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[REBOL] Re: Cross-platform

From: rebologue:yaho:o at: 8-Aug-2002 17:36

Atruter said: [cross-platform code] just doesn't make commercial sense in many cases... remember that these tools are designed to make things easier for the *developer* not the end user. I have to agree with Ashley here, at least in the context of client apps. Commercial success in this space is a difficult balance of technology, marketing, service, support and usability. Oh, and luck. While I agree with Joel that a developer's burden often translate into user woes, that statement is hard for anyone to disagree with. Now cross-platform code doesn't exactly address that problem, right? It's likely that Joel was referring to server-based apps. The cross-platform feature is much more prominent issue there. To please the market for server-based apps and CGI, a product usually needs: * reliability * speed * scalability * acceptable security * cross-platform support * support for standard integration interfaces (protocols, security, etc.) With client apps, the list of priorities is much different: * familiarity (native look & feel) * responsiveness (speed) * functionality (features) * usability * interoperability (integrates with platform and plays well with other apps) On Windows, a technology that fails to address each of these points might be better off as shareware or open source. An exception to this rule could be made for killer-apps such Netscape or Napster (and were boosted by the fact that they were also free).
>From a business and user perspective, many proprietary
platform features add value. Such as the ability to display a spreadsheet inside a word-processing document, or drag a file icon from the desktop into another app. The evil side of that is lock-in, but that's a fundamental business reality and hollerin' won't make it any less so. So what now? Give developers the tools that give users the no-compromise client-experience they expect. At the same time, eliminate the developer headaches and bloat required by other tools to achieve that same high-quality experience. Offer me that and you've got something **most** developers would willing to pay serious money for. No other company has really delivered on this yet, which is why it remains an opportunity. Hey, I've got the perfect product to sell in the US, but it requires Americans to switch to the metric system, lose weight and drive electric cars... I'm betting this will be the next big thing... ;^) // Ed