

What the changes mean for the OpenSource world:

  • Individual components, which can also be of interest independently of RUNALYZE, will still be made available as single (usually MIT-licensed) open source components.
  • Individual components that are already available open source (DEM readers, age-grade tables, glossary, translations, device tables) remain unaffected.
  • We continue to stand for the transparency of our methods. Calculation models and the like are to be decoupled gradually as individual components.
  • By taking this step backwards, we are preparing to invest more time in RUNALYZE in the future. If you support us in doing so, this will have a positive effect on the open source world in the long term by publishing further individual components.

We would also like to see our plans implemented through individual private components and modules, which we then linked to the open source core. In order to prepare the core of RUNALYZE for this, however, we simply lack the manpower, so that we are forced to take this step – at least as long as we want to make progress with RUNALYZE. And the development of new features as well as a premium model, which also enables us financially to invest significantly more time and energy into the entire project, should be in the interest of every RUNALYZE user.

Sincerely yours
Hannes and Michael

Checkout the features of RUNALYZE and go ahead and create your account for analyzing your activities at RUNALYZE.com for free.

or support us by buying a RUNALYZE shirt at shop.runalyze.com> or buy things/gifts at amazon.de or at amazon.com.

We spend our leisure time to make RUNALYZE as good as possible and we still have tons of great ideas, but time is scarce and after a hard training we first need some fruits or a smoothie. You can support the development of RUNALYZE with every financial contribution — We highly appreciate every grant.

17 thoughts on “Changes concerning the OpenSource alignment of RUNALYZE

  1. Hi Hannes, are you serious? Is this an early april’s fool? This sounds like a horrible idea.

    I would have ramped down your official services and start a similar instance where one pays a monthly fee from the beginning. This way people do not get a crippled services with “in-game” transactions.
    Additionally, why should i move to your freemium service instead of any other one?

    Sorry, but this news ruined my day. It’s so sad. I have to search for an alternative if runalyze is not going to be maintained anymore.

    best regards
    Peter

    • I don’t really get your problem. For users of our official online version nothing changes so far. And for users that have their own installation, there’s still the option to switch to runalyze.com (until mid of March).

      Anyone who used an own installation so far and absolutely does not want to use our official version has the option to use their own installation and live without any further features or – yes – look for an alternative. I think we’ve explained in the above pretty clearly why we are required to go this step.

      • The problem is, that it has a reason i am running my own instance: I do not want to move my data outside of my house.
        You were very clear. Still sad. I wish you all the best

  2. Hallo Hannes, Hallo Michael,
    auch ich bin nicht sehr glücklich über diese Entscheidung, weil sie meinem Vorhaben, mich nachhaltig zu entapplen, entgooglen, entfacebooken, kurz, mich zu entclouden, zunächst einmal widerspricht. Aber: Euer Server ist nicht anders als meiner (größer, klar, aber nicht anders!), und meine Daten nicht in irgendeiner amerikanischen Community mit Datensammel- und Nutzerverkupplungswut unwiederbringlich preisgeben zu müssen, war, ist und bleibt DAS Argument, bei Euch zu bleiben.
    Ich habe mir erst mal ein Shirt mit Fanbeitrag gekauft. Ich bleibe.

  3. Schade, wir haben Runalyze für unsere Laufgruppe auf unserem eigenen Server genutzt. Hauptargument war und ist weiterhin die Datensicherheit, eine Cloud-basierte Lösung auf Fremder Leute Rechner (auch wenn dieser in DE steht) kommt für uns nicht in Frage. Wir werden wohl zunächst weiterhin Runalyze nutzen, sollte sich aber eine andere sinnvolle selfhosted Alternative anbieten, werden wir migrieren. Euch wünsche ich viel Glück und Euren Nutzern keinen kompromittierten Server in der Zukunft. Und Danke für die in der Vergangenheit geleistete Arbeit!

  4. Hello,

    I am also very disappointed in this decision. Self-hosting was the main argument to leave Strava for Runalyze. I want my data back home!

    Keeping an old version of Runalyze in my house is a giant joke because it will become a security sieve in a few months.

    Only offering premium solutions for Runalyze. com would have been more smart than cutting off self-hosting. You can close the entire source code of the application, it won’t make much difference if we can no longer install it at home.

    Good luck for the future

  5. Hi,

    I don’t get the relation between closing the source code and make it easier for you to develop Runalyze. You can keep the core of Runalyze under a FOSS licence and have extra premium options on your main instance. It still provides you financial support and lets you run the instance on cheaper hardware as those who are not interested in premium features could still host their own instance.

    You say people complain about the lack of documentation and want Runalyze to be easy to install on many different systems. You are not forced to fill all those requests. You can keep documentation small and focus on installation on your own environment. Those who really want to install Runalyze can make the effort of documenting and adapting.

    One thing is sure, if you change to a closed model like you describe, you are going to loose looooots of users who care about privacy and even more certainly, the small number of contributions you had will be forced to drop to zero.

    I mean it’s like Nextcloud was becoming closed source and limited to one big private instance. Nobody would use it anymore and all the community applications would die. This would be a disaster.

    Besides, you are putting yourselves in competition with Strava and others who are already pretty popular, mature and full of features. What makes Runalyze better than those private solutions is that it is possible to host it at home !

    Anyway you seem to be pretty sure about your decision. Too bad for us.

    Good luck

    • I guess it’s hard to explain, but I’ll try:

      To be clear: Our intention is not to dismiss local installations. If a user does not want (to pay for) premium features, there’s not much difference for us if he has a free account at runalyze.com or an own installation. And yes, we can say: We don’t care about the docs and all your requests about installations and so on. So, it’s not that we have something against local installations. Clearly, we gain more from users that use (due to privacy reasons) a local installations than from users that don’t use runalyze at all.

      Our problem is the developer perspective. I don’t know if there’s anyone out there who knows our code good enough to agree (or disagree), but from my perspective: No, currently it’s not easy to implement premium features in separated code not being published with the core. Controllers, API endpoints, Models, Services, Views, … there’s a lot of stuff that would require more time thinking about how/where to implement if we need to clearly separate all premium features from the core.

      I admit: The code base should be designed such that it’s easy to separate this stuff, but I don’t think that it currently is. Maybe it is. Maybe we’ll realize within the next months that we can easily separate things. Or maybe we do it the quick&dirty way now and have the manpower (or knowledge) in one year to separate things. I don’t think there’s something that prevents us from serving some new version to the FOSS-world later on. Yes, we may have lost some users but the alternative is to keep struggling without moving forward.

      • “There’s not much difference for us if he has a free account at runalyze.com or an own installation”

        And now, there is no differences between Strava, Runalyze and the others…

  6. Hi. So sad to read this.
    For information, let the export tool active because of the french law. Any personal information of a user stored in a website shall be extractable and viewable offline. Check cnil.fr for more information

    • It’s not only the french law it’s also the new europe law. But we will change the current format of the export tool because of internal changes how data is stored. But there will be a way to export all your data. Because your data should always remain your data.

  7. Schade, immer wenn es gut ist, wird es irgendwann nicht mehr weiterbetrieben – aus welchen Gründen auch immer -, war damals bei Sporttracks schon genauso.

  8. Very sad to read this. Having my own files on my own storage was THE argument to use Runalyze. Now I’ll go back to Golden Cheetah.

    It is a no-go to upload my data to Strava, Garmin Connect or now … Runalyze.

    Thanks for the info and wish you good luck.

  9. Hello,
    Really sad to read this. An opensource model with a paying account on runalyze.com for those who don’t want (or know how) to set-up their own installation would make much more sense to me.

  10. About what kind of premium features are you talking?

    Please do not start anything like Kudos or Buddylist Stuff :)

    Regards,

    Tobi

  11. Hi Michael, hi Hannes,

    einerseits finde ich es schade, dass ihr diesen Weg geht, andererseits kann ich es sehr gut verstehen. Ich habe unsere Accounts (meine Frau und mich) von meiner selbst-gehosteten auf eure Plattform übertragen und nutze es dort weiter. Für mich macht es keinen Unterschied, ob die Daten auf einem von mir selbst bezahlten Server liegen und gespeichert werden, oder bei euch. In Sachen Datensicherheit habe ich in beiden Fällen nämlich nicht wirklich viel handhabe. Jedoch kann ich, wenn ich runalyze.com nutze, euch dafür verantwortlich machen :-P (statt Asche auf mein eigenes Haupt zu streuen).

    Ich drücke euch die Daumen, dass alles so klappt, wie ihr es euch vorgenommen habt. Ich bin auch schon gespannt auf die Premium Features und werde euch so oder so weiterhin regelmäßig unterstützen. Und wenn es halt nur die paar Euro jeden Monat sind.

    Und BTW: Die Vergleiche der VorkommentartorInnnen mit Strava sind lächerlich! Das ist eine ganz andere Plattform mit einer komplett anderen Ausrichtung. Ich vergleiche euch gern mit TrainingPeaks, hier ist die Überschneidung der Tools und Features deutlich größer. Darf gerne auch als Wink mit dem Zaunpfahl für zukünftige (Premium-) Features verstanden werden ;-)

    beste Grüße,

    Rob

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