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[REBOL] Re: Rebol SDK vs Command

From: edoconnor::gmail::com at: 15-Sep-2007 11:37

Language/technology success is a product of getting an impossible number of small details right, plus some luck-- there are no "silver bullets". As such, I don't think that merely opening the source code will change the prospects for REBOL. Although a large % of the programming world has never heard of REBOL, a significant % of programmers who enjoy learning new, dynamic languages already have-- and most of them have already formed their opinions of REBOL. R3 not only faces the basic challenge of winning acceptance among developers, it has historical negative baggage to overcome-- sins of the past. Since moving to fully open source would not necessarily change prospects for REBOL, I don't think you'd see a lot of people forking it and creating competing versions. Most folks want a distribution they can trust, and today that authority belongs to Carl. Offshoots are the kind of thing that happens to popular languages, and frankly, I wouldn't count it as negative even in those cases. You want parallel processing in Ruby? You want .NET support in Python? If so, you look into the alternative distro's of those languages, and you're probably overjoyed that the language has a community so deep that these options exist. For some reason, one often hears "it's not fully open source" as a reason for not adopting REBOL (or some other language). It would be nice to remove that red-herring from the list of grievances, but as I stated, I doubt that this change would make a big difference at this point. With regard to "open source", I think most developers want something completely open with no fine print of any kind. I'd like to see REBOL take that plunge, but Carl is the owner of REBOL and I respect his decisions. If there's something that I need that I'm not getting from REBOL's new partial-open source model, or if the licensing issues are too onerous, there are plenty of other serviceable programming languages to fill the need. Ed