09 July 2011

MechCAD / AceMoney developer Alex Simanov dies with family in Russian plane crash

Yesterday I saw the sad news that Alex Simanov and his family were all killed in a plane crash, as reported by the Miami Herald and elsewhere.

In parallel with this, users of the AceMoney Yahoo group have been unable to post, although for some reason that I don't understand, I seem to be the only person who still can. I have to assume that as a long-standing group member, Alex had either forgotten to set my profile to require approval, or did not feel it necessary. Whatever the reason, we have no way to control it, and I don't know of anybody else who has been able to post without awaiting approval, which is, of course, unlikely ever to be forthcoming.

Some group users have contacted me offline with some suggestions, so I thought I'd post here to give people a way to discuss options in the comments.  Primarily, Linda K has suggested that:

  1. "We" (i.e. the users - any volunteers?) should set up a new user group that doesn't require posts to be approved by moderators*. The user group need not necessarily be a Yahoo Group, of course.
  2. Any AceMoney user should take the opportunity to download and save the current version of AceMoney, in case Alex's website ceases to exist.  

* Unfortunately, experience with other forums that I'm involved with suggest that that's likely to be a recipe for spamming and porn-peddling disaster, so does anybody want to volunteer to set up a group somewhere and/or to be on a team of moderators?

On behalf of all AceMoney users, I hope that Alex had the foresight to make provision for what should happen to MechCAD in the event of his death, and/or that somebody will take over the company and continue to develop the product.  From a purely selfish point of view, I was looking forward to the imminent release of an AceMoney Android app.

If you have any ideas for how/where to host/set up a new user-only AceMoney group, please add them to the comments.  It's not something that I feel able to take on, but I wanted to at least offer a place here for others to discuss this and offer their ideas and/or services.

Please can we keep the discussion relevant and suitably respectful.  Thank you.

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