Thanks for sharing Eric :-)
IMHO I think ARDOP is the better option on everything but Windows. Unless you have very special requirements, ARDOPc does a decent job on HF, it's open source, cross platform and headless. It is also much easier to set up on Linux based systems, and thus much easier to get started with for unexperienced users.
If everyone jumps over to VARA, chances are ARDOP won't be maintained for long and we'll end up with nothing but propriatery modes for Winlink again. So please, please try to make ARDOP (and/or AX.25) work for you before jumping onto the VARA train :-)
I'm glad we're now able to provide the option to use VARA with Pat. But please keep in mind that VARA is written for Windows only, and as such is really not the perfect fit for most Pat users.
Just my honest thoughts on the subject, since we're sharing 😅