Being an old employee at Gravit at one point, I just wanted to point out a few things. Gravit started off as an open source project. In fact there were few people who donated to Gravit (before it became “Gravit”) to help fund his idea. However, this was when Alex was the only dev working on it. Later, when Gravit received funding, they went closed source. Since no one else, other than Alex committed codes, he was allowed to do so. The lead developers are Gravit are some of the best in the industry. They are all paid developers and the cost of each developer is not cheap. Not in any industry. The idea behind keeping Gravit free was a great initiative. Alex, myself and the other staff worked hard to keep this idea in mind whenever we worked. In fact, Alex sacrificed a lot more than most people know to keep Gravit alive during some tuff times. Selling off his personal belongings to make ends meet. And it was all done to help out a community, this community and all those new and expert to it.
I understand why Gravit was acquired. It is extremely difficult to keep a free project alive. We went to many different companies in the past to fund us, but it was difficult and not many were interested. And those that were, all wanted a premium tool to compete with Sketch (no free). What Corel is doing is, in my opinion, the best direction for Gravit. You are still getting a great free product, but for just a few dollars more, you are getting some added benefits, that not everyone needs. If you need it, then go get the pro version.
And those that are saying implement a donation system, this was already in mind when I was working as the CPO at Gravit (keep in mind that a lot of the old staff is no longer with Gravit mainly because of funding issues). We did a case study and only had a small number of users who said they’d donate. We even tried to work with enterprises to make an enterprise version. So whatever was earned from enterprise would be used to fund the free version. That too did not work out. The closest tool to Gravit is figma, and they charge $12/mo for it. And let’s be honest, it’s got some nice tools but none as as advanced as Gravit.
Also after Corel acquired Gravit, @christian.krammer did contact me for advice. We spoke briefly and he too was struggling to figure out the best direction for Gravit and keep it alive. I think this is a good direction.