I don't have an exact date on when the website will be removed, it's up to me since I'm still funding it out of my own pocket. I already zombified the xlobbycube website, ideally that would also happen for the xlobby site so something is still hanging around and it just doesn't vanish off the internet forever.
Yes the weather plugin will probably just stop working someday, it's at the mercy of the data sources which change pretty often. There are two sources for the weather, a primary and a backup so both will have to fail, but it will happen, who knows when.
The ftp site is still around, but the username/password was changed a long time ago when it was compromised and some joker uploaded a bunch of viruses. So the data is still there, but I'm not even sure how relevant it is since it's so out of date.
In terms of what Calrad plans of xlobby itself, that is a very difficult question to answer and I have heard mixed things. From my current understanding there are still some units that are trying to be sold, but after that I would say all bets are off. That's why I was waiting to make an official announement, but I can only keep people in the dark for so long. I hope I didn't give the impression that Calrad owns xlobby 100%, it's a complicated business arrangement to say the least with both verbal and written contracts.
I can say with almost absolute certainty that they will not be developing it any further, everyone should understand that I was still the only developer on this project. Every line of code was written by me, for another developer to even attempt to pick up where I left off would be a waste of money, the code is honestly that complicated now, it's better off just scrapping it and starting over...there were even momements where I suggested doing just that depending on the direction we were going to take it. They would also need someone who could do web development, admister the server, do a little graphic design, and probably the biggest thing that took a HUGE amount of my time right up there with programming....playing tech support guru with installers who bought the system....the amount of time spent on the phone with some of these guys was borderline insane....I'm not talking hours...I'm talking days for some of them....maybe even weeks for a select few.
"Must have got a good compensation package for it"
I think most people think that, but xlobby was never "sold" for some pay day windfall. It was taken on by Calrad and I was basicaly given a job to work on it....I never got some huge signing bonus or anything like that. The pay was setup with a sort of performance thing based on sales, first few years were "ok" but sales never really took off after that so I had to ask for more money or I was going to leave and find something else. I was given enough so I wouldn't walk away from it, but it was right on the edge. And maybe that's a good thing, because it makes you want to work harder to see the sales shoot up, then everyone is benefiting and everyone is making the money they want, but it didn't turn out that way....I wish it did and maybe one day I will own a Lambo....but not today....lol. I'm sure people are wondering what the pay range was doing it that way, and I would say 30k-60k....and that's BEFORE taxes....let me say that again...BEFORE taxes. I used most my money to buy a Hyundai Santa Fe, pay off all my student loans, buy a GS500 and probably my most favorite purchase an American Fender Stratocaster....which is sort of funny...I bought it but never had much time to play with it....but I wish I had saved up and bought that thing when I was a kid....it's just an amazing instrument.
So don't get the impression that I'm some millionaire, lol.
I still say looking back the system was just too complicated for the average installer, I remember doing demos at CES and CEDIA where I would run through xlobby as quickly as possible for people....try to compress everything it can do in 5-10min...it's just impossible to do...and it's equally impossible for someone to understand it. What you have to understand about the average installer is they want to get in and out of a job as fast as possible, that's the goal...period. So when they buy a system, and you tell them they need a setup a NAS or do port forwarding, or maybe the EDID bit is working correctly or maybe they've decided they want to try to make a new skin....it just starts eating up there profit margins big time....and I wont even get into other issues, like tying in 3rd party hardware.....ughhhh.
Now if you read all that and made it to the end, don't get the impression that I'm bitter about all this and the way things turned out, because I'm not. Yah it sucks to invest all that time and energy to have very little return, but that's the risk for a big payoff isn't it...it's like any kind of business, you hope you are on the right path and at the end of the road there is a pot of gold...but sometimes the pots empty and sometimes there's just a couple of gold coins in it....but I knew that would be a possibility when I signed up. It reminds me of that quote, "success is a journey, not a destination"...it's 100% true...but it's almost 100% true that I wish I had a bank acocunt with 6 or 7 figures sitting in it.
On second thought this is a better quote and a great song
"you can't always get what you want"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIX0ZDqDljA