For our may Community Choice Project of the Month, our community has selected ApexDC, a DC++ client based on StrongDC++ that features external plugins and scripting through LUA and much more. The project’s Lead Coder, Crise, tells us about the project’s history, purpose, and direction.
SourceForge: Tell me about the ApexDC project please…
Crise: ApexDC is a community orientated program, for the Direct Connect and ADC networks, allowing people to engage in group conversations and conveniently share files with each other with ease. This can be achieved through a public environment or a series of private servers (hubs) only accessible with an invite.
SF: What made you start this?
Crise: Direct Connect provides an experience seldom found anywhere else. The closest parallel is most likely IRC, which is still fundamentally different especially when it comes to nature of servers. Lee and I co-founded the project to achieve our own vision of a community-led program. While starting off being based on pre-existing and active code base certainly had its challenges it also allowed us to develop ApexDC more rapidly and focus on aspects important to our users at the time big or small. We also later developed a plugin system for Direct Connect clients, as part of our first major feature release, because when we started ApexDC the only way for someone to add even the smallest bit of functionality was usually to fork and entirely new project out of an existing one and while diversity is good countless of these forks are now left by the wayside unmaintained.
SF: Has the original vision been achieved?
Crise: Our vision has always been to provide an easy to use, yet powerful program. We have tailored the program to beginners and advanced users. We have recently been focusing our efforts on developing a cross-platform experience so Mac OS X and Linux users can join in the fun.
SF: Who can benefit the most from your project?
Crise: Small groups of people who are looking to communicate or share files in a private (secure) manner or publicly with thousands of other people. Direct Connect is also fairly popular alternative to IRC especially with LAN setups.
SF: What’s the best way to get the most out of using ApexDC?
Crise: Join some public hubs/communities or even create a private hub for yourself and friends. You can then use ApexDC to share your favourite files and talk to friends.
SF: What has your project team done to help build and nurture your community?
Crise: Our community is located on our forums and also within our program itself. The beauty of ApexDC is that we can be connected to our users and talk to them directly within the program itself and get instant feedback on what they think works.
SF: Have you all found that more frequent releases helps build up your community of users? (Please provide insights if this is the case)
Crise: Yes, frequent releases directly help grow our community and awareness. It helps drive traffic to our website. which in turn encourages our users to communicate with us about the latest releases.
SF: What was the first big thing that happened for your project?
Crise: After our first public release we received over 5,000 downloads in 24 hours. Considering our project was new we did a lot of marketing on a community level so people knew about us and had plenty of recommendations before we released. This is very important when starting out a new project, especially when at the time there were number of other choices a potential user might have chosen instead.
SF: What is the next big thing for ApexDC?
Crise: The next big thing is version 2.0. It has been in development during our spare time for over two years and will offer a seamless cross-platform experience.
SF: How long do you think that will take?
Crise: It will be on a continuous development cycle but we expect to allow public testing fairly soon.